Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review/Guest Post: At First Touch by Mattie Dunman

Hello Fellow Page Turners,

Today I'm pleased to be part of the At First Touch tour. As part of this tour, I'm including my review, a guest post, and an awesome giveaway. But before we get into my review, let's learn more about the author.

Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.

Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.

She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.

Mattie is currently working on the second book in the First Touch series, and is ecstatic about her new release, At First Touch.


You can buy At First Touch on Amazon

And now let's get into my review:


At First Touch
by Mattie Dunman
Paranormal Young Adult
Received for Review
Released on: May 28, 2013
Published by: Self-Published
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.15
ebook

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Liz Hannigan has been on the run since she was twelve years old.


Her mother is dead. Her father has lost his job. And thanks to an experimental procedure, Liz is now able to ‘download’ the contents of every brain around her with a simple touch. Forced to hide from both the federal government and a darkling group of morally deficient scientists known as the Coalition determined to exploit her abilities, she moves with her father to the bucolic coal town of Pound, West Virginia. 

But the hunt for Liz and her abilities hasn’t ended, and her hopes for peace are shattered when she inadvertently downloads the enigmatic Carey Drake, whose unusual good looks and charm conceal a secret as shocking as her own. Stunned by the knowledge that she has found someone else who has extraordinary abilities, Liz finds herself drawn to Carey, discovering a deep attraction, and dares to hope for the first time she might find love. 

But when an agent of the Coalition begins stalking her, Liz must find a way to work with the government agency she most mistrusts as she strives to build a longed-for normal life and take down the agent who has tracked her down. Caught up in a struggle to save herself and those she loves, the girl who sees all is blind to true danger until it is too late.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

An Overview of the Novel: Liz is tired of running, but that's all she's ever known and she doesn't anticipate being able to stop running anytime soon. She's wanted by the government and by a rogue agency. And it's all because of that stupid accident. The one that caused her to be able to download people's minds after just one touch. One touch and she can know anything about them. 

And yes the FBI and the rogue agency find that particular talent very useful. But when Liz moves to a small town, she makes friends for the first time. And she meets Carey, he's a guy who is different too. She starts gaining feelings for him. But can you really fall in love when you might have to pick up and move at any given moment. 

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this novel as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour team. I am not receiving any compensation for my review nor was I obligated to write a good review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I actually really liked this one. I thought the synopsis sounded good and so I decided to give it a shot. What I didn't expect was to fall in love with this novel. From page one to the very end, I was hooked. I loved the characters and I loved the plot too.

I have read a lot of books about telepathy, but I really really liked this one. Dunman's writing forced me to become engaged in the text and left me wanting to turn the pages faster and faster.

This novel was a brilliant start to a series that I'm definitely going to be keeping tabs on. The whole idea of being able to download somebody's mind was a different twist than the telepathy books I'm used to and I found the idea to be really intriguing. I just loved everything about this one. Definitely recommend it. 

In Summary: A brilliant book that caught my attention. This book had an interesting premise, great characters, and was impeccably written. I adored it. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book was actually very clean. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to even most the sensitive readers. 

The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed this novel. I'll be honest I was hoping that this book would be a fun, enjoyable read, but I really didn't have that high of expectations for it. I was blown away by how much I loved it. 

And now here's the guest post by Mattie:


What if we were all telepathic...

When I sat down to write At First Touch, I wasn’t thinking about developing a character who could read minds. I was creating someone who had seen the worst of people and was still fighting. As the story developed, it became clear that Liz’s ability to ‘download’ the minds of those around her wasn’t the main problem; it was how people in power perceived her and sought to use her for their own purposes.

But it got me thinking. There are so many books, movies, etc. about people who can read minds or other variations on the theme. What is it about knowing the thoughts of everyone around us that is so fascinating?

When I was a lowly undergraduate, I majored in Psychology. I’m one of those people who can be standing in line at a grocery store and have the person behind me tap my shoulder and tell me their life story, and the thought of pursuing that odd knack as a career was tempting for a while. It certainly gave me lots of inspiration as a writer; but I think the real draw was that elusive idea that learning about the brain would make it easier to read people, understand the way they think, why they behave the way they do. In short, I wanted to be a mind-reader.

Everyone is a bit of a mind-reader. It’s how we know to stop asking the boss for a raise when he gets a certain tone in his voice, why we recognize when our significant other is about to end things, or how we know the time is right to ask our parents for that raise in allowance. We base our reactions on a lifetime of memories and precedence, and most of the time we’re right.

So why do we dream about more?

I recently read an article about developments in ‘synthetic telepathy,’ which is intended to create a connection between our thoughts and technology. So eventually, this area of research hopes to produce the ability to send a text or email with a thought, to give commands on a video game telepathically, along with other, more practical implementations. Can you imagine if covert military operatives were able to communicate brain to brain instead of relying on whispers or signals? Or individuals suffering from strokes, ALS, or other debilitating conditions that prevent speech being able to hold conversations in their heads? The implications are staggering.

Of course, I wasn’t thinking about any of this when I created Liz; I just wanted to see what it would be like if she were burdened by knowing everything about anyone she came in contact with, and how that would change her as a person. And I’ve come to the conclusion that even if mind-reading technology comes along in the near future, I want to stick with the old-fashioned kind and just try to gauge the mood of whoever I’m talking to by using facial expressions and tone of voice.

After what I’ve put poor Liz through, I don’t know how much of a ‘gift’ mind-reading really is.

Thanks for stopping by! And be sure to enter this sweet giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love,

Danica Page

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stacking the Shelves/Imm: Week of the ARCS



Hello Fellow Readers,

This is my twenty-sixth time doing In My Mailbox and Stacking the Shelves. IMM is a meme hosted by Kirsti from The Story Siren and Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews
The point of this meme is to share what books you received in the previous week through any medium. 

This week was a really spectacular week for me so I'm thrilled. I got cleared for a lot of books I've been dying to read, received a ton of books in the mail, and even bought a few. It will take me a while to get through all of these, however. 


Books I Got this Week


The Bane by Keary Taylor (Goodreads)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)  by Marissa Meyers (Goodreads -Amazon)
Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)  by Lauren Oliver (Goodreads -Amazon)


Transparent  by Natalie Whipple (Goodreads-Amazon)
Jennifer by Dee Henderson (Goodreads - Amazon)  
Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade (Goodreads - Amazon)



Life after Theft  by Aprilynne Pike (Goodreads - Amazon)
Towering  by Alex Finn (Goodreads - Amazon)
The Boyfriend App  by Katie Sise (Goodreads - Amazon)


The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa (Goodreads-Amazon)
Born of Illusion by Terri  Brown (Goodreads - Amazon)
Parallel by Lauren Miller (Goodreads-Amazon)



Night School by C.J. Daughtery (Goodreads - Amazon)
Over You by Amy Reed (Goodreads - Amazon)
How my Summer Went Up in Flames  by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (Goodreads - Amazon)

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff (Goodreads - Amazon)

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that Might Kill Me by Kristin Chandler (Goodreads -Amazon)


That's all for me. What did you get? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments and be sure to link up.

Love,
Danica Page

Book Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera


Hooked (Hooked, #1)
by Liz Fichera
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Romance
Received e-arc for Review
Released On: January 29, 2013
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.61

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done. 

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...


My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received a temporary e-arc of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not obligated to write a good review nor am I receiving any compensation for writing this review. 


An Overview of the Novel: Fred is unsure how her parents will react when the coach invites her to join the boys golf team. She isn't sure how she'll be received, but she can't say no. Golf is her life. It's a chance to get out and to leave the reservation. But with her mom constantly getting drunk and telling her she's not going anywhere, it's hard to believe she can leave. Then there's the fact that in order to be on the team she had to kick off a boy on the team. That's not exactly winning her any points with the team.

Ryan is furious when Fred joins the golf team. She kicked his best friend off the team, but he quickly starts becoming really impressed with Fred. First off, she's an icnredible golfer and he is just drawn to her. But she's the girl who ruined his friend's golf career and the girl from the reservation. Do they even have a chance?


My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I read the first sixty pages or so and to be honest I didn't think I was going to like this one. I was preparing myself for a lack-luster read. 

I was wrong; I ended up really enjoying the novel. I really liked the charaters Fred and Ryan. They both live very different lives than I do; however, they were easy to relate to. Both of them had such distorted ideas of what life for the other person was really like. This lent itself to much confusion and honestly these two characters acted like complete idiots toward each other for most of the read.


That was really frustrating, but in the good kind of way. I just wanted to shake them both and say get your act together


The writing was also really interesting. I thought the novel did drag a little at times and that the pacing could have been better; however, on the whole, I really enjoyed the novel. 


It was very thought-provoking. And unless you count Twilight, which I really don't, I haven't read any other books about contemporary Native Americans. It was interesting to read a book about people on a reservation, how they were able to handle living on the reservation, and how they handled going to a school with mostly people who didn't live on the reservation.


I thought this novel was an intriguing look into a different type of life and showed how they were different but how they really weren't all that different. I do wish the novel had possessed more depth to it. It had such potential to be one of my favorite reads at all time. It didn't reach that level.


But it was still an incredibly well-written book that I definitely recommend to fans of realistic contemporary. 

So why 3.5 out of 5 stars? It was intriguing and I liked the characters, but it dragged at times. I also wished that there would have been more depth to it. However, on the whole I really liked it. I thought it was an interesting look into a different lifestyle. 

In Summary:  Fichera's Hooked is a beautiful read that opened my eyes to different lifestyle. She showed that differences don't have to divide us and I loved that. A great start to a new series that I'll definitely be keeping tabs on. 

The Wrap-up: I am definitely excited to read the sequel. Fichera's writing style was intriguing. Her cast of characters was also beautifully crafted. I have no doubt I'll love the sequel featuring new characters just as much as I loved this one. In fact I already love both Sam and RIley so I'm excited to see what she does with it. This one definitely comes recommended.

Love,

Danica Page

Book Review: Outrageous Courage by Kris Vallotton

Outrageous Courage
by Kris VallottonJason Vallotton
Christian Non-fiction
Released On: January 1, 2013
Published By: Chosen Books
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.29
Pages: 156

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:

Bestselling Authors Share a Powerful Story of Raw Faith in Action 

From the moment her motorcycle pulled up outside Kris Vallotton's small country church years ago, Tracy Evans has been impacting lives. Mentored by Kris, Bill Johnson, and Heidi Baker, Tracy has never been afraid of putting her life on the line repeatedly for Jesus--and God has used her repeatedly to do amazing things for him around the world. 
This is her story, as recounted to her closest friends. From treating rebel guerillas while captive on an Asian island, to having tea in a Mozambican hut with bullets whistling by, to caring for 900 HIV-positive orphans, Tracy's story will entrance readers, inspire in them adventurous faith, and challenge them to be radically obedient. 
"Every story in this book is true and unembellished," says Kris. "We hope and pray that Tracy will have the kind of impact on you that she has had on all of us. Put on your seatbelt and let the journey begin!"


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a temporary e-arc of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not obligated to write a good review nor am I receiving any compensation for writing this review. 


An Overview of the Novel: This book is a non-fiction,memoir of Tracy Evans. It shares her conversion to the gospel and then her devotion to the gospel. It takes readers through her adventures in different countries and different situations and her experiences in each place. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I normally don't read non-fiction, especially not Christian non-fiction. Several Christians have slightly different beliefs than I do and I don't really like to be preached at. So I had mixed feelings going into this one.

I shouldn't have worried. This tale was actually gripping. There were parts that lagged behind, but Tracy's adventures were just incredible. Read the first chapter of this book and you won't be able to stop reading. It's just that good.

And this is a true story. That's the part that still gets to me. The amazing tales shared in this book actually happen to a person. And even more amazingly, this person is not depicted as perfect, but rather a person simply trying to be better. I also loved that.

This book was pretty much incredible. I'm so glad I took a chance on it. 

So why 4 out of 5 stars? I always have a hard time rating non-fiction because I really don't read a lot of it. However, this one was really good. There were parts that lagged as I'm sure there are with many non-fiction books. I thought the organization could have been better in parts, but overall, I adored this book. 

In Summary: An engaging tale about an incredible person who is actually a real person. The Vallotton's did an excellent job at relaying one woman's experiences without being preachy. 

The Wrap-up: I'd recommend this one. I know some people might be opposed to the beliefs expressed in this book; however, Tracy's story is worth reading even if you aren't Christian. If you like stories about people putting everything on the line for their beliefs, then you'll like this story. It doesn't matter whether you believe what Tracy did or not. It's the inspirational story about 

Love,

Danica Page

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: Dualed by Elise Chapman

Dualed
by Elise Chapman
Dystopian Romance
Received for Review
Released On: February 26, 2013
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.46
Pages: 304
Buy Dualed on Amazon

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received a temporary electronic arc of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no compensation for writing this review and the opinions expressed within this review are my own. 



An Overview of the Novel: West has been training to battle her Alt and to kill her. For only one of them can live. The other must die if the other is to survive. The better Alt will be privileged to get a job and is allowed to marry. After training your whole life, you can help you're the better person.

The government shows up at your doorstep and gives you thirty days to kill your alt. If both of you are alive after thirty days, you're both dead. You don't have a choice--kill or be killed.


But when West's brother dies helping their friend kill his Alt, West spirals out of control. Her whole family is dead and she refused to die too. One of them needs to survive.


She's trained her whole life but when she gets her assignment she suddenly realizes she's not ready to kill her Alt. She just can't bring herself to do it. She can't help but wonder if she really is the better Alt. 



My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Character development is one thing I look for in all of my novels and honestly as several others have pointed out we really didn't get to delve into the heads of the characters all that much. I couldn't understand half of the decisions West made, but yet somehow that really didn't matter.

The plot was so addicting and compelling and this premise drew me in so completely and absolutely. I had to keep turning the pages. I just honestly had no idea how this one was going to end.

There was a romantic angle in the book, but it really wasn't all that developed and was mostly on the periphery. I'm excited to see what happens in the sequel.


I'm trying really hard to give nothing away and yet still accurately express my thoughts concerning this book. Basically, I'd say that Chapman could have developed her characters more and that would have made me like the book better. However, I still really liked the book because of her writing style and how compelling the plot was. Definitely recommend to dystopian fans. 

So why 4 out of 5 stars? I wished the characters had been better developed. If they had this book probably would have been a 5. It's a 4 because it definitely stood out in my mind. The plot was gripping and I loved the writing style. 

In Summary: Elise Chapman's debut novel Dualed presents a compelling, intriguing, plot that will leave readers turning the pages faster and faster until they reach the end. One thing is for sure, Chapman knows how to come up with compelling ideas. 

The Wrap-up: Chapman's world was just so dark and intriguing that it caught my attention. It's been awhile since I've read a dystopian novel as gripping as this one. If you don't care if the character development suffers slightly at expense of plot, then check this one out. 

Love,

Danica Page

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton


Everneath (Everneath, #1)
by Brodi Ashton
Dystopian Romance
Released On: February 26, 2013
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.46
Pages: 304

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she's returned--to her old life, her family, her boyfriend--before she's banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance--and the one person she loves more than anything. But there's just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's queen.

Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.



My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I have mixed feelings about this one. I love retellings of Persephone and I had heard of really good things about this one. So naturally I went it with high expectations.

To be honest this novel was definitely nothing like I thought it would be. I didn't expect to be so drawn to Jack and I also expected to be drawn more to Cole. To be honest, I'm not sure who I'm rooting for. 

Nikki was a character that I had a hard time connecting with. I mean I understand life is hard, but to agree to go down to the Everneath over a boy was something I really had issues over. 

However, once I got past that initial premise I found the novel to be really intriguing. I felt like I really got to know Nikki's character. And the writing was solid. Also that ending was just wow. It made me really want to read the sequel. 

So in short, I hated the actual premise of the novel (aka why Nikki went to the Everneath), but thought the retelling was intriguing. The plot, however, was extremely compelling and that ending was really addicting.    

So why 3.5 out of 5 stars? The initial premise knocked it down to a 2, the ending knocked it up to a 4, and the last 10% of the novel was a 5. On the whole I'd say the novel was somewhere between a 3 and a 3.5. I'm super excited to read the sequel, so I'll bump it up to a 3.5

In Summary: A compelling novel that offered an intriguing take on a myth that I love reading about. I had some issues with the initial premise, but overall the novel was quite good. 

The Wrap-up: I'd recommend it. It truly was quite good. Just get past the reason why Nikki went to the Everneath and then it's a really intriguing read. I'm really hoping the next book is like the last 10% of this novel. It's bound to be interesting to see the least. I'm curious to see who wins out too--Cole or Jack. 

Love,

Danica Page

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Offside by M. G. Higgins


Offside
by M.G. Higgins
MG Sports novella
Received for Review
Released On: January 28, 2013
Published By: Darby Creek
Average Goodreads Rating: 2.85
Pages: 112

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:

Between finishing late school projects and looking after her brothers and sister, Faith Patel barely has time to play soccer. And when she's at practice, surrounded by girls who can afford to play in club leagues, she doesn't even feel like part of the team. So when Coach Berg starts to give Faith extra attention, she feels . . . really special. It might be crazy, but suddenly Faith has a crush on her coach. Can she keep her head in the game? 

The situation gets worse after Faith's frenemy Caitlyn decides that Faith's getting special treatment. Will Caitlyn tell the rest of the teamand make Faith into a total outcast?

My Rating: 2.5 out of 3 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a temporary e-arc of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I'm not receiving any compensation for reviewing this novel and the opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

An Overview of the Novel: Faith barely has time to follow her own dream of playing soccer. Her mom is busy working and that leaves Faith spending a lot of time baby-sitting. But she has soccer in her life and she's determined to do her best, even if she can't play club or feel like a part of the team.

Even worse is when Caitlyn starts feeling threatened by Faith. All Faith knows is she might have a chance to not feel like an outcast for the first time and she's going to take it. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Let me start out by saying that I don't think I was the target audience for this novel at all. I thought this was going to be a YA novel; it was a middle grade novel. That right there was probably a little bit of a let-down.

Secondly, I played soccer and so I had really high hopes for this novel. I love novels that are about girl soccer players. Once again that probably wasn't fair either.

Having said that, let me get into what I think of this novel. I thought that the novel had an intriguing premise, Faith seemed like an intriguing character, and I thought the novel had great potential.

I wanted to like this one so badly. Honestly, I did, but it just fell flat for me. It just felt like it ended right when the story was really getting started and I never felt really connected to any of the characters. Things just felt so rushed. 

However, in all fairness that could be because this was an MG book. I'm not as familiar with this genre. I do feel that I still would have been slightly disappointed with this novel just because I loved soccer so much.

Another downfall for the novel was that it resembled the movie Bend it Like Beckham, but was a weaker version of it. This novel just lacked the depth and character development that I like.

However, it was an interesting read and I don't regret reading it. However, I couldn't in good faith recommend it which is why I had to give it 2.5 stars. But who knows if I had been a middle-grade reader I might have enjoyed it more.

I also had problems with Faith crushing on her coach. It just seemed weird to me. She was just so young and I really didn't like that dynamic. 

So why 2.5 out of 5 stars? I didn't hate it, but I can't in good faith recommend it to others. This was Higgins' debut novel and I hope she writes a more compelling sophomore novel. 

The Wrap-up: For me this novel just struck out. However, if you like middle grade novels, you might like this one more than I did. I can't recommend this one to others, but I do hope that others who read this novel enjoy it more than I did. It had great potential, but just fell short. 

Love,

Danica Page

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare



City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, #2)
by Cassandra Clare
Paranormal Romance
Released On: March 25, 2008
Published By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.29
Pages: 453

Before I get into my review, here's the summary that's available on Goodreads:


Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

An Overview of the Novel: Clary was determined not to get involved with the Shadowhunters, but that plan doesn't really plan out. When people discover Jace is Valentine's son, they stop approving of him and declare him a traitor.

It's up to Clary to make sure Jace doesn't do anything rash. But that proves to be a little more than difficult. After all Jace is her brother, she can't love him. And yet she can't not love him.

Clary is determined to help her mother too. Her mother is still in a coma and shows no sign of waking up. Plus, Valentine is out there wrecking havoc. But where do Jace's loyalties really lie? To the Shadowhunters or to their father?

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I kept hearing that I needed to read this series from so many people that I finally decided to read the series. I read the first one in the series awhile ago and just barely got to this one.

I will admit to being pleasantly surprised. I actually really enjoyed this one. It did feel like a little bit of a bridge novel; however, it successfully avoided the sophomore slump.

I still really like Jace, but the idea of Clary and him still liking each other kind of creeped me out. That's partly why I didn't read this book, but I decided to read it anyway. 

I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed the novel and am pleasantly surprised by the Jace and Clary angle.

I liked Simon a lot, but I just don't see him with Clary. I hope he does get a girl though. 

Basically, I did enjoy this one and am curious to read the next in the series. I have all sorts of guesses as to what happens next. 

So why 3.5 out of 5 stars? It was enjoyable, but it just lacked that extra something to really stand out in my mind. I did like it, however, and am excited to read the next one. 

In Summary: An original, compelling tale that has me intrigued to find out what will happen next. Definitely recommend to fans of paranormal fantasy (but then again, you have probably all already read this). 

The Wrap-up: Like I said, I can't wait to read the next one. I'm curious to see where this series goes. I really hope my suspicions are right and that I don't end up hating the series. :) 

Love,

Danica Page


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