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Monday, May 26, 2014

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Book Two)

Cassandra Clare Website
Book Details: Written by New York Times Best Selling Author Cassandra Clare. Published March 25th, 2008. 453 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis of City of Ashes: City of Bones ends with the disappointing information that Clary and Jace are brother and sister and their father is Valentine, an evil mastermind and murderer. Clary has her mother back but she is still in a magical sleep state that no one knows how to get her out of.  Clary has moved in with Luke, who she recently discovered is a werewolf, and she has started dating her best friend Simon. Now that The Clave, the ruling government of the shadowhunters, knows who Jace's father really is The Inquisitor, leader of The Clave, comes to the institute in New York to interrogate Jace. Inquisitor Herondale believes that Jace was put there as a spy for Valentine and treats him like a criminal the moment she meets him. She sends him to the underground city of bones prison for the night until she can properly interrogate him.

Clary discovers from Isabelle that Jace has been sent to the prison and immediately meets Isabelle and Alec to help break Jace out. Before they can reach the city of bones, Valentine shows up with the demon of fear to steal the next mortal instrument, the sword.  Jace refuses to leave with his father, he wants no part of the crazy Valentine has created. Clary, Alec and Isabelle show up in the underground city to discover blood and death everywhere they look. They find Jace locked up and huddled in his cell Clary breaks him out and together they all leave to with the intention of sending back The Clave. On their way back out they run into a group of shadowhunters responding to a distress call.  The Inquisitor again believes Jace has a part to play in the break in and puts him under house arrest under the custody of Magnus Bane.

While with Magnus, the Queen of the faeries requests the presence of Jace, Clary and Isabelle. Simon tags along, because anywhere Clary goes he goes, and the gang runs into a little trouble with the queen leaving them all confused and upset. Later that night Simon has a run in with some downworlders that he will never come back from.  Jace finally realizes where Valentine is hiding after some demons attack Luke. Jace borrows a vampire motorcycle in order to fly to his fathers location, again refusing to join up with Valentine even after he offers to spare all of Jace's friends. 

The inquisitor plans to bargain with Valentine, Jace's life for the mortal instruments, which ends in an all out battle of good and evil.  All our favorite characters very narrowly escape with their lives. In the end Clary is confronted at the hospital by an old friend of her mothers, telling her to find the warlock Ragnor Fell in order to make the antidote needed to wake her mother up. 

My Thoughts: Never a dull moment!! This series is impossible to set down, even reading this the second time around I can't get enough!  It is hard to watch Jace and Clary struggle over their feelings for each other even after finding out they are brother and sister. I cannot believe what happens to Simon on multiple occasions in this book but all of it happens for a reason and makes the book that much better! 

Luke is definitely one of my favorite characters, always there for Clary and her friends when they need him. I loved that he finally confesses to Clary how much he loves her mother. Also I love when the Inqisitor sees the birth mark on Jace's shoulder, I had already read the prequel series The Infernal Devices and knew immediately what the birthmark meant, great foreshadowing!!  The book ends in an all out battle making it impossible to stop reading!! Overall I love this series!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book One)

Cassandra Clare Website
Book Details: Written by New York Times Best Selling Author Cassandra Clare. Published March 27th, 2007. 485 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Barnes & Noble / Amazon

Synopsis of City of Bones: Clary, our protagonist, is a 15 year old girl living in Brooklyn with her overprotective mom. Her father was out of the picture before she was born but she has always had Luke, her moms best friend, around as a father figure. Clary believes her life is completely normal until she has a run in with some shadow hunters, Jace, Alec and Isabelle, at a club where they are killing a demon. From that moment on her world is turned upside down. While Clary is at a poetry slam with her best friend Simon she sees Jace, the shadow hunter from the club, and follows him outside to have a heated conversation about leaving her alone. She then gets a panicked call from her mom telling her not to come home and that she loves then her the line goes dead, Clary tries to call back but cannot get a hold of her mom. She takes off in a dead sprint back to her house, when she arrives the house is destroyed, her mom is gone and she is greeted by a lower level demon where she barely escapes with her life.

Jace finds her and takes her back to the institute, a shadow hunter safe house and the groups home, where Hodge, another shadow hunter, treats her for the demon poison coursing through her body.  Clary wakes up three days later very sore and with a tremendous head ache to Isabelle sitting over her. Clary is determined to find out why a demon took her mother with the help of her newly acquired shadow hunter friends. On their path for information they discover a magical block in Clary's head making her forget anything paranormal by the warlock Magnus Bane. Hodge also reveals to Clary some surprising information about her mother she never knew and informs her that a man named Valentine believes her mother knows the location to the Mortal Cup. The Mortal Cup is sacred to the shadow hunters because it has the ability to create new shadow hunters by drinking from it.

Simon tags along to a party full of paranormals at Magnus Bane's house where Clary tries to get information about the block in her head. While at the party Simon gets turned into a rat from drinking the wrong beverage, which leads to a show down at a vampire layer at the end of the night. With everyone safe from harms way again Clary makes a shocking observation and believes she can find to Mortal Cup to exchange for her mother's life. From this point on the story goes from one alarming discovery to the next leaving you wondering what will happen in the second book City of Ashes.

My Thoughts: I cannot get enough of this book it grabs you from the moment you open to the first page. I love this series! I am currently reading it a second time as a refresher for the upcoming City of Heavenly Fire. The characters are amazing and you can't help but fall in love with each one individually. The ending has quit the surprise that really upset me the first time but now that I know what happens I can handle it the second time around.

The world that the author creates is very easy to get wrapped up in. I love the idea that there are vampires and warlocks and werewolves and faeries all around us just glamoured from the human eye. This book has every type of paranormal creature you can think of, because there is truth in every myth. The plot itself is captivating with plenty of surprise turns along the way!! I just fell in love with this book all over again!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Key (The Arcadian Series Book One)

T.L. Coulter Blog
Book Details: Written by T. L. Coulter. Published March 27th, 2014. 396 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Barnes & Noble / Amazon

The Key Synopsis: Rek, our leading man, and his brother Audric are from the realm of magicians. Rek is sent to the mortal realm with little instruction to find the key needed to save his realm against an evil traitor. Kailee, our leading lady, is senior in high school living in the mortal realm in Astoria, Oregon. Kailee has always had a hard time making friends because her aunt and uncle relocate for work every few years, since living in Astoria she met her best friend Gabe.

Rek enrolls in the local high school in Astoria knowing the key is somewhere within based on a locator spell he was able to cast. The second Rek and Kailee lock eyes at school there is instant chemistry, although Kailee tries to fight it for as long as possible. It finally takes Gabe befriending Rek for Kailee to give him any chance at a possible friendship. All the while Rek is trying, but failing, at locating the key. It's not until Astrid, an acquaintance from his realm, joins Rek as his "cousin" in the mortal realm do they figure it out. 

Kailee finally agrees to spend time with Rek alone when Gabe can't come along. From that point on there is no turning back from their feelings towards each other and the chemistry between them.  When Rek finds out who the key is he is crushed because of a prophecy stating that the key is destined to marry his older brother Audric. Rek tries to come to terms with that revaluation but it's eating away at his heart. Kailee takes the information about another realm of magicians where Rek is from very well, only losing her temper with her family and friends a few times. 

Kailee agrees to go back to this other realm to help save the kingdom of Arcadia. While there Audric is instantly taken with Kailee and instead of telling Audric the truth Kailee and Rek pretend they have no feelings for each other. This only causes Rek to start drinking and arguing with his brother for no reason. In the end they all work together to save the kingdom or so they think. 

My Thoughts: I loved this story! I had some trouble getting into the flow of it right away because I was trying understand where things were going, but the more I read the more I loved. By the end of the book I couldn't put it down! I just wish I knew what was going to happen next especially with that cliff hanger of an ending! Great story with magicians and a forbidden romance. I love the idea of different realms where magicians live separate from the mortal realm. I feel terrible for Audric, Rek and Kailee need to just tell him the truth instead of pretending they don't love each other!  I was intrigued by all the main characters personalities it will be interesting to see how everything plays out in the end and who will end up with who.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seeress (A Runes Novel 3)

Ednah Walters Website

Book Details: Written by YA Paranormal and Fantasy author Ednah Walters. Published April 28th, 2014. 296 Pages. You can purchase a hard copy or digital copy at Barnes & Noble /Smashwords /Amazon

Synopsis of Seeress: Raine is your typical teenage girl surrounded by Valkyries, individuals who take souls to Valhalla to train, and immortals. Raine is also a Seeress destined to predict the beginning of the end of the world war against the giants. At the end of Immortals we discover that Eirik is the grandson of Odin and is sent Asgard for safety, Cora was being impersonated by the evil Meliina and can see spirits and Raine is an all powerful Seeress working on honing her skills. 

Raine begins to have visions when she touches anything with a magical element involved, such as an old necklace or ring. At first she cannot control what she sees and everything is blurry, but she knows she is seeing the deaths of other seers and from what Torin can find out she can see them as they are happening. Torin has a hard time watching Raine when she receives her visions because he cannot help her while they are happening and he can see that they are affecting her emotionally.  These vision not only show that some unknown person, who looks very similar to Torin, is hurting other seers but that he is also looking for Raine. With the help of her friends she begins to have more control over her new powers.

With the news of someone coming for Raine, Torin and his friends begin to put up protective runes all around town while also spreading the word that someone is coming after other seers. While all this is happening Raine's mother is in Asgard requesting to be reinstated as a Valkyrie and Raine's father is slowly dying and hanging in by a thread. With everything happening in Raine's life she still tries to have a few normal moments here and there with picnics in the park, a double date with Cora and Echo and prom. A new group of witches move to their small town of Kayville, adding to the already crazy group of paranormals living there. Thankfully some of the witches help Raine clear up her visions while other witches end up implanting fake visions to try and confuse her. Eirik shows up at the end with a surprise twist in events leaving everyone wondering what is going on with him. Torin is reunited with a few distant relations and battle of powers at the end leaving trees uprooted has you wondering what will happen next.

My Thoughts: Continues to be a very addicting series!! All the characters are amazing and have developed such great relationships with each other, you never would have guessed that from the first book Runes. The story really develops in this book with the surprising discovery of who is after Raine and killing other seers. It also dives into Torin's family history which I always love since he is almost a thousand years old. More of my favorite side story from Grimnirs with Cora and Echo. Raine and Torin are super cute and obviously completely in love with each other even if they are a little obnoxious when they are fighting. The norns continue to be a pain in the butt for the group always trying to push their own agenda on Raine. 

continue to love this series and the novellas, I have a very hard time putting these books down. The ending was great leaving you wanting more but not leaving you hanging, I have a hard time when something major happens and you have to wait a year to find out.  I cannot wait to see what Ednah has in store for us next in the Runes series.