This sat on my shelf since last year's BEA. The cover always intrigued me, but I never picked it up until shortly before I left for BEA 2012. I recentThis sat on my shelf since last year's BEA. The cover always intrigued me, but I never picked it up until shortly before I left for BEA 2012. I recently finished it, taking longer than I expected it to take me. I attribute that to the lack of story. The world is amazingly detailed in some instances, yet lacking in others. How big is the Dome? How much of the world is surround by the Meltlands? What happened to the rest of the world? How is it possible to be fused with sentient and non-sentient things and have them or you still function? So many questions and too few answers.
I wanted to love this book. The idea behind it was a great starting point, but unfortunately, it didn't pan out. While Pressia and Partridge are the central characters, I found myself more interested in minor characters like Lyda and El Capitan who seemed to have more depth to their characters than Pressia and Partridge combined. Bradwell provided a few benefits to the story, but most of the time I felt he was only there to fill in the gaps and offer a possible love interest for Pressia.
Despite the shortcomings, I know I will pick up the second book due out in 2013 as I do want to know where Baggott is going to take this story. Perhaps now that she has laid the groundwork, the second part will pick up the pace and get on with the story....more
I read a review of vN on The Little Red Reviewer and discovered a new publishing house, Angry Robot. While I found numerous books on their site to revI read a review of vN on The Little Red Reviewer and discovered a new publishing house, Angry Robot. While I found numerous books on their site to review, I came across their YA imprint, Strange Chemistry, during a NetGalley search. And there I found Blackwood. Fully aware that you never know what you'll get, I requested a chance to review it and was approved. I have seen some early reviews from other bloggers who didn't know the story of Roanoke Island and the Lost Colony. However, I recall my fascination with this historical event from my grade school history courses. A modern-day tale that revolves around this story? I'm in!
I was not disappointed. The story is well-written, intriguing, and the teen romance wasn't overdone. I never visited Roanoke Island, but I imagine that having read these detailed descriptions, that I would feel I'd been there before when I do get there. Bond pulls you into the story of Miranda Blackwood. Of course she's cursed, this is a YA paranormal romance, but Bond weaves her into a believable character trapped on the island as a stage hand for the local theater company and taking care of her father, the town drunk. Miranda views her life as the same day over and over again stretching out for the rest of her life. Until she sees the ship, but she's the only one. That's when the story starts to build and you can't put the book down.
People disappear and that is only the beginning. Can Miranda bring them back since she's the one that can see the mysterious ship? What about her family's curse and the mark her father bears? No sooner do the people disappear than Phillips, the romantic interest who can also hear voices, comes back to the island. He is not your typical bad-boy, and at times it's hard not to side with his decisions to abandon the island for a private school on the mainland.
I can't say the cover is worthy of the book, but the story within the end pages is worth a read. It's not out until later this year, but put it on your radar. And if you've never heard of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island, do some reading and I'm sure you'll be intrigued for a modern tale revolving around the disappearance....more
I don't recall how I heard about this book, but I have the next two books listed on my TBR list already. I'm not usually much for historical/fantasy/rI don't recall how I heard about this book, but I have the next two books listed on my TBR list already. I'm not usually much for historical/fantasy/romance YA, since most of the lead female characters are simpering idiots. LaFever, however, has managed to create a story that not only had me rooting for Ismae, but also hoping she had a happy ending.
Ismae's story begins quite violently as her father marries her to a man almost as awful as himself. Through a bit of luck, she escapes, and her journey begins. Delivered to the door of St. Mortain's convent, she is taught and trained to kill violently and brutally or swiftly and silently. Her immunity to poisons allows her to work side-by-side with the convent's herbalist learning to prepare tinctures and draughts to heal or to harm.
As if her life hasn't been one challenge after the next, she is soon thrust into court-life in an attempt to discover who is out to de-throne the future duchess, but also to do away with those who stand in her way. Her upbringing and lack of attendance in classes at the convent should make her stand out at court, but somehow she manages to fit in and infiltrate the inner circle around the future duchess.
The story continues from there and in an effort not to spoil the story, I suggest you read it for yourself. Ismae is a strong female lead and while she does have some 'simpering' female lead moments, for the majority of the book, she draws you in until you are rooting for her each step of the way.
A few items that could have been cleared up in the beginning would make the book better and easier to believe, but I don't find they detract too much from the overall story. Anne, the future duchess, is only 14. However, in all her meetings/discussions/etc. she does not ever sound like a 14-year-old. Yes, she's been thrust into the spotlight and forced to grow up quickly to lead the land, and given the time of this story, a fourteen year old ruler was not uncommon, but LaFever's delivery makes Anne seem well past her years. Until the end, I had forgotten completely that Anne was that young, thinking her sister was that age and Anne was closer to her late teens/early twenties.
Overall, this is an enjoyable read that leaves you wanting more. I cannot wait for the second in the trilogy to be released as LaFever weaves and expands on what she built in Grave Mercy. And for those of you who, like me, hate the sappy endings, LaFever manages to end it on a high note for Ismae, but not in a way that is completely out of character....more
I pushed myself and managed to finish this one, but it was definitely a struggle. I can’t honestly recommend this book to anyone and I certainly wouldI pushed myself and managed to finish this one, but it was definitely a struggle. I can’t honestly recommend this book to anyone and I certainly wouldn’t consider it good for young adults. This country faces an enormous problem of teenage pregnancy and unplanned babies. Yes, I do understand the genre is dystopian, but I believe the message teens would come away with is more pro-teen pregnancy than not. It seems as though McCafferty is heading in that direction in the sequel to this, but I will never know as I do not plan to read it or any other books by her for that matter. The writing itself isn’t horrible, but it’s filled with made up slang and it seems the only thing on the minds of these girls is sex and who is going to get pregnant.
McCafferty does a good deal of development and change with the two main characters, but it’s not until the very last part of the book that you really see the dilemmas Melody and Harmony are facing. With the flipping back and forth between perspectives of two twins, it would have been beneficial for McCafferty to make their names a little less interchangeable. I found it hard to remember which twin was narrating and there aren’t a lot of clues in the chapters to help.
Overall, the writing lacked some much-needed development, the characters needed to be more different from each other, and the overall story could have used a little more dystopian feel to it. This was much, much too bright and bubbly for a dystopian novel where teen pregnancy is a must due to a virus (more background on that would have helped the story as well) and the future of the human race is dependent on teens procreation before they are affected by the virus....more
It took me longer than planned to read this book, but sometimes life gets in the way. For Emily Beaver, and her character, Katelyn, life got in the waIt took me longer than planned to read this book, but sometimes life gets in the way. For Emily Beaver, and her character, Katelyn, life got in the way of her normal life as well. The story is told from a young girl's perspective as she deals with the finality of her brother's battle with cancer. She finds escape in her imagination, although at times, her fiction is so believable, you begin to wonder what's real and what's not. Beaver's writing is amazing, but you don't discover that until you are well into the book. The beginning of the book goes back and forth between reality and imagination so much that it's hard to keep track of where you are and what's happening. I think with a little editing this could have been fixed up. Once the baseline of the story is set though, you are drawn into a world that allows Katelyn to deal with the anxiety and issues she has related to her brother and best friend dying.
There are a lot of raw emotions in this book, and it's hard not to feel for both the character and the author. At the end of the book, there is a note from the author detailing how she came to write this story about her struggles with her brother's death at a young age from cancer. The beginning of the book is clearly written by a 14 year-old, but you can see her writing blossom as she develops the story. I am excited to see what comes from her in the future.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has lost a loved one, or is dealing with the loss of a loved one to cancer. I would also recommend this to teens who are dealing with a loss of any kind. I know reading similarly themed stories as a young adult helped me through some hard times and I know I would have read this had it been released all those years ago....more
I'm a fan of Marr's Wicked Lovely series, and jumped at the chance to read her venture into adult fiction. However, while the characters were adults,I'm a fan of Marr's Wicked Lovely series, and jumped at the chance to read her venture into adult fiction. However, while the characters were adults, it didn't feel any different from her young adult series.
The small town had some creepy aspects to it making it an excellent setting for the story of the graveminders. People born there generally don't leave, and Bek's grandmother has always looked after the graves. The people have the distinctive something is going on just under the surface, but you don't get brought in on the secret for a long time vibe. Bek runs from the town, moving here there and everywhere, but avoiding coming home. Until she receives a package and a call.
Bek's experiences are not unique and there is an air of expectancy as the story unfolds. Who is the girl wandering around killing people? Why can't she just settle down and be happy in Claysville like everyone else? What was her grandmother and now the rest of the town hiding?
So many questions, and Marr wraps them all up to some extent in the end. I'm not sure how I felt about that. I know she didn't intend this to become a series, however, there are a few sub-plots that could be drawn out into further books for a series.
While the book didn't come off as an adult book, I do think I would recommend this to anyone who loves her writing. You definitely don't find the teenage angst as in some of her other works, but I don't think anything covered there isn't something that today's young adults could handle....more