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

Review: The Immortal Rules

Title: The Immortal Rules [Blood of Eden #1]
Author: Julie Kagawa

Synopsis:

“In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

Allie hates vampires. Allie’s friends hate vampires. Every human alive either hates vampires or are slaves to them. Then Zeke happened.

Forced with the decision of death as a human or an eternal life as a vampire, Allie chooses life. Struggling to hold onto her humanity, she tries to feed without killing, and live without feeding, but unfortunately, that’s impossible. On the run from her vampire city, she joins an interesting group of people, Zeke among them. They’re searching for a mythical land, though, as they say, every story has some truth to it. Eden, a place where only humans roam, a land in which vampires have yet to taint with their blood, with their evil.

With her ragtag team of humans, Allie finds it harder and harder to resist the temptation of blood. As the weeks go on, she wonders how long she can last before the monster within takes over…

Kagawa has blown me away again. Kagawa’s Iron Fey series was dark, there was violence, there was betrayal, but she made the world of the fey unique, beautiful, captivating. Again, Kagawa created her own world. When we all thought that the vampire concept was used up and totally run dry, Kagawa came back with something knew, something horrifying.

Allie’s world consists of humans, vampires, and Rabids, which are mutations between humans and vampires. Alike to George R.R. Martin’s “White Walkers”, those who die at the hand of a Rabid or have been bitten by one, will become one.

Kagawa’s world defies all of today’s present day buddy-buddy vampire and human ideas, shattering them, rolling them over with a monster truck, and then blowing them up with a nuke. Her characters come out strong: Allie: the vamp who wants to save her humanity; Zeke: the selfless one who believes that there’s good in everyone; Kanin: the guilty one, who has a war within himself; Jeb: the hard-ass leader that doesn’t trust easily and only knows one way – his own; Ruth: the only one who could see the truth, also the bitchy character that the MC often hates. These characters brought a number of personalities to the table, and had someone, or something that everyone could kind of connect to, in their own way.

This novel was like The Host (Stephanie Meyer) meets Blood Red Road (Moira Young) meets Dracula (Bram Stoker) meets Julie Kagawa’s imagination, ending in one gigantic story of awesomeness (if you liked any one of those titles, you’re likely to like this book… actually, if you like reading you’re likely to like this book). I can’t wait to see what Kagawa has in store for us next!

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.16/5

Quotes:
Ruth’s lips tightened. “You’re hiding something,” she said, taking a step back. “I don’t know what it is, and I don’t care, but Zeke is too good to be ruined by someone like you. He has the unfortunate habit of seeing the good in everyone, and he’s too nice to realize he’s being taken advantage of…”
-Ruth

“You didn’t hear what she told me when I got up — you’re so cute I could put you in a pie. Tell me that’s not the creepiest thing you’ve ever heard.” His voice climbed a few octaves, turning shrill and breathy. “Today for dessert, we have apple pie, blueberry pie and Ezekiel pie.”
-Zeke

“Did he teach you how to bore you opponents to sleep? Because I think I missed that lesson.”
-Allie

“You are a monster.” Kanin’s deep voice droned in my head again, as I forced myself to move, to walk away. “You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you.”
-Kanin

New Releases: The Immortal Rules

Guess what was released today… Oh, yeah… The Immortal Rules… Whoops gave that away quick, haha.

Julie Kagawa’s new Vamp series has hit shelves today! Looking pretty epic~ I’ll be back soon with my review of it !
In the meantime, Kagawa has released the cover of the first novel for her Iron Fey spin off series, The Lost Prince.
There’s a sexy, half-naked Ethan (Meaghan’s brother for those who don’t remember) on the cover. /swoons.
Also, Kagawa has released the cover of Iron Legends, which contains her novellas Summer Crossing, and Winter’s Passage, as well as a new one that she’s just written recently. It will also contain a sneak peak at the first chapter of The Lost Prince
See it here: http://juliekagawa.blogspot.ca/2012/04/lost-prince-and-iron-legends-covers.html

Have fun reading !
-AK

Review: The Iron Knight

Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa

Spoilers to come (Read The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, and The Iron Queen first !)

Synopsis:

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing. 

Unless he can earn a soul. 

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought. 

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive. 

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side. 

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale. 

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Ol’ Prince Ash is on a journey to be with the … second love of his life.  Hell bent on getting a soul, on being able to set foot through the realm of the iron fey without dying, Ash sets out on a deathly journey down the River of Dreams to the edge of Nevernever. With Grimalkin and Puck by his side, he is prepared to give up everything to gain a soul and mortality. However, when a bump in the road meets him, Ash finds himself making a harder decision than he ever thought he would have to make.

Loved this book as much as the other three. As with the other three, though, there were moments where it was predictable, but at this point, many books are like that. I laughed, and gasped, and at some points I was actually surprised. Captivating and totally awesome, this book, taken from Ash’s point of view, was great ~ Though I did love the other three more (hehe… sorry Ash fans), this was still a great end to the series.

Also, I just LOVE these covers, they’re so pretty~~ This book was cool ’cause the front cover had our ice prince, while the back cover had the summer jester, it’s was cool (:

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.31/5

Quotes:
“I have so much to tell you, Ash. But not here.” She slid back, out of my arms. “I have a place not far from here. Go collect Robin Goodfellow, and then I can tell you both.”
A strangled noise interrupted us. I turned to see Puck standing several yards away, staring at Ariella with an open mouth. His green eyes were wider then I’d ever seen them.
“I’m…seeing things,” he stammered, and his gaze f lickered to me. For just a moment, I saw hope f lare in their depths. “Ash? Tell me you see her, too.”
– Ariella and Puck

As we drew closer, we could hear the Briars move, creaking and slithering, eager to welcome us into its embrace.
“Quick question.” Puck’s voice broke the silence. “Did anyone think to bring a can of Off?”
The Wolf gave him a confused look, and I raised an eyebrow. “Do we even want to know?”
“Mmm, probably not.”
-Puck and the Wolf

“Yeah, I’ve no doubt you will.” Puck sighed, crossing his arms. “Anyway, you probably won’t see me for a while, iceboy. The thought of returning to Summer just isn’t as appealing as it once was. Maybe it’s time for a road trip.” He f lung out his arms dramatically. “The wind in my face, the open road stretching out before me, excitement and adventure just around the next bend.”
“Huh.” I eyed him shrewdly. “Oberon didn’t give you permission to go tromping through the Deep Wyld with me, did he?”
“Not so much.” Puck grimaced. “Anyway, I think it’s time for a vacation, let Lord Pointy Ears cool down for a bit.”
-Ash and Puck

Review: The Iron Fey

Title: The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa

It’s really late on my side of the earth, so I will not do a separate part for each book. Just saying, so you don’t get confused.

The Iron Fey Series is about Meghan Chase, your everyday girl: she doesn’t stand out, she gets made fun of at school, and her best friend is Robbie Goodfell, a hilarious guy that can make her laugh easily. Sounds pretty normal, no? That is, until she turns sixteen. Suddenly she’s seeing people, or things, that were never there before, never should have been there in the first place. The worst shock of her sixteenth birthday is that her little brother, Ethan, has been kidnapped. However, to get him back is going to be much harder than she thought. Meghan learns from Robbie, who turns out to be Robin Goodfellow, also known as Puck from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, that Ethan has been taken by one of his kind; one of the fey. Venturing into this unknown world of Nevernever with Puck at her side, she is determined to find her brother. As they wander, they meet a very sardonic cat, Grimalkin, and a very cold winter prince, Ash. Through her journey, Meghan learns that she is half human and half fey, her father being the King of the Seelie Court. However, she doesn’t allow anything to slow her down from finding her brother.

As she ventures on her quest, she unearths a great secret: a new court is forming and the inhabitants are made of iron.

(This cuts on the drama a little, but if you’re not familiar with the faerie lore, then I figure I should fill you in: Iron is like the faeries’ kryptonite, they’re extremely weakened by it and if they come in contact with it, they have a high chance of dying.)

I found this series intriguing as Julie Kagawa weaves the intense world of Nevernever. With her new species, the Iron fey, she also brings a new land for readers to explore. Basing some of her characters from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, she creates interesting characters and an interesting story line.

The thing I loved about this series is that it’s different. The world of Nevernever is created through the dreams of mortals, by their stories and lore, the world delicately weaved through the mortal minds. It’s a unique concept, and it captured my attention immediately. The way she developed her characters was well done too. She made them all unique and gave them each something that would differentiate them from one another. To Puck, she gave him an entertaining wit that kept readers laughing as well as an interesting ability. On the other hand, she kept Ash quiet and brooding as he follows them all on their adventure. To Meghan, she gave the most unique power, though I’m not going to reveal them here, that’d ruin the fun.

I heard of this series from a contest a blog site was holding. They were trying to determine the hottest book character of 2011, and Ash was one of the contestants. As I read through his character description, I became curious and went out to get the books. Upon reading them, I was instantly hooked.

My mind’s not the sanest at 1 AM in the morning, but I must say that I enjoyed this series immensely.

Before I start posting random quotes, I’d like to point out that Kagawa released two novellas, “Winter’s Passage” which is book ’1.5′ of the series, and it is taken from Ash’s point of view. The other novella is “Summer’s Crossing” which is taken from Puck’s point of view and is books ’3.5′ of the series. Also, the final book of the series, “The Iron Knight”, which is taken from Ash’s point of view, is coming out October 25th, 2011.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: ~4.17/5

Quotes:
“Oh, we’re playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?”
-Puck [The Iron King]

“Bravo,” said Grimalkin, peering down from Cold Tom’s chest. “The Winter prince and Oberon’s jester agreeing on something. The world must be ending.”
-Grimalkin [The Iron King]

“You are my heart, my life, my entire existence.”
-Ash [The Iron Queen]

“Looks like nobody’s home,” Puck said, turning in a slow circle. “Hellooooooooo? Anybody here?”
“Be quiet, Goodfellow,” Ash growled, peering into the shadows with narrowed eyes. “We’re not alone.”
“Yeah? How do you figure that, prince? I don’t see anyone.”
“The cait sith has disappeared.”
“ … Crap.”
-Puck and Ash [The Iron Queen]

Puck whispered, smiling to soften his words. “I wouldn’t defy Oberon for just anyone. But, for you…” He leaned forward, touching his forehead to mine. “I’d come back from the dead for you.”
-Puck [The Iron Daughter]

“Don’t leave,” I whispered, tightening my hold. “Never leave me again. Stay with me. Forever.”
-Meghan [The Iron Daughter]