Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

Sorry for the delay in posting this review, but I just had a baby at the start of this month and it has slowed down my ability to read and post reviews momentarily. I hope to be back in full swing shortly.

For our reviews of the first two books in this series please click here: Wings, Spells.

Title: Illusions (Wings #3)
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Fantasy/Chick Lit
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Mild Swearing
Premise: "As her senior year of high school starts, Laurel is just beginning to adjust to Tamani's absence when he suddenly reappears, telling her he must guard her against the returning threat of the trolls that pose a danger both to her and to Avalon." (King County Library System)
Opinions: I enjoyed this book much more than Spells. I was glad to see Klea was back and that she brought someone else intriguing along with her for us to get to know. I loved the idea of seeing how Tamani interacts with humans now that he tries to integrate into high school. The complications between Laurel, David and Tamani continue to build in some intricate ways that sometimes left me feeling overwhelmed and wanting to ring Laurel's neck (but that's just me). I was frustrated learning that this wasn't the end of the series and honestly said "Huh...okay" when I was done reading it. I felt this book was more about the interweaving of relationships with little glimpses of the overall story arch to heighten the intrigue. I'm REALLY curious to see where Aprilynne Pike goes with the story in book four. The good news is that Aprilynne posted on her blog last week that a name has been determined for that fourth and final novel....DESTINED....and is expected to be released late April of 2012. I look forward to seeing what (or who) Laurel is destined for.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall by Jennifer Hurst

Go here for information about Jennifer Hurst's giveaway for Fall.

Title: Fall
Author: Jennifer Hurst
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: One swearword, one incident of implied sex
Premise: "Women and construction shouldn't mix. At least, that is what the client, Mr. Blackwell, thinks when Twenty-one year old Julia D. Halstead is promoted to project manager to remodel a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse into a bed and breakfast. However, the schoolhouse contains a dark secret that has been hidden for nearly a hundred years. A secret that will unleash the furies of Hell and cause the Angels in Heaven to weep as ethereal brothers, Matthew and Nathan, battle over Julia's very soul." (Book Jacket blurb)
Opinions: So I wanted to have a fresh opinion of this book. I didn't read Karen's review, nor did I read anything about the book. I just dove in. And here's what I thought.

It took me probably 25 pages to get into the story. But once I did, I really did. I liked the pacing and I liked the characters, especially Nathan and Meagan. I have to admit that I was a bit confused at times in the first 75 pages but nothing too major. I assumed I would get it later, and I did. (Which was nice, I hate being left hanging.)

And in all honesty, this is probably not the type of book I would pick up to read. HOWEVER! I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it. It was fun and entertaining. Quirky (and I like quirky).

My one fault is that I don't know if there is going to be a sequel. (I'll find out I'm sure.) The ending was done in such a way that it wasn't clear to me.

I love that JD is a strong and fiercely independant woman. I love that issue of choice and consequence throughout the novel. I love the way Jennifer Hurst builds her characters and tension. She is a very talented writer and I look forward to more books from her.

Overall, an enjoyable read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Warning: For those who may be uncomfortable with sex in books there is one instance of sex. It is not described, but you know it happens and that the person is faced with consequences for those actions throughout the rest of the story. I loved that there was a balance between the choice and consequences for all of the characters' actions throughout the story.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

To read the reviews of other books in this series please click here: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed the Strings the Hangman's Bag.

Title: A Red Herring Without Mustard (A Flavia de Luce Novel)
Author: Alan Bradley
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: Mild Swearing, Moderately graphic descriptions of murder scenes
Premise: "Flavia had asked the old Gypsy woman to tell her fortune, but never expected to stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer had abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? Had it something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon another corpse, that of a notorious layabout who had been caught prowling about the de Luce's drawing room. Her investigations will reveal more of Buckshaw's secrets as well as new information about Harriet, the mother Flavia never knew." (King County Library System)
Opinions: This is the third book in the murder mystery series that stars eleven year old Flavia De Luce. Like its predecessors it is ripe with intrigue, twists, and clever solutions revolving around chemistry. It is brilliantly written, but some of the descriptions of the scenes when the dead are found bothered me a bit (granted I am nine months pregnant and that maybe part of the reason). This particular novel not only revolved around solving the reasons behind vicious attacks and murders, I was really intrigued with the struggles that Flavia deals that force her to face the struggles of adulthood at her tender-but-brilliant age and to see her father from a different view point. If you enjoy a good murder mystery I think you will love the continuation of this series.