Posts Tagged: Magic

Early Review – Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

September 27, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 1 Comment

I received this book free from a Giveaway, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley ColePoison Princess by Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 2nd 2012
Pages: 369
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Warlord Wants Forever

one-star

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can't do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side.

The day of Evie’s birthday, the Flash happens, and the world is transformed. Nothing green remains after fires lit up the earth and incinerated everything. Very few humans survived the Flash and the ones who did were transformed as well. Some transformed into cannibals doing anything they could to survive, some turned into Bagmen who drank the blood of humans if it was the only source of liquid they could find. But Evie knew this was coming because she had been having visions of the sky in flames and the earth incinerated for months. Could she have done something to stop this?

Okay for starters: The love interest, Jackson? He goes down in history as being a member of the top ten worst love interests. He was not charming in the least and there was no obvious reasoning behind Evie’s attraction to him besides him being attractive. He was the biggest jerk, he was a pig, he drank ALL THE TIME, and was constantly trying to get in Evie’s pants. Some might argue with me that his protectiveness of Evie was sweet and he only did that because he cared for her. Yeah. Well. There’s a thin line between protectiveness and possessiveness. But seriously? He was a drunken loser and I disliked him A LOT, especially when he said such romantic things like:

“Hell, Evie, you’re probably the last girl on earth for me. Would it kill you to put out?”

Ugh. Dude? She’s sixteen. And you’re officially a douchebag. There’s more but it pretty much reveals all about their ‘relationship’ so view at your own risk. (view spoiler) Evie, spoiled rich girl, wasn’t the strongest character either. When I found out what member of the Tarot she embodied I was a little put-off that she wasn’t made of tougher stuff and was quite the pushover. Admittedly, she does end up becoming what I had originally envisioned her being but it happened in the blink of an eye and there was no real build to get to that point.

Moving on. Next issue I had was the world-building. Or in this case, the lack of it. The following lines pretty much sum up the explanation we received for why the skies lit on fire and everything green ceased to exist:
“The Flash marked the beginning? What caused the Flash, Matthew?”
“Sun.”
And that’s all you get so don’t expect anything more.

At first I was skeptical at the interpretation of the Tarot cards as people but after doing some additional research I must admit that Kresley Cole did stay quite true to form. I had a few problems though…View Spoiler » I understand that this is fiction and that embellishment is pretty much standard, but in taking something like The Major Arcana and embellishing it to the point of it being unrecognizable just seemed wrong to me.

And now for my biggest issue. I had initially given this 2 stars because I was impressed with its originality. I thought the characters were horribly written and incredibly un-likeable but I loved the potential the summary held. Except that this theory has already been floating around in the world, for several decades:
‘Carl Jung was the first psychoanalyst to attach importance to tarot symbolism. He may have regarded the tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of persons or situations embedded in the collective unconscious of all human beings.’
Which pretty much sums up the whole gist of this book. Now that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with using other ideas and embellishing off of them, but the originality was the one saving grace for me because everything else (characters, world building, etc) was horrible so that was going to be the only enjoyable aspect for me.

And to top it off, there’s a line at the end of the book: “Only one can live.”
Um, did I get a glitch on my Kindle and open up The Hunger Games? Nope. Still the same book.

So basically this book is actually a mix of Carl Jung’s interpretation of tarot symbolism which was established in like the 1950’s and the whole point The Hunger Games is based upon. As much potential as this had, this inevitably was a big fail because of a lack of execution and this is one series I definitely won’t be continuing.

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Early Review – Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer

June 14, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather BrewerSoulbound by Heather Brewer
Series: Legacy of Tril #1
Published by Dial on June 19th 2012
Pages: 304
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.

This had several elements that have been done time and time again: sarcastic rule-breaking heroine, heroine is shipped off to boarding school without a choice, saved by cute boy (who just happens to be a total jerk… but… he’s cute. So it’s cool), meets another cute boy and the dreaded love triangle is born… need I go own? I must say though, it wasn’t JUST that badass looking cover that sold me originally, I actually did read the summary on this one before immediately adding it to my read pile so I was really truly interested in reading this story. Despite the immediate evidence that this was like every other book I’ve read, for some reason I was hooked and I attribute that to a part of me kept hoping that something un-normal would happen or at the very least something badass that lived up to that awesome cover. (Seriously, that’s one seriously kickass cover).

Regardless and despite all my seemingly negative comments down below, there was just something about this story that I really enjoyed. I was completely hooked on the story line and I really liked Kala even though she had some total dumb moments where I’d slap her upside the head if I could.

I had particular issue with the actual world of Tril. Love me some world-building, and once I hit around page 250 and realized I still had no clue where the hell this world was, whether it was an area on Earth, some floating planet like Atlantis, or a completely separate planet… no clue. There was one brief description where it was describing ‘the Outer Rim’ which is supposedly the most dangerous area in all of Tril ‘running through all three-continents – that is, Kokora, Haruko, and Kaito-in an oval shape.’ I would have appreciated some additional detail of what appears to be a fascinating world, and maybe a little earlier on because that brief description didn’t even come until page 271 (in my arc – may not be actual page in official edition).

I found the writing to be appropriate considering the main character is a 17 year old. The only issue I had was her form of cuss words… ‘fak’, ‘terked off’, (what’s so wrong with ticked off?) she would refer to people who were being jerks as ‘deks’ (which I personally found funny because fak is a substitute for ‘fuck’ but dek? A substitute for ‘dick’? lol Maybe not what it was truly meant to be a substitute for but that’s what it made me think.) Bottom line, I get the reason for not cussing but I would’ve just preferred it be left out entirely instead of this silly fake cussing business. But bonus points for inventing new words.

The explanation behind the Soulbounds was pretty awesome, how the two were born at the exact same moment and were thus paired together. The couples that were just ‘Bound’ were a little less interesting. I understand the significance between two that are Soulbound but being Bound doesn’t appear to be anything special, that just meant to me was even if you were unfortunate to lose your Soulbound he/she is replaceable. Obviously they couldn’t stay alone for the rest of their lives and sure the couples that are Bound don’t have as strong a relationship and maybe I’m just complaining because I’m a big sappy romantic and the concept of being Soulbound had me ‘awwing’ but despite that I did like the whole concept behind Soulbounds.

As far as the actual relationship between Kaya and Trayton… it was way too insta-love for me. And Trayton? Could not have been more perfect. It was kind of disgusting. The first place they go together is his ‘favorite place’ which just so happens to be this absolutely gorgeous library (there was even a chandelier). I mean come on. That shit doesn’t happen. (And if so, where the hell is my super fantastic dream guy who takes me to beautiful libraries on our first date?!) It was a total scene copy from Beauty and the Beast, except I’m going to assume Trayton was less fuzzy.

Bottom Line
I did enjoy this but not as much as I had anticipated. This had a lot of elements that reminded me of The Vampire Academy series and I think fans of that will enjoy this also. By the end there were almost too many questions that were left unanswered which left the book feeling a tad incomplete to me. (Not to mention the cliffhanger that was easily foreseeable) I understand that this is the first installment in a series but some resolution would have been nice. I am interested in seeing how this series progresses so I will definitely be picking up the next installment.

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Book Review – Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

March 14, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel HawkinsSpell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #3
Published by Disney Hyperion on March 13th 2012
Pages: 337
Genres: Fantasy, Funny-ha-ha, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hex Hall, Demonglass, School Spirits

two-half-stars

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Man… where do I start. Big sigh for this one. Big disappointment for me. I’m very sad this series is over and there won’t be a chance to make something more of this series. I read the first and second books back to back when the second book was released and fell in love with Sophie and Jenna and Hex Hall and Archer and Cal and the world that Rachel Hawkins created. I was so eager to get my hands on Spell Bound that I had the release date marked on my calendar even. To say I was anticipating this like no other is an understatement.

I’m typically wary of the final books in series because they are rarely wrapped up sufficiently in my opinion and Spell Bound definitely fell in that category. For being such a short book and having so many loose ends that still needed tying up, I was extremely surprised that it took so long for anything to actually happen (plot-wise). Midway through the book I found myself bored and begging for something interesting to happen; it was really quite upsetting. Once the plot started actually ‘progressing’ I felt it was very forced, lacked sufficient explanation, and lacked in excitement.

I remember Sophie being a lot of fun and really funny in the first two books but despite the fact that there were some really funny moments her humor really fell a little flat for me. And her fluctuating maturity really drove me batty. One second she’d be acting like a mature young-adult making smart, rational decisions and the next moment she’s acting like a teen making immature statements. There were moments that still put a smile on my face and had me laughing but…I missed old Sophie in this one. As for the other characters I really enjoyed Jenna’s part but found myself really enjoying the scenes with the two new characters Izzy and Finley. Way too serious for their young age and pretty darn funny (but not an intentional funny. 🙂 )

There were some major ‘eh’ moments that I didn’t much care for. Don’t click if you haven’t read this! I don’t make spoiler tags for nothing.

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Very sad this series is over and that this is how it ended. Nonetheless, I am very excited to see what Rachel Hawkins comes up with next!

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Book Review – Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4) by Diana Rowland

January 5, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 1 Comment

Book Review – Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4) by Diana RowlandSins of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #4
Published by DAW on January 3rd 2012
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon

four-stars

 

The homicide beat in Louisiana isn't just terrifying, it's demonic. Detective Kara Gilligan of the supernatural task force has the ability to summon demons to her aid, but she herself is pledged to serve a demonic lord. And now, people who've hurt Kara in the past are dropping dead for no apparent reason. To clear her name and save both the demon and human worlds, she's in a race against the clock and in a battle for her life that just may take her to hell and back.

 

 

Kara Gillian series

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1)Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #2)Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #3)

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}
Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian #2) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}
Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian #3) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}

Final Page Thoughts

*ahem* Excuse the language, but what the HELL kind of ending was that?! No, I’m sorry, that wasn’t an ending… that was more like a chapter ending, except my book must have been missing the subsequent pages. AHHH! What a cliffhanger. And now we have to wait a whole YEAR!? Is it available for pre-order yet?? Someone shoot me now. *Sobs*

Something that’s been ongoing in this series for a while, a bit of an issue with Kara, is resolved but not until the very flipping end of the book which made that ending that much worse but still made you happy that it nonetheless happened. Yes, I’m aware that sentence makes absolutely no sense.

I’ve attempted to collect my thoughts and form them into a worthwhile review without giving too much away. I do believe worthwhile should be replaced with ‘I’m going to ramble and forget to use periods occasionally so don’t mind me’.

The Storyline

The fourth installation in the Kara Gillian has finally arrived. Kara’s back and trouble seems to be finding her at every turn… but then again, what else is new? She’s dealing with her complicated relationship with Rhyzkahl and Ryan, people are dying who she personally knows and who she also has personally grudges with, someone is attempting to summon her to the demon realm, and on top of that her emotions are going straight haywire.

New Characters

I find that the further you delve into a series it’s usually a requirement to add in new characters to keep it fresh and new. Usually these characters end up being written in as useless characters that are easily disposed of. The few characters (mainly one) added into ‘Sins of the Demon’ were so well written and established in the story that I couldn’t remember a time when they weren’t a part of the story.

Eilahn is Kara’s demon bodyguard and roommate, put in place by Rhyzkahl when he realized that someone was attempting to summon her to the demon realm. Eilahn was hilarious and her sense of humor went extremely well with Kara’s normal snarkiness. (Is that not a word? My red squiggle tells me not, but it should be.)

Fuzzykins: Eilahn’s accidental cat. The presence of Fuzzykins led to some bust a gut with tears in eyes laughter. I think the scene that had to be my absolute favorite was the cat’s obvious dislike of Kara (and obvious love of Eilahn) when they were getting him in the car and the cat gives Kara a ’fuck you glare accompanied by a I-want-to-claw-your-face-off-hiss.’

“I do not wish her to grow upset,” Eilahn said, frown puckering her forehead. “I have heard that cats do not care to ride in cars. If I am in the front and she in the back, will she not grow distraught? Perhaps I should hold her in my lap.”
“Um, that’s a pretty darn big carrier to hold on your lap,” I pointed out.
She blinked. “I did not intend to have her in the carrier. Why can I not simply hodl her in my lap so that I can stroke her fur? Will that not calm her?”
I had a vision of a psychotic cat careening around the inside of the car – following by an image of my mangled death in the ensuing wreck.
“No,” I stated. Firmly.

Hahaha… Funny times.

So… I don’t believe I can say much more without giving anything away. This wasn’t a disappointing book at all and I still recommend this series highly. I’ve become a rabid Kara Gillan/Diana Rowland fan and I’m impatient as hell and the next book could not come sooner.

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Book Review – Knight’s Curse (Knight’s Curse #1) by Karen Duvall

December 21, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Knight’s Curse (Knight’s Curse #1) by Karen DuvallKnight's Curse by Karen Duvall
Series: Knight's Curse #1
Published by Luna on September 1, 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it’s like to live life on the edge—precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact…or she must suffer the consequences.

Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin— her noble warrior-protector—that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom…and the love of her life.

Storyline
Chalice is an extremely gifted individual with heightened sight, hearing, and smell. After she is abducted from her home in a monastery she is trained as a thief by the Vyantara, ’an international organization of nefarious magic users who profited from the sale of charmed and cursed objects I stole for them.’ She knows very little about why she is who she is or who her parents are but after finding out information about her who her mother is, Chalice is desperate to break the curse that keeps her a slave to the Vyantara.

Thoughts
This was an intriguing read from the very beginning, but once the storyline progressed and added new elements I was a bit thrown. View Spoiler » Plus with the weird details of her slavery and the gargoyle neck licking thing… well I’ve probably said too much already. Suffice it to say it was different, but not necessarily in a bad way, and was still interesting enough to keep me reading.

Chalice’s enhanced senses were an interesting concept, but her being able to ‘slide’ her contacts in and out was highly unrealistic. Where does she put them when she’s not wearing them? In her pocket? What about pocket fuzz? Don’t they dry out and shrivel up or anything? Where’s her travel bottle of opti-fresh or her mini travel case? Yes, I put a lot of thought into this even though it’s pretty inconsequential and they probably aren’t you average type of contacts anyways. I am a contact lens wearer for over 15 years though so I understand that contacts don’t slide in an out. And they do shrivel up. Okay, probably put far too much thought into it but whatever. It bothered me.

I enjoyed the various characters that were presented in this story… definitely added to the originality. The jewel-encrusted frog named Ruby was a cute addition. The ‘jewel-encrusted lie-detecting frog’ was a bit overkill though, but I did still enjoy her part in the story. Also, I loved the concept of the shape-shifting animal named Ling-Ling, but all I could think of when they said her name was ‘Ling-Ling the giant panda bear’.

I think the world building was lacking which is always a problem for me, especially when there were SO many supernatural creatures. There needed to be some development of some sorts, rather than just leaving it as the world we live in with supernaturals thrown in for good measure. The main characters weren’t extremely likable either and pair that with the lack of world-building and I wasn’t entirely overjoyed with this book. Okay, so in retrospect, I was being a bit knit-picky with this one but there were a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me. It was interesting enough but I’m not sure I’ll be continuing the series.

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Book Review – The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis, #1) by Sandy Williams

December 3, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis, #1) by Sandy WilliamsThe Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
Published by Ace on October 25th 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shades of Treason

four-half-stars

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

I was ridiculously hooked to this book from the very first page. Great characters, exciting storyline, and more important an original storyline.

McKenzie is a hot commodity in the faerie war. She’s a shadow reader who is able to track faeries that fissure out. She’s been assisting the faerie King since she was 16; it’s now been 10 years. For those past 10 years McKenzie has also been pining over Kyol, the king’s swordsman, who is forbidden from being with a human. They share kisses and private moments but they’ve never gone further as Kyol’s loyalty to the King keeps him from doing so. McKenzie herself has been loyal to the King for the last 10 years and when she is abducted by the faerie rebels and discovers pertinent information that’s been kept from her for all these years her loyalties begin to divide.

The emotional bonding with a captor or an abuser known as Stockholm syndrome was referred to in this story after McKenzie began having feelings for Aren. I felt that the fact that she could have had Stockholm syndrome would have been better left implied rather than stated so bluntly. Also, do victims even realize they have Stockholm syndrome? McKenzie kept referring to it almost like it’s a third person. Open for discussion on that because I’m really not sure.

’Damn this Stockholm syndrome. There’s got to be some cure for it.’

Other than that, I really didn’t have any problems with this story.

I’m sure we all know by now how much I despise love triangles and I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. This one wasn’t the worst by far; I believe it was one of the most well-handled love triangles I’ve read to date.

I loved the originality of the story. I feared that this would end up being a variation of the Iron Fey series, just with adult alterations. I ended up being quite wrong in that assumption, quite wrong and pleasantly surprised. I also loved how it wasn’t your typical badass heroine stories where she’s unbelievably powerful, super-hot, and can kick everyone’s ass. This was not the case. McKenzie may have had a super awesome power that came in handy and made her super important to a large number of people, but she was still vulnerable and real. At first I was kind of irritated at the fact that she seemed to be a major weenie, but it made the story and McKenzie more realistic in my opinion.

I look forward to the next book in the series coming out. The author already released the name of the next book in the series… ‘The Shattered Dark’. Sounds fabulous! I can’t wait! 😀

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Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

November 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. SnyderTouch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Published by Mira on January 1, 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

The Storyline
Touch of Power is a new series by Maria V. Snyder that introduces Avry of Kazan, a Healer who is able to take illnesses away from another and take them as her own. The only illness that she can’t take without expecting to survive is the plague. Unfortunately, people believe that Healers are the reason the plague exists and she is forced to keep her abilities hidden from others. When she’s abducted by a band of rogues and told that they require her help to heal a prince who is sickened with the plague she must decide who’s life is worth more because only one of them will be able to survive.

Thoughts
This is actually the first novel I’ve read by Maria V. Snyder so I’m unable to compare it to her past works. I must say I did enjoy it, although I was hoping for more in the end. Even though this book is marketed to YA, I appreciated the fact that the main character was 20 years old and actually acted her age.

Overall there was a major disconnect in the building of the story as a whole for me. I would have loved to see more explanation regarding Avry and maybe some information about her past. It was briefly touched upon but I think it could have been expanded even more. The world that Avry lived in had the potential to be a truly fascinating fantasy world but the author didn’t seem to find it fitting to expand upon that either. The lacking of explanation really made everything really confusing because it seemed like a fantasy world in olden times but there were various modern references that didn’t exactly fit. The author did best with the character development, their relationships, and their interactions.

I’m not sure if I’m left with enough interest to continue the series but I’m sure this will become a favorite of die-hard Maria V. Snyder fans. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t include me.

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Book Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

October 15, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Pages: 424
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

three-stars

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.”

I was so excited to get my hands on this quickly after it was released, but what was even quicker was my disappointment. Sorry guys, am definitely in the minority here, obviously.

’He was standing over her, and his eyes were molten. They were wide, his orange irises ringed around in white, and he was holding, one in each hand, her crescent-moon knives.’

And what does he say?

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

And what’s her response?

‘Just then, lit only by the flicker of his wings, the sight of him was so… right, somehow. He was right.

I’m sorry… what?? What exactly is right about that situation someone please tell me? Now, speaking hypothetically, if I had weird magic eyeballs on my palms I would’ve blasted his ass right out the front door.

Overall, the story was beautifully written but I fear that that was the only redeeming factor and the only reason I gave it 3 stars. Maybe I’m just not cut out for fantasy novels; maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Either way I didn’t enjoy this as much as many of you did, although I can certainly see the appeal, even if it didn’t have the same affect on me. Like I said, the writing was beautiful, and the author certainly created an extremely detailed world; however, I can’t help but feel that it was all just too much. The storyline was incredibly original and I applaud Laini Taylor for that, but what truly brought it all down for me was the romance. The romance was too typical, too cliché, too star-crossed lovers, too… overkill.

By the end, I wasn’t left with much desire to even pick up the next book in this series but I suppose we’ll see what happens. As it stands now, I’m still glad I read it and experienced the talent known as Laini Taylor, but I also wish that I had been able to enjoy it like many of you have.

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Book Review – Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2) by Nicole Peeler

September 27, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2) by Nicole PeelerTracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True #2
Published by Orbit on June 16, 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tempest Rising, Eye of the Tempest, Tempest's Fury

four-stars

 

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend — can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course.

Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise...

 

Jane True series

 Tempest Rising (Jane True, #1)

Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)

I definitely didn’t like this one as much as the first and for one reason and one reason alone: the romance. Or whatever you want to call it. The drama between Jane and Ryu encompassed almost the entire novel and I thought it was a bit much.

Ryu second-guessing Jane and treating her like a child and just being an all-around prick was driving me NUTS. I haven’t cared for Ryu from the very beginning, he’s too cocky, he doesn’t seem to really care about Jane (although vice versa too.. Jane doesn’t appear to be in it for the long run either) he’s just always been a bit ‘off’ to me. And then telling her to stay home like a good girl? My eyes practically bulged out of my head and I proceeded to try and mentally manipulate the story so that I could kick his ass through Jane. Yes, I was that pissed (and delusional). Suffice it to say I was ecstatic when she kicked him to the curb. Although I still don’t understand what took her so long, she was obviously having a lot of internal conflict about their whole situation for a while.

‘I gotta admit, it felt really fucking good.
But I’d never felt so much like a goddamned granola bar in my entire life.’

If your boyfriend makes you feel like food… warning!

I loved how this book held the same sense of humor from the first and Jane’s internal dialogue, although not as prevalent, was still there to an extent. Still definitely a great series that I’ll be continuing shortly. 🙂

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Book Review – Tempest Rising (Jane True #1) by Nicole Peeler

September 22, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Tempest Rising (Jane True #1) by Nicole PeelerTempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True #1
Published by Orbit on October 14, 2009
Pages: 372
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tracking the Tempest, Eye of the Tempest, Tempest's Fury

four-stars

 

Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever-rub the genie's lamp.

You would think I’d learn my lesson by this point in my life… a lesson engraved in me since childhood: never judge a book by its cover. This is definitely a prime example of that, for sure. I mean taking a good look at this you may note that it’s a cartoon picture (warning automatically goes off in my head), there’s a strange dog with a giraffe like-neck in the background (seriously, that dog has one seriously long neck), and this strange looking girl that looks like she jumped out of my computer from one of those Yahoo! avatars. This may be one odd book cover (all of them in this series are, actually) but it certainly does nothing to justify the story within.

I really enjoyed this book and am glad to say I have found a new series to be keeping my eyes out for. It’s a refreshing take on the usual array of supernatural beasties… you’ve got your normal vampires and shape shifters but then some kelpies and selkies are thrown into the mix including some gnomes (with powers!) and even a rock spirit (still trying to work that one out in my head though). Jane True’s supernatural-ness isn’t automatically known (by her either), so I won’t ruin it for those who have yet to read this book. I thought it was an interesting take, learning about who she is and what she’s capable of right along with her. Jane’s continuous inner commentary was absolutely hysterical. I don’t typically care for characters that make fun of themselves time after time; however, this was done in such a light, funny manner that I couldn’t help but laugh right along with her. And the continuous internal monologue about her libido? Priceless.

The Love Interest
So we’re obviously talking about Ryu here… even though I didn’t particularly LOVE him personally. I’ve never been a big fan of leading men that know without a doubt that they’re hot shit; that just rubs me the wrong way. You can know you’re hot but not act like a total douche about it. Personally, I’m liking Anyan and I really hope to see more of him. I loved how the author wrote it though; not your typical love triangle. She kept Anyan in the mix without making the whole thing overly obnoxious, and on top of that he was respectful of her and Ryu’s relationship.

I’m jumping right into book 2! 😀

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