I had no idea what to expect when I picked it up. The blurb doesn't really tell you what's going on with the plot or even the c...moreThis. Book. Is. Insane.
I had no idea what to expect when I picked it up. The blurb doesn't really tell you what's going on with the plot or even the concept, but there was just something about it that really drew me in. Also, this was one of the few cases where the book trailer totally sold me on reading it.
I haven't read Dawn Metcalf's first book Luminous, but I can assure you that I'm going to now.
Because Indelible was AWESOME! And totally different than any other YA book I've read.
I don't want to tell you too much about the concept because I feel like that takes away from the sheer absurdity and wonderful confusion of the first few chapters, where you as the reader are just as lost and intrigued as Joy is. Just know that the mythos of this book is amazing and original and so, so fun!
Overall, Indelible reminded me a lot of the Sandman graphic novels, written by Neil Gaiman. This book is really visual, and I think it would make an incredible graphic novel. Also, there's that level of creepy beneath all the fantastic, just like in Sandman. And of course, you have the brother and sister mythological creatures, just like in Neil Gaiman's books.
Except where in Sandman you have Dream and his sister Death, in Indelible there's Ink and his sister Inq. But Ink is just as quiet and brooding as Dream, and Inq as spunky and fun-loving as Death. Really, their personalities just seemed so similar, and I was curious to know if Dawn Metcalf was a little bit inspired by this graphic novel series.
Indelible has some crazy cool mythology, which I *think* was inspired by Irish folklore. I also got Dr. Who vibes, with Joy essentially becoming Ink's assistant, the way the Doctor takes Companions.
Besides the fantastic worldbuilding, Dawn Metcalf also writes great characters. I really enjoyed reading Joy. She's spunky and actually pretty funny, and I felt like the way she responded to everything around her felt realistic. She was just a normal girl who'd been thrown into this insane new world, and she's trying to cope.
I feel like this review is sorta confusing because I'm not really explaining much, but trust me when I say you don't want me to. You want to experience this book with fresh eyes. It has lots of great action, the prose is cinematic and really visual, and there's definitely some creeptastic parts. The characters are fun, the romance is equal parts sweet and swoony, and this is one of my favorite books I've read this year.
If you like graphic novels, this is totally the book for you! If you like original plots and worldbuilding that you haven't seen a million times, you should read it. I'll definitely be recommending this to my friends who enjoy fantasy novels. I'm so glad I took a chance on an author I'd never read before!(less)
All I can say is AHHHHH!!! This book is so wonderful! It reminded me of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (another book I loved). It's exciting and roman...moreAll I can say is AHHHHH!!! This book is so wonderful! It reminded me of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (another book I loved). It's exciting and romantic and features amazing world building. I also really enjoyed the characters. Cécile was a good MC, and I could really see how her passionate nature affected Tristan. And goodness did I love Tristan he's so sassy, I loved it.
I definitely recommend this book for fans of fantasy. And the twist about the trolls' true identity was also really fun. Make sure to read this debut!(less)
I've been on a bit of a Lesley Livingston kick since I read Starling earlier this year. I had to get my hands on every book she's written because I was so in love with her worldbuilding and the mythology she creates for her stories. And while I LOVED Starling and really liked Wondrous Strange, Darklight wasn't quite as good for me.
To me, Darklight suffered a little from sophomore slump. I just wasn't as captivated by the story as I was with the first one. I don't know if I just wasn't surprised by the twist at the end (since I'm not used to finding twists at the ends of her books) or if I've gotten used to her awesome worldbuilding, but I didn't find myself nearly as invested in the plot.
I've said it before, and I still think it's true: Lesley Livingston is NOT a character-driven storyteller. Her books are very plot-driven. And honestly, I don't have a problem with that. When I crack open one of her books, I know I'm in for an exciting read with great pacing, kickbutt action scenes, and snappy dialogue. What I don't expect is lots of character development. And while that's been fine in the past, I found myself wishing for a little deepening of character in Darklight. I felt like Kelley and Sonny really didn't change much from the first one, and I wanted to see more of an arc for both of them.
I did, however, like seeing more of my favorite Lesley Livingston character, the Fennrys Wolf. He's always good for a laugh, and I found him much more interesting than Sonny. In fact, I thought Sonny became a lot less important in this book than he was in the first one; for some reason, he felt a little superfluous. And I don't know how that happened...when he's the love interest.
What I DID like about the book, though, was the deepening of the mythology. What Livingston is really good at, to me, is her ability to paint a picture of pure magic. Her fairies are beautiful in their otherworldliness, and I loved getting to venture into the realm of Faerie in this book. She really does have beautiful passages sometimes that I really like.
The court politics that's in all fairy books was also apparent in Darklight, which I loved. More court drama please!
So while I didn't think this was her best book, I still liked it! And I'll definitely be reading the final book in this series, Tempestuous. And if nothing else, reading so much about Fennrys made me basically desperate for the next Starling book. Eeeppp!!!(less)
I never would have picked up this book if I hadn't read Starling by Lesley Livingston earlier this year. I was attracted to the Norse mythology in that book, but I ended up totally falling for Livingston's ability to build such an intricate world. Then I found out that one of the main characters in that book, Fennrys, actually started in this series - and I knew I had to get my hands on this book.
Wondrous Strange is all about fairies, which I'm usually not so much into. But Livingston again impressed me with her amazing worldbuilding, and I soon found myself totally sucked into her story. The plot and pacing were all superb! I was never bored, and she has a definite talent for crafting a great story!
As far as the characters, they aren't what shone, in my opinion. They were more like vessels for the plot, the means by which Livingston could craft this epic story. And while I'm usually a character-driven reader, it was sort of nice to just enjoy a good plotline.
That's not to say that Kelley and Sonny are bad characters! I found Kelley spunky and fun, and she knows her limits. The way she reacts to Sonny at the beginning is funny, and she seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders.
As for Sonny, he was charming and definitely a gentleman. Even though he has a bit of a hero complex (really, what hero in YA paranormals doesn't?), but I didn't think he came off as creepy or anything like he could have. But Livingston's writing kept him from verging into creeper territory IMHO.
The romance was on the fast side (9 days to fall in love!), but it fit with the plot. Again, this was a case of characters being sacrificed for plot. But you know, it totally worked!
I'm anxious to read book 2 in this series. (Love it when I start reading a series and they're all already released!) I've heard that it's even better than the first one, and I'm anxious to see if it can rival Starling. As for right now, though, Lesley Livingston is on the fast track to becoming one of my favorite YA authors!(less)
There's been so much hype surrounding this book, ever since Julie announced that she was writing it. And for good reason: The Iron Fey series is wonde...moreThere's been so much hype surrounding this book, ever since Julie announced that she was writing it. And for good reason: The Iron Fey series is wonderful and definitely a blogger favorite. But how could Julie follow up Meghan, Ash, and Puck with new characters? Could she manage to continue the awesome?
Short answer: mostly yes. But for me, there was still a little something missing. And his name is Puck.
I never much cared for Ash throughout the first series until I read The Iron Knight. I just don't much care for the "strong, silent type" that broods all the time. But no matter what, you could always feel his devotion for Meghan. Julie crafted a great romance between those two that you could feel on every page.
So I had high hopes for the romance in this new spinoff series. But I just didn't feel it. Maybe I'm comparing it to Meghan/Ash circa Iron Knight when I should be comparing it to Iron King days, but the relationship between Ethan and Kenzie just didn't have that spark.
Ethan was a lot different than Meghan as a narrator. I liked him but didn't love him. But I think he has a lot of really good potential, so I'm looking forward to watching him grow as the series continues.
What I really DID like about the book was the adventure. For me, Julie's awesomeness lies in her ability to worldbuild and craft this amazing adventure that you get swept up in. I loved that she used characters we saw first appear in The Iron Knight. I loved that the book take place more in the real world than the Nevernever. I loved that Ethan practices kali so has mad sword skills. And I loved Razor!
I also might have squealed a little when a certain prankster showed up. And even though I know this isn't his story, I wished he could have been in the story more. And I think I sorta missed Ash, too. Which really surprised me. I guess he really sort of grew on me. At least there was lots of Grimalkin! I mean, how could there be an Iron Fey book without him, right?! He really is the best character in the entire series. :)
So even though I really liked the plotting and the adventure in this book, I didn't connect as well with the characters. I was expecting much more from Kierran, He sorta fell flat for me - he's not really charming or funny or even brooding. He just didn't have that much personality.
But I've got to say my favorite part of the book was the promise of serious tension with Kenzie. Like...wow. I won't say what's going on with her, but I really like where Julie is going with that. We can only hope that there will be a scene that has half the emotional impact of that last chapter in The Iron Queen.
So overall, I liked this book a lot! Julie's writing is awesome. The story was fast-paced and intriguing. And even though I didn't like the new characters quite as much as the old ones, I still have really high hopes for this series! And I'm so happy to be back inside the Nevernever. :-D(less)
Tiger Lily is a book that has been recommended to me by a number of people, and I've been wanting to read it since I got the ARC last summer. But for...moreTiger Lily is a book that has been recommended to me by a number of people, and I've been wanting to read it since I got the ARC last summer. But for various reasons, I just didn't pick it up until about a week ago, when it practically leapt off my shelf and screamed, "Read me!"
I've never read another Jodi Lynn Anderson book, but if this is the kind of writing that's in all her books, they are all about to hop on my TBR list. Because her writing is beautiful in a totally understated, simple way. In a way that perfectly matches the original story of love, childhood, and the loss of innocence.
Here's an example of how pretty her words are:
"If there was a true moment that Tiger Lily fell so in love with Peter she could never turn back, it was that night, when he shivered and walked and told her he was warm, and told her he loved her so much. She was fierce, to be sure, but she had a girl's heart, after all. As she walked home that night, she was shaking from the largeness of it." - p. 168, ARC
I think it's important to note the first two pages of this book and the fact that she tells you up front that this isn't a happy story, because it's not. It's definitely bittersweet, where your joy is found in the fact that it happened, not that it ended happily.
The characters were really interesting in this book for me, because none of them are particularly sympathetic. Tiger Lily is cold and abrasive. Peter is selfish and flighty. Tink has no life outside following Tiger Lily around. Hook is a murderer, and Smee is way creepier than I ever thought he was in the Disney movie. But somehow, Jodi Lynn Anderson makes them all interesting, all sympathetic in their own way. I felt bad for Hook. Peter's disappointments made me disappointed. I hated that Tiger Lily was engaged to such a horrible man. Somehow, Anderson just struck the perfect pitch with all her characters.
I'm a big fan of Peter Pan, both the original book by J.M. Barrie and the Disney movie. And honestly, I think Anderson's reinterpretation of the original mythos is very fitting. It maintains the same tone, and the characters all feel true to the original ones.
I also found Anderson's choice of POVs really interesting. I did an interview with Jodi Lynn Anderson last July and asked her why she chose to write a story about Tiger Lily, told from Tinkerbell's POV, and she talks a little about that in her answer. I've never read another book (besides The Great Gatsby) in which the narrator isn't actually the main character. I found that aspect fascinating and very gutsy. Loved that aspect!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's more literary than a lot of the YA that I read, and I enjoyed the change of pace. I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes Peter Pan, gorgeously written books, or stories that make your heart break the most perfect way possible.(less)
I really loved the first in this series, Need, but I wasn't nearly as capitvated by Captivate. Mostly, this was because Captivate didn't feel like a complete novel. It felt more like a novella that bridged the gaps between books 1 and 2, like it shouldn't stand alone. I never felt a true sense of plot - what exactly was the main point of this book?
That being said, I still read it in two days. Jones writes very readable books. Her pacing is really fast, and there's never a dull moment with this book. While Zara's wit and quirky humor weren't as apparent in this book as they were in the first, I still liked her a million times better than so many other paranormal heroines. What ever happened to the spunky heroine in supernatural books? It's like Bella Swan entered the picture, and authors thought all heroines had to be passive and quiet. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with a quiet girl. I just like to see the outspoken girls being represented, as well.
While I really like Zara, I can't say I'm much a fan of Nick and his irritating habit of calling Zara "baby." He still feels more like an archetype than an actual character to me. For some reason, I just don't feel any connection to him whatsoever. And it can't be just because the books are short, because I love the new boy Jones introduced in this one: pixie king Astley. He was only in like 150 pages of Captivate, and I'm already way more in love with him than I ever was with Nick.
One thing that really interests me about Nick and this series, however, is Jones' inclusion of Norse mythology. Zara discovers in this book that warriors are being almost harvested by valkyries to go to Valhalla, where they will be trained to fight in a final battle for Odin.
Umm...this is amazing.
I'm really looking forward to reading book 3, Entice, just so I can see how Jones explores this interesting exploration into mythology. You don't find many books about Norse myth, so I'm pumped.
While this wasn't my favorite book and I didn't like it nearly as much as I liked Need, I will certainly be reading Entice...I'll probably just wait until it comes out in paperback.(less)
**spoiler alert** After reading all the reviews about Jones' third novel in this series, Entice, I figured I should start the series. When I realized...more**spoiler alert** After reading all the reviews about Jones' third novel in this series, Entice, I figured I should start the series. When I realized I could purchase the paperback on Amazon for $4 with zero shipping charge, I hit up that deal in a heartbeat. And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Need.
As mentioned in the summary, Zara collects fears. That means that she's always rattling off obscure phobias and what they mean, almost like a chant, when she gets nervous or frightened. At the beginning of each chapter, there's also the name and definition of a phobia that has something to do with what happens in that part of the book. This adds a creepy quality reminiscent of Stephen King, a writer Jones mentions throughout the novel. I've noticed that while most YA paranormals have scary characters (like vampires and werewolves), none of the protags seem all that frightened. In Need, however, the characters are reasonably scared of the supernatural, which I found entirely refreshing.
While this book could be related to Twilight in that it's about a girl who moves from a warm climate to a cold, rainy one, where she discovers paranormals interested in her, that's where the comparisons end. Instead of vampires, we're introduced to pixies, which are like faeries but who leave gold dust wherever they go. And one of them wants to kiss Zara, thereby claiming her soul.
I loved Zara! She had so much quirky personality that she had me smiling throughout the story. I also loved that she was interested in people around the world even when she has problems, a theme I haven't seen in any other book except Sea by Heidi R. Kling (and which I love). I also really enjoyed Zara's battle with pacifism in relation to self-defense. When she's being attacked by pixies, will she go against her convictions and fight back? Interesting characterization there, I thought.
While I loved Zara, I wasn't a huge fan of any of the other characters. Nick, as the hero, should have been mesmerizing. He wasn't. I wasn't interested in him at all, really. The others were okay, I suppose, but they fell flat for me. Zara was the only character I really enjoyed.
**Spoiler Alert** I did love the interaction between Zara and Nick-as-werewolf, however. It was so cute and adorable how she wanted to take care of the "dog." I did want to know if he remembered any of their interaction, though. He never really mentions if he has memories of it or not. **End Spoiler**
This book was also really predictable. I figured out everything before it happened. Pixie king? Check. Pixies masquerading as normal people? Check. Who's the werewolf? Check. The only twist I didn't figure out was the one regarding Zara's grandmother.
Overall, an interesting read. I really love the cover! It's one of my favorite paranormal covers in a while. If you enjoy paranormal romance, I would definitely recommend it for the quirky heroine and her interesting characterization. (less)
This book and I have an...interesting relationship. It's taken me nearly a year to read it, and not because it's a bad book. It's a very good book. Bu...moreThis book and I have an...interesting relationship. It's taken me nearly a year to read it, and not because it's a bad book. It's a very good book. But for whatever reason, it didn't resonate with me the same way the other 3 did. Mostly, because it's got a new narrator: Ash.
I know most everyone who's read this series raves about Ash and this book. And they have valid points. I just never really liked Ash, to be honest. Granted, this book made me like him BETTER. Being inside his head made him at least semi-interesting.
I just never connected with Ash and this big epic journey he has to take to become human so that he can be with Meghan. It's nice and all, but I had a hard time caring. I was so in love with how the The Iron Queen ended that I couldn't see how this series could end any better. And I still stand by that book 3 should have been the last one, lack of happiness or not. It was perfect.
However, I really liked the themes of this book. I think The Iron Knight darker, more serious than the first 3. It digs into what it really means to be human and how to forgive yourself for your past. I thought Ash's "trials" were fantastic! They're unsettling (at least they were for me), especially the last one. I was reminded just how fragile our mortality is. I think Julie's discussion of morality in general was really well done, and I commend her for taking on such weighty topics.
The adventure was also really interesting. I tend to like "quest" sort of books, as it's easy to keep the reader engaged because the pacing tends to be quick. I also liked having some new additions to the group (who will remain nameless to avoid spoilers), as well as the familiar faces of Puck and Grimalkin. Really, these two are what kept me reading - they are the best characters, I think.
Even though I wish the series would have ended with The Iron Queen, this is still a good book. And I think people who like Ash more than I do will enjoy the book a lot more than I did. I am, however, still a little bit bitter that Puck and Meghan didn't end up together and HE'S not the one gaining a soul(less)
I had high expectations for what I thought to be the last book in this series: I wanted an epic battle between the Iron Fey and the older faeries, I w...moreI had high expectations for what I thought to be the last book in this series: I wanted an epic battle between the Iron Fey and the older faeries, I wanted Puck to get the girl, and I wanted Meghan to come into her own. While I didn't get all my wishes fulfilled, I got something better - namely, Ms. Kagawa's vision for this series.
We left Meghan at the end of The Iron Daughter with her choosing to leave the Nevernever forever so she can be with Ash. She's given up her biological father Oberon and her best friend Puck to be with the banished fey prince she loves. But I knew they couldn't stay out of the fairy drama for very long.
The beginning of the book was a little slow for me, and the bit where Ash teaches Meghan how to fight with a sword felt a teensy bit cliche. But the characterization throughout this part (the whole book really) was great! I loved watching Ash try to cope with the stress in his shutdown-mode way and seeing Meghan mature on the pages in front of me.
While Part I of the book had a slow pacing, the book picked up midway through and never stopped. When Ash, Puck, Meghan, and Grim travel through the land of the Iron Fey in search of the new Iron King who is trying to kidnap Meghan and steal her powers, the action kicked in. Puck is just as funny as he has been, and Ash kicks just as much butt.
While the action was great, my favorite part of the story was the relationships between all the characters. I knew there had to be a confrontation between Meghan and Puck after their kiss, and the blowup was satisfying. And even though I was a staunch Team Puck going into the story, Kagawa really tested my resolve by throwing more and more flaws into his character. But in the end, I still loved him.
The romance in this book wasn't as important to the story, I felt. Don't get me wrong - it's great. But I felt like Meghan's character development was what was really on display here, and Ash and Puck were really there to be vessels for her character arc. That being said, I loved the little bits of backstory and personality we discover about Ash. He became a better rounded hero in this one, and I sort of fell in love with him.
My favorite line: "His forehead bumped softly against mine, his brilliant silver gaze searing into me. “I plan to keep you, from everyone, for as long as I’m alive. That includes Puck, the false king, and anyone else who would take you away.” One corner of his mouth quirked, as I struggled to catch my breath under his powerful scrutiny. “I guess I should’ve warned you that I have a slight possessive streak.”
The best part of this book was definitely the end. Although I enjoyed the first 75% of the book, the last few chapters solidified a 5-star rating from me. I don't want to give away anything, but it seriously got me choked up a little. And the epilogue was hands-down the best chapter in the entire series thus far. I am officially Team Ash as far as Meghan is concerned, but I'll take Puck for me. :-)(less)
I loved The Iron King, but The Iron Daughter was even better! The story starts off with Meghan at the Unseelie Court, where she's struggling with Ash'...moreI loved The Iron King, but The Iron Daughter was even better! The story starts off with Meghan at the Unseelie Court, where she's struggling with Ash's indifference. Though Meghan's emotions could have come across as whiney, I never got that vibe. (Props to Ms. Kagawa for that!) I even started to like Ash in this one. Sort of. I mean, he's a great character, but let's face it - he's no Puck. Still, Ash's concern for Meghan and the way he turns his back on his court to help her really endeared him. And for all the Team Ash-ers out there, have no fear - there's lots of brooding to be had.
New favorite character: Iron Horse. What an awesome turnaround! I don't want to spoil anything, but if you read The Iron King and haven't made it to this one yet, you're in for a treat with this iron fey. Not only does he speak in all caps, but he's also sort of funny.
Speaking of funny, Puck and Grim are all in this one. (Thankfully, there are no near-death experiences and getting sucked into trees. Unacceptable, that.) Puck's feelings for Meghan come to a head *finally* mid-book, and it's definitely squee worthy. And, I swear, if she doesn't pick Puck in the end, I'm going to be just as upset as when Bella picked Edward.
And for everyone looking for action, The Iron Daughter has plenty of it. Kagawa often surprised me with her horror-esque details that really made this book extra awesome. Lots of fighting to be had here. Let's just say Meghan can kick butt, glamour or no.
Kagawa has a definite gift for adding the little details. She's great at setting a scene, whether emotional or physical. She really sucked me back into the Nevernever.