Food for a Hungry Ghost was a really fun book to read! It made me laugh while giving me chills the next moment. The bird poop moment was so hilarious, and Trista's moods and tantrums can get downright spooky.
I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more romance between Gala and Cy. We get little teaser moments that suggest the beginnings of a relationship, but by the end there isn't really anything concrete in that area.
It is hinted that Gala has great power and it seems by the end of the book she has some kind of psychic ability. That would definitely explain why Gala was such a great source of power and strength for Trista. But is also seems that Gala's interactions with Trista opened some kind of gateway, since she's seeing a shadowy figure. There is a sense of foreboding at the end of the book. I can't wait for the next book in the Hungry Ghost series.(less)
Maya and her friends are being evacuated from a burning Salmon Creek when they notice something isn't quite right. Mayor Tillson is unresponsive and Maya finds signs that he's been drugged. The pilot is acting suspicious, and as the helicopter loses control, a friend is lost. Injured, but having escaped their kidnappers, they find themselves lost in the wilderness of Vancouver Island. As they make their way back to Salmon Creek, secrets and revelations are brought to light, some of which are better left in the dark.
Project Phoenix is an experiment where the St. Clouds are trying to resurrect extinct supernatural types. Mina Lee had given Daniel a list of terms that included: benandanti, yee naaldlooshii, xana, and sileni. We know that the yee naaldlooshii were an extinct Native American skinwalker, and that that's what Maya, Rafe and Annie are. Sam reveals herself to be a benandanti and that she believes Daniel is one too. The benandanti were an extinct race of demon hunters who evolved into general evil hunters. Like the skinwalkers, the demon hunters hid their powers through intermarriage and the St. Clouds resurrected the genes to bring them back.
SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT!!
Now, it isn't said in The Calling what the xana and sileni are, but I looked them up and found out what they are. The xana (ha-na) are female water nymphs or fairies. They are extraordinarily beautiful, usually small, slender, with long blonde or light brown hair. Their hypnotic voices can make one feel a sense of peace and love or feel suffocated and driven insane, depending on the purity of the soul. They can be kind, but are territorial. Serena, Hayley, and Nicole all fit this description. It would also fit with Sam's suspicion that Nicole was responsible for Serena's death. Nicole thought of Daniel as her territory and destroyed Serena for invading it.
Sileni were drunken followers of the Greek dog, Dionysus, who ruled over the grape harvest, wine, ritual madness and ecstasy (or possibly followers of his tutor, Silenus, the oldest, wisest, and most drunken of Dionysus's followers). Silenus was believed to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy when drunk. I feel pretty bad for Corey in this case, because this fits him and the emergence of his powers. Corey is known for his drinking and it seems to help keep his headaches away. It is while he is drunk that his visions come.
There have been some developments in each of their powers, but it'll be interesting to see how much more they could change in The Rising, especially when those who don't know what they are find out.
The man that held a gun on Maya and looked like her in The Gathering when they were escaping turns out to really be her father, like she suspected. But he's aligned himself with the Nast Cabal to search for her and her friends. He claims to have been searching for her and her brother ever since her mother ran off with them. Do I believe that? I'm not sure. Calvin Antone seems suspicious to me and like he's still hiding something.
Then they made it back to Salmon Creek, the town was completely deserted, their parents believing them to be dead. But the St. Clouds haven't given up on capturing them. Maya, Daniel, Corey, and Rafe split up. Rafe and Corey act as decoys so Maya and Daniel can get away and get help--they end up captured. As they are running, Daniel gets shot with a tranq and tells Maya to keep going. But Maya's not going to leave her friends behind and waits for her chance to rescue them. She Shifts into a cougar and...well...it's really awesome, she was amazing. But while Maya was able to free Daniel and Corey, they didn't make it in time to the helipad to get Rafe, Annie, Sam, and Kenjii.
Before all this happened, Rafe gave Maya a note, and it turned out to be memos on the Buffalo escape and the failed Genesis Project. Rafe left a contact his mother gave him and told Maya to find him and then come back for them. I believe this contact to be Simon and Derek's dad, Kit. The moment I've been looking forward to the most in this series is when the groups from the Darkness Rising and Darkest Powers series come together. I have a feeling it's going to be amazing.(less)
Poison Princess begins with Evie meeting Arthur, a young man with a hidden (from Evie, at least) agenda, and recounting her story from 6 days before the Flash to 246 days after the Flash. There are a couple of things that make this dystopian tale unique. One is that we get to see the events leading up to the apocalyptic event. We see Evie's life before the Flash and the horrific end-of-the-world visions she has. Then the actual event itself that changes the world irrevocably. The other is the use of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This is something that's never been used before. Evie is a part of a group of teens that represent one of the 21 Major Arcana and have the powers of that character. Evie is the Empress Card. So while there are a few general dystopian elements in Poison Princess, there are many that make this novel utterly unique.
As the Empress Card, Evie has power over plants. She can control them, use her blood to grow them, and she has thorn claws that are poisonous. Though she had visions of the coming Flash, that was not her power, but another Arcana's who wanted her to be ready. Evie is the Card that doesn't attack outright, but beckons her enemies to her and waits for that perfect moment to strike. One thing to watch out for if the Empress's connection to the Red Witch. It's important to Evie's development as the Empress.
Death is an enigmatic Arcana. Not much is known about him. He's very old, 21 centuries to be exact. He's the most beautiful boy Evie's ever seen. (Death always turns out to be incredibly gorgeous, though, doesn't he?). Now this is where is gets a little unclear. The Empress is the Card that Death covets the most. How exactly does he covet her? The relationship between the Empress Card and the Death Card can be confusing at times.
The other Cards that join Evie on her quest are Selena, the Moon Card; Matthew, the Fool Card; and Finn, the Magician Card. Aside from these three Arcana, Evie has met only one other in person so far, the Hermit Card. I won't say who the Hermit is so that it's not spoiled for readers. Out of these four, Evie is closest to Matthew. She only just met him in person, but feels are very strong bond with him. Besides Evie, Matthew is my favorite Arcana so far in the series.
One thing I'm really curious about concerning the Arcana is what the rain does, how it's supposed to affect them. According to Matthew, the rain weakens Evie, or the "good" Cards, and strengthens the "bad" Cards, like Death. Clouds on the horizon are a bad omen for Evie and her group.
Outside of all things Arcana is the relationship between Evie and Jackson. Before and After the Flash, they are at each other's throats. But as they struggle to survive in the newly dangerous and ruthless world, they learn more about each other and slowly grow closer. But when you think that they are finally going to take that last step and be together, something or someone comes between them. Evie and Jackson have a very bittersweet relationship that seems doomed from the start in this first book in the Arcana Chronicles. It'll be interesting to see where things go after the events at that end of this book.
I absolutely loved Poison Princess and I believe that it's a must read for any fan of dystopian fiction looking for something different from the usual in this genre. Kresley Cole did an amazing job writing her first Young Adult series. The Arcana Chronicles is a series that I'm going to be keeping a close eye on.(less)
Robyn Peltier took a PR job representing Portia Kane in an attempt to leave the painful memories of her husband's untimely death behind. With help from her best friend, Hope Adams, Robyn is slowly getting back to herself. But when a clairvoyant paparazzo kills Portia for a photo she took on her cell phone, Robyn is accused of the murder and ends up on the run from the police--and the killer.
Adele Morrissey is a clairvoyant and a member of the Kumpania. The Kumpania strongly dissuades interaction with the Cabals, so when Adele discovers that Portia Kane has a photo with Adele meeting with Irving Nast in the background, she'll do anything to get that photo before anyone in the Kumpania can see it. Adele is ruthless--she kills anyone who gets in her way, and she uses and sabotages anyone to get what she wants. I didn't like Adele at all. I think she may be one of the worst villians in the Woman of the Otherworld series so far.
It was pretty funny how everyone thought that Robyn was a supernatural, just because she's friends with Hope. They're all asking, What kind of supernatural is she? Like, is it so inconceivable for a human and supernatural to be friends?
Just like in Haunted with the reference to Eliot Ness and the Untouchables, Living with the Dead has a reference to the policeman in The Fugitive who would not give up trying to capture Richard Kimble. That's who Damon compares Finn to, because of his relentless pursuit of Robyn.
Detective Finn is a necromancer who didn't know he was a "necromancer." Though he's a supernatural, he didn't know anything about that world until this case. Finn has help from Robyn's dead husband, Damon, with the case. He even gets a visit from Eve at one point. Finn was one of my favorite characters in Living with the Dead. I hope we get to see more of him in future books.
Hope and Karl appear in Living with the Dead. Aside from trying to help clear Robyn's name, we get to see how their relationship has developed. With Karl's birthday and their first anniversary approaching, Hope still fears that Karl will leave her, and she also fears how dependent she has become of him. When Hope receives a business proposal from Rhys, a clairvoyant mercenary, she knows she has a tough decision to make--and she has to make it herself. I really liked Karl's show of commitment. The infinity symbol charm for Hope's bracelet, with the engraving "No matter what" was so sweet. I love seeing that side of Karl. What I really want to know is if they ever made it to that cabin in the woods, LOL!(less)
Curran's first law as Beast Lord was, "Don't touch the Games." The Midnight Games is a gladiatorial-style tournament where teams of supernaturals are pitted against each other. When Kate's friend Derek is found near death, all signs point to a team in the tournament called the Reapers. Determined to find those responsible, Kate and a small team of rogue shapeshifters infiltrate the tournament. But the tournament hold potential exposure for Kate, and those who work for her father are closer than she ever thought.
Kate's stepfather told her that having friends would be the death of her, and that may be so considering the number of times she's been near death because she was helping someone out. But I think Kate has also gained strength from having people she wishes to protect. The fact that Kate risks potential exposure at the tournament shows a change in her priorities and she's finally starting to live for herself. This sacrifice is significant in that she is starting to open herself to new friendships and relationships. And her loyalty to those she chooses as her friends is undeniable. But she still fears these relationships because she fears these people being caught up in her ever-approaching battle with her father. She has lost so many people in her life already because of who she is and she doesn't want to lose anymore. Derek's attack at the hands of the Reapers brings those fears into reality.
Curran's advances toward Kate reach the stalker-level in Magic Strikes. After the reeve attack in Magic Burns, Curran replaced her apartment door and kept a copy of the key for himself. He goes to her place once in a while, watches her sleep (and let's face it, he's probably the one who ate her apple pie), just to know that she's safe. And after Kate was attacked by some of the members of the Pack, Curran put out an order stating that anyone who attacks her will be punished. Then there is the Universe-explosive kiss that just leaves Kate wanting more. It's no wonder Curran thinks that they're mated. Though Kate will deny it, Curran notices her fear that there may actually be something more between them. I have to say that I would love to be stalked by Curran (who wouldn't?), and the verbal sparring between Curran and Kate is just too funny. The only thing holding Kate back is her fear that Curran will be killed because of who she is. With Curran's persistence though, Kate won't be able to hold out forever.
Kate's father, who we know to be the infamous Roland, hires the Reapers to take out the Pack. Curran's Pack is the second largest in North America and it's growing everyday, so Roland sees them as a threat to his growing empire. He has also sent Hugh d'Ambray, his Warlord, to oversee the job and make sure that the Reapers do as they were hired to. He goes so far as to lend them one of his personal weapons, forged of his own blood, the Scarlet Star. This is the risk to Kate. She is the only one who has the power to destroy Roland's sword, but doing so will expose who she really is. The fact that Kate risked her own life to protect them is not lost on her shapeshifting friends. This is Kate first big show of loyalty to the Pack. This is a very powerful and important moment in the Kate Daniels series so far. It's also a big moment for Kate, because she learns that she also has the same ability as her father to shape her blood.
Magic Strikes shifts from the usual Euro-Greco-Roman mythology of the first two books to Hindu mythology. There is mention of Hindu gods, creatures, and artifacts. And all of this informations is given to us by Dali, an Indonesian, vegetarian, were-tigress. I usually prefer Euro-Greco-Roman mythology to others, but the Hindu mythology used in Magic Strikes was a refreshing change since I don't know much about it.(less)
Still traumatized by causing Lucas's death when he challenged her and Maddy's absence from the pack, Bryn resents her weaknesses as a human leading a werewolf pack. The strength of the pack is the strength of the alpha, and the strength of the alpha is the strength of the pack.
Feeling as though her status as human is weakening her pack, Bryn went to Callum to ask the unthinkable. But seven long months have passed with no word from Callum, so Bryn takes matters into her own hands and tries to hone her abilities as a Resilient.
Things have been quiet, but they can't stay quiet forever. A storm is brewing and Bryn is smack in the middle. Will she come out unscathed or will the coming storm leave her battered and bruised?
When Shay called a Senate meeting to discuss a string of deaths caused by a female Rabid, it was the beginning of a very trying and painful journey for Bryn. Every future Callum could find was coated in blood, and that Bryn would need to be human for what was going to pass. But being human causes Bryn great heartbreak, because you can't trade a human's life for a wolf's.
Surprise revelations, unexpected allies, and enemies thought to be long dead arise. New bonds are formed, old bonds are broken, and hearts are left shattered. But revenge is sweet and a war is waged. A life forever changed by one fateful attack so many years ago, is changed once again by a leap of faith, courage, and hope.
Taken by Storm is the most emotionally charged book in the Raised by Wolves series. Bryn's strength as a leader, as an alpha, was tested physically in Raised by Wolves; mentally in Trial by Fire; and emotionally in Taken by Storm. As a human female alpha in a world where women are seen as prized possessions, Bryn had to work extra hard to prove that she could lead a werewolf pack in a society where only men ruled. She has more than proven that she has what it takes to be alpha.
I'm not sure if Taken by Storm is the final book in this series or not, but I really hope that there is more to come.(less)
A magical apocalypse has destroyed the technological world we all know so well in Magic Bites. Our once proud technological advancements have been laid waste by the resurgence of Old World magic that now runs wild once again. Skyscrapers are ruinous heaps that are home to magical outlaws, while guns fail to fire and vehicles fail to start. When magic hits, technology doesn't stand a chance.
After learning of her guardian's death, Kate Daniels travels to Atlanta in search of answers. But the questions lead to a building feud between the Pack and the People, and Kate is caught in the middle. Both factions have members mysteriously murdered and they are blaming each other. Pressured by both sides, Kate must figure out who (or what) is behind the killings and what they have to do with her guardian's murder, before war breaks out.
The world of Magic Bites is really intriguing and complex. I mean, there are so many factions and groups that it's hard to keep them straight sometimes. There is the Pack, the People, the Order, the Division, and the Guild just in this first book. I'm not even sure what all of their purposes are, especially the law enforcement factions. But the intricacies of the Pack and the People are really interesting. There is still so much to learn about this world and its people.
I loved the dynamic between Kate and Curran. They both push each others buttons, in good and bad ways. I loved the incident where Kate sent Curran a saucer of milk at a restaurant when she finds him basically spying in her. It was such a hilarious moment, I couldn't stop laughing. And you can definitely feel something simmering between them. We don't see much in Magic Bites, but you just know something is going to happen between them.
Magic Bites was a great introduction to the world and people in the Kate Daniels series. We meet key characters that will show up throughout the series, and I'm sure there's going to be even more about post-magical-apocalyptic Atlanta to learn in future books. This is an exciting start and I can't wait to read the next installment!(less)
Noel Kennedy's life changed once she began dreaming of a blond-haired, gray-eyed stranger who seemed familiar to her somehow. Things took a stranger turn when Noel saw the stranger in real life. But the stranger, Jared Townsend, wasn't the only one who found Noel. A danger very real and very unbelievable has found her too. With surprise revelations and long-lost memories surfacing, Noel must come to terms with not only her new reality, but also who she really is and a very uncertain future.
I didn't know what to expect from Dreamwalker, and I'm glad that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. In Dreamwalker, Persephone is portrayed as the villain and not the victim, which is how she's usually described in stories featuring her. Persephone's League of Immortals is a group of slaves to those immortals that serve Persephone in exchange for that immortality. Then there is the rogue group that fights against PLI to keep their freedom and mortality, and protects others from being victimized and enslaved by PLI. It's all kind of confusing at first, but as Noel learns about this world, we learn along with her. So it gets better as the story progresses.
Noel's power is that of a dream walker, a clairvoyant who can enter dreams, have visions, and even see the future with training. She shares this power with Jared and Samara. The only reason her powers awoke was because Jared was sent to awaken them and performed a ritual to do so. For Noel, who is untrained, this ability can be very inconvenient--when a vision is coming upon her she suddenly nods off. I would have to say that the dreams that Noel has and enters are the most descriptive parts of Dreamwalker, besides the Underworld, though that is more like a nicely wrapped nightmare.
Noel and Samara have the ability to magnify each others powers. This would make them the most powerful clairvoyants in the world. They would be able to manipulate their visions and see the future in its entirety. This is the power of the Maristolla family. Members of the Maristolla family are highly sought after because of their extremely powerful abilities. Noel and Samara's power is what makes Persephone want them as her new initiates. Like they say, with great power comes great responsibility. But it also comes with great sacrifice, as Noel and Samara know very well.
Now if you were caught between having to choose Jared or Boone, who would it be? Noel finds herself in this very situation. Her soul says Jared, but her heart and mind tell her Boone. At the beginning, I was all for Jared. He was the mysterious dream guy. But then Noel met Boone, who is very much in the now. He was there for her whenever she needed him, and because of his abilities as an empath, he really seemed to understand her. So by the time she had to choose one or the other, I was hoping that she would choose Boone. As for who she chose, you'll just have to read Dreamwalker to find out. And believe me, it's worth it. There are some really steamy scenes!
With the conclusion of Dreamwalker, I am extremely excited for the sequel, which comes out sometime in 2013. With all the uncertainties and questions left up in the air, I can't wait to find out what happens next.(less)
Leela Sinclair desperately wants to leave her small beach-side town for a better life in The Center and medical help for her ailing mother. When the Circus of Curiosities comes to town Leela, though hesitant at first, sees her chance to make it to The Center. Leela signs up as a volunteer performer, but when training begins she starts seeing signs that the Circus may be more dangerous than it appears to be. With help from fellow performer, Zachary, the boy she's been crushing on for years, they make it through each performance even as the others suffer life-changing injuries and horrible deaths. Leela knows that she'll eventually have to go up against Zachary and as the final curtain rises on the Circus of Curiosities, it's not only Leela's life at stake but her heart as well. But as all performers know, the show must go on.
The prologue to Circus Summer gives us a brief glimpse into the Circus of Curiosities and what to expect. It's not your average circus with clowns, acrobats, and animal tamers (though they are there to save face). There is something more sinister about this circus. The performers are dying and the spectators keep coming back for more, as if unfazed by these horrible acts. What could these young men and women want bad enough for the slim chance of making it to the grand performance in The Center? Exactly who is Dr. Dex? And what is the true purpose of his circus? We learn that and more as the story progresses. But let me tell you, it's not what you expect.
The alternating POVs of Leela and Zach add depth to the story. I always enjoy reading stories from multiple perspectives. This gives insight into other characters and the choices that they make that we might not receive otherwise. Most of Circus Summer is told from Leela's POV and every once in a while we'll see from Zach's POV. Zach's perspective shows us a different world that Leela doesn't know about and secrets are revealed. Though I liked reading from Leela's perspective, I would have liked to see more from Zach's.
I like stories that make me literally feel something, kind of like a song that you can feel in your very being, and what I felt from Circus Summer was intensity, desperation, and fear. But in Leela and Zach I could feel a hope, a white light that shines through, and possibilities of a better future.
I found Circus Summer to be a very interesting and intriguing tale. I can't wait to read the sequel, Circus Autumn, to learn more about the war, the Invaders, the Circus, and the future of this series world and inhabitants. (less)
Throughout history redheads have either been cursed or worshiped, reviled or revered. Some legends say that redheads are soulless, where others say that they have special powers. Sofia Black definitely has special powers, but is she soulless?
Sofia Black is just trying to get through her senior year so that she can leave the horribleness that is her life behind. Her mother is an alcoholic and addict. Her classmates are relentless in their teasing. And her teachers treat her with pity. But everything changes one day when Jason Morgan walks into the room. He takes an immediate interest in Sofia and she can't figure out why he's being so persistent.
Jason's persistence pays off though and Sofia's walls come crumbling down. He's sweet, romantic, and most of all, understanding. But just as everything seems to be falling into place, Robbie, Jason's twin brother, moves to town. Sofia's world is once again turned upside down. Now she's wondering which brother is the good one, and which wants her dead.
Living in a small town isn't easy when your mother is an alcoholic and everyone knows it. But Sofia doesn't let all the whispers and murmurs drag her down. Sure, it's hurtful, but it also makes her more determined to leave it all behind when she goes off to college. I loved how strong Sofia was in such a crappy situation. And even when she can't take anymore, breaks down for a good cry, she picks herself back up and moves on.
Then there's the steamy love triangle between Sofia, Jason, and Robbie. Who doesn't like twin brothers vying for their attention? But there's more than a hint of danger when one of them wants Sofia dead. Which one that is, Robbie or Jason, you won't find out until the end of the book, but it's totally unexpected and you get to enjoy some really steamy-hot make out sessions. I'll leave it up to your imagination as to who those sessions are with. ;)
Though there isn't much information on the different types of immortals given except for the color of their hair, I thought that it was an interesting and new concept. Roggeras are all redheads, Quartheras all have black hair, and then there's the Hortribue, which we're not really given any info on except that they are extremely dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. They all have supernatural abilities, and those abilities can be dangerous, especially when used the wrong way. Sofia is a Rogerra, Jason and Robbie are Quartheras, and Adrianne (the enemy) is a Hortribue. Supposedly they are the last of their kinds after the war that took place. I hope that we are given more information about these immortals in future books.
I thought that some things could have used some refining, but I really loved this story and its characters. I can't wait to read about what happens next!(less)