Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quick review: Iron's Prophecy, by Julie Kagawa

- The Iron Fey #4.5
Release date: September 1st 2012 (also released on August 28th as part of The Iron Legends anthology)
Published by: Harlequin Teen

Warning: This review will contain spoilers for those who haven't read The Iron Fey series. 

Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child… 

I wasn't sure what to expect from this novella. Sure, the summary does give plenty of the plot away, but I'm still glad to say that Julie Kagawa surprised me. I missed these characters so much - especially Ash - and it was wondeful to dive into Nevernever and Meghan's life yet again. So much has changed since we last saw her, and it was different to see her as The Iron Queen. Meghan was powerful and regal, but she had the same heart. She still loved Ash, and would do anything to protect her family and those who are important to her, and after everything that she's been through, her personality still amazes me. I simply love this girl. 

To put it in a simple way, Iron's Prophecy was a quick, good novella, that fed me yet another dose of The Iron Fey. Unfortunately, I am now forced to acknowledge the fact that this series is really over, and that I have to let go of Ash and Meghan - Oh, Ash, how I'll miss you - and stop fantasing about what's happening to them, or what adventures they're going through. It's going to be hard.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Girl of Nightmares, by Kendare Blake

- Anna #2
Release date: August 7th 2012
Published by: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

It was actually a pleasant surprise when I found out Anna Dressed in Blood was going to have a sequel. It wasn't terribly necessary, to tell you the truth, and I wasn't craving for a sequel when I finished reading Anna, but since there was a second book coming out, I became increasingly happier and more excited to get my hands on Girl of NIghtmares. Now that I have finally read it, I realize that, well... this book really was necessary to give us some closure. 

Anna Dressed in Blood ended in a somewhat tragic scene, where Anna got dragged down to Hell - or someplace else, - with Obeahman. In Girl of Nightmares, Cas is struggling to get back to his life and move on, but visions of Anna being tortured makes that a hard job. Because of that, this book is a lot darker than its predecessor. It's obvious Cas is suffering, not knowing where the girl he loves is, and what the hell he can do to help her - if there's anything he can do to help her. I felt all that right along with him, but while I loved the character development that this angst-filled plot provoked on Cas, I wish the pace of it hadn't been so slow. I understand that there's a lot more going on here than a few ghosts stirring up trouble, really I do, but certain parts were so slow and full of pain that it was suffocating. I missed the easy-going dialogues and action scenes that Anna Dressed in Blood had, and maybe that's why I couldn't fully enjoy this book. 

Most of all, though, I missed Anna herself. It's not like seeing her being tortured repeatedly make me think "Awww, how I missed you, Anna! I'm so glad I'm reading this right now!". It hurt me to see Anna being injured like that, being broken like that, and yes, she did appear in the ending, but it wasn't something I was looking forward to, really. She was so broken that I all I wanted to do was give her a hug. It was obvious that the Anna I met in Anna Dressed in Blood was gone for good, and I was incredibly sad about it. 

The ending, however - and I do not, in any way, say this lightly - is the best part of this book. Yes, the secondary characters were amusing, and I loved the way we got to know the Order and Cas' purpose, but the ending made me forget everything. It was so, so perfect, that I can't - even now - talk about it without looking like a lunatic. If you're looking for a happy ending, you may - or may not - have it. In my opinion, this was a happy ending. It was bittersweet, and though not entirely what I was expecting, it gave this series a solid closure. Of course, Kendare Blake could always write another book about Cas and his adventures, but for now, I feel like Cas's story has come to an end. The curtains were closed exactly how they should have been, and I appreciate that a lot. This series is really good, and it's one of the best series about ghosts that I've read. If you enjoy this kind of thing.... just go for it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Showcase Sunday #6

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren. Its aim is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week.

This week was FANTASTIC in books. There's an event happening in Sao Paulo about books. It's like a BEA, but everybody can go, the books aren't free, and there aren't ARCs there. Kind of like a giant bookstore, where each publisher has its own stand and features. I went there on tuesday, and I freaked out. Seriously. I bought a lot of books, all of them in Portuguese:

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Starters, by Lissa Price
Wake, by Amanda Hocking
A Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
Pure, by Julianna Baggott

I know this doesn't exactly fit in this post, but I just thought I'd share a picture with you guys. You know Game of Thrones, right? Well... The Iron Throne was there, on the Game of Thrones' publisher's stand, and I sat on it. I sat on the Iron Throne! And I know this isn't a huge deal, not really, but for me, someone who loves the tv show and doesn't miss a single episode, it is. I felt like I really was on King's' Landing.

I also got something that's more book-related than the picture above. A necklace with the Hunger Games' mockingjay. A friend of mine bought it recently, and he sold it to me. 

And then, to make matters worse (or better, I guess) I got some ebooks as well:

Innocent Darkness, by Suzanne Lazear
The Demigod Diaries, by Rick Riordan
The Treachery of Beautiful Things, by Ruth Frances Long

So, these are all the book-related things that I got this week. I can't wait to get started on these books, especially Innocent Darkness, since I've been craving for it to be released. The Demigod Diaries was a really cute anthology, featuring a Percy and Annabeth novella, some games, and a novella writen by Rick Riordan's son. It was plenty of fun, and very quick to read. 
What about you guys? What did you get this week? Tell me in comments, or leave me a link, and I'll check it out!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feature & Follow #3

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme, hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, that gives bloggers the opportunity to meet other bloggers, and gain followers :D

Q: What blogger inspires you? It can be any kind, it doesn't have to be a book blog.

Oh, well. Would it be ridiculous if I say I'm shy about this question? It's not a tough one, but still!
Someone who inspires me? There are a lot of bloggers who inspire me, but basically, there are two of them: The Story Siren (I used to follow this blog, and it was what inspired me to create A Whole Word in Pages in the first place - it was what gave me the push that I needed to put my reviews out there, in the open), and Sam, from Realm of Fiction. Sam was like, the first person who ever posted a comment on my blog, and I remember how excited I was when I saw it. I really like her blog, her reviews, and her writing style. :)

So, that's it. These are the bloggers that inspire me. What about you? Tell me in the comments, or leave me a link and I'll be happy to visit your Feature and Follow post!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Biting Cold, by Chloe Neill

- Chicagoland Vampires #6
Release date: August 7th 2012
Published by: New American Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

*Warning: This review will contain spoilers of the previous books in the Chicagoland Vampires series, especially Hard Bitten and Drink Deep.

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined.And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans. Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.

No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

When I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost dropped it altogether, but I was using her descriptive writing to train my English, and my translation skills, so I just swallowed my urge to throw the entire series away, and kept reading it. And now, two years later, this is one of my favorite vampire series of all times, especially because of the politics and the complex world-building - although some kick-ass scenes and a breath-taking blond Master vampire do win a few brownie points. 

I feel like Chloe Neill is unraveling something unique with her series. In it, vampires burn in the sun, but they also have a knack for using a katana, they're magical creatures that feel all the currents of power around them, and their eyes silver when they're feeling certain emotions. It's a familiar yet completely disconcerting territory to explore, and Chloe Neill has done a terrific job at it - she's still doing a terrific job at it, since this is her sixth book and things are only improving. Merit has grown into her skin, gone from a geeky graduate student to a vampire Sentinel who's willing do to just about anything to protect her House and her city. She's at the same time a reliable friend and a kick-ass vampire chick ready to swing a katana when danger arises. I simply love Merit, and the way she has evolved as the series went on. 

Now that I'm talking about, you know, my love for the characters, I wouldn't be able to write this review without talking about Ethan, the breath-taking blond Master vampire that I mentioned before. If you have read this series, and invested as much effort into it as I have, you're probably as happy as I am about Ethan being in this book. And at a certain extent, my expectations were met and I was fan-girling over the fact that he's back the whole time.. but at the same time, I was disappointed with a few things. Ethan has changed, and I wasn't ready for it. One second he's this intense guy bursting into Tate's office and being staked by Celina... and then, he's this open-minded guy who's not afraid to speak his mind, and being forward with Merit about his feelings. Well, this troubled me. I couldn't create a connection between these two sides of him, and I was afraid that Chloe Neill had changed Ethan in a permanent way. I'm glad to say this didn't happen, and once again I saw the Ethan that I loved and got so frustrated with. My friends, I can definitely say: Ethan Sullivan is back. Prepare yourselves: It's a tough, yet exciting, ride. 

When talking about the plot and the villain, I was surprised by how much Biting Cold was about Tate. The summary talks about an evil chasing Merit across Nebraska, yes, but I thought that maybe that was just a secondary plot arch, and Mallory stealing the Malificium would've been the real issue. However, Mallory's betrayal is the least of Merit's concerns, now that Seth Tate has finally showed his true form. I loved this twist, and though it was a little weird to know what Tate was, it made sense. I was satisfied by the way things turned out, especially when it came to the "final" battle. 

Overall, Biting Cold was everything I thought it would be, and more. Chloe Neill is a fantastic writer, and now I can only wonder why I was so worried about this book in the first place. Chicagoland Vampires is still placed firmly on my "favorite" list, and with everything that has happened in this installment, it's obvious things are going to be even crazier in Chicago now. I can't wait to see more of Merit and Ethan.This series is just getting better and better!

Waiting on Wednesday #15

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week, I'm anticipating:

Foretold: 14 Storis of Prophecy and Prediction
Publication date: August 28th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Add it on Goodreads!

Richelle Mead, Lisa McMann, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, and nine more of the hottest YA authors to hit the shelves explore the concepts of prophecy and prediction in this story collection edited by NYT bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It's human nature to wonder about life's twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life's unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction's brightest stars.

I've been waiting for this book since December/2010, when a certain author - COUGH COUGH Richelle Mead COUGH COUGH - didn't write Dimitri and Rose going to Russia in Last Sacrifice. And I've been dying to get my hands on this story 'cause honestly, it's Dimitri and Rose, as in, the best couple in YA. And now this book is here and it's coming out in 13 days (yes I'm counting) and I'm in a mess, waiting for it to come out. Especially since they released a teaser and maybe, just maybe, there'll be a wedding. A wedding

So... that's what I'm so eagerly anticipating. What about you? What're you looking forward to this week? Leave me a link, or just tell in the comments!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Assassin's Curse, by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release date: October 2nd 2012
To be published by: Strange Chemistry
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Find it on: Goodreads
Pre-order it on: Amazon, Book Depository

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

The Assassin's Curse had a lot of premise, I'll give it that. And my expectations were high, in a way. The synopsis was eye-catching, and the cover is pretty different and unique. However - and I don't say that lightly - something was missing. I couldn't fully give in to this story, and though it had some appeal, it didn't satisfy my needs at all. The writing was good, as was the setting, but the characters just didn't work for me. 

Ananna was the biggest issue, I guess. She seemed reasonable in the beginning, but towards the end, all I wanted to do was shake her. She wasn't mature (though that would've been fine, had this been her only negative aspect) and her decisions were childish. I don't like it when the author makes the heroine fight the love interest just to look like she has a strong personality, without any real reason to. Luce, from the Fallen series, is like this. Nora, from the Hush, Hush series, is like this. And Ananna is like this as well. It was a big disappointment, and I couldn't help but notice how her arguments with Naji were pointless, and didn't add anything new to the plot, or to the character development.

Naji was another question mark, though I quickly grew fond of him. At first, I thought he was just another closed, intense guy that all readers are supposed to love, even without any real depth, but as his character was explored more, it became clear how complex he is. Naji's been through a lot, and that's what makes him broody. When I finally understood that, Naji was surprisingly easy to relate to. The romance between him and Ananna was close to nonexistent, and I appreciated that. Though there is some romantic tension going on, it never took the attention from the plot, and the trouble Naji and Ananna were in. This leaves space and context for something else to develop in the sequel, and I look forward to that. Maybe Clarke will dive in this territory when the time comes. 

The world-building was solid, and had a lot of potential for action scenes, which unfortunately was wasted. The story has some quick scenes, but for the most parts, it was painfully slow, heavy with details and dialogues. It took me nearly five days to read this book, and considering the fact that I spend almost five hours reading per day, that's a long time. I wish the author had explored the action scenes a bit more, though I understand that she wanted to build the setting and introduce us to the world she has created. This introduction, however, could've been shorter. 

Overall, The Assassin's Curse was an interesting debut. It failed to blow me away - though I'm pretty sure it will blow a lot of readers away -, but I'll pick up the sequel. This story has a lot of potential, and I'm hoping this will be explored, and a certain character - aka Ananna - will develop a lot more and grow into her own skin. She can be a fascinating character, if only Clarke knows how to do it. The only thing I can do for now is think positive... and wait for the sequel.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry

Release date: July 31st 2012
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

It's incredibly difficult to read a hyped book. I get nervous, and I just don't know if I'll like it or not, if it's going to be disappointing or mind-blowing. More difficult than that, however, is to write a review on a hyped book that I loved more than anything. That's exactly what I'm facing right now. I have no idea how to put what I feel about this book into words. Pushing the Limits was fantastic, and I honestly don't know where to begin.

Perhaps I should probably begin by saying that Echo and Noah were fantastic characters, not because they were strong, or kick-ass, but because they were so damn human it hurt. They went through so much - Echo, because of her scars, and Noah, because of his tough family situation - that it's impossible, completely and totally impossible, to not sympathize with them. Both Noah and Echo were realistic to the extreme, and not once did I look at them and thought "Wow, that just didn't make sense", because everything, from the way they decided on things, and to the dialogues, was realistic and well thought. I cried for them, I cheered for them, and I couldn't get enough of these two.

The set of secondary characters couldn't have been more eclectic. Noah's friends, Echo's family, Noah's brothers, and the school counselor, were delightful characters, and they all fit into the story without taking the spotlight away from Echo and Noah. I loved the relationship between all the characters, the dynamic that it created between them. It was incredibly refreshing and also allowed us to get out of the drama and hurt that usually followed Echo and Noah around.

And - just because I can't help myself - I gotta talk about Noah. My newest crush is simply adorable. Noah is the kind of boy that's tough on the outside - he has to be, to stand everything he's been through - but on the inside, he's a boy separated from his brothers and in love with a broken girl. He's strong for all of them, while at the same time struggling with his own problems. I couldn't be prouder of the way things turned out in the ending for him - and Echo, of course - because he really deserved it. The romance that developed between them was sweet, and full of pain as well. It was heart-breaking and swoon-worthy at the same time.

I waited more than 3 months to read Pushing the Limits. I read every review out there, and I was positive I'd love it. And yeah, I did love it - but Pushing the Limits is also the best contemporary novel I have ever read in my life. The characters and flawed but impressive, the multiple points of view were distinguishable, the writing was smooth and the romance was wonderful. The waiting, my friends, was well, well worth it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Thing About the Truth, by Lauren Barnholdt

Release date: July 10th 2012
Published by: Simon Pulse
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before...But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.

They say "Don't judge a book by its cover", and sometimes, that really does prove itself true. Unfortunately, The Thing About the Truth doesn't fall into this category. I've never been a fan of this cover, but the summary looked so interesting and just plain entertaining, that I decided to give it a try, regardless of the specifics. And yes, Lauren Barnholdt's newest novel is plenty of fun and very enjoyable, but... it wasn't memorable. At all.

My problems with this novel is related to the main character, Kelsey. I will be honest with you; the entire time, she looked like a brat to me. She fought with Isaac for no reason at all, only to spite him and - at least that's what it looked like - to prove how mature and sure she was of herself, when really, her actions spoke of the opposite. She mistreated Isaac over nothing - he helped her countless times, and all she did was turn her back on him, and I hated that. I hated how self-righteous she was, and most of all, I hated how she didn't care about anyone else, only her grades, in a difficult moment. If someone were crying her eyes out in the bathroom, or passing out in front of Kelsey, all she did was think about how late she'd be to her meeting with the principal. I mean, really?

Also, the big "truth" that was supposed to come out and destroy Isaac and Kelsey's relationship wasn't shocking at all. Sure, I understand why it was difficult for both of them to face this omitted truth, especially Isaac, but even then, it wasn't serious enough to do that much damage. Maybe I just never went through that sort of thing, but really - after I learned what big secret Kelsey was keeping, I was expecting a simple fight between them, not something epic like that.

The romance, however, was incredibly cute - if you forget Kelsey's ridiculous decisions - and since that's what I was looking for, basically, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction. The Thing About the Truth did its job as a light contemporary novel - it entertained me and gave a lot of swoon-worthy scenes - but as a romance book with a deeper meaning, it failed to impress.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Showcase Sunday #5

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren. Its aim is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week.

So, this week I got some really, really fantastic books. I think I got a little out of line, but that's fine. My birthday was tuesday, so I deserved it :P

Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry (finished copy)
Survive, by Alex Morel

From Netgalley:


The Lost Prince, by Julie Kagawa
Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry

A big thank you to Netgalley, and Harlequin, for providing me an E-arc of The Lost Prince and Pushing the Limits!
I sincerely have no words to express my love for Pushing the Limits. I read it this book, and it's simply the best contemporary novel I've ever read. I'll probably post my review on tuesday. 
I also can't wait to read The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. I adore Molly Harper's Nice Girls series, and I'm sure I'll like this novel, too. 
And I won't even get started on The Lost Prince. I can't wait to start reading this. I'm a big fan of Julie Kagawa, and her Iron Fey series, so this must be just as good!

What about you, what did you get this week? Leave me a link, or tell me in the comments!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Feature and Follow #2

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme, hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, that gives bloggers the opportunity to meet other bloggers, and gain followers :D

Q: Do your reading habits change based on your mood? Do you read a certain genre if you are feeling depressed or happy?

No, not really. I think I enjoy a book based on my mood. Like, if I'm depressed or heart-broken over some boy, I'll feel super bad if I read a romance novel, especially a contemporary one. If I'm happy, and I read the same book, I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it more. However, I do pick my readings based on how I'm feeling, so this kind of situation is usually avoided :D

But tell me about you: do your reading habits change based on your mood? Answer in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog! :D

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Katana, by Cole Gibsen

- Katana #1
Release date: March 8th 2012
Published by: Flux
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Skater girl or supernatural samurai? Rileigh Martin wants to believe that adrenaline gave her the strength to fend off three muggers in the mall parking lot. But adrenaline doesn't explain the voice in her head giving her battle tips and warnings.

While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

As much as I enjoyed the premise of a teenager finding out she's actually a samurai warrior, the book itself, unfortunately, didn't live up to its hype. At first glance, the summary immediately made me think of Angelfire, by Courtney Allison Moulton. The essence of the story looked the same - even the romance involving a guy from the girl's previous life, and all that. However, as I really worked up the courage to dig into Katana, I realized there was just something missing in this book. 

Rileigh, the main character, was a likable character at times - and sometimes, she was impossible to be around. It was like there were two sides of her - the one mentally stable, and the one I was afraid was going to kill somebody. That didn't bode well, especially since - because of that - I failed to connect with her and her ambitions. I never understood certain decisions that she made, and to be quite honest, Rileigh was unremarkable enough for me not to remember her name three days after I finished reading Katana - and I'm not lying. That actually happened. I had to look it up on the summary to write this review. I have everything about the story memorized, except details about Rileigh.  

The romance, by no means, was good enough to entertain me throughout the book. I mean, yes, Kim was cute and there were a few scenes in which he was swoon-worthy (very swoon-worthy), but most of the times, he was this dull character with no depth that I couldn't really understand because of his secrets and half truths. I know he couldn't tell Rileigh everything, and that the author wanted to keep his badboy vibe on, but it just didn't work. He tried to come off as mysterious and sexy, but only managed to look stalker-ish, possessive, and crazy in love - even though we never got to see why he loved Rileigh/Senshi in the first place. The romance was there, but it was already developed, and that didn't add up to my liking.

The set of secondary characters was the only thing that truly grabbed my attention, especially when it came to Rileigh's best friend, Quentin. He was a walking, breathing stereotype, but I loved him nonetheless. He was funny, and understanding, and his advices were ridiculously hilarious, which I found pretty entertaining. Drew, Branden, and Michelle, Kim's friends, were good characters as well, and I liked the dynamic that existed between them. Now, I won't even begin on the whole mystery surrounding who's behind Rileigh's attacks. I figured out who the villain was about halfway through the novel, and that just... well, it sucked. I wasn't surprised by anything, I wasn't blown away by anything, and most of all, the climax scene was so predictable I literally rolled my eyes when I saw it coming. I mean, seriously? Can you, please, not be so obvious? 

Katana had a lovely premise, but with the dull main character, Edward-esque love interest, and the lack of an eye-catching mystery, I can't say I enjoyed this novel very much. I'll probably read the sequel, though - I'm curious about where the story is going, especially regarding the secondary characters.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #14

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week, I'm anticipating:

Origin, by Jessia Khoury
Publication date: September 4th 2012
Add it on Goodreads 

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost.

I'm so lame. So, so lame. You guys have no idea. When I first heard about this book, it looked good, and the cover was beautiful.. and then, when I read the synopsis like, two days ago, and I found out it's set in the Amazon jungle, my reaction was like this, I swear:


So yes, I'm basically looking forward to reading Origin - crazy to read it, actually - because of its setting. I mean, seriously, the Brazilian Amazon jungle? I just have to check that out. Also, the premise is very interesting :D

What about you? What are you guys looking forward to, this week? Tell me in the comments or leave me a link!

Why I love Ash, from The Iron Fey series

    Julie Kagawa, author of The Iron Fey series, is giving away 3 copies of The Iron Legends on her blog.     
    This text is my entry to this giveway. You can find more information about it here

Why I love Ash, from The Iron Fey series

Why I love Ash, a.k.a. His Royal Icyness? Why wouldn’t I love a loyal, determined, sweet, caring, badass, skilled, breath-takingly gorgeous Prince? Is this question that hard to answer? Well… yes.

My love for Ash came a long way. It all started in The Iron King, when he first danced with Meghan. I admit, I wasn’t all that impressed by his charms, but something in him almost dared me to challenge him. He was an interrogation point. And I couldn’t entirely trust him. 

As Ash proved again and again to be – though not trust-worthy – valuable, and just plain badass, I realized that there was much, much more than meets the eye when it comes to him. Buried inside layers of indifference, there was a tortured soul, and an honorable boy, in there. This was so obvious, and as the story went on, I fell more and more in love with him. Every quick remark, every intense look... it all made me fall even more for him.

To put it finally into words… but why did I fall for him?
Well, Ash is just so incredibly honorable, good, and human (despite the fact that he has no soul) that it’s impossible not to look at him and think “I want him next to me. I want this guy to exist so that I can hug him, and make him smile and ease his suffering. I want to put all his concerns on my shoulders and make him laugh. Just because I want to, and because he’s so good that he deserves it.”

And it’s kind of hilarious, really, since Ash threatened to take off a guy’s testicles and put them in a jar, and instead of me reacting like any person would:

It was more like this:

and this:

But most of all, I love Ash because of his strength. How he’s able to pick up his sword and attack a battalion of lethal monsters to protect the girl he loves. How he’s so hell bent on being with the one person that means the most to him. How he goes to the end of the world and back to be with Meghan. How he suffered Ariella’s death, how he got torn apart, but had the sense – and the heart – to put himself back together for Meghan’s sake. But what really amazes me is how I can look at Ash and see a pure and fragile heart, despite everything that he went through. How he feels as real as the person that’s sitting right next to me.

I love how Ash helped me when I found out the boy I was in love with for more than 4 months was in love with my best friend. I love the way I was able to open The Iron Knight, and dive into Ash’s mind, in his protective nature, in his determined instance and I was surprised to see that it helped. Ash – indirectly – helped me heal my broken heart. When I looked at him and saw how he went through all of this… I thought “I want to be as strong as him.” And I was. Kind of. It’s not like I can kick some ass.


But I can still do this:

And that's good enough for me. It's hard to put all these feelings into words, but to be quite simple, I love Ash because he's not perfect, but with his force of will alone, he gets what he wants, and does whatever is necessary - no matter what. 


So, that's my entry for the giveaway. It was so hard to write this text, and it's really huge, so I apologize for that. I tried my best, but I'm not sure if that'll be enough xD Gotta pray to every single god out there! \o
 Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!