Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Summary (from goodreads): 
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. 

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Rating: 4 stars

My Review: 

Angelfall is about a girl named Penryn living in a post-apocalyptic world with her mother and wheelchair bound sister. Her dad is out of the picture (I don't know where the heck he is) and Penryn struggles to keep her little family alive. The world is now full of the "angels of the apocalypse" (they have nothing to do with God) and the modern world we know today has shattered. 

So when Penryn rescues a wounded angel, I was like, "Girl, what are you doing? Sure he's hot but oh look, there goes your sister!" Penryn's little sister, Paige is carried off by the warrior angels the wounded angel was fighting with. Naturally, Penryn yells and screams at the wounded angel when they fly away with her sister. (That was a little unnecessary. It was your choice to rescue him!) 

Anyways, Penryn returns to her senses soon enough and decides to nurse the angel, Raffe, back to health. Of course this was no pure-hearted act, she just wanted him healthy enough to beat the information out of him. Just kidding. 

Like I've said before, I'm enchanted with awesome, courageous heroines and Penryn proves herself to be one. She doesn't give up and forces Raffe to help her find her sister. The road is dangerous, full of bloodthirsty angels, gangs and other bad stuff. But Raffe is there to protect her, right? Nope. 

This girl's fighting moves are my favorite part of the book. Ms. Ee describes her as a girl of average height yet she can bust out some serious moves. Penryn is also pretty street-smart so many times when she's in a difficult situation, she makes the right decisions. Fighting someone? Don't got a weapon? Use a set of wings to pretend you are an angel. Yeah. Pretty. Awesome. 

Raffe is a beautiful man. Or angel. Either way, he's a beautiful specimen. The way Ms. Ee describes him makes me want to drool. He's also courageous like Penryn but in a quiet kind of way. The Silent Hero. Sigh. 

Anyway, this book was pretty good. It has action, romance, fighting, desperation and all the little goodies. It's a dark book so you do have scenes with blood spurting. If you're not into that, you should still read it. You can flip past those parts.  

All in all, I give this book a four star. There were awesome fight scenes and cute moments between Raffe and Penryn but I sometimes found Penryn a little annoying. The scene where she kicked Raffe for his little buddies (not buddies, they were beating him to a pulp) because her sister got carried off? That was NOT Raffe's fault. He can't help it if you go rushing in, abandoning your sister to save him! There were just these little parts that I didn't find as funny as Ms. Ee wanted to. However, she does redeem herself with some clever decisions and courageous thoughts. 

 P.S. One thing you should all know about me is that I am a very picky reader. There are some books that when I flip through the first few pages, I sigh and I think, "What is this author doing?" I'm judgmental as f*ck. Sorry. 

Anyway, read this book! It's pretty awesome! Amazon


Susan Ee is a USA Today bestselling author of the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy, ANGELFALL, WORLD AFTER, and END OF DAYS. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages, and her short films have played at major festivals. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

Sign up to hear about her next book at www.susanee.com or follow her on Twitter @Susan_Ee.

(PPS Let me just say right now that many of these books I have read in the past. However, I do go back and read them again so that my memory is pretty fresh. However, after my summer rush is over, I will get to reading the new books!) 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Summary (from goodreads): 

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Let me just say right here and now...that THIS BOOK IS THE BOMB!!!! (cue firework noises) 

When I first picked up The Immortal Rules, I was like, "Oh, okay. Ms. Kagawa wrote this." By this time, I had already devoured her Iron Fey series and was completely in love with the characters. So I open the book and BOO-YAH! I see it is about vampires. 

Now let me tell you something about books about vampires. You got the Twilight saga, the Vampire Diaries series, etc. Some of my friends love Twilight and I acknowledge them for that. However, I am not a vampire gal fan. Before you guys jump me, let me just say I respect all of you who read the vampire books listed but you won't find me panting to get a hold of these books. 

So you can imagine how surprised I am that Ms. Kagawa had written a vampire book. And because it is the amazing Ms. Kagawa, I found myself opening the book and reading the first pages. In my head I was wondering: Can she pull this off? Can she create a kickass, fantasy world full of crazed vampires and humans trying to survive? 

The answer: HELL YES. 

This woman has done a spectacular job with this book. So good that I even did a book talk on it for my English assignment. And when I do a book talk on a book, you know it means something good. :) 

The book is about a girl named Allie Sekemoto who lives in a dark, future world where vampires rule. (I never thought the phrase, "vampires rule" would ever pass my lips.) But it happens. The world is now a faded shell of what it used to be with deserted cars and abandoned houses everywhere. Humanity has fallen and now the supernatural has taken over. 

There are a few cities left in the world and they are run by vampires. No humans live outside because the world is overrun with rabids, these hunch-backed monsters that will tear you to shreds. The surviving humans all live in the cities but here's where things get complicated. There are two types of humans who live in these cities. They are the Unregistered and Registered. Registered humans are allowed to have food, water and shelter but ONLY if they give their blood to vampires on a monthly basis. They are the ones treated like cattle. Blood cattle. 

Then you got the Unregistered. The humans that live on the edge of the cities that do not share their blood with the vampires. They are not allowed food and shelter--they have to find it on their own. Serious consequences arise if you are caught stealing. 

Our main character, Allie, is an Unregistered. The one thing I love most about her is how strong she is. Not just physically (she does have muscles) but she is mentally robust as well. She laughs in the face of danger and does what is necessary. She is street-smart and cool and I want to be her best friend. 

But of course, things go awry and on one such hunt for food, Allie is bitten and becomes a vampire. From then on, she becomes the supernatural and hates herself for it. Then, like the summary above says, she has to leave the city, the only home she knows. 

I don't want to give away too much but this book is a heart-pounding, relentless, action-filled journey. You are literally there with Allie, fighting alongside her against the rabids and other dangers. And gosh...don't even get me started on the world-building. Some authors can make you feel like you're right there, in that dark world of theirs. Julie Kagawa is one of them. She builds an entirely different vision of Earth with the five senses and the result is incredible. 

Last thing I'll say is that there IS romance, peeps. It is slow building and you may feel like, "Gosh, when is she going to get with him?" but it happens. I also love that this book is not completely focused on the love interest but Allie herself. Her internal dilemmas. Her self-hatred. Her uncertainty about what type of vampire she is. It is really nice to see her struggle with this (I know, this sounds sadistic) because I love seeing inside the minds of my favorite characters. And Allie is definitely one of them. 

READ. IT. It is a great book and don't judge it because it is about vampires. I almost made that mistake. 

Buy The Immortal Rules on Amazon! Or get a closer look on Goodreads!


Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn't getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Legend by Marie Lu

Summary (from Goodreads): 
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

4 stars 

My Review: 
There are a few dystopian books that are way up there on my list. For example, Divergent and Insurgent are up there. As is the Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre. One thing that I really loved about this book was the switching point of views between Day and June, the two main characters (aaanddd...dun, dun, dun...the two love interests). From the very beginning, we've got action speeding us through the book and that's also something that I really liked. Lu's ability to thrust us right into action and the lives of the characters is impressive. Back to the plot. 

So like the summary says, June and Day are from opposite worlds in this big government called the Republic. One is rich and the other comes from the slums. So it makes sense that they should never meet right?  Nope. When June's brother is murdered, June sets out to avenge his death. Guess who the main suspect is? 

Ding, ding, ding. It's Day! June and Day soon meet and it's in a beautiful clash that makes my tummy tingle. Right from the start, June feels something for Day and vice versa but they refuse to admit it which is kinda adorable. :) I'm not going to give away too much of the book but it's a pretty great book. To switch between two characters with different personalities and ideas is a hard thing to do. I commend Lu on doing a nice job with showing June's wariness and closed off personality. 

Another thing I really enjoyed is the setting. You got this contrast between the poor and the rich and the schism between them. The tension is strong as each resents the other. Though Lu did a great job with world building, I would've liked to see more vivid descriptions because that would've, in my opinion, strengthened the book. 

Also, for the romance between June and Day, I really liked the pace it went at. With some books, you have the characters falling in love immediately and others, where it NEVER PICKS UP. Here, we get a slight buildup but not too slow as the mystery of Metias's death is slowly revealed. Which is great! We can all fall in love...together. (I don't know. Don't judge.) 
Lastly, Metias's mysterious circumstances is slowly unravelled. We never really get to meet him but I like how well Lu shows us piece by piece the circumstances of his murder. It keeps questions flowing. Who murdered him? Why? And what did they want to do in the grander scheme of things? 

All in all, I enjoyed Legend. It was a fast-paced read and I read it in about three hours. I have read the other books in the series as well and I may blog about them, too! Keep a look out! 

You can buy Legend on Amazon!


Marie Lu (www.marielu.org) is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, as well as The Young Elites. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin's Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Paladin by Sally Slater

Summary (from goodreads): 
Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one. 

But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing. 

Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his. 

As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors. 

A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart?

My rating: 4.5 stars

My Review: Alright. This is going to be a long one. I have many things to say. Good things because this book is INCREDIBLE. 

World-building? Check. 
Strong female lead? Check. 
Hot guy with awesome hair? Love interest that isn't actually a love interest? Swords and knives and daggers? Check, check, check. 

I am a voracious reader. I devour books day and night, sometimes reading into the early hours of the morning. I've read tons and tons of books. But this book...this book is one of the best YA novels I've ever read. Three cheers for Sally Slater! 

She has done a wonderful job. 

Okay, now that I've seriously praised this magnificent book, let's talk plot. As the summary above kindly states, Paladin is about a boy...who is actually a girl. At first, when I picked up the book, I thought, "Uh-huh. Another Mulan-ish book." Nope, it's so much better than that! 

Sam is the daughter of a duke with dreams. She doesn't want to be cooped up at home, watching the babies and cleaning up their puke. She wants to be out there in the world, fighting the demons that exist in her kingdom Thule. She wants to be a Paladin, a demon fighter. 

However, all Paladins are male. There is no such thing as a female Paladin because in this kingdom, females are inferior to men. Sexists. 

So Sam, being the strong, awesome gal she is, decides that she wants to become a Paladin. She dresses up like a boy and heads off to train to become a Paladin. The one thing I love about her throughout the book is how strong she is. How determined she is. This determination is what sees her through the many dangers and obstacles she faces. There are reasons for why she ultimately makes the decision but you'll have to read the book to find out! 

Paladin school is where we meet the other main characters in the book. Braeden is a half-demon who is filled with the need for revenge against the demons. Tristan Lyons is a Paladin and he becomes the trainer of both Sam and Braeden. 

Okay, these boys are hot. Not only are their bodies amazing in the book but they have such good hearts. Braeden is a total sweetheart and underneath the scary appearance, he's a marshmallow. ^_^ As for Tristan, he is kind and just and half the time I was reading, I just wanted to hug them hard. 

Anyways, Sam and Braeden become formidable warriors just like Tristan. When they are sent on a mission by their commander to scout out a rival demon fighting group, things begin to change. Tensions, feelings and suspicions that Sam is not who she says she is. 

However, I have to say I am totally Team Braeden. He's kickass from the very start and he doesn't need Tristan to teach him any new things about fighting. Sam and him become very good friends. 

Basically, this book is just a whirlwind of adventure and action, sprinkled with bits of romance just enough to make me hug the nearest pillow. I'm not going to tell you which love interest she ends up with but let's just say, they make a really cute couple. :) After I finished the book, I scrolled back to their little moments and reread them. Three times. 

The only thing I wanted more of was more into Sam's early life. Like I've said before, I'm not going to tell you the reasons she left to be a Paladin but I would've liked it if there were some more in depth descriptions and lingering moments when she remembered things from her past. 

There are not many books that really give me a good vibe. Ones that make me smile and laugh as I read and feel myself fighting alongside the main character. The fact that this book exists is impressive. The fact that this is Sally's FIRST book? That's a miracle. 

Paladin is a wonderful book to get lost in and I really recommend it. Thanks for giving us a world to escape to, Sally. 

You can buy this book on Amazon! 

P.S. I heard Sally was also writing a sequel so I can't wait to dig into that! 

Sally Slater is a writer and the author of Paladin, a fantasy adventure novel that has garnered over 10.5 million reads on the social networking platform for readers and writers, Wattpad. Her writing has also appeared in The Huffington Post and The Sydney Morning Herald's Daily News.When she's not writing, Sally is a public relations professional at a strategic communications and advisory firm in New York City. She also dabbles in CrossFit and firmly believes that women in both real life and fiction should be strong.