A love triangle that makes sense, pirates, faeries, and great world building. Only complaint is that it was a bit of a slow read and then ended with a...moreA love triangle that makes sense, pirates, faeries, and great world building. Only complaint is that it was a bit of a slow read and then ended with a cliffhanger - grr!
The Queen's Choice is the first in a new series featuring faeries, romance and political intrigue. Anya is one of three cousins that may inherit the throne to Chrior, the faerie land separated from the human world by the Bloody Road. Only faeries can cross the road, as a huge bloody battle left its mark between the two species. When Anya finds out that her aunt and Queen of the Faeries has foreseen her death closing in, she is asked to take the throne. Anya is not the type of spirit that wants to be held to a throne and revels in her journeys to and from the human world. She accepts but when her unstable cousin Illumina, scarred by a horrible childhood is tasked with finding the missing, half human Prince to see his mother one last time, Anya cannot sit still.
Anya herself takes off into the human world only to have her wings severed from her body by human hunters and left for dead. A human family living deep in the forest finds her and takes her into their home to recover. There's something off about this family as they are very secretive, especially the father. They are living in hiding, having wronged the King of their land and if any of their family is found, they will have to serve their father's sentence. So when Shea, the oldest daughter stubbornly decides to leave with Anya to continue her quest, it's a bit rocky. The pair leaves on an adventure to find the Prince, Anya's cousin Illumina and find many more adventures on their path.
Although it took me a long time to read through to the end of the book, I found myself really enjoying the world that Kluver has built. Anya is a great female character in that she knows herself and her own desires. She leaves her beloved at home often and although she feels her love for him, she more strongly feels the urge of travel and adventure. Even after the loss of her wings, Anya despaired, but set to moving forward and completing her journey. I also loved Shea and honestly all of the characters in this book were so beautifully crafted. Each with their own weaknesses and strengths, making a cast that is very memorable.
My only complaint about this book is the ups and downs of the excitement. I felt at times the journey overly hashed out and could have been pushed forward a little faster. In turn, I think the extra time spent really gave an interaction between characters I may have missed otherwise. I'm on the fence about it. Overall, I really felt it was a long read and dragged at some parts, but the action and great characters really made up for that at the same time. The killer really was the twist at the end of the book, that I thought I saw coming but yet still surprised me.
I have been anticipating Flicker and Burn since I read the excerpt in the back of Cold Fury last summer. As sequels go, I found myself immersed into...more I have been anticipating Flicker and Burn since I read the excerpt in the back of Cold Fury last summer. As sequels go, I found myself immersed into the story right away without forgetting much about the first book, even though it has been a year since I read it. That's how much the first book stood out and Sara's character really swept me away in the first book. She is full of raw emotion and starts off just as edgy in the second book.
Possibly the one thing I didn't like about this book was the weakness of Doug's character. I know that Goeglein is very good at writing flawed characters, as each one we meet in this series has their own strengths and weaknesses. Doug transforms in this book and reveals his biggest weakness, the want to fit in and belong. Sara seems willing to let him go, if it means getting close to her family. I do love the singularity of her mission and find that she is willing to cut off all ties of friendship and caring if it means bringing her family back. Even so, it bothered me that the one person Sara relies on can become so easily turned away by the thought of popularity and beauty.
I felt the twist of this book was really when other family members randomly returned to visit and she finds her cousin might be more like her than she originally thought. Really all three of them are a bit of a shock and are more than meets the eye. I love the depth that the characters have in these books and the flaws and weaknesses shown. Sara starts to realize in this book that while she was playing at being part of the mafia, she finds that world pulling her in even more than she wanted. While she thought she was using them, they also are using her and in a way that may change her character forever.
I cannot review this book without saying that the villains of the book are quite the most creative and creepiest ones I have read. Sexless humanoid creatures that drive creepy black ice cream trucks around are the main enemy of Sara, although whoever is controlling them is the obvious boss villain. I still shiver just thinking about them.
Final Verdict: A solid sequel that really shows a turning point for the main character Sara while leaving a lot yet to be discovered. A great series filled with action, some paranormal elements and I am absolutely in love with the idea of hidden doors across the city of Chicago. (less)
Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge is a set of short stories that are darker than most stories that David Lubar writes. The preface o...more Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge is a set of short stories that are darker than most stories that David Lubar writes. The preface of the book addresses that often times his stories can fit into a book for younger readers, but these are not them. I also suggest not reading this at night if you tend to have nightmares, which is of course when I read it. All alone in my apartment, in the dead of night – not the best plan.
Many of the stories were full of gruesome creatures, deaths and moments that made the reader feel as if they were watching a horror movie. The stories were short and to the point and some were more interesting to others to me personally. I don't care for horror itself and preferred the stories that had a paranormal element to it instead of just bloodshed and creepiness.
My first favorite story was called Feelings – which starts off with a friend of the main character abandoning fear and weaving through traffic only to get hit by a truck. His girlfriend moves on quickly and soon that boy too is dead. It's at the second boy's funeral when she comes onto the main character and soon he realizes that something is wrong. Will he realize what's happening before he's killed? I just loved this story, it had an air of mystery with all the hints to figure it out.
My second favorite story was one of the last ones - Morph. A boy is in Chinatown when he sees an albino man buying a scorpion. Curious, he follows him to see him morph the scorpion into his hand and kill a Chinese man. A pattern begins and he finds that he must warn the next victim even if he is a dangerous man. This one had a lot of action, drama, and blood in it and I simple enjoyed this story.
Final Verdict: A creepy, horrific set of stories that will possibly give you nightmares, or at least a series of the creeps. Not all the stories were amazing, but I did like several of them. Read this book if you're in the mood for creepy short stories.(less)
Clover is now possibly one of my favorite characters. Being autistic, she struggles with the aftermath of a virus that was luckily cured quickly thank...moreClover is now possibly one of my favorite characters. Being autistic, she struggles with the aftermath of a virus that was luckily cured quickly thanks to the possibility of time travel. Her other brother West is her caretaker, since their father is too wrapped up in his work and grief from losing his wife years ago. In fact, he killed her out of mercy just before the cure was distributed. When Clover thinks she is accepted into the Academy, she is sent to become a Messenger, traveling two years in the future to gather information.
What she finds out is that her brother is in trouble and suddenly they are questioning the system they have grown up knowing. Doubt spreads and Clover finds an ally in Jude, a boy who she briefly met before becoming a Messenger and while in the future. I love how the author curled the future and past together. I'd love an explanation for why they can only travel two years into the future, which will hopefully come in the next book. This one left off with a lot yet to be explained and explored and I cannot wait to see what faces Clover next.
Jude is a character that has grown on me and hopefully will continue to. I cannot wait to see how Clover and Jude become involved as they are both strong characters. West also has a budding relationship and I cannot wait to see where that goes as well. The bad guys in the novel set out for the right purposes and were pushed by keeping the world peaceful after curing the virus. It's interesting to see the path to corruption and how it often starts with good intentions.
Final Verdict: Overall, I loved this novel. It had great aspects of time travel, post-virus environment and a budding dystopian novel as a few try to control the many. The characters are interesting and realistic, giving pause to the story and where it could go from this point. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one. (less)