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All posts for the month August, 2013

5 stars to The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Published August 30, 2013 by katheryn13

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.

 

Review:

As I have said in other reviews, I’m not much of a fan of aliens. Well, that about changed when I picked up The 5th Wave.

Exciting, thrilling, funny, romantic, I had it all in the palm of my hands. Oh and add scary to that list, because boy, imagine if an alien spaceship hovered over your world and billions of people were killed? Yeah. Pretty frightening.

Rick Yancey’s mind must be a gold mine because this book was fantastic. From page to page something was happening, and if it wasn’t, myself especially, was anticipating something intense to happen. Especially in the days when Cassie was injured, alone, then saved by this mysterious man. She’s held up for weeks and her doubts about who Evan Walker really is just get worse and worse. I too was worried. I could feel something building up, but there was no clue on when it would happen.

Cassie’s pov was something that lightened my mood even when pure tragedy was going on. Her wit and general sense of humour made me laugh, and then someone would die and you wouldn’t know how to feel. I really liked her personality.

My only nitpick is the change in POV’s, when the book gets split into  sections, confused me at first. It took me about 3 pages to realise I was reading a guys POV. >_< Anyway, I got used to it, and boy, both sides of this story were nail bitingly crazy. I knew they would both join up at some point, but for crying out loud, talk about a dragged out process of waiting for the ball to drop! At least it kept me reading, it kept me wondering, and it kept me on edge.

Really, I enjoyed all of the characters, although not the bad guys. Nope.

The alien race begin using children as an army. This idea freaked me the hell out; to have five year olds with semi-automatic guns? No way. No one should have those, let alone a child!

I literally don’t know how else to explain how much I enjoyed this book, but let me just tell you, you HAVE to read it. If you don’t like aliens, fine, but bear in mind these aliens look HUMAN. How freaky is that? They could be walking among us right now… O_O *peers outside window*

The sequel comes out next year, which is way too long, but I can respectfully appreciate the writing process for something this intricate and intense must take a lot of time and effort and concentration. Because, I really had to concentrate to understand what was happening sometimes, when things went crazy. Lots of deaths, lots of bombs, lots of fighting. But the romance was also unexpected, and that pleased me. I don’t always want cliche “oh yeah I can see what’s going to happen” moments, but I did think it was a bit fast.

Thoroughly enjoyable novel that I will remember for a long long time to come. Probably not suitable for kids due to some language and content, but the rest of you…GO. READ. NOW. :)

Kat

5 stars to Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published August 29, 2013 by katheryn13

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

Review:

Warning: i just finished the book and I’m not okay.

If you know anything about me then you’re aware that Jennifer L. Armentrout is my favorite author. Well, she out did herself with this book and that says something.

ORIGIN begins where OPAL left off. Katy is captured by Daedalus. And Daemon is willing to do literally anything to save her.
A lot happens in ORIGIN. It’s like a Lux book on steroids. There’s a whole lot of action, way more than the previous books. The continuous action and plot twists had me on edge throughout the whole book. Like I said, a whole lot happens in the fourth instalment of Lux. And most of it is totally mind-blowing. So prepare yourselves, people, because you’re either going to want to murder Jen after this cliffy or you’ll be too shocked to even think about anything other than “WTF”. And it’s not even just the cliffhanger. It’s the whole freaking book. [deep breaths]

Where romance is concerned- well, it’s JLA. There are so many hot scenes in this book. I’m pretty I swooned multiple times in the hours it took me to read ORIGIN. It’s not even just the white hot passion between Katy and Daemon (even though I do adore their sexy chemistry). Their relationship is taken to a whole other level. Their love for each other is so obvious, and they do anything but stop showing it. The sweetness of it all is otherworldly. Keep in mind that Katy is almost nineteen in this book so the hot scenes between her and Daemon are even hotter. Like I said, Lux on steroids. (◕‿◕✿)

Another thing that I adored is the focus is not completely on Katy and Daemon. There is a whole gang who are willing to help them (and themselves later on, since stuff happen). Katy and Daemon remain their awesome selves in this book. Katy is badass, funny and a plain HEROINE. I loved her even more in ORIGIN. She goes through a lot but she manages to stay sane and running. Daemon is, well, Daemon. I think that says everything there is to be said.

Now onto the rest of the gang. Let me just say how freaking much I love Luc. I swear I want to kiss those smart lips of his. And we finally get to know what he is! There’s a new character, too: Archer. He’s kind of the silent dude that can turn into a killing machine in seconds and you just can’t not swoon over him. Dee’s back! FINALLY. I missed her and her friendship with Katy. Also, the other Luxen we know are back, willing to help Daemon and Katy.

Last but not least, let’s take a moment to appreciate how damn good Jen’s writing is. It’s addictive, hilarious and incredibly vivid. The story flows so well you never get bored. However, in my opinion, her humour is what makes her books so good. She has a unique way to make a grave situation light through her characters. She can make you laugh and cry at the same time. And when a book does that to me I can honestly say that it’s a damn good book, alright.

If you like Lux and Jennifer L. Armentrout, you’re bounded to like ORIGIN. It has everything- action, romance, heartbreak, humour and many plot twists. By far, the best Lux book so far. Amazing!

– Helena

4.5 stars to Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2) by R.J Anderson

Published August 26, 2013 by katheryn13

Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual… talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.

 

Review:

When I’d read Ultraviolet back…waaay back in when was it, 2011? I thought this book is so good, SO good, there must be a sequel. But I remember on the back page the author said they hadn’t decided on another one. I was bummed, to put it lightly. I’d never been into aliens, and when I first read Ultraviolet I had no idea it was actually about…well…aliens. Sure, they’re not the evil kind (well mostly) but it still surprised me.

So fast forward to 2013 and Quicksilver is released, I’m all over it. But I didn’t realise it would be about a different character. Sometimes when a sequel is from a different pov, it gets me uneasy. Will I like the voice? Will It be a character I liked before? Will previously loved characters show up? Yknow, the usual worries.

Silly me put off reading the book for months because of this. Then one day I’m going through my books and decide to give it a go, and guess what? I loved it. I thought the voice of Tori was nice and refreshing, especially with the humour in some parts. And I may have squealed when Sebastian turned up. I have to say, I hadn’t expected it.

I did get confused at times with the different past and present chapters, and the whole way the chapters were numbered. But I figured it out pretty quickly.

I missed Alison, so having her mentioned, and the odd contact between her and Tori made me smile, but not because of the situation. Just…because.

Milo was an interesting character. At first I thought he was going to be some kind of love interest, and I suppose he was in a weird way. When I found out Tori’s…uh….situation, I found it nice that we could have a close relationship between two characters but there was no reason for it to go further, if that makes sense. It’s actually the first book I’ve read where the MC has been that way. You’ll know what I mean when/if you read it.

I both loved and hated Sebastian. He’s sneaky, mysterious and also really UNF so he messed with my emotions a bit. It was nice to have his character make some development, even if the end made me cringe and want to smack him senseless. The dude has so many issues, he wouldn’t stop beating himself up over stuff. Not literally, though. I kind of felt sorry for him.

Over all, this was an exciting sequel. The pace wasn’t too fast, and could sympathise well with Tori. Deckard creeped me out. That’s all I can really say because…he just did. Ha.

I don’t know if there’ll be a third, but in some ways it would be cool to have Sebastian’s POV from when Quicksilver finished. I don’t know. Just throwing it out there, =P

If you haven’t read Ultraviolet – GO DO IT! If you have, then don’t delay, go pick up Quicksilver NOW because you won’t be disappointed. :D

 

Kat

5 stars to Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Published August 20, 2013 by katheryn13

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba’s world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Review:

Well I’ll be damned!

I had tried to read this book months ago, but the writing style put me off and so I left it. Then one day I saw it on offer and thought, oh hell why not? So I bought it, and a month or so later, within 2 days I’d read it and now here I am writing this review and singing praises.
I know there’s been a lot of discussions on reviews about the grammar and general way it’s written, but it’s like with a lot of books, some things work better than others, and not everyone is going to agree with those things.
This, as it happens, is one of those books that will either gel well or not gel at all, if you understand me. Some of the words are done phonetically, and then there’s words that are just written how maybe….someone with not much education may write. It’s kinda hard to explain unless you read it, but it just…works.  I LOOOOOOOOVED IT.

In the story, the world has changed so much from our times and they have no real schools, they don’t have the way of living we have, or had, in their case. There are endless deserts and food is scarce, and they have this bastard of a King who rules over pretty much everything. There is only one land that exists. So from Saba’s point of view, the way they talk is normal.
You get an idea of how things have changed when she and Emmi come across the Pinches, and they speak properly, and she questions them. They learnt to read and write from their parents.

This is more than just a dystopian, though. There’s every possible angle you could ask for: Humour, Romance (I’ll get to that later), action, drama.

Now, Sabi is one of those characters whom you could well grow to hate. She’s fiesty, stubborn as hell, strong, basically the opposite to some heroines in novels these days, in a way that, she will NOT let anyone help her or get close to her. When her twin brother, Lugh, is taken by the Tonton (guards for the King), she makes it her only mission to go and rescue him. It’s one battle after the other and her only thought is that she must find him. He’s her twin.

And throughout the book, she does grow and learn that she can’t possibly do everything alone.
Now this is maybe where it gets spoilery, so beware.
Saba and Emmi are tricked by the Pinches, and while Emmi (her younger sister) ends up trapped as a slave, Saba is used as a cage fighter. A bit like a prison, really. And this, my friends, is where we meet the ever so delightful JACK! My baby Jack oh my god, can I just fawn over him because my gawd he be scorchin’ hot! That grin, that wink, those eyes, that sarcastic charm.  I could eat him UP!

*clears throat*

As I was saying, we meet him, and soon Saba and Jack become…close, when she saves his life. Now, I got confused, because the back cover of the book says HE saves her life. Um…no. Well, okay, he does, but that’s later on. So it might be a little misleading.

From the moment he becomes involved in  Saba’s hunt to find her brother, with Hawk Warriors helping along (those girls can sure kick ass!) there is ENDLESS tension between them. And by tension I mean SEXUAL. It gets beyond ridiculous. If someone had told me there was romance in this book, hell I’d have read it sooner. But these two…she’s stubborn and won’t let him get close, and he’s relentless (not to mention sexy and just plain adorable) and so I was like “DAMMIT YOU TWO!”

Anyway, there is so much action and the plot flows nicely together that I really didn’t want to put it down. But you know, food and bathroom calls. *sigh* It did help that there weren’t real “chapters”. There were short scenes, separated by pictures of a crow. And then the whole book is split in three parts. So it went by really fast.

I don’t want to spoil too much because like I said, there is so much that goes on and anymore and you’ll know everything. Just trust me, give it a try. It does take a few pages to get used to the style and the lack of quotation marks, but you need to stick around to see Jack, because if nothing else, HE’S SO WORTH IT!

Man, I can’t wait for book 2.

Kat

4 stars to Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

Published August 18, 2013 by katheryn13

If Night falls, all fall . . .

In the far north of the world of Haarth lies the bitter mountain range known as the Wall of Night. Garrisoned by the Nine Houses of the Derai, the Wall is the final bastion between the peoples of Haarth and the Swarm of Dark–which the Derai have been fighting across worlds and time.

Malian, Heir to the House of Night, knows the history of her people: the unending war with the Darkswarm; the legendary heroes, blazing with long-lost power; the internal strife that has fractured the Derai’s former strength. But now the Darkswarm is rising again, and Malian’s destiny as Heir of Night is bound inextricably to both ancient legend and any future the Derai–or Haarth–may have

 

Review:

Warning this  review may get complicated. 

I have not read fantasy, true fantasy, for years. Not since Garth Nix’s Sabriel, etc. I was a little wary because for years I’ve been reading YA paranormal/supernatural/dystopian, and real fantasy is heavy. And wow did I get a shock. Definitely not a light read. This book needed concentration from start to finish, and despite being ill for part of the time, I took stock of the situation and battled through. Much like the characters in this story, I did not give in.

And I actually enjoyed this. I have to admit, although I can’t skip over anything, I don’t think every word sunk in. I tended to just “get the gist” because some of the language used was…well…fantasy. Oldy-worldy language that used in complex cases was a bit hard to take in. That’s not to say there weren’t chapters that sucked me in and made me not want to stop reading, because many of the intense, plotting scenes were so good. I found myself emerged in the world and could easily imagine it clearly in my head. Which is hard sometimes when it’s so…complex.

There are soooo many characters in this that deserve their own credit, because they each contribute their own part. There are the occasional guards that you see but don’t necessarily see, but they still have their own background. And for this part, I’m afraid I need to consult the book for names because wow the writer of this must have had fun coming up with them:

Malian and Kalan, two of my favourite teens that despite their age, are far more mature than most 16/17 yr olds in general YA books. They’ve had to grow up so fast, and they’re only 13. It was actually quite sad how much responsibility was on Malian’s shoulders; she didn’t want it. But as Heir of Night, she was duty bound, and not only that, she is…I guess you could say “the chosen one” to defeat the darkness and bring back peace. Kalan I liked because he was a fairly unknown boy, and he was forced into something he probably still doesn’t understand, but he’s stuck by Malian, seeing past her title and supporting her through thick and thin. I wonder if they’ll fall in love….*wistful thoughts*

Nhairin and Asantir: two of the more prominent characters that will always stick with me. They had their battles, and they continued to fight. In the end Nhairin had issues, and she was one of those people I went back and forth on, wondering if she was good or bad. Asantir was strong, reliable, but determined. She took  “crap from no-one” as you might say.

Haimyr the Golden was probably my favourite, of all the individual people, he was certainly the comic relief from all the tension and fear that shrouded the House of Night (not to be confused with the series by P.C Cast. :P ) and I got excited when he appeared on the page.

Jehane Mor & Tarathan: These two were Heralds of the Guild but so much more. I just….*fangirls*

Then you have the Earl of Night. What an ass.

Anyway, this book is, despite being not all that long but still quite heavy in content (I could not imagine reading Game of Thrones now, knowing it’s twice the length and double the complexity) it was certainly worth the read. The worlds…the land that was imagined and created…so detailed. I admire anyone who can do that and have it make sense (most of the time, although admittedly I did get a little lost on certain details). So much goes on, and I mean SO much. There’s always something coming and you’re holding your breath because you just don’t know…what! The difference with a lot of books I’ve read: there was no holding back on deaths. This might be about two young teenagers on an adventure, but so many lives are lost and some I did not see coming. The action is great, and the powers that some wield…just extraordinary.

So overall a great read, and I look forward to the sequel, whenever that may be. If you want to know more, I say buy it! It’s definitely worth it if you love made up lands, imaginative scenery, in-depth characters and a story come to life.

 

Kat

 

3.5 stars to Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Published August 11, 2013 by katheryn13

Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator…

To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Review:

Hearts in Darkness. I have been dying to read this book for awhile now. The cover is just so sexy that I was like, how have I not read it yet?! I finally did! And literally… it took me from about… 9:45 in the morning until about noon. I devoured this book in a matter of a few hours I had to kill. I didn’t want to put the book down! It was really good! And it’s different and interesting and rather unique in my mind.

Meet Makenna and Caden. Makenna is a young woman about 25, working as an accountant of forensic. A rather smart, intelligent girl. A gorgeous red head at that, too. Caden; paramedic, 28, and FINE AS ALL GET OUT; tattoos, piercings, tall, buff. Yummy. These are your characters.

The plot? They are in an elevator. Going down, leaving for the day. No, they do not know each other, AT ALL. No, Makenna doesn’t even get a glimpse of Caden. Caden got a sneak peak as he held the elevator door for her as she came frantically in trying to manage her bags and her phone. Going down? Not quite yet. The elevator STOPS. LIGHTS OUT. It’s pitch BLACK. They are literally stuck. So, what is the most logical thing to do? They talk. For 4 hours. They talk about a lot of things. They truly get to know each other on a different level because they are basing their knowledge of one another off of who they are on the inside because they can’t see the outside.

I will start off with this. This short novella is rather interesting and it’s different. I like the concept because it is actually something that could happen. Getting stuck in an elevator? That may be my worst nightmare. Claustrophobic and slightly scared of the dark? Not a good place for ME to be. Nor Caden actually… but you will learn about him when you start reading! It’s just such a different concept for a story that I really enjoyed that.

On the other hand… how things end up happening… I was like, really? It’s only been a couple of hours and that happened? And now this… what? Really? Why? I mean I get why, and I probably would have done the same because of the heightened emotion, but still. Some components were slightly unbelievable.

In the end, it was really sweet. I won’t give it away, but I liked the ending. I felt it completed the novella well and I was happy with what happened.

Overall, it’s a good story. Interesting, different, sort of realistic in certain components. I just really loved watching the characters get to know each other on a verbal connection. It wasn’t because they thought the other was hot or whatever. They talked, they shared, they felt compassion. It was refreshing to see that.

Like the tattooed boys? It’s worth the read for Caden. I need me one of those!!  Definitely a good short summer read! Sexy, unique, and short. Go Caden! And Makenna as well ;)

 

-Christy Lyn

4.5 stars to The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Published August 10, 2013 by katheryn13

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

 

Review:

It’s been a few years since I’ve read an exciting, action packed, gritty vampire novel. And this one certainly fits the bill. Allison Sekemoto is strong, vicious in her own right, confident and down right stubborn, but one other thing she has is: loyalty.

Having lived most of her life as an Unregistered, she’s had to live carefully; scrounging for food wherever she could, and learning not to trust anyone. No matter how friendly they are. But then she gets Turned and basically, all that goes to shit. She is determined not to become a monster, not to let the Vampire in her take over, and making friends with Humans isn’t really a clever idea…is it?

I loved how the details were gritty in their gruesomeness, and I’ve found in some YA books the author just floats around it, but no, Julie Kagawa doesn’t hold back. Although, it’s not completely disgusting, I did cringe a few times. The fighting scenes are intense and down right frightening sometimes. The characters spoke for themselves; they all had their own identities, and didn’t just go with the flow. Jeb stood out as an ass, to me, but at the same time I could understand his morals and what he stood for.

Then you have Zeke…and man, he is one tough cookie. He’s had to put up with torture from Jeb who stood as a father figure to him, and has had so many rules drilled into him, that in a way, he didn’t know who he was. But then he figures it out, and I loved how strong he was. He didn’t back down and he went with his gut. His feelings for Allison were sweet, but deadly and it had me biting my nails wondering what trouble he’d find himself in. Not to mention panicking that something bad would happen to Allie.

Each character stood out to me, and there’s not one that I think wasn’t important in one way or another. Even Stick, who turned out to be a sneaky git with no balls (excuse my language.) Individual characters are good. Just saying.

I would have given this 5 stars if not for the fact a few heavy passages of detail when they were travelling kind of had me blinking slowly and taking lots of breaks. But that’s me, and in a way, good detail helps me picture it like a movie in my over active imagination. =p

I urge you all to read this. It is not your average, typical vampire book. Trust me, I know. I’ve read the Twilight series. And as much as I loved that, this is like…the opposite end of the scale. There’s no cringing away from realism when it comes to Allison’s life. It actually made me sad at times.  I’d actually put off reading this for a while because I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m so glad I read it now. It has pretty much everything you could need. Horror, Romance, Action, even a little bit of humour.

I hope there’s a sequel soon, because wow what an ending.

Go read this, since there’s nothing much else I can say without spoiling. Just….please? Go.

Kat