Yes, I finally finished City of Lost Souls! And, yes...it lives up to every other novel I've read by Cassandra Clare. She is such an amazing author wiYes, I finally finished City of Lost Souls! And, yes...it lives up to every other novel I've read by Cassandra Clare. She is such an amazing author with an awe-inspiring ability to pull readers into the story where they fight, love, and suffer along with the characters. Her talent to write complex and lovable (even when they shouldn't be) characters continues to astound me. And world building...well, no one does it better in YA literature.
I'm also relieved to say, I didn't feel the need to throw the book across the room when I finished reading it like I did Clockwork Prince. Thank goodness. I might have actually stopped reading Cassie's books if she'd tortured me again. Okay, that's a lie. I would have to finish reading her books because, ultimately, I'm nosy and also, I hold out hope that things will end my way. LOL.
So, without giving too much away, let's do a short summary of City of Lost Souls.
Of course, if you read City of Fallen Angels, you know that Sebastian is holding Jace captive and he's plotting something huge. I mean, when isn't Sebastian plotting to take over the world or something just as equally appalling? I have to say, there were points during this story when I wanted to root for Sebastian. I wanted him to do the right thing. I'm a dreamer at heart and I do love to root for the underdog. Sebastian is an excellent chameleon, camouflaging his true intentions until precisely the right moment. I believe he loves his sister, in the only way he knows how. AND...yes, I still believe this after finishing the novel.
Jace is, well...Jace. His connection with Sebastian transforms him into a different person during his journey between worlds. He appears carefree and happy while under Sebastian's influence and occasionally I enjoyed seeing him in this light. I think there were times Clary enjoyed this side also, even though she knew he wasn't the real Jace. Now, while the possessed Jace was fun, nothing compares to the brooding, snarky, and sexy Jace. Nothing.
You get to see everyone work together in the fifth installment of The Mortal Instruments. Magnus, Alec, Izzie, Simon, Jordan, and Mia. They all come together in an effort to save Jace and, ultimately, Clary. Magnus still remains as one of my all time favorite literary heroes and not just because he's quirky and magical. He literally does everything for the person he loves, including summoning demons and angels to save someone he doesn't even necessarily like or dislike. Magnus helps Simon, Izzie, Clary, and Jace because they are important to Alec...not for any other reason. That's true love, people.
While chatting with one of my besties over at Starbooks, we discussed Alec's actions in City of Lost Souls. He does some things that are questionable at best, if not downright childish. He's so young in comparison to Magnus and you begin to see where this will be the downfall of their relationship if Alec does not mature greatly. I'm still holding out hope here too.
And, Izzie and Simon? Well, let's just say...do it already! Seriously!
City of Lost Souls is another of Cassie's famously captivating and emotional roller-coaster ride of a book. Readers should be warned, Cassie pulls no punches with her writing and once your hooked, there's no returning. Ever! I love that I don't always see through her storylines like I do with so many other authors. I might think something's not quite right, but I can never pin-point exactly what's off and then when everything blows up, I find myself saying WTF? Great stories should leave you wondering WTF on more than one occasion. At least in my opinion.
I cannot stress this enough...these books are not written for teens or young adults who might be easily influenced.
Well, after skimming through otherI cannot stress this enough...these books are not written for teens or young adults who might be easily influenced.
Well, after skimming through other reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey on Goodreads, I admit to being a little nervous in writing this review. Quite honestly, outside of a full-on book report, book reviewing is a subjective matter, meaning that what appeals to me, might not appeal to you and vice versa...that being said, I, personally, enjoyed EL James' writing, often finding myself laughing out loud because of humor or the sheer absurdity of any given situation.
When you take time to stop and think, how many of the books you read are, or are destined to be, classic literary works of art? I understand that most of what I read is a type of pop-culture and serves, at best, as a lovely escape and form of immense entertainment. The same thing can be said about movies and television but rarely do these two cause as much heated debate and mud-slinging as books do. I wonder why that is?
So, what can I tell you about Fifty Shades of Grey that you don't already know. Very little, I'd guess. Yes, it was originally written as fan-fic based around the Twilight Series. A very adult piece of fan-fic, I'll give you, but fan-fic all the same. Christian, a control-freak, ego-maniac, falls for Anastasia, a plain looking, clumsy college student. Remind you of another love/hate couple?
Anastasia, quite literally, stumbles into Christian Grey's office on a mission for her school newspaper. Her roommate, the editor, is ill and Ana is forced to interview the illusive and powerful businessman in Kate's place. The first words out of Ana's mouth lead Mr. Grey to believe that Ana is a natural submissive. He stalks her, traces her cell phone, and becomes easily angered when other men come near Ana and this is all before his proposed relationship...if that's even what you could call such an arrangement. He couldn't be more wrong, and much to his surprise, he likes Ana's feistiness and smart mouth. He likes that she challenges him.
Unlike Bella, Anastasia doesn't go leaping into anything head first. She listens to Christian's proposal and does her research before deciding to give his "lifestyle" a chance. It doesn't take either of them long to figure out she's not cut out to be a submissive and could it be that Christian actually wants something other than what he's always had? Ana's realization and walk-of-shame out of his life may be the thing Christian needs to control his inner control-freak. What a conundrum!
Yes, this book is taking over the media. Yes, I gave into the hype and read it. Yes, I saw the similarities between this novel and Twilight. Yes, I am a Twilight fanatic and I'm not ashamed. Yes, I also enjoyed reading E.L. James' writing and Christian and Ana's relationship. The book picked up pace significantly when the highly acclaimed e-mails began flying back and forth between the couple. I kind of loved that Ana could be so honest with Christian from behind a computer screen. Reminded me a little of myself and, before we judge, aren't we all a little braver when cloaked?
Would I recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to my friends? Only with a strong cautionary warning about the amount of, not only sexual content, but also of the BDSM content. Also, Christian is fervently screwed in the head...I haven't figured it all out yet, but I suspect his childhood sucked the normalness out of him, because while he's drop dead, smoldering sexy, he is also demented.
While I always love comments, and I do, please follow the Golden Rule and do as you would have done to you. I always encourage thoughtful and polite debate...our differences ARE what makes the world a more interesting place, so embrace them and respect them...ALWAYS. (This includes any comments posted to this review on Goodreads. I DON'T DO DRAMA! She says in *Yelly Caps*)...more
A dystopian vampire-ruled society...what's not to like? The Immortal Rules is the first book in Julie Kagawa's new series Blood of Eden. I absolutelyA dystopian vampire-ruled society...what's not to like? The Immortal Rules is the first book in Julie Kagawa's new series Blood of Eden. I absolutely adored her Iron Fey series and feel she is off to a great start with this novel. Julie's world-building and character development amaze me. Her worlds are always imaginative but, somehow, still realistic. Her protagonists are strong-willed, both mentally and physically, but also humanly flawed.
The world in The Immortal Rules is dystopian, meaning that society is oppressed and disintegrating under some type of government...in this case, vampires rule. Humans are either Registered or Unregistered. Registered meaning that the vampires keep track of you, collect blood for their feeding from you, and, in return, the vampires provide you with food and necessities. Unregistered humans are able to easily slip through the cracks, because, in the vampires' eyes, they didn't exist. This also means the Unregistered aren't given a meal ticket, leaving bands of misfits to scavenge for food and supplies. If an Unregistered is caught stealing, imminent death is certain..
Allie is a young Unregistered living with three other teenagers in an abandoned schoolhouse, struggling to survive. They depend on each other for food and protection. Lucas, Rat, Stick, and Allie attempt to stay under the radar of the Prince of their city. Before her death, Allie's mother taught her to read, a rarity in this particular society. Knowledge of any sort can cause humans, Registered and/or Unregistered, to become Taken and used by the vampires.
It doesn't take long for Allie to lose more than just her parents. She loses the only friends she has ever known and her own life as a human. Nothing can keep her from dying, but Kanin can make her immortal. Kanin is bluntly honest with her. She will, from the point she turns, always be a monster. Nothing changes that fact. She will kill a human, no matter how hard she tries not to...it will happen. Even with this information, Allie makes the only choice she can, she allows Kanin to turn her and teach her how to become a vampire.
Allie's journey with Kanin is only the beginning. Once he has taught her all he can, she must set off on her own path and learn to survive without his protection. Along the way, she discovers a group of humans searching for Eden...the proverbial promised land. The choices she makes along her travels will eventually define her as a person and a vampire. She begins to realize that hiding her true nature is going to be extremely difficult...especially as her feelings for Zeke grow into something more than friendship. Holding on to her humanity is important to Allie and the lengths she takes to save her new friends might be the one thing that gives her away.
I loved the storyline. A dystopian vampire society is a unique and intriguing concept. I also appreciated the fact that Julie made no qualms with including Christian beliefs and ideologies in The Immortal Rules. Her candor with not only Allie's, but with all of the going-to-Eden pack's, beliefs--or loss of belief, as the case maybe--is refreshing to see in writing.
Allie is a strong female lead, who does what she must to survive, but...she also has flaws and battles internally about what is right and wrong. Occasionally, she makes the wrong decisions and suffers the consequences of her actions. Although she is a strong character, it took me a while to "like" her.
Several things about this novel didn't bode well with me. First, I am a dialogue-from-the-word-go girl. I love character interaction and character driven literature. I felt like there was too much world-building and information dumping in the first quarter of the book. For me...it dragged. Second, I didn't feel like all the "vampire lore" was needed. Honestly, Julie's vampires were traditional...they didn't sparkle, they couldn't go out in the sun, they had to live off human blood, they were virtually immortal...all of this was explained in great detail. If you've read a vampire novel...even Twilight, where the vampires were not your everyday vamps...you know these specifics about traditional vampires. Lastly, and I know many disagree, but I needed more romance in this book. I love romance and I don't mind the insta-love thing if it's written believably. There is very, very little romance in The Immortal Rules.
All things combined...awesome and not-so-awesome...I am giving this book 3 Stars. However, I don't want anyone to get the wrong message...I loved the book and YES, I will be reading the rest of the series. Julie's writing continues to captivate me and take me to unique and interesting worlds....more
I love books revolving around fate and destiny, so when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for a book called Meeting Destiny, how could I refusI love books revolving around fate and destiny, so when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for a book called Meeting Destiny, how could I refuse? After actually reading the book, I know I couldn't have made a better decision...I was destined to read Ms. Straight's novel...so to speak.
Lauren is a young lady who works in a diner and is month's away from graduating from college. She's comfortable in her present life with a boyfriend she's known all her life and a great best friend. Who knew everything would change for her in the span of a single shift at the diner? Honestly... Lauren has suspicions that she is meant for something bigger. She'd been having dreams about her destiny for several years. It wasn't until a frightening incident during a shift at the diner, that she realized her life was tied to a green-eyed paramedic.
Now...many people will say there is an "insta-love" in Meeting Destiny and there is. But...what would you expect from a book about destiny? At first, I thought Lauren might have seemed a little pushy but truly, she was the one who understood her mission, and she had to make Max understand his. She accepted what needed to be done and refused to deviate from her path. Convincing Max to believe and trust in her is only part of the many tasks she must accomplish.
Several things about this novel stood out to me in ways others don't. First...Ms. Straight added action into the romance. Lauren, though some might find it annoying, was unwaveringly true to her path and herself. I don't want to lead you to believe that everything comes easy to Lauren, because that would be far, far from the truth. Lauren visibly struggles in her relationship with both Max and Seth. She finds her "sixth sense" difficult to explain to others, even those closest to her. But...throughout it all she remained strong and relentless.
I read Meeting Destiny in one sitting, taking only a couple of hours. It's a quick read that sucks you in from the first page and keeps you engaged until the very last sentence. And, well...there's a cliffhanger that will make you run on over to your bookstore of choice and download Destiny's Revenge and Destiny's Wrath, just like I did. ...more
The Monster's Daughter tells the story of a young lady who must face the sins of her father and prove she's not like him. He's a powerful vampire whoThe Monster's Daughter tells the story of a young lady who must face the sins of her father and prove she's not like him. He's a powerful vampire who lives on the darkside. Ginny, the favorite daughter, must protect her sister and her friends from his wrath. Sadly, she doesn't win every battle...which is part of the reason I enjoyed this novel so much. It's nice to see everything not go the way it is supposed to...at least sometimes.
Ginny's story isn't a long one, taking only a couple of hours for me to devour once I had time to FINALLY get to it. I enjoyed her boyfriend, Joey. He stuck beside her and helped her in any way he could...even when he didn't know Ginny's secret. The only thing I found somewhat off-putting is Ginny's reaction to certain horrific events. It appeared as if she simply accepted these great losses, with no real WTH?, and moved on. I definitely could have used a little more emotion on her part.
I love the unique spin Ms. Bryan put on the whole YA Vampire Phenomena. Ginny wasn't looking to become a vampire, much the opposite honestly. She did what she had to do to protect humans in general...not just her boyfriend. This novel is definitely told from a fresh and inventive outlook. I recommend The Monster's Daughter for all vampire enthusiasts.
*I received an ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review. ...more
Until Next Time is a timeless story about faith, destiny, and true love. AlthoughOriginally reviewed at Better Read Than Dead as part of a blog tour.
Until Next Time is a timeless story about faith, destiny, and true love. Although there were some rough spots, overall, I truly enjoyed this novel. The story was unique and intriguing. The characters were charming and likable. The world building...dynamic. Miss Lignor put her own unique and enjoyable spin on angel lore.
Emily and Matt are angels who are trained to inhabit the Earth as souls of humans. They are each one half of a whole and ultimately belong to each other. When they are sent to Earth, their memories are erased assuring that the information they gather is unbiased. This also means that they don't remember one another yet they must work together to accomplish their missions.
From the beginning, Matt knows he loves Emily and never questions his commitment. In my opinion, it seemed like Emily liked Matt as a friend and needed him in order to be secure. His role in her life appeared to be codependent instead of a true meaningful love.
The story moved a little slow at first but when Liz (Emily) met Jason and secrets began to be revealed, everything moved at a better pace. Faith made me smile with her brazen attitude and witty banter. Charles was every bit Faith's perfect match. Charles' and Jason's backstory captivated me and is what eventually pulled me into the book. So many secrets...
I enjoyed all the characters but found it difficult to attach to any of them. I believe part of the reason for this was due to the writing style. Emily's and Matt's stories were told from two separate points-of-view. Emily and Matt were the Heaven version and Liz and Daniel belonged on Earth. Throughout the novel, they were pulled back and forth between the two planes. About the time I was getting into one storyline, everything would change.
While I can't put Until Next Time on my favorites list, I do highly recommend it for lovers of all things angelic.
*I received a free ebook in return for my honest review and participation in the Until Next Time blog tour. ...more
Ah, I loved Whispering Hills. Taryn did an excellent job winding the elements of suspense, terror, and rom Originally reviewed at Better Read Than Dead
Ah, I loved Whispering Hills. Taryn did an excellent job winding the elements of suspense, terror, and romance into one this one magically spine-tingling and roller-coaster ride of a book. My favorite thing about Taryn's writing is her ability to create strong, no-nonsense, kick butt heroines.
Alexis hangs with the popular crowd, but only on the fringes. Her best friend is a cheerleader but Alexis is much more content, alone in her room painting. Part of this stems from the fact that she hears everyone's thoughts...well, not really their thoughts, but their internal decisions. When a murderer comes to Whispering Hills, she hears his thoughts but can't ever see him. Leading her to believe there is more going on than meets the eye. When one of her classmates disappears and is later found exactly as Alexis knew she would...Alexis knows it's time to find help.
Enter Summer...daughter of a very powerful witch. Summer, a witch herself, is a loner and she likes it that way. However, when Alexis won't take no for an answer, Summer is forced to relive the events which had been erased from her memory thirteen years ago. At first, Summer is a bit...well, bitchy, but as the book continued, I grew to love her honest and outspoken candor.
Alexis has one other ally. His name is Chance. I enjoyed Chance's character, although, I am a little disappointed in the love-at-first-sight aspect of this book. I'm not one of those insta-love haters, in fact, on most occasions, I love it. However, the relationship between Chance and Alexis is a little difficult for me to buy. There's no real dialogue that builds up to their relationship...only events that force them together.
Now Gabriel...he's one terrifying ghost. I have no desire to hang out with him and feel sure that I would run in the other direction if I saw him coming. Eeps!
Alexis, Chance, and Gabriel are all tied together in a way you couldn't ever imagine. Whispering Hills storyline is unique, fast-paced, and action packed. There's also plenty of kissing involved. Overall...a thrilling and emotional must read....more
So much insight into the behind the scenes in this book. Also, had I not chosen a team after Deity, this book would have definitely swayed me to AidenSo much insight into the behind the scenes in this book. Also, had I not chosen a team after Deity, this book would have definitely swayed me to Aiden's team. He proves how far he is willing to go to save Alex and it made me heart pump a little faster. Not to mention the hot....
Okay, well anyway...
Excellent book! A must read before Apollyon....more
I want y'all to know that I read this book in under two days...which doesn't sound all that amazing until you see all 700 pages of it. Loved Acheron'sI want y'all to know that I read this book in under two days...which doesn't sound all that amazing until you see all 700 pages of it. Loved Acheron's story. Better review coming soon....more