The Darkness Within is a wonderful conclusion to The Monster Within. Though Ethan is not my favorite male character of the series (he just seems too pThe Darkness Within is a wonderful conclusion to The Monster Within. Though Ethan is not my favorite male character of the series (he just seems too perfect to me), I enjoyed the struggle for control over his dark magic. And I liked that Sam had learned to be a bit more leery of trusting the wrong people. Though, at times, I felt she was going a little overboard protecting Ethan, I understood her concerns after what happened in the first novel.
Also, there were some links between Sam and Mirabella at the end I could not grasp, especially the sacrifice. I guess that's because, in those specific situations, I see a sacrifice having to be something that person loves in order to be a sacrifice. And honestly, I could not tell if there really was a true connection between Sam and Mirabelle. I felt this whole part left a lot of holes in the background of the plot.
However, I love that we got to learn more about Dylan in this novel and his dark past. I don't care what he did in the past, I still love him! Actually, I would love it if a novella came out that was purely focused on him--maybe one where he even finds true love. Hint. Hint. ;)...more
If Into the Fire hadn’t kept triggering some hard memories and emotions, I would have swallowed this novel whole. It was that good! Full of suspense aIf Into the Fire hadn’t kept triggering some hard memories and emotions, I would have swallowed this novel whole. It was that good! Full of suspense and romantic tension.
I could really relate to both Cara and Logan, as you could tell from my earlier comments. I had similar situations, some even recently. Practically when it came to family hardships and what was referred to by Cara and her family as “imprinting.” Those strong emotions. That strong attraction. How hard it is to stay away. Their story truly coincided with my actual life, only better results.
Though the inner thought was amazing in most of this novel, there were other things I didn’t like about the style. It didn’t feel the same as other works by Ashelyn Drake or Kelly Hashway; such as the settings. With The Monster Within and Campus Crush I could get at least a basic lay out of the town, campus, and houses. But in Into the Fire, I felt the description lacked. I couldn’t even get a feel of Cara’s or Logan’s bedrooms, which makes it difficult to picture the characters.
Also, a lot of the beginning and even some of ending dialogue was continuous and untagged, as if most of the interweaved action was cut from the text. I couldn’t place what the character was doing, what emotions they were feeling, or how the conversation was affecting them at the time. It was just pure conversation.
But, OMG, what an intense, heart wrenching ending! Forget the first chapter in the back of the book; this novel will make you want the sequel, Out of the Ashes, now!
When I picked up Perfected, I was definitely intrigued by the concept, but I didn’t expect to get hooked after the first chapter. It wasn’t a glue-to-When I picked up Perfected, I was definitely intrigued by the concept, but I didn’t expect to get hooked after the first chapter. It wasn’t a glue-to-your-seat thriller, yet I had a hard time putting it down for any reason. I just wanted to keep reading more.
Now, I will say right away that this novel does contain what I would consider controversial topics, particularly when it comes to human and women’s rights. How these girls like Ella were raised and often treated was downright disturbing. There were even times I just wanted to literally puke in disgust. However, I felt the creepiness emphasized the life style, the building political and ethical tension, and the forbidden romance.
At first, I was a bit iffy on Ella’s character. I didn’t like how she was treated and how she’d often just accept it. Of course, considering her background and her “training” I can sort of understand. When you’re raised with a certain life style, there are just things you’re simply blinded to. But at least Ella wasn’t as ignorant as she first appeared. I liked that she questioned her situation; knew when to follow her heart; and saw the world as it was while still maintaining an innocent hope that things would get better.
Penn, on the other hand, was my all-time favorite character in Perfected from scene one and will potentially end up as a 2014 book boyfriend candidate. I loved his tendency to defy his father at every possible turn; how he treated Ella like a human being rather than a doll or a dog; and how he shared secret parts of his life with her. He was honestly the best part of the novel. Which just made the story even more heart wrenching at the end. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I definitely hope for a sequel. I can’t stand hanging like this.
If you love suspenseful, romantic, controversial young adult novels—such as Daughter of Isis by Kelsey Ketch or Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout—then I highly recommend reading Perfected. It’s really an awesome read. ...more
If you enjoy a young adult twist to the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a little witch craft thrown in, then The Monster Within is the novel you’If you enjoy a young adult twist to the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a little witch craft thrown in, then The Monster Within is the novel you’re looking for.
The plot was refreshing compared with the usual young adult reads that have been released over the past year. The idea of unleashing the monster inside, even if it’s just yourself craving survival and life, hasn’t really been played on in a lot of the novels I’ve seen on shelves, when in fact, many of us actually do battle our inner monsters each day. And though I didn’t really see Sam and Ethan as the dark characters that were advertised, the story and antagonist that caused this didn’t disappoint. It was definitely intense and the motives behind the whole plot were totally wicked.
The only real head banger for me as I read this novel was that Sam was so trusting. There’s a reason to this, and I understand, but I just wish she fought a little harder and questioned certain things a little more instead of being totally blind. Especially when certain stories didn’t line up—at least, in my opinion, they didn’t. Actually, they kept pointing in a completely different direction as far as I could see.
Overall, this was an amazing standalone novel, and I actually hope there might be a second. Whether it’s a sequel or companion I really don’t care. Sam and Ethan’s story was great, and honestly, I want to read more about Dylan. He was the most fascinating to me and I would love to learn more about him and his past. Hell, I’d love to learn more about the whole coven!
I highly recommend adding this novel to your bookshelves. ...more
Discovery was an enticing vampire mystery, and compared to Hunting, the first novel, which I still enjoy, I felt this novel was better written. EspeciDiscovery was an enticing vampire mystery, and compared to Hunting, the first novel, which I still enjoy, I felt this novel was better written. Especially with the first person POV with Jade. In the first novel, I felt she was bit of a robot. But in this novel, I liked seeing her vulnerability every once and a while. Though most of it was behind closed doors, which really tore me up inside. I just wanted her to confide in someone. Maybe Mordecai, or in a sudden moment of rage and weakness, to the new Detective Fisher (which I could also see as yet another potential romance, but more the love/hate kind).
I also really enjoyed that there was more dialogue. Notably Kitsu, the newly introduced vampire of the group. I loved her attitude and how she still acts very much like a human teenager. The only thing I felt was wrong with her, for a foreign vampire, was that she was very American. I would have loved if there were some little notable differences, like any sort of appropriate slang.
However, there were some things I did miss about the first book. It had more action. I felt like Discovery was written so that most of the adventure and thrill occurred off screen. Actually, in my personal opinion, it seemed the characters were more focused on every little thing the vampire baby, Gemini, did more than the victims or mystery itself. Don’t get me wrong, Gemini is cute and all, but I would rather they stick it to Taurean and the people responsible for the murders.
Now, pulling on my Sherlock deer stalker cap, I must say there were also some loopholes in this case. Particularly around some of the forensics. I still don’t understand how an X-ray, which only shows bone and dense material in the body, could prove the culprit was a vampire. Maybe if they bit hard enough to impact the bone? I’m not really sure, since we never really got to see the evidence, but I found it perplexing. I would’ve thought a CT scan, which shows soft tissue, would have been more likely to expose such evidence.
And finally, I couldn’t believe that the coroner wouldn’t even provide the smallest amount of DNA for magical analysis. Seriously, they had to have provided police forensics with hair samples and scrapings from under the nails. So why deny a few strands of hair to the paranormal team when asked? I found this most disconcerting, especially since the common goal was to catch the killer; not a race to see who could catch him the fastest.
Overall, it was a wonderful story! I can’t wait to read more in the series and see what Taurean is up too. I hope he gets dusted!...more
You know those series where you really enjoy the first novel—fall in love with the characters and concept—then the second book shatters all those feelYou know those series where you really enjoy the first novel—fall in love with the characters and concept—then the second book shatters all those feelings. That’s what happened with me and the Heartbeat series. I loved Adam in the first novel, Heartbeat. I loved Katie. I loved the psychological twist at the end. But after reading Come What May, all that love was gone, and I don’t think I can continue this series.
My love lost wasn’t because of Jada—I only wished there was a little more character development with her, especially at the beginning. No, my love lost was because of the existing characters, Adam and Katie. I know Adam was supposed to start off broken in this novel, and he should be. There wouldn’t be a story if a character wasn’t broken in some way. But I didn’t like how much his character changed from Adam in Heartbeat. It was like Heartbeat’s Adam was completely dead. And on top of the heart break of losing him, I saw no growth in new Adam’s character as he moved through Come What May. In fact, every step forward seemed to be met with two steps back.
Also, I didn’t like how Katie became the antagonist in Adam’s nightmares, or the abrupt change where Adam first hated Dream Katie, and feared her, to suddenly he loved her. Honestly, with how Heartbeat ended and how in Come What May started like she was nothing but a tragic nightmare, I don’t see how this could happen. I didn’t see how Adam’s hatred for Dream Katie could suddenly turn to love. So how was this possible? Maybe if the nightmares and Dream Katie were more developed, I would’ve understood.
Finally, I personally have a certain tolerance level for too much drama, and Come What May crossed my tolerance maximum half way through the book. Way too much! And the ending, I can understand how others may find it intriguing with the possible love triangle building for the third novel, but for me, it just was way too weird. And even though I lost my Adam—the one from the first novel—I still just want this new Adam to move on.
In all, though I enjoyed Heartbeat and really like the author, I cannot continue this series. Not if I want to hold onto the love I have for Adam and Katie.
First off, I just have to say, reading The Weight of Souls really made me feel at home. I don’t know what it is about British English and the London sFirst off, I just have to say, reading The Weight of Souls really made me feel at home. I don’t know what it is about British English and the London setting—okay, maybe I do ;) –but I could just wrap myself up with this novel and cuddle it for life. I’m so in love with it!
Of course, that’s not the only reason I gave The Weight of Souls 5 Stars. The character, the plotline, it’s all amazingly written!
At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of Taylor. I did feel bad about everything she had to put with, but in a way, I also felt she was causing a lot of her own problems with her stubbornness and put-offish attitude. And Justin wasn’t much better. Though very attractive from when he’s first introduced, he was kind of a twit, especially to Taylor. However, when they were finally forced to work with each other to solve his murder, I really saw how the two of them grew by leaps and bounds from the experience.
The other thing I loved about this book is the background story. Okay, I will admit, there are too many flashbacks of Taylor’s life, but I loved the tale of her ancestor in Egypt and how Anubis’s curse all began. It was weaved so beautifully into the story.
The one and only thing that threw me off while reading The Weight of Souls was the high quantity of space breaks between scenes. A lot of them seemed like they could have run smoothly together, without the interruption. Many, in fact, picked up right where the previous paragraph before the break left off. So I’m not exactly sure why the author or publisher did this. It was kind of unnecessary, in my opinion.
Overall, I’m so thrilled I picked this novel up off the shelf. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be sequel, because with that ending, they can’t just leave me hanging like that! Not with Anubis’s curse hovering over their heads! But even so, I would definitely recommend this novel. It’s totally one of the best reads of 2013!
The Liberator was a roll coaster ride of action and swoon, but was disappointing in the fact that it was totally not what I had hoped for based on theThe Liberator was a roll coaster ride of action and swoon, but was disappointing in the fact that it was totally not what I had hoped for based on the summary.
I’ve never really been a fan of Dante—or Charlie, for that matter—but I felt he had grown throughout The Collector. That came crashing down in the first several chapters of second book. I felt he was starting from square one or rock bottom again. He eventually grew up, realizing his mistakes, thank goodness, but I almost divorced the book because of this. Fortunately, I really wanted to meet Aspen and see how she would turn the tides of the novel before I gave up entirely.
I’m glad I waited. Aspen is amazing character! Actually, she’s the best of the series, in my opinion. She’s one hell of a tough girl, and I like her rough exterior attitude. The thing was, I expected this novel to be more about her and liberating her soul. It really wasn’t. You practically learn next to nothing about her, and she was continually pushed into the background, especially when Charlie reentered the picture. I want to know more!
Now, Charlie is still not my favorite character—not like Aspen, or even Blue—but by the middle of the novel, she finally woke up, becoming more aware of what was going on around her and the dangers everyone was putting themselves into. She even became a little kick-ass herself, learning to fight for those she loves. Overall, I was impressed.
Okay, that’s the sum up of the characters, but what about the plot? Well, truthfully, I read this series more about for the plot than for the character themselves. And The Liberator weaves in and out of the action, making it a faster paced than The Collector. Admittedly, there were still times I was completely bored, but the swoon in those parts made up for it. The Liberator was definitely steamier than the first novel!
However, I found the ending frustrating. First off, Hell was overdone. I like the philosophy of “less is more,” and Hell just had too many challenges that were really out of this world. It was so unbelievable that it wasn’t even scary. I think if it had been toned down—say reduce the horrors of Hell to the Hall of Mirrors, the collapsing room, and maybe some demons—it would have made the pace faster and the events more exciting.
Second, I don’t understand what Dante’s role in God’s big plan is. So far, I only know he was meant to collect Charlie’s soul in the first novel and liberate Aspen’s soul in the next, but don’t understand the big picture. And the end only made his part in this plan even more cryptic.
In all, I liked The Liberator. I’m not sure how many more novels will be in this series, but I’m hoping to find out more about Aspen, Dante, and Charlie and their roles in the “big picture” in the third novel. Also, I’m curious about Kraven and his past. Fingers crossed!
Not having read The Red Pyramid, the novel, but as someone who loves Egyptian mythology, I was curious what I would think of the graphic novel if I reNot having read The Red Pyramid, the novel, but as someone who loves Egyptian mythology, I was curious what I would think of the graphic novel if I read it first. Turns out, even with the slow beginning, it’s an awesome, quick read!
The best part was Sadie. She really totally made this graphic novel worth reading. She has such a great spunky attitude and loves taking risks! And Bast and Anubis were the best written gods in the whole story. The rest I couldn’t really connect with. Actually, even with Carter and Sadie harboring Horus’s and Isis’s essences, the other gods seemed none existent. Set and Thoth were the only other gods with a major role in the events. The rest of the gods were mainly a part of the plotline’s background.
And there were definitely some other things about the graphic novel that didn’t live up to my expectations. For instance, some of the background and mythology was hard to follow. Especially the rewritten mythology of Isis and Osiris and the series of the reincarnations of the gods. It seemed stretched. Also, it’s not very obvious in the graphic novel how the gods and their powers even affected Carter or Sadie. It’s really like watching as a third party through a TV screen. You’re not interacting with the characters in any sense.
Even so, this graphic novel has piqued my interest in reading The Red Pyramid, the actual novel. And I wouldn’t mind reading another Kane Chronicles graphic novel either.
Favorite quote: “HMMPH, I AM NOT A DOG.” ~ Anubis. <3
Overall, Hunting was an intriguing story with a captivating plotline. I liked the adventure, the challenges, and the characters. However, there were aOverall, Hunting was an intriguing story with a captivating plotline. I liked the adventure, the challenges, and the characters. However, there were a few things I felt detracted from the story. First, I felt the story was kind of bare bones with most of the conversation taking place in the body text rather than in actual dialogue. I think if the novel focused more on dialogue, it would have brought more interaction between the characters to life and I would have felt less like a third party watching from afar.
Second, there could have been a bit more focus on certain characters’ points of views. At the beginning, I really thought this was purely Jade’s story and that the POV would have focused around her. But later there was periods where the POVs were blended in the same chapter, leaving me confused about who I was following.
And finally, the history was a little confusing and the mythology a bit overly complicated. I loved the world S.M. Hineline was building, but the novel has a lot of detail, some of which might have gone a little too in depth. It actually left me left with more questions than answers. Two examples would be: If the first born vampire was to the goddess Bastet in Ancient Egypt (over 5,000 years ago), why did it appear as though the next one born, after 500 years, was during the Roman Empire or maybe a Celtic time period? And if vampires (pure-bloods at least) are born and can walk in the sunlight, why do they still need to sleep in coffins?
The best part of the novel is the characters. I like the different species (vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, and humans) all coming together on this mission. And Jade is awesome! I like her sarcastic attitude and attempts at humor. I only have one wish! I wish she would have some swoon moments with another character, like Mordecai. YUM! Oh, and to see Taurean’s bum kicked. That’s my other wish. LOL.
I can’t wait to read the second novel, Discovery! I got a sneak peek of an excerpt in the first novel, and interestingly enough, the POV appears to have shifted from third to first person. So I’m excited to see were the story leads next!
Being a fan of the Lux series and having enjoyed Half-Blood, I really wanted to like this novel. But it was really hard to push through. I even had toBeing a fan of the Lux series and having enjoyed Half-Blood, I really wanted to like this novel. But it was really hard to push through. I even had to put it down for a while because certain aspects of the novel were driving me insane.
The one aspect that is making this series a hard read for me is that the characters are not capturing me. Alex and Seth especially. Aiden wasn’t bad. Though there were points I wasn’t thrilled with his choices, I can, at least, understand him and his motivations. Seth . . . I was growing to like him—even started to see a different side to him—but what he did with Alex after she drank the Aphrodesian Brew changed my mind. He’s still the same Seth from the first novel, Half-Blood. As for Alex, though I still can’t really connect with her, my only real issue while reading Pure was that she could have been a little more aware the events and clues around her. It just seemed odd how she let things slide past her. Things I thought were obvious to begin with.
The second thing that made reading this novel difficult was all the inaccuracies. First, please understand, I know even with the best of research, not everything can be completely factual. But I live in North Carolina, and a lot of the travel time described in this novel doesn’t add up. Even Google Maps will say it’s around four hours from Bald Head Island to Virginia, not two. Also, I didn’t like how the Aphrodesian Brew was described as an “Olympian roofie” when all the symptoms Alex showed were that of an Aphrodisiac. Big difference!
Additionally, Pure in particular appears to parallel a lot of what occurs in the Harry Potter series, from my perspective. From everyone pointing fingers at Alex for the daimon attacks, to the secret society who wanted only pures to exist, to the way Laadan described how Alex looks like her mother but has her father’s eyes. Honestly, I really try not to let comparisons bug me. I know that everything ever written can probably be related to another literary work somehow. That it’s how the concept is presented that makes the difference, not the details. But I just had a harder time with this novel. Harry Potter just keep flashing into my head, and I haven’t even seen or read that series in a long time.
In conclusion, just because I didn’t like this novel as much as Jennifer’s other works doesn’t mean I won’t continue reading the series. Actually, I still find the whole concept of the Apollyon, pures, halfs, and daimon interesting. And I’m kind of curious where the whole plotline will go and who Alex will choose in the end, if anyone. Personally, I’m still voting for Aiden.
Filled with magic, curses, and mystery, Heir to the Lamp is a spellbinding journey about a young girl’s path to self-discovery. It’s unique, funny, anFilled with magic, curses, and mystery, Heir to the Lamp is a spellbinding journey about a young girl’s path to self-discovery. It’s unique, funny, and enthralling. But as great as the plotline was, it’s the characters are what make the story, particular Ginn, Rushmere, and Caleb.
Though still in her pre-teens, Ginn’s not all about her, like I have seen in some other young YA main characters. Actually she was quite a spit-fire when it comes to looking out for her friends and family. And I found her though girl attitude engaging.
Rushmere was especially cool, and though I thought his entrance was a little weak, I quickly grew to like him. As for Caleb, I had a hard time not liking him, even when I started having my doubts about his loyalties. But hey, I’m a sucker for a copper haired boy with turquoise eyes. I just wished there was more of him in the storyline. I felt his appearances were far and few between.
The other best part of Heir to the Lamp was Ginn’s adoptive family. They are a unique blend of different personalities and characteristics, and together, they bring forth an unusual, refreshing dynamic to young adult literature. I enjoyed reading about them and would actually love to learn a little more about each of these family members. I hope there is more information in future books.
As for the plotline, I found it really enjoyable. There were just a few scenes and events I wasn’t really sure why they were necessary to the plot. The first being her little brother stealing the lamp to bring to school. As entertaining as the event was, I almost felt like this was an unnecessary obstacle for Ginn to face. And her case of pink eye near the end, I just kind of didn’t see any true purpose in it. I almost felt it could have been replaced or just drop entirely from the scene. It didn’t hold any value.
In all, I couldn’t put this novel down. I would definitely recommend Heir to the Lamp and I personally can’t wait to read the next book! Especially if there is more Rushmere and Caleb in it!