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100th Book! Torment by Lauren Kate

October 26, 2010 2 comments

I made it!  I read 100 books this year!  Actually, 101.  (I finished another one today.)

My 100th book was Torment by Lauren Kate, the sequel to Fallen.  I actually liked it a lot.  It was kind of strange, because I didn’t like the first one all that much.  Fallen was just okay for me.

Anyway, here’s the blurb for Torment from the author’s web site:

Lucinda is sure that she and Daniel are meant to be together forever. Now they are forced apart in a desperate bid to save Luce from the Outcasts–immortals who want her dead. As she discovers more about her past lives, Luce starts to suspect that Daniel is hiding something. What if he has lied to her about their shared past? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

I’ve always been really intrigued by the idea of (and mythology of) angels.  I’m just really fascinated by them, and images of them make me really happy.  I think that’s (a small) part of the reason why I like The Mortal Instruments.

I also think that because I like TMI so much, I had a hard time liking Fallen.  But Torment solidified and separated the story for me a little better, and in general, I got to know and like the characters more.

However lame this sounds, Torment was good.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Three and a half stars for being good, but not great.  Although I have a feeling the next book, Passion, will be great!

Hero by Mike Lupica

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Hero by Mike Lupica on LibraryThing.  It will be released on Nov. 9th.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Fourteen-year-old Billy Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed, as though he can text message himself across miles. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Billy. What Billy never knew was that his father was no ordinary man—he was a superhero, battling the world’s evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries. And now it’s Billy’s turn to take on the fight. It’s Billy’s turn to become a hero.

I liked this book, but I didn’t really think it was anything too special.  But the reason I may think that is 1) I’m not a middle-schooler and 2) I’m not a boy.  I think anyone who falls into those categories would really enjoy it.

At times, it really just felt like it was trying to be too Percy Jackson-ish, but with less adventure.  And while it did have some good surprises, I was left mostly disappointed.  The whole teenage hero thing is a good theme, but it fell a little flat for me.

Mike Lupica writes very popular YA sports novels, so I have no doubt that fans of his will like this book.

I just didn’t.  Sorry.

Three stars because although I didn’t personally like it all that much, I know there are a lot of people out there who will.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

September 10, 2010 5 comments

Last week, Cassandra Clare came to my local library to do a signing as part of her book tour.

The Mortal Instruments (MI) series is at the top of my favorites list, so I had been waiting for this new book, Clockwork Angel.

Clockwork Angel is the first book in a new prequel Shadowhunter series called The Infernal Devices.  It takes place in 1878 in Victorian London, which is (obviously) such a contrast from modern New York City, where MI takes place.

Here’s the synopsis:

Magic is dangerous–but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by–and torn between–two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

(By the way, you can read the first 100 pages here.)

Like I mentioned, I have been waiting for this book for a long time, and when I was in line with it, waiting to get it signed, I had this brief moment of panic when I thought, “What if it’s bad?  What if I don’t like it?”

I don’t know how I could have ever thought that.

I loved this book.  Loved it.  And it quickly earned a place on my favorites list.

I already loved the whole Shadowhunting world, but add witty and clever protagonists and steampunk villains, and what more could I want?

This book was quite funny.  A lot funnier than most of the MI.  Maybe because Tessa is really clever and doesn’t put up with flack from anyone, whereas in MI, all the wit comes from Simon and sometimes Jace.

I really liked the main characters and found them to be believable and lovable.  They’re really easy to like, although Henry is certainly high on my list because of his red hair.

I was happy to find that Tessa, the  main girl in the story, was so different from Clary (although she faces similar conflicts).  Although Will, who is an ancestor of Jace’s, seems so much like Jace at times, you wonder if snarkiness and self-destruction are inherited traits.  I don’t think it’s bad that they’re so alike, because it feels more like they’re supposed to be.  Because they’re two apples from the same crazy Herondale tree.

Meeting Cassandra Clare was awesome.  She was cool and funny and everything I hoped she’d be.  She had hot shoes and purple streaks in her hair that really made me think about dying mine, too.  I felt like a big dork, which I am wont to do when I meet people who are obviously so much cooler than me.  But Cassandra Clare was nice and cool about it.  So, thanks for that, Cassandra Clare.

Thanks for being cool to all the dorks out there who love you.

After that picture, I went home and started reading Clockwork Angel right away. I finished it the next day.

I have no self-control when it comes to books.

Thank goodness that her next book, City of Fallen Angels (MI #4), comes out in 207 days.

Five stars for being totally brill and living up to the hype.  Too bad Clockwork Prince (ID #2) doesn’t come out for another year.