Wednesday, January 27, 2016
The Girl at Midnight is a YA urban fantasy by Melissa Grey.
When young Echo is discovered living in the library by a feathered being who calls herself the Ala, her life changes forever.
Becoming an adopted member of an ancient race called the Avicen living beneath the streets of New York City, she grows up among them and her best friend and boyfriend are both Avicen.
Surviving through utilizing her pickpocket skills to sell stolen treasures to the black market, Echo knows that despite the Avicen being the only family she’s ever known – not all of them accept her as one of their own. She is human.
However, an opportunity arises to help the Avicen pursue a legend that may end a centuries-old war between the Avicen and a draconic race – finding the firebird. It’s dangerous and quite possibly nothing but a myth.
But it’s a chance to prove herself…
The Girl at Midnight has a lovely cover. It also presents a vivid race with the feathered, non-human Avicen that are described very well.
Unfortunately, The Girl at Midnight never really took off for me. And I really, really wanted it to.
Far too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone - yet less gritty, original and memorable – The Girl at Midnight throws us into a war that is not explained and expects us to be immediately invested. There are only so many times we can be told that “no one remembers why the fighting started” before that gets to be a weak explanation.
Echo as a character is also perplexing. The fact that she continues to steal and pickpocket when she no longer needs to does not make me like her – it’s just wrong. And she didn’t have enough redeeming qualities that came across as genuine for me to forgive her of this vice and accept it as a flaw. She just… came across as flat for me, sadly.
Then once the firebird quest begins, the plot got murkier. Nothing was very clear and I got the impression, possibly wrongly so, that the author may not entirely know where she is going with this plot. That there may be some crater like holes in it.
Whether or not I am right, the romance aspect felt forced and all too familiar – and again just had too many shades of the far superior, in my opinion, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Hopefully you will enjoy The Girl at Midnight better than I – as I had to start skimming the novel to get it completed. Unfortunately, there was nothing to keep me hooked when I was over halfway into it. And I won't be seeking the sequels. Sad.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
This week, instead of a review, I have a new book spotlight for you to check out. I haven't read Thirst either and I would love to hear what y'all think of it if you get a chance!
Without further ado:
WITH BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHS
~ Kira Sutherland ~
After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her 'boyfriend'), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated...), and being labeled as having 'issues' in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:
1. Continue her 'therapy' (where she's told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often...)
2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for "Crazies and Convicts" (as the social media sites call them.)
She chooses the latter...
~ Cory Rand ~
Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother's best friend...sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.
Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual - he has a weakness) he's left with two choices:
1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks...)
2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he'll get an education.
He chooses the latter...
It's at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.
Things he's always ignored.
Young Adult Romance
Vampires, Demons, Witches
$20 Amazon Gift Voucher Giveaway
At the back of the book there is a giveaway link. Once the book hits fifty reviews on Amazon, one of those reviewers will win a $20 (US Dollars) Amazon Gift Voucher!
R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy. If it has words in it, I’ll take it.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Jessie’s life has been turned upside down – and she was not consulted.
Being moved from her Chicago home to a prep school in Los Angeles to begin her junior year of high school is traumatizing enough without also having to try to become comfortable living with her new earnest stepmom and standoffish stepbrother.
How her dad could have done this to her, sprung this on her, without any notice… It is beyond her. To be saddled with people she doesn’t even know when it’s been barely two years since her mother’s death is not helping her relationship with her dad.
Without her best friend and without any frame of reference in Los Angeles, Jessie feels totally alone. That is, until she receives an email from someone calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), providing an offer to help her navigate her new surroundings.
It’s weird but intriguing. And in a decision based on need rather than anything else, Jessie begins to interact with SN – and feels a little less alone. SN helps her, makes her laugh and just keeps things from going a little too dark… so much so that she would like to meet SN in person.
But are some things better left unknown?
Tell Me Three Things was a heartfelt, gripping human story. It wrapped me up and didn’t let me go until the final page. And even then, as I write this, I still feel in its grips a bit.
Jessie was a great character – she was very relatable. I love it when an author presents someone in a way where they have flaws and issues but they aren’t the biggest brat or obnoxious due to it. Sure, she may act out a little to her dad a couple times – but it was always within reason and understandable in the situation. She’s also smart and funny with just the right amount of insecurity/confidence.
It’s also a little bit like a mystery – throughout the book you find yourself, along with Jessie, trying to figure out who SN is. It’s fun, while also being touching, hilarious and memorable.
I really ended up loving Tell Me Three Things. It felt like a complete story – the end was highly satisfying and the narrative touched on everything it needed to, while never falling into a trap of clichés or being too predictable
Point: It made me happy.
I’d like to suggest you read Tell Me Three Things too – maybe it’ll make you happy too!
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
It started off like a day like any other in the year 2575 on the human inhabited planet of Kerenza. Kady had made the difficult decision to break up with her boyfriend Ezra – and she thought that would be the toughest thing about the day.
She didn’t realize her planet would be attacked that afternoon, the victim of two rival mega-corporations battling over the tiny speck of universe they called their home. There was no warning before nearly everything was on fire and people were dying all around them. Suddenly she and her ex, barely speaking since that morning, are forced to flee together – in a desperate attempt to evacuate the planet.
Yet even once they are off Kerenza, it is not the end of the nightmare. There is a warship after their refugee fleets. There’s mysterious talk of quarantines. And the AI that is supposed to be keeping them safe may actually be their enemy…
I tried to keep the synopsis relatively brief but still hopefully titillating. This is QUITE the book. A space thriller, sci-fi, espionage, romantic horror story written in a unique manner – interviews with witnesses to the planetary attack, government memorandums, instant messaging, emails and surveillance footage summaries. Plus, even more.
Illuminae presents a distinctive storytelling method that is captivating and very well done. This is a suspenseful novel unlike any other I’ve read – an exciting, frightening, mind bending read that puts forward a clever story.
I very much look forward to the second book in the series and managed to read through the 599 pages of Illuminae quite quickly, taking into account my busy life.