Posts Tagged ‘vampires’

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black

12813630I have not read much vampire fiction other than Twilight, so I’m not well-equipped to review this book, but screw that, I’m doing it anyway.

I finished this book a few minutes ago, and I’m still trying to process thought and put my mind back into reality, so I’m finding it hard to see how to describe this book.

Visceral is the first word I think of. Or maybe dark and seductive, though that sounds like I’m describing erotica (which I’m not – teen fiction, people). It was a strangely intense experience. Very rich and languorous and indulgent and impossible to say no to. It begs and begs for you to keep reading and you do, because, much like the characters, you have succumb to this gorgeous, horrific world.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, this book is damn good.

Summary

I’d rather give you the blurb I read, because it is perfect, and sums up the book better than anything else could.

“Coldtown was dangerous, Tana knew. A glamorous cage. A prison for the damned and anyone who wanted to party with them.”

I think that’s all you really need to know.

Cons

Other than it ending?

Other than me wanting a sequel super badly?

But yeah, I didn’t realise how interested I was in these characters until they disappeared. While it is a very good standalone, and the plot definitely has been concluded, the characters have a lot of potential for growth and I am desperate to read more.

Pros

 The writing

Oh my god that writing.

I am obviously not going to cover all the pros but this has to be said.

Oh my god can Holly Black write.

This is the first book by Holly Black that I’ve read, and I don’t know much about her books other than people like them. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not this. It was not gorgeous sentences and vivid imagery and me wanting to quote everything.

That should be enough of a reason to read it.

All the Other Usual Stuff

Plot was awesome, characters were awesome, world was awesome, everything was awesome.

Especially liked the treatment of Gavriel and Tana’s relationship because thank god that was refreshing. There was acknowledgement of the difference between love and lust and the characters ended up actually being friends and there was a massive emphasis on the monstrous nature of Gavriel. Yes yes yes to all of it.

Quotes

  •  “Death’s favorites don’t die.”
  • “Clever girl. You play with fire because you want to be burnt.”
  • “We all wind up drawn to what we’re afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.”
  • “Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them.”
  • “She wished it was an unfamiliar feeling, that ache, the urge that made her hit the gas when she ought to hit the brake.”

Overall

Holly Black makes me want to read vampire fiction. She also makes me want to avoid vampire fiction because I’ll constantly be comparing whatever I read to this book.

She also makes me want a sequel very, very badly.

5 shuriken stars.

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The Rising- Will Hill

The Rising (Department Nineteen, #2)I have expressed my love of this series in my review of Department 19, so naturally I got hold of this book as soon as I could (which tbh wasn’t very fast) 😦

If you haven’t got it already, it’s named The Rising because of Dracula “Rising” from the dead, and throughout the book the vampires use red spray paint graffiti writing “He Rises”, so throughout this review I’m going to pretend to be a vampire, but not the type of crazy vampire person who goes around chasing Twilight vampires asking them to bite them. I’m going to be a “cool” vampire (get it?! it’s a pun! coz you know… vampires can’t see the light?!… ah forget it…) who is going to type up a review using the words “He Rises” as much as possible…
But just to let you know, they may not be together… since I’m not that imaginative.

NB. This review may contain spoilers. Especially from the previous book. And probably this book. I just have too much excitement that I can’t contain. I’ll try to use code words… :O (but knowing me, it’s unlikely to work)

Summary (From Goodreads, to avoid spoilers)
James Bond meets Dracula in this epic saga of one boy and a ton of weapons versus the world’s oldest evil–vampires as you’ve never seen them before!

Sixteen-year-old Jamie Carpenter’s life was violently upended when he was brought into Department 19, a classified government agency of vampire hunters that was formed to deal with a little problem . . . known as Dracula.

But being the new recruit at the Department isn’t all weapons training and covert missions. Jamie’s own mother has been turned into a vampire–and now Jamie will stop at nothing to wreak revenge on her captors. Even if that means facing down Dracula himself.

The Rising is a fast, furious, can’t-turn-away thrill ride that will suck readers in just like a video game. This riveting second book in the Department Nineteen series is packed with cutting-edge gadgets, international locales, and daredevil action that tumbles ferociously across the page–perfect for fans of Darren Shan and Anthony Horowitz.

Okay. That wasn’t very helpful. Just take my word for it: The book is so much better than the blurb suggests.

Cons
It was quite long…
I have no idea why this is in the cons, but basically when I was reading it, it took me a while because I kept putting it off because it was so long, but then towards the end, the anticipation kept rising and I couldn’t stop reading it.

Pros
Character Development
At points I hated the characters, but then after 5 pages, I love them again. They’re like clouds. Sometimes they rise and sometimes they fall. (that reminds me suddenly of Chaos Walking)
My feelings are manipulated too easily.

Gore
So for some people this may be in the cons section, but I love gore in books, but in real life, I’m not so sure; if a vampire suddenly explodes in blood in front of me I’d probably get that feeling of food rising up my throat.

New Characters
aka Matt. I don’t know why, but as soon as I read about him, I suddenly connected. It’s probably because he’s a “normal” human who doesn’t rise and float in his sleep.

SPOILERS IN “CODE” AHEAD.

Staying alive
Yup. Like the song :P.
Imagine the next part in caps:
They’re alive!!!
I guessed when I was reading Department 19, because I remember their deaths being too quick to be proper. I’m so happy!
But when “Mr Smith” was brought in, I was so angry that they didn’t reunite. Now we have to wait ANOTHER WHOLE 6 MONTHS (29th August) to see them reunited… And Steward. He never told Jamie…
Then the other guy. He’s going to be known as the other guy in this review. I’m so glad he’s alive, he was my favourite character. But he still doesn’t remember ;(.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Vampires,”she replied. “Lots and lots of vampires”

Overall…
4.5 Shuriken Stars. 
I think the main reason why I haven’t raised  it to 5 is because it took me so long to read.
How awesome/scary (delete as appropriate) would it be if it were real.

He Rises.

Department 19- Will Hill

Department 19It has been a long time since I read a book about vampires and werewolves. To be honest, I think I was avoiding those types of books ever since Twilight came out (sorry Twilight fans). Note. I have nothing um… proper against Twilight, just the vampire element 😉 ; Vampires are supposed to be all blood sucky, rather than “I sparkle in the sunlight instead of burning into a pile of ashes”… This book was the complete opposite of those sparkly vampires :). So thank you Mr Hill you have restored my faith in Vampires. There was true action, adventure, and even a little bit of romance (but only a little, it NEVER dominated the book). There was nothing else to be asked for. 🙂

Quick Note. Throughout the book I was being stupid, and forgot to look at the names of the chapters. If you haven’t read this book. Don’t do that. The names are important. They say the time zone… So throughout the book I was thinking they were all happening at the same time, and that Jamie’s dad was alive because there was another Carpenter. Yeah… The book also explains how Department 19 started…

Summary!
The main character is this guy called Jamie, whose dad got killed in the first few pages. Then it flicks to two years later, when Jamie’s mum gets kidnapped…
He’s an unlucky guy isn’t he?
Anyway, so he’s all unset and in shock, etc (not only because of his mum, but also because he almost got killed by a vampire- who later on is very important), and this guy called Frankenstein turns up. Yep. The real Frankenstein. (Side note. This is why I love the book so much, it also incorporates other stories, such as Frankenstein or Dracula). And then he goes all crazy and stuff… and soon he kinda joins Department 19 to try to get his mum back. And he meets the vampire who tried to kill him, and kinda falls in love with her… then also tries to kill her 😉
I WANT TO BE IN DEPARTMENT 19!!!

Cons
The Death at the End
I’m not talking about the vampire, I’m talking about the sad one… I just don’t feel it was necessary… and it happened so quickly, that I felt like I had no time to process it… 😦 and I really liked that character…
OR!!! Maybe he isn’t actually dead? And will feature in the next book? (hopefully…)

Pros
THE VAMPIRES WEREN’T SPARKLY!!!
yay!
They were stereotypical vampires!! Who die from getting staked and can be resurrected!!! Without any sort of twist to try it make unique or anything! It was so much easier to understand, rather than going through the book, thinking “huh?” every time a new “fact” about Vampires come up.

Gore
It. Was. Awesome. (with the stabbing through hearts, slitting throats, blood explosions, ripping through throats, you get the picture) So if you hate gore, and have thrown up after reading that, stop reading this review, and don’t pick up this book unless you want to throw up your organs up.

Jamie’s Dad
So complicated… even though we only met him for approximately the first 5 pages… (spoiler alert. He dies… in the first 5 pages). That’s why I love this book! It was filled with action from the very start! Anyway, back to Jamie’s dad. He surprisingly now that I think about it, isn’t actually that complicated… He just turns out to be really complicated, because of all the conspiracies associated with him. To be honest, I still haven’t quite sorted him out in my head… There were some stuff that I thought after reading it “How the hell hadn’t I thought of that” but at other times I was just like “huh? Je suis confused….” which I guess can be taken good and bad. Still. He was awesome. And I sorta hated Jamie for hating him.

Frankenstein. Dracula. 
FRANKENSTEIN WAS THE BEST CHARACTER EVER. And well Dracula… um… yeah… so…
I loved how Will Hill adapted the other stories into his own! It was his own twist to the book, and so easy to understand!

Favourite Quotes

  • “Department 6 is the Army.
    Department 13 is MI5.
    Department 19 is the reason you’re alive.”
  • “Lux E Tenebris: Light Out Of Darkness”

Summary
So after reading this review; Go. Get. The. Book. You know you want to. And if that’s still not convinced you; 5 shuriken stars!

The Hunt- Andrew Fukuda

The Hunt (The Hunt, #1)HOLY MOLY.
THIS BOOK IS THE DEFINITION ON AWESOMENESS
IT HAS NOW MADE MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE
5 SHURIKEN STARS (<–reading over this now, I realised that I was so psyched up about  it that I put it at the beginning of the review, rather than the end…)
I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT THE AUTHOR LEFT US HANGING ON THAT ENDING

THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK.
I’m now waiting anxiously for the next book in the series…

Summary
TWIST.
It’s a world full of vampires, and there are very few humans left, or as they are known to the vampires, hepers. The story is mainly about this guy called Gene, except you don’t know that his name is Gene until the middle of the book (unless you read the blurb 😉 ). He gets chosen to go on the Heper Hunt (hence the title) which happens every ten years or so? (I think) because of political reasons. And he gets the “opportunity” to hunt down some of the remaining humans, and by hunt, I mean kill, eat, drink, until there are nothing but bones left. Lovely. And he has to do this hunt without his fellow competitors finding out that he is human. So that means no sweating, no flinching, no sleeping in the night, no eating normal food (food consisted of bloody meat…), and having to keep up with their fast running pace (and remember, middle of summer, running very fast, no sweating?). Oh and this is before the Hunt actually starts… And because he doesn’t have any water on him, he befriends the hepers, and then feels guilty, so helps them in the hunt.

Cons
The new ideas about vampires (some of the ideas anyway…)
I didn’t like how they made out… Yeah I guess their fangs may get in the way if they tried to kiss… But seriously? How is shoving someone’s elbow into someone’s armpit going to make them feel good? It’s just weird… But I didn’t mind the other new ideas about the vampires, such as the wrist scratching, I just thought it was interesting. But it did also seem like the writer was trying a little too hard to make his book unique… which it already was, because of the twist!

The UK cover
I know this is only a small thing, and it didn’t make my enjoyment of the book less or anything, I just don’t really like the UK cover… I’m one of those people who get put off by books with people on the front, I just don’t like how we can’t imagine it, and it is already there. Note. the picture on this review is the US cover, because I thought it looked nicer 😉 , if you want to see the UK cover just go to goodreads or something.

Pros
Character Development
I know this happens in all books, but HOLY MOLY this book is completely different… It was just awesome how Gene and Ashley June changed, more Gene than Ashley June though…

A whole new different perspective on things (and by this, I mean in the world. the real world, not the vampired world)
Small things such as Ashley June’s name; how it can be interpreted as Ashley June. Right… Not really making much sense I just realised… 🙂 Ash-ly (fire?) in June (the month?)
and other things like how different it is to have a world full of vampires as opposed to a world full of humans, and I don’t mean that in the obvious way, I mean it in the way that can be true… such as how in a world full of vampires, where there are few humans, the humans are exaggerated in vampire terms (such as they are stupid creatures that can’t read and write… – by writing this review, I am already proving them wrong) and it can also be the opposite; in a world full of humans vampires are exaggerated; they are so pale that they don’t show up in mirrors, they have enough self control to be around humans, they hate smell so much that garlic and ward them away (I’ll add the exact quote underneath).

The TWIST
Yes. I felt the need to put it in capital letters. That’s how good the book is!!!
So yeah, I loved the twist; a world full of vampires, rather than a world full of humans. I’m surprised no one else has come up with a idea like that, that I have read.

The vampires aren’t sparkly in the sunshine!!!
YAY! He got his vampire facts right!!!

The ending
HOW COULD FUKUDA END THE BOOK ON SUCH A HAKHJSDFLASJFS ENDING???!!! NOW WE HAVE TO WAIT ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR TO READ THE SECOND (and by almost a whole year, I mean just under 6 months). WHY??!?!?!?!?!?!!?!? AND IT BRINGS UP SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!! I can’t say anymore… or I will give stuff away…

Favourite Quotes

  • “I remember the Hunt from ten years ago. How for months afterward I didn’t dare fall asleep because of the nightmares that would invade my mind: hideous images of an imagines Hunt, wet and violent and full of blood. Horrific cries of fear and panic, the sound of flesh ripped and bones crushed puncturing the night stillness.”
  • “Eleven years ago, one was discovered in my school. A kindergarten student, on her first day. She was devoured almost immediately. What was she thinking? Maybe the sudden (and it’s always sudden) loneliness at home drove her to school under some misbegotten idea that she’d find companionship. The teacher announced nap time, and the little tyke was left standing alone on the floor clutching her teddy bear as her classmates leaped feetfirst toward the ceiling. At that point, it was over for her. Over. She might as well have taken out her fake fangs and prostrated herself for the inevitable feasting. Her classmates stared down wide-eyed from above: Hello, what have we here?She started to cry, they tell me, bawl her eyes out. The teacher was the first to get to her.”
  • “You’re alone now, my son”
  • Never forget who you are. I never knew why my father would say that. Because it’s like saying don’t forget water is wet, the sun is bright, snow is cold. It’s redundant. There’s no way I could ever forget who I am. I’m reminded every moment of every day. Every time I shave my legs or hold in a sneeze or stifle a laugh or pretend to flinch at a slip of stray light, I am reminded of who I am.
    A fake person.”
  • “Call my picky, but imminent death at the hands (or teeth) of a friend who would suckle blood out of you at the drop of a hat…that throws a monkey wrench into friendship building.”
  • “Everything the Director says about the hepers has the ring of truth and a learned authority about it, but I suspect it’s nothing more than speculative nonsense. I suppose it’s easy to so widely miss the mark when it comes to hepers, to quickly slide from honest scientific enquiry to unsubstanciated theories. After all if the roles were reversed and it was people who became extinct, people theories would likely be rifle with exaggerations and distortions: instead of sleeping in sleepholds, they’d sleep in coffins; creatures of the night, they’d be so invisible to the eye, that even in front of mirrors, they’d lack a reflection; pale and emaciated, they were weak and benign beings who could coexist peacefully alongside hepers, somehow restraining themselves from ripping hepers to ribbons and sucking down their blood; they’d all invariably be incredibly good-looking with perfect hair. There’d probably be some outright confabulations as well: their ability to swim with dizzying speed under water; and ludicrous and laughable notions about people-heper romances.” (note. COUGH. TWILIGHT. COUGH.)

Overall
THIS IS AN AMAZING BOOK! If you still aren’t convinced, about it, READ IT! <– I was going to put some sort of threat down, but then my mind suddenly blanked out…
So, as I kinda, said above… 5 shuriken stars!