Anybody familiar with Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy where the dead's soul or afterlife moves along whether in the gates of heaven; the fires of...more Anybody familiar with Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy where the dead's soul or afterlife moves along whether in the gates of heaven; the fires of hell; or to wait in purgatory. These are the state where in theory we thought might happen. In Sarah Fine's paranormal fiction series, Guards of the Shadowlands, she created a world like you'd never imagine, where when somebody dies in their own will would be most likely to arrive at the Suicide Gates armed with huge, armored guards, and wandering souls pent at their own suffering. It's not a picture of heaven nor hell and neither was it some place to expiate ones sin.
The Suicide City plays a major setting with our heroine, Lela, to find the friend that means every waking, breathing second of her life. She wanders through a labyrinth of the dead's wants, needs, and desires that surrounds all over the city - that builds and expands - when humans wished it to be. Through there she went about seeing more and knowing little of the place. She made serious choices and grave decisions just to save and somehow steer her friend from what would have been an implacable damage.
"Tell me before you go. I really want to know. Why would you give up your chance at happiness to come to what you knew was a horrible place? Why would you do that, knowing she chose to kill herself? To leave you and everyone else who loved her? Why would you come after her and trap yourself here when she made such a choice?"
I also want to ask her that. Why go through all that's about to happen just for Nadia? But then she gave us her reason. She lets us be inside her and make us feel what she felt when she's with her. She lets us see the full-frontal feeling of what it's like be cherished and admired of what and who she really is. So I guess it's only fair she'd do it despite enduring the machinations. To quote her: "The things I do for friendship." I were in her situation though, I don't think I could do it. I would live for the life one would never have and that's probably something I'd do for somebody. That said, I give her enough credit for being bold and brave.
In the quest of Lela's search, she meets these people she'd grown fascination to. Those who would also be willing to bet their lives and responsibilities just for her sole purpose. Malachi is what you may call a knight and shining armor. His character, though we'd usually come across this kind of hero, somehow has a different zing to it. His sterling disposition is not hard to miss and surely ain't easy to forget. I wholly admire what he's capable of doing, what he'd come upon to encounter, and most especially, what he'd experienced and gone through in what became of him. Seldom have I read wherein the second most important character had a troubling back-story so you could only imagine what I felt when I read something about Malachi's past. Other than him, I thought Ana was a great character too. She's quite resilient and intense, though I was saddened of what happened to her. (view spoiler)[No spoiler. :) (hide spoiler)]
Surprisingly, I was baffled that although this was kind of a fantasy book, it did not shift away from the realistic idea. The characters, if not most of the time, would greatly experience and reflect in their emotions. The talk of depression, dying, or something to do with the psychological, physical or mental sense was highly present and notable. It was really something I was glad to look forward to while reading.
"Some people can't keep fighting. Some people want to escape. Some people are not ready - are not able - to find a way for deal with what's in front of them. Sometimes there's no one to help them. Sometimes they don't know how to ask for help. Sometimes it feels like there's no choice but to end it. No other way out. And sometimes it's impossible to see past that.
This book, I tell you is super fun. And it's quite dark, but only a little bit. It's a different take on a paranormal/urban fantasy-ish story with an astounding new world and characters you would greatly admire. It's full of adventure and thrill so I'm sure everyone's good to go. I foresee this series will be great and I'll be there to witness it all.
*A shout-out to my wonderful, spirited buddy-read, Stacia, for doing this with me. Though it took us a while to finish, but I really had fun. I'd be happy to do this again, soon!
**Can't get enough of Malachi? Well me either so here's some treat the author was so kind to make: Malachi's journals. Be sure to check this out after you read the first book.
4.5. Hell yeah, we're going somewhere! If you haven't decided to pick up this series then you're probably a..cat? JK! But seriously tho, this was a ve...more 4.5. Hell yeah, we're going somewhere! If you haven't decided to pick up this series then you're probably a..cat? JK! But seriously tho, this was a very nice touch for a sequel what with a new bunch of a kick-ass, laugh-out-loud and charming casts together with a different twist in the story.(less)
I've experienced some versions of this from historical fiction to contemporary; even from the original animated movie to sappy modern retelling flick;...more I've experienced some versions of this from historical fiction to contemporary; even from the original animated movie to sappy modern retelling flick; and now to dystopia. However this story is told, what everyone's getting is still the Cinderella story gist. And however it is told, I'm always going to like it. Always.
Cinder has been spending a long time from my shelf now that I'm afraid its pages will soon turn yellow and I haven't yet read it. So Cinder is an android, a mechanic, a stepsister, a lunar. (view spoiler)[There, I said it. (hide spoiler)] She fixes haywired robotics or little tech stuffs and restores dead mechanisms, which I find very cool. I say this is somehow a complex kind of fairy tale. Not the usual 'go-to-the-ball-dance-til-midnight-get-back-to-the-rags-with-you' kind, but more like 'need-to-go-to-the-ball-and-save-the-earth' kind of story. It's kinda kickass when our little known princess will be saving the whole humanity.
The setting, New Beijing, is a futuristic place where everything is chip programmed and cars are nonexistent(unless you found them deep in the junkyard) and only hovers fly you around the city. They've been plagued with the disease called, wait for it...'Plague' which seems to have no cure. Earth and Lunar are definitely not in friendly terms since forever but after the death of the Emperor, this Lunar Queen decides to pay respects and strike some alliance. When the hunt for the lost princess is still on the trail, this infamous Queen will do it's power to take over the world.
While that's probably a brief point about the evil plan, it's time we talk about the prince. It's always a call to talk about the prince. So, Prince Kai is charming. He's fun, pleasant, sweet, and pretty.. okay, handsome. When he met Cinder the first time at the market, I think he was instantly smitten with her, in a good way. And our little heroine here also feels the same. Other focus of this story, aside from the hostile planet take over and a hint of an upcoming war, is the romance. Fairy tale is not without the mushy, fluffy feeling we get from the would be couple. Connection between Prince Kai and Cinder was well played. it was not instant and not sluggish but the right amount of pace.
Cinder is worth the read. The idea is quite original for I have not read anything like it. An android badass herione=awesome. Though the story is fairly predictable, it still kept me up all night to get almost three-fourths of the book. It was entertaining and a little suspenseful but not much to make your heart beat fast. It is also quite a cliffhanger when the big reveal was uncovered in the end. Even if I practically knew about her not halfway through the book I was still excited to know what it'll be the effect no her.
This story is told so many times and in so many ways but the idea will always be the same.
"Oh, my stars! Think about Prince Kai! You could dance with Prince Kai!" "Why would the prince dance with me?" "Because you won't have grease on your face this time."
"So. That's your stepmother?" "Legal guardian." "Right, my mistake. She seems like a real treasure." ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Oh gosh it's too short I would have loved to know more about Annabel and Conrad. I wanted more interactions f...more "Love obeys no laws other than it's own."
Oh gosh it's too short I would have loved to know more about Annabel and Conrad. I wanted more interactions from them. Argh!
The moment Annabel saw the man she knew she would be married to, she felt it right within her. Like a static thing where it spreads through her body all the way to her toes, and that's when she knew the cure didn't work. Bummer.
This short prequel alternates from Then and Now on Annabel's life. We've known from Delirium that Annabel was dead, but surprise, surprise when we get hints that she's in Pandemonium and would surely be at Requiem.
Now I understand why Carol is always like that. She's always so calm and indifferent tries to stay away form trouble, she's always been like that since then. And I know where Lena got her rebellious streak from, and it's not from her father.
Other than that, it was well written even for a short story.