My name is Nemo. This is me on Goodreads
By day I work in IT, by night I turn into a vigilante kitten snuggler.
Is there anything better than a lap filled with kittens and shelves filled with books? I think not.
"A good book resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper." - David Quammen
Mary’s been dragged to Nettleby, a small town in the north of England, for a family holiday, but when strange accidents occur that kill people around her, she discovers she’s at the centre of child ghost’s vengeance, and she has to figure out a way to keep all of her new friends – and old ones – alive so they can put the serial killing ghost to rest.
Mary Hades is a wonderful book, truly spectacular. It’s the kind of book that would be at home with a major publisher in their YA Gothic section. As a self-published book, it simply outshines a lot of other similarly produced work I’ve read. It’s polished, refined, each character has its own motivations and the main character grows and changes with relevance to the clear, outlined plot. There’s mysteries left unturned until the climax and it’s also a good adventure ride, hanging out with Mary as she finds a summer romance, faces some demons both metaphorical and real, and tries to solve the mystery of the ghost child haunting the small town.
Mary was an excellent character. She was strong willed and smart, fighting against a horrible mental illness stigma. Her best friend is a ghost, called Lacey, and the two of them bickered and fought like any teen best friends do. I loved their relationship because of the power balance between them and I found it quite realistic. As an added bonus, Lacey is a lesbian, but it’s never made a big deal of. Mary wasn’t exactly a leader type who took charge, but she was capable of being on her own without falling apart, which I liked.
The other characters were great to read about as well. Seth had motivation out the wazoo and enough issues to make even the worst of the bad-boy-with-an-attitude-lovers swoon. Neil and Lamarr were an interracial gay Goth couple and they were sweet to Mary. We didn’t see as much of them because the focus was on Seth. Mary’s parents were suitable horrific: her mother was completely obsessed with getting Mary a summer boyfriend (and maybe even getting laid?) and her dad, obviously, hated Seth and anything that threatened to change Mary from a little girl into a woman.
Although this book revealed horrible character actions and hinted at even more sinister stuff, I still think it’s a great book for teenagers to enjoy. I really liked it even though I haven’t read the prequel novella, My Daylight Monsters. I think it’s a phenomenal effort and it should be a book other YA readers should tackle.
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and the author for providing a free review copy for an honest review.
The EverWorld team are on their way to look for Senna’s mother, who might be powerful enough to open a portal between EverWorld and the coo-Hatch’s home world so they can go home, rather than take over EverWorld. The group is forced to flee from the Ancient Greece part of EverWorld and travel through s mysterious African landscape where nothing is as it seems and their lives are in more danger than ever.
This book is told from Jalil’s point of view. I like to think that Jalil has matured and his character has been irrevocably altered by being in EverWorld and that he no longer needs his OCD in the real world, but apparently that’s Senna’s favourite taunt. Jalil has grown and matured but he’s still thinking about EverWorld logically. He’s not becoming one with the world yet.
This book did a really good job of exploring the little known African gods and culture. With full respect, it was some of the scariest shit I’ve read. It was pretty graphic and imaginative. It was basically a story of survival in a hostile region. I just didn’t understand how the Vikings showed up out of nowhere to save the gang’s butt once again. But I guess even Senna’s power has its limits.
I also liked the cutting back and forth to the real world where Jalil seems to be the only one actually having a life. He’s dating a cute girl and saving Christopher’s ass from being beaten. In contrast to the last book, April’s real life was boring, but Jalil’s manages to still be interesting even when we’re not facing raging gods who want to eat your face.
Claire Cain only just survived a brutal gang beating in a car park in Chicago, and when her father gets a job in small town Peculiar, so they pack up and move, hoping to give Claire a fresh start. Arriving at the same time as an ice storm, a local school girl goes missing and Claire later discovers her body in the mysterious woods surrounded by the town’s large feral cat colony. The town dismisses the death as an accident, but Claire’s journalistic integrity won’t let her rest until she really solves the mystery of a girl dying in the woods she was terrified of, uncovering scandals and conspiracies in her wake.
I fell in love with Feral from the very first page. It depicts violence unflinchingly, honestly, and graphically, and I couldn’t help but find it very beautiful. I really admire Schindler’s storytelling ability. I felt very early on that my heart might get broken whilst reading this book and from the very start I trusted Schindler to flay my soul and relished in all the emotions I experienced during Claire’s horrific backstory. I gladly offered my heart to be broken and I wasn’t disappointed.
Initially I felt the first third of the novel was very strong, and then when weird things started happening, I did get a little confused because I thought the book was meant to be a contemporary thriller. Then I thought I’d approach it as more of like a magical realism, like Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, and I started being able to accept the weird. I really like novels like this, ones really truly based in reality but with something a little strange going on, some kind of supernatural twist without the book changing genres. I think Schindler pulled it all off really well, especially at the climax and denouement when everything was explained and it all made perfect sense.
One thing I will mention is that I never really got a sense of character of the supporting cast until the final few chapters of the book. It’s no spoiler to say that a male character is heavily involved in Serena’s death, as that is revealed in the first few pages: so the question becomes which boy of the supporting cast, and why? And while I tend to follow foreshadowing pretty well, I did suspect the wrong character for most of the novel and I didn’t see the motivation from the true culprit until it was revealed. Maybe I struggled with this because several of the male characters seemed to blend in to one.
Overall I really fell and fell hard for Feral. I’m totally buying a hard copy of this novel because I suspect I’ll want to re-read it whenever I want my heart flayed by a master of storytelling.
Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for providing a free advanced reader’s copy for an honest review.
Oh, yeah, I went there. Because with all the movie adaptions, you know that one day someone is going to get the brilliant idea to adapt one of these books into a full blown show.
I absolutely despise characters like Mary's mother.
Mary's just told her mother she made a friend and it happens to be a guy.
Mum drums on the table with excited fingers. "Oh, I can tell just from looking at your face. He's downright gorgeous, isn't he? Please tell me you used protection."
So Mary's mum just assumes Mary's off having sex with random guys.
Then, when Mary says the boy is local, not a tourist, Mary's mother practically forces an engagement on them:
"Then you're going to have to get out there and explore. Good men are hard to come by, Mary. Don't let one slip through your fingers. Go into town and see if you can find him."
SERIOUSLY WHO ACTS LIKE THIS? MARY IS SEVENTEEN NOT FORTY SINGLE AND A DESPERATE CAT LADY.
I've done my calculations and I am seven followers away from hitting 2000 followers all across Booklikes, Goodreads, the Moonlight Library blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Bloglovin.
I feel this is a pretty momentous occasion, but instead of offering up information for free like I have before, I'm opening up a Reddit-style Ask Me Anything (AMA).
So: ask me anything! I may choose not to respond if I feel the question is inappropriate or compromises my anonymity.
Sydney and Adrian have been torn apart, and now Sydney’s missing with no hint where she is. Adrian’s been dragged back to Court where he sabotages all the progress he’s made with his bi-polar and spirit use before tearing apart the world to find the woman he loves. Can our two lovebirds have their happily ever after?
Silver Shadows, despite forcing our lovebirds apart for large amounts of time, is probably one of the best book in the Bloodlines series, and most certainly the most romantic. Sydney kicks all kinds of ass as she’s trapped in the Alchemist’s re-education centre, a black hole of idiocy, torture, and pseudo-religious-fuelled propaganda that attempts to control the minds of perfectly functioning people. Adrian, understandably, falls completely apart, but to give him credit where it is due he does pick himself back up t become Sydney’s knight in shining armour.
I was completely horrified at the torture Sydney was put through as the Alchemists attempted to control her thoughts and heart. It’s very imaginative, and I commend Mead for finally showing us the horror of re-education, and the depths of the Alchemists’ evil. Sydney was so strong the entire time. She’s always been mentally strong, and she has such a good heart that I was really rooting for her to succeed and outsmart everyone, or just to hold one for a little while longer because I knew Adrian and Eddie would do anything to save her.
It was interesting watching Adrian back at court and basking in the drunken glory of being Lord Ivashkov. I understand why the weird love triangle was written, because after understanding that Sydney fell for Adrian’s charms and good looks, it’s easy to understand that any young girl would. I just really, really hope this doesn’t turn the poor third wheel into a villain in the next book. Although most of the novel was really focused on Sydney’s horrible torture time and Adrian’s subsequent breakdown, we also managed to get a bit more of the spirit-magic Strigoi vaccine plot moved forward, although of course it wasn’t concluded.
I would have been perfectly happy with this book being the final in the series if not the final page twist that means I’m going to rip into the Ruby Circle when it’s available. I feel that Sydney and Adrian’s romance has concluded, even though there are a few plot threads still loose that might threaten them. There are a few plot threads left over from Vampire Academy that’s still unconcluded. Of course, if the Ruby Circle is really the final novel in the Vampire Academy universe I will be so sad. I love this world so much and I’d really love even another six book spin-off series exploring more of the world. Otherwise I’ll just have to re-read the whole series over and over and over again.
Thanks to Razorbill/ Penguin Books Australia and Netgalley for providing a free advanced reader’s copy for an honest review.
Sydney and Adrian develop their relationship under the strain of keeping it secret from everyone, including Sydney’s perfect Alchemist sister Zoe who’s been assigned to Jill’s team to learn more about how Alchemists work. Meanwhile, Adrian struggles with his spirit power and Sydney is determined to develop an invisible protectant against Alchemist re-inking mind control.
I really liked The Fiery Heart. I’ve never been an Adrian fan at all, I’ve never liked him one bit, but I have been a huge Sydney fan ever since we first stepped into her head in Bloodlines. I love Sydney and I can really identify with her. I think, if I were to be a fictional character, I’d be Sydney. So it means a lot when I say that this mis-matched pair actually works in The Fiery Heart. I was never convinced by the romance in The Indigo Spell, but here I love their chemistry, their comfort with each, and all the little moments that show how adjusted and sweet they are.
I still have my issues with Adrian – I think he’s irresponsible, arrogant, and a drunk, and I don’t think spirit or his newly-diagnosed bi-polar is an excuse for that – but he’s working damn hard to be good enough for Sydney, which I appreciate, and he makes her feel special and loved and protected and comforted, which is all I want for her. I believe I said I found the romance in The Indigo Spell awkward and clumsy, but here it was beautiful and graceful and fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. It worked, and it was lovely.
The romance plays a pretty huge part in the book, but it doesn’t detract from the serious business of saving lives. The obsession with ink and tattoos continue as Sydney thinks she might be able to develop a Strigoi vaccine, and a way to protect other rebel Alchemists without revealing their use of indigo ink. Even though Sydney’s problems have increased with her suspicious sister as her roommate, she still managed to find time to work on her witch magic and make out with Adrian. But we know the relationship can’t last: it’s the most taboo of taboo, and they know they’re dancing on the edge of a knife. It’s all just temporary, and I think that makes the forbidden aspect sweeter.
Mead is a spectacular writer who knows how to drop hints to readers so they’ll get the big issues before the narrator does. This time we’ve got duel narrators and although I’m generally against adding a new voice halfway through a series, in this book it works, because Sydney and Adrian work together and they have to work apart, and they make massive achievements while they are apart. My one complaint is that Adrians’ point of view gets the brunt of the sexytimes, and although I appreciate him appreciating Sydney, it’s a little obvious the male point of view is there to build up on what other readers have perhaps thought Sydney was lacking: her physicality.
It’s a very strong four star novel, giving exactly what fans of Sydrian have been after as well as developing the overall story arch, and I really enjoyed reading it.