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Review of Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw

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0425184056.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgTen years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort. Now the wardens are back…and prisoners, including Kate’s uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane – the High Council’s most feared man – recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft – a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. (from Goodreads)

The story was pretty interesting and had a neat concept with the “Skilled”. I also liked the setting with the Graveyard city. So this is what rather kept me going for a bit while reading. The magic system itself was interesting and somewhat different from what I’ve read in the past. That kept the flow of reading along. Somewhat. The world building was alright although I wanted more detail and more explanation. What type of world was this? Yes it’s got magic in it but am I looking at fantasy with a Graveyard city? Is it a steampunk setting? What am I looking at here?

Now let’s move onto the characters.

Out of all of them, Silas even though he was pretty much your typical villain, was actually the most interesting. Even though he was the most interesting though, he wasn’t really that likable (understandably so, he’s a villain BUT I  always root for the bad guy). He wasn’t really part of the “cool bad guy” crowd I suppose for lack of a better explanation.

Edgar, who is Kate’s friend, meh. Not sure if I really liked him. He was a wuss. Sure, he had some few good moments. Otherwise though he just wasn’t that great at all. Kate was okay. She was a typical strong girl character you see in most YA novels like these.

In summary though, I’d have to say these characters in the book are ho hum. There’s not much feeling to them, they’re not likable, and they’re just…blah. Because of this and the lack of world building I just didn’t feel that much into the book and didn’t grab my attention. Sure, there were good points in the book but it just wasn’t quite enough to get me into the book like some others have. I’m not sure I’m going to go further into the series. I’d say take it or leave it with this one. I’ve seen other reviews where some have really enjoyed the book. Unfortunately much as I wanted to, I didn’t so much.
I give it a 7 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

March 13, 2017 at 7:24 am

Review of Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

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It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human. (From Goodreads)

 

At the end of this book I was yelling out: OH MY..EFFEN GEE WHY DID IT END THIS WAY WHY WHY WHY? Because it was EXCELLENT! AND I STILL CAN’T GET OVER IT.

Finally, I thought to myself, as I closed this book, a post apocalyptic plot that’s more realistic with no sugar coating and it’s all about survival. I felt myself turning the pages and staying up late to finish just one more chapter. It was so engaging and the plot itself was so well written it kept the reader near the edge of their seat.

For almost every chapter, there was always something new Alex would encounter and she would have to find a way out to survive or overcome. She’d have to be one of the most strongest and resilient characters I have ever read without acting like a lovesick naive twit like you do in some post apocalyptic YA’s out there. There was only one moment where Alex seemed to have forgotten about both of her companions from her journey but, I suppose she was sidetracked for good reason. I especially enjoyed the particular moment where Alex develops her skill to “smell”.

So what am I going to do? I think it’s about time to pay my library fines and take the second book out of the library (I’ve been slacking off about that) because I need to know what happens next!!! I most definitely recommend this book it’s an awesome read!!!

I give it a 10 out of 10

Written by Karoline

January 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

Review of Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

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It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. (From Goodreads)

 

It is recommended you read Anna Dressed in Blood before you read this one.

(Possible spoilers. You’ve been warned)

 

I loved loved loved this book!!! I demand another one! (although I believe it’s only a duology – for now)

 

The creepy factor was good and well done throughout the novel. (The forest part..oh my lord that was so well written I’ll be remembering that scene for a while now). This is definitely a book you would read for the fall, it’s got perfect atmosphere and mood. Cas as a character pulls the book through and does the book justice.

 

His relationship was Anna is well done. It’s bittersweet but you know it was bound to happen. As for the other characters, wasn’t too crazy about Carmel’s actions. What the heck…how she brushed off Thomas just made me so mad I wanted to go in and tell her to smarten up and stop being such a twit.  

 

Another character I enjoyed reading was Jestine. She’s a female version of Cas and it was nice of both of them trading barbs here and there. Wish we could see more of her (in the future perhaps? One day? Please?)

 

Overall, great ending, great read. Fighting scenes were also notable. Sad to see this go but who knows I hope to see Cas in the future!
I give it a 10 out of 10

Written by Karoline

October 24, 2016 at 7:57 am

Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst

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Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees. The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do? (from Goodreads)

This was a joy to read! Pearl’s such a great character and she made the book entertaining. I loved her wit, it provided for the majority of the comedy parts in the plot. Her sarcasm and her attempt to try and fit into school life was absolutely hilarious.

The vampires in this book are well done as well. They’re bloodthirsty and ambitious. Just the way I like them! no sparkly ones here! The scheme to get Pearl into high school so she can lure the food to feed her fellow vampires was well done (plus Jadrien is quite the hottie!)

Although the plot was pretty good, there were parts that are predictable and cliched. However because of Pearl and her personality (which pretty much is the highlight of the book) it can be overlooked. You pretty much figure out who the unicorn is, and Pearl’s choice on who she decides to be with isn’t a bad choice (although, I’d rather prefer the bad guy, he was your stereotypical bad boy, but you couldn’t help but fall for him.)

Definitely recommended for YA lovers. Read it for Pearl! she’s one of the best protagonists you would ever find.

I give it a 9/10

Written by Karoline

October 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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Everneath

Everneath

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen. (From Goodreads)

First, loved the cover of this book. I fell in love with it the moment I saw the cover. As for the story, well, it was good at some parts and then at times it felt like it dragged. It’s an interesting twist on the Hades/Persephone myth, which is also what got me into the book as I’ve taken a liking to these types of plots. So it was an interesting and great read at the start. It wasn’t until midway through the book that the plot starts to slow down considerably, and characters start to annoy me at this point.

Take Becks for example. Oh my goodness. I’m surprised I went through reading this book because I was starting to get annoyed at her whiny personality. She got so emo and lamented over her situation. There wasn’t much personality to her. She was just, emotional baggage that’s carried all through the story. She doesn’t even put much of a fight so I don’t see her as a strong character nor as a likable one. Cole and his crew were just as annoying. Sometimes it might just take a punch to the fast to make him stop. But it looks like Becks was too busy immersed in her self pity to do something like that.

Out of the characters, Jack was the only one I really like the most. He was such a sweetheart and for what he did just categorizes him into the best YA boyfriends ever. However despite that, the love and chemistry between Jack and Becks wasn’t really there. She was too much of a cardboard character to really make the romance become something substantial.

So it wasn’t that bad of a book. The ending was great. Although I have a feeling more whininess is going to come from Becks in the second one. Nevertheless it’s worth the read for YA lovers.

I give it a 6.5 out of 10

Written by Karoline

October 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

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Born Wicked

Born Wicked

Blessed with a gift…cursed with a secret. Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship – or an early grave. Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood – not even from each other. (From Amazon.ca)

Oh wow I loved this book. The three sisters were such memorable characters and each had their own distinct personality. Of the three I’d have to love Maura because of her outspoken personality, her temperament made her explosive and exciting to read about. I felt sorry for her at the same time because of what she goes through, but I’d have to say she’s my favorite character of the three.

The plot of the book was really good and interesting. World building was wonderful and I loved the setting. The pace of the plot was also steady and filled with mystery. I liked the concept of the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, it’s interesting and different. The prophecy mentioned in this book was a little drawn out too much as I hoped, but perhaps that’s because I was eager to figure out what it was.

I can’t say that I really like Cate. She’s a typical older sister but I found myself yelling every few 50 pages: ‘CATE. FFS. TELL YOUR SISTERS’. It’s her keeping all the information away from her sisters that makes the plot even more entangled than before (but more exciting!). Of the two possible romances, I’d prefer Paul, only because he just sounds much more romantic (but a bit of a cad) than Finn.

Naturally with books like these, it leaves on a HUGE CLIFFHANGER that makes you want to pull your hair out because you’d have to wait a long time for the next book to come out. I’m telling you, it’s an ending that’s enough to make you want to scream.

I’d say, fans of A Great and Terrible Beauty, and Prophecy of the Sisters would enjoy this book. Similar setting, but very different plots. Overall fabulous reading and most definitely recommended!

I give it a 9 out of 10

PS: Another reason why I don’t like Finn? I don’t like redheads. When I think of Finn, I think of Archie. Um no…don’t think so.

Written by Karoline

October 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

Until I Die by Amy Plum

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Until I Die

Until I Die

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love. As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy. (From Goodreads)

I absolutely loved the first one. I loved Vincent so much and he instantly became a book crush. Both he and Kate made a great couple, and although they had the chemistry going on, their relationship sort of went in the way of the overall plot.

The plot had great potential and it was just as exciting as the first book. I loved the idea of the Revenants, and Kate managed to develop into a stronger character (remember the middle finger incident? haha!). My favorite characters still are Jules and Vincent. Their personalities are likable and I’m glad they haven’t changed a bit.

Although the book was a good one, there were quite a full lulls throughout the story, and as mentioned before, Kate and Vincent’s romance marred it. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both together, they had wonderful chemistry and a great romance, but I don’t want to read their sappy one liners, and how much they love being in each other’s company. I want the plot to keep going, I want to see the action, I want to see what next suspenseful thing is coming next. But I’m stuck reading on love and kissing scenes. Not quite what I had in mind. On top of that, the action really happens in the last 50 pages. So it felt as if time was wasted.

So, it’s worth a read because it’s the second in the series, but I’m hoping the third will be better. A little less on the sappy romance, more action on more Revenants please!

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

July 23, 2014 at 8:47 am