I waited with baited breath for this book. As in, If-I-died-without-reading-it-I-will-haunt-Stacey-Kade kind of crReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf
I waited with baited breath for this book. As in, If-I-died-without-reading-it-I-will-haunt-Stacey-Kade kind of crazy. So quite understandably, there was a lot of expectations that I put on this book even before I had it in my hands. I loved The Goth and the Ghost so much it was hard to rival. Well folks, Queen of the Dead is just as good - it's ACE!
With Will and Alona's 'Help the ghosts to the light' project firmly in operation, there are countless misunderstandings, drama and pretty hilarious antics to be expected from this sequel. There is also a multitude surprises that I'm sure will catch many readers off guard, as they did with me - and one massive, dramatic, completely on a level of its own twist that left me awestruck. Pick up this book and look forward to the twist because damn, I was bowled over!
Having said that, QoTD is still primarily character driven. The stupendous plot is due to the characters' own decisions and one can see exactly how the characters are epitomised by it. I have fallen in love with Alona Dare right off the bat from G&G, I think I have mentioned it a couple of times. She is such a superb, vibrant, true-to-life character. Out of all possible Alona antics, I did not quite expect to be moved to tears by her in QoTD! But she did just that - her instantaneous connection with readers propel this book into an emotional read at some key points in the book. Alona, strong as she is, shows her vulnerability quite plainly in this book. We discover the little things that makes Alona Dare the girl that she is and while her bitchy side is forever present, readers also see the extent of her selflessness. It's hard for my heart not to go out to someone like that!
In QoTD we also dig up a lot about Will's past as well as his talent. I'm very surprised how this part turns out, because while it's only touched on on G&G, it's a huge part of the plot in QoTD and I think Will is as surprised as everyone else. Mina adds depth to this part of Will's life, and all the tension, rift and reflection that occurs as a result of that really reflects the dimension of the characters. It's superb how the characters grow and develop - even secondary characters. Mina's a little bit of a bitch by the way, but she's a quirky character you can't help but like anyway.
Fast-paced, with the right amount of romantic tension flavouring the plot and a superb array of characters, QoTD is a fantastic sequel indeed!
Having said all that, THE TWIST! THE TWIST! Makes me want to demands book three. Now. Right now.
Shade has been sitting on my to-be-read pile for months (Lyndsey @ Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Reviews very kindly lent me her copy), the reason being that I was not entirely certain of whether or not it will be the kind of book I fancy reading. Turns out my gut feeling was right, because I did not seem to like it as much as others told me I would.
Shade is an interesting enough read. The concept of every sixteen year old and under able to see and communicate with ghosts, while the rest of the world remains blind is intriguing to say the least. Surprisingly, the plot surrounds and explores this phenomenon through the heroine's efforts in unravelling what really happened. Shade is packed with mystery and although it ended abruptly and answered too few a question for my liking, it kept me well interested throughout. The plot I think can do with more tension, but I suppose
The characters are not easily discernible. I had a difficult time understanding the heroine, Aura, and her mixed emotions. Her narrative does not come across as strong as it should be and her words lacked impact. I expected a lot of emotions in her words considering Logan's death, but for some reason I was not entirely satisfied. To top it off, there are certain changes that occurs to Aura in the book that is not well-backed and well transitioned. I was surprised to find her decisions so suddenly shifting her path to the left when all along she was indicating a right-ward veer. The boys however, are a delight. Logan - dead, notwithstanding - is an active, romantic character, so full of life and so vibrant he comes across as friendly to the reader as he is described the book. Zachary, on the other hand, is mysterious, protective, encouraging. Romance-wise, he is the perfect 'other guy'. There are a few secondary characters that seem to play more than just a background role, but the ending is a little abrupt, so I'm not really sure. It didn't feel...complete.
I found the book focusing mostly on two things: the mystery about the Shift and the romance of course. I must admit I was left confused and frustrated about how the book explains the Shift - let's sum it up to this: Shade is definitely a series book, because there is much left of the mystery for the next book to answer. I'll bet my last penny there will be a surprising explanation at hand as the book seemed to be geared towards this. So it might just be all down to waiting for the next book.
The romance in Shade begins well, but loses its touch when Logan dies and Zachary enters the scene. Despite the chemistry between the latter and Aura, her reactions to him seem to upset what was already seen in previous pages - her love and devotion to Logan. It does however, end on a surprising note, which caught me off guard! I was not expecting it at all. Good call, that....more
I'm a new lover of everything dystopian, so when I was offered the chance to read Inside Out in advance, I jumpedReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I'm a new lover of everything dystopian, so when I was offered the chance to read Inside Out in advance, I jumped at the chance. Apart from Spy Glass, I was not at all familiar with Maria Snyder's work, so this was technically a new venture for me.
I loved it.
At first, it took me quite a while to get into the book. The first few pages establishes the setting and introduces our heroine, Trella. The book does this very efficiently, so despite the fact that I had to draw the basic cubic structure of the levels of Inside to aid me as I follow Trella along, soon you actually get used to the idea. I never since had any difficulties in following our heroine as she takes us readers on a very thrilling adventure.
The setting plays a huge role in how the plot progresses - and it is very claustrophobic. Pipes, air shafts, hidden rooms, cubes - you name it. The whole plot is executed in a very enclosed environment, but interestingly, as one finishes reading, it becomes clear that it is one of those book that comes from 'out of the box'. It is very, very cleverly imagined - it surprised me in exactly the way how I'd want a dystopian novel to.
I also feel like mentioning that I adored the way the social structure of Inside appears to be a reflection of the totalitarianism that modern governments seem to trudge towards. It establishes a sense of possibility in the plot.
I loved Trella as a heroine. She's fiercely independent, head-strong and daring, all of which makes her the perfect revolutionary icon. But she has many flaws, and all throughout the plot we see her being hindered by these flaws. She is cynical and distrusting and can be terribly stubborn. While secondary characters were not quite given enough focus and development, their backgrounds and back stories are not only criss-crossing, but also packed with jaw-dropping surprises and twists. I found it very clever how the author manages to surprise me again and again and again with her characters.
There is also a sprinkle of romance in this book, which was another surprise. At first I wasn't sure if there will a romance angle at all, and then I wasn't sure who Trella's mate will be (because there were quite a few to choose from) and when it all became clear...well, it was fun guessing! There was just enough romance to spice it all up and not change the flavour of the book, which I found very well done indeed!
If there were to be nit-picking the only thing I'd say would be that the high-tension scenes could have been built up better. Although there were several heart-pounding moments, I often found myself surprised that the climatic part is suddenly over. At points it felt like it was missing altogether, however that did not seem to bother me that much. Apart from that, nothing can be said about the action and sense of dread that Trella's adventures incites in the reader.
Inside Out will be appreciated by readers from across the board as there is a lot in this book to delight in -
A definite page-turner, complete with heart-pounding action and a cleverly thought-out plot. A near perfect dystopian novel!...more
Alpha is my first Rachel Vincent read and though it is the final book in the Shifters Series, the first I have reReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
Alpha is my first Rachel Vincent read and though it is the final book in the Shifters Series, the first I have read of it. While I'm not very fond of Urban Fantasy, even I will admit this is one bloody good read! I enjoyed this book a whole lot - action-packed, romantic and thrilling, Alpha is one very engaging read.
The book is really built as part of a series. It begins right in the middle of the conflict, and if I'm not wrong, directly after the events of the preceding book. Throughout the plot it also consistently refers to events and characters from previous books. Not much is explained and the book half assumes the reader is aware of what happened previously, but what really made me stick to it is the fact that instead of putting me off, it only enticed me to read the previous books. So if you have not read the series yet, this is a brilliant time to start - you don't have to impatiently wait for the next installment!
The primary character, Faythe, is by no means perfect. Her faults are laid out as it is from the very beginning. She's stubborn and heedless, yes, but also strong and unwavering. In Alpha, Faythe struggles with her affection for both Marc and Jace, two toms who vie for her heart. While I cannot begin to understand how she can love both of them, her indecision and guilt over hurting either of them is palpable in her actions. And while I vehemently stand against her infidelity to Marc, her acknowledgment of this mistake and the punishment she endures placated me.
Out of all the characters, I like Marc the most. Sure, he has a temper, is easy to provoke and is angry for most of the book. But he is such a genuine character; this may sound funny - but I do see a cat in his personality. I love his every word in this book - they are so honest and so genuine, and his hurt is strongly present. I'm glad he is not as forgiving to Faythe at all. His anger gives a sharp edge to the romance, and I'd be damned if I did not enjoy every single second of it!
Alpha is not all about romance - there is also a huge thrill surrounding politics, loyalties and disputes. It is in this part that Alpha fails to make me feel like I have grasp the whole of what is happening. I believe this part heavily refers to occurances in the previous books. There is a lot of tension involving the werecat council and a war amongst shifters is brewing - Faythe is in the thick of it. Tied to this is a very thrilling action interspersed throughout the book. Despite the fact that I lack previous knowledge about what led to certain events in Alpha, I loved being part of Faythe's world. The action, the thrill, the sense of danger following her footsteps is exciting!
I wish the ending was longer - it appeared too abrupt for my liking. Here's to hoping for more!
Simply put, Alpha is one exhilarating read. Forget werewolves, werecats are definitely in. And I just have to add this - I am in lust with the consistency of the Shifter Series' covers!...more
This book looks so cute I had to bypass several others just so I can read it. It lives out to this cuteness untilReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
This book looks so cute I had to bypass several others just so I can read it. It lives out to this cuteness until about halfway through, and then I thought - hmm, I could have survived not reading it as quickly as I did.
Told in the alternate points of views of Charlie Tracker (Jenna) and Fielding Withers (Jonah), J&J's Fauxmance introduces the readers into the world of teenage showbiz. Both their narrations feels like an insider take on one of the major influences in modern teenage culture - and what they paint is not a pretty picture. More than romance, I think this book shows how Jenna reverts back to Charlie and Jonah to Fielding. Because their lives are so intertwined with their on-screen characters, they had to find themselves first before they can find each other.
I'm surprised to have been reminded a lot about how gullible the public is when it comes to the rubbish the media decides to throw in their face. Really, it's the farthest reaction I expected! Nevertheless, the book maintains its cuteness, although I'm also surprised that at some points the narrative seems to settle a little for the older adults. I adore both Charlie and Fielding's voices - they are superbly accurate. Fielding's thoughts, emotions and reactions are of a typical male's, while I can vouch that Charlie's are characteristically female. It was wonderful to see how these two blend together in shedding Jenna and Jonah and resurface as Charlie and Fielding. All those talks about Jenna and Jonah had me wanting to read more of their tv series - I would have easily been a fan of that also!...more