WHITE CAT introduced a world of illegal curse working, mobsters, and cons -- and Cassel Sharpe was in the middle of it all, the only non-worker in a c...moreWHITE CAT introduced a world of illegal curse working, mobsters, and cons -- and Cassel Sharpe was in the middle of it all, the only non-worker in a con-happy worker family. Without being spoilery of the first book, RED GLOVE gives Cassel a whole new bout of problems to handle while expanding on the elements laid out in WHITE CAT. Cassel is a complex and flawed main character, but he's good at heart, and I'm totally rooting for him!
RED GLOVE, as the second book in a trilogy, blew me away with its greatness and left me drooling for book three.
About DARKFALL -- The characters from THE SHIFTER and BLUE FIRE continue to develop, the plot thickens like no one's business, and the ending lives up...moreAbout DARKFALL -- The characters from THE SHIFTER and BLUE FIRE continue to develop, the plot thickens like no one's business, and the ending lives up to your expectations and then some. All in all, it's an excellent final book in The Healing Wars trilogy.
And five reasons you should read The Healing Wars trilogy:
* If you're looking for a strong and smart heroine to root for, Nya's your girl. For years, life has handed her one struggle after another, and she has to make multiple heartbreaking choices throughout the books, but she keeps moving forward. * The stakes are huge, and they're both personal and political. Entire cities are on the brink of destruction, and the lives of Nya's sister and friends are at risk -- with Nya (unintentionally) in the center of it all. * The world of The Healing Wars is fantastically multilayered and realistic, and the concept of using healing and pain for political power makes this fantasy stand out from the rest. * The plot twists and turns throughout the trilogy, with almost constant action, but it never veers into the realm of implausibility. * These books are awesome. Seriously. They're that perfect mix of adventure with heart, intelligence, and depth, and I totally love Nya. Go read this trilogy!
THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST was unlike anything I've read in a very long time. Maybe ever. The voice is brilliant and engaging, and the characters just shine....moreTHE MONSTRUMOLOGIST was unlike anything I've read in a very long time. Maybe ever. The voice is brilliant and engaging, and the characters just shine.
I'd seen this one around the blogosphere, but it was Maggie Stiefvater's ridiculously awesome review that convinced me to check out the audiobook. In Maggie's words, "this one is about a rather particular Monstrumologist and his apprentice chasing headless man-eating monsters across Victorian New England." This is not a plot that generally would pique my interest (where iz mah romance?!), but my curiosity got the best of me.
How glad I am that it did.
The book's narrated by the monstrumologist's apprentice, Will Henry, a twelve-year-old orphan. I love him to pieces. And the monstrumologist for whom the book is named, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, is (as Maggie again put it so perfectly) "high-maintenance and flawed and persnickety." And I love him to pieces. He makes me want to say "Snap to, Will Henry!" at least once a day. And eat scones.
My favorite character by far is Jack Kearns--a fellow monstrumologist with highly questionable morals who finds pretty much everything amusing. His wit and irreverence made me laugh aloud many, many times in the book, despite some of the horrifying things he does. As a writer, I couldn't help but think that Jack Kearns must've been a blast to write, being so entertainingly villainous.
I loved this Kearns quote so much that I scribbled it down at a red light (I listened to the audiobook version, which was excellently narrated, BTW).
Kearns watched, bemused, as Malachi brought the muzzle of his gun a foot from his chest. “Go on,” he urged the enraged orphan, “pull the bloody trigger, you insufferably melodramatic, semi-suicidal, blubbering bugger.”
With every single line of this book, you can see the care and love and attention to detail that Rick Yancey put into it.
The fine print: Be warned, the book can be very gruesome, and the descriptions are lengthy and wholeheartedly detailed. I cringed more than a couple times throughout -- after all, it's about hunting down Anthropophagi (headless people-eating monsters that feed through mouthfuls of teeth in their chests), so it's not sunshine and roses.
Basically, I read this book despite the storyline, which is so not my usual cup of tea. I found the Anthropophagi plot compelling and well-written, but what truly kept me hooked was Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop. I can't wait to follow along on their next monster-hunting adventure. (And I'll keep crossing my fingers for some romance for the good doctor.)
Despite that the cover looks like a dystopian cover, and the summary sounds like a dystopian summary, THE PREDICTEDS is a little more complicated than...moreDespite that the cover looks like a dystopian cover, and the summary sounds like a dystopian summary, THE PREDICTEDS is a little more complicated than that, and that's part of what I enjoyed about this book.
First off, there's Daphne. She's a strong, independent protagonist. I felt like she almost had a Nancy Drew quality to her. She felt sneaky and fierce. And who doesn't enjoy a little romance? Jesse had a lot of qualities that I look for in my book romance interests. He was a little emo--he totally shed a tear or two, if not on page, then definitely off-page. And I could totally see his going all wandering minstrel to get a girl back, carrying around a guitar and serenading her from the street. BUT, he didn't. Which I also appreciated, because as much as I love me some emo boy, it can get old pretty quickly. Instead, Jesse was equal parts tough and broken, which made for an interesting read. Also, I really appreciated Seifert's secondary characters. I felt like many of them had a dimensionality (is that a word? It is now!) to them that often goes by the wayside, especially in dystopian-esque books where there's so much world-building and plot-moving that needs to take place.
Secondly, there's the setting. How clever is it that the town is called Quiet, and it's where the kerfuffle goes down? SUPER clever, is the answer. Also, it made for some unintentionally funny lines, which I appreciated, such as going to the Quiet movie theatre. Ha. Get it? But seriously, Seifert did an excellent job of sculpting this tiny town into a very real place. Even though I grew up just outside of a major city, I recognized pieces of my own high school experience--having the local diner be the place to go on Friday night, the allure of the college kid parties--it all felt real to me. And while setting is always a key element to a quality novel, it felt extra-important to me in THE PREDICTEDS, because I needed to believe that Quiet was a town where this could happen in. And I definitely did.
Finally, I loved the concept of being predicted! Seifert starts her book off with a bang--literally. There's a shooter in Daphne's school (thankfully no one is hurt), which hurtles the reader into a town and a school plagued by fear, doubt, and the need to "fix" the problem. Enter, of course, the testing procedures that had already been done in order to create a list of the predicted students. It was so interesting to me reading how the school deals with this list, and the students, and what the fallout of a situation like that looks like. Working in a school, it made me look around at the middle & upper school kids around me and wonder what would happen if testing like that was done in real life. Seifert did a really great job of showcasing mob mentality, and how hard it can be to stand up for what you believe in, even if your belief isn't popular.
THE PREDICTEDS is out now, so definitely go check it out!