I didn't enjoy these two stories as much as some of Christine Feehan's other books. Not sure I can put my finger on exactly why but it may have someth...moreI didn't enjoy these two stories as much as some of Christine Feehan's other books. Not sure I can put my finger on exactly why but it may have something to do with the fact that these are two novellas rather than one full length story.(less)
This is probably THE vampire series I've enjoyed the most in the last couple of years. I love Julie Kagawa's writing and the characters she has create...moreThis is probably THE vampire series I've enjoyed the most in the last couple of years. I love Julie Kagawa's writing and the characters she has created. There is a real grittiness to the series and it has kept me engrossed throughout all three books in the trilogy, with some genuine shocks and surprises along the way. I was so excited to start reading 'The Forever Song' which was absolutely absorbing. I was relieved that I started it on a Saturday morning because it meant that I could curl up for a long, uninterrupted reading session.
The whole series has culminated in Allie's determination to kill Sarren and stop him once and for all. She won't allow him to infect and kill the people of Eden - the last safe zone on earth, and she wants to make him pay for robbing her of the person she loved the most. Without Zeke by her side she struggles to overcome the monster living within her but she has incredible strength and won't give in without a fight.
Not only do I love the character of Allie but Jackal remains a big favourite of mine too. He has really undergone an almost 360 degree personality change from the start of the series and has developed a new found compassion for others. He is however still the sarcastic, wise-cracking Jackal that I've come to know and love. He is very much an anti-hero and definitely gets all of the best lines! Kanin is another brilliant character and always tried to show Allie and Jackal the right path, whilst giving them the freedom to make their own choices and mistakes.
There are some massive surprises throughout the book and I felt like I was continually kept on my toes by Julie Kagawa's ingenious plotting. She threw me for a loop on more than one occasion which was one of the key elements I enjoyed about the story. This was such an exciting and well written conclusion to the Blood of Eden trilogy. The final ending was absolutely perfect and the best way to finish what has been such a stellar series. (less)
'The Trap' is an epic and exhilarating conclusion to one of the best series out there! I was on the edge of my seat as I followed Gene and Sissy's str...more'The Trap' is an epic and exhilarating conclusion to one of the best series out there! I was on the edge of my seat as I followed Gene and Sissy's struggle to save the ones they love and survive in a world riddled with danger.
I have loved each instalment but I think this was my favourite so far. It was an incredible, pulse-pounding read which I devoured in one sitting. The story takes up where 'The Prey' left off, with Gene, Sissy and co on-board a train headed towards an uncertain fate. As they face unimaginable horrors, they vow to stick together no matter what but someone from Gene's past has other ideas.
The plot rockets along at full speed ahead, as Gene and Sissy find themselves in one dangerous situation after enough. Having followed their journey this far and having invested so much in the characters I was desperately keeping my fingers crossed for them. They've faced such terrible situations that I really wanted them to come out the other side and have some hope for the future. They have a lot to get through first though before that's even a possibility.
Andrew Fukuda is an incredible writer. The scenes in the book leap off the page as his writing leads you on a journey full of horror, terror and danger. There are some wonderfully rich descriptive passages in the book which made everything feel very real and frankly left me quite terrified at times.
I was preying that the ending would leave me satisfied and wow, did it ever! There was a truly unpredictable twist near the end which was jaw-dropping and so, so clever. I never saw it coming which made it all the more surprising. Sometimes the last book in a series can let you down but 'The Trap' delivered right up to the last page.
This was a real page-turner that I can guarantee you won't be able to put down. I'm excited to see what subject Andrew Fukuda will turn his hand to next. (less)
I enjoyed Karen Mahoney's two previous books (The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen) so I jumped at the chance to read and review her newest offering, the...moreI enjoyed Karen Mahoney's two previous books (The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen) so I jumped at the chance to read and review her newest offering, the first title in a brand new series about vampires. The cover is gorgeous and the story sounded brilliant, just the kind of thing that appeals to my reading tastes, but unfortunately it didn't turn out to be quite as good as I was expecting. I normally love vampire stories but 'Falling to Ash' didn't tick all the boxes for me.
The story is about Moth, or Marie as she was previously known. A teenage girl turned vampire who is still coming to terms with her new existence and struggling to adapt to her relationship with her Maker, Theo. I didn't particularly like Moth and felt little connection to her as a character. I immediately wanted to know more about her back story so that I could understand why she is how she is. This was gradually revealed through flashbacks to how she was turned into a vampire but I would have liked to have seen this dealt with much earlier on in the book. There is a prequel to this title called 'Moth', so maybe it would have helped me if I'd read that first.
I felt uneasy in the scenes between her and Theo and I wasn't feeling the growing romance between her and Jace a.k.a vampire hunter in training, either. For me to really love a book, I have to feel that I care about the characters and what happens to them but sadly this wasn't the case with any of the main protagonists in the story.
One aspect of the book I did like was the family bond between Moth and her sisters which I would have liked to have seen developed even more than it was. Although she's now a vampire, she still feels enormous love for her family members, particularly her little sister and she's willing to protect her whatever the cost.
I know there are a lot of Karen Mahoney fans out there and I've already read a number of positive reviews of this book, so although it didn't necessarily appeal to me, I'm sure many others will enjoy it. All that aside, it is refreshing to read something by a British author for a change who has definitely brought something different to the vampire genre. (less)
One of my favourite debut's last year was 'The Hunt' by Andrew Fukuda; a thrilling tale of vampire-like creatures hunting down the last remaining huma...moreOne of my favourite debut's last year was 'The Hunt' by Andrew Fukuda; a thrilling tale of vampire-like creatures hunting down the last remaining humans or hepers as they are known, to satisfy their ravenous blood-lust. I've been counting down the days until the sequel, so when this book finally arrived in my hands, you can bet I couldn't wait to pick it up and get stuck in.
The story begins almost immediately after the events of the previous instalment. Gene is on the run from the Heper Institute, along with Sissy and the other boys. Having narrowly escaped with their lives, they make their way down the river, seeking the sanctuary that the Scientist promised them was out there. Their journey is not an easy one however, as they are still being hunted and may be in danger of swapping one prison for another.
There is a real sense of trepidation and fear which emanates from the pages of the book. Gene and co are living on a knife edge and every decision they make is vital. What they choose to do may just be the difference between life and death. I was terrified for them most of the way through the story, as danger seems to dog their every step. Fukuda keeps the pace high and the tension ratched up. So much so that there were very few chapters where I could take a breather from the terrible events that occur. I found this title absolutely addictive reading and so exciting!
When they finally make it to a place called The Mission it looks like their struggle might be over at last. But things don't seem quite right in their new home as they eventually begin to find out. I honestly didn't think that Andrew Fukuda could come up with anything worse than they had already faced but fresh horrors presented themselves which had me on the edge of my seat. The writing is vivid and descriptive and completely gripping. I was both shocked and horrified at times but also immersed entirely in the incredible world set before me.
Inventive and imaginative, with top notch storytelling and an unbelievably exciting plot, 'The Prey' is a book not to be missed. I'm already checking off the days until the final part of the trilogy is published in Autumn 2013. (less)
'Blood Prophecy' is the final thrilling instalment of one of my favourite vampire series by one of my favourite young-adult authors. This is one of th...more'Blood Prophecy' is the final thrilling instalment of one of my favourite vampire series by one of my favourite young-adult authors. This is one of the first series that I started reviewing on my blog so it is sad to say goodbye to so many well-loved characters.
The story centres mainly around Solange and finally begins to explain the reasons for her strange behaviour in the previous book. Everything gradually slotted into place but there were still plenty of twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the very end. I like the way that Harvey always has something extra up her sleeve and continually leaves the reader wanting more.
Solange shared the bulk of the narration with Lucy, although Christabel and Hunter chipped in too along the way. In my eyes, Lucy has been one of the best characters in the series. She is funny and witty, incredibly brave and feisty and always looks out for her friends. She is also loyal and stubbornly determined but the latter in a good way. Her scenes with Nicholas were awesome and made my toes tingle. I would love to see a spin-off just about them and what happens to their relationship in the future!
The story culminates in a tremendous battle involving vampires and humans and I enjoyed seeing everyone coming together to fight for what they believe in. Each character has to step up to the mark when it really counts but they know they can always rely on each other. There is lots of action and excitement throughout, especially in the second half of the book but there are also some lovely scenes between some of the couples in the series and some touching family moments.
Fans of the series will not be disappointed in the send-off given to the Drakes. There is something to please everyone and glimpses of all the characters who have been in it along the way.
UK readers are in for an extra treat too in this book, as there is an exclusive bonus story included about Sky and Duncan Drake which I enjoyed.
Alyxandra Harvey may have bid farewell to the Drake family but I'm excited to read more by her in the future and I have no doubt that she will continue to entertain and amaze readers with her terrific writing.(less)
When I read that this book was based on the real life story of the Highgate Vampire I was immediately interested in reading it. Although Asa Bailey ha...moreWhen I read that this book was based on the real life story of the Highgate Vampire I was immediately interested in reading it. Although Asa Bailey has built on original elements of the story, he's also crafted something new.
Kathy arrives in London from America, hunting for her sister Amber who has gone missing. She gets more than she bargained for when she finds out about the legend of the Highgate Vampire and discovers a secret about her own family history which has enormous repercussions.
Set in London, near Highgate Cemetery, this was the perfect backdrop for the story. Creepy and spooky, I got cold shivers whenever they entered the Cemetery, as it seemed that danger was lurking around every corner. It was also nice to see a British setting for a change as the majority of the book takes place on this side of the ocean.
Having read a lot of vampire books, I didn't feel that this title offered anything particularly original within the genre, although these were definitely not friendly vampires...you would want to avoid them at all costs! The mythology was interesting but I never properly connected with the main character Kathy and I thought there wasn't enough character development to sufficiently draw me to her.
The time frames jumped forwards and backwards a lot, which I found quite confusing at times. Although I understand this was designed to fill the reader in on the history of the Highgate Vampire, I thought there were a few too many jumps which interrupted the overall flow of the story.
Dark and dangerous, this is a book where anyone's life can be placed in danger and where you are never sure which of the cast of characters will survive until the end. Although it wasn't for me, fans of the genre may like to give it a try. (less)
This is the fifth book in the extremely popular Drake Chronicles series by Alyxandra Harvey. The story picks up after the events of 'Bleeding Hearts'...moreThis is the fifth book in the extremely popular Drake Chronicles series by Alyxandra Harvey. The story picks up after the events of 'Bleeding Hearts' with Solange struggling to battle her own vampire nature. At the same time, the Blood Moon ceremonies are taking place and vampire tribes have convened from all over the world to take part which means several new faces.
The focus of the story shifts between Solange, Nicholas and Lucy. Solange has never been one of my favourite characters but she undergoes quite a change in this book. There are reasons for her strange and unpredictable behaviour and they are pretty shocking! It will be interesting to see these explored further in the next book.
I loved the fact that much of the plot resolves around Lucy and Nicholas who are adorable together. They featured prominently in the first book of the series so it was nice to hear from them again and see events unfolding from their perspective. Lucy is trying to fit in as a new student at the Helios-Ra school and is also coping with her best friend not speaking to her. Although Solange has treated her quite badly, Lucy still wants to try and put things right and isn't willing to give up on her. Nicholas has his own problems too and faces a choice between his girlfriend and his sister. However, when they are with each other all these things seem to just fade into the background. There's one particularly romantic scene between them which left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside!
The rest of the Drake family also feature too, as well as Hunter and Isabeau who it was good to see again along with their respective other halves.
The ending of 'Blood Moon' nearly killed me because it leaves you on such a big cliffhanger. Please tell me that I don't have too long to wait until the next book in the series because I don't think I'd be able to stand it otherwise. I love the way that Alyxandra Harvey always throws something new and unexpected into the plot and continually surprises me with the directions that some of the characters take.
This edition also features an exclusive bonus story about Liam and Helena Drake which was a nice added extra. (less)
'The Eternity Cure' is the second book in the Blood of Eden series and in my opinion, a stellar follow-up.
It's been quite a while since I read 'The I...more'The Eternity Cure' is the second book in the Blood of Eden series and in my opinion, a stellar follow-up.
It's been quite a while since I read 'The Immortal Rules' and although I loved it, I was a bit apprehensive about remembering all the plot points. This meant that I really appreciated Julie Kagawa providing a handy recap of events throughout the first few chapters. It helped to get me absorbed back into the story and soon enough I was right back up to speed with the characters and the plot.
The story focuses on Allie's quest to rescue her sire Kanin from Sarren, as well as her unexpectedly teaming up with Jackal to try and find the cure for rabidism. Who would have thought that Allie and Jackal would ever end up working together?! But that's one of the things that's so great about Julie's writing - she's never afraid to surprise you or take things in a different direction and those characters you thought you hated...well you're about to love them now.
Jackal turned out to be one of my favourite characters in the book which believe me, I never thought would happen. He has some of the smartest and snappiest lines and when he briefly disappeared for a while, I couldn't wait for him to come back. I still suspect that he may have some kind of ulterior motive, but for the moment, he proves he can work together with Allie if necessary and he provides some light relief throughout the story.
I know I'm probably in the minority, but I've never been a big fan of the Allie/Zeke relationship. It was however interesting to see them explore this further and delve into the dynamics of how and if a vampire and a human can ever truly be together,
The ending is so tantalising that I couldn't believe that the story finished where it did. I kept checking to make sure that I hadn't missed any pages. You can bet that I'm going to be waiting impatiently now for the next in the series. (less)
'The Hunt' is a truly terrifying and electrifying read from debut author Andrew Fukuda. Having heard a lot about this book prior to publication I had...more'The Hunt' is a truly terrifying and electrifying read from debut author Andrew Fukuda. Having heard a lot about this book prior to publication I had a feeling that I was going to love it and love it I did. Scary, sinister and incredibly exciting, this is a story which will appeal strongly to both a male and female teen audience. There's something for everyone, danger and scares, a touch of romance and a plot which will have you gripped.
Seventeen year old Gene lives in a future world where humans are practically extinct. Near the start of the story he is selected to take part in a government sponsored hunt. But this is a hunt with a difference because the prey consists of a group of humans (or hepers as they are known). For most, this would be an honour but Gene isn't just anyone. He's hiding a big secret which if exposed during the hunt could end up costing him his life.
Although Fukuda never mentions the word vampire in the book, you can only put all the clues together - can't go out in the sun, sleep upside down, long nails and fangs, and come up with one outcome. The fact that the population are never named but their unusual characteristics and traits are discussed in detail, actually made them seem even more sinister, if that's possible.
What I found even more scary about the story was the constant struggle for survival that many of the characters face. You never know when someone is going to meet a particularly nasty end and the tension in the book is palpable. No one is safe and I got the feeling that Fukuda would not be afraid to kill off one of the main characters if it benefited the story. That meant that I was constantly worried about my favourites surviving until the end of the book.
A jaw dropping revelation on the final page had me extremely anxious for more - so please Andrew Fukudua, don't keep us in suspense for too long! (less)
The tag line for 'The Vampire Stalker' says it all really- "Ever been in love with a boy in a book?". I'm sure that the majority of people would answe...moreThe tag line for 'The Vampire Stalker' says it all really- "Ever been in love with a boy in a book?". I'm sure that the majority of people would answer that question with a resounding yes, myself included! This is definitely the book to read if you've ever found yourself with a huge crush on that cute boy in the pages of your favourite story.
Amy is an avid reader and a huge fan of the Otherworld books by author Elizabeth Howard which feature a vampire hunter called Alexander Banks and follows his quest to rid the city of the evil vampire Vigo. After Amy is nearly attacked one evening, she's saved by a handsome stranger who resembles Alexander in every way - which turns out to be because he is Alexander and no longer just a character in a book. Amy has to help him hunt down Vigo but finds herself falling in love with her favourite character who is now very much flesh and blood.
This is such a great idea for a story that I couldn't help wondering why no one had written something along these lines before. I hadn't heard much about the book prior to reading it either but it caught my eye on the shelves in my local bookshop. The plot was well executed and the book was fairly short which meant that the tempo was high from the moment that Amy first sets eyes on Alexander. I thought that the romance between them was really sweet and I loved seeing her introduce him to all the modern day inventions that we take for granted such as mobile phones, the Internet and television. He actually gets to grips with all these pretty quickly! The eventual scientific explanation about how he came to be in Amy's world was clearly explained using the premise of literary physics which was both clever and interesting.
I also loved the fact that one of the main characters was a fabulous librarian who helps Amy to make sense of everything happening. Ms P was great and a brilliant advocate for librarians who are geniuses at being able to help track down any information needed. It's nice to see a positive image of a librarian for a change instead of the usual stereotype.
'The Vampire Stalker' was a fun and entertaining read that I devoured in one evening and left me wanting more. My only complaint is that the book was quite short and I would have liked to have had more time to spend with all the characters and see what happens to them next. Fingers crossed that there might be a sequel in the offing.
'Darkness Falls' is the second book in the Ravenwood Mysteries series by Mia James (the pseudonym for husband and wife writing duo Tasmina and John Pe...more'Darkness Falls' is the second book in the Ravenwood Mysteries series by Mia James (the pseudonym for husband and wife writing duo Tasmina and John Perry). The story picks up from where 'By Midnight' left off. April is learning to cope after her father's death and after the shocking discovery that she is a Fury - the one thing that vampires truly fear. Having introduced all the characters and established the storyline, it was nice to see a bit more action in this installment as April faces the truth about who she really is and determines to track down the person responsible for her losing her beloved dad.
One of the things that I really like about this series is the complex mystery that lies at the heart of the plot. There are lots of angles, dead ends and unexpected twists throughout. You never quite know who you can trust from The Faces who are the most popular girls in school, to DI Reece who's investigating April's father's murder, to the teachers who work at April's school. Trust them at your peril because no one is really who they say they are! I certainly think there's a lot more to April's mother than meets the eye. She comes across as rather shallow and unreliable but I suspect she's hiding a big secret and I can't wait to find out what it is.
I also love the setting for these books. Highgate Cemetery in London is so spooky and creepy and wonderfully atmospheric. It's a perfect backdrop for a British book about vampires. There are some fabulous descriptions of the Cemetery itself and whenever the characters are there you just know that something bad is going to happen.
The thing that I felt fell a little flat was the romance between April and Gabriel. Gabriel is gorgeous, sexy, brooding and an extremely enigmatic and mysterious figure. Having got their romance off to a promising start, it seemed to become extremely up and down over the course of the book. I thought that April was quite quick to mistrust him and jump to conclusions about his actions, considering she's supposed to be in love with him. I didn't feel a real connection between the two of them although separately I really like their individual characters. There just weren't enough sparks between them to satisfy the romantic in me.
'Darkness Falls' had a stellar, explosive ending which definitely left me wanting more. I can't wait to see what Mia James has up her sleeve next! (less)
This is a stellar sequel to 'Darkness Becomes Her' which was one of my surprise favourites of last year. The plot is significantly advanced and plenty...moreThis is a stellar sequel to 'Darkness Becomes Her' which was one of my surprise favourites of last year. The plot is significantly advanced and plenty of lingering questions are answered. There's no danger of second book syndrome here with this fantastic read which kept me gripped from start to finish.
The story picks up with Ari wanting to rescue her father and Violet from the clutches of Athena, as well as figure out a way to break the curse which has plagued her family. I loved her determination to save the people who matter to her and I enjoyed seeing her trying to embrace her powers, however much they scare her, so that she can take down Athena once and for all. She's an unstoppable force when she sets her mind to something and she's often willing to sacrifice herself to ensure the safety of others which is an admirable quality.
She also has to navigate her relationship with Sebastian who continues to be charming and mysterious. He's sexy and gorgeous, plus he has one of my favourite names of all time - what more could you want! His character takes a major step in this book which I definitely did not see coming. I'm looking forward to finding out how this will affect the two of them in the next instalment.
I was pleased that we got to learn more about all the Gods and the personal history of Athena which I found really interesting. Ari also gets to explore the Novem Library which is in a very unusual place and throws new light on what she's up against. The mythological aspect of the series is one of the things I love best about these books, so I was glad that a significant amount of time was spent on ensuring this was interwoven into the plot.
Seductive storytelling and full on action makes this a book not to be missed. Fans of the paranormal romance genre should go out and grab this one now. You won't be disappointed! (less)