Tag Archives: magic

Flamecaster – Cinda Willaims Chima

Summary:
A burning vengeance.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic-and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers now to save a life, but to take it?
A blood-based curse.
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would one day make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Destiny’s fiery hand.
Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the ruthless king, Ash and Jenna will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Se in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

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Review:
So if you read my last review you all know that I absolutely loved the Seven Realms series. Flamecaster is the next series based in the same world, only it’s a generation later. I also very much loved this book. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the next three books aren’t out and there aren’t even any expected publication dates, which I guess it understandable seeing as this book just came out in April. But still, I don’t care if I’m being unreasonable! I need to know what’s going to happen next!
Cinda Williams Chima is an amazing writer. The way she sets up the plot for what going to come next and the setting, ugh, I wish this world was a real place. From the way she describes it, it’s beautiful even after twenty five years of war with Arden. She explains everything in such good detail I feel like I’m there with Ash when he’s at Oden’s Ford, or right alongside Jenna in Delphi. I just really enjoy the way the story is written. It’s an extremely action packed story; pretty much right from the start of the book, but there’s also a bit of romance and quite a few devastating parts as well as surprise after surprise. Chima seems to know exactly how to make it straight to my heart and get me way too involved in the story and beyond in love with the characters. She also does one of my favorite things, she tells the story from more than one perspective. From this, I knew as soon as I started to read the story that our two main characters, Ash and Jenna, would eventually meet. I love that I get more than just one part of the story. I get to see what’s going on in other parts of the world all at the same time.
The beginning of Flamecaster threw me off a little bit. In the start of the book Ash is thirteen and Jenna is twelve. We read a few chapters of their lives at this age while they both experience something traumatic and life changing. Then the story fast forwards four years. I took me by surprise and had me confused for a few pages until I realized what had happened. It’s not that I didn’t like the time jump, because I totally understand why the author did it, I just think she should have done it a little more clearly. Maybe she could have labeled underneath the chapter title “four years later” or something like that.
As always the characters are my favorite part to talk about. In Flamecaster I feel like there are so many more characters I’d like to talk about compared to the Seven Realms series. I think maybe there are just more characters that I’ve started to love. So I’ll start with our favorite prince, Adrian sul’Han also called Ash. He’s so his father’s son it’s ridiculous. He keeps secrets just like his father did, though his secrets didn’t blow up in his face like they did for his father, thankfully. He’s a smart and brave young man throughout all of these pages. Though, not everything he does is terribly intelligent. He gets it into his head that he needs to kill the king of Arden, which is why most of this story takes place in Arden. I thought that was cool because the last series took place mostly in the Fells and I really enjoyed getting to read about one of the other kingdoms in the Seven Realms. I understood why Ash felt that he needed to kill the king, but at the same time I don’t think he really needed to. I think it would have happened without his help and he should have gone back home instead of going to Arden. Part of me is glad he went because then he never would have met Jenna and we wouldn’t have gotten to learn more about his sort of friend Lila either. Thankfully, at the end of the story Ash decides it’s time for him to go home. At this point he’s grown up a great deal and I really enjoyed following him on his adventures to get to this point.
Jenna Bandelow was a very interesting character. I wasn’t totally sure where her part in the story was going to take us, except obviously towards Ash. Even after finishing this book I only have a slightly better understanding of what part she’s going to play in the Shattered Realms series, though I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a big one. I loved Jenna from the very start. She really cares about the people in her life and does her absolute best to protect them at any cost, even when doing so could cost her her life. Because of one of these moments she has to change her identity and starts her life over as a boy. She’s passionate about what she believes in and knows exactly what she wants. She actually reminds me a little bit of Queen Raisa. She consistently takes risks to try to make her town a better place and she never stops trying to do the right thing. I’m very excited to see where the rest of this series takes Jenna.
While Ash is studying at Oden’s Ford in the beginning of this story we meet Lila, who isn’t someone that I would call his friend, but they get closer to that by the end of this book. Lila was a very confusing character. I knew that I liked her, but I couldn’t always tell whose side she was on. She was a spy for the Arden kingdom, but never seemed to really agree with what she was doing and always seemed to have another goal in mind. When we finally find out who she really is I liked her even more. I knew there was something about her that I liked and as soon as that surprise was revealed I was very glad. I’m sure she’ll be a big part of the next three books and I’m excited to see more of her.
Flamecaster, the first book in the Shattered Realms series, was amazing. I’m glad I decided to buy it and even gladder I finally got around to reading it. I am going to try to patiently wait for the next three books to come out, but it will probably be more anxiously waiting than patiently. If you like action packed books with tons of plot twists with a bit of romance in the middle this is definitely the book for you.

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Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Beach Reads

I’m not really big on “beach reads” For me a beach read is usually just whatever I’m currently reading (as long as it’s not super depressing because I don’t need to cry in public). So I’m just going to try to direct my list more towards lighthearted reads that go well with beautiful summer days.

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  1. Anything by Julia Quinn- Forget her story lines. Forget her strong, witty characters. What I love most about Quinn is how funny her books are. Like laugh-out-loud-and-make-strangers-stare-at-you funny. It’s fantastic.
  2. Beastly by Alex Flinn- This one isn’t the most lighthearted book but it’s a pretty fast read that you could probably finish in one sitting. And it’s my favorite so I always recommend it.
  3. The Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts- This is one of her series’ that revolves a great deal around the friendships between her main characters. I just love how Nora can take romance novels and make them more about badass women being badasses together than about love.
  4. The Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts- This is the second book in her Guardians Trilogy which comes out June 14. This series has a little bit of everything; magic, a treasure hunt, even a mermaid. To me it’s a perfect beach read.
  5. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson- I read this one years ago and would love to read it again. It’s a great coming of age, summer adventure story.
  6. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson- I didn’t even know this book existed until about an hour ago and I would absolutely love to see where the story goes next.
  7. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer- These aren’t lighthearted or beachy in any way. They’re just amazing books and I highly recommend them.
  8. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh- This is another book I learned about very recently but immediately decided I want to read. It’s not often you find books based on A Thousand and One Nights.
  9. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss– I’m not really sure this fits into what people normally consider a beach read but I’ve recently had several people recommend it to me and I’d like to finally get around to reading it.

Sorry there’s only nine this week. I managed to delete my entire post after I’d already written most of it out so I lost a lot of my motivation the second time around. Anyway, these are some of the books I plan to read this summer or just think you should read. Thanks for reading and let me know what your top ten are in the comments.

-Antonia

 


Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Summary: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the world between humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets-and human lives.
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney an Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him…
Their worst fears now a chilling reality Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Oh. My. God. I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK.
First of all, Adrian and Sydney are apart for most of the book and it pretty much just made me want to cry the entire time. (I settled for really weird, pathetic noises that Amanda got sick of fast.) The good thing about them being separated was that I was able to follow two completely separate storylines that kept the pace fairly steady even when nothing serious was happening.
But trust me, a LOT was happening. I started this book at around ten-thirty last night, and finished it around three this morning. There was no way for me to put it down; between the awesome characters, amazing writing, and the absolutely crazy plot, I was hooked.
As always, I adore Sydney and Adrian, both individually and as a couple. Though they both have somewhat extreme personalities, I’m able to relate to them while I read. I almost always love the characters in the books I read but in the Bloodlines series, I connect to them more than usual. I would absolutely love to have Sydney as my best friend and, much as I love her, I would totally date Adrian (you know, if I didn’t have a boyfriend…Love you, honey!). Mead gives such depth to her characters that it’s impossible not to care about them.
This book was much darker than the previous ones in the series mainly because Sydney’s in re-education, which is basically the Alchemists nice way of saying brainwash and torture. Even though Mead kept it from being terribly gruesome, some of the scenes with Sydney were harder to read emotionally.
It was the same way with Adrian. He might not have been tortured and starved but the love of his life was missing and he had no way to contact her. I’d loved watching the progress he’d made in previous books to overcome his addictions and the effects of Spirit so it was that much harder to watch him spiral back downward without Sydney to help hold him up.
The ending took so many twists and turns that I could barely keep up with what was happening and even when I thought everything would be okay, the last page threw another curveball and I no longer know what’s going to happen with the last book. All I know is that it really needs to come out RIGHT NOW. Next February is way too long to wait for The Ruby Circle.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my review or this book. Amanda hasn’t read it so I can’t talk to her about it yet. Did you see the end coming? Because I sure as hell didn’t.
-Antonia


The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine & Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Sorry I’ve been slacking on reviews. To make up for the past three months of barely reading (seriously, four books in April, ZERO in May, and three in June), I’ve spent the last two weeks reading constantly and not really stopping for anything. So in the next few days I’ll try to write a bunch in between books.
One thing I’ve noticed about the more than thirty books I borrowed from the library is that there’s quite a few that have very similar storylines. In order to consolidate the number of reviews I need to write, I’m going to do something a little different and group some of the books together and compare them instead.
For this first review I’m comparing two middle-grade books about princesses: The Two Princess of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine and Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

Two Princesses of Bamarre Summary: When plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must fulfill an ancient prophecy.

Brave and adventurous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other.

The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters’ lives—and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre—hang in the balance.

Princess Ben Summary: “My gown suited me as well as I could ever hope, though I could not but envy the young ladies who would attract the honest compliments of the night. My bodice did not plunge as dramatically as some, and no man–no man I would ever want to meet, surely–could fit his hands round my waist. What I lacked in beauty I would simply have to earn with charm…”
Benevolence is not your typical princess–and Princess Ben is certainly not your typical fairy tale.

With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle’s highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins her secret education in the magical arts:mastering an obstinate flying broomstick, furtively emptying the castle’s pantries, setting her hair on fire… But Ben’s private adventures are soon overwhelmed by a mortal threat to her kingdom. Can Ben save the country and herself from tyranny?

Plot:
I loved both plots equally. In Two Princesses, shy and timid Princess Addie has to go on a quest to save her sister. There’s magic, dragons, trolls, fairies, etc. I loved the way this was executed. Since it’s not a terribly long book, you might think too much information was crammed into it but Levine makes everything work together wonderfully. With the help of her Seven-League boots, Addie can move between different sections of the kingdom instantly and encounters tons of different creatures. Many of them, (trolls, specters, gryphons) are simply monsters but I was happily surprised to find the dragon was intelligent and had a complex personality. She was still evil, but the depth she gave to the story was fantastic. Though the story revolves around Addie, the secondary characters were well rounded and I felt like I knew them just as well as I knew Addie.

In Princess Ben, Benevolence must overcome unforeseen circumstances to save herself and her country. There’s magic, dragons, a somewhat evil queen, a war with neighboring country Drachensbett, etc. This was also executed fairly well and I enjoyed the little bits of history of Montagne that we were given. I also enjoyed the fact that the love interest started out as the enemy. I love when misunderstood characters are simply that: misunderstood. That probably stems from my long-standing love of Beauty and the Beast.

The Heroines:
I adored Princess Addie. At first I thought I wouldn’t because of how timid she was. Terrified of everything, she hardly ever left the castle and when she did, she stayed on castle grounds. I was expecting to be annoyed by her, but when her sister’s life is in danger, Addie pushes back her fears in order to save her. She doesn’t suddenly become fearless, but she doesn’t let her fears control her either and by the end of the story she comes to realize that some of her fears (not all of them) aren’t as scary as she thought they were. I loved watching Addie grow into herself and couldn’t help but admire her strength and resolve.

Princess Ben, quite frankly, annoyed the crap out of me for most of the book. I understand she’s young and I understand her parents didn’t raise her to act like a princess, but from what we learned of her parents I would have expected her to be a lot more mature than she was. She was petty and spiteful and made the same mistakes over and over again. No matter how many bad things happened, she never grew up or took responsibility until she became a prisoner of Drachensbett. After that, I liked her much better and she became someone I could relate to, even though she was still a little impulsive and stubborn.

Overall:
Two Princesses was a quick, fun read that I enjoyed immensely. Everything tied together to make an exciting, heartfelt story that I couldn’t put down.
I also loved the ending. It wasn’t what I was expecting and was a little bittersweet, but I was glad there wasn’t a random and improbable miracle to make everything end perfectly. Even though I love reading about magic and fairytales, I also believe magic should have limits and while I want every book to have a happily ever after, I don’t particularly like when they become completely unrealistic.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairytales and strong, smart heroines.

Princess Ben didn’t quite live up to my expectations. The first half was slow and I didn’t like the protagonist at all. Murdock made up for it in the second half where the pace picked up and it became a story I couldn’t put down but I still can’t forget the fact I almost put it down in the beginning. I would recommend this one to anyone who likes fairytales, but if you’re the type of reader that needs a fast-paced book to hold your attention, this might not be the book for you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on either of these books and what you think of this joint review. Should I do another like this or stick to regular reviews?
-Antonia.


Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Goodreads Summary:Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances–and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale–until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

Jessica Day George has done it again. Princess of the Midnight Ball sucked me in until I couldn’t put it down until I was done and now the same thing has happened with Princess of Glass.
I loved Princess Poppy from the start. She was a strong, quirky, funny character that I grew attached to immediately. I liked the fact that I already knew of Poppy from Princess of the Midnight Ball and was wicked excited to get to know her more in this book.
I also fell in love with Prince Christian immediately. He was a little awkward and shy. He never liked people fawning all over him because he’s a prince and was kind to everyone whether they had a title or not. I liked the fact he and Poppy became friends as soon as they met. He thought she was a little strange but in a good way. It was a nice way to start their relationship.
I loved the secondary characters as well. As I mentioned in my review of Princess of the Midnight Ball (which you can find here), George gives all her characters very distinct personalities. Because of this, I cared about everyone’s lives and what was happening to them instead of just Poppy and Christian.
George’s version of Cinderella was fantastic. It was nothing like any other version I’ve read and it kept me guessing the entire time.
Overall, I loved this book. It was funny, suspenseful and romantic. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairytales and romance. It’s a quick but fun read.
-Antonia


Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Goodreads Summary:A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

I finally managed to get my hands on Princess of the Midnight Ball and it lived up to all of my expectations. It was fast-paced, funny, romantic, and just suspenseful enough to be interesting. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past: I. Love. Fairytale adaptations. It might be just that they remind me of being a child but they always leave me in a fantastic mood afterwards.
This story was no different. I haven’t heard the story of the twelve dancing princesses as often as others and having a more unique fairytale to inhale has made me ridiculously happy.
First, I’ll start with the characters. I thought George did a wonderful job of giving all the characters very distinct personalities without making it seem too crowded. Often I’ve found that authors can focus too much on the main characters and the secondary characters end up being rather flat. She obviously delved deeper into the personalities of the few main characters but I liked that I wasn’t left wondering who all the secondary characters are.
I thought Rose made a wonderful cursed crown princess. She was constantly trying to protect all eleven of her younger sisters which is a particularly admirable trait to me (I was the youngest of five siblings, so I know exactly how annoying little sisters can be.) I also loved how she tried to protect Galen by trying to prevent him from helping them, knowing how dangerous it would be for him.
Which leads me to my favorite part of the book. Galen was wonderful. He was charming and sweet, sensitive and tough, serious and funny. He was such a well-balanced character that I really couldn’t help but love him from the first chapter.
I think Rose and Galen complement each other very well. It was great to see them finally work together at the end of the book.
I thought the concepts and storyline of this book were new and very interesting. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the books in this series will bring. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult, fairytales or romance. As always, let me know what you’d think. I would love to hear your own feedback on this book.
-Antonia


Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Goodreads Summary: Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

I am so glad I discovered Jessica Day George and I can’t wait to read more of her books. I’d seen a review for Princess of the Midnight Ball a few months back but hadn’t gotten a chance to get it. When I was at Barnes and Noble the other day and saw her name, I knew I’d have to get at least one of her books. Unfortunately, they only had Princess of the Silver Woods (the third in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series) and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. Though Sun and Moon wasn’t what I’d originally been looking for, it looked interesting enough so I decided to try it. I’m so happy I did. I read this book straight through and enjoyed every part of it.
First off, I loved the fact it was written the way an old legend would be told. I have a soft spot for legends and myths, so I immediately fell in love with the writing style.
The lass entertained me from the very beginning. She was quiet, but strong, brave and intelligent. She cares about people and animals in need even if she’d be better off ignoring them. She faces her fears instead of letting them control her. I admired the lass more with every page I read.
I also loved the bear though I wish I could’ve seen more of him. He remained pretty mysterious for the majority of the book and I would have enjoyed getting to know him better.
Rollo, the lass’s wolf pet, was hilarious. He acted and spoke exactly as I’d imagine a pet wolf really would. The other secondary characters didn’t play enough of a part for me to have grown terribly attached to but I loved seeing different types of creatures you don’t see often in other fantasy books.
Overall this book is a quick read but a very entertaining one. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, young adult, or old stories and myths. As always, I’d love to hear your opinions on the book itself or my review of it.
-Antonia


The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be ‘cursed’?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.
As if that’s not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she’s leaning towards the werewolf…
Definitely not normal.

Oh my god. The Reckoning was one of those books that sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. On multiple occasions someone would have to say my name over and over until I heard them. I couldn’t have put this book down if I wanted to.
Chloe and Derek FINALLY realize they like each other. (I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I was more concerned about that than the fact they were running for their lives. I can’t help it; I’m a hopeless romantic.)
Chloe continued to impress me throughout this book. She’s come so far from the nice, shy girl she used to be. She’s become a bit of an expert at plotting and scheming and she’s not as afraid of her powers anymore. I loved watching Chloe grow throughout this series. She became someone I would love to be friends with.
I also loved watching Derek come out of his shell. He’s still quiet and brooding but he opens up so much to Chloe that I got to see how sweet he can be.
I still love Simon and Tori as secondary characters. They both add their own unique talents and personalities to the group. Simon might not have terribly strong magic but he sort of acts as the group’s optimism. He keeps everyone’s spirits up when things aren’t looking so great. Tori mostly adds her powerful witchcraft but she’s also fairly intelligent. She can hack computers and gets important information for the group.
This book had more action and more magic than the other two. There were quite of few rather shocking twists that actually had my jaw dropping. I don’t want to give anything away, but what the group thinks they know drastically changes a few times.
I was a little surprised by how things were resolved in the end. I’d sort of expected Chloe to suddenly come out with this crazy new power in order to save everyone but I’m glad she didn’t. It wouldn’t have been realistic. The group always gets out of situations by working together (and a decent amount of luck) so I ended up loving the way they worked together at the end.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how many questions it left me with. When it ended, Chloe and her friends are safe but they’re stilling running. Their powers are still out of control, they still can’t fit in with humans, and the Edison group still wants to kill them. I also don’t know most of what the Edison group had been up to. We know why they started the Genesis II experiments but don’t know anything about the dozens of other experiments. It also hadn’t been clear about why the mafia-type group that plays a small part toward the end has any interest in the kids. I really hate when books leave me with questions. I understand it’s unrealistic for them to be completely happy and safe all of a sudden. I know their lives will be difficult for awhile. Despite that, I’d much rather be able to pretend everything’s perfect at the end.
Overall, I absolutely adored this series. It sucked me in and kept me on my toes. They’re funny, suspenseful, filled with action and make you think. They completely exceeded the expectations I had when I first picked them up. I’d recommend them to anyone who enjoys YA, action, paranormal, and romance. I’d love to hear your own thoughts.
-Antonia


The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary:Chloe Saunders is on the run
and raising hell. Literally.
Chloe Saunders is not your average supernatural teenager. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister team of scientists, she can barely control her terrifying powers. Now the team that created her has decided it’s time to end the experiment. Permanently.
Now Chloe is running for her life along with a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom – but can Chloe trust her new friends?

I really can’t stress enough how much I love these books. As good as The Summoning was The Awakening was so much better. The action has picked up speed and so has the magic.
I love Chloe even more than I did after the first book. She’s become a bit of a badass. When shy, I-apologize-every-minute Chloe feels threatened, she turns into I-can-raise-the-dead-don’t-fuck-with-me Chloe. She’s fantastic. Her powers are growing and she’s figuring out how to use them. She’s done letting the Edison group get away with treating her and the other kids like shit and she’s done letting them do their experiments. She really steps up in this book against the Edison group and in trying to protect her friends.
Which leads me to Derek. Now I know they’re going to love each other forever even if they still don’t understand. It’s not their faults; they have a lot on their minds. But I have no doubt it’s going to happen and I absolutely can’t wait. They’re so perfect together I can’t believe no one sees it.
Next I’ll talk about the secondary characters again. There aren’t any new ones but the previous ones have drastically changed. I hate Rae. She really is just a stupid little bitch and I hope I don’t have to read about her again. Also, I sort of love Tori. She’s gotten over herself a lot. Her mom’s even crazier than she thought and she’s not stupid enough to stick around and see what happens. She stays with Chloe, Derek and Simon because they all have a common enemy but I think she and Chloe are actually beginning to care about each other and become friends. I can’t wait to read more about her in the next book.
What I liked in this book was getting to see Chloe and Derek trying to blend in with humans. I hadn’t thought about the fact it might be hard for them. I guessed Derek might have a hard time because he’s antisocial, but Chloe was fairly normal before Lyle house. However, at least for the foreseeable future, Chloe can’t tell the difference between a ghost and a living person unless they do something ghost-y like walk through walls. There was a part when Derek and Chloe get separated from the others and they’re trying to get food from a coffee shop. A woman comes up to Chloe and starts talking to her. It’s not until Chloe notices everyone laughing and whispering about her that she realizes the woman’s a ghost. I didn’t think how difficult it could be for her and I liked being able to see some of that in this book.
You can expect a review for The Reckoning, the conclusion to the Darkest Powers Trilogy, soon. I absolutely cannot wait to see how it ends. Let me know what you think and how your opinions might differ.
-Antonia


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost – and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House…before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

I’ll confess. I honestly didn’t expect to like these books. I was at the library and didn’t want to bring only one book home and didn’t have much time to look. So I just grabbed The Summoning and The Awakening thinking I’d probably at least be able to get through the first at some point. I ended up reading them in a day each. I loved these books.
Chloe was a strong, interesting narrator who kept exceeding my expectations. She was really shy and sweet at the beginning. She could definitely be considered too nice. I’d assumed she would just slide along through the whole book letting everyone else do the hard work. (Unfortunately I’ve found that many female MC’s in young adult books have an annoying lack of backbone and let their men take care of them. This is NOT the type of protagonist I enjoy reading about.) However, I found Chloe surprisingly resourceful. She was obviously scared when she started seeing ghosts and even more scared every time she learned something new about Lyle house and being a necromancer. But she never let it stop her from learning more and fighting back and I loved that about her.
I loved Derek almost instantly. He’s moody and quiet and a little bit of an asshole. But he’s also loyal, funny, and almost annoyingly protective of the people he cares about i.e. his brother, Simon, and eventually Chloe. Not long after I decided I loved him I also decided he and Chloe need to love each other for forever. Unfortunately it didn’t happen during this book, though they’re pretty good friends now so I’ve decided to be hopeful.
There were quite a few secondary characters and I’m fairly undecided about most of them. Simon is funny and I’d like him better if I wasn’t worried he’d get in the way of Chloe and Derek loving each other. I really like Liz (a ghost) and can’t wait to see more of her. Rae was nice but a little on the annoying side. She never seemed to take anything seriously. I hated Tori. She was a spoiled little bitch. I get her mother is an even bigger bitch but that’s no excuse for the things she does.
I really liked the way Armstrong portrays the different supernatural races and the politics behind them. It made it different from the many other YA paranormal books. I also really loved that Chloe is a necromancer. It’s something that I haven’t seen a lot of in books and it made it really unique.
The ending of this book drove me nuts. Everything goes to shit… then it ends… I’m just happy I don’t have to wait for any of these books to be published because I can’t wait to finish them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult, paranormal fantasy, and romance. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Amanda hasn’t read these books yet so I have no one to talk to about them. If you’ve read them, I would love to know what you think of them.
-Antonia