I want to start this review by admitting that I'd not heard of this book prior to receiving a copy; a fact which amazes me because I've since discover...moreI want to start this review by admitting that I'd not heard of this book prior to receiving a copy; a fact which amazes me because I've since discovered that 'Angelfall' is an internet phenomenon and garnered more reviews that most other books. If you're as in the dark as I was, then I want to plead with you to read it now!
I love angel books but sometimes find them slightly formulaic because it's a subject which so many authors have written about. I imagine it must be hard to find a fresh approach. I thought there was very little new ground to explore but I was wrong. Wholeheartedly and completely wrong. Susan Ee has taken a subject which I'm fascinated with and intrigued me even more. She's covered new ground, developed a new angle for the genre and produced a five star, spellbinding read.
The premise of the story is that angels have attacked humanity and people are now living in fear for their lives. Penryn is trying to protect her mother and younger sister Paige when they are attacked and Paige is taken. The plot focuses on Penryn's struggle to save her sibling, whilst at the same time, trying to survive in a hostile world.
Penryn is a fantastic character. She's desperate to get her sister back and is willing to do anything to achieve that. She places herself in dangerous situations but never loses her head and never loses sight of her goal. She has to face some terrible sights in the book but she is single-minded and won't back down whatever the personal cost.
I found myself unconsciously rooting for Penryn and Raffe, the wingless angel, before even really realising how much I liked them together. Although she starts off only helping him to get him to lead her to the other angels, they develop a very strong bond throughout the book. I'm looking forward to seeing this grow further in the sequel to 'Angelfall'.
There are a couple of gruesome bits in the story which I could probably have done without, but these do reinforce the horror of the world which they now inhabit and which they have to try to stay alive in.
This was a stunning, spellbinding story which absolutely captivated me. It's hard to list all the things I loved about it but it pulled at my heartstrings and captured my imagination. Please do read it because you won't regret it! (less)
I really enjoy reading angel stories so I thought that I was going to love Marianne Curley's new book 'Hidden'. The premise sounded right up my street...moreI really enjoy reading angel stories so I thought that I was going to love Marianne Curley's new book 'Hidden'. The premise sounded right up my street and I delved into it as soon as I got my hands on it. All the key ingredients were there for this to be a five star book but sadly it didn't quite manage to meet my expectations and on the whole I had quite mixed feelings about it.
The story itself was very slow in the beginning and my interest waned a little after the first couple of chapters. I feel like everything was pointing towards a possible romance between the two main characters Ebony and Jordan but this was eventually turned on it's head which I have to say threw me quite a bit. Although I enjoyed seeing events unfold through Ebony's eyes, the chapters which were focused from the point of view of Jordan weren't quite as good. He seemed at times to be unnecessary to the story, so I'm intrigued to know what part he will end up playing in the next book in the series.
I liked the overall angel mythology at the heart of the plot and the idea of the four dimensions: Earth, Skade, Avena and Peridis. Curley makes a good job of weaving this into the story and explaining things clearly to the reader.
One of my main issues with 'Hidden' was the dialogue between the characters which often seemed rather stilted. It meant that I never felt a strong connection to any of the lead protagonists although I had warmed to Ebony by the end. I was however pretty happy with the introduction of Thane, who provided some of my favourite moments in the book and I'm looking forward to seeing how his relationship with Ebony will develop.
The ending was a real cliffhanger and ended on a high, so although I wasn't completely won over by the first in the series, I'm suitably intrigued enough to want to find out what happens next. (less)
I particularly wanted to read 'Level 2' because the author Lenore Appelhans also has a successful book blog and so has managed to cross-over from the...moreI particularly wanted to read 'Level 2' because the author Lenore Appelhans also has a successful book blog and so has managed to cross-over from the blogger world to that of published author. The plot also sounded intriguing and the cover is really striking and quite different to a lot of other titles on the market at the moment.
The main idea that the story hinges on, is that of there being three levels of existence. Level 1 is earth, level 3 is heaven and level 2 is the place in-between, a kind of waiting room for the dead. Felicia is one of those biding their time in level 2. She, along with everyone else there, spend their time viewing memories of their past lives. They can watch those moments when they were happiest or saddest, when they had their first kiss or met their best friend. Although they are dead, it almost doesn't seem like death because they are still conscious. As Felicia views her own memories, we get to know more about her and the people that were important in her life and are gradually introduced to her boyfriend Neil and bad boy Julian.
Although the love triangle aspect is there, I have to say that I loved Julian from the start but didn't really warm to Neil at all. I thought that his characterisation was quite weak and I couldn't understand what attracted Felicia to him, rather than the incredibly hot Julian, who she has amazing chemistry with. The scenes between the two of them were one of my favourite things about the story and I enjoyed getting to see how they first met. There's a huge revelation about one of the boys at the end of the book and I'm looking forward to seeing how this will affect things in the sequel, 'Level 3'.
I thought that the story started quite slowly and didn't begin to pick-up until about half-way through when the truth about level 2 began to surface. Although this debut novel didn't sweep me off my feet, I feel like there is still an awful lot more to come and I'm intrigued to discover what will happen to Felicia and co next. (less)
I fell in love with 'Bound' by Sarah Bryant when I read it earlier this year and couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel. 'Riven' exceeded all my...moreI fell in love with 'Bound' by Sarah Bryant when I read it earlier this year and couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel. 'Riven' exceeded all my expectations and had me gripped and immersed in the story from the very first page. Brilliantly written and with an intricate and astounding plot which was both imaginative and magical, Bryant has done it again with this fabulous novel.
The story picks up where 'Bound' left off. Sophie is devastated after the death of Lucas and tries to rebuild her life with her mother in Edinburgh. In the Scottish city she meets several new faces, including the mysterious Rive and kind hearted Angus but is still haunted by dreams of her lost love.
I can't mention too much about the plot because I don't want to give anything away but suffice to say that there are lots of unexpected twists throughout. You never know what is going to happen and that is part of what makes it so enjoyable. The plot is unpredictable and anything is possible. At the centre of the plot lies Sophie's struggle to survive without Lucas and to cope with losing the love of her life. With this in mind, it was interesting to see the interaction between Sophie and her mother, the latter not understanding how deep the bond between her daughter and Lucas had been.
I enjoyed learning more about Sophie and Lucas's history which was fascinating, including how they first met each other and how their love developed. They are a perfect couple in so many ways and it's easy to understand the attraction which lies between them. I also loved Sarah Bryant's interpretation of the beginning of creation and the detailed descriptions provided of the hierarchy of angels, aeons, daevas and humans.
'Riven' took me breath away! Powerful storytelling with an unbreakable love at it's heart makes this a book to be savoured and read again and again. I can't recommend it highly enough. There was a tantalising peek at the end, of the last book in the trilogy, which is called 'Morningstar' and due to be published in 2013. I'm dying to read it! (less)
Very occasionally you come across a book which you know almost nothing about but which ends up amazing and surprising you with a story which you fall...moreVery occasionally you come across a book which you know almost nothing about but which ends up amazing and surprising you with a story which you fall in love with. 'Bound' by Sarah Bryant is one of those books. I picked it up to read one evening and curled up in bed planning to just read a couple of chapters. Those couple of chapters turned into a few more and then a few more and I found that I couldn't actually go to sleep until I'd found out how the plot was going to unfold and what was going to be the fate of all the characters. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep at all that night!
The story is set in Scotland, in a small village called Ardnasheen. Situated in the middle of nowhere with a very small population who all know each other, the atmospheric setting nicely fitted with the feeling of isolation that the protagonist Sophie experiences when she first arrives. The weather is miserable and unwelcoming but Sophie is running away from something that scares her more than being on her own in a strange place.
She's drawn towards the local Laird, Lucas Belial, who we get to hear about before being introduced to him. There's a connection between them which is unexplained at first but gradually revealed over the course of the book. I loved Lucas who is gorgeous and passionate, dark and mysterious and I really liked the theme of forbidden love which is woven into the plot. The romance in the novel came across as genuine and real and made me believe and hope for the happiness of the characters. There's a mini love triangle between Sophie, Lucas and another local resident, Sam Eblis, but there was no doubt in my mind who she should pick.
Angels, revenants, demons and faeries - this book has them all and Bryant does a brilliant job of combining them all into a story which utterly captivated me. There are so many interesting and surprising revelations that 'Bound' is a genuine page-turner.
This is Sarah Bryant's fifth book (I've actually read a couple of her adult novels) but is the first which she's written for a young-adult audience. Angel lovers will adore this story of good and evil and forbidden love and will be gripped by the intricate plot, with layer upon layer of the story unravelling with plenty of exciting twists and turns. There are still lots of questions which remain unanswered at the end - one of the reasons why I'm absolutely desperate to read the sequel 'Riven' which luckily is due to be published summer 2012. (less)
I'd heard about this book prior to publication and really loved the idea of angels living amongst humans and being given celebrity status. What a cool...moreI'd heard about this book prior to publication and really loved the idea of angels living amongst humans and being given celebrity status. What a cool idea! The angels act as guardians to those who can pay for protection or those who are lucky enough to be gifted with a guardian. I really liked the way that Scott Speer discussed the culture of celebrity status through the role of the angels with them being placed on pedestals and worshipped because they happen to be in the public eye and are rich and privileged. It was also refreshing to read an angel book where the angels are actually out in the open and not a big secret. All in all, I thought it was a unique and interesting spin on the traditional angel story.
This is actually Scott Speer's debut novel and has already been optioned for television development by the producers of Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries. So we may soon be seeing angels on the small screen!
The two main characters, Maddy and Jackson Godspeed, offer alternating third person narratives and I enjoyed getting to see events through their eyes. I really liked the character of Maddy who is down to earth and sensible, until she begins to lose her head over Jackson. She doesn't have as privileged a lifestyle as some of the other teens at her school but she never complains and always seems to take things in her stride. It took me longer to warm up to Jacks but he had grown on me by the end of the book. On the other hand, I felt that Maddy's other friend Ethan was a bit underdeveloped and at times seemed too much on the periphery. He does have an important part to play in the story but I would have liked to have seen his motivations explored a little more.
The story started slowly but the action picked up from the middle of the book and the ending was brilliant. The plot was entertaining and engaging and sucked me in as it progressed with it's equal measures of romance, action and adventure.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Maddy will cope with the hand that fate's dealt her in the next in the Immortal City trilogy. (less)
This is the third and final instalment of Eden Maguire's Dark Angel trilogy. The story started with Tania and her boyfriend Orlando experiencing life...moreThis is the third and final instalment of Eden Maguire's Dark Angel trilogy. The story started with Tania and her boyfriend Orlando experiencing life in New York. It was nice to see them in a different setting and how this changed the way they interacted with each other. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the sights and sounds of the Big Apple but a few chapters in they head back to their home town of Bitterroot.
Tania and Orlando become embroiled with a film crew shooting a new movie, which is the perfect opportunity for some new faces to be introduced, including the handsome but troubled actor Jack Kane and his wife Natalia, stunt double Charlie and his sister Gwen and lonely Maya.
I've always liked the central heroine Tania because she's quite a sympathetic figure and always tries to do the right thing. She's quick to help her friends and family when they need her and I've enjoyed reading about her romance with the gorgeous Orlando. Her psychic visions continue throughout this story, although they are unpredictable and difficult to interpret.
Although a big fan of these books, I've struggled at times with the predictability of the plots. 'Broken Dream' was a huge improvement because it nicely brought the story full circle and featured some characters from the first book 'Dark Angel' but also threw in some different tangents and twists to keep the tension and suspense high. Although I had my own thoughts on how the series was going to end, I was never quite sure what was going to happen.
The whole series has been building to the moment when Tania will finally have to attempt to defeat her dark angel once and for all. The climax when it came was well worth waiting for and it was an exciting and well plotted end to an extremely enjoyable series.
Overall this has been a fantastic trilogy about the battle between good and evil and light and dark and I've enjoyed Tania's struggle to overcome the odds and live a normal life. I'm now waiting eagerly to see what Eden Maguire will write next! (less)
This is the second book in Jessica Shirvington's series about fallen angels. With hindsight, I wish that I had read 'Embrace' again prior to starting...moreThis is the second book in Jessica Shirvington's series about fallen angels. With hindsight, I wish that I had read 'Embrace' again prior to starting this one because I think it would have helped to refresh my memory about some of the plot strands.
'Entice' has quite a different mood and tone to the previous book. Violet is now fully aware of her Grigori heritage which has turned her whole life upside down and changed her relationship with soulmate Lincoln. She's also trying to deal with the after effects of her romance with Phoenix which is still causing repercussions for herself and her friends.
There's not as much romance in the story as I would have liked to have seen. We know that Violet and Lincoln should be together even though there are some pretty big obstacles in their path, so I was slightly frustrated that it seemed to take them quite so long to face up to this. There were a lot of lingering looks and sparks flying between them throughout the book but I really just wanted to see them together as a couple.
The plot itself was at times quite complex. There's a lot to do with religion and the history of the Grigori so I had to read these parts carefully to ensure that I understood everything properly. The story was also extremely engrossing and clever and 'Entice' was a great read. Full of suspense there were several surprises and revelations along the way.
There are plenty more books in this series still to follow, the next being 'Embrace' which I'm hoping will be published in the UK next year. (less)
This is the debut novel from Australian author Jessica Shirvington. I've been waiting months for a UK release, so I was incredibly excited to finally...moreThis is the debut novel from Australian author Jessica Shirvington. I've been waiting months for a UK release, so I was incredibly excited to finally receive a copy for review. I picked it up almost as soon as it fell through my mailbox and I was glued to the pages for the rest of the day!
Violet Eden has just turned seventeen and the only thing she wants for her birthday is to have Lincoln, the guy whom she's known for two years and fallen in love with. Lincoln however, seems determined to keep her at a distance. Violet eventually accidentally discovers a secret surrounding her heritage which changes her whole world and makes her reassess everything she thought she knew and felt about Lincoln and her life.
When I started this book I wondered whether I'd have to read on through most of the story before the big secret about Violet was revealed. Happily that wasn't the case and Shirvington wasted little time in letting the plot unfold and clueing readers in on the important choice that Violet faced. She was then left with more time to devote to the love triangle which forms between Violet, Lincoln and mysterious new guy Phoenix, who suddenly appears on the scene and who seems to have a magnetic hold over Violet. I have to say that I'm definitely a Lincoln fan! He is utterly adorable! If you like the strong, silent and mysterious type then Lincoln most certainly fits the bill. I never really felt entirely won over by Phoenix. He does do some incredible things in the romance department but I spent a good part of the book willing Violet to open her eyes and see his true character.
I adored the angel mythology and the depth and detail in which their history is described. Although it seemed incredibly complex at the start, it was also absolutely fascinating and I was intrigued by the different ranks of angels that are in existence. Most of the questions I had about exiles and Grigori (people who are part human and part angel) were answered and Shirvington had obviously spent a great deal of time mapping out the story because there were no gaping holes in the plot and even a handy chart at the back of the book to help you understand the angel hierarchy.
It took me a little while to warm to Violet, the main character but she really grew on me over the course of the book and I liked the way she eventually grew to accept and embrace her new role. I would have preferred to have seen Violet's relationship with her father develop further as I always like stories which devote enough time and development to family relationships and I found theirs to be a little one-dimensional, but this is only a small point and didn't distract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
Paranormal fans will love this exciting new series which really puts angels back on the map! 'Enticed' the second book in the series will be published by Egmont in February 2012 and I shall be queuing up to get my copy. (less)
Eden Maguire is the bestselling author of 'The Beautiful Dead' series. I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of these books (although I might give th...moreEden Maguire is the bestselling author of 'The Beautiful Dead' series. I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of these books (although I might give them another try) but when I saw the cover of 'Dark Angel' and read the synopsis, I knew that I wanted to read it. I'm a sucker for a pretty cover and this one is gorgeous! Plus the story sounded really intriguing so I got started on it as soon as it arrived.
The story centres around main character Tania, who seems to live a pretty charmed life. She has fantastic friends, a gorgeous boyfriend called Orlando and parents who treat her like an adult and give her the freedom to make her own decisions and choices about her life. One night, Tania, along with her best friends Grace and Holly attend the party of well known rock star Zoran Brancusi. The party is wild, their host hypnotic and at the end of the night they return home with strange gaps in their memories. From that moment on everything seems to change as they're sucked into Zoran's mysterious world. Only Tania may have the necessary strength in the forthcoming fight against an evil presence which seems to have penetrated their world.
I loved the mystery which surrounded Zoran and co. At no point did I guess their secret or even have an inkling about the direction in which the story was going to go. Some of the events throughout took me completely by surprise and kept me on my toes and I enjoyed seeing the plot twists and turns unravel up to the point of a completely epic conclusion to the story. This was definitely not another formulaic paranormal romance.
Eden Maguire has a really fast-paced and engaging writing style which kept me immersed from the word go. Some parts of the book had me on the edge of my seat and I was totally gripped by Tania's story which really has something for everyone. There's a swoonworthy romance, a battle between good and evil, magic and mystery and a fantastic heroine who must make some major decisions to save not only herself but the lives of her friends and family.
I would just say that there are some adult themes in this book, so I think it's more suited to slightly older teen readers. I thought that overall 'Dark Angel' was a fantastic read. I curled up in my favourite chair to start this one evening and found myself finishing it in one sitting because it was that good!
The second book in the series, 'Twisted Heart' is due out on 3rd November and I'm looking forward to revisiting Tania once more and seeing what will happen to her next.