Starling quickly drew me in with a fast paced and fascinating story. It simply starts with a bang, Mason and friends become trapped in a gym as a stor...moreStarling quickly drew me in with a fast paced and fascinating story. It simply starts with a bang, Mason and friends become trapped in a gym as a storm rages outside when suddenly they find themselves under attack by strange mythical creatures. The situation seems hopeless until they are unexpectedly saved by a hot naked guy bearing a sword and no idea who or where he is or how he came to be there. The story continues with hints of prophecy and norse mythology and epic battles to be waged with dark forces and it sounds altogether absolutely wonderful and I found myself really enjoying the first part of this and eager for more!
The audio narration certainly added to my enjoyment of this story. I think that the superb narration by the author, Lesley Livingston added that extra element that may have been missing for me in the book. I could tell how completely she understood her characters personalities by the way her performance communicated their individual personas and added a depth that was somewhat lacking in the story itself.
Unfortunately the story began to fall off for me in the dialog and character interactions as well as the far reaching plot and the odd pacing of the story flow. One moment, the book was action packed and exciting, the next the story seemed to drag painfully with a lot of information being thrown out but not weaved into the tale in a way that kept me engaged, instead I became a bit bored and confused. And finally a cliffhangery ending...blah. I'm never a fan of those.
Ultimately, I liked Starling and I'm hopeful that the series continues with more of what I enjoyed of the first half of the story and less info dumpy-ness. I still think that this has the potential to be a series that I really enjoy so I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I think I would still recommend this to fans of YA mythology themed books. (less)
Set in a alternate-history Britain, Jane Eliot, the MC, wears an iron mask over half of her face to protect others from the curse she holds there. In...moreSet in a alternate-history Britain, Jane Eliot, the MC, wears an iron mask over half of her face to protect others from the curse she holds there. In the last fey war she had been hit with shrapnel from exploding fey magic, like many others, but unfortunately her injury is much more visible which causes her some social awkwardness and makes it difficult for her to find and keep a job. Jane finally finds employment with the mysterious and reclusive Edward Rochart caring for his daughter Dorie who seems to have fey magic in abundance, which is frowned upon in society. She needs to help Dorie learn how to do simple things like eat, drink, and play without using that magic. At the same time, she seems to be drawn to the secretive Edward.
Apparently Ironskin is based on Jane Eyre, which I haven't read, so I don't know how it compares but from the very beginning, Ironskin had my attention with the unique way fey magic was presented. The fact that Jane carried this curse on her face that, without the iron mask, would seriously affect those she came into contact with was fascinating to me. That magic also affected her moods and she had to consciously try to tamp down the emotions stirred up by the fey curse.
The way Dorie used magic was interesting as well. This small child had never learned to properly use her hands to care for herself, using magic instead. I felt so sorry for her at times, she seemed so lonely and desperate for her father's love and attention. Edward, however, remains distant and locked away in his room of masks.
While the unique way magic and the fey were presented was what I enjoyed most about Ironskin, the alternate history and straightforward writing style also worked for me. The relationships between the characters were very subtle and at times puzzling. The slight romance between Jane and Edward felt a bit stilted but I enjoyed the way Jane interacted with Dorie, as well as the rest of the background characters. The dialog felt authentic and I enjoyed the whole gothic feel to the story as a whole. I would definitely recommend it to fans of gothic romance, alternate history fantasy, and steampunk.(less)
Tree Shepherd's Daughter (Faire Folk, Book 1) The Tree Shepherd's Daughter is set at a renaissance fair in Colorado where the MC Keelie Heartwood find...moreTree Shepherd's Daughter (Faire Folk, Book 1) The Tree Shepherd's Daughter is set at a renaissance fair in Colorado where the MC Keelie Heartwood finds herself being shipped to live with her father after her mother's unexpected death. Shortly after arriving at the Fair, Keelie, resentful of what she believed was her father's neglect over the past 15 years of her life, finds herself drawn to the people, the environment, and even, grudgingly, her father and his psycho cat Knot. She soon finds out that the folk at the Renn Fair are more than what they appear to be and so is she. She has some weird affinity to wood and some strange abilities as well. Keelie struggles with accepting who and what she is while at the same time dealing with a murderous red-capped gnome that seems to be cause no end of havoc. She wonders if she will be willing or able to give up the world of malls and makeup for this strange new life among trees and people who seem to forget what century it is. I can't stress enough how much I loved the atmosphere of this book. The descriptions of the setting, the merchants and their wares, the trees, the people, and the creatures both magical and mundane at the renaissance fair took up a large part of the book but I wasn't bored by it at all. Those descriptions are what drew me into the story and made me actually want to be there, to live among all of those eccentric people, to watch the Muck and Mire show with Tarl, to munch on Fairy Winkberry muffins at Mrs. Butters shop, and to walk among the trees hoping to catch a glimpse of a fairy, sylph, or sprite. Where this book fell short was in the plot. The maniacal little red-cap guy that was causing all the chaos seemed to be doing so for no apparent reason and the whole thing was disconnected and kind of silly. I still have no idea what happened to him or if the issues are resolved but some things happened with a necklace and some lightning and something about a book and singed eyebrows. There were some other shady characters introduced that pop up in the story intermittently but their place in the story was kind of mysterious as well. Ultimately the plot was so disjointed and confusing that I'm not really sure where the author was trying to go with it. I think I would have liked the story better if it would have just been about Keelie coming to grips with her mother's death and reconnecting with her father in this magical setting. The plot seemed to take away from the parts of the story that I enjoyed. I hate when a story goes in a direction other than where I want it to take me. I will definitely continue with this series though because I thoroughly enjoyed the setting and most of the characters, especially Knot the wicked cat and Ariel, the half blind hawk. I'm hoping the rest of the series will improve and I'll be able to continue enjoying this wonderful cast of characters.(less)
The first in this series was mildly interesting, enough so that I figured I'd see if this second book was better. Unfortunately, the cheesy sex scenes...moreThe first in this series was mildly interesting, enough so that I figured I'd see if this second book was better. Unfortunately, the cheesy sex scenes found in the first book were even worse in this second. This has to be the most godawful erotica? writing in the history of life. I didn't know whether to laugh or be offended. The writing is atrocious. I'm definitely done with this series. (less)
Enchanted introduces the reader to Sunday Woodcutter, a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, who discovers and befriends a talking frog near the fa...moreEnchanted introduces the reader to Sunday Woodcutter, a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, who discovers and befriends a talking frog near the fairy well and begins telling him stories of her eccentric family. This family includes her rather normal father, her mother Seven, her sisters Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, her brothers Jack, Peter, and adopted brother Trix. The Woodcutter family were my favorite part of the story and I would love to read more of their adventures!
I LOVED everything about this book. Enchanted is an enchanting blend of many popular fairy tales into one whimsical feel-good story. It is sweet and charming without being syrupy. There is a bit in the middle where I got a little confused with how the story was jumping around, but all loose ends were tied up at the end.
This is the perfect story for anyone who enjoys fairy tales or for something light and fun to read in between reading a "heavier" series. (less)
Radiant Desire effortlessly melds the world of fantasy with reality in this enchanting romantic read! From the first time I saw this beaut...moreMy thoughts:
Radiant Desire effortlessly melds the world of fantasy with reality in this enchanting romantic read! From the first time I saw this beautiful cover, I knew I wanted to read Radiant Desire. This book combines elements of faery magic, lust, romance, and friendship creating a story that is absolutely delightful.
Kaia, a handmaiden to the queen of Faeria, makes a terrible error when she allows herself to lose control with the man that the queen sent her to seduce. The furious Queen Zafira’s punishes her by demanding that she return and make that same man, business tycoon Garrett Jameson, fall hopelessly in love with her and then break his heart. This sounds fairly simple until Zafira adds the stipulation that she must accomplish this without using any faerie magic, and failure will mean the loss of her wings forever. Kaia, accustomed to using her faerie magic for everything from seducing men to paying her bills finds herself struggling in the human world where she now has to do such mundane things as get a job and shave under her arms. She has to figure out a way back to Garrett Jameson while at the same time make herself at home in this all too human existence. The question is, once she gets back to Garrett, will she ever want to leave?
I truly enjoyed this story. The lovely writing brings to life both the fantastic world of the faeries as vividly as it does every day Miami. The struggles Kaia faced in the human world without her faerie magic were very realistic and I found myself empathizing with her throughout. Kaia was a faerie heroine whose personality sparkled even when put in situations far outside of her element which made it so easy to care about her. The romance between Kaia and Garrett was satisfyingly steamy and yet still sincere. All in all, this was an extremely entertaining read and one that I would highly recommend to those who enjoy adult romance with an element of fantasy or who, like me, love all things faerie!(less)
The Iron King is a wonderful blend of the characters from a Midsummer Night's Dream with an original story and the added element of a half fey teenage...moreThe Iron King is a wonderful blend of the characters from a Midsummer Night's Dream with an original story and the added element of a half fey teenage girl. It seems Puck has been keeping an eye on Meghan for years, although Meghan only knew him as her best buddy Robbie, not as the immortal fey of legend. All of this changes though on her 16th birthday when Meghan's little brother Ethan is apparently kidnapped by the fey and a bloodthirsty little changeling left in his place. Meghan soon finds herself thrust into the adventure of her life as she travels to the Nevernever to rescue her brother. Along the way, she starts to come to terms with who she really is and that she is not as helpless as she thinks. I enjoyed the unique twist Kagawa added with the Iron Fey. It was interesting and made sense in the context of the story. I can't wait to find out more about the pack rats and some of the other iron fey. The world building was perfection, I absolutely lost myself in the Nevernever and was thoroughly entertained by all of the creatures Meghan ran into on her journeys. The fey were represented in a way that was true to many fey legends, but with Kagawa's own spin. I love stories about the fey, so I was so pleased at how beautifully they were portrayed in this novel. I did however wonder what made Kagawa write Titania as such a spiteful character. Grimalkin was probably my favorite overall, I adore witty sarcastic characters, and this snarky cat was brilliant. Meghen seemed to be a bit of a weak character, I would love to see her grow more into what power she has, meaning both her magical abilities as well as personally, throughout the rest of the series. I'd like to see her show a little more backbone. I also really enjoyed Puck's mischievous nature as well as Ash's brooding aloofness. Overall, the Iron King was highly entertaining, full of adventure, and certainly memorable. This series will be joining my shelf of favorite reads of 2010. (less)
Human Blend was a little more sci-fi than I usually read. However, it caught my attention from the very beginning and there was never a point where my...moreHuman Blend was a little more sci-fi than I usually read. However, it caught my attention from the very beginning and there was never a point where my attention was lost.
Laney/Julie, the heroine, is being hunted by the "bad guys" who kidnapped her as a child and used her special abilities for their own ends. She makes her way to small town Marion, VA where she meets some strange yet interesting characters, Eli, a doctor without a heartbeat, Marcus, another doctor who seems to be just like her and may hold they key to who and what she is, and Austin, another man who seems to be normal, at first. There was, of course, a love triangle, made more entertaining by Laney/Julie's siren like abilities.
Her powers/abilities are very interesting, she uses her ability to heal in a very unique way and she has an affinity for numbers that would come in handy when playing the lottery. Marcus, her doctor "friend", helps her to hone her healing ability, guiding her in a way.
The plot of this story was fast paced, with thrilling moments and original, surprising twists that made Human Blend a page turner. Laney/Julie is a likable heroine, but its really the guys who were the stars of this book for me. Especially Marcus, with his sarcasm and attitude.
The only complaint I have about Human Blend is that it ended in a way that left me with questions, so I'm hoping to see a second book from this author. I am intrigued by several of the supernatural elements introduced in this novel, and by a mischievous character introduced late in the book that I just wanted more of.
Overall, this was a quick, exciting read that I would recommend to anyone who wants to read something completely outside the ordinary. I would rate this a 4 1/2, I loved it and really hope there is another.
I received my copy of Human Blend from the author for review.(less)
Not a series I will be continuing. I didn't care for the writing or the mostly cheesy wit at the oddest moments. For example, if there is a horrible c...moreNot a series I will be continuing. I didn't care for the writing or the mostly cheesy wit at the oddest moments. For example, if there is a horrible creature about to kill you, its not likely you would engage in inane conversation such as Beast: "Guess what I'm going to do to you" Heroine: "Oh, I don't know, leave me alone?" Beast: "Are you stupid?" Heroine"Oh a lot of people would say I am stupid" Without this type of dialog, I would have enjoyed the story a lot more, even with the extremely slow moving plot. I really wanted to like this book. I usually love reading about the fae, but one of my pet peeves is cheesy dialog and this book had an over abundance of it. I'm giving it 2 stars because it would have been an interesting enough story if it had been written differently.(less)
I heard such great things about this book and it was recommended to me by more than one person so I was really hoping that I would like it a lot more...moreI heard such great things about this book and it was recommended to me by more than one person so I was really hoping that I would like it a lot more than I did.
What was good: The audio book narrator was wonderful. She had the perfect, and I mean PERFECT Georgia accent for MacKayla Lane. A lot of what got me through the book was the great narration. The plot was interesting, Mackayla makes her way to Ireland in search of her sister's murderer and finds out that everything she believed about herself and the world was wrong and that she really didn't know too much about her sister at all. She meets some pretty awful characters/things/creatures and a few fairly rude "friends" along the way. The effects that certain fae have on humans were quite interesting. There is one particular scene in the museum that had me laughing out loud. All in all, the plot was intriguing enough to get me from start to finish while keeping my attention.
But it wasn't amazing. When I stopped listening, I didn't find myself eager to get back to it so I could find out what happens next. I think that a lot of my problem with this book comes down to my love of traditional fantasy, and although I do like a unique re-imagining of things, I simply cannot buy into the "fae are aliens" thing. I honestly did not like that aspect of the book at all and is the main reason why I won't be continuing the series. I had no issues with the writing itself. I didn't find it to be overly descriptive, the dialog fit with the situations and wasn't overdone. Even the fact that Mackayla talked a lot about her clothes and could be a bit immature, I felt that would most likely lead to her really growing as a character in later books.
So, for anyone who would enjoy a book where the fae are aliens and some come in a many-armed many-mouthed variety, I would recommend this book. Its simply not for me. (less)
Faeries, faeries, faeries! I love reading about them. I thoroughly enjoyed Holly Black's fae. They were dark and mysterious revealing more and more of...moreFaeries, faeries, faeries! I love reading about them. I thoroughly enjoyed Holly Black's fae. They were dark and mysterious revealing more and more of who they were and their motivations as the plot progressed. There was a thin line between dark and light that was constantly blurred and there was ever a sinister otherworldly feel to both the Seelie and Unseelie courts. I hope that in the next books I learn even more about the Solitary fae, the glimpse I got of them in Tithe was fascinating.
The heroine, Kaye, is a quirky and sometimes eccentric teen. She portrays such a tough girl image, but her actions also show that she has some baggage from the unusual lifestyle she's lead. Tithe left me with many unanswered questions about Kaye but not in a way that left me frustrated with the story. I feel like Kaye is a heroine that I'm going to enjoy watching grow from book to book in this series. As she comes to understand more about herself and who she really is, I think that she will only become stronger and more confident. I'm not sold on the romance yet, but I'm sure that will come.
Another stand out character for me was Corny. While I loathe his character name, he was probably the most intriguing character to read. He has many issues, and a tendency toward violence, yet the kind of loyalty only those with a sensitive heart can possess. I enjoy the way he and Kaye interract and hope that their friendship continues throughout the series.
I was lost in this dark and gritty, sometimes even savage world. Somehow this author managed to combine the darker elements of faerie magic and stark reality to create something unique and incredible. I don't know why I waited so long to read Tithe, but I know I won't put off picking up Valiant.(less)
This book was a little slow for me. I enjoyed Tuala's POV but seemed to lose interest when it got to Bridei's. In many instances, the book reminded me...moreThis book was a little slow for me. I enjoyed Tuala's POV but seemed to lose interest when it got to Bridei's. In many instances, the book reminded me a lot of Mists of Avalon, which is probably why I stayed with it to the end. The story is different than in Mists, but they share a lot of the same types of rituals, worship, and just a general feel. The two Fae or whatever they were supposed to be, were particularly annoying and, to me, pointless to the story. Overall, it was an OK read, and I'll continue to the second in the series.(less)