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!
I read this book back in February, but recently -- after Shattered Souls, that is -- I was really curious to read it again. Basically, I wanted to seeI read this book back in February, but recently -- after Shattered Souls, that is -- I was really curious to read it again. Basically, I wanted to see if, after so long, I would still feel the same about Angelfire. If I would still love the characters and everything, or if Shattered Souls had me look at it in a different way. I must say, even after re-reading it, my feelings for this book are the same.
There's someting in Angelfire that is completely appealing to me -- the characters. So, there's Ellie, the main character, a sixteen-year-old girl who's mostly normal until she turns seventeen. She has nightmares every night, of horrible creatures and monsters that hunt her down. And then she meets Will, and when that happens, Ellie finds out that her nightmares were not of her own making. They're memories.
Ellie is the Preliator, a warrior that kills the demonic reapers that walk in the Earth, preying on human souls. The reapers' goal is to recrute souls to Lucifer's army, so there can be the Apocalypse. To stop those monsters from achieving their goal, Ellie has Will, her Protector, who, throughout the centuries, has looked over her and protected her, aiding her in battle. Everytime she dies, Ellie's soul is reincarnated, and at the age of seventeen, her powers are "awakened" by Will, so that she can fight again.
Honestly, I have nothing against Ellie. She's just a nice girl, and even though her actions sometimes disappointed me, I liked the way she handled situations, most of the time. Another great point in Angelfire is that Ellie doesn't take long to accept what she is. Oh, of course, meeting a guy that claims to be your Protector, and that you must fight demonic creatures with your swords is a pretty heavy thing to accept, but her memories - and her soul - prove it all to be true.
I loved it that she accepted what she is exactly when the time was right. The book isn't all about Ellie's ridiculous temper and lack of conscience in seeing what was right in front of her eyes. Yes, she doubted Will, but when everything was right there for her to see, and there was no denying it, she could see in her soul that she really was the Preliator.
Will... oh, one of my biggest crushes. He's a perfect character, and not the ridiculous kind of perfect. I mean the kind of perfect that made me truly feel for him, what he had to do, and what he had to endure everytime Ellie died in his hands. His devotion to her was one of the most beautiful things in this book. The way Will took care of Ellie, not just protecting her in battle, but also looking out for her, making sure she smiled as much as possible, was touching. I loved him for it.
The bond between him and Ellie is heart-warming. And so is the romance, but you know why? The author didn't throw the romance at the plot and just made them fall in love out of nowhere. Oh, no. First, we get to see how much they're connected, how they are in sync with each other. The narration, even the slightest detail in it, made me sigh a lot of times. Will is Ellie's best friend, brother, partner, and the only constant in all of her lifes. Even dying again and again through the centuries, Will is the only person that is still by her side. And after showing us the depth of this amazing bond, the romance is slowly developed. It was amazing. The love between them was like an extension of the already-formed bond between Ellie and Will, and yes, it was wrong, but it felt so right.
I found the plot and the way the things went pretty interesting. The reapers were like bogeymen, and I enjoyed the fight scenes. The writing was... okay, though the author sometimes repeated a lot of words in the same chapters. Nothing that would bother the reading, just an observation. I liked the pace of the story, how it was really fast sometimes and in others, slow enough to know what the other charactes in the room were feeling. Also, the secondary characters were really good, as well. Though I would like to know more about Ellie's father and Nathaniel, it was detailed enough.
Throughout all of this, I must say that Angelfire is one of those books that pleased me as much as possible. I loved the characters, the romance, the mythology in it.... one of my favorite. I recommend it.
Adventure? CHECK. Romance? CHECK. An amazing book? CHECK.
Tiger's Curse was one of the best books i've ever read. Now this? Uh, this one is even better thAdventure? CHECK. Romance? CHECK. An amazing book? CHECK.
Tiger's Curse was one of the best books i've ever read. Now this? Uh, this one is even better than the first one. This time, Kells must search for the second object with Kishan, Ren's brother. It's impossible not to fall in love with him in this book. He is sweet and handsome and cares so much about Kelsey. The histories and mithology in Tiger's Quest is complex and altogether captivating. I found myself wanting to keep reading this just to know more about India and Shangri-la. I could feel that Colleen Houck had to make a huge research to write the book. I finished this yesterday, and oh my God, I can't stop thinking about it. The end completely killed me. It was so sad, but it made me feel hopeful for Kishan. Don't get me wrong. I love Ren, but Kishan is much more... how can I say? Complete? Complex? This series is a MUST READ. If you haven't read it yet, you REALLY should. Trust me, you will now regret it ;) 5 stars, but I would give it 1000 stars if I could. A master piece! Can't wait to read Tiger's Voyage!...more
Warning: There will be spoilers of Tiger's Quest in this review!
Well... Where do I begin? Tiger's Voyage was sensational. Not just good, or enjoyable,Warning: There will be spoilers of Tiger's Quest in this review!
Well... Where do I begin? Tiger's Voyage was sensational. Not just good, or enjoyable, put plain amazing. Simple like that. In Tiger's Quest, we got the huge Ren-forgetting-Kells blow on the ribs. And indeed, it made me share a few tears. But I had hope, nonetheless. Not that Ren would get his memory back (even thogh I knew that would happen eventually) but that Kelsey would find someone to love, even if it's no Ren. I was not disappointed. Emotions aside, the tigers and Kelsey must search Durga's necklace to break another piece of the curse, and in doing so, they have to confront five mind-blowing dragons. Yep, dragons. An ice dragon, an earth dragon, all that. And Colleen Houck made an excelent job at putting all this mythology together. The dragons are mesmerizing, and there are even krakens and giant sharks added to the fun. Like always, the writing was perfect, fluid but full of details, with words carefully chosen that just the whole book magic. Kelsey has matured a lot in this book, though she is as stubborn as ever. Well, that's KElls we're talking about, after all. Ren was the one that bothered me -- a lot. Not because he lost his memory, but because his personality was changed in a way it didn't please me very much. Not that I stopped loving him. Kishan was another issue. He was so sweet and caring and was always there for Kelsey and-- wait, ... but what about the badboy I fell in love with in the first book? Where is he? I certainly liked the new Kishan, but he's changed deeply. And that messed the character up sometimes. The love triangle was well-written, and it didn't feel forced, it felt natural. I don't see a lot of this in YA books, and I loved it. The ending was a hell of a cliffhanger. Really. I can't wait for Tiger's Destiny, and I'm afraid 2012 is too far for my taste....more
After Hard Bitten, I didn't know what to think. The end broke me, it left me hopeless. After all, how could that happen? Chloe Neill threw a stake atAfter Hard Bitten, I didn't know what to think. The end broke me, it left me hopeless. After all, how could that happen? Chloe Neill threw a stake at us when she killed Ethan, and I was preparing myself during these six months of waiting for something awful: Merit and Jonah. Well, it wasn't that bad, I admit it. The big spotlight of the book was Merit. She's such a strong character. I really admire the woman - and vampire - she has become in the series. She does what needs to be done, even if the consequences will after her personally. And in Drink Deep, a lot of things affect Merit personally. Chicago is being crashed by unknown magic, the lake has turned black - literally - and that's just the beggining of a series of events that threaten to destroy the city and its citizens. ANd Merit is right in the center of it. As Sentinel of Cadogan House, she needs to finds out who's messing with the Windy City. Besides that, Frank, a representative of the GP, has been assigned to put the Cadogan House back in its place. And humans are even more aggressive towards the vampires, now that something supernatural has hit them. And it is with this huge weight on the shoulders that Merit has to set off and do her work. And her work, she did. The girl was AMAZING. Jonah surely did win some brownie points. He was protective, kind, and understood Merit. But well, there was that spark missing. If Merit weren't grieving over Ethan, I'm sure something more would have happened between her and Jonah. Not that I'm complaining. 100% Team Ethan here. The ending was the best part of the book, and I'm not exagerating. It was perfect. Really. Better than I expected, the final chapters made me desperate for Biting Cold. Not a cliffhanger, but with the same effect. Chloe Neill, you did it again. And again, I'm mesmerized by the world you've created. And AGAIN, I can't wait for the next book. Sigh. So much for not freaking out writing this review. ...more
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 :)
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.
Awesome, to say the least. I love the way Cat and Bones' relationship is stable in this novel, though they still have to work some things out. RealistAwesome, to say the least. I love the way Cat and Bones' relationship is stable in this novel, though they still have to work some things out. Realistic, but not boring. Also, Heinrich Kramer is the second worst villain in the series, only behind Gregor. ...more
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.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer had so many good reviews in the USA, that it was, probably, in everybody’s wish list. I waited months for this book to comThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer had so many good reviews in the USA, that it was, probably, in everybody’s wish list. I waited months for this book to come out. Beth Revis, Cassandra Clare and Veronica Roth recommended the book? I had to check it out.
I had high expectations for The Unbecoming, and I was not disappointed.
The author introduces us to Mara Dyer, a teenager who lost her best friends in a tragic accident. She’s completely traumatized, and has hallucinations frequently.
The problem is, she doesn’t remember what happened in the accident, and ends up moving to a new town, trying to leave it all behind her.
There, Mara faces regular teenager problems: being the new girl, and bullied by others; etc. But she also sees her dead friends in the mirrors, things that are not real.
And in the middle of all that, there’s Noah, a popular boy, considered a womanizer by most of the girls, and that shows interest in Mara.
The atmosphere of the book is tense, and at the same time, light. The author can give such a clear perspective of who Mara is and what she feels with each hallucination, it’s impressing. Michelle Hodkin’s writing isn’t just meticulous; it fits perfectly to the book and Mara’s life.
Mara’s doubts, the fear of being insane, the fear of falling in love with Noah when she’s obviously so broken… all of this pulls us into the book in a way that’s impossible to stop reading.
And even with a hint of terror at certain parts, Michelle Hodkin still writes sarcastic dialogues. The romance isn’t forced. It’s natural, it blossoms slowly through the narration. It’s not love at first sight. Noah and Mara are so different from each other, but they still need the other. They complete themselves.
And the ending? Biggest cliffhanger in the world. It left me speechless and angry with the author. How could she do this to the readers?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer isn’t just a mystery book. It’s a book that makes us think about what’s right and wrong, if we are as sane as we think. If our mind doesn’t play games with us all the time, or even if our daily routine isn’t just a hallucination. It’s a book about love, understanding. It’s so complex I have no words to describe it. The blurbs aren’t enough. This review is not enough. And say this book is a must-read is definitely not enough.