Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (8)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews. It's pretty damn awesome.'s life everyone? Today I'll let you on in a little secret of Kaede's.
It goes like this:
Kaede likes... ****.
Take your best shot at guessing!
And please, let's be civilized children here. The answer is not boobs. Nor is it books.
So from Sarah this week, we have:

Confessions of a Murder SuspectThe Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
Is that another ghost writer, I see? Well, whatever. I still want this book. Lucky Sarah!
And from The-Girl-Who-Keeps-Buying Books-Instead-of-Reading-the-Ones-She-Owns, aka Kaede:

(Actually, there was 2 copies of Unspoken, as the marketplace seller I bought from sent two by mistake. I'm thinking a future giveaway, perhaps? ^-^)
 Kaede hates the library. People never keep the books in good condition. It makes me mad.
I wouldn't have gone to the library if this book had arrived. But since I need it for school on Monday, I had no choice. I guess marketplace sellers aren't always the most reliable source. Hopefully, the book at least comes.
Since I was the library, I was all like, "What the hey! I'll get books I've always wanted that I couldn't bring myself to pay 20 bucks to buy."
From A.G. Howard, author of 2013 Alice in Wonderland re-telling debut, Splintered:
• Signed Bookplate
• Signed & Personalized Alice in Wonderland Card Tag
• Signed Bookmarks
 A.G. Howard is perhaps one of the nicest authors I've ever had the chance of talking to. Once it hits the shelves in January 2013, we all know who's going to be snagging up a finished copy.

Some K.C. Hilton bookmarks looking fab. Lawl. <3
And that's it for this week! Have you read any of the books we got this week? And what did you get in your mailbox? 


Friday, September 28, 2012

Review of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

by: Sarah
Release Date: August 23rd, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 421 pages
Series: Bloodlines #1
Rating: ★★/ 2 out of 5

Blood doesn't lie...
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

Oh, Richelle Mead.

My feelings

They are mixed.

I know when you see 2 stars you immediately think oh they hated it, but in this case I literally do mean "It was okay". Not particularly good, just okay. 

I'm not super familiar with the Vampire Academy series (I only read one of the books) so I appreciated that this book takes time to recap and explain some shit that went down in that series, though it wasn't very cleverly threaded in. I could see how people know the VA series would find it really annoying having all this stuff retold. 

The writing in this book was...odd. It felt very amateurish. There was a lot of repetitive description. I think someone said something "dryly" a million times. There was also a lot of rapid time progression. I mean like literally there would be 5 word sentences that glossed over events that should have been fully fleshed out paragraphs. Also, not to mention this sort of nonsense:

“Okay,” I said, standing up. “Let’s go.”
In the car, Adrian turned to me.

I'm glad Sydney and Adrian were able to teleport from the middle of one scene to the next. 

There were several other incidents of this sort of writing which is just really fanfictiony and strange. A lot of the storytelling just felt kind of flat, there were some really great scenes scattered throughout but overall it was just so...meh.

Now, character-wise...I think this might be bad but, I liked Sydney? I mean, she's a very flawed character and I'm pretty sure she made all the mistakes but I don't know what it was about her...she had some good moments (and some dumb as hell ones) and I just felt her I'm sorry if this is an egregious offense but I felt her.  I think she has the potential to grow and develop into a really amazing character. I'm holding out for this. 

Adrian was...honestly I don't even know if I can put my feelings for him into words. He pissed me off a lot and most of his lines were just straight up dumb (but I did love some of the Sydney/Adrian banter) and his victimy bullshit wore on my patience like no other but I don't know you guys I just don't know the scene between he and Sydney when they're being all dynamic duo in the tattoo parlor it was just cute okay please leave me alone. And of course I liked that there's no romance-romance between them (not yet, anyway). That's always refreshing in YA.

This book has frazzled me. There was so much about it I found bland and shallow but the story itself was interesting and entertaining to me. I really like this world! It's one of the more interesting takes on vampires in YA I've come across. Although I don't come across a lot of vampire stories at all so maybe you shouldn't take my word for it.

EDIT: If you loved Bloodlines and I just offended your whole life, please forgive me! And take comfort in that in the time between writing this review and posting it I have read The Golden Lily and enjoyed that one much more. Will post my review  for that soon. 


Review also on goodreads

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WoW: Through the Ever Night (1)

This, my friend, is pure awesomeness.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Release Date: January 8, 2013.
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.


NYAK;D.DAKDJ;ALDSA. I WANT NEED THIS. Under the Never Sky is definitely one of my favorite 2012 debuts and I. NEED. TO KNOW. WHAT. HAPPENS. NEXT. GAH! January 8th is way too far away. Haven't read Under the Never Sky? What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Book bloggers present upcoming books they can’t wait to read and share their enthusiasm about new releases.


Contact Kaede:
See My Review of Under the Never

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review of Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

by: Sarah
Author Website/Goodreads/Amazon
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352 pages
Rating: / 3 out of 5

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!
On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

Pretty simple set up here. Girl meets moody vampire. Moody vampire realizes girl is very very very very special. They want to be together 5ever. She must become a vampire immediately because of reasons. Except, in this story, the main character is not the very very very very special girl, but her fiercely protective best friend who is not buying any stockholm syndrome today.

 This is one of those books that as you close it makes you glance up wistfully at the sky and nod slightly to yourself. That is, if you like it. If you don't like it, it will probably just make you roll your eyes a lot. I liked it but I can see how this book could be really annoying to some people. Our main character, Mel, isn't exactly super likeable most of the time. But in my case that's what I sort of liked about her. She's a seventeen year old girl with some good opinions and some cringe-worthy ones, but her character did grow throughout the book and I'm sure she will continue to grow in that alternate universe where all book characters still go about their lives.

 I liked that this book takes place in a world a la True Blood where everyone knows that vampires are real and the trials and tribulations of coexisting etc etc. I find that a lot more interesting and entertaining than the whole vampires are real but no one knows and when someone finds out they are shocked -SHOCKED- even though we are surrounded by vampires in all types of media. I also liked the unique take on how people become vampires and what can happen if a "transition" goes awry.

 High Point: Kit was adorable. It's the usually the male love interest I'm narrowing my eyes at in YA books but in this case I was doing all my eye-narrowing at Mel the whole time so Kit got off easy. It was a cute book with a good message about acceptance and thinking for yourself hidden in there somewhere. Not a must-read, but still enjoyable.


Review also on: goodreads

Monday, September 24, 2012

Review of Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Among the Nameless Stars
By: Diana Peterfreund
Review by: Kaede

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 60
Source: First read online.  Currently: E-book.
Star Rating: ★★★★/ Exceeded expectations.

Before Kai joined the Cloud Fleet, he wandered… AMONG THE NAMELESS STARS

Four years before the events of FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, the servant Kai left the North Estate, the only home he’d ever known, and Elliot North, the only girl he ever loved, in search of a better life. But the journey was not an easy one.

Featuring narrow escapes, thrilling boat races and at least one deadly volcanic wasteland.

*Among the Nameless Stars is available for free with the link that can be found here.*

Now originally I had no intentions of reading Among the Nameless Stars. That may or may not be due to the fact that I had no knowledge of it's existence. But one way or another, I managed to find my way to this prequel, and boy am I glad I did.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is one of my most anticipated books of 2012, so I was really upset when I couldn't work it into my TBR pile until July at earliest. But then, my super awesome friend directed me to the URL for the sixty page prequel, and I knew that someone had answered my prayers. And just for the fun of it, I'll include my reactions after my friend told me about Among the Nameless Stars:

Friend: "Kaedeeeee, have you read For Darkness Shows the Stars yet?"

Me: *glares angrily*

Friend: *backs up slowly with a mocking smile* "Whoa now, someone's got an attitude."

Me: *laughs* "Sorry. And to answer your question, no. I want to, but I have no time. want to read all these books for me and then tell me if they were good or not?"

Friend: "Thanks but no thanks. And if you don't have the time to read For Darkness Shows the Stars, why don't you read the prequel first? It's short
and free."

Me: *screams so loudly that my friend is forced to cover her ears and run a safe distance away from me* "WHERE! WHERE, WHERE, WHERE?"

Okay, enough of that, you get the point. But even if you do have the time and plan to read For Darkness Shows the Stars soon, I'd say read Among the Nameless Stars first. It's a prequel for a reason darling. In a rough sixty pages, Diana Peterfreund is able to explain how Elliot and Kai got to where they are in For Darkness Shows the Stars.

And weren't those letters just the sweetest? It's too bad that a guy like Kai, a guy who still knows how to write and doesn't spend his life gaming, comes around once in a million.

I really couldn't resist throwing this in for a good laugh. Haha.<3

Review also found at: Goodreads

Contact Kaede:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (5,6,7)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews. It's pretty damn awesome.
Today Kaede brings you three weeks worth of books. We apologize for our absence for the last three weeks. And because Isabelle's busy with personal issues, there'll be a lack (but not none!) of posts from her. We hope you can understand.
So this week we have for you:
From Sarah:

And now it's my turn! YEAHHHHH!
(In order from left to right)
Splintered by A.G. Howard (+Key necklace!)
Reborn, Vol 39 by Akira Amano
Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1)The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy

Yep, that's right. I went ahead and bought myself a Kindle Fire. I just got it yesterday and I already prefer it over my NOOK Color.
I also received some signed bookmarks of K.C. Hilton's books that I just can't find. Maybe next time?
And that's a wrap! We hope you had a great week of books too!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Opal by Jennifer Armentrout Cover Reveal

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.
Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!


USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog
It was really fun being part of the Opal Cover Reveal. I couldn't believe it when I was one the bloggers who were chosen out of more than 200! And despite the fact I saw it before you guys, I'm sure our reactions towards this beautiful cover were the same. It's gorgerous, isn't it? They've really outdone themselves this time. Be sure to mark Opal to your To-Be-Read shelf,
-Kaede. <3

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review of Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

by: Sarah
Author Website/Goodreads/Amazon
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Girroux
Pages: 304 pages
Rating: / 3 out of 5
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.  Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago

This story is divided up into two parts, past and present, with three different perspectives. Hester in the present, Ezra in the past, and Syrenka in the past. Syrenka is a mermaid who is enfatuated with human life and longs to be with a human man. After a thousand years of mishaps, she meets a young man named Ezra and they fall in love. Happily ever after except for the fact that it all goes horribly, disturbingly, Shakesperian-level tragically wrong. Now let's flip to the present. We have a young girl named Hester who isolates herself from people because all the women in her family have been doomed to die in childbirth, including her own mother. Hester vows she will not pass on this mysterious ailment to another baby, not to mention she really doesn't want to die herself. She shuns all physical affection and refuses to let herself feel desire until she meets a mysterious young man on the beach named Ezra who speaks in an odd old fashioned way and seems to be from a different time... I'm sure you can guess what's going on here.

This is the first mermaid book I've taken on, I don't know anything about mermaid lore aside from what I'm sure was very accurately portrayed in Walt Disney's gritty and controversial classic. (That was a joke.) But I'm glad I've started out with Monstrous Beauty, which seems to have nailed it as far as all that goes. I loved reading about the mermaids and how their culture and magic worked. I loved that they were strong and somewhat violent creatures. I loved Syrenka and Ezra's tragic love story and the beautiful way it was written. I loved the history. All of those things are 4 star material for me, but I'm sorry to say Hester and her probz really brought the entertainment value of the book down for me, overall.

Hester wasn't my cup of tea. I understood where she was coming from and I really liked her at first, but the more I read the more she annoyed me. I didn't really buy into her "love" with Ezra. Yes, I understand that spoiler(highlight to read):Syrenka/Sarah's soul was in her so it's technically not insta-love, but it still felt like it. And maybe it's just the fact that the dramatic irony in this book was so strong, being that the reader is privvy to Syrenka and her story and Hester is not, but most of the time she came across as a total dummy one minute and a genius the next. Don't get me wrong, she had her moments, and I really loved the scenes of her underwater with the mermaids, but for the most part I didn't really care about her as a character, I just enjoyed watching the mystery unravel through her point of view.

If you're super into mermaids, you will love this. If, like me, you never really felt one way or the other about them, this book still might surprise you. The storytelling was very strong when it was from Syrenka/Sarah's point of view though it did feel a bit lacking throughout Hester's bits. Still, a quality book and definitely one that lingers. I'm all jazzed up on mermaidy goodness now I'm going to go jam to Poor Unfortunate Souls.

A very rock solid 3 stars.

Review also on: Goodreads

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ARC Review of Prototype 2 by Dan Jolley

Prototype 2
By: Dan Jolley, Paco Diaz, and Chris Staggs
Review by: Kaede

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Pages: 80
Rating: ★★★/ It was decent.
Source: ARC via Netgalley

Return to the virus-infected Manhattan of Prototype in this new graphic novel bridging the blockbuster game with its highly anticipated sequel Written by Prototype 2 game and comics scribe Dan Jolley (JSA: The Liberty File, Firestorm, BloodHound), this volume includes three original stories, previously only available digitally, enriching the stories of the central characters of Prototype 2 and revealing secrets of the devastated NYZ

"I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be human."

When requesting Prototype 2 off NetGalley, I admit I knew nothing of it. All I wanted was a good graphic novel, a easy read. However, Prototype 2 was everything but. Set right after a virus breakout, Prototype 2 is divided into three parts: The Anchor, The Survivors and The Labyrinth. Everything is fine, except for a few over the top expressions and extremely small text that hurts my poor eyes.

Prototype 2 is based off the video game, so for readers who are unfamiliar with the game adaptation or haven't at least read the first Prototype comic and enjoyed it, I don't think you'll get much from this edition. But, the art and the whole "you-better-run-or-those-creepy-red-things-will-eat-you" Prototype 2 had going on was pretty badass.



Review also found at: Goodreads

Contact Kaede:

Monday, September 10, 2012

ARC Review of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

by: Sarah
Author Website/Goodreads/Amazon
Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 370 pages
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #1
Rating: ★★★★★/ 5 out of 5

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Well well well. Where do I even begin? For a long time now I've been saying to myself that I wouldn't hand out a 5 star rating until a book really wowed me. I've been very picky, probably a little too picky, but here we are you're hearing straight from the horse's mouth this book is indeed a 5 star chick. Why? I thought you'd never ask!

Unspoken was quite a slap in the mouth as I went into it not really knowing what it was about. I saw ooh pretty cover and something about a girl loving a boy who exists in her head and  I was sold. Vital information: mind relationships really do it for me. Anyway, so the book starts out with a very quirky, funny and likeable heroine, Kami, and her persistently pessismistic best friend, Angela. You know how books and movies do that thing where they make the best friend character an insufferable asshole to make the main character seem all that much better in comparison? Yeah, Angela does not fall into that category. She is a fierce warrior princess and currently at the top of my list of favorite characters. And just when I thought she couldn't get any better SPOILER(highlight to read):it turns out she's a LESBIAN ....or at least is attracted to girls:SPOILER oh my GOD Sarah Rees Brennan I REQUEST THE HIGHEST OF FIVES! I literally had an out of body experience when that happened I rolled off my bed and collapsed in a heap on the floor. But I digress, back to the plot of the story. Kami Glass is just your average teenage girl trying to make it in this crazy world, aside from the fact that ever since she was a child she's heard a boy named Jared's voice in her head. She assumes Jared is a figment of her imagination until surprise! Turns out he's real and he happens to be related to the cute guy at school, Ash, who's been given Kami some unprecented attention. Both of which are members of the mysterious Lynburn family! The espionage! I can't!

Now at this point I was like euuuuuuuuhhm get outta here love triangle I'm not here for this. But it wasn't really so much as a love triangle but rather a love fucked-up-a-gon. There are several boys in Kami's life that care for her and instead of Kami being like oh woe is me which one do I pick she was more like I'm just gonna do me and see what happens. YES KAMI. KAMI YOU ARE GIVING ME SO MUCH LIFE RIGHT NOW. So Kami and our rag-tag group of supporting characters live in a lovely English town called Sorry-in-the-Vale, but creeeeeeepy stuff happens in Sorry-in-the-Vale. Animals are being sacrificed, Kami is being mysteriously targeted, somebody might get dead, and  it's up to Kami and her friends to solve the mysteries surrounding the town and their own family's secrets. But as Kami soon comes to realize, she doesn't know who she can really trust. Not even the people she thinks she knows the most.

You: Okay Sarah we get it, it was a good book I'll look into it okay


This book is written superbly. I haven't been sucked into a story the way I was with this one in quite some time. The storytelling is lush and exciting. The characters are well developed and interesting, even the minor ones, and that is something that always gets a book on my good side. There's nothing I hate more in a story than throwaway characters. There are none in this book. Even the characters that were only there for a few pages brought something funny or a little bit interesting to the table. And can I just say how amazing it is to have a ~bad boy~ type male lead that's actually interesting, complex, and a little messed up but not a romanticized abusive or manipulative asshole? *Commence Slow Clap*

If I had to pinpoint one downfall of this book, it is that it does suffer from what I like to call Everyone Is Witty Syndrome. In this book, pretty much every character has the perfect quip or joke ready on hand 24/7, and usually that makes me so irritated I want to cry, but in this book the dialogue was just so on point and consistently funny that I didn't even care. And when I thought about it, me and my circle of friends are pretty hilarious all the time, so it's not completely unrealistic....right?

Another thing that bothered me was Jared's behavior toward climax of the book, but for the most part, I understood it was part of his character's journey, and I must say I am steadily aboard the good ship Kami/Jared. (Kared? Jami? Let's settle this now..I think I like Jami... Kared sounds like Carrot) Though sometimes their relationship did feel a little insta-lovey and inappropriately dramatic, the reader must remember that they've technically known each other their entire lives. They've formed an impossibly close bond. I'd probably be a little crazy over the thought of losing that person too. SPOILER(highlight to read): The end broke my heart! I was rooting for you Jared we were all rooting for you!!!! But whatever, be a sad bad boy. You'll get over it in the sequel.:SPOILER

Tl;dr: This book is a wonderfully refreshing and entertaining young adult fantasy/paranormal novel (not to mention the delightful elements of romance and mystery) with a cheeky contemporary feel. So much of my favorite things ever going on here. I already want to go back and read the beginning and giggle to myself because I know what's going to happen. I'm having a hard time expressing all my feels. Maybe I should just revert to primitive language at this point. Book. Good. Go. Buy. Now.


Review also on goodreads

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone
By: Leigh Bardugo
Review by: Kaede

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 358
Series: The Grisha (#1)
Source: Bought 

Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future.

"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak."

HOLY. That ending. That ending.

Oh I swear Leigh Bardugo has a cruel, cruel heart underneath where no one can see. It is only shown through her Grisha talent to write. You just simply cannot end a book like that. I think I might lock myself in a room when this review is over and just cry, "ANDDDDDD? WHAT COMES NEXT? MOMMMM, WHERE DID YOU HIDE THE MISSING LAST CHAPTER?"

Just so you know.

On to the review we go.

Alina Starkov, orphaned by the Border Wars since young, has never expected much from life. Able to count only on her best friend Mal - in which even that is debatable - Alina has no one else to turn to in times of fear. So when Alina and Mal, along with many other soliders from the First and Second Army, are sent to take part in the dangerous mission of crossing the Shadow Fold, Alina is scared. Scared for her life. For many who cross into the swath of darkness where monster crawl and feast on human flesh do not return. Alina can't shake off the dreadful feeling that something bad will happen...and something does.

When their convoy is attack in the midst of crossing the Fold, all seems lost. Until Alina releases a dormant power she herself knew not existed, consequently announcing herself as a Sun Summoner. Sun Summoners are rare, and to this day, not one has been seen before Alina. And so Alina is brought to the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha known to man, a figure as feared as he is revered. That is precisely where this story takes off as Shadow and Bone spins a haunting tale of discovering hidden power within oneself - and how one may choses to use it.

I'll be the first to admit that Alina wasn't always my favorite character. She could - and would - come across as one of two ways. Strong-willed or just plain stubborn. Through the middle of the book, my perception of her was the latter. She had all her priorities wrong, and was nothing if not hypocritical. She'd say she wanted nothing to do with Grisha, and then go off and wonder if she was pretty enough. And if she hadn't been so set on the fact opinion that the Darkling was a heavenly God whom could do no wrong, perhaps she wouldn't have been forced to kill all those innocent Ravkans. But then again, I do think now and then that if Alina wasn't so stubborn, she would've been nothing more than a submissive doll to the Darkling's whims.

In all honesty, I'll admit that I love the Darkling. But you know...he is all scary and evil and stuff, and he crept the hell out of me in the last part of the book. I have to say I'm rooting for the cocky best friend Mal. He's awesome with a capital A. Yes indeed. But it could go either way and I'd be fine...ish.

Shadow and Bone is fantastic and definitely worth the read. The ending was able to throw any doubts of uncertainty I had out the window. However, after reading this book, you will most likely feel something along the lines of:

Okay, I get that he's beautiful, and she's beautiful, and that's beautiful, and the thing over there is beautiful, and it's beautiful. So STOP REMINDING ME THAT EVERY FREAKIN' THING IS BEAUTIFUL.

With Shadow and Bone, the word beautiful will take on a whole new meaning. But that one tiny little problem can't even begin to nearly overshadow all the good in this novel.

Overall, I just have one last thing to add.


5 coffee cups!

Contact Kaede:
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Twitter: Kami178xx

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (4)

 Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted at Tynga's Reviews. It's pretty damn awesome.

Sarah here today for your weekly dose of STS! 

Let's start with the lovely Isabelle:


And next we have the star of today's STS, 






And Last and least we have me, 




And that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed checking out this week's treasure and perhaps found something you might enjoy as well!