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Friday, December 31, 2010

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

Title: Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods #5)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
ISBN: 9781423121282
Publisher: Hyperion
Page #: 265
Source: From my public library

"After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the five remaining gates that guard the earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silver Bloods.

Back in New York, Mimi has been elected Regent of a crumbling coven. Struggling with her heartache over the loss of Kingsley and with her overwhelming desire to destroy Jack, she must focus all her energy on a perilous new threat. Vampires are being abducted and their captors are planning to burn them alive online... for all the world to see. Help arrives in the form of Deming Chen, a Venator from Shanghai, who must untangle the web of deceptions before the killers strike again.

As the young vampires struggle for the survival of the coven, they uncover a deadly secret, a truth first discovered by Schuyler's mother during the Renaissance but kept buried for centuries. And as the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler to a terrible choice that will ultimately map the destiny of her heart."
First Lines:

"There were seven of us at the inception of the order. A conclave was called to address the growing threat posed by the Paths of the Dead."
Page 1

The Blue Bloods series is one that I always try to get my hands on when a new one comes out. The first three were pre-blog, but here are my review of the last one: The Van Alen Legacy

I always have to review the last few books before reading the next one. There's something very similar about this series and a couple others. But that's neither here nor there. This book was different from the rest because the characters were split into different locations. Before they've all been together and drama ensued. But here we have a few story lines that never really come together - Schuyler and Jack are on one side of the world and Mimi is all the way on anther. Never the two meet. For me, that gave it a bit of a choppy feel.

I did enjoy the whole mystery set up of this book. The time you read about Mimi is all focused on the vampires that are being abducted and killed. There's a whole lot of coven- and Regent-speak, but it's a good mystery. I'd almost call this book more mystery than fantasy at this point. But it's all rooted in the vampires' past lives and how they are all connected. It was a cool story line.

The whole thing about the gates of hell got me a bit confused. I think it's because there was a lot about this in the last book that I don't remember. So when the book started out describing them, I tried to play catch up. And not too successfully. Hopefully the next book will be more focused on this - considering where the book leaves you, this might be a possibility.

I think these books might be great if you're sitting down to read them back to back. I've been picking them up as they're published and am finding myself confused every time. Perhaps they just work better as a full series - bam, bam, bam. Ya know? But I do think that people will love this series if they haven't picked it up yet. It's a great vampire story that is a totally different take on the whole thing (from most other vampy books).

It looks like there are several things in the works for upcoming books in this series - and some novellas, it looks like. Take a look at the author's website to get an idea.
Other Blog Reviews:

Katie's Book Blog
Just Another Book Blog
Paranormal Haven
The Neverending Shelf
The Book Butterfly
Lots of reviews out there. Take a minute to browse :).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Afterlife (Evernight #4)
by Claudia Gray
To be released: March 8, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"When a shocking twist of fate turns Bianca into a wraith and Lucas into a vampire, the star-crosses lovers have no choice but to return to the sinister Evernight Academy to deal with the repercussions."

I know it's a pretty basic description, but if you've read the other books in the series you would get it. I loved the other ones and I can't wait for this one. Here are my reviews for the first three:
Evernight (This one was pre-blog)
I'll definitely be looking for this next one in a few months. I do recall having a hard time with the book before this one, so I anticipate being blown away by Afterlife. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Hunt of the Unicorn
by C.C. Humphreys
To be released: March 08, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Elayne thinks the old family story that one of her ancestors stepped through a tapestry into a world of mythical beasts makes a great fireside tale.
But she lives in the real world. In New York City. And she's outgrown that kind of fantasy.Until she finds herself in front of a unicorn tapestry at the Cloisters museum and sees her initials woven into the fabric. And hears a unicorn calling to her. And slips and falls—into that other world.
Suddenly the line between fantasy and reality isn't so clear. But the danger is real enough. Almost before she can think, Elayne is attacked by a ferocious beast, rescued by a unicorn, and taken prisoner by a tyrant king. Each of them seems to have an idea about her—that she's a hero, a villain, dinner!
But Elayne has a few ideas of her own. She wants to overthrow the king; she wants to tame the unicorn. She wants to go home! And she's willing to become both hero and villain to do it."

I don't typically get excited for high fantasy novels. But I think the thing that hooked me on this one was the whole real world to fantasy world shift. It's sort of like the Julie Kagawa books in that way. You learn about the character in real world terms before she's shoved into another place. At least, that's what I'm hoping. Doesn't this sound interesting?!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite edited by P.C. Cast

Title: Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite
Author: Edited by P.C. Cast
ISBN: 9781935618010
Publisher: BenBella Books
Page #: 212
Source: From my public library

"Love is Eternal... so are they.
Claudia Gray delves into the history of Patrice, from her bestselling Evernight series, and her doomed affair with a mortal World War II soldier.

Strange Angels author Lili St. Crow takes us to St. Mary's Catholic prep school where one disaffected girl can't seem to stay away from the boy she believes killed her best friend.

Wicked series' writer Nancy Holder reimagines Romeo and Juliet with an undead Romeo who's waited centuries for his beloved Juliet's return.

Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, tells the story of a girl who wakes up kidnapped and locked in a freezing basement with the boy she loves, facing a monster she doesn't dare put a name to.

Rachel Caine returns to the setting of her bestselling Morganville Vampires series where her latest supernatural threat isn't to the residents' lives, but to Eve and Michael's bond.

And Shade author Jeri Smith-Ready introduces us to a gypsy community that harbors vampires, a girl caught between her family and her dreams, and the boy who gives up everything to help her."
First Lines:

"The air in the USO canteen was hazy with cigarette smoke, thick with longing. It would've been hard to say who was more easily enchanted by romance in this place. Maybe it was the young men going off to war, desperate for comfort and perhaps someone to fight for."
Page 1 from "Bloodshed" by Claudia Gray

I picked up this book because I have read and loved something by almost every one of these authors - a couple are ones I haven't read yet, but I have their book in my posession. So I'm getting there. But these stories were all really good. A few had surprise endings - or completely blew my assumptions of the story out of the water. Very well done book. I'm going to attempt to go through each story.

The historical Evernight story by Claudia Gray was wonderful. I loved how the school was still a focal point, but you really got a whole new view of it. And it also was an interesting take on what happens when someone is turned into a vamp without allowing it. It's also a look at how love can blind you to reality - especially when it's eternal.

I haven't read the series by Lili St. Crow, but I probably will try to after reading this story. The perspective in this story really is one of a crass high school girl and the way she lives her life. Thrown in is a couple of murders and a vamp on the loose. I found this one to be a bit more abrupt, but I think in longer form it would be wonderful.

Nancy Holder is another author I haven't read much by (I think), but I have one of her books in my TBR pile. There's something about Romeo that just bothers me. He probably would have in the old version too - but he's just so... obsessed. And crazy-seeming. But that's just Romeo for you, I suppose. :) I did love how the ending turned out, though.

The story by Heather Brewer was the most interesting to me. She writes a story that is pure horror and terror... then twists up the ending giving the whole story a new light. It's very well done and I love how she writes. I would love to see how this story could have panned out if it were longer.

Of course I loved the story by Rachel Caine - but I'm a long time fan of the Morganville Vampire books. It's great to get a story from Eve's point of view. Honestly, it felt like she has more meat to her instead of Claire. I would totally read more about her. I kinda hope the new character she introduced is in the next novel.

And last, but not least, the story "Thirst" by Jeri Smith-Ready. I think I had the most confusing time with this one. Probably because it's set in a place/mindset that I don't get. But it's a great story of love and desperation. Shows what lengths someone would go to for someone they love.

All in all, I think this was a great group of short stories. Especially for those who are into the whole vampire thing. There are lots of variations on the same ole' story. I very much intend to pass this one along to my teens.
Other Blog Reviews:

Cem's Book Hideout
Amberkatze's Book Blog
Poisoned Rationality

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (37)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Chaos (Numbers #2)
by Rachel Ward
To be released: March 01, 2011

Summary from Scholastic:
"Adam has more than inherited his mother's curse: When he looks in someone's eyes, he not only sees the date of their death...he feels the searing, shocking pain of it. Since Jem died, Adam has lived by the sea with his great-grandmother, Val. But when rising tides flood the coast, they return to London. The city is an alien, exciting, frightening place. Most disturbing of all, Adam can't help but clock how many people's numbers are in January 2027; how many are on New Year's Day. What chaos awaits the world? Can he and Sarah stop a catastrophe? Or are they, too, counted among the "twenty-sevens"?"

I absolutely loved the first book by Rachel Ward. Here's that review. I think this second book came out already in the UK, but I really look forward to getting my hands on this one. I mean, how creepy would it be to see everyone's death date when you look at them?! Great concept, wonderful author... It will be great.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
ISBN: 9781416989431
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page #: 427
Source: From my public library

"Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.

If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to questions whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts."
First Lines:

"The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket. A furious spring wind had hurled itself against the farmhouse all night, howling and whistling, causing the shutters to slam against the clapboards with a repetitive bang! bang! bang!"
Page 1

If you haven't read the first book in this series, I highly recommend it. Here's my review for Hush, Hush.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this second book in the Hush, Hush series. Honestly, I had forgotten a lot of what the first book was about - probably because I read a few fallen angel stories in quick succession. But it all easily came back to me when I got into Crescendo. It does a wonderful job pulling you back into the story. I got sucked in almost immediately.

Nora is a very interesting main character. She's got lots of people around her who know way more about her life than she does. She depends on them for just about everything - comfort, love, information, and even rides (which is a weirdly huge part of the story). There are times that I wish she would be more independent, but there are others when I know she has to rely on others - because the story wouldn't be as interesting and mysterious.

One thing I really loved about this story (and recall liking in the first one) is the sense of mystery you get through the whole thing. Yes, it talks a lot about angels and rules and Nephil and all that... but the biggest part of the story is the mystery surrounding the murders and family lines. That's what drives this book and I actually got it right in the end of this one. I picked the right person to be the bad one.

But there is one character that I don't remember the way she is written in this second book - that's Vee, Nora's best friend. In this book she was really outspoken and kinda crazy. I don't remember her like that at all. Perhaps she just plays a bigger role in this one, but it made me wonder about the first book. Almost enough to read a few bits again to see if I was making it up. And for her large role in this book, I felt she was so far away at some points that she wasn't at all important. I would have liked to learn more about her, I think.

I think this series does a great job in mixing the mystery and the fantasy, so I highly recommend it to people who are looking for either thing. There's also a bit of action in each of the books, but I'm not sure it's enough to pull in the action lovers. I know I have already seen a lot of reviews for this one and tons of people asking for it at work. So I don't have to do much to get people to read it. But I still will recommend it along.

Check out Becca Fitzpatrick's website for more information on coming titles!
Other Blog Reviews:

Blkosiner's Book Blog
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Wondrous Reads
Novel Novice
A Bookworms Haven
Candace's Book Blog
This is just a tiny portion of all the reviews out there. Feel free to read all of their opinions. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Title: Dust City
Author: Robert Paul Weston
ISBN: 9781595142962
Publisher: Razorbill
Page #: 299
Source: From my public library

"In a city as mean as this, even a big bad wolf should be afraid.
And Henry Whelp is that Big Bad Wolf. Or he will be, someday. His dad is doing time for the double murder of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother so everyone assumes crime is in Henry's blood. For years, he's kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves on the outskirts of Dust City - a gritty metropolis known for its black-market, mind-altering dust. And the entire population of foxes, ravens, and hominids are hooked. But it's not just any dust the creatures of this grim underground are slinging and sniffing. It's fairydust.

When a murder at the Home forces Henry to escape, he begins to suspect his dad may have been framed. With a daring she-wolf named Fiona by his side, Henry travels into the dark alleyways and cavernous tunnels of Dust City. There, he'll come face to snout with legendary mobster Skinner and his Water Nixie henchmen to discover what really happened to his father in the woods that infamous night... and the shocking truth about fairydust."
First Lines:

"Once upon a time, fairydust came from where you'd expect. From fairies. I was only a cub, so I don't remember much of what the City was like back then. But I have a strong sense that things were different."
Page 1

I picked up this book because of the very original sounding concept. I mean, is there another book that is written for teens that takes the story of the big bad wolf and turns it into a novel? I haven't. But maybe I'm just missing out.

This book was all about the son of the "Big Bad Wolf" from the fairytales and his quest to find out if his father was innocent. Along the way he meets friends and enemies at every turn. It is definitely full of action and heroics - enough for any guys who are looking for adventure. It's a very unique story and I think many people will pick it up because of that.

I had a little trouble with the characters. I know that it's all wolves and foxes and ravens and such... but I had such a hard time picturing them. They are described as being further advanced than the savage beasts. Meaning they have thumbs and walk upright and wear clothes. I guess it's just hard for me to picture that - the reality at least... I tend to picture it in cartoon terms. So that didn't really help me with the story.

I just want to preface the next thing I'm going to say with this: I understand that this book is about fairydust. I understand that it is an underground thing - something that comes at a high price. But there was something off-putting (for me) when fairydust was discussed like a hardcore drug. Like there are people who need to get their fix. There were times that it just felt like we were talking about something other than a magic dust that heals and shows your destiny. Maybe it's just me.

I do think that a lot of people will enjoy this story. Perhaps I didn't have a good enough imagination for it. But I'm sure there are people who do :). I loved the setting, for sure. The whole dirty, gray city with all of its inhabitants living on top of each other. And the imagery of Eden floating above them at all times. It's a very cool concept and I really enjoyed reading about the places.

The other thing that was really fun was figuring out the mystery. You follow Henry as he starts to put all of the pieces together and puts himself in dangerous situations to find out the truth. I was a little shocked how the ending turned out - what really was creating the dust. But it was well done and no questions went unanswered. Once I got toward the end, I honestly couldn't put the book down. I had to find out what would happen!

I will absolutely be giving this book to some of my teens - especially the ones looking for a new concept or a weird mystery. I think that some of the ones looking for twisted fairy tales would enjoy this one as well. The author's first novel was for younger kids, so let's hope he writes more for teens. Check out his website here.
Other Blog Reviews:

Karin's Book Nook
Curling Up by the Fire
YA Highway
Tempting Persephone
Love to Read for Fun
Reading Nook
The Introverted Reader

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Dark and Hollow Places
by Carrie Ryan
To be released: March 22, 2011

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Annah knows she has a twin sister, but she forgot her long ago. Back when they went to play in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, she and Elias lost her, and after that there was no going back to the village.
Life's been hard, but Elias has taken care of her, and living in the Dark City can help one to forget the horror of the Unconsecrated—if you try hard enough.
But when Elias disappears, Annah's world crumbles. To her, life isn't worth much more than the walking dead who roam the wasted world she lives in. It's not until she meets Catcher that she cares to start living again.
Yet Catcher has secrets. Dark, terrifying secrets that link him to a past she's longed to forget and to a future too deadly to consider.
Annah must decide: Can she continue to live a world covered in the blood of the living?
Or is death the answer to all her problems?"

Super-long description, I know. But doesn't it sound wonderful?! I have read the other two books in this series and this one sounds fantastic. I absolutely cannot wait!! I love how the author sets every book in the same world and somehow links back to the book before, but it's not the same characters. It's not set in the same city/town/place. I'm so excited for this one!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Title: Bright Young Things
Author: Anna Godbersen
ISBN: 9780061962660
Publisher: Harper Colllins
Page #: 389
Source: From my public library

"Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star...

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined - and more dangerous. it's a life anyone would kill for... and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall - together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.
First Lines:

"It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer. Everything fades: the shimmer of gold over White Cove; the laughter in the night air; the lavender early morning light on the faces of skyscrapers, which had suddenly become so heroically tall."
Page 1

It's not often that I read a book set in the 1930s. Many historical fiction books that I pick up are set in the 1800s or something - including the other series by this author. I loved her books. Here are my reviews for a couple of those (the first two were pre-blog):
Luxe (#1), Rumors (#2)Envy (#3), and Splendor (#4)

In this new series, the whole format of the story is very similar to the Luxe series. You follow the lives of three girls in NYC - through the drama, the love, the loss, and more. I was a little worried when I started this book and it felt exactly like the first Luxe book. But it takes a huge turn very quickly. It's more about girls who aren't used to the NYC lifestyle and how they adapt to it in vastly different ways.

There is something in the prologue that stuck with me throughout the story. It says,
"They were all marching toward their own secret fates, and long before the next decade rolled around, each would escape in her own way - one would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead."
That forshadowing really kept me guessing which girl would be which. At any given moment, I thought each thing could go for each girl. And you really don't find out with these three things because there are more books to come in the series. I'm looking forward to solving the mystery to see if I was right :).

I will absolutely be recommending this book to people who love historical fiction books. Especially if they are looking for something a little different. It's very well written and I felt completely pulled into that time period. There are times that I really couldn't put the book down. Other times I wanted to draw it out some because I wanted to live the era through the stories.

If you haven't read the Luxe series by this author, I absolutely recommend those as well. I look forward to reading anything she's got coming up in the future. I see there is a second book on the horizon and I really look forward to that. Check out her website for more information.
Other Blog Reviews:

Rebecca's Book Blog
The Book Smugglers
Katie's Book Blog
The Fourth Musketeer
Tea Mouse Book Reviews
Reading Teen
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