Monday, 27 February 2012

Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
Book 1 of the McKenzie Lewis series
Publisher: Ace
Date published: 25th October 2011
Age group: Adult
Format: Kindle edition

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.
Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.
A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.
But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war. Quoted from Goodreads.

My thoughts:
This book completely surpassed my expectations.  I mean I expected it to be good, otherwise I wouldn't have read it, but it went far beyond just good. 

It starts off with an action scene, the main character McKenzie Lewis starts running from these people called the rebels. The scene makes you think of many questions. Who are the rebels? Why is the main character so scared of them? Why do they want to kidnap her?  Having so many questions can sometimes be a little overwhelming and slightly put a reader off a book but I didn't feel that with this book, I felt the opposite, in which having these questions dragged my into the story more.  The questions were answered throughout the book. 
I think the plot was very well thought out, the story is about McKenzie, who when kidnapped at the start of the book, is told by the rebels that her loyalty to the Fae court and beliefs have been wrong.  The story is about McKenzie questioning herself, Are the rebels right? Or are they lying to get her onside?  I liked the growth of McKenzie's character and how she comes to some realisations about herself near the end.  It felt like there was a lot happening in this book, there was heartbreak and betrayal.  
I loved the characters, especially Aren.  I would've liked to find out more about Aren and some of the other characters and to see how and why they came to join the rebels group but I suppose I'll find out in the coming books.  Some characters were a bit hard to figure out, like Kyol, McKenzie's protector and love interest, but I liked that it made things more mysterious and interesting.  

This book has been on my to-read list for a while, and I was actually doubting if I should read it but thank goodness I did for I would've hated to miss out on this world. If the second book is as good as the first I think it might become one of my favourite series.  I didn't hear a lot about this book before I read it and I think it deserves more acknowledgement, and I think in the future it will definitely get that acknowledgement. 
I think the book was a brilliant opening to what I hope is going to be an amazing series. I really want to read the second book right now.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Book 2 of The Chemical Garden trilogy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Date published: 16th February 2012
Age group: Young Adult
Format: Paperback

Because this is the second book in a trilogy, the blurb and review will have spoilers for the first book, Wither.  So if you've not read Wither look away now.

Blurb:Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.
The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.
In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever. Quoted from Goodreads.

My thoughts:
 When starting this book I was a little apprehensive, I don't know why since I loved Wither, maybe I thought it wouldn't be as good as Wither.  However I'm glad to say that just like with Wither I loved it.  Fever centres around one girl and her journey to get home.  The world that Lauren DeStefano has created is very dark and horrifying but vividly told, if that makes sense, you can't help but feel the characters pain and the characters hope.  I liked the way the carnival setting was described.  

Fever begins with Rhine and Gabriel on their journey having escaped the mansion.  In Fever we get to see Rhine and Gabriel's relationship expand more, something I think was slightly lacking in Wither, I think I now fully understand why they take comfort in each other. Along their journey we also meet new characters, all of them incredibly fleshed out and believable.  I don't want to say anything to spoil this book so I'll not go into specifics but one characters back story was very tragic and almost had me in tears. 
I thought this book wouldn't be as good as Wither because from reading the blurb it seems as if Linden, Cecily and other characters are hardly in it and although that's true I still loved the book and the reason why is Rhine.  Shes such a strong heroine, and in this book we see more of her courage shine through, even under terrifying circumstances.  We also see her strength and perseverance to search for her brother, Rowan. 
Housemaster Vaughn also plays a part in Fever, near the end we find out about even more of his cruel experiments.
Without going into spoilers the ending definitely leaves readers wanting more. 

This book allows readers to feel so many emotions along with the main character, you feel anger, panic and hope.

Fever is an amazing follow up to Wither.  I can't wait for the third book.    

Introduction to my first blog

Hello, this is my first blog post.  I'll start by introducing myself a little bit.

My name is Michaela.  I am 18 years old.  I love books, (as you can tell by the name of this blog) I'm kinda a bookaholic :).  I decided to start this blog to show other people what books I like and what books I don't like and to also talk with other people about books.  On this blog I'll be posting reviews and just general thoughts on books.