Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sarah’s Review of The Girl In The Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2)

The Girl In The Clockwork Collar is the second book that Kady Cross has written in the Steampunk Chronicles. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book even though I had never read the first one. It was easy enough to understand due to Cross’ amazing writing capabilities. The plot is good, and the storyline is easy to follow. It spans only a short time and jumps from different narratives. Even though I did not have a good understanding of the characters, their abilities and their backgrounds, she incorporates the necessary explanations into the characters’ lives so that the imminent storyline makes sense as you are reading. In the sense that this is the second book in the series, I did find that the character development was lacking in the beginning. I am guessing that the first book delves deeper into the characters backgrounds and you understand where they are coming from more so than if you were to dive straight into the second book. However, that being said, by the time I finished the book I felt as though I really knew the characters.

This story takes place in the year 1897 in New York City. A group of friends, Finley, Griffin, Emily, and Sam, who are slightly different than the average human, have traveled from England to New York in order to help rescue their friend, Jasper, from a criminal man who has hunted him down. This criminal wants a device back that Jasper has stolen from him, and convinces him to give it back by bartering with the life of the girl that Jasper is in love with. If Jasper does not do everything he says, then the clockwork collar that hangs around Mei’s neck will slowly tighten. Jasper and the others are in for a lot of trouble and find out just how much they will do for their friends. Not only is Finley worried about rescuing her friend Jasper, but she is also battling with her two sides, one dark and one good. She must figure out which side she is really on.

I found that the more I read, the more I wanted to keep reading. This book got better the further on you read and by the time I got to the end I was hoping for more. Thank goodness there is a third one! The ending of this book is spectacular. I loved it. I also loved that the female characters are just as strong-willed and heroic, if not more so, than the male characters. Finley not only has to deal with the criminals, but she is also fighting within herself between her dark side and her good side, and this book leaves you rooting for her to choose right. You will also be rooting for the love of Finley and Griffin to win out over her love for the dark side.

The research that Kady Cross did of the history in New York and of the time period shines through with the rich descriptive and a sense of realness amidst a world of magic and automatons. I enjoyed learning a few things about New York in that time frame while being taken away to another world of fiction.

There is a lot more that I want to write about what happens in the book, but I fear that if I do, I would reveal some spoilers, and I would hate to ruin the book for those of you who have yet to read it. I would recommend this book, but I would suggest picking up the first book called The Girl In The Steel Corset first. I will be hunting that book down and reading it soon, before I pick up the third one, The Girl With The Iron Touch.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sarah's Review of Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)

Wow! Where do I begin with this review? This book exceeded all of my expectations hands down! Having read Dan Brown’s previous novels, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and The Lost Symbol, I could not wait to dive into Inferno. I was excited to see where Robert Langdon would take us to this time around and I was not disappointed at all.

In this book, we follow Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbology professor, on essentially a blind search to uncover clues in Italy. It begins with him awakening in Italy in the middle of the night with retrograde amnesia, with no knowledge of how he got there or why. It is from here that he begins his pursuit of why he is in Italy, how he arrived there and what he needs to do next. He finds himself in possession of an object that holds disturbing clues that we come to find out was designed by a scientist who is obsessed with the end of the world. We also realize that this scientist is even more obsessed with The Inferno, a poem written by Dante Alighieri.

As with most of Dan Brown’s novels, he keeps things moving with unpredictable events, and clues, leaving you wondering what is going to happen next, right up to the very end. There is a surprise around every corner, or every page turn. As soon as you think you have something figured out, there’s a twist so shocking you are left saying “WHAT?!” But it all makes perfect sense and everything comes together impeccably. There are so many twists and turns that Brown keeps you guessing until the very end.

The characters evolve and develop throughout the story, so you get a real sense of who they are by the end of the book. But like the storyline itself, the character development has many shocking twists as well. Each character is revealed slowly throughout the book and the narrative jumps between different viewpoints so you are able to get a glimpse into each character’s mission.

Brown integrates mystery, suspense and action with the history of Venice and the historical places they visit. His rich descriptions allow you to picture it in your mind, even if, like me, you have never seen or visited them before. He writes so you feel as if you are there.

I would recommend everyone go and grab a copy of this amazing book, especially if you have enjoyed reading his previous novels. I think this may be his best one yet!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sarah's Review of Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca

This is the first review I have written, so I hope it reaches some of you and makes you go out and grab a copy of this book. If there is something else you wish for me to touch upon in my reviews please let me know. I will try to add things, such as character reviews, etc., as I go on.

Review : Lacrimosa (Requiem Book #1) by Christine Fonseca

Lacrimosa (Requiem, #1)
This book makes you really consider how far you would go for true love. Would you sacrifice everything you have? Would you go against all that you consider moral and right in the world just to save that one person?
I won this book through FreeBookFriday and was excited to give it a read. As soon as I picked it up I was hooked. Lacrimosa is about an Angel named Nesy, who is given the task of destroying the Unholy, which she has been doing for 500 years since her training began. She is the best at her job as a Sentinal. That is, until she meets Aydan, who is considered the worst of the Unholy. He is a fallen angel who lures people to him and then feeds off of their human souls in order to stay alive. Her task at hand is to destroy Ayden, which she attempts to do, until she meets him and realizes he is the past love of her life, who she has worked so hard to forget.
Nesy has to choose between doing what is right in her heart and doing what she has been trained to do for the good of the world. But it’s not as black and white as it sounds. I found myself hoping for the love of Nesy and Aydan to overcome all of the obstacles in their way. The author changes the perspective of the characters and you can see firsthand the struggles that they endure in their quest for what is right.  You can read from both of their viewpoints and it really pulls at your heart strings. It is in a sense a love story, but overall deals with a greater battle between two worlds, Heaven and Hell. You also get to see how real friendship comes to play.
I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends. While there are a few parts that are predictable, the author keeps changing it up and keeps you guessing until the very end. I can’t wait to get my hands on Libera Me (Requiem Book #2).

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