Darkfever Book Review

darkfeverTitle: Darkfever
Series: Book #1 in the Fever series
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: October 1, 2006
Genre: Adult – Urban Fantasy
Pages: 347
Format: Purchased Paperback

When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death, a cryptic message on Mac’s cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed – a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysteriou Jericho…while at the same time, the ruthless V’lane – an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women – closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book – because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control both worlds in their hands.

As this book had faeries in it, I was instantly intrigued. I’ve always loved faeries and reading about the Fae and their world, so when I picked this book up I was instantly intrigued. This book also had a great premise: a grieving sister seeking vengeance for her sister who was murdered overseas. That alone also had me wanting to read this book.

When I read it, though, I wasn’t totally sold on it, but there was still enough of the book that had me wanting to know what would happen next that I’m definitely going to continue onto the next book.

When the book started, it had me hooked – I HAD to know what would happen next. But as MacKayla was doing more in Dublin, I was actually kind of annoyed with a lot of her decisions and felt that some of the other characters had a lot of similar personalities, so they kind of blended in together.

But I will say that I did enjoy reading about the Fae and the different types within this book, and that there was a whole other world that was joined with ours that was right under our noses. That sort of aspect of the world building intrigued me by far. The Shades, the Gray Man, the Many-Mouths-Thing, all of the different kinds of Fae were interesting and held their own sort of stories and folklore behind them that really made them come to life on the pages.

So let me talk a bit about MacKayla and some of the other characters. MacKayla was kind of really prissy in this book. I found a lot of what she said or thought to be annoying in the way a bratty kid who got everything she wanted and her way to be said. The tone came across that way on occasion – not always. She also praised her appearance way more often than was necessary. Don’t get me wrong – appreciation of one’s own beauty is perfectly fine, but when it feels like it’s every other chapter, it can be a little bit overbearing.

Other times I thought that she acted like any other normal person would in that situation, or she acted like how her blood called to her and who she was. Overall I wasn’t totally thrilled with her character, but I’m hoping she’ll mellow out in the upcoming books and really hone her skills as a sidhe-seer. I was a little sad we got to see so little of her sidhe-seer skills in this book, but then again, it was only the beginning.

Jerico Barrons was a mysterious character throughout the whole novel. He acted much more mature than what his age perceived him to be, and that kind of threw me for a loop. He was very sort of domineering, always trying to be in charge, and Mac was always butting heads against him. I really want to get to know him better because I really don’t feel like I got a true feel for him, but I do have my theories that he, himself, is a Fae – we’ll just have to see if that theory is true!

V’lane, the Fae who drives human women to want sex like crazy, was also just as mysterious and only made two appearances in the book, but both times were highly erotic in ways that didn’t really involve touching or anything of the sort. His character just felt kind of put in there to me, like he was just there for certain plot points, but I’m sure he’ll make more appearances in further books.

Other than that, I really hope that the plot grows and that the characters grow, too. I felt like this book could have been a lot better and included so much more.

That’s also not to say this book was bad! Some of the descriptive elements helped to paint the picture of Dublin and the state in which it is in, and also it held elements that made me wondering what will happen next. If you want to give it a shot, definitely do so, but just remember that this is the first book in the series and that it’s just laying the foundation for the rest of the series.

I give this book a 3.5/5 stars and recommend it to anyone looking to get into some more adult urban fantasy.

The Selection Novellas Reviews

So I recently just read all of The Selection novellas by Kiera Cass, and rather than do separate reviews for them, I’m just going to combine them into one review here. There’s a few spoilery kind of things in the reviews, just so you’re aware.

theprinceTitle: The Prince
Series: The Selection 0.5

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection…
Before Aspen broke America’s heart…
There was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life…
Don’t miss this thrilling 64-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection. Also features a teaser to The Elite, Kiera Cass’s hotly anticipated sequel to The Selection.

In this novella, we got to see part of The Selection from the viewpoint of Prince Maxon, and I was actually excited to read from his perspective because I liked his character when I read the first book. In this we saw him dealing with his emotions before the Selection process and I think that he stuck true to his character: he was shy, but confident, and tried to make the right decisions.

And then there was this girl from France who just kind of made a situation in the novella seem kind of abusive and I was like, “Um, yeah no.” Trying to make Maxon think he was in love with her and he just didn’t know it? Yeah, no thanks. She was nice up until that point and then BAM.

Then we saw him during his first encounter with America and a few more after, and I really enjoyed those scenes, being able to get his thoughts on what had just happened and all of that.

There wasn’t much to go on here, but it was nice nonetheless to see from Maxon’s point of view. If you’re a fan of the series, give this a read!

3.5/5 stars

theguardTitle: The Guard
Series: The Selection 2.5

Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . .
Before she entered the Selection . . .
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen’s point of view. The Guard also features a teaser to The One, the thrilling conclusion to The Selection trilogy.

So when I originally started this I thought I was going to read a bit more from Aspen’s point of view before he became a guard, and maybe his journey into it, or something like that. But this novella was about his time in the palace when America is going through her Selection and the various times they meet in The Elite.

Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of Aspen, so I had to push through this one. I found him kind of annoying like I did in the series, but it was still good to get a perspective from him.

He was confident in his role as a guard, but a lot of his thoughts were only about America. When he had a talk with Lucy, I was hoping for something else to happen, but he just went right back to thinking of America, which is fine since he was still infatuated with her.

Overall, I thought him to be a little too dependent on America. He tried so hard to show he still cared, but I didn’t really get that from him. I got a desperate boy trying to win back the heart of the girl he made brokenhearted.

The plot of the novella did follow some different sequences, though, and we did get to see him in action a little bit, which was cool. I wanted to know more about the rebels and see more fights, but alas, it didn’t happen.

3/5 stars

PrintTitle: The Queen
Series: The Selection 0.4

Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

This was actually my favorite Selection novella and I wish there had been more!

This novella followed Queen Amberly when she was in the Selection back in the day. I found her to be reserved and polite, knowing a little bit more strife than some of the other girls that were there. I think that it was kind of adorable that she had been in love with (then) Prince Clarkson ever since she was a little girl from having seen him on TV and whatnot and the fact that that little girl crush continued on into her Selection process.

It was nice to see Clarkson take an interest in her and show some concern in his own way for her because of her medical condition. From there, their subtle romance took off and I actually thought that it was really kind of cute and enticing.

The plot itself showed a glimpse as to why Clarkson became the king he was due to his parents, and it showed how Amberly handled that situation. The two seemed kind of made for each other, which was sweet.

Definitely give this novella a go if you’re a fan of the series.

4/5 stars

thefavoriteTitle: The Favorite
Series: The Selection 2.6

While America Singer’s heart was torn between Aspen and Prince Maxon, her friend Marlee knew exactly what she wanted—and paid the price.

Revisit the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series in this digital original novella. Told from Marlee’s point of view, this all-new 64-page story returns to the fateful Halloween when Marlee and Carter were discovered, and reveals how that night—and Prince Maxon—changed their lives forever.

This novella took place during the events in The One and I actually really enjoyed this novella, too. It follows Marlee during the time she’s going to be beaten for treason, and it also goes into flashbacks about her and Carter first meeting and the times in between to their first kiss and beyond.

I was super suspicious of Marlee at the beginning of the series, but as it progressed I saw that she was really just a genuine friend, and after her little rendezvous with Carter, it kind of really showed that her heart was elsewhere.

This novella was divided into two parts, and I was honestly hoping the second part had more to do with a little bit into the future of their lives, but it was during one of the attacks from the rebels. As with the other novellas, I just wished for more because I wanted to see how they’d act and react in certain situations.

I really liked the characters explored in this novella, and though I wish the plot in the second half had been a little different, it was still good nonetheless, though there were some parts where I questioned why something was funny or why something had to happen the way it did.

Either way, check this novella out if you enjoyed the series.

3.5/5 stars

*All novellas were read in ebook format on my nook Simple Touch.

The Heir Book Review

theheir

Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: Book #4 in the Selection series
Publisher: HarperTeen – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Genres: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Purchased Hardcover

“The Heir” by Kiera Cass is the story of Princess Eadlyn, the heir to Illea’s throne. She was the first child born – seven minutes separating her and her brother from switching positions – and she feels she is one of the most powerful people in the world. But there is unrest in Illea even though the castes have been done away with and it’s really starting to take a toll on her father, King Maxon. So her parents come up with the idea to host another Selection – one for Eadlyn – and she’s hesitant to do it at first, not wanting to fall in love with anyone and wanting to do everything herself. But she agrees to it with some conditions and is soon thrust into her own Selection.

This book was definitely different from America’s story. I thought it was interesting to see how Eadlyn didn’t want to do it and how there were conditions and everything, but as it kept going I just kept thinking, “Why are you being so… frustrating?”

Hey, I’m all for women power and doing things on their own, but man I found the way Eadlyn to do it extremely frustrating.

So, let me talk about some of the characters:

Eadlyn, being in the place for the heir of Illea, has a lot pressure put on her to learn policies and diplomacy and many other things a queen would have to learn to do when she ascends the throne. So she’s kind of a workaholic in a way, wanting to focus more on work than building relationships. When the Selection was initially presented to her, she acted childish and threw a bit of a tantrum. Many times throughout the book I found her to be frustrating, manipulative, and selfish. During the times she let her guard down and become vulnerable were the times I actually enjoyed reading. The fact that she had a wall up – and realized it – was frustrating, yes, but the fact that she didn’t do anything about it was probably the most frustrating of all. She’d realize that she’d let too much slip or someone would ask the wrong question and she’d clam up, instantly shunning them. I didn’t think it was right, in a way. But she is the future queen and sees herself as above others. At least, that’s the impression I got from her.

Ahren, her twin brother, was much more likable and I kind of wanted to see more of him throughout the book. He was funny and charismatic, much like his father, Maxon. Maybe that’s why I liked him more. He cares for Eadlyn deeply and would do anything for her, but even he has his limits.

Maxon and America are different from their stories because they’ve grown up and matured and it’s nice to see how they have matured in their own ways. I definitely felt motherly affection from America and the strain of ruling from Maxon.

Some of the suitors whom I love and hope will make it to the end:

  • Kile: he’s lived in the palace his whole life as Marlee’s son, and he and Eadlyn have been at each other’s throats for just as long. But once he became a suitor and they started opening up to each other, I was rooting for him.
  • Henri: his first language is Finnish, so he has to have a translator – Erik – around him in order to help communicate. But he’s super sweet and nice and caring and he makes me smile.
  • Hale: he’s just so polite and kind and I love him to bits. He says he’s going to prove to Eadlyn every day something new to win her over, and he does do something everyday to try to show her what she means to him.
  • Fox: he was kind of in the background through most of the book, but I think that they shared a great moment and I think he’s actually really kind (he kind of reminds me of the situations America came from).

The others I don’t really care about, sorry to say. But it’ll obviously get down to a few of them, and I’m hoping she picks well (though I think I know who will be picked).

The plot was similar to the original trilogy, but it was different in how staged a lot of it was and how Eadlyn was doing it just to comply and make her parents and people happy. When things continually go wrong and she sees the errors, but dismisses them, I’m glad that someone does eventually kind of make an obvious statement, but… then she kind of brushes that off too. She’s just really frustrating and doesn’t really reflect on herself and her actions.

Anyway, yes, I do recommend this if you’ve read the Selection trilogy. It’s a good continuation and yes, I am looking forward to the next book despite all of the frustrating moments in this one.

I rated this book 3.5/5 stars.

Red Queen Book Review

redqueen

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Book #1 in the Red Queen trilogy
Publisher: HarperTeen – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publishing Date: February 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult – Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 383
Format: Purchased Hardcover

“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard is a book about a seventeen year old girl named Mare who is a thief in her town. She’s born as a Red – that is, a red-blooded person – and they are viewed as peasants, workers, the lowest of the low. The other class of people are the Silvers – silver-blooded people – and they are the elite because they have superpowers, whether that be the ability to control water, fire, metal, ice, turn themselves into stone, read and damage minds, and more. Though they have these powers, they are only able to draw their powers from the elements around them.

One day Mare gets caught up in a plan to help her family and ends up destroying their dreams of a better future. And then she meets a stranger who helps her get work in the Hall of the Sun to work among the Silvers she hates and that’s when things become electrifying.

Mare has the ability to control lightning, despite being a Red, and suddenly she has a huge target painted on her back.

This book was an interesting read and definitely super hyped up. I enjoyed reading about the powers and their world and how even though there are some forms of technology such as guns, TVs, and other such things, there’s also a sense of the past in the way the caste system works and how there are kingdoms in the world.

Before I continue, there may or may not be spoilers strung throughout the rest of my review, so if you haven’t read the book yet, please do. They won’t be heavy spoilers, but maybe there will be something that is said that tells too much.

Mare is a character that is strong willed, stubborn, very opinionated, and quick witted. Those are really the best terms to describe her in this instance. For a lot of the story I read about a girl who continually questioned and doubted herself, but then would proceed to raise herself up. Sometimes she would figure things out a little too fast or a little too easily, as if everything came to her as a revelation and that’s one of the things I didn’t like about her. I enjoy when the main character has to go along to figure things out for themselves. I guess she did at the end, though, with the big “plot twist” I believe people talk about. Overall I thought she was an okay character, but she definitely could have used more of a character arc to help her develop more, in my opinion.

Cal, the older prince, is a Silver who wields fire. He’s a strong soldier who’s trained and trained to not only wield his power, but to also be physically capable in any battle he’s thrust into. When we first meet him he’s hiding undercover as a common Red, but later, when Mare starts working at the Hall of the Sun, she sees him as the prince, the heir to the throne and an enemy. Though there are many layers to Cal, I still found that I liked him most out of the secondary main characters. He’s gentle, but tough, and he knows what to say when he can say it. I was rooting for him the whole time and I can’t wait to see what he brings in the next book.

Maven is the younger prince who is thrust into the situation to marry Mare as a way of concealing her identity and ensuring that they are able to use her later on down the line. He is quieter and not as strong as his older brother, but where he lacks strength he makes up for in intelligence. On more than one occasion he has proven to figure many things out and deceive a lot of people. For a big portion of the book, I didn’t trust him. Even during the plot twist, I half-trusted him. He was sort of growing on me, but he was just too perfect to be good.

The Queen, Elara, I don’t like her. She makes a good villain, really, and her power to go into someone’s mind, search through memories, and even possibly destroy that person, is frightening. But cool. I still don’t like her, though, and hope she dies at some point.

The Scarlet Guard is kind of like their own character all together, and is made up of several people (Farley, Kilorn, among others) who try to fight for the Reds and bring justice and peace to the warring countries. They want freedom and more equality between Reds and Silvers, and though their means may seem a bit harsh or extreme at times, they need to take drastic measures in order to see any change happen.

Now, as for the romance in this book, it was very subtle and few and far in between, which made my inner romantic sad, but at the same time I was rooting for someone. And though there was a sort of love triangle, it didn’t really flourish because of how twisted one character became at the end. I’m still rooting for Cal, I will say it, but I’m feeling there’s going to be another love triangle to come in the second book.

The plot itself was intriguing and I think that’s what’s going to keep my reading the trilogy. I feel like I want to know more about this world and the war and how everything operates because we only get a slighted view from Mare’s point of view, so I really want to see what more of this world is like and how everything unfolds. I felt that maybe there could have been a bit more depth in the way the setting was delivered, but at the same time I feel like it was done as well as it could have been.

Overall, I rated this book 3.5/5 stars and though for a big portion of the book I let other reviews decide how I was reading it, I still managed to kick out those voices and enjoy the book for what it was. Will I continue? Yes. I hope it gets better as it goes.

Divergent Series Review + Movie Review

Titles: Divergent; Insurgent; Allegiant; Four
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Books 1-3 + Novella bind up of the Divergent series
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Dates: April 25, 2011; May 1, 2012; October 22, 2013; July 8, 2014
Genres: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 487; 525; 526; 208
Formats: Purchased Paperback + Hardcovers

Hello all! Today I’m going to be reviewing the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I’ve already done the various videos about each book in depth, so if you want to take a look, I’ll link them at the bottom of each review section.

Just so you know, any review I do on this blog will be spoiler free unless otherwise stated. Sometimes my videos will include spoilers, so fair warning now!

divergentDivergent Review

I thought that this book was very enticing. I will admit that I did see the movie before I read the book, and though I’m not a fan of doing that, I was still able to make comparisons and pick out my favorite parts from both book and movie.

So, when I read Divergent I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had first heard of it. I thought the premise of the story was a good one, and when I started to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fun, epic adventure that follows the journey of a 16 year old girl named Tris as she leaves her faction behind to seek the thrilling life of her new faction. She meets some interesting people along the way who help mold her into the person she becomes, including Four, who is a mysterious, and oftentimes harsh, guy who is not only her initiation instructor, but someone Tris becomes very close to.

As the story progressed I was surprised with how much time was spent talking about the Dauntless training and the various things that happened in Dauntless. It’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but it was different from the movie, in my opinion. I actually enjoyed the book more because of it and felt that I got a really good feel of what living in Dauntless would be like.

The antagonist of the book, Jeannine Matthews, is a good villain. She has a goal she wants to reach and will get rid of anyone standing in her way, literally, including the Divergent – people like Tris. Jeannine is manipulative and cunning, making for a good villain that you can’t help but be mad at.

And then there’s Eric. I don’t like him.

The book is well written and the content can pull you in. As Veronica Roth stated in a Q&A in the book, she wanted to create a character that would cause the plot to keep driving forward. I believe Tris did just that.

The story left off with a cliffhanger and there was definitely room for a sequel to come into the mix, which I will talk about… now.

I give this a 4.75/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Divergent Book & Movie Review

insurgentInsurgent Review

As far as sequels go, I wasn’t completely disappointed with Insurgent. Some sequels are often lack-luster and can leave the reader feeling like it was just filler and didn’t need to be there, but Roth did a good job in presenting a sequel that followed the story line and didn’t disappoint.

It starts off with Tris dealing with a lot of emotional damage after the last book and it makes for a tough beginning for her as she and some of her friends have to lie in hiding from Jeannine Matthews and those that follow her. Though this doesn’t work out and the group has to run for their lives, they still manage to escape Jeannine’s clutches – for now.

The premise of this book focuses mainly on how much Jeannine wants to get rid of the Divergent. There’s a big secret surrounding them that isn’t discovered until the end of the book, but leading up to it there is a lot more action, bloodshed, and loss, but also a lot more budding romance between Four and Tris.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I will tell you that I do recommend this book and I give it a 4.5/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Insurgent Review

allegiantAllegiant Review

The third installment in the Divergent series let me down a little. I was expecting a different story, a different ending, and though the ending itself was heart-wrenching, it still made for a good ending. The premise of the story, though, felt off for the series as a whole. Let me explain why.

The premise of this book was following Tris, Four, and various other members of different factions outside of the fence lines. The point of view of this book changes, though, and is told from both Tris’s view and Four’s view. It surprised me and I questioned why Roth did it that way, but as I continued reading it did make sense for the story itself.

But that’s where it started to fall short.

The main plot to this last book was about genetic damage and how a corporation outside of the fence, known as the Bureau, was conducting experiments and watching them the whole time from outside the city limits. Our main heroes discover what they were really up to and try to stop them.

Now, this book had a lot of potential. I think if this were written for a different series, a different set of characters, it would have worked. But it didn’t seem to flow as well as Insurgent had from Divergent in terms of plot. In terms of story line, there was a continuous flow that occurred.

I give this book a 3.5/5 stars, but if you’ve read the first two books, you may as well read this one, too.

Corresponding video: Allegiant Review

fourFour Review

This was a novella collection of the Divergent series told from Four’s perspective. I enjoyed the collection and it was a fast and easy read as it told about Tobias’s past and how he joined Dauntless, flew through the ranks, and discovered a few secrets.

There were a few major continuity issues, though, and the parts that were included that made it that way really didn’t need to be and it took away from his stories overall.

I give this novella collection a 4/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Four Review

Divergent Movie Review

As stated above, I saw the movie before I read the book, but when I did see it I was hooked from beginning to end. I was rooting for Tris, I was rooting for her relationship with Four, I was captivated by the world of it, and I wanted Jeannine Matthews to pay for what she did so bad. The action scenes were enticing, the script was good, and the acting was well done.

Yes, there was one cheesy line at the end that really didn’t need to be there. Yes, the actor who plays Four, Theo James, is obviously not 18, but that’s okay. Yes, it was different from the book in the end.

If they had stuck with the original premise of the book at the end, I think it would have made for a much better lead into the next movie, but it’s obviously too late to change that. Overall, this was a well done book-to-movie adaptation and I rate it 4/5 stars.

So, there you have it! A bunch of reviews in one giant post. I probably won’t do this again unless it’s another series that I finish, but I will try to keep up with this blog, as well as my vlog, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Corresponding video: Divergent Book & Movie Review