My initial response to STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD was and up and down of emotions. I was excited to read this variation of the Bluebeard tale, made new by featuring Bluebeard’s goddaughter rather than a wife.
Genre: Young Adult
Magic and mystery mingle in a small New England town in Claudia Gray’s SPELLCASTER, the first book in a planned trilogy that is sure to enthrall readers. One of the big attractions has to be the magic system which is incredibly cool and unlike any I’ve ever read before. Nadia doesn’t mix potions over a cauldron or recite Latin incantations, her spells require specific emotions. For example, the first spell she casts calls for:
When I got my hands on a copy of DEEP BETRAYAL, I was so excited to read more of the alien and tortured hero, Calder White. Brown’s ability to make him sympathetic without softening too many of his predator’s edges was one I my favorite aspects of LIES BENEATH.
In this trio of Delirium stories, Lauren Oliver has pulled back the current even further revealing tantalizing details about her characters and this dizzily addictive series.
ORLEANS took me far longer to finish than I thought it would. A lot longer. The reason why probably makes me sound like a horrible person (I’m not. I swear!), but it really, really made the book a struggle for me to get through. Before I get to that though let’s talk about the good stuff.
DEATH, DOOM AND DETENTION was a good book that isn’t perfect, but still a light, fun read. The underlying premise is different from a lot of paranormal YA I’ve read recently- instead of brooding werewolves or sexy vampires, we’ve got hot angels and terrifying ghosts. And while sometimes the premise verges on ridiculous, we still have some great characters, plenty of teenage angst and obviously, some supernatural drama.
DANCE OF SHADOWS immediately sucked me in with the beautiful cover and mysterious blurb. I was hoping for a combination of Black Swan and Center Stage with paranormal elements. What I got was an interesting premise that could have been a great story, but unfortunately fell flat with poor pacing, bland characters and laughable dialogue.
REQUIEM is told in alternating chapters from both Lena and Hana’s point of view. What ended up surprising me the most about REQUIEM was that even though the Delirium Trilogy has been Lena’s story, in this final book, it was Hana’s chapter’s that I couldn’t get enough of. Lena’s story continues in the Wilds and focuses on the Rebellion as well as reconciling her feelings for Julian and Alex. Hana’s story, for me at least, was the more gripping of the two girls as it follows her, now Cured, preparing to marry the newly elected Mayor.
WHEN WE WAKE is a very political book, and, to a lesser degree, a very religious book. Those aren’t necessarily bad things. But when the politics and religion are preachy, it becomes much harder to enjoy the story hiding underneath.
How does an almost 600 page book end up feeling too short? Masterful plotting, harrowing danger, meticulously detailed worldbuilding with a complex history, and truly human characters even when they aren’t actually human.