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Monday, June 29, 2009

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

"Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires--the ones who never die.

The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's – inside the Academy’s iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever..." - book cover

Rose and Lissa escaped St-Vladimir's not convinced of their security anymore, but after 2 years of run-aways they got caught and brought back to the school. St-Vladimir's ain't normal school tho, it's a secured area deep in the woods where Moroi and Dhampir learns the way of their society. And what a society! Richelle Mead builds an awesome world with 3 major races. Moroi are "nice vampires" they live in society, they have royalties, they feed off willing blood donors and their number are dropping insanely. Stroigoi are your classic bad vampire, they are undead, damned, can't be exposed to light. Storgois are either Moroi who killed while feeding, or a moroi/dhampir/human bitten buy a strogoi and turned against there will. Dhampirs are half-humans, half-vampires. They can go into the light, but can't use magic like morois, but they are stronger then both humans and morois. Dhampirs are trained to protect the morois.
Story takes place at St-Vladimir's and is built around gossips, parties, forbidden love and fear. The school still isn't safe for Lissa and Rose does the best she can to protect her. Unfortunately enemies ain't always the ones you think.

I had a hard time at the very beginning of the novel to understand the whole society evolved, but got taken by the story very quickly. The plot is awesome, characters are great. Rose is so clever, always that in-your-face funny answers. She's a thought girl but also has her own issues. Mead's description are so realistic you can pictures every single details, you can also feel the tension in key moments. I couldn't put the book down until the end and ran to the store to get the following book!
I actually loved this book more the twilight series.
In fact this series is my all time favorite.

Read an Excerpt

Book Stats:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159514174X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595141743
Vampire Academy series:
Vampire Academy
Shadow Kissed
Blood Promise

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

Moon Called is the first book the Mercy Thompson series and presents us a world of shape shifters, feys, vampires and likes.

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson doesn't really fit in any category: she's a walker. Walkers are an almost disappeared species originating in north America along with the natives. They were known to hunt vampires when they first came in America, and vampires would return the favor. Mercy shape-shift into a coyote and isn't controlled by the moon. She was raised by a foster family in a werewolf community and her difference didn't make it easy.

She's now a mechanic specializing in German vehicles, owns the garage and is happy to mind her own business. Life is about to get spicier when a young werewolf shows up on her door steps looking for a job.

The world is very well built, lesser feys came out of the closest due to science progress, but superior feys, witches, vampires and werewolves are still hidden. They live in a very structured system: Wolves lives in packs ruled by the strongest Alpha, Vampires runs the economy taxing other supernatural beings and Witches gets their profit magically hiding all these activities. The balance is at stake tho with increasing advances in technology and forensic investigations and trouble is around the corner.

Briggs' suspense and conspiracies are very well written and we are left hanging until the very end.
I give the book a 8/10, Really liked Mercy with her strength and struggles, the males in the story are great to, gotta expect some macho and testosterone filled discussions among them. I am ordering the following books for sure.

Read an excerpt

Books Stats:

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Ace (January 31, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0441013813
ISBN-13: 978-0441013814

Mercy Thmopson Series:
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed

Strange Angels - Lili St-Crow

"Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)
Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her? " -Book Cover

Dru grew up half the time with her grandmother, teaching her spiritual powers and half the time on the road hunting dark things with her dad. Fans of the Supernatural TV show will be pleased with this novel 'cause it brings you in the same dark and dangerous atmosphere. Only Dru came from being the predator and turns out to be the prey when her dad never come back home alive after a hunting day. Dru's mom is long dead, her grandmother passed out to and now her father's dead: She is on her own. Dru has some knowledge of the Real World and she has firearms skills but she's definitely not ready for what's coming next.
Along the way Dru meets a goth guy named Graves, he helps her when she hits the bottom and decide to tag along for the long road even thought Dru doesn't want him to: she doesn't want to involve him in her world. Graves becomes the best ally she can get in those unfortunate circumstances.

The two of them fight there way to survive everything that's coming to them and meet Christophe, a mysterious guy with fangs. We don't really know if he is friend or foe but he makes things very interesting, and I found myself enjoying this character very much. I wished he came in the story earlier.

I would give that book a 7/10, Story is good, characters are believable, the action is great but the story develops a bit slowly for my taste, but the last 30% of the book is awesome. I'll sure pick up the following book "Betrayals", I want to see what's gonna happen next between Dru and the mysterious Christophe.


Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (May 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595142517
ISBN-13: 978-1595142511

Storm Born - Richelle Mead

"Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants...
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy--one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...
" - Book cover.

Eugenie deals with banishing just like any other corporate, she's got a secretary, costumer meetings and fee for her services. Most of the time she find herself banishing lesser feys who crossed earthside to bother humans, but that's about to change. Eugenie, also known as Odile the dark swan, is being hired to recover a young girl taken against her will to the otherworld and that's when everything changes. She crosses over the otherworld with her three sidekicks spirits and discover more then she wished for. I found myself dragged within the story, Eugenie is tough but also has her weaknesses, along her journey she find herself questioning what she believed her entire life.

Ms. Mead introduce us to great characters with their unique personalities, I find myself fond of Dorian, a king from the otherworld. I love my urban fantasy with some kind of love story and I wasn't disappointed. Odile who was very comfortable single ends up with two sexy men interested by her, none of them being human, which makes it hard on her principles. Anyhow she falls in love with Kiyo, a kitsune, but is also very attracted by Dorian. Mead also please us with a few hot very well-written sex scene to spice everything up.
There's great suspense until the end, I never figured out who was "the bad guy" in the story until it was right in my face.
I'd give an overall 8.5/10 to the book. I can't wait for the second book in the series (Thorn queen) to come out!

Dark Swan Series:
Storm Born
Thorn Queen

Books Stats:
paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Zebra (August 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420100963
ISBN-13: 978-1420100969