Saturday, February 25, 2012
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
I wanted to read this based on the cool title alone, but it is a great story as well. Karou has been raised from infancy by four demons, who despite their appearances, have loved her dearly. Now 17, Karou lives in Prague and attends school as an art student, but she lives a secret life. She can enter the portal to where her demons live and then exit into other places in the world to run errands for Brimstone, mainly collecting teeth. Although she has questioned Brimstone many times about his magics and what he does with the teeth, he never tells her. Then one day, she and an angel named Akiva lock eyes in Marrakesh and Karou discovers there is much, much more to the mystery of who and what she is and where her demon family comes from than she ever dreamed of. This is the beginning of a series and readers will be dying for the next installment. Taylor creates a lush, well-imagined world and backstory for her characters, and readers will be fascinated. There is a strong dose of romance here, but I can't imagine anyone would mind. Fantastic!
Genre: Science fiction
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
This is a retelling of Cinderella and how many of THOSE have there been? Well, I can't recall the last one that took place in the future and our heroine was a cyborg, so there's that. Cinder has no memory from before she was 11 years old and in some kind of accident which resulted in the surgery that added many cyborg parts and lost Cinder her parents. She was adopted, but the man who brought her back to New Beijing died shortly afterwards, leaving Cinder with her bitter stepmother and two stepsisters. Cinder happens to be a crack mechanic, bringing in all the family money, and meets handsome Prince Kai when he brings her his favorite robot to repair. That doesn't stop her dream of escaping, maybe with her favorite stepsister, Peony. But when Peony comes down with the dreaded plague, her stepmother sells Cinder for research, which is when Cinder discovers the astonishing news that she is immune to the plague...and there's a reason. You may think you know Cinderella, but there's some twists to this tale you may not be expecting. And for better or worse, this story leaves you on a cliffhanger for there is going to be a sequel. If you like fairy tale retellings, scifi and a bit of romance, this is a story you'll eat up.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Genre: Paranormal with a bit of romance
Rating: 4 stars
Briony Larkin is the reverend's daughter, a twin, with pale skin and hair and dark dark eyes. She lives in her small swamp-side town which is slowly draining the swamp to make way for progress. And Briony is a witch. How else can she explain her ability to talk to the swamp spirits and to the ghosts of the dead? How else can she explain the terrible things she's done, like calling up Mucky Face to attack Stepmother or calling up the fire to burn up the parsonage's library or having her jealousy cause her sister Rose to fall off the swing and never be right in the head again? Briony cannot love, is not capable of love. But when Eldric comes to board at the parsonage, Briony's heart wants to open. He is handsome and fun-loving and seems to want to spend time with her. But what if he finds out what she really is? When Rose develops the dreaded Swamp Cough, Briony realizes she needs to make some sacrifices to save her. But when you deal with the Old Ones, you better be sure of what kind of bargain you are making. It is creepy and dark, just how you like your paranormal stories, and there's definitely something "not right" going on you'll be eager to uncover.
By Tim Wynne-Jones
Rating: 4 stars
"Blink", AKA Brent, has been living on the streets of Toronto for months, snagging breakfast off of room service trays. He fled home when his stepfather got just a bit too violent. "Caution", AKA Kitty, has been living with a drug dealer boyfriend after leaving home when her brother died. They don't know each other...yet. But when Blink accidentally witnesses a faked abduction and picks up an abandoned Blackberry, he becomes drawn into a web of possible intrigue which eventually leads him to cross paths with Caution. Both teens are grappling with their unhappy pasts as they struggle with the here and now, but when they get together and are caught up in the whirlwind surrounding the abduction, things begin to change, for both of them. But first they have to survive the night. There are a couple of loose ends that don't quite get wrapped up, but otherwise, a well-told story with memorable characters both guys and girls can relate to.