*4.5 stars* LOVED, loved, luuurved Leila. Loved Vlad. Loved the simple yet oddly satisfying, addictive and fast paced plot! Admittedly,...moreQuickie Review
*4.5 stars* LOVED, loved, luuurved Leila. Loved Vlad. Loved the simple yet oddly satisfying, addictive and fast paced plot! Admittedly, there was more focus on the development in the romance department between the commanding, enigmatic Vlad and Leila in TWICE TEMPTED, but that didn't take away from the overall story or pace.
I'm not sure how to describe Leila, other than that she's loyal to the people she loves to a fault, she's stubborn, but oddly vulnerable to her feelings for Vlad and her family. She's such a beautifully flawed yet amazing woman, y'know wha' I mean? After acclimatizing to the harsher, more brutal (and oddly medieval) world of vampires, she's starting to stand on her own again, and she's gotten more badass! I liked that she faces her problems, that she tries to help Vlad any way she can while also thinking for her family, she doesn't make the same mistake of doubting Vlad again when people whisper poison in her ears, and have I mentioned she's definitely become more badass?
A determined new love interest, a vengeful ex-lover, and a stubbornly sexy man unwilling to open his heart. What is an electricity-wielding woman to do when life keeps throwing excretion in her fan? (Ok I tried to be less crude about it, but wasn't very successful I can tell. And sorry I butcher the English language. Whoops.)
Anyway, I couldn't ask for a better sequel, and I am dying to get my hands on book three. (Which still doesn't have any information released yet other than it's the last in the series. *sobs hysterically*) If you enjoyed ONCE BURNED, you'll definitely like TWICE TEMPTED. Maybe even more so! RECOMMENDED. :)
P.S. (view spoiler)[I have some questions about the book as I was reading ONCE BURNED and TWICE TEMPTED... Like when Vlad and Leila were hunting for the mastermind behind Leila's kidnap in OB, why couldn't Vlad just see Szilagyi's face in Leila's mind after she did her essence-tracing thing? Couldn't she just think of Szilagyi so Vlad can pick it out of her mind? And in TT, why Vlad couldn't read Leila's mind after she turned into a vampire? Vlad could read Maximus' mind before, so being a vampire shouldn't have given her extra neuro-protection... I'll email Jeaniene to see what she says. ;) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
*4.5 stars* I didn't expect to like this so much right after devouring Unchained by J. Lynn (another UF) just a week ago, but I loved ON...moreQuickie Review
*4.5 stars* I didn't expect to like this so much right after devouring Unchained by J. Lynn (another UF) just a week ago, but I loved ONCE BURNED!
The plot was simple yet superbly enjoyable, and there were the action, the gore, the romance, so ONCE BURNED is far from a mindless good read, it's an amazing read. I loved the entire cast of characters - Leila, Vlad (though he does take high-handed to a whole new level), Maximus, Marty, everyone. Each character had their own distinct voice and (very endearing) personality.
Frost's version of vampires (and Vlad, the Dracula of old, the source of inspiration Bram Stoker drew from) was the classic, fly-superhuman-speed-and-strength, kind. If my memory doesn't fail me and Dracula could fly. Well, at least they don't sparkle in daylight (thank you, Jeaniene!). But in addition to the original vamp model, Vlad had an affinity for fire, able to summon and wield it. Others have other powers they inherit from their sires but it will only manifest after some time. The only thing that didn't really sit well with me was Leila's abilities to sense a person's essence - to see said person's defining moment in life, be it their darkest sin or life-changing tragedy, trace the essence to the person's present location and glimpse his/her possible future - and being a walking electricity generator after touching (and almost dying) a downed power line during a storm. I mean, come on, this might be an urban fantasy, but still. And the lack of world-building.
However, even with the minimal world building, ONCE BURNED had all the thrills and fuzzies that reminded me why I fell in love with this genre a long time ago, and it kept me glued to it's pages so much so that I didn't bother to update my reading status on Goodreads and grab the second installment, TWICE TEMPTED, right off my shelf once I was done with it. I don't know why I haven't ventured into Frost's Night Huntress world earlier, but I'd definitely check out Cat and Bones' story. I'd say ONCE BURNED is a pretty classic UF read, but there's just this something I can't put my finger on that makes it so addictive; Strongly recommend this to any UF/PNR readers and vampire lovers out there!(less)
I haven't read a Fantasy novel, be it YA or adult fiction, this good since Graceling by Kristin Cashore, or maybe ever. Recommended to any and every f...moreI haven't read a Fantasy novel, be it YA or adult fiction, this good since Graceling by Kristin Cashore, or maybe ever. Recommended to any and every fan of Fantasy, steampunk, and of imperial Japanese tales. Once you get past the intricate - and sometimes excessive - world building of the first quarter of the book, it's constant action, adventure and intrigue. LOVED IT!
THE BONE SEASON was AMAZING!! Samantha Shannon has crafted a wonderfully intricate and complex world of clairvoyants (oracles, augurs, s...moreQuickie Review
THE BONE SEASON was AMAZING!! Samantha Shannon has crafted a wonderfully intricate and complex world of clairvoyants (oracles, augurs, soothsayers, etc), the amaurotics (normal people without voyant abilities like you and me) and Scion London, a London that is ruled under the iron hand of the government and brutal law enforcers, and a London that hates, discriminates and arrests voyants.
There was so much tension and suspense, action, plot curves, and an unexpected but sweet romance. The textured and layered worlds that Shannon built was incredibly real, each character had a distinct personality and depth, especially Paige and Warden. They've lived rough lives and as the story progressed, you'll learn bits and pieces of them that you'll feel like you really know them when the book has ended. Paige isn't just like any other strong, gutsy heroine out there. She has her own unique voice and struggles.
Paige is a dreamwalker, one of the rarest abilities and also the highest order of clairvoyancy. Clairvoyants can't survive in Scion London, not unless you count living like a fugitive hiding from the SVDs and NVDs (said brutal enforcers) all day and the low-paying jobs acceptable. The only place with better employment prospects is to work for Scion, but if you work as a clairvoyant in thei employ, you might as well sign away your life cause now they'd own you. But if you sign on as an amaurotic, you'll run the risk of getting bagged and hanged. So Paige works for a mime-lord of the Underground. She's one of the top dogs and she's found a family of sorts there, and she's happy, until the day she accidentally killed an Underguard (just another Scion guard) in self-defense and she was hunted down.
She thought her life was over, but then she was sent to another place, a place not on the London map and a place ruled by creatures called Rephaim. Amaurotics and voyants that are captured are sent there. Each of them will belong to a Rephaite that will train them to fight the Emim, terrible creatures that feed on human and Rephaim flesh. Thing is, humans are second class there; They're beaten and given tests, if they fail, they'll be forced to live like slaves. Paige doesn't want to live like that. She wants to go home, to her makeshift little family. But no one's ever managed to escape the Rephaim.
I've grown so attached to the world that Shannon had built, and to the characters!! GAH, there's still no news about book 2, but at least in the "Note from the Author" page there's this part where they said "The Bone Season is the first in a projected series of seven novels". :)) THE BONE SEASON is officially my favorite read in 2013 and I can't recommend it more to all fans of Dystopia and maybe even Fantasy.
P.S. This is a quickie review cause I really don't want to spoil anything from TBS! Coming from a fan of spoilers, that's saying something. It's THAT good!
P.P.S. For those of you who've read TBS, AHHH THERE WAS THIS PART around 85%, the scene under the stage!! I swooned and sighed so many times!! And and and my other favorite scene was Paige running away during her first assignment and Warden and Nick were there. Wow. *End of Gushing*
P.P.P.S. Thanks Kara-Karina for recommending this to me!!(less)
“For a moment she almost relaxed. Then the mutton stew appeared. Blade spread his arms across the back of the seat and watched her stare at it as though she’d never eaten in her life…and had suddenly found a dead fly in her bowl.
“Try the fork,” he recommended. “It’s much easier than mentally consumin’ the meal.”
KISS OF STEEL was an impulse read for me, considering it's only 5 days till my exams start! That, and I've never really been a fan of steampunk romances - I've DNFed my first venture into this genre and the other one, Wicked as They Come, I did like, but I wasn't that sold on this genre yet. I came across a review of KOS and it sounded like a "my" kind of book - come on, innocent but strong-willed heroine fallen on hard times and an infamous cutthroat hero who's earned his reputation through his own sweat and blood...classic! Who can resist that? - so I went in search of it, devoured it, and am giving it a 4.5-star rating.
I think one of the main reasons I was so taken with KOS was because McMaster focused mainly on character, plot and romance development, with just a little steampunk atmosphere, so I'm thinking hardcore steampunk fans ain't going to click that well with this one! The only steampunk elements in this book was the dark and gritty atmosphere, gas lamps, robots called metaljackets that has rocketlauncher hands, corset-wearing wenches and a darkly sexy rookery boss called Blade swooping in to sweep his lady off her feet. Just had to add that last part, haha. But other than that, it's really just about Honoria and her siblings falling on hard times, how she pulls through it for her family, hiding her inner demons and raising enough money for food and medicine for her brother.
That said, I LOVED the cast of characters and how the storyline developed! Lets talk about my favorite character first...Blade!! I mean, look how awesome his name is! He's not just another Lucas or Peter or Mark, he's Blade. Haha, he's the Devil of Whitechapel, protector of the people there but he's also feared and respected. His past is bloody and a mystery, he's also a man with a vengeance, but inside he's so sweet and charming! When he saw how Honoria was starving and struggling for her family, he helps her in a way that didn't hurt her pride. One thing I didn't understand was how fast Blade warmed up to Honoria though, the first time he saw her he was already attracted, and this is allegedly the Devil of 'Chapel that we're talkin' bout here, mind 'ya! (Yep, he has an accent! ;)
Honoria is a loyal, self-sacrificial, and strong woman who teaches gentlemen and women how to speak and act like proper gentlemen and women. When she brought her family to Whitechapel to hide from the clutches of her enemy in the Echelon, the pristine city behind walls with electricity-lasers (hmm, do I sense a little Dystopian here?), she had to pay the head honcho a little something to live in his territory and for his protection, but she has little money and she will not be his thrall (servants who are well looked-after but in turn has to provide blood for their Blue Blood master). Her pride will not allow it, and anyway, she's not that desperate. Yet. So she made a deal to teach him to speak and read in exchange for his protection.
Then there's stoic, quiet Will and Rip, his second-in-commands, O'Shay and his other loyal family he's adopted over the years. There's Honor's hotheaded sister and brother infected by the Blue Blood virus, bloodlust slowly clouding his vision. And then there's this really side character, Jasper Lynch, head of the Nighthawks guild, the Blue Blood outcasts who hunt targets for the Echelon. Even though he didn't play a big role in KOS, I thought he was almost as compelling as Blade!! He's this tall, imposing, straight-to-the-point man-of-few-words! He's going to get his own book in book 3, LADY QUICKSILVER, and I'm so excited to get my hands on it!
Anyway, it was a joy to see how Blade chipped away the icy fortress of Honoria's distrust, how she fought her attraction and charm of Blade. And how Blade protects her from the vampire terrorizing Whitechapel every night after the sun set. He's afraid he'll become a vampire one day, it's inevitable for every Blue Blood infected by the virus, once the virus level exceeds a certain level, the bloodlust will take over completely and turn them into slowly-rotting monsters. Even if he manages to convince Honoria to accept his care and feelings, how is he supposed to fight against the virus? And what about that vampire that is faster, stronger and more bloodthirsty than him who seemed to have a vested interest in Honor? And then there's the enemy from the Echelon and Honor's past.
I LOVED the ending! There was action, it was fast-paced and the plot was unfolding so quickly that the pages were just sweeping past me! The closure in the end was unexpected and heartwarming. Loved it!
There's humor, there's mystery, romance, heartbreak, family and loyalty. KISS OF STEEL was strangely addictive! I'd recommend this to paranormal romance, maybe historical and mild steampunk lovers!
“...I see a man who clawed his way out of the gutters and took control of his life. I see a man who made a family of his own. Who loved. And is loved. I see a man I want to kiss.” Her hand stroked down his back. “I see a man I want to…to give myself to.”
But I'm glad I waited for some time before starting on LT so my wait for Untitled (Scarlet #3)...moreFUUUUCK that was good.
And now I have to wait...again...
But I'm glad I waited for some time before starting on LT so my wait for Untitled (Scarlet #3) is shorter.
LADY THIEF was so much darker than SCARLET, mainly cause Gaughen isn't afraid to cause our characters irrevocable pain and harm, no matter how central they are to the story. She is one cruel woman, but irrefutably a talented author. There were SO MANY secrets revealed and layers added to the story - the politics, the new cast of characters - that made LT such an addictive, thrilling, heartbreaking and ultimately unforgettable read.
A superb sequel to a stunning debut novel!
Full review to come.
Pre-Reading Thoughts: HOLY MOLEY, SCARLET HAS A SEQUEL!!!! I thought I saw somewhere that the author will not be continuing this series and is instead working on another significant historical female figure but AM I GLAD THAT SCARLET #2 IS ON IT'S MAGNIFICENT WAY!! Yayayayay, this just made my rather dreary day a happy happy bookish day. Hehe. I will fight hand and teeth for an ARC of this beauty when it's out. Count on it.
P.S. Very coincidentally, I was actually searching up books that were similar to Scarlet a few days ago cause apparently I am currently in my YA-Fantasy/Historical-Kickbutt-Heroine phase, and someone up there must've heard my plea. :D(less)
The cover doesn't do this book any justice! In fact, I don't think anything will! I think this will probably be one of my 2013 favourite among my favo...moreThe cover doesn't do this book any justice! In fact, I don't think anything will! I think this will probably be one of my 2013 favourite among my favourites!! For a book with so little romance... I think I love this book more than many other romance novels out there. For a romance junky like me that didn't create a romance tag because I'll just tag every book I read... Wow. WRITTEN IN RED is da bomb. Anne Bishop is DA BOMB.
I don't care how many 1-star reviews THE ALMOST GIRL is getting on Goodreads, or its average rating is lower than a 4, I LOVED THIS BOOK. I had some i...moreI don't care how many 1-star reviews THE ALMOST GIRL is getting on Goodreads, or its average rating is lower than a 4, I LOVED THIS BOOK. I had some issues with the book along the way, but ultimately I fell in love with this book. And that's what matters.
Other than the prologue (which was pretty darn amazing that really gave the female protagonist the boomz factor the moment she was introduced), the start was a little slow. But once you get past that, it's intense action and emotional rollercoaster till the end. Literally, it's till the end.
It's just some bird flying by, that's all. That's all. But I'm already panting with panic. I force myself to look up. All I see is endless dark sky. But then, I do see something. Another, larger feather floats down lazily toward my head. Sweat prickes my brow. I break out into an all-out sprint.
ANGELFALL is nothing less than YA Dystopian at its best. It has everything this genre has to offer, and it gives back ten-fold. The action, the tension, uncertainties, the start of a budding rebellion, and the unlikely romance between mortal enemies when circumstances thrust them onto an adventure that'll blow all yer little asses off yer seats!
*Many spoilers ahead!*
A Summary The apocalypse came, harolded by beautifully terrifying angels of destruction. Buildings collapsed or decayed, connection lines are a thing of the past, the streets are ruled by gangs that loot and kill in the day and by nightmare creatures in the night, and your home is not your haven anymore.
Penryn, her little, crippled sister, Paige, and their slightly unstable mother have been delaying migrating to a safer place for quite some time, but they have to get out now. When they set off at sunset, they're risking a lot by being out that late, and as they made their way hastily down El Camino, through Silicon Valley to Page Mill, things were still looking hopeful. They were doing fine, until a white feather, soft as down, floated down from the sky. That's when they knew that they were going to get screwed ten times over.
An epic - albeit gruesome - angelic battle was going on, and though the angel who had wings of such magnificent white was heavily outnumbered 4 to 1, the others are still wary of him. When Snowy Wings (as Penryn calls him in her little funny inner commentary) looked like he was about finished, Penryn and her family were spotted and Penryn did something to distract the other angels, unwittinly helping Snowy Wings turn the tides and angering one of the other angels enough to kidnap Paige as he flew away.
Penryn managed to get Snowy Wings - which turned out to be Raffe (Rah-fie) - to tell her that Paige was most probably taken to the angel's aerie. Raffe's wings had been brutally amputated in the battle previously, needs Penryn's help to travel on the ground, and Penryn needs Raffe's help getting to the aerie and getting into the aerie. So for now, they're on an uneasy truce, and set off for an amazing and heartpounding adventure.
My Thoughts I had to put off writing this review because of my Term exams, but a week later and everything is still fresh in my mind! All that emotion and mindblowing awesomeness. If you'd known me before, you'd know that I was a huge hater of Dystopian novels because the first Dystopian I read (coughReaperscoughArecoughThecoughcoughcough) was SO BAD. But just recently, Julie Kagawa made me a believer, and now Susan Ee has made me a FAN. They're really amazing writers.
There's so much development and depth in ANGELFALL. All the characters, Penryn and Raffe especially, had their own personality, their own history, and their own distinct way of thinking. A few pages of Raffe talking and you know he's just not like us. He's proud and strong even when he's down on the ground or lying face down on a couch with his hands and feet tied and taped together. However as the book progresses, you see how he gains a little humanity while retaining his mysterious, very-sexy immortal persona. (view spoiler)[AND OMG, Raffe is...*hyperventilates* Raffe is...His true identity is OMG-ly cool. (hide spoiler)] Penryn is a girl who had to toughen up due to very shitty circumstances, but when things got too much, she let her body handle it the way it knows, puked in some bushes and gathered up her Big Girl Panties. She's smart and resourceful in a very funny, sarcastic way that I liked her immediately.
Along the way, we meet characters like Obi and Boden. Obi's the rebellion leader while Boden's the rebellion thug. They're cool. Obi's the typical inspiring, good-looking military leader who has to make unpopular choices for the good of the rebellion, and Boden's the typical thug with the snarl and always picking a fight with the new kid on the block - in this case, Penryn. (view spoiler)[I liked that scene where Penryn was expecting help from Raffe when Boden picked a fight with her and Raffe not only didn't rush to her aid, he started betting with the other guys on who'd win! Haha, oh how Penryn pounded Boden to the ground in her anger! (hide spoiler)]
I loved seeing how the arc unfold and how all the characters changed.
THIS is so true for Angelfall. Ee's descriptions are so vivid it's literally a movie in my head!
Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious. Outside our condo window, the sky flames like a bruised mango in vivid orange, reds, and purples. The clouds catch on fire with sunset colors, and I'm almost scared those of us below will catch on fire too.
~Para 1 of Chapter 1
When you see a starting like that, you know that you can expect some badass writing.
I loved the final battle. I loved how the humans made their stand, how they showed a united front in the face of such adversities unlike how most fiction novels protray humans as weak and expendable and ugly. Ugh. The ending was so, so, terribly bittersweet. What happened to Paige and all the other kidnapped kids was...disusting, inhumane and... Ee is one author who doesn't mind killing off some of her characters and roughing up most of the others. That's all I have to say about this. And poor Raffe! However, I did like how the story started and ended with Penryn, her sister and mother being together on the road, only with all the wounds and scars - both mental and physical - at the end.
Anyhoo, this review is getting long and all I have to say now is, if you're a fan of YA Dytopian novels, or not a fan at all, just as long as you can stand a little Dystopian, you'll 99.99999999% fall IN LOVE with ANGELFALL.
P.S. THERE IS NO DATE OF RELEASE FOR BOOK 2. OMG I CAN GO KILL ME AN ANGEL NOW.
P.P.S. Y'know that part where Penryn was at the rebellion camp and was talking to this woman called Dolores about training domestic dogs into a tracking/police/army one?
"This is the reason the guards are dog-free. It's hard to patrol when your K9 partner keeps running off to chase after rodents and barks all night long."
P.P.P.S. Thank you Donna (@ The Happy Booker) for introducing this book to me!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
*4.5 stars* This glimpse back into Ash's, Meghan's, Puck's, Grimalkin's, heck even Glitch's life...WAS AWESOME. Satisfying yet it fed my unending hung...more*4.5 stars* This glimpse back into Ash's, Meghan's, Puck's, Grimalkin's, heck even Glitch's life...WAS AWESOME. Satisfying yet it fed my unending hunger for more of this magical and enchanting world of faery. Oh man, I sound like a drug junkie fresh from rehab.
Being able to see the revamped Mag Tureidh, court of the Iron Fey and Meghan and Ash's home was so heartwarming, seeing Beau and Razor and the other gremlins play together and making all that ruckus. We got to see Ash in all his former Ice Prince glory (don't worry, Ash still has his swag, his powers and that icy aloofness that we all love) but with a little more emotions when he's alone with Meghan, Puck came back after very funny adventures in the human world (wait till you hear them!), Grim with his "I am a cat" and all, and Meghan. Meghan! She showed those boys some girl, Summer-Iron, power!
Even in such a short novella, Kagawa has the skill to completely suck me into her vivid and imaginative world full of hauntingly beautiful places and a simple yet eventful plot filled with action, humor and an easy friendship between 4 very memorable characters. If you're a Kagawa fan, you don't want to miss this final novella to the Iron Fey series! I swear, every page, just like any of her other books, is worth 5 golden stars.
P.S. I'm not sure I'm going to pick The Lost Prince up (though I am a HUGE fan of the Iron Fey series), cause... I'm just disgruntled that it's not in Meghan's POV anymore. :( And the synopsis and reviews just doesn't seem that interesting anymore.(less)
CRAZY-AMAZING. I haven't read a YA book this good in such a long time! Definitely a favourite, and one that I will be revisiting very soon. Pity the n...moreCRAZY-AMAZING. I haven't read a YA book this good in such a long time! Definitely a favourite, and one that I will be revisiting very soon. Pity the next book will only be out next year October..
A tortured, kickass heroine backed up by an amazing hero with a mysterious past and a gripping plot. SANCTUM talked about a friendship forged in iron that will last through time (quite literally) and a romance frought with trials; A bittersweet ending with just a little nugget of a cliffhanger!
An action-packed, heart-wrenching sequel that emulates it's predecessor! There were more characters from Rileigh's ad Kim's illustrious and dangerous...moreAn action-packed, heart-wrenching sequel that emulates it's predecessor! There were more characters from Rileigh's ad Kim's illustrious and dangerous past that came into play (mainly enemies and nemesis) and more plot curves. With Rileigh finally fully-transcended, we get more glimpses into Senshi's intriguing beginning and how she met the mysterious samurai, Yoshido; LOVED it! (I'm not a fan of the cover though...)
Read this awhile back but didn't have the time to review it, sigh. Full review to come.(less)
*4.5 stars* It was amazing! I think I have finally found the perfect novel with a Japanese martial arts them...moreOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
*4.5 stars* It was amazing! I think I have finally found the perfect novel with a Japanese martial arts theme. This book is phenomenal! I loved the flashbacks to 15th century Japan, I loved the undying love of the two samurais from the past, and I loved how that loved stayed true and un-cliche even till modern age. Wow.
Rileigh Martin is a skater chick with a gay best friend, Quentin. They were shopping for a gift for the party they were about to attend when they were assaulted by three thugs. They thought they were dead for sure, until Rileigh hears this voice in her head, and her body seems to know how to defend itself - martial arts style. After fending those thugs off, she faints and is carted off to the hospital. Upon waking up, she meets a strange - and very handsome - Asian martial arts teacher who seems to know about the voice in her head. And if her life's not weird enough, she's having flashbacks of a female samurai back in 15th century Japan.
She finds out that those flashbacks are actually memories of her past life, and it's high time Rileigh embrace her identity and accept the help of Kim - said handsome Asian martial arts teacher, and who has a soul-deep connection to her past samurai life - and 3 other familiar faces from the past, or be killed by an old enemy who was reincarnated to the present.
Again, WOWOW! You have no idea how long I've been searching for for a perfect samurai-martial arts novel. KATANA, though not perfect (that's where the 0.5 stars went), is amazing. I love the plot, I love the cast, I love, LOVE the heroine and hero, I love the romance between them, and all the fast-paced action and suspense!
Let me get the imperfect 0.5 stars out of the way first before I start gushing about the other 4.5. There were many stereotypes in KATANA. For one, there was the gay best friend with lots of hugs and pedis and manis even when "Ri Ri" was in mortal danger. And what's up with the incessant "Ri Ri" calling? The first time I saw Q call Rileigh "Ri Ri", I literally cringed! A little over-the-top. Why not Ri or something less....gay? Haha. Anyway, for stereotype number two, there was the fact that our lead guy is Asian. Not that I have something against that (Heck, I'm an Asian myself), but must the male protagonist in a samurai novel be Asian when all his other samurai friends were reincarnated as Whites? Gibsen already said that soul-mates will never be reborn far from each other, so why the big cultural difference? Another stereotype I read from a Goodreads review which said that biker chicks aren't all badass wannabes. We don't have biker chicks here in Singapore, so I'm not sure what they're like, but the ones in KATANA were mean-ass bitches who tried to beat the shit out of Rileigh.
Now on to the 4.5! I have always found the soul-mates reincarnating together and finding their love for each other again very cliche, but in KATANA, it is just so damn sweet. And romantic. Kim Gimhae (this is a Korean name, by the way, not Japanese) didn't force Rileigh to accept him when she went out on a date with some other guy from school, just watch over her as a silent protector. They felt the connection, but Rileigh's afraid of embracing her past cause she thinks that she will lose her modern self, so she constantly pushes Kim away.
I was a little turned off when I realise that the lead male in KATANA was named Kim (even if it's only his first name/surname/family name) - not to mention shocked out of my wits. But I started overlooking the fact as I got to know him. He's a tough warrior, through and through, he's a natural born leader, he's playful and witty when he wants to be, he's kind, and he's very sincere and tender towards Rileigh. But he resumes the tough warrior-natural leader persona during their warrior's training, even towards Rileigh. Rileigh feels pain in her chest one time but Kim signals everyone to continue combating and Rileigh shoots him a dirty look. All in a day's work. Haha. But yes, Kim is an enigmatic warrior who I am very much in *ahem* love *ahem* with. Not only is he hot and a warrior, he's the brooding type of male. Rileigh even made a hilarious comment about it:
"After studying him for a moment, I realized it was a good thing Debbie wasn’t here. She would have signed him to be a model in a second. The brooding types always sold the most underwear."
Rileigh's awesome. She's strong, she's brave, she's funny and sarcastic, but she can be feminine when she wants to be. She's so sarcastic that no-nonsense Kim picked up on it and cracked a few sarcastic jokes himself! When she first met Kim and the other warriors, she was very rude to them. That part was a little extreme, but I can understand cause they lied to her and tried to kill her. But still, it doesn't mean she has to be so rude.. But she's still awesome with all her cool moves.
I really liked that Kim and Rileigh had a deep connection in the past, and their story back then was heartwrenchingly sweet. And heartbreaking. They didn't die natural deaths (being samurai and all), but they died together with honor.
Another thing that I really liked about KATANA was Gibsen's phrasings. There were a lot of descriptions and metaphors that were unique and well, vivid. An example:
"It was too much. I was on sensory overload. My body felt like it held a Ferris wheel with anger, confusion, and fear spinning round and round, each taking their turn at the top. I couldn’t focus enough to organize my thoughts, so I did the first thing that came to mind.
It did get a little immature at times, and there were a few errors, but overall I thought that Gibsen has a special way of writing, and one that I really appreciate. I will only list one of the errors I've spotted cause I know that since this is an ARC, the final copy will be edited. But this one error is a common misconception that people have:
"At the rate of speed I fell, everything should have been a blur. Instead, I saw it all with crystal clarity."
Spot the error? Rate of speed? Speed is a rate. You can't say the rate of rate of motion. But apart from this, the rest are more inconsequential. But there were some that were cheesy (which I think is inevitable for a novel which has romance):
I gave an exaggerated sigh. “It’s not that easy. Whitley is so nice and drama-free. But Kim, the way I feel around him … it scares me. It’s like gravity ceases to exist and he’s the only thing I can hold on to.”
Gravity ceases? Uh huh, ok.
But anyway, I really, really loved KATANA, and I'd recommend this to any fan of action and romance. The action, well the title is self-explanatory, and there's a beautiful romance in here. Even though there were errors and things like stereotyping that I am quite averse to, I think that the awesomeness of it all trumps the bad, so yes, I still like it. Very much. I look forward to its sequel, and there's no doubt that I will grab onto it the moment it - or its ARC :D - is out, and that I'll reread this several more times before that. I urge and beseech you to read KATANA when it releases in March. You will not regret the money, time, and brain space. :)
*eARC courtesy of Flux via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
It couldn't have been more perfect than this. This...this is utter perfection personified! There wasn't much...moreOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
It couldn't have been more perfect than this. This...this is utter perfection personified! There wasn't much lesser-Brotherhood action in this one, but the romance between Rhage and Mary...That's just what romance is all about! That's how you write and develop a love story, not like those tragic crap that is Romeo and Juliet. I cried for them, worried for them, but the HEA (happy ever after) was totally worth that temporary cesspit of misery. I'm telling you, that was the perfect ending to a brilliant story.
Rhage has been cursed to become a beast, which he has no control over, everytime he's hurt, angry, or too wound-up with energy. The beast doesn't know who's friend and who's foe, it'll just gobble up whoever's in it's path. He's a handsome guy, but he'd do without it to feel normal. He's got to visit those whores at the nearby club to constantly release some tension and energy, and he hates it.
Mary Luce is a psychiatrist for autistic kids, but is now volunteering at the Suicide Prevention Centre to pick up calls and counsel through the phone. She's been diagnosed with cancer - again - and she's working hard to keep herself busy herself from thinking about her detoriating health. But when she meets John, a pre-transition warrior, she and John will be brought to the Brotherhood to explain things to John (Mary to be a translator since John is mute and needs to use ASL). And when she's there, she meets Rhage and sparks fly.
Rhage is temporarily blinded after changing back from being the beast and is still recuperating, but when he stumbles upon Mary and hears her soothing voice, a reaction is triggered within him, and he must find out more about her. But humans are forbidden to be brought into the Brotherhood, and even if she were allowed into the mansion, everytime Rhage is near Mary, the beast also wants to come out to play...
If you've read my summary, then you'd know that LOVER ETERNAL focuses primarily on the relationship development between Rhage and Mary, the Hollywood potential and average brunnette. Mary's self-esteem is beyond low, so when Rhage takes notice of her, she keeps pushing him away, not wanting to be a charity case. I like how Ward did that, I mean, how she slowly lets Rhage into Mary's heart, and how Mary resists at the start.
Rhage is beyond AWESOME! He is such a heartbreaker, and he's very self-sacrificial. He absolutely charmed me, much more than Wrath or Zsadist or any one of the brothers. And it's not his looks either. The way he treated Mary, the way he fought for her right to remain in the Brotherhood's mansion, the way he protected her... Oh man.. I loved him so much! Oh, and you should see Rhage with a cherry. Hahaha, he totally charmed Mary with it. A cherry! And whenever he's with Mary, I swear, they are the cutest, most romantic, most compatible couple I have ever seen.
Even though I am an action-romance-junky, this book will always be my favourite in the BDB series. I think the romance was so good that it trumped the lack of action. I'd gladly not have the action to read more on Rhage and Mary. I wish there was a novella for him and Mary, not Bella and Zsadist..:( There were still fight scenes, and they didn't have sex until way past the middle of the book, but you wouldn't even take notice of it. I loved how Rhage courted Mary and earned her trust. Mary's so smitten she went a little cuckoo when she heard that Rhage has been with another woman (whore) that night that she actually took initiative to, y'know.. And she's really the sweet and soft woman.
Needless to say, I love Ward's writing style and the way she plans a book. To be able to handle so many POVs is not an easy feat to organise, even though I don't like multiple POVs cause they slow down the pace. It serves a purpose, yes I know, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, and I'm only interested in the protagonists. I'm sure I'm not the minority in this.
I loved the humor and sarcasm when the brothers and Butch banter. They. Are. HILARIOUS! And in this book, you can add in Mary's innocence. Rhage teases her for it! But she's very lovable when she's not in her element. You should see this part, they are absolutely so endearing when they're together:
Keeping his back to her, he stood up and stripped. With some finessing, he managed to get himself under the covers without flashing her a glimpse of what the front of him was up to. That monstrous arousal was nothing she needed to know about.
He faced away from her, lying on his side.
"Can I touch it?" she asked.
His erection jerked, as if volunteering to be the "it". "Touch what?"
"The tattoo. I'd like to… touch it."
God, she was so close to him, and that voice of hers—that sweet, beautiful voice—was magic. But the hum in his body made him feel like he had a paint mixer in his belly.
When he stayed quiet, she murmured, "Never mind. I don't—"
"No. It's just…" Shit. He hated the distance in her tone. "Mary, it's okay. Do whatever you like."
If you haven't read DARK LOVER or you've skipped LOVER ETERNAL, I recommend that whatever you do, read Book 2. You may miss out certain events if you've skipped Book 1 (DARK LOVER), but I assure you, you'd want to miss the facts to read this wonderful piece of literature. It's... You won't regret it. 'Nuff said.
You know how we get small glimpses of Bella? I've read the synopsis for LOVER AWAKENED, and I know that Bella's gonna be The One for Zsadist. But she's a little too bold for my liking. She's practically throwing herself at the guy. Aaaand I hate it when a girl keeps staring at a guy. I don't know why, but I think it's, well, not right. A little immoral, rude, and not right. I know that it's the only way to get close to Z, but it's just...a little too bold for my liking.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Once again, I love the FIFTY SHADES series. DARKER is as stunning as its predecessor, if not more. It was mo...moreOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Once again, I love the FIFTY SHADES series. DARKER is as stunning as its predecessor, if not more. It was more intense, more emotional, more heartaches and drama, and of course, there were more beautiful, heartwarming Ana-Christian moments.
Ana's miserable after leaving Christian - er, who wouldn't be? But not the point - and when Christian offers to take her to Jose's Photo Show, she accepts it immediately. Well, even if she can't have him, one more look's good too, true?
But when they meet again, Christian's determined to keep Ana this time, no matter what he has to change, in their agreement, or the way he treats her. Or not treat her...y'know, in their playroom?
Ana moves back into Escala, but she is still not safe. One of Christian's ex-subs, the one who also wanted more, Leila, is back with a vengeance. She's demented (like really gone batshit crazy), and she's stalking Ana and Christian. She even got the certificate to legalize carrying a weapon with her. That was when Christian had bodyguards patrolling around Ana, her workplace, and such. Ana's not happy, but who can go against Fifty when he's in his you-listen-to-me-or-suffer-the-consequence mode?
But their problems don't stop at an ex-sub gone mad, Ana's also got to deal with Mrs. Robinson, the woman whom Ana thinks is a child molester who screwed Christian up when he was fifteen, being a close confidant and business associate to her Fifty. And when she sees Christian going all tender towards his ex-subs, she can't help dam all her insecurities from rushing in and think that she will never be enough to satisfy all of Christian's needs. So, how will this end? Will Ana up and leave Christian again? How far will Christian go to keep Ana by his side?
Ok, I'm not doing the synopsis any justice. There was a lot happening, and I can't spill all the goodies in one shot, right? So the above minefield is only a simplified times 10 gist of the story. Anyway, AHHH! I loved DARKER so much! I thought I wouldn't like it as much as Book 1 initially, but as I continued reading, it became so emotionally intense I actually cried, not teared, cried...thrice! First time was because it was very saddening, then it became tears of joy. I tell you, James is one hell of a writer.
I said that I didn't like the front that much (well, not really "didn't like", more of a 4 stars than 5 stars didn't like) because Ana was getting bolder. I liked her meek yet quietly-strong character in Book 1, so her being bold was a little unnerving, and frankly, I'm not used to it. But then it was because of her newfound inner-strength that saved her relationship with Christian at the end of the book, so I'm lovin' her boldness now.
Another part that I liked a little less - I still like it even tho it's less likable cause I cannot not like any part of this series (Am I making sense? As my friends say, if you don't make sense, make dollars! Ok lame, moving on) - was Ana being overly obstinate when Christian does something extreme to protect her. There's a freaking killer after her, of course he's going ballistic, and rightfully so. And at the same time, there was this minor crisis going on in his company, so Ana, trying too hard to be independent, going against Christian didn't help the situation or Christian at all. But that's the only part where she was annoying, so I do still really like her. Especially when she's with Christian.:D
About Christian.... Have I ever told you how hot Christian becomes when he's jealous? Being rich has its perks, but there's something about him that makes him so......panties-combusting. Even in such a dark mood.
I like the secondary characters too, especially Taylor. He's cute. In a bodyguardy-fatherly sort of way.
DARKER focused less on BDSM this time and more of the changing scenery, though there was this one scene that was pretty intense. (See, this book is all about intensity.) Christian's willing to accomodate Ana and have more vanillas than BDSM sex, if you get what I mean, but Ana still has that naughty bone in her, and she does want a little BDSM to make things interesting. But that one scene...WOW, real hot. As for the changing scenery... Christian was telling Ana how he wanted to take her on all surfaces of his house so they went at it in the yacht that Christian owned, on the piano, billiard table, lobby table, elevator WITH people inside, you name it.
James' writing style is, once again, a stunner. She writes so beautifully! And very emotionally; Everything very vivid, very intense (again with the word), and her diction is fantastic (very unlike mine. I keep using the word "intense", and I can't seem to find a suitable word to replace it..>:|).
I like how the covers of the FIFTY SHADES series are simple yet sophisticated. It brings out the sleek, elegance but dark world of Christian Grey.
I cannot stress how much I love this book, and how much I recommend this series to any romace lovers out there. I was a little reluctant to start reading Book 1 before because I don't read Contemporary-Romance or anything Contemporary for that matter, other than Urban-Fantasy, but I did, and hell if I regretted it. The characters were amazing, the plot was intense, the writing was fantastic, especially her diction and the way James' could make you cry with the characters...This is really my favourite series of the year. Stunning. Brilliant. GAH! It was so good, so much so that I felt so emotionally bereft when the The End popped out on me..:(
I find it funny how Ana has this thing for gays. Everytime she sees one, she's like,"I like him already." Lol!
FIFTY SHADES FREED is only going to be out one month from now...NOOOOO!!:((
P.S. This review is considerably shorter cause my sentiments for DARKER is the same as Book 1's, and I don't want to repeat myself overly much.
P.P.S. This review is long overdue already, I know. But it's just so hard to write a five-star review cause I feel like I'm not doing it enough justice.:/["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
With the delightful mix of paranormal creatures and exciting plots in an Urban Fantasy and a setting reminiscent of Dystopian novels, BLOOD...more*4.5 stars
With the delightful mix of paranormal creatures and exciting plots in an Urban Fantasy and a setting reminiscent of Dystopian novels, BLOOD WARRIOR was hella exhilarating of a journey! There was action in almost every chapter, interspersed with witty dialogues and a subtle political conspiracy that lies beneath the surface of the beautiful city of Two Rivers. Well, it was certainly addictive that it got me out of one of my longest reading funks since I've started my reading obsession.
I am in awe; In pure and undiluted awe and shock over FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. This is seriously some heady stuff; I'm addicted! FSoG is the very first novel where I would be more than willing to give a rating higher than 5/5. It really is beyond perfection, and I was utterly ensnared by its characters, plot, and James' writing throughout the reading process that I felt so sorry when it ended. In a freaking cliffhanger, no less!!! But we will come to that later.
Anastasia "Ana" Steele is in her last year doing her degree in WSU, Vancouver. Her best friend, Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh - or the Kathering Kavanagh Inquisition, as Ana calls her when she gets into her interviewer-reporter mode - managed to snag a time slot to interview Christian Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, one of the richest, most eligible bachelor in the country, but she fell prey to the flu bug, and so Ana has to take Kate's place as interviewer.
Ana is a jeans and T-shirt person, so when she dresses in a casual-formal skirt and shirt to the gleaming glass fortress that was Grey's office, she feels a little intimidated. What's worse is that the moment she steps into his office, she falls flat on her face. She feels arms around her, and when Grey helps her up and she takes her first real look at him, oh you know she's a definite goner. He was absolutely gorgeous, but with a cold and distant demeanor. She's intimidated, and as the interview went on, she embarrasses herself multiple times, and so she flees as soon as she's done with Kate's list of interview questions, trying her best to put him out of her mind. Well, she's probably not going to be seeing such a high profile person again, right?
Wrong. Grey turns up at the hardware store where she works, and he expresses his wish to see her again. Who is she to refuse? Anyway, Grey tells her explicitly what he wants in a relationship in her - a BDSM one no less. Ana is intrigued with him and his lifestyle, being a complete innocent when it comes to anything sexual. But as they got to know each other better, she finds out that Grey is actually a man with many dark secrets, is haunted by a terrible, abusive past, and is fifty shades of fucked-up. She falls for him, but can she pull him back into the light? Will she be enough for him as she is?
Once again I feel obliged to reiterate: I LOVED this book. This series, actually, since I couldn't concentrate enough to do up this review and gone ahead to devour Book 2 immediately after Book 1. (That cliffhanger is to be blamed!!) I wanted to do a quickie review, combining both FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and FIFTY SHADES DARKER (book 2, and also one of my absolute favourites) initially, but thought better of it cause I am probably going to be gushing about my love for both books. So, the gushing commences.
The plot. There was actually a plot! I shall endeavor to explain why I am in shock. Usually, Eroticas exist as standalones because they consist of insubstantial plots and storylines, harping on about panties-melting, sadistic males, timid as hell pushover heroines, mindless sex and orgasms repeated throughout the whole book, probably on every alternate page, and pseudo-loves. But when I saw that FIFTY SHADES OF GREY belonged to a series, trilogy in fact, I was intrigued. And now that I've read it, my whole view on Erotica-Romances has changed. I wasn't that into Eroticas before, nor Contemporary-Romances (this is the first contemp romance I've read so far, honest), but this story really just makes me want to delve further into this two sub-genres while I wait for their sequel-brother, FIFTY SHADES FREED, to be released. Christian was a little domineering, but he doesn't overstep boundaries. Ok, maybe in a few occasions, but they're done so as to protect Ana, and they're really, heartwrenchingly sweet. So I did like his overbearingness, surprisingly. And Ana stands up for herself. But I will be gushing about the characters in a later paragraph(s).
The writing. I LOVED E.L. James' writing style! She's funny, witty, and her diction is fantastic. I loved how the words are complex, but not overly so, but it actually became a little educational. Haha, I had to unearth my dictionary a few times to check up on a few difficult words, and I did like it. Other than the parts where it gets so exciting and I stop checking the dic. She could express very subtle details in the story, and even in one-sided conversations like when Christian is on the phone and only uses a few words to respond to the caller, I could actually understand who he was talking to, how he felt about the conversation, and most importantly, what he was talking about. I know it may sound like simple matters, but I'm telling you, it's not. James' is really a talented author. She even employed a very special way of communication between the protagonists - via emails! Haha, you must be thinking, "Whaaat?" right? But which other books have you read where the people communicates through emails? It has always been dialogues, isn't it so? Admit it! Haha, and those emails between Ana and Christian are HEE-larious! Wonderfully entertaining and unique and special and...sigh, they are so childish and endearing when they're being cute together.
From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Verbose? Date: May 31 2011 19:08 EST To: Christian Grey
Sir, you are quite the loquacious writer. I have to go to dinner at Bob’s golf club, and just so you know, I am rolling my eyes at the thought. But you and your twitchy palm are a long way from me so my behind is safe, for now. I loved your email. Will respond when I can. I miss you already. Enjoy your afternoon.
From: Christian Grey Subject: Your behind Date: May 31 2011 16:10 To: Anastasia Steele
Dear Miss Steele
I am distracted by the title of this email. Needless to say it is safe – for now.
Enjoy your dinner, and I miss you too, especially your behind and your smart mouth.
My afternoon will be dull, brightened only by thoughts of you and your eye rolling. I think it was you who so judiciously pointed out to me that I too suffer from that nasty habit.
Christian Grey CEO & Eye Roller, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
You should see the continuation, it's gets funnier. But I can't quote the back without the front cause then it wouldn't have made much sense, and I can't quote the entire thing because then it'll be too long, so oh well. But he's very different in real life compared to when he's emailing Ana. Haha, and it really is heartwarming when you see him relax and let the depraved little boy come out.
And then there's the other funny parts:
" How could he mean so much to me in such a short time? He’s got right under my skin… literally. "
Hahaha, yeah, literally.
The characters. Oh my hell, they were so hot together. I really cannot stress it enough. I am intoxicated by both of them, Ana and Christian/Fifty/Grey. I loved how Ana was a meek yet brave yet obstinate yet compassionate yet intelligent yet witty girl. She is the perfect heroine. I've kind of grown tired of reading the typical snarky and badass heroines nowadays, or the overtly timid pushovers that seem to dominate most of the Erotica genre. I said Ana was witty, not snarky. There's a fine line between those two, but I prefer witty instead of snarky. Snarky just sounds immature and childish. And then there's our dear, aloof, tortured, brilliant male protagonist, Christian who is actually a sweet closet romantic. I adored him. He was showing Ana all these impossibly beautiful sceneries, whispering impossibly tender, sweet nothings to Ana yet it doesn't come off as cheesy. And when they're together, they practically just made my book combust into ashes. Spontaneous combustion, that's how they affected me. Loved, loved, loved them.
Oh, and incidentally, Ana has already described her Fifty Shades quite perfectly in the book:
"I know he’s moody, difficult, funny, cold, warm… jeez, the man is a walking mass of contradictions."
Yep, that pretty much sums him up. He is such an enigma that I love. But not the love love kind of thing, cause I'm not Ana, and I think Ana really is like his other halve, the only other person who can compliment him. They're perfect together, in every sense of that word.
Only one eetsy beetsy thing that I noticed. Christian has well-manicured hands! Or was it nails..? But "well-manicured" sounded so gay to me. Oh well, but after some time I was thinking would you rather go for well-manicured or chipped and caked with black dirt, and I chose well-manicured. And why does he have condoms everywhere he goes?!?! They're at a boathouse, he sinks his hand into his pocket, and OUT comes a condom; They're in a lift, and OUT comes a condom; They're god-knows where, he sinks his hand into a pocket and OUT comes a condom! I mean, really? You might say he's just being an always-ready kind of person..but really?
I loved FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with all my heart; So much so that even before I finished the book, I already wanted to rate this book a rating higher than 5/5, and that's saying something. It has all I ever wanted in a romance book, even though I thought that I was a hopeless Paranormal-Romance-Urban-Fantasy geekfan, FSoG helped changed my perception. Even though one of the things I hate the most is a cliffhanger to sour my mood, I thought that this cliffhanger was the best cliffhanger I've ever encountered (and the fact that the second book was already out lightened my mood considerably!:D). No doubt my favourite book - and maybe series - of 2011. I'd really, strongly encourage ALL romanceaholics out there to give this a try if you haven't done so already.
Random Musings (which you will not understand if you haven't read the book):
(view spoiler)[If you're reading the ebook like me, can you search the words,"Heart failure" into the search box? I LOVED that scene! Haha, it made me laugh so hard, especially at the heart failure in italics part. That was one epic moment. My heart literally stopped together with Ana's. Ohh, Fifty is really such an unpredictable male.
Oh, and the other part where I couldn't stop laughing was:
“Good. Until tomorrow perhaps.” He turns to leave, then pauses. “Oh – and Anastasia, I’m glad Miss Kavanagh couldn’t do the interview.” He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones. I spend several minutes staring at the closed door through which he’s just left before I return to planet Earth.
Somehow, I found the phrase "quivering mass" very funny and suggestive.XD (hide spoiler)]
And I love the pun "Fifty Shades of Grey". Haha, think about it. It's really mindfuckingly cool. (Sorry for the language, but this book incites very strong emotions in me.)
Oh, and thanks Midsummer for the recommendation! I really loved it.:)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
VAMPIRE'S KISS just about blew my mind away. I am utterly and irrevocably in love with this series. All over...moreOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
VAMPIRE'S KISS just about blew my mind away. I am utterly and irrevocably in love with this series. All over again. This is the romance that Hunger Games sorely lacked - any proper ones, anyway. And I loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it!! Seriously, there's no other girl out there right now as happy or as depressed as me right now. Happy to have read such a miraculously, insanely intense and awesome book, and depressed because the next book in the series, BLOOD FEVER, will only be released in August.
My Brief Summary
VAMPIRE'S KISS begins where ISLE OF NIGHT ended, at the beach where our heroine, Annelise "Ann" Drew, and her other Acari classmates are undergoing physical training when Master Alcantara shows up. Sexy, dangerous and mysterious, he singles out Drew and pulls her out of the class and into another - dancing. And after those mortifying lessons? German etiquette and protocols. And after that? Dining etiquette.
Seriously? Not only that, Alcantara's been seeing her more often lately, and his manners has become more...direct and, could it be? Flirtatious. Drew doesn't know what to think. She knows she's playing with fire, but she can't help it when Ronan seems to be distancing himself, and having private, meaningful gestures with another Proctor. And on top of all the emotional conplications she has to sort out, she has to keep her wits about her, cause the moment she lets her guards down, her peers are coming in and playing for keeps. Fighting to win. Fighting to survive. And she'd best not forget that.
Also with the upcoming off-island mission with Alcantara looming ahead, she'll have to double up her efforts in training. Cause she's going to learn that not all vampires in this world are good. Or at least more inhumane, if you count kidnapping girls to fight to the death, and eviscerating someone to instill fear in the rest good.
I don't know how, but Wolff has managed to contain everything that I've ever wanted in a book in VAMPIRE'S KISS - that stunning love-triangle or love-square which wasn't overly done, that blood-pounding action, suspense, and thrill in all those fatal encounters and plotting and scheming, and just trying to survive on that island, the emotions that roiled within me was constantly on the all-high, and I loved every single, minuscule moment of being captivated by her words.
*Prepare yourself for some epic fangirl gushing*
One thing that strikes as the most outstanding feature of this book was the added romance. There were just subtle hints in ISLE OF NIGHT between Tracer Ronan, Master Alcantara and Drew, keeping you wondering if Ronan and Alcantara were actually hinting at something more. But in VP, there were many times when Alcantara is clearly flirting with our pretty, smart, sassy, and strong Drew, but then as you hear Drew doubt, speculate and try to give reasons to Alcantara's more-than-friendly behavior, you start to doubt too. But the way he carresses her cheek, almost-kisses her, and became furious when she appears in front of him with a new bruise or cut, or that time when Drew almost fell trying to keep pace with him in a rocky terrain and he stops and cares for her feet, could it mean more? You have to take into account that he is a very old vampire who has no qualms whatsoever of eviscerating a human being, so no, still not sure on the whole romance front.
Then there is Ronan. Drew is starting to realise that Ronan and this other Proctor are sharing secret glances and letters, and that doesn't sit well with her. I mean, she thought that Ronan and her had a "thing-thing" (direct quote), but after all these private gestures and such, she's sure it's all just in her head. But Ronan still cares for her, and he stiffens and tenses whenever Alcantara approaches/meets up with Drew. That has to count for something. And it's terribly cute when they're teasing each other and not cold and indifferent.
And then there is that special someone at the end of the book!!!!!! If you think Alcantara or Ronan is sexy, wait till you meet that guy - or more accurately, man - at the end!!!!!! Omg, I think I've just found another fiction hottie to root for!!:D:D Trust me, this guy is so worth your money and time and effort to buy and read the book.
But even with so many love interests, the romance wasn't overly done, even though it was significantly more...I wouldn't say emphasized, just more talked-about. But no worries, it's the type that gives you butterflies in your stomach, not the type that will make you roll your eyes. *ahemtwilightahem* It's the type that makes you feel all warm and smile whenever the guys make a teasing, friendly pass at Drew. I mean, except for Ronan. He's too brooding and proper to do that kind of stuff.
Ok, I've got to stop harping on the romance and move onto other stellar aspects of this book. Stellar cause seriously, there were no flaws that I could spot. That's what you get when you find the perfect book for you. This book is perfect, with a pop at the P.
Don't get me wrong, this book is not all about the chummy and daisies, it's also about the ruthlessness and heartlessness of vampires and humans alike. Because on the Isle of Night, no one is your ally, and everyone is for themselves. You let down your guard for a minute and you're a goner for sure. That's what Drew still has to do - she's got to keep her wits up from being eaten up by the other she-wolves that she's got to compete with. Cause you've got to use whatever means you can to survive, and they fully embrace the Darwinian way of doing things: Survival of the fittest.
As always, it is wonderful to listen to Drew be the narrator of VP. She's strong, she's smart, she's beautiful, she's modest, she's sassy, she's funny, she's loyal, and even with that more-than-tough exterior, it's her innate good heart that's the nicest to listen to. She, Emma and Yasuo becomes closer in VP, and it's heartwarming to see Emma start to stand up for Drew when Drew stood up for Emma and both of them were facing something equivalent to a not-so-pretty death sentence. Ok, it was just a face-off with approximately more than 10 Initiates, Guidons, whatever mean girls there were plus Masha and Trinity heading them. And if you'd remember, Masha's the one with the signature whip as her weapon of choice, able to flay and stuff. But still, it was a rather fatal face-off, and they were there, standing together.
The plot. Was. AMAZING. There was so many things going on in VP, but mainly it was on Drew training for her upcoming mission off the Isle of Night with Master Alcantara. Oh, and of course dodging all the (fatal) run-ins with the two Guidons who hate Drew and Emma, who is Drew's best friend, to their bone marrows, Masha and Trinity. And after that the mission that we've all been waiting for. The mission that led Drew to that hubba-hubba guy I was talking about. The one worth our money. B) Haha, but aside from that, I thought that the mission was a little short, considering how much was put into preparing for it. But it was still very suspenseful, and I was so utterly engrossed within its pages. Everything was so vivid I could feel the walls of the dungeon (yes, there will be a dungeon), see what Drew was seeing, and best of all, feel what she was feeling at that point in time - the nerves, the cold-sweat, the anticipation, and then the, ahem, desire. (Again, it is that aforementioned worth-our-money man that will incite such an emotion within our dear, courageous, strong-willed Drew) I was so focused on the book I didn't realise the time passing until it was dark outside the house!
I loved Wolff's writing style! As I've said, the descriptions were vivid, but that didn't mean it was draggy. On the contrary, it was anything but. I don't know how she does it, but there was humor too, and lots and lots and lots and lots of suspense. Especially when Drew engages in a fight. EPIC.
All in all, VAMPIRE'S KISS is undoubtedly one of the best books I've read so far, better yet than THE HUNGER GAMES and all. I wouldn't go on much further, cause I think I've said my fill, and if up till now you're still not convinced to read VP, then it's probably not for you. But seriously, this book is all kinds of goodness you don't want to miss out on. I'd recommend this to fans of the Hunger Games (cause inherently, they are very similar), and those that like a little romance to go along with their action. Actually, I'd just about recommend this to every-freaking-person who reads fiction novels.
P.S. I just finished the book, and I'm such an emotional wreck now...So much emotions churning in me!! Lol. Ok, calm down, CYP. Calm down.
P.P.S. And just in case you've forgotten, I am practically dying to get my hands on BLOOD FEVER. Dying....dying.... I'd probably be thinking about this one for quite some time..:/(less)
I'd like to clear just one thing before I start on this review: There'd better be a sequel or heads will rol...moreOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
I'd like to clear just one thing before I start on this review: There'd better be a sequel or heads will roll!!!!!! I went to the author's site and browsed through the F&Q section, and she only mentioned a "maybe", but damn, I really don't wish to leave Scarlet and Robin's world just yet..:(( That's how good this book was. That's how much I loved this book and wished it didn't need to end.
*There will be spoilers!*
I don't think there's a need for me to write a review for SCARLET, cause honestly, I can't find any flaws or negative things to talk about. But if you'd like to hear me gush about how utterly awesome this book is, then read on!
SCARLET was a pretty simple, enoyable read - the usual Robin Hood stealing from the rich with his gang of rebels, Much, John Little and Will Scarlet to give to the poor so as to pay off their heavy taxes lest be hanged at the gallows by their evil, greedy sheriff - but with a twist. A rather interesting and exciting twist - Scarlet is a girl. Only the gang and a select few know about this, and it made for a more exciting read.
I went to read the author's note at the back of the book, and Gaughen was speculating about Scar's identity. It was passed on in history that Will Scarlet was a mysterious persona who could wield and throw his knives as good and lethal as Robin with his bow and arrows. Since Scarlet is such a mystery indeed, then what if the stories told from generation to generation was altered by mothers or friends who didn't believe a girl could accomplish such great feats? What if Will Scarlet was actually a girl? And thus began her three month journey on writing SCARLET.
I LOVED the way the boys banded and worked together, fought together, had fun together, and how they stuck up for each other. Especially when John and Robin started to express greater interest in Scar being a girl. John's a playboy, so he had no qualms over displaying his affections for her openly, while Robin...That selfless, mysterious, dashing, tortured boy! He tried to hide his feelings, but that actually made him all the more endearing. He and Scar made a great pair - both trying not to show their affections for each other, both not knowing that they're actually in love with each other, both having suffered tragic fates in the past, and both so devoted to the people of Nottinghamshire. I loved their romance even though it only blossomed in the end, but it was very sweet, and very heartwrenching. But what I loved most about them is their skill. They were AWESOME in fights! Which are aplenty in SCARLET. They are deadly accurate, but they're not boastful about it.
I loved every character in this book, including Much, their one-handed friend who is also in Robin's inner circle, Tuck, the old tavern keeper, even the people of Nottinghamshire. Much was a good friend, always being left out because of his amputated arm but is still a kindred spirit. The people of Nottinghamshire really loved the Hood. They protected him even though it could very well bring them trouble with the sheriff and latest thief-taker come to town, Gisbourne.
Gisbourne is freaky. He is incredibly smart and cunning, and heartless and...He is here for Scarlet. Big spoiler, but you'll find out more when you read the book. He has a history with her, one that Scarlet is afraid to tell Robin and the others, and one that makes her quake in her boots just thinking of him. But what can it be?
The political conflict in here is pretty simplistic, and it wasn't a major part of the plot, so, moving on. The plot was thrilling and intense! I found myself literally glued to its pages as Robin and the gang plot, plan, execute said plan, fight, and as deception and secrets are revealed! Especially at the end! Everything was moving so quick and I loved every single moment of it.
I loved Gaughen's writing style. It suited the era and everything was so vivid. I could imagine the trees that concealed Scar as she climbed them and the dingy dungeons that they constantly had to break into, and the crowds in town as they navigate and find their way around.
I've always been a fan of 1) Robin Hood, 2) YA Historical Fictions ever since Lisa Tawn Bergren's The River of Time series, and SCARLET's it! A wonderful and exciting retelling of Robin Hood and his band of rebel heroes with the long-awaited (at least for me) romantic twist. Another favourite for me, and I'd recommend it to any YA lovers out there.(less)
It isn't uncommon for the premise of books such as The Mermaid's Knight to be thought of...moreOriginally posted on A Bookalicious Story.
It isn't uncommon for the premise of books such as The Mermaid's Knight to be thought of as "Cliche", "Childish", and "Totally not worth the time". Well, ok I have to admit that: Cliche? Yes. Childish? A liiiittle bit. Totally not worth the time? Utter bullshit. Cause this book had my completely under its thrall throughout the reading process. It was, and is, THAT good. Hence, I was shellshocked.
Just a brief summary before I continue with my shellshocked ramblings - Leah died. It was a rather wronged way to go - drunk driver crashed into her, she died, he didn't. So while she was floating in the alternate dimension, her fairy godmother appeared.
Muffin is a plump, jovial woman. A little eccentric, but still possesses a genial disposition. She admitted that the accident was all her fault for not paying enough attention, and so grants her a second chance at life. Catch is (there will always be a catch. NO FREE LUNCH IN THIS WORLD!): She has to make a guy in another time and place fall in love with her - Fairytale-style.
So Muffin decides that Leah would take after Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Leah will be turned into a mermaid, and while she's on land as a human, she won't be able to talk. What's worse is that her intended target, one Lord Royce Northcliffe, is a weather-bitten, war-hardened warrior who doesn't indulge in things such as love. So how, oh how, will poor, mute-when-human Leah seduce old Royce's granite heart?
Well, I'm still reeling from the shock of having fallen in love with this book.. For one, I'm not big on the whole happy-gayness novels with an easy plot which I can breeze thru in no time. Nuh uh, no can do. But the thing is, this book, tho cliche in general, do have the elements of surprise that kept my eyeballs freaking glued to its pages. I assumed that this book would be very predictable, but Myles just kept the surprises rolling in, and I really liked that a lot.
Leah and Royce together, were just simply adorable. The suspicious nature of our dear warrior definitely did hinder their relationaship from progressing much, but well, it did liven up the atmosphere sometimes. For example when Leah was first found naked on shore (and subsequent times too), Royce was totally unamused to find, at that time he assumed to be, his enemy's leman or wench, or simpy, his prostitute, on his shore. So he immediately thought her a spy and was all macho-man, "What the hell are you doing here, girl?" Ok, not direct quote, but you get the point. And she fainted. LOL. So he threw her over his shoulder and carried her to camp. Wrapped in a cloak like a burrito.
The, um, I can't really say banters since Leah can't talk, but their exchanges are hilarious. I absolutely enjoyed them. Y'know, the fact that Myles could make it so engaging is phenomenal in itself. One party of the conversation can't freaking talk, for god's sake! But she did it. Oh, and I think she kinda made up for it by showing us what Leah was thinking in place of any verbal responses, so yep, it was still like a conversation. But whenever Royce said something Leah thought was ridiculous, Leah would stamp on his feet. It was real sweet. Haha. Albeit a little gay, but sweet all the same.
This book...is it under adult fiction or Young Adult? Um, it is childish in a YA way, but the sexuality of it is definitely adult fiction. Tho a LITTLE bit more childish than YA at the beginning (the rest was fine!), and a LITTLE bit less porny than adult fiction, so... To each his own.:)
To sum it all up, I am still shocked. Shocked that such a cliche fairytale story can be twisted and rewritten so well where all others have failed (and it wasn't because of the lack of attempts); Shocked that, well, I fell badly for such a gay story - but not the point; Shocked that the plot and storyline could be handled so well even when so much other problems were brewing in the background - made it all the more exciting that it's so eventful; Shocked that Myles could've made a mute's conversation so entertaining. List goes on. But all in all, I loved the story.
P.S. It kinda reminds me of The River of Times series because of the travelling back in time and falling for a lord of some castle, and Kathryn Lasky's Daughter of the Sea series which features women who can turn into mermaids when they come into any bodily contact with water. So, if you're a fan of either one, why not try this one?(less)
“Frantically, I wiggled out from beneath the shelf and limped to the steps, gazing up. Through the hole in the roof, the night sky was hazy and starle...more“Frantically, I wiggled out from beneath the shelf and limped to the steps, gazing up. Through the hole in the roof, the night sky was hazy and starless, but a sickly yellow moon peered through the clouds like a swollen eye.
I was in trouble.
... I had to get back to the city. I couldn’t stay here. I’d heard stories of rabids tearing through walls and floors to get to their prey; they never gave up once they sensed you.”
Julie Kagawa made me a believer of faeries, and now a fan of dystopian stories. I've only read one dystopian novel as far as I can remember (The Reapers Are the Angels), and I disliked it so much I shied away from that genre entirely, even my love for a good romance notwithstanding. And come on, faeries? A long time ago I would've just scoffed at the idea, but Kagawa managed to create such a magical world with an amazing, memorable cast of characters but with an undercurrent of darkness and mystery, I just fell right into it. The world in The Immortal Rules is just plain dark, let me get this straight. And terrifying. No enchanting places or eccentric cats. But it's a place where, with this cast of characters in it, I just can't get enough of.
I neglected my homework and finished TIR in one sitting, and it was totally worth it. Another favorite among the favorites! Full review to come.(less)
This review was originally posted on abookaliciousstory.blogspot.com .
My sentiments about this book is pretty much the same as its prequel, so this re...moreThis review was originally posted on abookaliciousstory.blogspot.com .
My sentiments about this book is pretty much the same as its prequel, so this review would be short. Relatively.
So. Maddie was out flying and doing what Agents did with Gabriel faithdully at her side one day when all of a sudden, a shockwave pulsed thru the city. Maddie's wings disappeared and her magic winked out at this, and she started descending to ground level zero. Fortunately, J.B. was in the area and was already flying in their direction when this happened, and so was able to intercept.
Case 1: That shockwave felt terribly like the feeling Ramuell gave whenever he was near Maddie. She's sure that she disintegrated him..Isn't she? And why does her wings and magic keep winking out whenever it appears? That would make her vulnerable . Which is bad news. Very bad news.
Case 2: At the alley where she, Gabriel and J.B. landed was a werewolf who was brutally savaged - complete with his entrails and body parts littering the area like so much garbage. After this incident, many more of such fatalities from the wolves were discovered. Question is, who is the new wolf-hater?
Case 3: Also at the alley where they landed was Baraquiel, Lucifer's messenger. Apparently, the Morningstar himself has quite a special and delicate mission for his recently found daughter - a diplomatic visit to the court of the crafty Faery queen (who so happened to be J.B.'s mom! Not spoiler cause this isn't a very important information. And it was revealed quite at the start of the book, so I'm clear of any charges).
Case 4: Gabriel and Beezle goes missing! Maddie is all alone and left quite ruthlessly pummelled by Samiel, Ariell and Ramuel's kid, who were both killed by Maddie. How the hell is she supposed to find them? Big world and being quite vulnerable now and all? What with her being beaten into a pulp, with no Gabriel there to heal her, that Gabriel and Beezle could be ANYWHERE in this infinitely ginormous world, and with no tracking skills whatsoever of her own?
List continues, but these are the major problems that she had to face. Any more would be a dead giveaway of the ending.
Can I just say that Henry has managed to amaze me? Again?? I was taken in by BLACK WINGS, but I fell in love with Black Night. The plot, the characters, the excitement and suspense drew me whole-soul-edly (y'know, wholeheartedly?) into its pages and just blew me away when all was over and done. And let me repeat what I've said for BLACK NIGHT because I totally think it true for this one too - this novel, is a refreshing take on the whole urban-fantasy-angelic-paranormal-with-a-sprinkle-of-romance genre, and THIS, is how you write an urban-fantasy-angelic-paranormal-with-a-sprinkle-of-romance novel.
Maddie was the same ass-kicking, headstrong, determined young woman with a will stronger than an ox. It literally saved her in the end, her will. She expects so much of herself, and so little of others, but she did fail once in a while, which made her more human and realistic. She breaks down much more this time, but it wasn't so that there would be a mushy making out scene with the male protagonists. Contrary, she was alone everytime she cried (or for the times that I can remember), but she picks herself back up with a stronger will. She's just awesome.
Gabriel was weak in this one. Not that anyone could've done anything more were they in his predicament. But it didn't do much for my image on him. He still cared much for Maddie, but he waited for Maddie to save him everytime he got into a some pile of shit, and that doesn't endear me to him.
J.B.'s transformation was ASTOUNDING. He literally morphed into some hot dude with a protectiveness for Maddie. And with a whole new rank in the supernatural social hierachy that I didn't even know was actually thinkable for J.B. Much less possible. It's still very weird for me to think that he is still in Maddie's age group and a handsome man to boot after his seriously anal behavior in BLACK WINGS. Seems more like some crazy old geezer with a seriously senile and pain-in-the-ass attitude problem.
Anyway, book was good. More than good, it is utterly mindblowing. Read it.
Random Musing (which would contain spoilers):
(view spoiler)[ Y'know, in the Maze, when "Nathaniel" raped Maddie? I thought that the way Henry described that scene, or rather the way that she did not describe the whole scene, was rather brusque. I don't know, curt? It was like the editor thought it was too explicit and flippantly omitted it. Well, it may be a little rated and sadistic, but I thought that it wasn't a good idea to cut it out entirely. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)