Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she's a criminal. No, she's a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magicSixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she's a criminal. No, she's a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams. Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother's infamy is hard enough, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she'll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends.
The Nightmare Charade is more danger, more intrigue and hidden things, more secrets and lies. And the final reveal.
Dusty is back to investigating after a summer away from Arkwell. There are so many things on her plate this time around that I'm surprised she has time to sleep. So much of her days are spent worrying and wondering. Worrying about her mother, about Marrow, about finding time to be with Eli like a proper couple, about school. She's not given much time to get back into the swing of things. Instead, she and Eli are tossed head-first and nearly blind into a rather dangerous situation and are expected to solve it quickly. Her snark is still there, her word battles with people who bother her, but her worry and concern take over from time to time.
I was surprised at how easy it was to distrust most of the adults in this book, people like Lady Elaine and Detective Valentine. So few people are straight and honest with Dusty, so few tell her what needs to be said, give her access to the knowledge she needs to make sure she stays alive. How can they tell her that something isn't important, that she shouldn't worry about it? In this situation, everything is important. It's all extremely suspicious, not to mention frustrating.
There's a lot of emphasis on death this time around, particularly Dusty's. The book screams the massive possibility that she might not make it out alive this time. As it's the conclusion of the trilogy, I went in expecting some big reveals and some bigger battles, and with how the ending went, that's pretty much what I found. Nothing was easy for Dusty, or Eli, or even Selene or Dusty's mom, but that's good. There has to be consequences, even when it's magic. Sometimes the worst consequences happen when the battles are full of magic. The second book felt like it stuttered when it came to including the romance, which I felt was better balanced with the mystery and danger this time, but overall I enjoyed the series.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)...more
Stella Cross's heart is poisoned. After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday.Stella Cross's heart is poisoned. After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive. Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable. Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart? After all, the heart never lies...does it?
Alive is dark, tense, and mysterious. What are the secrets of the heart? It pumps blood through our veins and arteries, it keeps us alive. But can it do other things? Can it connect us to other people? Can it be controlled by someone else?
Stella has come back from the brink, back from the edge of living or dying. Saved by a heart transplant, she now has to return to high school, return to what should be her normal life, the life before her illness. But her parents are worrying that she's not going to get into university, she's behind on homework, and her friends feel just a bit different than when she last saw them. Then the hallucinations hit, the sudden and intense chest pains, and she knows that something must be wrong. But it's all in her head, yes? Her body can't be rejecting the heart. Is it something else?
Now, when a hot new guy appears just days after Stella goes back to school with her new heart, I was instantly suspicious. Maybe I've read too much and am just suspicious of any new character or plot twist, but I was wary of Levi. Even at the beginning when things were going okay. I understand Stella's feelings. He's nice, smart, he's quick to learn more about her, spend time with her. Love, teen love, puppy love, it does things to you. It causes your heart rate to climb, your blood to throb and pulse under your skin harder and faster than normal. In some ways it makes sense for Stella to equate her weird feelings to being in love with Levi. But the hallucinations? The lingering pain? Not so much.
I did like Stella's friendships with Henry and Brynn. They got along and argued like real friends, back and forth, calling each other out on their crap. Feelings were hurt, apologies were made. Hanging out together was enjoyed. I liked that they stuck with her, that they weren't about to give up on Stella. Even when she was way too obsessed with Levi.
While I wasn't the biggest fan of Stella and Levi's relationship and how creepy it gets, I found the mystery of Stella's hallucinations and chest pain to be interesting. Why always at the same time of day? Why the hallucinations of blood and death? Where did Levi come from? It took a little while, and I never liked how obsessive or controlling the relationship got, but in the end I found this to be a rather intriguing mystery with a hint of the paranormal. If you're looking for something like that, then maybe give this a read.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)...more
Kenna is tired of being "normal." The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating when you're constantly surroKenna is tired of being "normal." The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating when you're constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Sure, Kenna's smart and independent, but as an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world, it's hard not to feel inferior. So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She's not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary, too. But in the heat of the battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, heroes and villains, is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless.
Powerless is quirky, snarky, punchy, and all kinds of intense. It's all teen angst and arguing, all plots and plans and superpowers. All truths and secrets, all good vs evil and the shades of grey we never see until we open our eyes.
Kenna is smart and passionate, she's ready and willing to do the right thing. To help people. To support the superheroes who do battle against the villains. Even if she doesn't have any powers, she can still help. But she learns quickly that the world isn't that black and white, isn't actually that simple in terms of hero=good and villain=evil. It's a smack in the face for her, a massive wake-up call, and it changes everything she thought she knew.
As smart as Kenna is, as thoughtful and compassionate, she's upset that some people around her discount her because of her lack of powers. That leads her to feeling inadequate about her own abilities. She needs a confidence boost, a self-esteem boost. It's not always about extraordinary powers.
As it often happens with books featuring heroes and villains, a lot of this book, of Kenna's thoughts, focus on good and evil. How do we define who is good and who is evil? Is it a mark on their skin, the ability they have? The look in their eye? Who decides? Who defines certain actions as done in the name of good while similar actions are said to have been done in the name of evil? With all the differences between the two, the more it comes to light how similar they are and how twisted the definitions have become.
This book is exciting and fast-paced. Kenna and her friends, old and new, are constantly moving, constantly plotting and planning. There are times when it feels repetitive, times where it seems like Kenna is worrying too much about being around villains, worrying too much about how the heroes are always the good guys. There's a lot revealed in the last half of the book, and considering how it ends, I'm hoping the next book will be just as explosive.
(I received an e-galley of this title from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.)...more
Enter the not-so-hollowed halls of SuperMutant Magic Academy and let the teenage apathy wash over you. Wendy, Marsha, Cheddar, Frances, and the otherEnter the not-so-hollowed halls of SuperMutant Magic Academy and let the teenage apathy wash over you. Wendy, Marsha, Cheddar, Frances, and the other students will be your guides through the D&D games, performance art, unrequited crushes, and spell-class tests that are the staples of life at a school for paranormal teenagers.
SuperMutant Magic Academy is intelligent, compelling, and bizarre. It's absurd and impossible while being true to the absurdity and impossibility of high school life. Yes, they all have some kind of magical ability, but all of that takes a backseat to the angst and the worry that teenagers face every day. Tests, dating, the future. It's all here in black and white, and sometimes red.
It's hard to describe this book, this collection, beyond what it is overall. There's sort of a set story line, the characters' lives while in high school, both inside and outside of class. Having lunch, doing homework, dating, breaking up, crushing on, fighting. Worrying about life post-high school, worrying about what the future might hold. Worrying about everything. Each page is its own separate story. It's a collection of moments, glimpses in time, until the newly drawn ending that follows more of a set story.
This is the most true to real life I've ever seen fantasy/paranormal characters be. There's Marsha keeping her crush on best friend cat-eared Wendy a secret. There's lizard Trixie trying so hard to fit in, to find a boyfriend, to be pretty. There's bold performance artist Frances and her friend with a large head Gemma. There's magical Trevor, angry and misunderstood, who's possibly just waiting for someone to finally call him on all his crap. And there's Everlasting Boy, lives and dies and lives again. The moments they have are sometimes impossible to understand, like Frances' performance art, and sometimes so familiar it hurts, like when one boy brings another to his dorm room and acknowledges that while it is a mess, it's his mess. It's something that belongs to him. Finally, something that's all his. What teenager hasn't ever desperately craved something that was their own, and rejoiced when they finally found it?
This book is at times bold, weird, and unflinchingly honest. The moments of existentialism alternate with the moments of humour, the moments of how all teen boys can think about is sex, as seen in a number of their D&D games. A must-read for comic fans, for fans of so much reality in their fiction, for fans of storytelling.
(I received a finished copy of this title from Raincoast Books.)...more
You don't belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of anYou don't belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one's appearance at will. When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It's an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.
Deceptive is an undercover mission of twists and turns, of different kinds of trust and truths, of finding out which side of the line you stand on and which side you realize you're supposed to be on.
After months of living with and being trained by members of a crime syndicate, Ciere's soon off on her own, trying to figure out if Alan actually killed one of the members. Ciere sounds older this time around, like the days and weeks spent with a crime syndicate has changed her, hardened her, worn on her, but she's still snappy. Her illusions are better now, she's no longer holding back, but with her recklessness and lack of foresight, she's wading into something that could kill her. Daniel is stuck surrounded by the agents who hunt down people like him. He's surrounded by people who hate him, who call him a freak, but he's stuck there. He can't escape, he needs to keep Ciere and Kit safe. Devon was pushed away by Ciere and can't stop acting out at another new school. What's the point of anything anymore? With Ciere gone, he's lost the only friend he ever cared about. So when a smal and secret agency group comes to him with a job opportunity, who's he to say no?
There's more government presence this time around, what with Daniel stuck and Devon trying to find a place that works. It's like the danger and mystery from the first book has expanded somewhat. Crime syndicates warring, advocates for immune individuals speaking out against the regulations that contain them, missing people. Large parts fo the government fear the immune, fear that their abilities cannot be controlled, and so they do what they must. Hunt down and tag them, like animals. Like they're less than people. So what do the immune do? A number of things. Fight back. Run. Hide. Hide in plain sight. Plot and plan until the time comes.
This is a mixture of the paranormal, intrigue, suspicion, mystery, and high-stakes action. Ciere, Daniel, and Devon are unknowingly on three sides of the same situation, and when they come together and uncover the truth about the disappearances, the truth if Alan really did kill someone, it changes things. Fans of the first will relish this new book while they hope for the possibility of a third. It cannot end here.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)...more
In the kin world, girls Ruby de Varre's age are expected to play nice, get betrothed, and start a family—especially if they're rootkin, and the fate oIn the kin world, girls Ruby de Varre's age are expected to play nice, get betrothed, and start a family—especially if they're rootkin, and the fate of the clan is riding on them. But after a childhood of running wild in the woods, it's hard to turn completely around and be demure. Even if your Gran is expecting it. Then Conrad, handsome and charming, from a clan across the Waste, comes to New Haven to seal alliance between their two families. The sparks fly immediately. Conrad is smart, dominant, and downright gorgeous. Yet as Ruby gets to know him more, she starts to realize something's... off. Then, the murders start. A killer stalks the city streets, and just when Ruby starts to suspect the unimaginable, she becomes the next target. Now Ruby's about to find out that Conrad's secrets go deeper than she ever could have guessed—and it's up to Ruby to save her Gran, her clan, and maybe even herself....
Kin is a return to a place dark and mysterious where magic twists and turns its way around everything. It's the tale of a girl and her battle with her future, a life of control over a life of freedom.
Ruby is a welcome character. She's brash and bold, fun and caring. Cami and Ellie are everything to her, after kin. But things are different now. Ruby believes she's trapped, trapped between being who she is, a little wild and a little reckless, and being the next Clanmother, which means getting married and having babies as soon as possible. She feels this future is inescapable, so she capitulates in a way. She stops being Ruby and tries to be someone else. She hides from Cami and Ellie. She's in so much denial over everything that she's drowning in it, sinking so fast she can't tell how far away the surface is. It's Ruby lying to herself, pretending, that hurts her the most.
Each girl in each book has come fact to face with the wretched monster that is denial, that is lying to yourself because you think it'll make it easier for everyone else. With Cami, it was the shadows in her past. With Ellie, it was her stepmother's constant abuse. This time around, it's the hated future of popping out babies and never running free that changes Ruby. All three of them struggle to find the strength to push past it, to find that one moment that tells them they're free to be themselves.
Back to New Haven. Back to a town full of magic, of the Families and their dark secrets, to the rootkin and their connection to the moon, to the Charmers and the jacks and the Twisted out in the Waste. This world is lush, dangerous, and wonderfully crafted.
This has been a series of broken girls struggling to fix themselves, to find themselves, to find the strength to fight back against the people that attempt to push them down. They may lie to themselves, to others, they may hide, but in the end it all about them pushing forward and breaking free, no matter how painful it's been. Fans of fairy tale retellings, monsters with sharp teeth, and girls with sharper claws should definitely give this series a read.
I found this book intriguing, I was initially drawn in the by the premise, but it just moved a bit too slowly for me to enjoy it more. It's certainlyI found this book intriguing, I was initially drawn in the by the premise, but it just moved a bit too slowly for me to enjoy it more. It's certainly filled with mystery and intrigue, the tension is slowly pushed higher and higher as the book goes on. There were just some slow moments that bothered me. And I do wish the mythology had been a bit more clear at times. Which goddess of hope was Nadia? Greek? Roman? Norse? A little more world-building/backstory could've helped.
Of course, I would definitely recommend this book to those looking to read an intriguing mix of mythology, mystery, romance, and an interesting cast of characters. It has all of those in spades....more
Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind, things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers, and she has becSixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind, things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers, and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again, which would mean grave danger for them both. When she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel, a boy with the ability to teleport, he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.
Chasing Power is a mysterious adventure filled with twists and turns. Deep down, it's all about actions, mistakes, and regrets, about secrets and lies. About how far some will go to obtain power.
Kayla is rather confident in her ability, as weak as it is. Maybe too confident, maybe a bit too cocky and controlling, but she feels she has to be. She's extremely protective of her mother because of what happened in their past and would do anything to keep them safe and away from her father. She's prepared for any dangerous situation that might arise. She sees risk where some wouldn't, like when she first meets Daniel. But things change after they meet, and the world isn't as small or simple as Kayla thought.
As often as it comes up, this book might as well be about secrets, about keeping them and sharing them, and about the frustration they create. There's a lot that Kayla doesn't tell her mother, about her using her power, about Daniel and their trips around the world. It did annoy me at times, how close her and her mother were and yet she wouldn't tell her what was going on. There are some things that her mother kept from her, some rather important secrets, but that doesn't make it better. The fractures in their relationship get longer as the book goes on because neither of them tell the other the truth. Considering how often Kayla's life is in danger, it bothered me that she felt she just couldn't tell her mother.
There are a lot of twists and surprises in this book, maybe too many for my liking. It gets a little complicated, trying to remember who'd finally told Kayla the truth, what was once a lie but wasn't any more, who was coming after her, her mother, and Daniel. But it's still an interesting story. There's a lot of tension as Kayla and Daniel search for the stones, a few life or death situations that I hadn't expected. I imagine fans of the author's previous books will enjoy this as well.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Bloomsbury through NetGalley.)...more
After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa AstAfter the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa "appear lunatic," using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, "there are no coincidences." It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.
The Spiritglass Charade is a return to an intriguing late 19th century London, a city technologically advanced in some ways and stunted in others. It's a return to a city filled with secrets, with dark corners and even darker figures. It's a return to the most intelligent Mina Holmes and the most intrepid Evaline Stoker, a return to their ongoing adventures and discoveries.
What's refreshing is that Mina and Evaline haven't changed a single bit. They're still the same young women from the previous book. One is all-knowing, all-presuming, all-problem solving, and the other is strong and fierce, ready to take up arms and fight back against evil. A mismatched couple, to be sure, but they're slowly coming to understand each other. Both their strengths and their weaknesses are highlighted throughout this mystery involving ghosts, spiritualists, and vampires.
I am wholly intrigued by the setting and the world-building. The mixture of the late Victorian era time period, the inclusion of steam and clockwork-based technology, the lack of electricity, the hints of time travel, the vampires. But the combination of Holmes, a fictional character, and Stoker, a real life writer/author make it hard to suspend my disbelief. There's a tiny scrap of it remaining, and it's because of this. This story is interesting, the characters are complicated, but this one small part still bothers me, and it probably will throughout the series.
But I'm still curious, still interested, still entranced by the mysteries that weave themselves around Mina and Evaline. More questions are asked this time around with only a few answered, and I'm still left wondering about the origins and motives of almost every other character. Mainly Pix. Who is he? If you enjoyed the previous book, if you're interested in steampunk mysteries with clever and flawed leading ladies, you'l probably enjoy this.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)...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
Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doingLucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving she learns her father is missing, and rumor has it he's gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that's ravaging the forests of Saarthe. Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and a rather stubborn boy maned Pete follow William Darrington's trail to the deadly woods on Devil's Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn't reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.
Dreamwood is a mysterious and magical adventure into the forest, a quite possibly dangerous journey for a young girl searching for her missing father and her newfound friend.
I rather like Lucy as a main character. She's head-strong, determined, intelligent, and she doesn't believe in giving up or turning back. She trusts her father. She has faith in what he believes, in what they both believe about ghosts and spirits. When she hears that he's gone missing she does worry about him, like most children would worry about their remaining parent, and she decides to find him. Even though there is the possibility that she won't find him, or that he's died during this search of his, she continues on. Lucy must see this journey through the forest to the Devil's Thumb to the end. She has her worries, her fears, but she continues on.
The forests of Saarthe are rather haunting and magical. Lucy and Pete know to watch themselves as they search for Lucy's father and the long-lost dreamwood. They know the stories, they know ghosts could be lurking in the shadows. The setting is rather crisp and clear, the images of the faces in the trees and the sticks and mud under their boots are well-described by Mackey's prose. With all the nature, all the stories and ghosts and possible magic, I wondered if this book is meant to be a commentary on the relationship between nature and industry, how the landscape changes as technology comes in. Loggers, electricity. They're at odds with the Lupine and their roots.
In some ways I think this book is a growing period for Lucy. She has strength and character at the start, but over the course of the book she gains more. She faces down a forest that tries to get rid of her. She slowly gains a friend, one who sees beyond the ghost and spirit talk she's so interested in. She refuses to give up on her father. I would certainly recommend this to those looking for a new standalone middle grade book with historical and fantasy elements grounded by a very intelligent heroine....more
In the town of Jericho, a group of misfit teenagers haunts the underbelly of their society. Armed with the ability to manipulate different parts of naIn the town of Jericho, a group of misfit teenagers haunts the underbelly of their society. Armed with the ability to manipulate different parts of nature, these teenagers fight for their right to stay alive. In the months following an attack on their lives, danger still lurks around them. Those behind the original strike have risen from the ashes, and new powers are beginning to reveal themselves. With this mysterious threat imminent, Mara, Miyuki, and the rest of the Unusuals must stand together to fight. However, time is running out for the group because someone, or something, is hunting them, and this time around, not all of them will survive.
Miyuki is a return to dangerous, secretive Jericho, a town where people who are different are feared and quite often hunted down, a town where some rather unusual teenagers are fighting back while also winging it a bit.
The group is back, complete with Mara, Miles, Miyuki, Chris, Alex, and Terry. After meeting The Stranger and knowing what he's up to, they continue training in order to fight back, to push back, to save the others like them and put a stop to the death and slaughter. Mara's continued anger at her brother fuel her need for revenge and she struggles to move on from it, to focus on the task at hand, but it sounds like there's something dark in her past concerning him. Miyuki is focused more on finding others like them and keeping them safe. Like before, the two girls clash, perhaps because they both want to be in charge, both attempt to direct the action and their mission.
Enemies abound in this story both old and new. Danger is always following them, watching them. People are still after the Unusuals, wanting to find them, stop them, kill them. Things get dangerous rather quickly.
It felt like things were happening a lot faster in this book than in the first book. There is some back story at the beginning, some reminding, but then it seems to jump right into the action, right into the suspense and the fighting. Now that they know what they are, that they're not alone, that they're hunted, they're forced to fight for their lives. I hope that the next installment will come soon because, after that ending, I'm desperate to know what happens next. And I'm still shocked about who died. Wow....more
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-oldBeneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known. Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act. Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants... and how to take it. But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
The Girl at Midnight is mysterious and magical, the story of a human girl caught up in a neverending war and a near-impossible search for the mythical being that could put a stop to it all. But it's never that easy.
Echo is a lonely girl. Abandoned by parents who didn't care about her, hiding when she was a child until discovered by one of the Avicen who took her in. As a seventeen-year-old, she's still lonely. Out of place among those with feathers for hear and control over a number of magical things. But she's also loyal to the one who saved her. Now she's daring, passionate, and compassionate, and maybe a little stubborn about some things. She's not perfect, which is fine. She doesn't have to be. She's allowed to be normal, human, pickpocketing Echo.
The real world and a fantasy world come together in this book. There are the sights and smells of the human world, the crowds of New York, the markets of Taipei, the cherry blossoms in Kyoto. But there's also the hidden home of the Avicen, the feathers that cover them, the magic that runs through them. The enemy they've battled for centuries. Magic and reality collide in Echo.
This reminds me of both City of Bones and Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The real world mixed with the fantastical, lonely girls and broken boys. The magical, the dangerous and the destructive. The secrets some keep and the hidden that push those searching to move faster harder straight for the end. The consequences that will inevitably confront them when the time is right, or wrong. I won't deny what I've seen in other reviews, that some moments were predictable, and I won't deny the comparisons to the two books previously mentioned, because I still enjoyed this book. It was a race around the world, a race through magical doorways, a race towards fate. It has its own characters and mystical creatures and battles that set it apart from other books. I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next book, because I have no idea what could happen next.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Random House through NetGalley.)...more