Tag «vampires»

Series Review: London Steampunk by Bec McMaster

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Steampunk Series
Series: London Steampunk
Author: Bec McMaster
# of Books: 5 (Kiss of Steel, Heart of Iron, My Lady Quicksilver, Forged by Desire, Of Silk and Steam)

There is a novella, Tarnished Knight, that is #1.5 of the series and #3.5 The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, Of Silk and Steam will be published March 2015
Genre: Steampunk, Action, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: Third Person, multiple

Thoughts:

I’m a sucker for a good Steampunk novel.  I think it’s the inner scientist in me who loves these mechanical contraptions that come to life in the Victorian era (which the romantic side of me also loves). It’s a great blend of my two favourite genres to read: I just find as a whole the genre does a great job of keeping the action going while having great romantic stories. But what sets this series apart from it other books in this genre is the paranormal aspect of it–vampires. Twilight aside, I do like vampire novels (Vampire Academy anyone?) and this series is not Twilight by any means!

What I love about this series is that it isn’t overly complicated despite the many layers. I know it must sound daunting that there is steampunk elements AND vampire elements but Ms. McMaster does a great job in each book with refreshing you on what the Blue Blood world is so you always know what is going on. I found in Kiss of Steel that I quickly got used to the new terms regarding vampires and how their “vampirism” worked (let’s get real, every vampire novel has its own twist on the vampire and this is no exception).

I won’t lie–I admit that I read this book because I was hoping for a steamier steampunk read (no pun is intended). When I picked up Kiss of Steel, I had been reading more young adult steampunk novels and while I absolutely loved them, I wanted that little dash of maturity and romance that comes with an “adult” steampunk/romance novel. If you are expecting a book where the characters get it on within the first 50 pages, you will be severely disappointed. These books are BRIMING with sexual tension–great sexual tension that makes the wait worth it! More on that later though…

Which brings me to the characters–there wasn’t a single lead that I didn’t like (ok, perhaps Lena for a bit at the start of Heart of Iron but she really grew on me by the halfway point). All the female leads are strong, independent woman who don’t suffer from clinginess or lose themselves to their male counterpart. They kick some serious ass–especially Rosalind in My Lady Quicksilver. The males are definitely alpha but not in an overly unhealthy way that would turn you off (unless you like that–I don’t so this series gets bonus marks from me).

Now back to the sexual tension. While the books follow a series of chronological events, they all focus on different characters. The great part is that characters that star in the sequel books are characters that we have been introduced to before and in some capacity have seen them together in some sexually tense scene prior to their starring novel. This gets you super pumped for the next book–so make sure you have the rest on hand when you are reading! Also, we still get the occasional visit from past characters which is always awesome. I am so upset that I have to wait for Forged by Desire because the little slice we get in My Lady Quicksilver has me dying to read it!

UPDATED (November 25/14): I finally got my hands on Forged by Desire and it was worth the wait! I absolutely loved it but I think the only reason why I liked it so much was because I read the novella that is listed between My Lady Quicksilver and Forged by Desire. Technically, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace takes place 3 years before Forged by Desire and the other novels so it is a prequel of sorts; however, you should read it after My Lady Quicksilver but before Forged by Desire. Because the romantic leads in Forged by Desire are two people who have known each other for years and not leads that meet within their starring novel, there is a lot of assumed knowledge about their relationship. By reading the novella first, I felt like I better understood the sexual tension in the novel and enjoyed it all that more. Otherwise, I think I would have been frustrated with how their relationship progresses in the novel and felt like I was missing something.

As for the actual plot of the story, I loved the detective fiction spin to it. It made it a lot of fun to read and gave the book a different vibe than the other three novels. While not my favourite of the series, I still think it is a solid novel and fans shouldn’t be disappointed in it.

Of Silk and Steam is probably the novel I have been anticipating the most. Not only will the overarching plot line reach its own crazy climax, but I’ve been dying to see more of the male lead since his introduction in the first novel. March can’t get here quick enough!

Conclusion:

If you asked me to pick a favourite from the series, I would be hard pressed! I’ve enjoyed all the books so far in the series and they always meet my expectations. If you love romance, action, strong characters, steampunk and don’t mind a dash of the paranormal, GRAB THESE BOOKS! You will not be disappointed!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1); The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles #1) and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Kiss of Steel (from Goodreads):
When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking

Series Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

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Synopsis for Dark Lover (from Goodreads):
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams

breakdown

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Author: J.R. Ward
# of Books: 18 (View a full list here)
Complete?: No
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Adult
Heat Rating: Hot

thoughts

NOTE: As of October 8, 2018, I have only read the first four books in the series (up to and including Lover Revealed). The following review is based on the trends and commonalities I had seen after reading the first two novels. I will not be continuing with the other sequels in the series.

Why I Picked It Up:

This was one of those series that appeared everywhere I looked for books. Every time I logged onto Kobo to find see what was new, the Lover at Last cover stared back at me. For about two weeks, I looked away until my curiosity got the better of me and I had to search the book on Goodreads. I then learned that Lover at Last was book 11 of a romance series and one that was consistently rated as 4 out of 5 by 80,000 readers. Typically, that means it’s a good read because so many people can’t be wrong, right? I was also intrigued that a few of the authors I follow on Goodreads had also rated the series with high reviews. So, I decided to put the book on hold from my local library and soon Dark Lover was in my grasp.

The Concept / The World:

I will admit that the glossary of terms that graced the first couple of pages of my Kobo freaked me out. I like when authors have a glossary of terms about the world they have created–it helps me to remember what things are and provides a reference point that is easy to find later on in the book. But I was expecting this to be a typical romantic vampire read–ie nothing complex and a light read (kind of like Lynsay Sands Argeneau vampire series)–yet that is not what we get here.

This is definitely a vampire book for adults and not just because of the sex scenes. The world is dark, the characters are older and mature and the vampires are how people expect vampires to be (no glitter here folks!), blood drinking (though not human blood but other vampire blood), incredibly strong and good-looking creatures who can’t walk in the sun. Also, the vampires of the brotherhood are all alpha males–and by alpha I mean ALPHA. They are typical I-protect-what-is-mine men that apparently women readers love. I personally, find it a little creepy and annoying to some degree but I guess it works for a majority of the target audience. It isn’t enough to turn me off of the books completely though, it just makes me raise an eyebrow or roll my eyes at times.

The Characters:

What does turn me off is how the heroines act sometimes because of the males’ personalities. I am a feminist–I am all for gender equality and the like–I’m just not a zealous feminist so don’t think I have some supreme biased about this or am approaching it from only a single viewpoint. I just find that the women start off strong and then become a little idiotic in their actions. Like they know they should be afraid of this random stranger who suddenly wants to jump their pants and is everywhere they go and they are–at first. Then they end up giving into the sexy stranger less than 48 hours later. From what I understand of the world (based on the two books I have read so far) is that the males exude a chemical that gets both parties “excited” so the scientist in me goes, “ok, it’s basically a hormone reaction” but I still find it a little worrisome that these strong females swoon within two days. But, I digress, this is fiction and NOT real so I shouldn’t get too hung up on it 😉

The Romance:

Though I will say, I like how the relationships progress once they get passed that initial lust. I like stories where love heals and that seems to be the trend in these books. The redeeming thing is that these relationships progress enough to be something more than just physically chemistry which I appreciate.

The Plot:

As for the plot, I both love and hate the setup. The POVs alter between the heroine, the hero, other characters and the Lessers (who are the “bad guys”). I like the alternating POVs though it can get annoying when a particular storyline is cut up into pieces by a random Lesser POV–but it forces me to read ahead and before I know it, it is an hour later and I am no closer to putting it down ;). The “hate” part of this setup is the Lesser POVs. While I do enjoy seeing how the “evil side” works, I find that the pieces are a little dry and too long to hold my interest at times; especially when something exciting is happening with the main characters. I mostly skim those sections just to get on with the story though in some books they are more interesting than others. Overall, with these alternating POV we get a lot of insight into the multiple plot lines that are occurring simultaneously so there is rarely a dull moment in these books which is great.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Another bonus of these alternating POV is when they focus on the “secondary” characters in the novels. Particularly with book 2, Lover Eternal we get a bit of interaction between the hero and heroine (as well as a few other matches that will happen in the later books) who are set to take centre stage in book 3, Lover Awakened. I am so excited to read this next book that I think it is safe to say I am addicted to this series 😛

Do you Have to Read them in Order?

I feel it is important to note that this series is one that you could probably get away reading the books in any order, but I recommend that you try to read them in order to get the full experience. I think it just adds to the characters’ stories and understanding and it makes you excited to read what is going to happen your favourite characters in the later books.

overall

Based on the first two books, this series is starting to get really addicting and showing a lot of promise. Those who enjoy romance; dark, sexy and often tormented heroes; and want a “real” vampire world will enjoy this series immensely.

Read if You Like: alpha males, paranormal romances, vampires
Avoid if You: dislike erotica, paranormal fiction

similarreads

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau Series, #1)

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Series Review: Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

Series: Twilight Saga
Author: Stephanie Meyer
# of Books: 4 (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

There are also two novellas, Midnight Sun (#1.5) & The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (#3.5)

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Teen, Romance, Vampires, Paranormal, Love Triangles
Heat Rating: cool
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

I was in the middle of Grade 10 when I picked up Twilight. This was just before the Twilight Saga got really big and I was just beginning to hear about it. My friend had bought a copy so I decided to give it a shot.

I really enjoyed Twilight–I know, scary :O I actually reread it immediately after I finished it. I will admit that at this time, I wasn’t the reading junkie I am now, so I hadn’t read a “paranormal romance” book in a really long time. AND, I was in the target audience so of course it was going to appeal to me. I thought Edward was swoon-worthy, Bella was borderline irritating and the concept and plot was interesting. Sure, a glittery vampire is ridiculous but it is a fictional book and when it comes to paranormal fiction, I give a little more leeway to somewhat absurd concepts. The writing was nothing superb but it was easy to read and a quick read as well.

(FUN FACT: Many people “accuse” Vampire Diaries of being a rip-off of Twilight when in fact Vampire Diaries was published nearly 15 years earlier ;))

I have a theory about New Moon that I think most people who have read the series will agree with me on. Here it is: if you are Team Jacob, you love this book; if you are Team Edward, you can’t stand this book. Of course there are exceptions to this theory but for the most part, it remains valid. As an admitting Team Edward fan, I HATED New Moon. This is when Bella passes the border from irritating into the annoying-beyond. The simple way to sum up this book is as “depressing”. I don’t enjoy reading ~400 pages of mooning over a guy and that is all that we get. Oh, and let’s not forget the introduction of a love triangle–ugh.

I’m not sure if Eclipse if my favourite because it is significantly better than New Moon or because it has a plot and some action to it. Either way, this is probably my favourite of the saga (Twilight would be second). What I don’t like about this book is the character Edward becomes. The best way is to describe him is as a sissy–where did his backbone go?! I wish he would have fought a little harder for Bella instead of doing the “I love her so much that if it makes her happy to be with someone else, it makes me happy” routine he does here. It’s an ironic move on Edward’s part considering the effect this decision had on him in the previous, painful as the teeth-pulling work that is New Moon? Come’on Edward, we all suffered during that book and we know you are lying!

In my opinion, the series could have ended as a trilogy and I would have been satisfied. I get the distinct impression that Breaking Dawn is bonafide fan fiction. I seriously feel like every possible scenario fans discussed on a forum was thrown into this book and then published. It is basically just an extended (a very long extended) epilogue. It is also a whole lot of build-up to a massive action scene that doesn’t meet expectations. I think this was an attempt to have the series “grow” with its readers (like Harry Potter does I am told) but it just didn’t deliver. I was severely disappointed in this novel and it tarnishes my thoughts about the series as a whole.

As for the novellas, they are alright. Midnight Sun was originally going to be a full length novel from Edwards POV but it was leaked before it was finished. It’s cool to read it after you have just finished Twilight but it would be better as a full novel or just as key scenes. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner didn’t blow my mind but it provided an interesting perspective to the events of Eclipse. Neither of these novellas are needed to read the rest of the series.

Conclusion:

If you are a young teen girl (and perhaps some younger adults), you will enjoy this series but for the rest it’ll probably be a pass. There is nothing fabulous about this series BUT, I do credit Twilight for popularizing vampires again. I think without the attention it garnered, a few of my favourite book series (and TV shows!) wouldn’t be published or at least brought to my attention, so thanks!

Rating: 3/5

See what I though of the movie here

Similar Reads: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Darkside by Beth Fantaskey (Jessica Series, #1) and My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis for Twilight (from Goodreads):
Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite

Movie Mondays: Twilight

Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer | Movie: Twilight (2008)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover | Movie Poster

The Book:

Series: Twilight Saga
Genre: Teen, Vampires, Romance

Thoughts:

I actually enjoyed Twilight. Mind you, I was about 15 when I read it (read: target audience) and I hadn’t read too many books at that point. This was also just before it got really big too so not so many annoying fangirls. I thought the story was cute and I enjoyed the “paranormal” aspect of it. I have since read extremely better books, but when I initially read it, I did like it.

As I wrote in my series review of the series, I liked Edward as a romantic read and tolerated Bella. I thought the plot was a good blend of suspense, romance and action and while the writing is nothing superb, it was easy to read.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed it though, definitely not for everyone. Teens will probably get the most out of it so that would be who I recommend it to.

Rating: 4/5
Series Review: Full series review here!.

Similar Reads: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Darkside by Beth Fantaskey (Jessica Series, #1) and My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles, #1)

The Movie:

I was one of those book fans who didn’t like the casting choices for the movie. I thought the Cullen family was cast perfectly as well as the rest of the supporting cast. I liked Taylor Lautner as Jacob (it allowed me to understand visually why Bella was always torn between Edward and Jacob :P). However, I don’t like Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart.

I will keep this rant short but they weren’t who I pictured for the leads in my head when I read the book. Robert isn’t my vision of Edward. Actually, I wanted Steven Strait (The Covenant, 2006 & Magic City, 2012-) to be Edward (I understand that some people wanted him for Jacob, but I think he is a better Edward. I think what fueled this idea in my head was the role he plays in The Covenant was very similar to Edward’s. As for Kristen, she looked the part but I could never stand her acting. Did you ever watch the movie Catch that Kid(2004)? Well, Kristen was in it and I couldn’t stand her in that. My friends and I like to play a game when we watch the movies called “what expression is Kristen trying to do now?” Most of the time the answer is constipation.

But, to the actually movie. As far as book to movie adaptions, this nearly copies the book word for word. There are a few pieces of artistic licence but for the most part, it follows the book. I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking it was amazing and then going to rewatch it (yes, I saw it twice in theatres) and laughing hysterically throughout it. The acting isn’t great, the graphics are a little hokey but the budget wasn’t that fantastic for it so I can let it go.

So, which is better: the book or the movie?

In this case, the winner is the book . The book is a touch less cheesy than the movie. Though I give props to the movie for sticking to the book’s story.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for Twilight (from Goodreads):
Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite

Trailer:

Single Sundays: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Mel is horrified when Francis Duvarney, arrogant, gorgeous, and undead, starts at her high school. Mel’s best friend, Cathy, immediately falls for the vampire. Cathy is determined to be with him forever, even if having him turn her could inadvertently make her a zombie.

And Mel is equally determined to prove to her BFF that Francis is no good, braving the city’s vampire district and kissing a cute boy raised by vampires as she searches evidence in this touching and comic novel

Review:

I went into this book thinking it was going to be a fun read about a tough girl braving the world of vampires in a satire. I’m not sure why I was expecting this because as I reread the summaries from Goodreads and my local library’s collection, I really should have got the clue that this book wasn’t for me.

I didn’t find this book very funny. I don’t think this is a good sign because I laugh at everything–and I truly mean everything. To give it credit, I think I did chuckle at a few things but overall I was left disappointed in the humour aspect. I expect books written as satires to have a little ironic humour in them and I didn’t think this one did.

Also, Mel drove me crazy. She annoyed the crap out of me and I found it hard to continue reading. She’s rude and selfish and unnecessarily violent. Francis is weird and I wanted to give Cathy a good slap. The only character I enjoyed was Kit because I thought he was quirky and probably delivered on the “satire” part of the novel. (After I read this, I guess the satire part shines in the characters because they are everything I hate about angsty teen vampire romance novels–so bravo!).

The plot was ok and I guess I see the irony (*coughcough* Twilight) but there was nothing that really wowed me about it.

Conclusion:

This book was a miss for me. It fails to deliver as a satire and has unlikeable characters. Thankfully, it was a quick read.

Rating: 2.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Teen, Romance, Vampires, Satire
Recommended for: 15+
Similar Reads: Nightlight by The Harvard Lampoon

Series Review: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for City of Bones (from Goodreads):

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #5; Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Books: 6 (Full List Here)

The Prequel Series is the Infernal Devices Trilogy; There will be a sequel series released in 2016 (The Dark Artifices); There is also a spin-off series, The Bane Chronicles — More Info on all here

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Magic, Romance, Paranormal
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: March 2007 – May 2014
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

thoughts

I had a friend in high school who was really into this series but I didn’t actually decide to read the series until first year university. This worked to my advantage because by this time, the first three books of the series had been released and I didn’t have to wait for them to be released. Which was FANTASTIC because these books are a non-stop train of awesome and you want to stay on board for as long as possible!

No, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed these books and they were hard to put down!

The series was originally supposed to be a trilogy and you can see that in the first three books. There is a definite story arc that builds in City of Bones and City of Ashes and concludes in City of Glass. City of Fallen Angels was intended to be a spin-off of sorts but it actually begins a new arc for all the characters in the previous books. The story isn’t as strong as the first 3 books but by no means is it weak! Clare does a fantastic job of creating a probable storyline using the events of the previous 3 books in the last 3 books so fans will really enjoy books 4-6.

There is literally something for everyone in these books. There are creative and constantly twisting plots that will draw you into this story. Because the POV (though it is 3rd person) shifts amongst multiple characters there are multiple plots going on. However, it is really easy to follow what is going on. However, I recommend that you get as many of the books as possible when you start to read because you will want the next novel ASAP.

The cast of characters in this series is also amazing. There are characters you love and love to hate. There are relationships to cheer for and ones that make you cringe. There are awesome bromances and friendships–so let’s just say the characters really make this series and they a big reason this series is so addicting.

Why people might not like this series?

If you don’t like paranormal creatures (ie. vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc.) you won’t like what is going on here. The characters would also be another reason. As I said before, there are some you love to hate. I don’t particularly like Clary–my like of her fluctuates depending on what she is doing in the novel–but if you find you don’t like a character, that can be a big turn off for a book and I get that. My argument would be that you don’t like everyone in everyday life so you can tolerate those characters and focus on the ones you do like (like Alec :P).

The other argument I see people make is that it takes storylines from other series, therefore it isn’t original. Yes, it has similar stories from other books/movies/etc. but what doesn’t nowadays? When you study major English works you quickly discover that a vast majority use text references to other works–and you know what, there are actually admired and respected for the link! I would love to argue this point but to sum it up it is my opinion that Cassandra Clare has blended various story elements together to create a fantastic world with fascinating characters and plots! This world may not be for everyone but it works for me and I love it!

updates

–August 2, 2014– Book #6: City of Heavenly Fire

I just finished reading the last book of the series, City of Heavenly Fire and what a roller coaster that has been! As a huge fan of this series I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. Out of the last three novels in the series, this one was by far the best. It had the perfect blend of a fast, interesting plot but enough “character moments” (basically fan service but not the dirty kind) to satisfy longstanding fans of the series. Overall, I’m really impressed with how this last half of the series concluded and can’t wait for the next spinoff–The Dark Artifices–to begin. (And in case your wondering, we do get to meet the next set of characters for the next series and it really sets up an interesting stage for their time here).

When To Read the Infernal Devices?

I just want to say a quick word about the Infernal Devices Series and when you should read it. I read it right when it came out, which is when the first 3 books of the Mortal Instruments had been published and I continued to read them as they came out. This worked out well I would say because the prequel series is directly linked to the events of the last half (3 books) of the Mortal Instruments. So while you can read the Infernal Devices before you even read Mortal Instruments, I would almost wait until you read City of Glass to start it. But definitely read it before the last book, City of Fallen Angels or else you won’t appreciate some of the scenes and events we get because you aren’t familiar with certain characters and stories.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

overall

This is one of the best series I have ever read. While reading I’ve felt every possible emotion. I’ve cried, shrieked for joy and threatened to toss the book across the room throughout this series. I’m so addicted to this series it’s crazy. The only negative thing I have to say is that I hate waiting for the next one 😛 (But if it means that I have to wait for awesomeness then that is what I will do)! Give it a shot if you like paranormal action series, but if you don’t enjoy the first one, City of Bones, you won’t enjoy the rest of the series so it would be my advice for you to stop.

similarreads
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices, #1)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey Series, #1)

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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

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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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