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Archive for August 2010

Review of Soulstice

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It is recommended you read The Devouring before you jump into this book. You’ll understand and enjoy the book ten times more than just reading this one first. I apologize in advance for a horrible synopsis about the book. I like to keep things spoiler free.

Reggie knew the Vours would come after her. It was only a matter of time. Although they still haunt her in her dreams, Reggie gets an unexpected visitor at night and her fight against the Vours continues.

Being the sequel to The Devouring, I thought the book was perfect. It lived up to its expectations and provided me with an entertaining, thrilling read. I’m usually dubious about sequels, as they tend to focus more on character development and thus either end up being dry or being stuck in a rut when it comes to plot. Soulstice however has no problem carrying on the story and the plot flowed easily. It was clear and to the point. There was substantial character development – just about every character evolved differently (either for good or for worse).

As the story was interesting, this was an easy flowing read for me and like The Devouring, it got me from the start. It’s the type of book you have to read either through one sitting, or drop all the other books you’re reading to finish this one. It’s definitely an attention grabber. The book had all the makings of a horror movie, but by reading it, it makes it much more thrilling and more scary as it leaves it up to the reader to imagine the sights, the smells, and the sounds. I love the dream sequences the most. That’s where you can look into the author’s imagination and really appreciate it. Besides the horror aspect of the novel, there’s also a bit of comic relief (however not so much as the previous book). It makes the story take a break from the horror  and although die hard horror fanatics might think it’s unnecessary I thought it was well done and placed in strategic points of the book where it fits just fine.

As for the story’s predictability, well I sort of figured out what Quinn was up to. However I don’t consider that to be a negative point in the book. I don’t see anything that needs improvement. The cliffhanger ending made me nearly want to pull my hair out though, and I’m really eager to read the third book; Fearscape (due out in October of 2010).

Overall perfectly written sequel, cliffhanger ending. What more could you want in a horror?

I give it a 10 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Book Blogger Hop 8/26

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Book Blogger Hop

Today’s question is: Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

- Yes I do use a rating system. It’s out of 10.  10 being an absolute flawless book that I love and will always read and never get tired of it. Then it breaks down like this:

7, 8, 9 – it’s still pretty good and an enjoyable read.

4, 5, 6 – it’s an all right read, but you can either take it or leave it.

1, 2, 3 – not a great read, and the reason why I probably went through with it is because I was already several hundred pages into a book and thought I might as well finish it (yet rant about how much time I wasted reading it).

Then there’s the dreaded DNF (Did not finish) and that would mean the book would truly be abysmal (which is very rare, thankfully).

I normally use this rating system for my own reference, but I just put it up on my blog anyway. What about you guys?

Oh! and if you came from the hop, please let me know and drop a comment! help yourselves to some peach pound cake and tea :)

Written by Karoline

August 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Book Blogger Hop, Meme

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Review of Ink Exchange

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Ink Exchange

Ink Exchange

Although it helps if you read Wicked Lovely before you get into Ink Exchange, it’s not really that necessary – Ink Exchange is considered a ‘companion novel’. As the story centralizes on a particular character that played a very small part in Wicked Lovely, you can actually read this as a stand alone if you really want. Then you can read Wicked Lovely as a means to get the rest of the background information on the rest of the characters.

In Ink Exchange, Leslie, one of Aislinn’s friends, has caught the eye and attention of Irial, the Kind of the Dark Court. She decides to get a tattoo, a specifically designed tattoo that’s caught her eye and demands to have it in an instant. Once on her, Leslie goes through strange changes and realizes her tattoo is a direct link to Irial and she’s directly connected to him. Irial needs Leslie to feed his starving Court negative feelings – something the Court needs to survive. Now Leslie is incapable of feeling anything negative, and this takes a toll on her mental health.

I love Irial! what a perfect character. He just oozed sexiness and charm.  I really do like the idea of the Dark Court and it makes perfect sense how Irial can lead it – he absolutely fits the role like a well worn comfortable shirt. The characters that make up the Dark Court were fascinating and well done. Leslie was also well written. Living in a horrible home environment, an extremely horrible brother, and a father who’s hardly there, it’s no wonder she’s so filled with negative emotions and thoughts. I like her though. I think she’s a much better character than Aislinn (I still don’t like her don’t think I ever will unless she undergoes a complete personality makeover in the next books).

What bothered me a lot about Aislinn is her reluctance to tell Leslie (who happens to be a good friend) about the faerie world and she had a hunch on what was going on..so why the reluctance? it wasn’t just her though, it was Seth too. Why didn’t they at least warn her or tell her about the faerie world?. These two were just so frustrating to read. I never liked Aislinn in the first place, and I used to like Seth but now, I’m not so sure.

The plot was all right, although I found it a little dry. (Yet I also found Wicked Lovely rather dry too) I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s the writing style or perhaps I’m just not really that interested in faeries. I’m sure fans of this series would enjoy this book. The little twist in the end got me good and because of that I will probably read the rest of this series. Although it’s not the best I’ve read, it’s certainly not the worst.

Overall, it’s a great companion book to Wicked Lovely and the little twist at the end will have fans wanting more. In my opinion, you could either take it or leave it.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 24, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Review of Another Faust

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Another Faust

Another Faust

Ever read Faust by Goethe? take that story, twist it around by introducing five teenagers, a matriarch, and several bargains with the devil that ultimately has its’ consequences, and you get Another Faust. – I could tell you more about the book, but I feel it’s up to you to pick it up and read what it’s about as it’s definitely worth the time.

There is only one way to describe this book. Deliciously and sinfully good. It’s like eating five pounds of chocolate knowing there will be extreme consequences later but no matter, it’s still good. So, why do I describe Another Faust this way?

For starters, I almost giggled with glee and delight when things started going well for the main characters, in particular, I loved the part Victoria played in this book. I loved her rivalry with Lucy. I cackled with glee as Victoria always found a way to upend Lucy – I laughed even more when the fighting escalated into hair pulling and punching. I couldn’t help but feel supportive towards Victoria. Perhaps it’s because I’m just sick of reading about characters like Lucy; picture perfect, the school sweetheart, the one with the potentially bright future..etc. Yes, you get the picture. Victoria is a classic and unforgettable villain that will stay with me for as long as I can remember.

The plot was very well done and got me turning the pages. Fast. Yet I have to admit I hesitated in the first few chapters. The descriptions of the school and the teens in it almost made me want to drop the book because I didn’t feel like reading anything that resorted to name brand listing or how expensive everything is. Almost. It was that little blip that nearly got me to drop this book. What kept me reading? It was Victoria. She really carried my interest throughout the book.

As for the other characters, I also liked the twins, Bella and Bice. They both were so different, yet they complimented each other well. I’m glad the authors didn’t use the good twin/evil twin cliche that’s been overdone in many other books out there. I also like Bice’s gift. It was the most interesting and unique one out of all of the characters. Each of them had their own little ‘gift’ yet it was Bice’s that really stood out. Of all the characters, I really didn’t like Valentin. What a spoiled selfish baby he was. Arg.

As for the ending of this book, it was left very wide open and I’m wondering if there’s going to be  sequel. It certainly would be interesting if there is going to be one. I’d really like to know the outcome of these characters. I actually did not want this book to end. I was enjoying it way too much.

Overall, a wonderful twist on Goethe’s Faust. I’ll be looking forward to Another Pan when it comes out (which may be a twist to Peter Pan? I’m not sure) I do recommend this book to other YA readers who want a change in their characters. Hooray for evil deeds!

I give it a 9 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Review of Folly

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I got this through the Librarything Early Reviewers. (Thanks!) It took me a while to get around to it as I had other books to catch up on. However, it’s a short read so I was able to read and finish it within a week and a half.

Folly focuses on several characters who are somehow connected; Mary, Eliza, James, and Oliver. You follow them through Victorian London and get a glimpse at their lives. There are two plots in this book; Eliza and Mary are together, as co workers working as maids. Then there’s James and Oliver; James being a Foundling and Oliver being his teacher. How these two storylines are connected is up to the reader to find out, but once revealed, Folly shows a dramatic story filled with love, and a melancholy (yet hopeful) ending.

It took me a while to get into this story. It’s a bit slow paced, but I thought Mary was such a great character in this novel, that she prevented the story from becoming dry and boring. The descriptions of Victorian London was well written and well done, especially done through the eyes of James, who has never before been to London, and seeing things through a child’s eyes makes the descriptions clear and very easy to picture.

Eliza, as a character was such a mean spiteful harpy you almost wanted to tell Mary to punch her in the face for what she’s done to her. You really do sympathize with Mary, and as her situation does worsen later in the book you can’t help but feel more sorry for her. I admire her strength and determination throughout her ordeal though, and her persistence does pay off (in one way or another). Especially in an age where women don’t really have much rights, Mary does well on her own and it’s nice to see this despite her ordeals.

I’d have to say that once Caden arrived in the picture, it became a little predictable as to what was going to happen. Yet at the end, I was close to wondering what in the heck does James and Oliver have to do with Mary and Eliza, and then it clicked in during the last few chapters. It was then that I realized, this book wasn’t so bad after all. It’s not a really happy tale, but a more somber one. Yet the ending gives an inkling feeling of hope and although it’s hopeful, it’s also melancholy. That being said, this book may not be for everyone.

Overall, I rather liked it. One of the few novels I’ve read about Victorian London that doesn’t romanticize the period. It’s serious, yet accurate plot makes it a good one to read. It’s a short book, (less than 300 pages) so don’t hesitate to pick this one up. Be patient with the slow start. It’s really Mary point of view you’re reading for.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Review of The Hunchback Assignments

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The Hunchback Assignments

The Hunchback Assignments

It’s steampunk time!  I haven’t read much steampunk since it started becoming big – partly because the library doesn’t carry much of it. However when this book came out I really wanted to read this. Badly. Why? well first the cover grabbed my attention. Plus it was a hardcover book without the jacket which is a bonus. Anyway! onto the review!

Modo has a special gift. His gift is the ability to change his appearance.  Mr Socrates notices this gift of his and takes him under his wing, and gives him special training to become a secret agent. Meanwhile Modo does learn the horrible truth; he’s horribly deformed and also a hunchback. On top of that discovery, Modo is also taken to London, and left in the middle of the street, with nothing but his clothes. However, Modo shows his resourcefulness and manages to survive on the London streets. He discovers a sinister plot run by Dr Hyde in the sewers. With the help of Octavia Milkweed and Mr Socrates, he will have to stop Dr Hyde and his plot to bring London to ruin.

This book was a real fun and enjoyable read. The beginning of the book started off as intriguing and interesting that you were immediately curious as to what was going to happen next. The description of the different inventions and machinery in the book were well written and could be easily pictured in one’s mind while reading. I really did like the plot, it was fast, lots of action on the pages, lots of intrigue (I love intrigue!) and mystery, and naturally it story leaves you with what’s next on Modo’s agenda. There is plenty of steampunk here for those that love the genre. I especially like the clockwork birds.

Modo is very easily liked and he’s your typical “although he’s deformed, he’s got a heart of gold” type of character. Mr Socrates is your typical “boss” character, stonefaced, hardly any emotion, and usually is just there to tell others what to do. All characters in the book are likable and fun in their own way(Octavia is very interesting).

I really did like the secret society concept used in the book. It gives the plot more mystery and especially if a member of royalty involved it enhances the mystery and intrigue even more. Yet even after being finished with the book there are still questions needed to be answered about this society and it’s obvious that we have not seen the last of them yet.

What bugged me about the book was the animal experimentation.Yet it wasn’t graphical and bloody, but the idea still bothered me though.  Another thing I didn’t like is sometimes the description – a particular description of a machine was very hard for me to picture. Then again that could be because I’m not so mechanically inclined – perhaps other readers may find it easier to figure it out.

Overall, a great book for children and adults alike, an even bigger treat for those that are into steampunk fiction. This is a great start to a very exciting series and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second book (which in fact, I have taken out of the library recently).

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Book Blogger Hop 8/13

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Book Blogger Hop

Today’s question is: How many books do you have on your ‘to be read shelf’?

- Uh. Do you really want to know? At least in a pile, 20. Then in my box there’s about 20 more. Yup. Move along now. Nothing to see. :)

If you come from the Hop let me know! and welcome! have some cookies :)

Written by Karoline

August 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Review of Patience, Princess Catherine

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Patience, Princess Catherine

This is the first in the Young Royals series (although I do hear others saying it’s the fourth) so now I’m confused. I am therefore, going in chronological order with this series. Catherine was Queen before the others in this series so I’m going to start with her. (Besides, she’s my favorite Queen).

Patience, Princess Catherine is the story of young Catherine of Aragon, and her voyage from Spain to England. There, she marries Arthur, and very early becomes a widow. From there, you go with her through her hardship and hard struggles, before she became Queen of England.

The story does centralize more on Catherine’s life before she became Queen. If you’re a Tudor fanatic the story isn’t anything new, but different style of writing and the way Catherine is portrayed is always something interesting to read. The way Catherine is written in this book is well done and shows her gracefully turning into the strong woman she would become later in her life. You do see glimpses of the young naive girl who was used to being loved, and coddled by her mother and father. (Which is nice to see, there are some novels I have read where Isabelle and Ferdinand don’t even play a role in her upbringing, or are being portrayed as cold blooded parents).

You immediately sympathize with Catherine and admire her strength to survive despite going into near total poverty and unable to provide for herself and her household – what I liked the most was although there were attempts of others trying to run her life, Catherine finally stands up for herself and says enough is enough and makes decisions on her own.

The other main Royal characters aren’t really that big of a central role in this story. You do see a little bit of Arthur and Catherine, however not as much as I would have liked. However, what I saw more of was Catherine and her relationships with her Duenna, and her ambassador, which I thought was an interesting read as in other books I have read, none of that was really the main feature. I might also add…the book doesn’t have the intrigue, and drama of court life that fans of historical fiction would expect. Then again this book is meant for teens and is really just a ‘starter’ book for those wanting to get into Tudor fiction. So if you like all the drama and action of the court, you won’t really find it here. It could actually be rather dry for Tudor fans.

Overall, it’s a great book for young adults who want to get started on their Tudor mania. Despite the way the order of the series is, I would actually suggest starting with Catherine as she was Queen first before the other Royals in the series.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 11, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Review of The Lost Symbol

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The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol

Note: you do not have to read the Robert Langdon series in order. I’ve read The DaVinci Code before Angels and Demons, and jumped into The Lost Symbol (while Angels and Demons is still halfway read on the table). You will find there are a few references that point to The DaVinci Code in this book, but it’s not enough to get you confused – so you can read The Lost Symbol as a stand alone.

Robert Langdon is back and this time it has to do with the Freemasons and America. A close friend and mentor has been kidnapped with a hand left behind leaving a clue. It is up to Langdon to put the pieces together and save his friend from a ruthless and highly ambitious kidnapper.

I tried to enjoy this. I really did. It didn’t have the excitement and intrigue that the other books had. There were some parts in the book where it was fun and it got me turning a page or two, but, then I felt the action and excitement die down. The writing then got bland, the chase scenes started becoming redundant, eventually the entire book got downright…well..have to say it, boring.

I’m not sure what else to say. I personally thought the puzzles would be more entertaining and the ending well, I think it fell short. I didn’t really force myself to finish this book. I kept going because I wanted to see if there was something exciting going to happen, if something mind blowing and catastrophic will be found out and the end of the world is nigh. Well, the book certainly put that out successfully, but you’re left with an empty feeling, a feeling as if asking: “That’s it?? that’s what it was?? I read 528 pages and …that’s it?????” I was disappointed for sure.

The story arc with Mal’akh (this name belongs in a fantasy book…not in a Dan Brown one) is all right. I’d rather figured out who he really was and although perhaps his hate and anger is justified, he’s nothing more than a spoiled brat who really did deserve to rot.

Overall, over hyped and not worth the read I’m still trying to figure out where these rave reviews are coming from. Stick with either Angels and Demons (I’m not even finished and I prefer it instead of this one) or The DaVinci Code for better work from Dan Brown.

I give it a 2 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

August 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Book Blogger Hop 8/6

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Book Blogger Hop

This week’s question is:

Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?

- I usually don’t listen to music when I read, and if I do, it’s almost always classical. Other kinds of music keeps me distracted and therefore I would go that far into my book.

What about you?

If you are visiting from the Hop, Hi! :) and let me know so I can visit you back.

Written by Karoline

August 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Book Blogger Hop, Meme

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