There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding this book. Many readers claim its a "Harry Potter" rip off, since its about a boy with magicThere is a significant amount of controversy surrounding this book. Many readers claim its a "Harry Potter" rip off, since its about a boy with magic and his two friends; one a girl and the other a boy. I read the blurb, knew the author's were both well established and determined I wanted to be able to decide for myself. So, I requested this one on Netgalley, was approved and started reading. Magisterium: The Iron Trial is a book about a boy, Callum Hunt, who has uncontrolled magic. His father, a mage himself, has refused to teach Callum anything about his budding powers. The only information he's fed the boy growing up is magic, mages and the Magisterium are all evil. He's told Callum he MUST fail his magic tests so his magic can be bound and he will never have to go the the Magisterium. A vile place where children are held captive, treated like prisons and used to fight magic wars. Well, despite Callum's valiant efforts to fail the magical exams, (he scored a negative number), he somehow still catches the eye of the top magical mage instructor and is selected to attend The Magisterium. Here's where the story begins.
This story mainly takes place in a magical boarding school located underground, deep in some unknown cavern. Pacing is fast. I didn't think this book ever had a dull moment. Its perfect for readers with active minds and those who desire non-stop action. Writing style engaged, captivated and held my interest. It was sophisticated but not so much that I couldn't grasp all the magical concepts and ideas. World building was pretty strong, with plenty of hints and unanswered questions to ponder. This one is told in a third person narrative from the perspective of our hero, twelve year old Callum Hunt.
Now Callum Hunt isn't your run of the mill mage in training. For starters, he's handicapped. His leg was shattered at birth, despite multiple surgeries and physical therapy sessions, Callum walked with a sliding limp. He's also sarcastic and is always causing some kind of trouble at his regular school. He really doesn't have any friends to speak of and usually the kids bully him because of his leg. Once admitted to The Magisterium, luckily for Callum things begin to change for the better. He really shows significant character growth in this installment.
Callum's soon to be best friend Aaron is very well liked. He's also a fantastic mage. He has a kind heart, he's very serious about his schooling and proves to be a valuable friend and ally. Tamara, the final character, forming the trio, selected by the prestigious instructor is extremely intelligent. She's also earns high marks in the initial testing. As the story progresses, it ends up she harbors some pretty interesting secrets. Of course not everyone at the school is kind to Callum, one particular boy, Jared ends up being sort of an archival. He's convinced that Callum stole his training spot in the top group and will do whatever it takes to earn it back from him.
This was a really entertaining, action packed, magical read. It captivated me with all its unanswered questions, like "kill the boy" or "you don't know what you really are". The magic was different. The chaos creatures and magic were original. I totally adored the addition of Havoc, the wolf cub, since I'm a big animal lover. I also am curious to see what happens with Warren, the lizard. All along I had my theories and ideas on where this story was headed. Surprisingly, Holly Black still managed to still toss me a curve ball at the very end of the book. The conclusion involves a breathtaking battle and startling revelations. I felt like the story wrapped up in an ideal fashion. It felt complete and could be read as a stand alone, but I don't see why any reader would not want to continue on with the series. The plan is that this series will have five books total, one for each year of Call's life between twelve and seventeen. I must say, after reading this one, I felt like there were only some very minor similarities between this book and The Harry Potter Series. Magisterium: The Iron Trial, is unique and its own story. Give it a chance, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I recommend this book to fans of magical middle grade fantasies. Those who enjoy boarding schools, magical creatures and exciting battles will find lots to love about this story. I bet readers of both Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will both also quickly be cheering for our new hero Callum Hunt as he makes his was through his school years at the Magisterium.
I've always wondered what it would be like to be telekinetic. How would I use my powers? In Chasing Power, the main character, Kayla, is blessed/curseI've always wondered what it would be like to be telekinetic. How would I use my powers? In Chasing Power, the main character, Kayla, is blessed/cursed with the power of telekinesis. As the story opens we find her using her powers to steal from others. She claims its because her family desperately needs the help. (Wouldn't it have made more sense to get a part time job?) She and her mother Moonbeam are constantly hiding from her abusive father. He's already murdered her sister and if he ever finds them he will only cause trouble. Kayla pickpockets partly for the thrill and also because she wants to have enough money saved up that her and her mom could run at the drop of a hat and be able to start a life somewhere else. Kayla's mom has no idea Kayla has been using her powers. Moonbeam strictly forbids her from using them because they would attract unwanted attention or could lead her father to them. Kayla believes she's inconspicuous when she pickpockets, but one day, a boy catches her in the act of stealing. He blackmails her into helping him find his mother who he claims has been kidnapped. If she doesn't help him, he will tell Moonbean about Kayla using her powers. Kayla relents to helping him and what entails is an action packed quest for answers and a search from magic stones. This story takes place in Santa Barbara during the summer time. Pacing in the beginning is fairly slow. It took a while to really establish what was going on and set the story in motion. Writing is fairly simple and plot is not very complex. This one is told in a third person narrative, from the perspective of the female lead, Kayla. Kayla is a good natured person. She's brave, intelligent and a quick thinker. She's very good at sifting through difficult situations and formulating solid plans. She's a little haphazard about using her powers. One thing that bothered me about Kayla was that she really didn't mind her mother. She sort of did whatever she pleased. Daniel is the boy who discovered Kayla's powers. He's desperate, good looking, but kind of selfish in the beginning. He only is thinking of himself and solving his own problems. He also has a secret power. He can "jump" from one location to another transporting he and another person millions of miles away in just moments, as long as he has a photo of his intended destination. Daniel wasn't the brightest when it came to using his powers. It was a little irritating that even when he knew doing multiple jumps could drain him of his energy and cause him to get dangerously ill he continued to do it anyways. Selena is Kayla's best friend. She's intelligent, a pleaser and is extremely wealthy. It seems like she's the polar opposite of Kayla. All she wants to do is what her parents ask of her. I really liked Selena. She seemed liked a really good girl and it was nice how she worked together with Kayla and Daniel to find the magic stones. Overall, this story for me was just meh. The premise behind the story was enticing. I felt like the execution may have been off just slightly. Lots of the information about the stones, the magic and the history came in "telling" not showing me. At times there was an overwhelming amount of information dumping. It came all at once instead of slowly as the story unfolded. This is one of those stories where I didn't really connect to the characters, either. I'd say this one far more plot driven. In the end this one wrapped up nicely. The last 1/4 of the book was action packed and went by really fast. At the conclusion the author left some room for more story to be told. So I'm quite curious to see if this one will be a stand alone or part of a series. At this point, I'm not entirely sure if I would continue with the series or not. I think this book would be perfect for readers in 7th to 10th graders. Its was a totally clean read. It did have small bits of romance, but no instalove or love triangles. Those readers who are drawn to plot driven stories and enjoy fairly straightforward and simple plots this is a good fit. ...more
Books about vampires are a dime a dozen, ditto with angel stories. Nikki Kelly tried something a little different with Lailah, she brought the two togBooks about vampires are a dime a dozen, ditto with angel stories. Nikki Kelly tried something a little different with Lailah, she brought the two together and what resulted was an powerful, unique niche story. Lailah (Francesca - Cessie) is a lost soul. She's seventeen years old and doesn't have friends or family. All she understands about herself is she doesn't age, she's somehow immortal. She has visions or glimpses of her previous existences. They don't make any sense because there are gaps or blackouts. Over her past lives, she remembers only one constant, a man's face who frequents her dreams. Then, one night after coming to the aid of a young man, he ends up leading her to this man in her dreams - Gabriel. Lailah is confident Gabriel is the one with all the answers. Together, the two young man lead Lailah on a journey of self discovery, a wild, dangerous ride culminating in an unforgettable battle of good and evil at the end.
Set mainly at and around Europe, I knew right away this was going to be different. Writing style is free flowing, easy to read and follow. Pacing is moderate, spiking to a wickedly rapid pace near the end. The book is written in a first person narrative from the unwavering voice of our female heroine, Lailah.
Lailah begins the book somewhat meek and introverted. She likes to blend in and makes no attempts to make herself stand out in a crowd. She's on a quest for answers. Her life is a mystery, a big puzzle she wants to put together. As the story progresses, she experiences a journey of self discovery. During her quest, at times I was frustrated with her stubbornness. I appreciated her bravery, resilience and ability to find true self.
Jonah, a second generation vampire, is a little sketchy in the beginning. I didn't really believe he was trustworthy. He came off as reckless. I wasn't completely sure where his allegiance lied. As I learned more about his past and experienced his faithfulness in many faces, he slowly grew on me. In the end, I almost think I liked him more than Gabriel.
Gabriel is an angel who is crazy enough for Lailah he continues to search the earth for her each and every time she passes. Initially, he frustrated me with his cryptic nature. I had a strong hunch he was hiding the truth from Lailah. I just didn't know why. He seemed like a fair person. I also appreciated his compassion for the second generation vampires. In the end, once everything falls out, his character made a lot more sense.
In the beginning I didn't fall head over heals in love with this book. I was a bit miffed at the confusion surrounding Lailah. It frustrated me that Gabriel had all the answers, but he wouldn't just reveal his secrets right away. At first it also felt like a story where romance was going to be the main focus. Plus, the apparent love triangle forming between Jonah-Lailah- Gabriel, seemed contrite and didn't interest.
About a third of the way into the book, everything changed for the better and I became hooked. The world building involved great complexity. This book is very unique with its vampire and angel lore. There are pure vampires, second generation vampires, angels and of course fallen angels. Worlds appear in dimensions, with three known: Heaven, Hell and the human world. Most of this was divulged by Gabriel in a telling, not showing sort of fashion. A device I'm not a huge fan of. One aspect I did appreciate was how the author used Lailah's rehashing what she had gleaned from Gabriel in her thoughts later, when she was trying to piece things together. These rehashing moments helped me digest everything a bit easier. By the end of the story, I was turning each page with bated breath. I couldn't wait to get all the answers. The mystery behind who/what Lailah really was heated up and it kept me on edge. I was able to figure out some of what was going on, but there were plenty of unexpected twists and turns. The story wraps up very nicely, without cliffhangers. I would say this could be read as a stand alone novel. I'm excited to see where the next book will take me.
I'd recommend this to readers looking for something unique and different. If you like battles of good versus evil this is a perfect fit. Paranormal fans will appreciate this story for the way it brings together vampires and angels in an impacting and exciting fashion....more
By far, this is the most complex and absolute BEST book of the series. Anyone who can't find it in their heart to have some kind of emotional attachmeBy far, this is the most complex and absolute BEST book of the series. Anyone who can't find it in their heart to have some kind of emotional attachment to Celaena by this book may have some psychological disorder. I just feel like this series keeps improving with every installment and I'm blow away that it continues this way since each book before I always thought would be tough to beat. In this particular book Celaena has been sent off to Wendlyn on a mission for the King, even though Celaena has ulterior motives for the journey. She's in a completely different setting which allows us to meet a handful of new characters. We get to meet Queen Maeve of the Fae,a cunning and cold blooded leader, who according to Celaena is "older than dirt", but knows everything. Rowan, who has a blood born oath with Maeve, becomes another big player in this story. He's dark, brooding but every bit as fierce and cunning as Celaena. My absolute hands down favorite new addition is Manon, a witch. In this side story, she is learning to ride wyverns. Instantly, I felt a connection to this young warrior. She's strong, a force to be reckoned with, and someone who definitely should be feared. However, I sensed despite all this, she still had a good, pure and compassionate side to her character. I feel like she will begin to play a much bigger roll in upcoming installments. Scorcha, a healer, who slowly becomes a love interest of Prince Dorian is another character I learned to love and admire. She's a quiet beauty who steals the heart of our Prince. The old characters Chaol, Dorian and the nefarious King of Adarlan still exist. Plus we finally get to meet The Wolf, Aedion, who ends up playing a much bigger part in this story. We learn a lot of his sercrets and he quickly becomes someone I really enjoyed reading about. Even Fleetfoot, Celaena's dog remains present in the current story.
The setting for Heir of Fire was in Wendlyn, pacing was fast. I LOVED how so much was going on. Sometimes, in the beginning, it was a little challenging to keep it all straight, but eventually it all became much clearer. Writing is just engaging and beautiful, with prose I found myself getting lost in. World building continues to improve with each book, building upon itself in each story, brick after brick. The narrative is told in third person primarily from the perspective of our heroine Celaena Sardothein.
Overall impressions of this story are that this book was fabulous. I just don't see how Maas can continue to improve from here. My favorite aspects of the story were the deep, complicated problems and complex plot, the immense growth and development of the characters, the detailed information we gleen from some of the character's difficult pasts, the fantastic side stories and especially the new additions of the witches and wyverns. This story had me captivated from start to finish. Its the type of book that you hate to put down and night and look forward to picking up again the next day. There wasn't ever a dull moment or a lull in this book. It was pure awesomeness from start to finish. The ending was extremely nail biting, action packed and even tear-jerking in some parts. I felt like Sarah did a much better job in this one of creating a great amount of tension near the end, but without ending on an evil cliffhanger like in book #2. I just hate those! I felt like this book had some closer, which I needed. However, I still can't wait to get my hands on #4. I seriously don't know how I'm going to wait for an ENTIRE year for the next book!...more
A solid three stars. This book takes place in a futuristic world where the air is no longer breathable because of low oxygen content, resulting from hA solid three stars. This book takes place in a futuristic world where the air is no longer breathable because of low oxygen content, resulting from high levels of radiation. Instead, humans are forced to live in oxygen enriched and purified domes. The radiation took its effect on the human race. Some humans were marred horribly, some remained unscathed while others were beneficially effected. The ones who were effected positively are considered elementalists and are able to create or manipulate one or more of the five main elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. The main character, Avery Pike, is a water elementalist - she creates steam which helps power her dome. She's a steam donator. As a payment for her services, the government takes good care of her and provides whatever she needs. However, her ability comes a a cost. Every time she donates steam it taxes her body. She's basically a slave to the government, that is until a stranger shows up and rescues her. Delivering her to another dome. A place which appears much better than her dome, but is it?
Pacing of this story is a little slow in the beginning, but then it picks up and delivers plenty of action, especially towards the ending. Steel Lily is a dystopian romance/steampunk mix taking place in the future after World War III. The romance is not the main focus of the story, however it does occupy a decent portion of the plot line. The main character, Avery Pike is strong willed and full of bravery, one of the Elites (the extremely pampered) because of her ability. She smart, good at what she does, but she's lonely. Her only friend is Alice, a Traditionalist or in other terms a human who is expendable. Alice isn't quite the risk taker that Avery is. Jaxon is Avery's love interest. He's a smart-alec, nice looking young man who wears his hair in dreadlocks. Most young woman find him irresistible, something he's keenly aware of. So, Avery doesn't want to give in to his advances. She even refuses to call him "Jaxs" a nickname, because only his friends call him this and in the beginning, she doesn't really trust him.
Steel Lily contains action, mystery and suspense. New inventions, cogs and interesting futuristic devices, add to this line up. Its a story which will keep the reader motivated to finish, just to uncover all of its secrets. One of the small drawback to the story is it is somewhat predictable. I was able to guess who the villain fairly early on in the story. This didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story because I only figured out who the person was, not why or what his/her motives were. Even though Steel Lily is only book one of the Periodic Series it could be read as a stand alone. The ending felt complete. ...more
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This just was NOT the story I was expecting when I read the blurb. I wanted a psycho serial killer and a witness protection program.INITIAL THOUGHTS: This just was NOT the story I was expecting when I read the blurb. I wanted a psycho serial killer and a witness protection program. What I got was something completely different. A very challenging read for me on a couple of levels. First, pacing is pretty slow. I found myself over halfway through the novel and not much had happened, nor did I really understand what was going on or what the point was. It continued to be pretty slow until the last quarter of the book. Secondly, for me this book lacked cohesion. The main character, Eve, doesn't remember who she is, she has no memories and suffers from frequent short term and long term memory loss. At first, I felt sympathetic to her. As the story progresses she doesn't really make any advances in remembering anything and I quickly began to lose patience and interest. I started to question that if she doesn't know about her own self, how am I ever going to get to know her? I had a really difficult time trying to decipher what was going on with not only her, but the entire story line. The book is written in a third person narrative. Whenever Eve uses her magic she passes out and has what she calls "visions" of a circus, a magician and a storyteller. These parts of the story are italicized and were very random in that each vision was different and didn't really build on the last one, making the entire story feel like it just jumped around. I really had a difficult time connecting to Eve because of her memory loss. It happened too frequently, everyone was keeping secrets and it all just began to almost bore me. Eve's new boyfriend Zack, I found to be a relatable character. I enjoyed how he was such a book nerd. He knew intricate details about most anything. The paranormal kids in the book, including Aiden were a surprise. Finally, the ending, the big reveal was almost too far-fetched. I can't say it wasn't creative, it definitely is not predictable either. I just felt it was odd. I'm disappointed to say I just wasn't the right reader or fit for this book. A fellow blogger said it best, "that I felt just as disorientated as the main character."...more
I'm not sure if this is 4.5 or 5 stars. I'm waffling. It was really AWESOME though.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: Ok, I've read plenty of YA angels books in the lI'm not sure if this is 4.5 or 5 stars. I'm waffling. It was really AWESOME though.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: Ok, I've read plenty of YA angels books in the last couple of years, but this one has to be the absolute most creative and unique take on an angel story that I've read, yet. The female lead, Riley Carver is fabulous. She's feisty, funny, smart and speaks her mind. I loved how she was so blatantly truthful, never telling even a single white lie. This is an angel book, its also a paranormal romance of sorts too. Plus, somehow the author even manages to squeeze in a time travel element. Writing style is straightforward, plot lines are incredible imaginative. The angel mythology in this story was well thought out, engrossing, I loved reading about Guardian angels, Thralls, The Circle of Nine and even Charoum (a fallen angel). The supporting characters: Gabe McClure Pastor Warren and Lacy were all special. What's even more curious is there was a unique sort of love triangle, but this is one I could really appreciate. The ending gave closure to the story, however, I do feel like there may be a lot more story to tell. I hope A. Kress plans to write more books about these characters because I still have questions left unanswered. Overall, I thought this was an impressive new take on a YA paranormal angel story, with just the perfect touch of extra special innocent romance: i.e. first kisses, first dates etc. I would recommend it to both guys and gals alike as Gabe is a very masculine character who even builds and rides a motorcycle....more
This book is a mix of paranormal, psychological thriller and mystery. The narrator is a male, Parker.Between 3.5 and 4 Stars (Rings)
This book is a mix of paranormal, psychological thriller and mystery. The narrator is a male, Parker. He's considers himself "a watcher" - and no he's not checking out girl's backsides. A much more complex problem exists. He's unable to sleep because the last person's eyes he looks into before he goes to bed is the dreams Parker will watch that night. For four years he's been sleep deprived. His mother thinks he's on drugs. After visiting a doctor he finds out if he continues life being sleep deprived he will eventually die. Enter, Mia, the new girl. Parker looks into her eyes and that night, amazingly he's able to actually sleep in her dreams, instead of just watch. This girl could actually save his life. Only problem is, Parker becomes more or less a stalker, trying to make eye contact with Mia each night, before sleeping. Then, new girl begins to get threatening emails, believing Parker is obsessed with her, of course she logical thinks they are from him. She's trying to avoid him like crazy and he's just trying to fight for his life. Everything starts to deteriorate when Parker begins to blackout and loose track of time. He's beginning to believe he just may be the one threatening Mia. So what is a guy supposed to do?
Writing style for this story is told from a male perspective, so its rough. Parker is always wrestling with good vs. evil in his mind. He's a pretty likable guy, but at times I got a little frustrated with how rudely he treated his mother. However, I did find it pretty realistic. The story contained plenty of dialogues between main characters. The author used the them somewhat for information dumping, but not always. Parker's best friend's Addie and Finn (sister and brother) play major roles in this book. One of the major reasons I got hooked on this book was the mystery. It was somewhat predictable. I kept second guessing myself,but in the end I was right, I did guess early on who was behind it all. The ending closed up the mystery, but lead the story in a completely different direction. I didn't know it was part of a series until I finished the book....more
Another Amazon Freebie for me recommended by Misty Baker, at the Kindle Obsessed Blog. It was well worth my time and I'm happy I went ahead and actedAnother Amazon Freebie for me recommended by Misty Baker, at the Kindle Obsessed Blog. It was well worth my time and I'm happy I went ahead and acted on her great Goodreads review. Sometimes the Amazon freebies are hidden gems. I'd consider this book, and the Dusk Series to be just that. I'd consider this book a sort of historical fantasy of sorts. It reminded me a lot of The River of Time Series. In Seeds of Discovery, the main character follows a mysterious boy, who has always kept to himself around until she discovers his well kept secret. William Rose is from another world, Eirentheos. Spying on his one late afternoon, she stumbles onto the gate between the two worlds and ends up in completely different time period: one where there are still castles, kings and queens.
Seeds of Discovery is set in two different worlds: Colorado, USA and then Eirentheos. Most of the story unfolds in the fantasy world. Pacing was moderate. The mystery of the youngster's illness kept me engaged. This one is told in a third person narrative, primarily through the eyes of Quinn Robbins, our female heroine. Every once in a while it changes perspective. The first time it did was about a quarter into the book, surprising me.
This is one of those story telling stories where the characters are rich and three dimensional. The good characters were easy to love and the villain was a cinch to despise. Quinn Robbins, the main character, makes a great heroine. She's curious, inquisitive and compassionate. I like how in her world she is a good caregiver to her younger sibling. She's also a great student and takes pride in her studies. When she transfers into the fantasy world, some of her negative traits shine through. She's very anxious and quite the worry wart. I did admire how she tried to control these weaknesses. I believe Quinn is a good role model and I especially like how she treated younger children.
William Rose is a very private person. He's mysterious and slightly stand offish at first. When he travels back to his home we see a completely different character. He is a wonderful caring brother and determined physician. He's very hard on himself. I'd even venture to say he's a perfectionist. It makes a lot of sense while he's in Quinn's world, why he prefers to lay low.
Thomas, William's younger brother is a godsend for Quinn. He's the character who takes the time to explain everything to Quinn. I like how he was totally patient with her and all her crazy questions. Thomas totally helped to ground Quinn and reassure her that everything would be fine while she was away from her own world.
The villain, Toliver, was a horrible, detestable character. He's one of those kids who just thinks he's entitled to everything. Sadly, his feelings of entitlement don't end with just material possessions. When they start involving Quinn though, thing get pretty intense. I have a feeling he's going to be more involved in future installments.
This story for me was quite enjoyable. Its one of those books where the plot and the characters are both strong. World building is just beginning in this book. There are distinctive differences between the two worlds, physically. For example, the sky and sunset are pink. The way time passes is faster in the fantasy world and much slower in the real world. This is an integral part of the plot since, because of this Quinn can travel between worlds, spending time in the fantasy world, without worrying her family. I hear this one just keeps improving with each new book in the series. There is a total of 4 books in the entire series, plus one novella.
I'd recommend this to historical fantasy lovers and readers who want wholesome characters and enjoy a medical mystery....more
A different kind of read about ethereal magic and time travel. Told in a first person narrative through the eyes of a female heroineINITIAL THOUGHTS:
A different kind of read about ethereal magic and time travel. Told in a first person narrative through the eyes of a female heroine called Ashara Vinn. The opening story starts out pretty typical, Asha doesn't realize she has powers, they manifest later in life than most. She's told she's and Ethereal Practitioner, but of course she has no idea how to control her powers. Her assignment in the story is to join and Ethereal task force and help prevent the world from ending. The upper government bodies have been able to rewind time over 5 times and each rewind has failed to save the planet. The council members are becoming weaker with each try. The entire book the reader feels the urgency for the players to save the world because almost every chapter title is part of the countdown. The time travel elements in this story were inventive. This book has action, battle scenes, but also a decent amount of romance between Ash and her trainer Loken who have some past history together. It gets fairly steamy, not just innocent kisses in this one. Some of the secondary characters are developed more than others. Asha's sweet little sister Sona is a character I would have liked to know more about. Her cousin Rey seemed like a really great guy. At first this story reminded me a lot of Half-Blood because Loken is tasked to train Asha just like Aiden was tasked with training Alex. Thankfully, this was just initially about 30 pages in the plot lines begin to diverge and then they really aren't anything alike. I guess another important aspect of this story is there are two different factions, the Science based crew (which Asha and Loken belong to) who want to save the world and then the Believers who would rather just leave it up to the gods. This is an interesting facet of the story. I'm pretty sure this story is a stand alone. It doesn't appear to be part of a series and I felt the conclusion was very satisfying. ...more
I didn't really understand what this book was all about when I picked it up. There were quite a few mixed reviews and plenty of comparisons to The TwiI didn't really understand what this book was all about when I picked it up. There were quite a few mixed reviews and plenty of comparisons to The Twilight Series. A friend at work strongly recommended it, then a discussion about the book on a thread by Mundie Moms caught my eye. She and another fellow blogger Haley seemed to rate this one very highly. So, I decided these two gals probably knew what they were talking about. I put myself on the long wait list and the digital library and I was surprised by how quickly my name came up. This particular book is primarily about a witch, called Diana Bishop who is descended from a prestigious line of witches. Diana is almost ashamed of being a witch, ever since her parents were murdered when she was a small child. She didn't even bother to keep up on developing her witchcraft and did everything under her power to behave like a human. Diana is also a professor at Yale university. She's researching a talk she's going to be delivering on alchemy. One evening, not unlike any other, Diana is at the library studying. One of the old manuscripts, she requests ends up behaving very strangely. The writing seems to be moving on the page and the book appears to be begging her to open it and read what's inside. Diana, still against using her magical powers, passes on what the book has to offer and ends up re-shelving it. The only problem is, the book is far more important than she realizes. Every since her encounter with the book demons, witches and vampires have be tracking her. One vampire in particular, Mathew Clairmont, ends up pursuing her, primarily to find out more about the manuscript and what evolves is a first a cautious friendship then a romantic relationship. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this book has in store for these characters. The story is set in Europe. Pacing for this one is quite slow. Its a very lengthy book and I felt it. That's not to say this wasn't a book I loathed to read. Quite the opposite, the pacing seemed perfect for the story. It slowly developed slowly in its delicate complexity. It told in a first person narrative through Diana's eyes, occasionally though it switches to third person from Mathew's perspective. The main characters in the story are Diana and Mathew. Diana, a professor at Yale, is extremely intelligent. She's a historian and loves researching and alchemy. As the book progresses so much is revealed about Diana that she becomes a very rich and vibrant character. I loved her bravery and her fierceness. She ends up being able to endure incredible amounts of animosity and pain. Plus, she's fairly grounded despite everything she learns about herself as the book moves forward. Mathew is a vampire who is over 1000 years old. That alone sparks my interest. He impressive, patient, powerful and does an incredible job of exercising restraint. Its evident he's a cold blooded killer and that alone makes me a little fearful of his character. However, as the story moves along, we learn a wealth of information about Mathew and after I got to know him throughout the book, I trusted him much more towards the end. There are numerous other characters that play substantial roles in the story and we also have the quite a few gay characters involved in the plot. So, one could definitely say this is a very diverse book and I think part of its message is to say its ok to fall in love with anyone, race, culture and breed should not matter. My favorite aspects of this book were the complexity of the plot and all of the amazing in depth backstory. Lot of history is involved in this. I was totally entertained by all of the powers Diana slowly began to command. There are so many twists and turns, plots and subplots. One part of the story which bothered me somewhat is I felt the romance in the foreground. I had plenty of interest in the manuscript and what was inside, discovering Diana's powers and especially the mystery of her parent's death. There was much more I enjoyed than not, but I still wish the romance was slightly more in the backdrop. The ending isn't abrupt. It doesn't complete the story, but it definitely wraps up on a quiet note. It leaves the reader yearning to know what's to come. I can't wait to read the next installment of this series and lucky for my I'm already on the waiting list at the digital library. I would recommend this book to patient readers who don't mind very long, somewhat slow paced books. If you are a reader looking for an in depth story with rich characters and plenty of plot to keep your imagination piqued than this is your book. It holds so much mystery, I think that is the draw and what makes it so engaging....more
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This was my first experience reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater, she's gained a new fan. Her writing is enchaFour and 1/2 Stars.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This was my first experience reading anything by Maggie Stiefvater, she's gained a new fan. Her writing is enchanting, magical and completely mesmerizing. Every time I opened this book, I found myself absorbed in the world she created unfolding in Henrietta, Virginia. Some of her word choices were amazing. Sometimes I had to keep a dictionary close by, just so I could learn the meaning of some of her vocabulary words. This is one of those books where the author weaves a complex plot. Initially, its quite confusing, written in a third person narrative with numerous viewpoints. Each character has a distinctive voice, so it wasn't difficult to figure out who was narrating. About a quarter of the way into this story, things started coming together and making a lot more sense. Maggie knows how to craft an unbelievably complex and detailed plot. Characters in this story where rich and vibrant. It was easy to get to know them all as the writing allowed the reader to really get in each ones heads. Blue, is the daughter of a psychic. Her entire bloodlines posses psychic powers, but somehow Blue does not. Instead, she's what you'd call an amplifier, making everything in the paranormal world louder. She is faced with quite a conundrum. All of her life she's been told that she will kill her first love when he kisses her. I really sympathized with Blue. With this prophecy looming over her, she really doesn't want to get close to a guy, but I can't say I blame her. I liked Blue's kind heart, especially evident in her treatment of Noah and her strength and perseverance. She always stood up for herself, despite her background, she put those Aglionby boys in their places. Gansey, is an affluent young man attending a prestigious private school called Aglionby. Right from my first encounter with this boy, I knew I liked him. His vocabulary and voice were impeccable, respectable and commanded to be listened to. Although he's rich, he's really striving to make a difference. He doesn't want to be known for his money. Ronan, one of Gansey's friends is very standoffish and dangerous. At first I really didn't like him, he's very abrasive and brash. As the story progressed and I got to know him better, he quickly wormed a way into my good graces. Adam, another one of Gainsey's good friends is on scholarship to the prestigious private school of Aglionsby, I immediately was drawn to him and his plight. He's the underdog and I usually end of rooting for guys like him. The final friend of Gaisey, is the meek and quiet Noah. He's barely noticeable. What little I got to know about him, I liked. He seemed genuine and caring. This story involves, friendships, magic, fantasy and mystery. I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending wasn't a cliffhanger. None-the-less it still was very powerful and did leave me dying to read the next book....more