Author: Julie Kagawa

Early Review – The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa

April 8, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2014, YA 3 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 – The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 15th 2014
Pages: 416
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

two-half-stars

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Blood of Eden series

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) {PurchaseMy Review}
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) {PurchaseMy Review}

Another series ender that has unfortunately ended in disappointment for me this year. I found The Forever Song to be, for the most part, incredibly lacking in any sort of plot progress. Basically, there was walking, walking, then they’d fight some rabids, walking, walking, oooh let’s stop to feed on some humans, fight some more rabids, walking, walking.. throw in the occasional snarky comment from Jackal, soap opera style drama and various near death scenarios and that’s The Forever Song in a nutshell. Oh and let’s not forget how they have to save the world. Apparently, saving the world isn’t as exciting as one would think. In addition to the lack of excitement, there was an extreme lack of common fucking sense that made for frequent eye-rolls.

‘What do you mean, when he realized what was happening?”
“This was a trap, Allison.” Kanin looked back at the inferno. “Nothing catches fire that quickly unless it has been doused in something.”

You mean to tell me these idiots with their heightened sense of smell weren’t able to tell that the entire house was drenched in gasoline? I realize their not needing to breathe means they aren’t smelling constantly but you think if they’re entering a house with someone shooting at them from upstairs they’d open up all their sense to check and make sure they aren’t walking into anything disastrous. Like a house drenched in gasoline.

‘The door loomed dead ahead, and I didn’t stop. I didn’t pause to reconsider my plan. Whether I was walking into a trap or straight to my death.’

And that’s the problem I have with Allison; the lack of common sense. She’s constantly trying to prove to herself/everyone around her that she’s a badass and can handle herself except it’s clear that she’s not. Now, I think I would normally say that this show of weakness is meant to make her likable or relatable or something of the sort, but it came off making her look completely senseless and like a complete imbecile.

Where Allison lacks in common sense she makes sure to make up for it in ANGST. LOTS AND LOTS OF ANGST. When she wasn’t whining about her ‘monster’ she was whining about Zeke or about Sarren or whining about everything being her fault and it was PAINFUL to read.

I read the first 1/3 of this book and had to set it aside for a few weeks because it was just too much. I understood in the beginning of this series that Allison would have to go through the inner turmoil of coming to terms with being a vampire that is forced to kill people to survive but I thought we’d be over that by now. Jackal once again made this installment bearable but even he irritated me with his shit sometimes. But his sarcastic quips did allow me to finish this and find out the ending to this story. Was it worth it? Sure. Was I disappointed how everything turned out? A bit. See, the ending involves aspects that truly come out of nowhere and only serve to be a convenient solution which kind of felt like a cop out. It also was incredibly predictable and I wasn’t surprised in the least. It could have been done worse though.

Minus the angst and ending cop-outs, there is one aspect of this book that was done extremely well: the atmosphere. Kagawa knocked it out of the park describing this broken and gloomy world. It truly immerses you. If only the characters had been a bit more tolerable. The Forever Song is a satisfying conclusion that answers all the lingering questions but is undoubtedly the least interesting of the series. This is the second series I’ve read of Kagawa’s that has ended up feeling very mediocre for me but I can see this one being a good one for fans of dark, gritty and violent dystopians that are heavy on the romance.

Divider

Early Review – The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

April 12, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA 4 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 – The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie KagawaThe Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 30th 2013
Pages: 448
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Vampires
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

four-stars

Out here in the Fringes, there is only one rule: Blood calls to blood. She has done the unthinkable: died so she might continue to live. Now Allie, the reluctant teenage vampire who was cast out of Eden, and Zeke, the human boy who loves her, must attempt to save the world from a deadly new strain of plague. In order to do so, they must first hunt down the monster who holds the promise of the cure—and Allie’s beloved mentor—in his sadistic grip…. Joined by Allie’s blood brother, Jackal, this unlikely posse of companions will brave a landscape stalked by raiders, rabids, and rogue vampires. But even if they survive, they’re bound for the Inner city, and a vicious showdown that will test their bonds in ways they never expected. It may just be that becoming undead was the easy part. Confronting the horrors of Allie’s awakening hunger, her growing feelings for Zeke, and the uncertainties of their future is going to be the ultimate challenge.

Blood of Eden series

Early Review – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) {PurchaseMy Review}

*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don’t read if you haven’t read the first installment!*

Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I wasn’t a big fan of Immortal Rules, I gave it 3 stars but it was a reluctant 3 stars because when I think back it was deserving of less because it was dreadfully dull at times and took me forever to get through. There was so much potential but it was severely lacking… in what? I can’t quite put my finger on it but it could have been much better. The outpouring of immense love for Eternity Cure started rolling in and as soon as I read those magical words “even better than the first” I knew I had to give this one more chance. For those of you, like me, who weren’t in complete love with Immortal Rules I suggest you check this installment out. It’s not perfect but it’s immensely more exciting.

The story picks up right where Immortal Rules left off: Allison has continued her quest to free Kanin after leaving Zeke and the rest of the human group in their new home, Eden. After teaming up to save their master, Jackal and Allison set aside their differences and join forces against the much imbalanced Sarren who has captured Kanin after a many years long grudge.

Jackal and Allison were quite the pair. Definitely entertaining, these two together really added some much needed humor to the story that made me love it infinitely more than the first. And I can’t even begin to explain to you the excitement. This for me, was the best part of the whole thing. My biggest complaint about Immortal Rules was the parts that dragged on for far too long. With Eternity Cure, it was non-stop excitement and there was always something going on. This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and there were twists you will not see coming and turns that will leave your jaw on the ground.

The relationships… for me this was a huge flaw in Immortal Rules. I never quite understood Allison’s need or desire to continue staying with the human party despite their ongoing terrible treatment towards her (despite even knowing she’s a vampire) and her ongoing blood lust which made it extremely hard to travel with them. The relationship with Zeke was so touching and sweet and really made Allison’s ongoing desire to remain human make complete and utter sense. To me, this is what truly sets this series apart from the rest of the ‘typical’ vampire stories. Allison has constantly struggled to retain her sense of humanity and still has a desire to remain a ‘decent human being’ minus all the feelings of entitlement like her brother Jackal has. She doesn’t feel she’s better in any ways to the humans and wishes to be like them but has no way of ever making this a reality. Her feelings were true and something that I could completely understand and empathize with.

And guys.

Yeah, seriously. That ending?

I have to wait how long to find out what happens?

Cliffhanger… yes. Mind blown… yes. Well worth it… definitely yes. This is one thrill-ride of an installment you won’t want to miss.

Divider

Early Review – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

April 1, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 5 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 – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 24th 2012
Pages: 484
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

three-half-stars

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what–and who–is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

‘There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone?’

Allison Sekemoto was a survivor living in the Fringe struggling to survive on a daily basis. Now that she’s been turned and is now learning how to live as a vampire she’s struggling to maintain her fleeting humanity. Allison intrigued me in the first part of this novel with her strength and her constant persistence to stay as human as possible. The Immortal Rules compared to most vampire stories was vastly different as Allison was sympathetic towards the human race despite the fact that she relied on them in order to stay alive. In that same sense it reminded me a lot of Warm Bodies and how R cared for the human race, or Julie in particular. It’s an interesting and original take on a consistently similar story but, I didn’t fall completely head over heels for it. I think for me the main issue was that she was almost too humane to be a ‘credible’ vampire and I missed the typical bad-ass vampire.

I felt that after the interesting start, when Allison and Kanin part ways and she discovers a group of human survivors seeking a place they call ‘Eden’, what followed was easily the books lowest point as it was in desperate need of some excitement. The story really lost its hold on me during this time and it took me several days to get through it. After getting a small glimpse of Kanin in the beginning I kept waiting for him to make another appearance in order to spice things up. I just had a hard time understanding her attachment to this group of people and why she never decided to go back to Kanin. The group reminded me of some creepy religious cult-type group much like the one in Ashes. It was inevitable that she be discovered as a vampire and I didn’t understand the insistence that she stick around in order to make sure that the group remained safe since the majority of them were incredibly unlikable people and were constantly rude to her. I suppose this was just another facet of her attempting to keep a hold on her humanity.

The ending was a bit lackluster but fortunately didn’t leave off with an enormous cliffhanger. Will I continue this trilogy? More than likely. I went into this book naturally comparing it to the Iron Fey and was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like any of the books in that series (which was a good thing as I wasn’t the hugest fan of that series) but I was still hoping for something more but more of what I’m not completely positive.

Divider

Book Review – The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

March 12, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, 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.

Book Review – The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie KagawaThe Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 25, 2011
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

three-half-stars

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl—smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end—a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

The Iron Fey series

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)
Winter’s Passage (The Iron Fey #1.5)
The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3)Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey #3)
Summer’s Crossing (The Iron Fey #3.5)

“My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl.”

In the Iron Queen, Ash made an oath to Meghan to be her knight; however, after she became the Iron Queen and she severed the bond with him he was unable to honor the oath since remaining in the Iron realm would have meant his death. Ash realizes that he has only one choice: he’s going to travel to the end of the world to obtain a soul and become mortal so he can remain by her side.

After wrapping up Iron Queen and dubbing it my favorite of the series, I was actually kind of surprised that there was an additional installment in the series; I felt it could have been left as is despite its imperfect ending. The puzzle pieces of this series came together a bit too well in The Iron Knight; however, it was still an enjoyable read.

In this story we got to travel to the end of the Nevernever. The River of Dreams, the Deep Wyld, Phaed… all unknown territory which added some much needed mystery to the story and which I really enjoyed. Julie Kagawa’s descriptions were extremely vivid. Puck, Grimalkin, and even the Big Bad Wolf were along for the ride. Puck and Grimalkin definitely added some much needed humor to Ash’s dreary story.

I think die-hard fans of this series will be extremely pleased with how the author wrapped up this series, but will still be sad that the story is over. I think the wrap-up was done enjoyably well and I’m thankful that it wasn’t stretched to its breaking point with additional and unnecessary installments.

Divider

Book Review – The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2) by Julie KagawaThe Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 1st 2010
Pages: 361
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Knight

two-stars

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey - ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I really feel like I’m missing something with this series. I started reading it based solely off the declarations of love and whatnot and I’ve since become sorely disappointed.

The Storyline
In The Iron Daughter, Meghan has become the prisoner of Queen Mab the Winter Faery Queen. After Meghan witnesses the death of Queen Mab’s son by the hands of the Iron Fey she once again gets entangled in that drama. Meghan and a few friends set off in search of the Iron Fey where all kinds of predictable fun is in store for them.

The ‘Romance’
Is there some manual out there for aspiring YA writers? Is there a requirement listed that in order for a YA book to be successful there must be a love triangle? I don’t know who started it (My hunch? It’s all Twilight’s fault) but the idea that love triangles are fun, exciting, and makes a book all sorts of romantical is so so wrong. But I’m not picking sides! I’m going to go a complete different route.

Team Grimalkin! One bad ass kitty cat. Even though he is kind of a shit.

Bottom Line
I feel so entwined in this series that I feel I must continue, but I can’t promise I won’t complain the entire time. Meghan’s character is the WHINIEST person I have ever had the unfortunate opportunity to read about. I understand she’s like 17 or something but COME ON. Between the constant whining and crying about Ash, and the whining and crying about Puck, and not having powers, and wanting to go back to high school, wanting to go home, some more whining about Ash… it really got old. I feel no connection with this main character and honestly? Somebody really needs to slap some sense into that girl. The ending was somewhat redeemable though… what with Meghan turning into kind-of a badass. I did say kind-of. I can only hope for more in the next book.

Divider

Short Story Review – Winter’s Passage (Iron Fey #1.5) by Julie Kagawa

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories, YA 0 Comments

Short Story Review – Winter’s Passage (Iron Fey #1.5) by Julie KagawaWinter's Passage by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1.5
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 20, 2010
Pages: 51
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Knight

three-stars

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl... until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey. Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck - Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon - who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey. Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter - a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat.

So this is a short quick little interlude between stories… there was a lot of reiteration of stuff that happened in the first book. If it’s been a while since you read Iron King (#1) then this would be a nice little refresher for you. I had just finished Iron King though so the reiteration was a little, well, repetitive. 🙂

This story is about Ash taking Meghan back to his Queen in accordance with their agreement and the introduction of yet another elusive creature following her; the Hunter (Or the self-proclaimed Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Yeah… okay. lol) Grimalkin joins them on their journey as well, and I don’t know why but I love Grim. Although when I envision the story as it progresses, I imagine Grimalkin looks like the white fluffy Fancy Feast cat for some reason. lol

Of course since Grim is supposed to be a ‘faery cat’ (whatever that means) I’m sure that’s not the case. But to me, that’s Grim. Grim and his Fancy Feast.

As far as Ash and Meghan go… as much as I love Ash, the storyline is getting old. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy… they’re not supposed to like each other, it’s not allowed, but they just can’t help it! So boy acts like he cares, but wait! Boy turns into a prick faster than a speeding bullet! Come on… *sigh* I’m still a sucker for these books and will keep reading this series. This mini-book actually made me more interested in the series overall so that works, mainly because I’m interested to see what happens once they actually reach the Winter Court and what all these weird dreams are all about.

Divider

Short and Sweet Review – The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie KagawaThe Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on January 26th 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Knight

two-stars

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny--one she could never have imagined...

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth-- that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

The story is about Meghan Chase, a normal girl living in a small town with poor parents and her 4 year-old brother. Meghan discovers that she’s the daughter of a mythical faery king and of course gets involved in a faery war.

For some reason I couldn’t get into The Iron King no matter how hard I tried. It took me almost a week to read and for me that’s pretty much unheard of. I had heard such great things about this entire series and I was really looking forward to it but the storyline was just so-so. I loved the parts about Ash. I had heard everybody rave about Ash so I couldn’t wait for him to be introduced… unfortunately that didn’t even happen till almost halfway through the book. The story just lacked originality for me and I would like to continue the series, I just won’t be doing it immediately.

Divider