Worth reading for the last 50 pages alone. Incredible as usual, full of wit, wonder and swords named Pooky Bear. I mean, how could you not love this b...moreWorth reading for the last 50 pages alone. Incredible as usual, full of wit, wonder and swords named Pooky Bear. I mean, how could you not love this book? Full review to come.(less)
The Cold got me in the end! I ended up loving it, especially that ending. I know it's a standalone but I wouldn't mind spending more time in this worl...moreThe Cold got me in the end! I ended up loving it, especially that ending. I know it's a standalone but I wouldn't mind spending more time in this world. Full review to come.(less)
2.5 stars. A little bit too much insta-love and not enough of the interesting part of the book. Needed more mythology/history and less fatalistic decl...more2.5 stars. A little bit too much insta-love and not enough of the interesting part of the book. Needed more mythology/history and less fatalistic declarations of love. Ended really oddly as well. Not sure about reading the second book at this point, which is a HUGE disappointment as I was really looking forward to this series. Full review to come.(less)
This book made me swoon, laugh, cry and quiver in fear and loathing. Exceptional story and world-building, with characters to love. Full review to com...moreThis book made me swoon, laugh, cry and quiver in fear and loathing. Exceptional story and world-building, with characters to love. Full review to come!(less)
In trying to articulate my excitement for wonder that is The Screaming Staircase, I was going to write my shorte...moreOriginally published at Winged Reviews
In trying to articulate my excitement for wonder that is The Screaming Staircase, I was going to write my shortest ever review and leave it at that, because it summarises the book so well: freaking brilliant. (Well, freaky and brilliant, really).
Then I thought it might help to elaborate. My expectations were set extremely high when I first heard about this book at the Random House Children’s Publishers blogger brunch. It ticked all the right boxes for me—great author, alternative London setting, a cavalier hero, smart female narrator. Plus, actually having Jonathan Stroud there demonstrating how to fight ghosts with a rapier, salt, chains and a teapot was pretty perfect.
In this version of England, there is a Problem—ghosts are everywhere and their touch can kill. You can feel them, but you eventually can’t see them. As people grow older, their ability to see ghosts fades away. Enter Lockwood & Co., a small agency founded by teenager Anthony Lockwood to help those with a Visitor problem. Unlike the big corporations with legacy adults running the show, Lockwood & Co. is solely run by our three young protagonists.
Our narrator is Lucy Carlyle, a trainee who possesses superior ghost ‘empathy’. She moved down to London due to an incident where she used to work and after countless applications (at other firms), ends up as the newest employee of Lockwood & Co. As luck would have it, one Lucy and Lockwood’s cases…goes up in smoke, which leads to the little company owing a lot of money and having to risk all by taking on a huge case potentially out of their depths.
This book had some seriously chilling moments. I brought this to read on my honeymoon and every time a wave crashed, I almost threw the book up in the air and hid under the covers. These are not friendly ghosts Lockwood & Co. deal with—they are vengeful, dark spirits that cause extreme terror and harm. When our heroes eventually face the titular screaming staircase, I was truly frightened, not to mention a certain encounter with a floating head (yes, I am a scaredy cat, but just wait until you read it).
That said, the book’s tone is generally light (yes, it’s light and scary, I don’t know how Stroud manages this brilliance). The banter between Lockwood, Lucy and the third member of the trio, the cynical researcher George Cubbins is extremely fun to read, especially as they live together and have to get used to each other’s odd habits. I love the humorous understatements in the face of true danger, something I’ve come to know and love from Stroud’s writing. Of course, there are the required tea and biscuit breaks, which adds to the British charm.
My only gripe about reading this book early is that I now have to wait even longer for the sequel. I excited to see the world-building get even deeper, learn more about Lucy’s abilities and discover the cause of the true mystery behind the Problem. Recommended for absolutely everyone, kids and adults alike will be enthralled by it. (less)
I'm torn about what to rate this book. I didn't enjoy the plot, but OMG SO MANY FEELS! I also loved the love triangle, the characters and how it was a...moreI'm torn about what to rate this book. I didn't enjoy the plot, but OMG SO MANY FEELS! I also loved the love triangle, the characters and how it was all resolved. So many tears. Good times Cassie Clare, you redeemed yourself in the end. Even with the giant worm. Full review to come. (less)
I wanted to love it so much, but I really didn't. Too much going on, when the focus of the story should've been the fascinating world of Lumen. Also,...moreI wanted to love it so much, but I really didn't. Too much going on, when the focus of the story should've been the fascinating world of Lumen. Also, the narration style, third-person limited, is really jarring as it actually makes the book feel more juvenile that it should be given some of the themes it explores.
It just started to get interesting at the end and stopped as well. I'll probably read the next for curiosity's sake.(less)
Sadly, I think it lacked a bit of the spark the Hex Hall series had. Izzy didn't have quite the snark and although there was some chemistry, I didn't...moreSadly, I think it lacked a bit of the spark the Hex Hall series had. Izzy didn't have quite the snark and although there was some chemistry, I didn't warm to the supporting characters as much as I would've liked, such as Dex. Would've loved to know more about Finn though, she is the reason I want to keep reading the series. That and maybe a potential cameo from cousin Sophie.(less)
MOST EXCELLENT. Just a fantastic romp filled with action, magic and the genius that is Bartimaeus. I definitely need my own Djinni. Full review to com...moreMOST EXCELLENT. Just a fantastic romp filled with action, magic and the genius that is Bartimaeus. I definitely need my own Djinni. Full review to come!(less)
The ending let it down for me a bit, but still a solidly enjoyable read. Got a little bit too predictable towards the end, but had some pretty intense...moreThe ending let it down for me a bit, but still a solidly enjoyable read. Got a little bit too predictable towards the end, but had some pretty intense paradigm changing events. I still like all the main characters, although the peripheral characters could stand out a bit more. Full review to come!(less)
I’ll admit I’m a late adopter. I picked up Beautiful Creatures because of all the hype about the film...more3.5 stars, originally published at Winged Reviews
I’ll admit I’m a late adopter. I picked up Beautiful Creatures because of all the hype about the film and numerous references to it on my Twitter feed. It seemed like not having read it was a big minus to my YA street cred, so I rectified that immediately. That and I hate watching movies before I’ve read the book.
Broadly, I enjoyed it. For anyone who hasn’t yet read it, the story is told from the point of view of Ethan Wade, who has lived in Gatlin, a small town in Southern USA (where everybody knows your name), his entire life. His life gets a shake-up, however, when new girl Lena Duchannes moves into town. She is instantly a pariah because she lives with her uncle Macon Ravenwood, the town recluse, in the creepy Ravenwood manor.
It comes to light after some bizarre dreams, strange telepathy and a shattered classroom window that Lena isn’t a normal girl from a normal family. She’s a Caster, a member of a family who have varying supernatural abilities. Unfortunately in her family, when a Caster turns 16 they get allocated to either the ‘Light’ or the ‘Dark’. So she and Ethan spend the months leading up to her 16th birthday trying to uncover the reasons behind this and what can be done to prevent Lena going to the ‘Dark’ side (insert obvious Star Wars joke here).
I actually liked the way the authors classified the different Casters and found the powers varied and interesting. My favourite part of the book though, was the underlying historical mystery. An enigmatic locket with initials, flashbacks and a sordid American Civil war romance doomed to repeat itself centuries later—I was officially hooked.
As far as the characters go, while I enjoyed Ethan’s point of view as a narrator (a refreshing twist on the standard paranormal formula), I wasn’t wholly invested in Ethan and Lena individually and in their relationship. I felt sympathetic towards them, but at the same time I didn’t really care too much if they managed to stay together or not. I found a lot of the other characters, particularly Ridley’s blend of evil nature and good intentions and Amma’s fierce authority more interesting.
I was also somewhat disappointed by the ending. It was very big in scale, but lost a lot of the heart of the book, the individual struggles each character has as they get caught between the Light and Dark. It also felt a bit like a cop-out, a way to prolong the story of Lena being in between for another year (and another book). In short, it was interesting an enjoyable first book, but I’m not racing to read the next instalment. I will probably go see the film though.(less)
3.5 stars, rounded up for great atmosphere. The book was plodding along as normal, then BAM that sudden reveal and indeed game-changer (story-changer?...more3.5 stars, rounded up for great atmosphere. The book was plodding along as normal, then BAM that sudden reveal and indeed game-changer (story-changer?) happened. Definitely will be a series, and I'm intrigued to know more. Full review to come.(less)
Amazing ending to a series I will miss terribly! I'm so sad we don't get to find out a bit more about Lend and Evie's life together, but man was this...moreAmazing ending to a series I will miss terribly! I'm so sad we don't get to find out a bit more about Lend and Evie's life together, but man was this book satisfying. Can't wait for Kiersten White's new books! Full review to come.(less)
Once upon a time a blogger mysteriously received a book in the post. It ended really well.
That is a blanket thank you to the person at Hodder & Stroughton who sent me a copy of this book. I had bought it last autumn to read but in between moving houses it got stuck in a box, so this mysterious second copy gave me the motivation to start reading what I heard was the best YA book of last year. They weren’t wrong.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is rare feat—a mind-blowingly epic story at the top of the scale of grandness, which also manages to imbue each little moment with as much beauty and detail. Karou is a seemingly normal, blue-haired art student in Prague (and what a gorgeous city the author makes it out to be). She keeps a sketchbook full of drawings of mystical half-human, half-animal beings, who her classmates believe are figments of her imagination. Little do they know the creatures are real, and Karou’s guardians and family.
Raised by Brimstone, the wishmonger, and a group of lovable chimaeras (most notably Issa) Karou gets sent on errands around the world to purchase teeth in exchange for wishes. She travels through Brimstone’s little workshop through doors from around the world, which then open up again anywhere she wants to go. It’s these fantastical touches that make this book so special. From the mystery surrounding what teeth is used for, to wish currency (from throwaway scuppies to once in a lifetime, pull your own teeth out bruxis), to Karou receiving languages as gifts. Everything is so well-realised and wonderfully detailed that it feels so normal yet extraordinary at the same time. The way Karou’s worlds intertwine is simply flawless.
I previously mentioned the scale of this book and what starts off as a lovely insight into Karou’s double life becomes an epic otherworldly adventure on the arrival of Akiva and the mysterious black hand-prints that appear on all of the doorways into Brimstone’s workshop. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that hasn’t yet had the pleasure of reading it but you can look forward to a human marionette, a city domed by bars, warrior angels, diamond and teeth necklaces and a masked celebration.
The story was brought to life by Taylor’s simple but evocative writing, like a haunting fairy tale that one day you realised was reality. My heart was tugged in a million different directions because despite all the fantasy, at the core of the story were love and war and all the emotions they evoke. I urge you, if you haven’t read this wonderful book, please do. (less)
Oh the fabulous snark! I seriously love Julie and Marcus and Betty and Julie's mum. This series has the potential to grow so much in scope, I can't wa...moreOh the fabulous snark! I seriously love Julie and Marcus and Betty and Julie's mum. This series has the potential to grow so much in scope, I can't wait for the second one to find so much more about Shadowculls and the magical world! Full review to come. (less)
There are some books that I rate highly because of a great plot or fantastic characters or wonderful world-buil...moreOriginally published at Winged Reviews.
There are some books that I rate highly because of a great plot or fantastic characters or wonderful world-building. It's very, very rare that one book will have all of those things or more in spades and even rarer that that book's words flow like poetry. Magical prose, is only one of the many highlights of The Raven Boys, the first book in what I'm sure will be an absolute must-read series. It's one of the most original, enjoyable and well-written books I've read in a very long time.
Blue Sargent is a young girl from a family of seers, but she doesn't have the same talent. On every eve of St. Mark's day, she goes to the local graveyard to take note of the souls her clairvoyant mother sees—people who will die within the next twelve months. Unexpectedly, this year Blue sees a soul herself and talks to it—a boy named Gansey. "There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, Blue. Either you're his true love...or you killed him."
Despite all the romantic sentiments the synopsis promises, at its heart this book is a mystery. What starts out as an introduction to a fantastic cast of characters in small town Henrietta, Virginia, becomes a modern day quest to find the long-lost, legendary Welsh king, Owen Glendower.
The quest is Gansey's dream. Gansey is a Raven Boy, a nickname given to the rich students at Aglionby private school. Apathetic to his privileged life, Gansey has made it his mission to find the hidden resting place of the legendary king. His meticulous research on old myths and ley lines has led him to Henrietta and he enlists the help of his close circle of friends. Sweet, stubborn Adam, who resents privilege but strives for it; fierce, bad boy Ronan; quiet, mysterious Noah—all the Raven Boys are well-characterised and grow considerably throughout the book. I'm also a big fan of their friendship, which holds strong despite the odds. If I had to pick a favourite, I would definitely say Gansey. I’m drawn to his focus, leadership, but mostly just him being him, his way and attitude of someone who is completely at ease with himself, his life purpose, and his place in the world.
The beauty of the story is all in the crafting of the detail. From Blue's unorthodox all-female family, to Ronan's pet raven, to the Raven Boys' converted factory apartment, to the outstandingly named Barrington Whelk. Little hints of information and development are all carefully weaved in, and I found myself uncovering something new and wonderful with each turn of the page.
There were many twists to the story that surprised me, despite all the little breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout. Just when I thought it was slowing down, it always managed to pull me back in with one amazing revelation after another. This book is as stubborn as Adam. It just wouldn't let me give it any less than a top rating. I would highly recommend this to anyone that loves reading for the sheer pleasure of it. It’s a wonderfully crafted story with wonderfully crafted characters. (less)
I love death. Not so much dying, but the personification of death. He's one of the best characters that crop up...moreOriginally published at Winged Reviews.
I love death. Not so much dying, but the personification of death. He's one of the best characters that crop up in literature, DEATH of the Discworld being a very notable example. So whenever a story has reapers in it, I get overly excited and my expectations probably rise tenfold. Thankfully, Inbetween hasn't let me down.
Inbetween is told from the alternating point of view of Finn and Emma. Finn died as an 18-year old WWII fighter pilot and now works as a reaper, specialising in sending souls to the 'inbetween' where they await a second chance at life. Emma keeps getting into accidents and she's certain she's not crazy. Finn has sworn to protect Emma since he helped her survive a car crash two years ago that killed her father and inadvertently led a vengeful soul to take revenge through her.
This is a sweet love story that spans reincarnations. The plot is interesting and actually takes you to hell and back. The mood of the story shifts seamlessly from light-hearted humour to deep tragedy and I'm not ashamed to say that it made me well up with tears a few times. Tara Fuller's writing is extremely emotive, especially in the way she captures danger and heartache. Despite all of that though, the book stands out most for me because of the wonderful characters.
I sympathised with Emma, misunderstood as she is when she had every reason to be paranoid. She was vulnerable, but she grew stronger in the end, facing her fears and standing up for those she cares about. She was brave in her own way. I also loved best friend Cash, who is cool and dreamy in his own right. I love how he has a bad boy image, but is really a softie and he's arrogant because he can be. They grew up together and genuinely care about each other, which is really sweet. I'm a sucker for great guy-girl best friend relationships.
The rest of the supporting cast is also fantastic. Finn's fellow reapers, Anaya and Easton personify which section they work for (i.e. reaping for Heaven or Hell), but aren’t clichés. Their brother-sister relationship with Finn makes them a great, albeit dysfunctional, little family. Maeve, as the villainous soul after Emma, is pitch perfect—creepy, arrogantly mean and deeply bitter. In fact, every character encountered in this book is really well-developed and distinct.
I’m saving the best for last in Finn. I haven’t swooned about a YA boy in a long time, but Finn deserves it. For me, it's his unyielding love for Emma that makes him swoon-worthy. There is no wavering, or indecisiveness—he’s wholly and completely in love with and committed to her without question. Plus the sacrifices he goes through to keep her safe at his own expense are really touching. It also helps that he's kind, caring, good-looking and loyal. I wish I had my own reaper guardian angel!
The only thing that stopped me giving it full marks is that I wanted Emma to come to love Finn a little bit more in her own time. I understand that she still holds feelings from her reincarnated self, but as a separate person, I wish she got the chance to choose to love him in her own way. They are incredibly sweet together though, and some of their scenes gave me goosebumps—the good kind.
I can’t wait for the sequel, and word around is that it will focus on some of the other characters we’ve come to know and love. Tara, I absolutely can’t wait.
Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing a copy for review.(less)
I was pained Julie Kagawa’s superb series The Iron Fey ended last year, especially because the last...more4.5 stars, originally published on Winged Reviews.
I was pained Julie Kagawa’s superb series The Iron Fey ended last year, especially because the last book The Iron Knight, was so good. It was like saying goodbye to a very good friend, seeing off Grimalkin, Ash and more importantly Puck, prankster of my heart.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was about this new series, Call of the Forgotten, starring Meaghan’s brother. In The Lost Prince, Ethan Chase is no longer a little boy and has grown up irritated by and resentful of faeries. With his sight, they just won’t leave him alone and he hasn’t forgiven them for essentially taking his big sister away from him. However, when a fairy comes to him for help, he reluctantly journeys to the Nevernever to find his sister and to put a stop to what’s happening.
The world that Kagawa built in The Iron Fey series is so rich with strange characters and spooky locations and this book is no exception. The new villains for this book were previously hinted at and hopefully without spoiling too much, they are extremely creepy and really well thought out.
The characters are fantastic. I didn’t think I would like Ethan from the start, but I immediately did. I don’t normally enjoy angst but I felt that Ethan’s reasons for it were real. I actually thought he handled himself with maturity given everything that was thrown at him. Plus, he does Kali, a Filipino martial art (quick shout out to Kagawa for including some Filipino culture)! Maybe this time, I did like the broody bad-boy.
Despite popular opinion, I also really liked Kenzie, a classmate of Ethan’s who turns out to be a much needed breath of fresh air. I loved The Iron Fey series, but I had some issues with Meaghan as a main character. Kenzie on the other hand, is fabulous. She’s fearless, witty and has a great sense of adventure. Her and Ethan develop a real friendship and I enjoyed the moments between them, from the teasing to the tenderness.
An added bonus to this book is that you will come across some very familiar faces (!) and an outstanding new character best left unmentioned.
In short, the book is action-packed, filled with exciting adventure and a wonderful mix of old and new characters. If you like fairies and fantasy, then I highly recommend this book. You don’t have to have read the original series to enjoy this one, but you certainly will love it a lot more if you did.(less)
This novella is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. In this version, the wolf and the grandma are the same, with Red discovering that her...more2.5 stars.
This novella is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. In this version, the wolf and the grandma are the same, with Red discovering that her grandma, who has taken care of her since her parents died, is a werewolf. After a bit of adjustment with this new revelation, they discover another new werewolf in the woods and team up to investigate who it is.
It was a short, easy read. The author tries to replicate the same writing style as a fairy tale, with succinct, almost childish language and characterisation. It works in one respect, giving the story an almost lyrical feel, however lessens the impact/relevance of the mature content. In this respect, I don't think the style matched.
That said, it was a fun read, ideal for those that like variations on their favourite fairy tales.(less)
After the whirlwind of genres that the first book in the series gave us, I was thrilled to learn...more3.5 stars, review originally posted on Winged Reviews
After the whirlwind of genres that the first book in the series gave us, I was thrilled to learn the second book would dip into one of my favourites, Historical Fiction. I wasn't disappointed, as the story took us to Elizabethan England (one of my favourite time periods) and seamlessly incorporated famous historical figures like Christopher Marlowe and Queen Elizabeth I herself. However, as much as I loved being in Diana and Matthew's historic world, the book moved slowly. While I loved some aspects of the cross-genre writing, the best part of the book for me, the plot, suffered as a result.
What I can say about this book is that it's smart. Details are meticulously researched. I enjoyed how out-of-place Diana worked hard at speaking, writing, dressing and behaving in correct 16th Century fashion. I loved the flash forwards that showed how Diana and Matthew's foray into the past left traces on the modern day. Harkness also brings to life into the science of Elizabethan alchemy (a precursor to modern chemistry) and the menace of the witch-hunts going on during that time.
The book isn't just all details and history though. Diana and Matthew's foray into Sept-Tours and meeting Matthew's deceased father Philippe was full of heart and great character development. I felt their struggles and learned to admire their devotion to each other. There was no "will-they-won't-they" here—they were firmly committed to each other. They argued like a normal couple and resolved their differences in a mature way. It was great to see a marriage of equals and them working hard to gain the love and respect of their respective families and friends.
However, I felt this section stalled the plot and impatient me wanted to get to the gist of the book as soon as possible: when we left Diana and Matthew at the end of the last book, they time-weave (time-wove?) back into the past in order to learn more about the mysterious Ashmore 782 and Diana's abilities. As there are so many plot points in the book, it's hard to find the right balance. For the mystery-solver and para-sci-fi geek in me, what I wanted read about the most was origins of witches, vampires, daemons and their powers. In that sense, the romance almost ruined it for me. I did enjoy the funny sections though, especially the trip to Prague, which felt almost like a comedy-sketch! Seriously, what genre can't Harkness write in?
Putting all those gripes aside though, when we get to the reveals, I was thoroughly impressed. Harkness has created a carefully crafted paranormal system, with its own hierarchy and rules. When we finally discover what Diana's powers are, it manages to fit seamlessly into the world but remained surprising at the same time. And it was the same when we discover the truth about Ashmole 782.
Naturally we are left with another nail-biting cliffhanger and a shocking ending. I honestly can't wait for it to all come together at the end, because I do think the last book will be phenomenal.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series, Paranormalcy and I was looking forward to finding out more about E...moreOriginally published at Winged Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series, Paranormalcy and I was looking forward to finding out more about Evie, Lend and the gang. Unfortunately, this book suffered from second book syndrome, where it struggles to find a balance between an interesting premise and great characters in the first book, and the eventual climax of the third. Supernaturally had some of the things I enjoyed about the first book, but just not enough.
Evie has left the IPCA and now attends high school like a normal girl (as normal as you can be living with a vampire). Lend has just started going to college, so Evie now finds it all a bit boring and when she gets called back by Raquel to do some ‘freelance work’ she jumps at the chance.
Enter Jack. Slightly too happy, very flirty, Jack is also employed by the IPCA due to his unique ability to be able to create fairy paths even though he’s human. He gains Evie’s friendship and they soon go on missions together and Jack starts getting a little close.
Of course Evie keeps this all from Lend, which puts a damper on their relationship. Sadly, Lend is a fantastic character and he wasn’t present through most of the book, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy it as much. Reth was sadly missing in spades as well.
Evie was her bubbly self, but she lacked a bit of the feistiness she showed when she was kicking ass and tagging paranormal creatures. It was also uncharacteristic of her not to confide in Lend, when he was the one person in her life she always felt would understand the situation, no matter how strange or weird.
The story, plot wise, was good and it kept me reading—I enjoyed spending more time in the fairy realm and I thought the plot went out with a bang. There was also a little bit more about Evie and her origins but I still felt like there was a lot left unexplained at the end of this book. All in all, it was disappointing because the series started off so great, but I’m still looking forward to a fantastic finale!(less)
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing and advanced copy of this book for review!
I have to start this off by saying that Julie Kagawa blew my expectations away. In this saturated genre, I never expected such a refreshing take on the vampire story, and I truly enjoyed this book.
The Immortal Rules takes place in a dystopian future where vampires rule over cities and humankind have been all but wiped out by the Red Lung disease. Humans have little choice—either become a marked as a registered 'pet' used for feeding, or choose to be free but have to fend for yourself. Allie Sekemoto is one of these unregistered humans, constantly living in hunger and facing the harsh realities of life in New Covington. She's tough, she's street smart and she would rather starve than take a vampire’s mark.
One night when Allie wanders out of the city walls to find food, she is attacked by Rabids (zombie-like vampires who cannot control their hunger) and left for dead. A mysterious vampire comes and offers her a choice—either die or become like him. I really admire Allie's self-preservation instinct here, even though she knew she would struggle living as something she hates. It's refreshingly different from so many other heroines that want to throw themselves into danger, not appreciating the value of their lives or thinking about the consequences. The entire turning scene was so grim it made me feel ill and I attribute that to great writing. This book does not shy away from the unpleasant.
Kagawa excels as always at world-building, this time by adding her own twists to vampire and zombie lore. There is nothing romanticised in this book in the slightest. The environment is extremely harsh and it’s survival of the fittest where it matters most—in the real world. Despite a few slow-moving sections in the middle, the majority of the book was paced well. There were so many plots and reveals throughout the story that I couldn’t put the book down. I just had to find out more about the intriguing future they all lived in.
The book follows Allie’s journey of discovery as she learns more about why things are the way they are in her world. She is an extremely well-developed heroine. We see her dealing with her internal struggles, such as coming to grips with her morality versus her need to survive and learning cruel lessons about leaving her past behind. She’s flawed, brave and you can’t help but root for her all the way through the book.
The supporting cast is equally great. Kanin, Allie’s vampire sire, acts as a ‘sexy Yoda’ (never thought I would use those two words together), mentoring the newly turned Allie. He clues Allie in about the state of the world, and teaches her about how to sate her blood lust and how to defend herself (katanas, baby). He also has a deep backstory himself, and I’m looking forward to more of him in the books to come.
And of course the world isn’t complete without a love interest—good, kind, human Zeke, a God-fearing natural leader with not a trace of arrogance about him. It’s so rare to find a male character in young adult fiction that isn’t afflicted with ‘I’m too emo for my shirt’ syndrome. Sure he had his own struggles and doubts to contend with, but it was mainly about the welfare of others, not just himself. It was a pleasure to see his relationship with Allie develop slowly, convincingly and a little bittersweetly as both of them had very realistic notions about where their attraction could go. So refreshing.
I was also extremely satisfied with the ending. To me, there was a nice balance of wrapping up the current story and leaving other things in the air to keep you wanting more from the sequels. Which I definitely do. Overall, a fantastic read!(less)