The Girl at Midnight series

4/5
Ok. Another story that turns out has another sequel.

I’ve read many stories with multiple point of view and there are some pretty awkward and confusing stories out there, but I can honestly say that The Shadow Hour isn’t one of those.

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

You get a bit of the drama, with the love triangle of Rowan, Echo and Caius; you also get a bit of the sweet stuff, with Dorian and Jasper and how their relationship blossoms in spite of the war going on; but you also get a bit of comic relief here and there and Ivy with her compassionate view of a world and the people that have done her many wrongs.

It’s  great story, but i’m not sure I liked where it ended. An absolutely not sure abut what to expect on the next one. While I enjoyed this one with its mysteries and budding romances, it felt a bit anti-climatic by the end.

And, honestly! there was too little heard from the Ala. She is one of my favorite characters!

But well… I guess there is no other option but to wait for the next installment and go from there.

Alex Craft series

Turns out that the best way to catch up with my reading is to be stuck in an airport for a couple of hours without anything else to distract me. Lately, when I try to take advantage of my time by reading while in transit from one place to another, there’s always someone trying to make conversation and it becomes impossible to focus.

Today, thou, I’m not sure if it was some kind of Don’t Talk to Me signal I might be sending out, but no one has tried to make conversation. I am grateful. Best group of people I could possibly keep company with in an airport as far as I’m concerned.

Let me read in peace, and I’m a happy camper. I can keep on waiting for the plane to beard for a couple of hours more. (It doesn’t look like I’ll have to, though).

So, this means I’m finished with Grave Visions. And a bit shocked, somewhat annoyed, but mostly curious to learn there is another Alex Craft book coming out this summer. Alex Craft series

I felt this one was a bit slow and not as packed with detective and mystery goodness as all the previous ones. And while I still liked it, I’m not as crazy about it as I was expecting.

There was crazy magic, and crimes were being committed and investigated… But I felt there was a lot going on in the story that was beyond Alex’s point of view. So much happened while she was unconscious or asleep, or as plain and simple as just terribly confused. And while all this makes sense when you take into consideration that she’s somewhat sick, it still left me with a feeling that I was missing much.

I think this story might need some alternative points of view. I’m dying to know more about Alex‘s father, of her elf, of her changeling, or even her Grimm Reaper of a boyfriend (who happens to be one of my favorite characters and barely made an appearance in this book). 3/5

But well… Hopefully next book would give us more. Right?

I’ll have to add the release date to my phone alerts, otherwise I’ll totally forget.

Grave Visions

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price

Winter rush is finally subsiding…

I knew it definitely when I finally managed to spend a whole Sunday cozy and happy on a couch with my e-reader and a cup of coffee.

So, now I’m happy to start doubling up on the books I’m currently reading. Maybe this way I’ll see more progress on my Books Read list.

And let’s get to it, with Grave Visions. With some more magic, plus some detective work and a pinch of good romantic drama to make things more interesting.

if I remember correctly, the lover she cannot trust just moved in with Alex under the orders of his Fae queen, and she and her best friend/inherited property are starting to work together in the P.I. new office, with a ghost as a partner and a strange kind-of-a-house-elf as a receptionist.

This should be entertaining. Right?

Oldies but goodies

Have I mentioned before that I have terrible memory? I’m sure I have. I must have.

I haven’t? Well, let me mention it now…

I have a terribly bad memory.

Of course, that trait really isn’t conductive to reading different books in a series with long waiting periods in between.

It didn’t help with reading The Queen of the Damned, either.

Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

It has been years since I read this series, and there were a lot of things that I wished I remembered better.

Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. It made me feel quite nostalgic, and reminded me that the reasons I love some books are varied.

While I can come to love a writer’s style and way with words and worlds, it is also possible and common occurrence with me to love a book simply by the originality of its ideas.

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice falls under the second category. I think Rice‘s style of writing is sometimes a bit slow in comparison to other more recent authors, but the mythology she created about the origin of the vampires and The Legend of the Twins is one of my favorites.

There are very few things that can beat an original point of view… at least as far as I’m concerned.

Now, this series is a very long one, and I stopped at the third book back then when I first took it up. I don’t know if I will ever finish it, but I keep feeling like this book is the perfect stopping point. I might hold it for a few more years.

Another kind of Queen

Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

Queen of the Damned by Anne Ric

I remember reading The Queen of the Damned, by Anne Rice, years ago. it was one of the first books that got me to really enjoy audiobooks. I used to listen to it on the way to an from school, while riding the subway and walking down the crowded streets in city that didn’t speak my language but I love anyway.

It brings me wonderful memories, and it feels like visiting with myself from years ago.

Some people say that the books you enjoy change over the years, and an be used as a measuring tool for how much YOU have change. Some other people say that the books that really grab onto you, will always remain a part of you.

Either way, I’m looking forward to getting into it with a new Queen, this time with printed letters instead of audio files.

Dragons and murder

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Ok. This will be my second attempt with a book about dragons that turn into people (or people that turn into dragons, however you want to look at it). I will admit to feeling a bit apprehensive after my previous experience, but my love for all things dragon wins.

Dragons, murder and mystery, royalty… I’m expecting good thing from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I don’t know much about its plot, other than when I already mentioned… and I like it like that. I feel like the least I know about the story beforehand, the better I can be moved by the storytelling instead of waiting for the key moments to happen.

What do you think?

Do you rather know or be surprised?

Half-demons

What the hell

Stained by Ella James

This was a relatively short story, which I picked just for the author.

I didn’t like it at all. And the worst part it wasn’t even about the story itself, but about the telling. The whole thing felt as if I were missing something. I would’ve been sure someone took pages out of my book if it weren’t an eBook.

Stained by Ella James

Stained by Ella James

I spent most of the time trying to catch up with what was happening, and absolutely confused with the timing. From the very beginning I felt like I started reading the story midway, and had to go online to make sure I had the first book in the series and I was not missing part of the story by mistake.

Sometimes I felt like we jumped forward too fast, and I missed half the interactions, specially when the feel of the relationship between the two main characters changed too quickly. One moment they were strangers and the next they are BFFs, then suddenly something seems to be going on out of nowhere and then they are not talking to eachother. And for no reason, they are a couple. It was insane.

And that is saying nothing about the plot. I have no idea who this Julia is, even when she’s suppose to be the main character. I have no problem with a story full of mysteries and unknown enemies, but when you’re not even sure who your main character is, it all gets way too weird and confusing.

For what I can gather, there are some kind of half-demons hunting this girl for unknown reasons that may have something to do with a weird birthmark she has. But there are also others that are looking for her and may or may not have evil intentions.

Then there was the guy, he might or might not be evil. He has powers, and might at someplint been in the same team as the bad guys.

Honestly, it was bad. Totally consuming and weird, and not in a good way. There are two more books (I think) to this series, but no… Hell, no…. I will not be reading those.

If you are interested, check out my page  …when they come in a bunch for this and other book series.

Cliffhanger

3/5

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Serial killers.

Who doesn’t enjoy stories about serial killers?

I do. Does that make me weird?

Without wanting to get too much into how old I am, let me tell you that I used to watch -and love- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And this book series is starting to feel like that. Every book a new episode. Including the post-conclusion chapter that only gives you a taste os what is to come without any details to tie you over. All designed to make you read the next book, I’m sure.

I did feel more repetition of previous books facts, but that could be because I read this one right after the previous one without any pause nor delay. We did get more information about Alex Craft and her childhood and origins, but for every new thing we learn, 20 more questions pop up. There is so much mystery and confusion around her father and his motives that it’s becoming a bit of a drag, and the no-progress is driving me a bit nuts.

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

Another thing that’s starting to worry me, is all the leftover bits. There are a few facts and events from  Grave Witch and Grave Dance that seem to have been neglected or happened for no reason. I really hope I’m wrong and the author is planning to collect all those bits and pieces that Alex seems to be forgetting and use them in a creative way further down the story line. Otherwise I’ll be seriously disappointed.

Things are getting more and more dicey with Alex‘s personal life and that, I think, makes the story more interesting… if not taken too far. I don’t think I would enjoy if the next book focuses too much in her romantic woes instead of all the crime and social/political issues popping up around her. I mean… her city is in the verge of chaos! and her father playing a very unknown and convoluted political game around her! And her friendships are going through a rough patch. I think all that needs to be more important than the two boys vying for her attentions..

But I guess there’s nothing but wait and see.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to the fourth book of this series, Grave Visions, but I’ll keep you posted.

Responsible pet owner

4/5

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Who wouldn’t carry their tiny dog in a world-saving mission? I would.

Too bad my dog is not that tiny and I don’t really go on many world-saving missions.

I was looking for something nice and easy, that would give my imagination a work-out without asking too much intellectual input… I think I found it. I’m not saying that this is a book without substance or dumbed down, not at all. But neither does it have many complicated mysteries nor too emotional twists. It is a comfortable read, and a highly entertaining one. I really enjoyed it.

I read the first book on this series several weeks ago, so I appreciate the short and to the point recounts of all the previous facts that this story offers all along the way. It was great in a “don’t get lost” kind of way without being repetitive.

It did remind heavily of A Court of Thornes and Roses, but I’m guessing that’s only because I read that one first (If I pay attention to the publishing dates, I guess it would be the other way around), except I liked this one better.

GraveDance

Both books talk about faes, and Fearie courts and fae royalty, but I guess this female main character didn’t feel that hopeless and never really becomes their toy. I’ve never really enjoyed stories that involve the abuse of those without the ability to defend themselves, and Grave Dance has none of that.

We do get a view into an interesting and complex world, full of diverse being with diverse powers and motivations. You’re never quite sure who you can trust, and that makes everything all the more interesting.

And of course, that was on top of all the crime fighting and mystery-killer chasing! There was even some mythical creatures and love triangles.

Now, I have claimed many times to hate love triangles, and that’s still true, but mostly what I hate is the sense of betrayal, or when a story focus too hard on the love interest part of the story… This author does notpne of that.

Yes, there are two guys pursuing one girl that cannot seem to decide between the two… But there’s no deceiving nor cheating. They both know about each other and none of them is pushing the issue. There’s also no long winded monologues about the pains and suffering of being wanted by two handsome guys, on the contrary, they times she mentions it is only to point out how that is not really important or relevant with all the dire things happening around her.

And, of course. Who says she cannot be involved with two guys at one? Specially when none of the three sides of that triangle are really what you would call available?

There are more parts to this books series that I’ll be sure to get to soon.

Bound for the loony-bin

3/5

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

The best one of the three, I have to say.

The time-loop thing bothered me all along for the first book, and I still think it might have been an unnecessary complication, but I guess it kind of made sense at the end.

What I did like was the fast pace of this book. It was an excellent last part: lots of action and complications, very few slow parts and new characters, and everything having a somewhat satisfactory explanation.

Jacob and Emma never seem to stop and everything happens in the span of a couple of days, really. That makes the reading very exciting, and the few new characters we get are either very shallow or compliment previous events and explanations.

My favorite part was the ending. It felt right.

SPOILER ALERT

it would t have been right for Jacob to simply stick around Peculiardom and forsake his parents without regard to their feelings… specially when he was worried about in bursts all along the second book… I think he had to go back home. If only to be sent packing to the loony-bin.

And, of course! What kind of parent would they be if they didn’t worry about the mental health of their teenage son who ran away in a foreign country only to show back up without any reasonable exploitation. It wouldn’t sound right if the threat of incarceration in an asylum hadn’t been there.

And even better, until the last minute when everything looked lost, Jacob takes everything like a grownup. He knows he did this and it is willing to live with the consequences of his actions. Very mature.

“There was an iron will inside me, I knew that now, and I hope I could hang on to it even as my life grew softer”

I imagine some would have liked the happy/sappy ending best, where Jacob simply stuck around to be with the girl he loves (even when she used to be in love with his grandpa -talk about disturbing), but I think that would have been weird too. She is over a hundred years old, after all.

That relationship did sound a bit worrisome all along. At least by the end of the book it felt more optional.

We don’t learn much about the fate or future of the Peculiars, but as this was the story of Jacob, I don’t think it really mattered.

 

One last thing that I loved and needs to be mentioned:

Machinated postbox = email.

The curiosity that killed the cat

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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

What can I say?

..that I’m a sucker for punishment? Not so much. But it is true that I often feel compeled to know stuff. Is one fo the reasons why I am such a fan of Fact Trivia, and why I feel a need to know how stories end.

So that’s mostly why I am picking up Hollow City, the second book on the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children trilogy even when I didn’t really came out of the last one totally fascinated. That and the fact that when I got the first one…

… it came in a bundle.

Ymbrynes and loops

2/5

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

As you know, I started this book without really being sure what it was suppose to be about, so I spent the first part of it thinking it would be a serious matter about this kid –Jacob– and his trip down crazy street. Or even about how he would discover that the madness that afflicts him is a family trait, and that it affected his grandfather too.

But no. I was mistaken.

I’m, not sure if this is a good thing or not. I would have thought that to be a interesting thing. Who can say that we can’t all relate to that monumental discovery that our parents and grandparents are as flawed as we are?

But I cannot say that I was not intrigued by these peculiar children. Not so much for their powers or personalities, that we don’t learn so much about, but for the circumstances of their lives in hiding.

SPOILER ALERT!!

They live inside a time bubble. Basically. Out of time! How wicked a place to hide!

Time traveling, bending or manipulating has always been another of my many favorite themes in books, but in this story while the idea is there and it is an important one for the development of the story line, we don’t really get to understand how this really came to be.

Yes, the Ymbrynes make these loops, little pockets of time that repeat on themselves endlessly. But, how? Why? What else can they do? How do the reset it? Why must they reset them? How come they fail? So much more that I wanted to know.

I don’t really know what it is that left me dissatisfied about this story. I feel like we spent so much time in some things that might not have been that important, but so little in other things that feel like should have been more relevant.

I don’t know that I would ever really go around recommending this books to other people, that is something I commonly do, but i won’t say that it was bad either. It had some good parts, and  it can be enjoyed with the right mood.

This is the first of a trilogy of books, Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.

Phoenix or Firebird

3/5

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

 

One of the first things I noticed about this book is that there seemed to be many, many familiar sounding phrases. But unlike the many names that I’m sure I’ve read in other YA stories, that didn’t annoy me so much. It actually gives it a sense of modernity. It felt like it could be happening right now (except for he lack of selfie-taking teenagers) and that I should be paying more attention to all tresholds in hopes of catching glance of the In-between.

On the negative side, I’m really not a fan of love triangles… And when one of the boys is a childhood friend, that just makes it worst to me. The idea that Echo can so swiftly and easily (without any thought to it) forget all the feeling she had for her life-friend after another one she just met. It bothers me, it really does. And don’t get me started on the fact that he’s disturbingly older than her.

I would have preferred to know and hear more about the Ala. she was the main reason I started reading the book in the first place, and it’s suppose to be ancient and wise, but we don’t really learn much about her or her skills or even about her role in the inner workings of her community. I was disappointed in that regard

What I did enjoy was the descriptions of these new magical species. Feather for hair or iridescent scales on heir faces. They both sound amazing.

My favorite detail was all the mystery surrounding the Firebird. It made me think of phoenixes with all that talk about fire and ashes.

SPOILER ALERT!!

She died to be reborn as a fire-wielding magic creature?! It feels very phoenix-like. Especially when you add the fact that now she’s loaded with souls/memories of past lives.

I guess the only way to figure out what will come of it all and maybe learn more about the Ala will be to read the next book in the series. I’ll add it to my book wish-list, but I just learned a new Throne of Glass book is coming out, so The Shadow Hour may not get any preferential treatment.

Magic Eye

4/5

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

This is a girl who can talk to the dead, see Death himself (or what I think is more like a Reaper) and uses it all to make money sometimes by solving crimes. I has hooked from the beginning.

Alex Craft is the product of a quite dysfunctional family, stubborn and bad-ass. I really liked her. With her intimacy issues and not so sociable personality. It might have much to do, too, with the fact that her fae lover Falin Andrews kept reminding me of Rowan Whitethorn (another fae hottie from a whole different story).

I think this might mean I have a thing for fae males.

And on top of that, there’s a whole mystery to be unraveled -gory clues, police dodging and unknown enemy interference included- that kept me flipping through pages to be able to figure out who did it!

I think my favorite character might have been the ghost side-kick.

“Then let’s kick some body-stealing ass”

Who wouldn’t love a little helper who cannot be seen, can sneak into all kinds of places and cannot tell on you due to his inability to be seen by anyone else but you?!

Besides, watching Roy Pearson annoy the hell out of Alex until he gets what he want, was really fun.

In case you didn’t notice at the top of this post, or haven’t catch up to my new rating system, I would give this book a very smiley face (or a 4 out of 5, for those who deal better with quantifiable things).

There’s a whole series of books based on this Witch PI character, that I might be adding to my library as soon as next month’s book budget comes in.

Keeping on with the supernatural.

Grave Witch UK aus

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

You wouldn’t believe  how many books I have waiting on my shelves (both the wood one and the digital one). It kind of makes me feel like a terrible host.

I invite them into my home, and then neglect them and let them to collect dust. It just seems rude, and it would drive me crazy if I had to sort trough all of them to choose one to read everything I finished a book.

That’s why I keep a list of what book to read next. Of course this list gets corrected, augmented and patched up often, but it gives me a sense of order and structure. That said, I actually ignored the list completely when picking this book. It was a spur of the moment choice, something that just felt it might fit my current mood.

Witches, ghosts, cops and mystery… what can go wrong, right?