Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: The Seven - The Key of Credence by Veronica Mist


Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 262 pages
October 7, 2011, Isshin Dream Publishing

First of five books. The Key of Credence tells us about Ryan and her friends and how their simple curiosity brought forth a multitude of problems to them. This book lets the readers experience an entirely new and different world—one that involves the Heavens and the Helles, and most of all—it shows how the humans themselves and how the innate goodness of their souls can create a huge difference on just about everything.

Source: Veronica Mist (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Mist offered a story that has a little bit of everything, adventure, horror, paranormal and friendship. First of all, I would like to say that this is the first time that I’ve read a YA novel by a Filipina author and I can really see the Philippine influence in her work.

Ryan is too old to be considered a kid but too young to be considered a teen. I picture her as a 12 year old girl, nearing 13, in my mind. With fair skin, a blaze inside her that makes everything she does and says intense, protectiveness for her family and friends and a curiosity that is present in all of us, she gave readers an interesting heroine. She was interested in the paranormal – 6th sense, ghosts and the unexplained. So it wasn’t surprising that she would come up with a slightly crazy idea – to go to the middle of the woods at midnight with her friends and attempt to open their third eyes (mostly known as the sight needed so they can see ghosts.)

That little incident, of course, started the disaster and the adventure of Ryan and her friends. Now, they could see spirits and demons and other unidentified beings. Shocked and half-sane, the girls experienced a real terror that troubled their young minds. I love these girls. They were so different from one another, each one of them having a different ‘fire’ inside them. Dan is eccentric but beautiful. Ryan is hot-headed and passionate. Sam is smart and confident. Rei is peaceful, the usual peacemaker of the group.

Intero Regnum, the world in between the mortal world and Heaven/Hell, is the ideal place for fantasy lovers to go. Filled with all kinds of spirits from all the mythologies you’ve ever read about, including gnomes, beautiful elves, mushroom-like people and Nephilim, this place amazed me. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings, just with a youthful twist.

As Ryan dove deeper into the supernatural world, she met vibrant and intriguing characters – angels, demons, Nephilim, button people, shapeshifters, and more. Did I mention that said Nephilim guys are hot? To claim what was rightfully hers, to fulfill her destiny, she went on a journey that is dangerous, thrilling and surprising. As a kid, I found a thread of maturity in her that solidified as she shouldered a burden and a responsibility so heavy for someone her age. That’s something you have to find out in the novel. :)

The Seven – The Key of Credence is an exotic mix of various mythologies and cultures. It has a strong adventure vibe and a fantastic fantasy setting with a startling horror element. I highly recommend this to fantasy, mythology and paranormal readers!

Rating:



For interested Filipino bloggers, we’re going to be touring a finished copy of this book soon. You can still sign-up for the book tour! We need one more blogger.

Check out the trailer:





Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa + Giveaway


Book Description via Goodreads:

361 pages, Paperback
October 25, 2011, Harlequin Teen

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Source: Netgalley & Gifted (Thanks, Mom!)

Note:

I’ve been postponing reading The Iron Knight for as long as I could. I got the ebook in Netgalley and I downloaded it right away but I realized that I couldn’t read it at that time. I had just finished The Iron Queen and I wasn’t ready to end the series. Then I tried reading it, I got to less than page 200 before I stopped because again, I didn’t want it to end. And then early this week, I walked in the bookstore, went to the YA section and saw a copy of The Iron Knight. I held on to it and never let go.

My Thoughts:

Ash was always an interesting character for me. Aside from Puck and Meghan, he’s my favorite. I like how his character was a complex ‘badboy’ with a twist – he was an Unseelie Prince. Ash was so many things: determined, fearless, icy to the core but at the same time held a soft spot for Ariella, his former love and Meghan, his queen. From The Iron King, I witnessed how he changed because of Meghan. He left his icy shell, letting himself out into the open, honest and vulnerable. But in The Iron Knight, I met the totality of Ash. He was Winter Prince, vulnerable Ash, exile Ash, and determined Knight. The most important question in this novel was that, who is Ash? Who does he want to be?

With his oath to Meghan, promising he would find a way to come back, he went on a mini-journey to find Grimalkin the cat. Considering that the said cat was always disappearing, it was not an easy task to accomplish. He was accompanied by Robin Goodfellow, who, as always, injected as much humor into this installation as he could. They bickered, threatened each other and fought one another. Through all of this, the tension between them intensified as Ash’s oath to Ariella – to avenge her by killing Puck – weighed on the Unseelie Prince’s shoulders. The friendship and enemy-ship of these two fey guys were an interesting part of the novel.
In an attempt to gain a human soul, Ash, Puck and Grimalkin ventured to a Seer, who knew the way to the End of the World, where Ash could fulfill his oath. It was an unforgettable adventure. I traveled with them, growing weak, eager and anxious as they got one step closer to their destination. The Journey itself was full of surprises. The River of Dreams was one of my favorite parts of the path. It was filled with the debris of human imagination. Imagine a river and now imagine dumping random things in it: books, apples, coffins, dragons and other mythical creatures. I encountered several new, extremely bizarre characters that chilled me and disturbed me.

The Iron Knight stood out because this novel, no matter how fey and magical it was, had a human touch. When I say human touch, I mean that it was close to how a human would narrate. Swirling emotions, dreams, doubts, thoughts, worrying about the future more than necessary, pain, loss, grief, regret and conscience. Throw all of these in with magic, danger, high possibility of death, drama, long distance, no talk relationship and you get an amazing result. Through old memories, dreams and hopes, I got to learn more about Ash than in the first three books combined.

The ending of the Iron Fey Series is phenomenal. I was really happy when I found out that there would be a book for Ash (because I’m Team Ash.) I wasn’t disappointed. I loved every word of The Iron Knight. To everyone who hasn’t read the series yet, this is the perfect time to start it. I highly, insistently, passionately recommend this to everyone who loves fantasy, romance and adventure!

Rating:

*CLOSED* Giveaway: The Iron King/ The Iron Daughter/ The Iron Queen/ The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa *CLOSED*


pic


And now, because I LOVE The Iron Fey Series...and because I've reached 844 followers (which is SO awesome - thank you for the support!), I will be giving away a book from The Iron Fey Series that YOU haven't read yet. One or maybe two lucky winners will win! If you haven't started the series, this is the perfect chance to get your hands on The Iron King. If you've read The Iron King and haven't gotten a copy of the next installment, you can get The Iron Daughter or The Iron Queen. Or if you're Team Ash and you want to finish the series...you can win The Iron Knight.

Rules:
Must be a follower (since, of course, this is a Thank You Giveaway for my followers)
Open internationally! Ends on December 15!
Leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
Tell me which book of The Iron Fey Series you want to win.

Extra entries (not required):
+2 spread the word: twitter, goodreads, wherever (please leave link)
+2 sidebar link

That's it! Come back on December 15, 2011 to see if you won!



Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Eighteen Kisses + The Immortal Rules


After a long time, I’m doing a Waiting on Wednesday post! I have two great books for you guys today. These are two books written by my favorite authors ever. I present:

Eighteen Kisses by Laura Jane Cassidy
Publication Date: May 2, 2012
Published by: Puffin Ireland/UK

Jacki King loves being back in Dublin - she's enjoying the music scene and interning at Electric magazine. She still has flashbacks to the murder case she solved the year before, though her friends, especially Nick, keep her distracted.

Until, one day, Jacki's frightening nightmares begin again. And when the police contact her about a local missing girl, she knows the two are connected.

Two years before, on her eighteenth birthday, Kayla Edwards disappeared.

No body has ever been found.

But now Kayla is communicating with Jacki from beyond the grave - and she won't stop until the truth is revealed . . .

Why I Chose This:

I enjoyed Angel Kiss so much! I loved the mystery side, the contemporary side and the music side of the novel. It was really easy to lose myself in the story. I’m a fan of Laura and of course, I’m looking forward to her next novel!

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Published by: Harlequin Teen

You will kill. The only question is when.

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.

Why I Chose This:

I’m a big fan of The Iron Fey series. In fact, I just bought my copy of The Iron Knight and I’m currently obsessing over it. I’m savoring every line because I want to make this last novel last as long as I could in my mind. Julie Kagawa is my favorite fantasy author and of course, I’ll be one of the first people to buy this new book of hers. It sounds amazing!

What do you think? Will you be adding these to your wishlist, willing to read these?


Monday, November 07, 2011

Review: Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett


Book Description from the ARC:

ARC, 309 pages
September 19, 2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother, Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don’t know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won’t be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship – one that could perhaps bring something more.

Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace – unless he can kill the beast first. And that “monster ” is Ariadne’s brother…

Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Ariadne was She-Who-Will-be-Goddess of Krete. As the girl next in line, she underwent training everyday. But it wasn’t as exciting as it sounds. The day she became She-Who-Will-be-Goddess was the day that everything changed for Ariadne. She lost her friends and lost the normalcy of her life. No one really looked and talked to her anymore. She felt distanced from humanity. She was filled with nostalgia, longing and sadness but none of those things weakened her dedication to the Goddess. I loved reading about Ariadne’s life as a priestess. For once, I was glad this was not a story about a hero or a god/goddess. The shift of joyous childhood to strict, arduous womanhood for Ariadne was sudden. The change couldn’t be undone and it saddened me to know of Ariadne’s loneliness, worry and constant concern for her mother and brother.

The customs of Crete were different, so different that the Athenian newcomers thought they were barbaric. But when it came to the Goddess, the Kretans would do anything to please Her. Every year, the Planting Festival takes place. She-Who-is-Goddess offers her body and lets the Moon Goddess inhabit her for three days. Then, as Goddess, she chooses a man – who Velchanos aka Zeus chose to inhabit – to be her consort. Then things get bloody, after three days, the man’s blood will be spilled on the fields. The mythology that Barrett spun was stunning and bizarre. It was one of the most unforgettable ones that I’ve ever encountered.

The life of Theseus was quite the dramatic kind. He was the son of the king of Athens with a poor but lovely girl from a faraway place. As a child, he grew up to be constantly bullied until his teen years. He ventured to Athens to meet his father only to be startled with a shocking decision. Through his share of narration, I’ve come to know how the weak, bullied boy became a man capable of standing his ground.

Asterion, Ariadne’s brother, was unfortunate when it came to the looks department. He was ugly, misshapen. But he had the innocence and the mind of a little boy. He was also He-Who-Will-be-Minos, the guy next in line to take the powers and responsibilities of the Minos. He was capable of assuming the role as he was capable of keeping his toys whole. He lovingly called Ariadne as “Adne” – the only person in Krete who cared to spend time with him, give him honey and other treats and tell him stories. My heart softened for Asterion. The pages with him in them were colorful, always interesting despite the probability of things turning messy.

But with a bunch of newcomers who labeled the important rituals of Krete as barbaric, a handful of doubts and nerves and too many deaths, could the Planting Festival be done according to plan? Or would somebody ruin it?

Dark of the Moon is an interesting, startling tale wrapped in mystery, rituals and uncertainty. This twisted tale of inheritance will surprise and satisfy readers with drama, bloodletting and twists and turns. I recommend this to Greek-myth readers.

Rating: