A digital ARC of this novel was provided to me by Edelweiss on behalf of HarperCollinsTeen Publishing
Dystopian and apocalyptic novels are extremely po...moreA digital ARC of this novel was provided to me by Edelweiss on behalf of HarperCollinsTeen Publishing
Dystopian and apocalyptic novels are extremely popular in the world of YA literature at the moment. With the booming of such series as The Hunger Games, Chaos Walking and Divergent, it seems that teens and adults alike are hungry for this genre.
Taken provides all the elements of a striking dystopian/PA novel. It gives us Gray: a strong, intriguing male lead character who must navigate through a frightening backdrop of a world to find truth and help to bring the people he loves out of their oppression.
I have to say that one of the best things about this book was having a male POV. Besides The Maze Runner and Chaos Walking, it seems that these narrative are generally gives to female lead characters. I was extremely pleased to find this wasn't the case with Taken.
The element of romance was refreshingly real and it felt like the characters came together so naturally as opposed to the forced pull that is so popular among YA literature these days. Our characters face real challenges that test their relationship and trust with one another. But it was nice that the romance didn't overshadow the bigger, more important themes of the novel.
One of the strongest points for this book was, for me, that I didn't feel like there was boring down time in this novel. It always felt that something was happening or being discover or explored. Yet at the same time, the author still managed to be descriptive in painting the scenes and the characters' surroundings.
The other strong point: it was just a fabulous book! I enjoyed every minute of it and honestly did not put it down, but for reasons of total necessity. I tip my hat to Erin Bowman for a wonderfully strong debut novel. I am eager and excited for book two and will definitely be continuing this series!(less)
I was very excited to be approved for this novel on netgalley. Seraphina was receiving some very high praise and I was aching for a good fantasy novel...moreI was very excited to be approved for this novel on netgalley. Seraphina was receiving some very high praise and I was aching for a good fantasy novel. I must say, I could not have been more pleased with this novel. Serphina has everything that makes fantasy so wonderful. And as a novel that stands on it's own, it had exactly the right amounts of mystery, romance and action to make a full and exciting novel.
Rachel Hartman did a wonderful job building the world of Seraphina. From the governments to the religions to the dragons, everything was executed and explained well. I had no trouble stepping into this world and finding my way around. The dragons were original and creative, not like anything I've seen representing dragons before.
Seraphina herself was a great character. She was transparent and believable and it was hard not to love her. I loved her relationship with Orma. I was giddily happy about her discoveries to do with the 'grotesques' in her garden. I adored Abdo(Fruit bat) and I really, really hope that Rachel Hartman plans to write a follow up novel because I want more Abdo. Also, I would love to see Seraphina find the rest of her garden people and take on the dragons with their superpowers.
All in all, this was a beautifully written novel and a joy to read. I applaud Rachel Hartman for delivering such a stunning debut novel and I hope to see more from her in the future.(less)
This novel was approved to me by netgalley on behalf of Random House children's books
I don't know if I could call it a full four stars, but I'm gonna...moreThis novel was approved to me by netgalley on behalf of Random House children's books
I don't know if I could call it a full four stars, but I'm gonna round up. We'll call it 3 and 9/10 stars :)
It pains me, physically hurts me, to give one of Juliet Marillier's books anything less than a five star rating. But sadly, Shadowfell, for me, did not live up to the standards set by novels like Daughter of the forest and Hearts Blood.
First off, I have to give mention to the fact that this is a YA book. One thing I love about JM's novels is the intensity of them, which is sometimes brutal and graphic. This novel was lacking that intensity that I usually associate with the author's work. Now, I'm glad that she has targeted novels at a younger generation because I want people to know about her wonderful writing, but for me this one was just fell a little flat.
In any case, I didn't dislike the book. It was well written, obviously, there were wonderful characters and an engaging plot. And as always, the world of fantasy that JM creates is one of legend and magic. I did enjoy that the fair folk were much more of characters in this novel. We get to meet several of them and our main characters engages with them all throughout the novel.
I have a feeling that the next installment will be much more exciting seeing is how it's not until the end of book one that it seems as if Neryn's journey truly begins. And I think it goes without saying that I will be reading the rest of the series because Juliet Marillier rarely let's me down.(less)
Ooooooo, YAY! A cover!!! Sydney kinda looks like a *beeeeeeep* in this picture. Oh wait...that's because SHE IS!!!!!!!
I like to just imagine her as a...moreOoooooo, YAY! A cover!!! Sydney kinda looks like a *beeeeeeep* in this picture. Oh wait...that's because SHE IS!!!!!!!
I like to just imagine her as a real person in one of Andy Samberg's FACEPUNCH digital shorts. It gives me a small ounce of satisfaction.
Who is the other boy on the cover?? Is that supposed to be Mr. Belikov, or is this a new boy?!?! Maybe Sydney can drag poor Adrian's heart through the mud a little with a new love interest.
I have to stop thinking about this now, I don't want to punch my computer screen :/
--- ...Months later, after finishing The Indigo Spell...
LOL, totally forgot that I wrote all that. But hey, that is really how I felt after The Golden Lily. Was not too happy with Sydney or the turn of events. I must say though, The Indigo Spell has renewed my faith in her ability to properly use her brain...a little. I still found a lot of things about Sydney incredibly frustrating. It literally takes her the entirety of the book to finally be honest with herself.
Sometimes I wonder if the only reason Richelle Mead wrote this continuation series was to appease the Adrian fans. If so, why must she pair him with someone so infuriating. I struggle between wanting Adrian's happy ending and wishing this series never happened. Because while I enjoy being back in the VA world and I love getting to see more of Adrian, there's something missing with this series and if I had to put my finger on my hang ups, I would say this: Firstly, Sydney Sage is nowhere near the leading lady that Rose Hathaway is. It's that simple. I like Sydney and I understand her struggle, but I just don't connect to her the way I did with Rose. Rose is a freaking champion, ya know? You root for her and admire her and the girl DOES NOT QUIT! Secondly...Dimitri. Do I even need to say it? When I read VA, I was enthralled in the story. When Dimitri went through (that one thing...) I was in so deep that I could hardly find my way out. And everything that happened, all that they went through and the things that strengthened Rose and Dimitri's relationship...well, I've just never seen it's comparison. And thirdly, I don't find this series nearly as exciting as VA. Like, where's the Strigoi attacks, Richelle? Where's the blood and desperation? This is like cotton candy and rose petals compared to VA. People aren't dying! And the lack of political intrigue bothers me as well. I want to see some more corruption. I want a giant battle sequence. I want Sydney to get a MASSIVE reality check and somehow, I think the things she's gone through have not had the desired affect.
So, Fiery Heart, please step it up a notch!!! Make me cringe and sit on the edge of my seat...just a little....PLEASE!(less)