Ascend is the perfect ending to the Trylle Trilogy. I'm sure there are more than a few people who wish Amanda Hocking had taken the obvious route with...moreAscend is the perfect ending to the Trylle Trilogy. I'm sure there are more than a few people who wish Amanda Hocking had taken the obvious route with her plot, but I for one am so glad she didn't.
Wendy is trying to save her people but they continue to fight against her and amongst themselves making her task seem insurmountable. She has put the needs of her kingdom ahead of her own, but no matter what she tries, everything seems to be falling apart. I love that Wendy fights for what she believes in, whether it is popular or not. She stands her ground and will not be swayed.
The resolution of this novel is straightforward, but not as simple as it seems from the outset, and certainly not what I was expecting. It's marvelous that after getting to know Hocking's style she can continue to surprise and delight me with the artistry of her story telling. The relationships between her characters, from the major ones to the minor ones, are wonderful. I keep going back to them again and again because they are honest and true.
This is a brilliant series and I look forward to starting the My Blood Approves series from her as well as any and all of her future endeavors. I'm thrilled about Amanda Hocking's recent successes and I wish her many more.
I requested a review copy of this book from the author, Tera Lynn Childs, as I had heard good things about her work. While I would definitely read her...moreI requested a review copy of this book from the author, Tera Lynn Childs, as I had heard good things about her work. While I would definitely read her work again, I'm not sure this novel was for me.
The plot of this book is Picture Perfect with an ex-fiancé and a candy addiction thrown in, and it took me a little while to get past that. Thankfully, the story did develop beyond that and had some interesting characters. I loved Ferrero, the crazy artistic designer, and Elliot, the model with surprising depth. They gave the book warmth and humor. However, I was slightly dismayed upon reaching the end of the novel to find that the Tera Lynn Childs had written two endings. While I understand the motivation behind it (I'm sure most readers will feel strongly one way or the other about Lydia's choices) it felt a little like a let down -as if Ms. Childs didn't feel strongly about it. I think I would rather have been apoplectic over Lydia having made what I felt was the "wrong" choice or warm and fuzzy over what I felt was the "right" choice. Instead I was left feeling apathetic.
I also had trouble warming up to this book because I didn't find Lydia particularly likable. She's got a runway figure, a candy addiction with the metabolism to handle it, and body image issues. (Not something a normal-figured woman finds endearing.) She also throws candy terms into her speech like "Double Bubble Damn" that are supposed to be endearing but I found obnoxiously cutesy coming from a grown woman. But the crux of it is Lydia's a society girl who's almost as superficial as the girls from work whom she rejects for being shallow. Lydia is completely self-absorbed, has two men falling all over her, and every opportunity she could wish for. Throughout the book she learns to be more observant of the people around her, and how not to substitute candy for what is missing in her life, but her character growth seems so minimal it was hard for me to appreciate. Though I had warmed to her by the end of the book, I think I was routing for other characters more than for the heroine.
Despite my criticism, there is a lot I like about Ms. Childs' writing style and her sense of humor. Again, I think I just picked the wrong book. She can write interesting characters, I just didn't happen to like this one. I will certainly try another of her books. If you're looking for a fun, frivolous read, you may really enjoy this one.
Shades of Atlantis has shades of brilliance. Carol Oates has created a compelling magical world which I entered too briefly and left too soon. It left...moreShades of Atlantis has shades of brilliance. Carol Oates has created a compelling magical world which I entered too briefly and left too soon. It left me lost in contemplation.
The story is entrancing and although it has several parallels to a recently popular series, it's differences more than make up for it. I love the romance between Triona & Caleb, though several times I wanted to shake her for being so blind. I especially love the way she has Amanda describe destiny to Triona -very Sliding Doors. Her characters are complex and rich and I feel like there is so much more to discover about them that the surface has barely been scratched.
I was ecstatic to receive this ARC from NetGalley. I finished this book over a week ago, but I haven't wanted to write the review, because that means...moreI was ecstatic to receive this ARC from NetGalley. I finished this book over a week ago, but I haven't wanted to write the review, because that means the series is truly over and I'm sad to see it end. This is going to be one of those tough reviews to write, because I hate dissecting books I love.
Moving into the Iron Knight was almost jarring because this is Prince Ash's story. The contrast between Ash's voice and Puck's from Summer's Crossing is monumental. Whereas Puck is suffering, Ash is an emotional train wreck held together only by the strength of his determination. Also giving this book a different feel to it than the previous three is the fact that Meghan is pretty much absent. It surprised me, after it took me so long to warm up to her in the first place, that I actually kind of missed her. Meghan softens Ash and brings out a side of him that is ...almost warm —well, warm for a Winter Prince, anyway. But, as with the novella, once again, I delighted in getting to know the real Ash, not just the Ash we see through Meghan's eyes. However without Meghan there to strike a delicate balance between Ash and Puck, things are strained and precarious from the beginning.
After finally finding Grimalkin, the cait sith leads them to The Seer, the only one who can help Prince Ash with his quest to find a way to exist in the Iron Realm —and once The Seer is found the entire story is turned on it's ear. Truth be told, I didn't trust The Seer, as the fairy obviously has an agenda. If things were tense before, they are near impossible now. I read in fits and spells, partly because of the ever mounting tension, and partly because it was so good I was trying to savor and not miss a detail —or be interrupted. The journey was not what I expected, nor were the challenges. I had no idea where the story was headed and it was full of delicious twists and turns.
Only slightly disappointing is that, especially after reading Summer's Crossing, I want more of Puck's story now that the series has come to an end. I want to know what new adventures life has in store for him. And while I was glad she ended the book with a certain character, I felt a little odd over the situation. I won't spoil anything, but suffice it to say that it detracted from the story the tiniest of bits for me.
Considering Julie Kagawa originally wanted The Iron Fey to be a trilogy, leaving things with Meghan growing up and accepting responsibilities, I think she does a magnificent job of continuing the story. I would have been okay with ending with The Iron Queen, minus the epilogue, but I'm ever so grateful to her editor for convincing her to continue. This is so much better and brilliantly executed to boot. Not many people could have pulled off the constant anticipation without it becoming boring or frustrating. Though some readers may have trouble adjusting to Ash's voice and the lack of Meghan, I think it's brilliant. The gamble paid off.
As I come to the end of The Iron Fey, I find myself wanting to jump back to the beginning and start the series over again to gain new perspective. I love the that Julie Kagawa made me fall in love with this series slowly but surely. It's something I will read and re-read. The Iron Knight is due out October 25 from Harlequin Teen and it's worth the wait.
This is a fascinating look at the psyche of a teen who has grown up knowing she was different then the rest of the world. When her arch nemesis goes m...moreThis is a fascinating look at the psyche of a teen who has grown up knowing she was different then the rest of the world. When her arch nemesis goes missing after a fight between them, Alison is sure that somehow her unnaturalness has disintegrated her. I knew what Allison's condition was before she and her doctors figured it out, but it was certainly easy to see how it could be missed. (It made me wonder how often this kind of thing is missed in adolescent psychiatry.) I can't imagine being a teen in a Psychiatric Ward. Being a teenager is hard enough without having someone prodding around your life and probing your motivations and feelings all the time. Alison's journey is tumultuous as she learns more about the system of which she is a prisoner, her abilities, and herself.
Ms. Anderson's writing reminded me a lot of Madeleine L'Engle for a more mature audience. Her story telling is captivating and so are her characters. It is fascinating viewing the world through Alison's perspective and even more interesting as her perception of herself and others begins to change. It's startling, but refreshing to see Alison realize how other's perceive her and how being so concerned about her differences has isolated her in ways she never knew...
Having adored Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series, I knew It Takes a Witch under her new pen name Heather Blake would have a lot to live up to. (I'...moreHaving adored Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series, I knew It Takes a Witch under her new pen name Heather Blake would have a lot to live up to. (I'm actually am so enamored with the Lucy Valentine books that I don't want to read book three which, as it stands now, is the last book in the series.) I am pleased to report that It Takes a Witch held its own.
Whereas the Lucy Valentine books dabble in the paranormal, It Takes a Witch is fully paranormal because it centers around a community of Crafters (AKA witches) living among mortals in a little New England town. The town capitalizes on their witchy reputation by commercializing it, and making it a magical destination, completely unawares that there are real witches in residence. However, Enchanted Village has had a recent crime wave though that starts with some pick pocketing and ends with a murder which is not only bad for publicity, it's downright unneighborly. I love the setting of this book because I live not too far from a quaint mystical community that may or may not be home to real witches and It Takes a Witch provided a wonderful scope for the imagination.
The mystery is good. I didn't find myself pushing to figure out the whodunit of it all, because there were so many small mysteries to enjoy unravelling. Some of the things I solved before Darcy and some I didn't... and a few little things Heather Blake left unresolved for the next book. There's also a good dose of her trademark humor and witty dialogue.
My only complaint is that I felt that I didn't get to know the characters quite as well as I would have liked, but there were an abundance of them, which is perhaps why Blake didn't explore them as deeply as she could have. I loved that so few of the characters are who they seem to be on the surface. I also liked the fact that Darcy wasn't investigating the town crime wave because she was nosy or curious, but because she got pulled into it in an attempt to protect her family.
This story was a snapshot into Darcy's and Harper's life. I want to know about Darcy's past. I want to know Nick's story. I want to know more about Darcy's family heritage as Crafters. I want to know more about the community of Crafters. I want to know more about the different Crafters. I want to know about the Elder. And I definitely want to know more about the crazy twist at the end. I want... to read the next book!
The crazy thing is, I wouldn't mind if Heather Blake switched protagonists with each story in the series. That's not to say that I didn't love Darcy, it's just that there isn't an uninteresting character and they certainly provide a wealth of untapped stories for the continuation of the series.
If you are looking for a nice light mystery with lots of great characters, a little magic, and a little romance, you've got to check out It Takes a Witch. Also check out her other books, published under Heather Webber. I have quite a few of them in my TBR pile.
You know a book is good when it ingrains itself in your thoughts for days afterwards, making you want to go back and re-read the good bits to savor th...more You know a book is good when it ingrains itself in your thoughts for days afterwards, making you want to go back and re-read the good bits to savor them a little longer. Born at Midnight is one of those books -an amazing read- and probably one I wouldn't have picked up on my own, so a huge thank you to Brittney at St. Martin's Press for forwarding this one to me!
Often times when the teen protagonist is dealing with divorced parents in a book, the teen is so consumed by it that s/he loose sight of her/his own life, but such is not the case here. Kylie is concerned about her parent's divorce, but before she has time to dwell on it she is swept off to a camp for troubled teens where they keep telling her she's not human. Now she's on a quest to discover who she really is and what she wants out of life.
Kylie is an incredibly likable heroine. She accepts her situation and tries to deal with it as best as she can, though she is not sure she believes any of it. Actually, she thinks she'd rather have a brain tumor than be only part human. And while it becomes more and more obvious that she's in denial, you do want to shake her just a little, but you can at least understand her fear of the unknown. She starts to realize that maybe she's made assumptions about her family, friends, and even herself and, above all, Shadow Falls Camp will challenge them.
Kylie's love life is a mess, and in true teen fashion she is attracted to more than one guy, but she knows herself well enough to know that she's confused and not ready for a relationship, let alone a serious one. I love that she's not full of angst and completely self-absorbed about it, it's just another dimension of complication in the story.
C.C. Hunter's writing is approachable and unassuming -and her take on the supernatural is Medium with a whole lot of Buffy humor and sarcasm thrown in. I love reading YA's that are original and not full of obsessive angst, and The Shadow Falls series is the perfect example of that. I love all of the characters and I am anxious to find out more about each of them as they grow into themselves as supernaturals, and as adults. There are many stories still to be told about these teens, and I anticipate this being a fabulous series.
C.C. Hunter has created a refreshing and fascinating series. The second book in the series, Awake at Dawn, will hit stores October 11, 2011 and I'm headed to pre-order it right now. If you love YA paranormal in the vein of Amanda Hocking, you're going to love this series.
I adore Heather Blake's/Heather Webber's books. They're fun without being overly frivolous. They're engaging and magical, just like her characters. (I...moreI adore Heather Blake's/Heather Webber's books. They're fun without being overly frivolous. They're engaging and magical, just like her characters. (In a lot of ways, her writing reminds me of lighter version Sarah Addison Allen, who I also love.)
I have never been to Salem, so I have no idea if The Enchanted Village I've constructed in my head from the Wishcraft series resembles an actual place, but I must say I love the quaint, charming town in the novels. Not only do I want to visit, I'd move there! ( I think that makes me a Seeker... in the Crafter world.) The residents are all interesting as is their interpersonal relationships.
Darcy has gotten pulled into another crime investigation and Heather Blake has done it in a way that seems completely normal, well, for a Crafter anyway. It makes sense that fellow Crafter's would trust Darcy more than the police. I like the way she's laid the groundwork for further investigations too, to keep things from getting too "Cabot Cove-y".
The plot was plenty twisty and full of surprises...
I liked this book and didn't like this book all at the same time. How is that possible? There is a wonderful story here, but it is buried and in need...moreI liked this book and didn't like this book all at the same time. How is that possible? There is a wonderful story here, but it is buried and in need of pruning.
The novel begins with backstory, Danann's fall from grace, which is imperative to the narrative, but it means so much more once it is given the context of the main story, her struggle to regain her Light. Without that context and conflict, it comes off flat. Therefore, it is over eighty pages before I really connected with the character of Danann. Her backstory is so much more interesting once you gain perspective on it. It would have been even more interesting if it had been revealed a little at a time, trimmed down and told as flashbacks and dreams. Don't get me wrong, the story needs an introduction, but if it were me, I would have started with Uriel casting Danann out and with Seth's dismissal of her, then skipped to present day from there.
Also, because the backstory is so neatly laid out at the beginning of the book, there are no surprises. Everything is revealed. The reader knows what happened between the characters, is aware that it is all a big misunderstanding, and then spends the rest of the book waiting for the characters to figure that out too, which can be frustrating.
I do, however love Danann and Seth -and Asher and Mia too. Joanne Valiukas created something special. The characters are wonderfully rich and I would rather have spent more time with these four than all the minor characters, interesting though they may have been...
I'm honestly not sure why I continue to read Jenna Black's Faeriewalker series except to say that it's like a gruesome accident that I can't seem to l...moreI'm honestly not sure why I continue to read Jenna Black's Faeriewalker series except to say that it's like a gruesome accident that I can't seem to look away from. In my review of Glimmerglass I mentioned that I loved the surrounding characters and the magical world that was created, but didn't like Dana. If possible, my dislike for the protagonist has only intensified.
Dana is impetuous and self-absorbed. Her life is in danger three times over and boo-hoo she can't go to her best friend's birthday party. I know let's sneak out. Apparently no one's told her that to be a martyr, she needs to be deceased. If she'd learn her lesson, perhaps I could tolerate her a little more, but at the expense of her friends and family Dana continues to stick her neck out and is subsequently surprised when someone takes a swing at it...
This is a fast but amusing read about a couple on the rocks who get it together while fighting zombies together. Sarah and David use the...more(3-1/2 stars)
This is a fast but amusing read about a couple on the rocks who get it together while fighting zombies together. Sarah and David use the cheesy advice that Dr. Kelly has been doling out to help them fight their new issues, zombies wanting to eat their brains. Nothing like the living dead to help you set aside your petty differences, right?
While I didn't find this as raucously funny as some reviewers, I still was chuckling to myself quite a bit -especially over the marital advice that describes each chapter, such as,
"Balance the workload in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing all the zombies."
And far more frightening then the zombies are the religious cults that pop up trying to amass more followers by force and fear...