FINALLY. After a multitude of recommendations and attempts to read this book, I’ve finally joined the Graceling Realm! Special thanks to Boss Ledz for...moreFINALLY. After a multitude of recommendations and attempts to read this book, I’ve finally joined the Graceling Realm! Special thanks to Boss Ledz for giving me a hardbound copy.
Will you kill me if I describe the book as cute? Because it really is! I found the writing style quirky which clouded me with a light feeling albeit there are dark scenes in the book. It’s very novel for me to find such type of storytelling. And for that, all my praises to you, Ms. Kristin Cashore!
To justify, I shall let my fangirl emotions take you through my thoughts on the book –
1. Katsa’s Grace is A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Lethal, yes. But beautiful. To preserve such life by all means possible is such a blessing. She was downright BAMF. She is the epitome of all the BAMFs in the world. Her personality is a goldmine and I wouldn’t trade it with any other route for her character development.
2. I think Po is one of the best, or should I say, noble characters I’ve ever encountered. His Grace could’ve gotten him drunk with power. He could enslave massive numbers of people just through blackmailing. He could be the greatest intel one could ever have, and yet, he chose to be himself. As Po. Who’s charming and considerate and cunning and everything you’ve ever wanted. And more.
3. I love the scene when Katsa realized that she’s in love with Po. She felt afraid because it’s an alien feeling. And I love the fact that they need not tie the knot just to prove that love exists. And I just simply love how they love each other.
4. Dying because you just can’t shut yer gob? EPIC. The way Katsa killed King Leck just showed how dangerous and fierce and invincible our wildcat is. It was so in character! LOL
5. I have no idea how courageous 10-year-olds can get, but surely Bitterblue is a one fearless little girl!
6. The book seems perfect for me, but maybe it fell short of having twists. Maybe the reveal of the antagonist was too early? Or that everything was explained on a silver platter? I was even thinking of other people close to Katsa who could’ve been the actual mastermind of everything unfortunate. But no, it was Leck and Leck alone. Oh, and there was his Grace.
7. Po going blind did not bother me at all. I think he’s more than capable of those who actually have sight. He can handle it effortlessly and still see the beauty of things — unbeknownst-to-men included.
8. I will miss Katsa and Po. I’ve heard that book 2 is a sort-of prequel and book 3 only features them as supporting characters. Huhu. Why can’t it just be Katsa and Po forever?
Net, it was a good reading experience. How I wish I did not hold back from reading it before. This fascination could’ve happened earlier.
AAAAAAND IT’S MY FINALE BOOK FOR THE READING CHALLENGE! *throws confetti everywhere*
Yet another different take on how Angels co-exist with humans and how Vampires are made.
Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh was the book that I should’ve co...moreYet another different take on how Angels co-exist with humans and how Vampires are made.
Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh was the book that I should’ve come across earlier. Why just know about this now? Such great perspective should never be missed out. And I thank my Boss for recommending the series.
I found the book quite promising in establishing the state of the living: 1) Ten Archangels ruling over delineated parts of the world; 2) Vampires serving the Angels; 3) Guild Hunters getting hired to police the Vampires. It’s very interesting, at least for me.
And I have more reasons to love the book:
1. Elena Deveraux, the heroine in the story, is a one hot BAMF guild hunter. Fearless, unforgiving and fierce. Her extreme olfactory sense is one of a kind, even among immortals; and that makes her battle-ready and so sexy for our winged and fanged friends.
2. I’m not so sure which shocked me the most — an agnostic Raphael (from Angelfall) or an erotic Raphael (Angels’ Blood). Either way, I salute his power and valor. And yes, I admit, I loved the parts when Raphael was being an overconfident sensual stud. It’s like Magic Mike in the Angel World.
3. Dmitri’s loyalty to Raphael is massive. But he really gets exponentially annoying every time he releases that sensual scent to allure Elena.
4. Illium. Pretty angel boy. Love him. I’m already starting with the 2nd book and I look forward to unraveling more of his character.
5. Uram was such a waste, but I guess when there’s this dark opportunity to drink intense power, some would drown of greediness.
6. Michaela is a hot damn bitch. But since I’m already rooting for Elena, I would very much like it if she keeps her lustful angel dust away from Raphael. She can scoot now.
7. Lijuan, the most ancient Archangel in the Cadre, talked in riddles (as Michaela would put it). She was even harder to understand than Shakespeare. How lucky can we get that Raphael can interpret her out-of-this-world language game easily? That old hag. Tsk.
8. What I expect to get elucidation from the the 2nd book: a. "Come little hunter. Taste." — somebody should explain to me why the hell does Elena keep on having these nightmares. What exactly happened in her past? b. I need to understand why does Raphael have unusual (or let’s say, mortal-like) responses to certain stimuli.
Looking at the bigger picture, it’s still power that everyone’s craving for. It’s power that can create a civilization and yet it can also destroy one. Say, if Elena hadn’t tracked Uram & Raphael hadn’t killed him, key cities would have instant red sea. Also, I think one of the good dimensions of the book is that even if the story was set in New York, it spoke concern of the whole world. Fantastic. :-)
Above of it all, is it just me or it’s really not a good idea reading Angelfall before Angels’ Blood? Haha!(less)
This is the problem with high school. It is when stereotyping is rampant and the student body falls into a caste system. Undeniably, those who are on...moreThis is the problem with high school. It is when stereotyping is rampant and the student body falls into a caste system. Undeniably, those who are on top of the social class (naturally, the rich and “career” kids) are expected to have straight A’s, be blessed with good genes, act flawlessly perfect in front of authorities and get involved with those who are within their league.
A common denominator of those attributes is Brittany Ellis, our heroine in Perfect Chemistry, written by Simone Elkeles.
She’s rich. She’s the cheerleading captain. She’s the girl of the football captain. She’s royalty Barbie. She’s book smart. She’s hot. She’s beautiful. She’s the envy of many.
Nevertheless, underneath those designer clothes and thick gunk on her face, Brittany is hurting of family issues. I assume that this is the author’s way of saying that life is fair. No one could really have it all. No one could ever have the best of both worlds. And this kind of drama has been present across primetime TV shows, even movies.
Enter the hot and dangerous gangster, Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes. He’s a Mexican who’s a member of the Latino Blood—kind of a racial don’t-you-dare-quit / you-have-to-do-drug-and-gun-deals fraternity in the south side of the town. He keeps up to his bad boy image, but eventually loosens up when Brittany invaded his… dreams (mostly during the day) and the rest is history.
My objective in reading the book was to find something that had the same or greater level of UST than Thoughtless. Sadly, this wasn’t it. I never even felt that Brittany was starting to fall in love with Alex and vice-versa. But I guess you would really never know when you’re losin’ it, huh?
Anyway, of all the Brit-Alex scenes, my favorite was the “Ask A Question” game. It was the only the time I felt great tension and love between the two. I know the Chemistry meetings made them queasy, but the impact on me (as a reader) was much more like a crush rather than potential bed mates.
Overall, (and I apologize for saying this, but…) I think the book is a whole cliché: we’re-not-a-perfect family drama, I-can’t-quit-my-frat alibi and I-will-give-up-everything-for-you resolution. It’s like something I’ve watched or read already. Perhaps, the montage of various chick flicks and chick lits available does that to a person every once in a while when they encounter a book that’s pretty much playing safe to narrate the status quo. However, I still liked it. Just because it slightly pulled me to know how Brittany and Alex would resolve their issues and get back together.
Having known that Perfect Chemistry had two more books in the series, I thought that Elkeles could have ended this first book with a cliffhanger instead of a finale-worthy scene with matching history-repeats-itself epilogue. Apparently, the second book won’t be about Brittany and Alex anymore; it will tell the tale of Carlos Fuentes—Alex’s brother. *moment of understanding* Maybe we can catch a glimpse of their future in the next books? Well, I’m just hoping.(less)
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore is like a book of riddles. Admittedly, along with Queen Bitterblue, I was just so keen — borderline irritated — in findi...moreBitterblue by Kristin Cashore is like a book of riddles. Admittedly, along with Queen Bitterblue, I was just so keen — borderline irritated — in finding out what the hell was going on in Monsea.
Damn you, Immiker (a.k.a. the late King Leck) and your stupid Grace! How awesome it was that Katsa killed you (in book 1) just to shut your gob!
There were just so many times when I would be so interested and hooked to the plot, but then the book would introduce new characters and play mind games with the reader, and then I would soon realize that it’s 40-plus chapters… it’s a goddamn long book, I must say. Or maybe there’s a difference if you’re reading hardbound. Anyway, my point is, I almost parked the book and entirely read another one. Say, for example, I was rereading Beautiful Disaster again while I was halfway through Bitterblue. That’s how tired my brain was — having to be drugged by Travis Maddox just to continue on my real reading track.
Perhaps, it’s safe to say that the remaining 1/3 of the book was massively riveting, with all the revelations that fell into place. With the all the mysteries unraveled and riddles answered. It was ultimately a good sequel to Graceling. I never could’ve asked for a different sequel, but if Ms. Cashore will write another book about Katsa and Po, I will most certainly welcome it with an exhilarated heart.
Apart from the puzzle pieces and the lies that needed to be fixed, I think what broke my heart in finishing this book is the fact that I fell in love with the characters so much, that I wish to be with them more than what was allowed in a trilogy.
I miss Katsa. I miss Po. I miss Katsa and Po together. I hated how Bitterblue pulled off her “HBIC” attitude and sent Katsa away to the tunnels to get Fire. I hated how Bitterblue asked Po to return to Monsea and help her with her goddamn royal duties. But fine, a queen’s gotta do what a queen’s gotta do just to save her queendom. Going back to my point, I miss Katsa and Po (couldn’t stress it enough). I utterly miss my favorite couple.
Uhm, I think I fell in love with Sapphire Birch. And I’m not sure how I feel about how the book ended with his situation like that. Fine, he could be absolved from the treason he just committed, but damn it, Ms. Cashore, how can you make me fall in love with a character and then take him away from me? Why are you doing this to me? How? Why? Just like that? *insert meltdown here*
There were so many characters which I truly liked (okay, loved) in this book. Like, Helda — everyone’s wish to be their Mum. Hava — damn girl, you werkin it! Lord Giddon — hell no, I’m calling you Lord, regardless of Randa. Raffin and Bann — they’re a package and I love them and all their medical discoveries. Teddy, Tilda and Bren — coolest geeks ever. Lastly, Death (rhymes with “teeth”) — you are the most brilliant and sarcastic librarian ever. We should be friends.
I cannot express enough how sad I am that the book already ended. I would have given anything just to read more books about these characters — provided that they’re in Katsa’s or Po’s POV. Hehe. Oh well, forward-thinking, says the queen. But thank you for the experience, Ms. Cashore.(less)