Penelope has known no world beside the video game universe Edda her entire life. Living as th...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Penelope has known no world beside the video game universe Edda her entire life. Living as the only human avatar in a land of electronic beings, she bears the title Princess and scripts weapons into digital existence for Lord Scanthax as aid for his expanding empire. As a young girl, she was eager to please the cold Lord father figure. But as Penelope matures and discovers her lack of freedom and the reality behind her emaciated human body, fed through tubes and always plugged up to a game console to access Edda, she decides to exact revenge on the beings who have taken advantage of her trust and innocence. While Edda readies for battle for yet another conquest, another band of travels led by Cindella and Ghost from the universe Saga are gathering forces. Nothing is resolved until peace is achieved.
Edda was quite a unique book. I am not an avid gamer myself (aside from the odd Pokemon game here and there), but the novel still managed to capture my attention at the very beginning. Well, to tell you the truth, the interest began to wan as I continued through Edda, and by the end, I was glad to finally read the last word and close up the book.
The novel was definitely written quite well, something I hadn’t originally expected, given the subject and setting of Edda. However, even the hard-core fantasy fan in me had trouble getting into the storyline. The viewpoint jumps from Penelope’s struggles in Lord Santhax’s castle to Cindella and the others’ journey through the electronic realms. What bothered me to no end was the lack of tension, I suppose. Penelope spends the entire novel plotting, and Cindella spends the entire novel traveling and killing things that got in their way. The resolution was short and took up only about 30 pages out of the 440 page book.
Although the novel was not my cup of tea, Edda will appeal to fantasy and sci-fi fans alike, and of course, gamers will enjoy the references to gaming spread throughout.
Since the Rose accident, Sydney has been branded as a disgrace in the Alchemist community. Wh...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Since the Rose accident, Sydney has been branded as a disgrace in the Alchemist community. When Keith -- that arrogant jerk -- shows up with a method for her to redeem herself, Sydney jumps at the chance. The pair is sent to California as guardians for Jill, the Moroi princess who has recently suffered and barely survived a brutal attack. Posing as students in an obscure private school in Palm Springs should be an easy task. However, a chain of events have already been set into motion at this sunny “haven,” and the Alchemist-vampire posse is right in the middle of it.
Perhaps I’ve been subconsciously persuaded by the scathing Bloodlines reviews out there. Or maybe I just felt like Last Sacrifice was the conclusion of Vampire Academy, and spin-offs wouldn’t do the original series justice. I have no idea.
But Bloodlines failed to impress me as much as its predecessors did.
You notice right away that the Alchemist Sydney, who has now inherited the important job as narrator, lacks the sarcasm and attitude that characterizes Rose. This naturally causes the reading to seem a bit dryer and less humorous. I’m being petty here, as the character Sydney is supposed to be serious and obedient, but this little observation did contribute to a lower rating than the standard 4-stars I’ve been giving the rest of the Vampire Academy series. It’s hard not comparing the two.
Even with a different set of main characters -- aside from Adrian -- Ms. Mead still manages to stun with wonderfully done plot twists. I admit: I was cocky and seriously thought I had the entire plot figured out about a quarter through the book. Never have I been more wrong, and I apologize to Ms. Mead for underestimating her. I thought the novel did start out a bit slowly and ended up putting it down multiple times in the beginning. I was hooked eventually.
Although Bloodlines is a teeny step below the rest of the Vampire Academy series, it is worth reading for the thrilling conclusion. Old fans will be glad to see Adrian back in their lives, too (I know I was).
Infinity started out just like every other paranormal novel, albeit with a slower pacing than...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Infinity started out just like every other paranormal novel, albeit with a slower pacing than most. Nick Gautier is introduced, his background briefly touched upon, and the paranormal aspect stirred in. I was expecting some sort of yay-let’s-all-go-stake-vampires novel, when WA-BAMMM…
I went back and re-read the part to make sure I got it right. I mean, vampires, werewolves, dark hunters, gods, immortals, AND zombies?!?! (Yeah, I know it’s in the description. I was too lazy to read it, ok? Shush…) Needless to say, I have not read a book with such a bizarre mishmash of PNR creatures before, and Ms. Kenyon handled the integration well. Everything made sense and tied together at the end.
There was a total Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle moment in here, too. Nice way of adding confusion and mystery into the characters, I suppose…
I noticed the repetition of words such as gah and bleh, which I admit to using often in IM’s, emails, and Facebook posts. However, they do not work well in books and end up making the writing seem almost sloppy. I assume Ms. Kenyon was trying to portray the teenage voice through these exclamations of annoyance, but it did not work in her favor.
There was also the reoccurrence of the word goober, and it never fails to conjure up this delightful image in my head. I must say, it’s quite distracting when you’re trying to focus on an intense fight scene while Spongebob's I'm a Goofy Goober song occupies your mind.
Overall, a quirky novel that is more MG than YA. I would not have gone out of my way to procure this book if I didn’t have a contest-won copy lying around.
A little something I learned whilst reading Infinity: Three out of four demons all prefer barbecue sauce over hemoglobin. So kids, remember to bring along some BBQ sauce when you’re walking around alone late at night.
Kylie’s life is breaking down around her: her parents consider divorce, her boyfriend dumps h...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Kylie’s life is breaking down around her: her parents consider divorce, her boyfriend dumps her and immediately starts going out with another girl, and a stalker has been introduced into her life. It isn’t until Kylie gets caught at a party -- with under-aged drinking and drugs galore -- that her life gets turned completely upside down. Her Ice Queen mom decides to send her to Shadow Falls Camp, a psychologist-recommended institution for troubled teens. And soon, Kylie discovers herself stranded in the midst of brainwave-reading paranormal creatures that couldn’t and shouldn’t exist. Confused but feeling an undeniably weird sense of belonging, Kylie begins to realize just how special she really is. Kylie’s stalker also starts to make sense -- a startling relief after all the anxiety. But then trouble invades the camp, and the paranormals are pointing fingers at each other. Beware, happy little campers, someone has an agenda of their own, and they are quite the determined bunch.
C.C. Hunter’s debut, Born at Midnight, was attention-grabbing and hard to put down. However, the plot started out incredibly slowly. It is slightly understandable, as the author has to first describe the characters and the setting of this new series. But the predicament, which should be central to every novel, was brief and felt like an after-thought. Imagine this: pages after pages of descriptions and little action, a few chapters devoted to the build-up of tension, the short resolution, and then the end of the novel, which ends up feeling like accidentally running smack into a brick wall and maybe losing a few teeth in the process.
And onto the apparently mandatory element of a YA PNR book: the love triangle. The one that exists in this book felt pretty much superfluous. There was no reason for its creation in the first place, and Kylie’s indecision and fluctuating feelings becomes a bore to read about after a while. Girl, it is not right to be lusting after three guys (her ex-boyfriend included) at once, especially if you alternate between thinking about kissing one boy to thinking about the hotness of another a second later.
Born at Midnight is a nice read, not entirely original, but interesting nonetheless. The second installment of the series, Awake at Dawn, will be released in October 2011.
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!
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...
Animals are showing up dead in the woods with their throats ripped out and the rest of t...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Animals are showing up dead in the woods with their throats ripped out and the rest of their bodies untouched, and the residents of the little town of Mystic Falls are freaking out as they attribute the attacks to demonic activity. Through all this mayhem, there is Stefan, who's led a relatively simple life; until now, that is. The boy suddenly finds himself faced with an unexpected arranged marriage and an equally unexpected visitor -- alluring and orphaned Katherine Pierce. Needless to say, it is attraction at first sight, and when Stefan's brother Damon returns from the army and appears to be quite taken with the young Katherine as well, trouble begins to brew. Two brothers and a girl: there has to be a winner, and there has to be a loser.
Based off of the hit CW TV show Vampire Diaries, Origins describes Stefan, Damon, and Katherine’s mysterious back-story. There are countless differences between this book -- co-written by the two TV show producers instead of L.J. Smith -- and the original Vampire Diaries series. While both are enjoyable, I found Origins to be slightly superior plot-wise, and L.J. Smith’s original story to be better written and characterized.
One little quirk: we never really discover who the villain is because of the abrupt ending. A nice conclusion or revelation of some sort would have been cleaned the plot up nicely. Overall, the book was still appealing -- the latter half especially, as the story finally picks up pace.
Origins would be a great read for all die-hard fans of the Vampire Diaries series and TV show, as it presents an alternative view of the Vampire Diaries world and sheds light on the murkiness of Stefan and Damon’s past.
To say that I started this book on the wrong footing would be an understatement.
1) For some peculiar reason (curiosity?), I decided to read the status updates of this review before I started. Very bad idea. -.- 2) I've also always been under the assumption that City of Glass would be the end of The Mortal Instruments, but well, you know, I guess not... 3) I read the last TMI book in 8th grade, which wasn't that long ago. It is, however, long enough for me to have read a ton of other books and realize that maybe this series wasn't that amazing after all.
My experience in a nutshell: It felt like Ms. Clare was grasping at straws in this book. I liked the first 3 books well enough, but City of Fallen Angels had a messy plot and a too convenient resolution. I will be gritting my teeth and finishing the entire series (which has now been extended to 6 books) since I always feel inclined to finish series that I've gotten into... Overall, enjoyable read.