Sia Holloway wakes up in a park not knowing where or who she is. Only the words "Sia's Playlist" on the iPod on her arm gives her any clue on who she is. Lost and alone, Sia ends up on the street homeless for a week. If not for the help of a fellow homeless woman named Carol who befriends her, Sia may not have survived. One day after being chased out of the soup kitchen by a volunteer for some unknown reason, she is hit by a taxi and ends up in the hospital where she is reunited with her family. As she tries to piece together her fractured and forgotten life, she learns things about herself that are hard to hear, and she vows to change herself for the better.
Sia impressed me greatly in this book. If there were more people like Sia in this world, there would be no homelessness or hungry people. Even though she has gone through a pretty serious trauma, she still looks for ways to help others. And then when she begins to learn about who she was, how horribly cruel she was before her amnesia, she tries to find ways to better herself.
I liked how that story focused on Sia's journey, and not on the romance between her and Kyle. Usually when a love interest is introduced, the story tends to focus more on that relationship than the storyline the book began with. I also like how Sia and Kyle didn't have an insta-love. They worked toward a relationship and had to overcome some pretty big hurdles in the process, namely Sia's amnesia and whether she would revert to how she was before when her memories returned.
With stories like this, which are standalone novels, I like when there is a conclusion that ties up all loose ends, and you're not left hanging on anything in the end. Sia has an epilogue that takes place two years after Sia's amnesia that ties everything up real nice. There's a definitive ending to this book, and it's a happy one.(less)
Becca Merrit was sent a cryptic message from her brother telling her to find a member of their father's former Special Forces team, a man named Rixey, and to ask for his help. But when she enters the Hard Ink tattoo parlor and finds Nick Rixey, he wants nothing to do with the situation. She leaves feeling completely hopeless. Nick has his reasons for not getting involved with his former CO's daughter. But after she leaves Hard Ink, Nick can't help but check up on her. What he finds makes him realize that a whole lot more is going on than he first thought. It's a dangerous game they're involved in, with a life in the balance. Nick knows that he needs to gather his former teammates together and reconcile with them is they have any hope of protecting Becca, saving her brother Charlie, and clearing their names in a massive coverup.
As you're reading, there are times when you think you have the whole story figured out, but then something else happens to change all that. There are twists and turns, some expected and others that are a complete surprise. I just really like this story as a whole. The relationships that are formed and those that are reconnected have really strong bonds. The romance was complicated to say the least. The physical attraction was instant, but the feelings of love didn't come so easy. Becca and Nick had a lot to work through, mentally and emotionally. And when things seemed to be getting too serious and heavy, there were moments of humor. Hard As It Gets had a very well-balanced storyline that I enjoyed immensely.
You know, I really liked Nick. He's kind of down on himself, because he feels responsible for what happened to his team. He feels he should have noticed something sooner, and because he didn't half his team lost their lives. But you can see that he deeply cares for those that were lost and those that still remain. If it weren't for Becca entering his life, thought, there are a lot of chances that he would have missed out on. Not only does he find love with Becca, but because of what's happening to her and her brother, he was able to get the remaining members of the team together an reconcile with them the fact that he pretty much abandoned them after they returned stateside.
I really admired Becca. Even though her life is in great danger, she's willing to do anything to find and save her brother, Charlie. Her strength in the face of possibly losing the only family she has left and learning the hard truth about her father is amazing. A lot of people would bow beneath the pressure, but Becca carries it like a champ. And I loved how she was able to gain all the team's respect, knowing what her father did to them.
Shane McCallan, Beckett Murda, Edward Cantrell, and Derek DiMarzio are the remaining members of the team. I liked all of them, but I'd have to say that my favorite team member was Marz. He's probably to most easy-going guy on the team. He suffered the most debilitating injury of those that survived, but he doesn't let that stop him. Then there is Nick's younger brother, Jeremy, and his funny t-shirts. And I can't forget my favorite three-legged puppy. The naming process was really entertaining and the Hard Ink Puppy (I'm not saying her name!) was just so darn adorable. I wish she were my puppy.
I am really looking forward to what happens next in this series. Hard As You Can continues with Shane as the main character. And the same baddies and their nasty plot continue to haunt our Hard Ink heroes. It sounds pretty darn exciting!(less)
Wild Cards brings is the story of Derek and Ashtyn. Derek Fitzpatrick moves to Chicago with his stepmother after he is expelled from his private school for letting loose some pigs as a prank at the senior graduation. It is there, in his new home, that he meets Ashtyn Parker. Through a series of events Derek and Ashtyn learn what it means to love and forgive, while navigating the world of high school football.
Derek was a prodigy quarterback on the fast track to the NFL, when his mother was diagnosed and later died of lung cancer. At the end, when she was calling for him, Derek chose to go to football practice before going to the hospital, and when he finally got there is was too late. That choice has haunted him ever since, and he hasn't touched a football again. He doesn't take anything seriously anymore and only has casual hookups with girls, but when he meets Ashtyn when he moves to Chicago with his stepmother, that begins to change.
Ashtyn is the kicker for her high school's varsity football team, and recently appointed captain. She is the opposite of Derek in almost every way. She takes everything seriously and only wants a serious relationship. She wants someone who will love her unconditionally and won't leave her like so many others in her life have. They both have one thing in common: football. One will do anything to play the game, and the other will do anything to avoid going out onto the field.
I fell in love with this story from the very beginning. I really liked the dynamic between Derek and Ashtyn, not to mention the steamy makeout sessions. Everyone loves those swoony moments. I also like how football factors into the whole story. It's a prevalent part of the story and plays a major role in all the characters lives. There is one character that I found immensely entertaining and that was Derek's grandmother. She is a total snob and isn't afraid to say what she's thinking, but underneath all her haughtiness you can tell that she truly cares for Derek. She just covers it up with her snobbery.
Wild Cards ends with a very emotional and satisfying conclusion. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this series will go next. Will the next book be from a new characters point of view or will it continue with Derek and Ashtyn? Either way, I can't wait to read about the Fremont High football gang again.(less)
Poppy Johnson was on the fast track to a successful career in finance, but then the "splinters" began puncturing her perfectly laid out plan. Now she's not sure what she wants, and as she's at the podium accepting the Denton Scholarship, Poppy realizes that everything she has worked so hard to achieve hasn't really been for her. So Poppy is taking a one month period to experience a number of different career paths to find something that would make her happy in the long run.
"Jelly beans have reputations. The pink ones are better than the green ones, the purple ones are better than the yellow ones, and the red ones taste the best. So save the red ones for last. If you eat the best ones first, there's nothing but green ans yellow in your future."
Now, personally, the green jelly beans are my favorite, followed by read and orange. But I found Poppy's Jelly Bean Theory to be an interesting way to prioritize and make decisions, but maybe not the tough life decisions. But I definitely liked the basic premise of saving some of the best for last, instead of having it all now and nothing but yuck later.
The Jelly Bean Crisis is a great book for students coming to the end of their high school careers. It addresses the questions we all ask at some point. What do I wan to do with the rest of my life? What's going to make me happy? I struggled with those questions as a senior, and almost 7 years later, I'm just starting to figure it out. So I guess I'm still waiting for my red jelly beans (or in my case, my green jelly beans, since I think those are the best). But Poppy has a chance that I never had to try a number of different things to figure out what she really wants.
I did find her rejection of the full-ride Denton Scholarship a little unreasonable. She could still accept the scholarship and go to Columbia. Poppy's major is not set in stone. I would have killed (well, not really, but you get the point) to have a chance like that.
The romance was a little lacking for my taste. If your going to add any romance in a book, it needs to have some substance, not little wisps. But the overall message of the story was strong. The Jelly Bean Crisis is well written with a relateable heroine and real life issues. This is definitely a must read for anyone struggling to choose a career path that will make them happy, now and in the future.(less)
I love when books from my favorite series are adapted into graphic novels, but I'm also wary because the story can end up too watered down. That is not a problem in Fever Moon. Fever Moon runs parallel to the main story in Shadowfever, as evidenced by some memorable scenes and quotes, but it's more of an off-shoot story depicting what happens after Mac meets the Fear Dorcha at Chester's and the Dreamy-Eyed Guy chases him away. So basically this is the story of the Fear Dorcha's revenge against Mac, the one who got away, by targeting those close to her.
So I was not disappointed in the story at all. I'm also glad that they included the scenes from Shadowfever, so we know exactly when these Fear Dorcha scenes happen in the Shadowfever storyline.
Now the artwork I thought was absolutely amazing. I don't think they could have chosen a better artist than Al Rio for Fever Moon. His artwork really brings out the feel of AWC Dublin. Mac looks just awesome (although I do think she's a bit too sexy-looking, if that's possible). I was a little disappointed with how Barrons was depicted. To be honest, I don't think he looks hot enough. He looks more like a thug to me. In regard to all the men in Fever Moon, they look too square and bulky--sure they are muscular, but not BOOM!! muscular. Maybe I'm just too picky when it comes to artwork depictions of my favorite characters, though.
There are some really graphic (no pun intended) scenes that should be watched out for. Especially the scene depicting Mac's rape by the Unseelie Princes that turned her pri-ya. So I definitely think reader discretion should be used when deciding whether to read Fever Moon or not.
With all that said, Fever Moon is probably one of the best adaptations for a novel series that I've read so far. I hope that Karen Marie Moning plans on more graphic novels in the Fever series in the future.(less)
The beginning of The Mosswoods was kind of slow--basically just introductions of the Mosswood family and forest--but the prologue kept me intrigued about what was going to happen. The second half of the book is when things really start to pick up. I was glued to my seat the whole time.
Poppy Mosswood is a character easy to relate to. She's at a crossroads. Should she follow in the footsteps of her family and become Keeper of the forest? Or should she go out on her own and experience the world? Every teenager that's about to graduate from high school and become an adult had to choose what they are going to do with their lives, and it's no different for Poppy. Well, except for the magical forest in her backyard that she's meant to protect.
Astrid Yrigollen does and amazing job describing the world--especially the forest--of The Mosswoods. I could picture the ancient and magical forest, with its assortment of peoples and creatures, so well. Mosswood Forest is definitely a place I would like to visit if it were real. On second thought, maybe I'll stick to just imagining the forest in my head. Id' rather not meet a Boarman and get eaten by him.
But there is one creature from the forest that I would love to meet--and that's WATTY! I liked Watty from the beginning, but once he started talking I couldn't help but love him. He's so funny and adorable--for a fierce werecat that looks more like a saber-toothed tiger, that is!
Poppy has to choose between Brad and Ashtel. She feels drawn to Ashtel, but feels a sadness when she's with Brad. You would think that it would be an easy choice, right? I could feel the sincerity of Ashtel's feelings for Poppy, but I always thought that Brad was a little sketchy. I would definitely choose sincere over sketchy any day. But Poppy has good instinct and I know she'll pick the right guy.
I was totally geared up for the happily ever after ending and was shocked by what actually happened. It's a great lead-in to the sequel and the sneak peek at the end does not disappoint. I wish I had the next book in my hands right now!(less)
In The Rising Moon, Lia is the reincarnation of Zaria, the Immortal Wolf. Torn between the love of Lyle, a werewolf and Adam, a vampire, Lia will have to make a choice. A choice that could potentially be deadly to not just herself but those she loves as well.
I loved the concept of The Rising Moon. We have a reincarnated Immortal Wolf stuck between the love of a werewolf and a vampire. And it just so happens that that werewolf and vampire are eternal enemies. This isn't one of those bright stories. The Rising Moon is actually really quite dark. There's loneliness, betrayal, jealousy, vengeance, hate, longing, heartache, death--but underneath all of these dark emotions is an undying love. That is what makes this story beautiful. That that undying love endures while surrounded by all that darkness.
The very core of the story is perfect, but the outer layers could have used some work. The grammar was really bad--there were way too many commas and in places that made no sense, a number of misspellings, and the sentence structure made it difficult to read. This seemed more like a rough draft with no revisions. I thought there needed to be more background to the events and occurrences. It's like they just happened--there wasn't much history or depth. And there are no questions asked, it's just accepted. These grammatical and developmental issues are what caused me to rate The Rising Moon with a 3 out of 5.
I'm not sure if this is a first book in a series or not--I couldn't find any information about that--but if the issues I stated are fixed, this story could be golden. Like I said before, the story concept is amazing, and with some fine tuning, this could be an equally amazing series if the story continues.(less)
Reece Ellis is on her way to board the airplane that will take her to London for the summer when she literally bumps into Dante Giliberti. Turns out they're both on the same flight, but as they are preparing to take off, another plane explodes! Thinking it might have been a terrorist attack, Dante and his security team exit the plane taking Reece with them. That's when she finds out who Dante really is: the son of the Prime Minister is Caberra and heir to the Giliberti Olives billionaire family.
When you're (happily) stranded in a paradise country with a gorgeous guy and his "epic hotness," is love enough when everything is working to keep you apart? Will Reece be strong enough to protect her heart?
OhMyGosh, I loved Dante's Girl! There is something about airport meetings that I find irresistible. I love the anticipation of finding out what will happen to the couple. And then there is the chance meeting that is just so romantic.
Reece is a down-to-earth Kansas girl. There is nothing I didn't like about her. What I loved most about Reece is that once she gives her heart to someone she doesn't accept anything less than what she deserves. She will not stay with someone who does not love her back. Reece has a great sense of humor, too. Her internal ranting and hysterics were so hilarious--I was laughing throughout almost the entire book.
Every girl at some point in their life wishes to be whisked away by Prince Charming. For Reece, that prince happens to be Dante Giliberti. Dante has princely charm and good looks, a great sense of humor, and he's even chivalrous. At one point, Dante defends Reece after learning that one of his friends bruised her arm. But like many princes, Dante's only real flaw is that he feels the need to please his father in everything, even if it makes him unhappy. This flaw in Dante causes Reece quite a bit of heartache, but she also can't deny the truth in his words when he tells her that he loves her.
While the romance is sweet and heart-wrenching, there's also a bit of mystery and suspense. When Dante's friend, Nate, is sen talking to a boy named Vincent from the farmlands of Caberra, Reece knows right away that something isn't right. Whatever the plan is, Reece is caught in the cross hairs and in the aftermath is evacuated and taken back to her parents. The question of what happened to Dante and if she'll ever see him again you'll just have to read Dante's Girl to find out!(less)
Eleanor and Thomas both travel two hundred years into the future for a night of passion, with the help of Madame Eve. Neither of them realize that they come from the same time and place, until they come face-to-face and Eleanor recognizes the man that she has loved from afar for years. It isn't until Eleanor leaves using the time travel device that Thomas realizes that they come from the same time, and when he returns home he'll do anything to find the woman who brought his heart back to life.
I've recently come to really love time travel stories, but Escape to Me is different from the others in that time doesn't keep Thomas and Eleanor apart. Usually there is a heartbreaking realization that the two will never see each other again, and while there is the moment when Eleanor says goodbye and returns home, there is a hopefulness because Thomas is able to follow her back, and he just has to find her again.
I thought it was pretty entertaining how Eleanor kept potentially revealing who she really is by how she would sometimes act and speak, and she does a very good job of pretending to be a "modern woman" to cover up for her slip-of-the-tongue moments. As with a lot of novellas, I really wish that there were more to Thomas and Eleanor's story. For a short story, Escape to Me is a well-written and enjoyable read. (less)
Guardian of the Moon Pendant takes us on the journey of two sisters who travel to Scotland to prevent a portal to the realm of the Fae from opening. On the Isle of Moon stand the MääGord standing stones and the portal to the Fae realm. Once every nineteen years the full moon passes through the standing stones and the portal will open a pathway for the Fae. Before that can happen the Guardian of the Moon Pendant must recharge the Pendant's power with the elements--Air, Earth, Water, and Fire--and close the portal. The new moon is here. Can the Guardian accomplish each task and save mankind from the Fae?
Anabel and Izzy MacAlpin are two sisters who couldn't be more different. Anabel has her life all planned out and everything is going accordingly. Izzy is just trying to get through each day in one piece. These two are constantly fighting, bickering, and trying to one-up the other. Their relationship perfectly portrays the sibling rivalry to a T. Although Anabel and Izzy go too far sometimes, I felt the relationship between them was genuine.
The MacAlpin clan has been the Guardians of the Moon Pendant and the portal for generations. Anabel, being the eldest daughter, is the heir and it's her duty to become the Guardian, but she wants no part of it since it will ruin her perfect life plan. Whereas Izzy is nicknamed the "spare child" and treated badly. Izzy views Anabel's resistence to being Guardian as her chance to prove herself by becoming the Guardian instead. But as their grandmother said, the Pendant is fickle and it may not let Anabel go.
I love reading about mythology and folklore, so when I saw that Guardian of the Moon Pendant featured Scottish fae folklore, I couldn't wait to start reading. There's the Red Cap, the Baobhan Sith, the Nuckelavee, the Ghillie Dhu, Trows, Will-o-the-Wisps, among others. I just love the stories behind these fantastical and otherworldly beings.
While I'm on the subject of Scotland, this book does have a highlander--in all his kilted glory. Blane is a Sentinel of Light, who swore an oath to Danu to protect the Guardians and the portal. He is roughly 500 years old, but only looks about 25 years old, and boy, does he make Anabel want to change her mind about marrying Edgar. It's too bad that a Sentinel is forbidden from marrying a Guardian. Though I thought the romance between Blane and Anabel wasn't necessary to the story as a whole, it was nice to see a bit of romance--and I'd like to know what Anabel ever saw in Edgar? He's kinda icky in my opinion--I'd choose Blane when I first laid eyes on him.
Besides the Fae was a whole, the main villain of the book is Lainahywn, the Baobhan Sith. She is a vampiric faery who sucks men dry or turns them into zombie-like warriors. She wants the Pendant and control of the portal--and she'll do anything to get it. Lainahywn is really kinda scary. She may look real pretty when she's all glamored up, but once she drops the facade--ugh! She's definitely a baddy you want to stay away from.(less)
This adaptation of Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel has been highly anticipated by fans worldwide, and I was no different. But I'm always wary of graphic novel adaptations of my favorite novel series, because a lot of the time the story becomes too watered down to be truly enjoyable. I've found that many adaptations published by Yen Press are very well done and the story retains its original depth. I didn't feel like I was missing anything while reading this graphic novel.
HyeKyung Baek's artwork is absolutely gorgeous. The emotions of the characters and the atmosphere of the setting are brought to visual life with the stunning artwork. The characters turned out to be pretty close to how I pictured them while reading the novel, well except for Henry (LOL). I was a little disappointed about the lack of visible runes--that's one of the things that set Shadowhunters apart from Mundanes. The stele looks more like a magical wand--I pictured the stele more like a magical tattoo gun. And the seraph blades look like regular swords, instead of a weapon of angelic power.
I know I'm being a little nit picky about the details, but I figure it's a lot more easier to draw the story as it's described in the novel accurately than it is to make a movie version. That's why I give more leeway to movie adaptations than graphic novel adaptations. It's harder to make the supernatural elements in a movie than in a graphic novel.
Aside from these finer details, I thought the character designs and architectural designs were perfect. Very appropriate to the time period.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this Clockwork Angel graphic novel. And let me tell you, those moments we all swooned at while reading the novel are a thousand times better when you can see them right in front of you.(less)
Every story in Enthralled, as the summary states, takes the characters and readers on a journey of some kind. Whether it's a journey of survival, love, hope, forgiveness, or any number of other things; every story, some more than others, will leave it's mark.
I really enjoyed reading the stories like "Niederwald" by Rachel Vincent and "Facing Facts" by Kelley Armstrong that return to the worlds of their bestselling series. We get to see what happens with our favorite (or least favorite) characters outside of the main plot.
There are a few of the stories that left more of an impact on me than others. Sarah Rees Brennan's "Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" shows that even those you're not close to at first can become family once all the barriers are removed. Jeri Smith-Ready's "Bridge" shows us the healing power of forgiveness. Ally Condie's "Leaving" shows that even one person who's willing to reach out to you can change everything. And Mary E. Pearson's "Gargouille" shows that nothing can stand in the way of love. These four stories stayed with me even as I went on to read the next story.
With moments of happiness, sadness, anger, guilt, heartbreak, and loneliness, this anthology is an emotional journey any fan of paranormal YA shouldn't miss out on.(less)
Purpose is even better than the book that came before it! If I could give this book an infinite rating, I would. In Promise, Kristie Cook showed us the joy and happiness of first and true love. But in Purpose, she shows us the opposite; the heartache and despair left behind when that love and hope is taken away.
It's been seven years since the Daemoni attack that took Tristan away from Alexis. It's unknown whether he's alive or dead. The only things keeping Alexis from plunging head-first into darkness are her son Dorian, her writing, and the thin ray of hope that Tristan is still alive; but that hope is dwindling.
When the Daemoni threaten to take away the only things left in her life that are keeping her going, Alexis travels to the one place she believes still holds a strong connection to her lost love. With the Ang'dora fast approaching, the battle of good versus evil not only against the Daemoni but within her own mind, and a battle against the one opponent she could never kill, Alexis will have to find the strength to save herself and those she loves.
As I said in my review for Promise, I love how Kristie makes her characters so real, but it's the emotion of the characters and the story that stands out the most. I don't think I've ever read a book or series that made me feel as much as this one does. The emotion rolls right off the pages and wash over you. There is no way you could feel nothing while reading this book.
In Purpose, Alexis is lost in the despair and heartache of Tristan's absence. Hanging on the edge of sanity, her mind has fractured to help cope with the loss: there's Almost Alexis who is close but not quite Real Alexis, Foggy Alexis who keeps her in a state of numbness, Swirly Alexis who mixes fact and fiction, Psycho Alexis who lashes out at the slightest provocation, and then there's Evil Alexis who is her own Daemoni side whispering evil in her ear. If not for Dorian and her writing, she would surely have given up hope. But now with the added threat of the Daemoni, as well as the Amadis, threatening to take that hope away permanently, Alexis is more determined than ever to hang on no matter what. So she travels to Florida where the beach house Tristan built her is located, hoping that their happy memories will help strengthen her resolve. While there she makes an unexpected and unbelievable discovery, comes into her powers as the goes through the Ang'dora, and once again has to battle the Daemoni.
Her son, Dorian, is such an adorably sweet little boy. Already coming into his father's warrior strength, and possessing his mother's fierce protectiveness, Dorian is wise beyond his six years of age. He also holds Alexis' great capacity to love. Having never met Tristan, and because of Alexis making sure that Dorian knows who his father is and that he is loved by Tristan, Dorian is able to love and miss this father. That love causes him to get into numerous fights at school when the other kids say horrible things about Tristan. As a very young boy he has a strength of character that I can't help but admire.
There is so much more I would love to say about Purpose, but I really don't want to give anything away and spoil the story for anyone else. Where Promise ended bitter-sweetly, Purpose finishes on a much better note. I'll leave this review with this thought: The best kind of true love is born from adversity and hard work and is fated to last forever.(less)
When Allie receives an invitation from her father to work in his new hotel in New Orleans, she sees it as a chance to experience something new before heading off to college. Allie is looking for a summer of adventure and excitement--what she gets may be more than she ever expected. After breaking up with her boyfriend before leaving for New Orleans, Allie swore off men. But when she catches the eye of Levi Laurent in the lobby of the Crescent City Hotel, everything changes--for better and for worse.
I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who could relate to Allie. She has her life planned out and anything that doesn't fit into that plan she immediately dismisses. But then a wrench is thrown into her plans--in the form of Levi--and she's left floundering. I figure it this way: When your life is all planned out, the way Allie's is, there is no room for change or surprises, and because of that you could miss out on something truly great and, for Allie, life-altering. Although there is also the chance that the change coming your way is not so great and you're left lost and wondering what went wrong. Change is a double-edged sword that can cut both ways, and in Allie's case, Levi--the wrench in her plans--caused her great happiness, but also great hurt. But it's the way you bounce back that counts.
Levi Laurent is arrogant and very persistent. And let's face it: No one that gorgeous can be human. And he's not. Levi is a Pteron, a race of shapeshifter that long ago used to turn into crows, but now are more of a hybrid--they remain in human form, except for massive black wings that sprout from their backs. Allie is the first and only girl Levi has ever flown and shared his secret with. I think that Allie's introduction and acceptance was a little too smooth, and that's where the problem started. Allie accepted what Levi and his friends are, but not their culture. Although, in Allie's defense, Levi was too close-lipped about how things work in their society, and Allie had to learn about it secondhand from someone else. Because of this, Allie got into a situation that caused her great hurt--mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Levi's massive screw-up basically brought their relationship to a screeching halt. I can't blame Allie fro being furious with Levi, she has every right to feel the way she does. But I do believe in second chances. Though Levi was stupid, he did what he did out of fear of losing Allie, and he truly loves her. I believe that he should be given one more chance, if only to try to make things right again. The fact that Allie still loves him, though she'll deny it, gives me hope that time might heal her hurt and her love for him will be strong enough to survive the coming challenges.
Flight is an engrossing read--I never wanted the story to stop! With the way the book ended, I'm dying to know what happens next for Allie, Levi, and the Pterons.
I fell in love with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight...at first sight. When I heard about this book I was curious. I don't usually read a lot of contemporary romance novels and it takes a lot for me to really like them. But when I saw the cover of Statistical Probability, when I read the synopsis, I just knew I was going to love this book. And Jennifer E. Smith did not disappoint me.
Aside from the romance, what I really liked was all the small things; all the tiny coincidental things that had to happen to bring Hadley and Oliver together. Some are obvious and some you could totally miss of you're not paying attention. What would have happened if it weren't for those first four minutes? If there wasn't a nice old lady in their row that gave her seat to Oliver? And let's not forget their little buzzing friend from the plane. All of these small events are what bring, not only Hadley and Olive together, but the story as well.
The romance is so sweet. I found Hadley and Oliver so completely adorable and I really wished the book has been longer so I could read more about them. Their love isn't, BAM! I love you, forever. It's slow and steady. They talk for hours on the plane and get to know each other and, in the end, even help each other cope with family issues. I love when the characters don't fall in love instantaneously. It's more believable when it happens at a believable pace.
I want more! I loved the characters and story so much and I want to know what happens after the first meeting; after the first 24 hours. What happens when they return to Connecticut? Do Hadley and Oliver last or was it just for that moment? I sincerely hope that the author at least considers continuing Hadley and Oliver's story--even a short story or novella would do. I just want more.(less)
Madly, the first book in the Madly series, introduces us to the key characters--Madly, Jersey, Aidan, and Jackson--and the challenges they will face.
Madly is just going about her day at Veritas Academy as usual. That is until the bracelet charm she wears sends a painful jolt throughout her body. When her handler in the town of Slumber is found dead, Madly fears the worst has happened. The only beings able to kill the Mer are the Lore, spiritual creations of Lucifer and Proserpine. Her natural home of Atlas is under lock down and her family held captive by eight escaped Lore. The fact that the only key not in the possession of a Mer was stolen to release the Lore implies that there is a traitor among the Mer and that that traitor may be royal. Now Madly is their only hope of capturing the released Lore and rescuing her family, before it's too late.
I thought Madly was a great introduction to this series. Madly's best friends are really likeable: Jersey has a mischievous side and Aidan is kind and sincere. Then there is the love interest: Jackson is absolutely swoon-worthy! There are some pretty steamy scenes just in this short novella. Madly is put into a pretty serious position out of the blue, and though she was overwhelmed at first, she quickly recovers and get to work. She's going to have some tough decisions ahead of her.
I was really intrigued by the combination of mermaids and fairytales. I haven't seen that done before and I can't wait to see how it will work out. This first book, though just a short introduction, draws readers in and leaves them wanting the next book to continue the adventure.(less)
Jessica Rules the Dark Side is the much anticipated sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Beth Fantaskey shows us Jessica's struggle to become and want to be royalty as she tries to free Lucius from a crime he didn't commit.
Some readers didn't like that the easy banter and jokes from Jessica's Guide weren't mirrored in Rules the Dark Side, but this sequel's story is more serious than it's predecessor and I was glad that the dialogue matched that. You can't be joking in a serious situation. Rules the Dark Side shows how Jessica, Lucius, and company had to grow up and become responsible adults.
I was amazed by Jessica in this book. Though in the beginning she's kind of weak, lazy, and royally unfit; when it comes time for her to step up and stand on her own two feet, Jessica shows the strength, power, and resilience befitting a queen. As Jess struggles to find evidence that will clear Lucius's name, Raniero helps her realize that she didn't have the drive or the want to rule. Once she realized this, it gave her the motivation she needed to claim what was rightfully hers.
I think my favorite part of the entire book was when Jess came charging into the courtroom wearing jeans and a t-shirt; marches right over to the one responsible and gives it to 'em. That is the first glimpse we have of Jess as the queen she will eventually be. And everyone in that courtroom knew it. It's the moment when the Jess from Pennsylvania and Princess Antanasia become one.
Other enjoyable things about Rules the Dark Side are the alternating POV's (I love the different views of the story and events), Mindy and Raniero's complicated relationship, the emails between Lucius and Raniero (we get more insight into Lucius's thoughts), and the political power plays.
I loved how Jess and Lucius supported each other and how their love for each other just grows stronger as time goes by (who would have thought that the Lucius from Jessica's Guide could love like that?). I really hope this isn't the last that we see of Jessica and Lucius. Lucius and his secrets! I'm still really curious about what he was actually doing during the time the Elder was being destroyed.(less)
The setting is Newcastle, England, 1798. Lady Caroline Wilmont is due to marry Taran Robertson, Viscount of Blackhall, the very next day and become Viscountess of Blackhall. But this night she is Aphrodite, attending a Masque for a last chance at feeling any kind of passion before entering her passionless and loveless marriage to Taran. While fleeing to the gardens of the estate, Caroline meets the "kilted god" and he shows her a night of passion she'll never forget. But as the night winds down and it's time to part ways, Caroline recognizes the eyes of the "kilted god" as those of her soon-to-be husband. Now Caroline needs to deceive her husband into believing her to be the proper wife she's expected to be, not the passionate lover her had in Aphrodite at the Masque.
Taran Robertson has not hidden his resentment in being forced to marry is deceased brother's fiancee. During his last night of freedom, he attends a Masque at his friend's urging. The woman he meets in the gardens dressed as Aphrodite is a mix of "innocence and sin, Heaven and sweet Hell," and manages to bring him to his knees. But his Aphrodite has secrets. And as Taran is returning home to Strathmore with his new wife, Aphrodite's secrets hint that his wife may not be as proper as she seems. But who ever said that he wanted a proper wife?
I loved Caroline as the heroine. She's strong, opinionated, and stubborn. She stands up for what she believes in and doesn't back down from confrontation. And at the risk of losing everything, she tries to take her future into her own hands. That's what the night at the Masque is all about.
I was glad that Taran turned out to be the exact opposite of what Caroline thought him to be. I really liked how he would do pretty much anything for his family. And let's not forget that he's a gorgeous Scottish man with a delicious accent and wears a kilt. I mean, there's just something really hot about a man in a kilt. I'm sure you can all agree ;)
I really enjoyed Caroline's antics to get out of the marriage. My favorite was her black mourning clothes at her wedding. That was just too funny and took a lot of guts.
And the mystery surrounding Caroline's family and her father's death add a little something extra to this romance story.
An Improper Wife has it all: action (both in and out of the bed), adventure, and romance. I would read this book again in a heartbeat!(less)
Maddy Darcy was the brightest student at Hidden Cove until she turned 15 years old and her mother passed onto the High Council. When her eyes changed color from green to turquoise, it was evident that someone placed a blocking curse on her powers, causing her to be the oldest witchling in the history of Hidden Cove. Now 27 years old, Maddy rarely ventures out in public for fear that her powers will cause harm to those around her.
When Maddy takes a rare trip to the museum to see an exhibit showcasing Scottish and Irish artifacts, she has a brief encounter with Colin Gregor when they are both viewing a Scottish quaich from the 1600's. Colin and Maddy go their separate ways, but Maddy feels a trace of magic from out of nowhere. Now Colin and Maddy can't be more than 60 feet from each other without intense stomach pains that get worse the farther apart they are.
It is discovered that Colin and Maddy are somehow tied to the Scottish vessel by a red aura indicating that the strongest emotions are involved in the curse. As time to find a way to break the curse dwindles and the future looks uncertain, one thing Maddy knows for sure: She's been twice cursed.
Forbidden starcrossed lovers, feuding families, and a curse of the past, all tie Maddy and Colin together now in the present. Robert MacGregor and Brenna Darcy--one from a Scottish clan, the other from an Irish clan--fell in love. But when their families found out, they were forbidden from seeing each other. Unwilling to part, Robert and Brenna ran away together. As their families chased after them, though, Robert and Brenna were killed in an accident, which then sparked a feud between the MacGregor and Darcy clans that lasted for over 60 years. In an attempt to bring peace to the clans, one of the MacGregor's placed a curse upon a quaich, stating that should a MacGregor and Darcy love each other and the bloodlines unite, peace will finally come to the clans.
I really don't think that Colin and Maddy find this curse very peaceful (and who uses a curse to bring peace?). Incredibly painful stomach pains assault them if they are too far apart and they start to "wither," but if they are too close the spirits of Robert and Brenna begin to take them over. Basically if they are too far apart they risk death, and if they are too close they risk possession. This is definitely not a peaceful way to bring about peace for their families. It doesn't hurt that Colin and Maddy were already attracted to each other before the curse took hold, so they aren't completely miserable being stuck with each other.
I loved the Scottish and Irish history and ancestry in Twice Cursed. These cultures are two of my very favorites and I love reading books that incorporate it in the story. I've always loved the richness of these culture's history and mythology, and though Twice Cursed focuses on ancestry, the richness still manages to show.
There were many great tension breakers that kept me laughing even after the last sentence. I loved Colin's reactions to the "dragon lady" Alice. The way she gets under his skin and cracks his carefully placed calm exterior is just too funny. And I can't forget to mention Sarabi's attempts at match-making. A huge black panther familiar trying to play cupid for a twice-cursed, 27 year old witchling and a gorgeous, shell-shocked science geek, is not something you see every day.
I was a little disappointed with the ending. Since Twice Cursed is a stand alone novel, I thought that the conclusion was too open-ended. It leaves the impression that there is more to come, and then leaves you disappointed that there isn't. I thought that an epilogue chapter was needed to tie up the book. Other than that, I liked that there was happiness for Colin and Maddy in the end.(less)
Gaia is a perfect world that values the good in people and strives to advance its society. There hasn't been a serious crime in more than 200 years and no ones fears leaving their homes unlocked. The citizens of Gaia are descended from those who once lived in the legendary city of Atlantis. And then there are those very select few from Earth who were Chosen and given the opportunity to live on Gaia. Albert Klein and his family are the most recent to be Chosen to live in this perfect world. But just as there were those in Atlantis that persecuted the mystics, there are those on Gaia who persecute the Chosen.
The Kleins and their neighbors, the Beckers are two Chosen families being targeted by this clan of racial purists. Albert, with the help of his new friends, will need to overcome his fears and embrace his new found gift for Revelation to set things to rights.
The Chosen of Gaia depicts a seemingly perfect world of peace, enlightenment, and advancement. But a pretty exterior can't hide a ugly interior forever. No matter how hard or how long one strives for perfection, it cannot be achieved. As long as hate exists in the hearts of people, peace cannot be gained. This is shown through the racism and prejudice the Raif clan shows toward the Chosen. They see the Chosen as impurities that need to be purged from the Gaian society.
But there are those, like Albert, who strive to be the best they can possibly be and gain strength from the persecution they face, and become unlikely heroes to those who would face the same persecution. Albert was even dubbed "The Clumsy Chosen Hero" after his efforts to stop the Raif clan were made public. It's through people like Albert that even a small amount of peace can be obtained.
The Chosen of Gaia raises questions about the nature and hearts of the human race. Through only one person a civilization can thrive or decay, all depending on what's in their hearts and minds.
I really liked this story and the characters the live within it. I would love to see more from this world, maybe from Ruth's POV, Albert's twin sister. But if this is the end of the Chosen's story, I'm glad that it ended on a happy and hopeful note. The bad guys are punished, friendships are mended, and love brings them all together. It couldn't end in a better way.(less)
Being someone who has not had the pleasure to read the first book in this series, The Light Within Me, I was glad that the author provided some background information. Because of this, one doesn't have to have read the first book to understand Finding My Faith. In fact, I became really curious about Noah and Abby's story when they were introduced in this book, and I can't wait to go back and read their story for myself. Because I have not read The Light Within Me, I can base this review solely on Finding My Faith, since I have nothing to compare it to.
I loved how Finding My Faith has a mix of genres; there's a little bit of something for everyone: sci-fi action, supernatural abilities, and sweet romance. All of this is blended so well together that this book can't be put into just one genre.
It might seem kind of cheesy, but I really liked how Rayner and Faith always seemed to have everything in common. Not only are their backgrounds similar (each grew up in the forests of their respective homelands), but they also just so happen to like the same foods and TV shows. Their both spiritual people and love nature and the outdoors. And both are free-spirits; although Rayner lost that when he came to Earth, meeting Faith made him want to live again instead of just floating along.
I love legends and folklore, so I really like the legend of The Woman With Fire for Hair and the Red-Eyed Wolf Warrior. The legend states the a woman of the Navajo with flaming red hair and an man with glowing red eyes will produce a son that will be able to harness the earth's energy. This son will only be born when the Earth needs him most, it could be a few years or hundreds of years until he's born. Until then, The Woman With Fire for Hair and the Red-Eyed Wolf Warrior will not age, the Warrior will not lose his wolf spirit, and only after then son is born will they begin to age as humans do. This legend really works in Rayner and Faith's favor. Neither of them will age until their son is born, and who knows how long that will be. And Rayner won't lose his SR44 form (though the legends says wolf spirit, for Rayner it's his SR44 form).
I was kind of disappointed that we never got to see the Colonist's demise. With how hyped up Hudson ans Cohen were to hunt him down, I was looking forward to seeing his downfall. Everyone likes seeing the bad guy lose in the end, but we just don't see it in Finding My Faith. Also, the Colonists are portrayed as these vicious killers, but the Colonist in this book just wasn't. It was just disappointing reading about how they are trying to catch and kill this Colonist and we never get to see it when they finally do.
Other than my issue with how weak I found the Colonist to be, I really loved Finding My Faith. I can't wait to see what's next for the Six Saviors.(less)
In Dancing with Death, Wendy is a senior in high school, living in a town plagued by murder after murder. The "Witchy Woods" where the murders took place is a place of fear, so when Wendy is hit by an oncoming car on a road alongside the woods, left in the ditch in her mangled car, she fears that that is how she will die. But before her car can explode she's saved by a stranger who pulls her out and takes her to the hospital. This car accident is only the beginning as Wendy's life changes forever.
There is a very good reason why I gave Dancing with Death only a 3.5. More than half of the book is just intense makeout scenes and finding the perfect outfit. I started to wonder if that was all this story was going to be about. What saved this book was the strange nightmares and messages from beyond the grave. This piqued my curiosity enough to find out what was really going on. Don't get me wrong, I like action but not when all of it is in the romantic sense. The story really picked up when Wendy and Halle found the locked chest in the attic filled with her family's secrets. Then there were the multiple murder attempts against Wendy's life. Basically I'm saying that, even if they are small, I would have liked more events to add suspense and intrigue within the first half.
I definitely wasn't expecting Wendy's secret family history to be what it was, though. I don't want to say too much about it since I want to leave that part for readers to find out, but I will say that she is a demon and the type of demon she is really explains the changes she undergoes. I thought the story would have had something to do with Death himself from looking at the title, Dancing with Death, but it really only refers to death itself.
I mentioned intense makeout scenes and, boy, are the INTENSE. Wendy finds herself with two guys vying for her attention--Brandt Summers, the new guy from California and Matt Geyer, the new school librarian. Maybe it's my bookish ways, but I loved Matt from the very beginning. Now that is perfect--a smokin' hot male librarian. But he's also genuine, loving, and respectful. I never really liked Brandt. That's all I can really say about him--I just didn't like him at all.
The conclusion was a little anti-climatic, but the question of whether Wendy will live to see the next year leaves me wanting for the next book, Dancing with Demons.(less)
Tempted is the third book in Elisabeth Naughton's Eternal Guardians series. We get to see behind the masks of Isadora and Demetrius, two of the most complicated characters in this series. Isadora finally comes into her own, and we learn why Demetrius is the way he is.
In Marked, Isadora was a shy princess who was easily pushed around. In Entwined, she realized that is she wants to change her world for the better, she needs to become stronger and grow a backbone. And finally in Tempted, we see Isadora become who she was always meant to be. She has found an inner strength that just shines though. She's not going to let anyone use her--especially not the Council.
I never really liked Isadora until I read Tempted. I don't like weak heroines, and that's exactly what she was until this book. But in Tempted, Isadora becomes stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. She's going to make a great queen.
*Sigh* Demetrius. There is just something about a guy who has that tough, hard exterior, but the soft, caring center, that's irresistible. Like candy with a yummy, gooey center. Demetrius has a really dark past that has left it's scars. He's more than just the typical Argonaut, and the secrets of the past have come back to haunt him. He knows that Isadora is his soul mate and he will do anything to protect her. But before he can give himself completely to Isadora, Demetrius has to overcome the darkness inside himself and step back into the light.
I loved Demetrius from the very beginning of this series. But seeing his strength, his determination, his restraint, and his deep love for Isadora, made me love him even more.
On a side note from the main story, I was pleasantly surprised by Orpheus. His love and concern for both Isadora and his brother, Gryphon, was really touching. And I felt really bad for Nick, Demetrius's brother and the leader of the Misos, by the end of the book. I can't say much because of spoilers, but you'll know what I mean once you read it for yourself.
I loved this books and I can't wait to read Orpheus's story in Enraptured.(less)
In the previous book, Magic of the Moonlight, Nash was turned into a werewolf. Now Legend's Run has two werewolves in town. Nash is desperate for a cure--so desperate that he asks Celeste to go with him to see Dr. Meadows. While Nash receives the answer he was seeking, Celeste is given yet another warning: Beware of the full moon. A werewolf want to take you into his world. Forever.
Every ten years, Legend's run hosts a Werewolf Festival and while everyone is excitedly anticipating the Fest, Brandon, Celeste, and Nash have real werewolf problems to agonize over. Brandon is being pressured by his father to take the cure, but he's not 100% sure he wants to. Nash wants a cure so badly that he's becoming reckless in his search for it. And Celeste has Dr. Meadows's warning hanging over her head and fears she'll be turned against her will into a werewolf. To make matters worse, there seems to be a pack of werewolves from a neighboring town that has come to Legend's Run for more than visiting the Werewolf Festival.
Full Moon Kisses is the final book in the Full Moon series. I have really enjoyed reading this series, and I'm kind of disappointed to see it ending after only three books. There is so much more that could be added to the story. And by the end I felt that there were some loose ends that weren't tied up. While the beginning and middle of the book were great with all the romance, hope, fear and danger, the conclusion felt kind of anti-climatic. There have been many series finales that had blown me away, but the ending to the Full Moon series just had me thinking, "Well, okay then, that's it."
So I'd say that readers will either love or hate Full Moon Kisses. I'm not going to say that it will be loved, because there were parts that I loved and parts that I didn't. And while, in the end, I ended up loving Full Moon Kisses, readers may not. It's a love/hate relationship with this one. Full Moon Kisses, by itself, is a great book, but as a series finale, it was just okay.(less)
Callista Jamison returns to her childhood summertime home of Bandit Creek, Montana to settle her grandmother's estate and claim the inheritance left to her. But it's not as open and closed as she thought. There are requirements Callista has to meet and a curse that prevents her from giving her heart to a man, otherwise his life is forfeit. Feeling the heavy burden of the curse, Callista resolves to forgo men for a while. As she's shouting this new resolve to the universe, she hears an injured man behind her.
Anteros, god of Requited Love, was shafted by his brother, Eros (aka Cupid) and dumped in the human world. And it wasn't just any arrow his brother shot him with, but a golden arrow. Anteros's heart will be hopelessly lost to the first woman he lays eyes on, his soul irrevocably tied to hers, which means that when she dies, so does he, effectively revoking his immortality. And the first woman Anteros sets eyes on is a hideous, lumpy-looking human!
Callista and Anteros's meeting was definitely set up, but is the love that they feel for each other really or just an illusion cast by the god of Love?
Shafted is a short, fast-paced story packed with everything we love about paranormal romance. We have the smoking-hot greek god, Anteros and the beautiful Amazonian heir, Callista, each reluctant to get to close to each other, which creates the best kind of tension. Each also has an obstacle that could come between them--Anteros falling into ambro-fever, and Callista falling victim to her family's curse. Not to mention snoopy B&B owners, meddling families, and interfering ex-boyfriends getting in the way. There's also a great mix of sarcasm and wit that left me laughing to the very last sentence. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that others love it as much as I did. (less)
When Copper Suns Fall takes place in a world that was destroyed when two groups of angels waged war against each other. 55 years after the Tidal Years, in the year 2067, humans have rebuilt, but the angel-bloods, descendants of the angels, have to hide who they are, because any angel-blood and those associated with them are immediately executed.
Although believed to have been extinct since the end of the war, the Caduceans and the Tainteds still war against each other, and one sixteen-year-old girl, Chela Prizeon, is caught in the middle. What is her role in this battle? And will she be able to realize her true power and strength to save those she loves?
This dystopian tale isn't like the rest I've read. I'm used to zombies, demons, and vampires causing the mayhem, not angels. So I really liked this new take on the end of the world as we know it.
Chela reminded me a lot of Dawn in the Darkness Before Dawn series. She's really quite mature for a sixteen-year-old. I loved how even when something completely terrified her, she faced it head on. Chela has a pretty huge responsibility she needs to shoulder as the Epiclesium, a descendant of the First Order of Seraphim. I also loved how determined Chela was to helping her twin brother, Micah. Her love and devotion are admirable.
This world and Chela's life is built on a mountain of secrets. All of the secrets floating around and half-truths really annoy Chela to no end. She doesn't know who she can really trust. These secrets and revelations are what keep readers on their toes. There will be something hinted at earlier in the book and then the revelation, whether true or not, jumps out at you unexpectedly. These secrets were one of my favorite things about this book. I was kept intrigued and wanting more.
There is quite a bit that happens in When Copper Suns Fall and it would be impossible to talk about them all without giving something away, but one thing I can't leave out is the love triangle. Or maybe I should call it the love/hate triangle. And of course Chela is caught in the middle of this too. Guy #1 is Faris, a Caducean demon slayer and Chela's Protector. Guy #2 is Seth, a Tainted masquerading as a Thoughtmaster. Now this is where the love/hate part comes in. I'm not sure I can say that Seth loves Chela, what they have is a little unclear. But Chela definitely loves Faris and he seems so be returning the love, although he hesitates. I'd definitely pick Faris over Seth, but there is something about Seth that is very intriguing. It'll be interesting to see where this triangle ends up.
With everything that happened in When Copper Suns Fall, all the secrets revealed and the ones still in the shadows, I'm really excited to see what happens next.(less)
Natalie Johnson is a girl tormented by a bully at school and her alcoholic father at home, but when she dreams Natalie is the Slayer. Strong, beautiful, and completely in control, the Slayer is everything that Natalie isn't but desperately wishes she was. When the Real World and the Dream World begin merging together, Natalie will need to find the strength hidden deep inside herself to claim her destiny and save both worlds from destruction.
When I first started reading The Dream Slayer I was a little confused. The book starts with Natalie (the Slayer) trying to stop a runaway school bus. She succeeds and proceeds to chase her arch nemesis, Morach, behind the school where she loses him. Shortly thereafter, the story moves to Natalie being beaten up by her bully at school, Sarah, on the bus to school. I couldn't tell which world was supposed to be the real one, but as I kept reading it all began to make sense and I really started enjoying the book.
We have the Real World and the Dream World. In the Real World Natalie is a shy girl who is the target for bullies; whereas in the Dream World Natalie is the Slayer, kicking demon butt and looking good while doing it. In the Real World Natalie's enemy is the Patricians--magicians with the power to manipulate dreams for their own purposes--and in the Dream World Natalie's enemy is Morach the Great, a demon master of great power. And in the Real World Natalie's love interest is her best friend, Tristan; and in the Dream World Natalie is deeply in love with Damien, a half-demon warrior. Though there are similarities between the two worlds there are also a lot of differences to look out for.
There were two things that I thought were pretty cool:
1) Natalie may not be a Slayer, but she has a role just as important.
2) Natalie created a growing, thinking world that is more than just a dream. What was not real before may very well be real now.
I would very much like to learn more about WOMP (World Organization of Magical Protection) and about who Marcus is. He just shows up one day and all of a sudden is pretty chummy with Natalie and her friends. He's not even surprised by the mention of demon slaying. Just who is he??
I loved seeing Natalie finally stand up and fight. I could picture the battle in my head and it was just amazing!
I can't wait to read the sequel, Demon Royale, and see how Natalie has changed, what's going on with the Slayer, and what new adventure there is to be had!(less)
In Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare takes us on the continued search for the Magister and shows us the political intrigue of the Clave; while still enthralling us with heart wrenching romance and taking us deeper into the relationships of the characters.
The Magister is more elusive than ever, always seeming to be one or ten steps ahead of the Shadowhunters. Charlotte's job is made even harder when the Magister knows their weaknesses--Will's family, Jem's illness, etc. And with betrayals within the Clave and close to home it may be impossible to catch the Magister before it's too late.
"Master Will has always been the brighter burning star, the one to catch attention--but Jem is a steady flame, unwavering and honest."
The triangle between Will, Tessa, and Jem is more intense in Clockwork Prince. Will's walls are crumbling and he's changing; Jem is becoming more honest and forward; and Tessa, caught in the middle, is more confused and torn then ever.
Depending on what team you're on, Team Will or Team Jem, you'll either be overjoyed or completely heartbroken. Both boys completely open themselves up and bare their hearts to Tessa. One's heart will be healed and the other's will be completely shattered.
There is so much that happens in Clockwork Prince, but Cassandra meshes it all together to seamlessly that it's not overwhelming and you can breeze right through the book. The prologue draws you in with a glimpse of Will's inner turmoil and you'll be desperately wanting more after the surprise ending. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll never want to leave this world of Shadowhunters and demons. (less)
Kaylee Cavanaugh's death was inevitable, but no one expected her life to end the way it did. It was a Thursday when Kaylee's life ended and her afterlife began. It has now been a month since that fateful day and Kaylee's going back to school. But pretending to be alive is harder than it looks. Then when Kaylee goes on a practice soul retrieval, she comes face-to-face with an old family enemy. The stakes have risen and it's not only Kaylee's soul at risk.
Where If I Die had an air of hopelessness, inevitability, and soul-crushing heartache; Before I Wake has an air of being left adrift, but has undercurrents of power and heart wrenching beauty. Fan, myself included, wondered if Rachel Vincent could out-do If I Die, and she blew it out of the water with Before I Wake.
I think we see Kaylee's true strength in Before I Wake. She has always been strong, no one will contest that, but in Before I Wake we see her at perhaps her weakest and still she manages to pull herself together. Kaylee is like the heart of the group--when she died, the group crumbled, they are only strong as long as Kaylee is. Kaylee's experience with death and her subsequent afterlife have made her stronger and has made her value life even more than she did when she was alive.
Kaylee's selflessness is epic. There really is something "intriguing" and "rare" about it. And that is why Avari wants her. I liked the way Thane described the differences between Kaylee and Avari: "You protect people with lies, and he manipulates people with the truth. You keep saving those who've hurt you, and he hurts people who've done him no harm." Kaylee's unrelenting selflessness is what makes her one of my favorite heroines. I'm glad that she didn't lose it when she died. But there are consequences that come with that selflessness; some are good, some are bad, and some are lasting and can never be taken back.
The addition of Luca to the gang was refreshing. We met him in Never to Sleep, and it was great to learn a bit more about him. Luca's abilities as a necromancer are pretty creepy, though. He's like an undead radar--he can tell you where the reinstated (i.e. Tod, Kaylee) are located, where a corpse can be found, AND he can reanimate the dead. It just makes you shiver in revulsion. But aside from his creepy abilities, Luca seems like a pretty great guy, and to be able to handle Sophie he must have unlimited patience. I don't know how he does it.
I absolutely LOVED the developments in Tod and Kaylee's relationship. Their relationship seems more natural and effortless than Kaylee's relationship with Nash did. Kaylee and Tod started out as friends, grew to care and love each other, and now they are facing forever together. Their hearts literally beat for each other, and they are the only thing that makes the other feel truly alive. I couldn't help but swoon. I love how well they compliment each other. Tod refers to Kaylee as being the strongest person he's ever met, but I loved how when Kaylee was weak or vulnerable, Tod was her strength. I am so very happy that Kaylee chose Tod. I don't know how she withstood his charms for so long.
Here are some of my favorite Tod/Kaylee quotes:
"Forever used to feel like a curse. Now it feels like a promise." (Page 65)
"You make me feel alive. Every time I touch you, I feel like there's some kind of charge flowing between us. Like tiny little bolts of lightning, setting me on fire." (Page 67)
"You don't make me feel normal. You make me feel amazing, like I'm more alive now than I was back when my heart beat on its own." (Page 118)
"How is it possible that every time you open your mouth, I--" fall more in love with you "--melt a little more? Seriously. There's nothing in here but mush." (Page 129)
"Not much scare me anymore, but I'm terrified of losing you, Kaylee. I don't want to let you go long enough for that to happen." (Page 188)
And these are only in the first half of the book. There's a lot more mushiness to enjoy and swoon over.
We wondered if Rachel Vincent could out-do If I Die and she more than did so with Before I Wake. Now with the series finale coming in With All My Soul, Kaylee's out for revenge and I can't wait to see how Rachel Vincent will bring this series to a close. I have a feeling it will be one of the best finales I've ever read and I'll be sad to see it end. (less)
The Darkest Kiss is a real beauty and the beast tale. There's Lucien, the keeper of Death--scarred and tormented--and Anya, the goddess of anarchy--gorgeous and strong--who loves him. She sees past his scars and is able to love Lucien, as well as his demon. And Lucien is able to find comfort and happiness with Anya.
Lucien's demon is Death. He's tasked with escorting the souls of the dead to their final resting place, whether that's Heaven or Hell. This is an emotionally stressful job because he sees what Heaven and Hell are like, and he's left yearning for the peace Heaven offers but knows he'll never have. And because Lucien can see a soul's last few moments of life, the knowledge he's left with becomes a burden he doesn't want. Lucien has a very intimate view of life and death; he's even had to escort the soul of the woman he had loved, and that has left its mark on him. To make sure that no other woman could ever love him again, he scarred his own face and burned part of his body to keep them away. But when he finally meets Anya, the goddess of anarchy, in person, he meets the one woman who sees his scars as beautiful and can see past them to the man he is underneath.
When I read the first book in the Lords of the Underworld series, The Darkest Night, Lucien was one of two warriors that really intrigued me. He's the scarred leader of the warriors and the incarnation of Death, so he was shrouded in mystery and I was dying to know more about him. We also meet Anya toward the end of The Darkest Night, but she was just the disembodied voice of a goddess and we only got a glimpse of her when she appeared to Ashlyn. So she was just as much of a mystery as Lucien. But we get the full scoop on them in The Darkest Kiss. And apparently the kiss of death is irresistible.
In The Darkest Kiss, we learn that Lucien is just a man scarred, literally and figuratively, by his past. By lost love, his job of escorting souls, and just wants peace and happiness for himself and his friends. Anya want to be able to find a man that she can finally trust to love and give all of herself to. She wants people to see that she is important and not minor in any way. Both want acceptance, peace, happiness, and love--and they find all of that in each other.
The search for Pandora's Box is in full swing, and they find out that they need four artifacts, guarded by Hydra, to locate the box--the All-Seeing Eye, the Cloak of Invisibility, the Cage of Compulsion, and the Paring Rod. The four artifacts are spread out all over the world and can be found somewhere in these four locations: South Africa, the Arctic, the States, and Egypt. While all of this is going on, Lucien is ordered by Cronus to kill Anya, Paris finds and loses a woman who stirs him like no other, and Aeron escapes the dungeon leaving death in his wake.
With Aeron's escape in The Darkest Kiss, Reyes and Danika's story is set up further for The Darkest Pleasure. And Paris and Sienna's story is also set up and introduced when he was captured by Hunters in this book. The Lords of the Underworld series just keep getting more exciting with each new addition.(less)