I have to admit that I was very skeptical going into this book, but I am so glad I read it! I think this may be my favorite of the series. The settin I have to admit that I was very skeptical going into this book, but I am so glad I read it! I think this may be my favorite of the series. The setting in this book is just fantastic. It is so interesting and vivid, I wish it were a movie because I think I could sit and watch just the scenery for days. I also really loved the overall story of the book (no spoilers!). The quest that Ash goes on is really interesting and looks at the moral implications of being fey as well as what the future holds for the fey as humans move into a more technology driven society.
One aspect of the story that I really liked was how it addressed where fairies go when people forget their names and stories. What happens when you stop believing in them. I've been a huge fan of Peter Pan ever since I was a little kid, so I know that if you want fairies to be healthy and strong, you have to clap your hands and believe!
The characters were as fantastic as they always are. I absolutely LOVED Ash as the narrator. He has this sense of introspection that Meghan never had. Meghan was basically just trying to stay alive, but Ash really contemplates stuff. He's a deep guy, ya know? He also goes through some MAJOR trials in this book, and I really enjoyed (even though it tore my heart up) reading about the different tests he had to face in order to reach his goal. And of course the side cast of Puck, Grim, and the Big Bad Wolf (who we met in Winter's Passage, one of the short stories) are as hilarious as usual. Grim really is just one of the coolest characters ever.
This cat is Grim lol
Overall The Iron Knight is the satisfying ending that fans of the series craved. I am completely in love with Ash as a narrator and I really wish there was more to the series. (Though, there was some stuff with Puck at the very end that just has my praying there will be a 5th Puck book. I WOULD DIE OF HAPPINESS. Seriously, I liked Ash but I'm Team Ginger all the way!). ...more
3/13/2012 COVER! I love the font, but I'm not 100% sure about the models. I was expecting something more artsy, maybe more of a drawn cover and less of3/13/2012 COVER! I love the font, but I'm not 100% sure about the models. I was expecting something more artsy, maybe more of a drawn cover and less of a fashion magazine style cover. However, I'm still EFFING EXCITED for this book and can't wait for it to release!
OMG I HAVE NEVER WANTED SOMETHING MORE FROM NETGALLEY IN MY WHOLE LIFE.
OMG this book...I tell ya, it is so unlike any YA I've ever read. It's got all of the elements of YA books and horror movies that I love. It's well balanced while still being freaky as shit. Oh and Velvet is amazeballs.
Update 10/19/2012 You guys. Velveteen is freaking AWESOME. FOR REALZ. This is probably my #1 most anticipated book of 2012, and I know this book doesn't come out until October, and of course I have it already pre-ordered, but I could not resist reading it as soon as it landed in my Kindle (thanks netgalley!!!!). And Velveteen does not disappoint. If you guys watch Danny's youtube channel (and you should, shame on you if you don't!) you know he is sarcastic, intelligent, eclectic, and a little bit creepy (and I mean that in the most admiration filled way possible) and this is exactly what you get with Velveteen.
The very best thing about this book is the main character, Velvet. She is fan-freaking-tastic. Of course I love her snarky and rude attitude that's wrapped in a bad ass goth exterior, but Velvet is SO MUCH MORE than that. This character is deep, yo. She's gone through some hardcore trauma and even though she acts all tough, I think she's a lot more wounded than she wants to admit (and you would be too if some sadist tortured you to death!).
I wanted to mention the world building too. I absolutely LOVED this interpretation of purgatory. The descriptions of purgatory aren't just descriptions, they're brush strokes. Seriously, Marks has one of the best vocabularies in YA literature. His writing is SO creative and descriptive. I found myself googling a lot of stuff just so I could get a clearer visual in my head, and I almost never bother to do that.
There are a few things I wanted to change about the story. I really wanted more Bonesaw! I really liked that character and I liked how Velvet reacted to him and I wanted more. It honestly felt like two books were being shoved together, and sadly my preferred story got neglected. (side note, when I read this back in April the synopsis made it seem a lot darker and a lot more of a revenge story, it has since changed to better reflect the actual story within which I think was a really smart move. The original synopsis would disappoint people who were looking for a horror book and got PNR and scare away people looking for an urban fantasy or paranormal story.)
I also could have done without Nick all together to be honest. I guess he was there to help bring out Velvet's soft nougat center or whatever, but he felt very one dimensional and kind of a crutch. I would have rather seen Velvet deal with her demons on her own.
All in all I really loved this book, but more so I really loved Danny's writing. I am extremely excited for whatever project he puts out next, be it another Velveteen book or something completely new. You KNOW I will be reading it! ...more
Tris & Izzie is a first on a few different levels for me. It's the first book I've ever read on my new Kindle, the first book I've ever received fTris & Izzie is a first on a few different levels for me. It's the first book I've ever read on my new Kindle, the first book I've ever received for review from netgalley, and my first ever one star review on this blog. It's very rare for me to give out a less than two star rating, but there is nothing remotely redeeming about this book. I'll try and hold in my negativity, but there's gonna be some snark and sarcasm. Even I'm not that good. (oh and p.s. this review may get spoilery, so if you really care (but why would you) you have been warned.)
First let's talk about the few things I did like about this book. The cover is beautiful and it's what drew me to the book in the first place. Not like I could see the pretty cover on my Kindle, but I could imagine it. Ok, the other things I liked about this book are.....um....well there was....I liked the part where.....did I mention the pretty cover?
Let's talk about the characters. Every single character in this book has bi-polar disorder. One minute they're professing their undying love for each other and then not even ten pages later they're punching each other in the face. No seriously, a boy punched his girlfriend in the face. And she was cool with it. I'm sorry but if my boyfriend punched me in the face I wouldn't be ok with it, I would be lying on the ground sobbing in a pool of my own nose blood. Izzie is probably the worst. She decides that her BFF Branna is too depressed and mopey and the best way to fix it is to give her an irreversible love potion with a guy they met literally TEN MINUTES AGO. AND this was after Branna said she didn't want a love potion, that she wanted her love to be real. Wow, some friend no? And then when Mark (Izzie's "perfect" boyfriend (he's the one that punched her in the face)) almost drinks the love potion instead of Branna what does Izzie do? Drinks it instead. She doesn't, oh I don't know, pour it ON THE FUCKING GROUND!? No she has to drink it and then she acts all pissed off about being in love with a boy that's not her boyfriend. Hum, maybe you should have thought about that before you decided to trick your best friend?
These characters play musical chairs with their relationships. They swap partners faster than the cast of Jersey Shore, I'm not exaggerating. Mark goes from being in love with Izzie to Branna in literally five minutes. Izzie goes from loving Mark to thinking that she never really loved him and that he and Branna are a much better match, even though earlier in the book she was super pissed that Branna had a crush on her boyfriend. Tristan is just an idiot.
AND THEN there's the "magic" in this book. It makes no sense other than to provide a greater enemy than this weird-o love square. It's poorly supported and even more poorly executed. The enemies and fight sequences are frankly, lame. The ending made me want to gag it was so happily ever after. I wish it had been like the real Tristan and Isolde and everyone had just died.
Sigh. Ok, end rant. As a side note, if the author/publisher/editor/anyone involved with this book ever reads this, I don't mean to be a douche. Promise. But I just really disliked this book (ok loathed may be a more appropriate word), and I'm not going to try and sugar coat it. Hope you're ok with that. ...more
FYI I read an egally from netgally! Thanks EgmontUSA!!!
I wanted to start off this review by saying that while I gave this book three stars, I read anFYI I read an egally from netgally! Thanks EgmontUSA!!!
I wanted to start off this review by saying that while I gave this book three stars, I read an advance galley so I think the finished copy will be more of a 4 star book. There are certain things that will probably be edited up a bit (mostly some support to characters that may not show up a lot but are important to the story). However as it was The Butterfly Clues was still an excellent murder mystery that, while not really all that surprising, was still very suspenseful and enjoyable to read.
The Butterfly Clues is first and foremost a book about OCD. The author does a, well, intense job of describing what it's like to have OCD. It is on every single page, for better or worse. When the consistent need to touch, take, and tap is done well, it adds SO MUCH anxiety and tension to the murder mystery. It's like, imagine not being able to escape a dangerous situation because you HAD to tap your leg nine times before you went through a doorway, or you HAD jump over every crack in the sidewalk or you'd HAVE to go back and start over, even if someone was chasing you! There were times where I just had to take a break from reading because I was getting so freaked out! But then there were times where the OCD was just there because it had to be, but didn't do anything to move the plot forward. Those scenes were painfully slow to read.
I really liked Sapphire as a character, even though we never get to actually meet her. I don't want to give away the plot (even though I found it to be pretty predictable, as in I guessed everything from about page 60 or so) but I liked who she was and what ultimately happened to her. I found her relationship to Lo a little convenient, but still very interesting.
There is one other thing I didn't like, and I think this is just personal preference. What is up with the idea that homeless = artsy? Where exactly does this kid get the money to pay for art supplies? I had a really hard time believing a person like Flynt really exists. Maybe that's because I am too grounded in my need for security. I could never just be an artist and "live off the land" Chris McCandless style. I think if more background to how Flynt survived had been given I would have enjoyed his character more. As he was I pretty much rolled my eyes every time he used his art to be all mysterious and sexy.
Overall The Butterfly Clues is an intense murder mystery (that doesn't have any paranormal aspects to it, thank God!) that uses OCD to create extremely suspenseful situations for the main character. Lo is a unique character that has some major flaws, but you can't help but love and root for anyway. I recommend The Butterfly Clues to anyone who enjoys murder mysteries or books about mental illness (or books with beautiful covers!)....more
I began Starters with high hopes. It has a striking cover and a very interesting premise. However as I read more I became increasingly disappointed. SI began Starters with high hopes. It has a striking cover and a very interesting premise. However as I read more I became increasingly disappointed. See, I love dystopian, when it makes scientific sense. That's the key phrase, but sadly Starters's world building was under developed which really detracted from my reading experience.
The world building gave me the same problems that I had with Lauren DeStefano's Wither. I don't understand the age principle used as the crux of the story. It doesn't make sense that the youngest and oldest would get vaccinated first. The richest and most important would. It's not age so much as status and power. I find it extremely hard to believe that important military, political, economic, and medical personal wouldn't get vaccinated before some 100 year old grandma. I also found it very difficult to believe that since EVERY child in America (or maybe the whole world, that wasn't clear) became an orphan at the same time that any kid who didn't happen to have living grandparents would be forced to live on the street or sent to what is basically a prison. I mean, it's every single child, the future of the country. I don't believe the enders who are now running the country wouldn't set up some sort of care system that would raise the orphans to be productive members of society.
The other problem I had was the first 75% of the book. It has a promising start, but then quickly fell into the oh so common YA dystopian trap of thinly veiled girls in pretty dresses meeting cute boys. And the middle chunk of this book dragged. I just couldn't care about the night clubs, costumes, or parties. The book did pick up in the final 25% and I think that if I had cared more about the characters I could have really enjoyed the ending. However even parts of that felt rushed and just too convenient.
I think my biggest frustration is I loved half the premise and was really annoyed by the other half. I loved reading about Callie's body being taken over and how she tries to figure out what is going on with Prime Destinations. I liked the conspiracy theory and there were some great plot twists that I didn't see coming. I just really disliked the world building that puts the characters in their situations. Now, I did read an egalley, so there is a great chance this book has gone through another round of editing that could smooth out some of the rushed and unsupported parts, but for me Starters was a book with great potential that focused too much on trivial details....more
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is the YA Vampire book I've been looking for. It has fantastic world building, compelling characters, and an overalThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is the YA Vampire book I've been looking for. It has fantastic world building, compelling characters, and an overall story arch that is exciting and interesting.
First off, I have to say that FINALLY we have vampires that are legit vampires! There's no wussy sparkling vampires here, they are frightening demons of the night that hunt humans like deer. There are two kinds of vampires, one that are more or less human like even if they think that humans are blood bags, and the other are horrific "rabids", mindless mutants that attack humans and vampires alike (kind of like the movie Daybreakers, did anyone else see that?). The vampires are cool, how they came to be makes sense, and how they function makes sense. There's also a really cool apocalyptic aspect to this book that also makes sense so yay! Science in my science fiction FTW! The world building and setting is lush and definitely the high point of the book.
Another high point of The Immortal Rules is the action. Allison is a kick-ass warrior and there is so much awesome fighting! One of the characteristics of Kagawa's writing is that she does not shy away from violence. She has an excellent balance where you get a clear (and yes that graphic) picture of the fight without it crossing into gratuitous. You see this throughout her Iron Fey series and it crosses over very well into Blood of Eden. There is some romance, but it is very minor in comparison to the main story line which is awesome. I really hope in future books the romance (aka angst) won't take over like we see so often in other dystopian books.
Overall I really enjoyed The Immortal Rules and would recommend it to anyone who liked Kagawa's Iron Fey series or readers who like action packed dystopians. It is thrilling addition to the YA vampire selections and should not be missed!...more
HOLY CRAP. This sounds AWESOME! Do want now plz? (also, can we please have a book from Puck's POV? I would freaking LOVE THAT. Just a suggestion, J.K.HOLY CRAP. This sounds AWESOME! Do want now plz? (also, can we please have a book from Puck's POV? I would freaking LOVE THAT. Just a suggestion, J.K.)
ERMAGHERD I just got approved for this on netgalley!!!!!!! Thank you Harlequin!...more
Throne of Glass was not at all what I was expecting and while I enjoyed it I definitely had some issues. I was expecting an action story that focusedThrone of Glass was not at all what I was expecting and while I enjoyed it I definitely had some issues. I was expecting an action story that focused on the assassin tournament, but the competition is in the background to setting up the romantic plot and the over-arching fantasy which, while interesting and fun to read, was not what I anticipated.
As for what was actually in the book, I found myself enjoying all of the separate elements but not really liking how they were all put together. Ultimately that comes down to I really didn't like the main character Celaena. She was so arrogant and abrasive I found her very hard to relate to and because of this I had a hard time really getting into the story. It's tough when you don't want to root for the hero.
I also found the writing to be a bit cliche and amateur. Lots of "obsidian" or "onyx" eyes, and phrases like "she didn't know where she ended and he began". There was also a LOT of telling and no showing. For the majority of the novel Celaena spends a lot of her time thinking of all the violent ways she could kill someone...if she wanted to.
But even with my complaints there's a lot of potential in this series. I really like Nehemia and Chaol and perhaps even Dorian (too soon to tell but I'm hopeful). I like all of the different plot elements, in particular the political climate and potential rebellion and the weird magic that seems to be bubbling beneath the surface and I'm sure will become a much bigger component in the story in future books. Ultimately Throne of Glass just feels and reads like a first novel. I have high hopes for what Maas can write with more experience.