In THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK, Amber Benson introduces us to the Southern California “blood sisters” who, along with other covens across the globe, keep the world in balance. When coven leader Eleanora informs her great-niece that she’s dying, Lyse abandons her life in Georgia to fly to Los Angeles – and, unknowingly, to take her great-aunt’s place as an Echo Park witch. Benson channels Alice Hoffman in this novel, painting the Echo Park neighborhood in a way that should delight locals, and inform strangers. Though I found the first half of the book a little overly descriptive, the narrative overall reflects the dreams that are central to the story – including that feeling that the dream never quite reaches its conclusion.
Posts Tagged: 1st in a series
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray is a charming, romantic adventure across multiple universes, though as with many fantastical stories built on a vague, pseudo-scientific premise, the souffle falls if you poke at it. As long as you’re the type of reader who can ignore inconsistencies in the rules of made-up technologies, Marguerite’s dance between dimensions in pursuit of revenge, love, and loss should spark your imagination.
THE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher is Ordinary People-meets-Maleficent – and if that sounds like a strange combination, that’s because it is. Almost all of the information given in the blurb on the back of the book is actually kept from the reader for more than a hundred pages, and Elora’s motives for attending a human high school are extremely vague. Instead of a faerie war, we mostly get Taylor’s still-fresh grief over losing his younger brother and the torment of his high school. Elora’s ‘otherness’ (not to mention otherworldly beauty) gives Taylor something to focus on aside from his family’s pain, but it’s a long time before the reader gets to know her endgame.
I keep trying time-travel stories and while LOOP is the first one that left me with a vague sense that I understood what was going on in the various timelines, they still end up giving me something of a headache while I read them. I can’t help wondering if my struggle to keep up with what’s going on keeps me from fully engaging with the plot itself. As far as LOOP goes, I think that’s only half of it.
Though the world of SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch is a bit uninspired in its construction, Raasch more than makes up for kingdoms named after seasons and capital cities named for misspelled calendar months with Meira and the other refugees of the Kingdom of Winter. An aspiring soldier, desperate to be important to her people and her lost homeland, sixteen-year-old Meira struggles with being kept off the battlefield and forced into a world of political machinations. She’s a pawn, she’s a symbol, she’s a hero – much like THE HUNGER GAMES Katniss, all Meira really knows is that she wants to survive. That, and she’s in love with her best friend, the once and future king.
If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you had more demi-gods and Vikings in your life, then picking up PROPHECY would be a perfect cure. Especially if battles between good and evil that don’t pull punches, twists and turns, and keep you up reading until the wee hours of the night are your thing.
Turns out I don’t have a lot to say about UNBORN. It was an interesting story, a little fallen angel, some Greek gods thrown in, and some nasty evil types that like to feed on souls and leave the unsuspecting human empty and free for possession by evil.
Original and intriguing, HOUSE IMMORTAL falls closer to the science-fiction spectrum of books than urban fantasy. However, with the kickass heroine, powerful, near immortal beings, fun sidekicks, and original world, HOUSE IMMORTAL will definitely appeal to the standard urban fantasy reader.
Wow. Just. Wow. It’s not often I’m rendered speechless, but TRIAL BY FIRE has me truly hunting for words to describe it. After the last book left me floundering in a wholly different world, this one took me in and let me experience it. And I can’t wait to return to it for the next book.
While fun, THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS was an action packed smorgasbord of a novel, full of random plot arcs and frequently undeveloped characters. It was as if the authors didn’t know what they wanted to write – fantasy, romance, adventure – and tried to smash everything into one book. Though fast paced and never boring, THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS nevertheless suffered for it.