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A-Mazing: The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

 

Infernal Devices Book 1 - Clockwork Angel Cassandra Clare Rating; 5!

Infernal Devices
Book 1 – Clockwork Angel
Cassandra Clare
Rating; 5!

Oh, Infernal Devices…You were amazing. The recovery process from the overload of emotions has taken a while, but I feel progress is being made. So much happened within your pages. So much love and hate, mixed feelings, action, heartbreak, and I met many, many wonderful people…I mean characters.. And that ending, in Clockwork Princess? OMG. I tried not to sob, I did, but it didn’t work. Now that you’re over…I feel empty. I’ve picked up 3 books since then and only finished one. I wasn’t even all that impressed with the one finished either. I have a feeling you have something to do with this. Nothing can quite compare to my friends the Shadowhunters. I miss Tessa, Will, and Jem along with all of the others and feel a little lost without them, but happy for having met them.

So my readers…go out and read the Infernal Devices, but beware that the books will change you…

Fantasy, Time Travel, and Romance: The Angel Stone by Juliet Dark

The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles, #3)

The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles #3)
Juliet Dark
Adult Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 5

So I enjoy reading books based on the seasons and since it’s October and gloomy, it’s also my favorite time to read about witches, magic, and vampires. Which is why I was so ecstatic about receiving a copy of Juliet Dark’s The Angel Stone, the final book in the Fairwick trilogy, from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s program. (LibraryThing is amazing btw!)

Anywho, I loved The Angel Stone! It was super hard to do homework when all I wanted to do was keep reading it. So book two, The Water Witch, left us at a pretty rough spot and we pick up right where we left off.  It was very fast paced and humorous and …this story even had time travel (I love time travel!).

Callie, the main character, must find a way to save Fairwick and destroy the Nephilim that have taken control. I thought this was going to be a fairly predictable plot to be honest with you, and I was going to be okay with that, however…l was wrong. There were soo many twist and turns I was amazed…and it all made sense too! (At one point I got really excited and started explaining what was happening to my fiancé, who then asked why I wasn’t just reading it to him because it sounded so good 🙂 And I absolutely loved how everything was wrapped up in the end.

So yes, I do recommend this series, although I will admit, I never read the first book Demon Lover.  You don’t really have to read it to understand what is going on, but now I wish I would have…

A Great Escape Story: Fearless by Cornelia Funke

Fearless

Fearless
Cornelia Funke
YA Fantasy
Rating: 4.5

When the heart craved something so forcefully, then reason  became nothing but helpless observer. The heart, the soul, whatever it was…

So at some point I will have oodles of wonderful programming posts for you regarding the Summer Reading Program.  It’s going spectacularly…however, that also means I’m exhausted and, in turn, do not want to think about it outside of work at the moment. But I will share the experiences about Dinosaurs, Worms, Bike
Rodeos, Tie-Dying, and a couple really great Magic Tree House Book Clubs in the near future : ) So to take my mind off all the programming madness, I’ve kept up my reading and therefore have a book review for you!

Fearless was a great read. Pretty sure I liked it more than Reckless the first book in the series (I read that one quite a while and don’t remember it being a “great” read, more of an “ok” read).  This story had romance, adventure, magic, a different fairy tale-ish world, amazing characters, and a fast paced, thoroughly engrossing (if not at times very frustrating) plot.

Jacob Reckless is in a race against time (and an adversary) to find a way to save himself before the curse he is under claims his life. Reckless finds himself on the treasure hunt of his life with his best friend Fox, a lovely vixen shape-shifter. They must put all the pieces together and find the only possible cure to Reckless’ life before time runs out. (And it’s not even a 100% sure the cure will work!) Of course, their hunt won’t be easy as they find themselves racing against another who is searching for the same treasure while also running into many interesting foes along the way.

My only quam with this book was that it didn’t give enough of a background of the first novel for me.  Generally I get annoyed at all the background stuff in series, but I really missed it in this one because I honestly couldn’t remember what had happened! I would have found more info. beneficial, but that’s just me. 

Cornelia Funke is amazing and hands down one of my favorite authors.  She weaves wonderful stories that I love to get lost in (although I’d rather live in the Inkheart series as this one is a bit gruesome at times).  I can NOT wait for the next book in this series…or anything else she happens to write in the meantime.

Review of The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison

The Rose Throne (The Rose Throne, #1)

The Rose Throne- Book 1
Mette Ivie Harrison
Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 3.5
*Through NetGalley

I obtained an ARC of this book through NetGalley

Magic, royalty, romance, and a prophecy, plus a pretty cover is what made me pick me up this book.  But…it was just o.k. for me. Not bad by any means, there were just a few elements that drove me crazy and made me look online to see if there was a book 1…this is it.

The Rose Throne is about two different kingdoms, two different kinds of magic, and two very different princesses from either kingdom.  There is a magic called taweyr for the men and neweyr for the women, unweyr for those with no magic and something much more dangerous and powerful for those, the ekhono, who by some “mistake” get the opposite gender’s magic.  The dangerous part of being ekhono is that the ruler of one of the kingdoms has declared it illegal and will put to death anyone suspected of it.  This ruthless king has thrown the balance of men’s and women’s magic out of whack by not letting the neweyr flourish and letting his taweyr take over the land.  Ailsbet, the princess of this land, only truly loves music, not ruling, and no one in her land appreciates music like she does.  I didn’t really understand this princess; I thought she was cool in the first half of the book, but then in the second half she seemed super selfish, and annoying. I didn’t get it…

However, on the other land, a much more reasonable king abides with a more enjoyable princess, Issa. I just ended up feeling sorry for her the entire book, but she was a strong and capable character unlike Ailsbet. She’s forced to leave her kingdom and agree to marry a young boy prince, Ailsbet’s younger brother, to try and unite the two kingdoms, thus hopefully fulfilling a prophecy. However, chaos (and possibly true love?) then ensues which you will find out if you read the book : )

My main problem with this book was the lack of background information. Like the magic isn’t ever just explained to you (which I get sometimes you’re supposed to show readers things through your writing, but this definitely needed an explanation…I thought I had missed a book).  I wish the kingdoms had a bit more info. too. Like how big are they? Just one town? Islands? I know there’s more than just the two main ones so how many others are there.  Stuff like that just made it feel incomplete for me. And it is quite violent in parts which I wasn’t expecting.

Overall, it was O.K. I’m not mad I spent time reading it.

 

All About Marissa Meyer: Author Inspiration and Signed Cinder Giveaway Time!

Marissa Meyer and Me!

Marissa Meyer and Me!

I recently had the privilege of attending Marissa Meyer’s visit and book signing at the Edina, MN Barnes and Noble.  It took a 3 hour drive navigating through a nice spring blizzard all while suffering from a nasty sinus infection, but totally worth it.  I highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to see Marissa speak, to make sure they go!  She was humorous, informative about books to come ;), and incredibly inspiring.

I came only expecting a reading from her latest book, Scarlet, but it was so much more.  She explained about how she has grown up writing fan-fiction about the late anime show Sailor Moon and how that morphed into entering writing contests; in particular NaNoWriMo, which eventually (and I say eventually because it sounded like a long and arduous development as the writing, editing, and re-writing process takes a very long time! which was unfortunately reassuring) led to the amazing Lunar Chronicles.  Even as inspiring as all that is, the part I found the most fascinating was that Meyer found writing fanfic within an online community so beneficial. She said it was easier to share her writing online rather than show her uber “private” notebooks to people in person. This is exactly why I started blogging; the feedback from wonderful readers, to know that others are reading are what I have to say even if it isn’t the best writing.  Practice makes perfection or at least a better writer.

Marissa also talked about her upcoming books in the Lunar chronicles; Cress and Winter.  I was glad to know that the books will contain all of the characters from the previous books along with introducing some amazing new ones! A super techy Rapunzel for Cress and Winter will contain Snow White.  Plus she talked of wanting a prequel for Queen Levana and she said she has two other bookish ideas in mind.  One a standalone and another series idea; sooo exciting! And the movie rights have been sold for Cinder, to whom is unknown to us until a later date, so hopefully (please, please, please!) it will be made into a (well-done) movie!! Then she told a couple of twisted fairy tales I thoroughly enjoyed.

Cinder Marissa Meyer Young Adult Sci-Fi Rating: 4

And…Hopefully you already know that Cinder is amazing and if you don’t yet know because you haven’t gotten a chance to read it, hopefully I’ve started to convince you.  So, either way; if you already love the series or are ready to finally give it a try I’ve got a giveaway for you! A signed copy of the paperback edition of Cinder 🙂

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents 13 years of age and older. The winner will be notified via e-mail the day after the contest has ended and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen in their place. Good Luck!

Enter Here!

The 4th (yes 4th!) Witch and Wizard Installment: The Kiss by James Patterson and Jill Dembowski

The Kiss (Witch & Wizard, #4)

The Kiss (Witch & Wizard #4)
James Patterson
Teen Fantasy
Rating 3.5

So I had no idea this series was continuing because the last book which came out, The Fire, seemed like the perfect ending.  My feelings are mixed on this one though.  Overall, I enjoyed reading the story and loved the different places described in this book; the Mountain, the Forest, and the mention of a desert. And of course the familiar characters Whit and Wisty are enjoyable.   However, what I enjoyed was also part of what bothered me. None of the places were ever mentioned in the previous novels (that I can remember) and made it a bit hard to believe they just all of the sudden appeared.  I think it may have been better to just start a whole new series with similar characters, because it was just a little hard to buy the whole completely new setting.

Thinking of the book as separate from the series though, makes the story much more enjoyable.  Corruption and unequal rights resurface as another power hungry leader tries to gain control of the city while another threat from the Mountain appears at the same time.  Children start disappearing again and it’s up to Whit and Wisty to help save the city from destruction, but this time a super handsome boy comes in the way splitting Whit and Wisty apart. Wisty can’t seem to get enough of her latest crush Heath, while Whit believes him to be the scum of the Earth, but whose side is Heath really on?

I’ve always loved the careful Whit and the crazy Wisty, however the cover of this book drove me crazy! One of my biggest pet peeves with books is having the real people faces plastered on the cover of the book and that is no exception with this one.  I feel like it ruins the imaginative process for the reader when a face of the main character has already stared at you leaving you no room to picture them for yourself! And the picture of Wisty on the front cover is totally NOT how I pictured her.

BUT, all in all if you enjoyed the characters of Whit and Wisty and don’t mind stretching your imagination to completely change their storyline, then go ahead read The Kiss.  It’s not a bad read.  But if you want to just remember the ending of their story the way it probably should have “ended”, you may be disappointed by this one….

Any thoughts on if you thought this series should have ended with the third book?  Are there any other series you think went past their prime?

Hmm…Fantasy? Review: Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1)

Changeling (Order of Darkness #1)
Philippa Gregory
YA Historical Fiction
Rating: 3

I have loved Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series in the past, so I was pretty excited when I saw she had written a young adult novel taking place in the 1450’s which was in the historical fiction/fantasy genre. BUT, this was just an OK story for me and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been expecting so much out of it. I just don’t see where the fantasy was in the book though. I kept waiting and waiting…and waiting and then the book was over and I was very confused about how this was classified as a fantasy novel. Putting aside the fact that I was holding my breath the whole time for something paranormal to happen, the actual storyline wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t amazing either. It was very hard for me to stay focused on the story and took me quite a while to finish reading. I really didn’t feel a strong connection to any of the characters either which didn’t help my meandering attention.

The main male character, Luca, is taken from his home at the monastery and finds himself working for the Pope as a part of the “Order of Darkness”. Luca’s job is to investigate all forms of evil throughout the land since the end of days is believed to be near. He travels with his quirky, yet good-hearted friend, Freize, and a “spy” of the Pope, Brother Peter, who makes sure they follow their duties and complete their inquiries.
Luca’s story interweaves with Isolde’s tale. Isolde has recently lost her father and, to top it all off, been told by her brother that she’s been stripped of all inheritance and must either marry a horrible prince or become abbess of their land’s nunnery. Isolde, along with her faithful friend Ishraq, head to the nunnery where their paths cross with Luca’s.

Luca has come to the nunnery to discover the source of a mysterious problem which started occurring ever since Isolde and Ishraq arrived. What will Luca discover about the mystery of the abbey and what are the implications for Isolde and Ishraq? After the abbey mystery is solved and you think How can this story go on? it does, and it gets a little more interesting, but not more paranormal (so don’t hold your breath).
If you want a historical fiction mystery, check this book out. However, if you are looking for a historical fiction fantasy novel, I would look elsewhere. I will continue to read Philippa Gregory’s purely historical fiction novels because they are fun and you feel like you are learning something from them, however I don’t think this particular series will be one I continue on with.

Fast-Paced and Exciting: The Water Witch by Juliet Dark

The Water Witch Juliet Dark Adult Fantasy Rating: 4

The Water Witch
Juliet Dark
Adult Fantasy
Rating: 4

I received this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program and quite enjoyed it.  I wasn’t aware until I got the book that it is the second book in the Fairwick Trilogy by Juliet Dark, but not having read the first book in this series, it didn’t detract a whole lot from the overall story.  Enough recapping was provided throughout the book that I wasn’t ever “lost”.  My main fear when I picked up this book was that it would be too “dark” since the first novel in this series is titled Demon Lover and that kinda put me off, but it really wasn’t too bad.  There were parts where it was bit too “witchcrafty” for my taste (which is saying something since Fantasy is my favorite genre) but I just skimmed over those parts and didn’t miss anything of importance.  The Water Witch was a super addicting read and I finished it within a day, a busy day.  However, be prepared for a doozy of an ending where you scramble to find out when the last book in the trilogy comes out. (If anyone has more luck finding out, let me know!)

Review:

Callie, the main heroine, is having trouble controlling her erratic magic and seems to keep causing problems within the mortal world by accidentally letting not-so-nice fey creatures through the doorway.  Now the Grove, the all female witch counsel, wants to permanently close the doorway into the fey world so no more fey can get out, but not all of the fey creatures are evil and some of them need to enter the mortal world to survive.   And Callie just so happens to be a doorkeeper, which means she is able to open and close the doorway if she can learn to control her magic.  However, gaining power over her magic isn’t the only problem she’s facing; Callie still doesn’t know what it is to love.  She doesn’t know if she loved the incubus she is trying to get over or if she maybe still wants to love him.  There are many interesting characters within this story too (however, I couldn’t keep their names straight) like Norse demigods, brownies, a creative version of knitting Norse fates, a Faerie goddess, and many, many more.  Overall, a pretty fun and very fast read.

I was reminded of Harkness’ All Soul’s Trilogy, but not so dense. So if you want a quicker read like that, read this.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night Deborah Harkness Adult Fiction Rating: 2

Shadow of Night
Deborah Harkness
Adult Fiction
Rating: 2

I FINALLY finished it. It took forever to get through, (like two weeks)!! I was…disappointed. I remember enjoying the first one for some reason (although I didn’t write a review so I don’t remember why). But this one just didn’t make the cut for me. I didn’t start enjoying the book until about 3/4 of the way through it. There was too much historical detail for a fantasy fiction book. Don’t get me wrong, I love historical fiction, but I think half of this book could have been taken out and it would have made it incredibly better. Ugh, I’m glad I’m finished with it, but sorry I didn’t just skip over about 300 pages to save some time. I will probably read the next one though as I can’t leave a storyline unfinished and it sounds like there will (hopefully) be more action and stuff actually happening in it.

Diana and Matthew timewalked back in time in order to hide from the Congregation and try to locate Ashmole 762.  Diana finds out more bad stuff about Matthew and blindly accepts it (like every other female in fiction does when it comes to vampires) and Matthew tries to control Diana in every possible way.  However, Diana does learn many new things about herself  in the past which will hopefully help her control her magic better.  She also has a couple pretty big secrets of her own that she keeps from Matthew (sign of a healthy relationship?), which I’m guessing will come out in the next book.  The story got a bit more exciting towards the end when there was a little more going on and it ends on a promise for more action to come.

Overall, a very, very long read, and if I could go back in time I would skip the middle 300 pages of this book.

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