As former Alchemist Marcus Finch pushes Alchemist Sydney Sage to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.
I love companion series, they make the original series so much fuller and you get to see more of that world! Sydney begins to realize that she no longer embraces the Alchemist rules like she used to, the more she is with the Moroi and dhamphirs she is assigned to. Finding out you have been lied to can also be unappealing to someone with the brains to figure it all out. A good continuation of the Alchemist side of the story.
Harper Kane Olympic Swimmer gets caught up shady government operations, when her microbiologist brother Bobby is killed after he develops a serum that gives people psi-onic powers. Now the government that funded these experiments wants her dead, and they send in their best op Rome Lucian. Unfortunately, for the government, Rome realizes something is fishy, and decides to aid Harper.
This was a fun quick read. However, the plotting could be more credible, with less coincidences. Like why would Bobby be shot, the very day, the very minute, Harper arrives for a visit?
School Spirits is Rachel Hawkins spin off series from Hex Hall. This book centers around Izzy Brannick who we met in the Hex Hall series. Izzy is one of the last of a long line of Brannicks who fight monsters, except it is now just her mom and her. They are now working for the Prodigium Council tracking down monsters instead of just killing them. A case leads them to Ideal, Mississippi and Izzy’s first stint in high school. She quickly becomes friends with the teen’s in the Paranormal Management Society (PMS–horrible acronym). They are interested in a ghost named Mary who is supposedly haunting the school. She has been a ghost for over a hundred years, but has recently amped up her activity. Izzy, along with Romy (peculiar girl extraordinaire) and dreamy Dex (who may or may not be magic) have to figure out what Mary is doing before she hurts anyone else.
I love the Hex Hall series. They are fun and witty and entertaining. I think this is going to be another fun series to follow. The banter between Izzy and Dex was wonderful. I also enjoyed the ghost storyline, mainly because it didn’t turn out like I thought it would. I am intrigued by this new focus on the Brannicks and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes.
I received a copy of this from the publishers on Netgalley.com and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Abby is doing school project on her family tree and discovers that she is a descendant of Sarah Good, one of the accused witches at Salem. This discovery coincides with the strange dreams and blinding headaches she has been having. While researching in Salem, Abby meets dreamy Rem who seems to know a lot about her and can talk to her in her head. Back at school she is crushing on dreamy Travis, the popular, athletic, heart of gold senior who just happens to be dating the world’s meanest and worst person Megan. Abby’s research uncovers a book of spells which she just has to try; a love spell on Travis works like magic. Soon Abby is caught between Travis and Remy and an evil circle of witches who want to unleash revenge on Salem on prom night of course.
I found this book entertaining, but very cliche. It reads like your typical teen paranormal B movie. Everyone is pretty one-dimensional and predictable. The idea is intriguing, a girl descendant of the Salem witches coming into her power; however, the execution was not that great. For one thing, I found Abby fairly unlikable once she started practicing magic. She was all about self-gain and revenge, which doesn’t make a very good heroine. I found the circle of witches thing ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous. They wait hundreds of years so they can have witches of all four elements (earth, air, fire, water) so they can do a big spell and bring revenge on Salem, even though the people in Salem today have nothing to do with the original witch hunts. It seemed so contrived like the author really just needed more paranormal activity. I won’t spoil it, but the ending was definitely made for a movie…contrived and cliche. I feel like this has been done before and better.
I received this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.
Sunny’s best friend and cousin Shiri commits suicide. Her family does not know how to cope with it. Sunny’s hippy parents seem lost and the tension between her Aunt Miri and Uncle Raymond just keeps getting worse. In the wake of the tragedy, Sunny starts experiencing weird flashes where she hears voices. It turns out she is hearing the thoughts of others and she learns Shiri had the same power/affliction from her journal. With this power, Sunny learns what her friends really think of her and that her Uncle Raymond is abusive. She finds a new group of friends but they just seem to want to exploit her powers. It doesn’t seem like anyone is on Sunny’s side.
I felt like this book had two different personalities. On one hand it was a moving story about a family coming to terms with a tragedy. How do you cope with your loved one taking their own life? You start questioning everything and you discover things you never knew. On the other hand it is about a girl with a secret power to hear thoughts. She has to learn to handle her power and she has to figure out who she can trust with the knowledge. I really thought the suicide storyline was the stronger story. I am intrigued by how the family copes with the tragedy and everything that came about because of it. I thought the underhearing, as Sunny calls it, was a bit of a stretch. We are given no reason for Sunny getting this power. Did she inherit it from Shiri when she died? How did Shiri get it? Why did it seem to come about during the late teens? Why does no one else have secret powers? If this was a world where the paranormal was more normal I think this part of the story might have been more believable. As it is, it seems like the author kind of thought “hey paranormal is really hot right now, I should throw it in my book”. I really liked the realistic aspects of the story and I think the author should have stuck to that.
I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.
Michael Grant, you have sucked me into your world of the FAYZ for the last time and I leave as bloody and broken as everyone else. This series has been addicting and depressing and amazing. I am sad to see it end, but I devoured every page racing towards the end.
Grant pulls no punches in this last installment (as if he ever as). Life is brutal in the FAYZ. Sure the barrier is clear now, but you still can’t cross over. You can see your parents on the other side eating their doughnuts and Carl’s Jr. even while you are starving. The Darkness is now a little girl named Gaia, but she is just as powerful and evil as ever. Little Pete, the only thing Gaia fears, is a disembodied spirit. And everyone else is just trying to survive and wondering about life after. The endgame is here and no one will walk away unscathed.
This is a brutal and brilliant series. I have loved every minute of it as I have despised the characters and cheered them on. The FAYZ has always been about good versus evil and what you are willing to do to survive. In this book the characters start wondering what will happen when the dome falls? What will the outside world think of them? Will anyone be able to understand just what went on in the FAYZ? Who will be blamed for it? This series was a wild ride and the ending was a double loopty-loop with a steep drop. I may have screamed all the way down but I loved every minute of it.
Bijou and her grandmother have just moved to Sykesville. Bijou starts school for the first time after being homeschooled her entire life. At school she meets dreamy Sebastian and his twin Amina. Bijou and her grandmother have moved a lot; they never seem to settle in one place. And Bijou is not your ordinary girl. She can sometimes feel what others are feeling and everyone is scared to look into her eyes. Turns out she has a reason to feel different. She is the “chosen one” of prophecy. She is part djinn and supposedly the savior (or sacrifce) that will restore the powers of the djinn. Sebastian and Amina are her protectors and djinn as well. Weird things start happening at school with a teacher and mean girl Mandy. Then the djinn arrive and Bijou has to figure out what is really going on.
I almost gave up on this book. The plot was just all over the place. I found the idea of the djinn interesting, but I think this book could have really used some editing and maybe a plot outline. The characters were all over the place; I could never figure out if they were on the same side or enemies or what. One minute they were one and the next another. It was like everyone in the book had a split personality. And the djinn prophecy didn’t always make sense. It seemed like things changed every once in a while to fit whatever scene was taking place. Sometimes the djinn had powers and sometimes they were powerless. Sometimes Bijou acted like she knew what the heck was going on and others she was completely clueless (about the same things). And then there was the love triangle (or square). Bijou/Sebastian/Niko/Mandy. This was just ridiculous! I almost always hate love triangles and this one ranks at the bottom of my list (or the top of the most hated). The whole story was one convoluted mess.
I received a copy of this book on netgalley.com.
They have defeated Bishop, they have defeated the humans, and they have defeated the draug, so what is left? Vampires of course. In this installment of the Morganville series the big bad is a vampire. Naomi is back and she is wrecking havoc on Morganville. She is using her special powers of persuasion to force people and vampires to do as she wishes. And of course, no one knows she is behind it. This causes all kinds of havoc as humans are required to carry identification cards and vampires are free to hunt. Amelie is under Oliver’s influence and doesn’t seem to have the interests of the town in mind. Michael and Eve’s marriage is causing all kinds of problems from both the humans and the vampires. It is a sad day in Morganville when Myrnin is the most logical member of the town.
I like the Morganville series; it is one of the few series that I have read so many books in. However, I do feel like the series has run its course. There is only so many more disasters that can happen to one small Texas town. This book is told in multiple viewpoints, which only worked part of the time. I thought having Oliver’s viewpoint spoiled the surprise of who the big bad was and I thought the rest were just a bit superfluous. These books are really about Claire and I think hers is the strongest viewpoint. We’ll have to see what happens in future books after the events of Bitter Blood. Could be interesting.
Fane’s Cove is a strange town. There are all kinds of paranormal happenings in the town and the people just accept them. In fact, the same people have lived in the town forever; families don’t seem to leave Fane’s Cove. Cae is part of one of those families and she has a gift. She has a bit of the sight passed down from her grandma. Gray Addison is an anomaly. His family has moved to Fane’s Cove. Cae is drawn to Gray and his quest to find his family history. His family is from Fane’s Cove, but all records of them have been lost. Cae and Gray uncover a buried secret about Jack Addison, Gray’s ancestor, and his connection to the town and its strange history.
This was a fun story. I like the paranormal/ghost/demon aspect of the book, but I was especially intrigued by the hidden history of the town. I enjoyed Cae and Gray’s quest to discover his family history. I also enjoyed their relationship; starts off antagonistic, becomes flirty, develops into something more. My only quibble with the book was the ending. I really hate cliffhangers, especially huge cliffhangers like this one, but it does open the book up for a series.
I received a copy of this book on Netgalley.com.
Mac and her family have just moved into the Coronado, an aging LA hotel-turned-apartment building. Mac is not particularly thrilled about it. The move was precipitated by the death of her little brother and Mac’s not ready to let him go yet. This unwillingness to let him go is beginning to severely interfere with her secret job as a Keeper for the Archive. The Archive isn’t an ordinary repository; it is a place where the lives of the dead are stored. These are called Histories. Each History has his or her own coffin-shaped shelf. Each History is physically similar to its former living state. Trained by her late grandfather, Mac was the youngest Keeper in history. Most Histories are calm and remain in the Archives, but a few “wake up” and escape into a sort-of-purgatory called the Narrows. It is here that Mac must apprehend these escaped Histories, who typically become increasingly distressed and violent the longer they are “awake”, and return them to the Archive. Mac’s pretty good at her job, but things start going awry shortly after her arrival at the Coronado. For one thing, there’s another Keeper on the premises. And Mac might have a tiny crush on him. This, however, becomes eclipsed by the volume of work skyrocketing to unprecedented levels. It’s normal for a few Histories to wake up now and then, but multiple instances every day? And then there’s the strange boy lurking in the Narrows whose presence makes no sense. And the mysteries of the hotel itself….Mac’s got her plate pretty full. Assuming she survives her work.
Fascinating concept, but not as well-realized as I had hoped. This is, however, the first book in a series, so there’s necessarily a lot of world-building going on. Very little of the book takes place outside the Coronado, so it begins to feel a little limited at times in spite of the “real world” setting. Still an interesting examination of the nature of death and grief with a distinctly supernatural twist.
It is a satisfying ending to this exciting and action packed trilogy about FBI Special Agent Pendergast’s search for his wife Helen.
Another Awesome novel by Gaiman! Richard Mayhew leads a boring negligible life, pushed around at work and by his fiance named Jessica. Then, though he and Jessica are running late for a critical dinner, he stops to help a bleeding unconscious street urchin, named Door, a resident of DownBelowLondon. His involvement with this underworlder leads him to slip through the cracks and become invisible/nonexistent to the in the London Above world. He returns to London Below , seeks out the girl Door, and persuades her to let him accompany her on her search for her parents’ killers.
Gaiman excels at worldbuilding and tangible atmosphere. There is a steam-punk feel to this novel, though it was published in 2003, well before the steampunk craze.
I just love this author.
Yes there is a vampire character in the book, named Lamia.
Rose Red is a massive mansion in Seattle, the construction and haunting of which is described in the pages of the diary of Ellen, the young wife of an early 1900s oil baron, John Rimbauer. The site of several disappearances and murders, Rose Red becomes a living entity to Ellen, both welcome and terrifying. The fate of Ellen and her family mirrors the fate of the mansion.
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is fiction disguised as a diary, presented as paranormal evidence by a fictitious doctor, Joyce Reardon. Adding to the confusion is the real-world misconception that this novel was written by Steven King. Actually written by Ridley Pearson, this book was created to promote Stephen King’s Rose Red miniseries, which aired two years later. I didn’t find it particularly frightening, or believable as a diary, for that matter. A fair portion of the first half concerns world travel and the start of Ellen’s rocky marriage. Once back at Rose Red, however, the story starts a slow, unsettling burn toward a final confrontation, which is more compelling. This is a better than average tie-in novel, recommended for readers in search of creep rather than gore.