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Posts Tagged: Demons

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

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

Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel VincentThe Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
Series: The Stars Never Rise,
Published by Delacorte on 9 June 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Demons, Dystopian, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New Temperance, Unknown

First Line(s): There’s never a good time of day to cross town with a bag full of stolen goods, but of all the possibilities, five a.m. was the hour best suited to that particular sin.

Before reading THE STARS NEVER RISE by Rachel Vincent I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. I knew some of my trusted friends had read and really enjoyed this dystopian novel so when a copy landed in my lap I decided to give it a shot. I thought that THE STARS NEVER RISE was an interesting read and a change on your typical dystopian story but it also took me longer to read than it should have and I can’t full place my finger on why. There was just something about the story that didn’t compel me to pick it up and as such I became easily distracted by other things until I forced myself to sit down and finish the story.

I thought that the world in THE STARS NEVER RISE could have used a bit more development but overall it did have more character to it than many of today’s dystopian reads. I also liked the characters and thought that Nina was strong and courageous and dealing with a whole mess of things that no teenage girl should have to deal with. And it certainly doesn’t help when she learns that the demons that her world has to deal with are an even bigger threat than initially thought. That’s right, I said demons. THE STARS NEVER RISE is full of them and I liked Rachel Vincent take on this mythology and how she incorporated religion into her story. For in Vincent’s world the Church has taken control of all as a way to hold back the demon horde but all is not as status quo as the Church wants everyone to think.

Stars Never Rise Quote

There is also a very interesting romantic interest in this book and those that aren’t a fan of love triangles will have to beware before picking up this book. While THE STARS NEVER RISE doesn’t have a love triangle in the traditional sense there are aspects to this story that may be off putting to some. I thought it was interesting and I do wonder where Rachel Vincent is going to go with it. Although I do have a theory so I am curious to see if things unfold the way that I think it might. If it does I will be really disappointed so here’s hoping that Vincent is more clever than I when it comes to that situation.

Readers should also know that THE STARS NEVER RISE does end with a cliff hanger. For me, its not a gripping edge of your seat I need the next book now sort of cliff hanger but it does have me wanting to see how it all ends. As such, I will be picking up the next book THE FLAME NEVER DIES (Release Date: Aug 2016) but don’t think that I will be rushing out to read it. I also think that THE STARS NEVER RISE is just a duology and I like that we’ll be getting an ending ending with the next book. Although I could be wrong about this and I’m just going off what Goodreads is showing me. Overall, I liked THE STARS NEVER RISE but I didn’t love it. I think that fans of dystopian reads (even those who are tired of the genre) will enjoy it but maybe wait until August because…you know…cliff hanger.

 

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Stars Never Rise

Add The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

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

three-stars
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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Audio Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Series: Cruel Beauty,
Also in this series: Gilded Ashes
Published by Harper Audio on 28 January 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adaptation, Assassins, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Fantasy, Greek, Love & Romance, Magic, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Gilded Ashes

Place(s) Traveled To: Arcadia

First Line(s): I was raised to marry a monster.

Beauty and the Beast has never been my favorite fairy tale and when I received an advanced copy of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge I was intrigued but never seemed to find the time to pick it up. Recently though a few people began to recommend this book to me and I had also downloaded the audio via Audiobook Sync’s annual program of 2014. I was having trouble settling on a new audiobook recently and was looking through the titles I had received from Audiobook Sync and thought I’d listen to a small clip of each of the titles I’d downloaded last year and then choose one. Only when I started the audio of Cruel Beauty I found that I couldn’t turn it off. The narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden, was enthralling. And while she sometimes mixed up her voices I found that I didn’t mind overmuch as I just loved the way that she told this story and brought it to life.

As I listened I also learned that Cruel Beauty wasn’t just a Beauty and the Beast retelling. There were also hints of other fairy tales mixed in Bluebeard, Rumpelstiltskin, and East of the Sun West of the Moon to name just a few. Cruel Beauty also contained not just fairy tales but Greek mythology and this mix of stories added depth and uniqueness to the story. I enjoyed this story and loved Nyx’s struggle as she dealt with her internal struggles over what she was raised to do and what she wants to do. I enjoyed Nyx’s interactions with Ignafex and was intrigued by there relationship. While her relationship with Shade and her sister just annoyed me. Oh how her sister annoyed me. For someone who was supposedly so good she harbored a lot of ill will in her heart.

Cruel Beauty Quote

 

For this one I am partial to the audiobook and I am not sure if I’d feel differently if I’d read this one in print instead. As I said above I found Elizabeth Knowelden’s narration to be enthralling and she’s the one who kept me listening and engaged in the story through that slow beginning. She’s the one who kept me listening when I got really annoyed with Nyx’s sister and with Shade. Knowelden is definitely a narrator that I am going to be looking into more because I’d love to see how she narrates other stories.

For me, Cruel Beauty had a slow start and was a little repetitive at times but repetition is something that is becoming more and more common in books these days so I think its something that I have to learn to deal with and accept. What I really liked about Cruel Beauty was how it ended. The ending wasn’t something that I was expecting and yet at the same time it was fitting for the story that Hodge was telling. Things were wrapped up nicely and I like knowing that this is a standalone book. I love me a good fantasy story and it can be so hard to find a standalone fantasy. I like that Hodge has a companion story to Cruel Beauty in her novella, Gilded Ashes (my review), but do think that it is a story that should be read before this one.

If you like Greek mythology and fairy tale retellings then you should really give Cruel Beauty a try. Its a beautifully written story and one that I enjoyed. The mystery aspect of it is a little simplistic and easy to figure out but I didn’t mind that as I enjoyed the time that I sent in this world. Its a world that I wouldn’t mind revisiting and a book that I will most likely re-read at some point. This one wasn’t quite what I expected and I enjoyed it more than I thought. Its a story that I’d recommend especially for those that listen to audiobooks.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cruel Beauty

Add Entwined by Heather Dixon to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

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

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda JonesSeventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones
Series: Charlie Davidson,
Also in this series: Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge
Published by St Martin's Press on 21 October 2014
Genres: Adult, Angels, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge

 Place(s) Traveled To: Albuquerque, New Mexico

First Line(s): If the howling from the backseat of Agent Carson’s black SUV weren’t already dead, I would’ve strangled her. Gladly.

Seventh Grave and No Body is the seventh installment in Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series and picks up not long after Sixth Grave on the Edge ends. While I wasn’t thrilled with the previous installment I was looking forward to Seventh Grave as I thought that maybe some of the bigger story ARC mysteries would be dealt with. However, I ended up being more disappointed in this story than I’d hoped and think that its really losing steam. The start of this series was so fresh and unique and now its just dragging on and getting a little repetitive in its telling. Charlie is getting a little annoying with her constant naming of things and constantly rushing off into danger.

In the beginning you could almost excuse her leaps into danger as there was always a bigger end game going on. But this aspect was missing in Seventh Grave and when you add into it that Charlie is pregnant its just reckless and irresponsible. The mystery that is started in this book is mediocre at best and as with the previous installment not much is accomplished with the overall story ARC. Other than re-hashing things that happened before there wasn’t anything new here and so that made Seventh Grave all the more frustrating and I am really starting to question if I want to continue reading this series or not.

Seventh Grave and No Body Quote

There are still elements of the story that I like, I do enjoy the humor though as I said above I do wish that some things would get toned down. The secondary characters continue to shine though why they continue to put up with some of Charlie’s antics I’ll never know. So in the end I sighed more than I laughed in this one and it just took longer to get through than it should have. There were also moments in this book that were impossible to believe because its hard to feel tension and think that characters are in peril when there are 4 more books to come in the series.

For me, its starting to seem as though there is no end point to the series and I think that does this world and characters a disservice. It just drags things out too much and so not much really happens in the story. While I do like how there is less than a year to wait between the next installment I am just not sure if I have the time or the energy to devote to books 8, 9, 10 and 11.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Seventh Grave
three-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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Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Tour Review + Contest: Darker Days by Jus Accardo

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Blog Tour Review + Contest: Darker Days by Jus AccardoDarker Days by Jus Accardo
Series: The Darker Agency,
Published by Entangled Teen Ember on 19 August 2013
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 335
Format: eARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Penance, New York

First Line(s): It was hard to piss off my mom, but I’d managed to do just that – piss her off. Big time.

Darker Days by Jus Accardo is the start of her new series about The Darker Agency and also part of Entangled’s newest imprint Ember Teen. This series is a paranormal mystery/suspense with a wee bit of romance mixed in for fun and is told from the POV of Jessie Darker. Jessie helps her mother run the Darker Agency which is just like your typical PI firm and they track down deadbeat dads and cheating spouses. And if you happen to have a demon possessed pet or a zombie in your pool then they can help you take care of that too.

I’ve been on a bit of a contemporary kick lately and so wasn’t sure how I would like Darker Days but once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The book is told from Jessie’s POV and she is one feisty character filled with all the snark and sass that I love. She’s a strong character and doesn’t need to have any dark and mysterious boy come to her rescue  In fact, she’s more likely to punch said boy in the face if he tried! She isn’t perfect and her life is far from normal but she rises to the occasion when needed and more often than not kicks some serious a$$. 

The mystery contained in this book isn’t all that hard to figure out but Accardo leaves a nice little trail of breadcrumbs which will be helpful for younger readers. Accardo doles out just enough information to leave the reader wanting more and quickly turning the pages to see what new twists and turns happen next. The pacing is realistic and believable and I don’t think I rolled my eyes once at the romance aspect of it either. By necessity, this mystery takes place over five action filled days and in that time Jessie manages to fall for Lukas, who is pure sin. Despite how quickly these two come to care for one another it never had the whiplash, eye-roll inducing insta-love that I dislike so in books. Their relationship may have been fast but it felt like one that developed over a longer period of time and I liked that.

I liked all of the characters and really enjoyed how they all played off of each other. Jessie and her mother are two peas of a pod. And Lukas was able to go toe to toe with Jessie on all points despite being from another time. This aspect of his character also lead to some funny moments as he adjusted to how things are now. I also enjoyed how close and involved that Jessie’s parents were in this story. No, absent or dead parents here and no overly angtsy rebellious teenager acting out either. The Darker’s may not be the most normal family on the block by they are certainly well adjusted.

I did have a couple of quibbles with this story, like the math was off at one point when the characters were talking about the now and the time where this all started (1882). They kept saying that it was 147 years ago which makes it 1866. But that could just be a minor error in the ARC version that I had. The big bad’s motivation was also a bit convoluted and yet seems to lack much in the way of actual substance. So hopefully that will be discussed and developed further as the series progresses.

Overall, Darker Days is a great start to a new series and this book sets up a bit of events that will be coming down the road. But even though not all the plot points are closed out the main mystery of this book is so the reader gets a sense of completion. I really enjoyed this book and am not looking forward to the long wait until the next book in the series. I really liked living in Jessie’s head and I want to know more about her, about her crazy town, her witchy BFF, and what mad cap mystery she’ll find herself in next. If you like a good mystery then this is a series that I can recommend to you. Its also one that I think those who are wary of the paranormal will enjoy as there are zombies and mentions of ghosts and interactions with witches its not an in your face sort of book. Penance is just your average town with a few quirks hidden below the surface.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda JonesFourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson,
Published by St Martin's Press on 02 October 2012
Genres: Adult, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge, Seventh Grave and No Body

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

First Line: I sat watching the Buy From  Home Channel with my dead aunt Lillian and wondered what my life would’ve been like had I not just eaten an entire carton of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy with a mocha latte chaser.

Its always hard to review a series while trying to keep spoiler free but I will try my best with Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones. I feel hard for this series and I blitz read through all the available books because I just didn’t want to leave this world. I love Charlie, her family, her friends, her frenemies, and her who knows what he is Reyes. (*swoon* Reyes) I even love the quirky chapter titles and this is normally something that I royally dislike. But they work for these series and I love hitting a new chapter to see what saying or quote is used next.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet picks up soon after the crazy climax of the previous book with Charlie dealing with the consequences. She is not handling things as well as she would like and has developed a bit of an addiction to shop at home networks. Not to mention what happened with Reyes and Swoops. What I love about this series is that it always feels so real, yes even with all the demons and grim reapers. Things happen and there are consequences and repercussions for them. Well, except for when Charlie gets injured as she has some super amazing healing powers that I wish I had as I really do not like pain. lol

As with the previous books in the series there is a mystery ARC that covers the book from open to close and then there is this whole bigger story line that has been brewing over the previous books. The main mystery is solved and neatly tied up in a bow and I like that and there was just enough clues for this bigger story given to keep me interested in learning more. Though I do wish that Darynda Jones would pick up the pace a bit with these little nuggets for the bigger background story ARC. I also liked getting to know all the characters just a little bit better. I know that I’ve said that before and will probably say it again but that is the real benefit of a series.

A true series with the same MC in every book and not just companion novels linked together by a theme. I like learning all of Charlie’s quirks and idiosyncrasies and can really relate to her. I love the chemistry she has on the page with everyone in her life, even her evil step-monster. I love how these books are able to make me laugh out loud.

When I pick up a Charlie Davidson mystery I know that I am in for a good time. There are humorous moments and serious ones. There are hot steamy scenes and then there are things that can make a girl cringe. These are great beach time reads or sitting by the fire on a cold winter night. There is just something so fun about these books that I can’t help but recommend them to everyone I know. They are just such good fun and I hope that they never end because I would be so sad to have to leave these characters and this world forever.

Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

four-stars
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Posted by Irish in Review5 Comments

Title: The Collector (Goodreads)
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 02 April 2013
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: B00B0SBP5U
Format: ebook
Pages: 400

The author on the web:

Place(s) Traveled to: New Orleans, LA // Peachville, Alabama // Las Vegas, Nevada // Chicago, Illinois


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First Line: I’m in a slump, off my game, throwing up bricks, swinging and missing.

Dante Walker Series Order
Book 1: The Collector
Book 2: The Liberator (27 Aug 2013)

Book 3: Untitled (Assuming since most series are trilogies)

There are some books that you hear a lot about and so you rush to pick them up and read them. Books that you are just so certain that you are going to like and so you keep turning pages waiting for that moment when you fall in love. Only that feeling of love that everyone seems to be feeling never comes and you left feeling slightly more disappointed in a book than you may have otherwise been if your didn’t walk into it with certain expectations  Now while I didn’t walk into The Collector by Victoria Scott thinking that it was going to be super duper amazing I did expect more from it than what I got.

At first, I really liked The Collector. I like that the heroine, Charlie, wasn’t drop dead gorgeous but didn’t realize it until the love interest of the story told her she was. I liked how despite not being the prettiest or most popular that she was confident, smart, and had a good head on her shoulders. I didn’t like how it was only when Charlie started to change physically that Dante started to like her. To me, this only reinforces the idea that the only way the super hot guy will notice someone romantically is when they do what ever it takes to conform to societies idea of beauty. So that put me off a bit. Dante’s whole personality was also a bit off-putting. I just didn’t like his voice or attitude and that just really kept me from getting attached to any of the characters.

The plot of The Collector was also just so-so. Throughout the entire book I was reminded of Lisa Desrocher’s Personal Demons though without the love triangle. It also annoys me when you have to read all of the books in a series to get what the big deal deal is about a certain character. I wanted to know why the devil want Charlie so much and other questions that my brain kept firing at me as I read. There was also very little of surprise for me in this book. I often knew long before the big reveals that certain events would take place and so that also took a bit away from the story for me as I figured things out too early.

The whole book just left me feeling a bit meh by the end. It had a strong start but just never fully lived up to its promise. As such, I have no burning desire to read the next book in the series, The Liberator



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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Audio Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult5 Comments

Audio Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book 2
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Published by Hachette Audio on 06 November 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Angels, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Monsters, Mythology, People & Places, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 15 hours 25 mintues
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Place(s) Traveled to: Prague, Czech Republic // Morocco // Eretz

First Line(s): Prague, early May. The sky weighed gray over fairy-tale rooftops, and all the world was watching.

I am dead.

These words come to you from beyond the grave because I have died and Laini Taylor and her newest release, The Days of Blood and Starlight is the cause. Taylor has reached her hand into my heart, my soul and torn them both out. Crushing them into the dirt and dust on the ground and left me an empty vessel.

Now long time readers of my humble blog might recall the love that I had for the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but know this that book doesn’t even hold a candle to this one. The Days of Blood and Starlight is definitely among one of the best books that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Second books in a series always leave me wary as you never know how they will move the story along. Days not only moves the story along but it leaves its predecessor in the dust with how brilliant and amazing it is.

Laini Taylor’s prose combined with Khristine Hvam’s narration is a combination that defies words. I loved Hvam’s narration in Daughter but she brings things to new heights in this book. All of her voices are solid and I’d often find myself forgetting that only one person was reading this book. Hvam’s narration just builds a world around you and it all feels so real. I often found myself finding excuses to be in my car just so I could listen to more of this beautiful book.

Days takes all that we thought we knew in Daughter and expands it and changes it and kept me on the edge of my seat with each new twist. This book put my emotions through a roller coaster ride and it bruised my soul. If you think that Romeo and Juliet have a star crossed love then you haven’t met Akiva and Karou. Those two…I…I have no words to describe all that I feel about this pair.

The story itself is also one that is hard to put into thoughts. Its like nothing I have read before and I have absolutely no clue as to where things might go in the third book. Often I’ll have a hint of how a trilogy will progress but Laini Taylor has such a gift for the surprise that anything can happen. And no matter how this story ends I think I’ll be an emotional wreck and yet extremely satisfied. I loved every word of this story even though there were so many scenes that just tugged at my soul. I love how real it feels and I just love each and every character (even those of so evil ones.)

I love how Days is told from many points of view as it just helps to add so many layers to the story. I love how it broke my heart, mended it, and then broke it all over again. I love how even though there were tears in my eyes that it was filled with hope. Hope is a very powerful thing and I have hope in the events to come that are still untold. But I also dread the day when the third book is released. Because even though its at least a year away I am not ready to let go of this world and these characters. I just want to live in this world forever and I know that this book, this series, will be a favorite of mine for years to come.

five-stars
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review: Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Title: Demon Eyes (GoodReads)
Publisher: Flux

Source: Netgalley
Publication Date: 08 Oct 2012
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0738726451 
Format: ebook (ARC)
Pages: 395
Websites:
Place(s) Traveled to: Belle DamWashington
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Witch Eyes Series Order
Book 1: Witch Eyes
Book 2: Demon Eyes
Book 3:  Phantom Eyes (Fall 2013)
First Line: “Power is a problem,” a dead man said to me.
Buy the Book:  
 
Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey is the second book in his Witch Eyes series and it picks up shortly after the ending of the first book. Braden, our main character, is dealing with a lot of issues including some strained relationships which leave him feeling a little isolated. As with most sequels there is a lot of transitioning in this book that will lead to the big climatic moments of the final book. But just because there is transitioning going on doesn’t mean that nothing happens in this book. 
Demon Eyes starts out with a bang and while its not a race to the finish there are many quick, fast paced and emotional roller coaster moments. My heart was often left aching when it came to Braden and his various relationships  I swear, Scott Tracey seems to delight in torturing the reader. That and I think he has a thing against happy, fluffy bunny moments because just when his characters seem to find a moment of peace he goes and tosses a grenade into things. 

There is much to like in Demon Eyes and if you liked Witch Eyes then you will like this book as well. Many of the same characters return and there is lots of snark, some mystery, some action, some romance, and a wee bit of heartbreak to keep the readers entertained. I do like that we got to see more of some characters that we first met in Witch Eyes but it seemed to come at the lessening of other characters rolls and that made me sad.
If I am honest, then there were some moments that seemed to drag in this book and for the bulk of it the story was a solid 4 star read. But then the ending just sort of exploded and jumped this star rating up. There were some twists that I didn’t see coming and I do love it when an author can surprise me. What I don’t like are cliff hanger endings and the ending of Demon Eyes can fall into this category. This is especially tragic when the release of Phantom Eyes isn’t until sometime in 2013. *le sigh* That is so far to wait.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda

Posted by Irish in Review3 Comments

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Won
Publication Date: 25 Jan 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 1423127595
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 376
The Author on the Web:
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Line: The Rottweiler’s head lay in a bush, just off the snow-sprinkled path.
Billi SanGreal Series Order
Book 2: Dark Goddess
There are some books where I read them and then have no idea how to review them, Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda is one of those books. As with the first book in the series, Devil’s Kiss, Dark Goddess starts off with a bang and the action doesn’t let up until the final page. I read this one during April’s read-a-thon and its fast pace and edge of your seat scenes managed to keep me up in those really hard wee hours towards the end of the event. I fell in love with Billi and her world all over again and I loved meeting new characters (*cough*Ivan*cough) and oh how I hated for this book to end. 
Dark Goddess is filled with great mythology and twists and turns and even a wee hint of romance which makes it perfect for any reader. Well, any reader who might not mind a little death and violence because Sarwat Chadda really doesn’t hold back with either of those things. But while it could be gory and gruesome the overall effect is more dark and gritty as that is the world that Billi lives in. One one hand she longs for a simple life but on the other she knows that if she doesn’t battle the monsters of the world then she knows that innocents will suffer. Billi is a character who is constantly tortured by what is right and her role in events. She knows that life is full of hard choices and she isn’t afraid to make them when she needs to. 
Billi SanGreal is a kick-ass heroine and she is a girl to look up to. She is filled with self-doubt and yet its her doubts that give her strength to make those hard choices. She doesn’t blindly follow anyone’s lead and always tries to make her own choices and to do the right thing. Her choices aren’t always right but she admits to her mistakes and tries to do better next time. I could gush about my love of Billi SanGreal forever so just know that I adore this character so very muchly and I will try to move on.
Of the two books in this series I think that Dark Goddess is my favorite since I already know the main background of all the characters and basic set up of the world. This allows for little info dumps in the story, where needed, and more time and attention can be devoted to the plot. And oh what a plot. If you like twists and turns and heart-achy moments then you really need to read this book. Its was always hard to fully predict where things would go. Though Chadda is good at leaving little nugget trails through out the book so you could piece things together as the story progresses. This is one story where there are no major WTF-ery moments and during the big reveal a reader is more apt to go “oooohhh that makes total sense now.” I loved this book and I really really really really really want to see more books in this series. So please, if you harbor any love for me at all run out to your nearest bookstore and buy this book. You will be rewarded with an excellent story and if enough of you do it then maybe one day I’ll get another Bill SanGreal book. Its win-win!
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