When you're a princess and life hands you lemons, you GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE. Princess Lia decides to take her life in her own hands and flees from...moreWhen you're a princess and life hands you lemons, you GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE. Princess Lia decides to take her life in her own hands and flees from an arranged marriage to the prince of a neighboring kingdom. What she doesn't know is that the jilted prince and an assassin have followed her.
Plot: The Kiss of Deception is, naturally, about deception which is all in good fun. I spent the majority of the book guessing which male character was the assassin and which was the prince (and I'll admit-I guessed wrong). As the first in a series, Pearson's concern is to establish the world, characters and to introduce the series' overall conflict. The first half of the novel was slow and seemed to drag on quite a bit; thankfully, the novel picked up speed once identities were revealed (and people started dying).
Characters: The main character, Princess Lia, is a very strong female lead. I liked her, I liked her a lot. She was caring and she was strong. Actually, I liked all of the characters except the two male leads. The Assassin and The Prince were such cookie cutter characters that I couldn't even picture what they looked like. Within pages of meeting Princess Lia, both characters fall madly in love with her, and she in turn fell madly in love with one of the mystery men after a handful of conversations. YAWN. I found one of the male character's a lot more interesting than the other because he was more prevalent in the novel and so the reader was able to learn more about him as a character and not just a love-struck man.
Setting: In High Fantasy novels, the one thing that you absolutely cannot mess up is the world building. At first I wasn't really impressed by Pearson's world because the story took place mostly in one setting. It was only when the characters ventured out that I was able to learn more about the world and its history. There are random bits of text from the culture's holy scripture but I couldn't connect any of those readings with what I knew about the characters and world so they seemed a bit pointless to me.
Short n Sweet With all the hype of this novel, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. I found the world to be interesting and the female characters to be strong and really likable. The book fell short in my expectations with it's let's-fall-in-love-within-the-first-fifty-pages, but redeemed itself in the last half of the novel when the focus wasn't love, but shed more light on politics and secrets. I would read the sequel, but mostly out of curiosity. (less)
Review based on ARC! Merci beaucoup Harlequin Teen and Netgalley
Ethan Chase is all grown up! While I was counting down the days until it's release, I...moreReview based on ARC! Merci beaucoup Harlequin Teen and Netgalley
Ethan Chase is all grown up! While I was counting down the days until it's release, I felt that it was missing the same magic that The Iron Fey series had ensnared me with.
The book opens the same way the Iron Fey series did, "My name is Ethan." Ethan quickly gives us the nitty gritty about his life and then the reader goes with him to school where he meets a particularly sassy girl and a half-breed fae. The overall premise is a magical mystery! Faes are disappearing, but where are they going? Sadly we don't get the answer to this until the last third of the book. I felt like the book occasionally lost direction with how many pit stops the group made.
Now the characters. Ethan is one brooding guy. While it is understandable why he is so standoffish, it rubbed me the wrong way. He was just so cynical and unwilling to see things from another perspective-the complete opposite of his sister. I found the love interest, Kenzie, way too sassy. It was like she kept saying sassy things hoping that it would make her sassy....but it didn't. Her sass meter rested at a comfortable '0.' I did love seeing old favorites like Meghan, Ash, Grim ("I'm a cat"), Puck and others. It made me extremely nostalgic and I hope we see more of them in future books. My favorite character is definitely Keirran, if the book was just about him I would be more than happy. LOVE HIM.
The book is told from Ethan's point of view so the reader hasto hear every single brooding thought that our young Ethan has, and boy does he brood. He wakes up brooding, eats while brooding, even makes friends while brooding (Ethan broods). While the writing was still as magical as ever, I could have lived without Ethan's high-school-bad-boy-brooding-cynical thoughts.
Julie Kagawa brings the magic back with new characters , but it's just not the same without our original trio. (less)
I'm torn between a 3.5 and a 4 for this novel. While Kagawa's novels continue to impress, I felt that this book lacked a little something that the fir...moreI'm torn between a 3.5 and a 4 for this novel. While Kagawa's novels continue to impress, I felt that this book lacked a little something that the first novel had.
Meghan Chase made a deal with a fairy to save her toddler brother's life, now it's time to pay up. She must travel to the Winter Court as Ash's prisoner. At the Winter Court, the reader learns more about the Winter Court and struggles with Meghan as she tries to make her desires known.
This book opens right where The Iron King leaves us. Meghan is now a resident at the Unseelie Court and is trying to adjust to the new characters and the new environment. Like the last novel, Kagawa takes the time to build the world and introduce the readers to the new environment before introducing the conflict. She takes the time to explain the current situation between Meghan and the Winter princess and introduces some new characters. But when the action hits...it hits. Kagawa brings the reader on an exciting adventure in which Meghan must prove her innocence and face the Iron Fey once more. I absolutely adored the pacing of this book, Kagawa takes her time to introduce the characters, her new surroundings and flawlessly brings Meghan on a whole new adventure in the Nevernever.
In my review for The Iron King, I stated that it was Kagawa's characters and world building that made me love it so. The same goes for this novel. I loved the new Unseelie Fey and the return of an old-enemy-turned-friend. Their relationships were endearing and each character had its own personality. I also gave this novel a lower rating because of character relationships. Meghan and Ash experience a few bumps in their relationship quite early on. As the prince of the Unseelie court he must appear indifferent to everything, this extends to Meghan. It was tiring seeing Meghan wrestle with her feelings for Ash as he ignored her and gave her all sorts of mixed signals.
As always, Julie Kagawa writes poetry and captures the reader's attention from page one. The dialogue will bring a smile to your face and the descriptions easily transport you into Kagawa's world.
The Iron Fey series continues to impress and I cannot wait to know what happens next! Now I just need to read the novella! (less)
Amanda's Hocking's publication of her once self-published trilogy has the internet all a flutter so I was excited when I received...moreRating: 3 1/2 stars.
Amanda's Hocking's publication of her once self-published trilogy has the internet all a flutter so I was excited when I received an ARC. Hocking's take on the "troll" lore is refreshing and sets up what seems to be a really fun and original trilogy.
Wendy Everly is noticeably different from her family which leads her mother to deny her as her daughter and attempt to kill her only daughter on her sixth birthday nonetheless. 10 years later, armed with the truth that she is a troll changeling, Wendy struggles to find herself in the Trylle culture as well as become the perfect princess that the mother she never knew demands of her.
I was drawn to this book initially because I had never heard of a novel centered around troll folklore and I was interested in seeing how the author would shape this young adult piece. While the plot rushed at some points, and dragged at others, I noticed a clear plot shaping up which kept my interest throughout the entire novel. The audience suffers with Wendy as she struggles to find out why her mother despises her and follow her as she is swept away to the Trylle kingdom which is conveniently located in Minnesota. I stated that the plot drags and is rushed at all points, but as a whole the novel does drag; I feel that the entire first novel was setting up for the rest of the trilogy; I was excepting a bit more action and a more specific conflict rather than hints of bad things to come.
Given that the novel was told from the first person perspective, our introduction to all of the secondary characters is based on how Wendy portrays them. All of the characters have clear and distinct personalities which make them memorable and fun.There are even some characters that I wondered if they were as trust-worthy as Wendy made them out to be. I enjoyed all of the colorful characters that Hocking introduced to her world but I did think that the romance fell a little flat. There are hints that the trilogy will involve a love triangle with a human but the first novel revolved around Wendy's infatuation with a fellow Trylle. In my opinion, the two characters, Finn and Wendy, did not have enough interaction to be able to pine after one another.
Lastly, the writing style was very solid. There were points which I felt were glossed over, especially during scenes in the Trylle kingdom. I wanted more descriptions of the troll community and I also think that there could have been a clearer timeline throughout the novel. I didn't know if a series event happened in a week or a month so I felt that clarification would have lended itself to the novel.
Amanda's Hocking's published novel is a great start to a trilogy but it lacks substance as a novel on its own. The plot promises an interesting conflict with characters who have already one me over with hints of a very interesting love triangle.
I recommend this novel for those who want a fresh take on their childhood troll under the bridge. (less)
I was browsing in the BN ebook store and saw that this was only 5 dollars, "why the hell not?" I thought. Best five dollar purchase in a really long t...moreI was browsing in the BN ebook store and saw that this was only 5 dollars, "why the hell not?" I thought. Best five dollar purchase in a really long time. Not only is the writing superb, but the characters are so real that I could see them in the real world.
Megan Chase isn't the prettiest nor is she the richest. Her family barely realizes that she exists and her classmates are downright cruel. When her little brother is swapped for a fey, Megan and her best friend Robin Goodfellow (yes) must journey to the Summer Court where she finds a place she just might belong in.
This novel was constantly moving. There was never, NEVER a lull in action or character development. I was completely and totally consumed by Megan's journey and the strange characters that she encountered. I loved that Kagawa did not throw the readers in the magical fae world immediately, she took great time to introduce us to the characters and into Megan's mind. This book was definitely hard to put down and was ever harder to finish. I wanted to live in Kagawa's world and never let go.
The numerous characters are ALL fantastic. Whether it was the sneaky cat Grimm or the small mumbling gnomes, each one was interesting and fully fleshed out, even if they only made an appearance for ten pages or so. I believe that Kagawa's characters were the strongest point in this novel, especially young Megan Chase who is so incredibly likeable I wouldn't mind reading a book if it just followed her everyday life. The love story was very bare but I expect major breakthroughs to come in the next novel. I liked the dark prince who was first introduced as he hunted both Megan and Robin/Puck down. While I know this story will feature a love triangle, both men were strangely lacking in development. I can only assume that Kagawa is waiting until the second novel to expand on their personalities and love for Megan.
The writing in this novel completely blew me away. Julie Kagawa crafted her world so well that it felt real. Her imaginative world is addictive and the charaters that she has created are equally so. I want this to be a movie and I want Julie Kagawa to write, direct and produce it, because I don't think anyone else could do it justice. Not only is the writing amazing, Julie Kagawa also has some great insight. Here is a quote that I loved from the book:
"The Nevernever is dying, human. It grows smaller and smaller every decade. Too much progress, too much technology. Mortals are losing their faith in anything but science"
So all in all, I absolutely adore this book. I would reread it any time I got and would definitely recommend it every person that crossed by path. With the right blend of world building, humor, and the perfect cast, The Iron King takes on the fae genre.
I reconmmend this to everyone who enjoys the fae and paranormal genre. (less)
Lena Duchannes comes to town and she is judged and she is judged harshly. It isn't until Ethan begins to get close to her does he understand the secre...moreLena Duchannes comes to town and she is judged and she is judged harshly. It isn't until Ethan begins to get close to her does he understand the secrets she is hiding, and the secrets that even his loved ones have been hiding from him.
So Lena is the girl of Ethan's dreams, literally. For this reason he is desperate to get close to her but she is desperate to keep a healthy distance from everyone. Ethan ultimately wins this tug-of-war and the two start and unlikely romance. And the authors will not let you forget about their romance. Ever. Their love for each other overpowered any story that this book may have had. We have school days where Lena is either pranking other students or being pranked. We have days where Ethan contemplates his love for Lena for hours on end. I really could have dealt with half of that and twice the plot. Because of the focus on these two teen's eternal love for each other, the plot seemed to drag.
While I was reading this I couldn't help but think, "boy, I like all of the characters except for Ethan and Lena. " Ethan was entirely too love struck and Lena was too hopeless. I mean, what guy says, "she's so pretty it hurts." No, what PERSON says that? When I read that line I had to pause, read it again, and forced my boyfriend to read the same line to see if he had the same reaction (and he did). Lena's family is interesting, Ethan's family is interesting (especially his father) but two teens who come from the most interesting families in their small town are the most boring and two dimensional characters ever.
This book is told from Ethan's point of view and it is littered with idealistic fantasies about a girl, questioning about a girl, and then some interest in his own family history. This book does not read like it is from a high school boy's point of view. I understand that it's always hard to write from a different gender perspective, but I really feel like some more research could have been put into it. Ethan's voice reads like a love sick 12 year old girl who respects her elders.
While I did really enjoy all of the secondary characters, they weren't strong enough to hold my interest. I doubt that I will continue this series but the movie does look promising! Have you seen the trailer yet? (less)
Something about writing a 5-star review just makes me giddy. If you haven't read this book yet, SHAME ON YOU. SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME.
I didn't...moreSomething about writing a 5-star review just makes me giddy. If you haven't read this book yet, SHAME ON YOU. SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME.
I didn't really know what I was getting myself into with this book, I just knew it was a fantasy book about a princess, but it was so much more. So much. The plot is enticing and just well-crafted. It actually tales like a fantasy novel where a character must travel far to defeat the looming evil that is ever present. The pacing is perfection with equal parts action and characterization.
Now this where The Girl of Fire and Thorns shines. Carson's characters are like a piece of art. Young Elisa has so many insecurities that you can easily relate, but she is so strong and dedicated. She is easily one of the best heroines I have had the pleasure to read about. All characters are extremely complex and feel so real. Elisa personal development is what held my attention, she went from quiet, meek, plump chosen child to something to completely different, and it was the most natural development I have seen/read. Rae Carson's world was also just as intoxicating as her characters. In short, Carson has the most imaginative mind and I'm so happy that she has put her thoughts on paper.
The language was phenonomal, not all that but I loved the different languages that Carson incorporated (mostly because I have a language degree and languages turn me on) into the book. Elisa's voice was real and just so engaging and lended itself very well to the overall tale.
This book is all sorts of awesome. Love, loss, insecurities, political battles, enemies then friends. Go read it. Go read it now. (less)
I want to start off by saying that I have never read an angel novel until now and I'm afraid that this book has ruined me for all other books in the g...moreI want to start off by saying that I have never read an angel novel until now and I'm afraid that this book has ruined me for all other books in the genre. This book went above and beyond, it was young adult but dealt with some pretty mature themes. Without further ado, on to the review!
Karou is an eccentric 17 year old with a knack for telling elaborate stories about fictional characters, except they aren't fictional. Karou's "other life" is filled with impromptu trips to Morrocco, collecting teeth from gravediggers and being coddled by a half snake half woman by the name of Issa. What is she? Karou has no idea, until she meets the Angel Akvia who seems to have all of the answers and wants to destroy her makeshift family of misfits.
Karou's world is a colorful and detailed treat that will enchant any reader. Having been to Prague myself, Taylor's description of the fairy-tale like city and spot on, and her "elseworlds" paint a perfect image for the imagination. This felt like a fantasy novel given intricate detail of the characters, their history and their world, it was like stepping into an entirely different (and believable) world; I'm pretty sure it was Laini's creativity with her characters and the worlds that she created for them which grabbed and held my attention until the very last page.
The writing style was engaging with some chapters only being a sentence and others a series of phrases which are explained later on in the book. Her descriptions were so interesting and the interactions felt true. I mean, how are you not drawn into phrases like "once upon a time, an angel lay dying in the mist. And a devil knelt over him and smiled?" Taylor is such a brilliant storyteller, every description, every action, every utterance flows and paints an image, I don't know how else to explain it besides perfect.
The romance took a while for me to get into until the story progressed and more information was revealed, the really felt for our characters. Speaking of characters, I love all of the characters. Whether the character is an enigma or a mysterious amber eyed stranger, you understand them, feel for them, and even sometimes forget that they do not exist outside this novel.
Overall if you like novels with fantasy elements and an intricate plot/world, read this book. It's fantastic, it's more than fantastic, it's ENTHRALLING and I needed the sequel yesterday.
I recommend this novel for those who enjoy young adult novels with major fantasy/magic themes with a budding romance story. (less)