Category Archives: 2013 Release

REVIEW {35} THE FIERY HEART by Richelle Mead

THE FIERY HEART
SERIES: Bloodlines | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Bloodlines #1, The Golden Lily #2, The Indigo Spell #3, Silver Shadows #5 (Release Date: 7/29/14)
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: November 19th, 2013
EDITION: Hardcover, 438 pages
ACQUISITION: Own
CATEGORIES: Bloodlines, Richelle Mead, The Fiery Heart, 5 Star Rating, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Witches, Review, Love Triangles, 2013 Release, 2014 Read
RATING: 5.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.47/5.00
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

MY THOUGHTS: *MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS* Considering I have absolutely loved every book in this series so far, as well as the entire Vampire Academy series, there was no doubt in my mind that I’d absolutely adore this latest installment in the Bloodlines series as well.
Can I just take a minute to state the obvious, and tell you all what the best part of this book is? I can do it quickly in just three words. Ready? Sydney and Adrian. They are full steam ahead with their relationship – which we all know is totally not okay by Alchemists standards – but really, the heart wants what the heart wants and Sydney’s wants, needs, has to have, Adrian.
This book follows suit with it’s non-stop action and “Whoa did that just happen?” moments. We have all the regular players, plus a new dhampir named Neil, whom Jill and Angeline both are crushing on. But Neil’s heart lies in a recently-restored-from-Strigoi named Olive. And besides – Angeline can’t stop thinking about Trey (Yep, that Warriors of Light Trey), and Jill and Eddie are both interested in each other, but Eddie can’t get over his feelings of not being good enough for a Princess. Luckily, Jill takes the first step towards showing Eddie she doesn’t care if he’s “just” a dhampir. 
The main theme of the book, is Sydney’s continuing to help Marcus and the rebel ex-Alchemists, while juggling her job in Palm Springs in the midst of hiding her relationship with Adrian from her Little-Sister-Turned-Alchemist who is disgustingly loyal and obedient to their controlling Alchemist father. Sydney’s magic use and training goes even further, when she joins a coven and starts working on her own formulas to make the ink Marcus needs to break the Golden Lily tattoos that Alchemists are given to control them.
Everything is going great – Sydney’s able to hide her love for Adrian, keep Zoe under wraps, and make sure everything’s running smoothly. That is she thinks everything is going great. Unfortunately, it’s the person she loves nearly as much as Adrian who betrays her and causes her entire world to come crashing down.
I loved every minute we got to spend with Sydney and Adrian together. They are the textbook definition of opposites attract, and their dynamics work so well together. I usually do not like dual-narration in books, but I think Mead was able to wonderfully give Sydney and Adrian their own voices, and gave us the ability to see things from both of them – as well as what was going on with one when the other wasn’t there. They both have their fair share of struggles and inner demons carried over from the previous books, but one challenge we experience with Adrian, is his choice to start taking medication to help control Spirit, after he is left to suffer the consequences of a “Spirit Hangover”. He fights within himself to justify that the meds will help, and in true Adrian fashion, begins beating himself up when he needs Spirit and isn’t able to access it because of the pills. One of my favorite Adrian-isms is his “Escape Plans” for himself and Sydney.
We see more of how controlling the Alchemists are when we spend time with Zoe. Sydney sees so much of her former self in her younger sister, and hopes she can help Zoe see that the Alchemist way of life isn’t the best choice. Unfortunately, Zoe is under her father’s mind-control, and ultimately causes the destruction of Sydney’s life in Palm Springs, and that of everyone she loves and cares about. With the details of their parents divorce, we can see love isn’t something the Alchemists tend to really consider being important. 
The Fiery Heart leaves us at a gnarly cliffhanger, which is Mead’s M.O. We have Sydney in a “jail” cell being held captive by the Alchemists, who are ready to re-educate her; and Adrian and Jackie Terwilliger who are desperate to save her. I cannot wait to read Silver Shadows, number five in the series to see if Sydney and Adrian are able to find their way back to each other.
SIMILAR READS: Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires #15) by Rachel Caine | Revealed (House of Night #11) by P.C. Cast | The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa | Oblivion (Nevermore #3) by Kelly Creagh | Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L Armentrout
Happy Reading!
Laura

Review {28} Boundless by Cynthia Hand

BOUNDLESS
SERIES: Unearthly #3 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Unearthly #1; Hallowed #2
AUTHOR: Cynthia Hand
ACQUIRED: Borrowed | Library
EDITION: Hardcover, 438 pages
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: January 22nd 2013 by HarperTeen
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Romance, 3 Stars, Cynthia Hand, HarperTeen, 2013 Release, 2013 Read, Review
RATING: 3.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.18/5.00
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.


As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.


In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the first two books in this series – didn’t love them, definitely didn’t hate them; so I guess I just plain liked them. I picked up the third book in the trilogy when I saw it at the library the last time I was there, since I hadn’t purchased either of the other two books (and didn’t need to purchase #3 to complete my set) I decided to grab it. 
I was immediately transported back to Wyoming, and into the life of Clara Gardner, her brother Jeffrey, her “aunt” Billy, her friend Angela, and her two love interests, Tucker Avery and Christian Prescott. I had remembered pretty much everything from Unearthly and Hallowed (Which is a miracle!) and what I had forgotten about was triggered when mentioned or referred to in Boundless.
I felt that this final installment in the series was slow paced, and a little boring at times. I remember in writing my review for Hallowed, saying how I felt that time went by too quickly. It did again in Boundless, each chapter sometimes being weeks or months in the future, yet still dealing with the actions of the previous chapter. I found that it felt a little disjointed to me. Also, the characters seemed to accomplish little in these large gaps of time. I think that the characters themselves remained true to who they were in the previous books, but each has grown and changed in their own ways – which I enjoyed reading about.
One thing that I absolutely hate when a series ends, is when it feels too “Happily Ever After” at the end. Sure, the characters suffered over the course of the three books, but I feel like when I closed Boundless, I was like, “Oh, okay. So that’s how it ends.” I wasn’t happy, or sad, I really didn’t feel anything. It just is what it is. Which kind of disappoints me just a bit. I love endings where you feel these crazy rush of emotions, but this one just didn’t do it for me. 
I believe that Hand has interesting concepts of angels, Hell, the hierarchy of the angels, and basically her  ideals of what the contrast between Heaven/Hell, God and Fallen Angels are. Religion is one of those topics for me that is so touchy and so easily boundaries can be overstepped and turn either preachy or overly-religious to just unbelievable. I think that Hand did a good job keeping a decent balance to where I think the book is enjoyable by those looking for the angel/religion theme and those that enjoy reading about Good/Evil and angels without the religious aspect, like me.
Overall, I think the series told a good story with likable characters and creative themes and ideas that added up to three decent books that I would definitely recommend for it’s enjoyment factor. It may not have wowed me, but I still enjoyed the ride.
SIMILAR READS: Everbound by Brodi Ashton | Asunder by Jodi Meadows | If I Should Die by Amy Plum | Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton | Goddess by Josephine Angelini
HAPPY READING!