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Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen

Release Date: May 1st 2012

Pages: 504

Young Adult

Rating: 4 Stars

 

MY VAMPIRE CREATOR TOLD ME THIS:

“Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?”

I didn’t then, not really.

I DO NOW.

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.”

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Expectation: I surprisingly received this novel courtesy of Netgalley. I have never read a Julie Kagawa novel before but had heard wonderful things about her Iron Fey series. (Which I have not read yet but plan to.) I expected a lot of action and was hoping for something new.

My Thoughts: I’m going to start off by saying that the first half of the book was a bit slow for me. Then the character that I enjoyed the most (of course) disappeared. The ending of the book was thankfully fast paced and filled with action and plenty of emotion. Some of the fight scenes made me feel like the first time I read the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. The rabids seemed a bit more zombie at times than vampire but I liked that about them. They weren’t something to fall in love with and they didn’t sparkle. They were what they were intended to be, vicious demons that eat human flesh. It was quite refreshing to read a young adult novel that got more into the gore than the romance. Don’t misunderstand me though, there was romance but I felt like there was enough action to compensate for the amount of romance thrown in. I thoroughly enjoyed Allison’s character. The love interest on the other hand, didn’t click for me. I liked his character but I didn’t feel the connection between them. Although that may be because some other male caught my attention. (I’m not naming names but I’m sure you will understand if you have read the book.) The love interest was a bit expected for me. The cover is sadly a letdown for me. Allison is Asian…and the girl on the cover…is not. The world-building however was wonderful and I could fully picture Allie’s surroundings.  I will continue the series, I’m hopeful that the next book is just as good or even better. I’m giving this book a four stars, I was tempted to give 3.5 but I don’t give half stars and I felt like the ending pushed it to 4 stars. Read the book for yourself to see how Kagawa’s shot at vampires plays out for you. I give her a high five for her wonderful world-building and play on emotions.

Favorite Quote: “Do you believe in God, Allison?”

“No.” I said immediately. “Is this the part where you tell me I’m going to hell?”

“This is hell.”

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SPOILER ALERT- CONTINUE AT OWN RISK! SKIP TO VIDEO IF YOU WANT TO SKIP SPOILERS


*I was frustrated with Kanin leaving the story so early. Well, the beginning I felt was a bit too drawn out, once I was getting into Kanin’s character he was taken out of the story.

*Jeb was another thing that frustrated me. I felt like I needed a bit more from him. And Ruth should have had another talk with Allie or something, though I liked that she stood up for her brother, even though she was pretty much terrified of her own shadow. The scene with Caleb and Allie was heartbreaking.

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Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“Born in Sacramento, California, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine, where she learned many things. How to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math
class was a fantastic way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a plethora of pets. She still laughs whenever she sees a centipede. She is the author of the bestselling Iron Fey series and can be found at http://www.juliekagawa.com.” – Info courtesy of Netgalley.

Series: #2 & #3 in Blood of Eden TBA

Other Books By Author:  GoodReads List of Kagawa Books

Format: Ebook courtesy of Netgalley

For People Who Like: Strong heroines, Vampires, Dystopian, Fighting for Humanity, Good world-building, Epic fight scenes, Intense action, and much more…

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Zero by Tom Leveen (ARE)

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Zero by Tom Leveen

Pages: 304

YA novel

Format: Ebook courtesy of NetGalley

Rating: 4 stars

Standalone novel

Add to Goodreads

“For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn’t materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero’s parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she’s so much more than a name.”

 

 

Probably my favorite contemporary so far. If you enjoy contemporary novels, pick this one up. The characters overall I enjoyed. Sometimes Zero’s angst was a bit much and sometimes I felt she said the same thing to many times. Example ” Later, skater” It was appropriate at times and others…not so much. But other than that I liked Zero. Boy angst worked, girl angst…not so much.  She learned something about herself and her life in the end. I didn’t like her dad but that may just be because he is a drunk. The best friend, I wanted more from her! I loved the plot line that was going on between her and Zero. What I liked the most is that the story is believable.

Something I want to point on in this book is, the sex scenes were more detailed than I expected for a YA novel. I’m not sure which range of YA he was aiming for…

But! Score points for Leveen – No Insta-Love!

Sometimes the art metaphors were a bit overwhelming. I like but I don’t know enough about it.

Sad? It had its moments. It definitely had potential to be a a way more sad book.

Overall I give the book four stars. I enjoyed the book and was happy with the ending and happy overall with the characters. The story was believable.

Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould (ARE)

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Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
Standalone Novel
Pages: 262
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: March 13, 2012
YA Novel
Format: Ebook courtesy of NetGalley
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“Venice, 1585.

When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura’s father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice’s fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.”
 

While, I enjoy historical fiction, it is not my favorite genre. I did however enjoy this book. The characters for the most part were nice, the only person that really got under my skin was Laura’s father. I will never understand people who put status and money before family. (I will not go to much into it for fear of spoiling anything) Laura is a bit naive when it comes to certain things.

 

I very much enjoyed the plot of this book. The opening sentence just begins a wonderfully descriptive historical fiction novel. I feel like the synopsis only scratches the surface of the amount of drama and all that goes on in the novel. The setback for me is that the storyline for the love interest is expected. I’m not sure how I felt about the love interest and I was feeling some insta-love along throughout the story, but maybe that’s just how I perceived it. The villain however I felt was nicely introduced.

Cover= Love! I love the cover with The face mask is beautiful, just with her not having a neck it throws off the bottom half of the cover.

I am giving this book a three star rating but will be recommending it for those who enjoy historical fiction novels.

Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt (ARE)

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Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Sand Dollar Press Inc(first published October 6th 2011)

“Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she’ll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she’s cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden’s coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she’ll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father’s secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity’s last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her “adopted aunt” Emily Dickinson.”

This book went a totally different way than I was thinking, but wow I liked it. The synopsis is rather vague compared to the actual book. I very much enjoyed the pacing, and there was so much going on and so many questions to be answered. The whole world is very different that what I was picturing from the synopsis, but it’s like nothing I’ve read before.

Eden…I kind of had a love hate relationship with her. Which is the main reason that I am giving this book a four. I feel like she should have stood up for herself a bit more, I feel like she is very naive. But she did grow throughout the book but I just wish she could have grown a bit more. Her father on the other hand I was not to fond of, only for the fact that for the most part of the book he didn’t seem to care, but his character worked for the story so he was good and bad. Bramford is just a beast full of bottled emotions. Wow, so much going on for him, and so I don’t spoil, I’m just going to say that his secret did surprise me. I was a bit confused on his appearance but for the most part the descriptions throughout the book were fine.

It was interesting to see Caucasians be the inferior race. I did feel bad for the poor albino’s though. But overall I give the book a four, I really enjoyed the book aside from my love-hate relationship with Eden and occasionally her father, I thought the pacing was nice and there were enough twists and turns to keep me engaged in the book. I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series. I’d like to see where Eden and Bramford’s relationship goes.

Check out the author’s website!

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (ARE)

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The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Hardcover, 400 pages

Expected publication: January 10th 2012

“St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?”

 

Robin Bridges debut novel, it is such a complex novel. Boarding Schools, Royal Dances, Tons of royal titles, Necromancy, Zombies, Vampires, and more Paranormal things work their way into the plot. While it was nice to see all of these things come together, at times it was also a little confusing. The pace did move nicely and things kept building, but there were a few slow spots but the end result is well worth it. I had not read a Russian placed book yet and this is wonderfully set.

 

I enjoyed most of the characters in this book, Katerina was a good main character but as with anyone there are flaws. I liked alot that she would stand up for going to medical school, that determination was nice to see in a main character and then in places she would be incredibly naive and be very well…17. Overall I enjoyed her character and she worked well for the story. Along with Katerina I enjoyed Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, his character was dark and secretive but sweet in his own way. Prince Danilo I felt only had about three emotions. Anger, Possessiveness and “love”. But in this case it worked for him, but as any other character I don’t think it would have worked. The love triangle worked in this book. Thankfully Katerina did not suffer from love at first sight. The relationship built over time and worked out nicely. Katerina’s mother on the other hand, I felt didn’t really go anywhere or do anything. She was just there to nag Katerina about getting married, but her father I loved. He was there to support her no matter what she wanted to do even though he didn’t want her moving away he just wanted her to be happy and it in a way complimented her mother. The family as a whole worked well.

 

Now for the cover, I don’t think it really lived up to the excitement that is inside the book. I tend to be picky when it comes to covers and I feel that this is rather bland. It’s not awful, but it’s not wonderful.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, once you understand the history and get past all the fancy titles it is a good read. I give this a three out of five and plan to continue the series. Nice first novel Robin Bridges.

On Sale January 10th!

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (ARE)

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Ebook, 464 pages

Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published July 7th 2011)

A powerful tale of magic, love and revenge with a strong female lead set in fairy-tale Japan; this is “Cinderella” meets “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince – and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love. The author’s debut novel, “The Swan Kingdom”, sold over 20,000 copies worldwide. It was chosen as a USBBY Outstanding International Book and was longlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Zoe also recently won a writing grant from the Royal Literary Fund. It is supported by a major marketing and press campaign, including book proof and Ebook for early adopters, author events and dedicated online activity. “Shadows on the Moon” has already won the prestigious Sasakawa prize, an award gifted by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for outstanding contributions to the promotion of understanding and cooperation between people of Japan and the UK.

Beautifully written. The last page, I didn’t realize was the last page and I didn’t want it to end. This really is a wonderful mix of Cinderella and Memoirs of a Geisha. The shadow weaving was an interesting twist to throw into the story. It was fascinating to learn about all of the Shadow Weavers abilities and how they each used them in different ways. The characters I felt added something to the story in their own ways. Suzume was such a wonderfully complex character and I kept wanting to read more about her and her story. I only wish that she had stood up for herself a bit more.

Really, there is so much emotion in this book. I do wish Youta was more into the story than he was, I liked his character but he did full fill his purpose. On to the love interest, aka Otieno. I actually really liked these two together. The balanced each other out even though Suzume had such an emotional mess going on inside her. Akira is a fierce friend and I liked that about her character, even when Suzume thought she was going to cast her out Akira stood firm and reassured that that she wasn’t going anywhere.

The pacing of the book was great, I didn’t want to put it down most of the time. The cover is okay, not one of my favorites, but the story inside makes me overlook the cover.

This book really took me by surprise. I haven’t read a book with this high a rating (in my mind) in a while. I’m giving this book a 4 a very strong 4, I was half tempted to give it a 5 but there were still little things that kept me from giving it a 5 but definitely a book I will be recommending. I look forward to reading more books from this author.

You may visit Zoe Marriott’s Website: Here
And her GoodReads Page: Here