Tag «Urban Fantasy»

Series Review: Madison Avery by Kim Harrison

Series: Madison Avery Trilogy
Author: Kim Harrison
# of Books: 3 (Once Dead, Twice Shy; Early to Death, Early to Rise; Something Deadly This Way Comes)

There is a prequel novella in the Prom Nights from Hell anthology

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

I can’t remember how I came across these books. I have a feeling it was recommended to me by Chapters but I could be completely wrong. I do remember loving the covers so I probably saw the picture of the cover somewhere and decided to grab it 😛

The premise was super interesting to me and at the time I was reading more action/paranormal young adult reads so it seemed like a good fit. Unfortunately, this series just didn’t do it for me.

The first book, Once Dead, Twice Shy, was alright. Madison was likeable and so were the other characters but nothing wowed me about them. The plot was also blah as well–I just kept waiting for something big to happen and nothing ever did.

I also got confused about the whole reaper situation. I’m not sure if it was because I skimmed over it or if I was getting it confused with other novels but either way, I just felt like I never had a full grasp of what was going on.

To be honest, I’m not sure why I read the next two books in the series based on my lackluster experience with the first one. I think it was because I had the rest of the series out from the library and they weren’t overly long books to read so I decided to finish them. I also think that I was holding out for some big plot twist that I kept expecting to happen–but it never came. I read the rest of the series and found that I felt the same about the rest of the books: they were ok but nothing really blew my socks off.

Conclusion:

If you like books that don’t have a great deal of action and have a paranormal twist then this is a series to look into. Otherwise, it’s dry for those who like a lot of action and plot twists

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Shadowland by Meg Cabot (The Mediator Series #1), Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath Trilogy #1) and Swoon by Nina Malkin (Swoon #1)

Synopsis for Once Dead, Twice Shy (from Goodreads):
My name is Madison Avery, and I’m here to tell you that there’s more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I’m there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison’s prom was killer—literally. For some reason she’s been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she’s stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn’t know why the dark reaper is after her, but she’s not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison’s ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff

Series Review: The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

book

Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy; The Shiver Quartet
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
# of Books: 3 (Shiver, Linger Forever)

There is a companion novel that takes places after Forever called Sinner. It is Cole and Isabel’s story.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Teen, Young Adult, Werewolves, Romance, Supernatural, Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy
Heat Rating: lukewarm

Thoughts:

This was one of those series that seemed to be everywhere when it first came out and people seemed to be gobbling it up. I decided to pick it up and thought it was a good idea to try something that didn’t focus primarily on vampires for once.

Unfortunately, werewolves don’t do much for me. This series really helped me reach that conclusion once I finished it. I’m not sure why I don’t like them but I find series that only focus on werewolves are ones I tend to not enjoy. There are only a select few (and by that I mean like 2 series tops) that focus on werewolves and are books I actually liked. I don’t mind when there are werewolves in stories with other paranormal creatures, but on their own werewolves turn me off of a series.

Shiver didn’t do too much for me overall. It was a slower paced book and I instantly disliked Grace. She really irked me by the time I got to Linger. I just found she was a little bratty and a little too “angsty” for me to enjoy reading her POV. While I can sympathize with her situation at home and see why she may act they way she does, I just didn’t connect to her character enough to let me completely empathize with her.

So it was nice to get a break with having the POV alternate between her and Sam. Sam’s story I found a lot easier to sympathize with and overall, at least with Shiver, I liked him more than Grace. Of course that changed as the series progressed but for the most part I think Sam was the reason I stuck it out with Shiver.

To be honest, I probably wasn’t going to read Linger but based on the way Shiver ended and the promise of Isabel and Cole’s characters added to the mix, I was intrigued. I actually wish Isabel and Cole were the main characters because I enjoyed their stories a lot more than Sam and Grace’s (and my wish was granted with the release of Sinner). Linger was actually my favourite of the series because of Cole and Isabel’s presence (but seeing as how I didn’t enjoy the first or last book very much, it isn’t a surprise that book 2 was my fave).

It had been a long time since I had read the first two books so by the time I got to Forever I had kind of forgot most of the major plot. I basically skimmed the last book just to see how it ended. Unfortunately, the ending was really disappointing to me so I that soured the series for me.

I have to say that although I didn’t particularly care for werewolves, Stiefvater’s spin on lycanthropy was interesting and it made for some cool plot twists in an otherwise drab storyline. I also thought it was cool that the font colour of the published books match the overall colour of the cover–it was a nice touch.

UPDATED (Aug 4/14): Although I didn’t love the trilogy, I was actually really excited to read Sinner, the companion novel to the trilogy that is told solely from Cole and Isabel’s POV following the events of Forever. I found that there really wasn’t an overall plot to the novel like the rest of the trilogy had. Instead, it focused on character development which was good because Isabel and Cole are two of my favourite characters and I loved getting more inside their minds. However, their minds are rather dark and you kind of love to hate them because they aren’t the nicest people (and the best part is that they know it). I wish there was bit more of a plot though because it seemed like it was 50 pages too long and it dragged a bit. But I loved seeing more of Isabel and Cole so it was worth the read.

Conclusion:

This was a really disappointing series for me. I think those who want a clean, werewolf read might enjoy this series but be warned that the characters can be a little irritating and it is a lot of the typical teenage indecisiveness and angst throughout the series.

Fun fact though, apparently they are planning on making this into a movie :O I will probably pass but I am sure fans of the series will be excited.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Dark Divine #1) and Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lyn Barnes (Raised by Wolves #1)

Synopsis for Shiver (from Goodreads):
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever