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January 2013

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New year, new targets. This year, I aim to read at least 40 books. Last year it was 30. I’d aim for 50 but what with exams coming up, I have too much at stake to get side tracked. The next 5 months will determine where I end up for the next FOUR years. University here I come!

So far I’ve read 6 books. Here’s the list:

#1 The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter

Unlike my other reads, this one is a novella. This one was multi narrative. It wasn’t always necessary though. What I don’t understand about Kate is how she can just go off on a holiday with James just like that after everything that has occurred. He was going to replace Henry! The Castor and Pollux story was cool but I think it needed a bit more but seemed to me that Zeus was overreacting, even for him. What a dysfunctional family!

#2 Endure, by Carrie Jones

And so the countdown to Ragnarok begins.

Zara is now a pixie, and is also Astley’s queen. But she still loves Nick. It’s hard to believe that this character is the same one who used to whisper phobias to herself all the time. Little Miss Peace is now she is fighter trying to save her town, and potentially the world, from a pixie invasion. I know a similar transformation that occurred in a favourite book series of mine. It was the Iron Fey series’ Meghan Chase. By the Iron Queen, she was there with the rest of them, fighting it out, much like Zara does. I liked how Jones resolved the love triangle in this book, although I think she took a bit of a risk. Still, I liked it and I found it believable. I also really like Hel. She was pretty nice and I like how Jones incorporated Norse Mythology. If I had made as many transformation as Zara had, I think I’d be even more messed up than she was if I’m honest.
#3 Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

This one was a strange book. The origins behind it, The Arcana cards, was unfamiliar to me, which excited me. Yet at the sane time I was a big unnerved. But that might have been my reaction to the whole post-apocalyptic thing, and if course the romance which had me cringing from time to time.
Jack was a strange fellow but I loved how Cole used his background to shape him. The MC (what was her name? Evie? I’ve read too many books this month.) got in my nerves from time to time. Jack wasn’t all bad and sometimes she treated him like dirt and I didn’t like that. But then again, he had faults if his own, especially his lustful nature. I’m convinced that the only reasons Cole went for the post-apocalyptic thing is because they’re really trending, it gives the characters a reason to be travelling extensively, and it somehow justifies all the male character’s REALLY uncontrollable lust. Like seriously, can’t they control themselves!
I didn’t like the post-apocalyptic thing because Cole didn’t really explain how it had gotten that way. I mean I guess neither did Evie but at the moment I don’t think that even the author has that part figured out either.
#4 Intertwined by Gena Showalter

I’ve already written an extensive review about this book so you should go over there to check it out. I don’t want to reiterate myself but basically it’s a story about a guy with four different voices in his head, who he believes are different souls. And one of them predicts is death. He seeks to set them free so that he can live a normal life… And falls in love with a vampire along the way.

#5 The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Ethan Chase has grown up now. He isn’t the same helpless boy who kidnaped by faeries anymore. He’s 17 now, but the fey are still a part of his life because he has the Sight. The fey are constantly making his life miserable which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t hurt the ones he loved too. When a mysterious new species of fey emerge and kidnap a halfling, Ethan embarks on a quest to get him back.
Mmm… Does this plot seem familiar? Yes I thought so too. But do not fear, there are enough twists and turns to keep this story interesting, with appearances from out fave characters from the previous series as well.

#6 Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

So the final book in the Blue Bloods series has finally come out. After reading Wolf Pact I was definitely ready to see Bliss again. GoP finally tied up all the loose ends in the series. I really enjoyed it, with the exception if the very last chapter which I thought was very odd. I’m happy for all the characters and Cruz did a good job portraying Lucifer, which I had been wary about before. There is enough suspense, action, and of course romance to keep you going. My only problem was thy the characters would occasionally get distracted. I mean, this is an end I the world situation and you’re busy doing what? (I will not be spoil sport and tell you what Sky gets up to). It’s a shame that it’s the end, but what a great ending it was!

#7 Supernaturally by Kiersten White

After yearning for a normal life for so long, Evie finally gets her wish. She’s left a little bit disappointed by high school, but she loves her locker. Although she may have escaped IPCA, they are in need if her again. And of course there’s the relationship problem. She’s worried about how Lend is immortal and whether she should tell him. In this department, I think she gets on my nerves a little. Why can’t she decide? Still, I sympathise.

I wish Reth appeared more often, but I kind of liked Jack. He was an interesting addition. Some say the villain was obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me. Overall, with the lack of Reth and Lend, there was quite a lot to be desired in this sequel by I have hope for the final book of the trilogy.

I haven’t posted any artwork in a long time so I thought I’d post a few Iron Fey stuff in celebration of Julie Kagawa’s latest book, The Lost Prince. And because they aren’t many, I’ve added some of my favourite character quotes.

Puck, by mseregon

Quotes:
“Oh, so we’re playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?” (The Iron King)

“Me? Die? Didn’t they tell you, princess? I’m Robin Goodfellow.” (The Iron King)

“Crazy Ash doesn’t have the same ring as Don’t-bother-me-or-I’ll-kill-you Ash.” (The Iron Knight”

Grimalkin, by RottonNymph

Quotes:
“I am a cat”

“The Winter prince and Oberon’s jester agreeing on something. The world must be ending.” (The Iron King)

“Do try and stay out of trouble, human. I will be terribly annoyed if you manage to get yourself killed.” (The Iron Queen)

Meghan Chase, by AllicynLeiaAllen

Quotes:
“Good God, the Ice Prince was making jokes now; the world must be ending.” (The Iron King)

“Right, cause I’m bleeding all over the place for shits and giggles” (The Iron King)

“I could handle goblins and bogeymen and evil, flesh-eating horses, but giant freaking spiders? That’s where I drew the line. (The Iron Daughter)

Prince Ash, by lilgrimmapple

Quotes:
“Touch her, and I’ll freeze your testicles off and put them in a jar. Understand?” (The Iron King)

“Insult her again and I’ll cut your ***** into so many pieces they’ll never find then again.” (The Iron Queen)

“You made me feel alive again” (The Iron King)

There’s something about the new guy at Crossroads High…

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can possess another human.
One can tell the future.

Everyone thinks he’s crazy, which is why he’s spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about to change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl—a girl who carries centuries-old secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him.

Together they’ll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger… but not everyone will come out alive.

 

I recall first hearing about this book at the back of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa as an advertisement by Mira INK. The synopsis sounded interesting but I more or less dismissed it, instead determine to Kagawa’s sequel. I never would have guessed that I would have ended up liking this book as much as I did. It was utterly addictive. I finished within 2 days, and that is no easy feat when you’re stuck up to HERE with A level coursework and examination preparation. It’s no wonder my friends think I’m insane.

Anyway, on with the review…

Haden “Aden” Stone has 4 souls in his body + his own. Each of these souls has their own power, which makes him a beacon for trouble. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he has been sent from one mental instituion to the other, even being adopted from time to time. All he wants is to find a way to free the souls inside him. I really admired the relationship he had with the souls, and found it a little touching that he helped them pick their names. Things would have been far easier if they had remembered who they had been in their previous lives. It isn’t until one of them remembers their past life that Aden can really confirm that they are the spirits of dead people. It might have been a bit more interesting if one of the souls had been antagonistic, but their family banter was great all the same.

Being a YA book, romance was always going to have a part to play. Aden has being having dreams of a mysterious girl. It’s pretty clear that he’ll be having a romanic relationship of sorts with this girl and I’m not surprised when she finally appears. Victoria is a vampire princess. Sorry, minor spoiler there. She is strong, powerful and of course, beautiful. I’ve read a lot of YA books so really I find her a type-cast with not much in her to make her particulalry unique. She has the slight “Oh- I’m- A- Monster” thing that a lot of vampires are represented as going for her. She is often disgusted with herself and doesn’t want Aden to see her for what she is- a blood thirsty parasite. So yeah, she’s essentially the female Edward Cullen. It’s pretty ironic too considering that her name is Victoria, the name of the vampire who wants to kill Bella for revenge. Did I hate Victoria? No. Did I like her? Not overly. I regard her with a cool indifference. It’s funny because I think I kind of liked her before, but my opinion has changes slighlty upon reflection.

The other main character is Mary-Ann. First thing you should know about her? She’s a complete Mary-Sue. She hasn’t got a lot of depth to her. Her life starts off more or less perfect. She’s in the popular crowd, dating the popular guy. She’s even a straight A student, even though she pretty much seems to hate working. She does it so that her dad can be proud of her. At least that’s one insecurity she has. One step to becoming more flawed and understandable. When we first meet her, I’m afraid that she’ll fall in love with Aden, but thankfully the one thing this book does not have is a LOVE TRIANGLE. I think I’d die or at the very least chuck this book back at the library I found it in if it did.

There is even a romance between Mary-Ann a certain wolfman but I think I’ll let you discover that on your own. Team Riley <3 The plot mostly consisted of trying to uncover the secrets surrounding Mary-Ann and Aden’s lives. For some reason, Aden is very powerful and has attracted the attention of lots of different magical creatures. And I mean lots. The vampires were the first, but then there came the witches, faeries, demons and goblins. Even angels and a motley of other creatures were mentioned. Were all these supernatural creatures necessarry? No. Did they add to the story? Not really. I mean, sure they make the whole situation seem more dire, but in Aden’s point of view it was scary enough jut to have caught the attention of vampires. My advice would have been to choose only two or three creatures. Perhaps vampires, werewolves, and the witches. There is of course a way of having multiple creatures in a book series, but you have to make it believabe. Of course the other issue is the fact that Aden is apparantly fated to die in the near future. So how about you pick up this book and read about his fate? Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it, but at the same time, I did find it slightly lacking in some areas. Aden was a likeable character. He was both brave and vulnerable. Cute (even allegedly hot) but not conceited. And Mary-Ann was Meh. I give it 3 1/2 stars.