He makes good girls…bad.
Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.
Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.
This book sounds very interesting. The cover is simple, yet intriguing. I very much like the concept. Whilst the whole bad-boy thing has been over done in the past, particularly in YA, I have a feeling that Victoria Scott will be injecting some originality to it, judging from her new official book website, www.dantewalker.com I can’t wait that long for this book to come out. Why do these authors torture me so?
I had the fortune of coming across this book in my digital local library. After reading the synopsis, I knew that it was for me.
DANICA SHARDAE IS an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk’s form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she’ll do anything in her power to stop this war—even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind’s greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one.
Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica—and all they ask of their people—but it may be more than she can give.
I won’t lie. This wasn’t the most original plot I’ve ever heard, but I feel that it was handled with such care, that I loved it. Danica is the princess of her people, and Zane is a prince. Their kingdoms have been at war for centuries, making the feud between the Capulets and Montague’s look like a childish spat. I genuinely thought that this had the potential to be a tragedy, much like Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde. At first, their union is tenuous at best, what with the lack of trust. Getting to know Zane better from Danica’s perspective was very interesting. I enjoyed seeing their relationship blossom slowly.
Where I do draw the line, however, is the ‘mystery’. Granted that I didn’t uncover one of the assassins myself, it was otherwise very obvious who the other one was at least. The idea that Zane might be surprised is understandable, but Danica really should have known better. I do wish that the novel had more twists and turns, but this is why I believe that it is more of a character driven novel, rather than a plot driven one. For what it is, it is a rather gripping tale, however. I finished it in one sitting, on my iPhone, until about 2AM because I’d started it late.
The creatures that A.R. created were altogether unique. Admittedly, the Serpiente were my favourite. All the characters are shifters, and they have inherited their second form from an animal. Therefore, Zane is a cobra, and Danica is a hawk. I liked the differences that they had, but I liked that Zane did point out that both had something in common: They both descended from humans and had a human form. I really enjoyed the old world feel it had, although from what I recall, the date is never specified. Or if it is, it isn’t clear whether it is the same year for the humans, as their societies are different.
It has been quite some time since I’ve read the previous book, Lament! Knowing that this book would be from James’ Point Of View, however, I didn’t let that worry me. So is Ballad worth the bother? I mean, let’s face it, you could quite as easily treat Lament as. a standalone. My answer? It’s worth it, yet it’s not…
Well, this is sequel is quite different as it does not have the same narrator as its predecessor. This is a trait that I became accustomed to with Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, and even Julie Kagawa had a go at an alternative POV with her last Iron Fey book, The Iron Knight. Many authors have tried using alternate point of views in their novels, but not all have succeeded.
The MC: James. What can I say about James? He was… interesting. If I’m honest, I think I enjoyed reading about him from Dee’s perspective. There is something just a little bit odd about reading a funny character from their own point of view. It’s not always bad, mind you. Riordan’s Leo Valdez (Heroes of Olympus series) and Kagawa’s Puck (Iron Fey series) were both very amusing even when they narrated. At about page 90, I remember getting sick of James’ humour. I remember because I took a note of it using my Goodreads App. Here’s my update statement:
After some time, I got used to it and began to appreciate his rather wry sense of humour. I’d like to think that if I ever met him in real life, we’d get along. So long as he didn’t play his bagpipes, that is. Oh well, maybe he’s as good as they say he is.
James is arrogant, loud spoken and outgoing. He’s somehow cool and geeky. I can’t help thinking what someone like him sees in someone like Dee. I get the whole BFF thing, but she’s not interested! She’s pining after some ex-assassin faery. Move on! Am I being unreasonable? Maybe. You can’t help who you fall for, after all.
The Other MC: Nuala, the leanansidhe. Now it struck me that she was a leananshide. I couldn’t help but compare her to Kagawa’s leananside, the Exile Queen. It quickly became apparent that they were nothing alike however. It’s sad to say, but Kagawa’s lenansidhe would eat Nuala for breakfast. Nuala isn’t as badass as she appears to be, but that’s what I like about her. She has a vulnerability that makes her relatable. So, okay, I don’t have to burn myself alive every sixteen years in order to survive, and go all Phoenix, and rise from the ashes. But like many teenagers, I understand what it is like to feel isolated and alone.
Nuala first appears to be an antagonist, but it becomes apparent that she is so much more. I felt detached from her to begin with, and could not understand why I would want to see things from her point of view. A little while passed and I realised that despite how the novel had started, this was her story too. She is a faery, yet she is not. Too human to be respected by those of her species, and too feared to be considered human, she is forced to live her life solitary. With dreams and aspirations of her own, I began to believe that she was a well thought out character. I love her sense of humour, which compliments James’ very well, without upstaging him.
Supportive Characters: Paul. Sullivan. Dee. The Antler King (who’s name I just can’t spell). These are some of the more prominent supportive characters. I don’t want to ruin it by detailing who they are or what their roles are, but I can say that I liked having most of them around. A certain alcohol scene comes to mind with Paul, who Nuala has dubbed ‘Roundface’. Don’t worry, it’s nothing irresponsible, after all this is one of James’ mischievous acts. No, I am not being sarcastic here. Sullivan was loveable, and really did seem a lot like James.
Dee was boring, as far as I’m concerned. She didn’t do a lot in this book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you, considering that she and James have become more distant since the events of Lament. Somehow, she still seems to have a voice, however, as we are shown a number of text messages that she had intended for James, but purposely did not send. You might wonder what the point of that is. Really, it’s like writing out an angry letter to vent out your feelings, but never mailing it. I found it quite effective, yet infuriating, as we did not get to follow up on what she wrote.
My biggest complaint about this book, however, is the lack of one of my favourite characters, Luke Dillon. I mean, why?! I miss him!
In this mesmerizing sequel to “Lament”, music prodigy James Morgan has joined his best friend, Deirdre, at a private conservatory for musicians. James’ almost unearthly gift for music has attracted the dangerous attentions of Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together leads James and Nuala down an unexpected road of mutual admiration …and love. Haunted by a vision of raging fire and death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soulscorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.
– Goodreads Synopsis
Like lament, this is a tale of unexpected (expected) romance. How is it expected and yet unexpected?, you may ask. Well, because Nuala and James seem like a rather unlikely couple, and yet you can sort of see it coming because it’s a YA book, and that’s what happens in YA.
The stuff that goes on with the Antlered King was creepy and amazing. In the end, I was strangely satisfied with what happened. I mean, sure, one of my favourite characters becomes… oh I can’t tell you. All I can say is that Their plans are foiled, for the most part.
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t…
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
Okay, this book sounds creepy…
Which is why I’m sure I’d be very interested in it. It’s different. It’s intriguing.
I’ve read certain books where for some reason, two characters end up sharing a body. For instance, in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, the Egyptian gods could merge with a magician, who would become their host. But WLOF is completely different as the characters were always in the same body. Weird.
As for the cover, I really like it. I love how there seems to be two people there if you look hard enough. Sure, the girl up-front is very obvious, but can you see the other one? There her eye is, there is a nose pointing out. You just have to look at the outline. The colours are simple but effective, and for once, I’m not annoyed at seeing the character’s profile picture.
Today it was a fairy tale…
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
This cover intrigues me. I’m not too sure what to think about having a profile picture of the main character like that. I often think that this can take out the fun of discovering the character yourself, as you can gain misconceptions about their personality. having said that, I think that it is a rather flattering picture. I love the photo manipulation here.What it really brings across to me is the wildness of Wondeerland. The bugs are creepy, but it’s the vines that set me on edge. It suggests that she might be strangled.
The curly typography really suits it, giving it a vine-like appearance. The scarlet is eye-catching, whilst also being complementary, due to the model having a similar coloured lip stick. Finally, I am also very curious about the key that she is wearing. I hope it actually features in the book.
Well, that’s my thought on it. What’s yours?
Well, it’s what I’ve been waiting for! The sequel to Ashton’s ‘Everneath’ is coming out soon.
Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki’s boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it’s too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen – and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.
– Goodreads Synopsis
It’s a gorgeous cover, isn’t it?! I’m pleased that it keeps to the theme, what with the shadows swirling around, enigmatically. For me, it’s not as stunning as the first cover, purely because the first dress was better, but I’ glad to see that she has a full face this time around! Her hair is very glamorous, and I can’t get over the way that even the top half of the dress billows away like that, becoming one with the shadows. I like that the shadows seems to be encircling her, as the title suggests. As an improvement, I would have like to see it do this more, like a tentacle ready to grapple onto her or something. Just a suggestion. Either way, I’m very happy to have this on my bookshelf when it comes out.
I apologise for not posting this on the 1st, as I normally do. But it’s still August, so this post is still valid. Now, please enjoy the artwork that I have compiled from Deviantart:
* I do not own the artwork
Leo Valdez from The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus series) by Rick Riordan.
Drawn by MissySerendipity
On the stern quarterdeck, Leo rushed around like a madman, checking his gauges and levels. Most helmsmen would’ve been satisfied with a pilot’s wheel or a rudder. Leo had installed a keyboard, monitor, aviation controls from a learjet, a dubstep soundboard, and the motion controll sensors from a Nintendo Wii. He could fire the ship by pulling on the throttle or fire the weapons by sampling an album or raise the sails by shaking his Wii controllers really fast. Even by demigod standards, Leo was seriously ADHD. -Mark of Athena
Comment from the artist:
After reading the first chapter I couldn’t help myself from drawing Leo dancing… again. Rick sure has a way with words. Imagining Leo firing canons with Wii controllers while dubstepping, that is genius.
Fan art cover for The Mark of Athena by Neaveria featuring Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena
Effie Trinket from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series by dezynosaur
Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen and Gale (Oh, I can’t remember his surname!) by RavenSetFree
Patch and Nora from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush by JenniferAvey
Patch and Nora (who look eerily like Bella and Jacob from Twilight) by elenouska15
And a funny pic to finish it off:
Twilight vs The Hunger Games by daekazu
I’ve read a few vampire novels, and of course my natural progression was to find a werewolf book, and then voila, I found Nightshade. At first, I was under the belief that it would purely be a werewolf novel, no other paranormals in sight. I was wrong, but that wasn’t a problem. It made for a more interesting novel.
Now, what really gets to me is how we are told that the ‘Searchers’ are the bad guys, but we don’t know why. It’s just what we’re told, and for some reason our MC, Calla, is trained to kill them. I suppose on some level it makes sense as this is all Calla knows. She’s been brought up never to question her masters, the Keepers, of which Lumine Nightshade is her main mistress. The packs are named after their head Keeper, thus the Banes are named after Efron Bane, and the Nightshades after Lumine Nightshade. I wish this had been explained earlier.
It is also never really explained why the Searchers and the Keepers hate each other, except for the fact that the Keepers pretty much behave like iron-fisted dictators. Not to mention that they hunt the Searchers to kill. Well, not personally of course. That’s what the Guardians (the werewolves) are there for. By now you are probably wondering what the Keepers and Searchers actually are. At the beginning of the novel, Calla’s ‘school mates’ are divided into three major categories: Guardians, Keepers and humans. This hints that the Keepers are not human, unfortunately it takes forever for Calla to actually spell it out to the reader that they are WITCHES! Would telling us this nearer to the beginning of the book have been so painful? Just wondering.
But why would a werewolf have a master? Surely it goes against the instincts of an alpha to take orders. This was mentioned in another blog I read, and if I’m honest, I hadn’t thought about it too much up until then. I’ve come to realise that if I question things too much in a YA book, I won’t enjoy myself as much because I’ll be too absorbed in the impossibility of such a situation. So naturally, when I was told that Guardians had to be submissive to their masters, I was like ‘OK’. Now I’m thinking ‘Why didn’t Ren totally bite Efron Bane’s head off?’, considering the way he treats Sabine.
So I’ve already covered aspects of this, so this paragraph won’t be long. Cremer has added quite a few interesting characters in her novel. I quite liked Calla’s younger brother Ansel. I know right? Ansel? I thought he was a girl! Cremer doesn’t seem to do ‘normal’ names. Another example is Dax. I’m sorry Cremer but Dax is the stuff that my dad and I used to use in our hair. It kept my hair nice and shiny, thanks to the sheen stuff and it kept it oiled (which with Afro hair is very important! My hair is forever getting dry and breaking!).
Enough mockery now. I generally liked the characters and I enjoyed the dynamic between the Banes and Nightshades. Their interactions were fascinating, and I was forever wondering when someone would do or say something bad enough to cause a fight. Let’s face it- they’re ANIMALS!
Now here’s for the important part:
A capable and strong warrior, Calla Tor should be everything you look for in a main female character. She is loyal to her packmates, she can hold her own in a fight and from time to time she can even control her infatuation with bad boy Ren. I like that she’s a tom-boy. One of the quotes that comes to mind when referring to make-up is:
In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.”Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.
Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels for the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.
The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate–or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.
– Goodreads Synopsis
This is a stunning cover. The colours are appropriate, what with it being set in a dessert, and I love the way her cape flaps around in the wind. I’m not too sure what to think of the moon. Somehow it seems a bit out of place, and it just makes the cover look too busy. I’m glad that the model is not in a close-up shot. I’m sick of close-up shots. I love her tattoos, hinting at her tribe upbringing.
Now for my thought on the actual story. Personally, I think it sounds very intriguing. In a year where we have seen the rise of the Dystopian Genre, I’m glad to see something more original. I’m a sucker for books based on mythology, and I’m even more interested as this mythology seems original. The whole idea of a ‘vessel’ isn’t completely original though, not that I think that it’s a bad thing that Durst has used it. The original idea is called an Avatar. And I don’t mean the movie by James Cameron, although once again, it’s a similar idea. An Avatar is a human that hosts a god, much like a Vessel. Although, it Durst’s version it seems that the human dies in order to allow the god to take their body. One novel where this idea is used is in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles series. In this series, the Egyptian gods can take possession of a magician and they can become the ‘eye of the god’.
The one thing I’m looking forward to the most is this trickster god as I am an avid Loki fan ever since Thor and The Avengers.
“I am loudmouth, the blogger, and I am burdened with glorious purpose”