Hmm. I bought this book after reading a lot of positive reviews for it, and hearing from a much-trusted bookish friend that it was good, I decided to...moreHmm. I bought this book after reading a lot of positive reviews for it, and hearing from a much-trusted bookish friend that it was good, I decided to give it a go. Having now read it, I’m actually not entirely sure how I feel about it.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this book. It was okay, but there were a few things that bugged me, and I just couldn’t let them go.
Firstly, I never really felt any sort of connection to Maggie or Caleb. I felt that their individual backstories needed to be explained more for me to really feel anything for them. Even Maggie’s internal dialogue, and that which she read from Caleb, just didn’t do it for me in the end.
Also, for a while, this book seemed less like a love story to me, and more of a story about how important it is to have a boyfriend to feel complete. Maybe that’s just me being cynical – we all know my feelings on instalove (and that’s basically the premise of this book, by the way). It kind of reminded me of Twilight in that sense – though when I first read Twilight I enjoyed it, and with this I’m not so certain. I think that a younger me would definitely have enjoyed it a lot more than the current me did.
Also, there was not only a love triangle in this, but a love quadrilateral. Maggie has three guys fighting over her, with Caleb, Kyle and Chad. One thing that I did appreciate was that Maggie wasn’t encouraging Chad or Kyle, and she didn’t enjoy the whole thing, even though her friend Beck apparently thought she should.
Though, that does bring me onto another issue – Maggie didn’t seem freaked out by anything that happened to her, and took lying to her father in her stride. I understand her Dad had been pretty much MIA for the last few months, but still. And that was another thing, I felt that her father’s behaviour was unpredictable at best – he did a number of one-eighty’s from being a rubbish Dad to being overprotective father, to letting her follow Caleb to college. It just didn’t feel right.
But that all said, somehow, I still found myself wanting to know more. I actually ended up fobbing off other things to read this book. There was something about Maggie and Caleb together that I really liked.
I’m aware that by explaining all the small issues, it makes it sound like I didn’t enjoy the book, but as I’ve said, that somehow wasn’t the case. I actually feel the need to pick up the next one. I want to know what comes next for these two.
I’d definitely say this is a worthwhile read, but I wouldn’t say it’s a book for everyone. Though, taken as a whole, this was a fairly decent read, and that definitely can’t be argued with given it’s low price in the Kindle store. (less)
I picked this book up when it was free on Kindle, because really, the premise sounded pretty good. Admittedly, I’ve read a lot of books about vampires...moreI picked this book up when it was free on Kindle, because really, the premise sounded pretty good. Admittedly, I’ve read a lot of books about vampires, and I have to admit, I always worry a little when picking up another one, because they can end up being much of a much-ness.
However, this one was kind of refreshing, because of Angeline Kace’s take on vampire lore – instead of having straight out vampires made by other vampires, there are two types. The Pijawikas, or born vampires, and the Zhao Duh, the made vampires.
Main character, Brooke, is one of the former. Well, half actually. But either way, she doesn’t know it yet. After spending her childhood moving around with her mother, she finally seems to be settled in a small town in Virginia, and is happy about that. She has her best friend Kaitlynn, and has finally been asked out by her crush/general school hottie, Jaren.
Of course, all that sounds good and simple, but weird things start happening. Right at the beginning of the book, actually, which is good, because it shows the reader just how quickly things are going to get exciting. It all starts with Brooke and Kaitlynn being attacked by a mountain lion. Yes, seriously. But it’s not just that, Brooke’s sure she saw a creepy guy near it, who seemed to be in control.
Fast forward a little, and Brooke gets attacked by said creepy guy, and that’s the point where she finds out about her heritage. Of course, she then finds out she needs training because her life is at risk, given half-human half-pijawika are forbidden, especially the variety who have very important parents.
I liked Brooke as a protagonist – she was sassy and so obviously a teenager. I admit, it was refreshing to read something where teenage characters acted like teenagers. Brooke doesn’t always make wise decisions, and neither do her friends. But that was the point – there was an obvious difference between the vampires who had lived much longer and the teenage characters, and that was done very well. It was also nice to read a vampire book where the girl is the vampire rather than the guy – I’ve read a lot of those books already.
I admit, I did roll my eyes a little at the development of the love triangle, though I had been warned by a bookish friend that there was one in this book. I think I’m going to have to fall on the side of team Mirko, but that’s only because Jaren acts like an ass for the majority of the book. I can’t wait to hear more about Mirko, and hope there is that in coming books.
I have to admit, I kind of wanted the main villain to be a bit more bad-ass than she was, especially given the build-up that was given to her. I don’t want to say any more and give things away, but that was one of my major issues. The ending felt a little rushed, but there was a pretty good cliff-hanger, so I want to know what happens next!
This is a good addition to the young-adult vampire section, and I’d recommend it to anyone that enjoys reading about vampires or paranormal romance, and isn’t too easily distracted by teenagers acting like teenagers. (less)
Okay, so it’s been a long time since I initially got this one, which was back at Christm...moreThis review can originally be found, in full here on my blog.
Okay, so it’s been a long time since I initially got this one, which was back at Christmas during the Kindle Sale. I basically got it because it was cheap, the cover was kind of cool, and the synopsis sounded pretty good, but there was always something else I wanted to read more. However, now I’ve read it, I wish I’d got to it sooner – this story was a lot better than I thought it would be.
The story is set in an Asian or maybe Indian kind of culture called Ruan, which has been invaded by another culture – the Sedorne - and is now ruled by a tyrannical leader. As a result, the Rua people are angry, repressed and looking for some sort of saviour, probably in the form of the various resistance groups there are in the country.
Zira is a young girl of fifteen who has been brought up in the House of God, and is training to be a namoa, or priestess. Until this point, she’s only really worried about what kind of namoa she will be designated to be, and her ambition is to be a fighting namoa. However, Zira isn’t as normal as she seems, she’s actually Princess Zahira (and really, that’s made fairly obvious from the beginning) the last of the Royal Elfenesh line of Ruan. Luckily for her, the current King thinks she died in the fire that killed the rest of her family. However, that doesn’t last long, and she’s suddenly swept on a dangerous quest to reinstate her family on the throne of Ruan.
Basically, this story has a little bit of everything. It’s got the typical fantasy elements, a good hero (heroine in this case), a well-written villain, an amount of mystery, good world building as well as some sort of quest to solve. There’s also some fairly nice romance in this, though I do understand why some people had an issue with a sixteen year old girl being married to an older man (although he was only early twenties).
I have to admit though, I thought I’d like Zira/Zahira a lot more than I did. I somehow thought she’d be a lot more kick-butt than she was, and I never really felt that I connected with her. Also, some of her decisions seemed to be a little out of character, and I never really knew what to expect. I was also expecting a lot more martial arts than there actually were in the book, but I think that might have just been me. Basically, I didn’t feel like I knew her enough to really get behind her at the end of the book, which was a shame. That said, there wasn’t anything wrong with her as a character, for me, she just felt a tad underdeveloped.
I have to admit, I liked Sorin. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, though it was a little odd for him to feel so indebted to Zira for one act of heroism, and their marriage seemed a bit strange to me at first. I mean, I see it was borne out of necessity, but still – Zahira was only sixteen at the time. Would the average guy ask a sixteen year old girl to marry him? That said, I’m guessing you could argue it was part of the culture/time that the book was set in, and in that context it may make a lot more sense. He definitely grew on me, though, and by the end I think he might have been my favourite character.
As for the King, he was definitely a good villain. Whilst I didn’t understand all of his motives, I suppose this could be because he want meant to be a little off-centre. I admit, I’d like to have understood them more, but the fact that I didn’t did make him pretty unpredictable, and actually, that worked out fairly well for the way the character was portrayed. I do wish there had been more of him, maybe more background and such, in the book, but in general, he was well-written and easy to dislike. I also liked the fact that at some points I ended up feeling pity for him – for me that was a sign of how well-written the whole thing was.
I’m really curious as to where the next book in this series will go, though I only have to wait until June to find out. This book could definitely be read as a standalone – and I think the subsequent book is actually going to be just set in Zira and Sorin’s world. I have to admit, I’m almost a little sad about that, because I kind of wanted to know more about Zira/Zahira and Sorin.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but there were just a couple of things that would have made it even better for me. Recommending this for those who love fantasy, or just a good love story. (less)
This review was originally posted on my blog Hey, Tara.
This book really and honestly wasn’t what I thought it would be – it was actually a lot better...moreThis review was originally posted on my blog Hey, Tara.
This book really and honestly wasn’t what I thought it would be – it was actually a lot better. What I was expecting was basically a book that centered around horses, maybe even written for equestrian-inclined people, with a slight paranormal element being that these horses happen to be water horses.
What the book is actually about can almost be summed up in three words: Man Eating Horses.
The Scorpio Races are an annual event in Skarmouth, a town perched on the island of Thisby. Every year in November, the water horses make their way out of the sea onto the island, and that’s the only place in the world where that happens. Local people have made a tradition out of catching these horses, and training them to ride – however, the horses are dangerous, and the ocean always calls to them.
Traditionally, only men ride in the races – until circumstance leads Kate ‘Puck’ Connelly to enter.
In all honesty, I enjoyed this book so much more than I thought I would. The further I got into the story, the more I realized it was less about the Capaill Uisce (water horses) and more about Puck and Sean (the main characters) finding themselves, and their place on the island. It read for me almost like a coming of age story – full of discoveries for both parties about themselves, each other, and life in general.
This book was incredibly well written – there’s not anything negative I can say about that. The descriptions of the people and places of Thisby reminded me somewhat of rural Cornwall, or perhaps moreso of a Scottish island or something. The descriptions used are tangible – you can more or less see and hear everything the characters do, and that somehow makes it all the more enjoyable.
In all honesty, the way the book was written was enough to suck me in at the beginning. The world building is really very good – the closed community on the island was well-portrayed, as was the sense of community. The deadliness of the race is impossible to miss, and the descriptions of the accidents and damage caused by the capaill uisce were really quite brilliant – horrific and brutal, but beautiful at the same time.
Also, the characters were brilliant. Sean and Puck were everything main characters needed to be, and the supporting cast were good – each distinguishable and by the end, I very much felt like I belonged on Thisby.
It was really nice to read a standalone for a change, though if this ever did become part of a series, I’d definitely read more.
Recommended for older teens plus due to violence, and also recommended to people who (like me) don’t think they like books about horses. This book will change your mind.
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)
This review can originally be found here on my blog, Hey, Tara.
Well, let’s just say that whilst I enjoyed the first book, I think I enjoyed this one...moreThis review can originally be found here on my blog, Hey, Tara.
Well, let’s just say that whilst I enjoyed the first book, I think I enjoyed this one a whole lot more. I thin that’s because the first book really is the beginning of the story, telling of how Azoth/Kylar’s upbringing brought him to do the things he did, and end up being the apprentice of Durzo Blint, the most famous “wetboy” (read as high caliber assassin) in all of Cenaria.
However, this book jumps straight in where the last book left off – Cenaria is in disarray, having been invaded by the Khalidoran’s, who seem to be a war-hungry, mainly unpleasant bunch. Kylar, however, is leaving Cenaria behind, and heading to Caernarvon, a city a fair distance away, with Elene and Uly, intending to start a new life, and live as a herb specialist. He’s agreed to give up being a wetboy, despite having bonded with the ka’kari, an artifact which makes him more dangerous/indestructible than ever. The reason? Elene. She’s fundamentally a good person, and she wants the three of them to live a good life. Kylar agrees that he wouldn’t want Uly living under the shadow of his profession, and he loves Elene, so he tries.
Only, that sort of thing can only last so long, especially when he hears that his best friend growing up, and the rightful King of Cenaria, Logan Gyre, is still alive. Kylar ends up returning to his old profession and his old home city, and doing what he does best under the shadow of the war.
As with the last book (and a lot of books within the fantasy genre) this is simultaneously told through the point of view of several characters, which leads to the reader knowing what everybody is doing at any given time. I know I enjoy that, but sometimes I did feel a bit lost, especially when new characters, or seldom mentioned characters were brought up. However, generally, I was fairly invested in the various characters, so this wasn’t an issue. I also liked how the characters had different voices throughout, and I have to say, I really enjoyed reading the sections on Vi – a character I’d never really considered before.
I also enjoyed the pacing of this book – it moved fast. There was always something happening to someone, and at no point did I really feel things were particularly dragging. Even the sections written about Kylar experimenting with his newfound powers were interesting, because the idea of the ka’kari were only really brought up at the end of the last book, so the reader knew as little about them as the characters themselves.
As for the ending of this book – without spoiling anything – there are cliffhangers, so many cliffhangers. I really want to know what happens next, but I need to wait until I can borrow the next book from The Bookish Ex, so I[‘m thinking something short and easy to read in the meantime! (less)