Posts Tagged: Angels

Book Review – World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) by Susan Ee

December 14, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2013, 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.

Book Review – World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) by Susan EeWorld After by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #2
Published by Skyscape on November 19, 2013
Pages: 320
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Angelfall

three-stars

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Penryn & the End of Days series

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) {My Review}

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That sums up nicely how I felt by the end of World After. Not angry at how everything transpired, but no where near the level of happiness I had when I finished Angelfall.

At the end of Angelfall, Penryn’s lifeless body is delivered to her mother after the attack from the scorpion. As her mother mourns the loss of her oldest daughter, she couldn’t be more shocked when Penryn sits up, alive and well. Penryn quickly jumps back into the role of guardian yet is uneasy around her sister Paige after the horrific events that occurred in Angelfall. When Paige disappears, Penryn sets off in search for her with hopes of finding Raffe as well who believes her to be dead.

I found myself at a loss around halfway through because I realized I wasn’t enjoying this nearly as much as I had anticipated. The writing was intense and the build-up was extreme but so much of the story failed to progress that it became very tedious waiting for the next big wow moment. Very little new information was discovered and it just didn’t advance the storyline as much as a 2nd book should. This didn’t even feel like a case of middle book syndrome (although I’ve heard rumor that this is now being planned as  5-book series) but rather an entire book of filler that totally stalled the series for me. The last 1/4 of the book is what I had hoped the entirety of World After would be like but I’m thankful for at least the 1/4 as it still left me highly anticipating the next installment. Setting all that aside there was still a lot to enjoy.

First and foremost is that one of the characteristics of Angefall I loved most was how incredibly dark and twisted it was. Susan Ee pulled no punches in showing just how dark and devastating the world has become since the angels came and World After fortunately retained that aspect.

Pooky Bear. The name Penryn jokingly gave Raffe’s sword. As eye-rolling as that whole bit was, it was really pretty damn funny. Naturally, (for me) I kept picturing this Pooky:

If nobody knows who that is, our friendship is over.

And lastly, I’m left very intrigued by the side-story of the experimentation done on Paige View Spoiler » More light is shed on the angel invasion as well but with both cases, the information is dished out in the smallest amounts that I’m not left yearning answers I’m instead left mildly irritated and more focused on the little we’re given. Another thing that was dished out in the smallest amounts? Raffe.

I needed MOAR.

Bottom line: I’m not pleased at the (lacking) progress of the storyline but I was satisfied enough at simply being back in this wonderfully desolate world and will of course still anxiously await the next installment in hopes we get more answers (and more Raffe.)

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Book Review – Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows #1) by C. Robert Cargill

December 6, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 13 Comments

Book Review – Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows #1) by C. Robert CargillDreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
Series: Dreams and Shadows #1
Published by Harper Voyager on February 26th 2013
Pages: 448
Genres: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Queen of the Dark Things, We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories, Sea of Rust

four-half-stars

A brilliantly crafted modern tale from acclaimed film critic and screenwriter C. Robert Cargill—part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part William S. Burroughs—that charts the lives of two boys from their star-crossed childhood in the realm of magic and mystery to their anguished adulthoods

There is another world than our own—one no closer than a kiss and one no further than our nightmares—where all the stuff of which dreams are made is real and magic is just a step away. But once you see that world, you will never be the same.

Dreams and Shadows takes us beyond this veil. Once bold explorers and youthful denizens of this magical realm, Ewan is now an Austin musician who just met his dream girl, and Colby, meanwhile, cannot escape the consequences of an innocent wish. But while Ewan and Colby left the Limestone Kingdom as children, it has never forgotten them. And in a world where angels relax on rooftops, whiskey-swilling genies argue metaphysics with foul-mouthed wizards, and monsters in the shadows feed on fear, you can never outrun your fate.

Dreams and Shadows is a stunning and evocative debut about the magic and monsters in our world and in our self.

‘If you remember one thing, even above remembering me, remember that there is not a monster dreamt that hasn’t walked withing the soul of man.’

Dreams and Shadows tells the tale of two young boys: Ewan, who was stolen from his family by fairies when he was a baby, and Colby, who befriended a djinn that granted wishes which changed his life forever. The fates of both become entwined the second they meet and a battle between magical forces ensues.

This could have honestly been a disastrous affair what with the strange mixture of fairies and changelings, angels and the Devil, sorcerers and genies, and the list goes on. But it’s far from a disaster. This was an absolute delight and the exact type of fantasy that I yearn for. I have to make note that despite the inclusion of angels and the Devil this is far from religious and never digs in deep to that aspect; they were just supporting characters of a sort. The characters were fictitious and fanciful but managed to be extremely well-crafted and developed. The male characters were at the very least. It didn’t occur to me until later that the female characters all seemed to be incredibly weak and only described in terms of their looks with the one exception to that statement being Ewan’s scary-as-hell mother. All in all, it’s easy to overlook because of the thrilling plot.

My least favorite aspect of the book ended up being my favorite. In addition to the story being told from three separate points of view, there are excerpts from a book titled ‘A Chronicle of the Dreamfolk’ by a Dr. Thaddeus Ray, Ph.D. They are surprisingly informative pieces on the factual aspects of this fantasy world but it’s initially unclear as to why they’re included. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle that becomes clear late in the novel so don’t skip these sections.

Dreams and Shadows is a story full of magic and mystery and outlandish horror. I so enjoyed the rawness and twisted darkness of this tale and the unique and unusual world-building that fortunately isn’t lacking in detail. Dreams and Shadows possessed a plot with room to grow and is one instance where I’m thankful for it being a series. Queen of the Dark Things is the next installment which is due out in mid-2014. I cannot wait.

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Early Review – The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

February 12, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 3 Comments

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

Early Review – The Demonologist by Andrew PyperThe Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 5th 2013
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

Fans of The Historian won’t be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld.

Professor David Ullman’s expertise in the literature of the demonic—notably Milton’s Paradise Lost—has won him wide acclaim. But David is not a believer.

One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a “phenomenon,” and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess.

What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed—a demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger.

‘Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light
Alone, and without giude, half lost, I seek…’

‘The Demonologist’ is a sophisticated thriller that focuses solely on John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ (and I think it should be noted that it’s not a prerequisite to have read Milton before ‘The Demonologist’ either.) It’s not overly steeped in symbolism without sufficient explanation that anyone couldn’t pick it up and understand it.

David Ullman is a non-believer despite the fact that he has dedicated his adult life to studying demonic literature, primarily Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. When he’s approached one afternoon and asked to be a witness to a phenomenon that requires his professional opinion as a ‘Demonologist’ he accepts the offer and shortly afterwards is headed to Venice, Italy with his twelve-year-old daughter Tess. What David sees in Venice will leave him questioning everything he has ever believed. And when Tess is taken, he has no choice but to accept the things he saw in order to save her from the Underworld.

‘…I am an insistently rational sort, a spoilsport by nature when it comes to the fantastical. I’ve made an entire career out of doubt.
Yet here I am. Seeing the unseeable.’

Extremely creepy and unnerving. The type that really manages to burrow it’s way under your skin. The type that gives you goosebumps. The type that leaves you gasping at it’s intensity. The story line was riveting and I found myself flipping through pages rapidly. I’m not typically a fan of scary stories but this one was incredibly well done (I just made sure I kept to reading this while the sun was still up. But even with the sun there were moments where I feared my eyeballs were about to fall out of my head).

Just like that.

So why only 3 stars? Despite the fact that this book had me completely captivated, I felt the ending was an absolute disaster… to put it lightly. There were so many questions generated throughout the book that it was an exciting race to get to the end to get some answers. But it felt like the ending was entirely way too rushed to the point of it being utterly unintelligible. There were so many loose ends that the author may have possibly intended in order for the reader to interpret individually but that didn’t work for me at all. I even thought for a minute that this was a first in a series because of the abundant amount of unanswered questions but to the best of my knowledge, this is a stand alone. A completely enjoyable book with a less than satisfying ending.

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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 – Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

November 21, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Far From You by Lisa SchroederFar from You by Lisa Schroeder
Published by Simon Pulse on December 18, 2008
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Verse
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.

Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.

But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half sister, she'll face issues she's been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.

Perhaps she's not so alone after all....

’Memories fall like snowflakes upon my dreams.’

The Storyline
Alice lost her mother years ago but it changed her deeply despite the fact that everyone else around her has moved on. Her father has remarried a woman named Victoria and they’ve just had their first child; Ivy. Not able to accept this new family of hers, she remains as distant as possible. The two constants in her life are her best friend Claire and her boyfriend Blaze.

On the way home from Victoria’s parent’s house, Alice, Ivy, and Victoria get stuck in a snow bank on the side of the road with very little to survive on. Despite the dreadful situation, it does allow Alice and Victoria to get to know one another and Alice finally begins to realize that there really is happiness still left in the world.

My Thoughts
Finding out that this was written in verse I immediately moved it up in my list. I’m new to discovering this writing style but it’s become an instant favorite of mine. I did enjoy the writing of Lisa Schroeder; it was chalk full of beautiful, vibrant lines.

The story itself was enjoyable despite its predictability, although I did not anticipate it being quite as religious as it ended up being. This was an extremely quick read that still manages to showcase each of the characters nicely and makes them thoroughly relatable. I definitely enjoyed it and will be adding Lisa Schroeder to my list of authors to look out for.

”…it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

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Early Review – Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 2 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 – Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia HandHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17, 2012
Pages: 432
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Unearthly, Boundless, The Last Time We Say Goodbye

three-half-stars

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Unearthly Series

When I requested Hallowed on Netgalley I was dumb and didn’t realize that this was the 2nd in a series. Since I was already approved I decidedly to immediately read Unearthly so that I could dive right into Hallowed (that was the plan if I liked it). Well I did. I really really liked Unearthly and I wasn’t actually expecting to (not a diehard fan of paranormal/fantasy/romanctical/YA books).

There will be spoilers from Unearthly but any spoilers from Hallowed will be hidden in links!

The Storyline
Long story short, Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off; Clara is still confused about how to proceed after she failed to fulfill her purpose. When she starts having more dreams/visions she determines that she’s in a cemetery, that someone she loves is going to die, and it’s going to happen as soon as this Spring. Clara is also still trying to handle her conflicting feelings that she has for her boyfriend Tucker and for Christian as well.

What Was Missing For Me
Two key elements that had me completely enthralled in Unearthly unraveled for me in Hallowed.

The Love triangle: I think the author did a beautiful job of NOT making it a cliché and NOT irritating the daylights out of me in Unearthly. In Hallowed I felt that the work she did in maintaining the non-love triangle did not hold up under the pressure of being just like every other YA paranormal romance novel. Now don’t get me wrong, I can understand the reasoning behind her relationship with Christian in the beginning was because he was involved in her purpose. It then evolved into Christian and Clara both being angels, being able to relate to each other, and a kinship was created. It didn’t necessarily need to go into lovey dovey status, and that’s where she lost me.

Clara’s Independence: I loved the strength and independence that she exuded in Unearthly; I didn’t see that once in Hallowed. In this book she’s completely in love with Tucker (which is fine, not the issue) but she’s even daydreaming about their wedding and the kids that they would have and their life together (again, not really an issue). Where she lost me was when she started contemplating whether or not she should even leave for college because that would mean she’d be leaving Tucker behind.

Speaking from personal experience, I did this exact thing. I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend at the time behind and so I decided to actually stay home instead of making the leap of faith and going to the university that I had been planning on attending. I look back and hate myself for my lack of backbone in changing my future plans based on a boy that I thought I loved. So essentially this may not be a problem for everyone else or the general population but I certainly saw a part of me reflected in Clara’s actions and it definitely registered quite a negative reaction for me.

The one thing I was thankful for was that the author gave the main character friends that made sure to tell her she was being dumb and made attempts to dissuade her.

Straight Spoiler Section
There were some parts that I simply had to get out there for discussion, but for those of you who have read it already. Spoilers ahead!
View Spoiler »
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Final Thoughts
I still enjoyed this, it is still worth the read, but no I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Unearthly. I also feel a tad cheated as I was under the impression that this was a trilogy and now I hear talk of a fourth one? (Correct if I’m wrong.) I do see how there could be plenty more added on to the story, especially since Clara still has like 100+ more years of life left, but I do hope that we start getting some answers because the ending to Hallowed was a bit frayed at the edges for my liking.

So this IS a trilogy… I’m definitely looking forward to Boundless even more now because there will finally be a resolution and some questions that I’ve been dying to have answered! VERY EXCITED!

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Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

November 3, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

Book Review – Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia HandUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #1
on January 4, 2011
Pages: 453
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hallowed, Boundless, The Last Time We Say Goodbye

four-half-stars

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Alright, yes, I admit… it’s November 2011 and I’m just now getting around to reading this. I was extremely skeptical about this one regardless of the glowing reviews. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from a YA paranormal romance book about angels. I can’t even count how many issues this book could potentially have… but I decided to read this at the perfect time because I was totally in the mood for something exactly like this.

The Storyline
Clara always thought she was a normal sixteen year old girl living in California with her mom and brother until her mom tells her that she has angel-blood. Her mother is half-angel which makes Clara a Quartarius: a quarter angel. Clara’s initial reaction is to refuse to accept her mother’s announcement but she is ultimately unable to deny the truth.

“My neck still tingled when I remembered the way she’d said “humans,” like the word suddenly didn’t apply to us.”

When she begins having visions which her mother informs her is her ‘purpose’ being revealed to her.

“In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees…”

In her vision she sees a boy surrounded my forest and flames and she feels that it’s up to her to save him. Unable to discern where this vision occurs she begins piecing it all together and finally determines that it’s in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Clara’s mother stresses to her the utter importance of completing her purpose that this is the reason she was placed on this Earth, and they at once pick up their lives and move to Wyoming. The first day at school she sees him; the boy from her vision whose name is Christian.

The Main-Character
My main issue with your typical YA paranormal romance book is the main character, or more often than not, the heroine. I found that not only did I not have the urge to slap Clara, but by the end I actually kinda liked her. Shocking, I know. This is the one line that got me:

“I just need to be mad for a little while, okay? I know it might not be the most mature thing, but there it is.”

Thank you! Finally, someone admits to their immaturity, which in my book makes it okay if you’re not living in denial. Clara was quite the independent girl who even though she did develop quite a crush on Christian it wasn’t overkill and in essence her obsession did still revolve around her purpose which made it acceptable.

Also? View Spoiler »

The Writing
This was an extremely quick one day read for me because I simply couldn’t get enough. A light, refreshing read that didn’t come off as corny or immature (which I think is quite the accomplishment considering the subject: angels). Speaking of, my aversion to angel books in general tends to be because the author fails to handle the religious aspects of angels quite well. I’m happy to say that Cynthia Hand did a spot on job. The author also did a fabulous job of building up the mystery behind Clara’s vision and it had me intrigued and fully engrossed.

Final Thoughts
So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? The ending was not as I had hoped for. Personally I think it was a really messy ending that left too many questions and not enough answers. It wasn’t’t even really a cliffhanger per say, more like a… to be continued. View Spoiler »

I have in my possession the second book Hallowed, but I’ve decided to give myself some time to really think this one over and maybe try and work out some of the questions I’ve got bouncing around in my head. (Thanks for the idea Wendy :D)

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Book Review – City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

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

Book Review – City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra ClareCity of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 5th 2011
Pages: 448
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Clockwork Princess

one-star

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

As happy as I was that the Mortal Instruments series was continuing… I would’ve preferred that it hadn’t. Because this book? Was painful. I am usually able to finish books quickly but this one drug on and on and on to the point where I just wanted to give up. Some spoilers ahead.

I had a hard time from the very beginning understanding exactly what was going on. There wasn’t a clear plot and even if the author was attempting to be vague and have it be a surprise or whatnot, she failed miserably. The basis of the book solely revolved around Jace and Clary’s relationship problems, but even those weren’t clear. And it was beyond irritating that Jace was clearly having issues and yet he refused to talk to Clary about it. And him continuing to say ‘I love you but I can’t be with you, but lets kiss and make out but… now I can’t look at you. Get away from me.’ That repeated about 5 times kinda made me want to rip his face off.

And then the ending?! Come on. Yeah, we’re going to leave Jace up on the roof alone with the kind of not so dead guy but everything’s going to be fine because obviously things went perfect the FIRST time they killed him. Stupid. It was like a bad horror movie where the dumb blonde decides to go down to see what the chainsaw-like noise is in the dark basement even though the light won’t turn on and she can’t be bothered to find a flashlight.

I loved the first three of the Mortal Instruments but was seriously disappointed in this one. The series would’ve been better off left as it was in the third book.

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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 – Meridian (Fenestra #1) by Amber Kizer

September 26, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Meridian (Fenestra #1) by Amber KizerMeridian by Amber Kizer
Series: Fenestra #1
Published by Delacorte Press on July 28, 2009
Pages: 322
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

You can’t help but be intrigued by the summary: “As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die.” Whaaaaatt??? Creepy right? I totally loved the introduction into the story, loved learning about her childhood and all that she had to endure as her parents never fully understood her.

On her sixteenth birthday when she witnesses a tragic car accident right in front of her house, her parents proceed to tell her that she must leave town immediately to stay with her great-aunt in Colorado. And… that’s about where it went downhill and into predictable-YA land for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is an extremely interesting story and I was extremely interested in learning all about ‘Fenestra’s’ and I loved how even though the story obviously has to do with angels it didn’t go overtly religious and the author had the decency to not associate angels strictly with Christianity.

The main problem I had was the main character was your typical annoying and immature YA character; she pretty much drove me crazy. The other problem I had was even as interesting as the story was to me, the actual writing kind of fell flat for me, was a bit choppy, and overall predictable. The fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did regardless of the problems I had with it I would still be interested in picking up the next in this series to see where the author continues to take this story.

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