Review: Divergent by Veronica Moss


Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

I read this in July 2011 and July was a great month for reading. I’d been seeing reviews for Divergent pop up here and there before I really took any notice (I’ve kinda developed a thing for dystopia since, and as of yet it’s never disappointed me), so once it was put on my TBR pile it wasn’t long before I picked it up.

I’ve only read a couple of Dystopic stories before this but I’ve really liked the few I’ve read and I had a feeling I’d like this too, but saying that I’ve been a pretty bad judge of new books lately (unknown to me authors). However, I wasn’t surprised to find my first thought was right. I loved it.

The story was engaging and I really liked the tone and pace. I settled into it quite quickly, then found myself carried along.

I liked Tris. Her attitude fitted her real well and was believable for someone in her situation. Both Four and Eric caught my attention early on. I thought Eric was interesting and Four intriguing. I really wanted to get to know both of them better. I liked that at first I didn’t know who to trust out of the two, or if in fact I could trust either of them.

I enjoyed reading about the other characters as well, and the world building was really effective. I don’t want to say much for fear of giving anything way. I loved that I didn’t know much about the story before I I started read it.

Divergent is the first in a series (I’m not sure how many are expected to be written), but it could be read as a stand alone. I hope it’s just the start though as I really do want to read more by this author.

Edit: Insurgent is just out (May 1st 2012)… very late posting review

Rating: 6/6 – Loved It

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Review: Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) by Nalini Singh

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness. 

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf. 
Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight… 

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

It feels like I’ve waited for this book for so long. I adore this series. Nalini singh is the author I use to judge all other paranormal romance by. In fact she has spoiled me. I was introduced to this series at the start of my foray into PNR/Urban Fantasy by a friend and it set the standard. Sometimes I wish I’d read Christen Feehan first, because at least then I wouldn’t have something good to compare it too. No one can beat Nalini Singh. No one. Hers are the only books I don’t ever roll my eyes too (okay admittedly maybe once during the first book!). They are the only books I’ve come across that have great romance coupled with an interesting and kiss ass plot. No other series/book combines the two quite as well, no where near as well.

Hawke’s story is one that has been slowly burning away in the background from book one (Slave to Sensation), and one I’ve been desperate to read. I’d read excerpts/quotes on Singh’s website and on Goodreads and they only whetted my appetite.

I wasn’t disappointed. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. Hawke and Sienna’s history being what it is, every look and interaction was filled with sexual tension. Both of them were at breaking point. The second romance between the pack healer, Lara and, Walker Sienna’s uncle, was an added bonus but I do wish they had their own book. I think they deserved that. There was also the birth of Sascha and Lucas’s baby which was lovely, and I enjoyed seeing the Changelings reaction to this.

There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered surrounding the Psy, and to be honest I was far more interested in the Changelings this time round. I really need to reread the book again (maybe slightly slower this time 🙂 ) to enable me to take more information in.

A fantastic read.

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. 

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate. 

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.

I re-read the first 4 books in the Kate Daniels series in January (for the 3rd time). Mistakenly thinking this was due out the beginning of February. I was wrong and I was only slightly annoyed that I had to wait another few months (yeah this review is kinda old).

I love this series. I love Kate and Curran, and I love Ilona Andrews. Although I didn’t get ecstatic over the scenes from Curran’s pov, I did enjoy them.

Magic Slays was released on the same day as Kiss of Snow, the 10th Psy-Changling book, and another favourite series of mine. I ended up reading Kiss of Snow first because I’ve been impatiently waiting for that one for what felt like ages, but that’s neither here nor there regarding my preference.

The one thing about this series I’d forgotten about was the humour. In those short months I forgot how funny these books were. As with the other books, Magic Slay had me laughing out loud. I love Kate’s and Curran’s relationship and how they bounce off each other. The one thing that jumped out at me though was how violent they can be together when Kate is super angry. They get very physical and sometimes it’s hard to read.

As usual the story felt very visual. I love the world building of this series, and Andrew’s ability to put you in her world so easily.

A great read, and if you haven’t started this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Hard Bitten (Chacargoland Vampire #4) by Chloe Neill

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals–and they’re camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are … tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn’t help that she can’t tell who’s on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who’s tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago’s supernatural society–a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human’s worst fears, and a place where she’ll learn that you can’t be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands.

Stupid, stupid me. I only accidentally went and read some reader reactions to this book while on Goodreads. Then, understandably, I was a little scared to read it. But forewarned is fore armed so they say. I just hope that maybe knowing the ending (or thinking I knew the ending) didn’t ruin my enjoyment of it.

I’d originally hoped to re-read Twice Bitten before starting this 4th instalment of the Chacargoland series, but I didn’t get round to it. After reading a few pages I really wished I had as things were a little vague but after a short while it all came back to me.

I love it when Ethan calls Merit Sentinel. I don’t know why, but I do. It sends a shiver down my spine each time he says it. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed reading this series (after a few hiccups with the first book), so I’ll definitely be reading from book 1 within the next couple of months. I liked Ethan in the previous books, I did, but I couldn’t remember why. I had to go read my old reviews to recap my previous thoughts about him. I knew they’d changed from how I felt during the first book but I can’t really pin point when my feeling began to change. He’s slowly grown on me throughout the series and now I can safely say that after this book I love Ethan.

Hard Bitten is action packed and emotional, albeit a little frustrating but overall it’s a book you have to read.

Oh, bring tissues.

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review:Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin #4) by Jennifer Estep

I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings. 

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. 

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. 

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead

Oh was I glad to have this little beauty in my hand. After struggling with Darkfever I was finally able to abandon it and read some quality story telling.

I love Gin. I really do. Even more now she’s out of retirement 🙂

I’m going to be realy annoyed if Caine taints Gin’ and Owen’s relationship.

Again, the only thing I can pick at it the constant retelling of past events, but that is a very, very small thing, but it does distracted me from the story. Although, if i’ve only got that to moan about I should really shut up.

I want to mention Vampires. I really like the fact that they aren’t anything special. It makes an nice change.

Hum, I’m thinking LeFleur’s brother going to make an appearance. Whether this book or the next. The actual name of the next book is starting to scare me… Spider’s Revenge. I reckon it means something’s going to hit Gin hard.

Yet again a fantastic installment of the Elemental Assassins Series

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Pale Demon (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows #9) by Kim Harrison

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after. 

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passanger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail. 

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her

I was a little worried when I started this book because I really struggled to connect to Black Magic Sanction. Let’s just say that I was pleased that it didn’t happen here.

I was looking forward to seeing how the full moon ride with Trent played out, if we got to see it at all. I really did as I really liked and the ending of WWBC, so I was kinda disappointed.

I really enjoyed the roadtrip. It was eventful but not overly so. I also started liking trent a little more. I usually find him quite the arsehole so it was good that he kept that to himself during the journey. I’ve never been a Rachel/Trent fan (or a Rachel/Al/Nick/Pierce fan for that matter) but I saw flashes here that I liked, but then I’d remember the arseholey things he’d said/done in the past. Because let’s face it he has been a total arsehole to Rachel in the previous books.

I’ll admit that I teared up quite a few times in the second half of the book (one time on the bloody bus on the way home from work!). I think this is my favourite book so far, in fact I think it’s the first to get 5 stars from me.

Now I’m caught up. Booo!

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin #2) by Jennifer Estep

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

I jumped straight into this after finishing spider’s Bite and I wasn’t disappointed. Another action packed installment from the elemental assassin series.

I was really rooting for Caine in Spider’s Bite, but I’ve lost patience with him now. Seriously, where does he get off? I’m getting the feeling that when Gin falls she falls hard and fast. She’s worth more than being a guilty lay. Caine seems to be one of them guys who’d keep Gin as his dirty little secret. She really needs to walk away. But I think that it’ll be Caine who has to back off, though, because I don’t think Gin will any time soon.

Oh Owen, Owen, Owen. I like you, I really do. There’s more to this guy, I just know there is. Now that Donovan is taking the moral high ground the is way is open for Owen, and I think he’d be good for Gin, and a good challenge. I never got the feeling that Gin and Caine were evenly matched, but I think she’s met her match with Owen. There more to him for sure. I’m excited to see where it goes.

A fantastic read

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Spider’s Bite (Elemental Assassin #1)

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Well whoa! I really didn’t expect that beginning! As you can most probably tell I didn’t read the blurb. But after the initial shock I soon settled into it, then quickly found myself hooked.

I didn’t think I’d like Gin as much as I did. I really liked her no apologies attitude. She is what she is, and she’s good at it. Even though we don’t get to know much about Fletcher I still felt Gin’s pain at his torture and death, and understood her need for revenge.

I liked Finn and I liked the close sibling-like relationship he has with Gin. I admit I got a little something in my eye when Finn hugs Gin and tell’s her he thought he lost her too. I hope he sticks around in the next book. Actually, there wasn’t anyone I didn’t like, or that got on my nerves.

It was a great read. The pages (clicks!) went by unnoticed as I was that engrossed. Definitely a series to go on my favourite list. It doesn’t have the humour of The Disillusionists series, but it would come a close second if I judged it based on how much I enjoyed the story 🙂

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: For a Few Demons More (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows #5) by Kim Harrison

Witch and independent bounty hunter Rachel Morgan has always managed to stay just ahead of trouble… until now. So she’s dating a vampire, lives with another one, and is hiding a deadly ancient artifact that could change Inderland society forever–so what? But now her past has caught up with her. A serial killer stalks the Hollows, claiming victims across society and igniting a vicious Inderland gang war, while the vampire master Piscary is set free, and Rachel’s demonic nemesis Algaliarept has discovered a way to move freely in the Hollows and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. To stop the deadly battle for supremacy that follows, Rachel faces a terrible choice, and a bitter price almost too steep to pay.

*I’m aware that the cover above is for the hardback. I just like it way more than the other.*

****SPOILERS****

SERIOUSLY, look away now…

Wow we were really dumped into the middle of it at the start there, weren’t we!

I found it a difficult to settle into Rachel this time round. I don’t know why. She seemed a little whiney and purposely difficult during the dramatics with Ceri and Newt. Why was she being so awkward? She knows that Ceri is capable so why all the arsing around? I think my problem was that I’d come straight from reading justine (the disillusionist trilogy), and she’s a bit more ‘together’ than Rachel. Actually, a lot more.

Rachel was still on Ivy’s case. It’s kinda lost its heat with all the toing and froing. I know they’re trying to find balance, but GAH, do it already.

You still here? You probably need to look away for this next sentence…

Okay, I fess up. This isn’t really a biggy. I just don’t want to ruin it for anyone in case it spoils the emotional impact, if you’re inclined to have one that is. I totally felt her utter dispare when she was told Brett had been killed. It was so sad. We didn’t really know much about him, but come on, he only wanted a pack; to belong to someone 😦 I was just shocked.

I actually had tears in my eyes when rachel kicked Jenks out of the car, telling him to look after his family. I think it was because I kinda knew what was coming (YES, I refused to look away when I was told to!)

The second half of this book is by far the best of this series so far. I just couldn’t put it down, every thing was just spiralling out of control and I couldn’t drag my eyes away.

I think this one might be my fave of the series.

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy #2) by Carolyn Crane

Description (From Goodreads)

SOME SECRETS COME BACK TO HAUNT. OTHERS COME TO KILL.

Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who gifts her with extraordinary mental powers—dooming her to fight Midcity’s shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.

I was so glad this book was already out when I finished Mind Games. I don’t think I would have coped if it hadn’t have been. Not that it ended on a cliffy, it didn’t. It was the way it ended.

This book isn’t as funny as the first but it’s still a fantastic read. I loved the scenes with Packard, but I also loved the scenes with Otto, even if he has lost some of the danger he gave off in the first book. It was twist, after twist and I loved it.

I want to talk about how it ended but I can’t. I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but Oh My Fucking God. I really don’t know how I’m going to manage to wait until  the end of the year 😦

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing