Category Archives: Witches

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
ADD TO GOODREADS

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
Advertisements

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!

Review {9} Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures
By: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Additional Books in the Series: Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, Dream Dark, Beautiful Redemption
Edition: Hardcover, 563 pages | Published: December 1st, 2009 by Little, Brown and Co.
Obtained: Own | Recommend: Borrow/Buy Used
Categories: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural, Witches, Urban Fantasy
Read From: September 20th – October 3rd, 2012
Rating: 3 Stars

What the Back of the Book Says: There were no surprises in Gatlin County. 

We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.

Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

There was a curse.

There was a girl.

And in the end, there was a grave.


Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.


Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.


In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


My Thoughts: I’ve had this book on my To Be Read list since I purchased it way back in December 2009 when it was first released. With the release date for the upcoming Beautiful Creatures movie getting closer, I decided it was time to finally read it.

I was sucked into the story pretty quickly, and must admit this is the first male-narrated story I’ve read in quite awhile. Ethan Wate is a decent enough character, one who wants nothing more than to get out of the tiny town he’s lived in his whole life – and who’s ancestry goes back to Civil War days. The entire southern town is stuck in a vicious cycle of reliving history but Ethan’s so over it. So just when he is at his lowest, in steps Lena Duchannes, niece to the town recluse, Macon Ravenwood, and the girl who jump starts his heart.
The world building is impressive, and I was easily able to visualize Gatlin, with it’s rich history and vibrant characters. I found the high school characters, namely Savannah, Emily, Eden, and the basketball team to be vicious, nasty people who taunted and tortured poor Lena. They were nasty, vindictive and conniving and not in the entertaining, Gossip Girl way. Each time I would read a scene taking place in the halls of Jackson High I would cringe. It’s sad that these close-knit small towns treat outsiders, but I can see that happening. I grew up in a very small town, my graduating class being under one hundred students, it wasn’t often that we had a new kid in town, and it may have taken them a bit to feel out the students and choose where they best fit, they were never outwardly shunned. To see this happening in a book was shocking and left me hoping that it was exaggerated for the story’s sake – and that this doesn’t happen in real life!
I devoured the book rather quickly, however the last hundred pages were slow for me. I felt that there were too many secrets kept that were continuously brought up in almost a taunting way to the reader – like, ‘ha ha we know what’s going to happen and we are going to keep telling you that secrets are being kept but you can’t know them! – it didn’t make me dislike the story at all, but it did drive me nuts occasionally. Also, Lena’s family is voluminous in number, each with their own special powers which got to be a little confusing. They were almost lost on me, trying to keep track of who was who and could do what, etc. Again, it didn’t pull from the overall enjoyment of the story, but did feel jumbled at some parts.
The magical aspect and the different types of magic (Light vs Dark; and what each family member/Caster can do) is very intriguing and I was fully engaged in learning more. I’m hoping to get more individualized and detailed pictures of what Casters can do in the remaining books to come in the series.
There weren’t very many surprises that blew me away, but there was enough suspense and small twists to keep me fully engaged from page one through the end. I absolutely adore Lena, and look forward to continuing her story in the second book in the series (which I’ve already gotten from the library!) since there are lots of loose ends left for her (and Ethan… and Gatlin, for that matter) to deal with, which I’m very curious to see how they tie up.
Additional Info:

Advertisements