Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Paranormalcy

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Published: 2010 by HarperCollins Publishing
Version: Paperback
Obtained: Bought

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

First Sentence:
'Wait – did you – You just yawned!' The vampire’s arms, raised over his head in the classic Dracula pose, dropped to his sides.”

Wow. I just finished this today. After picking it up yesterday evening. I canNOT believe how much I loved it!!! I sort of thought I was sick of all this paranormal stuff, but this book is AMAZING.

First off, I would just like to mention that the cover kind of totally misled me. I thought it would be all dramatic and dark and mysterious, full of brooding and angst.
WHICH IS WHY, I did NOT want to get it. Then I picked it up, read the back, and realized that it sounded kind of awesome, so I bought it. NO REGRETS!!!!!!

Evie has lived her life in the IPCA, for which she goes on missions to identify and then capture paranormals (werewolves, vampires, hags, trolls, etc.). She’s quite bored of being there, and desperately wishes she could have a normal life, one like the students on Easton Heights, her favorite high school drama show. Suddenly her life gets turned around by the entrance of Lend, a shape-shifter (even though NO ONE ever refers to him as that in the entire book), and the knowledge of something evil attacking the paranormals, and she thinks it might have something to do with her.

Things I loved:

  • The pacing.
    I just KEPT READING! There was never a dull moment, and I was just swept away into Evie’s life.
  • Evie.
    Her love for pink completely overshadows mine, her sassy and energetic personality was refreshing and entertaining, and her emotions always made sense. I never felt like she wasn’t real, like she was just heading off in some direction I never saw coming. The character was consistent, but dynamic. So different from the typical paranormal-genre heroine. (She almost reminded me of a more girly Sophie, from the Hex Hall trilogy)
  • Lend.
    Seriously. ONCE AGAIN. Can we talk about how great it is to have a nice, happy, slightly awkward, reassuring, GOOD guy as the love interest? I mean, him and Evie were just so stinkin’ cute together! I love it!!! And their “powers” work SO WELL with each other.
  • The bad guys were legit bad guys. Like, I was sitting here worried for the characters and worried about this “Fire-Girl” coming for them all. The fairies completely gave me the creeps and I was right with Evie in NEVER trusting them.

I just….I loved it.

I’ve already requested Supernaturally from my library, and I can’t wait to jump back into Evie’s world.

Content Warnings:
NO CURSING!!! Another blessing!! They just said “bleep” instead, it was a bit of an inside joke. There was kissing and that’s about it!

5 Pigs
I’M GIVIN’ IT A FIVE!!! I can’t really pinpoint anything I didn’t like. It was Great!!!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten

Title: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten
Author: Kevin McGill
Published: 2012 by Aero Studios
Version: Paperback
Obtained: Received from Author*

A long time ago in a world not so far away... Senior stagecoach driver Yeri Willrow thought he was performing a simple drive and drop for his mysterious passengers, until foul-breath red-eyed creatures attack the stagecoach. He soon learns that his passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope. Yeri suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the merfolk or they will fall to the peril of the creature most foul. Sometime in the near future... Nick lives in a time when one can zip from country to country in mach-speed hovercars, extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, and have every whim taken care of by their ever faithful nannydrone. Nick hates it. Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesnt belong. That is when he hears the voice of a woman: The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all. Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him: "All you've ever heard about Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you could smell it. We called this city Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward."

First Sentence:
'Sweet Huron!' Yeri swore . . . well, judging by his mother’s standards.

This start to a new series by Kevin McGill is a sci-fi adventure. The story takes place in two settings, Earth and Moon. On Moon you see the merpeople (known as merrows) discussing vague problems and monsters and explaining their grave danger to this one guy Yeri. On Earth, you have this boy inventor Nikolas who is desperate to get off Earth. These two little plotlines then mash together as Nick learns about Moon and other secrets.

Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure how much to expect from it because it’s short (180-ish pages) and it’s kind of geared towards middle grade, but I found it to be highly captivating and exciting. The story moved along quickly so I was never bored or wanted to stop reading.

The writing was wonderful as well. I admired the word choice, the way characters were presented, and the flow of the whole book. Kevin McGill is obviously a fan of using sounds in his writing (whimpers, screams, yells, etc.) and he doesn’t just say, “Bill screamed.” He writes, “AAAUUUHHH!!!!” There were a multitude of screams, yells, and other exclamations used. I feel like that fits really well into the aspect of Kevin’s writing I liked the most. All the dialogue was very real. Everything was phrased to sound like something a kid would actually say. Many books put words into characters mouths that don’t match the character, and that’s not what Kevin did at all. He knows how fourteen-year-old boys talk and he writes that way.

My biggest problem with the book was the MASSIVE amount of facts thrown at me with little to no explanation. Obviously this fictional world is complex and detailed, and the author has everything figured out somewhere else. But I could only glimpse a sliver of this complex world through the book, and I just wish that the world-building could have been less about telling me a little of everything and more about really explaining a lot about a few things. I realize this is the first short book in a quick-release book series, but the details could have been dispensed in a more understandable way that didn’t overwhelm the reader. Add to this the sci-fi elements of strange names, creatures, and settings, and it’s just too much new information. But if you don’t skim, and you don’t expect all the answers in the first book, you can easily have an enjoyable reading experience.

There are a lot of little things I loved about this book: the way he found to introduce most of the Earthen characters, the hilarious personalities of Nick’s parents, Grand’s character, the autodrones, Yeri’s cluelessness, etc.

I highly enjoyed this book, and will definitely get the sequel, as this one ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger (great twist at the end!).

Content Warnings: Nothing

4 Pigs

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*Although I received this book for free from the publishers/author, I didn’t give anything but my completely honest review of the title, as expected.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review: The Name of the Star

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: 2011 by Penguin Group
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

First Sentence:
(From Prologue) “The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins.

Okay. Maureen Johnson is a genius. I am now completely sucked into this series and her Scarlett series. Although, how dare she interrupt Scarlett’s series to start a new one? Except this one is awesome too.

So. Someone is killing people the same way Jack Ripper did and it’s freaking people out (with good reason). Unfortunately, right as this starts, Rory D. moves to her new school in London. This small-town girl is already having to deal with difficult schoolwork, new English customs, and the stress of moving, and suddenly she is also the only person who saw a mysterious man the night of one of the killings. What is going on? Why can only she see them? Hmmmmm?

So I wouldn’t say this book had me freaked out, but it was scary. The Ripper-esque killings were disturbing and the entire atmosphere of the book felt very overcast and foreboding. Basically it was completely different than anything I’ve read by Maureen Johnson so far. And it was great.

I loved Rory’s stories about her Louisiana relatives and that she didn’t really fit in but she made herself make friends. Her roommate, Jazza, and her friend Jerome were great too. I also loved Boo, Stephen, and Callum. Every character Maureen Johnson writes is so fleshed out and captivating, it would be really difficult to hate her books.

I love this book and can’t wait to see where she goes with this series (but don’t forget Scarlett!).

Content Warnings: Some language and kissing, and the violence is a bit disturbing.


4 Pigs

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