We are introduced to the quaint town of Near and its inhabitants -- both human and witchThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
We are introduced to the quaint town of Near and its inhabitants -- both human and witch -- through a graceful, lilting writing style accompanied by the soft blow of the Near moor wind through our hair (or if your hair quantity is similar to Voldemort’s: across your scalp). Life is the definition of stasis, for there are no strangers in the town of Near. But then Lexi glimpses a boy who blurs on the edges and fades like the wind, and the children of the town start disappearing out of their beds each night. Now, the hunt is on for the mysterious stranger, for the missing children, and for peace at last in the town of Near.
The Near Witch is a gorgeous novel with a slightly rustic feel that reminds me of the magic that is Hale’s Princess Academy. What a breath of fresh air, so completely different from the love + paranormal creature formula most authors are using these days. And really, why would someone pay to read a glamorized regurgitation of the same ol’ star-crossed love story?
My special thanks to Ms. Schwab for giving our heroine Lexi a brain bigger and wiser than her heart (not that her heart is lacking any essential ingredients, mind you). Headstrong and willing to take the initiative, Lexi is the one moving the story forward instead of being dragged by it from behind. Our mystery boy, too, is more than just a pair of dark, pretty eyes; he is the tangled result of grief and regret and unchangeable history. What a helpless -- but hopeful -- pair they make.
The only thing keeping the novel from being a 5-star is the plot’s overall simplicity. Most will find that not to be problematic; I’m simply very picky about the books I shelve as incomprehensibly awesome. But hey, a 4.5 rating is as close to that as you can get.
Ms. Schwab has penned a shining gem of a debut, and I am waiting with bated breath for her next novel, The Archived.
Book Source: ARC from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley...more
This is quite possible my favorite PNR series, although truthfully, that isnThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
This is quite possible my favorite PNR series, although truthfully, that isn't saying much, since I haven't read that many... Blood Bound is action-packed from beginning to end, and the interactions between Mercy and Adam/Sam/Stefan are just too adorable. I think this series would make a great TV show, actually. Much more so than the Sookie series. Will read the rest of the Mercy series sometime in the near future!
I was hurriedly walking out of the school library at the conclusion of a particularly boringThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
I was hurriedly walking out of the school library at the conclusion of a particularly boring lecture on how to research online -- sheesh, we're sophomores; how do you think we survived school without knowing how to conduct research? -- when I happened to see this book propped up on a shelf. I glanced at it, continued striding past, and suddenly changed my mind 3 seconds later and screeched to a halt. My unfortunate friend proceeded to bang into me and almost fell over. Sorry, El... By the time she looked up, I was over at the shelf with the copy of Brightly Woven in my hands. I whipped out my handy-dandy school ID with the unflattering picture, handed it all to the mean librarian, and off I went.
Brightly Woven turned out to be way more addicting than I expected and kept me from being the studious person I normally pride myself to be at least most of the time. I was instantly drawn into Alexandra Bracken's world -- filled with magicians and dusty little towns and cloaks that could whisk you off to mysterious places and boys filled with sadness, in need of rescuing from themselves and their past. There is something simply enchanting about fantasy novels and their ability to pull you into an alternate world, the way they offer escape from daily life.
Sydelle and North are both characters you would want to glomp (definition). The pair is adorable in their own way and are made interesting by each of their worries and trials. Their interactions were extremely heart-warming, and the build-up of attraction is nice and gradual. It felt utterly natural.
Simple, sweet, and slightly predictable, Brightly Woven is the type of book that you will close with a wide smile plastered on your face and fuzzy feelings in your tummy. Please pardon the cheesiness of that last sentence...
Even though I am fairly new to the adult PNR/urban-fantasy genre, I have reaThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Even though I am fairly new to the adult PNR/urban-fantasy genre, I have read my fair share of vampire novels. Blood Song turned out to be an enjoyable read with a unique twist on traditional vampirism. The protagonist Celia is the usual kick-ass 20-/30-something heroine with multiple guys pursuing her as Celia herself remains clueless to the attention. In this reality, however, the entire world knows of the existence of preternatural beings. Some humans have even uncovered their own hidden powers.
The first half of the book was slightly hard to get through, and the plot felt almost random at times. There were some characters who felt kind of... unnecessary, I suppose. The ending is not overly cliffhanger-ish, but does connect to the second book, Siren Song, which I will read one of these days...