Frustratingly, I had to stop in my reading and was only able to pick this up again yesterday. And then I sat down with it and didn't get up again unti...moreFrustratingly, I had to stop in my reading and was only able to pick this up again yesterday. And then I sat down with it and didn't get up again until I finished it.
It's been a long time since I've read a YA book and I don't think I could've picked a better book to break that long spell with.
So, if you've read my reviews before you've probably heard me go on and on about world building and atmosphere. Those are two of my favourite things in a good book, because I need to feel fully immersed in it. The world building was fantastic and very important to how every thing ties in at the end (which I loved!).
I loved the grittiness of Kai's world, of the things that the citizens of Ninurta have become desensitized to, the awfulness of having a loved one just disappear and know that you'll probably never see them again and there's nothing you can do about it. A lot of heart breaking and difficult backgrounds to the heroes we're cheering on in Gates.
Kai is one of the most determined MC's I've seen. Strong and flawed, aware of her weaknesses but willing to push through them all to get to her loved ones. The bond between her and her brother is a lovely thing and their relationship is one of my favourite things in this book. You can believe that she would do anything, risk anything, for a bond as deep as theirs.
Avan. Avan. Be still my heart ♥ I adored him and I couldn't have hoped for a better counterpart for her. The two of them whenever together, just, I just wanted them to get there so badly!
I want to talk about the other characters too, like Mason! And the Black Rider who was not at all what I expected! Just such a good cast of characters!
This book is a great start to the series and I cannot wait to meet Kai and co. again soon :)
END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by J.P. Barnaby What I thought: I di...more3.5 stars (because I liked it it quite a bit!)
The stories that I enjoyed the most :)
END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by J.P. Barnaby What I thought: I did enjoy this, although the changes in POV kind of bothered me. But enjoyed the way author handled the prompt. The sex was bittersweet goodness.
MASOCHISM 101 by Kim Dare What I thought: Hot. I liked the angle on the story, the stage of their relationship when we entered it.
BRIDGES by M.J. O'Shea What I thought: From enemies to friends, sweet young romance. It was a lovely read, enjoyed it very much.
My overall opinion was that it was worth the read and didn't let me down and I'll re-read some of these fondly (including other stories not named in this review).
I finally managed to carve out the time I needed to just sit down, finish this book and not have to worry about missing my bus stop!
Oh! But I liked this *_*
The world. The world was just so brilliantly done, the portrayal of the dual nature of the Fae so perfect, oh my goodness, I was completely taken in by it all!
I think I may have mentioned it before, but sometimes I have trouble connecting to female protagonists, with Meghan this wasn't the case. Things just got tougher and tougher for her and she pushed through and she was not super woman, she wasn't saved from ridicule or loved by all and that's what I liked about her and I'm so looking forward to seeing how she adapts to the changes that will be taking place as a result of what she does and does not achieve in this book.
On supporting characters and love interests. My favourite character was absolutely the cait sith, Grimalkin. Yes. There are no words to express how much I love this character and that he can answer the majority of questions about his abilities, merely by answering that he is a cat. Yes Grimalkin, yes you are. You are an EPIC cat lol.
Ash and Puck. I love them both. I really did, I have to say, I have a soft spot for Puck, but more because of his banter and his trickster nature than anything else, also yes, his loyalty to Meghan. I don't however; feel disappointed that he doesn't look to stand much of a chance in gaining Meghan's feelings outside of friendship. I don't actually feel much of a love triangle going on here and I'm okay with this, it's merely unrequited love.
Ash. Oh Ash *maidenly sigh*. I like you. A lot. And I'm betting he'll be having a major tough time ahead too. In regards to his and Puck's relationship, I did feel that the reason for their fallout was a little predictable. It didn't ruin anything for me or take anything away from the characters so it didn't become an issue for me.
I have to say though, that what won my love for this story was just how well Kagawa showed us the world of the Nevernever, it's layers and how it worked and how even this place, was subject to laws that could render it helpless. The creatures and just its fantastical existence was so charming, even at its worst, and I couldn't look away from it and stayed eager to learn more.
The plot was a simple one, dealing with the quest trope and for me, it worked quite well. I didn't feel unsatisfied with it and I was behind Meghan all the way, egging her on to reach her goals and come out on top!
The romance was there and it was given more attention than I've gotten used to, mainly because I just haven't been reading books where the romance is central. It wasn't central here, but it was more present and addressed. Can't say I'm complaining, I liked it and I have to say when that kiss finally happened I was doing mental fist pumps.
So. Overall, really, really enjoyable read! I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel and find out what happens next, also a very warm applause for Julie Kagawa because she did her job and did it well and I'm in love with her world.
Hope you guys are having a great weekend (remember! It's storytelling week!) and enjoying your own books ♥
I debated whether or not to add a recommendation for this novel—I won't say review because I like commenting on books that I want to encourag...more2.5 stars
I debated whether or not to add a recommendation for this novel—I won't say review because I like commenting on books that I want to encourage others to read. I did have issues with this book, but I felt that the events towards the end worked well enough in bringing me round to the characters and the story that I thought, yes, I should write something for this.
So here we go.
I absolutely loved the premise for Angelfall, I'm a fan of angels who aren't... very "angelic", or! Who actually are angelic, in the sense that they embody the darker side of the winged "messengers" (hence my fascination with Supernatural's take on them!) I also liked that in this book, they weren't anyone's saviour. In this world that Ee has portrayed, there are no saviours and there's no one looking out for you and yours, apart from yourself.
However, I felt very frustrated at the beginning simply because I wasn't connecting with the main character Penryn. I found this difficult to understand because there were several qualities in her that would have ensured I was a gonner for her. She wasn't conceited, she did what needed to be done, and most of all, something that always wins me over, she absolutely loves her sister and would do anything for her. What is there not to like about this? From my point of view, nothing. But, the fact remains that for over half the book, I just couldn't connect. Now, I have to say, that reading through reviews, this doesn't seem to be an issue with other readers, so I'd say, don't let this deter you from picking up the book. You might find that you connect easily with the character where I didn't.
My other issue was again, that at the beginning the book, I also had a hard time settling into the world Ee had built for us. I felt it took me too long to get a feel for it. Yes, I knew where I was, I knew what was happening and it was horrible. But I couldn't feel it, no panic or major fear for the characters or the hopelessness and worry in this depressing and seriously awful place! I felt this way right into 50% of the book and it had me wavering.
There was excitement when the angel and love interest Raffe enters, but again, this faded for me after a bit of time in his presence. This is what cost the book so many stars on goodreads for me. I felt that the author could've done a lot more to immerse me in the world from the beginning. For instance—I'm a very visual reader and I don't think there was enough showing for me. But I want to stress that this is my personal opinion, and again, other readers clearly don't feel this way and loved the world building from the get go!
That said, I don't want to dwell on the negatives for me. I kept on reading and whereas the beginning was lacking for me, I think the book definitely picked up in the second half as Penryn and Raffe got nearer to their goal.
Oh! And a major positive, I absolutely loved the complexity of Penryn's relationship with her mother as well as the character of her mother itself. Extremely interesting and grabbing! I loved the duality of her mother's nature, due to her schizophrenia—I thought the peek into their past and her sister's accident was excellent especially as it set me on edge and I thought was full of atmosphere!
Penryn's reunion with her sister wasn't what I was expecting—in a very good way. The nature of their reunion was definitely horrifying for me, because in that moment, I was able to fully relate to Penryn as an older sister to older sister and I felt her horror.
The book ends in a way that leaves the path open for the sequel. I liked the state of Penryn's and Raffe's relationship at the end of the book. The author hasn't rushed anything and there will be major issues as I'm pretty sure the affection they hold for each other in this book will cause them even more problems—especially because of the deep hatred humans have developed for the angels who have torn their world apart. On Raffe's side, the hierarchy and politics of the angels (which was quite interesting, actually) will no doubt cause him even more trouble in the following book.
Have I mentioned I absolutely loved his snowy wings?
Well. This probably made no sense what so ever. But, in short—this book had two issues for me:
1. Took me too long to connect to the character 2. I had no sense of place in the beginning of the book despite knowing very well what type of world I was in
They were only two issues, but they frustrated me and occurred often enough for me to consider just putting the book down and moving onto another several times. But, the last third of the book was a major improvement and caught my interest. It made me curious about what will happen to the characters in the next instalment.
Either way, if you decide to give this book a go, I hope you enjoy it!
I'd been looking forward to this release from the moment I set eyes on the summary last year, sounded completely up my alley!
Cinder is a girl who is down to earth and gets on with her day to day with dreams of moving on to something better once she has enough for herself. The beginning of the book had me hooked and I kept on reading and then getting grumpy every time I had to stop to get off the bus.
However, I did find it difficult to stay focused during the story. This was mainly due to what I felt was quite a bit of info dumping. Now, the thing is, this is an intricate world that Meyer has created and I for one, really like that and I'm fascinated by it, their laws and the culture and customs of it and for the most part, I felt Meyer had done this very well. But then there's the other side, the science side of it and that's where it got shaky for me.
It's not that I didn't believe in the science of it, I was fine with that too. It was the way this was explained to the reader. I felt information was too heavy and I found myself wanting to skim read at several points. There were also times when I just wished a scene would just get to the point, that there was too much discussion before actions took place and it made me impatient. The pacing was something that held me back from fully immersing myself in the book while reading – it felt a little uneven to me.
That said, I still enjoyed the book. Cinder was a wonderful character and I was rooting for her all the way. The evil step-mother did her job and did it well and I found myself wanting to strangle the woman with my bare hands. But Meyer also managed to make her human. She wasn't just a random evil character who just happened to have power over Cinder, Meyer showed us that Adri was also someone capable of grieving just like anyone else, humanising her enough to take away any one dimension's the reader might have wanted to attribute to the character. The step-sisters were also done well and I hurt for Cinder when one of the few people she loved came under a threat that she was powerless to stop.
Of course the biggest threat was not her stepmother, though she was definitely someone to complicate matters at the worst moments, but Queen Levana. Man. There is only one word for this woman and it begins with a capital B. However, I will refrain from using it here lol. She's a very well done and bad to the core, villain. Yes. She's actually pretty fantastic with how well she fills her role and she'll be something for Cinder to contend with. It's a good thing Cinder will have Dr. Erland on her side to help her come to terms with what she'll have to do (I liked him too, by the way).
Now, Prince Kai. Why hello there Prince ♥
To put it simply? Yes, I liked him. I liked him very much and I loved all of his interactions with Cinder. ALL OF THEM! And I hope that in time, they'll both be able to explain to each other, why things went down the way they did, at the ball. Because. Oh man. That final scene at the ball had me shaking my fist and going NOOOOOO!
The end of the book was, I won't lie to you, a cliff-hanger. Not the kind that makes you want to kill someone but definitely one that makes you log back online to try and find out when the next book will be out. Because you simply need to know! But again, I had a few minor issues in regards to what we find out about Cinder—which had been foreshadowed throughout the book and I'd begun to suspect but... at the end I couldn't quite connect with the revelation because the probability of it just felt too clichéd for me, personally.
But! I will say this, this book felt more like an introduction to the story that is about to take place and I think it could really be something epic and I'm still very excited about what's to come and will not hesitate to pick up the next instalment. Cinder and Prince Kai are wonderful characters and I don't want to leave them behind at all.
So, I hope you pick this book up and give it a go, I think you'll find its worth the read : )
Let me know your thoughts on it if you do get to this one ♥
I really liked the sound of The Shifter's summary and it didn't take much encouragement to go off to amazon and download it. I have to say the cover w...moreI really liked the sound of The Shifter's summary and it didn't take much encouragement to go off to amazon and download it. I have to say the cover was something that definitely drew me in, I loved the touch of fantasy to it.
The Shifter is the first book in The Healing Wars trilogy by Janice Hardy.
I was very taken in by the world building. I loved the way the world Hardy introduces us to. You've got a country that's been conquered in war, where its native people are subjected to prejudice and poverty, and there are barely enough jobs for people to put food on their table. It's harsh and filled with desperation and fear of a ruler who is willing to do anything to get what he wants.
Nya's powers and the way they evolved was done very well too. You never felt that it was obvious, or that she was this clichéd all-powerful character. The changes she went through were appropriate to her situation and they escalated as the danger escalated, but never in a way that seemed contrived. This was especially true of the most climatic scene in the book where everything Nya has worked hard to get is once again threatened and she accepts the decision that she has to make.
The story contains many serious themes (poverty, oppression, starvation, corrupt governments), and these, were of course, experienced through Nya's eyes. She faces decisions that most people will never have to face and she knows she will be judged for them, even blaming herself and feeling guilty for them. A lot of them are moral decisions that from a bystander's view can seem like the wrong choice to make, but as one of the character's points out, no one should judge her as they have not had to face the same situations and decisions as she did.
The glimpses into Nya's past with her family are well placed, a painful contrast to the reality of her life now. It lets the reader know firsthand what Nya has lost. The one thing from her past that remains is Tali, Nya's sister and in this broken world that Nya lives in, Tali is what Nya treasures most.
Hardy introduces a good supportive cast of secondary characters. Danello, the possible love interest is one of my favourites. I think that the way their friendship blossoms under such tense and horrifying circumstances is sweet. I also liked that it didn't draw me away from the real focus of the story. I hope to see more of the secondary characters, as I liked what I saw of them, especially when it came to Aylin and Danello. But I did feel that there were stories to be told for other characters that we don't get to in this book.
But what made me really love this book? It was a scene very early on in the story, where Nya has to make the first of many terrible decisions.
I remember this clearly because I was on the bus at the time and I literally had to stop reading because of how intense the scene was and how it was affecting me. This scene involved Nya's ability to shift pain into someone else and Hardy did an excellent job in making me feel both for Nya and the family she was attempting to help. I don’t want to reveal too much because I don't want to ruin the scene for those who decide to give the book a read. But yes. Definitely my favourite scene of the entire book.
So, definitely enjoyed this and very much looking forward to seeing Nya and her friends take on the Duke in the second book of the trilogy, Blue Fire.
Oh. Oh, this book *_* I absolutely adored it! From beginning to end, everything about this book just had me.
First of all, I have to stress how AMAZING...moreOh. Oh, this book *_* I absolutely adored it! From beginning to end, everything about this book just had me.
First of all, I have to stress how AMAZING the atmosphere is throughout the story, I mean, the creepiness, it's there, but at the same time it's subtle, the kind that's slipping just under your skin and stays with you, just tense with it you know? God, I loved it.
The main character, Jacob! Oh <3 so believable as a teenager, as a grieving teenager, and his need for answers completely understandable. And also, from the beginning, it always felt like he was set apart and on his own because no one believed him. I loved how we found everything out, slowly, the story taking it's time unravelling, but the pace was not the type where you get bored, there was plenty to keep you interested. The new setting for example, the new people he meets and the house.
Can I just say that the house made a MAJOR impression on me? God, I could practically feel the hair standing on my arms as Jacob went inside and like him, I was just waiting for something to jump out. Like I said, the atmosphere was just epic.
The story itself, god I love so much of it but I can't say much without giving everything away but the characters were intriguing, and all vulnerable in their own way. It deals with what it means to be different, and that as always, being different isn't always such a good thing when people fear something that they can't understand. Apart from the big themes of the book, the elements of fantasy and the history in the book, it's got a sad touch and you can't help but feel for the adults in Jacob's life (though not his mother, I really didn't care about her at all, but I don't think I was meant to either), and the children he meets. His relationship with his grandfather was such a lovely yet tragic thing at the same time, and the relationship between his grandfather and his own dad was just plain heart breaking, again, a case of people not knowing how to bridge distances and differences.
My favourite character, aside from the main character, was actually Millard! But I'll let you read to figure out for yourself, but I absolutely loved him!
The romance was definitely not the central thing in the book but it was well handled and sweet if a little peculiar (see what I did there? Huh, huh?) And it felt very much like a teenage romance too which I felt was lovely, it's something that I think I do miss from current YA novels and here it was done so well.
Miss Peregrine herself, yes, absolutely loved her character too and just, the rules that made up this world and the secrets and the magic of it, I really can't say enough about it except that this is so, so my type of book, addressing fantasy elements that have always interested me but again, which I can't go into without spoiling so!
READ IT! You must *_* I love it. My only complaint is that I got to the end and I didn't want it to stop there.
Also, the thing that must be mentioned, are the excellent vintage pictures that make their appearance throughout the book. I felt the mixed media added just the right touch to the feel of the story. They were fascinating and odd and weird and completely appropriate, so in sync with Jacob's narrative.