Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

The Evil We Love (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

Read on 16th June, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman

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4.5 Stars

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All evil starts somewhere, and Simon Lewis learns how the Circle—led by Valentine Morgenstern—began.

The Shadowhunter Academy has only just reopened following the disastrous rise of the Circle. Now the faculty can finally admit to what happened when Valentine was a student.

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I wouldn’t say that The Evil We Love is my favourite installment of the series, but I did still really enjoy it.

Up until now, we have never really meet Michael Wayland, and I absolutely love him!

We also got to understand more about Robert Lightwood, and I now despise him with all my being as opposed to merely hating his guts.
It was interesting to learn some of the dynamics of the Circle and I especially enjoyed the relationship between Valentine and Jocelyn. Side Note: I really hope that the graphic novels are still coming but I haven’t heard anything so I’m not sure what’s going on there.

Once again, I found myself highlighting and bookmarking multiple passages in this book. While there were some frustrating elements and scenes, they were deliberate and I commend Cassie for doing such a good job of it. The Evil We Love is another great read for fans of the Shadowhunter chronicles.

P. S: I really like Julie.

The Sway (Hidden #1.5)

Read on 24th May, 2015

Author: Amy Patrick

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5 Stars

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A member of the Dark Court, Vancia has spent her life among humans—together but separate, hiding in plain sight. Now Pappa says it’s time to put her glamour to use against the unsuspecting humans and worse, agree to an arranged political marriage with the reclusive Light Elven prince.

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Amy Patrick knows exactly how to mess with my emotions.

The Sway is a brilliant novella that focuses on Vancia, Lad’s proposed bride-to-be, and takes place before and during the last few scenes of Hidden Deep. (You can find my reviews of Hidden Deep and Hidden Heart here and here).

I love Vancia – so much. She is just such an awesome character who was not flushed out at all in the first two installments of the Hidden trilogy. I loved her perspective and I wish that I had read The Sway before Hidden Heart. I just- she is absolutely amazing.

I also loved finding out what Davis was actually like. He’s mentioned in the first two books of the trilogy, but this is the first time that we actually met him. It was… Interesting. Let’s just say that I am certainly not a fan.

In Hidden Deep, I shipped Ryann and Lad; in Hidden Heart, it was Ryann and Nox; and now… I’m conflicted. I really do love Ryann and Nox, but then after reading The Sway, I’m partial to the idea of Nox with Vancia and Lad with Ryann… You could say that I’m somewhat of a mess right now.

I would like to give a huge thank you to Amy Patrick, the author of the Hidden trilogy, for gifting me with a copy of this book in the anthology Faery Tales: Six Novellas of Magic and Adventure.
The Sway will be available for individual purchase after June 15, 2015.

Be sure to check out this series and let me know your thoughts! Who do you ship? Have you wound up as conflicted as I?

ARC Review: Hidden Heart (Hidden #2)

Read from 23rd-24th May, 2015

Author: Amy Patrick

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Release Date: Today (24th May)

4.5 Stars

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17-year-old Ryann Carroll thought she knew who she was… a small-town Southern girl just trying to survive her parents’ messy divorce and find some peace for herself. She thought she knew what she wanted… a summer job, a car, a first date that didn’t suck, and NO complications from a serious relationship— any guy in her life would simply be icing on the cake.

But now… she’s not only in love, her boyfriend Lad is a member of a secret race that’s lived secretly among humans for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore. Things could hardly get more complicated than that.

More importantly, she’s learned the world’s top celebrities… those actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians who seem a little too beautiful and talented to be true… actually are. They’re not human, and they’re using their glamour and the increasing popularity of fan pods to control more and more humans. But why?

With her best friend Emmy leaving soon to join the fan pod of a famous actor, Ryann has to find out the answer. And she can’t do it alone. But after a shocking murder, Lad can no longer fight his destiny or his duty, and Ryann’s not sure whether his top priority is their relationship or his people.

In this second book of the Hidden Trilogy, true friendship will take Ryann from rural Mississippi to the glittering city of Los Angeles. And true love will take her to places she never expected to go…

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You can find my review of Hidden Deep, the first book of the Hidden trilogy, here.

First of all, I would like to give a huge thank you to Amy Patrick, the author of the “Hidden” trilogy, for supplying me with an advanced reader copy (ARC) of this novel.

I really appreciated the world building of this series. Hidden Heart really showcased the fan pods – the dynamics, purpose and execution of them were brought to light in a scarily realistic manner. It was not hard to believe that this could happen in our society, our world, in the present time (or near future).

Although I loved Hidden Heart, it did take me about a hundred pages or so to really get into it – mainly because Ryann (the protagonist) was really frustrating me. She was stubborn and made some decisions that I didn’t necessarily agree with. However, she did have some growth and character development throughout the novel which I appreciated and the story really picked up towards the second half of the book.

As for Lad… I don’t even know. Hidden Heart made me fall in love with Nox, and now I ship him with Ryann way more than Ryan and Lad – I loved Lad in Hidden Deep, and I appreciate that he was her first love, but in real life, first loves are often not the last – or only – love someone has in their life.

I also currently love Nox’s character more than Lad’s. I don’t understand how anyone can read Hidden Heart and not fall in love with Nox. That end revelation only solidified my love for him. However, as much as I’d like to believe Nox is endgame, Amy has left space for it to go either way.

Despite my initial frustrations, I really admire Ryann’s loyalty to Emmy and I feel that it is a large part of what kept her grounded as a character.

I’m not sure what to make of Vancia. I wish that I’d read The Sway (a Hidden novella) before Hidden Heart as I would love to know what’s going on inside her head. We don’t really see much of her in the first two installments of the trilogy, but enough to get me intrigued. I feel that she will be a featured character in the next book, which I hope is the case.

Davis. Although I didn’t mention anything in my review of Hidden Deep, I had my suspicions of his true nature even then. – He was dating Ryann’s mother and despite exchanging a few phone calls, had never met Ryann in person. Also, he turned Ryann’s mother lovestruck, which is certainly a feat in itself. Everything about him screamed too good to be true…

I highly recommend the Hidden trilogy to fans of urban fantasy and faerie lore.

Nothing But Shadows (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

Read on 20th June, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Sarah J. Maas

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5 Stars

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Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

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As I repeatedly find myself saying, these installments just keep getting better and better… There is absolutely nothing about Nothing But Shadows that I didn’t like – the characters, the storylines, even the title…

I loved all of the characters. Aside from Simon, Catrina and all our other favourites, we see more of Ragnor (who is just as brilliant as I recall from The Bane Chronicles), James Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, as well as Thomas and Christopher Lightwood (cousins). The main cast from The Infernal Devices were also referenced and some had cameos.

Despite its short length, Cassandra and Sarah really fleshed out these characters and added hidden depths that you do not see coming. I’m completely in love with James (he’s an adorable bookworm for one and his “legacy” is super awesome too) and half in love with Thomas – but they’re all absolutely brilliant.

A fast, enthralling read, Nothing But Shadows had me hook, line and sinker. As I was reading, I either bookmarked or highlighted pretty much every other page.

I highly recommend Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy to any and all existing Cassandra Clare fans. That said, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy is not a standalone – there are spoilers for people who have not read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Also, it’s a much more enriching reading experience as you are able to pick up on and appreciate the cameos and references that are scattered throughout these installments.

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

Read on 22nd April, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Maureen Johnson

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5 Stars

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Simon learns the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders—“Jack” was stopped by Will Herondale, his former parabatai, and his institute of Victorian Shadowhunters.

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Simon. Jace. Tessa. Will. Jessamine. Need I say more?

The Whitechapel Fiend is Cassie’s best installment yet in this series so far – though I may be slightly biased as I’m absolutely adore TID. Though I am curious as to where Charlotte and Henry were…

On that note, I LOVED seeing Tessa and ** as parents! (Trying to keep this spoiler free guys) It was SO. ADORABLE! I am simply overwhelmed. I simply cannot get enough of Jem, Tessa and Will.

Regardless of the reappearance of my favorites from TID, there was honestly no part whatsoever in this story that I did not like. All the characters were great, the plot was really good, and the ending gave me hope.

I tried to pick out some favourite quotes, but if included they would probably be longer than this entire review, so let’s just go with everything William Herondale ever said (though there were more than that).

I wholeheartedly recommend Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy to all fans of Cassandra Clare. Just- so many feels.

The Lost Herondale (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #2) + An Excerpt from Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)

Read on 18th March, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman

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4 Stars

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Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades.

In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s.

Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived…could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Like every Cassandra Clare book, I absolutely adored The Lost Herondale. It was fun to read; we saw old friends, the story was interesting and the character development was great. Most of all, I loved hearing from Simon again – his humor and nerdiness are particularly of note.

“Fortunately, the tall, dark-haired man who strode into the classroom looked unlikely to have any interest in Simon or his bod.”

Despite this, I was slightly disappointed that we did not hear more about the lost Herondale. Admittedly, there was not much else that could have been added given the limited length of the installment but I felt rather let down, especially considering the title and synopsis are centered around this Herondale. Hopefully Four’s *cough* sorry, Tobias‘ descendants will feature in the coming installments, but somehow I don’t believe that they will be. (Sorry, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.)

My two favorite scenes of The Lost Herondale would have to be the one where Catrina details the (full) story of Tobias Herondale and the concluding scene.

Lady Midnight Excerpt

You have no idea how excited I was when I saw those three words on the contents page – I couldn’t even. (Side note: Why do fangirls always travel in odd numbers? Because they can’t even.)

Julian and Emma are so adorable together! I ship it so much… When Emma was recalling the memories of Julian and her? I may or may not have squealed and gushed and awwed. You know, maybe.

12 months. We have to wait twelve months for TDA – the thought rather depresses me… But in the meantime we get Simon, so that’s something I suppose. (Just kidding Simon, I love you!)

ARC Review: Hidden Deep (Hidden #1)

Finished on 16th March, 2015

Author: Amy Patrick

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Release Date: March 23rd, 2015

4.5 Stars

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Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she’d be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She’s a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he’s not supposed to exist.

After her father’s affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn’t mind a first date that didn’t suck, but she’s determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann’s recently moved back to her childhood home in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.

She’s still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He’s still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she’s with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann’s strict policy– never want someone more than he wants you.

Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don’t get careless and Don’t get caught. It’s allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore…

Lad’s never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He’s not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.

And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening, and mysterious celebrity fan pods are becoming more and more widespread and influential. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully unaware and safe.

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A beautiful urban fantasy, Hidden Deep features an amusing narrator, a love interest that is both adorable and mysterious, brilliant world building and a whole lot of foreshadowing that has you pulling up theories all over the place.

While I consider myself to be a fairly broad reader, I am always a sucker for a good fantasy – and elves? Altum? Absolutely fantastic.

“Oh God… icing on the cake, icing… oh hang it all.”

Ryann was a great narrator – she was amusing, relatable and strong. She loved her family and was just a really enjoyable character.

I loved Lad. He was thoughtful, innocent, adorable and sweet; while at the same time he was mysterious, protective and yes, rather attractive. Lad was so genuine about everything he did, especially when it came to Ryann.

The other characters were just as great – Grandma Neena was totally awesome, especially when suspicions are proven true; Nox was intense, and though I was highly skeptical of him, he didn’t turn out to be as bad as I’d presumed; I really liked Maria (Ryann’s Mum). I don’t quite know why, but I really hope things turn out well for her.

I also loved Lad’s family – his parents were kind of adorable. Again, I’m not entirely sure why I feel this way and that’s probably not the right word to describe it, but I can’t help the warm fuzzy feeling inside me after finishing this novel – maybe it’s just that stupid cliffhanger… That’s probably it. (Yes, I do understand that it was the right way to end the book but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it). Contradictory much? I tend to be that way.

I highly recommend Hidden Deep to fans of YA, urban fantasy and romance. Personally, I am definitely looking forward to the next installment of the trilogy – which will probably be in slightly over a year (totally guessing here, don’t quote me on that).

Thank you so much to All Night Reads for supplying me with a copy of this book via NetGallery in exchange for a review.

ARC Review: City of Fae (London Fae #1)

Read on 8th March, 2015

Author: Pippa DaCosta

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Release Date: May 7th, 2015

5 Stars

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From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.

Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.

This New Adult urban fantasy is packed with action and suspense and will have you yearning for more forbidden fae romance.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing for supplying me with a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An enchanting urban fantasy, City of Fae will ignite your imagination and capture your soul. A badass heroine, an alluring love interest, an enthralling mystery and a fascinating new world within the streets of London – what’s not to love about DaCosta’s newest novel?

The world building was absolutely fantastic. Set in an alternate reality where fae not only exist but are accepted and revered in society, City of Fae brings the familiar and the fantastical together in a unique and unexpected way. Plus, I have a not-so-slight obsession with London, so it certainly didn’t hurt that it was centered there.

The plot was also brilliant, constantly spiraling in unforseen directions and taking the story to new heights. Whatever you think will happen, probably won’t – this story will surpass your expectations and quite possibly cause your emotions to explode several times over.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to relate to the characters – a reporter and a rock star? I was skeptical, I admit. But boy was I glad to have been proven wrong. Alina was strong, sarcastic, witty and amusing. Her story had me enthralled the entire time and I loved how sassy she was. Reign was intense, layered, deep – and yes, extremely hot. He is both a walking cliche and a defiance to it. Backstories are everything, and DaCosta ticked that box for each of them – including Andrews and Shay, who I loved.

Everything was layered, nothing taken at surface value. City of Fae teaches us to not judge a book by its cover (though, to that effect, it does have a very pretty cover) but to always dig deeper, for you never know what hidden depths are to be found within.

Recommend to those looking for an enchanting New Adult urban fantasy read.

Water So Deep

Read From 3rd-5th March, 2015

Author: Nichole Giles

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5 Stars

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Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can’t have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it’s only a matter of time before she’s forced to surrender forever.

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Wow. Wow wow wow wow. I know it’s only just been published, but can I have the next one please? Is there even a next one? Please tell me there’s a sequel. If there’s not, I think I might cry – or, you know, sob my heart out. (As you do). Because that’s totally normal. Pfft… What is normal? But seriously, next book please. Even if I have to wait a year, I want another book. YOU CAN’T END IT LIKE THAT! No. Just, no. I mean, we pretty much knew it was going to come to this, but…  We couldn’t have had one little snippet from Emma’s point of view after the departure? Just one? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO HER! *tears up* I hope you know that I am now emotionally traumatized, the only cure being the next book in this beautiful, amazing, enthralling, spectacular, I-don’t-even-know-anymore, cliff-hanger-but-not-cliff-hanger series. At least I hope it’s a series. It better be a series.

But in all seriousness, I absolutely loved this book. Water So Deep is a unique gem amongst the paranormal genre. The characters, the plot, the suspense, the dual point of view, the emphasis on the importance or family and the writing itself formed a magnificent crescendo.

There were no “meh” characters in this book. They were all deep, complex, and I either loved them or hated them – there were no gray patches, no matter how minor the character. Heather, James, Keith, Emma, their biology teacher, Emma and Keith’s parents, James’ uncle, Emma’s Grandma, the social worker we never met. Merrik, Tom, Mark, Lyle, Jonathan, James’ dad. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Sea King, but I kind of like him, despite not really having a reason to – though I have a feeling that he will be rather prominent in the next book (which will happen, or else I will suffer from withdrawal for the rest of my existence – I’m trusting you Giles).

The writing was just so brilliant and the story was so enthralling and amazing and brilliant that I can’t even really form any coherent thought besides ‘I need the next book now; oh-my-goodness-this-is-absolutly-fantastic; WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?! That stupid ending; why do books have to end? I NEED MORE EMMA AND JAMES (do they have a ship name? Emmames? Jammmema? I am so bad at this.)

So essentially, go read this book – seriously. Recommended to fans of paranormal, mystery, intrigue, and YA. And, you know, anyone and everyone. *cough* I mean…

Thank you so much to Patchwork Press – Cooperative for supplying me with a free copy of this book via Netgallery in exchange for an honest review.

Death Before Daylight (Timely Death Trilogy #3)

Finished on 25th February, 2015

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

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5 Stars

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Two eternities. One ending.

“Harmony would only come with destruction.”

The moment Eric and Jessica are reunited, they are torn apart. After the appearance of a new breed of shades and lights, the powers shift for the worse, and all three descendants find themselves face-to-face in the Light realm. When Darthon is in control, the last thing everyone expects is to finally hear the truth.

While Jessica learns the reason of her creation, Darthon’s identity is exposed to Eric – and only Eric – and Eric can no longer defend himself. With the eternities of the Light and the Dark resting on Jessica’s shoulders, she must chose who she will be: a light or a shade.

In the end, someone must die, and the end is near.

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First of all, I would like to thank Shannon A. Thompson for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Also, I would like to apologise profusely for taking so long to read and review (I mean, a month, I feel so bad…). In my defense, I did re-read the second half of Seconds Before Sunrise on top of The 5th Wave (which I’m almost finished) and school. But still, no excuse.

Death Before Daylight was an intricately woven finale to a unique series in the paranormal world. The character development was brilliant, with plot twists all over the place (*cough* Lola *cough*). We also get a glimpse into the origins of the lights and shades, as well as a new breed of the two, which I found quite fascinating.

The relationships in this installment were brilliant – the love between Eric and Jessica continued to grow and deepen despite the seemingly never ending issues they face; their friendships with Jonathan and Charlotte; as well as the value placed on family relations. New discoveries were made about the dead and the remaining relationships were fleshed out and developed beautifully.

Linda was quite an interesting character who I enjoyed immensely. She was just so sassy and awesome, and while her actions might not always have been sound, she was coming from a good place and acting in the only was that she knew. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she saved the books long before there was ever a need to.

The only criticism I have about this book is not at all against the author, but a necessary evil in wake of the plot. As Eric is the only one Darthon reveals his identity to (and who is not at liberty to even slightly give that name away), there is an understandable frustration that comes when both Jonathan and Jessica seem to be looking in all the wrong directions. To be fair, they did work it out fairly quickly – but it was still exasperating nonetheless.

Death Before Daylight is an explosive conclusion that winds up the series in such a way that it leaves you satisfied, but wanting more of the beloved characters. I can’t believe that I finally have to say goodbye, and I will no doubt be revisiting them shortly.

I highly recommend the Timely Death trilogy to those in the Young Adult genre seeking a unique twist to the standard paranormal. The series is very well executed and the world building is absolutely fantastic.