goodreads: (Default)
Title: Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 346
Date read: April, 2017

October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.


I've loved everything I've read by Seanan McGuire under her Mira Grant pen name, and as this book came highly recommended, I figured it was time I gave her other 'persona' a shot. It's not really my usual fare, as I generally stay away from urban fantasy and fae novels and this was both! It was very well-written though, and kept me nicely entertained. It's fast-moving and as such a really good book for a readathon.

Though the first in a series, it's completely self-contained and can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel.
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Title: Holly and her Naughty eReader
Author: Julianne Spencer
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 177
Date read: April 2017

What if all those brooding teenage vampires, hunky 19th-century aristocrats, and gorgeous dominating billionaires on your Kindle came to life as real people?

Holly Pritchett is a high school English teacher by day, and avid reader by night. Romance, erotica, sci-fi, horror, and more, Holly's Kindle is packed with thousands of titles and she reads a new novel every day.

But when she returns to her hometown for her 10-year reunion and meets up with an old friend who dabbles in witchcraft, Holly's Kindle becomes much more than an eReader. No longer a passive observer to the many stories from the Amazon store, Holly becomes an active participant in the books on her Kindle, living the experiences of the characters.

That hot billionaire with a troubled past? Now it's Holly who's donning the leather and lace so he can teach her how to live. That beautiful werewolf with the heart of gold? Now Holly is the one who will help him find his true self.

For Holly, life with a magic eReader is a dream come true, until one domineering billionaire takes too keen an interest in her, and the fantasies on her Kindle start spilling over into reality.


This turned out to be a lot sillier than I had originally expected.

A fast read - I read it in less than 2 hours - but it went from being pretty straight-forward fantasy, to just being plain silly! Not bad-silly, but it definitely took a turn I hadn't expected.

I liked the concept though - similar to Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair" - who wouldn't like to go visit a favourite book? :-)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Half Bad (Half-Life #1)
Author: Sally Green
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 380
Date read: January, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?


I think, possibly, my expectations were too high. I liked it well enough, and found myself nicely entertained, but I never really got interested in Nathan's plight, and though Sally Green used too much of the book to define the universe and set the stage for the next book, and too little on the actual plot.

So though very little was actually resolved in this book, I'm in no rush to run out and pick up the next one. But I do understand the high ratings it has received - it was good... just not for me.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Transylvanian Mail Order Bride: A Tale of Buyer's Remorse
Author: Elliot Wolfson
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 123 pages
Date read: August, 2016

Ben’s world changes when he orders a bride from a shady Romanian company. She’s the discounted option, with a single picture, and free shipping. He actually does all of the paper work and he’s too ashamed to cancel the order. He is shocked, horrified, and a little excited when she arrives at his doorstep.

Amatuer vampire hunter Adela Delca lights the fuse on her mission of revenge. When it backfires she runs to America, right into the arms of a strange gamer with a tangled family history and a dangerous friend.


Really, really badly written (enough to have me rolling my eyes on a regular basis), but still oddly compelling. Not enough to make me want to read any more books by this author, but at least enough that I finished this one. The plot was ridiculously outrageous, turning this into almost a train-wreck read. I didn't much like it, but couldn't look away.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 576
Date read: July, 2016

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it. After travelling through time in SHADOW OF NIGHT, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home in France they reunite with their families - with one heart-breaking exception. But the real threat to their future is yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on a terrifying urgency. Using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the palaces of Venice and beyond, Diana and Matthew will finally learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.


Why did it take me this long to get started on this book? Once I did, I couldn't put it down, and finished it in just a few days.

Every bit as good as the first two books in the series, "The Book of Life" tied up all loose ends very nicely and served as a very satisfying ending to the trilogy. I'm actually kind of sad we won't get to hear more about Matthew and Diana, and feel positively book-hungover right now.

This trilogy is the kind of epic storytelling I love the most. It's "Outlander" with witches and vampires; just as rich in details and with just as large a supporting cast ;) It's difficult to say much about the plot without giving away spoilers for the two first books, but I think what I enjoyed the most was seeing Matthew and Diana's relationship with their families (both of blood and of loyalty) and watch Diana grow in powers and confidence as a witch. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when Diana and Janet sat to talk magic after the end of the book ;)

It's been a few years since I read the two first books, so I almost want to go back and reread the entire series now, as I'm sure I lost details here and there, but for my own sake, that should probably wait until I go on vacation.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilorna Andrews
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 260
Date read: January, 2016

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight.

But when Kate's guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy...


I really wanted to love this book as I'd heard so much good about the author, and a couple of years ago, it would have been right up my aisle. Alas, I just never warmed up to the characters, and therefore simply didn't care what happened to them - which made the action scenes somewhat less interesting. It might just be that I've 'gone off' paranormal novels... or at least this type of gritty/urban paranormality. Fortunately the book was well written, so I finished it anyway without considering it too much of a chore, but there were some parts I mostly skimmed.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Much Ado About Magic (Enchanted Inc. #5)
Author: Shanna Swendson
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 298
Date read: November, 2015

Katie Chandler is back in New York and at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. - and just in time. The city's in the grip of a magical crime wave from spells that wizarding whiz Owen Palmer thinks look awfully familiar, and the rogue firm Spellworks is raising its profile in the magical world by selling protective amulets. It's Katie's job as the new director of marketing for MSI to fight this battle of public perception while Owen and the other wizards try to uncover what's really going on.

What Katie doesn't realize is that her idea to stage a showcase for MSI's magical achievements is playing right into a devious plot more than three decades in the making. Now Katie has to do damage control that has nothing to do with marketing. To save the magical world, she'll have to prove who the real enemy is, and doing that will require digging deeper into Owen's mysterious past than he wants anyone to go. If she fails, she not only stands to lose a magical war, but she could also lose the man she loves.


That's more like it :) Next to the first book in the series, I think this is my favourite :) It did bother me slightly that we hadn't really heard of the council before this book (or if we had, I'd forgotten all about it), as it did seem a bit out of the blue the way the men in black (no relation) suddenly showed up.

I loved Katie's character development, and thought she really seemed to come into her own in this book. I wish Owen had believed her earlier, but can understand why he didn't.

The final confrontation seemed a tad rushed, but the ending itself threw me for a loop - I had not seen that coming! Will be very interesting to see what happens next.

Does anybody know if book 7 is meant to be the last one, or if she just hasn't published anything since 2013?
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Don't Hex with Texas (Enchanted Inc. #4)
Author: Shanna Swendson
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 292
Date read: November, 2015

Katie Chandler has fled fast-paced Manhattan and returned home to a simpler life, working at her family's feed-and-seed store in Cobb, Texas. In a painfully selfless gesture, Katie had left the sexy wizard Owen Palmer to battle his demons in the magical realm - after all, Katie just seemed to attract evil, which only made Owen's job a lot harder. But now it seems that trouble has followed her home: Despite the fact that Merlin, Katie's old boss at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has assured her that Cobb is free of enchantment, (magically speaking), Katie begins to notice curious phenomena.

Cobb is being plagued by a series of inexplicable petty crimes and other devilish mischief, and after her experiences in Manhattan, Katie knows unauthorized magic when she sees it. As this new darkness strikes deep in the heart of Texas, Owen appears (literally) to investigate. Now Katie's friends and family must show the bad guys why it's bad luck to hex with Texas, while Katie and Owen combine their strengths like never before to uncover a sinister plot before evil takes root in the Lone Star State.


Book 4 almost manages to recapture the charm of the first book in the series. Katie is back in Texas to get away from magic... only to discover that there's more magic around than she had ever anticipated, and her desire to keep her family out of the loop is perhaps not as easily managed as first anticipated.

I loved seeing Katie relate to more people than just Owen, and was pleased to meet her family and friends back in Texas. I do still want her to return to New York, but for a bit of a change, this was very enjoyable. And I love her granny!
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Damsel Under Stress (Enchanted Inc. #3)
Author: Shanna Swendson
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 320
Date read: November, 2015

At last, Owen Palmer, the dreamboat wizard at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has conjured up the courage to get Katie Chandler under the mistletoe at the office holiday party. But just when it looks like Katie has found her prince, in pops her inept fairy godmother, Ethelinda, to throw a wand into the works. Ethelinda's timing couldn't be worse. A plot hatched by MSI's rogue ex-employees, Idris and his evil fairy gal pal Ari, threatens to expose the company's secrets - and the very existence of magic itself. Even worse, it could also mean the end of Katie's happily-ever-after.

Now Katie and Owen must work side by side (but alas, not cheek to cheek) to thwart the villains' plans. Braving black-magic-wielding sorceresses, subway-dwelling dragons, lovelorn frog princes, and even the dreaded trip to meet Owen's parents at Christmas, Katie and her beau are in a battle to beat Idris at his own sinister game. All mischief and matters of the heart will come to a head at a big New Year's Eve gala, when the crystal ball will drop, champagne will pour, and Katie will find herself truly spellbound.


Better than book two, still not as good as book one. The fairy Godmother got on my nerves (I'm really, really not fond of people who believe they always know best, contrary to all evidence), but I was less frustrated with Katie for not telling Owen and/or Merlin what was going on than I was in book 2. Especially since once something serious happened she DID tell them right away.

I did absolutely love Katie visiting Owen's parents for Christmas! I think that may have been my favourite part of the book.

Basically these books make for good entertainment, but (apart from possibly the first one) they're probably not books I'd care to reread.

I still want to read the next book in the series though!
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 317
Date read: June, 2015

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...


Very similar in style to Kelley Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series. Well-written and engaging enough to keep me nicely entertained. I found it nicely contained though, so feel no need to rush out and read the rest of the series. Besides, Adam and Samuel's rivalry annoyed me, and I foresee a love triangle in the future, which I'd prefer to avoid.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Laced with Magic (Sugar Maple #2)
Author: Barbara Bretton
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 327
Date read: April 2014

Knit shop owner and sorcerer's daughter Chloe Hobbs felt the Fates finally got it right when she met Luke MacKenzie. And no one could have convinced her otherwise-including the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home. But then out of nowhere Luke's ex-wife suddenly shows up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie-a daughter Chloe knows nothing about.

Steffie's spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader. And if Chloe weaves a spell to free her spirit, her nemesis will also be free-free to destroy her yarn shop and all of Sugar Maple. But if she doesn't, Steffie won't be the only one spending eternity in hell. Chloe'll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart.

About half way through the book it looked as if I would end up giving it two stars at best. A horrible disappointment after I had enjoyed the first book so much. But fortunately Barbara Bretton managed to redeem herself in the second half, and in the end she regained my trust and at least almost lived up to my expectations. So after thinking I might not finish the book at all, I now find myself considering continuing with the series after all.

But the first half was absolutely ripe with foreshadowing - one of my hugest pet peeves in books. At page 111 I was disgusted enough with the entire thing that I considered just giving up on the book altogether. Fortunately I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and not only did the main characters not run quite as straight-forwardly into a brick wall as I had feared, but there was only one more incident of foreshadowing in the rest of the book. Still, the extreme use of the feature in the first half subtracted a full star off my rating.

I'm not sure I buy into Luke and Chloe's relationship any longer, and there were quite a number of plotholes here and there, but I absolutely adored Karen and her weird friendship with Chloe, and am sad we won't get to see her again.

Even the cliff-hanger at the end of the book was decent enough that it only subtracted half a star rather than the full star it would usually do.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Paranormal, Historical fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 672
Date read: October, 2013

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers.

The fact that it took me over a month to read this is in NO WAY an indication of what I thought of it. In fact, I loved it - I've just been too busy knitting to read much. I need to learn how to read and knit at the same time!

But I digress. This was an amazing sequel to A Discovery of Witches and I think I might even like it a tiny bit more than that one. This was Twilight means Dragonfly in Amber (Diana Gabaldon)... I wouldn't have thought it would work, but it totally did!

I loved this chance to see Matthew and his Dad together, and have some questions answered about Diana's family, but am very interested in seeing what awaits the two of them next.

The last book in the trilogy is expected in 2014 - I'll definitely be getting hold of that one as well.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Once a Witch
Author: Carolyn MacCullough
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 292
Date read: September, 2013

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search - and the stranger - will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.

A quick read, which in the end turned out to be nothing like what I had expected from the first few chapters. I liked it well enough and was interested in seeing it to its completion, but despite the cliffhanger'ish epilogue I feel no real compulsion to read the sequel. I wavered a long time between 2.5 and 3, but ended up with 3 stars because it did manage to throw some twists and turns my way that I hadn't expected. It wasn't bad... just average.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 2/5
# pages: 424
Date read: August, 2013

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

I had very high hopes for this book as it came extremely highly recommended, but unfortunately it couldn't deliver. Giving it two stars is being generous, as most of the time I didn't care for it at all. It had small glimpses here and there of something better, which kept me reading, but at the end of the day it only just made it to "Okay".

The biggest problems were that apparently I'm not into paranormal novels featuring angels, and I just didn't care for Madrigal and Akiva's backstory at all - in fact, those chapters actively bored me. I liked Karou well enough and LOVED Zuzana, but that wasn't enough to keep me engaged, and despite a ridiculous cliffhanger (word to the wise - this is more like the first half of a book than the first book in a series) I'm not going to bother with the rest of the series.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 688
Date read: July, 2013

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Slow to start, but suddenly it grabbed me by the throat and absolutely wouldn't let go again. It's been a couple of days since I finished it, and I still find myself thinking of it, and remembering the atmosphere of the book. I may have to prioritize reading the sequel higher than I had originally planned-

It's very definitely Twilight for adults. There are SO many similarities between the two books - or rather between Edward and Matthew, and between the relationships described. A lot of the things Matthew said to Diana, I could totally have seen Edward say to Bella. That's not a bad thing though - I really liked Twilight, and while I noticed the similarities, they didn't bug me.

4 stars rather than 5 simply because it did take rather a long time for it to start properly, and because it ended on a fierce cliffhanger with absolutely nothing resolved, but as a whole, I'd say I enjoyed it a lot more than I had expected to.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: School Spirits
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 304
Date read: April, 2013

Izzy and her mother are Brannicks. Trained to fight mosters from a very young age. It's all Izzy has ever known, but after her sister mysteriously disappears during a job, her mother decides it's time for them to take a break. Fortunately rumours of a haunting at a small high school have surfaced, so for the first time in her life Izzy will be pretending to be an "ordinary" teenager - which turns out to be more difficult than it sounds when you have absolutely no frame of reference.

Fortunately for Izzy, the high school Paranormal Mystery Society (PMS) is ready to welcome her with open arms, but keeping her distance and remembering that "it's just a job" turns out to be harder than Izzy expected when faced with friends like Romy, Anderson and especially Dex.

Turns out the haunting is very real - and more sinister than Izzy originally had thought. The ghost is able to do things no regular ghost should be able to... which means that there's a hedge witch involved somewhere.

This spinoff series to Hex Hall is off to a good start. I was hesitant at first, because I wasn't sure Rachel Hawkins could make it work, but she proved me wrong, and provided a delightfully engaging read. I really liked the members of PMS and how it was obvious that they weren't friends just because they were all considered freaks and had no one else to turn to, but because they genuinely liked each other, and liked Izzy. I thought there was a good balance between Izzy's monster-hunting antics and her relationship with her new friends, but I would have liked to see more interaction with her mother. Hopefully that'll come in the sequel :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Dystopian, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 448 pages
Date read: April, 2013

"The Eternity Cure" picks up 9 months after "The Immortal Rules" left off. Having left Eden behind, Allie is hunting down Sarren, looking for a chance to save Kanin, her sire. Along the way Allie meets up again with both friends and foes - some more expected than others, and Allie will soon learn that becoming undead was the easy part, and her struggles are far from over.

I know this is more than just a little vague, but I really appreciated not knowing what was ahead of me and don't want to rob any other readers of the surprises that are in store. In many ways "The Enternity Cure" is just as good - if not even better than "The Immortal Rules" as the struggles become more complex than just "kill or be killed". I liked seeing the complex interactions between Allie and Jackal, even though I never cared for him much, and was fascinated by the descriptions of the vampires and the pets in New Covington.

The end was even more cliff-hanger'ish than "The Immortal Rules", which did disappoint me somewhat at first. But for once I was very grateful for the epilogue - otherwise I'm not sure I would have been too keen on reading the next book in the series.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Casting Spells
Author: Barbara Bretton
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320
Date read: March, 2013

Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it's inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She's a sorcerer's daughter in search of Mr. Right and she's found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple's very first murder. Bad news is he's 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.

A fun mix between the knitting novels that I love and the paranormal novels that I love :) There wasn't quite enough knitting in it for my tastes, but on the whole I really enjoyed it. It's been awhile since I completely disappeared into a book, so it was nice to discover I still could ;)

It isn't high literature, and there were aspects I thought were glossed over too quickly, but for pure entertainment it fit the bill, and I can always hope some of the remaining questions will be answered in later books in the series :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopian
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 464
Date read: March, 2013

Red lung disease has claimed most of humanity, and the ones left alive live in fear of the vampire Masters, and the rabids (zombies) who live outside the cities.

So what's a human to do? Live outside the city and be on constant watch for rabids who'll claim anybody who steps outside after dark; or live inside the city and be used as cattle by the vampires?

Allison chose neither. She lived on the fringe of town, as an Unregistered who had to beg or scavenge for food. She could be picked up at any time... but at least she didn't have to go to the regular blood-lettings like the Registered did.

But one day she was caught outside the city walls after dark, and was attacked by a group of vicious rabids. A rogue vampire found her and drove them off, but Ally's dying. She now has to make a choice - stay among the living, but as one of the monsters she always hated; or accept death at the hand of a vampire.

While the outcome of this choice is pretty obvious, further events aren't, and it would be a shame to give any more of the plot away. Though it might at first glance seem like just another in an ever-growing stream of vampire books, it is in fact very different from most recent paranormal novels, and is more of a return to the original roots of the vampire folklore.

I liked the combination of the dystopian and the paranormal genres, and am interested in seeing where Julie Kagawa takes the story next. Fortunately she doesn't make the common mistake of leaving on a cliff-hanger, but it is still obvious that this is the first in a series.

This is the first book I've read by Julie Kagawa, but I liked her writing style, so it won't be the last :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 380
Date read: December, 2012

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. WhenLena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Very different from what I had expected, and I actually ended up very pleasantly surprised. This was written long before "Twilight" which shows clearly by it not having a single element that usually identifies a Twilight-clone - most importantly, there's no love triangle! Yay! :)

In general an enjoyable read, although I did have one problem with a plothole very early in the book: Lena is accused of breaking a window that she's standing next to, even though the window breaks inward, towards her (actually cutting her with some of the glass). If she had physically broken the window, the glass would mostly have been on the outside, away from her.

Something any sleuth worth his/her salt would have caught.

That's a minor nitpick though :)

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