When I hear about husband and wife writing duos I automatically expect an authentic, emotional romance. In FROZEN, the first book in the new Heart of Dread paranormal/post-apocalyptic YA series from Melissa de la Cruz and husband Michael Johnston, the romance is just one of the many things that failed to live up to my expectations.
The Raven Cycle is a tip of the tongue puzzle, at once familiar and alien and ever fascinating. In THE RAVEN BOYS, Stiefvater gave us not just one heroine, not just one hero, but a world where it seemed every character carried their own seeds of greatness. In THE DREAM THIEVES, that world spirals ever deeper to reveal explore the villains in the cast. Beneath the emptiness and destruction lie boys that want to be loved, that want to be powerful, that just want and want and want as they burn up the world.
THE CHAOS OF STARS, while it started out slow, blossomed into a lovely story with original ideas and just enough teen angst to keep me interested, but not make me go nuts. It was a quick, smooth read, with a fun cast of characters, both Gods and mortals, and a sweet romance.
There is always a challenge when it comes to characters who suffer from amnesia. It can feel like the reader is just as confused as they are. In CONJURED, Sarah Beth Durst handles this conundrum better than most by creating a hazy but still intriguing reality for her short-term memory challenged protagonist with surprising bursts of information well paced throughout the book. Oh and the literally magical kisses didn’t hurt.
THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is a love song to the vampire stories I loved in adolescence. It is all the delicious, dark danger of vampire mythology wrapped around a teenage heroine who I loved dearly. Amidst the drama and the death and the danger, Tana is a battered hero, made stronger by past damage. Intent on “doing the right thing”, even as that one, true thing becomes amorphous and shadowed, I was breathlessly enthralled by her from beginning to end.
Dante Walker is back with swagger for days. What is it about this cocky, brash, reformed player that makes me crave more and more of him? Or did I just answer my own question? In THE LIBERATOR, he’s everything I remember and a whole lot of stuff I thought I’d imagined in this follow up to Victoria Scott’s THE COLLECTOR.
While THE SWEETEST DARK brought Abe’s Drakon into the twentieth century, marrying the poetry and mystery of their magic with bombings and black-outs and Europe at war, THE DEEPEST NIGHT took that springboard and lept to the next level. A strengthening heroine, a tender love story, and daring midnight flights over war-torn Europe, this book gave me all the tenderness and adventure and strength and magic I could have hoped for, all in a neatly paced story that leaves me anxious for more.
When a book is described as ‘The Goddess Test meets Dexter’ it gets shoved to the very top of my TBR pile. What could be better than a teenage serial killer hunting down human monsters with the help of the Furies from Greek Mythology? It’s such an amazing premise that unfortunately fell just a little flat.
Picking up IMMORTAL EVER AFTER, the eighteenth Argeneau book, and not having read any previous installments, I was concerned that I would be lost, or missing significant backstory. Luckily, I got a fun story with some great main characters and interesting supporting characters, that didn’t involve too much catching up for me to understand.
I worry when reading anything less than a full length novel that I won’t feel satisfied with a conclusion that comes sooner than I’d like. This wasn’t the case with NIGHT’S DARKEST EMBRACE. Frost’s story was a lovely little romp through a brand new universe, one I wouldn’t mind revisiting in the future.