Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Anita Blake turning 20!

For those of you that have never heard of Laurell K Hamilton's, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, it is possibly the best supernatural series ever written. It focuses on and is told in the 1st person by Anita Blake, a necromancer/vampire executioner/paranormal consultant for the St. Louis police. So far I've read 18 of the 22 books in this series, and they are amazing!

I first started reading Laurell K. Hamilton's, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series about 7 years ago. A friend and I decided to read it after becoming enthralled with vampires after reading Twilight. We first started out with Anne Rice's vampire series, but that quickly became overshadowed by Anita Blake, since nothing really can compete with Anita! It's hard to believe and absolutely amazing to think that Anita is celebrating her 20th year in publication!

The way that Hamilton writes is so addicting, and I love how although she writes fantasy she blends it so perfectly with our own world that it seems logical for it to be real. I feel like I could go to St. Louis and find vampires lurking in the shadows or run into a werewolf at the Lunatic Cafe. 

Out of all the book series that I've read, this series is, and I'm sure always will be, the one I love the most. This is the first series that showed me that women could be bad-ass too! Also, that women don't have to be damsels in distress and are perfectly capable of saving themselves, (especially since most of the time no one but yourself is going to give a damn). 

I love Anita so much, and although this is ultimately her story, it wouldn't be complete without all of the men in her life! It's hard to pick a favorite! hehe!

The only disclaimer I would have to put about this series is that if you can't stand violence or sex, then this series isn't for you. There is plenty of both in it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Twigs by Alison Ashley Formento

*This book was received via NetGalley and Merit Press for an honest review.*

One pint-sized girl. Ten supersized crises. And it’s high noon. 

They call her “Twigs,” because she’ll never hit five feet tall. Although she was born early, and a stiff breeze could knock her over, Twigs has a mighty spirit. She needs it, as life throws a whole bucket of rotten luck at her: Dad’s an absentee drunk; Mom’s obsessed with her new deaf boyfriend (and Twigs can’t tell what they’re saying to each other). Little sister Marlee is trying to date her way through the entire high school; Twigs’ true love may be a long-distance loser after a single week away at college, and suddenly, older brother Matt is missing in Iraq. It all comes together when a couple of thugs in a drugstore aisle lash out, and Twigs must fight to save the life of the father who denied her. (Courtesy  of Goodreads)

I did not care for this book at all!!! I'm not even really sure how to give this book a review without being mean, because I really did not like it and wouldn't be one to recommend it.I found myself skimming over a lot of this, and that was just because I became so bored with the story. I really don't even know how I finished this, because before the first chapter was even over, I wanted to give up on this book, but I stuck with it hoping that it would improve. I also didn't really like the main character, Twigs, cause she was kind of rude and immature. I felt the writing itself was fairly odd as well and that the characters were kind of underdeveloped. I think that this work had so much potential, as the synopsis reveals. Overall this story was very anti-climatic and I was very, very disappointed.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ignite by Erica Crouch

*This book was received via NetGalley and Patchwork Press for an honest review.*

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed. 

As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice. 

With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Ignite is Erica Crouch's debut novel, and for a 20 year old college student I have to say that it wasn't half bad. The book centers around Penemuel, or Pen for short, who is a fallen angel and part of Lucifer's army of demons in Hell. Her and her twin brother Azael rely on one another, since neither is a fully functioning demon by themselves, Pen can kill, Azael can reap the souls of the dead. Together they make a great and formidable duo, yet it's hard work being a demon and the story starts with them fighting for a promotion. 

Then Michael is reborn and the future begins un-writing itself as the Apocalypse nears. Pen is given the assignment to befriend Michael and either convince him to join the forces of Hell or to eventually kill him. A strange friendship is born between Michael and Pen, and she starts to question her past as well as the choices she has yet to make, knowing that with each decision comes consequences. 

As soon as I started reading this book it instantly reminded me of the show Supernatural because of the darkness and gore. Instead of humans being the main characters, this is entirely from the angels and demons point of view. It's an interesting concept and it was strange at first how the characters are so flippant about human death. I guess if you've lived thousands of years though, then the human race would be little more than insects that you swat away when they're in your way. 

Overall, this book was okay and was an enjoyable enough read. I really liked the idea of Angels and Demons and the idea that humans actually might have it better than them both, because of the choice to choose whether they are on the side of the light or dark, or a little of both. I would have to give Ignite an overall rating of 2.5-3 stars, since it wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it far from the worst and it was an interesting read that held my attention for the most part. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Books of Fell by M.E. Kerr

The Books of Fell, which includes Fell, Fell Back, and Fell Down is a trilogy by M.E. Kerr following the unexpected and life-changing events in John Fell's life. John is a young working class man from Brooklyn living in a small, touristy ocean town after his father's death. With a passion for food and cooking, John has hopes of opening his own restaurant someday, but with his little sister to take care of and his mom's massive credit card debt, his plate is pretty full. Then a fatal fender-bender on the night of his prom with one of the towns elite residents changes the course of his life forever.

John is offered the chance to attend a prestigious and elite prep school, posing at the man's son, Ping. While John completes Ping's education, Ping will be attending an elite culinary school and earning John his ticket to owning his own restaurant someday. The offer is too good for John to refuse, and so assuming the identity of Ping, he leaves, but that's when things begin to unravel. He is accepted into the mysterious, cult-like club, called Sevens, which practically runs the school and pledges to protect its members for life. His life gets very interesting when one of the Sevens members mysteriously dies, and being ever the detective that his father was, John feels that he must investigate.

I think that this is probably the only book that I love and hate with equal amounts of passion. First, the things I love: The characters are probably the first that come to mind, especially John, since it's hard not to fall in love with him, since you are reading about his life. The plot and the twists that M.E. Kerr puts in, I would never have been able to guess by reading the synopsis on the back of the book that so many twists and turns would be in these books. And lastly, I have to include the mysterious Sevens! Sevens, the elite club whose members stand above and apart from everyone else. There is just something so alluring about seeing inside, or at the very least, trying to see inside a secret society.

The main reason I hate these books is strongly tied into why I love them, since the main reason I hate them is because I want so much for there to be a fourth book. I don't like the way the last book ends at all!!! I won't say more than that, for fear of giving away spoilers.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Green Angel by Alice Hoffman is the the first book in Green Heart, a compilation of two short novels, "Green Angel" and "Green Witch", which tell the story of Green, a 15 year old girl who is trying to come to terms with the loss of her family. Both novels are written in a modern fairy-tale style.

In Green Angel, Green looses her mother, father, and younger sister/best friend when a fire destroys the city across the river while they are there selling vegetables.

Before her family left for the city on the day of the fire, being jealous that she was being left behind to do chores, Green ignores her family's goodbyes and essentially gives them the silent treatment. I related to this so much, not because I've given people the silent treatment, but because this made me think about all the things I wished I would have said to the people I've lost while they were still living. It's easy to get caught up in the angst of life, but one small action, such as not telling someone goodbye and that you love them when you have the chance, can bring you a world of regret later. Even though it seems so simple and meaningless at the time.

The fire that burns the city causes Green to go partially blind from ash getting in her eyes. Instead of healing herself, she instead wallows in her pain and grief, changing her name to Ash. She learns to cope with being orphaned and blind, her only companion her sister's dog, Onion. She also begins tattooing herself with vines, bats, roses, and practically anything else she can imagine.

I really enjoyed this book and how the author, Alice Hoffman, weaves in so many emotions within such a short story. Green is so complex of a character, and her pain is so raw, and yet it's not a depressing story, but uplifting. It's telling the story of the balance between the need to move on and embrace the you that you've become and yet not forgetting the you that you used to be. Because whether or not Green goes by Green or Ash, she really is the same person, and there's nothing that she can do about it, but embrace it. It also shows that no matter how dark things get, there will always be a sun on the horizon, it just takes some time to rise.