Book Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

Title: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Boarding School
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: November 2013
Pages: 432
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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 thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

My Review:

It’s no secret that the Bloodlines series is one of my favourites. And despite my reservations about the cover (I’m not a fan of Sydney’s hair….), The Fiery Heart is my favourite so far! There’s a lot going on – romantically, magically – and the extra pressure of family dynamics are wearing on Sydney. Things seem to have finally worked themselves out with her and Adrian having admitted their feelings for each other and attempting some kind of relationship. But when Sydney’s little sister now inked as an Alchemist and being tasked with helping Sydney with the vampires, the new couple are going to have to keep their romance under wraps. Adrian has his own problems – it seems impossible for him to find a happy medium between being spirit and sanity.

I was impressed with how well the dual point of view between Sydney and Adrian worked. I wasn’t sure I’d like changing things up from how the series had been going so far but it was a refreshing change to get to see what was going on from someone different. Not only that but it’s the first time in the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series where we have had a narration from a Moroi and I liked getting to see the impacts of spirit first hand. Getting to see Sydney from Adrian’s point of view was lovely. For all the cockiness and sarcasm he may try to project to world, it was clear to see just how much he loved her and how hard he was trying to be the best person he could be – not just for her but for himself as well. We may have had to wait three books for these two to get together but it was worth it to get the interactions and beautiful dynamic that we get to see in The Fiery Heart.

There’s a lot going on but all the different story lines manage to fit together perfectly. In this book, Sydney is feeling the pressure of her family. Her sister wants her to spend more time together but between discovering her witchy magic, spending time with Adrian and sorting out the antics of her vampire charges, there never seems to be time for Sydney to breathe never mind have some girl time with Zoe. It’s never apparent to me just where Ms. Mead is going to take things next – from romantic relationships to just what the different sects of society (the Alchemists, the Warriors, the Coven)  are up to. I loved the ties in with characters we have not seen much since Vampire Academy – with Lissa asking Adrian for help and getting to see the rest of the group now a little older and wiser interacting with a more evolved Adrian.

This book has everything that I love about this series. Chemistry between the leads, interesting plots, a secondary cast of characters who add to the overall story and are entertaining to read, and dialogue that makes me feel so many different emotions. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Silver Shadows (July 2014) and am desperately eager to find out what happens to Sydney next. This book does end on a cliffhanger that’s left me anxious to see what’s ahead for these characters.

Favourite Quotes:

“Escape plan number seventeen,” I told her. “Run away and open a juice stand in Fresno.”
“Why Fresno?”
“Sounds like the kind of place people drink a lot of juice.”

“It’s Adrian Ivashkov logic. Don’t try to understand it. Just roll with it.”

“An image of Sydney’s face appeared in my mind’s eye, calm and lovely.
I believe in you.
My anxiety faded.
I took a deep breath and met the gazes of all those watching me in the room.
Who was I to do this?
I was Adrian Ivashkov.
And I was about to kick some ass.”

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Character Names I Love OR Unusual Character Names

When I was thinking about this topic and jotting down names  I realized it could also be called “Things I could call my cats if I was a crazy cat lady with 37 kittens“.

So I’m super cheating – there are more than ten names on this week’s list. Too many names and not enough space in a list of ten to list all of them. So here are my names 🙂 Enjoy!

Shakespearean

Character Name(s)

Play Title

Iago

Othello

Ophelia

Hamlet

Banquo

Macbeth

Benvolio

Romeo and Juliet

Lucentio

The Taming of the Shrew

Classic Hero

Character Name(s)

Book Title

Sherlock Homes, Mycroft, Moriarty

The Sherlock Homes books by Arthur Conan Doyle

Jean Valjean

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Captain Wentworth

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Mr Rochester

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Heathcliff

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Don Diego de la Vega

Zorro by Isabel Allende

Athos, Aramis, Porthos and d’Artagnan

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Fantasy

 

Character Name(s)

Book Title

Bellatrix Lestrange, Arabella Figg, Draco and Narcissa Malfoy, Voldemort

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Karou

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Butterfly

The Elites by Natasha Ngan

Zaphod Beeblebrox (I think this is my all time favourite character name)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Gandalf the Gray and Aragorn

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Four

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Adrian Ivashkov and Dimitri Bellikov

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Finnick

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Chaol

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

 

crazy

Character Name(s)

Book Title

Cricket Bell

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Westley (Dread Pirate Roberts)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Veruca Salt

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Hazel

Watership Down by Richard Adams

So those are my favourite names. I didn’t include Sancho Panza from Don Quixote which is another favourite of mine because that actually is what my cat is named 😛

I’d love to know what literary people or characters you’d name your imaginary (or real!) cats! So please feel free to leave me a comment 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday: BEST SEQUELS EVER!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten BEST SEQUELS EVER! 

Oh yes…. capital letters on purpose! I love a good sequel. Here are the top ten that came to mind… But ones I LOVED!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Series: Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
Sequel: Crown of Midnight [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I loved the first one but the second book was everything I loved from the first book PLUS MORE! More action, more romance, more bloodthirsty Caelana being in assassin mode… HIGHLY recommend it.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Sequel: Days of Blood and Starlight [my review]
Why I Loved it?: Beautifully written, this second instalment was exciting and amazing. I loved the deeper look at the creatures and Karou’s past.

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)Series: Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Sequel: The Eternity Cure [my review]
Why I Loved it?: The first book, The Immortal Rules, did a great job at laying the groundwork but this book was so EXCITING! I loved Jackal and how Allie has grown throughout the book. Can’t wait for the third book!

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Series: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Sequel: Scarlet [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I fell in love with Cinder and to be honest – I was worried that the second book wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But it exceeded them. We got to see all the stuff that I loved from the first book and got to meet some brilliant new characters. When does the third book, Cress come out? Way too far awaay if you ask me 😛

Scent of Magic  (Healer #2)Series: Healer by Maria V Snyder
Sequel: Scent of Magic [my review]
Why I Loved it?: It may have been a bit of a filler novel to bridge the gap between one of my FAVOURITE first in a series books (Touch of Power) and what promises to be a brilliant third book – however it was great. I love these characters! I don’t think there are many character who are both healers and super kick-arse as Avry is.

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)Series: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Sequel: Anne of Avonlea
Why I Loved it?: I loved Anne-with-an-E when I was growing up and this was a great series. It’s one that I can mark my childhood against. I can remember where I was the first time I read parts of it and loved growing up with Anne.

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Series: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sequel: Catching Fire
Why I Loved it?: The first book made such an impression on me but it was the second book that truly made me fall in love. Finnick was the best character in this series! And the events of this book…. fantastic!

Spark (Elementals, #2)Series: Elementals by Brigid Kemmerer
Sequel: Spark [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I love all the books in this series. It’s much like the adult paranormal romance books I read in terms of each book is about another pairing rather than the urban fantasy series that keep following the same main characters. Spark follows the hot-headed Merrick brother, Gabriel. He’s fantastic. I love this series! Can’t wait for Secret which is released in early 2014.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)Series: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Sequel: The Golden Lily [my review]
Why I Loved it?: Sydney gets better with each instalment. And Adrian? Oh my… I know I’m a little Richelle Mead obsessed but I can’t wait for the fourth book, The Fiery Heart which is released November 19, 2013.

The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2)Series: The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
Sequel: The Awakening [my review]
Why I Loved it?: I love Kelley Armstrong. She’s a Canadian author who writes fantastic urban fantasy novels. The Darkest Powers trilogy is set in the same universe as her adult series, Women of the Otherworld, but revolves around young adults instead. Chloe is just coming into her powers in the first book (The Reckoning) but by the time the second book starts – she’s embracing the young woman she’s starting to be. A great set of secondary cast members, this book really comes into its own.

I love sequels. I’d love to see which books you love and are on your lists this week!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2013 To-Be Read (TBR) List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is:  Top Ten Books On My Fall Sping 2013 TBR List 

This can be books I plan to read in the next three months or new releases for Spring.

5 books that are already released that I’m planning on reading:

  

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Deadly Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock

Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

Spring (September – November) New Releases I want to read!

Fangirl Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2) Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2) Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2) Altered (Crewel World, #2)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Released September 10)

Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang (Released September 17)

Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter (Released September 24)

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth (Released October 22)

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chonicles #2) by Kresley Cole (Released October 1)

Altered (Crewel World #2) by Gennifer Albin (Released October 29)

 

 

And that’s a top ten…. plus one. I can’t wait for the new releases and the other books that I plan on reading… well I hope I get around to reading those too! Hope you guys have a lot of books you’re excited for in the next few months! Please let me know what books you can’t wait to read.

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Movie Talk: Vampire Academy – Blood Sisters

If you know anything about me – I’m a HUGE Vampire Academy/Bloodlines fan. It’s one of those series that has the right amount of drama, action, romance and paranormal elements to keep me perfectly happy. I’m thrilled about the new movie coming out next year.

As many of you probably know, the first official teaser was released a few days ago.

My thoughts? As excited as I am over the movie, they’re managed to turn this trailer into Twilight meets Gossip Girl. Nothing wrong with that. I watched every episode of Gossip Girl and really enjoyed it. But it’s not quite what I was expecting from Blood Sisters. That said – trailers are supposed to get people who know nothing about the story. I dare say there are a lot of VA fans like myself who will be seeing this movie regardless of how the trailers look. And I could see enough in this one minute teaser to show that there’s a lot that I like in there. Rose does look pretty bad arse 😛

I’d love to know what you think.

Is this a movie you want to see? Does the teaser do the books justice? What are your thoughts regarding the casting? All comments are welcome. 😀

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If you haven’t read the book you can check out my review for Vampire Academy #1 here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in a Boarding School

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Books With “X” Setting

And considering how much I love books set in Boarding Schools then it seems like a great idea that I compile a list of ten of my favourite books/series set in boarding schools.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling – As they grew up, so did I. And I admit it – I was jealous of their lack of adult supervision. But it’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t at Hogwarts!

Vampire Academy  AND Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – It’s probably cheating counting both these series, but I love them both.They are both set at private Vampire boarding schools and feature some brilliant characters.

Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep – Super awesome descendants of mythological warriors fighting evil and having one amazing gourmet cafeteria!

The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter – If I couldn’t be magical or undead,,, I’d want to be a spy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1) I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)

My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling – Trying to keep in school whilst battling evil gods…. sounds like a blast 😛

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay – This book is fairly dear to my heart. It was one of the first “adult” (and by that I mean, not a children’s book but rather one meant for older readers) books I ever read. And it sort of destroyed me. I love this book and it’s one that I think everyone should read.

The St Clare series by Enid Blyton – Pat and Isabel were two of my constant companions growing up. This is one of the first books that I remember staying up late – with a torch – and reading and rereading.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Fun school for American teens in Paris. Who could want anything more?

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – Cause it’s a lovely story.

 

My Ex From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy, #1) The Power Of One The Twins at St. Clare's (St. Clare's, #1) Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) A Little Princess

Most of these are paranormal in natures but I threw in a few oldies but goodies too. I would love to hear what books you’ve read set in boarding schools that you loved. And please – link me to your top ten, I can’t wait to see what settings other people picked for this week’s TTT!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Had Sequels/Spinoffs

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Books I Wish Had Sequels 

After thinking about this for a while, I realized that for most standalone books – I love how they finished. Adding another book would just dilute whatever I thought was so great to begin with. There were a few that I’d love to have a sequel (and I’ll list them here) but for the most part – how awesome would spin offs be? There are so many fantastic secondary characters that I’d love to get to know more about.

Sequels:

The Host by Stephenie Meyer – Ever since this book was first released there was talk about two more books – the Seeker and the Soul. Whilst I think that The Host was a perfect stand alone book… I sort of want to see what happens next. Does true love prevail? (my thoughts… probably). Will Ian get confused considering the body switching (Probably not. But I would like to see him and Jared get into a fight again). Will Wanda find some sort of non-violent passive way to save the world? (probably. And there will be some kind of non-aggressive stand off where everyone wins…). Yay!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I know there have been many books about Elizabeth and Darcy written by other people putting their own slant on what happens next. And I’ve read a few and even liked many of them. But how fantastic would it be to read it from Ms. Austen’s own hand. I want to know what she thought married life between these two rather headstrong people would have been like.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – I just finished reading this book and… I don’t ant to leave this world just yet! I’ll wait patiently for a sequel… ok. Maybe not so patiently…

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Bring on Buttercup’s Baby!

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta – I’d love a chance to see what Josie’s life was like now.

The Host (The Host, #1) Pride and Prejudice Neverwhere The Princess Bride Looking for Alibrandi

Spin Offs:

Sarah Dessen – I love her books and for the most part I like how everything ends at the conclusion of one of her novels. But HOW AWESOME! would a compilation of novellas be. With just a tiny snapshot of what’s happening to my favourite characters.

Harry Potter – Who would I want to see a spin off in this series? It’s so hard to pick. Dumbledore as a youngster, the Marauders, The Next Generation? So many untold stories that I would love to get to witness as a reader

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – I enjoyed this book. It was slightly bizarre and oh-so heartbreaking. And I wanted to know more. I want to know if Alba (is it just me or does her name remind everyone of Jessica Alba?) manages to have a happy life.

Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead – I love this adult paranormal romance series. I think it’d be fantastic to get to read more about this world of demons and angels. Maybe a story featuring Hugh as a main character, or what Roman’s life is now. Or go back and experience life though Jerome’s eyes. So many choices…

The Heiresses by Allison Rushby – My favourite character in this novel was Aunt Hestia. How fantastic would a story about her and how she became the woman she turned out to be.

The Moon and More Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) The Time Traveler's Wife Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1) The Heiresses

That’s my top ten. Now – I know that a lot of them probably wouldn’t be as good with extra instalments. But a girl can live in hope 😀 Hope you’ve all had a great week and I can’t wait to see what sequels you wish had been written!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

As much as I try not too – expectations get the better of me. When I hear/see people RAVING about a book/series/author, I admit that the hype sometimes gets the best of me. And I realize it’s not the book’s fault – but I often can’t help but feel a little disappointed when a decent book didn’t blow me away like I was anticipating.

(Links will take you to my reviews. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the book’s page on goodreads)

Books I Though I’d Like More (and wound up a little disappointed):

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This isn’t a bad book. I did enjoy it but I wanted more. Daemon is great but it’d take someone even better than him for me not to resent him for blowing up my computer.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie Maguire – I love love. But I don’t love over the top jealousy and people who keep trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi – There’s a lot I liked about this book. And a lot that left me feeling wanting. This was one of the most talked about books of 2012. It seemed that people everywhere were praising this one. And whilst I thought it was clever I think I spent most of the time I was reading it waiting. Waiting for it to live up to my (possibly unrealistic) expectations.

Marked (House of Night, #1)

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast – A friend told me this book was absolutely fantastic – the best Vampire Teen series around. I think I got my hopes up and just missed things I would have liked had it not been off the back of such high praise.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. – This one I think was my own fault that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The trailer for the movie ruined the book and that in itself frustrated me. Also I listened to this one on audiobook and the fact that the narrator’s voice had an accent but his thoughts didn’t – it really took me out of the story.

On the other hand are books that I went in not expecting too much and being blown away. These are the best kinds of books! To quote one of my all time favourite movies… A Diamond in the Rough.

(and since I couldn’t find any appropriate gifs – here’s one from Aladdin just cause I love that movie!)

Books I Thought I’d Like Less (and ended up loving!):

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – There is the saying “Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover” but perhaps I should not judge a book on its title. These books have names similar to those I’d bring home for homework in primary school. But these books are far from simple. They’re beautiful stories about love, friendship, family problems and the complexities of growing up. These are two of my favourite teen contemporary romance novels and I’m so glad I picked them up because I very nearly didn’t..

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

Vampire Academy/Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – It probably wouldn’t be a TTT without a Richelle Mead series featuring somewhere on my list. These are both series that feature some kind if paranormal creature in a boarding school but they are both so much more than that. There’s depth and consequences and the gorgeous leading men don’t hurt things either. I had read Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series before starting VA but I didn’t expect for the series to have such a profound effect on my views regarding YA paranormal novels.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – A sci-fi futuristic cyborg version of Cinderella? This isn’t something I ever thought I’d read let alone like. But somehow Meyer wrote a novel that’s well thought out and the fairytale links are crafted in a way that feels so right for the story.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I thought I’d try to see if I could somehow beat the system. I’d heard so much about this book. The Best Book EVER! is a line that many of my friends and reviews had thrown around. Not having read any John Green and having nothing to compare his work to I though I’d go in expecting the worse. I’m a big enough person to admit I’m wrong because I ADORED this book. It’s beautiful and the characters are almost ridiculously perfect in their own way. I cried. So if you haven’t read this book and you’re intending to – try to ignore the hype. Make up your own mind. But this is a book that I recommend for everyone to read. Even if it’s just to be on the bandwagon and know what people are talking about when they’re talking about TFiOS and John Green.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – These books are beautifully written. And the covers are gorgeous. And I have no idea why I didn’t think I’d like them but I very nearly passed on the opportunity to read them.

That’s my list for another week. I love reading other people’s TTT’s and blogs in general so please leave me a comment with a link so I can visit back. All comments are welcome and very much appreciated. Thanks!

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Book Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Title: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal, vampires, magic
Publisher: Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: 12 February 2013
Pages: 432 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
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.

My Review:

This book has the Palm Springs crew back in action. Jill is still in danger and had Eddie and Angeline being ever vigilant to any possible attack. Adrian is snarky and spirited as ever and then there’s Sydney. She’s conflicted. With her relationships with the vampires strengthening as she spends more time with them, she’s not sure her Alchemist training and beliefs are the same as her own any more. Ms Terwilliger and her magic is now firmly a part of Sydney’s life – and a deadly threat is now hanging over Sydney’s head because of it. Marcus Finch with his mysterious Indigo tattoo is complicating things further not to mention that Sydney has Adrian constantly on her mind…

I love how there’s so much going on in these books. There’s action and romance with relationships being constantly tested and adventure around every corner. Sydney is steadily growing on me. She’s becoming a strong independent woman who is a far cry from the Alchemist from we met in Russia. I was impressed with her bag of tricks and spy skills! Her quirky banter with Adrian remains one of my favourite parts of the book. The two of them together – even when they’re apart – amuse me and make me smile. They’re gorgeous.

The only downside to this story is I’m not too sure how Sydney managed to be everywhere at once – Mead has kept her so very busy in this novel. There’s the Alchemist plot, her friends at school to keep in line, Adrian, the rebel Alliance, Adrian (I felt like he needed to be mentioned twice), her witchly magic… and there’s probably some I’m missing. I felt it was a little unlikely that even someone as awesome as Sydney wouldn’t be able to be on top of everything.

The supernatural aspect of this novel was interesting. Ms. Terwilliger and the witch storyline let us see Sydney in a new light – as a powerful person in her own right. Marcus Finch was a fascinating new addition. The charismatic rebel is the kind of character that I can see winning many fans. Interesting, mysterious and a rebel with a cause – I can’t wait to see what the future brings in terms of his storyline.

Seeing the zany Malachi Wolfe again was a highlight even if he didn’t exactly add all that much to the story.

I can not wait (but unfortunately will have to) until the fourth book in the Bloodlines series comes out. I love where this series is going and have high expectations for the future!

Many thanks to Penguin Teen Australia and NetGalley for the digital review copy!

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal, vampires, magic
Publisher: Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: 12 June 2012
Pages: 418 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

My Review:

This book picks up where Bloodlines ended – with Sydney still overseeing the crew of vampires hiding in Palm Springs to protect the Moroi Queen’s sister, Jill.

Sydney is growing on me the more I get to read about her and her adventures. She’s becoming more human as her interactions with vampires increases. She’s still dedicated to being “the responsible one” but she’s also realizing there’s more of a life out there than what her father has trained her for. There are friends, there are school dances and there are intelligent boys who smell like coffee. I liked seeing Sydney’s attempts at dating Brayden – a barista who works with Trey. Her flirting and dates with the male equal to herself. Although Sydney did start to wear on my nerves slightly at times, she’s becoming slightly kick-ass and I’m loving how her character is growing.

The other characters are what make this series addictive for me. Eddie, Angeline and Jill are fun and interesting – if not a little trouble. And then there’s Adrian. He’s snarky and spirited – his banter with Sydney being some of the most amusing parts of the novel. They’ve got great chemistry and their antics keep me enthralled. Seeing Adrian’s softer side just makes him a fantastic character to read about.

Plot wise – I love how Mead ties everything together. She’s constantly thinking about her characters no matter if they’re in the spotlight or not and when things come to a climax – it’s surprising but at the same time is completely logical. It’s a pleasure to read her books. There’s more new characters with their own secrets and problems but they’re equally as fascinating and endearing as the characters I’ve grown to love from the previous book.

This book is exciting with drama and action around every corner. With romance and suspense and adventure building, this is a series that I can’t help but think is going to be one of my all time favourites.

Purchase the novel from:

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Read for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge