You know what? Julie Kagawa is an evil genius. If that wasn't evident with the ending in The Iron Queen or even with The Immortal Rules, she definitelYou know what? Julie Kagawa is an evil genius. If that wasn't evident with the ending in The Iron Queen or even with The Immortal Rules, she definitely drove the point home with The Iron Traitor's ending. I'm a little stunned this time around because I'm left wondering how she'll manage to end this thing in the next book. You'll have to excuse me if this review seems a little scattered, but the last few pages blew my little socks off into next Tuesday.
It's interesting that I'd have such a strong reaction to this installment because for the majority of the novel, I didn't feel it was as strong as Kagawa's previous works. The tone is more subdued, the witty banter is not as frequent and the overall novel just feels, for a lack of a better word, low. In hindsight, I guess that all makes sense because THAT ENDING. But it's also more than that, I realize. I knew this novel carried heavy implications for the characters. The title itself clearly gave that away as did the foreboding mannerisms of the original trio: Ash, Puck and Meghan. However, even going in knowing this, I'm still impressed that Kagawa went there. Brutally.
I realize that this review is not being very helpful, so allow me to backtrack and give you a little something about the book. But it's probably not a good idea to read the rest of this review if you haven't read The Lost Prince.
What I loved:
As usual, Kagawa writes fun, relatable characters. I always know when I pick up one of her books that I'm going to laugh and fall in love with her cast. It's unavoidable and lovely. Ethan just wants a normal life with his girlfriend, Kenzie, the girl who is dying. He'd like nothing more for the fey to leave him and, more importantly, Kenzie alone. But Kenzie wants to live the rest of her life free from restrictions and craves the adventures the Nevernever provides. After trying his hardest to keep her away from Their world, they set out to look for Keirran, who has not returned to the iron realm after their last adventure. As always, there is a prophecy involved that neither Ethan or Keirran is aware of, one that has the potential to bring an end to everything. Ominously awesome, right?
I loved Keirran especially. He's mysterious, broken, tortured and b-b-bad to the bone. Well, not really that last one, but I just wanted an excuse to say that. That is, unfortunately, the impression that he gives everyone, including Ethan, who internally struggles with his feelings of both resentment and family duty. The dynamic between Keirran and Ethan allowed for two deeper messages in the storyline, more so than I remember in Kagawa's other novels.
1. How far do you go to help out a family member? There's no doubt that Ethan has the most to lose and little to gain from helping Keirran. Ethan blames Keirran's existence for the reason why he lost his sister Meghan to the Nevernever. Interestingly, while he remains deeply bitter about the ordeal, he always comes through for Keirran when he needs the help, even against better judgement.
2. How do you let the one you love go? What I didn't expect to find in this spin-off was the underlying message of letting loved ones go. Ethan and Keirran aren't so different. They are both outsiders and in love with girls who are terminally ill. It's a terrible situation to see one character in, let alone two. (In case you missed it, please refer to my second sentence: Julie Kagawa is an evil genius.) The difference between the two guys is their readiness to let their love interests go. I'm not entirely convinced that Ethan is ready, but there are certain lines he has made clear he won't cross, even if that means prolonging Kenzie's life. The same can't be said for Keirran, who would destroy the world if that meant he could spend just an hour more with Annwyl.
There's no doubt in my mind that the next book will make me cry a river, but I'm left wondering: At whose loss? How can any of this possibly end well? At least with The Iron Fey series, you had an idea of how things could conclude, though, of course, Kagawa didn't go that route. But with The Call of the Forgotten, I'm mystified and worried because THAT ENDING. There's only one thing left I can do: Hold out until the next book and hope my heart can take whatever Kagawa decides to dish.
*ARC was received from YABC and the HarlequinTeen. Thank you! No monies or gifts were exchanged for this review. I am genuinely a Kagawa fangirl!
Show of hands. How many of you were worried about Kagawa returning to the Nevernever with a spin-off of an already successfu Actual rating: 4.5 stars.
Show of hands. How many of you were worried about Kagawa returning to the Nevernever with a spin-off of an already successful series? *raises hand* I mean, let's think about this for a minute. The Iron Knight concluded and it seemed everything was "happy happy, joy joy," right? But then there were whisperings in the wind of a spin-off and I found myself saying, "What?! NOOO! NO, Julie! I forbid it! Ya hear?!" At the time the saying "Don't beat a dead horse" was running through my head and I was so nervous about this new endeavor. If I'm being honest here, spin-offs usually suck big time. But just like in the case of The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa has put me in my place saying, "I got this, YO." And boy, did she ever! The Lost Prince is everything I could want and more. With fresh new characters, cameo appearances and a new evil threatening the Nevernever, how could anyone resist?
Before I begin, I need to get something out of my system.
PUCK!! I LOVE YOU!
What? Don't judge me!
Remember the little boy from The Iron King? Meghan's little brother? Did you ever wonder what happened to him and his family once Meghan had gone off for good with her Ice Prince to rule in the Nevernever as a Queen of Faery? That's just what The Lost Prince does. And let me tell you, Ethan Chase is not what I expected. The years of being tormented by the fey and losing his sister to their world has made him a very bitter and angry person. Honestly, I don't blame the guy. He has to constantly look over his shoulder, attempt to pretend They don't exist so as not to draw attention to himself, push people away so they don't catch the eyes of The Good Neighbors. It's a lot of responsibilities for anyone, let alone a teen boy (and yes, he actually sounds like a teen boy). But this is what he has had to endure all his life hopping from school to school due to "bad behavior." Unfortunately for Ethan, the fey just can't seem to stay away from him and he ends up on a quest to save the Nevernever.
The plot was brilliantly done. The characters were brilliant. This book was >insert any positive adjective here<!!!! But what did I expect from one of my favorite authors? Exiled fey and half-breeds from the mortal world are disappearing thanks to a new breed of fey. Something even worse then the iron fey?! *gasp* I suspect I know exactly who the Forgotten are if I remember a certain scene from The Iron Knight correctly. But even as someone who has followed this series very closely, I have to admit, I have no idea what direction it could possibly go.
The one thing I was worried about most with this spin-off would be comparing the old characters to the new characters. I LOVED the trio in the original series. Meghan, Ash and Puck were the perfect blend of romantic tension, banter and comic relief. And they all do make cameo appearances (Did I mention how much I love Puck?), but this isn't their story. It's Ethan, Kenzie and Kierran's. I really think fans will really enjoy the new trio and it seems like Kagawa has us in for a world of hurt with them too. I mean, I bawled by eyes out so hard with The Iron Queen. Whenever I go back to read that last scene I fall to pieces. But it feels like that could come a lot sooner with The Call of the Forgotten. MY EMOTIONS! Kagawa, stop being so awesome all. the. time! Wait...
And you know what? Even if you haven't read The Iron Fey - which you'd better go do if you haven't *gives dagger eyes* - you could still follow along easily to this story. For those who have been waiting for a certain Cait Sith (no relation to the cat pictured above, of course) to guide you back through the Nevernever, this will merely feel like a continuation from the original series. And you noobs? There are a few rules you must familiarize yourself with: Never make a contract with Them. Show no fear when dealing with the Fair Folk. Don't draw attention to yourself. And as Grim would say, "Do try and keep up." Welcome to Faery.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Want to win an ARC of The Lost Prince? Head on over to Cuddlebuggery Book Blog for a giveaway and other fantastical things.
The Need series has been a guilty pleasure of mine since book one due to the highly entertaining dialogue, the very unique characters and story line C The Need series has been a guilty pleasure of mine since book one due to the highly entertaining dialogue, the very unique characters and story line Carrie Jones created. After all, pixies aren't a paranormal creature I see a lot in the YA genre. Couple that with the use of Norse god mythology and you have a truly original series. All that being said, I do not think this was a strong conclusion, but I did still enjoy myself along the way.
Sometimes what I really dislike about reading a series while they are still being written is the lengthy waits. By the time I get to the next book, I can barely remember who each character is or their background. This is especially frustrating when the novel picks up directly or shortly after the last book ends. But Jones handles that fairly well with small recaps on the important info that happen in the previous novels. So even if it's been a year or more since you've read Entice, rest assured that you will most likely be able to keep up just fine.
Endure opens with Betty still missing and Nick still not very accepting of Zara being a pixie. It's a trying time for her and she has her share of FML moments, but I never thought they were over done. I think everyone is entitled to their own pity party when your boyfriend can stand the sight (and smell) of you. Zara and the gang have a lot on their plate in Endure since Frank is causing even more trouble trying to bring an end to the world. And then there is Astly, who Zara isn't entirely sure how she feel about. But unlike other heroines, Zara pushes her personal feelings aside to deal with the real matter at hand -- saving the world. I loved that about her because for once we have a heroine that realizes they have a job to do instead of moping around crying about her love life. But this comes as no surprise to me as I have always loved Zara as a main character. She's smart, compassionate (yet not to the point of having no self-preservation), and hilarious.
Still, there are a few things that irritated me a bit:
Nick -- I really don't know what happened to his character over the course of this series. But I don't like it. To put it bluntly, he was an ass in Endure. Straight up. Zara went to Valhalla to rescue him. She changed into a pixie for him, which she was strongly opposed to at first, and what does the little prick do? He completely shuns her because she is different. Later in the novel, a situation arises where she becomes human again and he has the nerve to show interest in her! Thankfully, Zara is a smarter than the average bear and does not accept his advances.
The Norse mythology -- It went right over my head. At first it was interesting in the pervious books because it's not often done, but it got more and more complicated. This book is only 262 pages and I don't think that was enough time to properly explore it fully. Somehow Zara is the key to stopping the apocalypse by freeing Loki, but then she's not supposed to free Loki because that actually starts the apocalypse?? I was very confused. I don't even think the characters knew what they were talking about. In fact, it's pretty clear they didn't considering the Norse gods were always correcting them on their information. Their response?
It seemed like a rather convenient excuse to explain away things that aren't fully explained in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty accurate for modern teens to find out everything they need to know from the University of Google. But it's another thing entirely for them to fully believe everything they read as much as was done in Endure. It was like:
"Oh noz! How do we stop the apocalypse?"
*fires up Google*
Go on and push it. I know you want to...
The Ending -- It really felt like Jones was just on a mission to hurry up and end the series. Overall I'm happy with the ending, but not the process in which it arrived there. But I really believe that it mostly comes back to things being a little too convenient for Zara and her friends.
However, even with those issues and not fully understanding the how everything connected together, I still was able to enjoy the novel. As for who Zara ends up with, well, let's just say I think fans will be very happy with the outcome. I know I was. ;)
ARC was provided by Bloomsbury via NetGalley. Thank you!
Oh, geez this is awkward. I've just finished Destined and can't find a single thing to say about it because it's not very memo Actual rating: 1.5 stars
Oh, geez this is awkward. I've just finished Destined and can't find a single thing to say about it because it's not very memorable.
No wait. It's all coming back to me now. Mmmmmhmmmm. Let me get my glasses for this one.
Ah, that's better. And yes, there will be spoilers.
I'll be honest and admit that the Wings series has been of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's not the best written book I've ever read or the worst for that matter. But it had a level of entertainment that kept me around till the end. At least that's what I tell myself because as I dove into Destined I just couldn't help but think how incredibly boring it was. And that greatly disappointed me since I was just looking for a light, fluffy read. Instead I was left with a story cornier than a box of Kellogg's cereal.
So very, very corny.
So the plot is a simple one. We all knew based on the ending of Illusions that Yuki would eventually escape with Klea and go after Avalon. She also happens to have an entire army of trolls ready to bust the doors down. That leaves David, Laurel, Tamani and Chelsea to race to Avalon and warn everyone. Fantastic. It was a fine beginning with promise. Unfortunately, that promise died when we are introduced to the biggest cop out I've read in a long time. Jamison asks David to fight against the trolls using Excalibur. It was truly a Disney movie moment. I knew at that moment it could only go down hill from there.
"David, with the name of Kings," Jamison said formally,
"It's time to discover if you are the hero Laurel has always thought you to be. Will you join us in defending Avalon?"
It seemed that they were *thisclose* to breaking out in song and dance. Then David had his Sword in the Stone moment and was told nothing could hurt him while he wielded Excalibur. And I do mean nothing. If someone were to strike him with a sword, it would conveniently miss him. Or if someone were to shoot him with a gun, the bullets would just drop in front of him. Not even poisonous AIR could harm him.
David had no previous fighting experience, but all he had to do was swing the sword and trolls would just die on the spot. He went all deus ex machina throughout the entire book.
And that's when I lost all desire to finish the book.
Everything was was just too carefully placed and never felt organic to me. The Queen orders Jamison to stay out of the fight, but when she finds out he's disobeyed her she doesn't do anything. Jamison gets taken out during the battle early on and forced to rest, but when the gang goes up against Yuki, he appears out of nowhere ready to assist. Speaking of Yuki, she turned out to be the biggest disappointment of them all. She supposedly has the ability to kill other fairies or at least be really powerful. But she was pretty much useless.
Of course with any battle there are deaths. I feel the impact of a character death is at its greatest when I actually care about the character that's dying. Duh, right? Well, there are two characters who are killed that the reader is familiar with, but I never really felt any kind of sadness for them. Laurel and Tam cared deeply for them, but they weren't around enough in the previous books for me to grow an attachment to them. They were expendable characters.
Another reviewer noted that with everything that was going on, and there was a fair amount of action, it actually felt like nothing was happening. I've been pondering how that's possible and I believe it's because there didn't appear to be much anticipation or build up to any of the scenes. At least I didn't feel any. I just went through the motions of finishing the book to be able to say I completed the series. There was exactly one part where I felt a twinge of emotion and it's where Tamani thinks he sees Laurel die and goes off on his own to kill Klea or be killed by her. But before those feelings get a chance to develop, Laurel goes running after him. End scene. That left me so angry!
Then my biggest pet peeve about YA novels starts flying around left and right. The whole, "I can't live without you!" trope. I really hate when that's used because it gives off the appearance of teens ready to end their life over a boyfriend/girlfriend. They're in the midst of a battle for Avalon, saving other fae's lives, and they start wondering why they would bother if the other were to die. Ummm... because your friends and family are still in danger?!
Then we get to the ending where there is a deadly toxin seeping into the land and killing Tamani courtesy of Klea. It's up to Laurel to save not only Tamani, but all of Avalon. And she's all:
"She wasn't sure if it mattered if the toxin infected her. Was her life worth living without Tamani? Was the risk worth one last kiss? One final embrace?"
So, you're just going to forget about Avalon then?
"He had to be alive. She wasn't sure if she could live another moment if he wasn't with her. What did any of this matter if, in the end, she was too late to save Tamani?"
Whew, sorry about that. I started seeing red again.
The ending was your typical "... And they lived happily ever after" in true Disney fashion. In hindsight, there were casualties, but none that anyone cared about (I find it interesting that Tamani never went back to check on his niece after she lost her mother! O.o Laurel was more important, I guess.). The only thing that mattered is that Tamani got to be with his one true love forever and ever. The end. Lame.
So, I guess if you enjoyed the first three books, you'll probably enjoy this one to some extent. But for everyone else, I wouldn't go into this one expecting much. Overall it was a big ol' pile of MEH.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!
**Don't click the spoilers if you haven't read the book.**
I think it's time to admit to myself that The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series **Don't click the spoilers if you haven't read the book.**
I think it's time to admit to myself that The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series are just not for me. I suppose it's not a secret I'm not a huge fan of Cassandra Clare's work, but I won't deny that there were some things I did enjoy with each series. However, this was a disappointing read for me. I originally liked the premise of the first book in the Infernal Devices series, but this installment seemed to focus more on the character's relationships rather than the plot. It's the same problem City of Fallen Angels had, except I do think Clockwork Prince was LOADS better than that.
In Clockwork Prince The Shadowhunters in the London Institute find themselves in a serious bind. Due to the startling turn of events in Clockwork Angel, Charlotte is threaten to be removed as head of the institute unless she and the others can discover what the Magister is planning and capture him. The Shadowhunters immediately get to work diving into the Clave archives, searching for clues to the Magister's past. Unfortunately, it is not just his secrets that are exposed as the loyalties of the institute members are also revealed.
That sounds fairly interesting, right? So what's my issue? Why couldn't I love this book? Well, if I put it bluntly: It was boring. The beginning took way to long to pick up and if I had to guess, I'd say nothing exciting happens until around page 250. Um, I don't know about you, but that is way too long to keep me hanging. It took me 15 days to read this book. 15 days. At one point I just had to put it down for a few days and read something else because every time I picked up the book it would put me in this kind of mood:
Sure the Shadowhunters did things, but every time they were about to go on a mission we are given unnecessary descriptions of what Tessa is going to wear or how Sophie did her hair or how silver Jem's eyes looked that day. Who cares? The suspense leading up to the mission died while Tessa was taking her sweet ass time getting dressed. Speaking of Tessa, she is a pathetic heroine. She is good for one thing only: changing her appearance. She's not a fighter and despite her being trained in this book, she was virtually worthless. Yet, they always had to take her along on missions. When they actually used her power she manages to screw it up. They attend a "bad guy's party" (Just go with it. I don't want to spoil it for you.) and Tessa screws up her disguise because she drinks some type of spiked warlock lemonade. Yeah. I don't know about you, but when I'm crashing a bad guy's party, I never drink the punch. So she's walking around as herself and none of the evil dudes seem to notice or care. HUH? But she's an idiot, so I don't expect much from her. However, Will drinks it too. At that point I'm thinking, "You've been a Shadowhunter for how long exactly?" That scene made no sense.
Even though the book was boring, that's not even my biggest issue with it. While I was reading I always felt disconnected to the characters. The only character I did care about was Jem and that's probably because he's the only one who didn't seem like a direct rip-off from the Mortal Instruments series. I felt flashes of these characters in Clockwork Angel, but now I'm fully convinced that Draco/Harry Will is Jace, Hermione/Ginny Tessa is Clary, ect.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice--Nope. I see what you did there.
Will Jace. I hate this guy. He reminds me of the Jace in City of Fallen Angels. "I can't be with you because it will kill you! So I'm going to act like the shitiest person on earth so you will hate me!" Sound familiar anyone? Seriously, there are only so many times you can recycle a plot twist before you become predictable. I'm not sure you can even call it a plot twist anymore. So not only is he a carbon copy of Jace, but he goes through the same tortured character issue too? No, I'm not buying that. He was the reason why I almost didn't finish the book. He's such a prick and Tessa knows it, but she still loves him "because there is just something about him!" *eyeroll* Yes, I'm well aware of the curse, but that entire situation never seemed real to me anyway. (view spoiler)[It was so obvious that the curse was a fake. "Everyone who loves you will die! Muahahaha!" What kind of lame curse is that? And why did Will think no one loved him? Charlotte's love for him was just pouring off the pages. He didn't think it odd that she was still alive? Does anyone besides Jem use their brain in this series? (hide spoiler)]
So when I finally get to the "good part," some things happen that are supposed to shock me, I guess. There is this big revelation made right before the fight scene. (view spoiler)[We find out Nate and Tessa aren't brother and sister. (hide spoiler)] WAIT. Didn't you use that revelation is City of Glass, Clare?? Please stop putting you plot twists through the laundry wash cycle. It doesn't make them new again. *sigh*
After the fight scene, there is still a good 75 pages left and I was hoping for more action. But, of course, there is none. Most of it is filled with more relationship drama that surprisingly made me happy. However, it will most likely piss off fans of the series. LOL. (view spoiler)[That's right, Will! You are shit outta luck! (hide spoiler)] There is a cliffhanger at the end of the book, but by that time I was so through with it all, that it didn't move me one bit.
The writing was difficult for me, but I've never really jived well with Clare's style. Death to those bloody commas! My eyes are waving little white surrender flags! O_o Another thing I found strange was that Tessa is supposed to be American (right?), but it seemed like she still sounded English. In other words, all of the characters spoke very similarly. There was only one time when Tessa used an American slang term and it felt odd and out of place. And how many times must the word 'quite' be used? "Oh, you are quite right!" "This is quite uncomfortable." "I don't think you quite understand." I'm pretty sure 'quite' is used every few pages and it's annoying. The characters are trying so hard to sound English. It just didn't work for me.
Will I read Clockwork Princess? I don't know, maybe. The only reason I'm remotely curious is because I want to see what's going to happen to Jem. I like that guy. Yeah, I know. The volcanoes in hell are freezing over because I actually really like one of Clare's characters. Amazing.
Oh, and before I forget: (view spoiler)[Did anyone else notice anything familiar with how the Shadowhunters vote? Um, Goblet of Fire anyone? (hide spoiler)]
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The Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wiThe Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wink* It had action, hot Fae guys, adventure, romance, hot Fae guys, court intrigue, witty dialogue, and epically cool fight scenes. Oh, and did I mention the HOT FAE GUYS?!
Excuse me while I fangirl.
McKenzie Lewis is a special human. She can see the Fae and read their shadows. This ability makes her a very important ally in the war raging between the Court and Rebels because she can tell where the Fae are teleporting to. Just think of her as one hell of a blood hound and you get the picture. For years she has helped the Court track down and kill Rebels, until one day she is kidnapped by a rebel leader named Aren, who henceforth in this review shall be known as: "Le Hottie." While in captivity, she discovers the war she once considered black and white, just gained a whole lot more colors in between. As a result, she starts second guessing her alliance with the Court and her awkward relationship with the King's sword-master, Kyol, "Le Steamy".
First off, this is a really awesome debut novel for Sandy Williams. The Shadow Reader grabbed me from page one and held me in a choke hold that would make "Stone Cold" Steve Austin proud. And considering the last two books I've read had me in a "two-star" reviewing slump, I was extremely grateful for a fun read. That's not to say this book is without its flaws. Oh, no. Lol. But, there is just something about it that makes me a lot more forgiving. The Shadow Reader is like a toddler just finishing up a cherry Popsicle on a hot summer day. She's a little messy with sticky fingers, but she's just so darn cute you want to hug her anyway. And that's exactly how I felt about this book. Even though McKenzie did irritate me at times and the romance was toeing the "insta-love" line, I couldn't help but really enjoy reading this book.
Two words: Action packed. I don't even think this book had "down time." It was just back to back revelations, fight scenes, sexual tension. You know, all those things to keep you on the edge of your seat. This was a solid plot with pretty good world building. I easily got a feel for the Fae's world, but the only thing I would have liked to see was a freakin' map! McKenzie's ability to track the Fae's shadows is reliant upon her knowing where the locations actually are. I would have liked to have been able to see where these places were myself on a map. There is a lot of traveling done in the book between "fissuring" (think: teleporting) in and out of the human world or between the providences of the Fae world. So, yeah, it would have been nice to be able to flip to the map and see exactly where they were.
McKenzie's goal in the first half is to escape Le Hottie (Aren) and his Rebels and return to Le Steamy (Kyol) and the Court. She firmly believes they are evil and remains loyal to the Court. But, she never expects to fall for her captor and grow sympathetic to the Rebels cause. When she finally does return to her sword-master, she finds that her loyalties no longer lie with the Court.
Le Hottie (Aren), McKenzie, and Le Steamy (Kyol) were smart, sassy and classy respectively. I usually don't like love triangles, but this is one of those rare occasions where an author tells me to, "Shut it, Stephanie and read the damned book. You will like it!" And lil' old skeptical me goes:
Hmm...We'll see about that Ms. Williams. Well, here I am eating my words because I loved this love triangle. If I were McKenzie, who would I chose? Le Hottie or Le Steamy? Jeez, I don't know! They were both awesome guys! Aren's the cocky son of a biscuit eater that has you wanting to smack that ridiculous grin off his face and kiss him at the same time. While on the other hand, Kyol is the mysterious silent type that will keep you up all night trying to puzzle out the secrets hidden in his eyes. (AHHHH! Hot Fae guys! I.CAN'T.EVEN!)
Of course, we have our heroine McKenzie. I won't deny that there were times when she really irritated me because I thought she just couldn't see the bigger picture of the war and how the Court treated her all those years. The Court specifically didn't want her learning the language of the Fae and she not once thought that was strange. And one of the first things Aren does once she is kidnapped is have her taught the language. This should have been a gigantic red flag to McKenzie, but she remains loyal to the Court until it nearly very dearly costs her. But, she's supposed to be a stubborn heroine. I get that. I just wish she was a little more observant. However, she is a strong-willed heroine because she never does give up trying to escape her captives. I have to give her props for that. Even when she knows her attempts are in vain, she continues again and again. I have to admit, though, I did wish she didn't need quite so many rescuing from our hot Fae guys. In fact, why does she even have a sword on the cover? I kept waiting for her to kick someone's ass in the book, but it never happened. (view spoiler)[Okay, so maybe she did kill someone, but that was an accident on her part. (hide spoiler)] No matter. That wasn't enough to stop me from enjoying the book at all.
Ah, here is where the gushing review dies a painful death. Oh, insta-love, how I hate thee!! You manage to ruin it for me every time! When will you leave the awesome stories and their characters alone?! *Evil fist shake*
Darn you insta-love. You've gotten Tink fired up again. I'll be beating the pixie dust out of my sofa pillows for days now. Thanks.
First of all, I want to say I loved Aren and McKenzie together. They had great chemistry, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why they liked each other. Apart from the little zings of electricity shooting from each other, I don't understand why they were in love. It's your typical, "Oh he's hot, but he's the bad guy and I'm not supposed to notice that. Oh my damn, I can't look away!" As for Aren, I didn't even realized he really liked her until he kissed her and by then I'm like, "Wait, you actually like her? You were for real?" Then, by the end he's telling her he loves her. -_- Case and point, I found there attraction rushed and underdeveloped.
McKenzie and Kyol's relationship was a bit more believable because they had been working together for ten years compared to her brief few weeks acquaintance with Aren. The King had forbid Kyol and McKenzie from being together and despite their intense feelings for one another, Kyol tries his best to keep their relationship strictly business. McKenzie waits for him for ten years. Ten years. But when she returns from captivity he realizes this has been a mistake. By that time, he has kept so much from her (and Aren has laid a claim on her heart) that it damages their relationship. I really applaud McKenzie for standing up for herself and telling Kyol that she shouldn't have waited for him and that she was moving on. But, something tells me that his hold on her heart has not yet loosened its grip...
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Shadow Reader and can see this appealing to fans of Richelle Mead. This book falls somewhere in the 3.5-4 star category for me, but what they hell, I'm rounding up to 4 for the special unputdownable quality (view spoiler)[and the hot Fae guys! (hide spoiler)].
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***Please note: It's been a while since finishing this book and I did not include many details in this review.
Initial thoughts after finishing the bo ***Please note: It's been a while since finishing this book and I did not include many details in this review.
Initial thoughts after finishing the book:
Somebody get Stephenie Meyer on the phone because this is how you add onto a trilogy without completely screwing your characters over. This is how you make a semi-insta-love relationship awesome. This is how you end a love triangle. And this is how you write a freakin' book!
4 stars seems too low and I think I love Iron Queen a little more (which I gave 5 stars). So actual rating is more like 4.5 stars. Full review to come!
Thoughts after some time had passed:
Wow, I can't believe I'm saying this, but this book didn't hold the same magic as books 1-3. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it, which is why I think it belongs with my 3.5 star books.
I am an Ash girl through and through. You cannot begin to imagine how excited I was to receive this as an ARC from Netgalley! I seriously did a major happy dance.
In this installment, we find Ash set out on his final adventure: to travel to the End of the World to find a soul. Without one, he will never be able to step foot in the Iron realm. Besides Puck, Ash finds himself accompanied by a few surprise companions and of course, the Cat. This book seemed to be slower paced that the others, focusing mainly on a lot of character development. I think it's fair to say by the end of the book you will know as much about tAsh as you did about Meghan. And that's saying something considering she had three books in her POV and Ash has only one.
I gobbled this book up, attempting to savor every moment. As usual, the banter between Puck and Ash was awesome. Julie never disappoints with her character dialog. In this book we really got a chance to have a deeper understanding of Ash *and* Puck, which was a really nice bonus. We learn more about Ariella's death and Ash's vowel. We also get a chance to see just how much Ash loves Meghan. And he truly does since he travels to the End of the World for her. The world building was once again awesome. You could easily picture the scenes described.
So, why was I not feeling the magic as much? I think a big part was because I really missed Meghan. I didn't realize how much she shaped Ash as a character in this series until she wasn't a major player. She does make some appearances in this book, but this is virtually *Ash's* book, told by his POV.
The ending was a happy one, but I think I prefer the ending in The Iron Queen instead because it was just a very emotional ending. The Iron Knight did have me tear up a bit, but The Iron Queen opened the flood gates.
So, if you loved the Iron Fey series definitely give The Iron Knight a go!
After reading Spells I have to admit I was not excited to read Illusions. I thought Wings was unique and offered a different s Actual rating: 2.5 stars
After reading Spells I have to admit I was not excited to read Illusions. I thought Wings was unique and offered a different spin of your typical Fey story, but Spells fell short for me. However, I'm happy to say, I did enjoy Illusions much better.
We begin with Laura at the beginning of senior year of high school. She is attempting to lead a normal life despite the troll attacks from the last book. Right from the start this book kicked off with Tamani enrolling as a foreign exchange student at her school. Obviously, this complicates her and David's relationship. In addition to this, Klea has asked Laura to look after a mysterious Fey named Yuri.
The plot in Illusions was very interesting this go round. However, I have three major pet peeves about this book.
1. The Love Triangle
To a certain extent, I can tolerate love triangles, especially when they noticeably help move the plot along. But in Illusions the love triangle turned into an all out pissing contest between Tamani and David. I could feel the testosterone rolling off the pages. And David! I was so tired of him whining about Laura. But I have never liked David very much because his character feels underdeveloped to me. This is book 3 and I still don't feel like we actually know much about him. Tamani is a much more interesting love interest and their connection/relationship makes sense.
2. The Mystery surrounding Yuri
Our characters are supposed to be trying to figure out which season Yuri aligns with, but for most of the book they are too busy fawning over Laura, while Laura thinks about college and acts as a referee to the two hormonal, teenage boys. I felt like most of the chapters were pretty useless to the book. And by the end of the book, Yuri's season is pretty much the only thing we've found out. The premise was so interesting and I kept turning pages hoping to find out more about Yuri, but all I got was David and Tamani glaring at each other. Or, Laura yelling at David and Tamani. Or, David and Tamani duking it out in the school's hallway. It got old really fast. I felt like Pike had a lot of potential with this book and she wasted it to prolong a series that has no business having a "book 4."
3. The Ending
Don't worry I won't spoil it for you. But I will tell you that after all that anticipation on finding out what Yuri is, you find out and the book just ENDS. I actually turned the page and thought, "No way was that the ending!" I felt ripped off. I suffered through all the relationship drama and this was how I was rewarded?! Talk about a letdown.
Will I read book 4? Yea, I probably will in hopes that Pike pulls it together.
Puck is my favorite character in The Iron Fey series. So you could just imagine my delight when I first heard about this novella. Honestly, I could barely contain my happiness.
In this novella Prince "Ice-boy" Ash and Robin "Puck" Goodfellow embark on a new adventure. But first, they have to find a certain cat, Grimalkin. Unfortunately, the exiled Muse Queen comes to call in a favor from Prince Ash. She asks for them to sneak into the Summer Court and steal back her "Violin," which was apparently stolen from her by none other than the Summer Queen herself. In the midst of all this, Puck finds himself with the dilemma of betrayal. This little mini-quest comes complete with action and comic relief and will be sure to have you wanting more!
I can't wait for their complete adventure in the next installment The Iron Knight!
Let me start by saying that I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't love it either. It was cute, spunky, and funny. Howeve Actual rating 2.5 stars.
Let me start by saying that I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't love it either. It was cute, spunky, and funny. However, there was just something about it that annoyed me.
So I've recently found out what a Mary Sue is. All this time I've been calling it "A la Bella-esque." Evie is most defiantly a Mary Sue. And I've come to the realization that I had a love/hate relationship with Evie the entire book. I thought she was really funny and down right silly at times. BUT at the same time she annoyed me with being so cheerful with her love of all things pink. I kept flipping back an forth. Sometimes I felt her endearing. Yet other times I wanted to bitch slap her.
But I digress. I did find a few things I liked about the book. I found Evie's relationship with Lend to be very realistic. It wasn't over done. They weren't ripping their clothes off after only dating for a week. They weren't confessing their undying love for one another. Actually, I would say the romance kinda took a backseat in this book. It was there, but it didn't feel like it controlled the plot. Also, I did find the book really funny. Awesome dialog. Bonus points for no cliffhanger.
Anyway, I can't really think of anything else to add to this review right now. It just didn't leave a lasting impression like I had hoped. I will continue with the series. More so, out of curiosity for where the story will go.
Wow, there's four days of my life spent reading this book that I'll never get back. And it normally doesn't take me that long, but I had to self motiv Wow, there's four days of my life spent reading this book that I'll never get back. And it normally doesn't take me that long, but I had to self motivate myself with promises of chocolate ("If you just read one more page..."), just to get through it.
I usually don't give too many books only 1 star. In fact there is only one book I can think of that angered me this much and that was The Vampire Diaries: The Return. I only got 50 pages deep into it before I flung it across the room. So I am very proud that I was able to finish this POS to write a review.
There is NO reason this book should have a higher rating than Mockingjay, a few Harry Potter books, and The Pride and the Predjudice. NO REASON.
After all of that, I have one question for Cassandra Clare:
Was this some sort of sick April fool's joke? Why was this even published?
Now before the fangirls come out to defend their master , let me explain.
I actually liked the original 3 books. I wouldn't say I loved them or call them literary masterpieces, but I *did* find them entertaining.
City of Endless Angst City of Fallen Angels picks up 2 months after City of Glass left off. One would think the conflict between Jace and Clary was over, but no. CC has the nerve to regress her characters. And there lies my biggest problem with the book: WHERE WAS THE PLOT? While everyone was busy fawning over each other, Shadowhunters are being murdered! But, alas, no one gives a shit.
How would I describe our characters in CoFA, you ask? Well a picture is worth a thousand words:
DracoJace: Bordered between and Wangsty teen and a cocky prick And yes kids, he actually says he is better than everyone.
Clary: "He loves me. He loves me not."
Simon: I really liked him in the orignial trilogy. I found him funny. Sadly, he was boring. He wandered around this book with not a clue what was going on.
Alec and Magnus: *sigh* They didn't even show up until half the book was over. And when they did all they did is bitch about Magnus' past sex life. Yes, more and more angst.
The gang is supposed to be investigating the murders of the shadowhunters, but there isn't much investigating going on. Instead, they are too busy ignoring each other, going to Simon's band gigs, and ripping each other's clothes off in an alley. Speaking of Simon, he is apparently dating Isabelle and Maia at the same time. Yet, he doesn't know how it happened. Ya, Simon, we already established that you are confused.
What's driving Jace and Clary apart? Well, Jace starts having these nightmares where just as he and Clary are ripping away their clothes, he kills her. He decides to ignore her, so as not to hurt her. Why Clare, why? Why did you have to play the "I love you, can't you see it's killing me?!" card? Stephenie Meyer already cashed in on that lotto ticket amoungst other recent, pathetic YA novels.
To top it off, we have evil minions in gray track suits and sneakers and a badass villain killed in the most shitty ending I have ever read. And that cliffhanger! Not everyone who dies has to come back to life, Clare. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Valentine makes an appearance in the next two books.
Clare is also very inconsistent with her storyline. When Kyle is first introduced to us he has black hair. However, two pages later he has brown hair. Jace doesn't believe in God, yet has the most angel blood in him that anyone else. The *Pepsi* sign is blue and red, not Coca Cola. Jace doesn't understand any of the pop culture references Simon quotes, but Jace spews Shakespeare lines off like its second nature. Seriously, why didn't the editors catch this?
Does my review seem like it's all over the place? Well, good cause that's exactly how this book was. ALL.OVER.THE.DAMN.PLACE.
A few days ago Clare posted a FAQ about the book and ending. She is basically validating why she, Almighty Author, is a genius and you, lowly reader, are an idiot. You can read it here if you haven't already. http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com...
And you know what I have to say to her little condescending FAQ? Cassandra Clare, I'm calling you out on the bull shit. It's time to stop riding J.K. Rowling's cash cow. Get off, the ride is over!
Darkest Mercy was pretty much everything I thought it would be. Melissa Marr tied up all the loose ends from the previous novels in the series.
I wasn Darkest Mercy was pretty much everything I thought it would be. Melissa Marr tied up all the loose ends from the previous novels in the series.
I wasn't super thrilled to read this book because, as usual, Melissa Marr's writing style tends to throw me for a loop initially. But I quickly became enthralled in the story. I was excited to see that most of the book was full of startling revelations from all of our characters. It was definitely enough to keep me turning pages.
In the final Wicked Lovely novel, we finally have the opportunity to see how far the characters have developed. Ash, in my opinion, is the most changed. She is now a confident Summer Queen. Keenan has finally realized manipulating people will get him nowhere, fast. Seth seemed to be the same to me, if anything, a little wiser. Donia learned how to release some of her bitter frost, finding happiness.
I really would have liked to see more of Rea, Devlin, Rabbit, and Ani. I think Devlin had one line in this book, while Rea, Rabbit, and Ani were only briefly mentioned. And I won't even begin to try and understand Leslie and The Dark Kings' relationship. @@
This is easily one of the best series I have had the pleasure to read. I read all of the books back to back and let me tell you! Noth I.Am.Speechless.
This is easily one of the best series I have had the pleasure to read. I read all of the books back to back and let me tell you! Nothing ever prepared me for this epic adventure let alone the ending!
I struggled to actually sit and write a review for the first two books, because I was so caught upon the adventure. I knew there was no way I could write a review until I read all three of the books. So instead of just reviewing The Iron Queen, this will be an Iron Fey review. Got it? Ok, off we go!
The Iron Fey series is about a girl named Meghan Chase. When we first meet her he day of her 16th birthday, she is a normal, quiet, teenage girl struggling to fit in at school. However, when her brother is kidnapped by the fey, she travels to the Nevernever to rescue him alongside her best friend, Robbie Goodfell, who is the legendary Puck or Robin Goodfellow (unbeknownst to her until then). Along the way, she meets a Cait Sith named Grimilkin and the Winter Prince, Ash. She also finds out she is a half fey and her father is non other than Lord Oberon, King of the Summer Court. Along the journey, they discover a new breed of fey called Iron Fey. They are growing in number and threaten to destroy the Nevernever as they know it.
However, she never planned on falling in love with Ash and he her. It is forbidden for summer and winter to fall in love. I loved watching Ash and Megan's love grow for each other in this series. It was beautiful. I did think that in the Iron daughter, Meghan got a bit obsessive, reminding me of Bella swan, but it can be over looked because this series is just that amazing.
The character growth is brilliantly written. By the end of the series Meghan is no longer a shy girl; she is tough and knows what she wants. And even though Ash vows to protect her, he realizes that she has changed and become strong.
The banter between Puck and Ash was classic. And I swear no one can insult and compliment someone in the same sentence the way Grimilkin did.
The battle/fight scenes were epic! Very descriptive. I felt like I too was fighting besides Ash, Puck and Meghan.
The best part of the series was the ending. The last book. Seriously. If you pick up The Iron King and The Iron Daughter and are wondering what the hell I'm hyping this up for, READ THE LAST BOOK. It's one of the best books I have ever read. It was perfect. I think I cried for the entire ending. I felt the hope, desire, and love. I keep thinking there could have been another way Julie! But that is what I love about this series, it's realistic fiction. We don't always get what we want, no matter how hard we want it to be so. Living a fairy tale doesn't change that. And for that, I believe there was no other way to end this series with changing the book cannon.
Hats off to you Julie Kagawa. That was truly remarkable.
In the words of Meghan Chase, "It was...quite a ride. Wasn't it?"
It sure was.
I desperately look forward to The Iron Knight and any future works from Julie Kagawa's imagination.
Despite the fact that I feel Meghan obsessed a little too much over Ash (especially in the beginning), this book was amazing. The character developmen Despite the fact that I feel Meghan obsessed a little too much over Ash (especially in the beginning), this book was amazing. The character development, plot and storyline made up for most misgivings of Meghan's flaws. I'm really looking forward to reading the 3rd book! ...more
Ummm....WOW! That is how I felt after reading The Iron King. Simply amazing. I was lost in this book for a few days and I never wanted to leave the be Ummm....WOW! That is how I felt after reading The Iron King. Simply amazing. I was lost in this book for a few days and I never wanted to leave the beautiful world Julie Kagawa painted. This is the best "Fey" book I have ever read!
What I liked about this book: everything! There is not one thing I would change. I rarely give books 5 stars unless the story really calls to my soul. And boy was this book singing! The characters were totally believable and realistic. Puck is my favorite bc he is simply hilarious! The second book is on hold for me at the library and I'm going to pack my kids up and go get it right now! Lol.
Ok, so let me start by saying this series to me is a bit strange. And because of that, you often have to just accept what Jenna Black tells you aboutOk, so let me start by saying this series to me is a bit strange. And because of that, you often have to just accept what Jenna Black tells you about this world, no matter how weird or odd it is. Kinda like how Stephenie Meyer told us all to accept the fact that Bella did not want to marry Edward, but she still was willing to give up immortality and be with him forever. Makes zero sense, right? But you, the reader, are just supposed to accept it, otherwise, stop reading.
On to the review:
We find Dana, our protagonist, still on lockdown from her Fey dad in Avalon. She apparently is not talking to Ethan, yet the book begins with her on a date with him at the movies, no less! So I'm thinking, "Why is she even talking to this scrub?! After everything he did to her in Glimmerglass." I quickly realized this was a "just accept it" moment. So, throughout the book, in which Dana does a number of reckless things, almost every guy she encounters is "so hot, with long hair." She is forever getting lost in every males eyes. It's quite annoying. It seems, that is the only way Dana knows how to describe anyone in the book. Either that or Jenna Black considers her readers vain. Dana also has almost zero sense of self-preservation. In ShawdowSpell the Wild Hunt comes into town lead by the Erlking. Now let's pause and look talk about him a minute. For some odd reason I seem get a picture of Fabio Lanzoni every time I think of this dude.
Yup, that's my Erlking
Now her dad tells her that because the Erlking is present in Avalon, it is a huge security problem for her considering even the Queens of Fairy fear him. Yet, what does Dana do? She sneaks out to go to a birthday party! Now I know everyone has different priorities, those of which may differ greatly from mine. Different strokes for different folks. But c'mon! A birthday party is worth risking your life?! Once again, "just accept it." YE BE WARNED: HERE THERE BE SERIOUS SPOILERS So when Ethan is taken by the Erlking and Dana bargains her virginity for his release, I was blown. Ummm, what?! Really, Jenna?! Please don't tell me this is going to be a series revolving around sex. So, Dana agrees and just promises herself she will never do it. So let me guess, the next books plot : To do it or not to do it? Wait, wait, wait. Let's back up for a minute and pause. Why did she even agree to that? I thought she didn't even like Ethan? "Just accept it." This deal went from bad to worse, because of course the Fey have the wonderful gift of lying by omission. I guess Dana didn't think it necessary to find out all the terms of the deal before she agreed. "Just accept it." At this point, it's getting harder and harder to "just accept it." By the end of the book Dana finds herself between a rock and a hard place. She has decided she does like Ethan after all and does what him as her boyfriend. However, since Ethan is such a playboy, Dana wonders how she could ever keep him, knowing she can not have sex with him, unless she gives herself to the Erlking first. And of course, giving the Erlking what he wants endangers the entire world, Fey and mortals. So yup, you guessed it, the fate of the world resides on the chastity of a teenage girl. O.O Wow. That is a pretty big pill to swallow.
Fear not young padawans! I did somehow find something I liked about the book. Jenna Black does write entertaining, witty dialog. I'll give her that. It was pretty funny at times. But all in all, if I had to describe Shadowspell in a few sentences I would say: it's like a train wreck I can't turn my head away from.
It's not the prettiest thing to watch, but I can't help but to keep looking because I wanna know what happens next. With that said, I will probably read the next book in the series. I know, I know. It makes no sense. You're right. But, "just accept it."