My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Source: Library Checkout
‘If you remember one thing, even above remembering me, remember that there is not a monster dreamt thMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars Source: Library Checkout
‘If you remember one thing, even above remembering me, remember that there is not a monster dreamt that hasn’t walked withing the soul of man.’
Dreams and Shadows tells the tale of two young boys: Ewan, who was stolen from his family by fairies when he was a baby, and Colby, who befriended a djinn that granted wishes which changed his life forever. The fates of both become entwined the second they meet and a battle between magical forces ensues.
This could have honestly been a disastrous affair what with the strange mixture of fairies and changelings, angels and the Devil, sorcerers and genies, and the list goes on. But it’s far from a disaster. This was an absolute delight and the exact type of fantasy that I yearn for. I have to make note that despite the inclusion of angels and the Devil this is far from religious and never digs in deep to that aspect; they were just supporting characters of a sort. The characters were fictitious and fanciful but managed to be extremely well-crafted and developed. The male characters were at the very least. It didn’t occur to me until later that the female characters all seemed to be incredibly weak and only described in terms of their looks with the one exception to that statement being Ewan’s scary-as-hell mother. All in all, it’s easy to overlook because of the thrilling plot.
My least favorite aspect of the book ended up being my favorite. In addition to the story being told from three separate points of view, there are excerpts from a book titled ‘A Chronicle of the Dreamfolk’ by a Dr. Thaddeus Ray, Ph.D. They are surprisingly informative pieces on the factual aspects of this fantasy world but it’s initially unclear as to why they’re included. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle that becomes clear late in the novel so don’t skip these sections.
Dreams and Shadows is a story full of magic and mystery and outlandish horror. I so enjoyed the rawness and twisted darkness of this tale and the unique and unusual world-building that fortunately isn’t lacking in detail. Dreams and Shadows possessed a plot with room to grow and is one instance where I’m thankful for it being a series. Queen of the Dark Things is the next installment which is due out in mid-2014. I cannot wait....more
*There will be spoilers from the first two books!*
“I’m ready to stop saying good-bye to things. I’m going to start saying hello.”
After making the*There will be spoilers from the first two books!*
“I’m ready to stop saying good-bye to things. I’m going to start saying hello.”
After making the difficult decision to end things between Tucker because being part-angel means she was forever putting his life in danger, Clara packs up her life in order to start over in California at Stanford University. Coming with her is her friend Angela as well as Christian Prescott, the angel-blood that she’s destined to be with regardless of what her heart seems to be telling her. Shortly after their arrival in California, Clara realizes that she’s being watched again by the Black Wings and her current visions don’t foretell anything but trouble. Clara knows that being an angel-blood means she’ll never lead a normal life. Her life has been leading up to the point where she must fulfill her destiny, but she knows the time has finally come for her to do so.
The resolution was skillfully done (I say skilfully because love triangles can be tricky critters) and managed to not leave you with that ‘too’ perfect sense that most series enders give me. The thing I loved most was seeing Clara’s overall progression as a character. Despite the fantasy aspect of this series, Clara is a practical and sensible girl that I loved for her realism. The love triangle too was also surprisingly realistic and also didn’t overpower the fascinating story with the romance aspects. The storyline itself took a little bit of time to get into gear but once Clara’s vision actually started to play out it turned into quite the page turner. What was most surprising was just how surprising the twists and turns were. Definitely unexpected and far from foreseeable.
After reading Unearthly and Hollowed back to back, I’m shocked that it took me this long to pick up Boundless. It’s been the year I finish up all those series I’ve let fall by the wayside (my 11th finale of the year!) and I must say it’s one of the more impressive ones. I can see where people might say it was wrapped up too neatly but I was nonetheless left satisfied at the unexpected twist at the end that allowed all the puzzle pieces to fall into place. There were a few loose ends that left the reader wondering, but I could see it being turned into a spin-off series. Haven’t heard anything about that but who knows. Boundless is a solid conclusion to a memorable series. Highly recommended....more
My rating: 3 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or tMy rating: 3 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
That sums up nicely how I felt by the end of World After. Not angry at how everything transpired, but no where near the level of happiness I had when I finished Angelfall.
At the end of Angelfall, Penryn’s lifeless body is delivered to her mother after the attack from the scorpion. As her mother mourns the loss of her oldest daughter, she couldn’t be more shocked when Penryn sits up, alive and well. Penryn quickly jumps back into the role of guardian yet is uneasy around her sister Paige after the horrific events that occurred in Angelfall. When Paige disappears, Penryn sets off in search for her with hopes of finding Raffe as well who believes her to be dead.
I found myself at a loss around halfway through because I realized I wasn’t enjoying this nearly as much as I had anticipated. The writing was intense and the build-up was extreme but so much of the story failed to progress that it became very tedious waiting for the next big wow moment. Very little new information was discovered and it just didn’t advance the storyline as much as a 2nd book should. This didn’t even feel like a case of middle book syndrome (although I’ve heard rumor that this is now being planned as 5-book series) but rather an entire book of filler that totally stalled the series for me. The last 1/4 of the book is what I had hoped the entirety of World After would be like but I’m thankful for at least the 1/4 as it still left me highly anticipating the next installment. Setting all that aside there was still a lot to enjoy.
First and foremost is that one of the characteristics of Angefall I loved most was how incredibly dark and twisted it was. Susan Ee pulled no punches in showing just how dark and devastating the world has become since the angels came and World After fortunately retained that aspect.
Pooky Bear. The name Penryn jokingly gave Raffe’s sword. As eye-rolling as that whole bit was, it was really pretty damn funny. Naturally, (for me) I kept picturing this Pooky:
If nobody knows who that is, our friendship is over.
And lastly, I’m left very intrigued by the side-story of the experimentation done on Paige View Spoiler » More light is shed on the angel invasion as well but with both cases, the information is dished out in the smallest amounts that I’m not left yearning answers I’m instead left mildly irritated and more focused on the little we’re given. Another thing that was dished out in the smallest amounts? Raffe.
I needed MOAR.
Bottom line: I’m not pleased at the (lacking) progress of the storyline but I was satisfied enough at simply being back in this wonderfully desolate world and will of course still anxiously await the next installment in hopes we get more answers (and more Raffe.)...more
When I requested Hallowed on Netgalley I was dumb and didn’t realize that this was the 2nd in a series. Since I was already approved I decidedly to immediately read Unearthly so that I could dive right into Hallowed (that was the plan if I liked it). Well I did. I really really liked Unearthly and I wasn’t actually expecting to (not a diehard fan of paranormal/fantasy/romanctical/YA books).
There will be spoilers from Unearthly but any spoilers from Hallowed will be hidden in links!
The Storyline Long story short, Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off; Clara is still confused about how to proceed after she failed to fulfill her purpose. When she starts having more dreams/visions she determines that she’s in a cemetery, that someone she loves is going to die, and it’s going to happen as soon as this Spring. Clara is also still trying to handle her conflicting feelings that she has for her boyfriend Tucker and for Christian as well.
What Was Missing For Me Two key elements that had me completely enthralled in Unearthly unraveled for me in Hallowed.
The Love triangle: I think the author did a beautiful job of NOT making it a cliché and NOT irritating the daylights out of me in Unearthly. In Hallowed I felt that the work she did in maintaining the non-love triangle did not hold up under the pressure of being just like every other YA paranormal romance novel. Now don't get me wrong, I can understand the reasoning behind her relationship with Christian in the beginning was because he was involved in her purpose. It then evolved into Christian and Clara both being angels, being able to relate to each other, and a kinship was created. It didn't necessarily need to go into lovey dovey status, and that's where she lost me.
Clara's Independence: I loved the strength and independence that she exuded in Unearthly; I didn't see that once in Hallowed. In this book she's completely in love with Tucker (which is fine, not the issue) but she's even daydreaming about their wedding and the kids that they would have and their life together (again, not really an issue). Where she lost me was when she started contemplating whether or not she should even leave for college because that would mean she'd be leaving Tucker behind.
Speaking from personal experience, I did this exact thing. I didn't want to leave my boyfriend at the time behind and so I decided to actually stay home instead of making the leap of faith and going to the university that I had been planning on attending. I look back and hate myself for my lack of backbone in changing my future plans based on a boy that I thought I loved. So essentially this may not be a problem for everyone else or the general population but I certainly saw a part of me reflected in Clara's actions and it definitely registered quite a negative reaction for me.
The one thing I was thankful for was that the author gave the main character friends that made sure to tell her she was being dumb and made attempts to dissuade her.
Straight Spoiler Section There were some parts that I simply had to get out there for discussion, but for those of you who have read it already. Spoilers ahead! (view spoiler)[Jeffrey: So why exactly is so much attention being paid to Clara regarding her purpose? Nobody asked Jeffrey about his purpose? But then again why wasn’t he up front and let everyone know what was going on and what he planned on doing? That would’ve made everything a whole lot less confusing and of course the book wouldn’t be what it was if everything went right. But I don’t understand why he gets to hide up in his room and his mom practically ignores him completely yet she bugs Clara incessantly. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Their Dad: Come on. So now Clara is some super rare angel and of course so is Christian and OF COURSE they’re supposed to bond completely over their extreme specialness. Personally, I still would have remained intrigued if she was just a simple Quartarius she didn’t have to become uber-special to keep my interest. Overboard I say, overboard. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Angela’s Secret Italian Boyfriend: Seriously though, what is up with that? It’s almost like he was thrown in there as a potential future storyline, which is kind of irritating as of right now since I have no clue what the hell is actually going on. And was I kind of sheltered or something, but what 17 year old girl has black lacey lingerie that she takes with her on her yearly trips to Italy? (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Following her Purpose: So even though I was really happy about how Clara decided to love who she wanted in Unearthly (despite her Purpose), I did have a feeling that it was going to be short-lived. And sure enough, she finally realizes that if she stayed with Tucker he wouldn’t have the life that he deserved and blah blah blah… yawn. Essentially that just negated everything GOOD that she did in the first book because it became pointless. I mean really, what exactly was the point? In this book, Angela tells Clara about her Purpose and how she sees Clara in Stanford so OF COURSE it’s going to happen… so this time around she’s automatically accepting it which I so did not like. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Religion:Yes, I understand I’m reading a book about angels so I should expect at least some bits about religion; HOWEVER, in Unearthly the religion aspects were balanced beautifully and I didn’t grumble once. This time around it came all out and definitely made up for the lack of references in Unearthly, which I didn’t like so much. I’ll leave it at that. (hide spoiler)]
Final Thoughts I still enjoyed this, it is still worth the read, but no I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Unearthly. I also feel a tad cheated as I was under the impression that this was a trilogy and now I hear talk of a fourth one? (Correct if I’m wrong.) I do see how there could be plenty more added on to the story, especially since Clara still has like 100+ more years of life left, but I do hope that we start getting some answers because the ending to Hallowed was a bit frayed at the edges for my liking.
So this IS a trilogy... I'm definitely looking forward to Boundless even more now because there will finally be a resolution and some questions that I've been dying to have answered! VERY EXCITED!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Alright, yes, I admit… it’s November 2011 and I’m just now getting around to reading this. I was extremely skeptical about this one regardless of the glowing reviews. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from a YA paranormal romance book about angels. I can’t even count how many issues this book could potentially have… but I decided to read this at the perfect time because I was totally in the mood for something exactly like this.
The Storyline Clara always thought she was a normal sixteen year old girl living in California with her mom and brother until her mom tells her that she has angel-blood. Her mother is half-angel which makes Clara a Quartarius: a quarter angel. Clara’s initial reaction is to refuse to accept her mother’s announcement but she is ultimately unable to deny the truth.
”My neck still tingled when I remembered the way she’d said “humans,” like the word suddenly didn’t apply to us.”
When she begins having visions which her mother informs her is her ‘purpose’ being revealed to her.
”In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees…”
In her vision she sees a boy surrounded my forest and flames and she feels that it’s up to her to save him. Unable to discern where this vision occurs she begins piecing it all together and finally determines that it’s in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Clara’s mother stresses to her the utter importance of completing her purpose that this is the reason she was placed on this Earth, and they at once pick up their lives and move to Wyoming. The first day at school she sees him; the boy from her vision whose name is Christian.
The Main –Character My main issue with your typical YA paranormal romance book is the main character, or more often than not, the heroine. I found that not only did I not have the urge to slap Clara, but by the end I actually kinda liked her. Shocking, I know. This is the one line that got me:
"I just need to be mad for a little while, okay? I know it might not be the most mature thing, but there it is."
Thank you! Finally, someone admits to their immaturity, which in my book makes it okay if you’re not living in denial. Clara was quite the independent girl who even though she did develop quite a crush on Christian it wasn’t overkill and in essence her obsession did still revolve around her purpose which made it acceptable.
Also? (view spoiler)[The fact that Clara actually ends up falling in love with the RIGHT boy was quite the shocker. Usually it’s the other way around and the girl picks the complete shit-head over the good boy. (hide spoiler)]
The Writing This was an extremely quick one day read for me because I simply couldn't get enough. A light, refreshing read that didn't come off as corny or immature (which I think is quite the accomplishment considering the subject: angels). Speaking of, my aversion to angel books in general tends to be because the author fails to handle the religious aspects of angels quite well. I'm happy to say that Cynthia Hand did a spot on job. The author also did a fabulous job of building up the mystery behind Clara's vision and it had me intrigued and fully engrossed.
Final Thoughts So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? The ending was not as I had hoped for. Personally I think it was a really messy ending that left too many questions and not enough answers. It wasn’t even really a cliffhanger per say, more like a… to be continued. (view spoiler)[I really wish the purpose would have been explained more. So Clara failed. What the hell was her purpose anyways and how would she have known that she didn’t complete it? And Christian’s an angel-blood too? Okay, so I kind of saw that one coming, but… he’s having visions too? About the same thing? But they still have no clue what they’re supposed to do but they still feel like they clearly failed? Yes, I realize I’m not making much sense but that’s the state of my mind right now as I try and contemplate the book before diving into the second one. (hide spoiler)]
I have in my possession the second book Hallowed, but I’ve decided to give myself some time to really think this one over and maybe try and work out some of the questions I’ve got bouncing around in my head. (Thanks for the idea Wendy :D)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
You can’t help but be intrigued by the summary: “As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die.” Whaaaa2.5 stars
You can’t help but be intrigued by the summary: “As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die.” Whaaaaatt??? Creepy right? I totally loved the introduction into the story, loved learning about her childhood and all that she had to endure as her parents never fully understood her.
On her sixteenth birthday when she witnesses a tragic car accident right in front of her house, her parents proceed to tell her that she must leave town immediately to stay with her great-aunt in Colorado. And… that’s about where it went downhill and into predictable-YA land for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is an extremely interesting story and I was extremely interested in learning all about ‘Fenestra’s’ and I loved how even though the story obviously has to do with angels it didn’t go overtly religious and the author had the decency to not associate angels strictly with Christianity.
The main problem I had was the main character was your typical annoying and immature YA character; she pretty much drove me crazy. The other problem I had was even as interesting as the story was to me, the actual writing kind of fell flat for me, was a bit choppy, and overall predictable. The fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did regardless of the problems I had with it I would still be interested in picking up the next in this series to see where the author continues to take this story.
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!...more
Update 11/14/2012: Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are turning this beauty of a book into a movie??? Holy crud, this is going to be epic. ____________________Update 11/14/2012: Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are turning this beauty of a book into a movie??? Holy crud, this is going to be epic. _______________________________
What an outstanding debut novel by Susan Ee! Don’t be fooled by the pretty glittery cover, or even the title of the book, or the fact that people are calling this young adult, or the fact that you think ‘ooh! It has angels in it!’ so you automatically think of something like this:
This is dark fantasy straight up, nothing cute or froo froo about this. And MAN was it awesome!
This was a marvelous novel that hooked me from the beginning. From the very first page you’re thrust into the gloomy post-apocalyptic society that Earth has become since the angels of the apocalypse invaded 6 weeks ago. The main character Penryn is in charge of protecting her seven year old paralyzed sister Paige and their schizophrenic mother. Penryn’s purpose in life at this point is to do nothing but protect them and she’s completely devastated when her sister is kidnapped by the angels. She proceeds to do whatever necessary to get her sister back and get her back quick when she resorts to teaming up with another angel, Raffe, and makes a deal with him so he will take her to the angels aerie.
Pendryn is a total badass and I loved her. She could totally hold her own, she knew what it took to survive… she was one tough cookie.
High Points Okay, so, with most books these days where there’s a side story that involves a ‘romance’ it usually tends to sway towards instalove. I. Hate. Instalove. It’s corny, irritating, and it makes me want to pull my hair out. I am pleased to inform you all that I did not hate the way Penryn and Raffe’s relationship progressed; it ended up being quite realistic and believable. *phew* What a relief.
About the last 20% of the book, things started happening that were CRAZY! I mean seriously dark twisted crazy ass shit. No morphing into a YA teenage melodrama here yippee! I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just leave it at that.
The ending was well timed and it wasn’t a cliffhanger that made me turn into a crazed madman that made me need to know more NOW. I mean the book has to end somewhere and I think that was an appropriate place to do it. I did end this book and proceeded to frantically search for any future released dates of book 2. Alas, I failed to find any but I will definitely be on the lookout, no doubt about that. There are several questions that I’m dying to have answered (view spoiler)[primarily why Penryn can wield an angel sword. I mean really WHY?! (hide spoiler)]
I’d like to take a moment to thank Michelle for not only convincing me to read this but also loaning it to me. You’re the best. :)
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Storyline Chalice is an extremely gifted individual with heightened sight, hearing, and smell. After she is abducted from her home in a monastery she is trained as a thief by the Vyantara, ’an international organization of nefarious magic users who profited from the sale of charmed and cursed objects I stole for them.’ She knows very little about why she is who she is or who her parents are but after finding out information about her who her mother is, Chalice is desperate to break the curse that keeps her a slave to the Vyantara.
Thoughts This was an intriguing read from the very beginning, but once the storyline progressed and added new elements I was a bit thrown. (view spoiler)[Wasn’t really expecting angels. Not what I thought this was about. (hide spoiler)] Plus with the weird details of her slavery and the gargoyle neck licking thing… well I’ve probably said too much already. Suffice it to say it was different, but not necessarily in a bad way, and was still interesting enough to keep me reading.
Chalice’s enhanced senses were an interesting concept, but her being able to ‘slide’ her contacts in and out was highly unrealistic. Where does she put them when she’s not wearing them? In her pocket? What about pocket fuzz? Don’t they dry out and shrivel up or anything? Where’s her travel bottle of opti-fresh or her mini travel case? Yes, I put a lot of thought into this even though it’s pretty inconsequential and they probably aren’t you average type of contacts anyways. I am a contact lens wearer for over 15 years though so I understand that contacts don’t slide in an out. And they do shrivel up. Okay, probably put far too much thought into it but whatever. It bothered me.
I enjoyed the various characters that were presented in this story… definitely added to the originality. The jewel-encrusted frog named Ruby was a cute addition. The ‘jewel-encrusted lie-detecting frog’ was a bit overkill though, but I did still enjoy her part in the story. Also, I loved the concept of the shape-shifting animal named Ling-Ling, but all I could think of when they said her name was ‘Ling-Ling the giant panda bear’.
I think the world building was lacking which is always a problem for me, especially when there were SO many supernatural creatures. There needed to be some development of some sorts, rather than just leaving it as the world we live in with supernaturals thrown in for good measure. The main characters weren't extremely likable either and pair that with the lack of world-building and I wasn't entirely overjoyed with this book. Okay, so in retrospect, I was being a bit knit-picky with this one but there were a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me. It was interesting enough but I’m not sure I’ll be continuing the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their worldInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.”
I was so excited to get my hands on this quickly after it was released, but what was even quicker was my disappointment. Sorry guys, am definitely in the minority here, obviously.
’He was standing over her, and his eyes were molten. They were wide, his orange irises ringed around in white, and he was holding, one in each hand, her crescent-moon knives.’ And what does he say? “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” And what’s her response? ‘Just then, lit only by the flicker of his wings, the sight of him was so… right, somehow. He was right. I’m sorry… what?? What exactly is right about that situation someone please tell me? Now, speaking hypothetically, if I had weird magic eyeballs on my palms I would’ve blasted his ass right out the front door.
Overall, the story was beautifully written but I fear that that was the only redeeming factor and the only reason I gave it 3 stars. Maybe I’m just not cut out for fantasy novels; maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Either way I didn’t enjoy this as much as many of you did, although I can certainly see the appeal, even if it didn't have the same affect on me. Like I said, the writing was beautiful, and the author certainly created an extremely detailed world; however, I can’t help but feel that it was all just too much. The storyline was incredibly original and I applaud Laini Taylor for that, but what truly brought it all down for me was the romance. The romance was too typical, too cliché, too star-crossed lovers, too… overkill.
By the end, I wasn’t left with much desire to even pick up the next book in this series but I suppose we’ll see what happens. As it stands now, I’m still glad I read it and experienced the talent known as Laini Taylor, but I also wish that I had been able to enjoy it like many of you have. ...more
Quick little re-iteration of the Blue Bloods story. There isn't any addition to the story, just a simple little guide. I had read the first 4 novels iQuick little re-iteration of the Blue Bloods story. There isn't any addition to the story, just a simple little guide. I had read the first 4 novels in the series in a short amount of time. Having Keys to the Repository helped refresh my memory in preparation for the next novel. :)...more