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Joanne12

Joanne12

The Waking Dark

The Waking Dark - Robin Wasserman I am at a loss for word. Really. What did I just read?

The Walking Dark was a good book but not at all what I was expecting which is a bit disappointing. It wasn't as good as I expected. That being said the book was good.

This book is very violent with killings, massacres, blood and gore. And the killings aren't just shootings~ some are creative with knives and other items. For this reason I'd say the age range for this book is from around 17 and up. Definitely not for younger teens.

This book opens up with the killing day, which is the day that five people in the town of Oleander, Kansas kill at least one person and then kill themselves. 12 died in all and only one of the killers, a teen named Cass, survived her suicide attempt. Each killing was told in the pov of one of the main characters who was there during the killings: Daniel, Jule, West (Jeremiah), Ellie and of course Cass who was a one of the killers. The story deals mainly with these five characters, however during some chapters the pov changes to some of the different towns people's.

Each of the teens have problems of their own besides being present for the killings. Daniel's mother died and his father is known as the crazy preacher who drinks and tries to gather followers for the apocalyptic visions. Daniels takes care of his 8 year old brother Milo and is very protective of him. Jule lives in a trailer park with a stepdad who is iffy and whose uncles are meth heads and distributors. Basically the classic definition of white trash. West is gay and tries to hide it from everyone and especially his parents. Ellie is a "born again" christian zealot who was "saved" by the deacon of the church and claims God talks to her. Cass is a baby sitter who killed one of her charges.

A year after the killing day, a tornado hits Oleander and destroys part of the town. The next day there are road blocks that block all the exits out of town and the people are informed that they are being quarantined because the storm destroyed a plant with hazardous materials. (This was the facility that Cass escaped from when she was sentenced for murder and she made her way back to Oleander.) After the quarantine the whole town goes crazy. People begin doing what they want and killing anyone they want. Except for the five main characters. There are massacres, murders and violence left and right and in ten middle of it all are the 5 teens, who give their pov's on what is happening in their section of town with their families and each other.

The character were ok. I really liked West who at first went along with his football buddies who were patrolling the streets pretending to keep everyone safe when really they were causing trouble. Over the course of the book, West becomes braver and willing to go against his friends to do whats right. He struggles with hiding his sexuality and coming to terms with it. He is generally a nice guy. Jule's life is so pathetic and horrible with her white trash family, who have no morals at all BEFORE the town went crazy. This made Jule thick skinned and tough. She had major attitude which I liked about her. Daniel is a kid who is just trying to protect his brother from their crazy father and keep him safe. Its really touching how caring and loving Daniel is to his brother. And I loved Milo. He was hilarious for an 8 year old. I felt sorry for Cass because she genuinely wanted answers to why she killed someone and she is just very lost. I don't really get Ellie, until the end where everything about her is explained. During thsi book she is very religious and claims to hear the voice of God. However I did get the impression that she was not always so devout. I didn't like the way she talked, always spewing out bible verses or something about God saving people.

I liked how each character grew throughout the story and banded together to save each other in their own ways. They went from being alone in the craziness to somehow finding and banding together. Their teamwork was amazing. I liked how the each became brave and was willing to sacrifice their lives for each other. They all felt a sense of responsibility towards each other and trying to make sure they all got out of the town together.

I guess what I didn't really like about the book was the plot. I mean don't get me wrong, the killing and murders were fun and horrific to read. Everything going on the book made me hate the town, the people and the facility that quarantined the town and made me want all of them destroyed save foe the 5 teens and Milo. While it was entertaining to read, I think the reason as to why the town went crazy is a little too much for me. The reason was also not explained well enough for me to really believe it and believe that Oleander was the only town affected by it. It seemed a poor reason for all the killing and a better one could of been invented if everyone was to become bloodthirsty animals. Also for me the ending was cleared up way too neatly. I mean it is by no means a happy ending but it just wrapped up too nicely. Like all of a sudden ok well here's the fix fro the reason the people became this way and everyone can go back to "normal". Its just didn't work.

Anyway while I did like the book and all the stuff that went on, it wasn't as good as I expected. I expected to be blown away and I was just not.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews




The Binding Stone (Djinn, #1)

The Binding Stone (Djinn, #1) - Lisa Gail Green I really liked this book. This is my first time reading a book about genies/djinn and I was glad I picked this book to introduce me to that world.

I'm gonna clarify the difference between a djinn and a genie, as least as how I understand it to be. Leela (the main character) is a being called a djinn that has magical powers. All djinn are free. A genie is a being that is trapped and forced to have a master. The genie must do what the master wants/commands/wishes whether they want to or not. Leela and her friends are dijinni who become enslaved as genies. They are djinn whether or not they are enslaved but are genies when they are enslaved.

The story is about Leela who is a djinn that was trapped by her love to essentially become a genie who has to grant her master any wish they want. Leela and her djinni friends came to our earth realm to experience life as a human and that is how they got trapped as genies. Later on she is found by Jered in the present time and becomes his genie. Only a person with magic can control a djinn and in this book they are called magicians. The rest of the story is about Leela protecting Jered from someone who wants to kill him so they can possess her and have 3 djinni's to take over the world. I know it sound funny like Pinky and the Brain ("the same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to take over the world!) but it the story is full of action and romance.

The story is told mostly in the present time with Leela and Jered. However there are some chapters sprinkled throughout the book that take us back a thousand years ago to show us Leela's past, how magicians came into being and how she became a "genie." I really enjoyed these parts of the book because they show us who Leela is and how she came to be the woman in the present chapters. We learn about her life and the events that caused her to become trapped as a genie. We also see how her life is in the beginnings of her enslavement.

I loved the main characters. Leela is cunning and manipulative; she tries to find loopholes through her commands to suit her needs and what she wants to do. She is very "hard" because of her past as well as her past masters (over 1000 years of masters) and doesn't let anyone in to see her true self. She becomes very protective of Jered and beings to care for him, against her will. Her magic is awesome and she can grant almost any wish/command, however her power is also limited. She is a quick thinker and does what she has to to protect those she cares about.

Jered is the other main character who comes into possession of the ring that binds Leela to him. He is a sweet 17 year old kid. When he find out he has a genie his first wish is to help others by wishing for world peace, which Leela can't grant because of her limited powers. But Jered is that type of person, who wants to help people and is against hurting people. He also sees and treats Leela as a human and not a slave. He eventually begins to care for Leela and the romance blossoms.

The character I loved the most though was Taj, who is Leela's djinn friend who was trapped as a genie as well. Taj is the villain's djinn, who is sent to kill Jered and take Leela for his master. Taj is not a bad guy at all but he must follow the command of his master~ he has no choice. I love Taj because he is feisty, kind, sarcastic and hilarious. His quips had me laughing. Taj is serious when he needs to be and like Leela, tries to find loopholes in the commands his master gives him.

I also like the character of Gabe who is Jered's best friend. He is funny as well and he is always at Jered's side to help him and fight alongside him. I also like Sophia who is Jered's half sister. She is a little kid magician but has immense power and helps Jered fight the villain as well. She is a very clever little girl who comes up with good plans to help.

I absolutely hated the villain in this book which means that she is a great one. The villain was well written to make me feel the strong emotions I felt about it. The villain is pure evil and I wanted to go into the book and kill her myself.

I'm not gonna say much about the romance except that it was cute and that it didn't take up all of the story, so it didn't annoy me.

The only thing that kinda bother me was how rushed the last chapter was. It seemed as if everything had to be wrapped up quickly and I wasn't too happy about that.

I'm not too sure what the next book is going to be about since this book had what seems to me to be a clear ending. But whatever the next book is about, I will definitely be reading it!

SPOILER

I hate what happened to Gabe. Out of all the people in the book he had to die. WTF is that about? He helped Jered and Leela fight the villain only to be killed. I was and still am NOT happy about that.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard

The Lost Sun - Tessa Gratton This book was surprisingly good. I mean there are a few things that I didn't like but I liked the book.

I love mythology fiction and that was no different with this book. I liked reading about the Norse gods and goddesses and the various myths that are told throughout the book. I love that Baldur, the sun god was in the book and was such a down to earth and loyal friend to Soren and Astrid. I also loved that Fenris Wolf was in the book and she told her story of what really happened to her. I wished the actual gods would of played a bigger role in the book (aside from Baldur) instead of just appearing in the end. I really enjoyed the journey that Astrid, Baldur, Soren and Vider went on. I liked the inclusion of trolls and elfs and seers.

I liked Soren well enough. He is brave and very loyal to his friends. He starts out the book being scared of his berserking power and isolating himself from everyone because he is scared of hurting people. By the end of the book he is confident in his berseking and has gained lifetime friends and found a love. I have to say the way he was described was sexy. He apparently is really tall, with muscles and a tattoo, which I love even if its on his face. I liked reading the book from his perspective but I didn't really connect with him. His fear and complaining about his berserking all the time got old and annoying. All he wanted was to get rid of his berserking that is constantly in his chest but then by the end he wants to keep the frenzy and can control it. Yeah ok. I feel for him though with what happened with his father. That was sad. His home life and past is not delved into much and I would have wanted to learn all about his father and mother.

Astrid was eh for me as well. She was kind of annoying with her seething and her mysterious prophecy, dreams and readings. I just have no patience for all the guessing and answers that are not really answers. Just give it to me straight and forget all that mumbo jumbo and "if". I liked when she fought the guy in the holmring and won.

The character I really liked was Baldur. He was just so nice and funny. He was a great friend to Soren and I loved how he always wanted to sunbathe. He cared for Soren and Astrid. Even though he was a god he sparred with Soren and taught Vider punch and defense moves. He was very trusting in Soren to protect him and to take him where he needed to be. He was just an all round good guy.

Once again insta love was present and kind of annoyed me. I mean Soren was so scared of his berserking that he isolated himself from everyone and had to use every minute of the day controlling his frenzy. BUT his self-imposed rules went straight out the window when he met Astrid. He wanted to be around her even though he was afraid of the frenzy inside him. BUT that doesn't stop him from being around her. All it does is make him complain more. While the insta love tore at me, I did like the romance between them. The subtle gestures that show they liked each other, their little fights, how Soren was always there to protect her was sweet. Its just the falling in love instantly that drives me crazy! The only way insta love can work is in romance books where its to be expected.

While I liked the world that the book took place in, I didn't like that nothing was said about it. Was the world always like that, so heavily influenced with Norse mythology and gods? Was it like our world now and then changed? Did the Norse gods take over? I mean the world is called the United States of Asgard, with basically the same state names but with different spellings (the same thing for the days of the week). Was it ever The United States of America or has it always been The United States of Asgard? Also I didn't really like how everyone was the son or daughter of a certain god with their features and personalities. Its like there is no individuality~ They're all like the gods.

The things I didn't like didn't out-weigh what I did like or my enjoyment in reading the book. I will continue the series even though the ending of this book seemed like an ending.

SPOILER
I just found it hilarious when in a book a reason is shown for why the book should have been written at all. In the book Baldur doesn't remember he is a god~ Soren has to take him somewhere to get his immortality and memories. Astrid asks Baldur something along the lines, "Why didn't you call Odin to come and get you?" and Baldur tells her that he didn't remember that. My thing is, well he can call on Odin now to come and get him making the entire book unnecessary. lol

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

The Luckiest Girl in the World : A Young Skater Battles Her Self-Destructive Impulses

The Luckiest Girl in the World - Steven Levenkron So I decided to re-read this book again. I just gotta say that I loved it as much as I did the first time. This book deals with a hard issue that some teens face which is self-mutilation or cutting.

The story is about a 15 year old girl names Katie. Katie is a figure skater and in the opening of the book she is training for her junior competition. Her goal is to be a Olympic skater. Naturally she has a lot of pressure to do well. Her mother is very pushy about her skating and is a classic crazy "sports" mom like the ones on T.V. shows today. To add to that Katie is going to a private school on a free tuition where she must maintain an average of at least a B+ in all her classes. Add to that watching her weight and her changing body, she is under a tremendous amount of pressure. All her free time is spent practicing skating. She wakes up at 5:00 am everyday to get to her skating lesson with her coach before school and after school she goes right back to the ice rink for more practicing. Not only does Katie have a lot of pressure to deal with she also has episodes of what she calls "spacing out" where her mind "leaves" her body and she is not in control of her body. To prevent these episodes from happening, Katie cuts herself when she feels the first symptoms of her "spacing out".

In this book we see Katie cut herself, have a huge breakdown episode in school which forces her to start seeing psychiatrist Dr. Sandy Sherman. The second half of the book is all about Katie going to therapy to get better. We get to see her in her therapy sessions and see her change from a girl who refuses to cooperate to a girl who genuinely wants to get better.

Katie is a wonderful character. In the beginning she is completely stressed out and terrified of her "spacing out" episodes. She is attempting to keep a hold on her busy life and on making her overbearing mother happy. She cuts to help herself deal with her emotions. She puts on a good front for the adult in her life in order to protect her secret. Katie is a loner who doesn't have any real friends because of her busy skating schedule so she is very often lonely with only her mother for company, which is not good because her mother is almost always angry at something. As the story moves along we see Katie at her worst where she is desperate to not be "crazy". When going to therapy she is very stubborn and won't acknowledge her problems and won't talk about them. As she goes to therapy and joins group therapy we see a change in Katie~ she opens up more to the group and to Dr. Sherman, she begins to form ties with the girls in her group and she changes to want to become better for good. Katie is a character where you can clearly see her change and grow as the story moves on and she has different experiences.

I also really liked Dr. Sandy Sherman. He is a great psychiatrist, who knows when to push Katie and when to back off. He genuinely cares about her and wants to help her get better. He is not about putting him patients on medication; he believes people can get better through therapy and only uses medication as a last resort. He is very kind, patient and hard working in helping Katie.

Katie's mother Katherine is a horror. She has huge anger issues and needs a lot of therapy herself. She is always mad at Katie for things and constantly yells at her. She pushes Katie to the max in terms of skating. Katie has to be the best at whatever cost. If Katie messes up a jump in practice its the end of the world to her mother. Her mother i s also a hothead and gets angry way too easily. All she thinks about is skating. She puts no value in school and actually wants Katie to drop out of school at 16, saying "what do you need with a high school diploma if your training with Miralen Laird?". I mean seriously! Come on lady. Her mother is also abusive. She has been physically abusive in the past and is verbally abusive to Katie in the present. Some of the things she says to Katie are harsh. She calls Katie stupid often, blames her for the way her life is, always claiming that Katie doesn't try hard at skating. She calls Katie's father a bastard and other names in front of Katie. She told Katie "Because you're crazy, I have to see a shrink". Katherine also refuses to admit that Katie has a problem and is against her going to therapy. She is also extremely manipulative and manipulates Katie to get what she wants. No wonder Katie has problems. Her mother needs therapy just as much as Katie does. I guess from my rant you can tell I extremely dislike the woman.

I like the way the way the book was written and the subject matter is very important for teens to know. The book talks through Katie about how it feel to cut and how it helps her. It's important for teens to know about this so they don't judge other people. The book also gives some signs on what to look for if someone is cutting but it also shows that the people who you least expect can still have problems. It shows that not everyone who cuts is some cookie cutout that fits the profile of a typical cutter. This book can help teens recognize symptoms or just inform them of what kids who do this behavior are feeling.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Destined to Kill

Destined to Kill - Jourdyn Kelly This book was awesome. It was very entertaining and action packed.

In this book Anala is a hunter and part of the hunters society whose job is to kill the Cursed Ones (vampires). The book starts in England in the 1406 with Anala being 10 years old and being trained by her father. Anala's parent are the head of the hunters society and are the best hunters. A few years later Anala is 18 years old and patrolling the village with Thomas, her friend and love interest at the time. While she is out patrolling she gets bit by a cursed one. She becomes kind of a hybrid where she has the fangs, the vamp eyes, their strength, speed and heightened senses but she keeps her personality, her sense of self and he ability to think and speak. (In this book, at Anala's time, the cursed ones are mindless animals who cannot think or talk, eventually they evolve to be able to speak and think.) Her parents decide to try to cure her instead of kill her (as is the code of the hunters society), enlisting the help of her father's former apprentice Bernard, who is sketchy. Anala is allowed to go out hunting wearing all black and a cloak that covers her cursed eyes and she becomes what people call the Cloaked One. Anala's parents are murdered before she is able to be cured. The story now moves to California to the present day, where Anala is enrolled in high school. Bernard is still alive and tells Anala that the cursed ones are still alive and making an army (Anala had destroyed all the cursed ones during her 600 years). He charges Anala to find current hunters and train them. Anala finds the hunter teen in her high school and she trains them to fight the army of cursed ones and kill the vamp maker. Of course in comes Sam who is a descendant of Thomas and a romance is added to the mix.

I loved reading the mythology of vampires in this book. Each author has their own perspective on vampires which makes it interesting to read different vamp books. I loved the vampires in this book with the exception of them being mindless. They have super strength and speed and heightened senses. Staking doesn't kill them, only incapacitates them and put them to sleep until the stake is pulled out. The only way to truly kill them is decapitation or setting them on fire. Sunlight doesn't kill them, only thing that can happen is that their powers are reduced but still more than a human. They are also able to compel humans to their will. The vamps who are in transition to become vamps but are still part human are called hybrids. They are not as strong as full blood vamps but they still have the enhanced powers. I have to say that I did not like the mindlessness of the early vamps but they evolve to be able to think, plan and speak. I loved the vamps in this book.

The mythology of hunters is very interesting too. They are humans who have special innate abilities that allows them to fight the Cursed Ones and hybrids. Each hunter has different abilities: some have strength, some have fierceness, some have the ability to sense vamps and hybrids. They train all the time in hand to hand combat as well as with weapons, especially swords.

I loved Anala. In the beginning she is head strong, unfocused (which causes her to get bit), and impatient to begin hunting. She is young, naive and wants to prove herself. Later on in the book in the present day, Anala is more cautious with the hunters she's training and at times still unsure of herself. She is more experienced but she still has a fierce anger and she unleashes it to her hunters at times. She still struggles with the craving for blood and fights the cursed one in her all the time. She still holds fast to the code of the hunters and makes her new hunters adhere to it as well. She is weary about love but she does fall in love. She loves her hunters as well and cares for them very much. She is also trusting. Not to mention that in both eras she is totally kick ass! She is an expert in swordsmanship and combat. Reading about the fights she's in and her moves are awesome and make me wish that I could do that stuff.

The other characters are awesome as well. Amanda is hilarious and is Anala's best friend. She is a descendant of Thomas (as is her brother Sam). She seems selfish, bubbly and kind of an airhead in the beginning. However when she becomes a hunter she is strong, observant, selfless and caring especially to Anala. She trains hard and is an exceptional hunter, also doing the fighting moves that make me jealous. Sam is another character as well that I like. He is very protective of Amanda and becomes that way to Anala as well. He is not a teenager like the rest of the hunters. He is older and is a cop. He is also one of the best hunters and he and Amanda have the ability to sense vamps and hybrids. The other hunters are awesome as well. Not much is known about them and I hope we get to learn about them more in the next book. Some of the other hunters were surprising. Jenna is the captain of the cheerleading squad, Jeremy is a football player, Erica and Emily are twin sibling fencers and Zac is one of Anala's friends. Its interesting to see all these personalities thrown together and how they become a family. Its very touching.

The one thing I wasn't too fond of was the romance. First, to me at lease, its seems like it came out of left field. First Sam and Anala don't really get along, the next thing you know they're sleeping together. Also to me it seem more just about sex than love and the love was thrown in after the fact. It doesn't seem real to me and I don't feel the love between them. But that's just me. Maybe it will be different in the next book.

I loved this book and recommend it for everyone to read. I can't wait for the next book!

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews




Temptation (Harlequin Teen)

Temptation (Harlequin Teen) - Karen Ann Hopkins I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a light, sweet read.

Basically what happens is that Rose moves with her two brothers and father to a country house in Ohio, following their mother's death. During the move their Amish neighbors come over to offer their help. It is there that Rose sees Noah. They instantly are attracted to each other and they fall in love. The rest of the book deals with their hidden relationship and them trying to figure out how to be together. They can't be together because Noah is Amish and Rose isn't. She's what the Amish call English. It's a cute book about first love and what they will do to keep it.

The book is written in alternating POV. The POV's are Rose and Noah. I like that the book was written this way because you get to the the romance from both sides. Both characters are madly in love and do know how they can be together. In Rose's pov we get to see the romance from the English side. Her conversations with her brothers and meetings with Noah give us insight on how she thinks the relationship is and should be. Whereas on Noah's side we see the relationship on the Amish side, with all their rules about mingling with the English. Noah has it a lot harder becauae his parents, community and church are very strict about dating and interacting with the opposite sex. I loved reading from Noah's view because we get to see the guy's perspective on love and the relationship. I also liked reading from Noah's POV because we get some insight on the Amish, their way of life and their thinking.

I really liked Rose. She's a regular teenage girl who is dealing with a tough time in her life. She's outgoing, friendly, tough, hilarious, loving, kind and speaks her mind. I love the way she has so many different words for stupid which she calls her brothers a lot. Rose falls for Noah quickly and is happy to be with him. She doesn't really realize what being Amish entails especially in terms of dating which is understandable because she's so young (16). Noah is her first everything and she wants to hold on to him for as long as she can.

I loved Noah. He was cute, funny, old fashioned, loving and kind. Rose couldn't have fallen for a better guy. AS we see through Noah's view, he falls for Rose as soon as they meet as well. He is a little older than her (18) and is much more mature. Rose is Noah's first everything as well. Once he has fallen for Rose, he won't even look at another Amish girl. His world is so different from the English and so strict that you begin to believe that there is no way these two can be together. HE is at the age where he should be "courting" an Amish girl but he tries to put it off while he figures out a way to be with Rose. I was glad to see that their love was not one sided on Rose's part. Noah was as deeply in love with Rose as she was with him. You can't help but not root for them. Plus Noah was adorkable when he talked, using old fashioned phrases and words like "Tither".

As for the romance I was not bothered at all by the love at first sight thing because I went into this book knowing it was a romance and that in romance books characters tend to fall for one another quickly. I liked seeing how the feelings between Noah and Rose started and deepened over the course of the book. Their love was pure, simple and wonderful. OF course they have major obstacles in the way and a lot of bad stuff does happen, its not just roses and creme. Problems arise and of course Noah's parents find out because really how long does anyone think sneaking around can last? They were eventually going to get caught. And the aftermath of getting caught is really what the book is about: How can these two be together when all the odds are against them.

This is a worthwhile book to read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a cute romance book. I can;t wait to read the next book in the series.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

How to be a Goddess

How to be a Goddess - Sarah Nestler This book wasn't for me. I tried to like it and I really wanted to but I couldn't. For me there were major plot holes and I just didn't like the main character Katla. I'll try to break it down.

Summary
The story is about 16 year old Katla who gets taken by Hades and changed into a goddess. Then the rest of the story is really just about her being a goddess.

The Plot
I felt like most of the time there really wasn't one. At first it was about Katla being changed into a goddess and finding/punishing Hades. That ends quiet rapidly and the rest of the story there minor problems and such but not anything consistent. I also felt like there were major holes in the story. The first one is why Katla? I mean what makes her so special that Hades changer her into a goddess. Its not like she is a descendant of a god or a reincarnated version on a god. She just a normal girl who happened to be best friends with Apollo (who she didn't know was Apollo). That and that Hades wanted a supporter were the only reasons he change her. A lot of the rest of the story is Apollo and Katla talking about various things. I think that if there was one consistent plot with things completely explained I would of liked it better.

The Characters
First off is Katla. I really didn't like her and didn't connect with her. She is very arrogant, cocky and nasty. She is also extremely insulting. She insults Hades when she first meets him. Then when Apollo takes her to Olympus and meets the gods, she insults Aphrodite by basically calling her an idiot as well as insulting and physically harming Ares. I would be ok with that if she got to know them, didn't like them and then lashed out. But she had just met the gods. I would be terrified- if you go by the greek myths they are not someone to be trifled with. And here is a teenage girl insulting and harming two of them while the other gods laugh. I find that a bit ridiculous.
Another reason I didn't connect with Katla was because we know virtually nothing about her. Who are her parents? What is her life like? What does she like to do? We find out chapters later that Katla is an orphan, who was worked like a mule and beaten by the orphanage owner. That's all that is said about her history. Nothing about her parents. Nothing about her life in the orphanage. I can see how her life in the orphanage could of made Katla mean or insulting but there was never a connection with that. I would of like Katla better or at least sympathize wit her more if I had her background history explained and how her background has made her the girl she is in the story.

I liked Apollo well enough. He was a nice guy who really cared and worried about Katla. He was always there for her when she needed him. He always made sure she was safe and happy. He protected her and helped her learn how to be a goddess.

The Writing
The writing was good in the book but there was one thing that could of made the book better and that is if things were shown and not told. Often I read sentences like "And the she suddenly knew" and "It all made sense now". It seemed like these were like magic tricks that popped in Katla's brain that made her realize things. I would of liked to read about how she knew/realized certain things that happened.

I do have to say that I loved the ending. The last couple of chapters were very interesting and had a lot of action which I enjoyed. The story ends the exact way I wanted it to and that's always a plus. All in all I can say that the book was not my cup of tea.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Shades of London (2) - Ripper 2

The Madness Underneath - Maureen Johnson Wow. This book was awesome! I liked it a lot more than the first book, which I find weird because usually the first book of a series is the best, in my experience anyway. But this one blew me away.

The story picks up right where "The Name of the Star" left off. Rory is now in Bristol with her parents, lazying around her house and going to therapy. Its there that she re-discovers her new power that was displayed in the end of "The Name of the Star". By touching a ghost she can vaporize them making her a human terminus. Somehow Thorpe has managed to convince Rory's therapist to suggest that Rory go back to London and her school, Wexford. She decided to go back. Its there that she meets back up with Stephan (who I love!), Callum and Boo.

Rory was hilarious in this book. Her one liners were epic. In this book she is still dealing with the trauma of the Ripper attack. She is failing school and can't see to get herself to care. She feels lost and feels like school has no purpose after what she's been through. Under the circumstances she is handling everything very well however she kind of feels numb to everything. Its her conversations with Stephan and working on the case with him, Callum and Boo that makes her happy. When she's with them on the cases in the book she gets back her spunky personality. There's also she has to deal with in this book like being a human terminus, dealing with ghosts again and her new shrink in London, Jane. She handles things bravely and somewhat maturely (not near the ending though). She hates having to lie to everyone about what she's doing and she tries to change that.

There is not much action in the book but it's great nonetheless. All the murders in the book are weird and its fun seeing how Stephan and Rory connect everything together. You figure out everything with the characters as they figure it out. Its not like you know what the characters don't and your screaming at them because they're making all the stupid wrong decisions.

The shades, Stephan, Callum and Boo are awesome as usually. Stephan is in it more that the others, working closely and following leads with Rory. He is his usual practical by the rules self. But I love him anyway. He does open up to Rory more in this book, having conversation about himself, comforting Rory and rescuing her. Callum is still all eager to hunt and kill ghosts> He had his one liners that had me rolling also. Boo was like she was in "The Name of the Star". We didn't see her much until the end because she had a cast on from when the Ripper threw her in front of a car, so she couldn't do much. The situation with the shades in this book is that now they have no more terminus' and they were in danger of bring shut down. But with Rory being a terminus and demonstrating her abilities to Thorpe, the shades were able to stay in business.

There is a new character that plays a role in the plot in this book and will most likely be seen in the next book of the series. It's Jane who is Rory's therapist in London. She seems wonderful, caring, nice and a great therapist. She is very friendly with Rory, allowing her to come talk to her at any time. I can't really say more without giving away anything.

The ending (last chapter) is surprising to say the least. I was like "WTF!!!!!!" when I read it. Also super cliff hanger that leaves me wanting the next book in the series NOW! All I know is shit better get fixed in the next book or I will be super pissed!

Spoiler

I just have to say this because I was so happy when it happened. Stephan and Rory KISS! and its not just a kiss and done. No its like making out! And Stephan, Mr. By the Book, Kissed her back and wanted it! I was so excited and happy because I wanted Stephan and Rory together from "The Name of the Star" and I finally got it! So happy! :D

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Send

Send - Patty Blount What to say about this book? It was ok I guess but it wasn't at all what I was expecting.

I think the whole idea of the book was good; a reformed bully stopping another bully from doing the same thing he did and suffering the same fate he did but the execution of it was not really great. For more than half the book the author spends time developing the romance relationship between the two of characters, with the whole bully plot taking a back seat.

So basically the book is about Dan Ellison, who is a reformed bully. His actions caused the suicide of a 12 year old kid, Liam, and he was arrested and sentenced to juvie for a year, where he was repeatedly attacked and bullied himself. Now five years later at 18 years old, Dan moves to Long Island with his family, changed his name to Dan Ellison (so the boy's father that commited suicide can't find him) and he starts a new school. One his first day he stops a bully, Jeff, from beating the crap out of the victim, Brandon. From there Dan makes it his mission to protect Brandon and setting things between the Brandon and Jeff. During him stopping the fight, Dan gets punched by Jeff and there he meets Julie, the romantic interest, who tells the security guards what happened. Dan gets upset at Julie because she saw the whole confrontation with Jeff and Brandon and did nothing to help. Apparently this becomes a huge issue between them. Then the rest of the book is the love hate relationship between Julie and Dan, with some parts of the bullying by Jeff to Brandon mixed in. Nothing really happens until the last quarter of the book where I'll admit got pretty exciting. However that doesn't really make up for how boring the book was up until that point.

Now on to the characters

Dan. He's ok I guess for a former bully who hears and hallucinates himself as his 13 year old self in his head. That part about him is really creepy. He was 13 when he committed his crime and sent to juvie so the voice in his head (his inner voice?) takes on the form of his 13 year old self, who he calls Kenny (more on him later). He has changed a lot from who he used to be and he is on a war path to stop the bullying between Brandon and Jeff. He strongly believes in helping both the bully and the victim and does all he can to help. He also believes in helping people who are in trouble in general, whether by defending them, fighting for them or calling 911. He doesn't believe anyone should just stand by and do nothing when someone is in trouble. Which is why he goes to the lengths he does to help both Brandon and Jeff. He is haunted by his guilt about what he did to Liam and hates that he has to lie to everyone around him about who he really is. I admire him in this aspect.
For me Dan was like a girl in the book when it comes to Julie. He constantly gushes about her, her eyes and how her smile is like the sun or some other object. He says corny cliche things that made me wanna slap the crap outta him. For example:
"Julie Murphy smelled like some exotic tropical place- it was full out the most amazing thing I ever smelled. I looked up, leaned in and breathed in deeply before I remembered I hated her" p16

or

"I tangled my hand in her hair. Melted gold, pouring between my fingers. I had to pry my lips from hers so I could bury my nose in that scent like some deranged actor from a Febreze commercial, but I was past coherent thought now." p155

or this winner
"No, I think you're great Julie" p129

I mean God man grow a pair. I know you like her and all but you don't need to turn into a girl. In this aspect Dan annoyed the hell outta me.

Now on to Kenny. He is the 13 year old version of Dan, who lives in Dan's head and talks to him. Kenny has his own room in Dan's head where he slams doors when he's pissed at Dan and where he plays music that Dan hears. Yeah its weird. Kenny is sarcastic, mean and hilarious. I love his little quips that come out at the most inappropriate time. He is a constant reminder of what Dan did at 13 and at times he reminds Dan of it. Kenny is also the reason why Dan went after Julie because Kenny told him that he wants Julie. Because I ALWAYS do what the voice in my head tells me to do...Kenny also helps Dan when he's "fighting" or in danger by giving him a heads up when someone is coming or telling him when to block a punch or where to hit someone. Kenny actually becomes "real" (hallucinations) that Dan sees. Kenny sits on Dan's bed or in his car at times to talk to him. It's actually really freaky. Dan isn't sure what he feels for Kenny, whether he wants him gone or wants him to stay. He doesn't tell anyone about Kenny, not his parents, grandpa or his shrink. I don't know about anyone else but I'd be deathly scared if there was a voice in my head talking to me that is a younger version of myself that I sometimes hallucinate as a real person. You couldn't get me to a shrink fast enough. But I digress.

Now on to Julie. Wow what a bitch. I mean yes she has lots of problems but she treats Dan crappily (but he still goes back for more) for half the book. Its like she has PMS all the time with her mood swings. One day she's nice to Dan, kissing him and being sweet, the next she ignores him and acts like hes's a leper. She hates him in the beginning but then she falls for him. She says mean things to him but then says she loves him. I mean come on. It was painful to read because Dan kept going back to her like a big stupid. Julie also rubbed me the wrong way about how indifferent she was about Brandon's bullying. It's almost like she though he deserved it because of what happened between him and Jeff. I can't really say more about he without giving stuff away but let me just say this. She is not worth all the trouble Dan goes through- and its a lot.

This book could have been so much better without the whole romance taking center stage. All the "does she like me or does she not like me in that way" stuff annoyed the hell outta me and made me feel like I was back in junior high. And I Knew this would be a case of insta love when I read the sentence where Dan sees Julie for the first time- "I squinted up at the most beautiful girl I thought I'd ever seen. I was having trouble focusing on anything but her face". Gimme a break. And this was on page 5! Just like I called it, it was insta love. After Julie and Dan have a hot/cold relationship where they both get angry at each other easily, after a few conversations and a few kisses, they're in love. They actually say they love each other. Really? Come on now. Half the time they can't stand each other but they're in love. Please. Like I said the romance takes center stage with Dan obsessing over Julie, obsessing over how to get her and when he finally has her obsessing over how she doesn't really know who he is or what he's done. Just no..Its kind of like the bullying plot was an after thought or just put in there so the whole book wasn't about the romance.

What I did like about the book was the bully plot when it was remembered. It was well thought out and executed nicely. It shows how bullying can badly affect the lives of not only the the victims and the're families but how the bully's life is affected when they've gone too far. Like I said the saving grace of the book, for me anyway, was this story line and the awesome ending. The last quarter of the book was where all the action it and where everything unravels.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Skinny

Skinny - Ibi Kaslik This book was ok.

It's about two sisters, Giselle and Holly, who are dealing with Giselle's anorexia. The book alternates between Giselle and Holly's pov.

Both sisters are complete opposites. Giselle is kind of a hippie with blond dreadlocks and baggy clothes. She is a med student who's eating habits have spiraled out of control. At first it was a few missed meals so she can keep studying but over time she stopped eating completely. She became dangerously skinny and her roommate decided to call her mother to get her. The book opens up with Giselle just getting out of the hospital. The rest of the book is her dealing with her anorexia, recalling memories and finding out about her father. Giselle and her father had a troubled relationship. He never really payed attention to her and held her at arms length for his entire life until he passed away when she was 12. He spent most of his time doting on Holly, Giselle's younger sister. Giselle is obsessed with finding out why her father never loved her. (BTW Giselle's father and mother are Hungarian and escaped Hungary to come to America or Canada~ the book does not give specifics on where it takes place).

Holly is completely different from Giselle. She is a athlete who runs track, plays basketball and loves sports. Holly has problems of her own. She uses a hearing aid and she was diagnosed with a learning disability. She was a very moody and difficult child but she has mellowed out as she got older. (Holly is 14 and Giselle is 20). Holly is dealing with Giselle's sickness as best she can. She gets angry at Giselle for her sickness at times and doesn't understand why Giselle can't/won't get better. Holly's pov also deals with her growing up, her friends and boys as well as Giselle's anorexia.

I like Holly a lot better than Giselle. Holly has her problems but she is generally a good kid who wants to help her sister as much as she can. She tries to feed Giselle and talks to her when Giselle needs her. She massages Giselle's waning body and re~braids her dreads. She is a daredevil who climbs fences and does whatever impulse she feels at the moment regardless of the consequences. She has to actually put in effort to curb her impulses. She is also weird. She swears she sees her dad's ghost and a few times in the book she talks to him. What was frustrating to me was that this "ability" was never really explained. Its like it was a fact and the read just had to accept it. I mean was there some paranormal aspect to it? Or did she hallucinate? Did it have anything to do with her disabilities? You just don't know. I would of liked some clarity on this but sadly I didn't get it.

Giselle was ok. I guess I didn't really take to her because half the time I had no clue what she was saying. She would jump between the past and the present within sentences and half the time I was wondering what the memory had to do with what was happening in the present. I did feel sorry for her when she had memories of her father because no child deserves to be ignored by her parent. It was sad and I disliked her father for it. Giselle thinks that her anorexia was caused by her father's neglect which could very well be true. Also another thing I found frustrating and that made no sense was the constant medical information and definitions that began Giselle's chapters and were thrown in each chapter. Sometimes the information matched what was going on in the chapter but most of the time I didn't really see any connection and for me it was just spewing of useless facts.

I found it very creepy when Giselle would talk to herself like she had a split personality. She would talk to her disease like it was another person. I felt like I was going crazy right along with Giselle and I complement the author on this because it is the mark of great writing when I feel exactly what the character feels. I felt very sorry for Giselle in the end where she couldn't tell reality from fantasy. Its very sad and it stayed with me because real people in real life feel like this.

The writing of the book is what made me not like it so much. A lot of the time what was being said was hard to follow and I just had no clue what was happening. I was grasping at any sentence that would make sense to me. It read more like poetry which is a genre I just don't get. You had to read between the lines and I like straight forward writing where I don't have to figure out what was going on. Like I said before I also wasn't crazy about the medical excerpts and found no need for them.

I do applaud the author for the ending because its so different from other books that deal with anorexia.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden)

The Eternity Cure - Julie Kagawa Words cannot describe how epic this book was but I will try.

In a word: Amazing

"The Eternity Cure" picks up a few months after "The Immortal Rules". Allie is following her blood call to Kanin to rescue him from the deranges Sarren. While searching for Kanin she also find her blood brother Jackal. Yes he is still alive...how I don't know. But he and Allie come to an agreement where she helps him search for a lab in Old D.C. that may have information for a cure for rabidism and in exchange he will help her find Kanin. They're journey takes them from the lab swarming with rabids to Allie's old home New Covington. The book has so many things happening and are intertwined perfectly. In this book Allie encounters a plague that is infecting fring humans in her town,
refugee humans who are not infected living in the tunnels, mole men, New Covington's inner city and to vampire prince Salazar, Kanin, Zeke (yes ZEKE!) and the deranged Sarren. A LOT of stuff happens in these pages and you learn a lot more about all the characters.

Allie is the same kick ass, tough girl as she was in the first book. Her vampire powers have strengthened since "The Immortal Rules". She is still sarcastic and funny, caring and loyal. She still fights to hold on to her humanity, especially with Zeke. She doesn't wan to get close to him because she's afraid she will hurt him. So she rather not be with him to protect him. Allie is very loyal to Kanin and very ruthless with Sarren (As she should be). She grows a lot in this book figuring out that she doesn't have to be a monster to be a vampire and that she can still love and get close to someone. She is also wicked with her katana. She cares for humans in general and wants to help them. She refuses to see them as just food but as people. With the events in this book I can't wait to she how she will be in the "The Forever Song".

Zeke is awesome. He is so sweet and good and so does not belong in the world he's living in. He cares for people and constantly wants to help them. He will do everything in his power to save people even at his own expense. Zeke is also perfect for Allie. He accepts her for who she is and is not afraid to be with a vampire. He sees who she is on the inside regardless of her species. He fights for them to be together and he trust her completely. He is also very loyal and very determined. He is realistic and knows that he would never be able to handle being a vampire. He makes Allie promise not to turn him if ends up dying. He wants to remain human til the very end and I admire him for that. I can't say that I'd do the same thing.

My Kanin. What can I say about my Kanin. He's not in the book until the middle of it but when he comes back boy does he come back. He has been starved and the hunger has set in him, making him a slave to it. When Allie finds him, all she finds is a blood thirsty vampire. It is because of her that Kanin comes out of the bloodlust and becomes himself again. Kanin has not changed much since "The Immortal Rules". He is still stoic and doesn't talk about his past. He still has faith in humans finding the cure and is willing to do anything to help them, including giving himself as a test subject. He never tells Allie what to do with her life but offers his advice instead. You can see how fond he is of Allie in this book, especially when offering himself to Sarren in her place. What can I say? I love him.

Sarren is the same psychotic, deranged, violent killer that he was in the last book. He has a sick twisted mind, loves to cause pain and loves to torture people. His ramblings make no sense and he is a terrifying character. I dreaded when Allie and Kanin had to face him in the end. You get a smidgeon of insight as to how Sarren became how he is. He was one of the vampires Kanin gave to the scientists to experiment on decades ago. He says "Do you know how many times I woke up like this?...How many nights I awoke, tied to this bed, starving and insensible, while the humans milled around and stuck me with their needles and their poison? Cut me and bled me, sometimes to the point where I had but a few drops of blood left in my body? I screamed at them to stop, pleaded for them to stop. But they never did." That experience can unravel someone. I wonder how Sarren was before he was experimented on. Was he like Kanin? Or was he like Jackal, who loves bloodlust and torture, where the experimentation on him only intensified these feelings? That's something I'd want to know. Even though he is terrifying I want to know more about him. Maybe we will find out more in the next book.

Jackal was hilarious. He's my favorite character besides Kanin and Allie. He is constantly sarcastic with his little quips he throws at all the rest of the characters. He is such an ass you can't help but laugh. He is all about himself and want to find a cure to rabidism solely for the purpose of creating a vampire army. And he doesn't even hide it. He is so blunt about everything that it's funny. He is selfish, not loyal in the least and he'd sell his mother to get what he wants. However he does stick with Allie and help her in rescuing Kanin. The interactions between Zeke and Jackal are hilarious as well as murderous on both sides. I love the way he calls Allie "sister" instead of by her name. He constantly calls humans "bloodbags" and "meat sacks." One of my favorite quotes from him is
"Oh don't mind me," came an extremely sarcastic voice near the wall. "You two go ahead and make out-I'll just sit here and bleed quietly."
He is a bastard but he is reliable and for some reason he continues to help Allie, which from the ending you can infer that he will still be at her side in the next book.

The ending to the book is epic, heartbreaking and a damn cliff hanger. I was almost bawling at the end. Everything just better be fixed and that's all I'm saying.

"The Eternity Cure" is a must read book for those who loved "The Immortal Rules". I highly recommend this series which is "Blood of Eden" by Julie Kawaga. Truly amazing books by an amazing author.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

The Culling (The Torch Keeper)

The Culling - Steven dos Santos OMG I love loved loved this book. It was so amazing!It had everything a great dystopian book should have: a repressive government, family love, a love interest, friends, hardships, violence and success. It had characters you love and characters you hate. It makes you fell an array of emotions: love, hate, sadness, happiness, despair.

Basically the book is about the government called the Establishment, who rules the country with an iron fist. The police called imposers are able to do whatever they want to civilians with out consequences. The people live in poor, dirty, disgusting and crowded hovels. One each day of the year, all 16 year olds are subjected to the Recruitment, which is where 5 teenager are chose to compete in the violent trials, which will deem one recruit as the victor to train and serve as an imposer. The catch is that each recruit gets two incentives he has to fight for. These incentives are people they love like family and friends. During each trial the recruit who places last will have to decided which of their incentives will die, which is called The Culling. The trials go on until one recruit with at least one incentive intact wins.

The story is about Lucian, Lucky, Sparks who gets recruited in to the trials because the prefect Cassius Thorn wants revenge against him and Lucky's friend Digory. There is also of back story between Cassius and Lucian that I don't want to spoil. Basically Lucian meets Digory that day while he is on his way to meet Cassius. Digory reveals that he is part of the resistance against the establishment and both boys save each other from imposers. Lucian ends up with one of Digory's anti establishment posters that he has on him when he meets with Cassius. During the recruitment ceremony, Digory is chosen as one of the recruits. Cassius then rigs the last recruit spot by killing the selected recruit and naming Lucian as the new one. He does this because he thinks Lucian betrayed him and the establishment. Like I said, lot of back story with these two. From then on the book is about the recruit's (Lucian, Cypress, Gideon, Ophelia and Digory) life during the training for the Trials and then the actual trials themselves.

Lucian, aka Lucky, Sparks is the main character of the story. I loved him. He is loving, loyal, brave and determined. He is in no way a ordinary hero: he is not the strongest of the recruits. In fact he can be considered one of the weakest. Its his personality, his goodness that makes him a hero. Its his unwavering love for his brother that makes him a hero and what drives this book. Sure he and Digory fall for each other but every action that he takes, every injury he gets, every things he does is to save his brother. It's all about his brother. He is the one thing that drives Lucian and makes him able to endure the entire process. Many times during the trials, Lucian gets discouraged about his abilities to win the trials, but the though of his brother spurs him on. That and Digory's help.

I loved Digory Tycho as well. He is the strongest and biggest of the recruits but he has a huge soft spot for Lucian. Throughout the entire story, Digory is like Lucian's rock. He helps Lucian in anyway he can by watching out for him, giving him food, taking care of his injuries and standing up for him in front of the authorities. Digory loves Lucian from the very beginning (since they were in school together) and Lucian does as well. It takes about 3/4 of the book for them to admit it to each other but when they do, I was ecstatic. Digory is also part of the resistance that is opposed to the establishment and wants to take it down. His fate is unknown in the book but if he really dies then I am going to be one pissed off mother.

I liked the other recruits as well. Cypress comes off as a huge bitch but when you learn her story you realize why she is the way she is and why she does the things she does. She has had an extremely hard and unfair life which has hardened her. Gideon is a former classmate of Lucian and he has his own demons as well. More than once Lucian has glimpsed scars all along Gideon's back but you never find out much about him until the trials. He worries that he has darkness inside him that can make him a monster but in reality he is just a scarred lost good guy. Ophelia is motherf**Ken crazy. At first she seems like a huge ditz but she has an inner malice that she shows a lot during the training and the trials. She can go from sweet to evil in less than a second. Its extremely scary. I had to say that I was cheering for her death throughout the book. While I hated her, I also understood her. She, like Lucian, was willing to do anything to save her incentives. She was just much more brutal and evil about it.

While the book was action packed, which I loved, I wasn't prepared for was how gory and bloody it is. Yes there are many ew and yuck factors as well as unspeakable horrors and sadism that the government expresses. However the gore does not take away from the book, rather it adds to it. It shows how ruthless the government really is and it also helps you understand how the characters become who they are as well as how they are able to do what they have to to win. The sergeant in charge of the recruit's training is a sadistic bitch who I hope gets what's coming to her in future books. The horrific ways that the government executes the incentives is mind blowing. Instead of killing these incentives who are someones loved ones in a human manner they kill them in brutal ways such as with acid that melts them, killer bees, killer rats, starving canids (which I assume are dogs) and other ways. The imposers are a ruthless cruel police force who thinks nothing of killing innocent civilians is grisly way or raping boys/girls. Cassius who was exactly like Lucian before he was recruited was changed and twisted into the person who he is now, who exacts revenge in a horrible way and who now supports the establishment. Truly, the government makes people into monsters.

This book was incredible to say the least and I recommend it to everyone. I can't wait for the next book in this series The Sowing to come out!

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Incarnation

Incarnation - Emma Cornwall I really really like this book a lot.

This book has everything a paranormal lover could want. The major beings in this book are vampires, but there are also werewolves, ghosts, trolls, monsters, slayers, hybrids and of course magic. However that is not the only thing this book has that I loved. As a history buff I loved reading how the author changed historical events and people as well as legendary people to fit with her story. Bram Stoker is in the book with his Dracula novel and Lucy Weston character. King Arthur and his son, Mordred and Morgaine Le Fey are in the book as well and their history was changed to include vampires. the Elizabethan times were recounted and included vampires as well. The book itself takes place in Victorian London and Queen Victoria even makes an appearance in the book, with knowledge of vampires in her city. Its not even as if the author changed much of the history itself; she just enhanced it to include vampires. The book opens with action and there is no shortage of it. The book was a fun and interesting read.

I loved the main character Lucy Weston. She is fiery, passionate, loyal, caring and tough. Her world is turned upside down when she becomes a vampire (however she is not an ordinary vampire). Throughout the whole book she fights with herself to keep herself from becomes a full bloodthirsty vampire. She recoils at the thought of feeding off a human but she longs for it just the same. She has a hard time holding on to her humanity but she insists on doing it anyway. She is always fighting with herself to do the right thing which I admire, especially since her vampiric nature is pulling her in the opposite direction. She always regrets what she lost when becoming a vampire and wonders if she can feel emotions like love as a vampire. She is also incredibly kick ass. There are many scenes where she fights other creatures and where she picks up huge burly men and throws them across the room. Its hilarious. She is an immediately likeable character and you continue to like her all throughout the book. She wants to confront her maker and ask why he chose to turn her but she never whines about her fate. She begins to embrace and eventually like her new life. I liked that because I can't stand whiny characters.

I also liked Marco too. He is a strong protector who still tries to protect Lucy even though she can lift him up and throw him like a doll. He is very loyal and caring especially with Lucy. He is also very intelligent seeing how vampires and humans need each other and need to be in balance with each other. He teams up with Lucy to find the missing Vampire king who is also her maker. Marco understands that without the vampire king, a war between humans and vampires will come. He is also willing to do the right thing and give his life for it as well as to keep Lucy safe. He had also fell in love with Lucy when she was human and loves her still no matter what she is. That's love....

The ending of the book was awesome but there are a few loose ends that were not tied up. I am hoping that that means that there will be another book because I really want to know what happens....

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Monstrous Beauty

Monstrous Beauty - Elizabeth Fama I liked this book but not as much as I thought I was. From all the 4/5 star review I was expecting a mind blasting book about mermaids which I didn't get. Not to say that the book wasn't good because it was, however it wasn't what I expected.

The book is written in two viewpoints and in two different times. We read about Hester who is a descendant of the mermaid Syrenka. Her time in in the present. First we find out that in Hester's family all of the women died a few days after giving birth to their first child which is always a daughter. Her mother died a few days after her birth, as well as her mother before her and so on. One day Hester meets a guy named Ezra on the beach in a cave and from that point on every thing is about finding out about her curse and breaking it. Which it all has to do with Syrenka.

The other viewpoint is narrated to us and it takes place in 1872-1873 and its about Syrenka and Ezra (yes the same Ezra that is in Hester's time). Basically Ezra is a naturalist and loves ocean animals. He has heard stories of sea folk and is determined to see one. One day while he is sketching in his journal, he meets Syrenka, a mermaid.(BTW we meet Syrenka in the first page of the book where she narrates the prologue). Ezra wants to know all about her and the sea folk so they agree to meet every night to talk. After a few weeks they eventually fall in love. Syrenka is a thousand years old and she is able to be immortal because she doesn't have a soul. There are a few ways that she can become human but without a soul she will still be immortal as a human. The only way for her to get a human soul if for her to have a baby with a human. Some tragic stuff happens after that where Syrenka is captured on a fisherman's boat, while Ezra is left treading water and trying to find a way to get to shore. On the boat Syrenka is raped and she kills the fisherman, then performs some ritual to get legs. LAter on she finds out she is pregnant and gets a human soul making her mortal. When she has the baby she leaves it tied in seaweed in the water for her mer-sister to get the baby girl and raise it as a mermaid. Instead a fisherman finds the baby and gives it to a widow to raise.

The rest of Syrenka's story is told throughout the book . She and Ezra fall in love and marry but then everything goes to hell and you find out why Ezra still exists more than a hundred years later in Hester's time. Hester has to figure out how she is linked to Syrenka and her baby for her to break the curse.

My favorite character in the book is Syrenka (love her name). She is a lonely mermaid who has loved once before but sad to say it didn't work out. When she meets Ezra, she tries to dissuade him from loving her even though it doesn't work. Syrenka is passionate, loving, protective and determined. She does what she has to do to become human for Ezra. She is incredibly physically strong as well which is a feature of a mermaid. She gives up her entire world and everything she knows to be with the one she loves.

Hester is kind of annoying. She obsesses about her curse which is to be expected but she is so whiny about it. She resolves to never get a boyfriend and to never fall in love and never have sex. Right, because there is nothing she can do to prevent pregnancy in this day and age. She has so many options available to her that will allow her to fall in love, have a boyfriend, have sex, not give birth and have children as well. Its called adoption. It may not be her first choice but hey if she wants to live and have kids it is an option to think about. But nooooo all she does is whine whine whine. I do like how booky she is and that she loves history. I think its absolutely awesome that she works in a pilgrim reconstruction tourist attraction. But I also think she is a hypocrite. I mean she whines and whines that she will never get a boyfriend and stays away from all males but as soon as she meets Ezra she is head over heels in love. Please. She doesn't even know him for a day before she says she loves him.

Ezra is ok. There's not much about him in the book. He is a central figure in both time eras and everything that happens is because of Syrenka's love for him but we never really know the man that changes two women that well. Its a damn shame.

I also like Pastor McKee. He is a scottish pastor and he is hilarious.

I really also like the description of the underwater world of the mermaids when Hester goes there. The Sea queen mermaid is disgusting and made my skin crawl. I loved Needa, Syrenka's sister who helped Hester escape from the sea queen.

The end of the book is to be expected and I was surprised at how bloody and gory it was. I loved it!

Spoiler Alert
I'm calling a spoiler alert because then next part I say could be spoiler. I'm not really sure but its better to be safe than sorry. Its about the love in this book.
First the insta-love between Hester and Ezra was gag worthy and sooo took away from the book. Its like "oh he's gorgeous" and bam she's in love. Please.
Another thing that I really didn't like was that Hester and Ezra fell in love at all. I mean Ezra loved Syrenka all those years ago. He was head over heels for her. and Syrenka loved him just as much. So what the hell Ezra. Also its really gross because we find out that Syrenka is Hester's great x5 grandmother. So Hester is essentially in love with her great great great great great grandma's husband. Is it just me who thinks that is soo wrong and a tad incestuous?
Then comes the part with the souls stuff and eventually we find out that Hester has Syrenka's soul that was passed down her line as each mother died to give Syrenka's soul to their daughter. So I don't know what that means. Is Ezra really in love with Hester or is he only in love with her because she has his true love's soul? Does he only see Syrenka's soul when he looks at Hester. To me it doesn't matter because Hester is her own person with her own body and personality, so for me she's completely different from Syrenka even if Hester does have her soul. Its all so confusing and unnecessary. Hester and Ezra shouldn't have fallen in love to begin with. At least that's how I feel.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Zom-B Angels

Zom-B Angels - Darren Shan I liked this book a lot. It picks up at the exact moment that Zom-B city left off.

In this book B is her usual kick ass self with a huge attitude and not patience for anything. We meet Dr.Oystein, who is a zombie and who is the head of the Zombie angels. The zombie angels are zombie teenagers who have come together under Dr.Oystein's protection to carry out missions and prepare for war against Mr.Dowling (Thank God that creepy clown wasn't in this book....He freaks me out). Basically the angels carry out missions such as keeping the place where they are staying (County Hall in London) stocked with supplies and brains; patrolling to keep the revived Zombies away; as well as find living human people and transporting them to the safety of human camps. The zombie teens train with a zombie named Master Zhang who trains them to be not only killing machines but to have common sense when they are fighting and faced with all kinds of situations.

The story does drag a little while B is getting accustomed to the angel lifestyle, training and making new friends. It picks up near the end where Dr.Oystein explains who he is and gives information about how zombies came into existence. He also tells them why some zombies revitalize while others stay mindless typical zombies. Its all really fascinating. We kind out just a smidgen about Mr.Dowling which upset me a bit because I want to know more about him and his mutants. Maybe in the next book.

All in all a fun quick read by one of my favorite authors.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

Lucid

Lucid - Adrienne Stoltz, Ron Bass This book was ok. I can't really say anything about it because any details will spoil the book. That's usually how it is withe psychological mind fuck books.

The main plot of the book is that there are two girls, Sloane and Maggie, who dream the other's day every time they go to sleep. Each girl thinks they are real and the other is not real or a fantasy. Both girls are content with continuing their fantasy until the lines between Sloane and Maggie blur where each of the other's "characters" are appearing in their world.

Throughout the whole book your wondering which girl is real or if they are the same girl who created a fantasy in her head or what..and the big question is why is this happening. You don't find out until any answers until the very end...

When Sloane and Maggie both starting seeing the other girl's characters in their world they start to feel like they are going crazy. The way the last few chapters are written made me feel like I was going crazy along with them. Its the non stop thinking and ramblings of each girl that made me feel crazy. Especially when they each begin to question who they are. Its crazy!

I liked the characters well enough. Maggie is an aspiring actress who eventually falls in love with Andrew an film student. Maggie's father has died, her mother is an absentee parent and Maggie basically is a parent to her four year old sister Jade. Maggie also sees a shrink for her Sloane issues. Maggie is outgoing, funny, confident and a loner.

Sloane is the opposite of Maggie. She has her mom, her dad and 2 brothers. Her best friend is Gordy and her other best friend Bill, died a year ago and she is having a hard time dealing with it. She i very sweet, kind, quiet and shy with 2 other girlfriends and Gordy. James comes to the school that year and he falls in love with Sloane who in turn says shes in love with him. However when James comes into the picture, Sloane and Maggie's worlds collapse. James makes Sloane realize something important which affects both girls.

The ending is not a clear cut ending. Its left open for the reader to figure out and interpret. I can't say I really like these endings. I like to have closure in a book without having to dissect everything and come up with my own conclusions, that very well could be wrong. That's not my cup of tea but it could be someone elses. Don't knock it til you try it. The book was worth reading.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews