When V is forced to break their bond, Noli's only option is to join the crew of the air pirate ship piloted by her brother, Jeff. With its gleaming br...moreWhen V is forced to break their bond, Noli's only option is to join the crew of the air pirate ship piloted by her brother, Jeff. With its gleaming brass, dark wood, and spotless clockwork gears, the Vixen's Revenge is no orsinary air pirate ship. Beneath its polished exterior lies a dangerous secret. Off and away from the girl whose heart he was forced to break, V and his brother James are off on a quest demanded of them by their mother, Faerie Queen Tiana, wandering and searching the country for something she desires. And someone Noli never thought she'd see again, the scallywag faerie huntsman Kevighn, has appeared on the air pirate ship. While serving as shipmates, Kevighn and Noli learn that the Earth Court King plans to find a forbidden artifact, one that will bring destruction to everyone Noli loves.
Charmed Vengeance is a return to an alternate 1900's America filled with aether and airships, faeries and fighting, deception and danger. Noli must somehow cope with the sudden changes in her life, move on from the dangers of the faerie realm, and hopefully live a happy and normal life with V. But nothing is that simple.
This book is a return to a unique and refreshing setting, a curious and magic-filled alternate version of America where aether flows out into the world and gardens keep hidden doorways to the Faerie realm. What's next for Noli is nothing short of trying, of dangerous and frightening. Her relationship with V is shattered, the reprobate Kevighn is still wandering around looking for trouble, and the Faerie Queen has plots and plans of her own. But something else is happening right under their noses, something that could destroy everything.
Noli is changing, and not necessarily for the better. She's not human, not mortal, but neither is she faerie. It's unsure of what's worse for her, being separated from V or having to share her practical, intelligent, unconventional brain with a superficial and vapid sprite. Noli is trying to find a place for herself, trying to move on, trying to wait for V to return, but the sprite's focus on pretty things and fun is seen as useless.
Even though I see reasons for pulling Noli and V apart, it bothers me how often I come across this in second books in series. Having them grow while being apart, yes. Learning to stand in their own, yes. But why must they always be forced apart by another character or an external force? Why can't they decide on their own that they need to learn and grow? But in a book that needs drama and conflict, it happens this way.
There was less action than I expected, but there wasn't necessarily that much action in the first book. It's all journeys, Noli's journey on the air pirate ship, V's quest for his mother, even Kevighn's wandering about aimlessly. But over the course of the book people are mentioned, items appear, meetings take place, and everything comes together to reveal something dangerous.
More exploration than action, equal amounts of faerie magic and steampunk elements, this book still has one strong-willed girl, her Faerie prince, and a rakish huntsman. With what's revealed at the end, the next book is sure to be interesting.(less)
When Noli and her best friend V take a flying car out for a joyride, neither expects Noli to be sent off to a reform school to mend her hoyden ways. W...moreWhen Noli and her best friend V take a flying car out for a joyride, neither expects Noli to be sent off to a reform school to mend her hoyden ways. While there, she wishes she could be anywhere else but that place, and on Midsummer's Eve, she ends up summoning Kevighn, a mysterious and dangerous man who whisks her off to the Realm of Faerie. At first, Noli thinks she was rescued, but the reasons behind Kevighn's appearance start to turn sinister and dangerous. Noli hopes to find a way back home, but when V shows up, with some secrets of his own, they have to navigate the Otherworld before they can go back. If they're successful, Noli will live, but the Otherworld might die in the process.
Innocent Darkness felt rather unique to me, an alternate look at the turn of the 20th century that features hoverboards, airships, and the Otherworld full of faeries and magic. The author's San Francisco felt very old world, just as the Otherworld felt so lush and magical, but oh so dangerous. It's an intriguing mix of early 19th century California, steampunk, and fantasy, with it leaning more towards fantasy.
Different view points, written in first or third person, are hit or miss. Here, with different view points in third person, it all worked for me. I was given everything I needed to see, all of Noli's confusion at the reform school and then the Otherworld and then Kevighn and V and the faeries, all of V's conflicts and troubles and huge secrets that were slowly revealed over time, all of Kevighn's tricks and lies and debauchery and attempts to make things right. He is very much the stereotypical trickster with a silver tongue who makes this book lean more towards the adult side of a young adult audience.
Noli. Noli is very much the classic unconventional (for the time period she's living in) female, the kind of girl who doesn't necessarily want to be special but desires some freedoms like studying botany and fixing old machines. She felt a bit tame for a while child, a few rebellious traits here and there but not enough to drive her to run off and leave home. Her getting sent to the reform school felts like they were trying to cut her off at the pass, catch her early before she becomes a completely reckless hoyden. And I liked her with V more than Kevighn. I do think that one of the better parts of the book was her relationship with V, how it went from them being close friends to his worrying about her at the reform school to him hunting after her in the Otherworld. And he had secrets beyond the standard 'has had a crush on the cute neighbour girl for years' secret.
I was drawn in by the world-building, by the magic and the aether, everything was bright and lush in the Otherworld, but I still wanted more steampunk. The beginning with the flying car was great, Noli was wearing goggles, and then there was a gradual shift towards the fantasy side of the story.
For me, the cover seems a bit misleading. Yes, there's airships and clockwork and at the beginning Noli is wearing a pair of goggles, but then it shifts and turns to the Otherworld and Noli gets wrapped up in loads of royal double-speak and trickster faeries.
If you're looking for something that's straight steampunk, I wouldn't suggest this, but if you're okay with magic and faeries messing with your alternative history, then feel free to give this a try. It reminds me a little of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, if it was set in the early 20th century.(less)
Sweet, magical, and fantastical, this debut novel will enchant fantasy readers and introduce them to a brand new re-tweak of Jane Eyre, plus faeries a...moreSweet, magical, and fantastical, this debut novel will enchant fantasy readers and introduce them to a brand new re-tweak of Jane Eyre, plus faeries and magic and singing.
Nimira is innocent but strong, knowing what is right, willing to act and save those who need saving. She sees the automaton more than those around them do, as more than a machine, because she is willing to look deeper. Things are not always as they seem in her new home.
Discovering the truth behind her clockwork man changes Nim, gives her ideas, gives her a purpose. She would do anything to save him, to help him, to keep him away from those who would dismantle him like so many broken machines.
A must-read for fans of fantasy and magic, of clockwork and faeries, of spells and romance. Fans of Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken will devour this book.(less)
The life Evie once had keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants her back, will drag her...moreThe life Evie once had keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants her back, will drag her back by any means possible. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her realm, stealing them from the human world. Reth is still around like the handsome, manipulative ex-boyfriend that he is, attempting to lure Evie away from her watery boyfriend Lend. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one that can save them. The clock is ticking. And fate rests in Evie's hands, no matter how much she wishes it didn't.
Endlessly delivered the big conclusion that the end of Supernaturally promised but it wasn't boring. It was still exciting like past books, still full of twists and turns, still packed with all of Evie's personality, all of her spunkiness, frustration, and general bubbly teen girl angst. This series feels like a mixture of Aprilynne Pike's Wings series and Buffy the Vamprie Slayer, moments of action and despair and fear blended together with pink fun and faeries.
I was intrigued with the character development of Evie in this last book. Her purpose as an Empty One is at odds with her desire to not be an Empty One, to be a normal boring human being and to live a normal human life with Lend (who's as close to normal as can be with a human father and an elemental mother). She needs a moment of self-discovery where she can realize her purpose and come to terms with it instead of being angry at the world for having a plan for her. Sometimes Fate has a job for us, and as much as we don't want to follow along with it, we have to. Evie can be as snarky and spunky and strong as she wants, but when it comes to acknowledging herself as an Empty One and her abilities, she's a frightened little girl. Basically, Evie needs to grow up in this book, or nothing's going to come out right at the end.
There were lots of familiar faces in this book, but there was a little drop-off in how much Lend was in the book. I suppose I figured he'd be in more of the book, have some more conflicts with Reth over Evie, but it didn't really happen for me. There were still moments for he and Evie to get pulled apart, as usual. And Reth had to come back and still claim to love Evie even though it's creepy to follow her around so much. I enjoyed the return of Jack as well as the return of Vivian.
White started the series with a bang and ends it just the same. I'm sure that some fans will be sad to see it end, will want to know if Evie and Lend end up in more trouble later on, but hopefully they will be satisfied with the way things have turned out for Evie.(less)
Evie's so enjoying her brand-new normal life. It's got Lend, her awesome boyfriend, it's got a normal school, it's got a family and a home. It's even...moreEvie's so enjoying her brand-new normal life. It's got Lend, her awesome boyfriend, it's got a normal school, it's got a family and a home. It's even got lockers. But after a while, Evie discovers that normal, well, it's kind of... boring. Just when she starts to dream of her days of danger with the IPCA, they want her to work for them again. Willing to get away from the normal, she jumps at the chance.
But when one thing goes wrong, and another, and when her stalker-ish faerie ex-boyfriend Reth shows up, Evie's left wondering what else will go wrong.
So much for normal.
Kiersten White's sophomore novel, the sequel to Paranormalcy, brings us right back where readers missed spending time, straight back to Evie and the weirdness that follows her as she tries to have a normal life. Evie is still as bubbly and enthusiastic and weird as ever, but the book has more of a dark note. Not quite as bright and quick as the first, but this book felt more dark and dangerous, more unknown and mysterious. More deadly.
Evie still has to figure out who/what she is. Not all the questions were answered in Paranormalcy. Now, the question is why do both Seelie and Unseelie faerie courts want her? What do they want her to do? Why are they at war? What will happen if the supernatural world explodes?
She still has Lend, her gorgeous, supportive, shape-shifting boyfriend. I was so worried this book would have what other second books in a trilogy have: something that totally pulls apart the main girl and main guy. Look at Beautiful Darkness, Crescendo, The Lost Saint. Something happens to totally rip them apart and a huge middle chunk of the book has a lot of moping in it. I won't say whether or not it happened (those would be spoilers) but I'll say I was on the look-out for it.
This book is very much a lead up to the third in the series. Something big will happen, that much is clear. The sad thing is we have to wait for 2012 to read Endlessly.(less)
Isn't the cover just bizarre and spooky?? I know, it's awesome. ;)
Mackie Doyle isn't like other teens in Gentry. He can't stand to be in a car, he can...moreIsn't the cover just bizarre and spooky?? I know, it's awesome. ;)
Mackie Doyle isn't like other teens in Gentry. He can't stand to be in a car, he can't be inside a church, and he gets sick when he smells blood. Not human, Mackie is instead a Replacement, a creature who was left in a human baby's crib 16 years ago, a creature from the dark world full of death and magic and horror that is hidden under Gentry. His allergies to consecrated ground, iron, and blood are slowly killing him when he wants desperately to live. When another baby goes missing and is replaced by something dark and horrifying, Mackie is pulled back into the world he came from, the world under the Slag Heap, the world known as Mayhem ruled by a frightening little girl called the Morrigan.
Haunting and chilling, this book has a way of getting under your skin, revealing the horrors that people turn their backs on. Gentry is dying, filled with people who ignore what's strange and different. Mackie's own parents know what he is, know that their son was stolen from them and replaced by this frail creature, but they moved on with their life. The same can't be said for Tate, a girl whose own baby sister was taken and replaced. Her brutal and honest attitude, her take no crap and find the answers take on life fuels her anger, as well as her need for Mackie to head into the other world to find out what happened.
Contrary to Gentry, the world of Mayhem is thriving, inhabited by walking, rotting dead girls and otherworldly creatures. Mackie's return to them is nothing short of a miracle, even when he walks right into a decades old war between the Morrigan and her sister, a far more evil and dangerous creature.
Mackie as a character was genius. He was tortured, by his allergies, by his human family (maybe not Emma, she still loves him), by his 'actual' family. He's also so strong, braving the dark worlds of Mayhem and Misery to find Tate's sister and confront the darkest side of the secret world below Gentry.
The Replacement is one of those books that slips quietly into your brain and works its way under your skin. So haunting but so beautiful, so full of dark secrets, dark creatures, dark memories, and the desire to survive and find a place to belong.(less)
There's no other way I can describe this book without using the word adorable. Evie's cute, fun, bubbly, says what she's thinking, knows that she want...moreThere's no other way I can describe this book without using the word adorable. Evie's cute, fun, bubbly, says what she's thinking, knows that she wants, yells when you piss her off (Reth is such a jerk), but she just wants to be normal. Sort of. She wants the normal that is TV teen dramas like her wonderful Easton Heights. It was one of the funny parts. I remember watching TV shows like that and imagining that's what high school was like. *sigh* Good times.
Kiersten White's created a weird world where paranormal creatures (vampires, werewolves, faeries, mermaids, hags, trolls, other spirits and the like) are all hunted to keep track of. It's an authoritarian deal that teens are bound to rebel against, as well as people who aren't big fans of enforced authority, imprisonment, and the like. Plus it was like chick lit mixed with paranormal stuff, which is pretty good. Sure, there was kissing (yay) but it was fun and not all dark and sad and dangerous. Well, maybe some danger. ;)
I really liked Evie. She's fun, cute, and carries a pink taser. How can you not like her? How many of us wouldn't want their own taser? She was different than other paranormal YA characters, a little lost in terms of the real world, but she'd been kept locked away from the world. It had a way of making you pissed off and just a little rebellious once you get glimpses of what's really going on. And Lish. My favourite bleeping mermaid.
And of course Evie has guys to fight over her, even if one's nice and one's an obsessed nutbar. I'm pro-Lend and anti-Reth. Reth just seemed a bit too creepy, like a stalker ex-boyfriend. Lend was new and different and interesting, and the fact that he lives in the real world and goes to real high school and has a real locker. An actual real locker. Oh, bleep. ;)
I wondered how the little twists and cliffhangers were going to be pulled off. Sometimes I wasn't sure what would happen next, what was really going on, what Evie really was with her ability to see through glamours, why Lend looked all watery, why Reth was acting so strange. White pulled it off, I never really saw some parts coming, like what Evie really was.
And so I'm waiting for book 2, Supernaturally, and I can only hope that it's just as good as the first one. :) I bleeping loved it. :) (less)