Waiting on Wednesday: The Fiery Heart

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.com, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Fiery Heart

 

The Fiery Heart

Bloodlines Book 4

by Richelle Mead

11 . 19 . 2013

 

From Amazon:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

 

I have loved Richelle Mead’s novels since I read the first book in her Georgina Kincaid Series, Succubus Blues.  The Vampire Academy Series is probably my favorite–though not by much–and I was super excited when Mead continued the story of the characters in the Vampire Academy Series with Bloodlines.  About a week ago, I saw this just-released trailer (below)  for the first Vampire Academy movie!  I was so impatient to see the movie, coming out February 14th 2014, that I decided to reread Vampire Academy…which turned into re-reading the entire series and the first 3 books of Bloodlines.  I can’t wait to see how Sydney’s and Adrian’s story continues in The Fiery Heart.  November can’t come soon enough!

 

What are you waiting on?

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

A long time “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” fan — I can’t not read each new novel Laurell K. Hamilton writes.  I did step away from the series for a while in the middle of Danse Macabre because, though I understand that the development of the ardeur (power fueled by sex)  story line required a lot of graphic scenes, I found the constant rounds of sex with no other plot boring.  I did,  eventually, catch back up.  I like the novels more now that Hamilton has focused back on the action.

In Affliction, Anita learns that Micah’s extranged father is dying.  Bitten by a zombie and suffering from a rotting contagion, he only has days to live.  Anita and her loves travel with Micah to say good bye and discover what new evil is brewing out west–threatening to rot the world.

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I enjoyed reading Affliction, but there are a few aspects of Hamilton’s style that take away from the story as a whole.  Primarily, how many times she gets into arguments about aspects of her personal life that have no bearing on her job with the law enforcement officers with which she is working.  .  Very often, the characteristics she attributes to the male law enforcement officers in the book are less than flattering.  Does no character around her have a mental filter? Seriously? As much as I realize some people may still have issues with women in authority and sexual freedom, Blake seems to encounter all the people too stupid to say nothing.

In general, I give Hamilton credit for her insight into her characters’ (both main and peripheral) psychological states.  However, Blake and her beaus are SO aware of their emotional issues and speak about them so much, that their discussions occasionally remind me of the dialogue in Dawson’s Creek–only with more angst.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do find the insights fascinating, but the constant talking occasionally bogs down the pacing of the plot.

The plot is what interests me most in Affliction.  I think Hamilton delivers a great zombie horror novel with an intriguing villain and a lot of action.  I appreciated that Anita had an unusual mystery on her hands–something that she didn’t know how to deal with immediately.  I think that the story progression was perfect; but I do wish that the ending had been fleshed out a bit more.  I loved the interplay between Micah’s family and Anita and her men.  The anxiety they felt before being introduced and their nervousness while meeting the in laws was endearing– and so easy to relate to!

Overall, I liked this novel. The plot was interesting, the actions horrifying and the interactions between the characters what emotionally compelling.  With a little less chest thumping between characters and more of Hamilton’s beautiful way of turning a descriptive phrase, this book would have been great.

 

If you like this series, you will also like:

Keri Arthur’s Full Moon Rising

Jenna Black’s The Devil Due

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Tempt the Stars

 

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breakingthespine.com, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Tempt The Stars

Cassie Palmer Book 6

Tempt the Stars

by Karen Chance

10 . 01 . 2013

From Amazon:

Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.

Yeah, that part sucks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?

 

 

I love this series, and the sister series about Dorina Basarab!  They are funny, action packed books; I can never put them down.  Its been a while since the last one was released, and I feel like I am going into withdrawal!  I can’t wait for October 1st!

 

What are you waiting on…? 

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Iron Traitor Outlined

 

The Iron Traitor

Written by Julie Kagawa

Published by Harlequin Teen

Release Date: October 29, 2013

 

Julie Kagawa delivers again!

I have been a fan of Kagawa’s writing since she released The Iron King.  Her ability to pull inspiration from myth, history, and modern life to create a story that is wholly original fascinates me.  The Iron Traitor is the latest installment in her Call of the Forgotten series, and it does not disappoint.

The Iron Traitor follows Ethan and Kierran as they race against time to save Annwyl, an exiled Summer faery, from Fading out of existence.  As they struggle to accomplish the impossible, they will bargain with friends and enemies and cross lines that should never be crossed.  Even if they save Annwyl, will it be worth the price?

The Iron Traitor is wonderfully action packed and filled monsters, magic, and romance.  I love the detail that Kagawa puts into her writing; it brings her characters and her settings to life, making them jump off the page.

One of my favorite aspects about this book are the two main characters: Ethan (on the cover of The Lost Prince)  and Kierran (on the current cover–isn’t he handsome!).  I really admire the added depth that these two parallel characters give to the novel.  As you read, you will find that their personal situations have very similar aspects and the actions and desires of one are mirrored in the other.  Yet the emotions that motivate Ethan and Kierran, and the ways in which they cope with the challenges they face highlight their differences.  I think that the interplay between the two similar and yet very different characters really makes the action compelling and intriguing, rather than simply entertaining.

For those of you who have read The Iron Fey Series, you will be excited to see some of your favorite characters return, specifically a smug cat and an adventurous trickster.

The Iron Traitor is a great read.  The only downside to this book is that I have finished it already–and now I have to wait for the next one to come out!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass HardcoverSo, I am a little late with this review, Throne of Glass was published last year.  However, I assume there are enough people who have not yet read this great novel–that this review is still relevant.  Especially with the sequel coming out in 11 days.

Throne of Glass  tells the story of  Celaena Sardothien.  The beautiful and deadly young woman known as the Assassin of Adarlan, is brought out of her imprisonment in the salt mines of Endovier to the glass palace.  To win her freedom, she will fight in the competition to become the champion of the king she hates.  Her struggle becomes more perilous as competitors begin to die gruesome deaths outside the arena, and as the hatred and anger she hides behind are tempered by the unexpected love and friendships that develop.

Celaena Sardothien is an excellent heroine.  Though at times the combination of her expertise as an assassin with her beauty and her other incredible skills may have you wondering who the hell this girl is, Maas mitigates her Mary Sue-ish character with believable personality flaws. She invites you to laugh at Celaena, but she also moves you to cheer for her and cry with her.  Celaena portrays a surprising complex and imperfect morality, formed in her mysterious past, that makes her a delightfully Byronic heroine.

Other characters, such as the Crown Prince and the Master of the Guard are simpler–but show the promise of more depth to come as their stories unfold.

The story itself is a classic fantasy.  The fraught environment that Maas created for her characters will lead to a great series.  However, midways through Throne of Glass, I began to wonder how Maas was going to be able to tie the story together.  She has a lot of seemingly disparate plot pieces occurring simultaneously–from the tyrant king, to political intrigues, a bloody competition,  unexplained deaths, ghosts, mysterious pasts of her characters, magic, and a love triangle all vie for your attention in the first three quarters of the book.   Maas is able to bring everything together in an exciting ending! She struck a perfect balance between giving readers the answers and conclusion they craved and leaving them wanting more.

I am eagerly awaiting the sequel Crown of Midnight, releasing on August 27th 2013.  I hope we will find out more about Celaena Sardothien before she became the Assassin of Adarlan.  I am dying to uncover the secrets around her past!

 

If you enjoyed this novel you will also enjoy:

  • The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
  • Trickster’s Choice  by Tamora Pierce

And it starts….

I read too much…not that there is any such thing.  I used to work at a Borders, and I loved my job.  I find that without the bookstore to help me find new authors to read and to let me introduce others to the books that love, something is missing in my life.  So, after much delay I decided to start MJ Reads. (Partially because my fiance was tired of listening to my rants about books.) In the future I will post my thoughts on the various YA, fantasy, and romance books that I read.  Each post will include books that I find to be similar.  I would love to hear any other opinions–and especially any other books that are similar!