Book Review

Book Review | SPELLCASTER, by Claudia Gray

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Spellcaster (Spellcaster #1), by Claudia Gray

Publish Date: March 1, 2013 (audiobook published March 5, 2013)
Published by: HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Length: 11 hrs 8 min (389 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to the place than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia can sense that a spell has been cast over the tiny Rhode Island town—a sickness infecting everyone and everything in it. The magic at work is darker and more powerful than anything she’s come across and has sunk its claws most deeply into Mateo . . . her rescuer, her friend, and the guy she yearns to get closer to even as he pushes her away.

Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, shadowed by small-town gossip and his family’s tormented past. Every generation, the local legends say, one member of the family goes mad, claiming to know the future before descending into insanity. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl from a car accident actually come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his terrible family curse, and to prevent a coming disaster that even now threatens the entire town, including Nadia’s family, her newfound friends, and her own life. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel depicts a dark and unforgettable world of witches, curses, buried secrets, and star-crossed romance.


My Review:  Continue reading “Book Review | SPELLCASTER, by Claudia Gray”

Book Review

Book Review | DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), by Laini Taylor

Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 418
Genre: YA Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


My Review:

To say this was a disappointment is a bit of an understatement. This is one of those books that everyone in the YA community seems to have read and loved. I’ve been anticipating reading this one for several years, and finally got around to it, only to find my expectations to be completely dashed to bits. Continue reading “Book Review | DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor”

Book Review

Book Review | ENDLESSLY, by Kiersten White

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Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3), by Kiersten White

Publish Date: July 24, 2012 
Published by: HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Emily Eiden
Length: 9 hrs 55 min (385 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

In Endlessly, pink-loving, butt-kicking Evie has way too much on her to-do list. Paranormals are begging her to open a faerie gate so they can leave the human world, something Evie’s not sure she has the power to do. The Dark Queen is torturing humans and must be destroyed.

On top of all that, Evie’s prom is coming up. She’s not sure what to wear, and, oh, yeah, her shape-shifting boyfriend, Lend, has been cursed so that he falls into an enchanted sleep whenever he and Evie are in the same room…and even Evie’s ex-boyfriend, the faerie Reth, can’t reverse the dark magic.

An epic battle is looming, and the choices Evie makes will determine the fate of whole paranormal world—and her own life.


My Review:

Continue reading “Book Review | ENDLESSLY, by Kiersten White”

Book Review

Book Review | SUPERNATURALLY, by Kiersten White

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Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2), by Kiersten White

Publish Date: June 1, 2011 (audiobook published July 26, 2011
Published by: HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Emily Eiden
Length: 8 hrs 12 min (336 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.


My Review: Continue reading “Book Review | SUPERNATURALLY, by Kiersten White”

Book Review

Book Review | THE UNBOUND, by Victoria Schwab

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The Unbound (The Archived #2), by Victoria Schwab

Publish Date: January 28, 2014 (audiobook published March 14, 2019)
Published by: Hyperion/Tantor Audio
Audiobook Narrated by: Piper Goodeve & Gabriel Vaughan (short story at end)
Length: 10 hrs 57 min (360 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe. 

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?


My Review:

Such a gripping story! There was so much happening that I couldn’t stop listening. Continue reading “Book Review | THE UNBOUND, by Victoria Schwab”

Book Review

Book Review | THE ARCHIVED, by Victoria Schwab

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The Archived (The Archived #1), by Victoria Schwab

Publish Date: January 22, 2013 (audiobook published March 30, 2019)
Published by: Hyperion/Tantor Audio
Audiobook Narrated by: Piper Goodeve
Length: 9 hrs 54 min (321 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.


My Review:

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I’ve been struggling to find something that captured my attention as wonderfully as the Kerstin Gier audiobooks did (especially Dream a Little Dream and its sequels), and while I’ve enjoyed other audiobooks, none of them have kept me engaged as much until The Archived. Maybe it was the narrator who captured the emotion so very well (although she could have varied the voices of the characters a bit more to separate them from one another), or maybe it was Victoria who always manages to write a story that has me enchanted. Or maybe I just have a thing for other-worldly doors. Continue reading “Book Review | THE ARCHIVED, by Victoria Schwab”