Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

I had a couple friends who didn't quite like it as much as the first but I would rate them equally.  It took a bit to get into it mostly because I knew that The Demon King really got interesting when Han and Raisa first met, so I was excited for their paths to cross again and it took 3/4 of the book for that to happen. I love the time that the books are set around, with candles, horses and stacks of books instead of computers - and I love the language - everything sounds cooler and their swear words are cute.  Maybe not the right choice of word but at least they aren't offensive like modern times.  Could just be me though!

First Line: Lieutenant Mac Gillen of the Queen's Guard of the Fells hunched his shoulders against the witch wind that howled out of the frozen wastelands to the north and west.

"Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
Everything changes when Han's and Raisa's paths cross, is this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction."

Seven Realms Series
The Demon King released October 13, 2009
The Exiled Queen released September 28, 2010
The Gray Wolfe Throne expected release October 2011

Monday, October 18, 2010

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

First Line: The cold snap of the previous week was over: the sun was shining brightly as clary hurried across Luke's dusty front yard, the hood of her jacket up to keep hr hair from blowing across her face.
"To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her new found powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the
New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments."

Clare may have intended for this to be the last book of her trilogy but I am glad she decided to do three more.  Things do get nicely wrapped up so if she stirs things up too much and doesn't fix it again by the end I'm gonna be upset.  I can't say much more because the fun of this series is unraveling all of its layers of SECRETS!!!

The Mortal Instruments
Book One: City of Bones March 27, 2007
Book Two: City of Ashes March 25, 2008
Book Three: City of Glass March 24, 2009
Book Four: City of Fallen Angels expected April 5, 2011
Book Five: City of Lost Souls expected May 2012
Book Six: City of Heavenly Fire expected September 2013

Friday, October 15, 2010

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

First Line: The formidable glass-and steel structure rose from its position on the Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky.

"Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation."

Ackkkk! I don't want to ruin anything...
I loved it and I really really loved that my friend let my borrow her 'edited' copy! So much better :)
I finished it and had to start the next book right away (so now they are kind of blended together in my mind...)

The Mortal Instruments
Book One: City of Bones March 27, 2007
Book Two: City of Ashes March 25, 2008
Book Three: City of Glass March 24, 2009
Book Four: City of Fallen Angels expected April 5, 2011
Book Five: City of Lost Souls expected May 2012
Book Six: City of Heavenly Fire expected September 2013

Monday, October 11, 2010

Need by Carrie Jones

 Didn't see that one coming :)
I loved it from the first page.
It's like an East Coast Twilight but without any Vampires

First Line: Everybody has fears, right?

"Zara White suspects there’s a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She’s also obsessed with phobias. And it’s true, she hasn’t exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane . . . but Zara’s pretty sure her mom just can’t deal with her right now.
She couldn’t be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara’s overactive imagination. In fact, he’s still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There’s something not right—not human—in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.
In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you’d have to fear."

This may seem weird but my favorite thing about the book was that every chapter was named after a different phobia.  I thought it was really clever.  And in a nostalgic high school-y kind of way it reminded me of my favorite English teacher Ms. Smith who was kind of quirky and had a lesson on arachibutyrophobia: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (and other phobias, but I never forgot that one) since that lesson phobias have always reminded me of sophomore English!  Total high school drama, mean stuck up girl, jock guy, first love and lots of making out (last part not so much my high school drama). It was scary at times, deliciously scary haha!  really I'm not sure what drew me to it, but I really loved the whole thing - call me crazy.

I do wonder though if there is a phobia name for 'fear of swearing.' 
This book wouldn't help at all with curing me of that :(

Need Series
Book #1 Need December 23 2008
Book #2 Captivate January 5 2010
Book #3 Entice December 7 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

"My name is Alan Christoffersen. You don’t know me. ‘Just another book in the library,’ my father would say. ‘Unopened and unread.’ You have no idea how far I’ve come or what I’ve lost. More important, you have no idea what I’ve found." —Prologue
What would you do if you lost everything—your job, your home, and the love of your life—all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he’s known and heads for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life—and inspire yours.

Richard Paul Evans’s extraordinary New York Times bestsellers have made him one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. A life-changing journey, both physical and spiritual, The Walk is the first of an unforgettable series of books about one man’s search for hope.

So... Every once in awhile I find a book I cannot, and will not, finish. This is one of those. I hated it. I couldn't get pass page 119!

This book hit too close to home; and I don't even want to tell you how hard I cried. One star rating wise, in my opinion, would be generous!

The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

I know! ANOTHER W.W.II. book! I find the conseqences of war fascinating though. This is one read I will never forget.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

I liked it even more than the first book!
The Iron King began a bit too Alice in Wonderland for me, and as I was reading The Iron Daughter, Queen Mab, ruler of the Winter realm was like White Witch of Narnia deja'vu (only more like the book than the movie - you know stunningly beautiful not, umm well, just not like the movie) and then when the wars began I kept having Lord of the Rings flashbacks!
SOOO when I read this praise:
"The Iron King has the...enchantment, imagination and adventure of...Alice in Wonderland, Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, but with lots more romance." -Justine magazine 
dingdingdingding bells went off! Great minds think alike!

First Line: The Iron King stood before me, magnificent in his beauty, silver hair whipping about like an unruly waterfall.

"Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the ...more Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart."

I'll admit that the ending threw me. I don't know what I expected to happen but not really THAT!
The beginning was a tad redundant, it reviewed the first book maybe a little too much - but of course I read them only weeks apart not months or years - so it's good she goes back over some of the details.  My heart was torn in two with the whole love triangle. LOVE Ash, love puck - what to do?  I have a love/hate thing with love triangles! I loved Meghan discovering and embracing her powers - she is one tough half fey, half human teenage chick!  

Iron Fey Series
Book 1: The Iron King, released February 1, 2010
Book 1.5: Winter's Passage, released June 1, 2010
Book 2: The Iron Daughter, released August 1, 2010
Book 3: The Iron Queen, to be released February 1, 2011
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