Tag «Spin-off Series»

Spin-off Saturdays: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

Infernal Devices Trilogy is a spin-off of the Mortal Instruments

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #4
Series: Infernal Devices Trilogy
Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Books:3 (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess )

This is a PREQUEL to the Mortal Instruments Series. It takes place approx. 1 century before the events of the Mortal Instruments Series

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Victorian, Action, Demon Hunters, Magic

Thoughts:

I recommend that you read this series after you have read the first 3 books of the Mortal Instrument Series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass) just so you can recognize last names easily which is what I did (it was also because this book was released AFTER the first 3 had been published of the Mortal Instruments). But by no means do you have to follow this! It would probably be better to read this trilogy first but I find there are things hinted to in the later (books 3+) Mortal Instruments series that connect to the Infernal Devices that might not make sense if you read this series first.

I am a huge steampunk fan. It is definitely one of my favourite genres so this book was a win-win for me: a prequel to one of my all-time favourite series and it takes place in a steampunk world! This is probably why I enjoy this series more than the Mortal Instruments.

One reason I like this series so much is because it is so different from The Mortal Instruments. It’s not just a carbon copy, following similar plots and characters. The whole world Clare creates is different from Mortal Instruments and as such we don’t just see the battles between otherworld creatures and the like. It focuses more on magic and automations instead. It is a unique series on its own but still maintains connections to the follow-up series that fans of the series will appreciate. That being said, you can definitely expect some twists and turns along the way!

Another reason I like this series more is the characters. Like I said in my Mortal Instruments review, the characters make this series for me. However, unlike the Mortal Instruments, I really like Tessa as the heroine. She isn’t annoying to me and while I hate love triangles, I totally get her dilemma between Jem (James) and Will. It should be noted that the love triangle really only begins to make prominence in book 2, The Clockwork Prince though it begins to build in book 1, The Clockwork Angel. I also like all the secondary characters like Charlotte and Sophie as well and I devour their POV sections whenever they appear in the books.

UPDATED: I just finished Clockwork Princess last night and WOW. What a read! It was so hard to put the book down during the last 200 or so pages–despite the fact that I was dead tired I pushed on to finish the series.

I always get worried with prequel series–especially when I have read the sequel series first–because I don’t like predictable books. I like being surprised and I am glad to say that was the case here. While I suspected some things to happen I really had no idea how this book was going to end–and that made it all that more fantastic. It was a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking way, to end the series. I can only really recalling sobbing (shedding a few tears is nothing–so I am talking actual pain-in-the-throat-can’t-catch-my-breath tears here) for one other book (Beautiful Chaos, Beautiful Creatures Series #3) and I definitely did that here. I literally felt every emotion reading this last book and while it is hard to pick a favourite book, I think this last one would be it.

One thing that I love about Clare’s writing is how she ends her series. While the main climax ends (ie whatever they are fighting for), there are always a few additional chapters to tie up the lose ends in her characters’ lives (ie. romances, the Institute, etc.) and as a reader who loves these characters (and has invested a good portion of the last few years to them), I really love this. She doesn’t just give us one chapter to tie up the plot and thrust us into an epilogue. She gives us a solid few chapters of character progression and then an epilogue. The ending to this series was so satisfactory that I feel using the word “satisfactory” is an insult. It was a fantastic ending and readers who fell in love with this series will not be disappointed!

Conclusion:

An awesome steampunk read that really shows how the world Jace and Clary find themselves in centuries later is created. Fans of the Mortal Instrument Series will like this prequel and for those new to the series, this is a great way to get a feel for the world in the Mortal Instruments! A Must Read!

Rating: 5/5 (If I could rate this higher, I totally would)

Similar Reads: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments Series) and The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED (original series) SERIES THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS may have SPOILERS!

Synopsis for Clockwork Angel (from Goodreads):
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Spin-off Saturdays: Darkness Rising Series by Kelley Armstrong

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

The Darkness Series is a spin-off of the Darkest Powers

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Canadian Author
Series: Darkness Rising Trilogy
Author: Kelley Armstrong
# of Books: 3 (The Gathering, The Calling, The Rising)

This is a spinoff of the Darkest Powers Trilogy.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Action, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: April 2011 – April 2013
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Paperback

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WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, The Darkest Powers, this review may have spoilers!

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**This post was originally posted as a review of the first two books of the series. It has now been updated to include the last publication in the series.**

My Expectations:

Because I loved, Darkest Powers Trilogy, this spin-off series was a must read for me. That also meant I was going in with high expectations.

My Review of The Gathering and The Calling:

Unfortunately the first book, The Gathering didn’t quite meet my hopes. I found it a little predictable and a little lackluster in plot. It does pickup plot-wise near the end (and book 2, The Calling continues with this faster pace) but for the most part I was a little bored with it. I also didn’t really like Maya. I really tried to like her (and at the start it seemed promising) but she seemed very petty and selfish to me so I had a hard time liking her character. However, if there is one thing this book does well, it is establishing the setting and circumstances for the next book.

I enjoyed The Calling a lot more than book 1. In this book, the plots begin to unfold and there is a lot more action to be found. We also get to learn more about the other characters in the series, so there is a little less focus on Maya, which in my opinion is a bonus.

How Does it Compare to the Original Series?

This series is very similar to Darkest Powers Trilogy and rightfully so as it is the sequel series (I mean, even look at the titles and you can see a pattern between the two). Both involve a group of teens learning about their true heritage and what that means for them in the world they find themselves in. Of course there are different plot stories, but the main progression of the novels follow a similar path. For those hoping for a direct sequel to Chloe and company, as you can probably tell, this isn’t it. The two series are loosely connected but the Darkest Powers Trilogy plays a huge role in the plot development of this series.

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–August 7, 2017– Book #: The Rising

I will admit, it took me far longer than it should have to pick up this finale. But thanks to my Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge, I got around to this final novel.

Even though it has been nearly 4 years since I read this trilogy, I was immediately thrown back in. There was enough info at the start to get me up to pace and feel like I literally just read The Calling last week.

This book was good and definitely a solid finale. It was nice to see how this series intersects with The Darkest Powers and I felt like I was able to get closure with both series because of that.

I still found myself irritated by Maya at times and some of her friends. They just aren’t as likeable as Chloe & co. to me. They come across as entitled and slightly petty (and they are because of the circumstances of their situation so its understandable). So I found myself getting frustrated at the romantic developments of this series. (Let’s just say my “team” didn’t win).

Series Rating: 4/5

The Gathering 4/5 | The Calling 4/5 | The Rising 4/5

overall

Not as good as the Darkest Powers series, but a solid sequel that is unique in its own right. I recommend that you read the Darkest Powers before you read this series, but you can probably make do on your own without doing so.

similarreads
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers Trilogy, #1)

WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED the Darkest Powers SERIES THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS may have SPOILERS!

Synopsis for The Gathering (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya’s biological parents and it’s easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

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Spin-off Saturdays: Starling Series by Lesley Livingston

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

Starling Trilogy is a spin-off of the Wondrous Strange Trilogy

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Authors
Series: Starling Trilogy
Author: Lesley Livingston
# of Books: 3 (Starling, Descendant, Transcendent)

This is a spinoff of the Wondrous Strange Series.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Norse Legends, Action, Romance, Mythology
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts:

Lesley Livingston is one of my must-read authors: I love her work. Her stories always have a fabulous blend of action, romance and awesome background stories of legends or older stories. When I heard that she was writing a spin-off from the Wondrous Strange Series (an all time favourite series of mine), I grabbed a copy as soon as I was able.

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Mason was a kick-ass heroine and her family story was super interesting. Fennrys wasn’t one of my favourite characters from the Wondrous Strange series but he really grew on me in this one. Like most characters who are in the original series, you often judge them through the eyes of another character. But when the perspective shifts to them in a new series (or even a later book) you really appreciate them as a character.

There was a lot going on in this book so it was never a dull moment! There are a few twists here and there so it wasn’t predictable (BONUS!). I also loved the Norse god mythology in this. It’s something that isn’t as popular in young adult books so it was a nice change from faeries and vampires.

I recommend that you make note of details in this book as it will pay off in seeing why things are happening and they will no doubt influence the rest of the books in the series.

Updated (Dec 7/13): Descendant was absolutely fantastic! What I love about it most is that it doesn’t fall into clichés and I really like Mason. While she may be love sick for Fennrys, it doesn’t weaken her in any way. This book had great plot twists and really builds up for the climax. Super excited to see how this all ends!

Updated (Jan 6/15): I won’t lie, I was a little lost when I started reading Transcendent. Despite my pretty thorough synopsis notes, I still had a hard time grasping everything initially–that`s what happens when you read a sequel book one year later! However, I quickly got into the swing of the things to get enough of the major plot points. But I do know that I would haven enjoyed this final book a lot more if I read it right after Descendant just because all the little things would have been fresh in my mind. All and all, a solid way to end the series and exactly what I was expecting and hoping for! A great series from beginning to end!

Conclusion:

Starling is quite different from Wondrous Strange because of the use of Norse legends instead of the Shakespearian faeries. It is still written in similar style but the characters and plots are completely different. It’s a nice change but fans of the first series will like this one I’m sure. You also don’t have to read the Wondrous Strange Series first, but it will help set some context for this series.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange Trilogy); Stork by Wendy Delsol (Stork Trilogy)

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WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED THE Wondrous Strange Trilogy THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS HAS SPOILERS!

Synopsis for Starling (from Goodreads):
Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name–the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason’s world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn’s identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason’s family–with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods–is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston’s epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

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Spin-off Saturdays: Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

The Bloodlines Series is a spin-off of the Vampire Academy

    book5 book6

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #10; Favourite Author
Series: Bloodlines

This is a spin off of the Vampire Academy Series.

Author: Richelle Mead
# of Books: 6 (Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, Silver Shadows, The Ruby Circle)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Magic, Vampires, Action, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single; Alternating (Fiery Heart onwards)

Thoughts:

After reading the Vampire Academy (VA) Series, I wasn’t sure how I felt about a spin-off. I loved Adrian in the VA books so I was excited for him to be in the new series; but it was Sydney I wasn’t sure about. It’s not really Sydney’s fault I didn’t love her in the VA books. Her character needed to be who she was in order to progress the story. I warmed up to her by the end of the VA series but she was by no means my top choice for a spin-off character.

Well, it’s a good thing I am not the author of these books! Because Sydney is a great character and I have grown to love her in this new series.

Bloodlines takes fan-favourite characters and gives them the stories we all wanted them to have. From Jill to Eddie to Adrian, all these characters make an appearance in the books. Even Rose and crew appear here and there. Despite the fact that the story is told from Sydney’s POV, we still know what is going on with every other character–just like it was in the VA series.

The first book, Bloodlines, is a slow start to the series but is needed. It really establishes the characters and let’s you into Sydney’s life and thought process–seeing as she was only told through Rose’s perspective in the VA series. Book 2, The Golden Lily is where things start to fall into place and the “overarching” (by this I mean it is a plot that spans multiple books) begins to unwind. It also helps that there is a HUGE cliff-hanger that has you begging for the next one. Book 3, The Indigo Spell does not disappoint and I am counting down the days until book 4, The Fiery Heart is released.

It should be noted that this series doesn’t have much physical action as VA series. It’s there, but Sydney uses other methods, like chemicals and magic, to fight her foes. I tend to not like magic series that have witches so I was worried when the series started to focus more on magic (this series focuses more on the Alchemists than the vampires). I should know by now that Richelle Mead does not disappoint and I really like where this series is going with the spells aspect of it.

UPDATED (Dec 7/13): I was lucky enough to get my hands on The Fiery Heart shortly after it was published. I finished it in a day, that’s how much I loved it! While the book is mostly character development, I never found it to be dull. I think it helped that Adrian gets his own POV so for the first time we really get to see his thought process–and with him being my favourite character in the entire series, I was excited and happy to finally get more insight about him. This book has a great buildup into the next two books of the series and I can’t wait! July 2014 can’t get here soon enough!

UPDATED (August 10/14): When my copy of Silver Shadows finally came in from the library, I went ASAP to grab it and then spent the rest of the weekend reading it. I would have finished in a day but life got in the way :P. Overall, Silver Shadows is a bridging novel that is setting up the plot for the final book (The Ruby Circle) in the series. However, this doesn’t mean that it is dull in anyway. Despite a more singular plotline than the previous novels, I found the book moved at a very quick pace and kept my interest throughout. Fans will not be disappointed–the only disappointment is the waiting 6 months until the conclusion in The Ruby Circle.

UPDATED (March 15/15): It’s always really hard to say goodbye to your favourite characters–and The Ruby Circle was a tough one to read knowing it is the last of the Vampire Academy Universe. I think I was 50 pages from the end when I started to cry knowing I only had a few more pages left. I’ve been following these characters for the last 6 years so expectations were high going into this book and I wasn’t disappointed! I thought The Ruby Circle started slowly but once I was about a third of the way through it picked up immensely and I didn’t put it down. There were unexpected twists, a fast plotline (once it got started) and so many great character appearances, fans of both series will be very, very happy with The Ruby Circle. It’s hard to say goodbye but it makes things 20x easier when you are happy with the ending. I definitely plan on revisiting all of these books in the future.

Conclusion:

To fans of VA: Read this! If you loved Adrian and Sydney (or even Eddie and Jill), you will love this series! It has everything VA had but does it in it’s own unique way. To new fans: even if you didn’t read VA (which I suggest you do!) you could probably get away with diving right into this series. A must read for fans of paranormal YA.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy Series #1)

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WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY SERIES THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS HAS SPOILERS!

Synopsis for Bloodlines (from Goodreads):
Blood doesn’t lie…

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

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Series Review: Perfection by Abbi Glines (Rosemary Beach)

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

 book2

Series: Perfection, Rosemary Beach (#3 Twisted Perfection & #5 Simple Perfection)
Author: Abbi Glines
# of Books: 2  (Twisted Perfection, Simple Perfection)
NOTE: This series is a spinoff series of Too Far by Abbi Glines. I highly recommend that you read that series before you start this one! Recently the spinoff series have been grouped into a proper reading order and categorized under the series “Rosemary Beach

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: Although the Perfection series is a part of a larger series called Rosemary Beach I have decided to review each series separately (find them all here). However, books 9+ will be reviewed on the Rosemary Beach central blog post here. Regardless,  I highly recommend reading the series in the order posted on Abbi Glines’ blog due to overlapping plotlines and events.

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WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED the Too Far SERIES THE FOLLOWING REVIEW and SYNOPSIS MAY HAVE SPOILERS!

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

I really enjoyed the Too Far Series, which is what this series is a spin-off of. It is actually one of two spin-offs planned for the series. I especially enjoyed Woods as a character. He is a hero that is worth swooning over and I couldn’t wait to see him happy with his own leading lady in his own series. And this one did not disappoint!

Della and Woods are both complex characters with twisted back stories that are realistic and heartbreaking. Both are wounded by controlling parents and this is probably why they work so well together. I will be honest and say that I didn’t really see the connection between these two characters at the start, other than the sex, but I think as the book develops they begin to understand each other a bit more. There are lots of twists and turns throughout the way so this is a hard one to put down.

The only disappointment I had was the lack of mention between Woods and Blaire and their relationship from the Too Far Series. I thought he had some stronger feelings for Blaire in the other books but it is never alluded to here. Perhaps he is over them but I feel it is fair to point out that he was attracted to a “fragile female” before he met Della. But this isn’t something that should deter you from reading the book, it’s just me being picky! (PS, Blaire does make a brief appearance in this book)

Updated (Dec 7/13): I recently read Simple Perfection after getting my hands on a copy after a few months of waiting. I was really excited to read this book and to be honest I was disappointed when I started reading it.

I think my biggest issue was the alpha-male dominant that Woods becomes. I hate overly possessive males and this is what we get with Woods. He is very smothering and I just felt like the relationship him and Della had wasn’t very healthy at all. Like in the last book, I didn’t see their connect improve and I honestly don’t know why they love each other so much other than a physical attraction and Della always being around. Della as a character improved as she begins to find herself a bit more and I liked the journey she takes in this book.

Why I gave this book a high rating (ie 4/5 on Goodreads) despite my dislike of Woods and the direction the romance went is because of the MAJOR plot twists we get. There were two things I really didn’t see coming and the last one especially rocked my world. I applaud Ms Glines for going in the direction she is going because I never saw it coming and it makes things extremely interesting!

Conclusion:

If you loved the Too Far series or love New Adult reads, this one will not disappoint! I can’t wait for the sequel to see what happens next! Great setup for the rest of the series. If you like stories where characters from previous books interweave altogether, Rosemary Beach is a series for you!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Fallen too Far by Abbi Glines (Too Far Series #1) and One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy (Drew + Fable Series #1)

Synopsis of Twisted Perfection (from Goodreads.com):

Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected…

Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help.

What he didn’t know was she was as fragile as they came.
The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine…