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!
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!
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.
A cliffhanger? Are you kidding me? This is the last book, why there's a cliffhanger in it?! -_-
Anyway... I liked it, but Desires of the Dead and The BA cliffhanger? Are you kidding me? This is the last book, why there's a cliffhanger in it?! -_-
Anyway... I liked it, but Desires of the Dead and The Body Finder were a lot better. Review to come.
The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead were adorable books. I loved the story, the characters (even when Violet turned into a Mary Sue sometimes), and the romance. The Last Echo had it all, but not as strongly as I thought. Of course, the mystery behind the girls' disappearance was still there, Violet was still struggling with her powers, and the FBI team was an important part of the story. But maybe that's the problem.
In The Last Echo, Violet doesn't deal with relationship issues. She doesn't even deal with family issues. Most of the story is focused on Violet herself, and her ability to use her gift as something good, and not let it control her, or dominate her life. Sara Priest and her team, specially Rafe, help Violet with this. It's obvious, form the beginning, how the author wants us to understand Violet's gift, and go right along with her everytime she has to use it. Which would've been fine by me, but the book's plot doesn't go any further than that.
The biggest flaw in The Last Echo was the author's incapability of working with two things at the same time. In The Body Finder, the plot basically consists of world-building. In Desires of the Dead, it's all about the romance. In The Last Echo, it's all about the FBI. This is exhausting. Most dialogues had someone from the team in it, and the other aspects of Violet's life, like, say, her family, and even Jay, were ignored. Jay is barely mentioned in this novel. This bothered me a lot, not because I love their relationship (which is true), but because it doesn't make any sense. If you're going to talk about the FBI, fine, do it, but don't exclude everything else.
One of the few things that pleased me was Rafe himself - he was a pain in the ass sometimes, but overall, I loved his personality -, and The Collector. Yep, I loved the villain. He's the creepiest guy Kimberly Derting has ever talked about. He kidnaps girls for love. He thinks his behavior is normal, and he actually cares about the them, in some twisted, sick way. Violet handled herself a lot better than I thought she would, in the ending. I liked this character development. In The Body Finder, she cringed and tried to scream, but otherwise didn't struggle much. In The Last Echo, all bets are off. She did whatever she had to do to survive.
The premise was awesome... but the book itself, not so much. I'm still looking forward to next one, and I sincerely hope it'll be better than The Last Echo. Nonetheless, it's still a great read.
A Million Suns is one of the most anticipated books of 2012 for me. I couldn’t wait to see where Beth Revis would take us next, what secrets would beA Million Suns is one of the most anticipated books of 2012 for me. I couldn’t wait to see where Beth Revis would take us next, what secrets would be discovered about Godspeed, and if the ship’s mission would be accomplished, after all. Jessica Rules the Dark Side made me hesitant about this one, but I went as deep into Amy and Elder’s problems and struggles just as I had with Across the Universe.
Now forced to take his place as Eldest, Elder fights to control Godspeed without the use of drugs, and his strongest wish is for everyone at the ship to just have a choice. The poor decisions made by the previous Elders left the population at Godspeed not only fearful, but determined to take back what has been stolen from them – free will. But with free will, Elder has to deal with uprisings, individual thought, and discordance on board. In the middle of all of this is Amy, who’s fighting a battle of her own, trying to fit in with her strange looks.
One of the things that enchanted me in Across the Universe was Amy herself – her stubbornness, personality, and strength – and Elder’s determinate resolve to be faithful to his subjects as a leader. In A Million Suns, those characteristics stand out even more, as both Amy and Elder get enrolled in their own problems.
But they’re not the only one with a problem. Dark secrets that could either save or destroy them all have been kept hidden from Elder for too long, and as Godspeed’s mission is threatened by lack of food and supplies, they must discover what’s been delaying their arrival at the new planet, or else everyone might die.
It always surprises me how Beth Revis manages to reunite science fiction, a bit of romance – just enough to make you enjoy it and yearn for more -, mystery, and a really detailed background. All of these factors make Across the Universe and A Million Suns formidable books, and I can’t say how many times I jumped in the couch, eager to find out what was going on inside Godspeed.
And the ending was no easy thing to read, either. Seriously, shame on you, Beth Revis! Shame on you! How can you be such an evil writer? How can this book end up like this? I waited a year to read A Million Suns, and that’s how it ends? Oh my frexing Eldest, how am I supposed to wait for the last book in the trilogy?
4 questions in a single paragraph are enough to make a point of how much I loved this book. If you love science fiction that doesn’t look like science fiction – if that even makes sense (let’s just pretend it does) – go and pick this series up. To say that it’s a must read is an understatement :D
Note: This review can also be found on my blog. ...more
The world criated in Crusade was interesting. I liked the whole vampires-came-out-of-the-closet thing. A little cliché, but it went well. The characteThe world criated in Crusade was interesting. I liked the whole vampires-came-out-of-the-closet thing. A little cliché, but it went well. The characters were ... superficial, at least a little. I couldn't connect with them like I wanted too, and the romance was too forbidden. Ok, Antonio is a vampire, and Jenn is a vampire hunter. That should be a hell of a complication to their relationship. To make it worse, Antonio is also extremely religious -- what? Too much, don't you think? The team created by Father Juan didn't seem like a team - and Father Juan didn't look like a master AT ALL. It was an OKAY book, but I had high expectations, so I was disappointed. Still, a good reading, and I'm looking foward to the sequel. ...more