Torn allows readers to step back into the dark mystical entrancing world of the Trylle. Wendy Everly has just learned the truth about who she is, a c...moreTorn allows readers to step back into the dark mystical entrancing world of the Trylle. Wendy Everly has just learned the truth about who she is, a changeling who was switched at birth. Her life will never be the same again, after this self-discovery. She struggles in many ways, torn between making decisions regarding her heart and the people she cares deeply for, her love and the duty that she's found herself bound to, and the decision of what her fate will be. In many ways, it is endearing and a little heartbreaking to watch her overcome certain things and tackle others with strength and growing resilience.
Her character grows and becomes much more developed as she soon realizes that she shares more of a connection with the Vittra than she ever expected to share. In order to save the Trylle she'll have to learn how to harness the magical powers that she possesses, as well as marry an equally powerful Royal. All of this will come at a high cost to Wendy, because it means walking away from two people who mean a great deal to her, Finn and Loki with whom she shares a blossoming attraction to. If she isn't careful, she could potentially lose everything by making the wrong the choice, affecting both worlds in a devastating blow.
Amanda Hocking pens an incredibly fascinating, unique, and original tale of folk lore and magical realms sure to wow and stun readers. Her world building skills are simply mesmerizing and equally entrancing, as they set amazingly high standards for other books in this genre to live up to. The world of the Trylle is beautiful and dark, sprinkled with light peeking in through the nooks and cracks. It's a world brimming with so much emotion and some of the most imaginative action packed thrill seeking battle scenes, I've ever read. There's more light shed on the growing history of the Trylle, Wendy's mother's actions and cool almost cruel tough love, and insight behind the inner-workings of the Trylle themselves. The Troll lore is exciting and invigorating, providing more information on the magical trolls and why they separated into two warring kingdoms pitted against one another.
The characters in Torn are so much more interesting and intriguing, as they grow stronger and become more developed. I found it interesting the back-story given on Flora (Wendy's mother), explaining her coolness and the treatment of her daughter. In some ways, it made me sympathize with her as a reader and almost sort of find her likable, to an extent. Matt was incredibly delightful to get to know, as he was such a supportive brother to Wendy in so many ways that made him amazing. It was nice to see how the smaller supportive characters fit into the story and had a place of their own, while also still preserving their own relevance to the story being told.
I found Loki to be just completely irresistible and very swoon worthy. He's just incredibly sweet and sardonic in such a fun way that kind of makes you want to root for him. He's just full of so much willful bad boy charm that it was charming to get to know him and to see his connection with Wendy slowly grow over time. There's a bit of a love triangle almost set-up perfectly here, as readers watch the relationship between Wendy and Finn start to take a turn for the worst, unraveling painfully. It's heartbreaking and you can't help, but feel for them both as they both try and deal with it in their own ways. It's easy to see how both Finn and Loki could be good for her in many different ways for different reasons. Finn is different in this installment to the trilogy, where he's pulling away from Wendy and putting distance between them because he's bound to his people and his duty.
In many ways, Torn, is a highly engaging novel with many breath taking thrills and adventure to light the way for readers, keeping them on the edge of their seats with deeply riveting twists and turns and an endless supply of unpredictability. It just simply surpassed any expectations that I might have personally had for it and turned into such an amazing page-turner of awesome. Incredibly imaginative, Amanda Hocking creates a world in which the reader will want to immerse themselves into and never leave.(less)
Silence is a beautifully written paranormal with intriguing mystery, charming and charismatic characters, and an enticing flare for originality. The...moreSilence is a beautifully written paranormal with intriguing mystery, charming and charismatic characters, and an enticing flare for originality. The world Michelle Sagara creates is both interesting and complex, brimming with thrilling imaginative creativity, gorgeous prose, and a brilliant and cleverly written nod to the history of necromancy. The plot is dark and driven, yet has an insanely amazing way of keeping readers on the edge of their seats with the anticipation of what's to come next. Little bits and pieces of information about whom and what Emma is and her abilities are sprinkled throughout the novel that makes it even more mysteriously compelling. The characters are strong and realistically portrayed, which make them sympathetic to readers and extremely likeable.
Emma has some admirable qualities that make her delightful to get to know. She's fiercely strong, independent, and wonderfully resilient in the face of all the heartache she's had to endure. One of her most likeable qualities is that she's incredibly selfless, choosing to put other's before herself. She's just this really amazing kind and caring person, who's had to deal with a lot in her young life and she's still determined to understand herself better and accept her gift of necromancy and what she can do with it. It's easy to connect with her in an emotional and meaningful way.
Eric and Chase have their own way of making the story more exciting and invigorating, as they bring their own intrigue adding to the suspenseful mystery. They have a great deal of knowledge and experience with necromancers and it was interesting to see that instead of killing Emma like they originally had planned, they ended up helping her instead. It's a lot of fun getting to know them, as they get to know Emma and become sort of allies to her cause once she decides what she's going to do with her gift of necromancy. One thing I actually enjoyed when they entered the picture, was that there was no love triangle involved at all. I literally found myself breathing a sigh of relief, because it was so refreshing to read a young adult paranormal book that didn't involve this aspect. I think I found it to be a little more entertaining and engaging, that they could be friends on a more platonic level rather than a romantic one.
The supporting characters were also enjoyable to get to know, like Amy who wasn't afraid to say or do whatever she felt like doing. She was super fiercely protective of her friends and that made her such a fantastic character. It was adorable to see how charming and caring Michael was, when he was playing with the children and being loyal to his friends in light of everything going on around them. But, I think my personal favorite was Margaret, the ghost who ended up referring to Emma as something else other than necromancer. She doesn't exactly explain why or what she meant, which adds an extra air of mystery and intrigue. It was definitely enough of a twist to keep readers guessing and anticipating the next book in this amazing new young adult paranormal series.
Silence is brimming with so much awesome, that readers will be captivated and unable to put it down. It's an incredibly fast paced action packed novel, brimming with danger, mysterious twists and turns, and cleverly disguised intrigue. Michelle Sagara pens an amazingly evocative novel with engaging plot twists sure to take readers on a rollercoaster ride of their life. I would definitely recommend this super fantastic novel to anyone who enjoys the Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong or the Katerina Trilogy by Robin Bridges.(less)
I have to admit that I kind of wondered just how much of this book Hilary herself had written and whether I would like it or not. The flower on the co...moreI have to admit that I kind of wondered just how much of this book Hilary herself had written and whether I would like it or not. The flower on the cover was absolutely pretty and I love that the cover is black and purple, with just a splash of yellow to make it pop. It was definitely eye catching, that's for sure.
The book itself, was pretty good. I found myself enjoying it more than I had thought I would. Although I groaned at the whole idea of "soulmates" once I came to that part, but found myself definitely drawn into the main character's dreams, and was curious and wanted to embark on this journey of finding out more about Sage and the different incarnations of Clea. I think my favorite one was Delia.
Rayna, Clea's best friend and confidante through the entire novel, was a breath of fresh air and was not at all overbearing and was just genuinely fun to read. I wish that we could have seen her featured a little more than she was in the novel, but there's always the second one and more stories and incarnations of Clea to come hopefully. It was interesting to see the part that both her father and Ben played in this story, as well.
And at the end of the novel, I found myself sympathizing with Ben and feeling frustration towards Clea in regards to him. In a number of ways, he was just as much a victim to his story being told as the rest of them were. His incarnations had absolutely nothing to do with the present man that he is. And I found myself swayed to his side in the whole ordeal. To see his confusion and pain swept to the side in favor of hers, helped to put a damper on my enjoyment of the book.
I'm glad that there will be a second novel, because I fear that the ending of this one would have definitely affected my overall rating of the book itself. Like I said, I enjoyed the book for the most part, the character's and the story they had to tell was both engaging and very well written and dveloped, but the ending (having not known before hand that there would be a second novel) would have pretty much ruined my enjoyment of the book overall.
So, with that being said, I'm choosing to give this book three stars instead of my normal four because I feel like it deserves that. Definitely give this book a chance, I will be waiting on pins and needles, anticipating the rest of the story.(less)
**spoiler alert** I became privy to this book, when another author that I enjoy reading recommended it to her fans, as Brenna Yovanoff is one of her f...more**spoiler alert** I became privy to this book, when another author that I enjoy reading recommended it to her fans, as Brenna Yovanoff is one of her friends. The way she described the premise of the book and the author herself, made me want to look into reading it. I immediately knew when I saw the cover, all bets were off. This would definitely be a book that I would enjoy.
This book easily fits into a genre that I'm no stranger to, at the moment. Actually, haven't been for years, if I'm honest. I like the main character Mackie and the fact that he wants to be nothing more than normal, which is quite the opposite of what he actually is. I also enjoy the fact that Emma, his sister loves him for who he is and not necessarily what he is, and that Roswell comes across as a very understanding and supportive friend that he can count on.
All throughout the back half half of this story, I found myself strongly associating the sacrifice of one of the town's baby with another short story I'd read years ago, The Lottery. The two stories are not exactly the same, but there is a thread of similarity there in that one sense. It's almost as if, they're sacrificing the one for the good of the many, and the towns people look the other way because they're too afraid to look at the truth.
The character's that come out of the House of Mayhem just may very well be some of the most colorful, unique, and favorite character's ever among many. From the Morrigan to the little pink girl, to the dead girls, and Carlina Carlyle it was all so interesting. The history and the mythology there, the fact that there was a whole world that lay beneath the two of Gentry in the Slag Heap.
Strange how sometimes something so ugly can come across so beautiful in ways that you couldn't begin to imagine, something that takes on a life of their own. Even the Lady and the Cutter, had their purposes. And the story seemed to re-iterate that when you give something a name, it gives that thing power - whatever it is. It's not exactly that these beings were evil and ugly, so much as they were just different and creepy and had their own agenda's and reasonings behind their actions. They were very well portrayed in everything they did or said. Nothing was without meaning.
The author's attention devoted to the imagery and detail of the story, showed in her vivid imagination, when creating The House of Mayhem and the spooky town of Gentry and all of the people and ugly things were part of what made this first published work of hers so phenomenal.
The only drawback for me as far as this book goes, was the pacing of it. For me, personally, it started off pretty slow and didn't seem to really pick up and gain momentum until about half way into the story itself. But, all of that aside, I really wanted to finish this book because I truly felt like it had potential and the back half of it just did not disappoint me. The rich storytelling and the creative imagery that she wove into it, has made me enjoy this book in ways that I hadn't imagined I would.(less)
Any Witch Way By Annastaysia Savage Published Date: April 8, 2011 Publisher: JournalStone Book Format: Paperback, pp 186
I would genuinely like to thank Ch...moreAny Witch Way By Annastaysia Savage Published Date: April 8, 2011 Publisher: JournalStone Book Format: Paperback, pp 186
I would genuinely like to thank Christopher C. Payne over at JournalStone for the opportunity to read this book in advance. It was a very fun, mystical, quest from the moment I started reading it and a delight. I suggest you pick up a copy of it for yourself, if you haven’t yet.
First of all, the cover of this book is just so incredibly pretty and has a very whimsical feel to it. It’s sure to draw an eye or two. Plus, it’s just pretty and so much fun and shows you right away that the book is sure to be filled with some pretty off-the-wall funny and fantastical characters. This is definitely a book that will not let the reader down.
The main character, Sadie, is an orphaned girl about to turn thirteen on Halloween, trying as best she can to find her own sense of “normal.” From the beginning reader’s see that she is picked on and sort of bullied in school, that she’s grappling with losing her mother at such a young age, and having to deal with being shuffled from foster home to foster home never really feeling as if she fits in quite as well as she hopes to.
It is an easy read to get through and the main character herself is quite relatable. Often times, I found myself identifying with her need to fit in, just be as normal as she can, and find her place - that niche where she belongs and can be herself. The lessons in self-confidence interwoven subtly into the storyline, is one that I think most young adults as well as younger kids themselves would benefit from paying attention to.
I ached for Sadie; wanting her mom back because that’s what anyone would want who had experienced a loss that great in their young life. It was nice to see her relationship with Mrs. Felis become so meaningful and important to her and to also see how the older woman in turn, cared deeply about her and her well being.
I found it to be engaging and interesting, watching Sadie find out that she was going to become a witch and the greater epic battle between good vs. evil that she would have to be involved with. The Syndicate arc was very well written and developed and the villains were both entertaining and believable at best. Plus those two gnomes were just absolutely hilarious and quite possibly my favorite character’s from the book, with Grimm being a close second.
I would definitely encourage younger kids and tweens to pick up a copy of this book, as it is a very fun and light easy read. The mystical creatures are both well developed and endearing, the main character is easily relatable, and the story itself is just nothing short of whimsical and fun. The book possesses this sort of aura that kind of transports you back to your own childhood, if you let it. Sometimes it’s fun to just the moment sweep you away and get caught up in the story between the pages. So, I have no problem giving this book four stars easily.
Go on, go out and get your own copy. You will not be disappointed.(less)
“Stunned residents of Black Creek, North Carolina, pray for seventeen year old Patrick Truman, beaten and left for dead outside the convenience store...more“Stunned residents of Black Creek, North Carolina, pray for seventeen year old Patrick Truman, beaten and left for dead outside the convenience store where he works.”Shinepp 11
Shine, is the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading written by Lauren Myracle and I was extremely jazzed about getting the galley for the digital ARC a few days ago. It didn’t take me very long at all to read it. From the first sentence to the last, I was drawn in and was unable to put the book down. In the end, I was not disappointed.
From the moment that I read the synopsis provided through goodreads, I decided this was a book that I had to read for many different reasons and I knew that I wouldn’t just be reading for it personal enjoyment, even though I did enjoy it quite a bit. I was truly invested in the storyline and the characters, the depiction of the small mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, among other things the book seemed to offer.
It wasn’t easy reading this book from an emotional stand point, but I do believe that it was a story that needed to be told and Lauren Myracle did a wonderful job of doing just that. From growing up in a small town myself, it wasn’t hard at all for me to look at a few of these characters in question and think to myself, “I know this person; I grew up with someone just like them.”
The small town mentality, the poverty, the prejudices, the drugs (meth, which seemed to be the drug of choice featured in this particular novel) and the other issues she touched upon were written very well, delicately handled with aplomb, and illustrated in such a way that it wasn’t hard to feel something other than hatred, something more akin to compassion in a manner of thinking when you stripped the whole story down to the core and just really looked at it – guts and all.
The element of mystery the novel provided was there and held strong with each turn of the page. In fact, I was pretty sure that it was one particular character that had done it up until a certain point based on other things that he had done or had happened prior, but then the author surprised me by proving my theory wrong. I was delighted with this aspect.
I want to applaud her for bringing to light how backwards that small town was, how ready those people were to look the other way and just bury whatever bad had happened. It was very much a feel of, “don’t go beggin’ for trouble next door, you do best to mind your own” something that I’d grown up hearing on a few different occasions in my life which meant, “Don’t you be drawing too much attention because it could be the wrong kind it’s just not you’re place.”
Shine does a wonderful job of illustrating self-loathing, to the point of losing yourself or a loved one to the use of drugs. It’s a very terrifying and lonely place to find oneself in, especially if you’re wielding that self-loathing onto someone else without even realizing that you’ve become the monster that you’ve always protected them from. Which, is why I say that in a way, the story possesses not just hatred, but compassion of some kind for the person(s) lost; I take that away from the book with a line towards the end.
“It was right to be sad when sad things happened.”Shine, pp 356
I found myself going back and forth on who my favorite character was, but when you get down to it I think I ended up identifying the most with Cat and I quite enjoyed her. I like that she was determined to find out what happened to Patrick and once she did, she was still able to have love and compassion in her heart. Everything isn’t black and white, life just isn’t that simple and nor should it be.
Cat’s brother, Christian, illustrates that for reader’s easily. In a town as small as Asheville was, where everybody knows everyone else and gossip is just as prevalent in the Church as it would be in the local beauty parlor, not many choices were easily available to the town’s people and they had to make do or find themselves making nice with other’s they might not normally like.
More than anything, I’m grateful that she decided to shine on a light on hate crimes that happen instead of just sweeping them under the rug like yesterday’s dirt trekked in across a linoleum kitchen floor and look the other way out the adjacent window adorning the next wall. It’s hard to read, but it’s worth it. And I truly hope that this book can inspire bravery in others to step forward and to not go “quietly into that good night.”(less)