Becca Fitzpatrick has created a vibrant world where the angelic and the fallen move among unaware mortals. The writReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
Becca Fitzpatrick has created a vibrant world where the angelic and the fallen move among unaware mortals. The writing in this book is solid and her descriptions are well written. I enjoyed the fact that she gave me enough information to know what was going on, but I never felt swamped with details. It’s a skill I admire in an author. The pacing of the story is well-controlled; with the increasingly terrifying and strange events in Nora’s life building to a satisfying climax. I could feel Nora’s anxiety and terror build through the story and Fitzpatrick kept me guessing right up until the end.
I have to admit that I was disappointed with the characters though. I understand that Nora is only sixteen, but she seemed a bit naïve at times in her approach to both people and her investigation. I would have liked to see her taking control of her life and her decisions. The character of Vee, Nora’s best friend, comes across as very shallow and self-centred where I would have imagined her to be more supportive. I know that some of this was for the sake of the story, but I feel that it should have been more balanced. Despite the fact that Patch is the character we know the least about, he is the more interesting character in the story. I would have liked to see more growth of him as a character through the book.
I am a huge fan of angels and the mythology surrounding them, which this book is based on. I had no problem following the premise of the story and I don’t think that any readers would. But I did feel that Fitzpatrick could have done more to incorporate the mythology into the story. For example, there are a number of references to avenging angels in the book and it would have been interesting to have met them or seen them at work. I think that Fitzpatrick has missed out on a great opportunity to give the world she has created more of a foundation to build on. But I’ll be interested to see what she does with the sequel, Crescendo.
Overall this was an entertaining read, but certain elements could have been improved. ...more
City of Bones seems to be one of those books that people either love or hate and I’m glad that I finished reading iReview from my blog The Word Fiend.
City of Bones seems to be one of those books that people either love or hate and I’m glad that I finished reading it before seeing any of the forums or reviews. Before I continue with my review I do want to address one of the points that critics of City of Bones seem to repeatedly raise: Cassandra Clare started her writing life in the realm of fan fiction. So what? Just because someone wrote fan fiction does not mean that they can’t succeed at writing an original story. I believe that people are entitled to their opinions, but I really don’t see how Clare’s fan fiction writing past has anything to do with the original world and story she’s created. With that out of the way, this review will reflect only my experience of reading City of Bones.
I love the cover art for City of Bones. It’s unusual and eye-catching – equally effective on a bookshelf or a computer screen. The dark colours of the graveyard in the foreground blend easily into the New York cityscape and finally into the large figure who seems to be rising like the sun over the landscape. I don’t normally like covers that cut the head off of people, but in this case it works and lends a sense of mystery to the figure. This cover is an example of great design work. I was, however, disappointed by the blurb on the back cover (see above) – it is far too vague and does nothing to excite my interest in the book. In fact, if the cover hadn’t been so interesting I probably would have been reluctant to give it a chance.
The first thing I want to discuss is pace. City of Bones starts strong, but just loses momentum about a quarter of the way in. In my opinion this is because, even though the reader is discovering the world at the same time as Clary, there is still quite a lot of info dumping that gets done. I would have preferred it if Clare had fed me the information through the story itself – through overheard conversations, memories or even the often used diary. These moments of world background derailed the great start to the story and the book only recovered about halfway through. This really frustrated me because I had to work to get back into the book before my enjoyment could resurface.
I did enjoy Clare’s world – where Shadowhunters, humans with angel blood in there veins, protect the world from demons. The Shadowhunters are Nephilim, part human and part angel. City of Bones takes a slightly different approach to the idea of Nephilim and I appreciate the fact that Clare has gone to the effort of creating her own unique world by adapting existing ideas into something slightly different. Even the phrases that the characters use feel natural, but have obviously been created for this world. This takes a lot of work, but it means that the story is not happening in a vacuum and this gives it weight and texture.
I am going to confine my discussion of the characters in City of Bones to the three I think had the most impact on the story and will influence the series the most.
Clary Fray is a normal human girl who suddenly finds herself in the middle of world she never knew existed. And it seems she belongs there. Clary is an engaging character. She is smart, brave and a talented artist. But one of the greatest things is that she reacts believably to the sudden chaos in her life! There is measurable growth in Clary’s character throughout the book as she changes and adapts in response to the situations and people she encounters. I really like to see that in a character.
Jace Wayland is a formidable Shadowhunter who is looking to prove himself. When we first meet Jace he comes across as cocky and arrogant. And he really irritated me. But as Clary gets to know him his self-assured veneer slips and Clare allows us to see the character behind the bravado. I much prefer the more rounded personality this gives Jace. He can still be arrogant, but it is balanced by the fear and loneliness that sometimes creeps through.
The last character I want to discuss is Simon. He is Clary’s best friend and although he’s human (a mundane in Shadowhunter terminology) he isn’t sidelined as a character. Often protagonists discover a magical world and dismiss everything that is too “normal” in their lives. But Simon plays an important role in the story – he is Clary’s link to her old life, but he is also the voice of reason in the chaos she finds herself in. I liked that Clare left him in as a character and let him find a place in Clary’s new world.
City of Bones is an exciting read that introduces us to a vibrant new Urban Fantasy world. The pacing is a bit shaky, but once you’re into the story you’ll enjoy where it takes you....more
As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of angels. I love books about them, so I was really excited when I found AReview from my blog The Word Fiend.
As some of you may know, I am a HUGE fan of angels. I love books about them, so I was really excited when I found Angelology. It sounded like it was right up my alley. Not only was it about angelic mythology, but it also promised mystery and intrigue as added bonuses!
I love this particular cover of Angelology with the angel in shadow except for its wings and a glimpse of its hair. It’s an image that is enticing – there’s a mystery waiting to be revealed. But I must admit that I have been very impressed with all of the covers for this book that I have seen.
With all of this going for it I desperately wanted to love Angelology, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.
Angelology is divided into four parts. The first three are titled after the three spheres (groups) that scholars have divided the angelic hierarchy into. The fourth part represents the coming together of these spheres to form the heavenly choir. I rather liked this arrangement because it links in with the main subject of the book.
One of my main problems with Angelology was the pacing. The story has the potential to be a thrilling page-turner, but Trussoni never capitalised on it. There is a lot of repetition of the history behind the characters and the artefacts that they are seeking, but when it comes time for the characters to act the whole climax that has been laboriously built up to is over in a page or two. It was unbelievably frustrating.
One thing I must credit Trussoni with is the amount of research and work she has obviously put into Angelology. The histories of her characters have been well thought out and built. But that really is no excuse for the amount of time she lavishes on these backstories to the detriment of the plot.
As a main character Evangeline falls short of the mark. I like her well enough, but she is pretty incidental to the story for the first half which is never a good sign. It is only towards the end of the book that she stops being dragged along by events and decides to take action. I was more interested and captivated by Evangeline’s grandmother, Gabriella, who is a secondary character. Trussoni’s characters would benefit from being allowed to interact and change the world they are in rather than reacting to whatever the plot throws them.
The angels in Angelology are mainly Nephilim, the offspring of angels and human women. Trussoni has stuck to the accepted theories about how Nephilim came to be on this earth, but she works it into her story well. I enjoyed the society she created for the Nephilim. The parts of Angelology where she discusses their history and legends are some of the more engaging sections. I also liked how she applies modern scientific ideas such as genetics to the angelologists’ studies of the Nephilim.
Angelology is a debut that has a great idea behind it. While it doesn’t quite live up to its promise it is not a bad book and I will probably be picking up the sequel, Angelopolis, in 2012 to see where the story goes....more
I don’t read romance novels as a general rule, but when I do I prefer those with a paranormal twist to them. I alsoReview from my blog The Word Fiend.
I don’t read romance novels as a general rule, but when I do I prefer those with a paranormal twist to them. I also like romance novels to have a strong story to backup the relationships developed. Angels’ Blood checks both boxes.
I’m in two minds about the cover art used for this edition of Angels’ Blood. Part of me feels that the designers could have done more with it – perhaps using artwork instead of a photograph. But another part of me has to admit that the image of the model with those gorgeous angel wing tattoos works. I do like the splatters and droplets of blood that are part of the text used for the title – it’s simple but quite effective.
I’m just going to leap in and say that I loved the idea behind Nalini Singh’s world in Angels’ Blood. The story is set in the modern world, but where angels and vampires are an accepted part of day-to-day life. The great aspect for me was the idea that angels create and control vampires – it puts a new spin on two quite popular supernatural groups. Added to this mix are the Guild Hunters. They are humans who track and capture rogue vampires. It makes for an interesting mix and provides a ripe foundation for a series.
The fear and respect which angels and, to a lesser extent, vampires inspire is easy to accept because Singh takes the reader straight into her world. There’s no sitting back and studying it, it’s visceral and immediate and it helps to bring the book to life.
My one problem with the book was that I would have liked to see more of the rogue archangel or at least his actions. The hunt for him drives the story and does a good job of keeping the suspense raised, but the terror he inspires didn’t really mean much once the hunt was over.
Elena is a born Hunter, meaning she has the natural ability to sense and hunt vampires. She’s good at what she does and she knows it. She is pushy and tough, but Singh has given her a good backstory that rounds her out as a character. Her attraction to Raphael is well handled and I liked that their relationship was part of the larger story.
Nalini Singh has created an intriguing paranormal world in Angels’ Blood populated by a cast of interesting characters and I look forward to seeing what happens next in the series....more
Angelfire introduces us to a world of reapers, epic sword fights and high school. C.A. Moulton’s debut novel is actReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
Angelfire introduces us to a world of reapers, epic sword fights and high school. C.A. Moulton’s debut novel is action-packed and entertaining. Plus there are angels, so you know I’m happy.
Angelfire’s cover is arresting. It may not be very colourful, but it is a detailed and striking image. I love the model’s pose – she is relaxed, but alert and as Ellie explores who she is, or was, some of this poise and readiness starts to rise to the surface. The swirling fog that obscures most of the background is a great visual metaphor for Ellie’s memories and how they often seem just out of her reach. If you get your hands on a copy of Angelfire just take a moment to explore the cover – it deserves it.
The world that C.A. Moulton has created is one I enjoyed exploring and I’d happily return to it. In the shadows lurk the reapers. Banish all images of figures armed with scythes – it’s not quite that simple. Reapers come in a number of forms and can be either angelic or demonic. The opposing sides have been at war for centuries. Angelfire has a rich and interesting world that makes for a fun read.
While I loved the idea behind Angelfire I would have liked to see better pacing in the story. The book seemed to swing between two extremes: intense action or calmness. I believe that a story should have pacing that ebbs and flows, but in Angelfire it is all or nothing. I think that this could have been balanced with the inclusion of some less climactic, but still exciting scenes.
Ellie and Will are the main characters in Angelfire and I liked them both. I really appreciated the fact that Ellie has a whole life that doesn’t stop happening just because she discovers the paranormal. She still has to deal with her parents, school and try to see her friends. It is a battle, but these aspects of her life don’t just stop happening. Ellie handles the new revelations about herself and her life in a believable way and that endeared her to me. Plus she is pretty hardcore in a fight! Will is quickly going to become a popular book-crush and with good reason. He can be too serious at times, but as the book progresses Ellie manages to chip away some of his reserve. They have a great romance that doesn’t feel rushed, although the relationship isn’t going to be simple.
C.A. Moulton has created an exciting debut novel that will have readers hooked and wanting more....more
I have rarely been as blown away by a book as I was by Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The artistry of hReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
I have rarely been as blown away by a book as I was by Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The artistry of her writing and the story she weaves are breathtaking.
The famous saying tells us that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I would love to see the image that could capture Laini Taylor’s. It would have to capture the imagination, subtlety and grace of this talented author’s work and I’m not sure that a single image could manage it.
The flow of the story is very well handled, with seamless shifts in perspective and place that I could only marvel at. Often there is a feeling of disjointedness when books shift in time between the present and memories, but Daughter of Smoke and Bone remains a cohesive whole and these shifts only act to enhance the story. Laini Taylor has a real talent as a writer. She breathes life into her world and characters through her words and it was a pleasure to just experience this book. I was very quickly swept up by the narrative and my first thought when finishing the last word was: I want more.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is set in two different worlds; the human one and Elsewhere. Both settings are rich in detail and atmosphere – so much so that I could easily imagine opening a door somewhere and coming face-to-face with Brimstone. The magic used in the book is interesting and I was especially intrigued by the system of wishes and their strengths that Taylor has created. But more than that is the fact that she has given Elsewhere an interesting history that has a direct impact on Karou’s story. I love the world of chimeras and seraphs and that it feels as real as the one we live in.
Karou is an engaging character with her love of drawing, her peacock blue hair and her mysterious background. And that’s not even counting her association with Brimstone. I liked Karou’s determination and kindness and that she grows and develops as a character through the events of the story. Brimstone is a fascinating character and I especially enjoyed discovering the depth in his personality that he tries to cover up. Then there’s Akiva, the gorgeous, but tortured seraph who enters Karou’s life. He is a complex character and I loved the relationship that began to develop between him and Karou.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an astonishing read filled with depth and magic by a very talented author. ...more
I expect two things from any Paranormal Romance novel I read: a solid story and an interesting relationship at itsReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
I expect two things from any Paranormal Romance novel I read: a solid story and an interesting relationship at its heart. In Blood of the Demon Rosalie Lario delivers on both.
The colour scheme used for the cover of Blood of the Demon is wonderfully eye-catching. But it also ties into the story itself which is something I really appreciated. The red in the lower half of the cover and the flames that lick up into the blue are representative of both the demon world of Infernum and of Keegan as well. The cityscape shows the setting for the book – our own world where otherworldly creatures and beings walk among us. The couple are a good match for the image of Keegan and Brynn I have in my mind.
In good Paranormal Romance the world and the story are as strong as the romantic aspect of the book. And Rosalie Lario has created an interesting and nuanced world of demons, humans and things that go bump-in-the-night. I really appreciated the thought that she has put into the history of her world and of her characters – it adds depth and texture to the story. The plot of Blood of the Demon is well paced and kept me turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Keegan is a strong character and I liked that Lario let him show softness on occasion – it prevents him from being a completely dominant alpha male and makes him more real. His loyalty to his brothers is a strong driving force in his life and it influences his decisions and actions. I loved watching that loyalty slowly expand to include Brynn. I have mixed feelings about Brynn. I felt that Lario could have rounded her character out more. She seemed to react to events in the plot, but not really take charge of her situation which is at odds with the strong-willed character she is supposed to be. But through Keegan’s view of her I came to understand and like Brynn. The romance between Keegan and Brynn is intense and very sexy. There was more to the relationship than the purely physical though, and they both grow and develop as characters through the story. Although Brynn and Keegan are the main characters in Blood of the Demon Keegan’s brothers make a definite impact. Each brother, including Keegan, is half-demon from their father, but they have each inherited different traits from their mothers. The bond between the brothers is clear and a pleasure to read.
Rosalie Lario debut is a promising start to a series that looks set to excite and entertain readers and I’m sure that as she continues to write that her books will only get better. ...more
Warning: As this is the second book in the series this review may contain spoilers for those who have not read theReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
Warning: As this is the second book in the series this review may contain spoilers for those who have not read the first one, Eternal Rider.
Before I’d finished the first twenty pages of Immortal Rider I was already completely hooked on Larissa Ione’s world of Horsemen, angels, demons, shape-shifters and gifted humans. This may be the first of her books I have read, but it definitely won't be the last.
Immortal Rider's cover is attractive and eye-catching. The black and white image is an effective counterpoint to the violets and oranges used for the title and author’s name. The writing lures the eye in and the figures of Limos and Arik keeps it there. Two details stood out for me – Arik's dogtags and the tattoo of a set of scales on Limos' shoulder. Both of these details are important to the characters and tie in nicely with their story.
While Immortal Rider is the second book in the series, I didn’t have any trouble following the story and I am definitely planning on going back to read the first book, Eternal Rider. This series is set in the same world as Ione’s hugely successful Demonica series and I have to compliment her on the detail and texture she brings to her books. She manages to pull elements from paranormal romance and urban fantasy and weave them together into something new and worth exploring.
Larissa Ione writes with confidence and I was impressed with her ability to handle multiple characters and storylines without the reader feeling confused. It is a real talent and allows her to create plots that impact the world as a whole and not only one or two characters. It also means that characters from previous books in the series are not dismissed from the overall story once they have had their book. And considering the characters that Ione has created that is most definitely a good thing.
The two central characters in Immortal Rider are Limos, the Horseman who will become Famine in the Apocalypse, and Arik, a human soldier who belongs to a unit in the military specialising in the paranormal. I wasn’t overly fond of Limos, but that was more of a personality “clash” than anything else. I could understand her motivations and actions, but I just didn’t really like her much. But it is a mark of Ione’s skill as a storyteller that that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. I liked Arik from the first page – he’s loyal, protective and caring. In many ways he is a balance to Limos. The relationship between Limos and Arik was layered and I always appreciate that – while physical attraction is important it can’t be the whole basis for a relationship and Ione’s shows us that there is more.
Immortal Rider is a sexy paranormal romance set in a rich urban fantasy setting and will leave fans and new readers alike smiling.
The moment I read the blurb for Hellsbane I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy – here was a book promising meReview from my blog: The Word Fiend
The moment I read the blurb for Hellsbane I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy – here was a book promising me something different from the usual stories involving half-angels. Sadly, I didn’t feel that Hellsbane lived up to its potential.
Hellsbane’s cover art is great. The statue of the angel holding the sword is a very effective way of linking in Emma Jane’s job as Heaven’s bounty hunter. I also love the figure’s pose, it screams sassiness and attitude and both are most definitely elements that Emma Jane has in spades.
Paige Cuccaro has created an interesting Urban Fantasy world with a fresh spin on Fallen angels and half-angels. Once a half-angel is chosen as a warrior in the fight against the Fallen their only hope of escaping the constant threat from demons and their masters is to find and kill the Fallen who sired them. I really like this premise and the possibilities it opens up for the story world and characters. But I couldn’t help but feel that Cuccaro let her great story idea down with an erratically paced plot. The action in Hellsbane hits you from page one and immediately draws you into the story, but Cuccaro doesn’t capitalise on this. I also felt that there were elements of the plot that could have been explored further, such as the growing attraction between Emma Jane and Tommy. There were moments of stunning description where I felt myself completely gripped by the images on the pages, but they never lasted for more than a few sentences and although Cuccaro writes well, the rest of the book suffered in comparison. I would have liked to have seen more consistency in Hellsbane’s plotting and the level of writing.
Emma Jane is a sarcastic and sassy young lady and it was entertaining following her as she comes to terms with the new world she suddenly finds herself immersed in. She’s a strong character and able to carry the story. Tommy and Eli are the other two main characters in Hellsbane. Tommy is a half-angel as well and I enjoyed the growing relationship between the two of them and felt that it could have been used to better advantage in the story. Eli is an angel sent to Earth to observe and train the chosen half-angels. We’re given a glimpse into his backstory which helped to add depth to his character.
Hellsbane is an action packed Urban Fantasy, but I felt that more could have been done with this original story idea.