Review of City of Ashes

City of Ashes

City of Ashes

It is recommended that you read City of Bones before you read City of Ashes. You might be able to read this alone without the first one but it might be a little confusing as a lot has happened in the first one that leads up to events in this book.

Someone is killing Downworlder children in New York. Clary, immediately suspects Valentine and questions his motives. When the second of the Mortal Instruments is taken, the Inquisitors immediately go after Jace and ‘question’ him. All Clary wants to do is go back to the world she once knew. Yet it’s hard when your mom still is in a magically-induced coma, your father (Valentine) wants total domination, and you still have feelings for your brother (Jace). Yet Clary finds out she just can’t pick up her bags and leave. She still has a job to do as a Shadowhunter.

This book was just as good as the first one. Still filled with action, and intrigue. There were plenty of twists, especially when it come to some characters (Simon being the major prime example). I really did enjoy reading Simon’s story arc. It was just so interesting and there was so much development to his character. I just really like Simon overall. It did certainly feel as if he had a personality change. He wasn’t the fun loving guy anymore but was replaced by a more serious, older sounding Simon. I liked the transition as it wasn’t done in just one go. It was gradual, starting with issues with Clary and Jace, to other more life changing moments (I don’t want to give it away).

The plot was really good and interesting. It was a good mixture of action, a bit of romance, and funny wit all in one. There were plenty of parts where I found myself laughing at a comment or two – usually done by either Jace or Clary. There was one particular piece of writing I really did enjoy reading:

“Kissing Simon was pleasant. It was a gentle sort of pleasant, like lying in a hammock on a summer day with a book and a glass of lemonade”

To me, this was just a nice little piece of writing that I really enjoyed reading.  It may sound cliche, and corny to some but to me it is one of my favorite passages in the book.

Now down to the ugly part. I’m going to have to say this. I hear everybody raving about it and how awesome he is, how “hot” he is etc etc. I’m going to say it. Brace yourselves.

I hate Jace. I really do. Wow do I really hate him. I’d like to jump into the book and punch him. That or I hope Simon does me the favor one day. Hopefully.

Why do I hate him? he’s arrogant. He’s a jerk. He’s selfish. I admit yes there are some quotes from him that made me laugh but to me, he’s not boyfriend material. In fact he’s just a douche in my eyes. I don’t understand the appeal there is to this guy. Plus he ruins everything. Clary and Simon were doing just fine until Jace had to goose step in thinking he’s the hottest thing since the Twilight characters.

Also Clary was really starting to get to me throughout the last half of the book. I don’t understand her. She whines about being with Simon, and then thinks lusty thoughts about Jace – and here I am thinking that if I really wanted to read a book with brother and sister being ‘together’ I’d pull out Flowers in the Attic. It was getting to the point where I was just about to do so. I’m really glad Clary got her come uppins in the end in the love department. She really did deserve that for being so wishy washy. Right now I don’t know what to think about her. I used to like her a lot but after this thing with Jace and Simon I’m not so sure.

The ending was good and left at a real cliffhanger. I am looking forward to getting the third book to see what happens. Overall, the series is so far, really good and has been an exciting read. I am definitely looking foward to reading City of Glass.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Advertisements

Book Blogger Hop 7/30

Book Blogger Hop

Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

I would go for Richelle Mead, yes, I know, I’m behind in the Vampire Academy series. I’ve only read the first one therefore the series and her type of writing is new to me. I really like the way she wrote Vampire Academy (the first one, I haven’t read the other ones yet). I’d also have to add, Vampire Academy is one of my top favorite reads of 2010. 🙂

What’s your answer? and if you’re saying hi via the Hop, let me know! I’ll visit you back.

Review of Meridian

MeridianMeridian Sozu is different. Very different. She’s a Fenestra, a half human, half angel whose job is to guide people over to the ‘other side’ once they pass on. Since she was a young girl, she’s had animals come to her and die. Meridian has always been surrounded by death. When a large car crash happens outside her home, she is sent to live with her Aunt and a mysterious boy named Tens. Meridian finds out who she is and learns she has to battle the Aternocti a group where they capture souls to cause chaos.

It took me a while to get into this book, however I liked the concept of the plot – which kept me going. I found as I kept reading, the more suspenseful and intriguing it got. I really did enjoy the storyline of a little town gone awry with the help of an over the top zealous religious leader who managed to get a strong grip on the town. It made the perfect background for the development of the story.

My favorite character was Meridian’s Aunt (also named Meridian) she was filled with strength (despite her age) and she was a typical Grandma. She was lovable and everything about her was likable and endearing. Meridian, I noticed started developing personality characteristics like her Aunt, which I enjoyed reading. I didn’t know what to think of her at first. It was more of a take it or leave it attitude towards her, but then she started to grow on me later.

What I also liked about this book is it has a lot to do with spirituality and most of the subject matter is what happens when you die. It goes into detail about it but I’m glad it does’nt add any religious aspect. It stays neutral and its’ explanation of life after death is interesting.

I’d have to say I did enjoy reading the book once the plot caught my attention. It was certainly different from other paranormal books I have read (at the moment) and there’s a lot more I’d like to know. There is a lot of room for a sequel (or a series) so I’m definitely going to be picking this one up for sure.

Overall do pick this one up! it’s certainly a different type of paranormal YA fiction and perfect if you want to take a break from the vampire and werewolf books that are in abundance out there.

I give it a 9.5 out of 10.

Book Blogger Hop 7/23

Book Blogger Hop

Today’s question is: TELL US ABOUT THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING!

– Well I’m reading quite a few books at the same time. Hmm..ok let’s go for this one. In my bag at the moment is The Plague by Joanne Dahme. I just started a few chapters in. It’s a hist fic, with a girl named Nell who has a remarkable similarity to Princess Joan so she becomes the Princess’ double. They just arrived in France at the moment, and I think the plague has just settled in. That’s about as far as I went. It’s pretty good so far, but from what I’m assuming from reading the jacket flap, Nell plays the role of Princess for quite some time and that might bring a bit of trouble for her. 🙂

Anyway! if you stopped by the Book Blogger hop let me know! and would love to hear your answers to this one!


Review of Vampire Academy

Vampire AcademyI don’t know why it took me so long to get to this one. I think it’s because I’m doing all it takes to avoid reading Twilight (why? I don’t know I think it’s because of the vampires sparkling that makes me run away screaming for Anne Rice’s vampires instead). Is it just me or does the girl on the cover look like Angelina Jolie? Anyway! onto the review!

Vampire Academy focuses on Rose and Lissa. Rose is a dhampir and sworn to protect Lissa who is last in her line of a Moroi vampire lineage. Lissa is under the threat of Strigoi (really nasty brutal savage vampires) and it’s upto Rose to train well and train hard to live up to the high standards of becoming a guardian for her best friend. Being dragged back to St Vladimir’s, Rose and Lissa face nasty gossips, cliques, forbidden romances (argh that sounds cheesy but it’s true), and the strigoi who are out to get Lissa.

I was skeptical at first. If this was going to be another vampire novel with its teens being obsessed with name brand clothing and the pages will be filled with what they were wearing I was about to toss this back to the return bin to the library. I was relieved and happy that it wasn’t. It was thanks to Rose that Vampire Academy is now one of my favorite reads of 2010. (Yes I’m a little late coming into the series). I loved Rose, loved her as a character, liked her wit, her strength, her volatile temper,  and although Lissa is important and central to the novel, Rose just seems to have taken the spotlight. Which I think is a good thing. Although it’s not to say I don’t like Lissa, but in my opinion, she just seems like the girly girl that always feels the need to be protected and coddled.

The plot was very interesting and I really liked how the dynamics of the Vampire Academy worked. (The dhampirs, and the Moroi taking classes yet they’re still two separate groups). This book was certainly very different from other vampire books I’ve read, but it was not only interesting, but I loved the action and the mystery surrounding Rose and Lissa (questions as to why they ran away, what Lissa’s specialty is when it comes to her powers, etc.) I like the ‘politics’ concerning the Moroi but I would like to learn more about the Strigoi and how they operate (then again this is just the first book so I’m sure later novels will explain this a lot more). There was a nice little twist in the end, albeit predictable, but still a very exciting and entertaining read nonetheless.

Also what I really liked, is great character chemistry. Rose and Lissa got along well (for the most part) and were ideally what best friends are supposed to be. Lissa and Christian, the chemistry is there but it feels like they’re developing and still needs room to grow – hopefully the later books will do them justice. However Rose and Dimitri are super together. They have that romantic tension that the reader can feel, and it’s so tense it could be snapped like a twig. I love them both as a team and as a potential couple. Note this book is meant for older teens for the occasional swearing, and some sexual themes.

Overall this is one of my favorites of 2010. I love the plot and I love the characters. Both of them went hand in hand in this book. I greatly recommend this to vampire lovers out there.

I give it a 9.5 out of 10.

Book Blogger Hop 7/16

Book Blogger Hop

This week’s question: RIGHT THIS INSTANT, WHAT BOOK ARE YOU DYING TO GET YOUR HANDS ON (PAST, PRESENT, OR FUTURE)?

Well, if you’re talking about the past, at the time I wanted my hands on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I went to the store for their midnight release, got the book and everything. I even dragged the hombre there with me and he stood there, comatose, counting the hours away. (I think I still owe him for that one)

Present, I want to get my hands on The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong. I loved both The Summoning and The Awakening. Also I need to get my hands on Gone by Lisa McMann. I’m almost finished that series as well and would love to know what happens in the end.

Future, well let’s see. I pre-ordered The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory so am definitely looking forward to that. I’m also really really REALLY wanting to get my hands on The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro which is book number two of The Strain trilogy. I think I had a chance to get an ARC (I think I lost out on that -not sure still hoping) but that’s definitely going to be placed on hold at the library. Then of course, there’s Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I am preparing to wait for a long time to in line for that one when I place it on hold at the library. 🙂

So what are you looking forward to past present future?

Hi to all of you who came through the Book Blogger Hop! leave a comment so I can visit you in return! 🙂

Review of Tall Dark and Dead

Tall Dark and Dead

Tall Dark and Dead

Tall Dark and Dead is the first book in the Garnet Lacey series. It features Garnet Lacey, a witch with the Goddess Lilith inside of her. Garnet has moved to a new town, with a new name, hiding from the Order of Eustace (yes, start smirking) a group of witch hunters headed by the Vatican. Working in an occult shop, she meets Sebastian von Traum, a vampire looking for mandrake root. Lilith, has an agenda with Sebastian, and tries to use Garnet’s body to achieve them. Meanwhile, Garnet has to maintain her relationship with Sebastian, hide from the witch hunters, and also fend off her ex Parrish, who decides to make a comeback.

I gave this book a chance because after reading something like High Stakes by Erin McCarthy, I thought these light, “chick lit” paranormal romances weren’t that bad, and could be a great light read after potential heavy reads.

This one is slightly more darker, and with more action but not enough to take it away from the romance/chick lit genre. However what I really enjoyed the most out of this book was the humor. There was plenty of it. It’s Garnet Lacey’s wit that draws you to the story, and also makes you like her as a character. She’s not your typical romantic heroine either, which also makes for her appeal. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments in the book -even coming from the bad guys in the novel as well.

The main story plot is pretty good and well written. The story arc with Garnet and the Vatican is very interesting. The romantic plot isn’t too bad (mind you, I’m not one for romances so I am biased in this aspect of the book). Although I have to say, Garnet and Sebastian as a couple…it’s a little off. I don’t find any chemistry between them, and don’t find them a great couple to begin with. Garnet and Parrish is the same way. Perhaps a little work is needed on giving the couples a little more chemistry to make the match more enjoyable to read, instead of just being together for the sake of having a main couple for the novel. I found it a little odd how Sebastian and Garnet instantly become an ‘item’ after a night..it baffles me still. Yet perhaps how my idea of how a couple should start off is much different than how the author pictured.

The story arc with Lilith is interesting and got me wanting to read further into this series I’m intrigued as to what is going to happen. Lilith has her own plans and this builds intrigue and mystery into the book which is enjoyable to read. There was one particular moment in the book where Garnet had to ‘be on top’ (get my meaning?) because of Lilith (if you are familiar with mythology and Lilith then you’ll understand what I’m trying to get at). I thought that was so cheesy and silly it was enough for me to utter an awful comment or two out loud. It wasn’t necessary and might probably induce a lot of eye rolling from readers who are well familiar with the Lilith myth.

Yet thanks to the humor, and Garnet as a character (whom I enjoyed reading very much) this was enough for me to carry on and enjoy the book. I recommend this book to those who feel like a light read, with a dark twist throughout. It’s got humor, it’s got romance, a little bit of action, and it’s a nice blend to make the story fun to read, and also makes you want to know what’s going to happen next.