Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

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.

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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.

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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.

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

Read on 17th February, 2015

Authors: Casandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan

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5 Stars

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After living as a mundane and a vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy. Simon Lewis has been many things. A mundane. A vampire. A hero. But Simon can’t remember any of that. His memories of adventures with Clary, Isabelle, and the rest of the New York Shadowhunters were erased by a demon, and now Simon is eager to reclaim that part of himself. But will he ever get back the parts of himself that he lost? Does he even want to?

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Despite being in the middle of two books (The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey & Death Before Daylight by Shannon A. Thompson) I could not resist the allure of Cassandra Clare’s. Filled with characters we know and love, as well as quite a number of introduced ones, laughter, wit and character development, Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy did not disappoint.

When Simon was first introduced in City of Bones, I was admittedly not impressed – I saw him more of an annoying hindrance than anything else. During the course of TMI, I was thankfully disproved of my initial judgment. Simon has evolved into a remarkable character and despite the minor fallback of the amnesia, I have no doubt that Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy is his time to shine and he will do so admirably. Personally, I have found that simply the first installment has made him so much more loveable (though that’s probably the Cassandra Clare withdrawal speaking) and brought to the table his adorable Simonness. I can’t wait to watch him flourish. (Also, did I mention that Simon is a Doctor Who fan? No? Well, he is and its absolutely fantastic!)

“Is that a weapon?” Julie asked.
“Um, no,” said Simon. “It’s a tennis racquet.”

Although I wasn’t entirely sure about George in the beginning (I must shamefully admit that it was more because of the rugby top than his phobia of rodents) I warmed up to him rather quickly. He is the best possible friend Simon could have at the Academy. Plus, he’s “an excellent horseman”.

The “bear-killing” dagger. I say no more.

Isabelle was brilliant. I won’t spoil anything, but damn girl.

Coincidentally, my favorite parts came near the beginning and at the very end of the novella – the “demonic” possum and the soup scenes. However, I loved it all and wholeheartedly recommend people to get on board the Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy bandwagon.

The Bane Chronicles (Companion to The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices)

Finished on 18th January, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson

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4.75 Stars

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It is not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he’s often called upon to fix the problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many. And Magnus has a way of making sure he’s in the right place at the right – or perhaps wrong – time. The French Revolution, Prohibition, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute… Magnus was there, and usually in the middle of it. Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But these eleven stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. They are stories he probably wishes had never got out.

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Hilarious, touching, insightful, occasionally serious and riddled with foreshadow and insight, The Bane Chronicles are the brilliant tales of Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn and much loved character of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world.

Not only does The Bane Chronicles tell the adventures of the elusive, glamorous and eccentric Magnus, but fans also find out what really happened in Peru, how the High Warlock found himself in the business of saving Rafael Santiago, some unmissable Malec scenes, the voicemail of Magnus Bane after the events of City of Lost Souls, plus the untold love story of Ragnor Fell and Rafael Santiago. What’s not to love?

Oh, and did I mention a sneak peek into The Last Hours, the upcoming series about the next generation of Shadowhunters after The Infernal Devices?

Full or intrigue, glitter, sparkles and more, The Bane Chronicles is an absolute must for fans of Cassandra Clare.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices: Manga #3)

Read on 11th January, 2015

Author: Cassandra Clare

Artist: Hyekyung Baek

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4.5 Stars

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The threat of Mortmain’s Infernal Devices looms as the Shadowhunters race to work out a way to counteract the mechanical monsters. Meanwhile, plans for Tessa’s marriage to Jem are underway, despite her fiancé’s failing health and the unresolved feelings between her and Will. When Tessa is captured, Will must leave his comrade behind to save the woman they both love… But with the final missing piece -Tessa herself – in Mortmain’s possession, can anything stop his plot for revenge?

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I loved it. Clockwork Princess, in whatever form, is a stunning piece of work that toys with your emotions no matter how many times you read it. Although all of The Infernal Devices are brilliantly written and enthralling to the extreme, Clockwork Princess is perhaps the better of the three – however, being the finale (a Cassandra Clare finale, at note) it is expected to be spectacular and certainly does not fall short. Despite this, there are a few details from the book that are lacking in the manga.

In the previous installment, Clockwork Prince, one of the details missing was the mention of Adele, Starkweather’s granddaughter. Thankfully, this was rectified as the first thing that is seen upon opening Clockwork Princess is an excerpt of Adele’s story, which is later explained in greater depth as is true to the novel.

While the inclusion of the letters between the Consul and the Council are included (and thank goodness for that!), the text is barely legible and one must strain their eyes to read it.

The scones. That’s all I’m saying. The scones weren’t there.

In the novel, Tessa’s Clockwork Angel marks Will. For all those who have read Clockwork Princess, you’ll know what I mean and in what circumstances. This is not included in the manga. Keeping this as spoiler-free as possible, as a fan of The Mortal Instruments, this is a huge dillema. – Will’s mark, passed down through the generations, is how we find his bloodline in an important character. The scene was laid out, it would have been so easy to slip it in there, just add in an extra panel or so – I don’t understand why it was not included. At all.

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices: Manga #2)

Read on 11th January, 2015

Author: Cassandra Clare

Artist: Hyekyung Baek

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4.5 Stars

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Tessa Gray has found friends among the Shadowhunters, supernatural protectors of mankind who possess angelic blood. But Tessa’s new life is threatened when some members of the Clave challenge Charlotte’s leadership and pressure her to resign as head of the London Institute. If Charlotte is forced out, Tessa will be forced to leave as well due to her warlock blood, making her easy prey for the still-at-large Magister. As Tessa and her handsome Shadowhunter escorts, Will and Jem, journey far and wide to unravel the Magister’s secrets, they quickly learn that they have no secrets from the vengeful Magister… and nowhere is safe…

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Again, a great adaptation of the novel and a swift, easy read. However, I have three issues with Clockwork Prince: the Manga (aside from my continuing grievances at the visual depiction of Magnus Bane.

Upon their stay at the New York institute, Tessa did not stumble upon the portrait of Aloysius Starkweather’s granddaughter, nor hear his account of what happened to her, which is a major plot point in discovering what Tessa is, per say. I’m interested in how they’ll spin that one.

Whilst demon pox was still mentioned, I was gravely disappointed that there was no side story of Will believing it existed while no one else did, his little song that annoyed the hell out of everyone, and his gloating when he was proved right of his existence, milking it for all it was worth. That was a big highlight for me in the novel and I am rather sad to that it was not included.

In the novel, Bridget was infamous for her bellowing tunes (in Irish, I think it was, but I can’t quite recall) that irritated the hell out of everyone – they are key to what makes her such a strong character. Sadly, they were lacking in this adaption. I know that they can’t include everything, but the little details are always appreciated.