Review Rendezvous: 7/22/17


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 332
Publish date: January 2nd, 2007
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

 

VALissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

I picked up this particular book while I was in Orlando as a WDW intern. Originally, I had picked it up because I wanted something to read on the bus rides to work and it seemed interesting enough. Boy was I underselling it. Normally, I’m not the type to go for vampire novels, and while I wasn’t particularly hooked after the first one, I continued on with the series and by the end, it had become one of my favorites.

The thing that I love reading the most in this series is the growth of the main protagonist, Rose. When you meet her in the beginning, she’s rash, stupid, selfish, and rebellious, mostly without justification. She does care very much for her best friend and does things with good intentions, but they usually blow up in her face.

Without spoiling information about the series, I can’t explain much about how Rose grows up in the later novels. There’s a big theme of duty and sacrifice as well, which is an interesting sub-plot. I accidentally spoiled myself to the ending of one of the side issues, although I’m not too worried about spoilers so it’s fine.

There is a movie adaptation of this first book, and while it is interesting and well-produced, it’s not entirely true to the source material. Of course, that goes for most book to movie adaptations nowadays, so I suppose slight inaccuracy can be overlooked in some instances.

All in all, yet another amazing series that I have stumbled across. Makes me lad that I picked up the first book to begin with. There is also a second series, the Bloodlines series, that I just recently finished. I’ll post a separate review of it on a different day, but that one was almost as good as this series, so it’s well worth the read!

Rating:

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Review Rendezvous: 6/15/14


And here is the other post that I did say I’d be giving you guys. Sorry again for the mishap, totally slipped my mind.

Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 352
Publish date: July 3, 2012

Ashes to AshesWhen Callie’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love – and break.

On the whole, paranormals don’t really interest me, certainly not as much as dystopians. But for some reason this one was begging to be read, so I gave it a chance. And you know what? It was actually pretty good.

We first meet our lovely protagonist Callie after she has just died. Talk about tragic. She thinks she’s going to the afterlife, but not quite. She has some other work to do before.

On the whole, Callie is an okay character. I’ll give her the fact that maybe she’s depressed and anguished over the fact that she’s dead and gone now, but that doesn’t mean that she has to blatantly disregard her guardian’s warnings. She definitely carried over that streak of teenage rebellion. Definitely don’t like it.

As for the plot, I haven’t read many paranormals so I don’t know if the idea is original, but either way it works out well and also lends itself to a sequel. I haven’t quite gotten around to that yet but I will.

One of my favorite parts is near the end where Walker throws in a twist that pieces together so many of the parts of the story that didn’t really make sense before. I’m definitely a fan of that, the authors who plan everything out and foreshadow and hint at exactly what they’re going to reveal. What is this secret you may ask? Well, you’ll have to read to find out 🙂

Rating:

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Review Rendezvous: 5/10/14


Hey there! Hope you all have been having quite a wonderful day, I’ve got a bit of a sunburn but other than that I’m quite content. Here we go with my current number 2 book…

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 404
Publish date: March 5, 2013

Let the Sky FallVane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past – except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she’s real.

Audra is real, but she isn’t human. She’s a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She’s also a guardian – Vane’s guardian – and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

One of my favorite parts of this book is that it’s a bit more creative than the usual paranormal. There’s no vampires, werewolves, other common supernatural beings. Another is the story between the two main character. Vane and Audra’s is one of those ones that makes you all frustrated and makes you want to yell at them “Just stop it already! You both know how the other feels, stop being all ‘dutiful’ and just go for it!” But, alas, this is a series, and we all know how those work.

Messenger does a really good job with Vane’s backstory. A lot of times authors shy away from making it that super important and detailed, as most readers don’t want to read what happened in the past. I’m one of the ones that doesn’t actually mind taking a look back. Man, did she do well with Vane’s parents. I could practically feel his own emotions jumping off that page at me.

That reminds me of something else that I loved: it’s got a guy’s point of view. I’ve said before that I like books like that, mostly because I can’t actually write a guy’s perspective well at all. Messenger manages to make it sound quite realistic, and hopefully one day I could get good enough to do the same.

There is a sequel to this book out, Let the Storm Break, that I have not been able to acquire yet. Once I do I will be back with a review for sure 🙂

Update (3/11/16)Boy it has been a while. but, I just got through reading the sequel to this, so keep a lookout for my review 🙂

Rating:

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Review Rendezvous: 4/19/14


Hello there everyone!
I do hope that you all have had a wonderful day so far. I’ve been relaxing since I have the day off and nothing planned until tonight. On with the review! 🙂

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 327
Publish date: March 16, 2010

The Body FinderViolet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

I don’t often stray into the realm of paranormal simply because it’s not my cup of tea. But boy, am I glad I picked up this one. The Body Finder is built on such an interesting idea, being able to connect a body to the person that killed them. Major detective possibilities there. Although, it would be very creepy to sense echoes everywhere you went. Anyways, the way that Violet’s powers are described flowed well into the story, which I am glad for because I have read quite a few stories with superpowers that take a big chunk of time to explain. I also do appreciate the fact that Violet has known about these powers her entire life. The whole ‘what the heck is happening to me/what am I?’ cliché is a bit old, no?

Another plus to add to the book would be Jay and Violet’s relationship. You’ve all seen it, the guy and girl who’ve been friends forever and suddenly decide to tempt something more. It’s just so cute, their history, Jay’s protectiveness, everything.

Derting is definitely a very good writer, I admire her style quite a bit. The Body Finder was stretched into three more books, Desires of the DeadThe Last EchoDead Silence. All of them are also very good reads, and as with the other series on this list, I encourage you to continue on to those as well. 🙂

Rating:

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