Anew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan A...moreAnew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan Archer. We meet Scarlet when she wakes up in the woods outside of Avalon, Georgia. She's fifteen and she knows her name, but nothing else. Not how she got there or where she came from. Skip ahead two years and Scarlet's been taken in by her guardian, Laura and goes to high school with her best friend Heather like any other teen girl. She meets the smart, handsome, funny, endearing, mysterious etc Gabriel at Avalon's annual Kissing Festival (!) and the two strike up a relationship. Gabriel has secrets, though, including a twin brother that might hold the key to Scarlet's missing memories and her life before Avalon. However, the closer she gets to Gabriel and Tristan and the closer she gets to unlocking her memories, she finds herself in more and more danger with less and less time.
There are aspects of this book that I genuinely enjoyed and other aspects left me looking for a bridge from which to suspend my disbelief.
Epic and lovely and heartbreaking and hopeful and just amazing! As I had the great fortune to read an advanced reader's copy (thank you, Britney!!) I...moreEpic and lovely and heartbreaking and hopeful and just amazing! As I had the great fortune to read an advanced reader's copy (thank you, Britney!!) I won't give details. Bitterblue, which comes out in May, is set eight years after Graceling and is related to the companion book Fire. If you haven't read Graceling or Fire, you have plenty of time to do so before Bitterblue's release and I highly recommend all three titles. Cashore's writing is stunning and she creates vibrant worlds and strong characters, most of which you will love with enormity. Bitterblue is an outstanding addition to her cannon and I can only hope Cashore will continue to grace us with her stories. (less)
I bought The Iron King as an ebook ages ago, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until recently. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Do...moreI bought The Iron King as an ebook ages ago, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until recently. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Don't get me wrong, the cover is gorgeous and the premise sounded fun, but as much as I love Shakespeare (and I do love me some Shakespeare) I wasn't sure I wanted a whole story about an American Teen in King Oberon's Court.
Ye who fear Shakespeare, fear not! Kagawa's world building is magnificent - and no stuffiness to be found. (The Bard forgive me.)
Meghan Chase, our heroine, is an average teen girl whose insecurities and difficulties mostly stem from economical and social class issues. Her family is poor, and all her classmates are aware of it. Meghan at points seems to wear it as a badge of honor. She's not a genius, but she's smart. She doesn't think she's the hottest thing since sliced French bread, but she (as far as I remember) doesn't think she's the ugliest stick in the woods either, which I appreciated. I like my lead characters to have some semblance of self-confidence.
For example, after she discovers Robbie's true identity and he does his "trick" with the crows, I especially appreciated her total and complete freak out. It wasn't some ho-hum moment where she knew it all along or wasn't phased because he'd been her best friend forever. It's a legitimate what-the-heck-is-my-life-right-now moment and it's fantastic.
Also fantastic? Puck. He's hilarious and dangerous and is willing to defy his King to assist Meghan in her quest to rescue her little brother. *insert girly sigh here*
I also loved Ethan, Meghan's younger brother. He's absolutely adorable.
There's a lot of action and adventure in this story, which keeps it moving at almost break neck speed as Meghan and her companions try to navigate the NeverNever to accomplish her mission of finding Ethan and discovering her own identity in the world of the fey. Meghan grows as the story goes along, and she becomes pretty savvy, even if she makes a few unfortunate deals. (The fey take their deals very, very seriously.) All though, one such deal brings us the character Grimalkin, who is the most awesome cat. If this ever gets made into a movie, Alan Rickman needs to be the voice of Grimalkin. That's how awesome this cat is.
And yes, there is the complicated fact that Meghan finds herself attracted to the Winter Prince, Ash. I'm not overly fond of Ash in this first outing, but I'm willing to give him a chance in volumes to come.
Over all, I very much enjoyed the Iron King and will certainly be continuing on with the series to find out what happens to Meghan, Puck, Ash, and Grim.
If you've never read anything by Clamp, Magic Knight Rayearth is a pretty good place to start. A shojo fantasy journey story, MKR weaves the story of...moreIf you've never read anything by Clamp, Magic Knight Rayearth is a pretty good place to start. A shojo fantasy journey story, MKR weaves the story of three high school girls, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu who are transported from our world into another world called Cephiro. In Cephiro, they learn that they, like the Hobbits and Jedi before them, are someone's (in this case Cephiro and the princess - who is in a different castle) only hope. Only, it isn't that easy. And there's Mokona, who drove me crazy until a different series entirely. (less)
It has been ages since I've read xxxHolic volume 1, but Yuuko definitely made an impression on me as a character. As with everything Clamp does, the c...moreIt has been ages since I've read xxxHolic volume 1, but Yuuko definitely made an impression on me as a character. As with everything Clamp does, the characters are ridiculously pretty, both in traditional and non-traditional ways. Yuuko is an awesome female lead. She's strong, beautiful, and powerful. She's a witch (No, really. Well...sometimes that, too.) who will help the people who find her shop, but all Yuuko's gifts come with a price. Watanuki is a young man who is beset by just about everything. Awkward, klutzy, and plagued by ghosts, he happens upon Yuuko and her shop. Yuuko makes him an offer, and the price entails a great deal more than Watanuki could imagine.
xxxHolic does tie in with Tsubasa and you will get the bigger picture by reading both, but it can also be read alone.
But, hello, why deny yourself the crazy awesomeness that is Clamp?(less)
So, if you've never read anything by Clamp, I wouldn't start with Chobits. Chobits is a beautifully illustrated sci-fi/fantasy/romance series with man...moreSo, if you've never read anything by Clamp, I wouldn't start with Chobits. Chobits is a beautifully illustrated sci-fi/fantasy/romance series with many intricate relationships, suspense, and enough WTF moments to fill a five year calendar. Pick up Chobits after you've read Magic Knight Rayearth or if you need to recover from X/1999. (less)