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Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

elusion book

# of Pages: 378

Time it took me to read: 5 days

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 54 pgs

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Life should be great for Regan Welch. The product that is the life’s work of her father is about to hit the nationwide market. Elusion is an immersive virtual world that allows the user to Escape for up to an hour in a variety of different settings. You can be anything you want in Elusion, and the best part is, you can’t get hurt, and you can’t die. Regan’s very best friend, Patrick, is the programming genius behind much of the product, and his mother is the CEO of the company that manufactures it. Everything would be perfect, if her father were still around. Six months before the national release of Elusion, Regan’s father died in a freak accident, and now Patrick has risen to be the face of Elusion.

 

There are those out there who seek to stop Elusion from releasing around the country, and Regan will do whatever it takes to defend her father’s legacy. Until she meets Josh, an old friend of Patrick’s who has his own stakes in the fate of Elusion. Together they discover that Elusion might be dangerous. Very dangerous, and Regan must decide fast who she can trust to help her find the truth.

 

I’ve read a couple of books recently that made me wonder if I’m losing my touch. I’ve typically been pretty good about choosing books that I really like based on the blurb and the cover, but I read a lot of duds this summer. I sort of thought that Elusion was going to be another one of those duds, but I was pleasantly surprised.

 

This story takes place in a highly polluted, near future version of our world. Which is a pretty unique experience, I haven’t read a near-future dystopia in a long time, if really ever. All of the technology in this story is super advanced, but based in technology that readers can connect to from our modern day.

 

Regan starts out as a pretty naive, but loyal and likable character. As evidence begins to stack up against Elusion and it’s creators, Regan is slow to accept the fact that those she loves most might be at fault, but she has a strong moral compass that makes her determined to find the truth, no matter what.

 

This is something that I’ve been noticing more since I read The Black Witch, characters that start out specifically as products of their environment, but then grow out of it. I’m liking the idea more and more, because it seems realistic to me. Regan seems like a realistic character to me. No more “badass” than the average teenage girl. And while I do love reading books about powerful YA badasses, sometimes it’s nice to feel a strong relatability to a character.

 

The plot was pretty engaging, but I was never racing to get through it, which is what keeps the rating at a 4 rather than something higher. This is definitely the book that I’ve liked the most in the last month, so that’s something. I’m super in it for the sequel.

 

So, to recap: a lovely, three dimensional, relatable protagonist, a relatively engaging, but not totally off-the-charts plot, and a nice, near future dystopia world. All excellent qualities in YA.

 

The only downside isn’t really a downside, I guess. I just know that YA can be so much more than this, if you know what I mean. This book doesn’t transcend genres. Don’t get me wrong, I still firmly believe that all novels are written for everyone: there is no such thing as being too old for a genre, etc. But this book isn’t really anything more than what it claims to be: a book written for young adults to be enjoyed primarily by young adults. Like this isn’t a book that I’ll probably be recommending to any of my more discerning reader friends, because they aren’t into YA anymore because they’re “adult adults” rather than “young adults”. Books like Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, and The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins, those are YA, sure, but those are books that can reach beyond readers ages 14 to 19. Elusion, while I liked it alot and would definitely recommend it to lovers of YA, and dystopia in particular, isn’t something I’d recommend to a general audience.

 

Sorry, the end of this review turned a bit ranty. To end this post, I’m going to try make a goal for myself to mix up my reading a little bit, because I think I’ve recently gotten a little stuck in the genre, and I’m going to try and read some things that are a little out of my comfort zone. You might not see it come up on this blog right away, but hopefully you’ll see some changes in the content of the reviews that I write…you know, eventually.

 

If you liked Elusion, try: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

  Matched by Ally Condie

  Wither by Lauren DeStefano

  Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Reviews

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

crewel

# of Pages: 357

Time it took me to read: 5 days

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 51 pgs

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

 

Adelice has a gift. She has the power to see and weave the threads that make up everything in her world, a gift that means she will be called by her government to be a Spinster. Though being a Spinster means a life of glamorous parties, decadent food, and unparalleled privilege, it also means that she will have to leave her family and her home behind forever. But being a Spinster isn’t what it seems, and when Adelice arrives at her new home, she knows that she has to make allies, and fast. Because in a world of politics and desperate bids for power, Adelice might not be able to trust anyone besides herself. And if she wants to protect the few people left that she loves, she has to make sure that she has more leverage than the people who are trying to control her.

 

 

First off, I can’t shake the feeling that this book reminds me of the book that I read last week. It’s super weird, the premises aren’t at all the same, the style isn’t particularly similar, and the characters don’t have the same characteristics at all, so I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s because I enjoyed them about the same amount.

 

Author Gennifer Albin wastes no time jumping right into her almost fantasy seeming world, though later it evolves more into a dystopia/sci-fi type universe. Normally I try and talk about some of the good parts of the book first, but I really can’t get past the biggest issue I had with this book, and that was that there were too, too many details. It is very clear that Albin had a clear picture in her head when she was writing this book, and I think that’s fantastic. I also think that she didn’t do the most amazing job transcribing that vision onto the page. Sometimes I had to go back and read a passage two or three times to try and understand exactly what just happened, and every once and a while I still couldn’t understand it after a few passes, so I just moved on. Albin’s concept of Adelice’s whole world of Arras being made up of threads of time and matter that the Spinsters can weave and manipulate is fascinating, I just think that I got lost along the way in the sheer number of details and Albin’s complex way of describing them.

 

Something that I also thought was interesting was that in the beginning of this story, I thought this was going to be an interesting gender power swap kind of book, where the women actually have all the power. And while that is technically true, women are the only ones that have the capabilities to be Spinsters, it is actually the opposite in terms of who holds the power in this world. Because while the women do the important work and wield the power of weaving the threads, the men have the true power in this story. They keep the women placated with fancy parties and beautiful gowns, while the male politicians make all the real decisions.

 

Adelice figures out the power structure pretty quickly, to her credit, but can’t do a whole lot initially to fight it. She rebels in her own smalls ways, and gets punished fairly severely for it. It doesn’t stop her, though, and I admire that kind of tenacity in a character. In fact, as protagonists go, I don’t have a lot of problems with her. Sometimes it takes her a while to figure things out that I, as a reader, understand a lot quicker, but I guess I understand that some things can’t be revealed until later for plot reasons. But I guess that if I were writing this story, I would have made things slightly less obvious so it didn’t make Adelice seem totally oblivious for not seeing them sooner.

 

I’m definitely going to pick up the sequel pretty soon here, because the end of this book left me with a lot of questions. I have high hopes that Albin will reign in her writing style a little bit in the second book, and that I’ll have a bit of an easier time understanding the “science/magic” behind the power that Adelice possesses.

 

This book was definitely a brain candy kind of book, and I think that it’s books like this book, and like Incarceron, that give YA a bad name among those who don’t know better. Don’t get me wrong, I think that brain candy books like this are just fine, for entertainment’s sake. I enjoyed reading this book and Incarceron, but they certainly weren’t perfect, and I don’t think that they were particularly substantial, and perhaps that’s why I was getting a kind of de ja vu while reading Crewel.

 

YA is my favorite genre, and I feel like day by day, the genre itself is becoming more and more cutthroat in who gets published, because YA has got to be one of the most highly monetized genres in publishing. I’m into it, because I have a lot of feelings about why YA is the most important genre because it is written for an age group where people commonly fall out of reading for fun, particularly in this age where digital media is on the rise and becoming more and more accessible. Okay, end rant. But if you ever want to have a conversation about this kind of stuff, hit me up! I have a lot of opinions and would love to hear yours!

 

As much as I hate to have this kind of thought process going in, I have a feeling that my book for this upcoming week is going to leave me with much the same feeling, but here’s to hoping that I’m wrong and it’s spectacular. Stay tuned!

 

If you liked Crewel, try: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

After the End by Amy Plum

Reviews

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron

# of Pages: 442

Time it took me to read: 5

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 63 pgs

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Incarceron is a prison unlike any other. It is a conscious, living organism that keeps its prisoners locked away. There are no windows and no doors, and no one goes Outside, ever. Because everyone is born in Incarceron, and they die there, too. But Finn knows that he came from Outside, even if he doesn’t have any real memories from being there. But with the help of an extraordinary device, Finn is able to contact Claudia, who claims to be Outside, and that her father is the Warden of Incarceron. Finn and Claudia must work together to piece together the mystery of Incarceron before anyone can thwart their plan to Escape, because many obstacles stand in their way: the Warden, the Queen, and even Incarceron itself.

 

Hi everyone, sorry that it has been a minute since I’ve posted a review. This was the craziest moving week of my life, but the dust is finally settling and I have a little time to sit down and write this review. But even though my life has been totally cuckoo, I have still been reading! I’m just a little bit backlogged. But I I should be back to my regular schedule of posting my reviews on Sundays this coming Sunday.

 

But for now, here is the review for Incarceron. I just have to start out by saying that this was a pretty funny book for me to be reading as I’m starting my new job. Because Incarceron is alive, but it’s a machine: It has some organic parts, but it’s basically artificial intelligence gone wrong. And I now work as technical support at an artificial intelligence software company. Luckily, all our AI does is help people sell cars, not keep them trapped in an inescapable prison.

 

Anyway, this book was super unique and interesting conceptually. And its uniqueness really made it so that this story was very unpredictable. Which is nice, as I like to be kept on my toes. I really liked Claudia as a character: whip smart, skeptical, and independent. All traits I like in my female protagonists. Honestly, I thought that Finn fell a little flat as a character in comparison. Finn felt more defined by the side characters around him, which I was far more interested in, anyway.

 

The book was basically split into two different narratives: Claudia’s story, which took place Outside, and Finn’s story, that took place inside Incarceron. And while I thought that Claudia’s story was quite fast paced and interesting, Finn’s was dull in comparison.

To summarize, in my opinion this story was unique and had a lot of potential, but was not as well executed as it could have been.

 

I know it probably seems like I didn’t like it very much, I’ve been focusing a lot on the negatives, but I did have fun reading this book, which is why it still earned a solid 3.5 out of 5 from me.

 

Unrelated, but I got a total of $75 to Barnes and Noble for my birthday recently, so I’ll be making a trip there coming up soon, and I’ll have lots of new and amazing books to review. Thanks again for being patient with my wonky schedule. Like I’ve said in other posts recently, once my life straightens out, I’ll be doing my reviews regularly, and I should be doing more daily stuff on this blog throughout the week. So stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

 

If you liked Incarceron, try: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

The Broken Hearted by Amelia Kahaney

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Reviews

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa/Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

# of Pages: 393

Time it took me to read: 5 days

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 56

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

(Statistics above are for The Forever Song)

 

Hey everybody, just a quick life update. Like I mentioned last week, I started a new job this week, and it’s been a big challenge, so while I did read a book this week (The Forever Song), I really don’t really want to review the last book in series I’ve already done two reviews on. I’d rather review a book that’s unique. So that’s why I’m going to talk about Three Dark Crowns, because that was a book that I read just before I started this blog, and I’d like to review.

I’ll say a few things about The Forever Song first, just to sort of wrap up the Song of Eden series. I think that The Forever Song was sort of the most predictable of the three, but not in an entirely bad way. Just the two or three main plot points of the book I definitely saw coming, but as a reader I was satisfied because I like happy endings and strong character arcs. And all of these characters certainly grew and progressed and became more than they were in the beginning. And the whole story had good resolution, which I like. No loose ends, which always bugs me when a series ends, even if the author wants to argue that it’s more “realistic” that everything isn’t wrapped up in a neat bow. In my opinion, a vampire dystopia doesn’t need to be particularly “realistic”. I do recommend this series overall, I think that if you want to read a vampire series that is unique in it’s dystopic universe, it’s a good choice. But if you want the best of Julie Kagawa, the Iron Fey series for sure. Also she’s got a new series about dragons, but I’m not super into dragons, so I probably won’t pick them up (at least not until I get some sort of confirmation that they are excellent).

 

For generations in the Queendom of Fennbirn, three royal sisters, triplets always, are separated at a young age, knowing that one day they will grow up and have to attempt to kill each other to take the crown as their own. Each sister has her own unique form of power, one a poisoner, one a naturalist, and one an elemental. They are raised by foster families that teach them to use their power, hoping that one day their sister will be Queen and rule them all. For generations the poisoners have ruled Fennbirn, but there are whispers that this will be the year a new power will rise. Fate, family, and prophecy affects each sister differently, but doesn’t change what they all know to be true. There is one crown only, and the last one standing at the end of their sixteenth year will be Queen.

Anyway, now I’ll talk a bit about Three Dark Crowns, but I’m going to be pretty brief, because I did read it a couple of months ago, and because I’m running short on time and energy. I appreciate the patience of anyone who reads my blogs weekly, because I know these last couple of weeks have been a little sporadic on timing and quality of blogs. But I am human, and I can only really do what my life allows right now. But when things slow down, I promise I’m going to do more daily post stuff, maybe even more than one review a week. I’d love to start a throw back Thursdays for book recommendations, and maybe a compilation of recommended books by genre.

Sorry, back to the point. Three Dark Crowns was a book I ended up liking a lot more than I thought I was going to. I’d rate it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The fantasy world that Blake has created is immersive, and the powers that the characters possess are original and capable of moving the story along in unpredictable ways. Original books such as this are usually far less predictable, and this book was no exception. One of my favorite parts is that I didn’t like any sister more or less. I didn’t want one of them to win, or one in particular to lose. All three sisters have their strengths and weaknesses as characters. It’s difficult, because as a writer I think that it would be fabulous to actually have two of the sisters die and one win supremacy, because even though that’s the premise of the book, I kind of  think that these sisters will find a way to break the cycle of sororicide (the killing of one’s sister). As a reader I hope that will happen in the next book, because I like all of the sisters, and I don’t want any of them to die in the end.

I think that the best part of this book is the power that they give women. All of the rulers of Fennbirm since the beginning of time are Queens, not Kings, and the women tend to have more magic in this realm. All of the main characters are women. The men, if not merely plot devices, are obviously all secondary counterparts to the women of this story. In fact, I think that if all of the male characters were taken out of this story, not a whole lot would change. The romantic subplots of this story are few, and clearly secondary to which woman is going to take power.

The one reason that I took a star away is because it starts slow. Even though the premise is interesting from the start, it really didn’t grab me until about a quarter of the way in.

Okay, anyway, I promise that next week I am going to have a fresh book for you, on time, that is a full and comprehensive review. And more good stuff will be coming for this blog, like I said above. Sorry again for the inconsistency, I just have to get my life on track. But just remember, even though I’m currently working six day, 48 hour weeks and getting ready to move, I still have time to read a book a week, and you do too.

P.S. Normally I’d put an “If you liked” down here as well, but since I read and talked about two very different books this week, I’m not going to put anything. Which feels lame, I know, but I promise it’ll get better. Please stay tuned!

 

Reviews

Now I Rise (And I Darken) by Kiersten White

Now I Rise And I Darken

 

# of Pages: 459

Time it took me to read: 5 days

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 66

Rating: 5 out of 5

(Author’s Note: the review below is actually for both Now I Rise (the book I read this week), and And I Darken, it’s prequel, which I read last year. There are some light, unfortunately necessary spoilers for the first book in this review, but there wasn’t a lot I could do. If you absolutely cannot abide by spoilers of any kind, I’d skip this review.)

 

In a world that continues to crumble and darken each day, two siblings must rise. Lada Dracul has chosen to leave her only brother, Radu, and the man she loves, Mehmed, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. She has known since she was a child that her native country of Wallachia is her destiny and that she belongs on the throne. With a group of ex-Ottoman soldiers at her back, she leads the charge to take the throne she knows she deserves. But the roads are paved with blood and blades, and Lada must make decisions she never anticipated to emerge victorious.

 

Radu was a vulnerable child, always the opposite of his fearsome sister. Now that she is gone, his loyalties lay only to Mehmed, the sultan he loves but knows he can never have. Given a dangerous mission outside the Ottoman capital, Radu travels to Constantinople with his loyal wife Nazira, who use each other to shelter the true nature of their affections. Their companion is Cyprian, the charming cousin of Emperor Constantine, and during Radu’s time in the city, he must abandon everything he has ever known in order to survive.

 

Hi guys, sorry this is posting late this week. I started a new job yesterday and things have been hectic for the last little bit.

 

Anyway, this book feels a little bit tough to review. Only because it’s a sequel, and I read the first book over a year ago, so it was never reviewed on this blog. I really don’t want to post any spoilers for the original book, though I kinda had to do it in the blurb above. So gosh, I guess I’ll give a quick summary of the first book below, and then talk as much as I can about the sequel so that it makes sense.

 

The first book, And I Darken, is a historical fiction piece that turns Vlad the Impaler, one of history’s most famously bloodthirsty characters, into a girl, Lada. It tells the story of her and her younger brother, Radu, a gentle soul, as they are forced to leave their native land of Wallachia to be royal hostages to the Ottoman Empire. This first book tells of the coming of age story of Lada, Radu, and their friend, Mehmed, a son of the sultan by a concubine, unlikely to ever see the throne. With Lada’s ferocity, Mehmed’s cunning, and Radu’s personality, the three are a deadly team that do what they must to survive in the beautiful but dangerous court of the Ottoman Empire. But hearts will be broken and loyalties tested when it turns out that three children who were once a team grow into adults who have very different paths.

 

I’m not doing a particularly good job of really describing what these books are about,  but I’m really trying to be vague and non-spoilery. These books a set in a rich, well-researched historical background, but are so fantastical it’s almost impossible to believe that much of the historical narrative, at least, is true. I have to admit, this isn’t a historical period that I know much about, but I had a morbid fascination with Vlad the Impaler when I was about fourteen and did a lot of research on “real life” vampires. I wish I could remember the name of that great book I read that had short histories on real vampire myths and historical figures that were feared as vampires, like Vlad the Impaler and Mary Bathory.

 

The book I’m actually trying to write about, Now I Rise, is just as well written and researched as its predecessor. Lada is a wickedly fun character to read about, as bloodthirsty and deadly as her historical inspiration. She somehow manages to maintain her humanity, however, which is an astounding feat. Radu is sensitive from the start of his life, but grows useful politically as he ages. In Now I Rise, Radu becomes trapped in the city of Constantinople during the Ottoman siege. Radu has to abandon all his morals and qualms and sensitivities if he is to survive. Each must learn to think like their sibling, which Radu manages with some success, and Lada tries, but struggles with. Anyway, not only those two, but all other characters, such as Mehmed, Constantine, Cyprian, Nazira, and Bogdan are rich additions to the story of the Dracul siblings.

 

The only thing that I have to say against this book, and it’s not even necessarily a negative, is that it’s really heavy. I found the sequel easy to read, but that was only because I knew the characters from the first book. And I Darken is dense with historical references and backstory, but it’s all very interesting and important, it just took me a little bit to get through because, as someone who a) doesn’t read a lot of historical fiction, and b) knows very little about this period in history, it was a lot.

 

But I absolutely recommend this series, 100%. It is a wonderful reimagining of a fascinating period of history. It’s a rich, heavy, decadent bite of literature, but absolutely worth the slightly slow, foggy feeling that accompanies it.

 

Sorry again about the delay, I hope to be timely this week. See you next time!

 

If you liked Now I Rise, or And I Darken, try: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Reviews

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

the black witch

 

# of Pages: 601

Time it took me to read: 3 days

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 86

Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Elloren Gardener has a lot to live up to. She is the only granddaughter of the Black Witch, the savior of her people. Elloren has been raised by her gentle uncle and her two brothers out in the countryside, away from the politics of the Western Realm. But when her aunt, an official in her country’s government, comes to collect her and take her to the University, the world will suddenly become much bigger and more complex. Because though Elloren has always known she has no magic, people expect certain things of her. Elloren struggles to learn the difference between what her people tell her is the right thing, and what she feels in her heart is the right thing. History is set to repeat itself, because a new threat is rising, and a new Black Witch must rise to face it. Elloren must make alliances fast, because she can’t do it all on her own. But all alliances come with a price, and Elloren must make the decision to do what is easy, or what is right.

 

Oh my gosh, I love, love, LOVED this book. I know I said Carry On was my book of the year for 2017 so far, but I think this one might have it beat. I don’t know, I can’t say, I’ll decide at the end of the year, but I absolutely devoured this book. I read a six hundred page book in three days, and honestly, I read probably about 350 pages of it on the last day when I had the most time.

This book is the pure essence of what fantasy should be. It is packed with magic, dragons, elves, and all other manner of creatures. But it is also, without a doubt, the most relevant and relatable fantasy book that I have ever read.

When I first started reading this book, I was immediately sucked into the world and how it worked. It is clear that Forest put a lot of effort into creating her sometimes recognizable, but totally unique take on fantasy creatures, and into her world’s rich history, including unique religions and belief systems for her different cultures, and politics and rituals that are totally distinctive and absolutely riveting.

However, though the world had me sold from page one, Elloren frustrated the living hell out of me. Why? Because she is quite possibly the most naïve and ignorant main character I have ever read. Like I was irritated with her almost to the point of being enraged. Because this book is about politics, history, and racism. Like modern, legitimate racism, fitted to the fantasy world. Elloren is a part of the race, named after her distant relative, the Gardenarians. These are a race of mages that are extremely religious and conservative, but are the only race that is capable of wand magic. And their holy book teaches them that they are the superior race because of this, and that they are the rightful leaders of the Western Realm because they have a long history of being oppressed and they overcame that (thanks to the help of Elloren’s famous grandmother, the Black Witch).

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get over how little I thought of Elloren as a character, but then I had a breakthrough. Her ignorance is brilliant and necessary. In fact, I think most main characters should be as shaped by their environments as Elloren is. She is raised by her kind hearted uncle and her sweet, loving brothers, so she’s a good person, at her core. But she has also been raised to believe that her grandmother was the savior of all of her people, a saint who was a martyer to the cause of bringing the Gardenarians to their rightful position as the superior race of the Western Realm. Their religion even tells her that the Gardenarians are the righteous children of the Ancient One, so of course she’s going to believe what she’s told. She’s never had an experience that told her a different side of the story. Until she goes out in to the world. I don’t want to spoil anything, because I think that ANYONE who is a fan of fantasy should read this book. Because it is so relevant to our society. Like, Elloren has to learn all about historical bias, which is something that most people I know could stand to learn something about. History in our schools is taught with such a bias toward the American side of things, it’s insane. It’s a real problem in our world, and it’s a real problem for Elloren.

Seriously, seriously, I cannot rant and rave enough about how IMPORTANT this book is. Because this book is a viciously fun read that totally has applicable lessons for our every day life, but it doesn’t preach them or shove them in your face. Like I remember getting about two hundred pages in, reading a certain part of the book, looking up and saying out loud to no one, “Oh my god, this book is about RACISM!” And it is. Like I could honestly sit here and summarize for hours why this book is a triumph in that regard, but I’m going to try and talk for a while about the many other reasons why I loved this book.

The cast of characters was so enormous, and each character was so different. Typically I think that books that have this many relevant characters can get a bit bogged down. Like, how am I supposed to remember all these names and who everyone is. And there are a few moments in this book where I kind of felt that way, but the thing is, they’re all important! No two characters in this book serve the same purpose, and that’s an insane success. All of the people who surround Elloren in this story have a very specific purpose, something that they teach her. Sometimes it’s obvious, but often times it’s subtle.

I’ll use a non-spoilery example. Echo Flood is a young Gardenarian who goes to school with Elloren, and who Elloren’s aunt wishes her to befriend. She is married (or “wandfasted”) already, dresses conservatively, and comes from a good family. At first, Elloren really likes Echo. She feels like Echo is nice to her when few others, even those of her own race, aren’t. But then Echo pulls away from Elloren, and she wonders why. She later overhears her saying something along the lines of “well, I just couldn’t be around her anymore because she insisted on hanging out with half-breeds”. She means a childhood friend of Elloren’s, a Gardenarian who has an unusual coloring of his hair that means he might have impure blood.

Now, Echo is not that important of a character in the overall scope of things, and there are other characters that give much more obvious examples of the racism in her world, but even I liked Echo in the beginning, until her true colors showed. She was a truly well written character that really was just one of the many nails in the coffin of the racism lessons of this book.

Just to quickly summarize my super ranty points: amazingly unique and detailed world, incredibly engaging religions and political systems, main character that is so singularly ignorant and a total product of her culture, huge cast of amazingly different and important side characters, well-paced from the start, and plot that is super complex and interesting. And of course, how totally woke this book is. Honestly, I’d give it higher than a 5 out of 5 if I believed in that sort of thing. I have never read a book like this, and all I want is more! But I have to wait until next year, and I’m depressed about it.

Please, please, please read it so I can talk about it with people. If you can’t afford to buy it, try using your local library. I used it though so much of my childhood, but haven’t used it so much in my adulthood, but I’m getting back into the habit. As much as I like to own books, I’m also pretty poor, and going to a wonderful world where books are free and they have every book that I could even conceive of, is pretty amazing. Wow, they should be paying me.

Anyway, I’ll sign off now. If you’ve read this book, please send me a message or post a comment because I know literally nobody else who’s read it yet and I’m dying. See you all next week!

 

If you liked The Black Witch, try: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill

Poisen Study by Maria V. Snyder

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

 

 

 

Reviews

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

the eternity cure

# of Pages: 399

Time it took me to read: 3 days

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 57

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Allison has become the monster that she always feared: she’s a vampire, and there is no way for her to control her need for human blood. But she has promised herself that she’ll never lose her humanity. She delivered the humans she was travelling with to Eden, their safe haven, and now she must go after her vampire sire, Kanin, who’s distress calls to her in her dreams. 

During this thrilling sequel to The Immortal Rules, Allison will find unlikely allies and run into shadows from her past. But in the vampire world, Allison will discover that it is often difficult to determine who is the hunter and who is the prey.

 

Hi everybody, so this is my first review of a sequel to a book I’ve already read, so this will be kind of interesting. This review may technically contain spoilers to The Immortal Rules, so if you are wanting to check that one out, maybe skip this review for now. You’ve been warned.

Anyway, I really liked this book, a lot more than I liked the first one. And for me, that’s always what I’m looking for when I read series. I look for books that get better and better as the series goes on, and so far Kagawa is delivering.

At the end of the last book, Allison had to leave her humans, including Zeke, behind in Eden so she could go look for Kanin, her vampire mentor, who had been kidnapped and was being tortured. I was really hoping this book wouldn’t go too long without having Zeke come back, and all I’ll say is I wasn’t disappointed.

A lot of my problems with the first book were resolved in this one. I feel as if Allison was a lot more consistent as a character, she wasn’t as all over the place as she was in the first book. Also, the story picked up a lot more quickly in this one, there wasn’t as much backstory to trudge through. Though, to be fair, in this story a lot of the stuff that I assumed was fairly useless backstory became pretty relevant to the plot in this sequel, so even though it was super heavy on the background in the first book, much of it came into play during this one.

This book continues Kagawa’s trend of writing a unique world of dystopia. It’s typical in the way that monsters outnumber the humans, but unique in that the main character is one of the monsters, and in this book, Allison never tries to deny that she is a monster, which I think is some really great character development for her.

My favorite thing about this story, I think, is that there is this one character, Stick, from Allison’s past, that used to be her friend. He goes through this crazy transformation and basically becomes her enemy, and I thought that by the end they would maybe reconcile at least, if not end up working together. But by the end, there was no redemption arc for him at all, and it was totally brutal and vicious, but I thought it was a daring choice and I liked it a lot.

I guess I should probably justify why this book isn’t getting a full five stars, and, you know, it’s kind of difficult to put into words. I think it’s just because this book, even though it really is paced much better than its prequel, is still a little bit slow for me. It doesn’t grip me and keep me flipping pages rapidly. Like I could basically put that book down at any point during the climax and not be dying to know what happens, and that’s one of my favorite things about reading.

In the end, I’d absolutely recommend this series. Even though the first book didn’t get a totally favorable review for me, I think that you should definitely give it a try, particularly if you like either dystopia or are looking to read a very unique vampire story. And I can’t wait to read the last book in the trilogy, I’m sure you’ll hear from me about that soon.

Typically, I’d post four other similar books that you should read if you enjoyed The Eternity Cure, but it would basically be the same ones I recommended for The Immortal Rules, so I’m going to skip that this time.

If you missed my review for The Immortal Rules, click the link and it’ll take you there. See you all next week!