Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Rating: C+
For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

My thoughts on the book:
The last half of The Girl at Midnight was enthralling, and I couldn't put the book down. However, the first half fell flat for me. The writing was subpar, and the characters were dull. Luckily, as things moved along, the writing became much better. I also began to care about some of the characters. While this wasn't one of my favorite books, I will continue the series because I want to know what happens next. 

Echo was a pretty boring character for the first half of the book. She got more intriguing as things went on, but she never fully grabbed me. Rowan was super boring. I liked Caius quite a bit, and he was more interesting than the others. Ivy, Jasper, and Dorian were a bit one dimensional, but they served their purpose as filler characters. 

The writing for the first half of the book was incredibly stunted, for lack of a better term. It kind of resembled, "This is Spot. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run." The author seemed to struggle with the third person a bit at first, but she found her footing around the halfway point, and she had some really poignant lines after that. The ending bugged me. It's not so much as a cliffhanger as the book just kind of stopped randomly in the middle of stuff. However, the plot was unique enough that I kept reading, and I didn't hate the book. I liked it enough to continue the series. The last half really kept me interested. 

Overall, I'd recommend checking this book out from the library first. It's not the best book I've read this year, but it's decent. 

Order The Girl at Midnight

Friday, April 24, 2015

COLD BURN OF MAGIC by Jennifer Estep

Release Date: 4/28/15
It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power. 

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick. 

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. 

My thoughts on the book:
As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of anything Jennifer Estep writes. I love her world-building, descriptions, and kick ass heroines. Cold Burn of Magic did not disappoint me. While this is very different from the Mythos Academy novels, it is an engrossing and thrilling series debut. Estep has created another terrific world and filled it with interesting and complex characters. I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Lila is so different from Gwen that it was impossible to compare the two, which is good. I hate when authors write the same characters all the time. Lila resembles Gin from Estep's Elemental Assassin series much more than she does Gwen. Lila isn't quite as cold, but she is pretty hardcore. I enjoyed reading from her perspective, and she was one of those types who you trust because she just doesn't care enough to lie. I respected that. She was emotionally closed off, which I understood, yet somehow she was likeable and easy to relate to. Devon was a fantastic love interest, and he seems like a genuinely good guy. I really enjoyed getting to know him and look forward to learning more about him in the next book. Felix and Mo were entertaining secondary characters, though they had similar personalities. Mo was a bit more used car salesman than Felix, though. 

The world-building was fantastic for this novel. I love how Estep creates her own towns and cities in the US. In this particular book, she mentioned the other worlds she's created, too, which served to broaden the world as a whole. I now feel that Lila and Gin could run into each other because they live in the same world, even though they're in different cities. The plot itself was intriguing and full of suspense and action. I had the bad guy figured out pretty quickly, but I usually am pretty good at figuring out who can't be trusted in books and TV shows. The powers introduced in this series are very different from the ones that Estep has worked with in the past, and I really liked learning about these new forms of magic. The ending tied things up nicely and left room for a sequel.

Overall, I really loved this book and can't wait to see what happens to Lila and company next. I'd recommend this for anyone who's looking for a kick-ass YA heroine to read about. 

Pre-order Cold Burn of Magic

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Rating: D
Release Date: 4/24/15
The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect - anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.
Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother - and when Jory is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.
My thoughts on the book:
This book had a lot of potential to be good, but it was just depressing. I couldn't connect to any of the characters, and I really didn't care what happened to any of them. The storyline itself wasn't as interesting as it could have been, and I had all of the "mysteries" figured out well before the "reveal" because the author basically told me what was happening instead of dropping hints. Because of all of these things, I had trouble working my way through this one, but I finally did manage to finish it. 
Cass had a rough life, and she was just existing instead of living. All she cared about was Jory, and when she lost him, she risked her own survival to save him. That was admirable, but her adventure was so boring. She just wasn't someone I could emotionally relate to at all. And the dull guy whose name I can't even remember who took her onto the mainland was also unrelatable. Furthermore, there was no chemistry between them. And her psychopath friend who supposedly loved her wasn't any better. 
Overall, I'd say skip this book, or check it out from the library before buying. I know some people liked it, but it really fell flat for me.