Category

Faery

Category

Before I read One Blood Ruby I will review the first book in the series by Melissa Marr — Seven Black Diamonds.

Synopsis

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.

From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.

Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.

Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there

— Courtesy of GoodReads.com

Plot

Can we first please address the elephant in the room? A group of fey sleeper agents, hmm? Wow. It’s so strange how Melissa Marr and I have the exact same ideas. Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out. When I was 14 I wrote a story about a mermaid who attends human high school and her best friend who is admitted into a school for secret agents who hunt fey.  So not quite the same but very similar. But it doesn’t end there. Three of four years ago I wrote a story about half fey sleeper agents who protect the fey from the Paladins, a group of anti-fey secret agents.  Now leave a message below and let me know if any of you want to read THAT story.

Now back to the review at hand.

Marr promises us a story about fey sleeper agents but instead we get a lot of sitting around, a lot of talking and not very much action. For a bunch of eco-terrorists I thought they would, you know, be doing some terrorising. Instead we get some ridiculous insta-love story and another story about a fey girl getting married against her will. Which you know, I shouldn’t be so judgy about since I do a similar thing in my own book I’m writing, but the point is we’re promised one thing and given another. At least I’m honest from the beginning about my princess getting married against her will.

For a book about the daughter of a MOB boss there isn’t a lot of MOB activity happening here. Besides some kind of ball at the beginning with lots of sons and daughters of crime lords there really isn’t anything at all to do with actual criminal activity in this book.

Overall, added with the surprise ending, I have to say that if you want a book with tonnes of action, or you know just a book with fey eco-terrorists as promised in the synopsis then you should stay away from this book. But if you love romance and friendship this book just might be for you.

Point of View – POV/Characters

From the synopsis above you could easily mistake Lilywhite Abernathy as our only main character. But this book has EIGHT point of views. This includes our sleeper agents: Lilywhite, Creed, Violet, Alkamy, Zephyr and Roan, Will – as well as Elidh, the Crown Princess.

Personally I don’t like having more than 4 POVs, but perhaps I’m a bit biased because the book I’m writing has 4 POVs. But honestly I’ve tried reading both Game of Thrones, which has 7 POVs, and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which of course has 6 Povs. The problem with having more than 2 POVs is that it becomes that much harder to remember who everyone is, and to grow a connection with them because the story becomes so thinned out.

I really wanted to love Mellisa Marr’s characters but I just couldn’t. Most of these POVs just weren’t necessary and many of them felt like filler chapters. If I had to be honest the only necesarry POV characters were Lilywhite, Elidh and MAYBE Zephyr since he was the leader of the Seven Black Diamonds.

Lilywhite: This character irks me. I like her, I do. But the part about her spouting the Abernathy rules really reminds me of Aisilnn from Marr’s other series, Wicked Lovely. You see Aislinn can see fae so to stay alive she reminds herself of these three rules to stay under the radar of the fae, which is exactly what Lilywhite seems to be doing. Another gripe I have with Lilywhite is how much of a Mary Sue she is. Her two major faults are that people love her almost instantly and she is overpowered. Most fey blood have at least one “affinity”, that is, a power over one of the four elements. But Lilywhite has power over ALL FOUR elements/affinities.

Elidh: I love Elidh. She is perhaps a bit too scared of her mother to question her, but she does genuinley want to change things. She wants to rule in a different manner to The Queen of Blood and Rage. Unlike Lilywhite not everyone loves her because of course being the heir apparant she has taken her brother’s rightful place as future King of the Seelie Court since the Seelie and Unseelie merged when Endellion, The Queen of Blood and Rage took over.

Zephyr: I feel kind of bad for this guy. As leader of the Seven Black Diamonds he has had to shoulder the burden all on his own. Lilywhite is supposed to be his partner in all things related to their terrorism, but she isn’t exactly willing. Perhaps it something to do with her introduction to the team.

Will and Roan: All I know about them is that they are in love with each other and one of them can’t tell his parents about their dating because they don’t like gay people. That, and the fact that Endellion chooses who marries whom so they’ll probably never be together forever.

Violet: She is an actress. That is all I remember about her.

Creed: The insta-love interest. Part time rock star, part time terrorist, part time student.

Final Thoughts

As much as there are many cliches I have to be honest that I loved reading this book. Melissa Marr’s writing style had me hooked and constantly wanting to know more. Of course I came out very frustrated and annoyed for all the reasons above but it’s important to note that for whatever reason I never at any point wanted to put this book down. It was so intriguing and I constantly wanted to know what would happen next.

I give Seven Black Diamonds THREE stars

I’ve kindly asked a friend to review a book for me. This book has been reviewed by Deborah Osborne:


I found the Iron Kingby accident while browsing books on my Kindle.  The cover was the first thing that attracted me because it was mysterious and gorgeous.  The second thing was the idea of a race of iron faeries and how they would fit into the story.  It did take me a while to get stuck into the book as in the first instance it seemed to be a premise that had been done quite a lot before (she was just an average American high school student when suddenly…) Having said that I liked the books so much that I read the first three in the series in a few weeks, and have the fourth downloaded.

 

Story

The plot begins with Meghan going to save her brother from the Iron King, a race of fae who are toxic to other faeries. The pace was brisk and the tension kept coming, especially towards the end of the book.  There was a steady stream of obstacles to block Meghan’s way too.  My favourite of these was King Oberon, whose aloofness and certainness in his own opinion made it very clear that being related to him wouldn’t get Meghan anywhere fast.  Plus it gave her a whole other barrel of obstacles to deal with as she is soon drawn into the politics between Oberon’s Court and their long-time adversaries at Queen Mab’s court.
There are the flickerings of a love triangle between Meghan, Ash and Goodfellow, but it doesn’t take over the main story.  Plus it’s quite clear that Meghan’s heart belongs to the boy she can’t have, which only adds to the fun.

Character

I liked Meghan Chase, the heroine of these books.  She was good natured and brave.  Sometimes with books in this genre I find the main female protagonists too similar.  Meghan Chase is definitely of the same type as other YA fantasy romance heroines, but I still enjoyed her company and could connect to her journey. Although she does have a talent for forgetting deals she’s made with other faeries that are quite important. For me though this book was all about the boys. 
The ancient feud between Ash and Robin Goodfellow added an extra layer of tension to the story as they are forced to work together to help Meghan save her brother.  They are contrasted well and are satisfying foils for each other. Grimalkin the Cait Sith is sophisticated and crafty. It’s nice never being entirely sure what he is up to, or what side he is on. His dialogue is brilliantly distinctive too and oozing with sarcasm in some places.

World Building

I love faeries, especially bad scary faeries, and the world created was sinister mostly due to the system of deals and favours between the fair folk. You never get something for nothing which means that the characters are constantly in a state of assessing what they are prepared to lose in order to get what they want. 
We learn right from the start that this land is dangerous as within a few minutes of arriving Meghan is being hunted by numerous beasties. Most of these beasties also exist in the ‘real’ world too so even on the occasions Meghan travels back to America she isn’t safe from horny satyrs and scheming oracles.
The description of Oberon’s court with the magical moving hedges is one that stays in the memory. I loved that and was disappointed that more of the action didn’t take place there. The second one that stayed with me most were the tunnels that lead Meghan to the Iron King’s Castle.  They were sinister and filled with peril, especially for the more traditional faery characters.
 Overall, I would have to give The Iron King 4/5!

Debbie has her own blog that you can check out. Go over to www.thewickedqueensmirror.wordpress.com !!!

There are several reasons why I enjoyed The Iron Traitor more than The Lost Prince. It’s darker, more suspenseful, and has better characterisations than TLP.
My biggest concern however was that the title was a dead giveaway and I suspect that Kagawa (or her publishers) did that on purpose to tease us. Either way, I think that the journey was more important than the ending.


Plot:
What is interesting about this sequel is that for once, it’s not really bad things happening to even. Of course that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect him, we wouldn’t have a book.
Kierran, the Iron Prince, has disappeared and many people are in search of him — especially his parents, that iron Queen, and the once winter Prince, “touch me and I’ll kill you,” now iron Prince consort, “if you even think of moving from the spot are freeze is will feet to the floor of your room.” Okay, so he’s still sort of an ice-boy 😉

Annwyl is dying and Kierran seeks to find a way to stop her from Fading.As Kierran’s best friend and uncle, Ethan finds himself getting sucked into the world of fey once more to help a family member in stop all the while, Kenzie, his girlfriend, is dying from leukaemia. But with an eerie prophecy hanging over his head, Ethan fears the worst of Kierran.

Overall, I enjoyed the balance of action, romance, and even a bit of mystery. And when Ethan uses his brain, he is very badass!


Characters:
Ethan — a.k.a. “tough guy”; “Iron Prince” (by relation to Meghan). I like him — nay — I LOVE him 🙂 Ethan has a firm sense of loyalty. Whilst he isn’t the cleverest character, he isn’t as impulsive as Kierran. Having encountered the Good Neighbours as a child (he was kidnapped by Machina, iron King) he is very cautious around the fey.
As a boyfriend, Ethan can often be overbearing and overprotective, as he himself points out. This can be infuriating at times when he attempts to protect Kenzie when she claims she does not need protection, and he does do one or two things that are a bit stupid and may potentially ruin their relationship. This of course was a brilliantly thought out idea because in reality a lot of the problems are actually internal as opposed to external. This means of course that aside from the potential threat that the faeries could be, Ethan also has to worry about his relationships which are founded on trust, reliability, and of course love.
On the whole, Kagawa has represented the mind of a teenage boy quite well. In this book, Ethan comes out of that broodish/thugish/mystery boy shell. The walls of his placed around him come crumbling down and it’s all thanks to Kenzie. We get to see more of the person, as he is represented in multifaceted way. 

Kenzie– For some time in the first book I did wonder why Ethan was interested in her but of course it became quite apparent. Kenzie is one of the few people who isn’t afraid of Ethan. She strives to find the truth about him, to break him out of his shell so that he can actually try and interact with other human beings. Of course, she gets more than she bargained with when she discovers the world of the fey in the process, but through it all, she remained strong and defiant. She continues to do the same throughout The Iron Traitor, despite other people constantly trying to protect her due to her illness. She was definitely one of my favourite characters, strangely reminding me of Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series because she is smart and resourceful. I also occasionally felt sorry for her when the boys were being stupid.

Kierran– I don’t even know where to start with this guy. Oh, I know. Desperate. Kierran is desperate to save the love of his life, Annwyl, from Fading. As a summer fey exile, her destiny is to Fade away into nothingness, and her encounter with the Forgotten in the previous book has speeded up the process. In a race against time, the Iron Prince seeks to find a cure, but it will come at great cost. How far is he willing to go save the one he loves?
Now if you know about the Iron Prophecy already, you’ll know what’s to come and it’s all a matter of how and when. 
Kierran didn’t seem to have much of a personality to me in the previous book but Kagawa has given him more depth in this sequel. He comes across as generally loyal, and very intense. Though usually slow to anger, desperation has made him quick tempered and impulsive. In other words, he does stupid shit that will make you want to slap him, but you can still sort of sympathise. Sort of. Most of the time, I find myself asking “What the hell, Kierran?”

Cameo appearances– Characters from the original series do appear, and are generally more prominent than the previous book, which made me very happy 🙂 Seriously, seeing these characters again made me this happy:

As to be expected from a Julie Kagawa book, she hit me right where it hurts at the end. So I warn you, there will be pain. But really you’ll love it. And hate it. At the same time.

And once you are finished you can say “Julie Kagawa broke my heart… and it was awesome!”
I rate this book… 4/5 stars!

This review has been a long time coming. I think the book came out maybe 4 years ago? I only read it in July though, but I was too lazy to actually review it. Now I’m at university, scrounging for the time to do anything I actually want to, haha.

This book has layer upon layer of mystery.

 Kaylee Cavanaugh is a normal girl whose life comes crumbling down when she becomes possessed the urge to scream. when  we start the book, it isn’t her first time to scream. she had these episodes before but they get progressively worse.
Beautiful girls are dying around her, and Kaylee seeks to discover why.  Of course this could have dangerous consequences. No one will tell her what is happening , why it’s happening, and how it is happening.

 
 
Trailer:
 


Rachel Vincent brings something new to the myth of faeries.  There is intrigue, romance, and action. this novel mostly deals with Reapers and the Banshees, (mostly referred to as bean sidhe in this novel) but I do believe that there were mentions of demons and other creatures that live on another astral plane.

Now, let’s talk about the fun part : The Love Interest.

 From what I recall, Nash is the kind of guy who isn’t supposed to know of the existence of the main character.  So when he does notices Kaylee at a party, she is very smitten.  Nash turns out to know more about Kaylee’s secret than she does, but I won’t spoil about how he knows!
 I found myself comparing Nash to my ideal boyfriend, who is Seth from Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. Honestly, I could have a whole conversation about why Seth is the perfect boyfriend — but this is a review about “My Soul to Take” !  Nash isn’t quite Seth perfect but he is still rather understanding of a lot of things. He is kind and considerate but  I have to take a few brownie points because of the whole secret thing. And he’s almost a little too perfect. When will his skeletons come out of the closet?

 As far as the secret goes ,  Kaylee’s family should not have kept it from her. but I understand their logic — as infuriating as it was! Her father, was the worst culprit.  He made me so angry!
Another very good mystery, was the whole business of the reapers.  It reminded me  of Victoria Scott’s  “Dante Walker” series but without the idea of God and the devil. As the name suggests, Reapers take souls to the next place: be that heaven, hell or wherever. I’m sure Vincent will explain all that stuff later in the series.

Let’s talk about Kaylee as a person. She’s actually  a rather likeable character. I felt something, rather than being indifferent or wanting to kill her. She was an angsty teenager without being completely overwhelming about how suckish her life is. She had a mental breakdown prior to the beginning of this novel, leading her to being put on medication. I think Vincent handled her problem rather delicately. She wasn’t all depressed and sick of the world. Instead she found good friends to talk to, and admittedly, she did try to speak to her family, and I think she come across as a strong, independent character without being an asshole. She wasn’t full on Female Warrior, but she wasn’t a damsel in distress. I’d say she falls somewhere in the middle, if I have to make comparisons.

My major concern was the love interest, Nash. Although he is a lovely guy, I did find the relationship rather convenient and quite honestly, not particularly believable. Kaylee is one of those infuriating YA characters who doesn’t think she’s beautiful —a trend that MUST be bucked at some point, people!

I mean, look at this!:

“If Eastlake High School were the universe, I would be one of the moons circling Planet Emma, constantly hidden by her shadow, and glad to be there. Nash Hudson would be one of the stars: too bright to look at, too hot to touch and at the center of his own solar system.”


 So of course when the hot guy Nash seeks her attention, she has no idea why! This in itself isn’t my main concern, but the fact that their relationship started so quickly worries me. I am going to have completely unrealistic ideals in a relationship, haha!

I give the book 4/5 stars!


Please take a moment to enjoy the quotes below. I hope they don’t spoil things for you.

Good Quotes:    

“He was an arrogant little demon.”
“So what happened?” I asked.
“I punched him.”
For a moment, we stared at him in silence. “You punched the reaper?” I asked, and my hand fell from the strainer onto the edge of the sink.
“Yeah.” He chuckled at the memory, and his grin brought out one of my own.


“My aunt and overprivileged cousin only recognize two states of being: glitter and grunge. And if you weren’t glitter, well, that only left one other option.”

“…the dead have a way of becoming saints in the eyes of their survivors…”  

“…Weirdest. Tuesday. Ever”

“Why do you hang out with him?”
“We’re teammates.”
Ahhh. And if blood was thicker than water, then football, evidently, would congeal in one’s veins.”
  

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Here’s my review of The Lost Prince

When I finished The Iron Knight, I was very happy for our protagonists. They were finally getting the happily ever after treatment. But I was distraught that the adventures into the Nevernever were finished. Kaput. Finite. Over…
Then I heard about Kagawa’s upcoming novel and the setup novella and I was ecstatic.
You have no idea how excited I was for this sequel series! The possibility of Meg and Ash having a kid? It’s something fans only ever dream about. Authors don’t usually oblige this fantasy and string it into words.

But before review the book, let me briefly comment on the covers. First is the UK version:

It was not the first to come out but it was the one I had to purchase, as I reside in England. After first seeing the US cover I was prepared to be completely underwhelmed by the UK version. I was astounded by the what was eventually produced, however.

Intro

TLP was written from Ethan’s point if view. A 16 year old Ethan. I found it hard to believe that he was now 16, and not that sad-eyed, frightened four year old from the first book. And boy had he grown. I felt a little pervy, ogling at at his exposed torso on the cover. Oh well…

Now the problem with this book is that after the previous series, we as readers already have such high expectations. For the most part, Ethan was a sound, well rounded character. Sure, he was a jerk most of the time, especially at the beginning to Kenzie. But the ass hole thing was just the mask he wore so he didn’t get hurt, or hurt others around him. I think it’s quite curious that he can see faeries, and in turn they know that he can see them.

My concern with this book was a slight lack of orginality. The Iron King featured Meghan plunging into the Nevernever with Ash and Puck in order to find her missing brother, who as we all know (Should know!) was kidnapped by- you guessed, the Iron King. The Lost Prince featured our all grown up protagonist, Ethan, braving the Nevernever with a friend to find another friend, who like Ethan all those years ago, was kidnapped by one of the fey. So what’s different?

New Characters

Ethan
Meghan’s once sweet little brother has grown into a brooding teenageer. I’m sad to say, I don’t think that’s just a phase. Of course Ethan doesn’t WANT to push everyone he cares about away, but he has to. I really liked Kagawa explaining the memory he had of a friend he let get close to him. Of course I don’t like what the fey did to her, but it made me understand. I understand why Ethan loathes Ash but I get rather defensive when it comes to the former Ice Prince, now Prince Consort and Iron Knight. But then, he lost a sister. At least if she were dead he would have some sort of closure, but he has to live knowing that They took her and made her one of Them.
Ethan is skilled in Kali, this type of martial arts that I’ve never heard of. Which is totally awesome. I once tried kickboxing. I loved it but my mum couldn’t afford to pay for me any longer, which was a sad time. But for Ethan, self-defence is the difference between life and death because They are out there. I’m not really sure what Ethan saw in Kenzie, but I’m glad it wasn’t insta-love. They got to know each other gradually.

Kenzie
This girl is tenacious. She gets what she wants, eventually. I don’t mean that in a spoilt little rich girl kind of way, even though she is a rich girl. Kenzie wants to be a reporter. She’s one of those people who has to know as much as she can, always seeking for knowledge- the latest scoop. And boy has she got some questions for Ethan Chase. (Too bad they never do that interview). She’s the one who thinks up quick, logical minded plans when the team get into a jam. These plans tend to be non-violent ones which is good because you can get seriously injured when fighting the fey. Love her or hate her, it’s clear she’s here to stay. I’ve heard some fans of Goodreads say that Kenzie gets on their nerves and to be honest, I don’t blame you. She also has this secret that is mentioned later on in the book. If I’m honest, I didn’t see the need for it.

Final Thoughts…

Like it’s predecessor series, The Call of the Forgotten is exploring the rise of a new species of fey. This idea would be all too boring and samey-samey if not for the fact that it was a very DIFFERENT kind of fey. Another good thing about this one is the air of mystery it still poses at the end, and the fact that there in NO LOVE TRIANGLE! So happy about that one 😀 I would have liked it if there had been more humor, but there was still enough action to keep be going.

Also, everyone looks 16. Ethan is 16. Meghan, Ash and Puck look 16/ 17, and their son IS 16! Can you imagine if your father looked the same age as you? But I guess when he has mad Unseelie/ Winter powers like Ash you’d still be a little scared of him. All I had to deal with when I was younger was beats. I’m African man but ICE?! ICE?! Don’t talk to me about ice.

My Rating



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)