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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Deadly Curiosities is one of those books that you request to review, and you're so excited to read it you can't wait to be accepted. The synopsis immediately piqued my interest, antique and curio shop....shadowy alliance of mortals and mages...supernatural items...being able to touch stuff and know it's history (one of the coolest gifts ever)...500 year old jewel thief vampire (I can smell the romance already)...I mean, it has all the hallmarks of a great read, not to mention the third bloke on the cover that screams love triangle, and frankly, I wasn't disappointed.
While you might read the blurb and think it might be like any other supernatural books with vampires, or a bit of fluff or whatever, while there's nothing wrong with that, this book is so far from being a bit of fluff. I'm always looking out for books that are intriguing to me, but also unique or a bit odd or wacky, not a cookie cutter book basically. Just from the blurb I was drawn in because it sounded like I was in for a treat.
As soon as I started reading, I immediately slipped in to the familiar world of Urban Fantasy, slipping in to the story was like being wrapped in your favourite blanket, while the genre was familiar, and some aspects where, there was plenty in the book to make it unique and stand out, and as everyone who reads my reviews knows...I love unique! However, those aspects I just mentioned? The ones that add to the whole "favourite blanket thing"? Those would be the wording used. I'm a Mortal Instruments fan and for me, the only other time the word Mundane has been used to describe regular people is in TMI, so for me while at first it was bit of a jolt, the familiar terminology made it easy to slip in to the book.
The world Martin has created was truly very well written. I mean, I want to move to Charleston, the pull is so great. A lot of the time we just get the whole "the town is called this, this happened and blahblahblah" which ya know, is kinda great cos you're not bogged in information, but I've got to say, I was loving the rich history of the place woven in to the book, not to mention the culture, it was all included expertly with no info-dump of doom. Martin really is talented, the blend of all that rich history and culture with the fictional paranormal elements was truly perfect.
The world was written so very atmospherically and cinematically, that you can so easily picture yourself strolling down the sidewalks, perusing the antique shops, sitting outside a cafe for lunch, then checking out the museums before heading back to the B&B to have dinner before hopping on a ghost tour. It's the kinda place you can just imagine living in so easily. Which sounds weird, but yeah.
For me, the pacing at the beginning was perfect. I eagerly started to read, and I was hooked straight from the beginning and unable to put the book down, although the pace burned out towards the middle, then picked back up for the end, it wasn't for me personally, a struggle to get through, I just couldn't put the book down despite the pacing issue.
Characters, well, I rarely get to read an Urban Fantasy book where the characters have such natural and modern voices. Usually it's either too modern/try hard, which means that every single phrase or saying or abbreviation (totes for example) is used so much you lose the will to live, or it's kind of just blah. The narrative and the characters voices was smooth like chocolate! (har de har) Martin has written her characters so well, and with such depth that even the secondary characters jump off the page and shout "Look at me" at you.
Now, as I said before, when reading the synopsis, I could practically smell the romance. Turns out I might need to have my nose checked out. There was no romance going on, which I was a bit sad about, because I figured there was a prime opportunity and I was expecting it, but the disappointment soon faded because it was quite refreshing for there not to be a romance. Not to mention the fact I've read far too many books of late where a romance has been awkwardly shoved in when it really shouldn't have even existed and thus made me hate the book. Depending on where you fall on the whole "I NEED ROMANCE" and "'I'm really not fussed" you'll have a different opinion.
Now History nerd that I am, I loved the flashbacks whenever our lead touched an item, they where written with just as much care and detail as every scene in the book, and where so vivid. The pure amount of hauntings, paired with the creepy flashbacks, usually featuring death, gives this book a ghost story type feel, which really makes it stand out from every other Urban Fantasy book on the shelf.
Another thing I loved about the book was that when it was dark, it was DARK, nothing was done halfway or half assed, but this was tempered by the humour present in the book.
You can always tell when a book is exceptional when you want more, and I most certainly want more of Deadly Curiosities, I'm eagerly awaiting the next book, and I'm tempted to check out Soren's series while I'm waiting!
Deadly Curiosities, is a unique, and intriguing new addition to a tired old genre filled with samey books, once you dive in, it's impossible to get out, the book remains glued to your hand and you're left wanting more! It's also refreshingly free of romance, although I was expecting a love triangle thanks to the cover, not gonna lie!
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Buy or Borrow: BUY!
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley!
The Source is another of my most anticipated books. Yes I know I have a lot of those, but I love a lot of series, and find lots of new ones every day! I loved The Line, I wasn't expecting the amazingness that was that book when I started reading, and I was sad to finish it. I honestly could not wait for this book, and I was so psyched NetGalley had it available to request!
When we rejoin Mercy, she's in charge but she's struggling to control her new powers. Not to mention she also has to deal with being pregnant, and that whole heartbreaking betrayal shabang. As if she wasn't stressed enough, her mother, who's been thought to be dead for years, pops back up. Cue trust issues with the family, and a quest for truth!
Once again, I loved the setting of the book, the author writes about it so vividly, you can practically believe you're there, with the sun shining down on your face. It's a world that's written so realistically, you feel like you've actually been there, and you never want to leave! I was so pleased that was still going strong in this book.
Mercy, I was worried about. A lot of times in sequels, the characters suffered, but Mercy continued to be one of my favourite characters. She was just as strong as she was in the first book, and I loved that. Personally, I'm surprised she didn't have a mental break down, if I was in her situation, I'd probably have curled in to the fetal position with a tub of Ben and Jerry's and Netflix. Peter was still as annoying to me as he was in the first book. I don't like his character, I feel like he's not the right love choice, but he seems to be capable of change, so we'll see.
As for the other characters, well, you gotta love them because every one of them has a different agenda, and good luck working out what's going to happen next. I tried, and I failed, and I loved how I couldn't predict what was going to happen next, I read so many books where I enjoy them, but they're predictable, and The Source, just like The Line, is so unpredictable it's quite scary. Especially as the author has you so emotionally invested in the characters, you're likely to have an emotional break down if anything bad happens to them.
The characters have really developed since the first book, and it's great to see that happening, and see things moving along. As I said, each character has their own agenda, and each character is equally as complicated. I enjoyed how the author pretty much managed to write the book, so you feel exactly who Mercy feels. You spend the entire book not knowing who to trust or believe, just as much as Mercy, and if that doesn't keep you reading, I don't know what will. The characters are revealed to have flaws, and I love when characters aren't perfect, and there's plenty of interesting backstory to keep you entertained and satisfied.
The Source is every bit as fast paced as The Line. You're engaged and intrigued throughout the whole of the book, it's impossible to put down, I really didn't want it to end to be honest, and I'm super excited about the third book.
The Source is a fun read, the author continues to write characters who jump off the page, and continues to create a world that sucks you in, so you can truly escape in to the story. Sequels are often disappointing compared to the previous books, but I was incredibly impressed with this sequel, it was equal to, if not better than The Line.
The Source is an astounding sequel to an incredible first book. A battle of good and evil, a plot so complex Sherlock Holmes won't be able to work out what's going to happen, who's going to win and who's on who's side. As soon as you start reading you step in to a world that you can't and won't want to leave, with characters that jump off the page and keep you entertained, not to mention so much intrigue it's enough to make you crazy! GIMME BOOK THREE NOOOOWW!