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Wednesday, 28 May 2014
The Girl With The Windup Heart
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
For Fans Of: The Infernal Devices
You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this book, I don't even know how long I've been waiting for this book, like I've been anticipating it for so long I've lost track of time, the days have blended in to one. I loved the first book when I stumbled upon it by chance, and promptly ordered the second, I then had a bit of a wait for the third, but I've loved all three of the books, and I was practically frothing at the mouth with excitement for this book.
I was not disappointed. Well, I was disappointed that this is supposedly the last book, because this series is the first Steampunk book I ever read, and I've loved the books a lot, watching the story develop and continue and watching the characters grow and develop.
In Windup Heart we have the final battle with The Machinist and Griffin's gang, but we also get this really cool parallel story involving Jack Dandy and Mila who we met in the last book. Jack offered to let her stay with him, while she's learning how to be more human, or act human rather. Mila is the perfect match for Jack, let's be honest, he needs a kick up the arse, and someone to challenge him.
Mila is a great addition to the crew, her naivety is as humorous as it is interesting, watching her experience everything we usually take for granted or don't think about much for the first time. For everyone who's been crazily curious about Jack, we finally get an insight in to him and his backstory, and we discover his deepest, darkest secret. Ya know...that he actually does have a kind heart ;)
If you think this book will be all about Finley like the previous books, you would be wrong, while the stories are parallel, it's mostly about Mila, which I did like, but I was also sad not to see as much of Finley.
Every single character in these books is incredibly well written, and continue to be in Windup Heart. There is so much depth to the characters, and they're so engaging they practically jump off the page. It was great to see all the character development from the previous books come to a conclusion and see how far some of the characters have come, like Sam for instance moving past his anger. Windup Heart is an ensemble piece, the gang work together so well, and always have done.
Windup Heart has lots of threads all coming together, some from previous books or that have been running through the previous books, wrapping everything up nicely. I say wrapping everything up nicely, but to be honest, everyone loves the characters so much that there's an opportunity for spin off's and novellas.
I cannot get over how much I love this book and this series. I was sucked straight in from the beginning. The world is so beautifully written you really do feel like you're there, and you're totally absorbed in to the world that real life fades away. The thing about this series is, yeah the characters are well written as I said, but the female characters/leads are so strong, which is unusual for the time period, and I love nothing more than a strong female lead.
I honestly couldn't put this book down, I read it in a matter of hours, then was sad it was over and that I read so fast. The plot is rich, intriguing, the pace and flow where perfect. I couldn't find a single appropriate place to put the book down. I had to know what happens next, and to be honest, I've shipped Finley and Griffin together since day one and I'm totally obsessed with those two!
The Girl With The Windup Heart is a perfect conclusion to a well loved series. There's action, adventure, romance, different perspectives to provide tonnes of insight. Everything is wrapped up nicely, with plenty of threads being tied in to the conclusion. As with all final books, i'm so happy with how everything turned out, but super sad because I don't want to let the characters or the world go.
If you haven't read the other books, I recommend you read them because you will love them so much! Each of them is impossible to put down, and each is better than the last. These books will take you on one hell of an epic journey, I can promise you that!
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Myla Lewis is back and this time she's transformed in to the Great Scala, which means she's the only one who can move souls about from Purgatory to Heaven or Hell. Except Lucifer's Orb, an artifact, is messing with her ability, and forcing her to send souls bound for Heaven, to Hell instead. Sending the souls bound to Heaven, innocent souls, to Hell is not Mylas style. She's gone on strike until the Orb is dealt with. Except, there's so many souls, with nowhere to go, the Soul Storage buildings in Purgatory are becoming time bombs. Eventually the containment fields will burst, releasing very, let's just say 'upset' ghosts. Myla needs to find the Orb and destroy it so she can send the souls on their way but she's running out of time.
Cue Mylas old enemy Lady Adair popping back up causing a ruckus. A ruckus that involves taking away everything from Myla, everything she holds dear, including super cute Prince Lincoln, her Angelbound love. Not cool.
I loved Angelbound, it was so incredibly unique from everything else, and as everyone knows I love books that have something unique. It's not that I'm getting bored with all the books that are pretty similar to others in the genre, it's that they're usually so predictable and you feel quite jaded guessing every twist and turn.
I was so stoked that Scala continued on all the uniqueness of the first book and I loved it just as much.
Myla is one of my favourite leading ladies, I want to be her, seriously she's so badass. Myla has a mouth. She can snark to rival me, which is quite a feat. You can take lessons from Myla about how to get yourself out of situations your mouth gets you in with minimum damage. I love that. Myla is a character I can still relate to in the second book, and still root for her and support her the whole way through the book. It's so easy to read her narrative, she's got such a spark that draws you to her. Now the first book is so incredibly unique because there is no insta love between Myla and Lincoln, and I loved seeing them together again, I felt very satisfied with the way their relationship was going and the path it was taking.
Adair is that character that, in the first book, was a mild irritant. She irritated you, you wanted her to piss off, she never would, but she proved how ridiculous and silly she is and Myla won out. When she comes back in this book, well, the author has written her so well that I felt an outright hatred for her, not the "oh you love to hate her" hate, but the "I really would love to punch you in the face with a brick" hate. Be prepared.
The plot, for me, was great, mostly. The plot was intriguing, with the Orb and the threat and the whole trying to work out the bigger picture and such. I just felt annoyed more than once because Adair was the one being the baddie, and she came across as annoyingly spiteful, as well as inspiring as I said before, lots of hatred. I'm not down with the whole "trying to steal my man back and ruin your life even though you're the better candidate for the job", I don't enjoy reading those types of plots, which was disappointing for me.
Having said that, the flow was fantastic again, as was the prose, not to mention how the different parts of the plot eventually fit together and where written.
This book is a lot shorter than the first book, which is really a shame because I felt like some things where rushed a bit and not as fleshed out as they could be, we didn't get to spend much time in the world. I think because of the lack of length to the book, some really great opportunities where missed.
As soon as you had settled back in to the world and got engrossed in the book, it ended. Scala unfortunately did get taken down with a minor case of second book syndrome, which is such a shame because I was so excited for this.
While Scala falls to second book syndrome, which is disappointing, along with it's shortness, to fans who where super excited for this book, it was still an enjoyable read with a familiar world, and characters you love and come to love more. The plot, while personally to me being over shadowed by Adair and everything, was still written very well, although opportunities had been missed. There where plenty of twists and turns for you to guess at, but eventually be proved wrong. Don't get me wrong, while there where a couple of minor bad things, the book still sucked me in from the beginning and still made me laugh, which are two important things for a book!
I'm excited for the next book, and hoping it'll be longer, and succeed the second book!
Friday, 9 May 2014
The Dark King
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
As we dive into the second installment of the Fae trilogy, darkness is descending over Roanoke Island. If memory serves, we left off with Devilyn crossing over to the world of the Dark Fae to become their King. His job is to fulfill the prophecy that states he will unite Dark and Light Fae once and for all. Except since crossing over to the Dark Fae...he's been a little different. Those closest to him, those who love him, worry that he will never be the same again, that every trace of Light he once had is gone and that most importantly, he cannot be trusted.
Caroline, the final heir of the Light Fae and so on, abandoned by her true love (see above), has to get on with things without the protection of her one true love (or memory of him). She has to evade those in the Dark court who want to destroy her and she has to embrace her own strength to do so. Turns out Caroline has a nifty little talent...she can use Light to change a Fate itself.
Caroline and Devilyn have some insane chemistry as readers of the first book will recall, and they have that whole destiny thing but unless they can get the will to overcome the The Darkness and The Fates...destiny might not be so inevitable.
So, I loved Fae, NetGalley has so many awesome books, but when they're a series you're left scouring the new additions pages to find the next in the series, and I honestly did a double take when I spotted this. I was so excited to read the next book, ordinarily I'd have re-read the first book, but I didn't have time to do so, so I was working off of what I could vaguely remember, luckily C.J is good at refreshing your memory!
I gladly leaped back in to the magical world the author weaves with such skill. I mean with the ending of Fae, I couldn't read this installment fast enough. The first book hooked because of the whole Lost Colony thing, with me being such a history geek I couldn't resist, but I carried on reading because of the characters and the plot. The Dark King hooked me right from the beginning and I couldn't stop reading!
The Dark King is every bit as fast paced, action packed and hard to put down as the previous installment. Lots of sequels fail to measure up to the first book, but The Dark King more than matches up, if not exceeds entirely, the first book! It was the perfect sequel.
I was excited to see how the characters would react to the end of Fae, and I must say, I really enjoyed the character growth from certain characters. I love watching characters grow and change, don't worry though guys, Devilyn's love for Caroline is still going strong, that doesn't change one bit! The character growth, for me, made the characters even more likeable. I loved watching how Caroline accepted her fate/heritage this time round, and had a totally different attitude about it, as a result. Titania...well her character growth is truly astounding, she's totally different from Fae, and I'm growing to like her quite a bit! I was also super excited to discover new characters in the book!
The new characters where written with as much care and detail as our characters from the first book, each with plenty of depth and brought to life on the page quite realistically. Did I mention one of the new characters is a boy who's after Caroline? No? Well, all I'll say about that is that it was very well written, usually that sort of thing can irritate me if it's not done correctly, but it's like Abedi gets inside my head and knows what I want to see! Don't worry though, I wouldn't class it as a love triangle! This new development was interesting, added some drama, and gave Devilyn a kick up the ass, I'd say.
There is, however, more than one character that I could quite happily hit in the face. With a brick. It's a testament to Abedi's writing that I actually got so angry just from reading about fictional people, but there you go. Abedi can really get you emotionally involved in the book, which is always a good thing!
I really had missed this world. Everything is written so vividly you can picture it all clearly like a movie playing in your head, and the characters are all written so well you get quite emotionally attached to them. The Dark King was no different, and there where moments where I really wanted to smack Devilyn for the whole "pushing her away" thing. But I wouldn't really because at the same time you get such insight in to the characters you kinda just wanna hug him as well. I enjoyed seeing more of the friendship between Caroline and Teddy, it's expertly written and brings a smile to your face to read scenes with them. The banter between them reminds me of myself and a couple of my friends every know and again, not going to lie!
I was pleased to see Odin, among others, still present. In the first book, the thing I really loved was the mythology of the Fae and the Norse mythology element all mixed together, and I was pleased it was still present, and not totally shoved to the side in favour of action and such, like a lot of authors do. I just can't get enough of it!
To the plot then! I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give it away. We have a lot of different threads coming together, and really building up to what I'm hoping is going to be a spectacular conclusion. There's a lot of the whole pushing Caroline away and trying to get her to hate him type thing for the first half, and the last half (which involves a camping trip), was where the action really took off. That doesn't mean the book wasn't fast paced from the off, and doesn't grip you from the beginning because as I said, I was hooked the whole way through.
Now, I read so many YA paranormal romances, I've experienced this feeling so many times, mostly with Gena Showalter (Alice Through the Zombie Glass), Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken etc) and Cassie Clare (ANY Mortal Instruments book), and yes I'm putting Abedi with them. Whenever things get all happy and things get fixed and it's all going swimmingly, no matter how many pages are left, I get suspicious. Really suspicious. Because I know somethings going to happen. Something's going to go wrong and everything's going to go wrong. Abedi gets to join these three prestigious authors because as I said, I'm always suspicious and rightly so. The cliffhanger literally came out of nowhere and I just sat there for a while like "what the hell just happened?!"
I'm not going to lie, I read fast, and I whizzed through this in a couple of hours because I just couldn't put it down. It was so fast paced, I couldn't find a place in the book for me to end it, so I settled down with some green tea and popcorn and sat gripped by the book from start to finish. More than once with everything going on between Caroline and Devilyn I may or may not have muttered "OH COME ON" more than once! For me their relationship was written so perfectly in the first book, it took time, and I like how the relationship continued to be written realistically and enjoyably, the author knew where the boundaries where between enjoyable and dragging something out.
The Dark King continues the standards set down in Fae. The world is a familiar one, and every bit as magical as it was the first time round, with everything painted clearly for you with a few words. The characters growth, in some cases, makes you love them more, and watching the characters so obviously grow is satisfying. The mythology is still going strong, and the threads of the plot are twining together to create something truly amazing.
The Dark King has everything you could want, romance, action, magic and much, much more. Gripping you from the start, you find yourself frantically turning pages to get to the end, unable to guess or predict any of the plot twists, you find yourself gasping, and unable to put the book down for ANYTHING. The Dark king really will make you quite emotional, such is the way the book pulls you in. Fast paced, full of action, and a perfectly written romance The Dark King is a strong installment in the trilogy.
As always the only thing I didn't like was the cliffhanger at the end, because I just can't cope with them and the waiting for the next book in the series, and the needing to know what happened so incredibly badly!
Thursday, 1 May 2014
The Curse Breakers
Buy or Borrow: Get it or regret it!
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
The Curse Keepers have guarded the barrier between realms for hundreds of years, but the day that Ellie met Collin everything changed. The prophecy demanded they defend the world from evil, even as it ignited a passion that threatened to consume them. Ellie now faces a new life, a frightening new life. Abandoned by the man she loves, and tormented by malevolent spirits unleashing their vengeance upon the Earth. Claiming the mark of the God Ahone as her own is the only thing that can protect her and humanity from the demons. But in order to find it, she will have to trust Dr. David Preston, a handsome professor of Native American studies, whose skepticism is surpassed only by his attraction to Ellie. Together they must finish what the Keepers started, defying the forces of darkness to unlock hell on Earth and unlock the truth about Ellie, and her destiny.
As soon as I finished reading The Curse Keepers, the wait for this book seemed incredibly long and impossible. I needed the second book right that SECOND. I couldn't possibly wait months for the next one! I had to know what happened next right NOW!
Imagine the scene when I woke up one grey and dismal morning to an email, offering me the opportunity to grab an ARC of The Curse Breakers, the sequel I had been hotly anticipating. Well let's just say there was some squealing and jumping and then an agonizing wait to have my request sent, where I was checking every single day, but finally it was there, and it was ready to read. I got stuck in right away, and I didn't stop until a few hours later when the book was, unfortunately, over.
How I loved delving back in to the rich mythology present in this book, I nearly wept with happiness. I just love what the author has created, the world she has created, and it's a world you can sink back in to, with characters that are like seeing old friends after a summer apart.
The author created characters in the first book that you grow to love, you appreciate all the little things about them that make them imperfect. You wish you where as strong as Ellie, that you could be just like her. In Breakers, the characters continue to be written with depth. New characters introduced for example, are written with as much care, depth and imagination as the main characters already present from the first book.
In Breakers, Ellie has such bad luck, it's so easy to relate to her. We've all had that moment in our lives when nothing is going right for us, and we just need that one thing to go right, I'm having that moment right now, but regardless of that you can't help but relate and feel connected to Ellie. You really get behind her, and root for her. I may have screeched "OH COME ON" more than once, can't lie!
One of the new characters we see is David. Who is British. Many of you will know my intense hatred for those authors that just decide to bung in a British character, and have them spout certain words and be incredibly over the top with it, or constantly think, talk about and drink tea OR the classic when the British character utters words and phrases no British person would ever actually say, and so you basically end up with a character that any actual British person would not allow within 10 feet of them and would punch in the face quite happily because they're full of stereotypes.
Oh Denise. I think I may love you. Denise is the first author to not do any of the above. He was perfect. He was written just right. So right that I could actually kiss the author for writing a British character that's exactly like every other regular British person. Thank you. So much. You don't even know.
The other reason I love this series is how the author shuns insta-love. In Keepers we watched a relationship gradually develop with Collin. In Breakers we watch a friendship grow between Ellie and David, and well, you'll just have to see if anything romantic happens now, won't you? *evil laugh* Nothing makes me all warm and fuzzy like the perfectly written relationships, friendship or romantic, that Denise so excels at.
As I said previously, I love the mythology the author weaves in to the book, and the two books are so original to the genre that seems to revolve around vampires aaalll the time. I'm a history geek. You all know it. I know it. So I love how Breakers continued with this fascinating history being woven into it, along with a mythology I know next to nothing about, and so was eager to find out more. History and mythology are so expertly woven by Denise in to a story, along with romance and mystery and such, to create a book you don't want to put down and that you want to read again and again.
Denise is an expert at taking multiple genre's and weaving the threads of them all together in to an incredible plot, and Breakers is no exception, there where so many mysteries going on, I got my Sherlock Holmes on, and I still failed to work out any of them or see any plot twists coming.
In Breakers everything is starting to come together, a certain murder, a certain deal and that pesky curse for starters, not to mention what the Gods are playing at. Now this may seem overwhelming, but the author is so skilled with the written word that it's incredibly engaging, engrossing and well....you try and beat the author and work out what's going on, but you fail miserably, which for me added a fun element.
Questions, questions, so many questions. If you think you aren't gonna be left with a tonne more when you're done reading Breakers then you're so wrong. If you don't highly anticipate this, and spend the time when you're done reading coming up with your own theories, then this book isn't for you. Of course, I already know my theory is incorrect, because Denise is not predictable in any way, shape or form, she will surprise me, and she will blow everything out the water, and I can't wait. I love it.
The Curse Breakers is one of those times when a sequel blows the first book out of the water. We have all the history, mystery, mythology, romance, and drama that we loved from the first book, all woven in to a plot line that thickens and throws up more intrigue. I can't get over how much I love these books, they're so original. The Curse Breakers just can't be put down. It really can't. Try. I dare you.
The Curse Breakers seamlessly extends the world and plot line from Keepers, with all the finesse and imagination of the first book. You delve straight back in to the world and it's like you never left. The characters and the story are just as engaging, just as full of depth.
The only bad thing about this book is the agonizing wait until the next book, but what can you do? The time will fly by..........right?!