Thursday, 27 February 2014

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 336
Publisher: 29th of August 2013
Released: Simon and Schuster

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

What I Have To Say

This book is one of the ones that you start reading and suddenly remember how awesome the last book was. It's the sort of book that you know was good, but not quite how good. 

I think that the thing I love most is the sass. All the characters are just so beautifully sassy that it makes them fun to read. And a lot of the self-depreciation (or in Rusty's case, the exact opposite) just adds to it, creating realistic characters that are really easy to love. Although, there was one line about Kami having the sex-appeal of a teapot that made me wonder what Sarah Rees Brennan has against teapots. There are some really sexy teapots out there. 

One thing I really liked about this book was seeing things from Holly's point of view. She had such a touching storyline and I think it was good to see some things from her viewpoint. 

And as with the first book, the ending was filled with danger and emotionally crippling. This book broke me and now I need the next one. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 384
Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: 1st of November 2013
Other Books In The Series: The Lost Prince


After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again. 

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.

What I Have To Say

I don't think I can even begin to put into words my reaction to the end of this book. Especially without spoilers, but I'll try because what an ending! I'm not sure that shocking is the right word, but it's the one I'm going with, because who would have thought that Julie Kagawa would actually do /that/. 

I loved the darkness that's sweeping into Keirran's character and how it's affecting them all, even Razor! And the obsessiveness that he's showing in trying to stop the fade, which I think there may be more to than just trying to save Annwyl.

Ethan and Kenzie were great, as always. I really love their characters, Ethan's reluctance and tough boy exterior and Kenzie's drive just to live life to the fullest while she can. 

I think that there was only one thing that really got to me about the book and that was the fact that the female characters kept having to be protected. I mean you'd have thought Annwyl would know how to fight after having lived in Faery all her life. Especially since we know Kagawa can write really awesome, strong female characters. 

Anyway, I need the next book. Now! I don't know how I'm going to wait so long!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 445
Publisher: Pan Macmillon
Released: 30th of January 2014

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ...And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...

What I Have To Say 

I fell in love with this book almost instantly and judging by what I've seen from the rest of the blogosphere,  l was far from the only one. On reading the book, it was obvious why everyone has been raving about it. 

The main character, Cath, was so relatable, as was almost everything about the fandom Cath was involved in. By choosing to write so much about something so familiar (and it only takes a glance at the first page to know what fandom it's influenced by), it makes it so that almost everyone of our generation can relate to it.

As far as plot goes, it had all the right elements, twists, emotion and surprises. The characters felt so real that the entire book was absorbing from the start to the end and left me wishing it hadn't ended.

This book left me with a clear idea of two things I absolutely had to do:

1. Go out and buy Rainbow Rowell's other books as soon as I v,can. 

and 2. Tell everyone I come into contact with to read this book. 

So go and read this book!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 389
Publisher: Harper Teen
Released: 5th of March 2013

When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed - and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed. 

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. 

What I Have To Say

A lot of YA books with a witch or any other supernatural creature as the main character tend to start out the same way, with the character discovering her powers. And so it's really refreshing when a book like Spellcaster comes along and we're instantly reading about a character who knows what she's doing and isn't making the same stupid, naive mistakes that all the characters in other books make. Not that those books aren't just as fun to read. 

The other thing I felt set this book apart from the others in this genre and made it special was the way that magic was used. Spell books and cauldrens and all things witchy are all quite rare in YA books these days, but this  combines a more traditional way of spell work, with spells and books and ingredients, with a concept of using emotions and memories as ingredients for spells, creating a completely fascinating and rich method of magic that I have never seen before. 

If you like books about magic and danger with strong main characters who are intelligent enough to know they're not well trained enough to handle the danger they're in, the Spellcaster would be a very good choice. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Key To The Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 304
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: 4th July 2013 (first published 1st January 2004)

Life hasn't been the same for the Gold sisters since their father died. Brooks is not-so-quietly falling apart, May is desperately trying to keep everything and everyone together, and Palmer... well, who knows what's up with Palmer.

May is sure if she could just learn to drive, life would be so much simpler. But with both her mum and Brooks permanently AWOL, getting her license is looking hopeless - until Pete offers to teach her.

What I Have To Say

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The title didn't really give much away but as it was the first book Maureen Johnson wrote, I was really interested to read it. 

It was brilliant. The writing was touching and emotional, the characters realistic and lifelike. It was such a well written story of how a family has to remake itself after the death of the father. 

All three of the sisters react in different ways and take different paths, showing three very different ways to deal with grief. Which highlight that not everyone responds to death in the same way. 

Whether you're a fan of Maureen Johnson or not, this is a wonderfully written book about grief and loss.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Trial By Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 357
Publisher: Quercus
Released: 13th of June 2011
Other Books In The Series: Raised By Wolves

There can only be one alpha. 

Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were.  With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.

What I Have To Say

I loved the society and culture of the were-wolves in Raised by Wolves, but that was nothing to the sequel. I really fell in love with everything about it. I still love the things I loved before, the ways she's made the wolves and the pups, but in this book I loved everything. The characters, the plot, everything. 

The way everyone treats Bryn was also really cool. The respect and love that the wolves hold for Bryn as Alpha is just... right. It can't really be described as anything else, everything in the series just fits together in a way that completely makes sense and is right for the society. 

Then there's the psychics, who were so interesting. They really kept the intrigue up and I enjoyed learning more about them and the twistedness of the coven. 

If you haven't started this series yet, please go and read it, you won't regret it.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 565
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: 19th of March 2013
Other Books In The Series:
                                       Clockwork Angel
                                       Clockwork Prince

London 1873 shape-shifter Tessa Gray 16 is engaged to Jem Carstairs 17, dying of addiction to demon drug, all bought up by evil Mortmain

The "clockwork prince" controls an army of automatons to abduct Tess, kill the Shadowhunters, and blackmail Charlotte Branwell, head of London Institute. Will and Tessa hide their love, for love of Jem.

What I Have To Say

There is so much to say about this book, but it's a little hard to express without a whole lot of fangirling, squealing and as usual with the books I like, weeping. I'm filled with a lot of emotions, but most of them are sadness about this series being over. 

I didn't really get into the Mortal Instruments series. It may have just been the first book that didn't quite feel special to me, so I'm going to try reading the rest of the series. But this series, the Infernal Devices caught me from the first book. I feel in love with Will and Jem and Tessa and with their whole world, their whole lives. 

With this book I fell in love with new characters. Cecily, who is so like Will and so her own character in just the right ways. And with Gabriel, who I never expected to like, but ended up liking anyway. 

I just wish that I had more books to read about the London institute. That the series hadn't just ended at three books. I know that we may see some of the characters again in other books, but it just won't be the same. 

That said, if you haven't read this trilogy yet, you have to. The characters are witty and funny and so lifelike and it is just a series where you can fall in love with everything and everyone.