Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: Rampant

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student ... an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund has sat on my shelf since it came out. And, somehow, it didn't manage to be read until now. So I put it on my challenge list of "Books-I-need-to-read-this-year-because-they've-been-sitting-on-my-shelf-too-damn-long." I'm a bit horrified at myself that it sat for so long, especially since I loved it so much!

Astrid Llewellyn lives with her mother above the garage of her Uncle John's house. She grew up with her cousin, Phillipa, who is only a few years older. They're more like sisters than cousins. And after Astrid saves her boyfriend's life after a unicorn attack, her mother sends her to Rome to train with other unicorn hunters. They are all girls, all virgins, and all descendants of Alexander the Great.

I really liked Astrid. She was very realistic in her thoughts and actions. The incredulity of finding out unicorns are real, even though her mother has told her about these killer monsters all her life. The unfairness of being sent to Rome to live with strangers and train to put her life in danger so she can kill unicorns. The fear and sickness she feels at taking the life of another. If I were in her shoes, I would probably have the same reactions. Though, without the unicorn hunter blood, I'd be useless in battle.

I really enjoyed the characters and the story, but I also enjoyed the setting. I spent ten days in Italy - 3 days in Rome - several years ago. While I'm not familiar with everything that was mentioned, there were some places Astrid saw that I'd been to. It's always exciting to me to know the setting of the book (like with books set in DC or Baltimore). I loved every bit of reading this book, and I can't wait to read Ascendant, "Errant" and "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Unicorn" from Zombies vs. Unicorns. And for the record, I'm firmly Team Unicorn.

In this world, not all unicorns are dangerous. To hunters, that is. All five types of unicorns are said to be ruthless killers. But the smallest type, the zhi, love the unicorn hunter. In fact, their love is what proves a girl worthy of being a hunter. My favorite character in this book is one such creature, a zhi named Bonegrinder. One of my favorite animals is a goat. And I have a friend who has a pet goat that acts very dog-like. Even plays fetch. So I imagined him a lot, since Bonegrinder reminded me of him. And I searched online to find a picture of what Bonegrinder looked like in my head. This is how I imagined her. You can visit the artist's page here. How could anyone not want a pet one of these adorable, beautiful creatures?

Go read Rampant. You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

PAYA Giveaway Winner

The winner of the PAYA Giveaway is...

Laura F from Scotland!

Congrats! Your book will be in the mail soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: The Unnaturalists

In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.

I received an arc of The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent for review. It's set in an alternate Victorian London and follows Vespa Nyx and Syrus Reed. Vespa is a young woman who lives with her father and aunt (her father's sister) and lives for working in her father's museum. This museum is filled with "unnaturals" which includes a sphinx, silphids, and other oddities. She longs to be a Pedant, but women aren't allowed to become take on that role. Syrus is a tinker. He lives with his family in the forest. They have their own village and way of life. They practice magic and are feared. But i much preferred their way of life over the "normal" people.

I don't want to say too much because there are a lot of twists and turns, and Tiffany Trent definitely keeps us guessing. Vespa is not who we initially believe her to be. Neither is Syrus. In fact, Pedant Lumin, Vespa's father, and a whole host of characters have secrets that you'll be dying to figure out. I really liked Vespa and Syrus. I loved that in this world Charles Darwin is considered a saint. And Arthur Rackham is named. There were a lot of little things that made my geeky self grin while reading.

One thing I really liked about The Unnaturalists, one thing that stood out and deserves a mention, was the lack of romance between the two main characters. Most every YA book I've read has romance. And while I'm not opposed to romance, it tends to be as big a plot point as the paranormal stuff going down. So this was a refreshing change. And have you seen this cover? The picture in this post is pretty, but you really must hold it in your hands to fully appreciate it. It's one of my favorite covers of all of 2012. And while you have this book in your hands, check out the first few chapters. Trust me, you'll not want to put this book down.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: Storm

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys - all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

After reading Elemental (a prequel to the Elemental series) I was excited to pick up book one, Storm by Brigid Kemmerer. Once again, I didn't read the synopsis and was slightly disappointed in the beginning that it wasn't a continuation of the novella. While Michael Merrick was a main character in Elemental, his younger brother Chris was the main character here. Well, him and Becca Chandler.

Becca has a reputation with the boys at school. They think she's a slut, that she sleeps around, and she gets harassed about it. Chris never really paid attention to Becca until she saved his life. And he finds himself trying to protect her. But she has another boy protecting her. New guy, Hunter.

I had a bit of difficulty getting into this one. There are four Merrick brothers. Michael is the oldest and has custody of his three younger brothers, all of whom are in high school. They are all elementals, the strongest of their kind. Michael is earth. Chris is water. And the twins are fire and air. To be honest, all four of them were assholes in the beginning. I didn't like any of them, and that's a big thing for me. How can I like a book if I think the love interest is a d-bag? They were aggressive and crass and like a lot of guys I went to high school with. Except for the elemental thing. And the guys that these characters reminded me of... they weren't friends. They were the kind of guys who teased me and treated me badly. It took a while for me to get past that.

Hunter was very helpful at this point. I didn't completely trust him, but at least he was sweet and kind and appeared to actually care about Becca. I enjoyed reading Hunter and Becca and I eventually warmed up to Chris. There were several times when I almost put the book down, but I'm glad I didn't. I ended up liking it quite a bit, and I'm excited to read the next novella in this series, Fearless, and then the second novel, Spark, which comes out next Tuesday. Definitely give this one a shot.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: Magic Under Glass

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir.

Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

I read Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore in anticipation of meeting her later this month. I hate meeting authors and then when they ask if I read their book, answering with "No... but it's on my shelf." And believe me, I've told so may authors this. I'm sad I waited so long to read this since it was amazing. But, at the same time, now I don't have to wait long for the next book. (It just came in the mail.)

Magic Under Glass was such a unique book. I haven't read anything like it. And I've read many books that included faeries. Nimira (Nim) is our main character. She left her homeland after losing her mother. In this new country she performs, singing and dancing, with other girls like her. Her skin is dark (like the girl in the second book cover) while the natives to this country are fairer skinned. She is looked down upon, even after she leaves the dance hall to join a special performance.

Wealthy sorcerer, Hollin Parry, hires her to sing, accompanied by an automaton that plays the piano. All of the singers hired before her leave after claiming the automaton is haunted. Nim doesn't believe it, but soon finds that the automaton isn't what he seems. There is a spirit trapped somewhere inside, but he's not a ghost.

Soon after I started this book, I realized that I'd never read the description for it. The cover caught my eye and friends had said they loved it, so I bought it on impulse. That's not an unusual thing for me. And it sat on my shelf far too long. There was a bit of controversy concerning the cover. The top picture in my post is the original cover. But it was redone, so the cover you'll see on the shelf is the second picture in this post. Personally, I like the first image best. The cover was redone because Nim looks like the girl in the second book cover. I have nothing against the second cover. The girl is cute. But it's kind of boring while the first one is just amazing. I really wish they'd have done the first cover with the girl from the second. It would have been just as stunning, but it also would've been accurate.

Which one do you like best? And how do you feel about putting a white girl on the cover of a book when the main character has dark hair and skin?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Thirteen

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong delivers the novel her fans have been clamoring for: The epic finale of the Otherworld series.

It’s been more than ten years, a dozen installments, and hundreds of thousands of copies since Kelley Armstrong introduced readers to the all-too-real denizens of the Otherworld: witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons, among others. And it’s all been leading to Thirteen, the final installment, the novel that brings all of these stories to a stunning conclusion.

A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.

Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.

Uniting Savannah with Adam, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other lost-but-notforgotten characters in one epic battle, Thirteen is a grand, crowd-pleasing closer for Armstrong’s legions of fans.

Oh... mai... goddess... I'm going to apologize upfront for my fangirly review of Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong. She is a writing goddess. I've loved everything I've read of hers, and this last book is no different. I stayed up until after midnight, waiting for it to download on my Kindle. And I read for two hours, before sleeping until 9 and waking up to finish it. It was read, more or less, in one sitting.

Thirteen picks up right where Spell Bound left off, with Savannah drenched, Jeremy and Adam looking like they'd been playing in gravel, and Jaime... all neat and put-together. Jaime and Savannah run off in search of clothing, so Jeremy, Adam, and Bryce can come out of hiding. You don't want to be seen walking around near an explosion, looking like you were involved. But Jaime and Savannah are the two characters in this series that are most likely to get into trouble. They found trouble alright. Savannah is arrested, and to keep the team together, Jaime mock attacks one of the officers, and is carted off with her.

Things are not looking up for these two heroines when they're thrown in jail, without being booked, and find they aren't the only supernaturals at this police station. Something is definitely up.

I'm beyond sad that this is the final book in the series. I'm able to go on only because Kelley has promised us anthologies, novellas, short stories, and more novels (possibly... at one point in the future). I cried when I closed the book. Not because the ending is sad. But because it's over!!!!!! *re-read that last part very dramatically* I've read many series that ended with a weak book. And I've read many series that went way past where it should have ended. But I think Kelley did an amazing job wrapping this series up while leaving enough loose ends.

Things I personally loved about this book... While it was told from Savannah's point of view, Jaime, Eve, Elena, Paige, and Hope all had a chapter written from their point of view in third person. There was a lot of Jaime. And Jaime is my favorite character from this series. It brought together almost everyone from the entire series. Things I would've liked to see... More Paige. More Cassandra and Aaron. But all-in-all... one of the best books of the series.

And I can honestly say, I can't wait for the next book. Kelley has a novella (which I've pre-ordered from Subterranean Press) coming out this December. There is a reason to go on!

The Women of the Otherworld has been a favorite series of mine since there were only two books... which has been for about a decade. It breaks my heart that the series is done, but it's not completely over. Kelley has said there will be more novellas (frex, the one coming out this December) and short stories. If you haven't read these books yet, you're missing out:
1. Bitten
2. Stolen
3. Dime Store Magic
4. Industrial Magic
5. Haunted
6. Broken
7. No Humans Involved
8. Personal Demon
9. Living with the Dead
10. Frostbitten
11. Waking the Witch
12. Spellbound
13. Thirteen

Currently, there are two anthology collections:
Men of the Otherworld
Tales of the Otherworld

And don't forget to check out these novellas from Subterranean Press:
Angelic (available only as an ebook at this time)
Counterfeit Magic
Forbidden (coming this winter)
Becoming (graphic novel)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: The Secret Year

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year and no one, not even Julia's boyfriend knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

I've had The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard for some time now. And since I'm meeting her at PAYA this month, I wanted to have read this one. Everyone I talked to loved this book, so I had high expectations for it. I was excited to dive in. But... it left me underwhelmed.

The story is told in first person, from a male POV. Something that doesn't happen often enough in YA. The book begins with Colt finding out that Julia died. His best friend tells him, but even she doesn't know about Colt and Julia. Colt's family lives in The Flats, a poor neighborhood while Julia's family lives on Black Mountain. She's rich and popular and attends parties at the country club. She has a boyfriend in a similar situation, and then she meets Colt. There is an instant connection between the two, and they begin meeting weekly.

Julia's death hits Colt hard. And it's even harder when Julia's brother gives Colt a journal filled with letters written to him. Her family and friends mourn her loss, but Colt has to pretend he doesn't even really know her. I had a hard time connecting with Colt and Julia. Even though Julia isn't even in the book, except for flashbacks, she is a very big part of the story.

I know it says in the synopsis that Julia has a boyfriend, but I somehow managed to miss that detail until I started the book. We know through Julia's journal that she keeps promising to dump Austin, but never quite manages. This bugged me more than I can really say. When we're talking about characters in books or on television, there are very few things that I just can't forgive. Cheating is one of those things.

I had expected Julia and Colt's story to be full of love and happiness and the secrecy made it interesting. But, instead, it made me dislike the characters. Cheating implies lying and sneaking around and being dishonest. Whether the couple is a long-time married couple, or a couple of teens who've been together for several months, cheating is cheating. If reading about a relationship that is based on lies and cheating doesn't bother you, you may really enjoy The Secret Year. But it wasn't for me. I'm glad I read it, since it's something that so many people I know have read and enjoyed, but it most likely won't be a re-read.

The cover I have is the first one. It's the original cover. My favorite cover is the second picture, but it feels very misleading. It looks more like the sweet romance that I was hoping for. And the third cover... I think this one fits the best.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Before I Wake

I died on a Thursday-
killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul.
The good news? He didn't get it.
The bad news?
Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...

Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend.

But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life....
I've been a fan of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series since there was only one book. And it's been one of my favorite series these past few years. If I Die was so amazing, I was worried that Before I Wake could not live up to my high expectations. Except... it did! It was so amazing that I'm not sure how the final book will top it, but I have faith that Rachel Vincent can manage it.

In the last book, our main character died. But we know that death isn't the end in this world. She and Tod must work together, along with Nash, Sabine, Emma, new character Luca, and Kaylee's cousin Sophie to solve another supernatural mystery and defeat the hellion that won't give up until he has Kaylee's soul. Avari and his hellion friends have found a way to do something that until now has been impossible, but Kaylee isn't giving up.

I can't tell you how much I loved this book without spoilering you all. I love Tod, and I love that he's with Kaylee. I'm still not loving Nash, but I really enjoy Sabine's scenes. Sophie's character has gotten more interesting as the story has progressed, and I can't wait to see where Rachel takes this fabulous series. With All My Soul is set to come out next April and will conclude the series with seven books. My fingers are crossed for another short story or novella to pop up some time between now and then. If you haven't read these books, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Review: The Dark Wife

Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth.

Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want--except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice.

Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny.

But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself.

The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian revisionist retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth.

I was first introduced to The Dark Wife when Sarah Diemer emailed me about reviewing it. She sent me a copy, and... it sat and sat and sat... I finally picked it up almost a year later, and I can't believe it sat on my shelf for so long. It was amazing!!!

The Dark Wife tells a story most of us know. The story of Hades and Persephone, and how she ended up in the underworld, married to the god of the dead. But in this book, Persephone (our narrator), tells us that the story we know is wrong. Starting with the fact that Hades is female. She is the sister of Zeus and Poseidon, and because she prefers women, they use the term "lord" of the underworld. Subsequently, Persephone is not raped and kidnapped. She is not forced into a marriage. But, instead, this book tells a beautiful love story.

The novel takes place mostly in the underworld. It's not a place I thought I'd want to visit... until I got to know it. Obviously this story tells a very different one than what we've learned from Greek mythology, and it works. I love mythology, and I don't always love when it's messed with too much. But The Dark Wife was fantastic. I loved Persephone and Hades, and the story was believable.

One of the biggest complaints I've heard for self published books is the amount of spelling and grammatical errors. I don't recall one such error in this entire novel. Another way this self-published book stands out is the cover. Out of all the self-pubbed books I've seen, this one has the prettiest cover.

Be sure to check out Sarah Diemer's site and the blog she shares with her wife, Muse Rising. You can read The Dark Wife for free and hear the free audiobook over here!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Review: Evergreen

A kingdom on the brink of war.
A king on the fringes of insanity.
A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?

Enter the watery world of treachery, greed, and the binding mer kiss as the story continues with Evergreen, book two of Mer Tales.

Evergreen is the second book in Brenda Pandos' Mer Tales trilogy. The first is Everblue, and the third, coming out next February, is Everlost. I read and loved Everblue a few months ago, and each day that passed between then and the release of Evergreen was torture, relieved only by other great books. I was so excited to hear about what was going to happen with Fin and Ash next.

Fin and Ash were torn apart, when Fin's family left. Both have to survive apart through the pull of the promise, a mermaid bond. Neither are pleased with the situation, and every day apart grows harder. Fin's family moves into Fin's old house, which happens to me next door to Ash's, and she is in danger. They think she's someone that she's not. With Fin on the other side of the country, how can he protect his promised?

Evergreen was a quick, fun read, full of mermaid fun and romance. But it was so much more than that. There was mystery and danger, longing and romance, and deling with high school in between all of that. So much happened that it's left me anxious for the conclusion. If you're interested in reading a fun, fantasy romance, this is definitely one to look up. And with Everblue costing only 99c as an ebook, what do you have to lose?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

I've been a fan of Maggie Stiefvater's books since I read Lament before most people had heard her name. And I've read each book as they've come out, or as an arc if I've been lucky enough to get my hands on a copy. I got my hands on a copy of The Raven Boys from my wonderful friend Sandy of Scribing Shadows. She is fantastic for sending it to me!

I loved this book. Her writing gets better with almost every book she puts out, and this book is no different. It might not be my favorite Maggie Stiefvater book, but Ballad and The Scorpio Races are hard to top! The Raven Boys makes a good effort to top them. Blue lives with her family. All women. All psychic. Blue is not, but her presence makes the rest of her family's powers stronger. She goes to the church on St. Mark's Eve, to watch the procession of people who are going to die soon. And she sees a young boy. Her age. But why can she see him? The response: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” But, really, it could be both, since her true love is destined to die if she kisses him.

But he's not just any boy. His name is Gansey, and he is a Raven Boy. The Raven Boys go to an all boys private school, Aglionby Academy, and Blue doesn't like a single one of these rich, pretentious teen guys. But Blue and Gansey (and his friends) are thrown together to figure out a mystery or two. Or three.

One of the best things about this story were the twists and turns. I really didn't know what to expect in this book. Even after reading it, I'm not sure if I would call it a contemporary with paranormal elements or and paranormal that at first seems contemporary. And it is so well pieced together, that you can't see the surprises coming. At least, I couldn't. And that is one of the signs of a really good book for me. The Raven Boys is not like any other novel I've read. And I don't believe there's another one out there that even comes close in terms of the plot. Whether or not you've read anything by Maggie, I imagine you'll love the first book in The Raven Cycle. I can't wait for book two!

And... if that's not enough for you to want to pick this book up, check out the amazing animated trailer Maggie Stiefvater made. She is amazingly talented.

And be sure to check out Maggie Stiefvater's site for Raven Boys to meet the characters, view extras, and even download the song from the trailer.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Novella Review: Elemental

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they are more than you dream.

As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy. Dangerous. And completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.v
They want him dead.

I must admit that I picked up Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer because I was curious about this new series. As a pagan, I know what true elementals are, and I was curious as to how they were being written in novels. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this novella surprised me. I really enjoyed it.

Emily is an air elemental with little power and Michael is an earth elemental, the strongest around. And they are forbidden from associating with each other. Many of the elementals want to kill Michael. They fear his power and are sure the world would be better off with someone who wasn't so powerful. Emily has been warned to stay away from him, as he's incredibly dangerous, but when he walks into her place of work, the two are forced to be around each other. And neither of their families want them going back to that location.

Michael might be as powerful as Emily's family believes, but is he as dangerous? Emily begins to think not, as she begins to fall for him. This was a quick, cute read, and it surpassed my expectations. I definitely recommend checking this one out. I plan to read the first novel of this series, Storm, soon.