Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Review: Cicada by Belle Whittington

by Belle Whittington 

Genre: Paranormal/Sci-fi
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 14, 2011
Source: BookRooster.com (ebook)
Age Rating: 14+

For 17-year-old Blair Reynolds and her friends, being the bearer of secrets is getting really old. But it's something she learns to deal with, because there's no other option. If the people in her small town ever found out what she and her friends discovered in the woods and hid in the storage room, the whole town would be up in arms;literally. You see, folks here don't believe in aliens from outer space. Besides, if they ever found out what two of those aliens did to one of their own, well, let's just say what would follow would be all out war.

As the months unfold, their summer becomes consumed with secrets, puzzle pieces that don't quite fit together, and a fight for their lives that leaves one of them at death's door.

My Review

  • Plot: Things definitely happen, although, perhaps timed a little off what they should be. Blair is a high school girl whose friends have all just graduated from high school, except she still has another year left. Everyone else is going through major life changes, especially when they all encounter a creature that appears to not be of this world. Her old friend Everett ends up being the most affected by this creature, and thus changes the most, and also makes some drastic changes to his future post-high school plans.
  • Characters: Blair is a cute country girl from an inconsequential town in east Texas. Her brother, her grandfather, and her other male friends are so convincingly southern men—it's a hoot! I like Everett the best because he is different from everybody else, a nerd-boy who loves bugs and running into daunting situations head first without fear. He is super cute and I like that he gets to play the main hero character—not some popular jock boy. Although, he ends up going through some serious changes that left me, like Blair, a bit uncomfortable because I really liked Everett as the goofy, clumsy, silly guy.
  • Writing: It's simple and effective. Nothing artful, but definitely decent. The southern YA voice was also really well done.
  • Storytelling: I think the story could have benefited from starting a bit sooner. There is some back-story for a little while before anything important happens to start the plot. But, it does the job of helping us to get to know the characters. I really like the ambiance of the slow, hot, humid summer on an east Texas ranch, with cicadas whining and fireflies floating around under a blanket of twinkling stars. Very relaxing. It was easy to hear the characters speaking with their southern drawls. I love Blair's mother's rhymes as she spoke in rhymes all the time. It was quaint and sweet. “My Blair with the dark brown hair,” things like that. It seems accurate as to what I know of real people from that region, particularly mothers.
  • Overall Quality: Pretty decent and very compelling in parts. I would have liked more information on the inhuman element in the story and why it was around them, why it had been hiding for several years, where it came from, who were its enemies, and how all of that tied into the death of Blair's father and brother (which had already happened prior to the story). I like when I'm more in-the-know than not, but it doesn't mean it's a flaw, as it's so common in literature these days to keep things uber mysterious. Everett was such a neat character, in my personal estimation, he made me want to keep on reading, especially to see where his relationship with Blair would go.
  • Favorite Moment/Scene: When the non-human life form Blair and her friends had discovered started to emerge from its pod. I thought Everett's reaction upon seeing it was very interesting and memorable. (He kind of freaked out!) What the life form resembled was also pretty shocking.
  • My Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

*I received this title as a complementary copy in exchange for my honest review.

Buy a copy of this ebook from | Amazon |

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas

Hey, everybody, Entangled publishing has the cover for the upcoming YA sci-fi/dystopia Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas, and I'm revealing it today on my blog.

See book details below....

Book Synopsis:

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop!

I had to sign-up for this giveaway hop because it's so perfect for my blog. As you can see, I'm a stop on the tour of the Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop (Friday, Feb. 24th - Tuesday 28th, 2012), hosted by Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This means for ONE lucky blog follower, you will have your choice of ONE Young Adult paranormal book from my list of 12 possibilities. (See list below.) Here are the details of the giveaway:

  • Open internationally (shipping from Book Depository)
  • Be 13 years of age or older
  • Follow my blog (GFC, or RSS) to enter 
  • +1 entry for following me on Twitter
  • +1 entry for tweeting about this giveaway

YA Paranormal books I'm offering:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead                              Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Soul Screamers, Vol. 1 by Rachel Vincent                       Switched by Amanda Hocking
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater                                         The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare                             The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia                               Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black                                        Evernight by Claudia Gray 

Enter using the Rafflecopter form:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Bittersweet by Marcia Colette

Bittersweet (Bittersweet #1)
by Marcia Colett

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 2, 2011
Source: BookRooster.com (ebook)
Age Rating: 14+

Five years have passed since Phaedra has seen her older, estranged brother. She’s hesitant about his return and even more so when he comes bearing a cure for their mother. However, this so-called antidote, having sex with an incubus, comes with a catch that's larger than the statutory rape implications. The incubus who's willing to help the Thornes has unwittingly been followed by beings who call themselves hags. They want to drain the demon dry of his power and don’t care if they threaten Phaedra's desire to have a normal family. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect her loved ones, even if that means trusting her uncontrollable powers won’t kill everyone in the process...including a Child Welfare official who'll decide in thirty days if the Thorne household is safe enough to raise children. 

My Review

  • Plot: The plot is a bit sparse and a lot of the story is caught up with many mundane details that probably don't need to be included. The real story doesn't even begin until around 2/3rds of the way into the book. Phaedra, the main character, has a crazy mother with psychokinetic powers and must live in the attic so she doesn't hurt her children, Phaedra and Nadia, the 6-year-old kid sister. Because these powers are hereditary, Phaedra and her older brother Kurt have them, too, and he returns after 5 years with an incubus, who can curb their out-of-control powers and keep their mother sane. The catch is that Mr. Incubus has to seduce them in order for his powers to work.
  • Characters: Phaedra is a pretty cool teenager to follow around, but she's so feisty that it gets a bit bothersome. Of course, there's nothing wrong with a flawed character. She has such a hard life taking care of her little sister and fending off attacks by her mother when she's insane. Her mother is only sane for three hours at a time because of a very expensive herb called Bittersweet that wears off after a few hours. The expense means it can't be used often. It's interesting to see the extremes in the mother from homicidal maniac to perfectly normal, concerned mother.
  • Writing: The writing is decent but nothing amazing. It could have used more editing and proofreading, since there were quite a few errors. Does have a good YA voice, though.
  • Storytelling: Again, the story starts in the wrong place, although we get a lot of important information in the first 2/3rds of the story. But, not much happens to drive the plot forward until you've read most of the novel. A hag ends up as the main villain character and this is the person causing all the problems, but we know nothing about her until late in the story. What happens a lot that I don't think works is that new elements and characters suddenly pop up long after the novel begins, which feels random and overly-contrived. We are never told why Phaedra's family has their shared ability, so I feel lost. I also am not fond of the ending, as we don't get to see things wrap up, but are told what had happened through a random diary entry. Another writerly device that should have been introduced into the story earlier because it seems too convenient.
  • Overall Quality: It's a pretty good story that has potential, but it lacks good editing to make it high quality. Still, it has some good things going for it, and I generally liked reading it. Phaedra has a convincing YA voice—that being one of the story's strong suits.
  • Favorite Moment/Scene: When Phaedra unwittingly touches the incubus (who looks like a regular man) when he wasn't curbing his powers, and he accidentally seduces her. (How does that happen? I know, right?) It is a pretty intense, although, brief moment.
  • My Score: 3 out of 5 stars. 

*I received this title as a complementary copy in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Top 10 Books I'd Take with Me During an Alien Invasion (TTT #12)

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly book blogger meme hosted by

This week's list topic is...

  •   Hey, I might actually go with the aliens, if they'll have me! 

1. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

I just recently received a box of all four Iron Fey books signed by Julie Kagawa because I won a Twitter contest late last year. I'd definitely pack these books because getting signed books by authors isn't always the easiest thing in the world to do. Their value goes up, and it happens to be one of my favorite book series. 

2. My Kindle by Amazon.com

It makes sense to take a book that contains hundreds of my digital books so I can take a lot of them without them taking up space and making things too heavy to carry. Yes, the zombie apocalypse is yet another reason to get yourself a Kindle, or some other e-reader device. 

3. My Bleach manga volumes by Tite Kubo

I think I'd eventually feel lost without my Bleach manga, which is my favorite thing in the wide world. I really would need to bring the first volume because my version is a special edition hardcover with the original opening color pages. Yeah, it's special to me, although it is replaceable. 

4. My High School Year Books

Even if I didn't really care for my high school years all that much (I don't dwell on them), I still wouldn't want to abandon those 4 books that are totally irreplaceable and represent a time period in my life I'll never get back again. On a disturbing note, I'm surprised they are 20 year old books by now. 

5. Trinity Blood series by Sunao Yoshida

This is a series of 7 Japanese light novels that I adore and are no longer being published in North America, so these are not replaceable, at least in brand new condition. I really love the bumbling Abel Nightroad and his unique vampiric traits, plus his relationship with Esther Blanchet. If only the publishing house had finished publishing all the books that were actually written, although, sadly, the author died before he could finish writing all the books he meant to, anyway.

6. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

I love these books and their beautiful covers, so I couldn't leave them behind, either. Sure, they're replaceable, but I'd feel wrong about abandoning them. 

7. Devil May Cry (Volume 1) by Shin'ya Goikeda

This one makes me weird, but I'd hate to not include my out-of-print copy of the first Devil May Cry Japanese light novel of the video game by the same name. It'd be like leaving Dante, the protagonist, to burn down with my house and I couldn't do that to him. Poor guy's been through enough already at the hands of that insensitive, heartless industry. (Gamers know what I mean....)
8. Charlotte and Emily Bronte: The Complete Novels

My best friend bought me this omnibus for my birthday one year, and it's a very gorgeous hardcover with gold leaf on the outside edges of the pages. 

9. All Colour but the Black: The Art of Bleach by Tite Kubo

Here I go again with the Bleach stuff (sorry about that), but I bought this art book from a Japanese retailer back when it hadn't been published in North America, yet, so shipping was like 20 or $30. Besides, it's gorgeous, and I'd probably want to take my imported Bleach comic calendars, too, since they set me back around $50 each.

10. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Just for the sake of being able to keep a smile on my face and a tear at the corner of my eye from laughing so hard, I'd need to bring this little gem along with me, too. It's my favorite book of all time, with so many tales in it, it should qualify as 3 or 4 books. I can always count on this novel, although replaceable, to blow me away with its wit, humor and ridiculous characters. How did you think up these wacky people, Mr. Dickens?

That's what I'd take with me. What would you take with you?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)
by Beth Revis 

Genre: Science Fiction
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Source: purchased hardcover
Age Rating: 14+

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

My Review

  • Plot: This installment is another murder mystery with an added scavenger hunt, which is really exciting and one of the best parts about it. Amy and Elder run around all over the ship trying to solve clue after clue, so if you love stories like that, you'll love this one. There are plenty of twists and turns that completely surprised me. Very unpredictable, especially the big reveal.
  • Characters: Amy has to deal with severe discrimination and flat-out threats to her well-being, as she is considered a freak on the ship. Her life has become all about hiding her hair and interacting with only the few people she feels somewhat safe with. She hates living within the walls surrounding her, and I feel for her because I know how much I'd hate it too, being stuck on a ship like that with all those ignorant people. Elder has a hard time dealing with the rebellious masses who are no longer drugged up, and you feel his frustration over the chaotic hungry people on the verge of mutiny. Naturally, Amy's and Elder's romantic life takes a huge hit, so don't expect much of that. These are hard times.
  • Writing: Of course, the writing is beautiful and perfect for this type of story. The alternating POVs between Amy and Elder never get confusing, and the present tense works for a story set in the distance future.
  • Storytelling: This is another high quality aspect. It's suspenseful, heart-pounding, pulse-racing, and heart-breaking in parts. There's a murderer on the loose that has to be caught and you never know who he/she will get next. And, a lot of characters die tragically. Half way through it, a plot twist is revealed which I never saw coming, and it floored me. Suddenly, the story became crazy-good.
  • Overall Quality: Very high quality, just like the first book. I may have liked the first book just a bit more, but this one is such an excellent follow-up. I am truly excited for the last book. Can't wait to read it!
  • Favorite Moment/Scene: When Elder goes outside the ship to look at it from the outside. I like it partly for how amazed he is about seeing so much space and stars for the first time, which is ironic considering he's been on a spaceship his entire life. But, I mostly like it for the shocking thing he discovers while out there. It's a huge plot twist. Frexing huge.
  • My Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
by Beth Revis 

Genre: Science Fiction
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Source: purchased paperback
Age Rating: 14+

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. 
Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again. 
My Review

  • Plot: This one has a mystery “whodunnit” plot which keeps you guessing from beginning to end, so it never slows down nor drags in parts. Amy is a frozen passenger on board Godspeed and is awoken before its scheduled landing on a new planet. The other frozen passengers on board the Godspeed spaceship are being killed seemingly at random, and its up to Amy and Elder to try and figure out who's behind the killings and stop them. Amy's parents are at risk because they are part of the frozen crew. When the killer is finally revealed, it's surprising for sure. I definitely didn't suspect the guilty party.
  • Characters: Amy is just a normal teenager who couldn't bare to be left behind on Earth while both her parents were recruited for a mission to colonize another Earth-like planet with their special skills. She is extremely brave for deciding to go with them, leaving behind her boyfriend and totally normal life. Elder is one of my favorite YA heroes because he actually has a good reason for being so fascinated by Amy. Most boys have seen millions of pretty girls before, but, not Elder. He's been trapped on Godspeed all his life, and has never before seen a person with her coloring (red hair/green eyes), so she looks like an angel to him.
  • Writing: Fabulous writing—composed of short, quick sentences which make you feel like your flying through the story. That's my preference and it works for this type of story.
  • Storytelling: Top-notch. There are so many layers to what's going on, and who's behind those actions, and why they're doing what they're doing. It opens with an unforgettable scene, and closes with a ton of shocking reveals that will leave you riveted.
  • Overall Quality: Very high quality. It's a NY Times best-seller for a reason. Don't worry about not being a fan of sci-fi, if you are not. That won't factor in at all. It's just a great story set on a spaceship—that's all there is to it.
  • Favorite Moment/Scene: When Elder first sees Amy frozen in her pod. He's so mesmerized by her red hair which looks like a flaming burst of color all around her head. He's never seen anyone like her before, and his feelings are portrayed so convincingly.
  • My Score: 5 out of 5 stars. (I love it. One of my favorite books.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

TGIF at GReads!: Favorite Fictional Love Stories (2)

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly bookish meme hosted by

Every week book blogger participants answer a different book-related question and share in the meme-y fun with other book bloggers.

This Friday's (1/19/2012) Question:
 Love Stories: What are some of your favorite fictional love stories?


Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

I probably don't need to explain this one. Don't we all know the epic love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy? If you happen to not know from reading the book, then what are you waiting for? Make it so, people!

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1)
by Clay & Susan Griffith

Adele and Greyfriar are just so sweet together. This isn't a young adult sappy love story, but more of a grown-up, but still sweet type, with a lot of realism going on and no "insta-love," or "insta-lust." Their romance seemed like it was based on real love, so it made an impression on me when I read it last year.

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
by Cassandra Clare

I squee over Jem and Tessa's love story in this book of The Infernal Devices series! It's so sweet, but I won't say much about it because that'd be spoilery. Definitely one of my favorites.

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)
by Julie Kagawa

Meghan and Ashy-poo in this book, well all of the Iron Fey books, are awesome. I like Meghan with Puck, too, but she picks Ash, and that's fine with me. This book takes their relationship to the heights of chivalry where Ash officially becomes Meghan's knight. Whatever happened to real life chivalry, anyway? I'm old-fashioned enough to still love knights rescuing princesses. Call me lame if you will....

Those are a few of my favorite fictional love stories, although this list really only shows the tip of the iceberg. What are yours, my friends?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)
by Susan Ee 

Genre: Angels/Apocalypse
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 21, 2011
Source: Kindle purchase
Age Rating: 15+
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

I'm experimenting with a different way of writing my reviews. Maybe breaking down the most important aspects of the story will keep my reviews more informative. Hopefully, this will be fun for me as well as more beneficial to my readers...

My Review

  • Plot: There actually is one (big plus for me), although it's nothing groundbreaking. Penryn needs to rescue her crippled little sister from the bad invading angels who have taken her away, and needs a wingless angel that she saves to help locate her. They have many fun (for the reader) distractions along the way. There's not much romance, but that works better for me, actually. Penryn and Raffe (the wingless angel) didn't bond as much as I felt they should have to justify his obvious attachment to her by the end. I needed more niceties between the two, but they do have chemistry.
  • Characters: Penryn is a great YA character and really knows her fighting skills. She's tough and she's proactive, thinking only ever of saving her little sister. Raffe is so sarcastic and yummy in the first half, but that all vanishes during the second half for someone unknown reason. Penryn's crazy mother is such a mystery, always showing up wherever Penryn is, like a feral cat stalking her. Why this is never gets explained, and it's kind of creepy, but good creepy.
  • Writing: The writing is definitely decent—professional-grade. No flowery words or purple prose, and that's just perfect for this type of story. The YA voice is convincing, too, as the story is told through Penryn's first-person present tense narration.
  • Storytelling: The story takes you on this wild and bizarre journey through a gutted apocalyptic San Francisco, full of incredibly well-detailed and intense fight scenes, amongst other things. Very impressive. One fight scene in particular made me feel like my throat had been whacked a bunch of times because of the vivid physicality of the fighting. Amazing.
  • Overall Quality: I believe this is a self-published title, but you'd never know it. It's so very professional and high quality!
  • Favorite Moment/Scene: The kiss scene... Oh. My. Lord. It is amazing, and I am rarely impressed by kiss scenes, but this one blew me away. It is totally out-of-nowhere and made me blink a lot. A lot. And, made me think about it as I drifted off to sleep the same night I read it.
  • My Score: 4.5/5 stars. (I really like this. Can't wait for book 2!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: Halflings by Heather Burch

Halflings (Halflings, #1)
by Heather Burch 

Genre: Paranormal/Angels
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Source: NetGalley (ebook)
Age Rating: 13+

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves Halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with it. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys' powers, as well as her role in a scientist's dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world. 
My Review

Halflings is an interesting take on angels and fallen angels, although I admit I haven't read much literature dealing with this subject matter. But, I did feel that a few of the characters held my interest. Nikki is at least not a typical teenage protagonist of the YA paranormal genre. She rides motorcycles and knows karate, but still lives a fairly normal life in Missouri.

She meets three teenage boys called Halflings, which means they are half human and half fallen angel. The attractive boys, Mace, Raven and Vine, go around and pretend to be brothers, but they were all born to different Halfling parents and had to be raised away from them for their own protection. A Guardian Angel named Will, a fully fledged angel, is their caretaker. Together, they spend their lives helping out humans in need and discover pieces of their missions through Will, who seems to be able to receive divine revelation.

Nikki and Mace are instantly drawn to each other, and experience “insta-love,” which I frown upon, but it doesn't necessarily ruin the story. Although, Nikki also finds herself intrigued by Raven, who is partial to his fallen angel side, as he has a delicious bad-boy streak. I was really interested in him at first, all snarky and wanting only human minions, but he cooled off toward the end as he became more interested in Nikki. Ah, so close. Almost had a really sexy anti-hero—nearly anti-villain. Still, he's a great character.

What's so shocking is that, low and behold, a true villain materializes in a character that really doesn't appear in the story much, in the form of an attractive older man that Nikki is constantly being thrust at. He has a weird connection to her parents, and even they are quite the mystery in and of themselves. I really found this villain character intriguing, but the story suddenly ends before I can discover what his deal is, and why he is so interested in having Nikki all to himself. Why is he so rich, and what connection does he have to the plot to destroy the world?

At the very end, Nikki suddenly feels wrong about being with him before he gets his clutches on her, so she runs back to the Halflings, and then it's all over. Most abrupt ending ever. I'd be far happier if the reason WHY this guy is so dangerous had been revealed, so that her running to the Halflings would make sense to me. Sure, the Halflings are like her guardian angels, but I really want to know why this mysterious guy she barely knows is so dangerous. Hopefully, it will get explained in the next book.

My score: 3.5 out of 5 stars. (I like it.)

*I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
by Cassandra Clare 

Genre: Historical/Urban Fantasy/Steampunk
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Source: purchased hardcover
Age Rating: 13+

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do? 
My Review

Wow... This book is amazing. I was so pulled into this installment of The Infernal Devices series, that all the characters became completely real to me. This doesn't happen that often, but it does when a story is so well-told that I forget I'm just reading a book of total fiction.

The first book (Clockwork Angel) is wonderful and I highly suggest everyone read it who hasn't already [see my review here], but this one (Clockwork Prince) is immaculate. Although, I don't think a reader would think that quite as much if they weren't already invested in the characters prior to reading it. If you haven't already fallen for Tessa, Will and Jem (even Sophie & Magnus), then you might not like this one as much, since its primary focus is on these characters' relationships with each other.

Cassandra Clare is an author who knows how to tell a story the right way. In book 1, we get a very plot-rich story wherein we spend 500 pages learning about the characters and seeing them showing off their true colors as they react to different plot stimuli. The romance is saved for late in the book, and even then, it is still very light. If Clare had decided to ram the romance down our throats from the onset of the story, it would have given us all indigestion, because we need time to get to know who these people are first before we enjoy that kind of intimacy. Who wants to watch strangers making out in public? Anyone? Not me. So, you need to learn to care about the people of that world first, then becoming a romance voyeur is not only acceptable, but highly anticipated.

In book 2, the plot is now able to take a bit of a backseat to the overall narrative (but, not completely), and we can focus on our lovable characters. We can get into all the drama of romance, broken hearts, disappointment, the mania of love and desire, etc., because we love these characters already and we want to see what happens—we want to see what they will do and say to each other. With perfect timing, Clockwork Prince definitely satisfies in that regard.

I personally adored this (that's not even the right word. It's more than that!) because it gave me everything I wanted. Any Jem fan, like me, will be able to dig their own grave and lie down in it, because they can now die happy. Go out on a high note! But, it is not without a semblance of sadness, too, because Tessa experiences her own complications with her brother (and, my heart goes out to her so much over that problem), and Will has a sort of epiphany of his wasted potential, which is tragic in its own right. Like any truly great book, there is a good mixture of happiness and sadness.

I'll just ask now, can I have Jem? He's one of those characters you want to be real so badly, you almost believe you can reach inside the book's pages and pull him out. Ah, if only... I have to add him to the list of fictional 19th century heroes that make me squee, if only because he is the ideal gentleman. In this volume, we really get to see his true colors, see that he is a human being, flawed in his own beautiful way (different from Will's way), and prone to being overwhelmed by emotion and feeling. You get to see just how fragile his heart is, and how precious he is to his dearest friends.

If you've been harboring doubts about this series, you really shouldn't. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed by it. The world-building is thorough, the characters fully developed, their relationships with each other raw and real, and plenty of interesting things happen all the time. What more do you need? It's nearly perfect.

My score: 5 out of 5 stars. (Totally mesmerizing and amazing...)

P.S. There will be a manga graphic novel adaptation out later this year, starting with book 1, and I'm going to pee myself with joy! You can even pee yourself now if you want to read a new chapter every month over at YenPress.com/YenPlus where the story is already being serialized for $2.99 USD (monthly). Those boys are prett-ay!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...