Lady Midnight

 

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

But we loved with a love that was more than love-

For me, this line from Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee perfectly summarizes what this book is all about.

Emma and Julian are not ordinary teenagers. Apart from being shadowhunters – half-human/half-angels who protect these world from demons- Julian is responsible of raising his four siblings and Emma would do anything to avenge her parents. All of these are because of the Dark War led by Sebastian Morgestern as the Clave, the shadowhunter government, believes. But Emma knows better, someone else killed her parents and she’d go to great lengths to find out who. Lady Midnight focuses on the Los Angeles Institute and on an investigation about a series of killings. Typical Shadowhunter Jobs. But there’s a lot more at stake, secrets have to be kept and not everyone is what they seems. In the middle of all the secrets and dangers, Emma and Julian have each other, fighting side by side as parabatais. But they loved with a love that was more than love. The forbidden kind.

A lot of people are annoyed that there is another Shadowhunter book. But I say you can’t have too many. After reading the Mortal Instruments Series and the Infernal Devices series, I wanted more stories. I wanted more of the Shadowhunters’ lives and adventures. There is something unique about Shadowhunters that seem to draw me in. Cassandra Clare writes beautifully. She writes chapters in such a way that will keep you hooked, thrilled and asking for more.

But it’s not the writing style that keeps us all interested in the Shadowhunter World, it’s the characters. Yes, they’re almost all the same – a strong heroine and a hero that is both fierce and gentle that girls fall heads over heels for. But they all seem so real. Except for them being half-angel. What they say and what they feel seems like something a real person would say. That’s Cassandra Clare’s talent- she can make characters so relatable that she can make you laugh with them and cry with them. And by the way, I absolutely loved Mark. Still love Jem more though.

And I also liked how this book centered about love – all kinds of love- family, friendship and romantic love. And there’s also a lot of human emotions involved such as vengeance and desperation.

This book also teaches us that sometimes good people do bad things in the name of love. It might be wrong but a part of me completely understands that. It doesn’t justify it though.  But I still think that we all need to remember this:

NO ONE is ever the billain of their own story.

Overall, I hgihly recommend this book to people who loves reading young adult books. This book is action-packed but at the same time is full of emotion. I found myself punching pillows throughout the book. Definitely a great read especially for Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fans.

 

Quintana of Charyn

Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)

Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll know it when you see it. You’ll understand why the gods have made you suffer. Because that moment’s reward will make your knees weak and everything you’ve suffered in life will pale in comparison.

I will keep this review short. This book surpassed my expectations and my expectations were really high. After reading Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles, I knew that this book will be powerful. However, it wasn’t like I imagined. It was far beyond that. Hours after finishing the book, I am still haunted by the beautiful characters Melina Marchetta has created. That ending had  so much impact on me. It was the perfect ending to the perfect story. And that epilogue touched my heart so deep. After reading so many books, I always fear that books may not affect me anymore but this book made me laugh and cry and hope. This book made me thank my past self for reading this series. This book may be fantasy but it made me realize so much. So thank you my past self and thank you Melina Marchetta.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

We cling to our fairytales until the price for believing them becomes too high

 

This book was published on 2011. Since then, I have seen friends reading it and telling me to read it, that it’s one of the best books they have read. I was intrigued with the praises they gave the book and of course, the cover… The cover gives you an illusion of a creepy horror book that will give you nightmares at night.

Five years after, I finally decided to read the book. And I am so disappointed. It’s not like the book sucks because it’s quite appealing. The reason I’m disappointed because I expected too much. Others talked about this book like it will change me but it didn’t. The book was average. The book was your typical fantasy/adventure/young adult book except it has extraordinary vintage photographs that go with it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about Jacob who initially thought that he was an ordinary boy until one day his grandfather mysteriously dies. In the last minute of his grandfather’s life, his grandfather left him clues and his grandfather insisted that he should go to the island. But here’s the creepy part.. Jacob sees a monster nobody else can see. And then Jacob starts to wonder if the stories his grandfather told him since he was little were true. And he has to find out.

At first, I really liked the book. I liked the mystery. I liked Jacob. But then, everything became typical. What I’m saying is this book is good but it’s not extraordinary the way I thought it would be – the way everybody says it is. I guess I just expected something really dark because I’m into the darkness at the moment. But if you really like fantasy/adventure, this might be a good read for you. This book really reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

All in all, this book is quite good. But definitely not one of the best for me.

Days of Blood and Starlight

 

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

 

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.

 

As I have mentioned in my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I couldn’t recover from it and that I would read Days of Blood & Starlight as soon as possible. I have finished reading the second book of the series and here are my thoughts about it.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone is dark and full of mystery. Days of Blood & Starlight is still dark, actually, very much darker. But the darkness doesn’t come from mystery anymore. It comes from vengeance. And from something different, this series fell into the same old story as every young adult books out there- stories that revolve around rebellion.

In Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the war between the chimaeras and angels are over. And as we know, wars can be ended in two ways: one is through a truce that would lead to peace (Akiva and Madrigal’s dreams) and one is with defeat. It was the latter. But Karou is alive, hope is alive. And Karou is forced to join unexpected allies in order to avenge her people and to save what’s left of the chimaera.

Karou is very different from Karou in the first book. She might have lost herself. That is completely understandable, though. Because she has lost a lot. But I didn’t expect her to fall this hard. She has went way past the line. She made very terrible choices. She isn’t doomed though. Akiva made terrible choices too. Akiva set things in motion. And maybe, in the next book, we’ll see what Akiva and Karou can do together. Can they possible lead an army?

Needless to say, this book had a lot of things going on. It was action-packed like the first one. And like the first book, the characters remain rich. They still had depth. You can still understand their actions because their actions have roots -emotions that are realistic.

However, this book does not have what appealed to me in the first one- something that would set it apart from the rest. The elements and concepts in this book are just like most young adult books out there except here we have angels that are not always good and monsters that aren’t always bad. And, possibly a love triangle. I’m just sick and tired of those. I mean, such compelling characters does not deserve to be just like every one else.

Still, I think that the next book will be worth it. Or should I say, this series is still worth it. Angels, magic, battles and love are just so tempting. And maybe the same old story can be quite good because of familiarity. But I am hoping to be shocked in the next book. I am hoping for surprises and stories that would haunt me forever.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”

 

I did not know anything about Daughter of Smoke and Bone before reading it. I did not even read the synopsis but I guess I judged it by its cover and I thought “Hey it looks interesting”. I also read ina  blog that it would be a film soon so why not try reading.

And I liked how it turned out for me. There was no expectations but if there were, they would have been met or even exceeded.

At first, I thought that this book is simply about a girl, her best friend, an ex-boyfriend and her double life as a teeth collector for chimaeras- creatures that have both human and animal like characteristics. I thought she would have to choose between her normal life as an art students and the chimaeras who raised her since she was a baby, the only family she has known. But let me tell you right now that the story is much more than that.

This book has a certain darkness in it that seems to draw me in. It is so full of mystery. There are so many questions and you would be so desperate for answers. “Who is Karou, really?”, “Where did she come from?”, “What’s with all the teeth?” All those sorts of question. I would really commend Laini Taylor for the compelling beginning.

But I would commend her even more for how everything unfolds. The revelation is even better. Suddenly, there will be a change of setting of the story. We would leave Karou for a while to undertstand it all. And that adds impact to the story. The characters are very well-written, so rich and for me, not-at-all shallow. They are filled with depth and past. It was like everything was real because of how realistic the characters are, except for their wings and other magical stuff though. You will also realize how a person can be shaped by everything he/she has been through. More importantly, you will realize the impact of war.

Anyways, the ending is a major shock! I couldn’t even recover from it. It was a great cliffhanger so I will read the next book as soon as possible.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a great read for fantasy addicts. It has a certain originality and rawness in it. I would highly recommend this book! And by the way, I think that it would be an awesome movie. Can’t wait!