Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

"MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves. Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it."

You know those books where the author leaves all these clues to what's going to happen in the text, and it doesn't take a genius to figure it out? But somehow, the MC, who is apparently too stupid to live, can't see it until the very end, when they suddenly have this big revelation. And you're sitting there like, Duh, I figured that out 200 pages ago.

This is not that book.

I thought I had this book pinned....about five or six times. Like all those other books, Moning left all these subtle clues in the text that seemed to be leading up to one thing. I would think, AHA! Now I get it! But I was wrong every time. And the Mac, the MC, actually followed my own lines of thought every time, sometimes coming to the conclusions before I did, only to find out that they weren't the right ones. A sudden and completely unexpected twist would be thrown in.... and then it wouldn't even be the correct twist.

Moning threw me for so many loops, kept me on my toes, and shocked me out of my socks til the very last page. Even when I got to the point where I was now expecting the most outrageous of twists, I still never would have seen that ending coming. I almost cried at the end, just because it really was the end. This was the last in the particular series, and it devastates me.

Best. Book. Ever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Poison Diaries

"In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .

Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.

When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . . ."
I admit to having really low expectations when it came to this one. Part of it was that it didn't seem to be stirring up a mass of excitement among the other YA bloggers, but the rest was that there was just something off about the synopsis. Even looking at it now, I can't quite pinpoint what exactly it is, but nothing about this book screams read me!

Thankfully though, I ignored these instincts and opened it up anyway. I told myself I would give it a one-hundred page chance to prove itself interesting, but I was hooked long before that!

This story is not action-packed or suspenseful, adventurous or quick-paced. There was nothing specifically alluring. The writing itself wasn't even that great. But it was still beautiful. Something about the way the story wound itself through the plotline, the introduction of new ideas that baffled me even as my mind accepted them as completely plausible. It was such a strange tale, yet somehow managed to make complete sense.

And that ending! Yeesh, what a shock when before I realized that this was only the first in a series. I got to the last page and then did a double-take, to really make sure that it was the last page. I sat in shock that this was truly how the story was ending until I realized that there had to be more (and after a quick investigation on Goodreads, sighed in relief that I was right).

I can't wait for the next installment. Though technically I'll have to...til October....

Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Cover: 3/5

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Anyone else feeling a theme going on?