Tag «faeries»

Series Review: The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa

book2

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Top Series #11, Must-Read Author
Series: The Iron Fey
Author: Julie Kagawa
# of Books: 4 (the Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight)

There are lots of novellas and extras that take place between the books. A full list is here.

There is also a spin-off series: Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Faeries, Romance, Action, Mythology, Fairy Tales
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

This was one of the first series I read in an eBook format–and truth be told I wanted to read this series so bad that I started to read eBooks just so I could read it! So I strained my eyes on my tiny iPhone screen reading the first two books of the series and then read the rest on my best gift ever: my Kobo.

By the time I picked up The Iron King I had read a considerable amount of faerie novels. While some didn’t do much for me, I do have a few that are within my top series picks so I do have a pretty hefty set of standards when it comes to faerie novels. But one thing I find with these faeries novels is that each series has a different spin–and this one is no exception.

Ms. Kawaga creates a world that is so unique yet easy to follow that it’s extremely easy to get immersed in it. Not only does she blend in the faerie world with the human world but she manages to add everyday fairy tales and other aspects that just give this world so much depth. It was such a pleasure reading about the world Meghan and company are in.

And Meghan is probably one of my top favourite heroines ever. She is just so strong and independent that I never got annoyed with her–even when a love triangle comes about (but let’s be real, we always knew who she was going to pick). Her complex to save the world (aka Lead-Heroine Sacrifice Syndrome) didn’t piss me off, it just made me really sad at times because I really didn’t know how everything would end up. Ash and Puck were also fantastic.

That was another thing I loved about this series. It was never predictable. Sure I could put the dots together but it wasn’t until I got the clues that I had an inkling about what was going to happen.

Each book built upon the last and reading the novellas is extremely helpful in bridging the gaps between the books–so I recommend that you do follow the reading order you see on Goodreads.

When I read this series, it was only a trilogy but the fourth book, The Iron Knight was on its way due to fan demand (and when you read the third book you will understand why). I was really worried about this book because I find when author’s write something because fans want it, the result is a mediocre fan-fiction effort (I’m looking at you Breaking Dawn). But The Iron Knight was fantastic. I laughed, I cried (more like balled my eyes out and sobbing) and it made me really excited to see where the spin-off series was going. It gave me the impression that Kagawa had always intended to write this story because it was crafted so well.

I haven’t picked up the spin-off series yet, but it is near the top of my to-read list!

Conclusion:

I remember telling my roommate she had to read these books and she did and she loved them! It’s not just a romance novel set in a faerie world–it’s a complex story that happens to be filled with a romance, lots of action and plot twists. Simply a great series that I think even older “young adults” (ie adults) will enjoy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker Trilogy #1); Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely Series #1) and Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for The Iron King (from Goodreads):
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Series Review: Laurel by Aprilynne Pike

Series: Wings or Laurel Series
Author: Aprilynne Pike
# of Books: 4 (Wings, Spells, Illusions, Destined)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult/Teen, Faeries, Romance, Magic
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This was one of those series that just didn’t do it for me. Despite the high ratings and reviews, I just couldn’t get into this series. I’m not sure why I finished it, I think I just had to have some closure with the story and that made me read the rest. I also blame the covers for getting prettier and prettier as the series continued 😉

There are a few reasons why I didn’t enjoy these books as much as I hoped: 1) it was very high school; 2) the characters and 3) love triangle.

When I say “very high school” I mean that this book is definitely geared towards younger teens and not those entering university (which is when I started to read this series). I don’t think it helps that one of my all time faerie series is Wicked Lovely, which is just that touch more mature for a young adult book or that I started reading the Iron Fey series around the same time, which also has a more mature feel to it. The problems the characters face in these books, especially in their personal lives, seemed petty and juvenile so that turned me off of the story at times and more importantly, off of the characters.

That is perhaps the biggest problem with this series: I hated the characters. Laurel was fine for Wings with her perfect life and attitude. When she really started to piss me off was near the end of Spells and then in Illusions. She just becomes whiny and angsty and I just found her lack of maturity at times and her “do-gooder” attitude to be irritating. It also doesn’t help that she has a love triangle she can’t seem to figure out–love triangles are the WORST!

While I occasionally find myself in a situation where I don’t enjoy the main character (which makes it hard to continue reading any book), I often have another character that I like in the book and continue reading for them. At the start of the series, that character was Tamani. I really liked him in Wings and then that started to change by the time I read Illusions. He just became irritating and while I initially rooted for him to get Laurel, by the time I got to Destined, I didn’t particularly care if either him or David (who was also annoying throughout the series) was with Laurel–that is never a good sign.

Destined as a finale was an OK book. Nothing overly wowed me and I was just happy it was all over. I don’t think it helped that I read this book so far after the other ones–which I read within a two month span of each other–so I didn’t remember a lot other than that I didn’t like the characters and they had to save the world.

To end on a more positive note, I will mention what I liked about the series. I did like the Faerie world Pike created. It was a cool combination of the caste system, faeries and magic that isn’t overly common in this genre. It was fresh and interesting so kudos. Also, I really love the last two covers of the series–so pretty! Perhaps the thing I liked most about this series was the little extra Pike added to the end of Destined. It is a letter from one of the main characters and it was my favourite part of the book. It just had that little bit more insight into the series and characters. I wish this side of the writing was brought out more in the books because I think I would have enjoyed the series if it had more of this “real” aspect to it instead of a “happy-go-lucky” feel it has throughout.

Conclusion:

I think if I was 15 when I read these books, I would have liked them. Perhaps I would have connected more to the characters and enjoyed their stories a bit more. These books weren’t anything fantastic but they featured a cool concept lots of other faerie books lack. If you are looking for a good clean faerie series, this would be one for you to read!
Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Need by Carrie Jones (Need, #1) and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker, #1)

Synopsis for Wings (from Goodreads):
Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Series Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #13
Series: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
# of Books: 5 (Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows, Darkest Mercy)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Faeries, Romance, Fantasy
Heat Rating: warm

Thoughts:

This is one of my favourite series for a lot of reasons.

One is the whole concept of the world Melissa Marr creates. I have read a lot of faerie stories and there is always a little spin to each and every one. With this series, it takes the faery world and makes it a dark, modern tale. The characters aren’t your standard goody-two shoe faeries or humans thrown into a world of chaos. These characters can be twisted and evil whenever it suits them and that works for me!

Two is the relationships. There are a lot of characters in these books–not so much that it is hard to keep track of, but enough to keep you interested–but I loved watching the relationships develop between them all. I had a hard time with some of the love triangles deciding who’s team I was on so that was great! Surprisingly, I actually didn’t mind the love triangles in this one as much as in other books–so win! Even the bromances grabbed my attention 😛

Three is the ever twisting plot. Again, this goes back to the world Marr creates, but I never could totally predict what was going to happen. All the characters had their own agendas and weren’t afraid to get dirty to achieve it. I think it also helps that books 2 (Ink Exchange) and 4 (Radiant Shadows) focus on a different set of characters that we have been introduced to in other books instead of (Aislin and Co. who are the stars of Wicked Lovely). The characters in these “companion” novels go through events that help shape the rest of the series. It is very important to read these books in the order I have listed (or as you see on Goodreads) because the events occur in chronological order. I remember picking up Fragile Eternity and reading it first because it was tag-lined “sequel to Wicked Lovely“. I was completely thrown off and confused reading Fragile Eternity because there are some events in Ink Exchange that influence what happens in Fragile Eternity (ex. the roles some Faeries have) and make no sense whatsoever unless you read Ink Exchange first.

I read Radiant Shadows and Darkest Mercy a year of so after I Darkest Mercy was published. It took me a while to get into the swing of things so I recommend that you read these books as close together as possible! Regardless of when I read them, Darkest Mercy  is the perfect conclusion for a series! Although I didn’t like the very short epilogue (mostly because it only focused on two characters but I understand why it was done that way) I was very satisfied with the conclusion of everything in the end–it was my favourite book of the series.

Conclusion:

One of the most captivating and darkly beautiful books series I have ever read. If you are looking for a series about faeries who aren’t afraid to manipulate and follow their darker natures, read this series! It is definitely an older younger adult read so just be aware! Also, did I mention how beautiful the covers are? They look great on a bookshelf 😉

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange, #1) and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker, #1)

Synopsis for Wicked Lovely (from Goodreads):
Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty – especially if they learn of her Sight – and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr’s stunning twenty-first-century faery tale

Series Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #7 of Favourite Series List
Series: Wondrous Strange Trilogy

The spin-off series is called Starling that takes place after these novels

Author: Lesley Livingston
# of Books: 3 (Wondrous Strange, Darklight, Tempestuous)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Faeries, Shakespeare, Magic, Romance
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This series is one that I could reread again and again–I actually borrowed all the books from the library and then decided to buy them all because I enjoyed them so much. It was with this series that Lesley Livingston became a must-read author for me.

If you have read some of my other reviews, you know that I am a Shakespeare nut. Anything with his name and I am there; so to pick up this book was a no brainer. I also enjoy books with Faeries (ie. The Wicked Lovely Series which is another personal favourite series) so I was intrigued to how Faeries would be portrayed in this book (as they tend to vary in series). It seemed like an awesome combo so I was excited to begin.

Obviously, I am happy to say that this series did not disappoint! It has everything I enjoy in a series, like action, romance, plot twists and great characters. Each book in the series has a great, solid story. Unlike some series that have weaker books in order to progress, I found that these books built upon each other to reach a final climax. I was never bored with the series because there is enough going on to grab your attention.

I really liked Kelley as the heroine. She was strong, independent and most importantly intelligent. She wasn’t catty or whiney and if she didn’t like something she made ever effort to change it herself. Sonny was fantastic too. A totally swoon worthy hero and I liked the relationship that develops between them. Both characters were consistent in their delivery throughout the series (ie. they didn’t do a 180 in the second book to become a different character) which is a huge bonus for me.

Although Shakespeare plays a big role in the background information of the story, it isn’t necessary to know A Midsummer Night’s Dream by heart to get a feel for the book or understand what is going on. Livingston weaves all her story elements together so well that it’s easy to follow. I really appreciate her ability to weave and create worlds and it’s what makes her work so enjoyable in my opinion.

Conclusion:

A great paranormal young adult read for those who like unpredictable stories. Romance isn’t the primary focus of this novel but neither is Shakespeare. It is mostly a book about Faeries and the Otherworld. I highly recommend getting all three books at once when you plan to read as there is details in earlier books that it is nice to remember when you read the next one.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (The Wicked Lovely Series) and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey Saga) and Starling by Lesley Livingston

Synopsis for Wondrous Strange (from Goodreads):
17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks… In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley’s off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.