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review 2017-06-25 03:48
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - Martina McAtee

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best friends



This book was AMAZING! I rarely give a first book in a series 5 stars, but if I could give this book a million stars I would!



all the stars



The world building was TOP NOTCH. I kept telling my friend this was Ilona Andrews level world building. For those that don't know, that is like the be all end all of world building, in my book at least. It was so vast I kept thinking I could stay in this world forever. I can see where there would be no shortage of stories to be told in this world that McAtee has created. There was a supernatural POWERHOUSE in this book, with plenty of beings that are familiar, shifters, witches, demons, necromancers etc. and some new and fascinating beings I haven't read about before! I enjoyed the fact that Ember was new to this supernatural world too so you got to learn everything about this new mesmerizing place and all its colorful inhabitants side by side with her.




The characters were so diverse and plentiful. There were a lot of people in this story, and there wasn't one that didn't have me completely engrossed in their life. I could not get enough of them! We get a few different POVs in this story, and they are perfectly executed. I am so particular about multiple POVs. If they aren't clearly recognized each time, rather by each voice being distinguishable and unique enough to stand on their own obviously, or by marking it at the chapter changes, I tend to be disappointed. I had no problem with that here. I was honestly kind of blown away how seamlessly the shift was made each time, and even more impressively, how loveable each person was! I was always happy to spend time seeing things through any of their eyes and that is no easy task!



I love YOU!



It also needs to be said that this cover is stunning as well! I really can't even do this book enough justice with a review. I loved everything about it, plain and simple. And if any of this sounds even remotely like something you may enjoy, pick this book up because I have a feeling you are going to fall in love with it too.

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review 2015-02-04 01:52
The Shadow Garden - Allen Houston



     The Shadow Garden is the second installment in the Nightfall Gardens series. You can see our review for the first book, Nightfall Gardens here....


  Everything that I loved about the first book, was still present in this addition. The setting is really the most intriguing thing about this story to me! I love this dangerous, magical place that Houston has created. And I really enjoyed getting to see further into it, the Shadow Garden is a terrifying place, but I couldn't look away! In Lily traveling there we also got to see some huge character development with her. The most frightening thing about the Shadow Garden  might have been it's way of looking deep into a person's soul and using every desire, fear, hope and worry against you.


"Every lie, every sin, every foul or petty thought preys on a person's mind. It grows and spreads like a cancer that consumes the soul."


It was quite a journey Lily went through there, and I've grown to really like her, I couldn't help but to root for her to pull through and come out of this situation stronger than ever.


 I also enjoyed Silas's journey into the mist! We got to meet a few new friends, as well as a few new chilling adversaries. As you know so far, the night itself is something to be feared in Nightfall Gardens, and we get up close and personal with some of it's worst inhabitants in this book. I was glad to see some glimpses of hope and light amidst the seemingly all encompassing dark of the night. It was nice to be reminded that goodness has a strong power too, which is something easily forgotten in this bleak place.


The alternating POV's between Lily and Silas are perfect for this story. Each of them have equally interesting voices, and stories to tell. I was happy to see the character depth that I was hoping for in this addition. It was just what I wanted, and it took this story overall up a notch in my opinion, because I now feel emotionally invested in these characters and their outcomes. I really look forward to seeing what the next book, The Labyrinth, has to bring!


       I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

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review 2014-08-16 20:06
Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews



    Well here we are at the end of book 7 in the Kate Daniels series, and just like by the end of book 1,

Ilona Andrews is all...



  And I'm just here like...



    Magic Breaks is what we have all been waiting for, finally coming face to face with Roland. Everything has been leading us here this whole time. I was so pleasantly surprised with the way everything went down. All I'm really going to say about it here though is that, everything we have learned of him thus far did not fully prepare me for this first meeting. He is maybe even more a mystery to me than he was before! And I have a feeling I'm going to love figuring him out.




  The way Kate handled him was a true testament to just how far she has grown throughout this series. She has found herself having to deal with certain things in different ways now that she isn't alone anymore. We've seen that for a few books now, but the way she handled finally seeing her father, the one person most of her life was centered around destroying at any cost, that was the true test of just how far she has come. I was impressed.




    This book has the same sarcastic humor that we love and expect from this series. There wasn't as much Curran in this one, but it was ok. It made sense that Kate go through some of these things on her own, just knowing he would be there was enough. Also, when Curran was there, HOLLY HELL did things get interesting. I was completely shocked at the end with his big announcement!



  That's what I love about this series, and the construction of it. This somehow caught me off guard, I wasn't expecting this at all, but it totally made sense once it happened. I could go back 3-4 books and see the seeds of this decision being planted. There were quite a few things that happened spanning over multiple books in this series that lead to this huge thing. It's glorious. These authors know how to lay down some serious ground work. I've come to see just how much even all the seemingly little things all mean something here. They are all working towards something big.


   I really look forward to seeing what happens next. I honestly have no idea what to expect. So many big changes in this addition to the series, if you haven't picked it up yet, do yourself a favor and get on that! You won't be disappointed. 


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review 2014-08-12 19:21
Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews


    Yep. That's me today. Hungover, and playing the highlight reel in my head to remind myself that it was totally worth it.  I just want to start out by saying that the construction of each of these books is just incredible. I kind of imagine it being something like putting together a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle without having glanced at the big finished picture first, and this epic writing duo is there helping you to piece it all together.



Sometimes it starts out feeling a little intimidating, so many little pieces, friends, enemies, power players and acquaintances (new and old) to keep track of, and after having constructed 5 previous puzzles like this, you just know that there will be more than one mystery shape to solve, and you are going to most likely make some false predictions along the way. It happens. Sometimes even though two pieces appear to go together, appearances can be deceiving, and you are surprised to find that they don't fit there at all. Being a Kate Daniels puzzle, it will almost definitely kick you in the ass a few times, no worries though, you'll kind of like it by the end, and you'll also laugh a whole lot along the way.



 So don't get discouraged, you still have your super authors here to help you out! They will be there the whole time, giving you encouragement and helping to piece together some of the smaller things first. And before you know it you are finally seeing the bigger picture and you are racing to get it all put together at last. Finally when it all comes together you can just sit back and marvel at the beauty of the journey, and the outcome alike.



   Yeah.... this book rocked my socks. I liked the new things brought to the table in this addition to the series. I enjoyed the change of scenery and the forebodingness that came along with it. You knew from the get-go things weren't going to pleasant or easy in this place, and that only helped to amp up the other dominating and adverse emotions going on with all our beloved characters. Magic Rises made you question a lot of things, things that you thought you knew for sure to be true. We said hello to some new characters and beasties, and goodbye to others.



    This book will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Honestly warring emotions might have just been the main monster of this book! It was a little different to see some extremes from Kate that we have not seen in this excess before. There was a lot she had to hold back, all of our characters did in the situation they were in. It was hard to see them put up with as much as they did at times, but it also went to show just how far Kate in particular has come since the first book. She's done a lot of growing up, and it shows a lot. On the flip side, you get a brief glimpse at what Kate is capable of when she doesn't hold back, she definitely tests some new boundaries. Lots of progression in the series by the end. It was a don't miss book. Although I consider them all don't miss books in this series! I can't wait to see what happens next!






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review 2014-05-31 19:36
City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments) - Cassandra Clare


    I was really nervous about starting City of Heavenly Fire. My love affair with the Mortal Instruments series has been very rocky. I absolutely loved the first few books, but the last two especially were not anywhere near as good as I was hoping. It had me honestly starting to feel like maybe this should have only been a trilogy because my interest level started waning big time after that. But I've already come so damn far, and I really had to know how it all ended, so not without some reservations, I started this book. I am so glad I gave it a chance. City of Heavenly Fire reminded me of most of the things that I love about this series. It reignited my love for these characters and the incredible world of the shadowhunters and downworlders.



   There were lots of alternating POVs in COHF. We got a peek into most of our favorite character's heads, and a few new ones. I loved getting to meet Emma Carstairs, she was young but very feisty. I loved her spirit. The Blackthorns were definitely an interesting bunch as well. I am so excited to hear that Emma and the Blackthorns will be getting their own spin-off series coming out next year. I will definitely be checking that one out. I was glad to see a lot of the characters exhibiting behavior that made me like them all in the first place. Things there got sketchy for awhile in the previous two books, but I'd say turned around a lot in this book.


  LOTS of stuff went down in this book. I don't want to give anything away so I'll keep it very brief. Obviously you already know that this final book is a lot of what has been building throughout much of the series, war. And naturally in a war, there are going to be casualties, so we do see some great and not so great characters be laid to rest in this book.

There were moments of shock and loss, and likewise moments of great strength, bravery and small and large victories. One of the things that I really enjoyed the most was the theme going on here that there isn't always just black and white. There can be various shades of grey. It becomes nearly impossible to categorize anybody as all good or all evil. Sometimes the good guys have to do some horrible things in the name of what is right, and sometimes the bad guys aren't only that. There many quotable moments in COHF, here are a few of my favs....


   "Heroes aren't always the ones who win," she said. "They're the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes."


   "Weapons, when they break and are mended, can be stronger at the mended places," said Jace. "Perhaps hearts are the same."


   "She had thought once that there were good people and bad people, that there was a side of light and a side of darkness, but she no longer thought that. She had seen evil, in her brother and her father, the evil of good intentions gone wrong and the evil of sheer desire for power. But in goodness there was also no safety: Virtue could cut like a knife, and the fire of Heaven was blinding."


  "We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss."


  "The road map of their bravery and hopes, their dreams and desires, marked clearly on their bodies. Shadowhunters weren't the most forthcoming of people, but their skins were honest."


  "Magnus's eyes darkened. "I'm sorry," he said. "The wishes of our hearts are weapons that can be used against us. Fight, Alec." He touched Alec's face. "This isn't what you want, this dream. Demons don't understand human hearts, not well. They see as through a distorted glass and show you what you desire, but warped and wrong. Use that wrongness to push yourself out of the dream. Life is loss, Alexander, but it's better than this."


   I thought the ending of this series was done quite well. It finished feeling kind of bittersweet, but that was fitting. There was also a lot set up here for the future spin-off series, which I think will be a very interesting story. So while it's a little sad to say goodbye to these characters, I do think it's time. I am just glad that this final installment brought back a lot of the love that I had for this series as a whole. I am happy to leave on a good note.


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