Monthly Archives: September 2012

Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1 by Ichiro Okouchi

Title: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1
Author: Ichiro Okouchi
Series: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1
Genre: Manga
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2008
Purchase: Amz/B&N

Blurb from  Amazon:
In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Brittania declared war on Japan. Powerless to stop them, Japan surrendered in less than a month. Freedom was lost and Japan was renamed “Area 11” and its people became known as “Elevens.” Lelouch is a Brittanian and his friend Suzaku, born an eleven, has achieved the status of honorary Brittanian. As a boy Lelouch vowed to crush his own government, but now seven years later and in high school, he’s accepted that he can’t change anything. That is until he meets a mysterious girl that gives him the power to control people’s minds – the power of Geass! He dons a mask and becomes the ruthless terrorist known only as Zero, destroying any who might stand in his path – including his boyhood friend Suzaku!

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What you need to know: Political drama at its best.

Code Geass is one of my favorite anime, I love the show. I was thrilled to see the manga in the library so I had to pick it up. Wow, it is similar to the anime but there are differences.

First thing is first though, let’s meet our wonderful cast. Lelouch, as the blurb says, is a Brittanian who suffered at the hands of the Empire and wants to bring down the downfall of the Empire. He has a sister, Nunnally, who has health problems because of what the Empire did to Lelouch’s family. Suzaku Kururugi,an Honorary Brittanian, who is friends with Lelouch and works for the Brittanian military. He believes in changing the Empire from within. Kallen Stadtfeld, half-Brittanian, half-Japanese girl, who believes the Empire needs to be change by force. C.C is the being that grants Lelouch his Geass which he uses to control people. We also meet students from Ashford Academy (the high school Lelouch attends) but they are not that important yet. Still want to meet his Academy friends? Milly is the class president, Shirley likes Lelouch and finally, Rivalz drives Lelouch to his gambling games.

Plot-wise, it’s the same as the anime. Lelouch wants to bring down Brittania because he wants to avenge himself and his family. Once Lelouch obtains the Geass, he begins the process of acquiring his “chess pieces” to move against the Brittanian Empire as well as gathering information as to who killed his mother. There are two intertwine plot lines already being established which is fantastic. Prince Clovis mentioned another royal member, Prince Schneizel, who may know more about the death of Lady Marianne (Lelouch’s mother) so I’m looking forward to meeting his manga persona. Prince Schneizel is pretty awesome in the anime series.

There are major differences between the anime and the manga. One of them is how Lelouch discover who Kallen really is and what she does when she is “sick.” The very first time that Lelouch dons the mask of Zero is different and the event is more intimate but less majestic. New events have been added to the manga that were not in the anime such as the defacing of Prince Clovis’ statue and Lelouch saving Kallen while they were on campus. Certain events have remained the same like Lelouch’s interest in gambling, Prince Clovis and Lelouch’s showdown, and C.C’s appearance and gift.

Art-wise, I love the images. They are really defined with good solid lining. The inclusion of little funny scenes make the manga funnier than the anime and it’s a good dash of humor when the situation is dark.

Overall, I really like the manga version of Code Geass. The new scenes didn’t really bothered me and it makes the manga seem new because what happened in the anime may not necessarily pass in the manga.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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73rd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: M/GN/VG, First in a Series, Science Fiction

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Review: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Flight
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Series: The Crescent Chronicles # 1
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source:  Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N
I received a copy of this novel from BBT free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Barnes & Nobles:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.
A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

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If you are expecting a paranormal book with lots of excitement, then let me the one to burst your bubble. If you are expecting a paranormal romance, then you are correct. I admit, I was part of the first group. I kept waiting for action that never came.

When it comes to the paranormal genre, I’m used to fast paced action happening every 60 pages like sex scenes in an Anita Blake book. It’s jarring when the pace slows down and nothing (exciting) happens. What is lacking in action is made up by the development of a real relationship (more like a fling). This is a romance book that is tinted with paranormal elements. The pace of the romance and the book (in general) is really great.

Character-wise, only the main characters are truly developed so Allie and Levi. They are both quick with their words and are just plain interesting. Allie is one of the realistic main characters that I have come across. She varies in her emotions; pride, resentment, love, and anger and all the emotions fit at the right time. Levi was interesting with his attitude. He wasn’t a jerk as much as he was cocky, a little too cocky. The secondary characters like Jared and Owen, friends of Levi, are not developed as characters. Some basic information is given about them but not enough to know them. Same thing with the adults and the villains.

World-development, it was unique and new. What Levi is, is not what I was expecting. They  are a very unique form of shifters. Some background is given as to their role in New Orleans which is deeper than expected. There is a royal family and some prejudices against other types of paranormal creatures (that is to be expected yet it still is surprising). The book barely dips itself into the paranormal world so it’s another “good introduction book” for those new to the paranormal literature.

(Little Spoiler up ahead)
I’m super happy that the book ended on a sour note. I am thrilled. Allie has a right to be beyond angry and she is behaving like a real person instead of that “Yeah, I like you so I’ll forgive you right away.” She may like him but she is being realistic about the emotional turmoil that Levi has inflected. (Spoiler Here)What really ruffles my feather is that Levi said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if Allie had never ran away, then she would not have kidnapped and almost raped (End).  It’s like “Are you seriously playing the blame game with someone who did not know what the ring meant?” It immediately brought down his likability as a character which was already down because he kept vital secrets from Allie that she should have known prior to physically being with him.  To make matters worse, the whole relationship read like a summer fling to me and not a true relationship. They both keep their past mainly hidden and they never discussed their future or hopes for the future. It’s a relationship that is fun but superficial on some level. On a different level, Levi invites her to his paranormal world but without explanation before he traps Allie in New Orleans, it means nothing.

I like the book because it has a new paranormal creature. It’s creative. At the same time, it’s not fast paced and I don’t believe in the relationship is as real as Levi thinks it is. It reads like a fling yet it is not, apparently. I’ll read the second book in the series because I want to see Allie’s anger (eventually, it will fizzled out) and see how it becomes a true relationship.

3.5-Pretty to look at, maybe capture

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72nd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, Where are you reading?-Louisiana

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2005
Purchase: Amz/B&N/

Blurb from Amazon:

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

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Cover Love: Love it, the cover actually points towards an event in the book so it is beautiful and useful

I knew I love the book the moment I saw the cover but story within the pages cements my love for it. It is so haunting and lovely at the same time.

Helen makes a very compelling character; she loves literature so she clings to those who like literature. She needs to be attached to a living person so she can continue to exist in the world of the Quick (the living). The ghosts called themselves Light (if they aware that they are dead). It’s when Helen meets James that she begins to consider her needs. James is a Light inside of Billy (a recovering drug addict). James introduces Helen to the idea of possessing a body that a soul no longer wants. The possession of the bodies helped both of them move on with their lives and be somewhat happy for awhile.

Helen posses Jenny and has to deal with a super conservative Christian family while James posses a drug addict. By helping the lives of the individuals they are possessing, they are bringing closure to their own stories by remembering their memories of their final moments. They died with the belief that they were sinning and probably deserve their death but as the memories come back, they start to remember what really happened.

Helen as Jenny helps the family move on from their extremely closed minded view of the world. Helen makes a better world for Jenny to live in and tolerate. James as Billy struggles to make a better life for Billy because Billy was such a troublemaker. In the end, he manages to bring closure to his brother.

Normally, I have issues with books but I can’t find anything that would decrease the rating of this book. Some may take issue with the portrayal of Jenny’s family. The family is hardcore Christian so deeply religious. I don’t have a problem with it because the type of philosophy the family claimed is very true. It’s also very true that certain lifestyles do smother people and Whitcomb showed both sides of the equation. Billy had extreme freedom while Jenny’s freedom was restricted and they both were just drowning in misery. Hating their very existence that Billy and Jenny were glad to have someone else take over their lives because they couldn’t deal with their lives. The book is sad on some level because the possessed individuals are so young.

I love the ending, it is very Titanic like. Anyways, I really liked this book. I will be on the lookout for another book by this author because I like the story she told.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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71st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Ghostly

Promo Post: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Flight
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Series: The Crescent Chronicles # 1
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source:  Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Barnes & Nobles:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.
A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

I will be posting the review tomorrow so feel free to come back to read it.

Review: Earrings of Ixtumea by Kim Baccellia

Title: Earrings of Ixtumea
Author: Kim Baccellia
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source: MuseItUp Publishing
Pub. Year:  2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N/ MP
I received a copy of this novel free of charge from MuseItUp Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Barnes & Nobles:
Fifteen-year-old Lupe Hernandez dismisses the legend about her Mexican grandmother’s magical earrings as a silly fairytale, despite recurring nightmares of human sacrifice. But when the earrings thrust her into the parallel world of Ixtumea, she must confront the very thing she shuns the most — her cultural heritage.

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Cover Love: Not my favorite.

This book would have been great if it had spent more time developing the background of the characters and showcasing their motivations.

Lupe, the main character, is probably the only character that is fully fleshed out while everybody else is one dimensional. Lupe has a wide range of emotions; she has strength and moments of weakness but mainly moments of hesitation. She is struggling with her social and cultural identity. Her battle is one that is very relatable to individuals who are a part of two worlds so she is interesting.  Unfortunately, Lupe never really grows into herself or has true faith in her abilities. Lupe remains the damsel in distress that needs to be rescue even though she shows moments of strength. I believe that Baccellia did this in order to showcase Concha’s motherly instinct towards the daughter (Lupe) that she abandoned. It is disappointing because we have a main character that should have become stronger as the book progresses but doesn’t. Lupe was a great character because she started to understand and embrace the world she is a part of but the surrounding cast just killed her. No other character stands out as well. There is Teancum who is supposed to be a great warrior but never shows it. Ixchel the Spider Goddess was beautiful but just there. Abish the Head Maiden is the caretaker but just there.

I love villains, they have complex reasoning (tragic background) for taking over the world but I couldn’t figure out Malvado ( love his name though). He is really one-dimensional in his desire to take over the world and what little we know about his background isn’t enough to make him a complex villain. Apparently, his father is from Lupe’s world but he is living in Ixtumea. It looks like at one point Malvado lived in Lupe’s world because he has modern bed sheets and he really likes them. The question is how did he get there and how did he become stuck in Ixtumea? I don’t have an answer because the book never explains it. How did he get involved with the Jaguar god? Another question with no answer.

One of the major problems that I have with the book is the story of Redemption for the mother of Lupe, Concha. It is just dragged out for 30 pages and it was annoying because the author pretty much points towards redemption the entire time but just prolongs it. There is also the fact that Baccellia never reveals how Concha betrayed Balam or how did Malvado convince Concha to betrayed her heritage. Yeah, she had a really bad incident (which I thought was raped but that is not it) but we never see how she met Malvado. I would’ve thought that was crucial to understanding why Concha turned to darkness and killed the father of her child. She is not repentant about her involvement in the death of Balam ( not that we get to know him since he is only mentioned in passing). Her redemption is just false to me and it is an attempt to bring a happy ending to the book (which is unnecessary). Her sacrifice is great but that alone cannot undue her betrayal, the abandonment of her daughter or her constant murderous thoughts (that is really secondary though).

This novel is just at the edge of being a great book and that is so frustrating. It has great mythology behind it. The Mesoamerican history hasn’t been used greatly in young adult books so it makes the book unique. It has a relatable main lead character in Lupe because cultural issues have always plague teenagers who are trying to fit in. The problem is that there is no background to the characters. Baccellia build a great world but the characters are just not there. Still, I did enjoy reading the book.

3 BB-Pretty to look at

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70th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, YA Mythology, Science Fiction

Review: Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Title: Rurouni Kenshin
Author: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Series: Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1
Genre: Manga
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2003
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Amazon:

A hundred and fifty years ago in Kyoto, amid the flames of revolution, there arose a warrior, an assassin of such ferocious power he was given the title Hitokiri: Manslayer. With his bloodstained blade, Hitokiri Battosai helped close the turbulent Bakumatsu period and end the reign of the shoguns, slashing open the way toward the progressive Meiji Era.  Then he vanished, and with the flow of years became legend.

In the 11th year of Meiji, in the middle of Tokyo, the tale begins. Himura Kenshin, a humble rurouni, or wandering swordsman, comes to the aid of Kamiya Kaoru, a young woman struggling to defend her father’s school of swordsmanship against attacks by the infamous Hitokiri Battosai. But neither Kenshin nor Battosai are quite what they seem…

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To know: I’m writing the characters by their first name then last name instead of the Japanese way.

Rurouni Kenshin, what can I say about it except that I love it. I’ll admit that I watched the anime first (but that was such a long time ago that I don’t remember much of it).

Each chapter of the manga introduces a character so let’s meet them. Kenshin Himura, the protagonist, may come off as aloof and a little silly but he is not to be underestimated. He can be serious and he has interesting beliefs about what it means to have power and strength. Kaoru Kamiya is the first person Kenshin really befriends in the new town. They have a comedy-somewhat abusive relationship going on. It is funny because Kaoru has a temper that she is always unleashing on poor Kenshin. Yahiko  Myojin is the son of a former samurai and Yahiko now spends his time being a delinquent (reform delinquent). He has a good heart and likes to annoy Kaoru. Sanosuke Sangara is a man looking for a good fight and thinks Kenshin can deliver it.

The characters have a funny relationship because they are just ragging on each other (and mainly Kenshin). There are funny but rude (not really) comments to each other. Watsuki draws a lot of funny faces so the manga is quite a laugh at times. Kenshin does speak weird at times; he is always like “This one no longer fights” and he is referring to himself. He never really says “I” which always brings a smile to my face (cause it is not common to read that).

Plot wise, there isn’t a larger arc going on yet. It’s much more about the introduction of core characters. There are people interested in Kenshin because of his past as a Battosai. It doesn’t look like anyone is out for revenge but people are just bored so they want to fight Kenshin. Right now, it is Sanosuke who is interested in fighting Kenshin because he was hired to do so (and he would like a good fight). I’m interested in seeing how the battle progresses. Hopefully, a villain appears in the second book.

Art style, it was pretty good. Great use of solid lines. Nothing is really drawn lightly. Watching the anime, I knew Kenshin never really (but on occasion) drew blood from his opponents so I was a little confused by the fight scenes. Whenever a person is hit by the sword, it looks like blood is being spilled. Turns out, it represents the speed of the sword (I guess). It took a little to get used to but I’ll know for the the second volume.

I’m looking forward to picking the second volume in the series. The fight between Sanosuke and Kenshin should be good.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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69th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also classifies for: M/GN/VG, TV Addict,

Review: The Z Word by Bella Street

Title: The Z word
Author: Bella Street
Series: Apocalypse Babes # 1
Genre:  Science Fiction
Format: E-book
Source:  Giveaway
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amz/ B&N/ Smashwords
I won this book in a giveaway that was hosted by the author.

Blurb from Amazon:

The Z Word follows Seffy Carter and her longtime friends Gareth, Addison and Lani. The four besties share a past dysfunctional and dark enough to keep them bound together under do-over identities. But rends develop in their relationships from the flesh-eating pressures of ending up in 1980, in a Montana desert, surrounded by zombies wearing dated disco duds.

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Odd thoughts: No questions will be answered in this novel. Plus, it has weird slang.  Apparently, saying someone is “soup” is code for “crazy” or maybe it’s 80’s slang.

Another different take on the zombie apocalypse. It doesn’t really deal with the zombies. It focuses on shallow relationships and emphasizing secrets that are not going to be reveal right away. One reviewer on Amazon called the characters the Scooby-Doo gang. While I agree on some level with that reviewer, I feel the gang is more Victorious style. It was a decent book though.

Let’s talk characters. Seffy Carter, what a self-centered person to have for a main character. She was a hard person to like because she is only concerned with only herself and her attraction to Gareth. She barely cares for her friends, Addy (the redheaded bitch) and Lani (scatterbrained). She has no interest in being intelligent because she rejects anything nerdy or anything that hurts her image as Hollywood/ The Hills girl. It’s sort of disappointing because I’m all about female empowerment; Seffy does not have my vote. Addy may come of as a bitch (her reasoning for hating Seffy is not explained like Jade and Tori) but she can handle a gun. Something bad happened between them, can’t wait to find out what though. Lani is the Kat from Victorious or Luna from Harry Potter; random as hell and her logic doesn’t make sense most of the time. Even though Seffy is careless, there is something about her that I find intriguing and I can’t hate her for who she is. The reason is that on some level she is beginning to gain a consciousness about who she is and is slowly unwrapping her character. There is good potential in her character development.

Moving on to the guys in the book. Gareth is the one Seffy is interested. He has a nerdy side that Seffy tries very hard to suppress. Not sure what to make of him because he appears bi-polar when it comes to Seffy. He is willing to comfort her then pushes her away (without explanation) and finally, gets jealous when someone else is near her. Street likes bi-polar men because he reminds of a previous character she wrote. Gareth has potential as a lead male character but he is not that attractive. It’s like there is a shield around him. Trent is a survivor from another group and he is a jerk (so I liked him immediately, kidding). He has a very rough side but later comes out of his shell and is on friendlier terms with Seffy. The fact that Seffy distrusts Trent makes him character that much more appealing. Another appealing man is Fenn the Doctor who might be married but definitely is in a relationship with Fiona the Preppy Bitch Nurse. She is funny but this is the men’s section. There is this weird moment of flirtation between Seffy and Fenn that I just loved.

World-building wise, it is a closed book. There is no rational explanation behind the existence of the zombies. As readers, we end knowing how the zombies are being created but not why. It’s even weirder to have Russian mercenaries in Montana. It is true the Cold War is still going on in the book so that could be it. It looks like a dystopian setting but it doesn’t come out and spells it for the reader. I’m unsure if the United States has been conquered by zombies or not because Montana has reception for the television. I don’t think television rates that high in a post-apocalyptic world. For now, I’m saying dystopian because zombies are around.

This book is seriously closed lipped about everything. It doesn’t explain the time travel at all. It looks like Montana might be the only one affected by the zombies but I could be wrong. The gang shares a past but there is no in depth details as to how they know each other or what prompted them to make a pact to never speak of their past. Seffy and Addy have a love-mostly hate relationship but it is never explained why. Having read a previous book by Street, this is really surprising because she answered most of the questions that can arise from a reader. I realize this is the start of the series but not one bone was tossed to the reader.

Overall, it’s a zombie book but not Resident Evil style. Surprising but it is a little more mellow. There is an inexplicable glue binding the gang together and I’m looking forward to seeing what that it.

4 BB-Ready for capture

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68th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for Dystopia, Zombie, Science Fiction, First in a Series, E-book, Self-Published, Where are you reading?-Montana

Buy it or Borrow it # 1-Steampunk

If you came here for Wishlist Wednesday, then I apologize. I’m no longer participating in that particular meme. Instead, I created my meme or at least named my own meme. Buy it or Borrow it? is inspired by HGTV’s Buy it or List it, oh, I like that show. The point of this meme is to showcase two books that I am interested but I’m having trouble deciding if I should get them. Hopefully, my readers can help me make an inform decision and help me pick one.

This week’s theme is Steampunk.

First up is The Iron Duke by Meliean Brook.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

It sounds fantastic but there is a review that mentions the “good rape” (someone else called it sexual assault). It seems like the main character is assaulted by the male lead character and they end up falling in love. It’s like, do I really want to read this? I don’t know if it is rape or sexual assault (either one, it is wrong). A part of me wants to read it because I want to see how the attack is dealt with and there are also a lot of positive reviews about this book.

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Second up is Incarnation by Emma Cornwall.

In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . .

If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.

I love Dracula and I love reading re-telling but I’m never satisfied with most re-tellings. The new versions just disappoint me or they take an element that I love and just screwed it up. Mind you, there are some fantastic re-tellings out there. Lucy is such an important character to Dracula that I’m worry about how she is going to be portrayed. The blurb is already changing the core of Lucy’s character so how much can i take?

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So what do you think? I would love to know which book will I take the least offence to, lol. In all seriousness, I’m thinking borrow both from the library (if it has it). Right choice or wrong choice?

Review: Dust by Devon Ashley

Title: Dust
Author: Devon Ashley
Series: Of Dust and Darkness # 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source:  Author
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Coming Soon
I’ve received a copy of this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

 

Blurb from Goodreads

4. The number of times my delicate wings have been broken and clamped behind my back.
68. The number inked upon my skin, marking me the sixty-eighth pixie to be stolen.
87. The number of days I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned.
88. The first day the faeries will regret stealing me.

Healthy. Cheery. Vivacious. All traits Rosalie has before becoming enslaved by the faeries to make an endless supply of pixie dust. Now that Rosalie has been traumatized by slave labor, extreme desolate conditions and multiple deaths, this hardened pixie is anything but. When this rebellious teenager attempts an escape, she’s isolated in cramped quarters until she learns her place. Just as she begins to let go of all that hope, she finds an unlikely friend in Jack, the faerie assigned to guard her. Interspecies dating is forbidden in the fae world, so their growing attraction is unacceptable. And even if Jack can find a way to free her, they know the prison is the only place they can truly be together

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A good blurb is captivating but sometimes can give a wrong impression. The blurb of Dust pulls the reader in two different directions. The escalating numbers make it seem like the book is ready for a dark showdown of revenge. It makes the book seem dark and gritty and I was sort of expecting the book to maintain that dark tone…but it doesn’t. It doesn’t because the second half of the book is a love story just like the blurb mentions. The blurb is very true to the book. It’s dark and a love story. I was still expecting more dark themes because of the numbers though. It’s the word “Regret” that is drilled into me.

Character-wise, Rosalie was a fantastic main character. She is independent, a nature-loving girl, strong-willed and defiant. She doesn’t accept the circumstance of her kidnapping and attempts to be brave in the face of that.  Rosalie does have moments of weakness but that just make her character more realistic and stronger because she is dealing with harsh situations. Juniper, the eldest of the slaves, roots Rosalie in maintaining her strength and her desire to live.  Jack, her captive guardian, is a strong male lead. He comes off a bit snobbish but he has a decent heart and no stomach for torture. The relationship that builds between them builds over time and seems genuine. He treats her with respect after witnessing the breaking wings incident and shows he is a decent guy. Not just by taking care of her but looking for a legal way out for her. None of the villains are complex but the reason why could be that all the bad guys appear to be henchmen. No one has really claimed responsibility for the slave camp. Looking forward to seeing who is the antagonist of the series.

Being the first book in the series, there are questions that need to be answer such as what is the real reason faeries are kidnapping pixies and making them slaves? Jack says there is a belief about the superiority of fairies over pixies and that could be a factor as to why this is happening. The book focuses more on character development more than the background of the story so that could be a reason why the kidnapping are not explained or why the segregation of pixies and faeries is not either. It looks like there is some politics involve in the kidnappings but we will see just how deep they go. Hopefully the previous questions are answered in the second book and this one as well: Why did Rosalie’s Hollow (village) raised children as a communal effort instead of family effort? The other Hollows don’t raised their children like that.

I keep coming back to “88. The first day the faeries will regret kidnapping me.” I thought this phrase would define the book because it is just filled with anger and determination. It means there is punishment heading towards the faeries and there isn’t. Not in this novel at least. The illusion of a counter-attack is invested in that phrase and the dark themes as well. I’m almost wishing that phrase would disappear from the blurb because it makes the blurb (and the book) appears less menacing. Dust is more about the injustice done to Rosalie which is the 87 days phrase. 87 days and the love story make the book more tragic but hopeful. 88 days is revenge time. Amazing how one phrase can elicit a different tone for the entire book. Try it.

Having heard the playlist first, I found running themes that match the scenes in the book and the lyrics. “Missing” by Evanescence fits it so well, especially the part about Rosalie wondering if anyone is looking her (and in some way knowing that the answer is no). “Part of Me” by Katy Perry is another perfect fit for Rosalie because she is so resilient and so determine to survive. “We Found Love” by Rihanna and “Falls to Pieces” by Avril Lavigne are great songs that describe the blossoming romance between Rosalie and Jack.

Overall, it was a pretty mellow read. It reads like a diary because of the how the chapters are labeled. There is an emphasis on character development instead of world-building but it is a trilogy. There can’t be much world-building when the main character is stuck in prison though.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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67th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, First in a Series, Self-Published

Antithesis by Terra Whiteman: Playlist Edition

Title: The Antithesis
Author: Terra Whiteman
Series: Antithesis Series
Source: FMB tours
Pub Year: 2011
Purchase: Amazon

Blurb from Amazon:
This is a story about God and the Devil, but not how you were taught to believe.
This is also a story about love and hate, and the suffering both can bring.
This is about rights and wrongs, and all of the spaces in between.
This is about revenge, courage, death, passion; with no villains, no heroes… only those left scorned.
This is a story about Heaven, Hell, and the Jury that holds them together.

This is The Antithesis.

THE ANTITHESIS #1: Justice Alezair Czynri is the newest recruit of the Jury, a group of powerful beings who reside in Purgatory and enforce the Code between Heaven and Hell. However, Justice Czynri could not have come at a worse time. A storm lays just over the horizon… One that brings with it a war.

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2nd playlist in a row, lol, but it could not be more different. This playlist is very instrumental with little vocals. It is a fantastic playlist because sometimes lyrics can detract from the emotions that a song can bring. It’s about what the music brings to the table and knowing what scenes the music accompanies just enhances the reading experience.

  1. Schwarze Sonne (Klassik Version) by E-Nomine (Opening)
  2. Antikythera Mechanism by The Algorithm (when the Jury attends Archdemon Belial Vakkar’s masquerade party at Durn Manor in Tehlor, the 5th layer of Hell)
  3. I Know You Are But What Am I by Mogwai ( Chapter Six, Ergo, when Alezair is in his room, working on his theory of ‘Multiversal Atomic Resonance’)
  4. The Frail (Things Fall Apart version) by Nine Inch Nails ( Chapter Eight, The Queen and the Violin, when Alezair discovers the violin and cello hidden in Leid’s bedroom)
  5. Hello World by Two Steps From Hell (When the Jury attends Archdemon Belial Vakkar’s masquerade party at Durn Manor in Tehlor, the 5th layer of Hell) 
  6. Shadow Drift by The Interbeing ( Chapter Twelve, Contrivance, when the Jury is sent to the world of Tal Ayen and ordered to eliminate the demon army invading the city of Najudis)
  7. Make Me Real by She (when Leid and Alezair spend the night in the Deadlands, within the dying world of Atlas Arcantia)
  8. Metamorphosis by Blue Stahl
  9. Decoy by Retrosic (Closing)