Friday, April 15, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

"Just because you're a warrior doesn't mean you can't be enticing." 

In the enticing and addictive world of Andrea Cremer's Nightshade, you have an equal mix of werewolves (Guardians) and witches (Keepers). An eternal battle has been going on since the beginning of time, at least since the beginning of time as the Guardians can remember it. You see, they are the soldiers in this war. Enlisted to keep sacred sites all over the world protected from anyone who might stumble upon them, especially Searchers, who at one time before the war had been a part of the Keepers. These sacred sites are supposed to be kept SECRET, you see.
This is the world that Calla Tor was born into, the world that she is an important part of. She lives in a mountain town called Vail. Two packs of Guardians, the Banes and the Nightshades, coexist in town. Calla is the alpha of her generation and destined to mate with the alpha of the Banes, Ren. Together they will rule a new pack that has the duty to watch over the cave Haldis. Enter Shay. While on a patrol of the Nightshade's half of the mountain, Calla stumbles upon a young man being attacked by a bear. What else could she do but save him? Besides blood loss and head trauma can easily explain why young Shay watched as a blond girl shifted into a snow white wolf. Werewolves don't exist right?
But Shay isn't just any human... He is the nephew of a Keeper and has a weird unexplainable tattoo on the back of his neck that he cannot see. And now he and Calla have fallen in love... It’s not just the third side of love triangle that Shay offers. Shay has a mysterious background. Even though his “uncle” is a Keeper, Shay knew nothing of the supernatural world — or his uncle’s true nature — until he met Calla. Searchers are trying to kidnap him. All of this, combined with Shay’s insistence that the Keeper hierarchy must be wrong because how could they force Calla to mate with Ren (not that he has an ulterior motive in that, oh no), lead Calla and Shay to investigate and try to discover the truth. 

Nightshade was a good book, a really good book. But though it was good, the plot was amazing and it was a new idea, the characterization was a little bit... flat to say the least. Calla's motivations for saving Shay are simplistic. And it turns from being about Calla growing up and realizing her duty to becoming a rebel and discovering this whole little conspiracy... Yeah the book is kickass but... in order to be the best it can be it needs to have better characters. Ren is a womanizer, Shay is a skeptic, Calla is your usual protagonist chick, and then you have the pack... Unusual bunch of characters but they are too flat. 

I would still suggest this book though. Definitely go out and buy it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Ever since being attacked by wolves as a little girl Grace has felt drawn to the wolves. But one wolf in particular really stands out for her. It's those yellow eyes. She even calls him - her wolf. Sam, the boy with the yellow eyes. Lives two lives. One where he is protected by a pack, and lives in the forest with other wolves. Then the few months of the summer when he is able to change back into a human. He's watched Grace every winter. She became a type of silent friend to him, and when Sam finds himself in trouble during the cold of winter, he turns to Grace for help. With Grace at his side he must fight to stay human, and that means keeping his body temperature high enough in the cold chill of winter.

Shiver is more than just your normal paranormal tale, in fact if it could only be classified as one single thing, I would classify it as a story of romance that just so happens to have werewolves mixed in. Sam & Grace's story is more about how two teens belong together. Both know that they are meant to be together but there seems to be no concievable way to change the fact that Sam is and always will be a werewolf, only able to be human in the summer and in a few years never to change into a human again... And this is Sam's last year to change...

As Grace and Sam struggle to keep Sam human and find a cure, a local boy named Jack dies by being attacked by the very wolves that Sam calls family. Jack is angry because he can't stay either wolf or human... But he believes that there is someone with a cure, someone who though bitten by a wolf never experienced the Change... someone by the name of Grace Brisbane. In a race against time and against the temperature, its on to find a cure for the virus that makes the wolves wolves.

Friday, April 1, 2011

White Cat

"Don’t be too sympathetic. Here’s the essential truth about me: I killed a girl when I was fourteen. Her name was Lila, she was my best friend, and I loved her. I killed her anyway. There’s a lot of the murder that seems like a blur, but my brothers found me standing over her body with blood on my hands and a weird smile tugging at my mouth. What I remember most is the feeling I had looking down at Lila--the giddy glee of having gotten away with something.
No one knows I’m a murderer except my family. And me, of course.
I don’t want to be that person, so I spend most of my time at school faking and lying. It takes a lot of effort to pretend you’re something you’re not. I don’t think about what music I like; I think about what music I should like. When I had a girlfriend, I tried to convince her I was the guy she wanted me to be. When I’m in a crowd, I hang back until I can figure out how to make them laugh. Luckily, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s faking and lying.
I told you I’d done plenty wrong."

Until I read White Cat,I had yet to read anything by Holly Black with the exception of wanting to read her faery books. Open the first page of White Cat and you are drawn into a world of magic and crime, of betrayal and love. A world that gives birth to a story of thinking you are guilty of something but what if you really aren't? You see, Cassel Sharpe is the only non-worker in a family full of curse workers, the outcast when all he wants is to belong in the one place he certainly should. Then Lila dies... Cassel believes he murdered her, murdered his best friend, the girl he loved, and the daughter of the head of a crime family, the same crime family that employs his grandfather, who is a Death worker. But it seems as if everyone around him has a secret and he is the only one who is kept in the dark. Could what he had been told his whole life be a lie? Could being a non-working con artist be the path of his life? Or is there something more to him than meets the eye? To find out he will have to get to the bottom of secrets, of lies, to the truth hidden in the eye of a white cat who looks so familiar... But coming from a family of professional con artists that may prove harder than it looks.

Black is a phenomenal writer, giving voice to her characters, making you wish you could live the life they do. Cassel's story is touching and addicting, leaving you turning pages and wanting to know what happens next. Even the first page can tell you that it is addicting, from those very first words. I cannot wait for the next installment in the Curse Workers books. 

The Immortals Series: Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, Night Star, & Everlasting

What if love never had to die? What if karma and incarnation were really real? What would you do if everything was taken from you, if when your whole perfect life is in shambles, a hot guy tells you he made you an immortal just like him and that you were his soulmate that he has spent 300 years looking, finding, and then losing? But what if, just what if, that wasn't the end? What if you were assailed with psychic powers like seeing auras, hearing people's darkest thoughts, and knowing a person's whole life story with just a simple touch? And what if that hot guy I mentioned earlier was the only one who shut off that curse?
Ever Bloom's new life is like that. She went from being a popular cheerleader in her hometown in Oregon, to being a hoodie-wearing, Ipod listening outcast. All within minutes. But she is trying to make do with what fate has given her... sorta.

Then comes along sexy Damen Auguste... mysterious... cute... and attracted to Ever. But Damen has a secret...

Alyson Nöel is a great writer with potential as some of the best are. The Immortals Series wasn't the best piece of creative work that I have had the opportunity to read but it was alluring and addicting, drawing you into the world of immortals created not by magic but by alchemy... immortals who get jealous that the guy they love will leave them for another, prone to weakness... the type of immortal you don't see much of these days.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kissed By An Angel Book 4: Evercrossed

Warning: Do Not Read Unless You Have Read Kissed By An Angel

Title: Evercrossed
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Series: 4th in the Kissed By An Angel series
Pages: 288
Published: Available now from Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442409149 

True love withstands all. It withstands time, life... death.

It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends. But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life. 
As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost. But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her.

Its been one hard year for Ivy. She fell in love, learned how to swim, survived a car crash that took her love's life, figured out a mystery, watched her step brother fall from a rail road bridge... Her heart is healing after Tristan moved on to the other side as she goes on living life... But how do you get over your true love?

It took 15 long years for Elizabeth to write a continuation of the addictive book Kissed By An Angel. But though it took so long the new release Evercrossed picks up only a year to the day of Tristan's death. The characters: sweet, wild Ivy; friendly, artistic Will; crazy, romantic Beth; and innocent but strong willed Phillip, are all going on with life. Though Ivy is a bit boring in the book, as she dwells on the past and what could have been, withdrawing from her worried friends, I was glad to be able to read more of Ivy's life, of Tristan, Beth, and Will. Ivy is in danger once again. 

She seems to be a magnet for car crashes. First the car crash in the first book that took Tristan's life and now the car crash that almost took her life. Near death, she hopes that she will see Tristan soon. His voice envelops her and they share a passionate love-filled kiss. Ivy then wakes up in a hospital bed surrounded by Beth, Will, and her mother, Maggie. But Tristan broke an important rule. Angels should not mess with mortal life and death. And somebody else wants to see Ivy, a friend from the past bent on revenge... 

Can true love really transcend all things?

Michelle "Mikki" Morgan