This is one of those times I have to step back from a book that had me chair-dancing in glee and not rate it based on the end-of-book squeeage I felt, but to search for a little objectivity in my review. Reaction alone, this would be a five plus. Plus a few more.
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
If there’s one thing you can count on with book series, it’s cliffhangers. If you’re lucky, it’s a trilogy and you only have to deal with one, maybe two. Multi-book series, you get little ones along the way leading up to the Big One in the penultimate book. I knew this going in to SILVER SHADOWS because I remember the similar cliffhanger between books five and six of the Vampire Academy series. I was prepared, I told myself.
In THE FIRE WISH, Amber Lough takes her readers to a magical Baghdad where humans and jinn are at war. Two girls from opposite sides of the conflict find themselves caught in the middle when the human Zayele forces a wish from Najwa the jinni in order to escape an arranged marriage. The novel starts out of the gate strong with wonderful detail and engaging characters in a non-Western setting, but about three-quarters of the way through, the pace shifts as though in a hurry to reach the ending, a haste which is especially odd when the book then comes to an abrupt stop.
Ever since I finished ELEANOR I’ve been trying to figure out a single word to describe it. I still can’t. I was drawn by the ethereal beauty of the cover and then pulled further in by the summary. Then I started reading and spent half the time enjoying the story and the other half trying to figure it out. There’s a lot to figure out, too.
Short stories are a difficult form to master in any case, but when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy, the author has an even tougher challenge: building an entire world in just a few pages. As with any short-story collection featuring multiple authors, some of the contributions to MAGIC CITY: RECENT SPELLS, edited by Paula Guran, are more successful than others. Ultimately, I think the anthology does a great job of showcasing many different interpretations of ‘urban fantasy’ and gives readers the chance to discover something new.
If I’m ever asked for a recommendation from a contemporary YA reader for an entrance book into YA paranormal, HEXED would be at the top of the list. Not so much for the caliber of the story, but because it’s a pretty good blending of the two genres in one little package.
Where to start? I’ve been staring at a blinking cursor for a few minutes now, trying to figure out how to put THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS into some sort of coherent thought, but it’s not easy. It’s a pretty good parallel, now that I think about it, because that’s what I felt the entire time reading it.
For the first few chapters, THE DARK WORLD by Cara Lynn Shultz couldn’t hold my attention. I found the start of the book clunky, over-flowing with adverbs and unnecessary speech tags. The author wastes paragraphs on everyone’s hair, but skips over important emotional moments, like when Dottie the ghost girl tells the main character she killed herself because she was a pregnant teen in the ‘50s. Even the action scenes felt flat. Then Logan Bradley appeared, and the book got a new life.
I read a lot of YA novels., both paranormal and contemporary. I don’t know why the genre appeals to me as much as it does, I just go with it and eat them up like popcorn at the movies. Some authors nail the narrator voice perfectly, some sound like adults that are trying too hard to throw teen-slang in there to sound relevant. In THE A-WORD, Jenna’s voice – both in her thoughts and dialogue – is spot on.
I remember when I first read Fracture, and I remember loving it. I recommended it everywhere I could. I was elated at finding out that there was a second in the series.