Category Archives: Razorbill

REVIEW {31} BOOK CLUB REVIEW {1} FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes

FALLING KINGDOMS
SERIES: Falling Kingdoms #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Rebel Spring #2 [Releases: 12/3/13]
AUTHOR: Morgan Rhodes [Michelle Rowen]
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: December 11th 2012 by Razorbill
EDITION: Hardcover, 412 pages
ACQUISION: Borrowed | Library
CATEGORIES: Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic, Romance, 3 Stars, Razorbill, Review, Book Club Book, Falling Kingdoms
RATING: 3.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.82/5.00
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The gripping New York Times  bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens.
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:
Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

MY THOUGHTS: So for our first book club meeting, we decided to read this fantasy book by adult author Michelle Rowen, whom I have not read before. I started this book before I left for BEA (at the end of May) and when I got back I was so into The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, that I never picked it back up… until it was chosen for our book club book for July!
I am glad that I ended up finishing it because it turned out to be pretty good.
I saw on GoodReads that someone had referred to it as; ‘Fantasy-Lite’ and I believe I agree with that. While definitely a fantasy, I do not think it was a high fantasy, or anywhere near the level of Game of Thrones, which it is compared to.
The world that Falling Kingdoms takes place in is called Mytica. Mytica is divided into three kingdoms; Auranos, Paelsia, and Limeros, and also The Sanctuary. While it’s told in multiple points-of-view, I feel like Cleo, the princess of Auranos, is the main character. The book quickly throws you in the midst of the events that set up the theme for the rest of the story, and while there were times that I felt it moved just a little slowly, for the most part the pacing was fine.
Since most fantasies do have multiple narrators, I feel that this one could’ve been stronger in each narration. While I felt I was being told a story, save for a few parts, I didn’t feel a ton of emotion. If I want to laugh, cry, or throw a book across the room because I’m so mad at what just happened, then I know it’s an amazing book! I did find myself getting a little worked up at certain parts, but again, it just didn’t wow me.
This book has a lot going on, and I felt that the different characters didn’t have unique enough voices to really stand out and stand apart from each other for me. I didn’t have a favorite character, but would choose Jonas if I had to.
I also had issues with the world-building. I got the differences in the kingdoms, and could tell what was different between them, but I didn’t really see the world in my mind. I couldn’t really imagine what it was completely like, and found I was hoping for just a little more.
Overall, I did enjoy the story for the adventure and fantasy aspects, and I will read the rest of the books that come out in this series. I believe it has potential to get really good and I have a feeling the characters are going to grow and change a lot in the next book.

SIMILAR READS: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst | The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke | Venom by Fiona Paul | Poison by Bridget Zinn | The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Happy Reading!

REVIEW {31} RETRO REVIEW {5} Frostbite by Richelle Mead

FROSTBITE
SERIES: Vampire Academy #2 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Vampire Academy #1; Shadow Kiss #3; Blood Promise #4; Spirit Bound #5; and Last Sacrifice #6; SPIN-OFF SERIES: Bloodlines | BOOKS IN THE SERIES:Bloodlines #1; The Golden Lily #2; The Indigo Spell #3; The Fiery Heart #4
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLISHED: April 10th 2008 by Razorbill
EDITION: Paperback, 327 pages
ACQUISITION: Library; Need to Own/Wishlist
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Vampires, Romance, Supernatural, Richelle Mead, Book 2 in Series, Vampire Academy Series, Razorbill, 4 Star Rating, Wishlist, Review, Retro Review
RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.37/5.00

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose… 

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed Vampire Academy, and when people started telling me that Frostbite was even better, I was psyched to read it… which I did, immediately after finishing book one. The most appealing aspects of these novels are the incredibly abundant amounts of action, and the insane emotions you feel from Rose. Rose is such a complex character, even though you seem to get her at face value, and you think there’s just maybe two sides to Rose, you then finish book two, and you are like, nope! Rose is Rose, regardless of who she’s interacting with; but she handles situations so differently. Every reaction that Rose has is so emotionally charged, and when she’s put to the test she always manages to kick butt! Everything about this book was addicting and delicious, and I can see myself adding the entire series to my personal library, and will be rereading these too, because the re-readability is very high.
The story line as well is so captivating, it literally grabs you and doesn’t let go. I would literally find myself doing things with the book clutched in my hands – cooking dinner, cleaning the house, etc. I did not want to put it down. There are momens where I was literally shocked at what Rose was put through, and awed at how amazingly she handles things. If you haven’t read this series, and you love vampires – you need to go get it right now. Like. Right. Now. Immediately. Go.
SIMILAR READS: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine | Jealousy by Lili St. Crow | Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide by Michelle Rowen | Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz | Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Happy Reading!

REVIEW {30} RETRO REVIEW {4} Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

VAMPIRE ACADEMY
SERIES: Vampire Academy #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Frostbite #2; Shadow Kiss #3; Blood Promise #4; Spirit Bound #5; and Last Sacrifice #6; SPIN-OFF SERIES: Bloodlines | BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Bloodlines #1; The Golden Lily #2; The Indigo Spell #3; The Fiery Heart #4
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLISHED: August 16th 2007 by Razorbill
EDITION: Paperback, 332 pages
ACQUISITION: Own
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magic, Review, Razorbill, 4 Stars, Vampire Academy Series, Richelle Mead
RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.20/5.00

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

MY THOUGHTS: I went into this not really thinking I’d like it; but when I finished, I realized that I actually really enjoyed it! Like any first book, the beginning is a bit slower as it fills you in on everything that is going on, and explaining all of the characters, and story lines, etc.  I was even kind of annoyed with both Rose & Lissa when they first got back to the Academy. I had trouble connecting with Rose because I was reading her one way, and then we start to learn about how she used to be when they were previously at the Academy, so it was conflicting for me. But once I was into the bulk of the book I started seeing how kick-ass Rose Hathaway is! And Dimitri – YUM! The tension between Rose and Dimitiri is wonderful! And Christian, oh, Christian! Love the bad boys!!

What I liked as well is that there was ALWAYS something going on. There were very few, if any dull, slow moments. It was a very nicely paced story, in my opinion. I love the development of both Rose and Lissa’s characters throughout the story; and the ending was pretty much perfect to lead us into the second book. The world that Mead has created is wonderful, and one you can easily visualize and spend lots of time in. 

[NOTE: This is actually an old review that I originally posted on my previous blog in 2011. I’ve since read and loved the entire series, and will be posting the reviews for the rest of the series in upcoming weeks.]

SIMILAR READS: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine | Betrayals by Lili St. Crow | Night World by L.J. Smith | Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide by Michelle Rowen | Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

Happy Reading!

Review {29} The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

THE INDIGO SPELL
SERIES: Bloodlines #3 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:  Bloodlines #1, The Golden Lily #2 The Fiery Heart #4
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
PUBLISHED: February 12th 2013 by Razorbill
ACQUIRED: Borrowed | Library [Need to Own]
EDITION: Hardcover, 1st Edition, 401 pages
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Urban Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Witches, Review, Razorbill, February 2013 Release, Richelle Mead, Bloodlines Series, Vampire Academy, Five Star Rating
RATING: 5.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.49/5.00
WHAT THE BACK OF THE BOOK SAYS: In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.


Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

MY THOUGHTS: As expected, I abso-freaking-lutely LOVED this book. Seriously, Vampire Academy & Bloodlines have to be at the top of my ‘Favorite Series’ List. Just when you wonder where the next book in the series is going to take you, you’re suddenly transported into action and adventures you never thought possible. 
I was getting kind of aggravated with Sydney in this book, considering she was fighting her feelings for Adrian, yet leading him on. But, being Adrian, he knew she would eventually come around, and told her that he would love her “from afar” until she realized that she’s totally in love with him. Let’s just say by the end of the book I was happy with where their relationship is.
The Indigo Spell finds us back in Palm Springs and back in the lives of Sydney, Jill, Eddie, Angeline, and Adrian. The book opens with the wedding of Sonya and Mikhail, and then sweeps us back to the west coast. Sydney is able to track down the elusive ex-Alchemist, Marcus, and is surprised to find out who he is, and the group of people he’s involved with. Marcus asks her to gather information for their group to help them someday take down the Alchemists, and Sydney agrees. Marcus also offers her the chance to break her tattoo, so that she cannot be compelled by the Alchemists. Intertwined in this, Sydney is still learning magic with Miss Terwilliger, and fighting her feelings for Adrian.
One of my favorite things about Richelle Mead’s books, is that there really are no slow parts. There’s pretty much something going on all the time on every page. There is such a vast array of characters too, that she wonderfully weaves their sub-stories into the main plot. She is absolutely amazing as an author, and I even find myself wondering if she would ever do another spin-off from Jill’s point-of-view. I’d definitely read it!
One of my favorite things when reading, is to experience the protagonist’s growths and changes along with them. The Sydney Sage we met back in the Vampire Academy books, to the Sydney here in the 3rd book of the Bloodlines Series are so different. The important things that make her who she is are still there, but she starts to question herself in this book. Who am I? What am I doing? And luckily, she figures out she is the person she is supposed to be. It’s okay to love who your heart desires, and to want better for not only yourself but those around you. Sydney is such a wonderful, caring, loving person that it sometimes gets in the way of making herself happy. Luckily, she’s starting to realize this.
There are basically three main worlds in this series that Mead has to intertwine- the vampires & dhampirs, the Alchemists, and then the magical world that Sydney’s finding herself a part of. I guess maybe Marcus’s group could almost be a fourth world. Wait – a fifth – the Warriors. Sheesh! And to keep these all interesting, fresh, and working in a way to involve all of them is quite a feat. I can’t even think of anything else to say except to just gush over how freaking AMAZING this series is!
I am super stoked for The Fiery Heart. I literally want that book now! I’m so curious to see what happens and where our characters end up – especially with the cliffhanger we get at the end of The Indigo Spell... 
SIMILAR READS: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa | Fall of Night by Rachel Caine | With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent | Revealed by P.C. Cast | Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Happy Reading!