After running from a home that is no longer safe (after events of first book…) Vasya tries for adventure, determined to travel the world and see it’s wonders. But evil is on the loose and children are being stolen – and it seems she may be the only one who can stop it. With her ability to see and speak to spirits, her much-more-than-ordinary horse and her instinct she must try to discover what is happening and save Russia, battling evil, politics, convention and even her own family along the way.
The first book of this series, The Bear and the Nightingale, has been one of my very favourite books this year, so when I found out there was another one and I could read it I was ecstatic! And the sequel didn’t disappoint. It jumped straight back into the story and hurdled through adventure, character development and a twisting plot with a fantastic blend of the familiar and the new. The setting continues to entrance me; Vasya is a terrific heroine and basically there isn’t anything I don’t love about these books. And there will be more, hooray!
Stunning, secretive Karou has lived a strange life in different cities, never putting down roots or having a real family. But that’s because she lives at least half of her life elsewhere – in another world, where a strange monster who is the closest thing she has to a parent sends her on missions to collect teeth. But when angels, and one particular, very handsome angel, crash into her world and a supernatural, inter-universal war that has continued through centuries…
Obviously I can’t really summarise three action and emotion packed books above, but that gives the kind of basic setting. This is a huge, ambitious, far-reaching and cataclysmic trilogy with exceptionally strong world-building, well established foundations and sympathetic characters who weave their way compellingly through gripping circumstances. It’s got gorgeous young adults who fall passionately in love, it’s got supernatural powers, friendship, betrayal, crazy monsters… just all you could possibly need from a YA fantasy series. And in many ways, I loved it. But in the end I think I’m left feeling I’m just a bit too old.
Alexandra Jennings is back for her second year at Akarnae Academy in the magical world of Medora that she stumbled into by mistake last year. The enemies are still out to get her, the professors to teach her lessons she never thought she’d need to learn, and her friends to support and surprise her along the way. We explore the world more, and understand a bit better what’s going on.
Here we jump straight back into the world and into adventure, with Alexandra once again in danger, in deep with her friends and fighting for what she believes is right. So much so that it hardly seemed like a separate book to the first one (and I’m having a little trouble separating them in my mind) and so, like the first, is basically just tremendous fun.
Lily has been trying to adjust to normal life after her gorgeous supernatural, ancient Egyptian boyfriend Amon disappeared to save the world from chaos, but it’s just not working. It comes as a slight relief when the god Anubis turns up at her grandmother’s house to say they need her help again – Amon is trapped in the Netherworld and Lily is the only one who can save him. But it’s not an easy process, and involves becoming a sphinx, a huge change that will affect Lily forever…
I knew exactly what to expect from this book having read and enjoyed the first book. A action packed teen adventure packed with drama and spirit, plus a load of gorgeous gods and a plucky heroine. It didn’t disappoint, and I think I actually enjoyed this one more. It felt more confident, and focussed more on Lily as a character rather than Amon, which I really enjoyed.
Caddy and Rosie have been best friends for, like, forever. But when the beautiful and mysterious Suzanne appears in Rosie’s world, Caddy is jealous at first. But when she gets to know Suzanne better she finds herself drawn into a new friendship unlike anything she has ever experienced, and finds herself doing things she had never done before…
When I came to read this book I didn’t expect to enjoy it. I can distinctly remember wondering why on earth I had ever requested it. It just didn’t seem to be the sort of thing I’d read. But… I really enjoyed it. It very clearly illustrated teenage girl friendship, with the intensity and the drama that it can bring. I found myself complete engrossed in the lives of Caddy, Rosie and Suzanne, and pulled into the teenage emotion that was so rich throughout. I think I cried.
A little boy is removed from his family and renamed, forced to live in a monastery with other boys in fear and horror at the secret rites they are submitted to. A scribe, angered by his lowly status, tries to trick his way to power, but finds himself on a long journey carrying a precious and treacherous silver ravens head. And a young girl is drawn unwillingly into the spells, potions, schemes and obsessions of the evil Lord who her village shuns. As their stories weave forward the three are drawn closer together by forces they cannot explain or escape.
I quite enjoyed reading this book. The world and mysteries created were interesting and fairly enjoyable to spend time in, but the action seemed too slow, and the characters not sufficiently fleshed out to sustain my attention any further. So I’m glad to read this one… but despite it being the set up to a whole series, I’m not tempted to embark on the rest of the journey.
How did you arrive in London? This question haunts Simon as he remembers snippets, through catches of songs and the old Burberry coat he got from somewhere. As he befriends Lucien, he gradually starts to grasp onto his history in this world where music is meaning, text or meaning is blasphony and what they discover changes everything. He and Lucien must seek to understand the system that traps people in their present moment.
Oh my! I loved this book. I really loved it. From it’s arrival as a beautiful hardback with a stunning cover to finishing the last page and wishing I could go on reading it was a complete pleasure. Original ideas, lovely prose and a wonderful flow to the story that actually felt like music.
Lila Hart is really Kitty Doe. She was somehow persuaded it was for the good of the resistance for her to impersonate the niece of the President, and does so begrudgingly, pretending to be engaged to the bossy Knox and longing for her loving boyfriend Benjy. But her impulsive decisions and confusion over who to trust lead to an attempt to escape – but she is caught sent to the mysterious Elsewhere, where again she finds herself torn between fleeing for her freedom or fighting for her country.
The set up was good here. Why is she impersonating someone? What secrets does this strange society hold? Is Knox really on her side? What has happened to make society like this? Will Kitty be able to keep up the pretence? Why did the real Lila go into hiding? The story was gripping and pacy… but ultimately let down by the characters.
Gretchen’s father sacrificed himself to save Hitler, and so her family has lived in his favour ever since. But when a stranger questions her father’s death everything Gretchen believes is turned upside down and she is determined to find the truth. Helped by the strangely kind Jew Daniel her quest, hindered by her distant and strange brother and her changing relationship with Hitler and the powerful National Socialist party, leads her to bold and subversive ideas that change her life forever.
Will we ever tire of stories of the wars and of Hitler? I don’t know – but I certainly haven’t. Set in Munich as Hitler’s power rises, Gretchen’s position as an honorary-niece gives a unique perspective of his personality and the tensions of Germany in the period. But really it is Gretchen and her story that is the focus; and this is fascinating in itself. Add in the ever-popular topic of the beginnings of psychoanalysis and you’ve got a winner!
When the lights go out on New York City strangers Owen and Lucy find themselves trapped in a lift. They end up experiencing the magic of the night together, but are torn apart just a week later to a journeys through America and Europe that take them ever further away from each other. Can a few postcards conquer the miles that divide them?
This was a fun, harmless teen romance. I sped through it easily and enjoyed it. There’s not much depth or complexity to it but the characters are charming, the exploration of different places interesting and plot fun.