Noli and her true love V fear the worst if the Staff of Eris, a potent Otherworld relic, falls into the wrong hands. Broken into pieces and hidden inNoli and her true love V fear the worst if the Staff of Eris, a potent Otherworld relic, falls into the wrong hands. Broken into pieces and hidden in the mortal realm long ago, the staff bestows vast powers on whoever possesses it. Ciarán, the dark king, is trying to rebuild the staff, intending to use it to install a new queen. In a desperate effort to keep the Otherworld from falling into darkness, Noli and V plot the daring theft of a jewel Ciarán needs to complete the staff. But Ciarán is not so easily defeated. Through his devious machinations, he has set a plan in motion for a final showdown that will decide who rules the Otherworld once and for all.
Fragile Destiny is the third part of Noli's story, a story of epic and dangerous adventures. A story of mystery, intrigue, faerie magic, and unexpected revelations.
Noli and V are back, along with their friends and family (and manipulative enemies). They're still racing around, this time trying to keep the Otherworld safe (from those aforementioned manipulative fingers). They're still together, even if they are butting heads and arguing far more than usual. I was surprised at how often they clashed, how often they didn't tell each other everything and let things like stubborn pride and jealousy regarding Kevighn get in the way. I certainly didn't expect things to be easy for them, their lives are constantly wrenched out of their control and into someone else's, but I thought they trusted each other. Had more faith in each other after what happened in the previous books. And they have to work out their problems, they have to prove their strong enough to continue, or else everything they've worked towards will crumble.
Where there were airships and journeys and roaming in the second book, this one seems to spend a fair amount of time in the Otherworld. And that means complicated royal faerie court policies. That means spies and bodyguards. That means lies and tricks and plots. It becomes a rather dangerous setting, not as peaceful or magical as I'd expected. In the end I wasn't surprised. Again, I didn't think it would be easy for Noli and V to find what they were looking for.
It's very reminiscent of the previous two books. Adventure and tricky faeries, clashing personalities, quests and journeys. Noli's uncommon personality, V's intelligence, and Kevighn's unwillingness to let go of the past. I did assume that this was the end of a trilogy, but considering the ending, considering what is resolved and what isn't, what questions I still have regarding I wouldn't be surprised if there's another book in the future.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Flux Books through NetGalley.)...more
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attrHazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does… As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
The Darkest Part of the Forest is eerie and enchanting, magical and deceptive. This is a mix of the curious innocence of adventurous children and the angst and struggle of teens trying to figure out what their place in the world will be, what they'll have to battle against in order to keep it.
Hazel feels lost, aimless, undecided and afraid. She's trying to find out who she is, what her purpose is. What the thing is that will make her whole. What she does know is that it won't be being a knight, roaming the woods with a sword in her hand and a mission in her heart, with her bard brother Ben at her side, because that's childish. But still she searches. Ben is just as lost, both blessed and cursed. He's trying to live under the weight of it, under the weight of a gift he can't escape. The mystery of the horned boy in the glass coffin interests them both, more so when they were younger, and even more when he awakes. Who is he? What will he be to them, after all of their childhood fantasies?
Curses and consequences. Secrets and promises. Dreams and reality. It's interesting, where our imagination takes us when we're children. The far off places we travel to, the monsters we fight, the princes and princesses we save from fire-breathing dragons. Where does that wonder and magic go? It ends up buried underneath reality, responsibility, and duty. There's no time for dreams when the real world awaits, dripping with expectations for the future. But what we promise in the past somehow has a way of returning to haunt us in the present. What are we to do when we need to remember those promises?
This is a bewitching story of a young girl who dreamed of being a knight with her bard brother at her side. Nothing is easy for Hazel or Ben, or Jack. Nothing could ever be easy, not when it comes to being a teenager. Not when it comes to twisted faerie logic. This is almost like a brand new fairy tale: the brave knight racing through the trees, battling monsters and tricksters, with her brother right behind her, a flute in his hand as he pines for a faerie asleep in a glass coffin. A must-read for Holly Black fans.
(I received an ARC of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)...more
Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immoSixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies. But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.
A History of Glitter and Blood is at times magical and gruesome, a story of what war leaves behind, of what war makes us do in order to survive. A story of family and friendship, of the ways we bind ourselves together.
Beckan, Josha, Scrap, Cricket. When the war starts, they're the only ones to stay in Ferrum. Why would they leave their home? But staying behind means surviving bombs. Staying behind means joining together. Staying behind means heading underground for work. It's not easy for any of them. In no way is anything any of them goes through easy. It's harsh, painful, distasteful. But it's what they do in order to survive. And when they're not working? They pretend as hard as they can, they laugh and love and look forward to the day when the war will be over. But when it ends, how it ends, is it what they expected would happen?
The narrator is unreliable. The story is told in a mixture of fictional prose and journal accounts, of what the narrator knows and witnessed and what the narrator imagines happened when they weren't in the room. It's an intriguing way to tell the story. It gives it authenticity, makes it sound real. Makes every cut and bite and fever dream feel that much more real. Like this war actually happened.
This book highlights all the parts of war, uncovers the secrets often left unspoken by survivors. What happens to those who stay, what decisions they are forces to make. What pieces of themselves they're forced to give up. If after reading this you're filled with all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, if you're all squicked out inside, then the book did its job. It's not a happy book, it's not meant to cheer you up. This book is all harsh reality and the day-in day-out of those living with war every single day, the stories you never hear about on the news. The stories you should hear about.
This is fairy tale, but one without the usual magic. The fairies do have glitter, but it's to keep the gnomes from eating too much of their limbs and bodies. This is a messy book about war, politics, racism, family, and love. It's a slap in the face and a punch in the gut. This won't be for everyone, but if you find yourself interested, read it for the characters. Read it for Beckan, for Scrap, for Josha and Cricket. Read it to learn what their lives become, to learn who they become. Read it to learn what war does to them, does to us.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)...more
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 brWhen 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....more
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. WWhen 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....more
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 aSweet, 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....more
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 herThe 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....more
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 evenEvie'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....more
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 canIsn'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....more
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 wantThere'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. :) ...more