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Genre: Paranormal

Friday, April 1, 2016

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle MeadBloodlines by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines,
Published by Razorbill on 23 August 2011
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 421
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice

Place(s) Traveled To: Palm Springs, California

First Line(s): I couldn’t breathe.

BLOODLINES is the first book in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series and focuses on alchemist Sydney who we meet in those books. As the events in this book directly relate to how LAST SACRIFICE (my review) ends I strongly suggest that you read the Vampire Academy books before moving on to BLOODLINES. In the Vampire Academy books I wasn’t a huge fan of Syndney so I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy a series that revolved around her and so was a little reluctant in picking these books up. But friends I know and trust say that this series is better than Vampire Academy so I thought why not take the plunge now that I’ve finally finished VA and this series is fully available in stores.

As a first book in a series, even a spinoff series, I found BLOODLINES to be really slow. It took a bit to find its groove even though there were many returning characters from the Vampire Academy books. There were also some new ones introduced and they were complete douche nozzles and I just wanted to set fire to those pages. Like for real, Sydney’s dad and the ‘golden boy’ Keith were terrible terrible characters who frustrated me so much that I almost DNF’d this book because of them. I don’t expect all characters to be likeable but my stars at least have some potential for redemption! But its really had to come back from being an asshole so I think we are stuck with them as they are. *le sigh*

Bloodlines Quote

There were many things in BLOODLINES that I found really predictable and so when the big reveals happened I was left underwhelmed. I also thought that the main plot lines/mysteries were very anticlimatic in how they were wrapped up and dealt with. So much time was spent on the tattoos that these normal teenagers were getting and then instead of a bang it was all resolved in a wee little poof. Not even a poof….more of a puh. And then the story dragged on longer than I expected it to with other big moments that really weren’t ending in what I think was supposed to be a mic drop moment but left me going…eh, why do I care?

The main bright light in this book was Adrian, I adored him as always and I kind of hate how he’s tied to Jill. That kind of squicks me out a bit since there is such an age and personality difference between them. I also really liked how Adrian and Sydney interacted with each other. She added some grounding that he needed and he made her character a lot less annoying that she’d been in previous books. I do also think it helped a bit that we got this story from her POV but she’s still not a favorite character of mine. Nor is BLOODLINES a favorite book that I’ve read. I was left underwhelmed and I don’t know when or even if I’ll continue with this series.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Bloodlines

Add Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill to Goodreads.

Add City of Bones by Cassandra Clare to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid KemmererThicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on 29 December 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Police or Firemen, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Garretts Mill, Virginia // Crisfield, Maryland // Washington D.C

First Line(s): I hate this suit.

When I picked up THICKER THAN WATER by Brigid Kemmerer I was expecting a murder mystery. I wasn’t necessarily expecting an action filled book but I was expecting something a little more than what I got. For me, THICKER THAN WATER, while well written, was very slow. I liked the main characters of Thomas and Charlotte but oh my stars did I have issues with pretty much all the secondary characters! Charlotte’s family was off the hook crazy in some of their reactions and the fact that they could just fly off the handle and make snap judgments with no proof and get away with it bugged me so very much.

I also didn’t fully buy a romance between Charlotte and Thomas. There was no real spark between them in a romantic sense but I did buy them as friends. So it made her betrayal all the more shocking and upsetting as Thomas really only had one person in this entire town who believed in him. I can’t even imagine how hard life must have been for Thomas and I got why he couldn’t leave as he had no real options to do so. But his isolation and accusations made this story all the more heartbreaking to read.

Thicker Than Water Quote

Where THICKER THAN WATER totally falls off the rails for me was in the mystery. There really wasn’t anything to it and there wasn’t a ton of investigation into it either. The conclusion just also left me shaking my head as it just all came out of nowhere. Because what I didn’t know when I picked up THICKER THAN WATER was that there was a paranormal element to the book and it just made for a weird little story. The paranormal aspects only added confusion and clunkiness to this story and it just didn’t seem to fit. There was no explanation for it or when these kids had these powers. This lack of detail also contributed to my dissatisfaction with the ending of THICKER THAN WATER.

I liked THICKER THAN WATER well enough when I was reading it but I found this story easy to put down. And once it was down there was nothing driving me to pick it back up again. The words in THICKER THAN WATER were pretty enough but there wasn’t a whole ton of substance to them. This book was very light on details and explanations and it just left me feeling all meh about it. THICKER THAN WATER is also a tad bit open ended in its conclusion. While the main mystery is solved there are enough open threads that there could be more stories set in this world and these characters. If there are, I’m not entirely sure if they would be stories that I would pick up. I just didn’t like this one enough to really care on what happens next with this crew.

irishdarkblue

IR - Thicker Than Water

Add I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer LathamScarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 19 May 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Arabian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Las Almas Bay, Unknown

First Line(s): The kid was cute. Her bare, knobbly legs swung back and forth like pendulums between the chipped legs of my client chair.

Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham was a book that I was really looking forward to reading this year as its a debut novel featuring a Muslim-American. Yay diversity!! And while I did like the story I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would. Scarlet Undercover was a quick read but it wasn’t as mysterious or suspenseful as I was hoping it would be. Much of the mysterious elements came in the form of characters being cryptic and not revealing what they knew in a timely manner. This just frustrated me to no end because so much could have been avoided if the various characters didn’t keep secrets and just communicated with each other. Also, being cryptic is not the same as laying red herrings and weaving  a tapestry of misdirection and false truths until you get to the big reveal.

I did enjoy the character of Scarlett but did find elements of her character to be a bit unrealistic. The secondary characters were also interesting but none of them ever really shined all that bright. While I often enjoyed Scarlett’s voice when looking back I find both her and her friends and family to all be forgettable. There is a romance element to this story but like the overall mystery its a bit lukewarm and falls short of creating that heart achy feels that I so love in a story. Again, the romance and the mystery all suffer from lack of communication and as such the love interest and the story line could have all been easily resolved if people just talked to each other.

Scarlett Undercover Quote

The plot pacing of Scarlett Undercover could have also been better. So much happened due to convenience and it often made my eyes roll when events and people just appeared and disappeared exactly when needed. Despite all my high hopes for Scarlett Undercover I was left underwhelmed with the story. I also felt that the ending was a bit rushed and then there were all the unresolved threads. As far as I know Scarlett Undercover is a standalone book but there is definitely enough left open to spawn a sequel or two. Which, if it happens, I’m on the fence on if I would read it or not because while this book was just ok I never really became invested in the story.

I did like that Scarlett was smart and sassy as well as being a diverse heroine. This book was bursting with diversity which is a good thing but sometimes felt a little forced. Just as the paranormal elements of this book felt forced because they were just randomly tossed in and not fully explained or developed. Scarlett Undercover was just an ok read for me but if you are looking for some snarky diversity then you should check it out.

irishdarkblue

IR - Scarlett Undercover

Add Clarity by Kim Harrington to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Review: Curse of the Bane by Joseph DelaneyCurse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney
Series: The Last Apprentice, Book 2
Also in this series: Revenge of the Witch, Night of the Soul Stealer
Published by Greenwillow Books on 29 August 2006
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Demons, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Middle Grade, Paranormal, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Survival Stories
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Revenge of the Witch, Night of the Soul Stealer

Place(s) Traveled to: Horshaw // Chipenden // Priestown // Heysham – The County

First Line(s): When I heard the first scream, I turned away and covered my ears with my hands, pressing hard until my head hurt.

Curse of the Bane is the second book in Joseph Delaney’s Last Apprentice series and its one that is filled with crazy non-stop action that really sucked me into the story. In this book, Tom and the Spook head to Priestown to attend a funeral and also to deal with a big bad that has been trapped beneath a cathedral there for many years. Its a big enough baddie that it made me wonder why its the feature for the second book in a series and not used later on when Tom is farther into his training so I do do fear that that it will be hard for other books in the series to live up. Or if the big bads continue to get bigger and badder then the series has the potential to dip into the ridiculous. Which I hope doesn’t happen because I do like this world and these characters.

Although, I do find it a bit hard to believe that newly apprenticed Tom is the one who is always managing to save the day because something happens to the Spook. Its not a very good Spook that is easily taken out and his apprentice of mere weeks is the one to do all the heavy lifting. While I can see how this might be empowering to a middle grade reader, as an adult it just rings as untrue. It also doesn’t allow Tom to grow and change all that much as he never has many consequences from his actions since everything seems to work out. Even though he doesn’t listen or just blately goes against the advice of those older and wiser than him.

IR - Curse of the Bane

Overall though, I really did enjoy Curse of the Bane so much more than the first book, Revenge of the Witch (my review). I liked that it was a little darker and that it was filled with action. Yes, Tom was a bit of an idiot most of the time but I still hold out hope for him as he is still young and he is still a very new apprentice. I enjoy the appearance of Alice, his witch friend, and do tend to like what she adds to the story. Even if she does annoy me at times with her smugness and standoffish behavior.

I found that Curse of the Bane was a quick read and I read it in a single sitting. Its a book that had me turning the pages as fast as I could in order to see what happened. And even though I found the ending to be a bit implausible, this book was enough to make me continue reading this series. After Revenge of the Witch I was just so-so on this series but if the books to come are anything like this one then I think that I am in for a treat.

irishdarkblue

IR - Revenge of the Witch

Add Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

Add The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

four-stars
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mini Review: Half Lies by Sally Green

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Mini Review: Half Lies by Sally GreenHalf Lies by Sally Green
Series: Half Bad,
Also in this series: Half Bad, Half Wild
Published by Viking Juvenile on 13 November 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Urban Fantasy, Witches & Wizards, Young Adult
Pages: 72
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Half Bad, Half Wild

Place(s) Traveled To: Bradenton, Florida // Tampa, Florida

First Line(s): We’ve been in the USA for five days now.

Half Lies by Sally Green is a short novella that takes place before Nathan meets Gabriel in Half Bad (my review). The novella is told in epistolary format from Michele, the sister of Gabriel, and is set in Florida where the family lived for a time. Its a sweet and heart breaking story that just makes you love Gabriel even more. In Half Bad you know that Gabriel has had a rough life and in Half Lies you learn a little of his origins and also how he became stuck.

Half Lies is a quick read and for a novella there is a lot of depth to it. There is so much story contained within its 72 pages and it will make your heart ache. Michele is a wonderful character and I loved reading her journal. This is a great introduction to the character of Gabriel and I am so glad that I read it before reading Half Wild (my review) as I feel like I understand him a bit more now. It was beautifully written and the voice so different and yet similar to that of the main books in the series. A must read for fans of the Half Bad Trilogy.

 irishdarkblue

 Half Lies Quote

three-stars
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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

Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle MeadSpirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy,
Also in this series: , Last Sacrifice
Published by Razorbill on 18 May 2010
Genres: Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 512
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Last Sacrifice, Bloodlines

Place(s) Traveled To: Fairbanks, Alaska // Unnamed, Montana // Bethleham, Pennsylvania // Las Vegas, Nevada // Unnamed, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): There’s a big difference between death threats and love letters – even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you.

I first discovered the Vampire Academy series in late 2009 and found myself quickly devouring all the books that were out. Then I had to wait for Spirit Bound and I was nervous and antsy and rushed out to my local Borders (RIP pretty book store) and snapped up a copy the day it was released. But then I realized there would be a wait until the last book would be released and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle it so I held off reading until I had a pretty copy of Last Sacrifice sitting on my bookshelf. AND that’s where my fear of endings started to take hold of me because once I read the last two books in this series then they would be over. That’s it. No more Rose. No more Lissa. No more Dimitri. And I. COULD. NOT. HANDLE. THAT. So I ignored the books and knew in my heart of hearts that all was well as this series wasn’t over just yet. At least, not for me.

Then earlier this year I was looking for a book and stumbled over Spirit Bound and it looked so sad sitting on the shelf unread and I thought that maybe now was the time to finish this series. Or at least, get one step closer to finishing. So I picked it up, dusted it off, and after five years of waiting I cracked open its pages and was sucked back into this world. Oh how I missed this world and these characters and just everything about it. I was mad at myself for waiting so long to read but I think that the wait made it all better and I savored the words more as a result. You might think that it would be hard to pick up a series after five years and I will admit there were a few things I didn’t remember. But Richelle Mead’s little reminders in the text on the backstory quickly cleared up any issues I had. For while I may be terrible with names and faces I have an excellent memory for things I’ve read.

Spirit Bound Quote

Spirit Bound was filled with action and feels and I found it hard to put down once I picked it up. This story finds Rose graduating from school and starting her adult Dhampir life. There are threats all around her and she’s reeling from a bad break up (to put it mildly) and trying to move on with someone new. And oh my stars was I not so happy about that at first but then I accepted and cheered and had my heart broke. Because evil authors are evil and Richelle Mead really knows how to write stories and characters that you get invested in. Though the worst part of this whole book was its ending. That was just so very evil!! Not Orphan Queen (my review) level of evil but bad enough to make me glad that I didn’t read this one right when it came out. I would have struggled with the wait to learn what happens in Last Sacrifice after that.

Let’s also just pause for a moment and think on the title, Last Sacrifice, I just…I just can’t. So it should come as no surprise that I haven’t picked that one up yet. But I want to because I need to know what happens to Rose next because seriously….that ending! Those final words!!! Killer!!! I’m still struggling with my endings phobia but I think that soon. Very soon. I’ll be able to give that one a go. After all I do have the Bloodlines series to keep me warm and living in the Vampire Academy world.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Spirit Academy

 

Add Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

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

Review: Half Bad by Sally GreenHalf Bad by Sally Green
Series: Half Bad,
Also in this series: Half Wild, Half Lies
Published by Viking Juvenile on 04 March 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Witches & Wizards
Pages: 394
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Half Wild, Half Lies

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Liverpool, England // Cambridge, England // Geneva, Switzerland // Unnamed places in England, Scotland and Wales

First Line(s): There’s these two kids, boys, sitting close togehter, squished in by the big arms of an old chair.

I wasn’t sure about Half Bad by Sally Green when I first started it and even less sure when it opened in the second person. I’m not a fan of second person narration because whenever the text might say “You would do x” I’m always like…no, no I wouldn’t. Thankfully though the bulk of the book isn’t told this way and that makes when it is told in second person a bit more haunting and real. I’m really glad that I didn’t put Half Bad down when I first saw the second person narration because once Green moved past that I became totally engrossed in this story. I loved how Green wove in the rich history of this hidden magical world without long boring info dumps. In some ways, Half Bad, reminded me of Harry Potter, but a darker story and one where those who are labeled as good may not be as good as you think.

Half Bad is the story of Nathan who is a mixed breed witch. That is his mother is a white witch and his father is a black witch and as the two races don’t exactly get along this isn’t a common thing and people don’t know how to react. So people do what they do best when they fear the unknown. They judge actions before they can be done and they place sanctions and restrictions to further curb any potential wrong doing. In Nathan’s world its guilty until proven innocent and its near on impossible to prove ones innocence.

Half Bad is  a fast story and I whipped through the pages which isn’t normally a surprise with me when I love a book. But when I read this I was acting as Primary Minion to the Pig-Tailed Overlord (aka my 4 year old niece) and she wore me out! But I always found time to read this one because I needed to know how it ended. I needed to know how Nathan ended up in a cage and most importantly I needed to know if he escaped. Half Bad kept me on the edge of my seat as it moved from the past to the present and my heart broke over and over for all the Nathan experienced. And yet through out it all Nathan kept his humanity and his soul when it would have been so easy to just give up.

Half Bad has a lot of potential discussion elements to it about just how far humans can go and the power of big brother and the laws they create. How easy it is to give up something small, a little at a time, before realized that all those small things add up to something bigger and scarier than you imagined. Green is a talented story teller and weaves in the big issues that make you think all while not seeming like she’s educating you at all. My main issue with the story is that it took too long for certain things to happen so that when they did it felt rushed and left me a bit unsatisfied. I get that there was a lot of ground to cover with the world building but wish that the story was a little longer to flesh out certain details. Overall though, I really enjoyed this one and am eagerly awaiting its sequel, Half Wild, which is expected to be released in early 2015.

irishdarkblue
four-stars
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Audio Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone,
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight
Published by Hachette Audio on 08 April 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Angels, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Monsters, Mythology, Paranormal, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Suspense, Young Adult
Length: 18 hours 11 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight

Place(s) Traveled To: Washington, DC // Unnamed, Morocco //Rome, Italy // Eretz

First Line(s): Nerve thrum and screaming blood, wild and churning and chasing and devouring and terrible and terrible and terrible —

I was so excited to receive and audio review copy of Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor as it was one of my most anticipated titles of 2014. And the start of this one lived up to my every expectation that I had. Although it wasn’t long before my enjoyment started to wain and my disappointment grew as the story progressed. First there were all the new characters that were added, which isn’t always a bad thing but they had no real backstory and it took too long to get them to a meaningful point in Karou’s story that they just dragged the story down. I didn’t care about them and hated the time that they took away from Karou and Akiva.

With the addition of new characters there was also a lot of POV changes. Crazy random and no real spacer between them that there were moments where I had to rewind the audio because I though one character was the focus when somehow we’d transitioned into another. It added a small layer of confusion that I could have done without. There was also a lack of indicator to let me know that I had reached the end of a disc so there were many instances in which I listened to the early tracks again before I realized I needed a new disc. And yet there was music to indicate the end of a part in the story so I was a bit miffed that there was nothing at the end of a disc. I hated repeating part of the story as it jumbled up events a bit and it also took my focus off of driving. Which isn’t a good thing when you are dealing with traffic.

But what really bothered me was the story. Nothing happened in this book, all 18 hours and 600 and some odd pages of it. Ok, so saying that nothing happened is a bit much but there was lots of unnecessary filler contained withing the pages of Dreams of Gods & Monsters and a lot of things were repeated over and over and over again. Yes, Laini Taylor writes some beautiful prose but it was more compact and focused in the previous books and I missed that here. In this case her prose was used as smoke and mirrors to distract and deflect from the fact that the story was very slow moving and there there was a lot of build up that ended up going no where. Dreams of Gods & Monsters is filled with the promise of action and apocalyptic things but there is more angst than apocalypse. That and the climatic end scene was more of a whimper than a bang and I may have hurt my eyes from rolling them too much.

There was so much that happened because of crazy unrealistic coincidence. If Karou needed something the means were magically at her fingertips and this was without wishes. Everything just fell into place with a nice tidy bow and there were no real consequences that one would expect from two races that were at war. In all honesty, I half expected certain souls that were lost to somehow be found again in the end as everyone sang kumbaya around a fire. I wanted more action in this story and I wanted to care about how things would turn out instead of hoping and wishing that the end of the audio would come faster than I could listen to it.

In many ways it seemed as though Dreams of Gods & Monsters lost focus and it didn’t so much revolve around Karou as it did act as a set up for the stories of other characters to be told. For me, Dreams of Gods & Monsters seemed to act as a backdoor pilot for something else to come. There were lots of open threads at the end of this book that I won’t be surprised if a spin off series is announced. Of the three books in this series I think that Days of Blood & Starlight will remain my favorite. If there is a spin off I am not sure if I will read it, or listen, it will take a very compelling synopsis to get me to overcome the disappointment that I had with this one.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Grim – Untethered by Sonia Gensler

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Short Story Saturday, Young Adult0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Grim – Untethered by Sonia GenslerUntethered by Sonia Gensler
Series: Grim,
Also in this series: The Key, Figment, The Raven Princess, Thinner Than Water, Before the Rose Bloomed, Beast/Beast, The Brothers Piggett, Better, Light It Up
Published by Harlequin Teen on 25 February 2014
Genres: Anthology, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Family, Paranormal, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Pages: 15
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible
Goodreads
two-stars

 

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: Unknown

First Line(s): Grief hangs on my bones, at times nearly suffocating me.

Original Story: The Shroud

 

Untethered by Sonia Gensler is a very short story in the Grim anthology that feels even shorter than the few pages that it was contained on. Its a fast read and while I did like the twist it was just too short to have any real impact on me. There is no history or boackground or anything tangible to it that allowed me to become connected to any of these characters. I was told that they were grieving and shown it but the why was just sort of glossed over. It just felt so incomplete like we received less than a fragment of a story and I remember asking myself when I hit the last page, “That’s it?” I thought that Untethered was well written and liked Gensler’s style but just didn’t feel this story. I would say to skip it but its over in such a blink that reading it is almost the same as not reading it at all.

irishdarkblue

two-stars
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

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

Review: Split Second by Kasie WestSplit Second by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point, Book 2
Also in this series: Pivot Point
Published by Harper Teen on 11 February 2014
Genres: Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Distance Between Us, Pivot Point, On the Fence, The Fill-In Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You

Place(s) Traveled To: The Compound // Dallas, Texas

First Line(s): My car sat on he far side of the parking lot, and I couldn’t get to it fast enough.

Split Second by Kasie West is the sequel to Pivot Point and picks up almost immediately after that book ends. Although unlike the first book Split Second doesn’t tell two different and yet the same story. Pivot Point was all about Addie making a choice – which parent to live with after the divorce to stay with her mother in The Compound or to enter the world of the Norms with her father. But Pivot Point wasn’t just about that single choice there were so many other decisions and events that resulted from each path and both ended with two very different consequences. Parted of me hated how Pivot Point ended but when you look at the alternate path I can’t see Addie deciding any other way.

In Split Second, Kasie West changes things up a bit and alternates the POV of each chapter. Now we get to learn more about Addie’s BFF Laila, her thoughts and feelings and the consequences of her actions in the first book. I’m still not entirely sure on if I like Laila or not but I do understand her a bit better. And Laila came with Conner who was just all sorts of snarky fun. Although there was also more Duke and Stephanie and I really could have done without either of those two. But at least in this book Stephanie wasn’t as awful as she was in the first book and I felt more sympathy for her character than I did in Pivot Point.

Duke on the other hand was just much more vile than he was in the first book and if I could have reached inside the book and smacked him I would have. At least Trevor was as sweet as before and I was happy to see him return in this story. The overall plot/mystery was evenly paced and believable and my heart broke a time or two as certain things were revealed. While I didn’t like Split Second as much as I did Pivot Point it was still a really enjoyable story that I hated to end. I am sad that this series is just a duology but at the same time I am happy where all the characters ended up. What is even more sad is that I am now officially out of Kasie West books to read. I am a total fan girl for her writing and she is totally on my autobuy list. If you haven’t read anything by West yet then you are really missing out!

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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