Day 21: Favourite Side Character.

There are two side/secondary characters that really stand out to me.

The first is Kenji, from Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me trilogy. [Copies and Pastes] He’s that funny, witty character who manages to ease the tension and bring the mood back up when times get rough. Unfortunately, we learn very little about him throughout the series, especially his background (i.e. what happened to his family, why he’s there, etc.) and I really hope that Tahereh will make a book for him (whether a full novel or a novella, I don’t really care, as long as we can see more about him in ther future).

Shatter Me (Series Recap)

The second is Jackal, from Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden trilogy. I always fall for the funny characters. Jackal was the comic relief throughout the series, as well as the voice of reason (ish) come the end of the series. I love his character and I really do hope the rumours about him getting his own spin off series is true. I really would love seeing him again, away from all the romantic teenage love junk between Zeke and Allie. Aside from all of that, I love, love, loved his character development. He grew up so much throughout the series and I can’t wait to see more about him.

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How about you guys? Who are your favourite side/secondary characters?

Review: The Forever Song

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Title: The Forever Song [Blood of Eden #3]
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Dystopian Fantasy Romance

Synopsis:

Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions – her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost – the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

I am extremely conflicted with this novel. I absolutely loved this series. I loved the moral conflict and the balance between good and evil, as the characters tried to define each word and justify their actions. I loved the humour, the violence, individuality of each character. This book had all of those things, but it just didn’t work as well this time.

Note: Before we go on, I warn you that this review may contain spoilers, though I will try to keep it spoiler free. It will mention things that one can gain from the synopsis though (i.e. spoilers to The Eternity Cure).

Let’s start with the synopsis. Yes, I have a slight complaint about the synopsis: It deceived me. I expected a good chunk of the book to be all about the senses – she was a monster, no? So everything should be heightened, seen through the eyes of a vampire out for blood. While I got a lot of description, none of which regarding a crazy vamp with its emotions off, I got a lot of what the last two books had (i.e. an excessive amount of good or evil, peace or murder, etc.). I was fairly disappointed that I didn’t get to see a little bit of psycho, especially on her end (though I guess that would’ve resulted in more angst, which would have made the book even more lengthy).

Next, Allie. Jeezus. Her narrative ran around in so many circles, I got dizzy. One second, it was all, “I AM A MONSTER HERE ME ROAR,” and then five minutes later she was like, “ZEKE THO. I CAN’T -sobs-“. She is really bad with this whole grief thing. Also, even though I appreciated the whole moral battle in the last two books, this time, it was just too much. It was borderline excessive and it really didn’t hold my attention. I flew through the first two books, taking a day to read each one. This one took me three days just to swim through all the moral dilemmas.

The surprise honestly wasn’t a surprise. I suspected it at the end of The Eternity Cure. And I was right. What I wasn’t expecting was the doubled up angst that came later on. The whole monster, demon, thing versus good, pure, and human basically drowned me. It was book one amplified. I was very much done with this conflict by the second half of this book (as was Jackal it seemed). And the romance between Allie and another vampire was painful and excessive. It would surface at the most inappropriate times too. Oh, we’re in the middle of a battle, kay, cool, let’s stare into each other’s eyes as Rabids eat away at our companions. ‘Cause that’s a sure way of surviving. Also, the fact that the romance almost overpowered the whole gotta-save-the-world concept, I was really disappointed. This was a series in which the romance has been pretty tame, but then BAM we get hit by an 18-wheeler full of it. Truth be told, I wish there was less romance and less… everything (except for Jackal, I think I needed more of him).

Zeke. Well, he’s dead, so there’s not much happening there.

I would like to take a moment to bless Jackal. He was the shining star in this novel, providing the comic relief that was very much necessary in order to get through most of the book. His character development was also impeccable. Let’s start from the beginning though. Jackal’s one liners have always made smile, even when he was being a total pain (those times were also entertaining). In this book, his comments basically conveyed everything I wanted to scream at the two love birds. The best line being, “This isn’t rocket science. If you don’t want to be a monster, don’t be a bloody monster! Be an uptight stick in the mud like Kanin. Be a self-righteous bleeding heart like Allison. Or you can stop agonizing about it and be a fucking monster.” LIKE THANK YOU. BLESS YOU ETERNALLY DAMNED SOUL. JFC. THANK YOU. Jackal was the voice of reason (crazy, I know) throughout this installment, next to Kanin, and his character is, most definitely, one of my favourite in YA.

Jackal’s character development was subtle and absolutely perfect. I loved that he didn’t need to war with himself to change a little, he found a perfect balance between his two different worlds: his family and his vampiric urge to be a murdering asshat. Throughout the novel, it was great seeing him transform, little by little into the best YA character ever. If anything, his story was more interesting than Allie’s…

Now, Kanin. Freaking, saintly Kanin. He’s right up there with Jackal, he points out all the garbage in this book, questioning them and being the papa of the lot of them. I’ve respected his character since the beginning of this series. He manages to cut through all the crap and gets right to the crux of things, no matter how ugly the truth is, he’ll give it to Allie and the readers. His character gained my respect and will also remain as one of my favourite YA characters.

On another note, what I love about Julie Kagawa is that she doesn’t shy away from the gore, the blood, and the pain. She jumps right into it, giving us all the details of the fight, the setting, and even the overwhelming romance. I always enjoy reading her books because I always feel like I’m shedding my own reality and donning her fictitious one. It makes her books and characters real, and all that much better (most of the time).

All in all, this was not close to my favourite book in this series. It went in circles a fair amount, and I was pretty much done with all the idle threats and sobbing by the end of the book. That being said, I’d still say read it. Kanin and Jackal help cut through all the garbage and make the book better than it would’ve been without them. This series as a whole brings a new look to the vampire/paranormal series. My only wish would have been for the book to end more with a bang than a whimper.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
GoodReads: 4.31/5

Day 18: A book that disappointed you

I will have to go with The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa.

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It’s the first book to the sequel series following The Iron Fey. While it wasn’t bad, I was expecting something… more. Instead I found that it was more of a repeat of what happened in the The Iron King, but not. I am interested in the new story line that Kagawa has set up and my hopes are high for The Iron Traitor, releasing in October 2013. However, while I understand the set up, and fear what’s to come now (DARN IRON TRAITOR BE PROPHESYING THE NEXT TWO BOOKS OMG), I was let down by the lack of … anything really in this book.

Day 14: Favorite Book of Your Favourite Writer

I’M FINALLY ON DAY 14 ! /90dayslater.

Anyways, since I insisted on having 20 10 favourite authors, here’s all my fave books by them:

  1. Tammara Webber
    Here Without You [Between The Lines #4]
    Here Without You [Between The Lines #4]
  2. Cassandra Clare
    2400
    Clockwork Princess [The Infernal Devices #3]
  3. Marie Lu
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    Prodigy [Legend #2]
  4. Kelley Armstrong
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    The Reckoning [Darkest Powers Trilogy #3]
  5. Colleen Hoover
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    Losing Hope [Hopeless #2]
  6. Sarah Dessen

    ThisLullaby
    This Lullaby
  7. Julie Kagawa
    The Eternity Cure [Blood of Eden #2]
    The Eternity Cure [Blood of Eden #2]
  8. Maureen Johnson
    The Last Little Blue Envelope
    The Last Little Blue Envelope [Little Blue Envelope #2]
  9. John Green

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    Paper Towns
  10. Dr. Seuss

    Fox in Socks
    Fox in Socks

Day 13: Your Favourite Writer – Julie Kagawa

Today, I shall be talking about the awesomeness that is Julie Kagawa and why I love her writing. Three more authors and I’m going to move on (finally) (I should have stuck with one, but it’s so hard to choose) (I would’ve done twenty, but I’m about as consistent with this as … well I’m just not ’cause books)

  1. Julie Kagawa
    I actually started her series a little backwards. My first sighting of the Iron Fey series was back in 2011. Ash was a contestant in The YA Sisterhood‘s YA Crush Tourney. I didn’t really pay any mind to how hot he was. What really grabbed me was the stunning cover of the yet to be released, at the time, The Iron Knight. I immediately virtually dashed over to GoodReads to check it out, only to find that there were three other books that came before. This time I actually dashed over to my school library (looking at Crush Tourney’s during school, tsk tsk), and the first book was shockingly sitting right there, on the shelf, tempting me.

    It is now two years later and I have fallen for Julie Kagawa’s characters, her imaginative worlds, and her stories. However, as much as I found Never Never a true world of fantasy and Puck absolutely hilarious, while Ash was smolderingly hot, I have to say that I love Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series more.

    Just when you thought that the vampire thing was dead and gone, Julie Kagawa took the sparkly, over-hyped, and overdone trend and made it into something scary, something dangerous, and something absolutely thrilling. Kagawa has this ability to make her characters so real, that you feel like you know them, you feel what they do, and next things you know, you’re sitting in the sewers with Kanin, Allie, and Zeke, and yet you’re happy you’re there ’cause OMFG they just became REAL.

    But you’ve all heard me gush about Kagawa’s writing before. If you still haven’t checked out her stuff… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? GO!

Iron Fey

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Review: The Eternity Cure

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Title: The Eternity Cure [Blood of Eden #2]
Author: Julie Kagawa

Synopsis:

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

First off, can I ask WHY they changed the cover? Can someone please tell me why Austrailia has a badass cover, and we have… what looks like a placeholder?

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Austrailia’s Cover
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Blood of Eden #1 – The Immortal Rules

Austrailia’s matches the first cover too. It would have been awesome to have versions that matched… Alas.

Secondly, how is it that every time I read one of Kagawa’s books, it always seems like the characters are more interesting, the story is more captivating, and the descriptions are more three-dimensional than ever? How does that happen!?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I love Julie Kagawa’s work. Where the ideas and characters were interesting with the Iron Fey Series, I feel like Blood of Eden is more heart-wrenching, more captivating, and way more addicting.

The Eternity Cure has us following Allie as she tries to hunt down Kanin and Sarren. Ultimately, this quest takes her back to New Covington, where she sees some old, and some unwanted, friends.

There were two things that really stood out to me. The first was the various depiction of power and control. Kagawa managed to cover all the bases and show the different ways people use or abuse their power. We see the psychotic side of loss of, and reestablishment of power with Sarren. His moments were intense and every time he showed up you never knew what he was going to do. Sarren had control over New Covington and over Kanin. Whenever he was mentioned, my heart beat faster in anticipation and fear of what would happen next. On the other hand, we see how Allie deals with power and control, as she fights against her vampiric demons. With Allie, we see conservation and restraint. Even in The Immortal Rules, Allie was a fighter, always trying to push her Hunger away and choose the lesser of evils. Among the other characters, we see how power can be used to lead, how it can be used in revenge, or as a way of being smug. Among these various and wide ranging representations of power, Kagawa shows the consequences and rewards for each action, and as such it makes the book a lot more moving and impactful, as we see these in the real world as well (though they’re a lot less dramatic (most of the time) in real life).

This brings me to my second point, which is Kagawa’s characters. No two characters are the same, or even similar, and the wide ranging cast brings the book to another level of awesome. In all honestly, I think my favourite character in this one was Jackal. He was hilariously crude and sarcastic at all the wrong moments, and yet it helped lighten the book where the characters were stuck in dangerous or life threatening situations. I like that no matter how dark the subject, Jackal managed to make me, and the other characters, laugh.

An absolutely captivating book by Julie Kagawa. If you like her other series (and even if you don’t) you have to try reading the Blood of Eden series. No sparkles, these vampires are without mercy(ish) and are looking for blood. I loved this book, and cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 2/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.42/5

What’s New?

30 day challenge, eh? Yeah that hasn’t been going so well. Do not fret, I do plan on completing it, but it’ll probably have to wait until after exams.

Can I just take a moment to fan girl over some of the books I’ve completed recently!?

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS WAS FREAKING FANTASTIC OH MY GOODNESS. MY HEART… ALL THE FEEEEELS @_@… In summary, the book was perfect, the trilogy was perfect. Everything was perfect… except for Benedict Lightwood… and Consul Wayland… they weren’t so perfect….

AND SPEAKING OF SERIES… I FINISHED THE RISING BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG TWO DAYS AGO… IT WAS PERFECT TOO… /rollsaroundinperfection. DJSKAJDLSKDLSKDLDK JDKJLJAHKDJDKAJ DJHSKJ I JUST CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK DSKJDKDKK…

Okay, caps moment over.

Reviews for those books and many other will be made after I finish my four exams next week /dies.

On another note… COVER REVEALS ~

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I’m sure there are a billion other book covers out there to show off… but I haven’t really been “out there” for a while /foreverinmydormroom.

On another note, I’m currently reading:

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Anyways, I have A LOT of notes to make…

Have fun reading !~

-AK