For a heroine who is supposed to be totally badass and the most feared shaman of all, Eugenie Markham finds herself in some incredibly hairy situation...moreFor a heroine who is supposed to be totally badass and the most feared shaman of all, Eugenie Markham finds herself in some incredibly hairy situations where she is powerless to save herself. What drew me to this book was not only because it was a title by Richelle Mead, but because the back cover of the story read to be incredibly enthralling, you've got a shaman with magical powers and a Glock, fairy kings, a shapeshifter, what's not to like?
It turns out that the book is not what it seems on the surface. I expected a whole lot more action and a less to do with Eugenie's love life, as she alternates between two guys which take up the bulk of the book. Kiyo, the japanese kitsune fox shapeshifter was a one night stand and soon after that she appears to have developed an extreme bond with him, which she goes to the extreme to save him. There's hardly any relationship development here, and you, as the reader are simply to assume that the two are inseparable after having sex. Despite all of this, her other partner is the fairy king Dorian which she also has sex with in the book, and it seems like she alternates between the two with no mystery or tension for the reader whatsoever. As a result, I found myself caring less about who she ended up with than about finishing the book.
There are also some incredibly confronting themes in this book which I found very blatant. You know from reading the description that there's bondage involved, but I was surprised to find that the underlying theme of the book is domination and rape. Despite being an all powerful shaman, Eugenie finds herself 'dominated' a lot of the time by a bunch of Other worldly beings who want to get in her pants. This happens several times during the book and it is both uncomfortable to read and disturbing. There are also several implied rape scenes, one involving a 15 year old girl, and another involving Eugenie's blood father which I just could not come to terms with as a reader.
Sure, there's a hot bondage scene involving Dorian, but the book focuses more on who wants to bed Eugenie and her want of being dominated than what drew me to the title in the first place - awesome creatures, other worlds, and full blown action. All things aside, I enjoyed the fast paced plot, unique and interesting characters (especially Dorian who gets a few one-liners) and Mead's writing style draws you in. However, the ridiculous plot developments especially towards the end, start happening in such quick succession that by this stage, absolutely nothing was shocking to the reader.
Well reader, you've been warned and approach at your own risk. Unfortunately, I've already purchased the next two titles in anticipation of Mead as my favourite writer, but those are the ones that I will not be picking up soon.
I loved this book, what a refreshing change from the usual vampire and werewolf love triangles! The protagonist Evie works for the IPCA - the Internat...moreI loved this book, what a refreshing change from the usual vampire and werewolf love triangles! The protagonist Evie works for the IPCA - the International Paranormal Containment Agency who works to capture paranormal creatures and keep them away from humans. The premise is unique and works really well for introducing a whole range of paranormal creatures including vampires, water spirits, fey, mermaids, and more. This could either be really good or go horribly wrong, but I'm pleased to say that the creatures worked seamlessly into the storyline and it was never to over the top at any one time.
Evie is a really likable lead as well, she's funny, quirky, excited about the concepts of a 'normal' teenage life, strong and quick-witted. She doesn't fit into the typical mould of either a strong heroine or a weak damsel in distress but yet paves her own female lead role. The characters in her world are really enjoyable too such as a best friend for a mermaid, a stalker faerie for an ex boyfriend and a whole host of other weird and wonderful creatures.
There's a paranormal twist, a villain, mysteries, an overarching storyline, it just restored my faith in the paranormal genre altogether. This book was so creative and funny at the same time.
It was just well written and really hilarious in some parts, reminding me of my favourite Succubus series. Paranormalcy is a fun, quirky, light and refreshing read that will keep you entertained until the very last page and you'll be begging for more with the sequel.
A unique fantasy featuring magic, mythical creatures, and an alternate world set in the Victorian era. Definitely better than a lot of the standard te...moreA unique fantasy featuring magic, mythical creatures, and an alternate world set in the Victorian era. Definitely better than a lot of the standard teenage book out there, as it isn't predictable with several plot twists and written well with great character development. I still strive to find a book similar to this.(less)
Agggh finally finished this book! It was funny and I loved the characters of Crowley and Aziraphale, but I found this book very hard to follow. It jum...moreAgggh finally finished this book! It was funny and I loved the characters of Crowley and Aziraphale, but I found this book very hard to follow. It jumped around so much that I got frustrated and demotivated in continuing the story. It was so annoying how every few pages or so, new characters would be introduced who are seemingly unimportant to the plot. It seems as soon as you get accustomed to any main characters who you are following at the time, that a new one would be introduced again and it was all very disjointed and confusing. Most of these characters would only make a cameo too, which seemed pointless.
I'm more of a "big picture" kind of gal so when I saw that the story wasn't going anywhere, I stopped enjoying the book as much and started skipping over the details. I'm not sure whether having the dual authors had something to do with the loose structure of the book but that is what put me off in the long run. Also I was disappointed to reach the end to find that there was no epic finale.
Seems I'm in the minority on this one, but I guess it's suited to another type of reader who enjoys witty dialogue, lengthy descriptions, and British humour over a strong plot. I'm keen on investigating more of Gaiman and Pratchett's works - but not as a collaboration.
The second book in the fresh paranormal series Paranormalcy, I found Supernaturally an underwhelming follow-up to one of the funniest, lighthearted an...moreThe second book in the fresh paranormal series Paranormalcy, I found Supernaturally an underwhelming follow-up to one of the funniest, lighthearted and unique paranormal releases to hit the YA world. While the first book had perfect pacing, character development and a pre-planned storyline, it seemed like this book was all over the place.
Most of the story revolved around Jack, a relatively 'normal' teenage pest that worked for the IPCA who I found really shallow and annoying. There wasn't nearly enough focus on Evie's powers or the interesting paranormals that she would encounter and some of the intriguing characters just turned flat (Arianne the emo anyone?)
I hope the last in the series will pick up the book and hopefully show that the author had something planned for the whole trilogy, not just to make money with lacklustre follow-ups like so many series these days.
It's not often that a book has me cringing, wanting to throw it down in frustration and never to return to it again. Unfortunately, Beautiful Creature...moreIt's not often that a book has me cringing, wanting to throw it down in frustration and never to return to it again. Unfortunately, Beautiful Creatures was written so badly and unconvincingly so that's what I would have done, if not for a reading challenge I was trying to complete.
You'd think such an interesting and unique premise about witches and warlocks would be difficult to get wrong. Unfortunately, the book was written in such a bland, boring manner that it failed to grab me at all. Not to mention that some of the writing is just plain bad. It was contradictory, involved one too many broken sentences, and was rather confusing at times, making it a chore to understand what the author is trying to get at.
Unlike most YA books, it is written in the point of view of a teenage male, but the authors trying to put themselves in a teenage boy's shoes mostly involved talking about how hot some cheerleaders were at the school. There's barely any character development and you're just meant to accept that Ethan just falls in love with Lena, because he's been dreaming about her all of this time.
The plot (or lack thereof) just seemed to drag on and on forever. So much so that at the end, I wondered why I bothered wasting my time on reading this book when there are so many other more interesting things to do.
Also at the most crucial moment when the plot is meant to take off, the authors throws us into a random, unimportant, and rather frustrating side track in the form of a surprise party. Who cares about the other school kids when you are meant to be finding out what happens to Lena after ramping this up for the ENTIRE book?
The Night Circus is an amazing evocative title with rich d...moreThis review has also been posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
The Night Circus is an amazing evocative title with rich descriptions of a Carnival that comes to town. Under the surface however, it's basically a mysterious competition between two wizards pitting two apprentices against each other. The terms of the competition are vague, yet both Celia and Marco participate for over 16 years across the entire book, without questioning, and without finding out what the meaning of it is.
The Night Circus and its inception through the Midnight Dinners itself, is amazing. With the interchanging first person perspectives of you walking through the circus, and the descriptions of the circus tents and the different acts available, you can actually feel it come alive in your head. It's an amazingly transportative novel, and the ability to taste the sweets, smell the caramel popcorn and fairy floss of the circus, is definitely amazing for the senses. I'd probably call it brain candy.
The whole feeling of the book is mysterious and based on magic and secrets. The time of the book is not linear and people have ulterior motives. Unfortunately, there were quite a few glaring mysteries that were given weak explanations. Like the whole circus is based on a mysterious secret, which is already unveiled early in the book. Judging from the vagueness of some elements, you'd expect at least a few answers when you reach the end of the book. Only half of your questions, will reach an answer at the end.
Upon finishing the Night Circus, there were so many glaring problems with it that I was quite disappointed. This book was heading towards a 5 stars rating but when I reached halfway through, I realised that there were lots of things that were really vague, and never really given a satisfying conclusion.
(view spoiler)[For example, what really is the point of the competition, if the surviving victor dies, only to have A-H and Prospero start all over again? What's the point of living, if you're actually a spirit in the end? Why does Mr A-H have no shadow?
Why did the seams of the circus start unraveling causing the death of one of the sisters? (hide spoiler)]
These are just a few of the questions that I had upon finishing the book. It's a feeling of frustration, knowing that some details are meant to be left vague, but never actually having an answer.
The characters are one-dimensional, flat and monotone. I could swear that both Celia and Marco have the same personality. They're basically a reflection of each other. The love story, is also secondary to the amazing nature of the circus. Don't come into the book expecting a good plot, because it seems like the real star of the book is the actual circus.
There were a few interesting concepts, like the Reveurs who are extreme fans of the circus who follow it around and know when and where it's going to pop up again. There were also the awesome Midnight Dinners, where I could actually taste the food and the wines and feel the piano music playing in the background. I'd really love to see the movie when it comes out, and relive the Night Circus again. It's really a place that I'd love to visit and just lose myself in. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Ill wind is an explosive debut about a group of wardens who maintain balance to the Earth, fire wardens, earth wardens, and weather wardens. Joanne Ba...moreIll wind is an explosive debut about a group of wardens who maintain balance to the Earth, fire wardens, earth wardens, and weather wardens. Joanne Baldwin is a powerful weather warden who is running from the storm, looking for her powerful friend Lewis who is the only one who can save her from a demon mark.
The whole story is basically set out around a huge road trip, but it's a journey definitely worth travelling. The weather descriptions went over my head a little as they were a bit too scientific for my liking, but definitely makes it unique in a sense. Flashbacks are tied into the Joanne's road trip, fleshing out why she is running and looking for Lewis and the relationships she has with other characters.
When she meets a handsome hitchiker David, things get really interesting from there as he's not what he seems from the start.
I really enjoyed the writing, it is personable, down-to-earth, and does not try too hard to be descriptive or poetic. The author weaves complexities into the storyline really well. Both Joanne and David are extremely likeable characters, while they aren't perfect in any sense, they are void of any annoying character traits that are so common in PNR/UF titles.
I loved how the story unfolded and felt like I went on a little journey myself, reading about the circumstances following Joanne. The way the story was set out definitely led up to an explosive finale that had me gobsmacked with an ending I did not see coming.
The weather warden series is an interesting one, and I'll definitely pick up the next books in the series to see how things pan out.
WOW what an exhilarating ride! Heat Stroke was a way slicker book than the first one, fast-paced and easier to get into than simply a road trip and re...moreWOW what an exhilarating ride! Heat Stroke was a way slicker book than the first one, fast-paced and easier to get into than simply a road trip and reminiscing about the times which was pretty much sums up Ill Wind.
I absolutely love the cool factor of both Joanne and her powers, either as a Djinn or Weather warden. This book contains descriptions of meteorology that border on being too scientific, but wow they just blow my mind! Not to mention the descriptions of how Djinn draw their power. The author holds great imagination and skilfully conveys something which seems to be difficult to understand into such a readable, easily digested format.
A thing I am loving so far about this series: it's so incredibly addictive, with a writing style so natural that it flows easily. That's probably a flow on from Rachel Caine's YA writing.
I absolutely adore the male leads in Joanne's life, David, the sexy Djinn and Lewis, the world's most powerful weather warden. Joanne's wit, charisma and sheer determination just matches both of these men well, and she can definitely keep up with them.
Later on in the book, you do meet some twisted and disturbing characters, but it does lead to an epic finale in the end. I was totally hooked into this book from the start and it was difficult to put down.
If I didn't have so many other books lined up to read for the next month, I'd be reading Chill Factor in an instant!
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Water from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Like the fluidity of water, the story continually evol...moreI was lucky enough to receive a copy of Water from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Like the fluidity of water, the story continually evolved from one simple concept of a girl being held captive, to her becoming a Gaia (a controller of the elements) in order to save the environment, and more. Environmental issues are a topical issue, and having a controller of the elements to deal with these issues is definitely a unique and relevant take on the paranormal genre.
I was hooked on the riveting story and the great ability of the author to convey the character's emotions. Scenarios and the complexity of the relationships between people within a secret organisation are pictured vividly. Kaitlyn, the protagonist who can control the elements, has a great refreshing quality about her, able to think on her feet and to handle her situation (however difficult it becomes) with evolving strength.
As an elemental magic user, I enjoyed the scenes where Kaitlyn learnt to harness her abilities and to tap into the power of nature. It's quite believable and not too technical (unlike Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series) and clearly depicts how the power is being used.
This is definitely not a YA story, but definitely an adult read, as there are some incredibly dark themes which are delved into later on. It was surprising as the first half of the book felt like a YA book evolving with the romance between Kaitlyn and some other characters, before it takes a turn for the darker half of the book. Without revealing too much, I felt quite disturbed at the circumstances which Kaitlyn had to endure (there was rape involved), and hope that justice makes its way to the sequel.
Featuring several twists and turns in the storyline, ulterior motives, and a host of interesting characters, I recommend Water to any mature reader out there who can handle the darker themes within this book. It really hooks you in and deals with some heavy emotional themes, and by the time I finished the title I was ready for more.
Unholy Magic is the 2nd in the Downside Ghosts series and boy, is it emotionally gripping and extremely intense.
Chess is a debunker for the Church wh...moreUnholy Magic is the 2nd in the Downside Ghosts series and boy, is it emotionally gripping and extremely intense.
Chess is a debunker for the Church who exterminates ghosts and more frequently, busts those who are set up fake hauntings for financial gain. She's also an extremely drug dependent, which helps her deal with the scars that early life experiences have caused.
In this book, we see her making horrible decisions that lead her to drive a divide between her personal relationships and the only person she really cares about, Terrible. Somehow, she's found herself wedged in between two opposing gang members, Terrible and Lex. It's evident throughout the book that she doesn't know how to deal when she actually cares about someone.
Chess is such an interesting, complex character. We find out the reasons why she is so dependent on drugs and see her hit rock bottom in this book. Somehow, you just can't help but sympathise with her and wish that she will one day find solace in something that isn't drugs. Stacia Kane has a way with conveying heavy emotions throughout the book. This is not an easy read, with so many dark themes involving sex, drugs, and murder.
The world of Downside is so corrupt, dark and gritty. The crimes performed within this book are not for the squeamish, involving mutilated bodies, necrophilia, and the like. Once you become adjusted to the world of Downside, you'll be in for a heck of a ride as you follow Chess on her journey of debunking and ghost-busting.
Eh, I'm not quite sure what to think of this. The start was really promising, but the plot sort of loses itself shortly after the tw...moreActual rating: 3.5
Eh, I'm not quite sure what to think of this. The start was really promising, but the plot sort of loses itself shortly after the two main characters and then it turns into a heavy paranormal romance that was kind of unexpected.
It starts out with Diana, a professor at Oxford stumbling upon the Ashmore 782 manuscript. Diana also happens to be a witch who wants to be a human, and all manner of supernatural creatures turn up and stalk her to see how she summoned the manuscript. One of these creatures is Matthew Clairmont, another super smart professor who also happens to be a mysterious vampire.
At the starting point, I was really impressed with the detailed descriptions of Diana's world at Oxford and the historic accounts about Ashmore 782 and witches. Unfortunately, this impression disappears quickly after Matthew enters the picture.
From Chapter 8 onwards, you basically get a better written, adult version of Twilight, with a bit of witch and history thrown in. I wouldn't have minded the whole paranormal romance part even though it was somehow unexpected, however over the entire course of the book the Twilight references were endless.
Here's what I mean (contains spoilers): - Matthew's vampire possessiveness and over-protectiveness of Diana. - His stalker tendencies over watching Diana sleep. - Diana's apparent innocence and less adult moments, where you wonder where the smart professor has disappeared off to - The money and the riches that Matthew uses to shower his attention on - The fact that menstruation was brought up and that vampires aren't affected by it - Matthew's intense longing for Diana which seemingly came out of nowhere related to his wanting to hunt her - Matthew's family taking her in all of a sudden as their own - The only way they can be happy together is if Diana turns into a vampire - No sex, even though these are two grown, consenting adults
I could go on more, but you get the picture. It's as if the author has taken the main concept of Twilight and added several parts to it but that's still not enough to make it a completely different story. It just frustrates me because this had so much potential to be great, and the authors writing is definitely enveloping and descriptive. It kind of feels like I've read this story before.
Not to mention the convoluted plot (or lack thereof), I mean with all the mention of the manuscript (how many times was Ashmore 782 mentioned within the first few chapters?), the brief parts about planning a war, and the Knights of Lazarus, these things were all very interesting but barely touched upon. Instead, most of the pages are covered on the food that is being served or of Diana's yoga sessions. The book could have been condensed so much further if the less essential things were made more brief.
I'm hopeful though. Now that we've gotten the whole debut and setting out of the way, perhaps the somewhat strange lead into the next book will be better covered in Shadow of Night.
Inevitably, all good things must come to an end. Joanne...moreThis review has been cross-posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Inevitably, all good things must come to an end. Joanne Baldwin’s journey has been wrought with magic, fear, power struggles between Djinn and the forces of nature itself, some incredibly brave and charming people and with death itself. After following Jo since she discovered her weather warden powers to dating a Djinn who will go on and become one of the major players in the world, to coming back from near death and having to walk away from everything she’s ever known, you realise that a good character is someone who’s become as familiar as your closest friend. Reading Total Eclipse is a bittersweet experience, it’s sad to say goodbye to some of the finest characters (and book boyfriends) out there, but you’re glad to finally see them at peace.
Weather Warden series is one of the most epic I’ve ever read, and has definitely become one of my favourite series out there. No matter what, Rachel Caine seems to always keep on surprising you with the depth of emotion and plot twists so unique that you’d never see them coming. If you think about the unpredictable nature of the weather itself, that’s what your journey will be like experiencing this series. I won’t deliver any spoilers here, but this is probably one of the most satisfying endings you’ll ever encounter. Jo’s journey comes full circle at the conclusion of the Weather Warden series, as she faces the largest nemesis the wardens and Djinn together will ever encounter – Mother Nature herself.
As you’ve probably come to expect from Rachel Caine, Total Eclipse delivers everything that you would want it to, and more. The entire story arc to the series has been leading up to this final moment, and the climactic ending is emotional as is it heart-breaking and satisfying.
To some of the best characters in modern day fiction, I will miss you. You’ve opened my eyes to a world I would have never known, and for that I am thankful. For now, the story of Jo and David has finished, and I’ll move onto the Outcast series to discover Cassiel and Luis’s story.
I read this for a buddy read here. Check it out for our discussions on the plot.(less)
WOW, talk about the mother lode of cliffhangers! Rachel Caine has done it again with the spin-off of the Weather Warden series, and what an amazing de...moreWOW, talk about the mother lode of cliffhangers! Rachel Caine has done it again with the spin-off of the Weather Warden series, and what an amazing debut it is.
Undone follows Cassiel, a Djinn that has been cast out of the Old Djinn by her boss Ashan. We don’t know why or what she’s done to deserve this. She’s left in the hands of Manny Rocha, an Earth Warden who teaches her the ropes and feeds her power to keep her going. Cassiel learns about being a human and finds herself growing close to Manny’s family, including his ex-gang member brother, Luis Rocha and Manny’s child, Isabel.
Before she knows it, Cassiel’s intense need to protect Manny and his family leads her on a mission that poses a sinister threat to all Djinn, and only her Earth powers and Djinn detachment can lead her down the path to victory.
I just loved how different this is to the Weather Warden series. Those books talk about the weather, stopping worldly disasters and the war between the Djinn and the wardens on a much more broader scale. The Outcast Season is where we can finally narrow it all down to one badass Djinn stuck in a human body with a narrow focused mission – to protect and save a child, while adjusting to her new form.
The voice given to Cassiel is also wildly different to the gossipy, warm, and snarky voice of Joanne Baldwin in the weather warden series. As a Djinn, Cassiel’s voice is quite clinical, matter-of-fact, and observational. She offers some interesting sentiments about being a human which is quite funny at times. Cassiel is really a badass character, she’s determined, ruthless, unyielding and focused, making her the perfect assassin of Ashan’s in the past.
I’m thoroughly impressed with the first of the Outcast Season and look forward to reading the rest – especially after that major cliffhanger.
Aria Rose is the daughter of one of the ruling families in Mystic City engaged to Thomas, the son of the rival ruling family. With an upcoming electio...moreAria Rose is the daughter of one of the ruling families in Mystic City engaged to Thomas, the son of the rival ruling family. With an upcoming election, their marriage is the perfect way to unite the humans against mystics, humans with magical powers who are drained of their powers. The only problem with the engagement, is that Aria has overdosed on Sic, a mystic-infused drug causing her to forget her entire relationship with Thomas.
As Aria pieces her memory together, she meets Hunter, a handsome rebel mystic who she’s instantly attracted to. She uncovers a political battle between her family and the mystics, and finds that everything may not be as it seems as her family will do anything to win the election.
I quite enjoyed the lies and the deception within Mystic City, and it was interesting following Aria’s story as she unveiled her memories. You find that her memory loss is very targeted towards her relationship with Thomas, and the real secrets behind her Sic overdose are really easy to spot from a mile away. There were enough elements of the story to keep me going however, such as her star-crossed romance with Hunter and the rebel mystics. The mystics were very Xmen-like, with each having their different powers.
Chasing Magic signifies the end of my monthly buddy read on Dow...moreThis review has been posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Chasing Magic signifies the end of my monthly buddy read on Downside Ghosts, which makes me sort of sad (at least until the next book comes out). While Chess’s world is definitely dark, gritty and an emotional investment, I’ll kind of miss revisiting the world of Downside every month. This series just keeps on getting better and better; while the world building, slang language and Chess’s drug dependency takes a while getting used to, once you’re there you realise how awesome it is.
Sadly, Chasing Magic did not live up to the last two books in the series for me. Usually we’ve been guided with a Church case and/or a murderous case in Downside. While this book started off with a murderous case, there seemed to be a lot of elements coming into play here. The case was not central to the plot, and a lot of other things were happening in Chess’s life and it just took me a while longer to get into it.
The drug addiction takes a turn for the worst. It’s really disturbing seeing Chess rely on it increasingly in her day to day life. She literally relies on the separate drugs to take her through her daily life, to numb her feelings and make her forget her traumatic past. I really hope that the author will move towards a better resolution for her, because I’m kind of getting tired of seeing her make bad decisions over and over again. Fair enough she’s damaged inside and scarred for life, but can this woman please get a happy resolution for once?
And that would be where Terrible comes in. They’ve finally managed to work out their relationship, and I think we’ve all established that he’s some sort of salvation for Chess. She’s finally coming to terms with having someone who actually loves her despite all her issues. Lex really disappointed us here and we see that perhaps all the power is getting to him. His behaviour really disgusts me and I’m really glad that she’s picked Terrible.
I just love how there’s a huge high at the end of the book (no pun intended) where Chess is empowered and you realise that she’s actually really good at her job at banishing spirits. Because she’s got such a low sense of self-worth, she has no fear in the heart of danger and she does everything she can to save people.
Overall, I did enjoy Chasing Magic and again delving into the world of Downside, it just wasn’t as brilliant as the previous books for me. I’m interested in seeing where Stacia Kane will be taking this series, and whether we’ll finally get a resolution for the poor, damaged girl that is Chess.(less)
Carter and Sadie Kane are descendents of the House...moreThis review has also been cross-posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog, check it out for more reviews!
Carter and Sadie Kane are descendents of the House of Life, an Egyptian temple of magic. In The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire, the Kanes learnt to command their unique abilities and revived the sun god Ra, a worthy opponent to the god of chaos, Apophis. In the third and final installment of this electrifying trilogy, Apophis is hell bent on bringing forth the end of days, and the Kanes have a limited amount of time to defeat the god of Chaos himself and save mankind.
Following on from the Percy Jackson phenomenon about Greek gods and their offspring, the Kane Chronicles breathes life into the Egyptian gods and goddesses. From an off-kilter exuberant hippopotamus epitomising Hapi, the god of the Nile and an incredibly feline and agile female depicting Bast, the cat goddess, Riordan’s creativity shines as he interprets the quirks of these ancient beings.
The Serpent’s Shadow picks up where The Throne of Fire left off, as Carter and Sadie discover an ancient spell that may defeat Apophis. With magical abilities and an academy of magical students, these siblings have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Told through interchanging perspectives, we learn about Sadie’s inner turmoil between two boys, and Carter’s insecurities about his role as a leader.
It’s the creativity and immensely imaginative world that Riordan has created that’s the focus here, and you’ll be constantly entertained with The Serpent’s Shadow. Whether we’re stumbling upon the next Egyptian god, hearing from Sadie’s ghostly mother, visiting the underworld or seeing Carter turning into a falcon, The Serpent’s Shadow is full of surprises.
You’d definitely need to read the first two books of the Kane Chronicles before delving into this one, as it’s full steam ahead from the first chapter. If you’ve read the Percy Jackson series and you’re hankering for more, or you simply love Egypt, this series will not disappoint and you’ll be wondering why it’s just a trilogy.
I received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Shooting Stars is probably one of the better fantasy...moreThis review has been posted on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Actual Rating: 3.5
Shooting Stars is probably one of the better fantasy titles out there, but I’m in the minority when I say it failed to wow me. It is a solid fantasy story with a princess on a mission to save her kingdom from a big baddy, but maybe all the hype about H.D. Gordon affected my feelings on it. This is my first offering from H.D. Gordon and from her massively successful Alexa Montgomery featuring a cult following, I knew I had to pick up Shooting Stars when it was offered for review.
Suruh Stormsong is a princess who is bored with being a princess and all the formality that comes with it. When a murder happens in a local inn of a high born lady and an old man, she hears reports that the rumoured missing Black Stone might be at the inn. When investigating the murders, she bumps into Charlie Redmine, a commoner boy from her past. As Suruh and Charlie begin to investigate the murders, and Suruh must also save her father the King from dying of poison, the two reconnect and develop over the course of the book.
The characters were interesting enough, the main character Suruh is a sai wielding princess who has magical powers due to her possessing a White Stone which can be used for white magic. She is accompanied by a tiger companion who protects and speaks to her in her mind. The love interest, Charlie, is a commoner who is quiet, laid back and lives a simple life. I found him to be quite lack lustre, especially when compared to the princess.
I think Charlie could have been braver and more male dominant, but in that relationship Suruh would be the one who wears the pants. Halfway through the book, he is placed in a difficult situation where he has to face off with his brother (who happens to be the evil Black Heart in possession of the Black Stone, allowing him to wield black magic) and with Suruh, and he waits until Suruh gets beaten upon before he really does anything.
The hero of the story is quite unexpected, Suruh’s companion and protector called Samson. He’s the one that has all the attributes of an alpha male, and while he is deeply in love with Suruh (huh?) he’s actually a tiger! I’ve never read of a tiger having thoughts and feelings and being able to communicate and interact on a human level, which is unusual, but you have to give the author credit for going there.
Black Heart, the enemy was kind of a cookie cutter baddy. The relationship between him and his brother Charlie could have caused a depth of emotions, but it didn’t really de liver in that sense. Over time, the relationship does develop between Suruh and Charlie, but it seemed to lack the pizzazz and emotional depth of stories I’ve read as of late.
Overall, I did like the imaginative world that H.D. Gordon has created here, but would like to see perhaps…more in terms of action, character development and emotional depth. There’s no doubt that she is a talented writer, but perhaps the Alexa Montgomery series will be more up my alley because it sounds like that’s where the action is.
I received the book in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much for the opportunity! I look forward to reading your other works.(less)