I was really excited about The Forever SonThis review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Contains spoilers for book 1 & 2.
I was really excited about The Forever Song and reading the conclusion to Kagawa’s epic vampire read but sadly, I found myself disappointed.
Throughout her journey, Allison has struggled to come to terms with the fact that she’s a vampire, who causes harm to humans. At the start of this book, she lets herself go and becomes a demon, wreaking havoc to everyone around her. Then she retreats into an angst ridden pity party. After hearing her whining about being a vampire with morals and sticking to her guns in the first 2 books, I wanted more maturity and character development out of her.
But, if we are talking about choice and regret, what has happened cannot be undone. And dwelling on the past changes nothing. You will only drive yourself to insanity of you do. - Kanin
We do encounter Zeke, but I wish we didn’t because he’s become even more depressing and whiny than Allison is. Remember Allison in the first book? Zeke is worse than that, and with the pair reunited the whole book morphs into emotional drama central. The first half of the book moves at an agonising pace with all of this happening, and here I was tapping my fingers going “come on people, we have an evil vampire to apprehend”.
Thankfully, Jackal steals the show again with his witty comments and snarky humour. He’s one of the most entertaining, charismatic characters I’ve come across and his evil tendencies mixed with his dry humour is hilarious.
So, go ahead, tell him that everything is going to be fine. All the meatsacks are perfectly content on their happy little island, Sarren has given up world destruction to raise kittens, and the magic wish fairy will wave her hand and turn shit into gold. - Jackal
There is plenty of action thankfully, filled with beheading, blood and katana wielding. The rabids are becoming more powerful than ever before which gives our vampire party a chance to show us their stuff and they let loose and limbs fall all over the place.
The biggest disappointment for me however? The Forever Song is filled with conveniences. Conveniences in terms of the romance, face-off with Sarren, and the disease and cure. After the slow first half, the end picks up really quickly but it all felt really rushed, with big reveals and everything happening at once. One incident to do with Allison in particular, we had no prior knowledge or build up of it whatsoever, and I felt like it was put in just to make the whole book wrap up neatly with a bow.
(view spoiler)[I also felt that Kanin sacrificing himself was fruitless, I mean if they extracted Allison’s blood and saved the world that way, couldn’t they have done that with him to begin with? He did purify the rabids with the disease but the ship didn’t even end up reaching land, so it was all for nothing. And isn’t Allison being a master so freaking convenient, she’s only been a vampire for a year, how does that even happen? (hide spoiler)]
I’m all for happy endings, but The Forever Song’s one felt too rushed and convenient for me. Nonetheless, with a kickass katana wielding vampire, a lovely romance, and of course, awesome secondary characters like Jackal and Kanin, I enjoyed the trilogy as a whole.
Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry weren’t the Rose and Lissa you expected, the graphiThis review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
If Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry weren’t the Rose and Lissa you expected, the graphic novel is the next best thing – provided you’ve read the novels already.
The VA graphic novel illustrations are spot on with accurate depictions of the characters as per the novel’s description. Rose is curvy, sexy and fiesty, and Lissa is regal, beautiful and demure. Illustrations are delivered in a bright, colourful format with a serious art style that isn’t too cartoony.
If you haven’t read the series yet, you’d find the graphic novels to be difficult to follow without reading Rose’s perspective on the happenings of St Vladimir Academy. The selection of dialogue was more focused on moving the plot along instead of offering the characters’ thoughts, so it may seem to jump around quite a bit. Much has been truncated in this graphic novel, which seems to be delivered more as a fan service than attracting new readers to the series.
It’s been a few years since I read this series but I remember Shadow Kiss to be the most dramatic of the lot, and the graphic novel bought back the key moments perfectly. Much of what the characters are experiencing is delivered well through their facial expressions, actions and background images, and surprisingly even that hot bedroom scene with our favourite couple is dedicated to a full colour page.
I did have trouble remember who some of the side characters were though, especially when they popped up without an introduction and were only given brief dialogues. It’s clear the writer of the novel expects the reader to have followed the graphic novels from the start.
The VA graphic novels are the perfect way to experience an illustrated version of the series with accurate depictions of the characters and their actions. The art style and dialogue captures the mood of VA perfectly, a witty vampire story set in an Academy with a fiesty dhampir at its core. Although slightly difficult to follow, it’s worth seeing the scenes and characters come to life in this beautiful format.
Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Since The Fiery Heart ended on a massive cliffhanger, the wait is over to findThis review appears on Happy Indulgence, check it out for more reviews!
Since The Fiery Heart ended on a massive cliffhanger, the wait is over to find out the fate of Sydney at an Alchemist re-education facility. This sets the basis for Silver Shadows, as Sydney is subjected to both mental and physical torture throughout the entire book. It’s up to Adrian to save her, a seemingly impossible task with his return to alcoholism.
While I enjoyed the book for the most part, there are a number of things that irritated me throughout the book.
It mostly felt like a filler (thanks Nara for pointing that out), and I felt like it was predictable throughout. Aside from demonstrating Sydney’s mental strength, and how she never broke even once under torture, and used her intelligence to influence the other prisoners, I’m not sure what the point of the book was. We do meet a few side characters which she interacted with in the re-education facility, some of which is connected to her family, but they didn’t get too much development throughout. I’m so proud of Sydney and how she never crumbles, how her intelligence and her wit pulls her through. She’s been criticised as being weak in comparison to Rose but after reading this book, there is no way I’d think that again.
Adrian is back to his usual antics as he visits the Moroi Court and starts drinking and partying again. I wanted to yell at him to find Sydney and to stop wallowing in his own self pity. It had only been 3 months and he gave up searching for her so quickly, and a stronger person would have never given up. He does end up pulling through in the end, but it occurred to me just how dependent he is on Sydney to carry him through life, with the dark pull of spirit and alcohol. I’m not sure how healthy this relationship is, but at least they are complimentary to each other. There is also another girl who pops up and it is the worst thing ever, especially when Sydney is counting on Adrian to save her.
Told in the dual point of views from The Fiery Heart, the side characters will disappear in the background as we alternate between Sydney’s torture and experience and Adrian’s antics and search for her. We will get to meet some of our favourite VA characters, but honestly Lissa just annoyed me in the book as she refuses to help Adrian.
While not as good as The Fiery Heart, Silver Shadows demonstrated Sydney’s mental strength and perseverance as she withstands mental and physical torture in the Alchemist’s re-education facility. While most of the book felt like it was just going through the motions, waiting for Sydney to be broken out and saved, it didn’t start getting exciting until the last quarter of the book with some massive developments. Nothing will ever be the same, and I’m excited to see what the final Bloodlines book has in stall for the Moroi, Alchemists, and our favourite couple Sydney and Adrian.
I received a review copy from Penguin Australia in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Sometimes vampires take themselves too seriously. They are scThis review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Actual rating: 3.5
Sometimes vampires take themselves too seriously. They are scary blood suckers with healing abilities and fighting skills, but it wouldn’t hurt to crack a joke now and then.
That’s why I really enjoy the lead character of I Am Forever and What Kills Me, the hilarious, spunky, sarcastic, vampire Zee. Being labelled as the destroyer of vampires while being held captive in the Monarchy of vampires is anything but funny, but she makes me laugh throughout the book with her pop culture references and wise cracks at the most inappropriate times:
While being prodded by a vampire Dr: “I should tell you then that when I’m angry, I turn green.”
While being dressed by Pavone the designer: “I need to have a talk with Pavone. I look like a ballet-dancing Smurf….or a puff of blueberry cotton candy.”
Isn’t she just a darling?
The story continues after the first book where Zee is captured by the Monarchy. After finding out that every single vampire will suffer the same wounds she does, they decide to crown her as the sacred Divine instead of locking her away in a cage. This is where the majority of I Am Forever stays as Zee is worshipped and gets accustomed to the treatment of royalty. The worshipping goes on for 60% of the book and was over the top and too much at times. I mean, endless servants at her beck and call, being primped and dressed up in beautiful dresses, people bowing to her and being treated like sacred material, who wouldn’t be jealous?
“A beautiful name for the beautiful Divine.”
“You’re beautiful and you’re powerful. You will never age or die. You will exist now, as perfect as you are, for all eternity.”
“The kind cleric set me up….but the compliments should go to the Divine. You are a vision.”
After the 50th time hearing Zee being referred to as “The Divine” and being lavished with compliments, it took me a while to work up to the rest of the book. This was coupled by a romance with her companion Lucas that I couldn’t care for. With strange attacks happening whenever Zee is in public, and her manifestation of a stranger power yielding accurate visions, you would think there would be more important things to worry about than whether Lucas loves her or not.
I’m glad I persevered, because the latter half of the book is filled with lots of heart pumping bloody action, saving her loved ones, betrayals and kicking ass. Zee ripping off people’s heads and being the strong, kick ass vampire is so much better than spoilt Zee obsessing about her romance. The twists were predictable however, as I was suspicious of the Monarchy at the very start of the book – after all why would she trust them after the people they’ve killed and used?
Filled with great humour, I Am Forever is a fun-filled, hilarious, action-packed follow up to the first book. While it does suffer from some stereotypical sappy scenes and a bit too much worshipping, I enjoyed this indie vampire read and would recommend it to everyone who wants some fresh, vampire humour.
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review....more
This review originally appeared on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Up From the Grave filled me with emotions; the comfort and enjoymenThis review originally appeared on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Up From the Grave filled me with emotions; the comfort and enjoyment of picking up a well-written familiar series, the anticipation and excitement of seeing where it was all going to go, the anxiety and nervousness of things being in an array at the start of the novel and the despair that this would be the last installment featuring Cat and Bones.
All of these feelings are those you’ll feel at the end of a long, wonderful, well loved series as the characters finally get their happily ever after. The last installment of the Night Huntress series was as exciting, fast paced, sexy and emotional as the rest, as Cat laments on what she’s achieved in her time as a vampire and says goodbye to old friends.
Cat’s experience throughout the novel is as varied as mine, as she discovers the truth of her uncle’s betrayal which has resulted in her worst nightmares for genetic testing. Since the events of the last book, Cat’s friends Tate, Juan and Don have gone missing which she must recover from her nemesis Madigan. Cat enlists the help of the ghoul queen Marie and her shapeshifter friend Denise throughout her adventure and experiences extreme joy, shock, numbness, pain and elation at both friendship, family and love.
The side characters are fantastic as always, with the hilarious Ian finally admitting his bro code with Bones and we finally see Vlad get his happily ever after.
I have shipped Cat and Bones’ relationship throughout the series, they are both strong, independent vampires with a sexy, passionate and fierce attachment to each other. These two have been through so much together, and I really enjoyed their development through out. While they have had their share of arguments and tough times, they’ve realised that they are sole mates and there’s nothing they won’t do for each other, in life or death.
The wonderful and imaginative urban fantasy world of half-breeds with powers, master vampires, ghoul queens, FBI forces and other supes was a fantastic one. I’m glad the Night Huntress Universe is an extensive one and I’ll be catching up with the other spin-offs and finding another couple to ship all over again.
Thank you Jeaniene Frost for delivering a brilliant, action-packed and mindblowing series all the way through and giving Cat and Bones the happy ending they deserved. Night Huntress is one of my favourite vampire series of all time and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone who loves strong, well-developed characters, an indepth world filled with romance and vampires....more
Whenever I pick up a new vampire novel, I think ‘what makes this stand outThis review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Whenever I pick up a new vampire novel, I think ‘what makes this stand out next to other vampire novels?’ Bound By Night added a completely new dimension to vampires as we know them – with vampire childbirth and conception as a new concept. The mythology behind the clan culture of the vampires and vampires being used by humans as slaved was also a new one, which immediately fleshed out a new and different world in Bound by Night.
Our heroine Nicole, is the CEO of Daedelus Corporation and a renowned scientist after studying vampires and how they are bred. She’s an empathetic, fierce, and brave strong female character which I really adored. She’s haunted by her dark past where 20 years ago, she was attacked by a vampire who killed her maid Terese, the closest thing she had to a mother. When she’s captured by the sexy, brooding vampire called Riker, all her values are thrown out the window as she grows over the course of the novel by realising they are only people.
The romance between herself and Riker is strangely perverse, given that the two have such a vicious hate for each of their races. When they learn that the incident 20 years ago ties them closer together than ever, they bond strongly and their romance is developed over the course of the novel. The sex scenes are fierce, passionate and done well, with quite a lot of angst as they realise the depth of the feelings for their most hated enemy.
Characterisation was a strong point with many strong males in this novel including Myne, the brutal, strong, loyal best friend of Riker’s and Hunter, the leader of the MoonBound clan and with super powerful vampire abilities.
It took me a while to get used to the world building in this novel. When humans became aware of vampires, they started enslaving them and using them for their own devices and even using them as scientific fodder. Usually humans are the ones being used as food or slaves and it’s reversed in this novel, which doesn’t entirely make a lot of sense. The MoonBound clan and the ShadowBound clan trading with each other was also an interesting concept. Larissa Ione fleshes out the world without brushing over the detail, as we delve into child conception, pregnancy serums, vampires as parents and the whole concept of it.
Bound by Night is thrilling, dark, sexy, disturbing and vicious and lovers of paranormal romance and Larissa Ione will love this novel. It features strong, dominant sexy males and a great courageous main character with a heavy dose of mythology and action. As my first Larissa Ione novel, I’m keen for more in this series to find out what happens to these vampires.
I received an ARC copy of Bound by Night from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Bound by Night will be released on September 24, 2013....more
Check out the review and interview on Happy Indulgence, along with your chance to win the entire trilogy on paperback & eBook!
Actual Rating: 3.5
PCheck out the review and interview on Happy Indulgence, along with your chance to win the entire trilogy on paperback & eBook!
Actual Rating: 3.5
Pretty When She Dies is a throwback to vampires when they were actually scary. You know, the ones that actually drink blood, rip apart their enemies, aren’t afraid of gore and don’t try to relive high school again.
I found the book to be absolutely terrifying.
It starts off with a bang as Amaliya wakes up buried underground and is absolutely terrified as she’s blinded by darkness with dirt filling her lungs and claustrophobia. As she digs herself out of the shallow grave, she is frantic and plagued with extreme hunger. After cleaning herself up and realising that she’s no longer human, she stumbles upon a college orgy and slaughters all the humans there with her bloodlust.
The book follows on with a sick and twisted game of her creator, called The Summoner who stalks and terrorises her. After acting on her newly found vampire instincts, she’s cast out by her family, forced to go down on a disgusting driver and finally meets her vampire mentor and lover called Cian. Cian takes Amaliya under his wing and they both plot to stop The Summoner’s twisted games.
If you haven’t noticed already, Pretty When She Dies doesn’t shy away from explicit scenes of gore, sex, and horror. I think the shock value of it really got to me at times. There’s rape, murder, cheating, gore, demons knitted with human body parts with working sexual appendages, and lots of gorey, raunchy scenes.
While the first half of the book covered her journey into the undead and learning how to cope, the second half sort of simmered as we met Cian and a bunch of secondary characters including his fiancee which I found super annoying. She’s a jealous, bouncy, meddling woman who seeks out a vampire hunter to deal with her newfound threat. The whole time I just wondered how this was going to pan out and whether she was just asking for trouble.
The coolest thing about Pretty When She Dies is that it features vampire necromancers who can raise the dead. I’ve never stumbled upon anything like this and it is delivered in a chilling way.
If you enjoyed the Blade movies, you’ll probably like this book. Pretty When She Dies is great for a dark, gritty and scary vampire read that will put some disturbing images in your head. Most books nowadays romanticise vampires and unfortunately, it seems like I actually prefer them....more
Our favourite katana wielding vampire, Allison Sekemoto is back in the follow up to the Immortal Rules. Since the events of the lastActual rating: 4.5
Our favourite katana wielding vampire, Allison Sekemoto is back in the follow up to the Immortal Rules. Since the events of the last book, Allison has had disturbing visions of her sire in pain, being tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. She follows the blood call but instead of finding Kanin, she encounters her ex raider vampire brother, Jackal. Withstanding threats of her wellbeing and realising their common goal, the two reluctantly set out to find Kanin and discover that Allison's home town has been plagued by the Red Lung virus.
Without giving too much away, the plot advances quickly from a simple goal, to encountering some interesting allies and foes, to looking for a cure for the Red Lung virus and finding Kanin. There are many twists, turns, and surprises, and you're in for a treat as you read this for the first time.
The Eternity Cure features complex character development and we see Allison's relationship fleshed out between her brother, her sire, and other people in her life. Vampires can choose their own destiny in the world that Kagawa has created, ranging from the evil (Sarren) to the threatening (Jackal) to the ones trying to hang onto their humanity (Allison). It's the dialogue and the character building that makes this vampire/dystopian title a standout from other series, as it doesn't resort to stereotypical characters.
I really enjoyed Jackal as Allison's brother and ex raider, he constantly threatens Allison and everyone else around him yet his actions show that he is willing to help and actually cares. He's cunning and unpredictable, which makes him a great character to read about.
From Kanin's morality and drive to rid the world of the virus to Sarren's evil twisted ways, there really is more to vampirism that what meets the eye. Allison is a shining example of this, she clings on to her humanity for the sake of being good, and feeds on humans who have done wrong in an attempt to be noble. Because of Kanin's teachings, she's turned out to be an honourable vampire as she protected the humans, taking them to Eden in the last book and now looking for the virus and versing Sarren. She's a vampire heroine with a sense of morality in a dystopian world.
With a cliffhanger ending and a burst of emotions, I can't wait until the next book in this vampire/dystopian series. The romance is nicely paced, the action is gory and horrific, and the vampire sense of morality heart-wrenching.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin Enterprises Australia for this ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. The Eternity Cure will be released in Australia on May 1, 2013.
When I first heard about Call of the Vampire, I wonderedThis review has been cross-posted on my Happy Indulgence blog. Check it out for more reviews!
When I first heard about Call of the Vampire, I wondered whether I was in the mood for yet another vampire story. Yet it’s novella length urged me to give a go, and I’m glad I did.
The story starts off with Aurora Keys a mature teenager and blonde bombshell Blossom devising a plan to sneak into Vanderlind Castle, a mysterious castle that has been shielded from the town of Tiburon. Upon entering the castle and encountering strange predatory men, they soon learn that the party goers and residents are not what they seem and are surprise surprise, vampires. Jessie, one of the boys she meets, seems to recognise Aurora and mistakes her for a long lost love. This inspires his protective instinct over the girls and Aurora feels a strange connection with the boy, as her strange, vivid dreams about running from an assailant become more powerful.
I really enjoyed Aurora as a character, as she’s smart, savvy, mature and knows how to stand on her own when there are predators about. Instead of walking into a scary situation without knowing what to do, Aurora keeps her head and follows a logical plan when she gets into trouble. She knows how to defend herself both verbally and physically and I think we can all learn from how she handles each situation.
Of course Aurora’s maturity has to be balanced by the teenager who always gets themselves into trouble, her best friend Blossom. Blossom just wants to drink, have fun, and meet boys, but when a predator comes down and swoops upon her, she doesn’t realise she’s being victimised. I think these two teens make great companions to each other, as Aurora can protect Blossom in case anything goes wrong and Blossom encourages her to let loose.
Jessie is the vampire that Aurora meets and while there were elements of insta-love, it was balanced out with their relationship developing over time. He’s preoccupied with Aurora being his long lost love Collette, and the mystery of what happened to Collette and who she is prevails in the novel.
The element of mystery, romance, and action was well done in this novel, and I really enjoyed Gayla Twist’s writing. Despite the overdone theme, she works with what we know about vampires and creates an air of mystery that keeps us reading and wondering how Jessie and Aurora’s relationship will develop. While it isn’t the most original novel, it’s a quick, addictive read. I’ve docked one star for the abrupt ending, but we’ll find out more in the sequel, Heart of the Vampire.
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for the opportunity to review!...more
Vlad Tepes, the Prince of Darkness, also known as Dracula himself, is oneThis review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!
Vlad Tepes, the Prince of Darkness, also known as Dracula himself, is one of the sexiest vampires there is. Besides his passion, bedroom talk and alpha male possessiveness, Vlad is a scary and powerful vampire Lord who lives in a castle and controls a huge following of vampires.
Jeaniene Frost does not disappoint us with Twice Tempted, the 2nd novel in the Night Prince series. In Once Burned, we saw him meet his match in Leila, an ex-circus acrobat with a dark past and psychic powers. Twice Tempted irons out their attachment to each other and delves deeper into Leila's character, proving that she's the perfect match for Vlad.
Leila really shines in this installment as she learns how to harness her electrical whip and slaughters vampires at a swing of her hand. We see her kicking vampire butt and using her ability to read psychic imprints to find her aggressors. Like Cat in the Night Huntress series, she's not the type of woman who will just sit back and take orders and definitely not a damsel in distress. Like Vlad, Leila has an unnerving thirst for revenge and a certain ruthlessness usually reserved for the undead alone. What sets her apart, is that she's a mere human which leads to vulnerabilities, yet she doesn't let that deter her from her goal.
She has so much gall, that when Vlad refuses to admit his love for her, she goes off with his right hand man, Maximus of all people and puts herself in all sorts of danger. With his vampiric abilities and widespread network, there's no hiding from the Prince of Darkness and his sheer confidence and arrogance in knowing that she'll come back is enjoyable to read. I love how this series delves deeper into the Vlad that was merely touched upon in the Night Huntress series. It goes into graphic and disturbing scenes from his past and torture chamber scenes really personifies him as Vlad the Impaler.
As Leila's electric current running through her body is tempered by Vlad's command of fire, you know the two are perfect for each other. She's the only one who has the nerve to stand up to the vampire lord, and she's the only one who can get away with it.
Twice Tempted was a quick read, packed full of action, torture, magic powers, cameos, sizzling sex scenes and vampire action. I enjoyed following Leila and Vlad in this sequel and can't wait for more.
Check out my review of Once Burned (Night Prince #1) here....more
In case you’re wondering, A Shade of Vampire is not just another average vampire book. It’s a quick, captivating read about a 17 year old teenager calIn case you’re wondering, A Shade of Vampire is not just another average vampire book. It’s a quick, captivating read about a 17 year old teenager called Sofia Claremont, who gets captured to an island called The Shade. The island is controlled by vampires who capture humans as slaves and food to do their bidding, and there’s no escape. Sofia is one of several teenage girls who have been caught to serve Derek, a revered and powerful vampire who has just awoken. Despite the terrifying circumstances, both vampire and human develop feelings for each other.
This is a relatively short read, told from the perspectives of Derek and Sofia and it quickly covers the event of her capture and how they develop feelings for each other. There’s also the threat of Lucas, Derek’s brother who wants a piece of Sofia which makes things terrifying.
Sofia is a fascinating character, highly attuned to her surroundings. She has some reservations about her feelings for a vampire, and rightly so. In contrast, Derek falls quickly for Sofia based on her beauty and care for others, and I sort of felt that his insta-love was a bit creepy in a way. Luckily these feelings subsided when Sofia began to return his feelings.
In just 147 words, Bella Forrest fleshes out the circumstances between different characters and we’re left hankering for more. I wanted to know what Derek had done in his life to deserve so much respect and power from everyone, and why he seems to have a shred of humanity intact. I wanted to know more about the conflict between him and Lucas, who posed a threat to Sofia. I also wanted to hear more about Sofia’s ‘best friend’ that she has feelings for, Ben, and whether he felt the same way.
Luckily there’s a sequel coming out which will hopefully delve a bit more into my questions. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, I look forward to reading more of your work.
After being consistently disappointed with one of my favouritThis review has been posted on Happy Indulgence Book Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
After being consistently disappointed with one of my favourite author’s recent offerings, Indigo Spell is the book that restored my faith in Richelle Mead. I found the first two books of the Bloodlines series to be held back by the main character, an alchemist called Sydney who I have described as being too cold, scientific and prudish to be interesting. However, this is the book that changed it all for me as Sydney undergoes some pretty major character developments after she got over her major hang ups in the previous book.
There’s a lot happening in Indigo Spell, from Sydney being a target of a deadly witch, to struggling against Adrian’s affections, and finding out a conspiracy that the alchemists may be involved in that will put the very Moroi she’s assigned to protect in danger. After growing attached to Jill, Adrian, Angeline and Eddy, her vampire friends, Sydney is slowly overcoming the barriers to her rigid alchemist prejudice that she has been brought up with.
Although Sydney is confused about who she really is, this is the book where her strengths shine as she learns how to wield her ‘womanly charms’, wields some pretty powerful magic, while using her deduction and scientific skills to uncover some secrets behind the Alchemists.
Adrian is back to his old self as he resigns himself to ‘loving Sydney from afar’, and little does he know that it wouldn’t be for long. We get to see how right Adrian and Sydney are for each other as she’s pulled him out of his binge-drinking, mopey mess and uses his renewed confidence to chase after her. Even Sydney can’t resist his charm and the two finally get together in some sizzling scenes (M rated mind you).
The turning point of the book for me was when we learnt that there may be a lot more to the golden lily tattoo that meets your eye. In previous books, I blamed Sydney’s prudish, clinical personality on her strict upbringing and her identity as an Alchemist. The tattoo may have more of an impact than we thought, by constricting her thoughts and putting teachings into her mind about why she shouldn’t trust a vampire.
Should I daresay that Sydney’s clinical detachment is actually fun in this book?
Acceptance is about a group of humans (the Yaechahre) whoThis review has also been posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Acceptance is about a group of humans (the Yaechahre) who willingly pledge to given their blood to the vampires (or Canichmeh). Kalyn Reid is one such human who has just turned 16 and has accepted to become a Yaechahre. The vampire she's assigned to is Anselm, a handsome, polite, respectful man who she's had her eye on for years. As she finds out about the beliefs and the rigid constraints of being a Yaechahre, she soon needs the vampires' protection as they are pursued by an evil group of vampires, called the Imuechmeh.
Kalyn soon experiences grief and loses everything she's ever known as she becomes a Yaechahre, as the vampires are soon attacked by an evil Imuechmeh called Erik von Gault. As they are on the run, Kalyn is the prized human being protected by two handsome vampires, Anselm and his age old friend, Micah.
What sets Acceptance apart from other vampire novels is the richly detailed world of the two vampires and the humans they feed from. The Canichmeh are governed by a Council in Jerusalem, honouring its rigid and religious roots of vampirism. The deep historical background that the author has set up is impressive, explaining how the vampires have evolved from the birth of Cain, and the physiological differences between the two vampire species.
The budding romance between Kalyn and Anselm is subtle, yet sweet, despite him being an 800 year old vampire and her youth. They are both quite prudish in their ways, never crossing any romantic boundaries in case the other may feel uncomfortable. While the novel is more 'New Adult' than YA, I found that Kalyn did not act like a 16 year old girl at all. She's strong, willing, yet not very confident in her thoughts and her prudish ways sort of made her resemble someone in their 30's or so rather than a teenager. When she was placed next to her friend Meg, the contrast was astounding as Meg acted more her age.
While the plot isn't very strong, there was always something happening to keep things moving along whether it was Kalyn getting bitten, or the vampires taking Ciaran, a stray Imuechmeh into their trust or the group meeting the Council. I was quite absorbed into the story and Keri's writing is fantastic.
I'd recommend Acceptance to anyone looking for a bit more substance than the typical vampire story. It sort of reminded me of what Discovery of Witches tried to be, but I didn't like that one as much as this.
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. ...more
I really enjoyed What Kills Me, it's just so refreshing anThis review has also been posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
I really enjoyed What Kills Me, it's just so refreshing and fun to read! With the vampire genre being overdone so many times, the author still managed to breathe some life into the book to make it unique.
Axelia is just a normal girl living abroad when she bumps into a handsome man named Paolo. Looking for a bit of adventure, she decides to meet him for a late night date and unexpectedly gets turned into a vampire. But not just any vampire, it turns out she's the destined one in a prophecy that will mean the death of the vampire race.
What I really liked about this book, was the hilarious, spunky and charming heroine. She's a girl I'd like to be good friends with just from the funny things she says, especially in the midst of a serious situation. She's obviously thrust into a situation that is crazy and she just makes the best of it, while discovering her super strength in the mean time.
Lucas on the other hand, is not your typical prince charming. He pushes and prods the heroine with incessant teasing and snobbery, until she picks up that he might have feelings for her. I didn't much enjoy the typical romance that occurs afterwards but I suppose a bit of love creates meaning for them.
The book wraps the vampire mythology nicely with Vee's discovery of it. Unlike a lot of other urban fantasy books, there isn't a lot of info dumping to jar the story. It's quite fast-paced and hard to put down. I hope there's going to be a sequel!
This is a fun, enjoyable and action-packed read that I would recommend to others. I received a review copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review, thanks for this opportunity!
Edit: After thinking about this for a while, I've bumped the rating from 4 stars to 5. It's definitely better than a lot of 4 stars out there. ...more
April Tate is a survivor amongst the post-apocalyptic worlThis review has also been posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
April Tate is a survivor amongst the post-apocalyptic world with a single goal that keeps her breathing – to find her brother and mother. A viral epidemic has sweeped the nations and turned the population into feral, mindless vampires who are solely out for feeding on humans. The feral vampires are very zombie-like in their demeanour, in fact throughout the first half of the novel I had a hard time differentiating them from actual zombies, except for the fact that they are repelled by sunlight.
Reign of Blood is pretty much I Am Legend in the first half of the book. April is a kick-ass, badass lone survivor who decapitates vampires with her machete. I absolutely loved the action and the tense, heart-pounding action here. Like the movie, the author creates a sense of building tension and horror that the zombies/vampires could jump out at you at any time, and that totally resonates with me.
The plot thickens as April discovers a new breed of vampire hybrids who are very human-like in their behaviour and are not affected by bloodlust, like the ferals. She discovers that everything she knew is not as it seems.
While I did love the premise of Reign of Blood, it was the insta-love later that made me grumble. It’s a pet peeve of mine, where there’s absolutely no build up or relationship building whatsoever. Luckily, it wasn’t enough of a focus to detract from the story.
Reign of Blood is not the most original story out there and it doesn’t try and be too complicated. It’s pretty much a survival horror with a twist on the zombie/vampire genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend that you read it if you love the sound of it!
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for this opportunity, I look forward to reading your other work Alexia!...more
This review has been cross-posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Wow, finishing that book was a chore. Time travel, a seeThis review has been cross-posted on my Happy Indulgence Blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Wow, finishing that book was a chore. Time travel, a seer who possesses bodies in different times, vampires with dark curls, vamp politics, mages, ghosts, mafia - what just happened?!
Most of the book is seriously just Cassandra surrounded by vamps in a room talking about politics and stuff. There is nothing more frustrating than finally getting around to some action (bedroom and fight scenes) to realise that the author is just going to cut a huge info dumping session or major chatter in the middle of it.
So much was crammed into this book that I couldn't even tell you now what most of it was about. I feel like I should get a medal for finishing this.
To summarise, if you love long scenes that never seem to go anywhere, terribly complex subplots layered upon subplots and a bunch of irrelevant information, you'll probably love Touch the Dark. I feel the need to give this series a shot, so we'll see how the sequel goes, I guess, even if it isn't terribly high up the list. ...more
This review also appears on my Happy Indulgence blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Allison Sekemoto is a girl surviving on the Fringe, the borders ofThis review also appears on my Happy Indulgence blog. Check it out for more reviews!
Allison Sekemoto is a girl surviving on the Fringe, the borders of a vampire city left to fend for herself and her group. As an 'unregistered' human, her source of food is from raiding houses which have been abandoned after the vampires overtook the city 20 years ago. The Fringe is a desolute place ruled by vampires and rabids, who pose a threat to anyone within their vicinity at any time. As a result, Allie is tough, driven, independent and badass. She knows how to take care of herself and frequently takes others under her wing. (minor spoilers ahead)
Pretty soon, the inevitable happens and her group eventually gets captured by a rabid. An ancient vampire, Kanin, offers her the only way out of death - to turn her into a vampire. Throughout the novel, she struggles against her thirst for blood and quest for humanity.
The start of Immortal Rules was really slow. It covers Allison's life before, during, and after turning into a vampire. This does add a lot of background to her character and the desperate life of survival in the Fringe, however I think it could have been condensed a bit seeing as the main part of the story starts after she becomes a vampire and meets a group of humans. Things really start to speed up when she meets Ezekiel (Zeke), a handsome leader of a group of survivor humans, as Allie needs to cover her true nature as a vampire.
I really adored the group of survivors, especially Zeke. The world in Blood of Eden is really dystopian and desolute, with the people living day by day. The survivors are on a quest to find Eden, and for the first time in Allie's life, she's finally found hope for these people. Even though it's too late for her (as she's become the undead), she would stop at nothing to help these survivors reach Eden.
Zeke is a shining white beacon in the darkness. The Fringe, vampire city, and survival is just depressing. His fierce, loyal, and caring attitude is an inspiration to those around him, including Allison. She secretly thinks he's too good for the world that he lives in, and it's easy to see why.
Allie is such a refreshing strong female lead in contrast to all those weak female protagonists that always need saving. Her strength, ability to protect others around her, vampire skills and her skill with the samurai sword is just amazing. Even though she's now a vampire, her constant struggle to protect the humans around her yet needing to feed on them shows her strength and perseverance.
If you're looking for a vampire/dystopian novel out there with a strong female lead, Immortal Rules is definitely up your alley. Despite a slow beginning, I think it's a journey worth taking. It's unique enough as yet another vampire story. Just watch out for the massive cliffhanger at the end!...more
Reading a new Richelle Mead book is like a comforting return to my roots. The Vampire Academy series and Georgina Kincaid series were what got me intoReading a new Richelle Mead book is like a comforting return to my roots. The Vampire Academy series and Georgina Kincaid series were what got me into reading YA and Paranormal/Urban Fantasy books.
Unfortunately, I didn't much enjoy Bloodlines, mainly because it seemed like an unnecessary spin-off of Vampire Academy. The central character, in VA is much more interesting as a dhampir, guardian of Moroi royalty and there's much more action in those books. Bloodlines however, follows Sydney, an alchemist whose job is to hide vampires from being uncovered by humans. Doing so requires rigid beliefs, such as prejudice against the vampires.
Because she's an alchemist, a lot of her prejudice and religious beliefs affect her daily interaction with the Moroi vampires. She's incredibly intelligent, but also quite prude. Her behaviour annoys me greatly at the start of the book, but it seems to wear off in the last quarter of the book. I think your enjoyment of Bloodlines will mainly cover whether you like Sydney or not. She's definitely a lot less exciting and strong than Rose.
Although The Golden Lily is probably not the greatest production that Mead has ever wrote, it's still written extremely well with great character development. The high school setting is incredibly believable, making you think these are just normal teenagers trying to lead their life, only with supernatural effects. Will be reading the next book.