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Author: Julie Kagawa

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: The Forever Song by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden,
Also in this series: The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure
Published by Harlequin Teen on 15 April 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Asian American, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Monsters, People & Places, Romance, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, The Brothers Piggett

Place(s) Traveled to: Old Chicago, Illinois // Eden // (Future)

First Line(s): The outpost gate creaked in the wind, swinging back on its hinges.

I was so excited to receive a copy of The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa as I couldn’t wait to see what happened after I blitzed through the first two books (The Immortal Rules & The Eternity Cure) last year. The Forever Song picks up a few weeks after The Eternity Cure ends with Allison, Jackal and Kanin tracking Sarren as he carries his super-red lung virus to Eden. The release of which will wipe out the rest of  humanity and vampires alike and essentially mean the end of everything. While life in a vampire and rabid world may not be ideal the human race is hanging on – even if tentatively – and they aren’t ready to give up the fight.

Along the way Allison struggles with retaining her humanity and struggles against the monster inside of her as Sarren has taken away the her hope and attacked her core. This struggles causes a rift between her and her maker, Kanin, but her blood brother is delighted at the idea. And Allison faces her greatest threat when she sees just what traps and surprises that Sarren has left for her along the way. Sarren is even more diabolical than ever in this book and yet you do have to admire his evil genius as he wages his psychological warfare on Allison. The bright light in the story though is Jackal who is always on hand for a witty one-liner or caustic comment and I just love him more and more.

The Forever Song is a fast paced read and I think that fans of the series will enjoy how it all ends. Its a roller coaster ride of emotion filled with things you expect and ones that make shock. I may have even shed a tear or two over some moments at the very end. While I didn’t love this book as much as the first two I did enjoy it and was happy with how Kagawa wrapped up her series. The character ARCs are all believable and my issue was more with the pacing of the ending than anything else. It just seemed a little rushed compared to the build up of getting our heroes to Eden to stop the second apocalypse. There were also a couple of things that seemed to convenient and pushed the boundaries of believability. I also hold an irrational sadness against this series because it did come to an end. I always hate when a series ends and have been known to avoid a final episode or final book just so that it will not end.

The Forever Song isn’t my favorites installment in the Blood of Eden series but as a whole it does fit in well with the two books that came before. I think that there is a lasting appeal to the series that will terrify and delight readers for years to come. Kagawa is a brilliant writer and has a gift for playing with the emotions of her readers. While I do hate to say goodbye to Allison and her cohorts I am looking forward to her next series, Talon, and seeing how she takes on the dragon mythology.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Grim – The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Short Story Saturday, Young Adult0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Grim – The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa

Short Story Saturday: Grim – The Brothers Piggett by Julie KagawaThe Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa
Series: Grim,
Also in this series: The Key, Figment, The Raven Princess, Thinner Than Water, Before the Rose Bloomed, Beast/Beast, Untethered, Better, Light It Up
Published by Harlequin Teen on 25 February 2014
Genres: Anthology, Fantasy, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Pages: 28
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, The Forever Song

Short Story Saturday is a new feature that I am doing here on Ticket to Anywhere where I start to read some of the various anthologies I have, one story at a time. One of the anthologies that I am focusing on now is Grim edited by Christine Johnson which is described as: “In the days when fairy tales were first spun, they weren’t the sweet and cheerful stories we tell today. Back then, fairy tales were terrifying. They were a warning to the listener to stay out of the night, to keep away from the mystical and ignore the mysterious.”

Place(s) Traveled To: Small, unnamed village on the edge of the Haunted Wood

First Line(s): This is a story about a boy in love.

Original Story: The Three Little Pigs

The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa is the eighth story in the Grim Anthology and is a retelling of The Three Little Pigs. I had been a little disappointed in the previous stories and so was setting myself up to be disappointed again with this one. But while I didn’t love this story I was pleasantly surprised by it. The Brothers Piggett is a unique twist on the original story and I have to admit I didn’t see this twist coming. This is a quick story and it was a refreshing change from the ones that came before it. The story is well-written and evenly paced and told with Kagawa’s usual style. Its engrossing and makes you want to turn the pages faster. I’d be curious to read an expanded version of this story or one that continues where this one leaves off but I’m also satisfied with how it ended. All in all a good story in this mixed bag anthology.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie KagawaThe Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden, Book 2
Also in this series: The Immortal Rules, The Forever Song
Published by Harlequin Teen on 30 April 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Asian American, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Monsters, Paranormal, People of Color, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 446
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Immortal Rules, The Brothers Piggett, The Forever Song

Place(s) Traveled to: New Covington // Old DC // A few unnamed locations in the dystopian US

First Line: I smelled blood as soon as I walked into the room.

I knew the moment that I finished The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa that I would have to immediately dive into the sequel, The Eternity Cure. Julie Kagawa has a way with world building that makes it hard to set a story aside and I think that this is part of why I held off reading The Immortal Rules for so long. This is probably why I probably would have waited until the final book was out if I wasn’t part of a blog tour for this series. (And with this statement I have just become my mother…oy)

The Eternity Cure picks up several months after The Immortal Rules ends. Allie is on her own and searching for the psychotic vampire Sarren who is holding her sire hostage. During her travels she meets up with Jackal, the vampire prince of old Chicago. As a reader you don’t really get to know much about Jackal in The Immortal Rules other than he’s a just a tad bit evil. In The Eternity Cure you get to see a whole other side of him…oh he’s still evil and doesn’t think much about humans but he is filled with snark and wit and you can’t help but like him.

Jackal stole most of the scenes he was in with his snarky one liners and I often found myself laughing out loud because of them. I really liked his chemistry with Allie and their unlikely alliance. Sarren was also pretty entertaining as the sociopath vampire who Allie is trying to find. He is just so completely nuts and yet with this brief moments of horrible sanity. Sarren it scary smart and I wish that there was more of him in the book. He’s just so delightfully creepy and fun.

The overall plot of the book is realistic and fits in well with the first book. There is lots of action and development and The Eternity Cure does not suffer from second book syndrome. Though as a second book in a series a reader does need to have read book 1 in order to fully understand all the events in this book.  The Eternity Cure was a very fast read and I couldn’t put it down once I started it. I did predict the events of the ending before the big reveal but that didn’t make them any less shocking. This book ends on a bit of cliff hanger and it really really sucks that there is no word yet on when the third book will be released.

The Blood of Eden series is a fantastic read, its not perfect but its a a series that I would (and have) recommended to my friends. Its realistic and that just makes the whole story all the more creeptastic as a result. I love when a fictional world is plausible….and yes this series does have that whole vampire thing but if you separate them from the story I can totally see a world like Julie Kagawa coming about. I really liked this series and I am dying to see where it all goes from here. So many possibilities!!

Finally, just wanted to give a shout out to the awesome Australian cover of this book…I think I’m going to have to import this one as it will fit in so well with my copy of The Immortal Rules.

four-stars
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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult4 Comments

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden,
Also in this series: The Eternity Cure, The Forever Song
Published by Harlequin Teen on 24 April 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Asian American, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Monsters, Paranormal, People & Places, People of Color, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Survival Stories, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 516
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Eternity Cure, The Brothers Piggett, The Forever Song

Place(s) Traveled to: New Covington // Old Chicago // Various places in a dystopian United States

First Line: The hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is one of those books that I was really looking forward to but then never seemed to have the time to read. So my copy sat on my shelf mocking me just as so many of my other unread books do. Then I was asked to be part of a blog tour for the sequel, The Eternity Cure, and thought I should probably read it soon. Well soon became now when instead of getting content for the tour we were asked to provide our own based on a topic. For which, my first thought was crap….I haven’t read these yet how can I do this? Is it possible to back out? But then I took a few deep breaths and hunkered down to read.

I was quickly sucked into the dystopian world that Julie Kagawa created. I loved how she gave a history of how her world came to be that was both informative, without being dry, as well as believable. If you know anything about me then you know when I read a dystopian I like to have a history. A how this world is, especially when it has only been a couple of generations since the event. All too often we’re thrust into a world only 50 or so years after and no one knows or cares about the before. In Kagawa’s world people know and while they don’t always care there is knowledge that is passed on. I liked this and for me it made everything more real. 

Allison Sekemoto. She was snarky and feisty and she faced some difficult choices in life and death. While I may not have always made the same choices that she did I did admire her convictions. I also liked all the others that she came across, Zeke and Jeb and Kanin and The Archers. Her interactions with others were believable and I found myself cheering her on in various fight scenes. And The Immortal Rules doesn’t hold back there and contains lots of action that really makes this a fast paced read.

What keeps me from giving this 5 stars is that events seemed to happen almost too perfectly. There wasn’t a ton of mystery or things to figure out the answers that Allie needed just always seemed to appear when she needed them. There was also some cheesy dialogue moments but thankfully those were rare and easily overlooked. The ending was also almost a little too perfect but there was just enough left open so the reader gets an idea of what the next book will be about.

I enjoyed The Immortal Rules and its a book that I’ve since found myself recommending to others. I liked how it was fast paced and I easily got lost in its pages. I liked how it was about vampires and how some of those vampires were a bit like zombies. It was an interesting mix and those Rabids really keep you on your toes. There are no zombies in this book but the rabids reminded me of how zombies are often portrayed in movies and books with the exception that they are allergic to daylight.

After reading The Immortal Rules I knew that the very next book I read would be The Eternity Cure. This is a great series and if you like vampires, dystopians, zombies, or any combination of those then you really need to give this one a try.

four-stars
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