Books

When Will It End?!

This is only a short entry as I’m at work right now and typing this on my phone, which isn’t very condusive to writing a blog post! But I felt I needed to vent a little bit. A literary vent.

I read a lot. Across several genres and I enjoy reading immensely. While I’m doing temporary work I get through more books because I always need something to read when work gets a little slow. Which is the only reason I’m continuing to read this book, because I don’t have anything else to read with me.

I’ll do a full review later but for now I need to say, I have never in my life come across a more dull, uninteresting and frustrating novel than this. The main character is boring, uninteresting and I couldn’t care less if she croaked on the next page. In fact, I’m actually willing it so that I can just be done with the damn book.

The reviews were raving over how great it was, how this was a lierary masterpiece and kept the reader intrigued and on the edge of their seat. I’m honestly questioning if I’m even reading the same book as those reviewers because all it reads as (and I’m on page 258 so far) is drivel.

Alright, rant over…for now lol! You can obviously tell the review of this book won’t be sparkling. But, I’m trying to remain open minded and hope the story will actually get interesting and change my mind. As I’m 3/4 through though it doesn’t look very promising :/

Oh and the book? The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan.

Books

Book Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes
by Ilona Andrews
Genre: Dark fantasy
Published: March 2009
Amazon
Book Depository

Back of the book blurb:
When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she finds herself with a personal stake and a while new level of problem. As her investigations lead her to the Midnight Games – the invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament – she uncovers a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

My review:
I only discovered Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series about a year ago but they hooked me fast. This is book three in the series and is just as strong as the first two.

The world that Kate Daniels lives in has enough “normal” every day markers for you to be able to picture what is being talked about (streets in Atlanta, etc). But the alterations that have come about due to the magic and tech waves are a fantastic change and they draw you even deeper into the story with each revelation. If you haven’t read any of this series, then definitely start with book one, Magic Bites, so that you can fully emerge yourself in this fantastically interesting world that Ilona Andrews has created.

This book focuses on the relationship between Kate Daniels and the shapeshifters, even though that is seemingly a secondary storyline to the goings on in the Midnight Games. I love the way that the story didn’t get overrun with fight scenes, even in a book all about fights. The descriptions and narrative held strong and I literally couldn’t put the book down until I finished it!

The fight scenes were so well detailed that you knew exactly where and what everyone was doing and the overall plot moved with perfect pace – nothing dragged and nothing felt too rushed either. Her relationship with Curran also comes into play in this book and his character is one of my absolute favourites! The two of them together in any situation is just such an interesting read – sometimes fun, sometimes serious, but always enjoyable to learn more about. Just as the world itself, and their roles in it, is so fascinating to delve into.

I enjoy the way there are light hearted moments to mix in with the serious elements, and each character is so very individual that you feel personal attachments to each of them in a different way. Kate Daniels is a very likable character and her actions, and motivations, are not only interesting to read but they draw you deeper into the story with her.

Overall, this book was a fantastic read; an excellent addition to an already strong series and I cannot wait to read the next one 🙂

Rating: 5/5

Amazon | Book Depository

I purchased this book with my own money, and received no compensation for my honest review.
I am a Book Depository and Amazon affiliate, and I receive a small commission if you use my link.

Books

Book Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely
by Melissa Marr
Genre: Young adult fiction
ISBN (UK): 978-0-00-726307-3
ISBN (US): 978-0061214677
Harper Collins
Published: April 2009
Amazon | Book Depository

Back of the book blurb:
The seductive worldwide bestseller.

Rule 3: Never stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world.

Rule 2: Never speak to invisible faeries. One of them, a beautiful faery boy names Keenan, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule 1: Don’t ever attract their attention. Now it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King and is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost. Without her, summer itself will perish…

My review:
I was really looking forward to reading this book for a long time so my expectations were high, and I’m happy to say they were met. I first saw mention of Wicked Lovely on Supernatural Snark in a list of books she was going to be reading, but even though it grabbed me right away I only got a copy at the start of this year (due to putting it on a Christmas gift list in case my husband was stuck for gift ideas). So it was the first book I read in 2011.

Before I started reading the book itself, I read the “about the author” page at the front and immediately liked the sound of Melissa Marr. She seems to have had a really exciting and varied life, which made me want to read the book even more. I felt ready for a story of new and exciting things, an adventure of sorts like the way she had described her life.

The flow of the story is very well written. We start with a snippet into the faery world but without much context to know what to do with that bit of knowledge yet, further drawing you into the book. Then getting to know the main character, Aislinn, and the world she lives in. I felt very much drawn into her world, feeling her ups and downs and wanting to know more about her and everything surrounding her.

Even though this is a young adult book, it kept me gripped and the pace of the story was just right – I read it in one day because I just couldn’t put it down. The characters felt very real and the amount of detail, even though vast, didn’t weigh you down or feel as though it was being dragged out. It gave so much detail but in a way that made it feel just right with the flow of the story.

There are really five characters that drew focus in the story, Aislinn, Seth, Keenan, Donia and the Winter Queen. Each felt very much an individual character and came to life on the page – there wasn’t a time where I felt one character had been rehashed to form another one. I loved the character interaction and felt very strong emotions tied to certain scenarios in the book.

My one qualm is towards the end of the book. Not the plot, that stays consistent and good. But the pace, flow and style of writing seem to suddenly change in the final 8th of the book. It almost felt as if the author had suddenly changed at times but then the next line would show that it was definitely still the same author. So I’m thinking perhaps this book was originally a lot longer than 328 pages and had to be edited down…or maybe even that she got to that point, realised the length and then sped up to cram the final parts into the story. It didn’t ruin it, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and storyline! But it did feel a bit out of place the way the flow suddenly changed and became “this happened, then this, then this, then this and this and this!” all in a very short space of time.

So, I’m afraid, a bit of a rating reduction for that point purely because it was such a noticeable change. But overall I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read the next one – which I shall be going to buy tomorrow 🙂

Rating: 4.5/5

Amazon | Book Depository

I purchased this book with my own money, and received no compensation for my honest review.
I am a Book Depository and Amazon affiliate, and I receive a small commission if you use my link.