It's actually quite ironic that the dystopian world - which was exactly what attracted so many readers - was what repulsed me in Divergent. Ok, wrongIt's actually quite ironic that the dystopian world - which was exactly what attracted so many readers - was what repulsed me in Divergent. Ok, wrong word. I wasn't repulsed. I just didn't understand the world created by Veronica Roth. The factions were great, and the concept was really interesting, but it wasn't realistic. Why were they created? How were they created? The atmosphere and the tension surrounding all the factions made it impossible for me to imagine decisions being made.
Fortunately, Veronica Roth provided us (some) answers to those questions. The dystopian society in which Tris lives is explained a lot more deeply, and though not all the answers are handed over to us, I can see where the story is going. Needless to say, I enjoyed Insurgent a lot more than Divergent, although a couple of things still bothered me. It's unlikely I'll ever be completely satisfied by this series. There's always something, some little detail or a character that keeps me from enjoying it fully.
The writing isn't the issue, nor is the plot. Both were excellent, especially the former. Roth has a way with words, even in the present tense, a type of narration that I hate. My problem with Insurgent was the main character herself, Tris. In Divergent, she was a thoughtful girl, objective and yet emotional with those she loved. In Insurgent, she was broken, and not in a good, deep way. Tris was a mess. Four - I refuse to call him Tobias - has to constantly remind her that she has to try to live, try not to get herself killed, try to understand that her life means something.
...And I almost killed myself everytime that happened. They're in the middle of a war, and just when Tris had to be the strong, great girl that she was back in Dauntless, she breaks. I get it. She has to be human and show emotions, especially regarding Peter, etc. But for God's sake, be realistic about it! Her breakdowns and teary moments did nothing to the book, it only added misery, (stupid decisions) and an unnecessary amount of drama in a plot that was already bursting with blood and war.
I was planning on giving Insurgent 3 stars, but aside from my dislike towards Tris, the series has developed in general, and I'm somewhat satisfied with the way things turned out in the ending. And, I admit it, Four may be one of the reasons I added an extra star to my rating. It's quite easy, though, to see that Veronica Roth has a lot of potential. Despite my personal rants about the society, she did create a fascinating story, and I look forward to the third, and last, book in the Divergent trilogy. It should be interesting!
Wow, I didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did, but I enjoyed it so much! Consistent characters and plot, and a great mythology behind it allWow, I didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did, but I enjoyed it so much! Consistent characters and plot, and a great mythology behind it all. Definitely worth a shot. ...more
I don't know why, but I've been procrastinating in the last couple of days. It took a lot of courage for me to actually sit down, and try to write thiI don't know why, but I've been procrastinating in the last couple of days. It took a lot of courage for me to actually sit down, and try to write this review. Maybe it's because I loved Immortal City so much, and it's always harder to talk about a book you love than one you hate; maybe it's because the story is so original and interesting that I can't possibly do it justice with my words. Either way, I was drawn to Scott Speer's debut novel the second I saw this cover. It would be beautiful enough on its own, but then Goodreads told me it was young-adult. And I was even more curious.
Though Immortal City is, like I mentioned, a debut novel, it doesn't feel like it at all. The world-building is solid, introducing us to a society in which the angels have come out and told humanity that they exist. Now they get paid for their services as Guardian Angels, which, if you think about it, is weird and fascinating at the same time. They don't have to save anyone, and it'd be all right for them to work with this. But why only rich people have guardian angels? Why aren't their services more accessible? It's mean and just plain wrong for rich guys to save themselves from death because they have money, while someone poorer than them has a family to sustain.
This conflict of ideals and religion can only lead to something spectacular. More interesting is how angels are treated. They're celebrities, they have millions of fans.... it's like Justin Bieber with wings, basically. People would die to be saved by one of them, especially the girls. There's a rule, though, that says it's forbidden for an angel to save anyone other than who he's protecting. And that's where Jackson and Maddy's story begin.
I loved them both before I even reached the middle of the book. Jackson is surrounded by cameras and paparazzi, but he can't feel any of it. He's suffocated by it all. Jackson's loneliness is touching, and I was glad when he found Maddy. His characterization could have been better, really, but I was overall very satisfied with the way things turned out for him, especially in the ending.
Maddy, in the other hand, is untouchable by the Angel-drama. She doesn't like them, doesn't worship them. She thinks this adoration is pointless. So you can only imagine how great it was the first time Maddy met Jackson. The only girl in the world who doesn't care about angels ended up falling in love with one (how's that for irony?). I liked her personality, her stubbornness - it didn't seem fake, for once. She irritated me a little in the ending, with a stupid decision, but really, the last chapter made it up for me.
With a balanced pace, delicious romance, and strong world-building, I can only give Immortal City five stars. It doesn't deserve any less than this. Its flaws, if any, only made the reading more realistic for me, which doesn't happen often. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. If it's as good as Immortal City, I'll be pretty satisfied.
There isn't a single book that's written by Claudia Gray that I haven't loved. The Evernight series, and Fateful, are among my favorite books of all tThere isn't a single book that's written by Claudia Gray that I haven't loved. The Evernight series, and Fateful, are among my favorite books of all times, so my expectations for Balthazar were understandably high. Again, I was surprised by Mrs. Gray's gift of creating endearing characters, but not as much as I thought I would. I'm sure this happened due to my indifference towards Balthazar in the Evernight series. I just didn't care for him - or Skye, for that matter - when I was reading about Lucas and Bianca.
Now, I know Balthazar has a lot of fans, and I mean no disrespect at all... but he just felt so flat to me in Evernight that I wasn't even remotely interested in him as a love interest for Bianca. All that changed, however, when I heard Claudia Gray was going to dedicate a whole book to him. I decided to give him a chance and expect good things from this book, then, just like I always do.Now, after finally seeing Balthazar's story through his eyes, I admit it, it was an entertaining read... but not a very special one.
The writing captivated me right in the first chapter, as always. I immediately sympathized with Skye's situation. Being hunted because her blood was different was not a piece of cake, but I loved how she handled the situation. She wasn't stoic and cool with it. She was human, scared, and vulnerable in a way that made her look stronger, if that makes any sense. Skye was a very likable main character.
Now on to Balthazar. His POV was what ended up drawing me to him in this book. His amused, yet honest thoughts gave me a perspective of the story that I wasn't experiencing with Skye, since she was human. It surprised me how much depth Balthazar had. How much there was to him. At first, he was just another Edward to me - selfless, in love but without reason to be, and flat as door. But then Claudia Gray and Skye made me fall for him. By the end of the book, I was looking at him in a completely different way. I was understanding him, and supporting him, which was amazing.
Overall, Claudia Gray has yet to write a disappointing book. Evernight was perfect, and Balthazar, surprisingly, was not only a bonus, but a closure to Balthazar and Skye as well, two lovely characters who deserved their happy ending. I'm not bewitched with the story itself, but with the changes that it provoked in me. Only a good book can do that to you. Balthazar, without a doubt, deserves to fall into this category.
It's a miracle when series live up to the former installments, especially after dragging it out for five or sixPHEW! This was actually quite a ride.
It's a miracle when series live up to the former installments, especially after dragging it out for five or six books. The Chicagoland Vampires series is the exception to that rule. Even after NINE books, it still manages to get better and better.
Merit is as kickass as ever, and she continues to be one of my favorite main characters of all times. She has the sense of humor, the taste in food, the skills, and the sensibility that only a few possess. Sometimes, when there's some romance thrown in the story, even if it's well developed, the lack of good traits in the main character puts me out of it. It doesn't convince me at all, and makes me question why the love interest is so interested in the girl (or vice versa). That doesn't happen in CV. Chloe Neill creates such a great story that it's impossible not to be captivated by it *or the romance*. I definitely can see why Ethan Sullivan would kill or die for this woman.
Speaking of the romance... ahhh, my feels went crazy with this book. Never have I wanted to hit, and kiss Ethan Sullivan more. It was just perfect. And I will leave it at that, because part of the perfection of this book is reading it and figuring everything else as the plot goes on. ...more
I first heard about Assassin's Creed from my brother in-law. He loves the games, was constantly commenting how Ezio was badass, how his moves and killI first heard about Assassin's Creed from my brother in-law. He loves the games, was constantly commenting how Ezio was badass, how his moves and kills were impressive, and how the graphics were fantastic. When the novel came out, I spent months craving it, only now having the courage to buy, and finally, read it.
Oliver Bowden transports us to Italy, 1472, where a young man is about the learn the power and secrets of his family. After a brutal attack and betrayal, Ezio takes the name Auditore to a whole new level, seeking vengeance from those who took blood from the ones he loved. Ezio becomes an Assassin, as lethal and skillful as one can possibly get.
When I start reading a book in which the main character is an assassin, I immediately wonder if he's evil. I bet almost everyone cringed upon the words "I am an Assassin..." that's written in the back of Assassin's Creed. I know I did. So you can only guess how satisfied I was when I found out Ezio's not evil at all. He's what I would call fierce, in every single way. He loves his family and would do anything for them. At the same time, he kills without a drop of mercy, but only when he has to. I loved that. He's the kind of guy that I would be proud of, if I were his sister.
That said, I enjoyed his relationship - if multiple, and brief, encounters over the years can be called a relationship - with Cristina. I didn't expect him to be in love, and I certainly didn't expect for him to be so caring and ... cute... with Cristina. His love life was very, very different from the game, and by that, I was disappointed. But really, since I never played Assassin's Creed, my disappointment was short-lived.
To say Renaissance was a fast-paced book would be the understatement of the year. Ezio's 17 (if I'm not mistaken) when his story as an Assassin begins. At the end of the book, he's 44 years old. No, I didn't type that wrong. He's 44 years old. This means basically half of Ezio's life is described in 500 pages. I both love and hate that. I understand that the author wanted to show us what it means to be an Assassin. It's tiring and bloody. Ezio would spend years trying to find a guy, and months figuring out how to kill him. It makes the Order of the Assassins look way tougher than it sounds.
However - and that's the negative part of my review - it leaves no space whatsoever for character development. Sure, Ezio is more mature on the last chapters than he was on the first ones, but still, to write someone else's whole life, you have to describe their experiences, how they changed over each blow that life had landed upon them... and none of this happened with Ezio. It was so fast paced I was confused sometimes. The narrator would say that Ezio spent a long time searching for someone. I thought this "long time" would be weeks, months, or even a couple of years. And then I found out this "long time" was actually 8 years. How can you describe what happened to someone as special and broken as Ezio in 8 years with less than 3 pages? If the author keeps this pace up, how old will Ezio be on the third book? 89 years old?
Now, the ending itself. I liked it, but it was definitely not what I had expected. Really, it blew me away. I never thought Ezio's mission would be so important. I won't give anything away, but if I was playing the game, I'd have to pause to just absorb the ending for a moment. Just... what the hell?
Assassin's Creed is an excellent book for those who played, and enjoyed, the games. If you never played it - like me - you can read it anyway. It's a good way of learning Ezio Auditore's story, and reading an action-packed book.
Having heard only good things about Grave Mercy, I had high expectations for this book. I can say right now that Robin LaFevers delivered me a fantastHaving heard only good things about Grave Mercy, I had high expectations for this book. I can say right now that Robin LaFevers delivered me a fantastic story, way better than I had imagined. Sure, assassin nuns and a medieval setting sounds pretty interesting, but only in theory. When reading a book like this, it's hard for me to really commit myself to the characters. However, I found it was impossible to let go of the book for more than a few hours.
Ismae was part of the reason the story sucked me in. She was abused by her father her whole life, and harassed by the rest of the village she lived into, until her marriage. From that point on, her life went straight to hell. Her husband, after finding the God of Death's blessing on her, almost led Ismae to her grave. It was only with the help of the convent that she managed to have some peace, and the resemblance of a... normal life.
Trained to be the handmaiden to Mortain, Ismae learned to kill a man faster than one can blink, and when the intrigues of the Court threatens to overtake her country, Ismae is forced to pass as Gavriel Duval's mistress. Life among the nobles is not as simple as it may sounds, especially when she starts to fall for Gavriel. Their relationship was one of the most adorable things in Grave Mercy. It develops so slowly it's impossible not to yearn for more. Even then, Robin LaFevers made it believable and natural. Gavriel's personality fit in with Ismae's just right. His noble attitude walked alongside her duties and beliefs, and I appreciated that. Though they weren't fond of each other when they first met, there was always mutual respect in every conversation.
Apart from the romance, Ismae herself was charming. Her devotion to Mortain was certain and as solid as ever, not even once doubting of His strenght. Her faith on the Convent, however, was a little too blinding. It's okay to believe fully in a God who saved your life before you were even born, and blesses you constantly with his Marques, but a Convent run by nuns who gives you no explanation of their abilities? Well, Ismae believed too much in them.
Robin LaFever's writing was a treat to me. This, to be honest, is my favorite aspect of historical books. I love this type of writing, and setting. Observing the changes that English has gone through is fascinating to me, and even when the pace had slowed down, my attention never wavered from the pages. The flaws were minor, and they didn't bother me at all as I as reading. Overall, an enchanting medieval story. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Jeaniene Frost is, to put it in a very simple way, my favorite author of all times. Everything she wrote, and I literally mean every single book she wJeaniene Frost is, to put it in a very simple way, my favorite author of all times. Everything she wrote, and I literally mean every single book she wrote, got into my favorite list. Her writing is fluid, full of sarcasm and yet the romance she builds in every novel is sweet and sexy at the same time. Her characterization is solid, the plot is consistent, and it's impossible not to fall for the heroes (a.k.a. Bones, Spade, Mencheres...). It shouldn't come as a surprise to see that I gave Once Burned 5 stars. I would've given it 10 stars if I could.
All the aspects of Jeaniene Frost's books that I mentioned above are present in Once Burned. To write about Dracula as a main character of a love story requires a certain amount of... creativity, to put it mildly, that not all the authors have. Vlad didn't make me fall in love with him in the Night Huntress series, but then, his potential as a hero and as a love interest weren't fully explored. In Once Burned, he's the main attraction, and man, he makes a hell of a love interest. He's arrogant and protective of his people above all else, but he's also fierce, strong, and gentle. Vlad is a fantastic character, and it would be impossible not to fall in love with him just as I did with Bones.
Don't get me wrong. Bones is amazing, and one of the few characters I've read about that can be just as interesting after 6 books and 3 novellas as he was in the beginning of the series. But Vlad has... something more. His relationship with Leila doesn't even come close to Bones and Cat's relationship in Halfway to the Grave, but it affected me the same way. Maybe that's because Leila is just as likable as Cat. She's determined, snarky, and is strong enough to bear the weight of her powers and the realization that Vlad is, indeed, Dracula, without breaking or whimpering.
As a whole, Once Burned was everything I thought it would be, and more. I cannot wait for the next book in the Night Prince series, and I really hope it's just as good as Night Huntress. Jeaniene Frost has a lot of potential, and Once Burned just proved to me why I consider her my favorite author. Her stories never fail me, and I really, really hope it stays that way.
It's no secret how much I love this series. You know that kind of setting that immediately draws you in, a main character that's simply fantastic, andIt's no secret how much I love this series. You know that kind of setting that immediately draws you in, a main character that's simply fantastic, and non-stop action scenes? Yeah, that's what Elemental Assassin means to me. Through each book, we came to know a bit more of Gin Blanco, the Deveraux sisters, Finn, and the other characters. Since Jennifer Estep just sold 3 more books, I was hesitant to read By a Thread. I was afraid it would be like Anita Blake. Thank God it was nothing of the sort.
After killing Mab, Gin finally tries to find some piece. But even with her arch-enemy dead, things haven't gotten easier for Gin. Everyone wants to get a taste of what the Spider is capable of, and fights and duels in the back of the Pork Pit's a common thing now. When Finn suggests a vacation, Gin takes the opportunity. But, just like the synopsis said, when you deal with blood in a daily basis, even a week off town can't keep you out of trouble.
Bria's friend is being harassed by Dekes, a vampire, constantly. He's basically Mab Monroe with a suit and fangs, so Gin offers her services to deal with him. With her friends' help, Gin finds out Mab wasn't the hardest target she'd ever face. Dekes is more powerful than the Spider ever imagined. Since book 2, I was always afraid of Mab. The woman was Devil on Earth. She was evil and twisted, but Dekes is no better. Seriously, Jennifer Estep has a way with villains. Dekes freaked me out.
I don't even need to say how heart-racing the action scenes were. Just like in the previous books, Gin's not afraid to get dirty and do whatever is necessary to survive. She's such a strong character. I've never seen anyone like her, and that's saying a lot. Gin's reputation as the Spider is not a joke, if she has to cut a guy's throat or decapitate him, so be it. She gets the job done at all costs, but even then, she doesn't lose her humanity. She's an assassin, but that doesn't mean she isn't human.
However, as much as I love Gin's soft side, I was bothered by her selflessness when it came to Bria. Fine, she's your sister, you'll always love her. I get that, I have a sister myself... but it was wrong for Gin to accept whatever Bria told her. There was a certain scene in which Bria was ashamed of Gin, because she was an assassin. Gin just bowed her head and acknowledged the pain without confronting Bria. This bothered me immeasurably. It's not okay to be ashamed of your sister, or blame her because you were tortured by Mab. She almost died trying to save Bria's life, and yet, the detective just continued to throw evil stares at Gin. Ungrateful much?
This brings me to my next point: Owen. He cares so much about Gin, loves her so much, that the fact that she's an assassin doesn't concern him. He accepts her, bloody parts and all, which is one of the best aspects of the series. Their relationship is heart-warming. Owen would do anything to protect Gin, but if she's about to fight nine guys and tell him "Go, I'll meet you outside", he goes. He trusts her to make her own decisions. I love that about him. No, risk that. I love everything about him. I was so glad Owen was there for Gin when Donovan came back into her life. Compared to Owen, Donovan is trash. He's a hypocrite, selfish, and know-it-all. Also, the way Jennifer Estep resolved the "unfinished business" between Gin and Donovan was freaking awesome. That's all I'll say.
By a Thread is the perfect sequel to Spider's Revenge. There's so much going on, and that still need to be dealt with, and I can't wait to read Widow's Web. August can't get here fast enough. If you haven't read the series yet, or never heard of it, please do. You have no idea of what you're missing.
As much as I loved Halfway to the Grave, it's clear how much the series, and the characters developed in the second installment, One Foot in the GraveAs much as I loved Halfway to the Grave, it's clear how much the series, and the characters developed in the second installment, One Foot in the Grave. First of all, Cat. She was a remarkable character in the beginning of the series, but now? Now she's in another level. Leaving Bones, and being forced to work for a secret unit of the government as a measure of protection for her loved ones made Cat look at things differently. Now, hunting vampires isn't just a hobby, or something she did to please her mother and easy her guilt... it's her work, and she's so concentrated on it that she's now known as the Red Reaper in the undead world.
But badass skills aside, Cat isn't completely satisfied with her life. Memories of a certain vampire, and of a long-lost relationship, haunts her, even though she does everything possible to let it go. When Bones finally founds her, after 4 years looking for her, Cat's past threatens to unbalance her newly established work. Jeaniene Frost managed to fill in 4 years of Cat's life in less than 10 pages, without making it look rushed, or unrealistic. We get to know how Cat's been dealing with her personal life, and that info is proved to be necessary when Bones returns.
Cat and Bone's chemistry explodes in this novel, and what they really feel for each other is a lot easier to see. It's usually hard to see a relationship this deep look natural in the second book, but of course, Night Huntress is nothing but unusual. Cat's impulsive personality keeps colliding with Bones' protective instincts, which makes their dialogues drip with irony and vehemence, not to mention the really romantic scenes.
I'd say One Foot in the Grave is a perfect sequel to Halfway to the Grave, and though I would've liked to see more of Bones' search for Cat (maybe in a dialogue, or even a novella), it doesn't disappoint in the least. Everything feels different, but the essence of Frost's writing, and the character's personality, is the same, which I loved. Well done again, Mrs. Frost :)
After reading Once Burned, I realized that it's been years since I've read Night Huntress (the first novels, anyway), and I decided to re-read the entAfter reading Once Burned, I realized that it's been years since I've read Night Huntress (the first novels, anyway), and I decided to re-read the entire series, just for the sake of doing it (it is my favorite series of all times, after all), and to write a proper review of each book. I first read Halfway to the Grave in 2010, and I admit I was a bit afraid to re-read it now and just don't find it as appealing as I had. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Halfway to the Grave introduces us to Cat Crawfield, a half-breed that's been hunting the undead since she was sixteen, right after her mother told her about Cat's heritage. Cat, in my humble opinion, is the best heroine I've ever encountered, YA or Adult Fiction, simply because she's realistic. Sure, her humor can be a bit too snarky sometimes, but she's a solid character, with a reliable point of view and a fierce personality. She isn't submissive, and she sure as hell isn't a Mary Sue. Cat is strong, tough, and caring... to put it simply, she's human, her father's non-beating heart notwithstanding.
To create a dynamic story (and add a romantic element to it) we have Bones, and no, he's not Edward-esque at all. In fact, I'd say he's the exact opposite of every hero I've ever read about. Bones is shameless, cruel, honest (a little too much, in fact), and so badass that to call him a "bad boy" would be an understatement. Bad boys are attractive, and mean trouble. Bones is trouble. And just like Cat, he's perfect in every sense of the word. If Bones says he's going to rip your head off and use it as a soccer ball, you better run, because he means it. That's one of the things I love most about him. He's honest to the core, and while that can be a hell of an inconvenient. it's also pretty damn reliable.
With two main characters as unique as these, I don't have a lot more to say. Jeaniene Frost writes wonderfully, in general, but in Halfway to the Grave, especially, her writing skills are clearly raw - maybe because that was her debut novel. This is, perhaps, the only mildly negative point of this book. The pace is fast, the action scenes are engaging, and the romance is developed slowly, accompanying the plot and the character development. Even the mythology involving the vampires is good.
In general, Halfway to the Grave is a brilliant start to a great series. It reminds me why Night Huntress is so easy to devour, even after two years. The story is growing on me even more than it previously did, and while I'm finding little negative aspects about it, I'm also loving each character a lot more.
If you haven't read this series yet, you should. You have no idea what you're missing. Molly Harper's writing style and characters captivated me sinceIf you haven't read this series yet, you should. You have no idea what you're missing. Molly Harper's writing style and characters captivated me since book one, and after almost two years, I still enjoy myself while reading her books. Nice Girls Don't Bite their Neighbors is no exception. Jane has grown so much, changed so much throughout the series, and yet, she continues to be the same hilarious, crazy librarian we met so many adventures ago.
This time, Jane is marrying Gabriel, but of course, trouble is following them very closely. Being able to get married in an old fashioned way may not possible after all if they don't find out who wants to kill Gabriel and use Jane as a message. I loved Gabriel even more in this book. His protective nature was always charming, but now, he's doing everything he can to be with Jane forever. This couple works fantastically while investigating, and, as always, secondary characters like Dick and Jolene are just as entertaining as Jane.
Molly Harper delivered us yet another great addition to this series. In a way, I'm sad that it's almost over. At the same time, however, I'm happy about the way things played out in the end. It was a worthy ending to a series I loved so much. Ah, well. I'll miss Jane, Gabriel and the gang, but I'll still have the short stories.
Note: This quick review can also be found on my blog....more
When you think about faeries, what exactly comes to your mind? I used to think Thinkerbell was all there was to it, but Julie Kagawa, thankfully, provWhen you think about faeries, what exactly comes to your mind? I used to think Thinkerbell was all there was to it, but Julie Kagawa, thankfully, proved me wrong. Faeries aren't glittery little beings. They're soulless creatures that crave a good bargain, and are always looking for ways to trick a human. They're beautiful, alluring, and may be the death of you. It's so refreshing to start reading a book in which the mythology is something unique and - though not unexplored - open to endless possibilities.
In The Iron King, first book in the Iron Fey series, we have Meghan, an ordinary high school girl whose life turns upside down when her brother, Ethan, is kidnapped and taken to the Nevernever, home of the faeries. The story basically is about a girl trying to get her sibling back, and though it was never boring, it failed to blow me away completely.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of this series, and it's been a wonderful ride to read all the books all over again. However, I couldn't help but notice how The Iron King isn't perfect like I thought it was. Maybe it's my own sense of criticism that is changing, but maybe the thing that drew me to it a year ago, when I first got my hands on this series, doesn't appeal to me now. And that factor is Meghan herself.
She is a pretty strong heroine, but only in general. She matures greatly as the series progresses, but in The Iron King, specifically, she's still that same protagonist that I've seen so many times in other YA books - fierce, beautiful (but thinks she's flat), and a Mary Sue sometimes. It's interesting (and a little amusing) to compare this Meghan to the girl she has become later on, but I can't help but notice these differences, and how - if this had been my first experience with the book - this would've bothered me.
The side characters were the best part of the book for me, especially Puck and Grimalkin - not that I'm saying that I don't like Ash. It's just that in The Iron King, we don't get to really know him, and though he passes off as an alluring, dark prince and a good love interest, I didn't immediately fall in love with him in this novel. That said, Puck and Grim are the best characters in this book. They're just so funny and entertaining! I wish I had a best friend like Puck. It would surely make my life more interesting, LOL.
With a fascinating mythology and captivating characters, The Iron King has two different flavors mixed together: the flavor of Disney's magic, and the darkness of a medieval movie, especially one with fantastical creatures and handsome knights. I do believe this series is a must read, but more than that, it's something that will make you squeal like a fan girl, and satisfy your need of action scenes. It's no wonder Julie Kagawa is one of my favorite authors!
When I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost droWhen I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost dropped it altogether, but I was using her descriptive writing to train my English, and my translation skills, so I just swallowed my urge to throw the entire series away, and kept reading it. And now, two years later, this is one of my favorite vampire series of all times, especially because of the politics and the complex world-building - although some kick-ass scenes and a breath-taking blond Master vampire do win a few brownie points.
I feel like Chloe Neill is unraveling something unique with her series. In it, vampires burn in the sun, but they also have a knack for using a katana, they're magical creatures that feel all the currents of power around them, and their eyes silver when they're feeling certain emotions. It's a familiar yet completely disconcerting territory to explore, and Chloe Neill has done a terrific job at it - she's still doing a terrific job at it, since this is her sixth book and things are only improving. Merit has grown into her skin, gone from a geeky graduate student to a vampire Sentinel who's willing do to just about anything to protect her House and her city. She's at the same time a reliable friend and a kick-ass vampire chick ready to swing a katana when danger arises. I simply love Merit, and the way she has evolved as the series went on.
Now that I'm talking about, you know, my love for the characters, I wouldn't be able to write this review without talking about Ethan, the breath-taking blond Master vampire that I mentioned before. If you have read this series, and invested as much effort into it as I have, you're probably as happy as I am about Ethan being in this book. And at a certain extent, my expectations were met and I was fan-girling over the fact that he's back the whole time.. but at the same time, I was disappointed with a few things. Ethan has changed, and I wasn't ready for it. One second he's this intense guy bursting into Tate's office and being staked by Celina... and then, he's this open-minded guy who's not afraid to speak his mind, and being forward with Merit about his feelings. Well, this troubled me. I couldn't create a connection between these two sides of him, and I was afraid that Chloe Neill had changed Ethan in a permanent way. I'm glad to say this didn't happen, and once again I saw the Ethan that I loved and got so frustrated with. My friends, I can definitely say: Ethan Sullivan is back. Prepare yourselves: It's a tough, yet exciting, ride.
When talking about the plot and the villain, I was surprised by how much Biting Cold was about Tate. The summary talks about an evil chasing Merit across Nebraska, yes, but I thought that maybe that was just a secondary plot arch, and Mallory stealing the Malificium would've been the real issue. However, Mallory's betrayal is the least of Merit's concerns, now that Seth Tate has finally showed his true form. I loved this twist, and though it was a little weird to know what Tate was, it made sense. I was satisfied by the way things turned out, especially when it came to the "final" battle.
Overall, Biting Cold was everything I thought it would be, and more. Chloe Neill is a fantastic writer, and now I can only wonder why I was so worried about this book in the first place. Chicagoland Vampires is still placed firmly on my "favorite" list, and with everything that has happened in this installment, it's obvious things are going to be even crazier in Chicago now. I can't wait to see more of Merit and Ethan.This series is just getting better and better!