Wow, just wow. This book blew me away. I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical at the switch fromReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Wow, just wow. This book blew me away. I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical at the switch from Mass Market format to the much pricier Hardcover for this series, but MAGIC BREAKS proved that this series is more than worthy. There are very few adult series that I follow in hardcover for my shelves as frequently I make the long wait until the secondary mass market is released. But after reading this one, I can assure you that this series has earned a place on my very very limited top book budget area. It simply was that good.
Boy was this a game changing book. So much happens that my head was left spinning by the end. It was one heck of a ride to say the least. But what made this book really shine was that despite there being so much going on with the fast paced plot and the massive threat of Roland over their heads, there was more than a little humor throughout the book. There was one scene with a giant donkey... Well suffice it to say that it was so hilarious that I woke my husband out of his sleep from my outburst of laughter in bed. So while the hubby wasn't amused, I sure was, and I loved those moments of levity as everything around them was falling apart.
MAGIC BREAKS is one of those books that when you finish, you want to start right over from the beginning again just so it won't be over. I laughed and I cried while reading this book and I simply just could not get enough. I realize that this review may have been just a bit on the gushing side, but trust me, it more than earned it. An absolute must read for those new to the series and long time fans alike, MAGIC BREAKS is not to be missed. Bravo! ...more
Fair warning, this review is going to be more about my feelings rather than anything that actuaReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Fair warning, this review is going to be more about my feelings rather than anything that actually happened as honestly the entire book is pretty much one giant spoiler. There's so much going on, and the early events greatly impact the latter ones as it's all woven into a very engaging read that kept me sucked completely in from the start. While the previous installment was enjoyable, I was glad to see things back on Earth as much less time was spent in the Demon Realm. It was good to see Kara getting back into her element, even if things have changed. There's definitely an adjustment period as she's still coming to terms with what happened to her in the previous book as well as the changes back home. But that being said, as hard as everything is and will be, she'll only be stronger for it, and I've only grown to love her more.
Now onto the romance aspects. As usual with this series, things are kinda all over the place. Typically I'm not one for characters being caught between men or jumping back and forth, but that being said, I think it kinda works here. Sure Kara does seem a bit promiscuous, BUT when you take everything into account I don't really agree. She's become fully immersed in the Demon realm, and well let's face it, they don't do jealousy or monogamy, but rather celebrate love and affection openly. It's a bit hard to explain, but again it works. Of course this leads to a lot of tension between Ryan and Kara as whenever his human side (Ryan) is in charge rather than his demon alter ego, well he can be a bit of a jerk with his jealous and rather cruelty towards Kara. That being said, I can't help wondering who Kara will end up with in the long run, as putting all the non-jealousy aspects in the demon realm, I still think she'll find the one person (or demon) for her in the end. It's a bit early to place bets especially after how some things played out in this installment, but for the time being, Kara has what she needs and that's all that really matters.
As warned, this was a review about my feelings rather than events, but when you have a book that is as complex as this one, that can't be avoided unless you want to spoil things, which I won't do. Suffice it to say that fans of the series who enjoyed the old murder mystery feel from the earlier books will be pleased with this installment. From action to danger, love and heartbreak, secrets and twisted plots, FURY OF THE DEMON is not to be missed!...more
Despite the ceasefire the gods have called, Dr. Petra Robichaud is busier than ever in her MASHReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Despite the ceasefire the gods have called, Dr. Petra Robichaud is busier than ever in her MASH Unit. But hey, the life experience is worth it right? I mean who else can say that they are the doctor to the pregnant Medusa? Still, life has been pretty good the past several weeks as she's had her lover, Galen by her side due to a tricky paperwork issue keeping him off the front lines. But they say all good things must come to an end, and Galen is recalled to his post on a secret mission. He's determined to make a clean break so she can move on. It was a blow she didn't seem coming, and she's not sure if her heart will survive. But then another shocking blow comes and another man enters her life, one she never would have expected. He's impossible to resist, but he couldn't be more wrong for her. With a new prophecy looming over her head, Petra is place in an impossible situation, one where the costs are higher than she ever could have imagined.
The world behind this series is incredibly rich between the insanely fun MASH setting, to the craziness that is the war between the old and new gods. I mean in what other book than this can you have so many different creatures and mythologies pulled off together at once so seamlessly? I love that even though the opposing sides are supposed to be in a ceasefire, they are still every bit as hostle towards one another. In fact, it would seem that their determination to see the other side fail has ratcheted up yet another notch. I really think it's just a powder keg waiting to explode, and those prophecies only make me more nervous with each reveal. Poor Petra, she's so stuck in the middle, and I really feel for her having to always be the focus of those nasty things. But at least despite her grumblings, she's probably the most capable one of handling what's been handed down to her.
I am a romance junkie. There's just something to be said about characters in love and all the tension leading up to those declarations. So it probably doesn't come as a surprise that I do not handle heartbreak well. In fact I try to avoid it if at all possible. When I first read the description for IMMORTALLY EMBRACED, I have to admit that I wasn't really thrilled. I just didn't want to see Petra's pain at losing Galen. That being said, I think it is a true testament to Angie Fox's writing skills that she was able to bring someone else in that didn't immediately ruffle my feathers. I'm a very loyal person, so I don't easily switch "teams" in my romances. However, I think the man in this story not only filled the holes Galen left, but repaired them as if they were never there. But, I do want to express that this man was anything but perfect, in fact he was rather closed off, stubborn, and downright obstinate at times. So much so that I was rather frustrated with him at times, and wished he would just open himself up to her. So, you are probably asking how did this man "fix" Petra, but I won't spoil the surprise. You'll just have to read IMMORTALLY EMBRACED to find out for yourself.
What made IMMORTALLY EMBRACED so impressive to me is that even while the intense plot was going on, the romance still held just as much limelight, making for my favorite kind of book. I mean, steamy moments, hilarious interludes, and a killer plot, what's not to love? An excellent second installment the Monster M*A*S*H series, IMMORTALLY EMBRACED is perfect for fans of the grittier side of Paranormal Romance. ...more
All her life Brooklyn has been waiting for the day she turns sixteen and her parents unbind herReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
All her life Brooklyn has been waiting for the day she turns sixteen and her parents unbind her witch born powers. The first matter of business will be to change her appearance so she can finally stop being invisible to all of her classmates. The change is dramatic and people have taken notice. She's gained the attention of the Elite, the highest social clique in the school. But Brooklyn quickly learns that popularity comes at a price, and she'll have to decide just how high a cost she is willing to pay.
There are two kinds of Paranormal YA. One being where the focus is largely on the paranormal elements, and the high school drama and dynamics are more in the background, which is largely my preference. The second type being where the paranormal aspects take a backseat to the high school drama. Unfortunately, WHAT THE SPELL fell in the latter category. Even when I was a teenager myself, I still wasn't immersed in that sort of drama as I made every effort to avoid it. I never understood the quest for popularity and power in school. Fashion was not a priority for me. I wanted to surround myself with people that liked me for me, not something I was trying to be. So, when a book is centered around all of that not so fun stuff, it just doesn't make for the most enjoyable read. It's just a shame because I was really interested in the Witchy parts of the story, but in the end it really only played a small part, leaving me rather disappointed.
Even if I could have put aside my style preferences about the amount of paranormal focus in WHAT THE SPELL, this book still wouldn't have worked for me due to a large character disconnect. Again, this is probably coming back to my non-understanding of social ladder climbing, but I just couldn't seem to connect with Brooklyn. She was very selfish and acted rather spoiled at times, all in the name of not wanting to be invisible any more. I mean, she wasn't naieve, she knew what she was doing was wrong, but each time she justified it by it being necessary to be in the Elite. Also, she was given several chances to redeem herself and come clean, but never took them. Even worse she didn't grow a backbone until the very end, and in my opinion that was too little too late. By that point I was long past wanting to reach through the pages and smack some sense into her, so there wasn't much she could really do at that point to impress me. Hopefully the fall out will cause her to learn her lesson.
I have to admit that I am on the fence as to whether or not I will continue on with this series. On one hand, I had the major character disconnect, and my issues with there only small amounts of paranormal. But on the other hand, unless I really despise the first installment, I like to give each new series two books to win me over. There are just so many times where the first book can be a bit rocky due to world building, but then the next book takes off with a bang. Which, I think may be the case in this series due to the way WHAT THE SPELL ended, so perhaps a second change might be warranted. As far as this book goes, WHAT THE SPELL should largely appeal to fans of a strong high school setting, but for me, unfortunately it's a pass. ...more
Introduction: When I saw that there would be a novella collection by Kim Harrison, I was incrediReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Introduction: When I saw that there would be a novella collection by Kim Harrison, I was incredibly excited. Even though I knew that I would have already read many of the ones included due to my obsession with reading everything from the Hollows world. It would just be awesome to have all that yummy goodness in one place. Of course I will admit that it was the new stuff that excited me the most, but I still would have purchased it without it. Yes, I'm that big of a fan. Onto the stories...
The Bespelled: While I had previously read this novella it was nice to read it again. It does show a much more abusive Al than the one he has grown to be since being influenced by Rachel for so long. I really love that demon, even if he was rather horrible to Ceri, but then again she really doesn't have anyone to blame but herself as this novella showed her choices.
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel: This was another previously published novella, but one I hadn't read prior to this collection. It was really interesting to see how very different Rachel was back when she was still weak from her childhood. I feel like after reading this that I understand why she is the way she is and her choices so much better. It was in this novella that she learned taking risks is really the only thing that makes her feel truly alive. Also, even though I'm not the biggest Pierce fan, it was fun to see their initial introduction.
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil: Another novella that I had read before, this one shows Ivy in the past right before she met Rachel. I'll admit that I wasn't thrilled about the Kisten and her parts as in my mind he always belonged to Rachel. That being said, this novella gave a really good picture of the mental abuse that both Ivy and Kisten endured over the years. The manipulation is absolutely horrifying, but this novella seemed to show the turning point for Ivy as she finally started to want something more for herself.
Dirty Magic: This one was a new one for me, and while it was enjoyable for the closer look into Mia, I can't say it was my favorite of the Hollows novellas. I'm just not the biggest fan of Mia, so seeing her use someone so cruelly only turned me off even more.
The Bridges of Eden Park: I had read this one before, and it still makes me so sad even now. I just miss Kisten so much. His death really stunk, and while I am far enough past it that I can understand Kim Harrison's reasoning that he needed to go, it still is hard. That being said, this is a very enjoyable little outtake between them with both action and sentimentality. Man I miss that guy!
Key Line Drifter: Again, another I had read previously. This novella shows Jenks with his first solo/personal job. I felt like it really accentuated just how unusual he is compared to other pixies. Of course those differences are what make him completely awesome. It also was fun to see him team up with Bis and the trouble they get in to.
Million Dollar Baby: If nothing else, this collection is absolutely worth reading just for this novella alone. I am a huge Trent fan, in fact he is the only male character I have even come close to accepting since Kisten's death. It was really enjoyable to get a better look into his head. I found it interesting to see just how much Rachel's opinion of him matters. He always seems so closed off, it was amazing to realize how much turmoil is going on beneath the surface. Trent really hates the things he has had to do to protect his race, and wants to do anything he can to stop the deaths that seem to surround him like a heavy shroud. I also loved seeing him meet his daughter for the first time, definitely heart wrenching!
Beyond the Hollows:
Pet Shop Boys: I absolutely loved this novella. There was just something so yummy about the characters having the characteristics of both vampires and the fey. Seriously, anyone who is tired of vampires due to the heavy market saturation, will absolutely love the premise behind these guys. I really hope something more becomes of this story because I think that would be a truly awesome series to read!
Temson Estates: This story was my least favorite of the bunch. It just didn't really spark my interest or attention. The story is about dryads, only in a scientific way, and that's probably where my interest was lacking. I just prefer magic to science in my books.
Spider Silk: I loved this story. It was so creepy and mysterious, definitely another one with full series potential. That being said, I felt like it ended rather abruptly, with things left too open-ended for my tastes. But then again, those unanswered questions do leave things more open for more stories, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
Grace: This story was awesome, and the premise behind it leads to so many possibilities. I think this is the series Kim is considering on diving into next, so I have to say that I'm really happy about that. Grace seems like such an amazing character, but she also is a spitfire like Rachel, which will keep things more than interesting. However, unlike Rachel, she easily sees her own flaws and instantly takes steps to correct them. It made her rather admirable.
Conclusion: I may be biased, but I think Into the Woods is an absolute must buy for fans of The Hollows, as it gives deeper looks that we don't get to see in the main series. It also was really great to see some of her work outside of The Hollows, since it is winding down and will be soon time to move on. After reading these novellas, I have even more confidence and excitement for what is in store next. ...more
With Magic unusable to Allie, and everyone under the sun out hunting for her, including the magReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
With Magic unusable to Allie, and everyone under the sun out hunting for her, including the magic council called the Authority, Allie's own freedom is a ticking time bomb. Of course more than just her freedom is at stake because capture would mean losing her mind, literally. Stripping minds is the Authority's standard procedure for renegades. Unfortunately, she cannot lay low until the tide changes as Magic has been poisoned. Allie and her friends are the only ones who are willing and hopefully able to fix things before more lives are lost. But more stands in her way than just the police and the Authority as a nasty death magic user has set his sights on consuming the only thing that can heal magic, and she'll have to stop him before it's too late.
It will never cease to amaze me just how much of a whirlwind Allie is. She draws people to her like a moth to a flame, but cannot be corrupted. In fact, she seems to be the only person the corrupted sections of the Authority cannot seem to put down. Of course she wouldn't have made it this far without her friends, but their utter loyalty to her only further shows her strength and fortitude. Yet despite all this, Allie still cannot quite grasp her true worth. Yes she has her own inner confidence in her skill as a magic user, but as a leader, not so much. However, I think a lot of the events in Magic Without Mercy may have started to open up her eyes, and once she fully believes in herself, she will only be that much stronger.
It completely baffles me that with such a far reaching organization as the Authority, there wouldn't be more checks and balances in place to help stem some of the corruption. Of course the saying goes that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is what these people hold. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem like they are corrupted as a whole, but in many different factions with their own agendas are in the mix. Perhaps that could be explained arrogance, in that these people are so full of themselves that they couldn't possibly believe that they could be fooled or ruined by another. Ironically, their downfall will probably be the very thing that got them into power in the first place.
One of the most impressive things about Magic Without Mercy was Devon Monk's ability to keep a perfect balance between action and character development. In a lot of series after the first few books the focus on the characters seems to drastically drop in favor of plot or series momentum, which can be a shame as it is easy to become detached from characters when you don't see them grow. The fact that this series doesn't, pretty much guarantees me a fantastic read with each new installment. In Magic without Mercy we see lots of character development; From Allie's overwhelming need to be the protector despite a certain lack of confidence in her leadership skills as well as her acceptance of her father's haunting, to Shame and Terric's strange love hate relationship, and even to some of the older members of the group learning to hand over the reins. Each character goes through changes, be they forward or backwards in progress, keeping me fully attached to each of them, and this series overall. As for this installment, from start to finish, Magic Without Mercy was a roller coaster ride. I simply could not put it down!...more
Chris Merrick and his brothers have been trying to get by each day without losing control of thReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Chris Merrick and his brothers have been trying to get by each day without losing control of their powers. Each one is tied to one of the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The rest of the community fears them, and they live on a razor edge's balance. The tide changes when Becca saves Chris from certain death. A slippery slope of events begin that mark the brothers for death, and Becca right along with them. Then a new kid shows up to school and Becca finds herself drawn to him, knowing that she must keep her secrets from him or she may just push Chris over the edge. A loss of control is the last thing any of them can afford, not with the rising storm coming.
By far the best thing about Storm was the Merrick Brothers themselves. They are such a tight knit group, and yet there is such tension between them. Storm focused more on Chris, the youngest sibling, who has this sense of loneliness about him. The twins have that bond that all twins seem to have, almost being one unit despite their extreme differences. And Michael, being the oldest, has to bear most of the burden of responsibility and safety for the others since he is their legal guardian. Based on some things Chris said, he and Michael used to be a lot closer, but with tragedy comes inevitable change. That doesn't make it any easier, and in fact Chris is quite bitter about their lot, and at the beginning of Storm, we can see that he has just about hit his breaking point. He lets Gabriel, the more hotheaded of the twins talk him into some activities that revolve around payback. Of course, this only causes more tension between him and Michael, which in turn only furthers the problem. My heart really went out to these brothers as all they really want to do is live their lives in peace.
Most of the time I prefer books to be written in first person perspective from one character, however Storm would not have been half as good if we had not been able to see both Chris and Becca's side of things. It almost felt as if I as the reader had inside knowledge, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the secrets unfurl. Everything about Storm felt fresh and original, yet somehow so familiar at the same time. There were times where the mythology behind it all reminded me of a coven of witches, due to the structures of power and deals between the factions. Yet they really had nothing to do with magic, but more of an innate connection to a specific element. Either way, I was fully captivated from start to finish, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.
On a slightly side note, there will be an ebook prequel titled Elemental releasing prior to Storm's drop date. Lucky for me, it was included in my ARC copy of Storm. While reading Storm, Michael's character frustrated me. I realize that he was placed in a tough situation by having to be responsible for his brothers and also worrying about keeping the fragile peace between them and the rest of the community. However, after reading Elemental and seeing the closer look into Michael's past, I now better understand the burden of guilt he carries, which by all right should have consumed him by now if not for his brothers. Even though I'm not really one for buying short stories like Elemental, in this case I feel it is more than worth the purchase as it really adds to the overall story. In fact, I really would love to see a full length book centered around him as there is so much more than then meets the eye.
As much as I loved Storm, I wish the ending would have been developed a little more as it seemed rather abrupt, especially considering the next book looks like it is going to shift the main focus to Gabriel. Don't get me wrong, there really wasn't a cliffhanger, but it did give me a sense of being cut off mid sentence. Hopefully the next installment will build onto the things that happened with Becca and Chris rather than completely dropping them for Gabriel's part, but only time will tell. I would highly recommend Storm to anyone who enjoys a fresh and original story that will suck you in from the very start. Trust me, you won't want to miss Storm and the yummy Merrick brothers! Oh yeah, and Becca was pretty cool too. ;)
(Also, there was a touchy issue involving an attempted gang rape in this book that I wasn't sure how to approach in my review, so I decided to forgo it mostly. To be honest I'm a little surprised such a topic was included in a YA novel. I really loved Storm, but didn't care for how this event was handled, so I tried my best to ignore it. As I'm not really sure what to say about this issue, please check out All Things Urban Fantasy's Review to see Abigail's thoughts.)...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
Not quite human, not quite djinn, Cassiel is still struggling as she hovers the line between thReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Not quite human, not quite djinn, Cassiel is still struggling as she hovers the line between them. Her human side comes with a whole slew of emotions, the most being centered around her attraction to her Warden partner, Luis. Meanwhile they are still searching for the missing children and have hit many roadblocks along the way. But nothing could have prepared them for what they are about to face, and it will take every last bit of strength and will to make it out of this one alive.
There wasn't a whole lot of forward momentum in the plot department in Unknown. At times it just felt like Cassiel and Luis were just chasing their own tails and running around in circles. However, I don't have too much of a problem with that as this keeps things a little more realistic. If Pearl really is this big bad threat, then finding her couldn't possibly be easy. Also, the very small forward plot momentum was easy to ignore due to the relationship development. When I read the first book, I had suspicions that something was brewing between the two of them, and I was very happy to have that confirmed. Even though they had a very rocky start, there is some major chemistry between them, and it was good to see that development between them. I have a feeling they will really need each other in the coming fights.
If you read my previous review, you know that the main threat was hitting really hard for me, but I couldn't talk about it then without spoiling things. Anytime the threat in a book puts a child at risk I am devastated and stay completely on the edge of my seat the entire book. I was always this way, but now that I have children of my own it is only a hundred times worse. I get all "momma bear" protective and I was absolutely sickened by what these children were going through. To make matters worse, the child who was most personal to Cassiel and Luis is about the same age as my daughter which devastated me even more. The brain-washing, and what amounted to physcilogical torture made this threat impact me more than any other danger could have possibly have. At least the issues stopped short of anything sexual, otherwise I would have had to have thrown in the towel as I just would not have been able to get through that. Even so, I almost had to force myself to continue on with the book. Really the only thing holding me on was the hope that things would start taking a turn for the better for the good guys.
This was a really hard book for me as on one hand it was enjoyable, especially in the character development area. However, on the other hand I was pretty miserable while reading it. So, I guess in the end I'm having some pretty mixed feelings on how I feel about Unknown. I can't really fault the book because the writing was excellent, and it really did make me feel real emotion, it is just unfortunate that most of them were so negative. However, I think if I can keep holding on the victory will be so much sweeter and emotionally impacting in the end, almost making the journey worth the pain. For now I'm going to give Unknown a solid three rating and look to the next installment....more
Things never get a chance to calm down in Morganville as it seems like one crisis after another arises. The last few installments have proved that. HoThings never get a chance to calm down in Morganville as it seems like one crisis after another arises. The last few installments have proved that. However, now vampires are going missing, and it doesn't seem like the "rebels" are to blame this time. His very being permeates evil and he's been the last one seem with some of the missing. Yet it seems as if Claire is the only one who can see him. With the town's vampires acting quite strange, she may be the their only hope, but at what cost?
There was a slight change in the way this book was narrated from previous installments. In Bite Club there were times when we would get a direct view into Shane's head and that really helped the reader get a better idea of the whole picture. In Last Breath, Rachel Caine took that idea one step further and added in a few chapters with perspectives other than Claires. Amelie, Shane, Michael and Eve all get a little time showing their side of things. I particularly liked getting into Amelie's head as it shows a lot of her inner struggle. She's always going to do what she thinks is best for her people, no matter the cost. However, that look into her head showed how much of a struggle it was for her to make those sacrifices and hard choices. She really isn't quite the cold creature she seems to be.
After the slight let down of the last installment, I had high hopes for redemption in Last Breath. I got what I asked for and then some as Last Breath completely blew my socks off. Things started off somewhat sedately, and built so steadily until the pressure almost snuck up on me as it boiled over. It is a wonder that I have any fingernails left after that nail biting read that kept me on the edge of my seat. You would think after reading the past ten installments, there wouldn't be much room for surprise, but Last Breath was one big shocker after another. One of the biggest being the answer to a long standing question: Why would vampires build their town in the middle of a desert when the sun is so deadly to them? This complex addition to the world building was pulled off brilliantly, adding a horrific twist to things that I never could have seen coming.
While the nonstop action was heart pounding, the utter depth of raw emotion was what really cemented this as the very best of the series. The highs are so high that you feel like you are soaring right along with the characters. As for the lows, well lets just say devastation has never been more aptly portrayed. Anger, fear, loss, betrayal, jealousy, love, and desperation, all play huge roles in Last Breath. But the one emotion that stands above it all is hope, and nothing is stronger than that. To be able to feel such hope after everything that happens in this book is nothing short of amazing, and it made Last Breath a truly phenomenal read. I highly recommend setting aside a solid block of time to read this book, as once started, it will be impossible to set down. You won't want to miss this utterly captivating book that will leave you breathless in the end. Bravo!...more
The United States is no more, and the western territories belong to the Republic. Constantly atReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
The United States is no more, and the western territories belong to the Republic. Constantly at war with other nations, the Republic trains the elite member's children to be high ranking soldiers in the fight. while the lower classes suffer another fate especially if they fail the trials. June is a prodigy, the only one to achieve a perfect score. Day on the other hand failed his trials and is now the nation's most wanted criminal. The two would have never crossed paths if not for the murder of June's brother that puts Day front and center as the prime suspect. However, in June's quest to bring Day to justice she will learn that not everything is as black and white as she once thought.
The best thing about Legend was the dual first person perspectives. By seeing into both June and Day's head, I felt like I had insider information. I was literally on the edge of my seat as I watched everything unfurl. The anticipation of either one learning the other's secrets was quite intense. They come from so very different worlds, and yet they are so similar at the same time. They both have the same analytical way of thinking, and even if their upbringings had of been reversed, I don't see either one of them changing very much. Don't get me wrong, they definitely each had their own unique personality, I just saw them a kindred spirits of sorts.
Even though I knew it was coming based on the description I was utterly heartbroken when Metias was murdered. I'm not sure why, but I feel instantly in love with his character. Coming back to the dual perspectives aspect, we know that everything isn't black and white. So, I stayed in denial throughout the entire book that it was just some cruel joke/form of control the Republic was using against June. Luckily, I was able to put my disappointment aside somewhat as I fell for Day as well due to his very admirable character. It would have been very easy for him to have turned his rebellions into violent ones, but he always went out of his way to avoid injuries even if it meant a higher risk to him. He is like the poster child for what to do in a rebellion, hurt the core of the problem, but not the innocent parties. If more people were like him there would be a whole lot less senseless violence out there.
As much as I enjoyed Legend, I also found it to be incredibly frustrating. Even though there wasn't really a slow or dull moment, there didn't seem to be a whole lot of plot progression. The amount of questions remaining at the end greatly outweighed the answers. Also, I would have preferred a little more development or explanation as to why/how things got to be they way they were. I realize that the characters themselves were kept in the dark in this area in order to keep control, but the lack of information just made me feel like a fish out of water. I'm really hoping the next installment will have more revelations as to how the Republic came to be. In the end I guess some of this frustration is to be expected in a trilogy. So, I would have to recommend Legend to anyone who is obsessed with dystopian books and loves an action packed story.
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days. Her touch is lethal, even if she doesn't mean for it be. After being locked up for accidentally killing soJuliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days. Her touch is lethal, even if she doesn't mean for it be. After being locked up for accidentally killing someone she's spent her days in silence. She's watched the world around her slowly crumble apart as people starve and the environment becomes slowly even more uninhabitable. To make matters worse, there is a movement called the Reestablishment that has taken over everything and ruined what hope was left. Anyone who opposes them finds themselves quickly executed, and yet there are still those who would fight. And their numbers are growing. Her confinement ends when someone in the Res realizes that they could harness her power to once and for all crush the opposition. Problem is that Juliette has no desire to use her power for evil, but she may not have a choice in the end.
In the start of the book, Juliette is as close to crazy as you can really get without stepping over the edge. Of course being in solitary confinement for such a long time would surely crack even the best of us. Her thoughts weren't quite coherent, but that made everything all the more powerful as she poured out her fears and thoughts. She has this very interesting way of crossing out what she really means, and follows it with what she should say. It is almost like she is constantly editing her own thoughts, but only crosses them out rather than fully erasing them, giving them a whole lot more value and meaning. Then as time goes on she starts to come out of the shell she has built around herself for protection. Not once did it cease to amaze me how she stayed so pure and good despite the horrific treatment she has endured. The world around her is literally in shambles, and to be honest, I'm not sure if the people on the "outside" of her cell had things any better, yet they still treat her as a pariah. This is dystopian at its finest, or worst depending on how you look at it.
You wouldn't think a book with such horrifying circumstances and a heroine with a deadly touch could possibly have a believable romance, let alone one that was so utterly breathtaking. Yet the connection between the two of them steamed right off the page. Every touch, kiss, or even gesture would completely overwhelm Juliette in such a way that made every single moment feel precious. And so it should be as she has gone a lifetime without any touch at all. So to be capable of it now would be nothing short of spectacular. But don't think it is a love out of happenstance due to the hero's odd ability to touch Juliette. There is so much more to them, with a foundation that is built to last.
It is impossible to not make comparisons between Juliette and Rouge from X-Men, but do not let that discourage you or make you think you've read this story before with just a different name. There is so much more to it than just a girl who can kill with only a touch. It is a story about horrifying circumstances as well as the strength and determination to stand above it all. This is dystopian at its finest, or worst depending on how you look at it. Add that into the fact that Tahereh's writing is absolutely amazing and you have one incredible book. It kept me utterly captivated as I devoured this book. And trust me, Shatter Me deserves to be utterly consumed and devoured. I've never quite read anything like the amazingly unique voice Tahereh gave Juliette. I will be waiting with bated breath for the sequel.
Despite her limitations from being cut off from most her magic, Rachel is still out in the thicReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Despite her limitations from being cut off from most her magic, Rachel is still out in the thick of things with her runner service. However, her latest case hits a lot closer to home when she realizes that the brutally murdered corpses point to someone trying to create their own day-walking demons, and her blood may be the key. And to think, she once thought things couldn't get worse than being shunned by the coven. Now, she'll have to get to the bottom of things fast before she finds herself in the middle of her worst nightmare.
At the beginning of A Perfect Blood, Rachel is in what can be best described as a period of stagnation. Prior to this she was living her life at warp speed, but everything came to a screeching halt when cut herself off from the lines and all of her potential via her elven bracelet compliments of Trent. However, her fear and hiding doesn't really seem to hit home until she realizes that Ivy and Jenks are moving on without her. This realization leads to some pretty hard decisions on her part as well as a good deal of growing up. Still, Rachel wouldn't be who she is without her extreme need to be in the middle of things regardless of the risk or idiocy of her choices. She is such a flawed character, but I love her so very much. It always brings a smile to my face to watch her grow and mature and try to make better decisions, but whenever danger comes about she will always run off half-cocked like an avenging angel. Her friends mean so very much to her, and yet there is still that small part of her that cannot seem to let go and for once let someone else take charge. In fact her friends know her so well that they just plan on her doing something crazy, and are just ready to pick up the pieces in the end, and I couldn't help the smile that came to my face each time.
Putting all of Rachel's other flaws aside, her biggest issue is trust. It just doesn't come easy to her, especially when it comes to Trent. However, in A Perfect Blood, we got to see a shifting in the dynamic between the two of them. It can't be described better than a dance with both of them circling each other, and testing the waters to slowly start to come together. As far as what their actual relationship is, well I'm not entirely sure, and to be honest neither of them seem to have much of clue either. They aren't lovers, or even really friends, but they aren't really adversaries at this point either. For now I think I will just say that they seem to have a mutual respect for one another with a tentative trust. Prior to reading A Perfect Blood, I was gung-ho on my hopes of them becoming a couple like yesterday. However, what occurred in this book was so much more natural, that it felt right. If something more grows from it in the future, I surely won't complain, but for now I am quite content.
Whenever anyone asks for a recommendation in the Urban Fantasy genre, The Hollows series is always the first thing I spout out. It is a true testament to the awesomeness of this series that even after ten books, I am still as in love with the characters and their journey as I was the very first time I read Dead Witch Walking. Each installment has been better than the last, and A Perfect Blood is no exception. I may seem like a bit of a fan girl at this point, but trust me, these books warrant the attention. A Perfect Blood truly was a ride from start to finish and my hat goes off to you Ms. Harrison!...more
Bryn Davis knows being a funeral director won't be a very glamorous job, but it's a steady paycheck and she doesn't really mind death, or more accuratBryn Davis knows being a funeral director won't be a very glamorous job, but it's a steady paycheck and she doesn't really mind death, or more accurately corpses. She's very happy to be starting her new job at Fairview Mortuary, but all that changes when she learns things aren't as cut and dry as they seemed. There's an extortion ring going on behind closed doors with deadly consequences. She teams up with Patrick McCallister to try and destroy the drug company behind it all, but things get a little tricky as she also needs them to survive. Bryn will have to avoid being sucked down the rabbit hold too far or she will lose more than her life, or unlife as it were.
With Bryn's military background, and her nonchalance around corpses, I had assumed that she would just be another typical hard case urban fantasy heroine. So many of them are overly tough and have a laundry list of skills that sometimes seem to stretch the believable. I was very happy to find that my initial assumption about Bryn was very wrong. While she does has an amazing inner strength, she also isn't afraid to show emotion. You can really feel just how much everything effects her, and that sucked me right into caring for her plight. Now the other thing that make Bryn such an amazing character is that while she did have her breakdowns when things just got to be too much to bear, she never once let the situation get the best of her. She would cry it out and then "keep on trucking" as they say. The sheer determination it took to keep going was nothing short of admirable and I was rooting very hard for her every step of the way.
The world behind Working Stiff was truly spellbinding, yet also quite terrifying. With everything centered around the extreme corporate corruption, it makes you wonder how much of the events in the book parallel things that could happen in real life. The resurrection drug may be a little far fetched in our reality, but if you just picture some other "miracle" drug in place of it, I imagine things could really get that deadly in the end as everyone scrambles to control it. However, putting the corruption aspect aside, what truly makes Working Stiff such an incredible read is the depth of emotion in the characters. Somehow they are still able to form real connections, despite the extreme paranoia and lack of trust. What should have been survival of the fittest, with an every man for themselves mentality, became shaky alliances and then steadily into something a little more. By choosing to trust one another in the unbearable situations, they proved their humanity and truly solidified my attachment.
Working Stiff took off with a bang and never once slowed down. Typically a book takes a little while to really gain the reader's interest and attachment to the characters, but in Working Stiff, I found myself captivated from almost the very start. There was plenty of action, with even the slower parts being full of danger, suspense and paranoia. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this book, but I absolutely loved it. In fact, Working Stiff may just be Rachel Caine's best work yet, and trust me that is saying something. As soon as I finished it I was already looking for more, and I simply cannot wait to see what happens next. If you are looking for a fast paced read full of action and danger to keep you more than entertained, the Working Stiff is perfect for you. ...more