Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #1)

Over the past few years I’ve noticed a trend in young adult (YA) fiction in the Fantasy genre that seems to be going strong. Retellings of classical mythological figures, angels and demons, and explorations of death as the netherworld (instead of all that fire and brimstone) are increasing in popularity.

I’ve blogged about Meg Cabot’s Abandon series (Abandon, Underworld) which re-imagines the Hades and Persephone myth.  There’s also Aimee Carter’s The Goddess Test (series) which I’ve been meaning to read/review as well (same concept). If you lean towards the angel stories, I recommend the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick.

The display racks in the Teen Lounge (at my local library) are one of my guilty pleasures.  I try to slip in an hour before closing, or just before opening, when it’s usually just me and the books.  Kudos to library staff who seem to devour YA Fiction and have the newest, most popular titles on the shelves.  I love discovering a great new read!

That’s how I found Brodi Ashton’s Everneath. So today, I’m blogging a bit about what exactly there is to love about this book (and there’s a lot!).

Cover:

Nikki Beckett, the girl in red, is gorgeous in a red ethereal gown as elemental forces sweep around her feet and almost seem to be tearing her gown from her (which, actually, they are).  I adore this cover  but in fairness to The Sweetest Dark, this is another of those depictions that you really need to read the book to understand.

Plot:

It takes a bit of explaining to understand the world concept of the Everneath but it’s important to get a feel for the setting of the story and what’s at stake so here goes, in as brief as possible:

In a parallel world to ours, there exists the Everneath (think: Hades) where there are cities of immortals who live and serve a Queen.  These beings get their immortality during ‘the feed’, a one-hundred year period spent absorbing the life force of a human from the Surface (Earth) that’s been lured below.  Humans are kind of like batteries (whoa, Matrix back flash there) and at the end of this century-long process, no longer remember their life in the Surface world, or even their names

Nikki Beckett is drawn to one of these immortals, Cole, and awakens from ‘the feed’ with a condition no other human has: she remembers who she is.  Nikki makes a damning choice to spend six months on the Surface with her family, to say goodbye before she will be sentenced to the Tunnels, where banshee-like forces called The Shades make sure no-one escapes… for eternity.  Nikki is determined to use her six-month (real-time) grace period to find a way to escape her fate.  But can Nikki answer the big question her parents, friends and classmates want to know: where the hades did she disappear to for six months?**

I love this series. It’s clever, it’s a great new look at the underworld mythos.  I love the idea of incorporating more mythology into stories.  There’s a timelessness about it that fits. So, what did you think of Everneath?

Grab a cuppa and let’s chat!

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Overbite by Meg Cabot (Insatiable #2)

Morning folks!  Today we’re beginning the day by discussing very dark things.  Vampires.  Subterranean passages.  The New Jersey Devil (yes, it’s real!).  And the end (probably) of a very promising series by Meg Cabot.

Ignoring the rants of GoodReads reviewers, I decided to give the sequel a try for myself.

cabot_overbiteMy copy of Overbite finally arrives and it’s got Meena’s classic red dress, she’s holding an ornate book and staring down a menacing, gothic, clearly vampiric set of doors.  Cool.  There’s the inherent threat and the promise that something about this book gives Meena courage to face danger.  Yeah — you really can read all of that in the cover.

I don’t get it, I really don’t.  Overbite has all the potential to be a very nice sequel — it’s got a love triangle between Meena, Alaric and Lucien, the prince of darkness.  Meena’s brother Jon takes over for the dog as the comic relief character, working on a vampire-hunting weapon out of a household object.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

[spoiler]There’s plenty of danger, dark places, some familiar faces you’ll be glad to see again, and oh yeah, Meg Cabot kills off one of the main characters.  Why, Meg, why?!  You don’t just resolve the romantic love triangle in book 2 unless there’s no book 3.  You actually have Meena choose between Alaric and Lucien by the end of the book.  Totally unbelievable and disappointing.[/spoiler]

Despite wrapping things up quite nicely (which, if this is the end of the series, I appreciate plot threads being resolved), I felt emotionally unsatisfied by the conclusion. I’d read Insatiable again in a heartbeat but Overbite is not on my favorites list right now.  Meg Cabot fans, shout out.  Were you happy with the sequel?  Satisfied?  Depressed?  Am I way out in left field here?

Grab a cuppa and let’s chat.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot (Insatiable #1)

Meg-Cabot-InsatiableWhat can you say about Meg Cabot?  Girl’s got talent.  How many authors successfully cross age groups, let alone different genres too?  For those of you who don’t know Meg Cabot’s work, here’s a brief introduction. She’s the bestselling author of multiple series for children, YA, and adults (1-800-WHERE-R-U, Avalon High, Queen of Babble, Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls, just to name a few). You may not have heard of these but I bet you’ve seen the Walt Disney version of her book series, The Princess Diaries.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you may have seen my reviews of her Abandon series (Abandon, Underworld).  The final book, Awaken, is coming out later this year so watch this space for a review!

Today, I wanted to introduce you to the first in another supernatural series by Meg Cabot, Insatiable.

Insatiable takes a new look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula (still on my reading list…) following NYC television writer, Meena Harper.  Meena writes for one of those soaps that’s been going on since your mum was your age, you know, the ones where the heroine has had more careers than Barbie and gotten in and out of more trouble than Emily Thorne.

If vampires are your thing, this a fun new read I recommend checking out from your local library (or bookstore).  The edition I read was Kindle for Overdrive.  Did I leave anything out?  What were your favorite moments of the book?  Time to sound off! Check back on this space next week for a review of the sequel, Overbite.

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #3)

briggs_ironkissedThe term “Iron Kissed” is Mercy’s word for describing Zee, a Gremlin who isn’t really a gremlin because the term was invented only about a couple of hundred years ago and Zee is a LOT older than that.  Mercy bent the rules and used a borrowed fae item twice in Blood Bound and Uncle Mike and Zee need a non-magical person to investigate the scene so they call in a favor.  During the investigation, Mercy finds herself and her friends endangered by her nose and the company she keeps.

[spoiler]Zee is found at one of the crime scenes with blood on his hands and is charged with murder.[/spoiler]

Nobody threatens Mercy’s friends without her having a say in it and it’s up to Mercy to face the Grey Lords, the fae community, and some fae-hating political groupies to find the true killer before someone offs her friends.

I love the incorporation of German in the fae’s speech and the connection between the original folklore and stories like the Brothers Grimm with the worldbuilding that Briggs has created.  Lovely!  The transition between normal to extraordinary is so seamless, you step with Mercy into Underhill and back again and I could almost smell the sea.  Briggs worldbuilding again leaves me wishing there really were an Underhill to travel to, if I could just avoid the selkies.

For those readers following along with the Mercy Thompson books, what is your favorite type of non-human character so far?  Who would you want to be?  Where would you like to travel to?

Grab a cuppa and let’s chat about it!

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #2)

Blood-Bound-184x3001Mercy is back in Book 2 of the Mercy Thompson series by paranormal fiction writer Patricia Briggs.  

What absolutely draws me into these books is the world that Briggs has created.  It feels real.  Half of me wants to take a trip up to the Tri-Cities to meet the werewolves, but maybe not the vampires.  Great sense of mystery and the story keeps you turning the pages.  I’ve snuck reading time in on the road, in bed, and almost everywhere in between.  Except church. I can’t bring myself to read paranormal romances during church.

I’m also a sucker for romances and there’s plenty of that kind of tension too.  Briggs tastefully deals with the love triangle (or is it quadrangle?) with Mercy by making her the kind of girl not to rush into things.  She doesn’t want to be hurt the way she has been abandoned by her parents.  I adore this series by Patricia Briggs and I strongly recommend you check these out if you enjoy paranormal fiction.  Check them out and let me know your thoughts.