Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Hi all!

The new book from one of my favorite series!




Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Release date: 21st of October 2014
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, YA
Published by: Scholastic Press
Pages: 389 in paperback format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository.com

Summary:

The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Review:

This is a wonderful series. It’s mysterious, magical, compelling, oddly beautiful, wickedly serene and so sneakily addictive. It simply draws you in and has you so invested in the plot and characters that you simply cannot let go. This is already the third book and the quality of the writing, plot and character development is stable, steadily and calmly upping its game with every chapter. It feels like a climb to a secretive and cloaked mountain with too many handicaps to count, the stakes rising and the situation getting more dire by the second and you have no idea what will happen at the top, but the predictions aren’t promising anything joyous, it’s the opposite, yet you hope with all your might that there is a miracle, but deep inside you know there probably isn’t… but you still hope and keep going! This is how much I’m rooting for the inevitable to not happen and how impatient I’m to get to the end of the journey.

I think this book excelled with character development. Some of it was so incredibly subtle and if you blink you might miss it, but the impact and messages those instances made were huge. I found Adam somewhat of a bother in the previous books with his martyr syndrome and lone boy don’t-accept-anything-from-anyone-act, but my fondness for him tripled when this icy, aloof and set in stone mentality, exterior and attitude showed clear signs of change to the be more open and acceptive to help from others. I also found myself shipping him and Ronan in a platonic way, them combining forces made for a unexpected yet effective team. The small titbits showcasing the slightly warming relationship between Ronan and Blue were also a delight, though I’m glad that they haven’t lost the snark when interacting with each other. The biggest progress or change in the way I viewed him I think belongs to Gansey. I adore him as a character, he’s so geekily charming and boyishly gallant and I’m happy that we got to see some cracks in this persona, which only managed to make him more appealing and human.

I think the romance in this series is phenomenal, so bittersweet and sexy without there even being any real contact. I never thought touching fingers can turn me to mush like this. This is how you write satisfying all-consuming romance, a brilliant slow burn and no insta love nastiness here. The tension and electricity between Blue and Gansey is so real, painful, beautiful and shrouded with tragedy, yet you hope against hope that there is some kind of loophole, because my delicate sensibilities can’t live through a miserable end, especially since there is no actual relationship in the first place, just a lot of emotion and pining and harsh reality. Well, I’m quite sure there will eventually be a kiss, but everyone who knows the series is aware on how that will end.

There were some colourful and intriguing characters introduced in this instalment and I’m not quite sure what their roles will be, but I’m anticipating huge things or at least some significant twists with a couple of them. We also get to find out some info about Blue’s father, but he still remains totally enigmatic to me.

In regards to the whole plot of Gabeswater, nothing really happens or at least there weren’t any major steps forward, there were some interesting revelations and lots of exploring caves, but nothing huge to push the story forward in a ground-breaking way. Or maybe I couldn’t really grasp or interpret all the details in the ways they should have been. The ending, while again a cliff-hanger, wasn’t as shocking and the previous ones, but it again manages to get me quite excited for the final book, as if I wasn’t already.

Overall:

A brilliant series, which simply feels different, memorable and special. I continue to love the distinct characters, the intriguing relationships and the whole mystery of the quest to find the sleepers. If you haven’t started the series yet, then it is your duty to at least give it a try!

4 stars!

LIIS

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Hi all!

It's again been a really long time since my last review!




Author: Kasie West
Title: Pivot Point
Release date: 12th of February 2013
Series: Pivot Point #1
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, YA, Sci-Fi
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 320 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, a special type of clairvoyant, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she is able to look into the future and see both outcomes. So when her parents tell her they are getting a divorce and she has to pick who she wants to live with, a Search has never been more important.

In one future Addie is living with her mom in the life she's always known and is being pursued by the most popular guy in school. In the other she is the new girl in school, where she falls for a cute, quiet artist. Then Addie finds herself drawn into a murder investigation, and her fate takes a darker turn. With so much to lose in either future, Addie must decide which reality she's willing to live through . . . and who she's willing to live without.

Review:

I’ve heard so much positive regarding this book and the author. Having read one of her books before, I was expecting a light, humorous story with likable characters. I, however, got something different. The story while seemingly at first coming across light, had layers and layers hidden beneath that made it more complicated and serious than initially thought. It also appeared to be a paranormal school based rom-com with jokes and decent humour, but in reality there weren’t a lot of reasons to laugh. And, while I liked the heroine and Trevor, everyone else wasn’t entirely easy to grow fond of or at all, even Addie at times. BUT, all this doesn’t mean that the book wasn’t good, no, it just means I expected one thing, but received something completely different.

This vaguely came across as semi dystopian when I first started reading, but I was so glad it most definitely was not, since I’m not overly fond of that genre. And although a secluded super-secret commune for extraordinary people for a background isn’t something that has me jumping for joy, it worked well in this story, because it wasn’t the main focus and there were no conspiracies or evil intentions between the normal world and the community. I liked that, even while the latter was a secret, they coexisted quite successfully. Also, Addie’s relationships were in the foreground and all the paranormal and powers stuff was just the illustrating background and I really enjoyed that relatable and simple focus in the story.

The premise is without a doubt quite intriguing, fresh and unpredictable in regards to what will happen and how. Thus, it was quite exciting to follow Addie in determining which path is right for her future. But, even when she knew the outcomes, the choice wasn’t as simple, because both ways had her lose and gain something. In the end, I felt that the decision for either future wasn’t really her choice and it was made for her due to the circumstance. I would have, however, hoped to see her make an objective selection based on what would benefit and be best for her.

I also have to mention the love triangle, which wasn’t one in the classical sense of the word. I can’t stand those, but due to the peculiarities of the story, it managed to find a loophole and actually make it work. It was a love triangle that didn’t exist – it was simple and complicated at the same time.

The book went by really fast, which was partially due to the altering focus between the two possible futures in each separate chapter. You simply had to read on to find out what would occur in the next. Despite the book flying by, nothing much happened between the first and last chapters. The ending, however, seriously picked up the pace and ended with a bang.

The two futures were mostly defined by the romances in each. Both were sweet and cute, despite the boys being complete opposites, but all was not as it seemed on the outside, at least with one of the potential boyfriends. I also loved that despite the two different paths, Addie still met and connected with the guy I was rooting for in the future version that wasn’t theirs.

Overall:

I don’t know, from one side I enjoyed the story, it was original and felt special, but at the same time there were minor aspects that put me off (Laila for one counts as at least 10 con points – she was irrational, childish and annoying). But then again, the romance was incredibly adorable and I was left wanting more. Ah, just read it and decide for yourself!

3 stars!

LIIS

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!



I wish you happy Thanksgiving and I hope you can spend your Thanksgiving together with your loved ones. Lots of blessings to you! I am grateful for all authors and readers and publishers who have ever visited Me and Reading! I'm grateful for all of you. Thank you!




Monday, November 24, 2014

Video Q & A with the author Kristie Cook!

Happy Monday!

Kristie Cook, the author of Souls Savers Series and Book of Phoenix Series, is answering questions from the fans. My question is also in the video!

If you haven't read any of Kristie's books yet, then hurry up! Books 6 and the final installment in Soul Savers Series, book 7 is out soon! Take a look at the cover reveals post as well!

Enjoy the video, it's fun and besides being a great author, she is also incredibly cute!






Happy reading!


Cover Reveals - Torment and Faith by Kristie Cook!

Happy Monday!



I am delighted to share the covers of Torment and Faith, books 6 and 7 in the Soul Savers Series by Kristie Cook.

Besides the revealing the covers, you can now pre-order both books! Links below.

So, let's take a look at the covers. Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you Torment and Faith!!! Beautiful!




Book Six & Seven in the Soul Savers Series  

  Title: Torment                                                     Title: Faith    
  Author: Kristie Cook                                       Author: Kristie Cook   Release Date: January 9th, 2015        Release Date: February 2nd, 2015 




 He’ll torment her soul until she breaks…and humanity until it falls.

When the Daemoni expose their existence to the human race, all Hell breaks loose. Literally. Not only do they walk the world freely, attacking at will, but they’ve infiltrated the highest levels of power in the human world. World War III erupts between countries and species, with Lucas, leader of evil on Earth, orchestrating it all. He even possesses direct control of thousands of human soldiers’ minds, putting himself in position to take over humanity.

Alexis, still young and inexperienced, must lead the Angels’ army to war. But every step she takes is trumped by Lucas, who single-handedly turns the humans against her Amadis. When Alexis and Tristan top every country’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, they are forced to go underground to fight this war. And their first mission is to free the human soldiers by breaking the link that allows Lucas to control them.

But the Four Horsemen have apparently arrived, bringing the world into the apocalypse. Can Alexis and the Amadis prevent Lucas from taking over humanity? Or is he truly the Antichrist, and the events tormenting the world part of an age-old prophecy that can’t be stopped?

This highly anticipated sixth book of the Soul Savers Series will leave readers in shock, begging for the final installment, Faith..

iBooks:






  When her eyes see only darkness, her soul must uncover      faith’s light.

Evil reigns the world. Earth’s been ravaged. Only supernaturals roam the surface, while anyone else who escaped the fallout remains hidden deeply underground. The only signs humans survived at all come from those who serve the Daemoni. To finalize his conquest of humanity, Lucas prepares to rip down the veil between Earth and the Otherworld, opening the gates of Hell into the physical realm.

So why do the Angels insist on Alexis fighting a war that’s already been lost? Defending a world that no longer exists?

With a soul that’s been battered and beaten by both Heaven and Hell, Alexis holds onto a single conviction—her love for her family. Her only mission now is to save her husband’s and her son’s souls. Once she does, She’ll plead with the Angels to allow them off this world God has obviously forsaken.

But has He? And can she give up on her people so easily? On the souls of all humanity? Or will she find the faith she needs to defeat the Daemoni and win back the world? Just how far will she go to save the souls she loves . . .  and those she does not?

This epic finale of the bestselling Soul Savers Series will break readers’ hearts, put them back together, and leave them demanding more.


iBooks: 




Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, primarily New Adult paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy. Her internationally bestselling Soul Savers Series will be complete and all seven books available  by early 2015. She's also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 350,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category, and Wrath peaking in the Top 10 on 5 international iBooks stores.

She has also written The Book of Phoenix trilogy, a New Adult paranormal romance series that includes The Space Between, The Space Beyond, and The Space Within. The full trilogy is available now.

Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, a beagle, and a puggle, but spends many weekends with her three sons at UCF, cheering on the Knights.















Want to catch up on the rest of Soul Saver Series?  Click the link and it will take you to the Soul Saver Series Website where you can learn more about the books and where they are available.  
To get you started Book 1 Promise is Free!




Thanks for coming by and happy reading!


Friday, November 21, 2014

My Characters Hate Going To Bed - Guest Post by Melodie Campbell!

Happy Friday!

I have a visitor on the blog today! My friend and bestselling and award winning author Melodie Campbell from Canada. She's writing about how the characters keep her awake at the wee hours of the morning.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Melodie Campbell!


MY CHARACTERS HATE GOING TO BED aka 
Why We Write

By Melodie Campbell


(As usual, this post will sit on the wacky side. But there is a serious message behind it all.  Why?  Why do we spend hours and hours alone in our garrets, piecing together stories that may never earn us a living wage, or even see the light of day?  Are we insane?  Or, as I pose, does writing keep us sane?)

But back to our regularly scheduled blog post:

Rowena is arguing with Thane.  Cedric meets Soren the demon for the first time.   Kendra can’t choose between Richard and Logan…or is it that young cousin of the Viking Warlord, what’s his name?

Gina and Nico are planning an art gallery heist.  Uncle Seb is about to kick the bucket, and he didn’t die ‘cleaning his gun.’  Pete is caught with counterfeit moolah, and slips through the portal to Land’s End…

No, wait a minute.  Wrong book.  Wrong series.  Even wrong genre!  Plots, you’re getting yourselves mixed up.

It’s 3:15 AM, and all is not well in my head.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my characters hate going to bed.

Like little children, they race around in my head, determined to have yet another adventure.  Problem is, they stumble over each other in their bid for freedom.  Series start mixing in decidedly zany ways.
(Okay, back to the point of this blog.)

WHY AUTHORS WRITE:

We authors control what our characters do during the day.  It’s one of the things I love about writing: the ability to control the world in a way we can’t do in real life. 

I can’t control the real world.  Sometimes the script being directed from above is pretty painful.  In my case, it contains an autistic brother and heartbreaking care-giver burdens I can do nothing about.
But I can control the world I create in words.

In my fiction, I control my characters, put them where I want them, alter their lives, change the time, the year, the setting, give them astonishing adventures and dramatic endings– it’s glorious, unfettered control.

But at night, even they go wild. 

In the wee hours of the morning, my head is a playground for creative creatures, both human and fantastical.  They have adventures even I haven’t thought of yet. 

So here’s a job for you scientists out there.  Figure out a way to capture the nocturnal plotlines that create havoc for us authors as we struggle to give our brains some needed snooze-time.

And in the meantime, can you guys please keep it down in there?  I’m trying to sleep.

-----------------
Bio:   Melodie Campbell


Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich. 
Winner of 9 awards, including the 2014 Derringer and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for the screwball comedy, The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.



The Goddaughter’s Revenge on Amazon: 


Rowena and the Viking Warlord onAmazon:












Thank you, Melodie, for coming by and writing a guest post! Love your books!

Happy reading!



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Skip To The Good Part Release and Giveaway!

Happy Thursday!

Let me start this post with a fair warning. It's steamy, it's hot and it's definitely not for people who are below 18 years old! :) Consider yourself being warned.


 
sttgp1teaser
 
Today we have the release day launch of Skip to the Good Part, a sexy new collection of the hottest scenes from 20 phenomenal authors. I am so excited to share it!!!  
 
 
 



About Skip to the Good Part: Skip to the Good Part:

20 Authors Reveal Their Steamiest Scenes offers face-fanning romance and tie-me-up sizzle (and everything in between) from top authors including New York Times and USA Today bestsellers.  

The collection features a British alpha who wants to turn a good girl bad, a woman realizing her impetuous marriage to a stripper isn’t all bad, a bad-boy boxer who could use a large dose of sexual healing, a carnie who has found new and inventive uses for fun house mirrors, and a rocker who wants to woo the girl who got away: his high school sweetheart.  

Read 20 of the best steamy scenes in contemporary romance and erotic romance today. This 250-page collection will get your blood pumping, your heart racing, and your skin tingling—you’re sure to discover a new favorite.

Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers.  

New York Times best-selling authors: Raine Miller | Kendall Ryan | K. Bromberg | Carly Phillips | Denise Grover Swank | S.L. Scott

USA Today best-selling authors: Christine Bell | Rebecca Shea | Andrea Smith

Featuring: Magan Vernon | Kristie Cook | Nevaeh Lee & Michelle Lynn | Alessandra Thomas | Selena Laurence | Heidi Joy Tretheway | Elizabeth Briggs | Meghan March | Taylor Michaels | K.B. Nelson | Elise Covert  
 
 
 
To celebrate the release day, there is an awesome giveaway!
 
 
Enter the fantastic giveaway!!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

sttgp1teaser-books sttgp1teaser6

Happy reading and make sure that you get the book!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Hi all!

It's been a long time again!




Title: Sacrifice
Release date: 30th of September 2014
Series: Elemental #5
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Paranormal, Action, YA
Published by: Kensington Books
Pages: 337 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure.

He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She's got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment's notice.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's "bad luck." Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war.

They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight. . .

Review:

I think this is one of the most authentic and enjoyable YA series with male characters as protagonists. Everything feels so real, as if something like this is actually going on in a small town somewhere and there are these boys who are fighting everyone and everything to stay together and protect their family. The characters are simply so fleshed out. The current book is the finale and the fifth instalment in the series. Based on how everything has been escalating, I expected a lot of tears, angst and dark times and having witnessed how the author doesn’t always go the conventional way and isn’t afraid to make unpopular choices, then there was plenty to fear.

Most important, I was dreading a huge sacrifice, which is not hard to predict by the blatantly obvious title, but I was completely caught off guard by the person who actually ended up making it. I didn’t see that coming and it was like one minute there’s tension, danger and a seemingly impossible situation and then IT happens and I didn’t even realise that it happened and then I suddenly did and I had a blank look for a minute and then I read on. Now in retrospect, I would have hoped more of a momentum from it, because it seemed quite rushed and passed too quickly. I had also hoped to see more reactions to it, more pain, contemplations and regret from others, but after the culmination, the book ended quite fast.

To a degree I was happy with the book, but it also ended on a slightly open-ended note. Some topics were closed, but on a grander scale, nothing was really solved. I feel that there is a lot of room for more books and the story didn’t feel final. I’m definitely looking forward to more stories in this universe and having the Merrick brothers as main characters would be beyond wonderful, but focusing on someone else with them still somewhere in the background is fine as well.

This is Michael’s book, through and through. He finally has centre stage and we see how difficult his life has really been after he has taken full responsibility for his three brothers. The man has a huge burden on his shoulders and doesn’t share it one bit. With everything going wrong, I mean everything, this book just keeps the punches coming and Michael is not spared or given time to breathe. When you think it can’t get any worse, then it most certainly does. It felt so unfair and I pitied him so much, but he’s a tough guy who will hold through anything for his close ones. I had huge respect for him already from the first book, but it tripled in this one.

If you expect a lot of romance from this book, then you will be disappointed. Yes, Michael’s relationship with Hannah is one of the main plotlines, but they spend little time together and most of it’s via sms. The emphasis is clearly on action, one bad thing happening after another and the fate and role of Michael in this huge mess and trying to find light at the end of the tunnel. The book also was told through Michael and Hannah’s points of view, but they are too preoccupied with their own personal issues to concentrate on them as a couple.

Overall:

I’m incredibly sad to be leaving this series behind, so I will simply choose not to and will wait for other adventures in this universe, because there simply has to be more. In regards to it being the final book, it wasn’t everything I was hoping, but I still liked it.

4 stars!

LIIS

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

National Young Readers Day - My favorite bedtime stories!

Happy Tuesday!

Today is National Young Readers Day and to celebrate it, I will share my best bedtime stories from when I was kid.

I got the idea from Casper- an innovative sleep startup that launched this past spring with an outrageously comfortable mattresses and who encouraged me to share my love for the books I loved to dig in before bedtime.

I have loved reading from very young age. I loved reading books myself, but what I loved even more was when my mom took her time to snuggle with me and my sister and read books for us. We were allowed to crawl into my parents bed and then my mom took a book and read couple of stories or chapters.

My favorite stories from that time are coming from Astrid Lindgren's books and especially from Pippi Longstocking, The Children of Noisy Village (Kids from Bullerby) and of course fairy tales, especially from Hans Christian Andersen.

My dad used to be on the sea for 4-6 months in a row when I was a kid and during these times it happened very often, that mom read books to us. I loved the parts of Pippi Longstocking where she told about her dad. Pippi's mother was angel in the heaven, but her dad was a captain. I remember I always thought about my dad and imagined, how I could go and visit him while he was far away in Africa  - just like Pippi did together with Tommy and Annica.

What I loved about The Children of Noisy Village was, that these stories where about children at my own age and they had a lots of fun with each other.They made me laugh.

What kind of girl doesn't like a good fairy tale? I loved them . My two favorite ones which also my mom used to read us were The Snow Queen and Thumbelina.

My mom always read few chapters and I remember the feeling what it created, the warmth,the safety. I loved these evening.

Both of my parents read a lot and my love for reading has literally come from them. I have read many children's books, also when adult.


What did you like to read when you were a kid?

Happy reading!



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Hi all!

It's been a while again :)



Title: Winterspell
Release date: 30th of September 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, Fantasy, YA
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 464 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Darkly romantic and entirely enchanting, this reimagining of The Nutcracker from Claire Legrand brims with magic, love, and intrigue. New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer (Cinder) says “this is not your grandmother’s Nutcracker tale.”

After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help.But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do...

Review:

I was extremely excited for this book due to The Nutcracker being my ultimate favourite ballet and it would be intriguing to see a YA version of this gorgeous and magical tale. I was expecting light, charming, sweet and something more similar to children’s literature, but I got a grim, gritty and quite a shocking story with the tone being more similar to a New Adult book. And, to be honest, I don’t even know if I entirely liked this surprising outcome, but there was something compelling about this steampunk version of it.

What I liked:

The magical world of Cane and its fate was overall obviously dark, ugly and quite descriptive: all the experiments, “drug” addictions, almost-prostitution, torture, voyeurism, oft nakedness, graphic description of dead bodies, slaves, girl on girl kissing, appalling treatment of particular groups of residents (eg. humans, mages), etc – all presented and shown in a not so nice way, far from it. While it was something I needed get used to, in the end, I quite liked this take on this wold. If you like kinky fairy-tale-like YA then this story is 100% for you!

There was a multitude of icky, creepy and despicable characters you simply had to hate and when I say despicable then I really mean very devious. I was definitely not indifferent towards them and that’s a good thing. I liked that it wasn’t strongly based on the original and took heaps of inspiration, but not all details and it wasn’t a retelling. Also, the pace of the book was great, there was never a boring moment, all the time something was happening and the story moved with speed.

The world-building was phenomenal: detailed, twistedly gorgeous and lifelike/realistic. And as I mentioned, the story didn’t only highlight the good, but also the wicked and evil side of both these two worlds/cities - Concordia and Cane. Thus, it was considerably more believable.

I liked that Nicholas wasn’t entirely a good guy, he had a lot of grey area, did some selfish things, was somewhat deceitful and didn’t always act as a gentleman should. I wish there would have been more insight into his mind.

Drosselmeyer was just as creepy as I’ve always seen him as – great! Full stop.

What I didn’t like:

Clara was simply so unfortunate and in a constant position where I felt sympathy for her or with a mentality that everything was her fault or that she had to take responsibility – her martyr routine was kind of tiring. She had all this power, but she still came across weak and slightly pathetic to me. I understand that she was clearly in a sticky position, but I felt more for Nicholas and the poor residents of Cane.

My personal complaint (slightly spoilery): I’m starting to get tired of these special snowflake heroines. I mean, come on, again a girl who discovers there is more to her than visible and, naturally, she end up being the top of the food chain or something like that. Everyone will fall short in competing with her power and her most important asset – the power of the heroine. This trope is awesome when done right, but when you don’t even particularly like the heroine then it can become bothersome.

Oh my, how I couldn’t stand Clara’s annoying no-good father, well at least in the state he was presented during this story.

Overall:

A very morbid, sexual and adult take on the beloved ballet Nutcracker. And although, I had serious issues with the heroine, I was still intrigued and impressed by the direction and tone of the story. It was certainly quite imaginative and very well written.

3 stars!

LIIS
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