I got a free copy of this book for review a little while back, and have literally just gotten around to reading it. I’m kind of sad about that,...moreReview:
I got a free copy of this book for review a little while back, and have literally just gotten around to reading it. I’m kind of sad about that, because actually, this book is kind of awesome.
It seems a bit typical at the start, Sam’s family have just moved to a new small town, making Sam the awkward new girl at school. However, Sam’s got a few more problems than just that. One is that her father is sick and her mother is abusive, and another is that she seems to have prophetic dreams, and that her little sister only has to wish for something and it becomes true.
Of course, add into the mix that her mother has some sort of plan, and you’ve got yourself an intriguing storyline. It was definitely different to other things I’ve been reading recently, and I very much enjoyed the book. I liked the characters, even if sometimes they felt very familiar, and I liked the idea of the Valley as a place.
Having finished the book I do still have a lot of questions – the answers to which I hope will become clear when the rest of the series is released. One is what exactly Sam’s power entails, another is what her mother is actually planning, and on top of all of that, what really are the Seasonals?
Basically, having read this, I’m still intrigued, and am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Mythology is something I’ve always been interested, and when I read that this had links to Norse mythology, I knew I had to read it. It was som...moreReview:
Mythology is something I’ve always been interested, and when I read that this had links to Norse mythology, I knew I had to read it. It was something different to how mythology is normally used in YA novels, mainly because it’s mostly Greek mythology that is used, and I enjoyed the departure to something different. It also added something different to other shifter books I’ve read and I think that’s why I went for it.
I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed by this book. The story was fairly fast moving which was good, because I worried at first it was going to be mopey as it all starts with the main character, Arionna, moving to her father’s home due to the death of her Mother. I know, pretty morbid, right?
But it gets better. She goes to college, makes some friends, and sees an enchantingly good looking guy – aka our leading man, Dace Matthews. Okay, I have to admit, it was a little bit insta-love-ish. But it wasn’t unbearably so, and at least later there was an explanation for Dace and Arionna’s immediate draw to each other.
There was actually a lot more death in this book than I’d expected it, and it made it obvious this is meant to be an older YA – well, that along with the fact there are a lot of sexual references in this! However, I think that for me, this worked in the book’s favour, and I enjoyed that it was likely behavior for a college student and a young adult male.
I also loved the mythology ties, and the way that the sense of impending peril and even the events still left space for Dace and Arionna’s relationship to develop naturally and believably. I also loved the way Dace fought with his shifter side, and whilst this has definitely been done before, it just felt believable in this context.
I ended up really enjoying this one, even though it took me a little while to get through because of the reading slump I was in! Definitely a worthwhile read if you get a chance!
I have to admit, at first, this didn’t sound like my sort of book. It was actually the synopsis for book two in the series, Demons (which I wil...moreReview:
I have to admit, at first, this didn’t sound like my sort of book. It was actually the synopsis for book two in the series, Demons (which I will be reading and reviewing very shortly!) which caught my attention. Having been accepted to receive a netgalley copy of that one, I figured I’d better start with this one first, and purchased a Kindle copy right away.
I’m so glad I did. There have been a lot of comparisons from this book to Alyson Noel’s Evermore, which I haven’t actually read, so I won’t be making comment on that any more in this review. The main reason, however, that I haven’t read it is because for whatever reason, I’ve been avoiding stories centering around angels and demons and such. I don’t know why, but until this point, the idea just didn’t appeal to me.
This book totally proved my preconceptions wrong, and I actually got into the whole idea! I loved Kate as a character, and her conflicting emotions throughout the book. I didn’t find it annoying how she was effectively stringing Aaron along – I remember breaking up with my first proper boyfriend, and that was difficult (it always is!) and for me it actually felt more natural than if she’d done it at the first signs of attraction to Patrick.
Patrick was also a new favourite. I liked how caring he was, and how conflicted, and how patient he was about the entire situation. Toni was also a good supporting character, as was Lee, who actually reminded me of my own best friend back in Secondary School!
The story in this one was very fast paced, and I found myself enjoying the lore of Seers, Guardians and Demons – I felt that enough background information was given so that as a reader, I didn’t feel lost, but I still felt like I was learning things at the same rate Kate was, which I felt worked well.
Basically, I really ended up enjoying this book, and will be diving straight into the second one, which is ready and waiting on my Kindle. If you’re looking for an enjoyable read, I’d definitely recommend this one.
This was definitely an enjoyable read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, Seers, and this wasn’t a disappointing additio...moreReview:
This was definitely an enjoyable read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, Seers, and this wasn’t a disappointing addition. This book is packed with action – there’s always something going on – and Heather Frost manages to weave a complex yet easy to follow and therefore easy to get swept up in.
In this book, Kate’s world gets turned on its head even more. Having come to terms with her own special powers, and the fact that her new boyfriend is immortal and they’re both wrapped up in a world of demons, seers and guardians, she’s now confronted with the information that there’s some kind of virus killing immortals. The next problem is that Patrick has it.
As I’ve said, this book is pretty action packed. The plot moves from one major point to another seamlessly, and all the while Ms Frost manages to weave in small details to make her characters and their stories all the more believable.
Patrick and Kate have become a favourite fictional couple, I think, mainly because their relationship is passionate, caring, and it feels real. Plus, it’s not driven by sex, which is something I’ve seen a lot of lately in YA fiction. Also, the worry I had about a possible Patrick-Kate-Aaron love triangle building up in this book turned out to be unfounded, and I was definitely glad about it!
I honestly can’t wait for the next book in this series – it’s definitely turned me from a demon-book-skeptic to a demon-book-lover! Definitely a different paranormal romance, and a really good mix of romance and action. I also think it’d be possible to read this book as a standalone without having read Seers first, as everything’s well explained – but I’d recommend Seers just because it’s awesome!
When I first started reading this, I very much felt it reminded me of Maggie Steifvater’s The Scorpio Races. Part of it was the tone of the boo...moreReview:
When I first started reading this, I very much felt it reminded me of Maggie Steifvater’s The Scorpio Races. Part of it was the tone of the book, and the island setting, and part of it was the fact that Krista Holle shares Steifvater’s skill in describing things and bringing them to life.
This book was actually quite different to paranormal romances I’ve read before – and I have to admit, that’s partly because it was about Selkies, which is something I haven’t seen much of. I liked the fact that this book more or less stuck to the Selkie mythology I’d previously heard, especially their loyalty to the sea, and the fact that if their skin is stolen, they belong to whomever holds it until they can find it and steal it back.
The characters in this book were mainly enjoyable – I liked Kait a lot at the beginning, mainly because she was feisty, and didn’t want to get married just because her brother said so. Admittedly, at some points in the book, I felt she was a little too needy, but overall, I liked her. Eamon was interesting – especially as he was so hotheaded, and the only Selkie in memory to try and choose to live on land. I liked how devoted he was to Kait, and how he tried to make things work.
The only thing that bothered me a bit was the pacing of this book – sometimes I felt things were moving a little slowly, especially around the middle portion. However, the romance and setting were both so well written that I enjoyed the entire thing nonetheless.
Definitely one I’d recommend to anyone interested in the mythology behind Selkies, or anyone who enjoyed The Scorpio Races, or just anyone who wants to read a good romance story.
Having finished this book, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about it. Admittedly, the stuff I liked, I liked a lot. For example, I really liked...moreReview:
Having finished this book, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about it. Admittedly, the stuff I liked, I liked a lot. For example, I really liked the idea of the skinwalkers, and how they weren’t just random shapeshifters. I liked that they basically had their own mythology and culture, and the clever way it was tied in with Native American culture. This was definitely my favourite aspect of the book – especially the fact that each totem only applied itself to one specific person.
From this, I could also see where the tension between the humans and the skinwalkers came from, and for me, that was integral to my enjoyment of the story. The story itself was also pretty good, though I have to admit, I could see some events coming a mile off – but for me, that didn’t really matter.
However, there were some things that bothered me with this story. One of them was that I spent the first fifty pages or so feeling a bit lost and confused. Things seemed to move on really quickly. I’d have liked more background to Alexis, and I’d have liked to have seen more of Cougar before he met her. I think it would have added more build up, and given me more understanding of the characters. I also couldn’t understand why Cougar was so quick to spill all his secrets to her – admittedly, I managed to rationalize it to myself by the end of the book, but it would have been nice to have had that sooner.
Basically, I think what I’m trying to say here is that I didn’t really connect with Alexis and Cougar until right at the end of the book, and therefore struggled to really get behind their story or understand why they acted as they did.
I also spent a lot of time not understanding Cougar’s ‘brothers’, and I’d have liked to have known more about them, I think, as well as about Alexis’ family. Basically, I think a lot of my issues were due to the depth I personally like to have in a book.
All in all, this book it a nice, short read, and it puts a new spin on the idea of shapeshifters. However, I felt that a bit more depth would really have brought the story to life, and would have prevented me from spending time mentally picking holes in the story at certain points.
I enjoyed the first book in this series. It had slightly different subject matter, dealing with Water elementals, than other YA books around at...moreReview:
I enjoyed the first book in this series. It had slightly different subject matter, dealing with Water elementals, than other YA books around at the moment, and I could easily relate to the characters in my mind – which is something I feel is pretty important. However, I had a few small niggles with that one – mainly Kendra’s immaturity and attitudes, as well as the seemingly massive imbalance of power between the Ondine and the Aquidae.
This book totally blew that out of the water.
This was definitely a case where the sequel takes everything that’s good about the first book, and leaves all the rubbish behind. I enjoyed Billow so much more than I enjoyed Whirl, and it’s left me hungry for what’s next for Kendra and co.
In this book, Kendra is beginning to really understand what it means to be the Sondaleur – the savior of the Ondine in their ongoing war with the Aquidae. She’s finally getting that she means a lot of things to a lot of people, and that it can’t just be about her and her personal conflicts anymore.
Tristan was still the hot guy in this, though I kind of felt like I wanted Kendra to give Julian more of a chance – and that’s coming from someone who dislikes love triangles! I liked the low simmer between Kendra and Tristan, however, and felt that it worked with the story rather than the love aspect overpowering everything else as sometimes happens in books.
Overall, this was much better, in my opinion, than the first book, and I’d really recommend this series to anyone who feels they’re getting bored with the normal YA subject matter.
I have to admit, even before I downloaded this one, I was skeptical. I don’t normally judge books by their covers, but this one pretty much scr...moreReview:
I have to admit, even before I downloaded this one, I was skeptical. I don’t normally judge books by their covers, but this one pretty much screamed Twilight to me. And whilst I didn’t completely hate Twilight, that worried me. Since Twilight, there have been a lot of Twilight-alike’s after all.
I have to admit, because of that, I wasn’t overly surprised with what I found inside. I’m not saying that the story was completely unoriginal, because it wasn’t. It’s just that the start of the story starts very much in the way Twilight does – human girl is saved by do-gooder vampire. Admittedly, there’s the twist that Danielle is American compared to Ethan who is English. That, and Cheri Schmidt has at least made vampires which are lethal, and taken vampire mythology into account. I liked that about the book.
However, I did have issues with the fact that Ethan, his family and Danielle’s family were meant to be English. I kind of felt that this was by far overstated, as if the book being set in London wasn’t quite enough. They kept doing very stereotypically British things, like taking afternoon tea and eating fish and chips and cucumber sandwiches. As a fellow English person, I don’t remember the last time my friends and I went out for afternoon tea. To be fair, we’re as likely to have a cuppa in the office, made using a teabag and an electric kettle. In some ways I liked it – but it didn’t feel authentic, I think is what I’m looking for.
That said, the latter part of the book was definitely better for me. I mean, I could still draw the Twilight comparisons. But the story did veer off in its own direction, and I kind of liked the direction it took.
Overall, this wasn’t my favourite read of 2012, but it definitely wasn’t bad. I won’t be rushing out to read the other two books in the series, but I wouldn’t rule out reading them either. I have to admit, I hope the Britishisms are a little less overplayed in the next one, and I hope that the direction taken at the end of this book is continued.
Generally, a good read – I’d say it’s one for the Twilight fans, and probably fairly well suited to younger teens.
When I received the request to review this book, the synopsis really drew me in. Of course, it helped that the cover was gorgeous, and on watching the...moreWhen I received the request to review this book, the synopsis really drew me in. Of course, it helped that the cover was gorgeous, and on watching the book trailer, I was pretty sure I wanted to read this. I’m so, so glad I did, because I ended up absolutely loving this book.
Like many other people who tend to read paranormal books, I’m always slightly concerned on starting one that I’m going to have read something like it before. After all, there are only so many ways certain paranormal creatures can be portrayed, and sometimes it seems like there are only so many storylines. In this novel, Frankie Rose totally turns that idea on it’s head, and manages to create a paranormal underworld that was different to other things I’ve read before.
The Reavers, in this world, are the most powerful, immortal beings, and also the villains. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound overly original, but with the prophecy (Which main character Farley is at the center of) it soon turns into something completely different. On that score, this book definitely delivers.
I also loved the characters. Farley was awesome-yet-flawed enough to be believable and relatable, and I really liked her voice and the fact that even when she was feeling crappy, she had attitude. And as for Daniel, who doesn’t love a brooding hero? I have to admit, I ended up totally head-over-heels for Daniel, especially once a forbidden romance was mentioned. As some of you will know, that’s something I always end up going for! The supporting cast were also good, from motherly Agatha (who was still pretty kick-butt) and Farley’s friends. Even Oliver ended up being pretty cool, though I wasn’t sure if that was going to happen throughout the book.
The writing was also enjoyable, very smooth and easy to keep reading – my attention was kept throughout. Definitely a book I’d recommend, and I can’t wait for the next one! A very big thank you to the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book! (less)
Firstly, to cover myself more than anything, I'm going to state that this novel is not a YA novel, and contains very adult scenes. There is violence,...moreFirstly, to cover myself more than anything, I'm going to state that this novel is not a YA novel, and contains very adult scenes. There is violence, and whilst this is no Fifty Shades of Grey, there are definitely sexual encounters in this book. However, with that out of the way, I shall continue with the review.
I'm going to admit, I'd thought this book would be a lot more… cheesy than it was. I literally had images in my head of B-movies about female vampires seducing unsuspecting human males and having their wicked way with them… yeah, we've all pretty much seen that one before. And okay, the storyline for this was somewhat like that to start with, but what made it not-cheesy-B-Movie-esque for me was the characters.
Joe is pretty much your average nerd, and more or less reminds me of all my male friends. He likes pubs rather than clubs, he struggles with approaching women, and he likes role-playing games. He's also recently started experimenting with vegetarianism, which of course, makes it all the more ironic when he finds that his first girlfriend has turned him into a vampire without his consent.
I really enjoyed Joe's inner monologue, and the way he reacts to things throughout the story - for example, he's pretty angry about becoming Newfoundland's first vegetarian vampire, but his nerdy side seems to think it's pretty cool. Joe also worries about real-world things, such as how he's going to deal with his parents since becoming a vampire, and how he's going to manage keeping up his commitments to his old friends - as well as balancing finishing his college degree. It would have been easy for the author to ignore those things, and I'm really glad he didn't because for me, it completely ruins my immersion in a story when I think about those kinds of details!
Cassandra was also a good character, I felt, and I liked the way she really had backstory and that it was touched upon throughout the book so that as a reader, you really understood what she was about. She was also the perfect mix of seductive girlfriend and mentor towards Joe, rather than being all out seductress. I also like the fact that she wasn't perfect, and had her own set of insecurities.
I also enjoyed the way the author interweaves previous vampire stories/legends, by bringing Count Dracula himself and The Countess into the mix!
Though, I have to admit, I kind of wanted more backstory on John Snow, Cassandra's estranged-husband-turned-killer. I think it would have given the story a little more depth, and yeah okay, I like my villains to be really evil. Not that I'm saying John Snow wasn't, I just like to really understand my villains. I also wanted a little more detail on the council, and it felt a little like a loose end at the end - though maybe it's one of those situations where ambiguous is best.
Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and whilst I wouldn't recommend it to a young-adult audience, I would recommend it to anyone who feels they can handle the mature themes, and enjoys a vampire book where there is no sparkling whatsoever.(less)
Before the Iron Fey series, I didn’t think much of Faeries. Julie Kagawa proved me wrong. I was hoping that she could work her magic on my view...moreReview:
Before the Iron Fey series, I didn’t think much of Faeries. Julie Kagawa proved me wrong. I was hoping that she could work her magic on my view of vampires – in which I basically felt that really, most of the books were fairly same-y, and the genre had been overdone. Having finished this, she definitely delivered.
I loved Allie as a character. I liked that she had her own internal conflicts, and her own deep seated beliefs. The fact that upon becoming a vampire she doesn’t lose all of her human thoughts and morals immediately made her into a much better character than she could have been. I liked that she struggled – both to find a way to sate her inner vampire in a way that was acceptable to her human morals, and to deal with very human emotions was really interesting and believable to read.
I have to admit, I’m not so sure about Zeke. For me, he seemed a little too perfect, though again, I had to admire his convictions, his sense of loyalty, and the fact that he was willing to accept things that challenged his previous beliefs about things – most importantly, vampires. I guess I’ll have to see what (if anything) happens with the rest of the series.
As for the world Julie Kagawa created, I liked it. It had the elements for a good dystopian. Humans all but wiped out by a virus, which vampires were found to be immune to. In a bid to pass this immunity to humans, a third race – the rabids – were created. To best describe the rabids, think crazy, ever-hungry vampire-beasts. Unfortunately, both humans and vampires are now dying out for different reasons, though neither group seems to be doing much about that.
I really want to see how this world pans out, and what happens in the rest of the series, given I fell in love with this book hook, line and sinker. The only criticisms I have are, as previously mentioned, I didn’t fall for Zeke as much as I’d have liked to (though this may just be me) and sometimes, the pacing seemed a little slow for me. That said, it’s a long book, and there’s a lot of world building, so it makes sense – just sometimes, not a lot seemed to be happening for a fairly long time.
Either way, even if you think you’ve had enough of vampire stories, this one is completely different, and merges the world of dystopian fiction and paranormal romance in a way I never thought would work so well. Definitely a brilliant read – well recommended!
As with the last book, I was blown away by the cohesiveness of the world Cassandra Clare has managed to create in this series. The idea of Downworlder...moreAs with the last book, I was blown away by the cohesiveness of the world Cassandra Clare has managed to create in this series. The idea of Downworlders being out there everywhere is just how I’d imagine things to be if vampires and lycanthropes and all that were actually real.
I also love the characters in this series – I have to admit, like just about everyone else, Jace is a firm favourite, though for me it’s mainly in his dry sense of humour and sarcasm. I liked Clary more in this book than in the previous though, she was a lot less helpless. I like the feeling you get as a reader that you’re discovering more about this shadowy underworld as Clary does, and I like that she doesn’t just immediately master being a Shadowhunter. I think for me, it’s just because it gives the whole thing a slightly more ‘real’ feel.
I have to admit, the whole thing with Simon and Clary… I’m glad it happened. It was one of those things that needed to be tackled sooner or later, and I’m glad it happened at this point rather than later in the series. I’m also glad it clarified feelings for the both of them, and that it (sort of) worked out alright in the end.
I have to admit though, I didn’t get sucked into this one in quite the same way as I did the first one. It might be because I’ve had a lot of coursework on for Uni and therefore not as much time to devote to reading as I normally would, but I’m not entirely sure.
There was enough action in this book, but I really wasn’t getting the tense, drawn in feeling I got the feeling I should have been getting. It’s difficult to describe, but basically something didn’t quite hit the spot for me.
Either way, this was an enjoyable read, and I’ll look forward to my TBR pile getting small enough for me to pick up the next one! (less)
This review and others like it can originally be found on my blog, Hey, Tara.
Firstly, I am totally in love with the cover of this one – I’m a complet...moreThis review and others like it can originally be found on my blog, Hey, Tara.
Firstly, I am totally in love with the cover of this one – I’m a complete sucker for the current trend of pretty dresses on book covers. Obviously, there’s also been a lot of hype around this book lately, and that’s usually a good sign, and so I had to buy it.
Firstly, I’ll start with the parts of this book that really worked for me. Firstly, it was the way the book was written. The prose flowed well, and it made the book enjoyable and easy to continue reading throughout. Also, in the same sort of way, the book really manages to tackle some emotional topics, and do it well, without getting too overemotional or skimming the details. For example, there’s everything in here from young love, to heartbreak, to the death of Nikki’s mother and back again, and I felt that each part was tackled well. The stand-out scene for me in terms of emotions has to be when Nikki hears her Dad talking to her Mother – it was one of those bittersweet book moments.
I also loved Jack – typical knight in shining armor type adoration here, but there you have it. For me, he was a much better written character than I felt Cole was, and I liked the way he gravitated towards Nikki. I also like how they had enough backstory that there was definitely no chance of instalove, which as some of you know, I don’t particularly enjoy.
I also liked the ways that the author tried to tie different mythologies together – for example, the links to both the Greek and Egyptian legends about the underworld, and recognizing the similarities between the stories within them. I think it was a fairly ambitious thing to do to try and mix them both up, and manage to pull off a modern day retelling to boot, but clearly the subject was well-researched, and it pretty much worked.
So far this sounds like a very good review, and I expect some people will have noticed that whilst I’ve been positive, this one didn’t get a five star rating, but a firm four.
There are a few reasons for that. One was the pacing of the book. At some points time seemed to be moving along slowly, with several parts of the story told in the same week, or same month, and at other times it jumped ahead, skipping large parts of time. I mean, I understand that that was to keep the story moving along at a good pace, and not make it ridiculously long, but I sometimes felt a little like I’d missed large parts myself, because they just weren’t there.
Also, there was no description, really, given to her Dad and brother about where she’d actually been. I know for a fact that my mother would have gone mad, and asked at least a thousand questions – it just felt like a bit of a hole to me, but I think I’m the only one with this niggle!
Similarly, there wasn’t enough depth for me given on how the Queen works, or how the Feed works. I mean, I understand that this is going to be part of a series, so it’ll probably come up later, but still.
That all said, overall I enjoyed this book, there were just a couple of things that stopped it getting the top rating. However, overall this was a very good debut, and I’d recommend it to both people who like contemporary fiction and those who enjoy paranormal books. (less)
I should start this by saying that this is not a book for young teens – I’d recommend this only for a mature audience, as there are strong sexual them...moreI should start this by saying that this is not a book for young teens – I’d recommend this only for a mature audience, as there are strong sexual themes and some violence throughout the book.
Admittedly, this one pretty much followed the basic formula of paranormal romance – vampire + werewolf = romance! And yet, it’s all set in Eighteenth century Paris.
Now, given this is a Mills and Boone nocturne, you expect most of the book to be fairly explicit. I’ve read previous titles and more of Michele Hauf’s previous work, and yeah, it pretty much fitted with that convention. However, this one was much more romantic in nature than previous titles.
Viviane, a newly patron-less (think a sponsor… a male vampire who gives the female blood to survive) vampiress, is a bloodborn vampire rather than a turned vampire, and therefore lusted over by other males. Amongst said suitors is Constantine de Salignac, the head of the powerful vampire tribe, Nava, who wants to cement his position of power by producing blondborn offspring. He wants Viviane due to the rarity that is the female bloodborn vampire. Unfortunately, his half-brother and half-breed vampire/werewolf crossbreed, Rhys Hawkes, stands between him and his goal.
Rhys intends to extract vengeance from a longstanding grudge match with his brother, and the best way he can see of managing that is to steal the object of his brother’s affections. Unfortunately, that goes wrong, when Rhys finds himself falling for Viviane in a way he never expected.
Throughout the novel, the story is told between the perspectives of both Viviane and Rhys, and some of the story is set in Eighteenth century Paris, and some in the present day – all I’ll really say is think Vampires combined with Snow White and smut.
Overall, the story was fairly good, but there were a few things that bothered me. One was the to-ing and fro-ing between Rhys and Viviane, with deciding whether he could viably be her patron, and should she go for Constantine instead, and no, she shouldn’t, yes she should… and yeah, so it goes on. Secondly, the way that things were sorted out at the end.
However, overall, this book does deliver what it says on the tin, and this was a fairly enjoyable read, even if it isn’t particularly original, and does, to a degree, simply follow the ‘normal’ paranormal romance novel parameters. I enjoyed the book – it isn’t one for the younger audience – but it was a perfect holiday easy read, and yeah, there are hot and steamy bits if you’re into that sort of thing! (less)
This review can originally be found at my blog Hey, Tara.
It’s taken me ages to get to reading the last book in this series – I pretty much didn’t wan...moreThis review can originally be found at my blog Hey, Tara.
It’s taken me ages to get to reading the last book in this series – I pretty much didn’t want it to end! I have absolutely loved this series start to finish, and this one just cemented it. I’ve actually decided that every girl needs an Ash.
I’m going to be honest, I was a bit dubious about how well the book being written from Ash’s point of view would go over with me. Where he’s so brooding and quiet, I wondered if I’d like it, and I wondered if it’d really give that proper insight into Ash’s mindset. Thankfully, I completely loved it, and it was brilliantly written.
Ash’s voice was significantly different to Meghan’s in the other books of the series, and it was kind of nice to have someone narrating who knew what to expect in the Nevernever. Also, the backstory in this was fabulous – it was a great insight into exactly what made Ash as cold, heartless and emotionless as he was. It also gives more background to the Ash/Puck friendship, which was a nice touch. Basically, for Puck fans, there was still enough here to keep them happy – though I’m definitely an Ash person.
In the essence of keeping my review spoiler-free I’m going to stop talking now, but I will say that this is definitely an epic end to an epic adventure, and a really nice love story – definitely usable in LTAL!
Honestly, if anyone out there hasn’t read this series yet, it really does live up to the hype – completely worth it.
At the beginning of the book, Jessica is struggling as the newest Vampire Princess. She can’t speak Romanian, doesn’t know her way around her own castle, and looks meek and helpless besides the powerful figure of her new husband. However, when he is accused of destroying (killing) another Vampire Elder, it’s Jessica who has to test her mettle and try to prove her husband’s innocence.
This is one of those books that could easily have been all post-marital bliss and schmexing (don’t expect that – these books do read as a fairly young YA, but that doesn’t detract from how enjoyable they are, honest!). But that’s not the case at all. In terms of storyline I actually enjoyed this one more, because it’s a departure from the typical Vampire courtship storyline there is a lot of in the genre at the moment.
The storyline of this really grew Jess as a character, changing her from Pennsylvania farm-girl vegan teenager through to Princess Antanasia Dragomir Vladescu (her birth name – she was adopted by the Packwood’s for those who don’t know the series). I have read that this was Beth Fantaskey’s intention with the book, and I very much feel it was accomplished. Lucius doesn’t change too much from the previous book – he’s still sexy vampire leader with clear ambition and a penchant for fair rule.
The addition of Mindy’s POV added a lot to her character, and she changes from being Jess’ somewhat annoying friend through to being a character in her own right, and I ended up really liking her. Likewise, Raniero as a character was brilliant, and it was good to see the clear sides of him, as Vampire Assassin and as chilled-out Surfer.
Basically, I couldn’t complain about the characters in this book, and the new characters really did make the story that much better for me. And the fact that the story was that much more complicated in this one made me think a lot more of Fantaskey’s writing style and skills. Massive thumbs up!
I really did enjoy this book, and I’d recommend it for anyone who read the first book and enjoyed it, or to anyone who likes vampire stories in general. Definitely not one to be read as a standalone though, I don’t think.
One of my only criticisms is that I kind of saw the ending coming miles off, and that’s why it doesn’t get the full 5/5! However, this was a fun and relaxing read, and I’d recommend it! (less)
This review appears in its original format on my blog Hey, Tara.
I picked up this one because for some reason, the third book of the series is on my s...moreThis review appears in its original format on my blog Hey, Tara.
I picked up this one because for some reason, the third book of the series is on my shelf (and has probably been there a fair while) but I’ve never actually read the rest of the series.
Basically, the story follows Aislinn, who is the chosen Queen of Keenan, the Summer King of the fairies. Of course, this leads to all sorts of situations wherein Keenan is pursuing Aislinn, though of course, it’s not as simple as it seems. Throw in the fact that Aislinn already has a love interest (Seth) and Beira, the evil Winter Queen, and you have this story.
Even before Keenan showed up, Aislinn has been able to see fairies. It’s an ability her Grandmother has, and her Mother clearly had before her. When you’re introduced to Aislinn, she has already accepted this, seeing as she’s had it all her life, and therefore isn’t freaked out by it.
However, due to the fact that these fairy sightings appear to be more frequent and malicious than usual, she shares her power with her would-be boyfriend, Seth. Who doesn’t freak out, or even really question it. Yeah, okay, this aspect of things bothered me a bit, I’m not going to lie – I mean, surely you’d be a bit bothered if the girl you like tells you she can see what are meant to be mythical creatures? But either way, Seth takes it in his stride, and helps Aislinn deal with them.
Now Seth himself… he’s definitely everything the 16-year-old Tara would have wanted in a boyfriend. He likes 90’s metal music, he has his own place, and he has piercings. Oh, and he’s intelligent and he sounds like a genuinely nice guy. Who can cook. Yeah, it’s a shame they don’t make Seth’s in the real world. Seth was definitely one of my favourite parts.
As for Keenan, aka Aislinn’s other love interest, well. Let’s just say that I kind of spent a lot of the time thinking that he should have a friend who loves Orange Soda. Anyone who grew up in the 90’s will probably get the reference, and it’s not that the name bothered me or anything, but that kept springing into my head at inopportune moments!
Aislinn, however, was fairly kick-ass throughout. She wasn’t a whiny teenage protagonist. I liked her. She took things in her stride (I’d have had massive freakouts given what she had to deal with) and grew into someone who could deal with the Summer King, having previously been scared of him, and could accept him, and her duty. Serious respect to the girl for the lack of tantrums and/or sulking. I definitely liked her.
I did enjoy the book, not exactly a favourite, but it was alright. I had fun reading it, and there were only a few things that bothered me, but not enough to ruin the story.
One thing I would say is that despite the language which would appeal to the younger teen, there’s a few sexual references and sexual themes throughout the book, and some of them surprised me because of it – however, it definitely kept me reading!
This is definitely one for fans of all-things-fairy, but for me, Kagawa’s The Iron King was much better. (less)
This review was originally posted in full here on my blog Hey Tara.
I admit, I waited for a long time before reading this, and the reason for that was...moreThis review was originally posted in full here on my blog Hey Tara.
I admit, I waited for a long time before reading this, and the reason for that was because I’d previously read The House of Night novels, and because both series are set in schools for young vampires, I was pretty worried they’d be similar. I know a lot of people liked the HoN novels, but I really, really didn’t.
Thankfully main protagonist, Rose, is nothing like Zoe. Well, very little. One of my favourite parts of the book was Rose herself – she’s a little bit nuts, and very protective, and reminded me very much of one of my good friends. But best of all, she’s well developed and consistent. Anyway, Rose is a Dhampir, or half-vampire, and therefore eligible to take a position as a guardian, who (you guessed it!) guards the Moroi, the ‘living’ vampires.
Moroi vampires are born as vampires, and whilst they do drink blood to survive, they don’t kill from those they drink from. Strigoi vampires turn that way mainly from draining their victims completely of blood, and are ‘dead’ vampires, unable to reproduce. However, they are stronger than their Moroi cousins, and therefore slowly wiping out the Moroi.
Basically the story is that Lissa, Rose’s Moroi best friend has had a lot of strange things happening to her, especially since returning to St Vladimir’s academy from a stint as an escapee. And Rose needs to protect her, as well as deal with high school politics and deal with their messy love lives. And catch up with everything she’s missed whilst ‘escaped’.
I liked the book a lot more than I’d hoped I might. As I’ve said, I liked Rose, and Lissa was a good character, and the supporting cast were interesting, varied, and most of all, distinguishable from each other. It’s all to easy to have very samey background characters in books, and that wasn’t the case in this. The story went along at a good pace, and there was quite a twist at the end, which I didn’t see coming. (less)
What drew me to this book was that it was based around Chinese mythology – a subject tha...moreThis review was originally posted here on my blog, Hey, Tara.
What drew me to this book was that it was based around Chinese mythology – a subject that I’ve always found somewhat interesting. I’d been looking at it for a while, and when it went into the Kindle sale, I downloaded it immediately!
The story centers around Emma Donahoe, an Australian living in Hong Kong who ends up becoming a full-time live-in nanny working for Mr. Chen and his delightful young daughter, Simone. However, things in the Chen household are not as normal as they first appear, and Emma ends up discovering that her new employer is the Chinese god of the Northern Heavens. Oh, and then there’s the minor fact that all the demons in hell are after him and Simone.
Basically, the first half of the book is about Emma getting used to her new situation, and her employers eccentricities and habits. And there’s a lot of passages featuring Emma asking obvious question after obvious question (Mr Chen’s household are awful at keeping their mouths closed) and then being told she’s very perceptive, even though it was really, really obvious. As you can probably tell, I was less than impressed with this.
There’s also the issue that a lot of the story seems to focus around Emma/Simone going somewhere, getting attacked by Demons (often disguised as normal Chinese humans) and having to be rescued by Leo the driver/bodyguard. It seemed to be a but of a formula devised to add action into an otherwise slightly dull plot, just taking the reader through the first few months/years of Emma’s employment, and her finding out that her employer is a god.
To be fair, the second half of the book was definitely better. Admittedly, Emma moves from asking questions to trying to initiate a relationship with Mr. Chen, and this can get tedious, especially as the guy very much appears not to be interested, though this does turn out not to be the case. However, if you look past all of that, the plot definitely picks up. The storyline starts moving on, and I enjoyed it a lot more.
It’s easy to tell that this one is the start of a series, as it’s building up to something bigger, and that’s okay, it’s just a very long book for that. I could have done with a lot less in the first half of the book, really. Emma turned into a pretty good protagonist, though I have to admit that at first I really wasn’t keen on her.
This has a nice element of paranormal romance, and was pretty different to most things I’ve previously read. I’d recommend it for people who like their fantasy a little bit different, are interested in Chinese Mythology or those who like a bit of action in their reads. I’ll definitely be picking up the next one, and hoping that the pacing is a little faster than this one! (less)
This review can originally be found at my blog, Hey, Tara.
Clary’s life starts out at normal, and goes very, very quickly down into paranormal – unrav...moreThis review can originally be found at my blog, Hey, Tara.
Clary’s life starts out at normal, and goes very, very quickly down into paranormal – unraveling everything she thinks she knows along the way. The long and short of it is that Clary has been living a lie without even knowing it, and the more insight she gains, the more everything changes.
She soon discovers that she comes from a family of Shadowhunters, or people who hunt demons, and when her mother is kidnapped she needs the help of these Shadowhunters to get her back.
I have to admit, I’ve been putting off reading this. I’ve read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare before, and I didn’t enjoy it even slightly as much as I enjoyed this. In hindsight, maybe it would have been better for me had I read this book first. However, this book went down to bargain priced in the Kindle Sale over Christmas, and I couldn’t say no.
I’m so glad I didn’t! Cassandra Clare weaves the Shadow world (or Downworld?) into the modern day world almost effortlessly – it feels like everything is explained, right down to how mundanes (or non magical people) manage not to notice demon activity and everything else.
The characters were brilliant – I liked the fact that not all of them immediately loved Clary, and the fact that even main characters, like Jace, were inherently flawed – it was all a part of their charm in the end. Even Clary herself was a good character. She’s supposed to be fifteen – and for the most part Clare has that down – Clary argues with her mother and storms out, she feels guilt, she cries sometimes – I found myself liking her more and more.
The story moved along at a really good pace, there was never a point where I was bored, or wondering if or where the next bit of action was coming from – I was thoroughly impressed!
Honestly, if there’s anyone left who hasn’t read this book, please do, it’s a good read, and it’ll definitely keep your attention! Plus, it has a lot of twists and turns you don’t necessarily see coming, which is definitely a good thing! (less)
This review was originally posted at my blog, Hey, Tara
So, I admit, I picked this book up for free from the Amazon kindle store as something to tide...moreThis review was originally posted at my blog, Hey, Tara
So, I admit, I picked this book up for free from the Amazon kindle store as something to tide me over a bit – and of course, I’m a sucker for a bargain!
Basically, the story is that a vampire (Creed) and a werewolf (Blu) are forced to wed as an attempt to solve the problems between the warring factions. However, both sides are plotting against the other – and the unlikely pair never really intended to fall in love for real. But it happens. And then of course, they need to stop the war for real.
I’m firstly going to say that this definitely one of the saucier things I’ve read in 2011, and I suppose that given it’s published by an imprint of Mills and Boon I shouldn’t be surprised.
I’m also going to say that in the reviews of this I’ve read, the general consensus is that the first half of the book is generally better than the second, and I’m going to agree with that. The focus in the first half of the book is on the developing relationship between Creed and Blu, following their marriage, which is the first scene of the book.
I liked that the book got straight into the story – there was no real lead up to the wedding or Blu and Creed meeting each other – you’re straight in there as soon as you start reading. That much gripped me straight away. Obviously, on first marrying each other, they’re apprehensive and worried about their new marriage, as well as pretty sure they’re going to dislike each other.
However, it doesn’t work out that way, and of course, eventually two attractive individuals are pretty likely to come together. I’m going to admit, the flirting and the love scenes in this were well done, though the frequency with which they were peppered throughout the book eventually started bothering me and interfering with the story.
However, the story progresses with the two falling in love, and then having to stop their opposing races’ plans to obliterate the others. And I’m pretty sure I can say without ruining everything that eventually love conquers all.
For me, the best part of the book was Blu and Creed getting to know each other and the copious amounts of flirting. The politics didn’t bother me so much, and things sometimes seemed to be put in just because it was convenient as a plot device. That all said, I enjoyed the book, and I think I would recommend it as a nice light read, but definitely one for more mature audiences. (less)
Firstly, I really need to apologize because I’m not entirely sure that this review will come out c...moreThis review can originally be found here at my blog.
Firstly, I really need to apologize because I’m not entirely sure that this review will come out completely coherently. I should also say that my review of The Iron King is here and my review of The Iron Daughter is here.
Okay, so now that’s over, onto the rest of the review. Basically, I love this series. I really enjoyed The Iron King, and I liked The Iron Daughter, but this one totally trumped them both.
The characters in this book were brilliant. I made a comment after reading the Iron King that sometimes Meghan annoyed me – she was a whiney teenage girl, and I didn’t enjoy it. But in this book she was so much stronger, and a good leader, and everything that I need in a female lead character to make me happy. What else made me happy was that the transformation wasn’t instantaneous or anything silly like that. It happened gradually, and given the things Meghan’s had to do throughout the series, it’s really unsurprising that she’s changed.
I also like the way her relationship with Ash develops, again, it’s gradual and natural-feeling. Kagawa clearly has a gift for this kind of thing. And Ash himself, even, changes from the emotionless Ice Prince through to someone who clearly really loves Meghan, and is warm and compassionate.
The imagery in this book was also really, really good, especially the comparisons of the old fey realm with the iron kingdom, and the battles against the iron fey.
As for the actual story – the plight of the old blood faeries was clear in this, as was the sense of desperation. It was sort of heady and always there. That was one thing that drew me to this series of books – the quests are written well, and the battles are exciting and move at what feels like the right pace. Plus, there aren’t always perfect endings – it isn’t always the good side that wins.
Without giving too much away, this for me felt like the perfect ending to the books. It’s open enough, but finishes things up nicely, though I admit I’m literally going to finish writing this before going off to read Summer’s Crossing. That’s a testament to how much I enjoyed this within itself – those who know me and my reading style know I don’t generally tend to read a sequel (even a short one) straight after the previous book in the series.
Basically, I’d recommend this to more or less anyone – if you haven’t picked up this series, you really should, because I think it might be one of my all-time favourites. (less)
The main character in this is Gracie, who’s really not having too good a time. She’s broken up with the man who was meant to be both gorgeous and the...moreThe main character in this is Gracie, who’s really not having too good a time. She’s broken up with the man who was meant to be both gorgeous and the love of her life, and has just found out that he’s now seeing her younger sister. Who he was also sleeping with before breaking it off with Gracie.
Her confidence is shot, and she really doesn’t want to be doing much of anything. When she finally agrees to go out for her best friend Lydia’s birthday, she discovers a new talent – she can switch bodies. Of course, this leads to a whole host of problems, including Gracie getting tracked down and kidnapped by gorgeous assailant, Dan, who believes that Gracie is a corrupt Soul Protector (Soul Protector being the term used to describe these body swappers) and that she is trying to steal Lydia’s body on the second time she switches.
Basically, this book is the story of Gracie coming to terms with the loss of her boyfriend, finding that there is life afterwards, and a new beginning, if you will. There’s drama, and there are tears, but the general feeling for me was that it was a nice book – a good upbeat paranormal romance.
I think the only thing that bothered me was that Gracie seemed to be somewhat defined by the men in her life. I understand that break-ups are difficult, but Gracie seems sad and mopey even when she’s out with her friends, and seems to be pretty much unable to cope unless she has a man at her side. I might have misinterpreted that, but it was a minor niggle to me whilst reading the book. However, as the book went on, Gracie improved, which I think was mainly a sign of her recovering from her break up.
The characters are generally consistent, and I think my personal favourite was probably Lydia – because we all have a friend like that, I’m sure.
The romance aspect between Gracie and Dan was nicely done, although Dan did act kind of strangely breaking it off, then they’d get back together, then it seemed to happen again, and my inner romantic was screaming for them just to damn well get together! But then again, that’s how romance novels work!
Overall, this was a good read, and I’d definitely recommend it – it was much better than previous switcher novels I’d read (Mainly The Host by Stephanie Meyer, go figure my opinions). (less)
I have to admit, I downloaded this on Kindle, because I noticed it was down to £0.99, and I’ve read pretty good things about this book. I also have to...moreI have to admit, I downloaded this on Kindle, because I noticed it was down to £0.99, and I’ve read pretty good things about this book. I also have to admit that about ten or so pages in, I was terrified I was going to be the one person who didn’t like it.
I’m not sure what it was – I just wasn’t grabbed straight away. Something about Evie seemed… off, and I can’t really explain why. I just wasn’t immediately sold on the character, basically. However, because I’d read such good things, and the story synopsis sounded good, I persevered, and I’m glad I did, because I came to enjoy it a lot more than I did in those first ten pages.
As a character, Evie was okay. She was amusing, given her fascination with normality, and that much was endearing. Also, I can totally relate to her fascination with the colour pink, because that’s definitely something we both share.
The supporting cast were interesting, though I didn’t feel that Lish and Evie’s friendship was really portrayed as well as it could have been – it felt like as a reader, you were told about it, and you better believe it, even though Evie would rather spend time with a guy she’d only met recently, and better still, hadn’t been rated safe by those looking after Evie. Don’t ask me why, but that just bugged me. Moving onto the guy himself, I liked Lend as a character. But he seemed way too… comfortable living in confinement. For me he really didn’t come into his element until the latter part of the book. Also, Raquel as a character – she was pretty good, fairly good authority figure, but her sighing bothered me. Could be a part of the character, but somehow it felt overplayed. But those are only my feelings.
Overall though, the book was endearing and pretty enjoyable. It was the palate cleanser I needed after a particularly long run of epic fantasies I’ve been having, and I was glad of the light and fluffy quality.
I’m not sure I’d be in a rush to go and buy the next one, but it’s probably something I will do in the future. The story’s interesting, and there’s something reminiscent of the Xmen that really appeals to me. (less)
This book begins exactly where the last book (And Winter’s Passage, the short story between) left off. Meghan is a “guest” at Tir Na Nog, the Winter C...moreThis book begins exactly where the last book (And Winter’s Passage, the short story between) left off. Meghan is a “guest” at Tir Na Nog, the Winter Court in Faery. It seems that Ash hates her, and whilst it’s pretty obvious to everyone reading that it’s an act for Meghan’s own good/safety, it’s not obvious to Meghan herself.
I have to admit, in this one, there were some points where I didn’t think Meghan was an awesome a heroine as I found her in the last book – but I think that was all in the name of good character development, because by the end of the book she’s actually making sensible decisions, and there are only about half the amount of promises made to faeries in this book compared to the last, suggesting that Meghan’s finally learning the problem with making those deals.
As with the last book, the supporting cast in this were brilliant. Puck was still mischievous and ever-so-slightly malicious, and I still love Grimalkin as a character as much as I did before. I’m not entirely sure what it was about Leanansidhe that I liked so much, I think it was the fact that they way it was written allowed me to completely conjure her way of walking about her mansion and talking. Of course, one of the stars of the show was Ash, and without spoiling it, the ending made me love him even more than I already did.
I have to admit, I wasn’t completely captivated with the chasing-the-scepter part of the storyline, and I didn’t feel that the fact that Meghan’s faery power was capped was used enough in the storyline to be the problem that the blurb of the book made it out to be, and that was a little disappointing – somehow it felt a little redundant, but that might have just been me.
Overall, this was a good sequel, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the last book in the series, but I think I liked The Iron King better. (less)
Looking at the cover of the book, I couldn’t help think Bella Swan. I know that it’s always going to be easy to compare EVERY LAST teenage vampire nov...moreLooking at the cover of the book, I couldn’t help think Bella Swan. I know that it’s always going to be easy to compare EVERY LAST teenage vampire novel to Twilight, and whilst I avoid doing it, it’s really difficult. Because of that association, I was thinking “teenage girl falls into an ill-fated love with hot vampire guy, bad stuff happens, good prevails, girl probably becomes a vampire”. Yeah, exactly, the same sort of story we’ve all read before. Whilst I can’t say it wasn’t at all like that (trust me, the similarities were there) it wasn’t exactly the book I was expecting to read, and that was in a good way.
Basically, the story centers around Jessica Packwood, a normal high school girl who is adopted. Everything is normal, until her senior year, where Lucius Vladescu, a foreign exchange student shows up. Unfortunately, he’s not the nice normal human boy you’d hope for – he’s a vampire prince. And he’s come to claim his fiancé – enter Jessica Packwood, aka Antanasia Dragomir, vampire princess who just hasn’t come of age yet.
I have to admit, at that point in the novel, I wasn’t too hopeful I’d enjoy it. But what made it enjoyable for me was the characters – unlike certain other vampire girlfriends, Jessica doesn’t immediately fall in love with Lucius, she’s (understandably) rather hesitant, and thinks he’s a nut job. I liked this aspect to her, and even when she did fall in love with him, it wasn’t hesitant – it felt organic. Lucius also didn’t immediately love her – he pursued the courtship out of a sense of duty to his family and the blood pact between them, and it was good to see the feelings gradually change, until there was genuine care and affection.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Very little of the story dragged for me, and it was a nice break from reading more ‘serious’ books. The supporting characters in this were almost as good as the main characters, and for me, this was the perfect book to sit down and ‘escape’ with. If you’re into your vampire romances, this is definitely worth a read, especially as it actually has palpable tension.
Apparently this book is going to become the start of a series, which is good, because I really need to hear more about Jessica and Lucius and what happens next! (less)