The D'Artigo sisters can never seem to catch a break. It should have been a happy time as theyReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
The D'Artigo sisters can never seem to catch a break. It should have been a happy time as they prepare to celebrate Iris's wedding. But things go from bad to worse when the Supe Comunity center is bombed the night before, and that is only the start. The Koyami are back and wreaking havoc yet again as they team up with another of the girls' past nemesis, a pair of nasty sorcerers. Meanwhile it looks like Shadow Wing is gearing up for another fight as he sends a new general to amp up his side of the war, and he may just be the worst one yet.
In the past several installments, the war against Shadow Wing has been mostly in the background as the sisters had other issues to deal with. However, in Shaded Vision, that fight is back, front and center. The girls learn some pretty terrible things, that change their view points on the last few months, and bring to light a terrible new threat. With each new installment, I always wonder how the author is going to be able to top the previous threats so things don't start to seem like old hat. While I doubt Hyto's absolute cruelty and horribleness will ever be able to be "outdone," I will say that the new threat in Shaded Vision is pretty scary, just in a different way. Instead of being targeted at just Camile, this one is a danger to all of them, and they will definitely have their work cut out for them.
In my review of Delilah's last book, Harvest Hunting, I had talked about how much Delilah had grown from the naive tabby cat we met in the beginning of the series. However, after reading Shaded Vision, I can't help being a little frustrated with her. Yes, her rose colored glasses are gone (as she calls them), but she was pretty whiny about it. I realize that she misses being able to always believe things will be okay, but now she has turned into a pessimist about pretty much everything. She also had many break downs over the changes that were going on. In fact she seemed rather selfish in her desire to have everything back to they way they used to be. She wants her sisters all to herself, and a small part of her seems to resent their significant others. I remember her being very resistant to change in the past, but not to the point of selfishness. Although I will say that she felt guilty about these feelings, so I have hopes that she will work through them and continue to grow.
I didn't enjoy Shaded Vision as much as some of the other installments in this series, and a lot of that had to do with Deliliah's behavior. Now, I'm not saying it wasn't a good book, I just couldn't seem to get myself as invested as I normal do in the sister's trials. Then again, any book would have a hard time following after the incredibly, but emotionally exhausting previous installment, Courting Darkness. So while I am giving Shaded Vision a mediocre review, this series, still remains as one of my favorites, and I will eagerly await Menolly's next installment, Shadow Rising. ...more
Years after the sky turned deadly with Aether storms that decimate all in their paths, the humaReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Years after the sky turned deadly with Aether storms that decimate all in their paths, the human race is still struggling to survive. Many live under domes, with no sicknesses or want for medicine and escape to alternate realms in their minds to escape feeling caged. The ones on the outside experience more freedom, but an infinitely more harsh life. Each day is lived in fear of the raging sky, disease is rampant, and food is increasingly hard to come by. Aria and Perry's lives should have never crossed being from such two different circumstances. But by a twist of fate, each one becomes the other's only hope at survival and they will quickly have to learn to trust in each other because so much more is at stake then either could have realized.
I really enjoyed the dual perspectives of Aria and Perry. There are two completely different worlds in Under the Never Sky, and it was really interesting to see them slowly start to merge as the book went on, well at least from Aria and Perry's perspective that is. At first glance you would think Aria to have been the one to go through the most change as she was torn from everything she ever knew and thrown into a very harsh reality. Yet she displays the same iron will and determination throughout the entire book. Yes it is hard for her, and a part of her wishes to give into despair, but she never once succumbs. So her circumstances change drastically throughout Under the Never Sky, but she's still basically the same amazing character from start to finish, she just now has a lot more experience under her belt. So, in the end I felt Perry changed a great deal more than Aria, especially due to her influence. At the start of the book he was angry at the world and everyone in it, with quite a set of cocky shoulders. He became a little less savage, and a whole lot more patient and understanding paving the road for a whole lot of potential. Based on the direction things look to be heading, these changes in him could not have come at a better time, and I cannot wait to see Aria's continued influence on him in the next installment.
One of the really interesting things to me was my ability to easily make references from Under the Never Sky to certain elements in movies. I'm never the one to make or even really catch similarities or references to other projects, as I always just picture something in my mind. So it was quite different to have a blatant picture reference instantly pop up. For example, the Aether storms put me in mind of the severe lightning storms found in the movie The Core. In fact, the whole idea of the Aether and the ozone idea reminded me of the destruction in that movie. The Smarteyes instantly threw me back to my childhood growing up with Star Trek and the holodecks. There is also an issue that reminds me of the reavers in the movie Serenity, but I won't get into that to avoid a spoiler. I'm not saying that I felt Under the Never Sky was in anyway a knock off of these other story elements, as they were their own unique element. It was just a unique experience to be able to put "real" pictures to a story, and definitely enriched my reading experience.
The beginning of Under the Never Sky was rather confusing as it started in the middle of things, leaving me scrambling with feeling the need to catch up, especially as I was thrown back and forth between the two worlds. Then when you add in all of the odd names, I was quite off-put at first. In fact I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to get through it for the frustration, but things started to slowly come together and I was soon completely engrossed. I think the point of no return where I could not have put the book down even if I had wanted to was when Aria and Perry start traveling together. From then on I felt like I was gripped in a roller coaster waiting for the next shocking twist or turn to leave me breathless. I expect the next installment to be even better now that I have a firm grasp on the circumstances behind both worlds. Under the Never Sky will appeal to fans of dystopian and paranormal YA fiction, and I highly recommend it!...more
Vanessa has always been in her big sister Justine's shadow, and that is exactly where she wantsReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Vanessa has always been in her big sister Justine's shadow, and that is exactly where she wants to be. Terrified of the world, she relies on her sister to make it through each day. However, her life drastically changes when Justine's body washes up on the shore of their vacation home in Winter Harbor. After her death, everyone tries to get back to their lives like nothing has changed, but Vanessa just cannot accept things being an accident. She returns to Winter Harbor to find the answers to her questions, but quickly finds more than she was bargaining for. As more and more bodies wash up on shore, all with smiles on their faces, she knows something sinister is at work, even if she is the only one. Some secrets are too dangerous to be found, and some will change her life forever.
I had a bit of a hard time getting attached to Vanessa, or as her sister calls her, Nessa, at least at first. She is absolutely terrified of everything, and her sister has always been her crutch. Of course all that changes very early in the story when Justine dies. However instead of breaking down, Nessa decides to go off on a trip of her own back to the vacation home where the tragedy happened. It just didn't seem very realistic for a girl who is literally afraid of her own shadow to all of a sudden have the confidence to go off on her own when she just lost someone so important to her. Also, I found the fact that she was so oblivious to her beauty, and allure to be a little odd. However, after putting all that aside, I did become rather endeared to Nessa for her determination to find out what really happened to her sister. Unlike everyone else, she knows something isn't right, and does what it takes to get to the bottom of things, even if that means learning secrets about herself, and her sister that she never wanted to know. Yet, she never once shies away from her path, showing her true strength, even if she doesn't realize it.
Ah the romance, what can I say? It was both sweet yet powerful and I really enjoyed seeing their childhood friendship blossom into so much more. However, despite its powerfulness, everything between them felt so very fragile as well, especially as more secrets were revealed. Nessa's insecurities really came into play towards the end, and my heart was broken as she tried to do what she thought was best. I can only hope that in time they will be able to overcome the obstacles that are between them. Of course that would require a huge does of honesty from Nessa, and that may just prove to be more difficult than it seems.
Siren was a hauntingly beautiful read that kept me sucked right in from the very start. Even though a lot of things were quite predictable, I never once lost interest as I was fully submersed (no pun intended) in this world. I realize the traditional siren mythology doesn't quite follow the same as Siren portrays, but that is what makes fiction so enjoyable. Everything is subject to each person's interpretation, and I really enjoyed Tricia Rayburn's take on Sirens. I cannot wait to dive into the next book as I highly doubt things will stay quite for long. So, in the end I was quite impressed with Siren and found it to be the perfect blend of romance, mystery, and suspense. ...more
After a terrible virus called RM, created in the war with the genetically engineered soldiers cReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
After a terrible virus called RM, created in the war with the genetically engineered soldiers called Partials, decimated almost the entire world's human population, the survivors have retreated to Long Island. There have been no attacks for many years, but the danger still remains. Each day is an utter struggle to try to find a way to survive as no child has been born immune in over a decade. Laws have been passed making women little more than baby making factories in hopes of even one live birth, and not everyone is happy with this decision. As what left of society is on the brink of civil war, one young medic, Kira, steps up with the determination to change their fate. She'll have to make hard choices and sacrifices, even if it means losing everything she has ever known, for there are secrets to be found and harsh truths to be learned on the journey.
In any dystopian novel there always is going to be some sort of control and oppression. As Partials starts, you can see some of that control, but it has a pretty facade that makes it look like everything is being done in the people's best interests. However, the further you get into the story, the more that pretty facade starts to wear thin as Kira starts to see the ugly truth about the council. As I read an ARC copy, I won't directly quote the book, but one specific realization that Kira had really stuck with me. She questioned to herself whether the council could have been making the decisions they were if it had of affected their own daughters. A crucial element is missing in their leadership as no one has any familial ties left anymore. There are no sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, or any other sort of blood tie. Without those connections, it becomes much to easy to enact laws to control others. It was simply amazing to me that even with the threat of the complete extinction of humanity, everything would revolve around oppression rather than hope and determination to find a cure.
I found the Partials element to be completely fascinating. It almost reminded me of the Terminator franchise, but only in a biological creation rather than a mechanical one. There is such an element of fear on the human side, as these are the "people" they believe destroyed them all. However, after a ten year silence on both sides, you would think the survivors would have started to question why they would have been allowed to live if annihilation was the Partial's real goal. What could they possibly stand to gain? I would have thought it have been more likely for them to want a slave force. Of course a lot of the story revolves around Kira and her refusal to just accept what she is told. Her determination is nothing short of admirable as she is completely willing to sacrifice everything, even her own life, on the low chance at finding a cure. If more people like her had of been placed in power, then things would have been much different. Of course then there wouldn't have been a story to tell, and I would have missed out on an incredible book.
I'm a huge science fiction geek when it comes to movies, but for some reason, the same type of stuff doesn't typically appeal to me very much in books as I like to lean more towards the paranormal. However, Partials may very well have changed that tide for me as I absolutely loved it. I have a feeling a lot of that was due to the technology level being quite similar to our own, so it was quite realistic. Well, realistic in the sense of what could happen after 99.9% of the world's population died. Partials is the perfect blend of sci-fi goodness set in a dystopian setting that kept me utterly captivated from the very start. It will definitely be an agonizingly long wait until the next installment's release date....more
Sarah's life may have been stressful, but at least it was normal, and most of all, safe. ThrougReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Sarah's life may have been stressful, but at least it was normal, and most of all, safe. Through a twist of fate, and a bad case of insomnia, she stumbles into the middle of a war between insane vampires and the Immortals who hunt them to save innocents. Of course she didn't know this when she saved Roland from his attackers, but that won't keep her safe. There is an instant spark of attraction between them, but it is hindered by his paranoia and mistrust, as well has her mortality. Even so, the two cannot seem to stay apart, even if it means Sarah losing everything she has ever known, and Roland learning to trust again.
Talk about a yummy hero, and to be honest, the heroine isn't all that bad either. You won't find a meek or mild bone in either of them. Yet, there is a vulnerability in each of them that makes them so perfect for one another. Sarah is incredibly strong willed despite her moral "handicap," and risks herself from the very start to save Roland despite not knowing him at all. I would have to say that she is almost too trustworthy, which is ironic considering Roland is the complete opposite. He is very paranoid and has extreme trust issues (there is a very good reason behind this), to the point where the rest of his kind constantly call him antisocial, and mostly avoid him. It was really fun watching Sarah slowly crack open his shell. I honestly do not think they could have been more perfect for one another, and boy oh boy are things rather steamy!
The world and mythology behind Darkness Dawns are every bit as fantastic as the leading couple. Don't get me wrong, I love vampires, but sometimes it is nice to see them not be the top of the food chain. Of course the Immortals are similar to the vampires, only with a few upgrades, and none of the pesky insanity issues. The vampires' minds degrade quite rapidly after turning with only a few months of control before they turn into mindless killing machines without any sense of remorse. The Immortals are infected with the same virus, but they live much longer, and have special gifts that they also had while mortal. There is a secret behind their genealogy, and why they are so unique, but the only one who knows that answer is the head Immortal, Seth. And he's not talking. I'm incredibly curious to find out what those origins are, and have my suspicions, but I guess I will just have to wait and see.
I'm always on the lookout for the next big paranormal romance series. I especially love the ones with a tight knit group that we get to see one by one paired off. Some of my favorites would be The Lords of the Underworld, or The Elder Races, and even The Black Dagger Brotherhood. Based on how much I enjoyed Darkness Dawns, I can easily see the Immortal Guardians joining those ranks. I only just finished this book and I can't wait to dive into the next installment. Definitely a highly recommended read! ...more
Each and every day is an utter struggle for Miranda. She must avoid contact with others at allReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Each and every day is an utter struggle for Miranda. She must avoid contact with others at all costs or risks losing her mind and maybe even her life. She has the ability to manipulate emotions, but they also consume her, severely blurring the lines between herself and others. The only time she can control it is when she is performing her music, but even those precious moments are becoming hard to keep from slipping through her fingers. All that changes when she crosses paths with the vampire king, David. He can help her gain control over her abilities, and even teach her how to use them to her advantage. But this comes at a price, as coming into his world proves to be very dangerous, and she'll need every resource available to stay alive through the brewing war.
I'm not really sure how I feel about David and Miranda together. He seemed to fight their budding relationship tooth and nail even thought it was obvious he was borderline obsessed with her. I just found this to be odd considering the way their society works, and the fact that he knew he would find a queen to share his power. I'm just not sure why he stayed in such denial over the possibility that it might be more than just simple infatuation. As far as Miranda's end, to be honest, it seemed rather unrealistic. I'm going to have to put a slight spoiler in order to explain, so just be warned. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER Okay, so she was gang raped in the very beginning of the book, and understandably has extreme issues with any man coming near her afterwards. Yet somehow David flies right under that radar from the very start. She states many times that she doesn't think she'll ever let another mortal man touch her again, but even other immortal men cause her to panic, with only David being the exception. I could somewhat understand this if David had been overly supportive from the start, but he really came off as quite harsh towards her quite often.
Queen of Shadows seemed to really push alternative lifestyles. Let me state up from that I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality. I firmly believe that you cannot choose who you love, and never should be judged for it. That being said, I still have this odd uncomfortableness in relation to gay men. Again I have no problem with their choices, but I just don't particularly want to see/read it. I'm a little better when it comes to women, but it still isn't at my full comfort level. To be honest I feel really bad about this, but it is what it is. As there wasn't any "action" in that department, the issue didn't bother me, but it definitely made me cautious and lessened my enjoyment a little. I will say that I will probably not be reading the next installment, because the reviews seem to point in a lot of "action" in that area. Again I feel terrible about these hangs ups, but I just can't justify reading something that will make me uncomfortable.
I'm pretty sure Queen of Shadows was marketed as an Urban Fantasy, but it read more like a Paranormal Romance. Yes there was an outside conflict, but that seemed to be only a backdrop to the romantic development (read: major tension and drama) between David and Miranda. In the end I was pretty disappointed with most of Queen of Shadows, which is a shame because there was so much potential, especially in the unique world. That being said, I still think I may check out future works by this author, just probably not in this series. ...more
Everything about Cass's life revolves around surviving, be it from the men who preyed on her asReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Everything about Cass's life revolves around surviving, be it from the men who preyed on her as a child, or the fall of civilization that brought on the beaters, or even another moment of sobriety. Things should have become easier despite the conditions of Aftertime now that she has found a seemingly safe haven from the Beaters. Only it isn't. The beaters have started to evolve and are no longer the mindless beings they once were. Their only hope lies a group of travelers that promise safety in a settlement too far north for the beaters to survive in the cold. However, even that seems like a pipe dream. As she continues to struggle with her addictions, she is also torn between two men who have come to mean almost everything to her. Even so, all those horrors are nothing compared to the inner torment she lives with everyday. She will have to fight tooth and nail to find the much needed chance at life for her and her daughter, even if it means sacrificing it all.
In so many books the heroine makes a miraculous change for the better and never looks back, but that is not Cass. To be honest, that type of turnaround would have severely cheapened the story, and I am so glad Sophie Littlefield continued to avoid tinting things with rose colored glasses. Being an addict, life will never come easy to Cass, she will always have that constant inner struggle no matter how long she stays sober. It is only as she starts to find self-worth and forgiveness that she starts to choose sobriety for herself rather than for anyone else, that she finally starts to win her struggle. There will still be times that she falls off the bandwagon, and fall she does in Horizon. Yet it watching that struggle and fight for every precious forward moment gained that really makes it all hit home.
There is an outward appearance of a love triangle, yet it wasn't really about romance, but more of a journey towards Cass finding herself. This isn't your typical story of angst and constant debate over two men. After the way Cass reacted to finding Smoke I had thought things would have ended between her and Dor, and yet there is still a strong connection, almost compulsion that pulls her to him. It almost seems as if he is he drug, and considering her addiction problems, you can only imagine just how strong of a force that is. She is utterly torn between them, but at the root the struggle is more about accepting herself and what she needs. Her sense of obligation to the man who first gave her love, as well as social acceptance keeps her torn from the man who she truly burns for, even if it is only a raw and bare boned infatuation.
Horizon was not what I was expecting, but it was exactly what I needed. I had thought I wanted to see a perfect happy ever after for these characters that have suffered so much, but I was so wrong. I may feel like I was put in a blender under the puree setting, but that made everything so much more real to me in the end. It is the depth of raw emotion that makes this series, and this installment most of all, so compelling. I literally was on the edge of the seat the entire time, and my fingernails are going to take a very long time to recover from the damage. It would have been so easy for the story to have gone another way with things somehow getting miraculously fixed and tied up neatly with a bow, yet Sophie Littlefield stayed true to the story and characters by giving them an ending that showed hope, but with absolutely no guarantees. Nothing else would fit for Aftertime. So I cannot thank Ms. Littlefield enough for giving this story that I know will stick with me for a very long time. ...more
Melanie is such a fun character. She's sassy and determined to not conform to man's expectationReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Melanie is such a fun character. She's sassy and determined to not conform to man's expectations ever again. She spent many years chained to a man who expected her to always be the perfect society wife. So now that she's on her own and head of construction company, she's done with all that. But what made her really great was that while she has practically sworn off men, she isn't a bitter harpy like many women become after a nasty divorce. She just isn't interested in dating. I loved how she dressed completely inappropriately for the jobs. It was even to the point where her workers would panic if she dressed normal, they had gotten so used to the outrageous outfits. When you add that into her strong curiosity, she made for a very fun narrator.
If Walls Could Talk really wouldn't fit into my genre of choice, but for a mystery it was pretty decent. I had been originally interesting in this book due to the paranormal elements in the description, but unfortunately that was only a small part of the book, making it a little hard to get into things. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it a little more if the ghost aspect had been more integral to things rather than seeming like an almost after thought. The real risks and dangers came from live people, disappointing me greatly. To be honest, I am not really sure if I will continue on with this series. I did enjoy the book, and it earned a solid three rating, but to be honest I have so many other books that will fit better into my tastes that need to be read. I'm just not sure I want to devote the time to something I will only moderately enjoy. I will however, put it on a list for the future if my tastes change. ...more
Most vampires live for the hunt and see humans as nothing more than prey, but not Kat. She loatReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Most vampires live for the hunt and see humans as nothing more than prey, but not Kat. She loathes what she has become and protects the purebloods from the creatures that would harm them. She fights her very nature tooth and nail, and has become quite good at killing her own kind. She's known as Lady Death and is on every vamp's most wanted list. She's always worked alone, but that must change for she's about to go up against a Count who is determined to amass power by the most appalling means. She will quickly have to decide who to trust before her own nature gets in her way, and turns her into the very type of creature she hunts.
Kat is one tough as nails character, well mostly that is. Her past has turned her hard, but she can never quite escape it, especially since it turned her into the thing she hates the most, a vampire. To be honest, she reminds me a little of Blade in that she fights her nature and hunts those who prey on the weak. One thing I did find to be odd was the trouble she had in some of her fights as she is supposed the be the most feared woman of her kind, even earning herself the nickname "Lady Death." Perhaps it can just be chalked up to the author not wanting Kat to seem invincible, or overly skilled. That being said, the other characters were very easy to become attached to in To Walk the Night, which I did find to be a little ironic due to Kat's completely untrusting nature. Even though she pretty much despises everyone and anyone, including herself, I found myself wanting to side with some of the others.
I am quite intrigued with the world and rules behind the story in To Walk the Night. I've always loved books with an open world rather than a bunch of secrecy, as I think it is fascinating to see how plain old humans react to the supernatural. In this book, humans, or purebloods are really nothing more than slaves, as the "monsters" have taken over, with vampires being the very top of the hierarchy. Another really interesting and unique aspect to the world is how lethal vampire blood is to werewolves, and vice versa. It can get quite tricky as both species must be very careful to only feed from purebloods or risk contamination that will cause them to become no more than a slavering killing machine. Talk about watching what you eat!
To Walk the Night was a decent first installment for this new series. I found it to be very well written and easy to follow, not at all reading like a debut novel. While the middle did seem to drag just a little, To Walk the Night had a fair amount more action than many other series openers, which made it quite impressive in the end. Also, it is important to note that To Walk the Night is strictly urban fantasy without even a hint of romance. Even though I can't say that is my usual preference in a book, the amount of action well outweighed the downside of the lack in romance. So all in all, I was rather impressed with To Walk the Night, which definitely earns it a recommendation from me. ...more