This was a stellar debut from Kristen Simmons. It was gripping and set in a new United States of America. I don't pretend to be a political...moreRating 4.5
This was a stellar debut from Kristen Simmons. It was gripping and set in a new United States of America. I don't pretend to be a political activist but I feel that the desperation and situation of the American people in this book is entirely plausible. The heartache and the struggled were clearly defined and helped give a significant depth to each and every character in the midst of a gut wrenching world.(less)
If he wasn't already, this would totally make Ash a swoon worthy kind of faery. Too bad he had my heart like 4 books ago. This letter is so short but...moreIf he wasn't already, this would totally make Ash a swoon worthy kind of faery. Too bad he had my heart like 4 books ago. This letter is so short but packs such a punch of emotion and deep, eternal connection that it seems you can actually feel the weight of his words bearing down upon you. It is an amazing foundation for the journey that Ash undertakes in The Iron Knight.(less)
Again, Cassandra Clare has crafted another piece of art. Continuing from The Clockwork Angel, we join Tessa on the journey full of the twists and turn...moreAgain, Cassandra Clare has crafted another piece of art. Continuing from The Clockwork Angel, we join Tessa on the journey full of the twists and turns that we have come to expect from Clare. Thick with drama and laden with glorious steampunk, wrought with drama, and completed with our favorite characters, The Clockwork Prince leaves us in waiting purgatory for The Clockwork Princess.
This book took Cassandra Clare back to her high esteem and brought out everything that made me love her in the first place. It was full of wonderful a...moreThis book took Cassandra Clare back to her high esteem and brought out everything that made me love her in the first place. It was full of wonderful action, appropriate romance, and the same twists from left field that are her trademarks in my most humble opinion. There was even a point in this book where everything just clicked into place; when the connections and characters between TID and TMI just made sense and I just and held my head in my hands as the realization washed over me and the world settled back into place. By the of this book I was in tears and in a sweeping resolution that only Cassandra Clare could pull off, did I finally find closure and longing all at the same glorious time.(less)
In a world of devastation, Rhine and Gabriel have journeyed out to face the terrors with no plan...moreThis review is originally posted at The Fiction Pixie.
In a world of devastation, Rhine and Gabriel have journeyed out to face the terrors with no plan and no resources. Danger seems to lurk at every turn while the invisible dangers of starvation, sickness, poverty and more rack our young survivors. This book didn't not fit into the same mold that its predecessor, Wither, had set. Previously, Wither had a very rigid setting and it was a unique approach for a setting of such a desolate world; this book however, was an open world. A world that allowed Rhine and Gabriel complete exploration of its depravity and desolation.
I went into this book expecting the terrors of the carnival to be a persistent problem. The cover eludes that it will be a significant part of the story and even the synopsis sets up that same expectation. With that in mind, the plot of this book fell a little short; I feel like this may be common in terms of a trilogy's middle read. The creepiness and haunting experience of the carnival was limited and extinguished early and set up for only a few major plot points following its end. It left this book feeling oddly paced and hopeless.
The characters made up for a wavering experience because in this book we get an intense look at Gabriel and his love for Rhine. Gabriel's love is different from the shallow, naive love that we saw from Linden in the first book and it really grows into major focus and safe harbor for Rhine. Rhine on the other hand doesn't grow and expand in this book the way a hard-knocked survivor would. I think that is accomplished through the overtone this book starts early on with intense yet unintended drug use. It inhibits Rhine from really becoming a thoughtful character that would perhaps have had the opportunity to devise plans and concentrate on truly surviving.
The villain of this book, House Master Vaughn, is incredibly well crafted and has a haunting and invisible tie that leaves Rhine and the reader increasingly terrified that he is lurking and watching every move she makes. It is a thrilling twist to really understand how twisted and determined he is without the use of common means such as guns and violence; his presence is always surrounding the escapees even if he is not.
Though this book was languid in its pacing and climax, it brought out a lot of characteristics about the characters that pull the reader in and leave us wondering where we will find ourselves and our little heroes in book three.(less)
Divergent was a gripping and brilliant debut from author Veronica Roth. Insurgent, as her sophomore novel, holds true to her genius writing ability. T...moreDivergent was a gripping and brilliant debut from author Veronica Roth. Insurgent, as her sophomore novel, holds true to her genius writing ability. This book is riveting with action, lies, bright twists, and so much more that by the end you have to pick your jaw up off the floor. In its astounding plot solidarity, I found myself disappointed in our brave heroine in this book. The author has done a brilliant job at her voice and realism, but that didn't change the fact that I wanted to slap Tris across the face and that annoyance brought down the experience.
Picking up in a perfect continuance from The Iron King, this book starts in a land of unbridled cruelty and selfishness. As promised in The Iron King, Meghan is being held within the Unseelie Court by Queen Mab. Having spent most of the first book in the land of summer or iron, the beginning of this book rounds out the world, giving us a since of completion.
In the harsh coldness that is the land of Winter, Meghan finds herself confused, alone, and untrusted. Again, the saftey of the Nevernever is at stake and only she knows the full force of what is occuring. The interaction with our favorite scores of support characters lead Meghan on a confusing chase, always questioning who to trust while we unravel a new change the has come about in Meghan.
I was pleased at the mystery surrounding the re-introduction of Ironhorse and the depths to which this character has been created. I love Ash and Grimalken, maybe Puck too, but the addition of Ironhorse was so solid and pivotal to the story; it was extremely well written.
The plot for this book takes us across many lands while Meghan battles for her life and struggles, yet again, to save the people who do not believe her. The battle in this book was considerbly more well-written than in the first and had us on the edge of the seat, waiting to see who lived or died. Battles were never set up with a tone that hinted the outcome before it happened.
Julie Kagawa has again, crafted an incredible faery tale with a mythical level of magic and understanding. Through the span of two books, we have seen the characters grow and change in remarkable ways and we have been on the adventure of several lifetimes. I strongly encourage having The Iron Queen on stand-by in the hopes that you can continue Meghan's tale.
Comparison Rating: The Iron King (Book 1): 4.5 The Iron Daughter (Book 2): 5(less)
Julie Kagawa has perfected the fairy tale ending. The ending to The Iron Queen was de...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
Rating 4.5 stars
Julie Kagawa has perfected the fairy tale ending. The ending to The Iron Queen was devastating and left a void in our hearts where closure belonged for surely that could not be the end to Meghan and Ash. What Julie gave us in this book was magnificant; a journey of sheer impossibility but bold strength and devotion. Twists, turns and confrontations were the key to unraveling the mystery that Prince Ash was.
For the first part of this series, we were in our story from the eyes of Meghan, the human who's fate had become saving all of Nevernever. In Summer's Crossing, we have a brief glimpse into the chaotic yet striking personality of Puck. But here, in The Iron Knight, we grow intimately close with the monster, the pain, the anger, and pure love that Ash is as he begins to grow and sort through his mess of entangled emotions. The true depth of this character had been sealed off from Meghan, and the reader, and this book unleashes a flood of what it means to be Unseelie. In seeing Ash's history as Winter Prince and knowing who he is now, we can see that this is a tale about overcoming, a strong ideal that all of us are our own person.
The other character favorites we love, Grimalkin and Puck, accompany Ash on this treacherous journey and we are introduced to some new faces that bring an interesting dynamic to the trio. This book, while about Ash, gives a little more insight into Puck; through his interactions with Ash, the prince and the readers begin to have a little bit more of an understanding about the pain that Puck really tries to hide. As an extra bonus, you don't even really have to miss Meghan; Julie has done a fantastic job of intertwining all of the favorite characters.
I loved the characters and I loved the journey that Ash was on to maintain his vow but there was still something missing from this book that I thought was pretty prevalent in the other books: mystery. It isn't anything detrimental and I still loved this book, but from beginning to end we know the journey that Ash has embarked upon and it is only a tale of whether or not he succeeds; can he succeed? It traded mystery for suspense and a long, timeless journey and while the action that occurred was riveting, I felt the journey was just mildly off-pace for such a phenomenal ending.
This book comes with an Epilogue that returns to Meghan's point of view and serves as a non-encompassing ending that still allows our imagination to bloom into the "what shall become of them" and fills that void that we had after The Iron Queen. Also included in the book is a small interview with the author and some wicked guests. The interview actually made me giggle out loud. It was witty and a great addition/end to a book. Also be sure to check out the letter that Ash wrote to Meghan before embarking on his journey. This was released at the Twitter launch party and is a great piece to the puzzle.
Comparison Rating The Iron King 4.5 The Iron Daughter 5 The Iron Queen 5 The Iron Knight 4.5(less)
I had been waiting a long time for this and it was awesome! I had read the winter and summer stories but now, for the first time, here are all the cou...moreI had been waiting a long time for this and it was awesome! I had read the winter and summer stories but now, for the first time, here are all the courts together. Not only does it provide the novellas in between our epic journeys, it provides trivia and a survival guide to help us in case we find ourselves lost in the Nevernever.
Winter's Passage (4 stars) Reading this novella after The Iron Knight, I see that it highlights the complexity of Prince Ash. It really conflicts with his love of Meghan and his loyalty to the court. Picking up exactly where The Iron King left off, we join Meghan on her journey to keep her deal with the Prince and return to The Unseelie Court. We are accompanied by our favorite feline but are hunted by a force older and wiser than faery it seems. The chase is just enough action that perfectly paces the book but it was rather abrupt and cut off, even for a novella. A great meanwhile read but not as charming as its counterpart, Summer's Crossing.
Summer's Crossing (3 Stars) To be a short novella, this book is a great read. It has just the proper amount of action and even the slightest bit of heartache. It takes place between The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight and does not effect the story as it serves to be more of a side quest for Ash and Puck. Giving insight into the dynamics that exist between the two boys, this book also provides a more intimate view of the workings of the Seelie (Summer) Court. It illustrates that the cruelty isn't limited to the Queen of Unseelie Courts and that the feud between the two courts runs deep.
This book is from the POV of Puck; while this gives great insight into the character that he is, it gave more of an arrogant tone to the carefree Puck we have come to know. There are twists, turns, and times we aren't even sure we know who he really is.
Iron's Prophecy (4 Stars) I adore the saga that has become Meghan and Ash's story. It is long, arduous, and entirely epic. In this wrap up of the original series, Julie Kagawa delivers another adventure that lives up to the expectations that were set for this conclusion. In a tale that takes us through the Wyldwood and into the future, we are delivered a fateful blow of information that will seemingly lead us into The Lost Prince; that burden of information though gave this short novella a devastating blow to entertainment. This novella didn't provide the wrap-up and cool down from the climax that left the reader with a sense of closure, rather it simply ended with no context to how the end will come to pass.(less)
Yet again, Julie Kagawa has produced a riveting fairy tale that has won my heart. In this third insta...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
Yet again, Julie Kagawa has produced a riveting fairy tale that has won my heart. In this third installment in The Iron Fey, we find ourselves back in the land of the Nevernever and war has gripped this magical land. Meghan and Ash have been ripped back into the world of the faeries and now have the belief of the courts on their side.
With the fate of Faery on her shoulders, we have been able to witness Meghan as she grows through each book. In The Iron Queen, she isn't as whiney and confused as she was in the previous books and it is in this book that she fully embraces who she is. Stuck in the throws of denial, Meghan must quickly learn to accept her destiny if she is too save anyone, including herself. In this book, the concept of sacrifice is lurking around every corner. When to fight, who to fight for, and when it is over are all important questions that Meghan and her allies find themselves asking.
In this book, Meghan isn't the only one taking the forefront. In a daring act of unconditional love and devotion, we get to know Ash in an intimate way. Deep and rich in the lore of truenames, Ash has been deeply developed as a strong protagonistic character. If he had been construed as a heartless ice prince, this book changes it all.
In a tragic, yet empowering, ending we come to understand the finality that lies behind the love that Meghan and Ash share. In a gripping turn of events, we come to the end of Meghan's story, only to be set up for the journey that Ash will continue to take in The Iron Knight; Julie Kagawa has yet to disappoint.
Series Comparisons: The Iron King: 4.5 Stars The Iron Daughter: 5 Stars The Iron Queen: 5 Stars(less)
I adore the saga that has become Meghan and Ash's story. It is long, arduous, and entirely epic. In this wrap up of the original series, Julie Kagawa...moreI adore the saga that has become Meghan and Ash's story. It is long, arduous, and entirely epic. In this wrap up of the original series, Julie Kagawa delivers another adventure that lives up to the expectations that were set for this conclusion. In a tale that takes us through the Wyldwood and into the future, we are delivered a fateful blow of information that will seemingly lead us into The Lost Prince; that burden of information though gave this short novella a devastating blow to entertainment. This novella didn't provide the wrap-up and cool down from the climax that left the reader with a sense of closure, rather it simply ended with no context to how the end will come to pass.(less)
I can't figure out where I want to start with this book. I was madly in love with Crave after my e...moreThis review can originally be found at Within Pages.
I can't figure out where I want to start with this book. I was madly in love with Crave after my experiment of no reviews and an unknown title. There was so much to love about the story; I loved the spin on vampire lore just as much as I loved the characters.
The first book ends with a monstrous cliffhanger and in one of the smoothest transitions I have ever read, Sacrifice picks up in perfection at the exact following moment. This was an exciting to start to the book; however, the thrill didn't continue to propel excitement through the first chapters. This was the only problem that I had with this book. In the first book, we had such intricate details of the characters coupled with a great and enticing story that pulled you through the entire book. In the beginning of this book, we are left with our desire to have more Gabriel and Shay but not the pull of what was coming next. It was, in the beginning, a constant ebb and flow of "I love Shay and need her" or "Gabriel loves me, he will find a way here" and any combination thereof with the two of them confessing their eternal love in the confines of their mind.
Once we break free of that cycle, it changes and the action picks up and we get a sense of the Shay that we fell in love with in the first place. We see "realistic" situations and scenarios as Shay takes on the world. In this book, we are introduced to tragedy, betrayal, and sacrifice. I was expecting Sacrifice to be more of a central theme, but it is only there, fleeting in the background and ending in a shocking turn of events.
Overall, I loved reading this book. I pushed through the lull of repetition to find a great story and a wonderful twist. So much of the background to the characters is woven into this story and I think it is a solid end, with no confusion and no questions. There is a possibility of another book, its end is not finite but leaves you with a solid feeling of resolution.
Favorite Quote (ARC): "'You're with me. That's all that matters'...Even though it wasn't all that mattered, it was the most important thing. To both of them."
I went into this book hoping that reviews of it not being as good were false; but alas, I have come to understand the validity of those reviews. That is not to say that it is not good, in fact, it is still quite an enjoyable read. The twists and plot points of unraveling the mystery and the history of Evie is still gripping and still unique; but this book falls into a lot of lulling patterns found in contemporary or "normal" life.
This book sets up with Evie having finally acquired everything she ever wanted, everything that is normal. She has a locker, a boyfriend, high school, an after school job, she has it down but then she starts to see that the routine of human (normal) life isn't all it is cracked up to be.This element, the focus on the normal, subtracts from the plot of the story; it hinders the idea of thrills and mystery and when we are introduced to the new character, Jack, we welcome his (probably unhealthy) shenanigans.
The biggest problem I had with this book was its central focus on Evie's relationship and feelings for Lend. In the first book, it was a burning curiosity that grew and an attraction that blossomed, but here, she was a love sick puppy that eat, breathed, and slept Lend. Her jealousy against other girls was evident and the fights between the two of them were at the forefront of what had previously been a cute first love.
The best part of this book is that it is Kiersten White's brilliant writing and I still love the voice that she has created for Evie. I only wish I could have experienced more of her unique creativity that was expressed in Paranormalcy. She uses this book to perpetuate the story into the third book, but it still manages to have its own story with its own agenda for the characters. Lies, betrayals, and even truths come to play as she utilizes this book in the way most second books are, as a continuation to the end.
From virtual reality, Aria's life is safe and pseudo. In her attempt to reach out for her mother...moreThis review is originally posted at The Fiction Pixie.
From virtual reality, Aria's life is safe and pseudo. In her attempt to reach out for her mother's safety, she risks it all and loses. It is through her loss, she gains everything. Dwellers are genetically enhanced and exist within the safety of their sanitization and virtual realities. However, the Outsiders are similar to the depiction of the human race in The Time Machine; they have developed ways to survive the aether and the dangers.
This is a strong and bold setup for the factions that are at odds in this trilogy. Each "race" has a deep and solid foundation for its existence in this world and as readers we are given the information in an easy welcome to the world. On the outside, Aria has no idea how to survive and neither do we, it is always an unique experience to be able to learn about the world with the characters. What a fantastic feeling to read a book where absolutely everything is explained.
The pace of this book was interesting; it was neither slow nor extremely well paced. I struggled to stay awake when reading this book nearly every time I opened it but when the book was closed, it was all I could think about. I had to know what was going to happen to Perry and Aria. That isn't to say that it wasn't still brilliantly written. The action was well timed, realistic and even dark at times. It was true and real which is something that tends to get lost in most places when it comes to "good" and "evil".
So much of this book is beautiful but the character creation and development takes the cake. Aria and Perry start as enemies, the dweller versus the outsider are only allies in attempt to reach an end; each of them desperately needing the other but despising that same need. Aria is desperate to survive but through her journey with Perry, she becomes the woman she is meant to be. While she rarely displays fear, by the end of the book she radiates pure strength to overcome the odds. Perry, strong and dedicated to his cause, struggles and waivers with his feelings for Aria but learns truths and finds loyalty to raise to be a hero.
It stands only to reason that the two of them will continue to blossom into bigger and better people in the second book, Through the Ever Night. In a vivid and strong ending, this book has a sense of resolution but also leaves you waiting and wanting for the next step in this journey.(less)
Reading this novella after The Iron Knight, I see that it highlights the complexity of Prince Ash. It really conflicts with his love of Meghan and his...moreReading this novella after The Iron Knight, I see that it highlights the complexity of Prince Ash. It really conflicts with his love of Meghan and his loyalty to the court. Picking up exactly where The Iron King left off, we join Meghan on her journey to keep her deal with the Prince and return to The Unseelie Court. We are accompanied by our favorite feline but are hunted by a force older and wiser than faery it seems. The chase is just enough action that perfectly paces the book but it was rather abrupt and cut off, even for a novella. A great meanwhile read but not as charming as its counterpart, Summer's Crossing.