4.5 stars. When did Taheref Mafi go from being a debut author that intrigued and confused me to being on my very short list of authors whose works I b...more4.5 stars. When did Taheref Mafi go from being a debut author that intrigued and confused me to being on my very short list of authors whose works I buy without a second thought? I think Shatter Me is one of those books that kept changing and changing in my mind long after I finished reading it, becoming better every day, as it endured the test of time. I read a lot and I forget easily, it is a simple fact, but Tahereh Mafi never allowed herself to be forgotten. And she just sealed the deal with Unravel Me, which I was fortunate enough to read ahead of time and which turned out to be my second favorite book in 2012.
I didn’t like it… getting to know Warner, seeing a different side of him (not a better side, mind you, just one that made him clearer to me), and actually considering that he might be a better choice for our Juliette… Nope, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it one bit. How can I feel so much love for a sociopath, a man damaged beyond salvation? Warner is cruel and frightening, but he also understands Juliette better than Adam ever could. The two of them are so alike, both abused by their parents, both living with so much ugliness on their conscience.
The life I know now is the only one that matters. The suffocation, the luxury, the sleepless nights, and the dead bodies. I’ve always been taught to focus on power and pain, gaining and inflicting. I grieve nothing. I take everything.
Because Juliette’s voice is so distinctive and closely connected to Mafi’s writing style in any reader’s mind, Mafi changed her writing completely for Warner, and it is the smartest thing she could have done. I’m not just talking about the absence of poetic descriptions and (in)famous strikethroughs, even the rhythm and sentence structure are different. This story from Warner’s point of view is clean and delivered with military precision, skillfully written and tightly controlled. Tahereh Mafi gave him a voice so unlike Juliette’s that there is no mistaking the two, and the contrast is made even more obvious by Juliette’s diary entries Warner discovers in her old cell room.
My mind is a warehouse of carefully controlled human emotions. I can almost see my brain as it functions, filing thoughts and images away. I lock away the things that do not serve me. I focus only on what needs to be done: the basic components of survival and the myriad things I must manage throughout the day.
And these diary entries… these words Juliette wrote down while she was in the asylum… even though there aren’t many of them, each and every one is so completely and utterly heartbreaking, her every thought, every memory is a new knife that finds its way into the reader’s heart.
This unusually long e-novella that takes place between the events of Shatter Me and Unravel MEe is an absolute must-read for all Mafi’s fans. If I wasn’t in the habit of reserving my five-star ratings only for books that really and truly take my breath away, I would have given Destroy Me those five shiny crowns. This way, it gets four and a half, but I need you to know it came very close, my friends. Very close indeed.
This will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of the...moreThis will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of the characters. Yes, yes, I’m well aware of the zombies, but I honestly don’t care. Given the choice, that’s where I’d want to be.
The point of my little confession is that I welcome every word Mira Grant decides to write. This is not a novella per se because it doesn't have a single storyline, it’s nothing like Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box. Instead we get to go back to the year 2014. and see how everything started. Nobody can accuse Mira Grant of being superficial. She created a world that is as detailed and as palpable as the one I’m living in, if not more. Everything is thought out. Everything makes perfect sense. Everything is properly explained.
We finally meet Amanda Amberlee, cured of leukemia and getting ready for her prom. No matter how many times Georgia and Shaun mentioned Amanda in their blog entries, it was still nice to find out a little more about her and what she was like when she was alive. We also get to meet Dr. Kellis, the idiots who stole the untested cure for cold and the journalist who wrote the famous article about it. Step by step we find out about the first outbreak and all the events that led to it.
Countdown consists only of facts, Grant didn’t attempt to provoke emotions of any kind or create connections between her readers and the characters. Of course, in doing so, she succeeded in depicting the very nature of the Kellis-Amberlee virus.
I’m sure I don’t need to convince fans of the trilogy to read Countdown.
Mira Grant will NEVER get 4 stars from me. Seanan McGuire is something else entirely. (less)
You can (and should) read Retro Demonology for free HERE.
A hippie couple calls the Guild about a first level demon (Biblio-Fiend) and Riley is sent to...moreYou can (and should) read Retro Demonology for free HERE.
A hippie couple calls the Guild about a first level demon (Biblio-Fiend) and Riley is sent to go catch it as part of her training. It’s the first time Riley’s allowed to hunt a demon without her father, who is also her mentor. It turns out that the Biblio demon showed up because the couple owns a copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost - it’s only natural that all Biblio demons want to destroy those! Poor Riley is forced to read parts of Moby Dick until the demon passes out. (view spoiler)[You have to admire her methods. I’d probably pass out, too. (hide spoiler)]
I loved The Demon Trapper's Daughter, or Forsaken in the U.S. even though most people didn’t, and I wish I’d known about Retro Demonology in time. I only found out about it today through a friend of a friend here on Goodreads. My only problem with this short story is that it's too short. :) Fortunately, Forbidden (Soul Thief) will be released on August 5th. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this short story prequel to Intangible. I can't wait to read the book. I love that the protagonists are twins with different powe...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this short story prequel to Intangible. I can't wait to read the book. I love that the protagonists are twins with different powers.
This prequel is free on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and it's really very short. Read it next time you have ten minutes to spare. (less)
I keep going back to re-read this every two months or so and it's always just as funny as the first time. It takes about 20 minutes to read, it's free...moreI keep going back to re-read this every two months or so and it's always just as funny as the first time. It takes about 20 minutes to read, it's free and it's guaranteed to improve your mood. You can download the ebook on Goodreads book page or you can read online here: http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/r...
Go read this, people. It will make your day! (less)
It was clear right from the start, in City of Bones, that Magnus Bane will never be content to remain in the background. He is too fabulous a characte...moreIt was clear right from the start, in City of Bones, that Magnus Bane will never be content to remain in the background. He is too fabulous a character to ever be called side, secondary, or anything else to that effect. The Bane Chronicles finally put this powerful, yet kind-hearted immortal front and center, right where he deserves to be.
The Midnight Heir takes place in Edwardian London, and it gives us an opportunity to reunite with Will, Tessa, and even Jem. It is a great introduction into the upcoming trilogy centered around Will and Tessa’s children and their peers. It was clear, even from this very short story, that we can expect a lot of pain and heartbreak from the lovely 17-year-old James Herondale. He is Will’s son after all, and judging by this glimpse into his life, he is just as tortured as his father used to be, albeit in a very different way.
Each of the Bane Chronicles stories is narrated by a different person, which I don’t really understand, but luckily, they’ve all been great so far. David Oyelowo gave a wonderful voice to Magnus Bane, laced with wisdom, humor and kindness. The audio version doesn’t really cost much more than the ebook, but it will give you 90 minutes with Magnus and the others, and reading the ebook would take no more than 10. If you don’t already have your copy, I highly recommend getting the audiobook.
My interest in the Mortal Instruments vanished completely right around the time the original trilogy ended. I resented Clare for milking the cash cow,...moreMy interest in the Mortal Instruments vanished completely right around the time the original trilogy ended. I resented Clare for milking the cash cow, so to speak, and dragging out something that ended quite nicely in book 3. However, my investment in some of the relationships, especially that of Magnus and Alec, never quite disappeared.
In this novella, we find them at their very beginning, shy and tentative, careful not to overstep the boundaries. It’s Alec’s birthday and Magnus wants to give him something thoughtful and memorable, something that says just how much he’s grown to care for the shadowhunter. Being who he is, he goes about it in his usual, outrageous manner. Seeing Magnus “officially besotted and revolted by himself” was hilarious and absolutely delightful! This is a fairly brief novella, but fans of the couple will certainly enjoy seeing Magnus so completely infatuated with Alec. Although we don’t see much of Alec himself, he is present in Magnus’ every thought.
Jordan Gavaris is my favorite narrator of these novellas. His voice is very light and humorous, with a barely discernible seriousness underneath, which fits Magnus extremely well. For this too, I highly recommend getting the audio version.
A Cursed Moon is a novella told from the perspective of Bren, Celia’s were friend. Novella’s are always hit or miss for me, rarely do they fall in the...moreA Cursed Moon is a novella told from the perspective of Bren, Celia’s were friend. Novella’s are always hit or miss for me, rarely do they fall in the middle, and luckily, A Cursed Moon is a huge success.
I adore Cecy Robson for being able to build such a fabulously complex character in a single novella. I feel like I know Bren well now, and I certainly understand what makes him behave the way he does. I have to admit I was a bit worried at first – Bren’s devil may care attitude grated on me and made me severely uncomfortable, but Robson did a fabulous job of explaining his character in a way that made sense and that succeeded in endearing him to me in a matter of minutes. The loyalty and love he shows his friends on a daily basis more than make up for his sometimes obnoxious behavior.
It was also nice to see Celia through someone else’s eyes. Due to her confidence issues, we never really got the sense of how other people might see her, so being privy to Bren’s thoughts was truly eye-opening. It is now even more clear that Celia has a somewhat distorted self-image and that she is, in fact, both fierce and stunningly gorgeous.
Even though this novella focuses on Bren and his new position in Aric’s pack, a big part of it continues to explore Celia and Aric’s situation. These two break my heart to teeny tiny bits. Their love for each other is so strong, but Aric is not selfish enough to put his own desires and happiness above that of his pack. They are the very definition of star-crossed lovers, and Robson writes these emotional moments extremely well.
For a novella, A Cursed Moon is pretty eventful and it brings some permanent changes, which is rather unusual. I can’t wait to see how they will reflect on the series as a whole in Cursed by Destiny, the next novel in this wonderful series.
What can be better and/or funnier than Lucy and Nicholas on their first date? A double date with Quinn and Hunter. An excellent short story that makes...moreWhat can be better and/or funnier than Lucy and Nicholas on their first date? A double date with Quinn and Hunter. An excellent short story that makes waiting for the next book, Blood Moon, just a little easier. (less)