Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people's dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never inteOdea Donahue has been able to travel through people's dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person's dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea's mother is certain are right behind them. Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she's had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that's so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what's real and what's not?
Dreamland is mysterious and dangerous, a story of rules and secrets, of hidden monsters, of ticking clocks and broken mirrors. Of the truth behind dreams.
Dea is an outsider, constantly on the move with her mother. Few of her peers treat her with respect, the rest falling back on stereotypical name-calling, nasty rumours told behind her back, or keeping their distance from her. Acting like she doesn't matter. But she does. Dea is tired of moving around so much, tired of not knowing the truth. Dea wants a normal teenage life, even though she has to walk in people's dreams in order to keep living. When Connor moves to town, when his bright and friendly personality draw her in, Dea feels normal. Finally. She feels like a real teenage girl with a crush. But there are still rules to the dream walking. And Connor's appeal to Dea is the breaking point. After that, after someone goes missing, what will Dea do next? How far will she have to run?
The dream walking is some intriguing world-building. The different ways they shift and move around Dea as she walks. The ways they let her in or attempt to keep her out. In this book it's not all about the dreams having meaning, dreams holding the secrets to our hopes and fears. There is some of that, Dea can't escape that with Connor, but there's a bigger picture to find in dreams. What if there was a world beyond dreams? What if Dea and her mother weren't the only walkers?
There are a number of layers here, a number of mysteries and secrets combined to make up the book as a whole. The secret past of Dea and her mother. The secrets of Connor. The broken mirrors. The monsters in the nightmares. The dream world. I can see where some might find it a bit clunky or confusing, the book is part mystery/thriller part paranormal/magical realism. I found it interesting, I wanted to know what would happen to Dea, where she would go, what the secrets of the dream world were. It vaguely reminds me of Magonia, how there's an ending but it could very well continue into another book. For fans of paranormal mysteries with a twist.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)...more
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, SIn 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch's life shattered to bits. His brother, Oliver—dead. His sweetheart, Mary—gone. His chance to break free of Geneva—lost. Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: he brings Oliver back from the dead. But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair's horror further damages the already troubled relationship. Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…
This Monstrous Thing has the feel of a gothic novel. It's full of shadow and mystery, it's dreary and searching. It's the exploration of the impossible and the supernatural, the battle between scientific exploration and morality, and the regrets that drip from a path paved with good intentions.
Alasdair has a secret in his past. One he keeps locked away. His days are spent working with his father, making secret clockwork limbs for those who need them. Sometimes he sneaks away to visit the brother he brought back from the dead. Alasdair is torn apart, wanting his brother to be like he was before he died. Wanting to have his life back, a life where he doesn't spend his days worrying about Oliver or in fear of the police coming to arrest him and his parents. But will he be able to escape his guilt and regrets? How? They hang over him like weights ready to fall.
There's some intriguing world-building in this book. There's a practicality in the people with mechanical/clockwork limbs, a reason for them. After the Napoleonic Wars, soldiers returned home across Europe with missing limbs, some blow off or lost to disease or injury. Factories were consistently unsafe, leaving workers with serious injuries. They would need new limbs to replace the ones they lost if they still wanted to work, still wanted to move around. Still wanted to be like everyone else. Plus the inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the man brought back to life, the hopes and regrets of his creator. The fear in the eyes of the townsfolk. I found how the author worked this in to be rather clever.
As much as this is a book of the impossible, it's a book of regret. A book of secrets and mistakes, of lies and stories. Alasdair brought his brother back to life using gears, clockwork, and pure luck, yes, but this is about what happens after. This is the aftermath, the repercussions. This is when Alasdair has to make a difficult decision. I imagine that fans of Frankenstein retellings and Megan Shepherd's The Madman's Daughter trilogy will enjoy reading this.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)...more
The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre's inhabitantsThe city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre's inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark. Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre. Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre. And what he knows will change Kym's life.
Monstrous is a sweet and fun, and as time goes on, rather sinister, story of magic and science. A tale of monsters and young girls, of good and evil and how they are told apart. A tale about finding our place in the world, whether we exist with a purpose in mind or we discover it along the way.
Kymera is unique. Clever and strong, inquisitive about the world around her because she only knows, only remembers, so much beyond what her father has told her. Because of that, she's filled with a sweet child-like innocence. What reason would she have to question her father? He's been nothing but kind, love. He brought her back to life so the two of them could save the young girls of Bryre. They just want to help. As the book goes on, her honest curiosity battles against her father's control over her. He tells her that no one would understand her, that people would be afraid of her. But she's not sure if that's true, so she's caught between the worlds that push her down and her thoughts of meeting new people. Perhaps making a friend.
But what is Kym, with her human brain and cat eyes and wings and a barbed tail? Is she still human or is she a monster? Can monsters with claws and wings be heroes, saving young girls from certain death? Can monsters grow roses? Is it what's on the inside or only what's on the outside? Kym looks dangerous, she looks like a terrible monster, so she must be dangerous, yes? What this book touches on is how we define who/what is a monster and who/what isn't and how problematic it is to judge people based on their appearances. What will help us determine the truth is knowledge, time, and our own instincts.
The world-building here is so much fun. It's a mixture of fairy tales, fables, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Magic and monsters and a girl brought back to life made up of parts that aren't originally hers. Kym navigates the world as the reader does, learning more and more about what evil plagues Bryre and what must be done in order to save it.
I found this to be a magical story, a sweet tale about a girl who isn't like other girls, one made up of good intentions and a strong need to help and protect others. We can't always be afraid of those who look like monsters, with scaly wings and sharp fangs and long tails, because they could be the bravest and most caring of all.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from Edelweiss through HarperCollins.)...more
Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island, and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in LondMonths have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island, and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau's horrific legacy, though someone, or something, hasn't forgotten her. As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three claw-like slashes, Juliet fears one of her father's creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again. As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer, Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.
Her Dark Curiosity is haunting, mysterious, and deadly, gothic horror that leaves you suspicious of what could lurk in the darkness. There are mysteries and secrets in London's shadows, and Juliet fears the worst when she discovers her past, a past she thought she'd left behind on an island far away, has appeared in her present.
Juliet is searching for so many things. A new life in London. A cure for her condition. A way to forget what, and who, she abandoned on her father's island. Now she must search for a murderer, a dark monster from her past she never thought she'd see again. Faces from her past appear in her life once again and she must fight against the darkness through all of her struggles, for she fears it will overtake her and turn her into someone dangerous. Someone like her father.
What darkness hides inside our bodies, our minds, our souls? Where does it come from? Has there always a darker part of us hidden, tucked away, waiting for the chance to break free? Are we all capable of becoming monsters? And what of Juliet, human with the organs of a deer inside of her. Human she may be but she knows the darkness is inside of her, put there by a man trying so desperately to keep his child alive he would break the laws of nature. What is her darkness? What is lurking inside of her? How far will she go to hide it from those she cares about?
More and more YA books are appearing that call themselves retellings or re-imaginings of works of classic literature. Just about every book, in some way, could be considered a retelling. With The Madman's Daughter, it felt very much like a retelling of Wells' classic novel about a dangerous doctor named Moreau and his island of experimentation. Here, Shepherd's new story continues and goes beyond the source material, drawing this time from Stevenson. This is not a true retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but I can see where Shepherd was inspired by it, the moments of Juliet hiding the most dangerous parts of her world from those she cares about. The moments of darkness and fear over what hides inside ourselves.
When I first saw the names Jekyll and Hyde in relation to this book, I was concerned, I worried about how it would come across, but I wasn't surprised. Looking at the first book, the monsters, the experiments, I figured I knew where the author would be going. An exploration into the darker side of Juliet and her experiences. But even with my assumptions I was held captive, turning page after page as quickly as I could, helpless to do nothing but satisfy my curiosity. The ending makes it rather clear which piece of classical literature has inspired the last book, and again I am skeptical, but I'm still very much looking forward to the conclusion of this dark tale....more
I found this to be a curious book, a tale of a young girl's search through a changed world. Pen encounters many a strange being on her journey, and gaI found this to be a curious book, a tale of a young girl's search through a changed world. Pen encounters many a strange being on her journey, and gains a few friends along the way. What's key for Pen is finding her family after the earthquake, finding where they disappeared to.
Pen's world sounds like it's set so far into the future, set in a land of large, lumbering monsters and young people fighting to survive, but it's not. Because of that, I had trouble taking Pen's journey seriously. Still, I found the book beautifully written, Block's writing style is very lyrical and magical....more
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance.By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz, something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
Dreams of Gods & Monsters is an epic and powerful tale of pain and magic, of hopes and dreams, of life and death. The end is coming, a war is coming, and Karou and Akiva stand at the brink with their patchwork army against a tyrant and a secret huntress no one sees coming. Will they survive, live to continue their dream of peace, or will their hopes shatter at their feet?
Karou and Akiva, while together, still manage to be heartbreaking. Different sides, different missions, but the same dream for the future. After the first two books, after their revelations and actions, their plans and surprises, what are they to each other? Not enemies, not anymore, but not lovers. Well, not exactly. They're prevented from being together, by the coming battles and by themselves, by what they've seen around the other and inside their own hearts and minds. Their first story, the story of Akiva and Madrigal, was tragic, ending in screams of pain and misery. This one, their second chance, started with surprise, with hopes renewed, and continued again down that path of despair and death. They've battled long and hard, with chimaera, with angels, with monsters, and now the end is coming. But what kind of end?
Something that's always pulled me in with this series is the world-building and this book is no different. Earth, Eretz, the skies, the stars. Everything is something the author has crafted, and crafted beautifully. The vast deserts, the caves of the Kirin, the streets of Rome. Pulled from reality or from imagination, the locations have a life of their own. And they expand as the story expands, as it reaches out and pulls in more characters, more hopes and fears. It grows almost too big, nearly overwhelming the story, but it's all connected in curious and magical ways.
So primal are the emotions felt by those in this book. The burning need to survive. The bitter flame of anger. The crippling sadness. The cold, shaking fear. The bright shine of hope. The gentle pulse of love, like a heartbeat felt by pressing an ear to the chest of a loved one. No emotion is spared. It is enough to bring one to their knees.
There is a lot of anticipation in this book, a lot of build up. Something is coming, something big, something overwhelming. And then the explosion happens, then everything happens, and everything is revealed. Before reading this I re-read the previous two books, taking in the entire story in one long gulp instead of tiny sips over time. Doing that left me wondering if any words I could express about this book would be enough. I don't think I've been more overwhelmed than I have with this book and this series. I've been left in a magical, painful, and glorious head space, dripping with dreams and starlight....more
After an odd accident at his workplace, Nick is sent off to the wilderness with a handful of other teenage delinquents on an "Inward Trek." As if thatAfter an odd accident at his workplace, Nick is sent off to the wilderness with a handful of other teenage delinquents on an "Inward Trek." As if that wasn't bad enough, his counselors are now flesh-eating maniacs and have picked his fellow miscreants as their next meal. Like any classic horror movie, the survivors head off into the woods while the mindless horde of "infects" slowly follows, moaning as they go. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They know what to do. They start to generate "Zombie Rules" of their own, but attitude alone won't keep the biters back for long.
The Infects is a dark, edgy, and really gruesome quest into the larger metaphor of humanity and what lurks inside of us while characters are literally on the run from former humans who want to eat their flesh. It's a mature teenage kind of gross, graphic enough to satisfy horror fans, with a cast of quirky misfits who all have their own issues along with their own teenage hormones. Sometimes, guys can only think about the girl they like, even when a possible zombie apocalypse is staring them in the face.
Nick certainly is an odd narrator, but as a teenage guy in his situation, his voice works. He's serious and sarcastic, he's rarely happy, he rolls his eyes at his unemployed father and only cares about his younger sister who only speaks in questions. Amanda is the only one he cares about, as opposed to his teenage male hormones that care about pretty girls like Petal. He's very much an unassuming hero, pushed into the role because he has more sense and more intelligence than his fellow Inward Trek-ers. They have no goal beyond surviving, while Nick has surviving to save Petal and to make it back to Amanda.
Going in, I thought this book would be a dark comedy, a poking fun at the horror genre, but what I got instead was a horror novel dark and gross with its zombie roots in the semi-absurd/semi-it could happen one day area. There was some humour, mostly from Nick as he talked to the voice in his head, partially from his band of delinquent followers, but not as much as I expected.
The ending was very surprising, that has to be said. And I have to give props to the author because of the plot twists, I never expected some of those twists, never, and it kept me on my toes as I kept reading. While it wasn't my kind of book, I would definitely recommend it to horror movie fans and zombie fans, readers looking for smark-aleck teens who won't stop talking while a gruesome pack of zombies is chasing them down....more
Juliet has built a life for herself in London: working as a maid, attending church, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. AfJuliet has built a life for herself in London: working as a maid, attending church, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one proved the rumours about her father's gruesome experiments, but when she learns he's still alive and continuing his work, she's determined to find out if the accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's assistant Montgomery and castaway Edward, both of whom Juliet is drawn to, she travels to the island only to discover the depths of her father's madness. His experiments live on, animals operated on until they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. What's worse is one of the creatures has gone wild, murdering the others. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island descends into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius, and madness, in her own blood.
The Madman's Daughter is a return to gothic horror with a twist on a piece of classic literature. This book is what one would expect, it's dark, dangerous, gruesome, and mysterious. On the island, Juliet is forced to confront with a number of terrifying things, such as her father's research and the fact it borders on insane and monstrous, the secrets surrounding the island and its inhabitants, and the truth that unknowingly lurks in her blood.
This book takes me back to proper gothic horror, horror in the vein of Dracula and Frankenstein. It is a new twist on The Island of Dr. Moreau, Wells' exploration of scientific ethics and gruesome experimentation, the struggle of one man to become God and have it all turn horrifically wrong. It's very faithful to the original, to the wild island setting, to the realization of danger and the wildness that lives in the hearts of those who walk not only on four legs but also on two. Wells is considered to be one of the co-founders of the science fiction genre. Here, Shepherd takes us back, back in time, back to the island, back to the howls and the screams that travel through the jungle's trees.
But retellings are complicated. A new story must be shaped from the existing, both must find a way to live together between the covers. Here, the original is everywhere, coating each and ever page, but so is the new. Juliet brings new life, new connections, and new complications that twist the story into something more. Juliet must be strong enough to stand on her own or else she runs the risk of being swallowed up, both by Wells and his creations and her own fear and dread.
I dreaded the love triangle between Juliet, Montgomery, and Edward, but Shepherd dealt with it well. She's drawn to both of them, yes, but it seems to be in different ways. Montgomery she knew before, Edward she just met. But she fears what might be inside her, in her blood, in the blood she got from her father, and so that complicated things. Until she learns the truth and must make a decision.
The idea that there will be two more books to follow, that this is a series, makes me both curious and intrigued. With this, Shepherd showed she could stay faithful to Wells' original, but the next two books will be a harder battle, I think. I'm sure more than one reader has wondered what would happen next after reading The Island of Dr. Moreau, and it's possible that with Juliet, we could see one interpretation of what could happen....more
Aries, Clementine, Mason, and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population and turned a fair aAries, Clementine, Mason, and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population and turned a fair amount of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now, they're hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a rag-tag group of teenage survivors, trying to figure out their next move. Aries is trying to lead but it's difficult when there are no easy answers and everything feels wrong. Clementine is still on a desperate search to find her brother. Michael is haunted by the memories of what happened to him on the road out to the west coast. But Mason is struggling with the worst problem: that he's a danger to his friends. As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, the four teens will have to rely and trust each other if they want to keep surviving.
Rage Within is just as powerful as its predecessor, dark, dangerous, and very deceptive. When the apocalypse hits and ruins the world, what happens next? This is the immediate after that will determine who will continue to survive, who will take charge, and who will have all the control. What also arises is the question of change. Is it possible to be the same person you were before the apocalypse hit? Can you change, can you do what you need to in order to survive, and still be the same person? This book highlights mankind's quest for survival, to live on through horror and despair, and to find a new way of life.
Now that all of the four main narrators are in Vancouver, now that they've all met, nothing is any easier. There is a common goal, but they all have their own missions, their own problems, and they need to come together so they can keep surviving. Or else the Baggers will win.
The Baggers are an interesting enemy/non-enemy. People but not people, people where the darkness has taken over, people without morals but with rules and actions and procedures. The idea that they're planning something is frightening, because it could spell the end for those normal people still struggling to survive.
Nothing. The ever-elusive, cryptic, frightening and all-knowing Nothing. Nothing is everywhere and nowhere. Nothing lives. But where? The reveal, while unsurprising, was perfect.
The group has to deal with a lot, the aftermath of the earthquake and the Baggers, but what if the people close to you are the ones you have to be wary of? As Nothing claims on page 202, "we all have a dark side." But we also have an innate desire to live, to survive. In the end, it all depends on which side is stronger....more
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to dream of a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and mOnce upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to dream of a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she's sought. She knows who she is... and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: she loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. Now she has to decide how fall she will go to avenge her people, but while she and her allies build an army out of dust and starlight, an angel wages a different sort of battle. A battle for redemption, for hope, if hope can be salvaged from the ashes of a broken dream.
Like its predecessor, Days of Blood & Starlight is darkly magical, eerie, and dangerous. Pages filled with lyrical, descriptive prose show readers the after. After the handprints on the doors. After the explosions. After a tear ripped through the sky. So many questions race through the minds of readers. Where's Karou? Where's Akiva? Where's Brimstone? What will happen now, now that Karou knows who she is, where she came from? Will the world still be the world she knows when everything ends?
For Karou, she must determine her next course of action after traveling through the rift in the sky, but that all depends on what she finds there, if it be friend or foe, if she's capable of completing the task at hand. Everything is in the balance: her love of Brimstone and the chimaera, her love of her human friends, and her love for a certain angel.
For Akiva, his search for Karou, to discover whether she's alive or dead, is hampered by a larger task at hand. War is looming, and he will be forced to rejoin his angel brother and sister and the ranks of solders, forced to march on in an age-old battle, and forced to make a choice between his people and his love.
This book is dark, mysterious, and earthy, born from complicated dreams and sweet nightmares. A fantasy where monsters are human, where angels are monsters, where humans are magic, and deep down, everyone is the same, hoping for the same thing. A world to live in free from pain and terror where one can live peacefully with the ones they love most. If such a world exists for Karou and Akiva, their battle for that world will be long and hard, and my heart weeps at the journey they must take....more
Three teenage descendants of Medusa must figure out where their fate will take them. Warring factions among the gods of Olympus are coming for them, cThree teenage descendants of Medusa must figure out where their fate will take them. Warring factions among the gods of Olympus are coming for them, creatures of the abyss are pushing into San Francisco, and odd figures in their lives are hiding dangerous secrets. Gretchen has fought the monsters for years, but teaching the others is hard. Can she rely on Grace and Greer? Greer has pressing social commitments and little time to train her new-found powers, but the mythical second sight won't leave her alone. Grace is worried about her brother, Thane, who has disappeared. She's worried his secrets might have to do with the heritage the triplets share. How can the girls embrace the shadows of their legacy?
Sweet Shadows is a return to a series filled with Greek mythology, ancient monsters, and long-lost sisters. Three young women who barely know each other must come together in order to keep the human world safe from what lurks in a dark abyss, but there are other groups at work. Some who want to help, some who don't care one way or another, and some who will stop at nothing to stop them.
Starting immediately after the first book ends, the action and the overarching plot pick up and are more prevalent here. There's more on why they were kept apart, more on what they can do, and more on what's after them. Besides the near-constant monsters coming after them. There's more danger and more suspense, plus some boy trouble, but the romance takes a back seat to the more important storyline of the sisters training and trying to stay alive.
Being triplets doesn't mean they have the same personality, which is good. Gretchen has a rather military-style way of looking at situations, acting on instinct. Grace is the sweet little den mother wanting everyone to get along who wants to include everyone in a well-thought plan. Greer has social engagements to worry about, but it's hard to focus on the normal human part of her life when the monsters are everywhere and she's having near-constant visions. Grace serves as a sort of buffer with Gretchen and Greer, the former smoothing the abrasive edges of the other two.
It's refreshing to read a YA novel featuring Greek mythology and find it not to be another Persephone retelling. There's so much more than Persephone and Hades, and props to the author for the modern twist on the gorgon/Medusa myth.
Like the first, this book is about the power and connection that siblings have when they're together, the closeness and the support. Grace, Greer, and Gretchen all need to lean on each other, rely on each other, in order to keep surviving while battling monsters and discovering their destiny. They are stronger together, but they still need to learn on their own, learn how to use their unique abilities in order to keep the rest of San Francisco safe....more
Not my usual cup of tea but still an enjoyable read. Refreshing to find a YA fantasy novel with a male protagonist. Should appeal to fans of fantasy nNot my usual cup of tea but still an enjoyable read. Refreshing to find a YA fantasy novel with a male protagonist. Should appeal to fans of fantasy novels with magic and witches and two sides to every story but always connected.
The book summary is a bit misleading, less of the strange girl and more magic and Ryder needing to figure things out, but still an interesting book.
Characters were interesting, action scenes moved smoothly enough, and the twists and surprises kept me reading.
No rating this time because while I enjoyed it, I don't often read high fantasy like this book is and so I don't think the rating I would honestly give it would be fair. I will say that I enjoyed it, that I liked the world-building and the legends that the author has created, that I liked the characters and the struggles they had, how it was never easy for Ryder. Struggle builds character.
Sorry for the quick drive-by review, I have a lot of e-galleys to read that I've let pile up. In the future, I might come back and write a longer review....more
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob off to a remote island off the coast of Wales where he discovers the crumbling ruins of a home fA horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob off to a remote island off the coast of Wales where he discovers the crumbling ruins of a home for orphaned children. As he explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he learns that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on the island for a good reason. And somehow, as impossible as it sounds, they may still be alive.
This book is so haunting, so spell-binding. It feels so real and powerful and unbelievably creepy. So high is the creep factor, but in a classic and intriguing way. Jacob is searching for answers, to the truth behind his grandfather and his stories and his life, for something more, for somewhere to belong. This book is so unique a story and so powerful an idea. The author has crafted something amazing with both his prose and all the found photographs.
I will say that there's time travel, but in such a non-traditional sense. No science, forget science. Forget physics. To me, it felt like time travel in terms of power and magic and pathways and connections.
The photographs, like the one used for the cover, add an elusive element to the reading of the book: the ability to see the book and its characters, its settings, its mystery and monsters and journey.
Perhaps this book is not for the faint of heart, but I hope you are brave enough to experience the wondrous and strange and haunting story that is this book. It'll be worth the shudder down your spine....more
A modern day twist of the German fairy tale "Tristan and Isolde," Mette Ivie Harrison give us the story of Izzie, a young girl with a perfect boyfrienA modern day twist of the German fairy tale "Tristan and Isolde," Mette Ivie Harrison give us the story of Izzie, a young girl with a perfect boyfriend and loyal best friend, but everything goes wrong when Izzie takes the potion meant for her friend and accidentally falls in love with a new guy at their school. While this book is filled to the brim with magic, secrets, and danger, something was lacking character-wise for me and it kept me from enjoying this book more.
What initially drew me to this book was the fairy tale Harrison drew from. Fairy tale retellings have a way of being just as magical as the original, and this was. Magic options, witches, monsters, magical enemies, sorcerers and healers. There is nothing lacking in the fantasy element.
Unfortunately, what had a habit of putting me off was certain characters and their choices. Because Izzie is the narrator, I connected with her far more than others, but that's because we're only given her opinions of them. Mark is her awesome boyfriend, Branna is her best friend. But Izzie couldn't see what was right in front of her face at times. She's clueless to the feelings of those close to her, and sometimes makes rash decisions that would often turn her life into a huge smoking crater.
The language also didn't agree with me. At times it felt too simple, too obvious, too just describing actions or surroundings. On the first page, I started to edit in my head, pick which words I would take out and imagine how I would phrase the sentence. That's not a good sign. At other points, the language felt dated and stilted
I wanted to love this book as much as I love the cover, but it fell flat for me in terms of characters and language. Perhaps this book would fit with a younger teen reading audience, thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds. The idea was amazing, the magic and fairy tale elements were sound, but the characters brought it down for me....more
Ari can't help but feel alone, abandoned and left to grow up in foster care, labelled a freak because of her silver hair and teal-coloured eyes. WhenAri can't help but feel alone, abandoned and left to grow up in foster care, labelled a freak because of her silver hair and teal-coloured eyes. When she finds a letter written for her by her mother, dead for years, Ari knows something is wrong, that something is coming for her. She travels to her birthplace, the town of New 2, New Orleans after the storms that ruined it, and finds that things are much different. In New 2, she's normal, no longer a freak, but everyone seems to know who she is.
And they're afraid of her. Ari still won't stop, but sometimes the truth is too terrifying to be revealed.
A glorious blend of the paranormal, the strange and the bizarre and the ancient, and the lush history and grandeur of New Orleans, Darkness Becomes Her was a breath of fresh air. This book was so easy to devour like candy, the pacing was quick, the characters different and interesting, the plot packed with secrets. Ari was the highlight of the book for me, a heroine who kicks ass and takes names like Lili St. Crow's Dru from Strange Angels or Courtney Allison Moulton's Ellie from Angelfire. Strong with a cracks in her armour, Ari knows how to take care of herself.
And there has to be a guy for her to fall for, there just has to be. It happens so fast, too, but because of the quick pace the book takes place over a few days. It's not instant love, more instant attraction that can and hopefully will be fleshed out in the next book.
The dark side of New 2, the reason for the storms and the ruin of a once great city, was something I hadn't expected but welcomed with open arms. Mixing New Orleans with Greek mythology was new and interesting, it filled that spot in my scholar's soul that loves mythology and history and bringing it into a modern setting
Darkness Becomes Her was a lush, quick-paced, no-holds-barred journey into the deep dark of a strange town filled with the paranormal and the bizarre, the dangerous and the despicable. A welcome mix of vampires, witches, shapeshifters, and Greek mythology. ...more
Jill Jekel's dad was murdered, which really sucks. And the money for her college education has disappeared, which alAnother recent library pick-up. :)
Jill Jekel's dad was murdered, which really sucks. And the money for her college education has disappeared, which also really sucks. And she wants to open this box in her dad's office, even though she promised over and over again she wouldn't, but when it might help her win a chemistry scholarship she can't help but be tempted to break the rules. Then there's Tristen Hyde, who also has some secrets, but agrees to partner up with Jill in a sort of 'Jekyll and Hyde' team to split the money.
I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 2008 when I was studying for my B.A., so I know what the novel is based on. Clearly, there are some differences, like the fact that Jekel and Hyde are separate people and Jekel's a girl. ;)
I really liked this book. It was mysterious enough to keep me reading, the plot moved along at a good pace. The point of view shifts back and forth between Jill and Tristen, but not one after the other. There might be a few in Jill's view, then one in Tristen's, then one in Jill, and so on. I liked it like this. Sometimes a chapter in one character's point of view ends in a mini cliffhanger, but the next chapter in someone else's point of view doesn't continue or takes place in a totally different place. Not that this book doesn't do that, but it flowed a bit better this way.
The dark and mysterious gothic vibe was wonderful. I don't think I've read a book where the darkness was solved through possibly logical chemistry. As a semi-possible nerd (not in science, I was terrible at science), I found it a bit funny and rather interesting.
This book was a mix of different ideas and points. A winding path through dark mists and thick fog, a hunt through papers and compartments to discover hidden secrets, an unending desire to change who we are at the most basic elemental level because there's something lurking in the shadows of our minds just waiting for the opportunity to break free.
Looking for a YA version of Jekyll and Hyde that also has a healthy dose of teenage hormones and almost kisses and actual kisses mixed in? Give Fantaskey's Jekel Loves Hyde a read. ;)...more
Grace just moved to San Francisco, but she didn't expect the minotaur to show up, or the girl who looks exactly like her who fights monsters. GretchenGrace just moved to San Francisco, but she didn't expect the minotaur to show up, or the girl who looks exactly like her who fights monsters. Gretchen is tired of fighting monsters in the middle of the night and was shocked to discover a girl who could be her double. Greer has a normal life, but not when two girls show up at her door claiming they're triplets.
That they're descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon of Greek mythology. That they're destined to spend their lives fighting hideous monsters.
A new modern-day twist on a Greek myth (think Aimée Carter's The Goddess Test), Tera Lynn Childs gives us three unique points of view, even if it takes between half and two-thirds of the book to get us to the first chapter in Greer's point of view. Gretchen is the muscle, determined, headstrong and physically strong. Grace is the brain, sweet and kind but intelligent. Greer is, to be honest, stuck-up and annoying, as cold as ice. She will be the toughest nut to crack.
And boy trouble. There just has to be boy trouble. But it's awesome boy trouble. Boy trouble that doesn't take up the whole book mixed with mythical monsters trying to kill the girls. Because, unfortunately for some readers, it's not all about the boy trouble. It's about the girls and the monsters.
This isn't just a book about Greek mythology and monsters of legend and mystical powers. It's also a book about sisters, about family and the connections its members have, about discovering who you are at such a crucial point in a teenager's life. Grace, Gretchen, and Greer were separated as infants but the threads that bound them together in the womb still exist, even after sixteen years of separation. There are times when they think the same, talk the same, act the same. That's not a fault of the author's but more the traits and connections that triplets would have, even if they were separated at birth. People are influenced by the environment they grow up in, but also by genetics. Nature and nurture both play an important role.
This book is like a mixture Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Greek mythology, fighting to stay alive, and high school. Snappy, quick, intriguing and fun, Sweet Venom gave me what I expected from a Tera Lynn Childs novel and more. Like an action-comedy-drama movie. Monster butt-kicking, weird situations, and three girls discovering that being triplets isn't always easy....more
**spoiler alert** it's dark and twisted, haunting and mysterious, gorgeous, unique. it's a great book.
the cover blurb, also the summary on Goodreads,**spoiler alert** it's dark and twisted, haunting and mysterious, gorgeous, unique. it's a great book.
the cover blurb, also the summary on Goodreads, raised questions that drew me in.
love can be a dangerous thing.... ooooo, interesting. :) hallucinations?? pills?? frilly, violet dresses?? hmmm, that's different. a strange town filled with dark secrets?? *hypnotized face* tell me more. anything can happen and no one is safe?? yup, i'm hooked.
first, Hanna. i love Hanna *book hug*. i'm curious if it's odd to say that reading a book about a bi-racial, bi-cultural, bipolar teenager is refreshing. characters need to be unique to draw in readers, they have to be believable, they have to be flawed. Hanna is both unique and flawed. not every girl in every high school all over the world is going to be a bubbly blonde cheerleader that's mentally stable. teens are all different people, they're manic or depressed or bipolar or anorexic or bulimic or a cutter or a jock or a nerd or a drama queen. teen characters need these flaws to make the reader connect, to make the reader believe them.
with the added twist in regards to Hanna's bipolar state, it altered how i read the book through her eyes. Hanna is very brazen, blunt and rather calm, "charming and rational" as one psychiatrist puts it (pg.22), and i guess maybe not controlling but she knows what she wants. she wants her mother Rosalee to accept her and love her, she wants the town to accept her, she wants to fit in at school.
but her mother wants her gone, the town sees her as an outsider, and the kids at school think she's a nutcase that wears bright purple. clearly, they have no fashion sense. ;)
then there's Hanna's father, either a side-effect hallucination brought on by her bi-polar disorder or an actual ghost that's haunting her and her mother. i'm torn between the two.
and Portero. this town clearly has some demons, but what town doesn't?? these ones are just creepy and bizarre and supernatural/paranormal and outrageous. what i enjoyed about Portero is that no one in town lied to themselves about the creepy stuff. they all knew it was there and they accepted it. the weird stuff is normal.
i understand the purpose of the Mortmaine: they're there to help the town when the creepy stuff pops up and tries to kill someone, like paranormal cops. i did think that they were both afraid of change and puppets of the Mayor. Wyatt's resistance is welcome, as are the cards he makes. with the arrival of Hanna, the town changes a little. her weirdness gives them fresh eyes on which to look at the town, and if the town is going to survive, the Mortmaine have to change how they go about stopping and killing the dark creatures.
i would've been upset if there wasn't a romantic aspect to this book. it would've added even more for Hanna to deal with, which it did, even with the bizarre start to their relationship that Hanna and Wyatt had. and then there was Hanna's view of sex and how it seemed to be her decision for her and Wyatt to have sex. it was a little surprising, but teens have sex. it's true. not writing about it isn't going to make it not true. now, Hanna's not promiscuous, she's only interested in Wyatt, and it just seemed to fit with her character. she's brazen and bold, and adult enough to use condoms.
i hope this next part was intentional because it makes spots of the book so vivid: the focus on colour. the purple, the splashes of red everywhere (not always blood, but sometimes), the green of the Mortmaine, the white-blue of Rosalee's kitchen. whenever a colour appeared it popped into my head and filled my vision. the purple of Hanna's dresses, the lipstick red of Rosalee's kitchen chair. gorgeous. :)
in the end, after Hanna fights her way to become a part of Portero, breaking through the barriers established by Rosalee, the evil (and dead) Runyon, and the controlling Mayor. it's one of those 'over for now' endings, which i'm happy to find. not everything is wrapped up. it's Portero, there's still weird creatures and monsters creeping around in parks and windows, and that's fine. i never expected that to be the end. i did hope that the end would include Hanna making some kind of peace with Rosalee, badass and brutal as she is. i wouldn't have Rosalee any other way, because then she wouldn't be believable. she didn't have to melt like butter under Hanna's love, just soften the tiniest bit.
in conclusion, go read this book. i saw a (negative, unfortunately) review that said this book was a hot mess. i will agree, but that's what made it so good. nothing's perfect, and nothing's ever going to be perfect in Portero. what town is perfect?? what adult?? what teenager??
Bleeding Violet is freakishly awesome. thank you, Dia Reeves. i can't wait for Slice of Cherry to come out in January.
also, i love Swan and Little Swan and Ragsie. like a splash of adorableness mixed in with the blood. :)