Although I've seen Ruby Red mentioned several times on other blogs, I'd honestly never really thought about reading it. Until, that is, I found out it...moreAlthough I've seen Ruby Red mentioned several times on other blogs, I'd honestly never really thought about reading it. Until, that is, I found out it is about TIME TRAVEL. These are flashbulb words for me - the combination of modern and historical settings means that I get a little of all the things I love in one book - what more could I want?
The very first thing that struck me about Ruby Red was Gwen - I loved her right from the beginning, and she is a perfect combination of brave, curious and funny. She has her own distinct personality, has very specific ideas and speaks her mind when she should, without being overbearing. There is a lot of internal dialogue with herself which I really liked - it made it a lot of fun getting to know her better.
Ruby Red is a fast read - there's a lot going on, and an intriguing back story, however what I really wanted more of is what attracted me to it in the first place - time travel. Understandably Gier builds up to the initial time travel moment, but at times in between I felt that the plot slowed a little, and more was put into building the back story than actually moving forward with the plot. All of this is actually very contradictory to what I usually enjoy in a book - world building is usually top of my list, but the lure of time travel seemed to overpower a lot of my interest in the world building itself.
The back story, however, is important to the plot, and I did find it rather intriguing when I wasn't hanging out desperately for more time travel, and I think Gier showed a lot of thought and imagination in creating it. I did have trouble remembering the cast of characters as it's quite substantial, and many of them are introduced by other characters talking about them rather than appearing in their own right in the first instance, and this contributed to my confusion. If only I had known there is a character list at the end of the book - at the front I would have found it when I needed it!
But I had a lot of fun reading this book - I found it incredibly engaging, fun and as I said earlier, I absolutely adored Gwen. Although I didn't feel I got to know Gideon well enough in this book, I can see that there is a lot of potential for them to develop an interesting romance later on in the series.
A fun read, with a great female lead character, I really enjoyed Ruby Red, and I'm curious to see where the series goes next.(less)
When I first picked up Angelfall, I admit I was a complete cynic. Despite friends telling me I would love it I was so sure it would be some cheesy hor...moreWhen I first picked up Angelfall, I admit I was a complete cynic. Despite friends telling me I would love it I was so sure it would be some cheesy horrible angel romance that would give me an eye-roll headache. But as soon as I started reading, I ate all my words because Angelfall was NOT a cheesy horrible angel romance - it was a dark, post-apocalyptic page-turner.
Therefore World After was one of my most anticipated 2013 releases - and as soon as the calendar ticked over to January I devoured Angelfall again and went straight on to World After.
Picking up shortly after Angefall ends, with Penryn recovering from her encounter with the creepy scorpions in the hotel basement, World After jumps straight into the action, and as with Angelfall, was completely and utterly addictive.
I loved Penryn in Angelfall, and I loved her even more whilst reading World After - shes the type of heroine that I couldn't help cheering on and admiring simultaneously - tough, family-focused and so incredibly brave. Despite the fact that Paige has been forever changed after her 'surgery', Penryn sticks by her completely. There is also more revealed about Penryn's background, and what happened before the angel apocalypse, which explained so much about her character and why she acts the way she does.
The relationship between Penryn and Raffe isn't the focus of World After and this is not a book where there's a whole lot of mooning and pining - Penryn is too busy living through the angel apocalypse to spend too much time thinking about Raffe, and it was so refreshing to have a romance that didn't overwhelm the whole plot.
World After is DARK my friends - it's creepy, imaginative and more than a little spooky - there were parts where I was literally cringing with the horror of some of the things that happened. Susan Ee has a wicked imagination for bringing nightmares to life, and I loved every single moment.
The one and only issue I have with World After is the wait until the next book in the series *insert crying face here*. And if you haven't read Angelfall yet - DO IT! (less)
I'm not really a reader of fantasy - I don't quite know why, but it just doesn't hold my attention, or I get confused (this is not surprising) and giv...moreI'm not really a reader of fantasy - I don't quite know why, but it just doesn't hold my attention, or I get confused (this is not surprising) and give up, or just get too frustrated with my memory to really enjoy it.
But after hearing Judith and Daisy talk about how amazing it was when I was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago, and seeing Daisy 'pitch' it in the American Book Centre, I thought I would give Shadow and Bone a try - after all, what's the worst that could happen?
The first thing I fell in love with, and stayed in love with the whole way through was Alina. Bardugo takes that horrible 'I'm so beautiful but I don't know it, yet all the boys flock to me' cliche and chucks it right out the window. There are no long-winded, sappy descriptions of boys that smell like oceans or girls with eyes that sparkle like diamonds shit - Shadow and Bone has characters that are chock full of personality without being cliched, and the romance is incredibly well-done - the characters are friends for life before realising that they have had feelings for each other for a long time and they fit perfectly together.
World-building is something I often struggle with when it comes to fantasy novels. I seem to have trouble envisioning scenes and places which I can do perfectly fine with contemporary or even dystopians, but Bardugo has written Shadow and Bone in a way that even if you aren't a fantasy fanatic, the imagery is the perfect mixture of unique and familiar. I also loved the Russian influences - it was enough to be interesting but not overwhelming.
The plot twists and turns and there are a few moments that had me a little :-O because I just didn't see what was coming and when they did it was completely out of the blue for me. The final thing that made this book so awesome for me was the ending - although this is the first book in a trilogy and I'm already itching to go straight onto Seige and Storm, it ended in a way that didn't want to make me throw the book across the room - it actually left me feeling quite satisfied because although it's a little cliffhanger-y, it's the perfect type of cliffhanger - there's enough closure to make it ok not to have the next book immediately to hand, but still enough to make me obsess about it.
Even if you don't like fantasy as a rule, this is a book worth breaking rules for. If you have it on a bookshelf, go get it, now! And if you haven't, go beg or borrow a copy (I won't say steal because it's illegal, but possibly worth the risk) and read it. This is a book that is pushed relentlessly by fans because it deserves it.(less)