27 Jan 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Series: Red Queen (Book 2)
Expected publication: February 9th 2016 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
   The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
   Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
   But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
   Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

If you are a reader of my blog since 2015, well... You would have read my review of Red Queen and how am I so in love with IT. GOD.


BUT NOW I AM MORE IN LOVE WITH THE SERIES. THE CHARACTERS ARE ON POINT THAT I DON'T HAVE TO DESCRIBE HOW POINTY THOSE CREATURES ARE. 


THEIR ABILITIES ARE ONE OF A KIND. 


I'M IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN FOR WAITING FEBRUARY 6TH.
COME HOME TO MAMA, BABE.



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Yani

Let's leave it up to this quote from Emily Brontë:
“And from the midst of cheerless gloom I passed to bright unclouded day.”

21 Jan 2016

Review: The Immortal Rules

Publication: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Post- Apocalyptic, Paranormal
Format: Paperback, 458 pages
Add this on: Goodreads

Living in a world where humans are seen as little more than a source of blood, with all registered citizens required to give blood, Allie hovers on the outskirts. An Unregistered, she's determined not to become vampire property, even if it means being hungry all the time and having to fight for her existence. But when a scavenging trip goes very wrong, she's offered an impossible choice: die as a human, or continue to live as the one thing she hates the most.

Well, I certainly waited long enough to read this one! I read an enjoyed Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey quartet a long time ago, but didn't really feel compelled to read The Immortal Rules when it was released. I won a copy at the Book Blog Ontario meet-up last year, and finally picked it up. I'm overall glad that I did! (Weirdly, I always seem to read slightly gory books when I donate blood...)

Allie lives in a very grim reality, and it has made her develop quite an outer shell. She's tough, and stubborn, and not afraid to stand up for herself- and, though she denies it, even to herself, others too. She's willing to do anything it takes to survive, eeking out an existence on the fringes in order to avoid being branded property by the monsters whose need for blood took her mother from her. Her hatred of the vampires clashes with her will to survive when she's attacked by rabids (zombies, more or less)- and a passing vampire offers her the choice of death or becoming a vampire. She chooses to live, even if it means becoming what she despises. Forced to flee the city, she has to pass as a human.

Allie is interesting because of her humanity- how she seems to do everything so desperately, clinging onto essential aspects of herself, even when her new monster instincts try to tell her otherwise. It was interesting to watch her try to navigate her new existence, and watch her struggle with the fallout of the choice she made. I admired her for her struggle to be true to herself despite not being totally sure who that self was, now that she's become what she's hated more than anything.

The romance was... weird to me. It kind of felt like she was mostly being drawn to Zeke because of his humanity? He embodies a lot of the traits that she thinks of as very human, and, with her current struggle, I suppose that drew her. I just didn't entirely see that there was anything other than that there? I'm not entirely sure how I felt about it, it's something that I hope will become more... solid, almost? In the rest of the trilogy (if it's meant to be a long-term thing).

I enjoyed the amount of action in this novel, though sometimes the scenes were a little hard of me to visualise. The descriptions were just a little... vague, I suppose. The world itself was something I'm looking forward to continuing to explore in the rest of the trilogy. It really is slowly crumbling, and I'm interested to see what direction Julie Kagawa takes this world and story!

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Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.

14 Jan 2016

Review: The Queen's Choice

Publication: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Add this on: Goodreads

Anya's position as niece of the Queen of the Fae has never been of much consequence to her, until she discovers that the Queen is dying, and has chosen Anya as heir. Anya is desperate to avoid taking Queenship, and resolves to find the Queen's estranged son- a half human who crossed into the human world years ago- and persuade him to claim his birthright. But the human world holds more dangers for Anya than she could ever have predicted, and her quest leaves the fate of her realm in a precarious position.

I actually really struggled to not DNF this one. The issue is that the first 350 pages of this novel are mediocre at best, only picking up in the last 150 or so pages. Once the story picked up, it was an interesting enough read, it just took a REALLY long time to get there for me.

I didn't particularly enjoy Anya, either as a character or as a narrator, especially in the beginning. As a character, she fell flat for me, her emotions didn't really ring true for me, which left me with very little understanding or sympathy for her choices. As a narrator, she was just a bit dull- it was more that she was like a tour guide than a person experiencing the world she inhabited. It wasn't a narrative style that I particularly enjoyed, but that might just be my preference.

I found myself browsing a lot during this novel, and really only found myself engaged in those last 150 pages- and then only when certain characters were present. Anya on her own wasn't enough to interest me. There was a romance of sorts, and I really didn't enjoy that addition to the novel- it felt rushed and unnecessary.

The world in this novel seems to still be under construction. The culture and beliefs of the humans in the novel don't seem to be firmly established. The culture and beliefs of the Fae are discussed at length, but without any particular radiance or lyricism. Aspects of the world and the knowledge of the characters were things that felt like they appeared when they were convenient to pull the plot along, rather than as a natural part of the world created. This novel finds its footing a bit toward the end, and there is promise for the next book in the trilogy.

Despite my negative feelings about the start of this novel, there were definitely parts of the story that interested me toward the end of the book. I am still considering reading the sequel, though I might wait to see if the last book in the trilogy gets a release date.
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Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.

5 Jan 2016

Review: Jackaby

Publication: Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 299 pages
Add this on: Goodreads

When Miss Abigail Rook arrives in New Fiddleham, New England, she is desperate for a job. Desperate enough to answer are strange posting. Working as investigative assistant to R. F. Jackaby, Abigail finds herself at the scene of a gruesome murder- one that Jackaby is certain was committed by a supernatural creature. Abigail is thrown into a wider world, one stranger and more dangerous than her own, as she and Jackaby endeavour to catch a killer that almost nobody else believes exists.

I love the cover of this novel! They colouring is just lovely, and it's so eerie looking. That said, I kind of feel like it doesn't exactly suit the book... Moving on.

This book was nothing too complicated, but it was still a fun read. Set in the fictional city of New Fiddleham, the novel follows Abigail as she attempts to find her way in an unfamiliar place- one that becomes even more unfamiliar once she manages to find a job. Supernatural creatures stalk the city, and she now works for Jackaby, one of the few people in the world that can see them for what they are. Though Abigail is blind to the world he sees, she has a gift for noticing the ordinary things others miss. Abigail was an enjoyable and interesting point of view to read from, if not a complex one. Her character and narration were overall straightforward. I would have liked to see more evidence of Abigail's aforementioned talent, and perhaps some cultivation of her understanding of the supernatural world around her.

The story itself was fast-paced and light- there were elements that felt like the perhaps ought to have been serious, but I just wasn't that absorbed. I enjoyed the supernatural element, though I would have liked to see more of the investigation, and perhaps more of the clues. So far, the world in this book hasn't been all that well defined, though there is a sequel. As I mentioned, it didn't really have the atmosphere that the cover portrays. In a lot of ways, this book felt like a series of snapshots of the investigation, rather than one flowing, cohesive story.

Overall, this book was a quick, easy read that more or less met my expectations, but didn't exceed them. The storytelling, characters, and plot felt fairly simple, but it was still enjoyable.
author image

Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.
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