Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mini-Reviews: Paranormal Novels

Author:  A.G. Howard
Publisher:  Amulet Books, 371 pages
Publication Date:  January 1, 2013

From Goodreads:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Unusual, dark, twisty, and creative, I enjoyed this book inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but something was a bit lacking for me because I just didn't love it.  Alyssa was a strong main character and I liked her relationship with Jeb, although he was a bit overprotective.  He does start understanding Alyssa's strength and respecting that, and what he does for incredible and heartbreaking.  And then there's Morpheus, who is obviously complex and a bit twisted, and you're never entirely sure if he can be trusted.  I'm still not sure how I feel about him.  The main plot revolves around Alyssa having to go through many trials and tribulations but that part actually got a bit old for me and I started skimming.  So I did like it but I'm not exactly dying to read the next one.

Author:  Kendare Blake
Publisher:  Tor Teen, 333 pages
Publication Date:  September 10, 2013

From Goodreads:
Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Parts of it I really loved, including the basic plot (gods and goddesses dying), and the main characters.  Athena was pretty badass and I appreciated seeing her start to struggle with having feelings for Odysseus.  It made me wonder what in the world she's been up to for the last 1000 years, though.  I also liked Hermes, Cassandra, and Aidan.  But I have to admit, I don't know my mythology and I felt a little lost.  And a little bored.  It just seemed to take forever for anything to really happen.  And I just had so many questions and I don't necessarily need all of the answers, but some answers would be good.  The series has potential, but this book ended up just being okay for me.

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2)
Author:  Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers, 356 pages
Publication Date:  September 24, 2013

From Goodreads:
It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

Review (Spoilers for Unspoken, although nothing more than what is in the Goodreads summary):
An incredible sequel to Unspoken, this book is even darker, although there are still so many funny quips.  I just wanted to strangle Kami and Jared sometimes.  Just talk to each other!  Be honest with each other!  It was very frustrating to read.  They were both reeling from their connection being cut and realizing how much they depended on each other to always be there.  The main plot was about how to fight Rob and his minions, although I have to say, I would just go on vacation or move.  That is especially true for Kami's family.  What family stays knowing all of this craziness is going on?  It's like watching those movies where the house is haunted and the family just won't leave.  Leave!  Why are you still there?  Oh well.  Still love the gang, the quirkiness and craziness and again...the ending.  Even more of a cliffhanger.  Arrghhh!  And now I actually have to wait another year.  I highly recommend this series if you haven't read it.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I've heard pretty good things about Splintered so I'm bummed you didn't like it more. I love the cover. The colors are so pretty. I think I'll probably still give it a try eventually, but it's not going to be a priority.

    So I totally agreed about Antigoddess. That was my one complaint with that book. That we got like no answers and I wanted just a little more. I am a huge fan of Greek mythology though so I really really enjoyed the rest of the book and was able to overlook the lack of answers. I am very excited to continue the series. Sorry you weren't a huge fan!

    And I will definitely be reading the Lynburn Legacy! I'm so pumped for this series after reading your reviews. And I have heard some good things about the author!

    1. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to read Splintered, that probably affected me. I had to get it back to the library so I read it when there were other books I was more in the mood to read.

      I didn't love Antigoddess, but I did really like it, so I may read the next one.

      And the Lynburn Legacy is one of my favorite series right now, I just wish the next one was out already! These series are killing me, I wish I could just wait until all of the books are out before I start a series. Hopefully you'll love the series too! ~Pam

  2. I really liked Splintered, but I pretty much felt exactly as you did. It was just amazingly creative. I have the second book waiting for me to review on my shelf, so we'll see how it goes.

    Antigoddess I won recently, although have yet to get it. We did Ancient History last year with my kids and I know quite a bit more about all that mythology than I used to. I'm curious if that will affect how I feel about the book when I read it. We'll see. :)

    I haven't read the last series or any of her books, but I'll have to do that.

    1. Splintered was very creative. And you'll probably like Antigoddess more than I did if you know your mythology. I really recommend the Lynburn Legacy series, it's fantastic! ~Pam

  3. I didn't read the Untold one, I really want to read Unspoken and didn't want any spoilers :) I have been planning to read Splintered for a while now, the story sounds intriguing but I worry I won't like it. Antigoddess is one I have seen a lot lately and thought of picking up, although I hate slow moving books, so I might give that one a miss for now.

    1. I hope you like Untold, I loved it and had to read Unspoken right after. Now I just have to wait for the third book. These series are killing me! :) ~Pam

  4. I plan on reading Splintered at some point because I am intrigued but I am not in any real rush... And your feelings on Antigoddess pretty much mirror my own exactly. I can't wait to start Untold soon after I finish Unspoken!