Warning: Use of undefined constant the_title - assumed 'the_title' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/thebookheist/www/www/wp-content/themes/thebookheist/template-parts/content-page.php on line 14

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: McElderry Books

Publication date: December, 2011

Hardcover: 528 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the second in a series.

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: Come on, it’s Cassandra Clare–the woman is a miracle worker with words! 

Synopsis:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
 
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
 
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
 
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Review:

So guess what I just finished reading?  That’s right, Clockwork Prince.  The other day I stopped into the new bookstore in town and happened to grab the last copy available!  Though I was going to wait to read it (so I could re-read Clockwork Angel), I just decided to hell with it, and starting plowing through.  Not that I wanted to plow through it.  To be honest, I didn’t want it to end.  It was amazing.  Five stars, without a doubt.  While there were times in the first installment that I could set the book down, this one left me flipping through the pages a warp speed, wanting to know what came next.  I would have read the novel in it’s entirety in one sitting if I could have. 

What should I lament about first?  The amazing characters?  The sizzling love triangle?  The way every word tugged at my heartstrings?  The debauchery?

Well, the characters are very well rounded.  If you’ve read Cassy Claire’s works before, you probably know this.  Her characters jump off the pages, and you can only pray that you will someday see them on the streets with their smirks and floppy hair.  While Will was in this book, and there were some major chunks left to him, I think that this book was more dedicated to Tessa, and her trying to get some answers, all the while starting a love triage on the way.

I hope I don’t give anything away, but anyone who can read can tell that Jem is in love with Tessa.  And while in the first book I didn’t really feel for Jem, this new installment has turned me to Team Jem all the way.  Even his silver hair and eyes seems sexy and sweet.  For the Victorian era, things sure do get steamy.  Then Claire has to remind us of Will’s tragic story, and you get confused all over again.  So yes, I’m twisted between the two.  For once, I don’t feel I can definitely decide between one character or the other.  (Props, Claire!)  This is a good thing though.  It means I can definitely relate to Tessa, who’s going to have some tough choices in the next installment. 

The next installment…another year away…nooooo!!!

Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Title: Winter Town

Author: Stephen Emond

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication date: December, 2011

Hardcover: 336 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

How I got this book: Galley from Little, Brown

Why I chose this book: It’s hard to find a good season appropriate book, especially for winter.  Then this came my way, and I was thrilled.  Winter, one of my favorite seasons, and romance…sounds perfect.

Synopsis:

Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent’s divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she’s changed. The former “girl next door” now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, “Old Lucy” still exists, and he’s determined to find her… even if it means pissing her off.
Review:

Winter Town by Stephen Emond was one of the best books I’ve read in a while.  I’ll admit, I may be slacking on my reading duties lately, and I was stuck on plane for a few hours, but that’s not the point.  The point is that it’s the holidays, and around this time there should be tons of holiday-themed books to choose from in the YA genre to read.  But there aren’t.  That’s one of the reasons I loved this book.  Because it was holiday themed.  I think it takes a lot of courage for an author to publish a book realizing that it may only be read during the holidays.  Back to the business side of the story…  This book was pretty amazing.  I started into it not sure what to expect.  Some of the scenes hit close to home for me, so that may have been a contributing factor to why I loved this book so much.  I could relate…somewhat.  Also, since I’m a sucker for romance, this was absolutely perfect.  Best friends turned more?  How could it get any sweeter than that?  Falling in love with someone you already know and love in a different way, knowing everything about them?  Sounds pretty awesome to me. 
    Edmond did a pretty darn good job creating these characters.  I usually don’t read books that are narrated by boys. (Or written by boys, for that matter).  Probably because it makes it harder for me to connect.  But by the time I was ten pages through, I was hooked!  The characters were like the best friends I’d never had–the really cool ones that can draw comics about each other and have inside secrets and the likes. 
    The comics!  All the illustrations in the book…  When I was first contacted about the book and told how it was set up, I’ll admit I was a little weary.  But boy was I overreacting!  I think the illustrations throughout the book made it better.  I want to read books like this again.  I’ll definitely be checking into Emond’s different works, and looking into what he does in the future.
    Thus, I think this is the perfect read.  Whether you read it in winter or not, it will still break your heart and mend it back together.  Snow outside and the holiday season is just the cherry on top.

Book Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Title: Angelfire

Author: Courtney Allison Moulton

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Publication date: February, 2011

Hardcover: 464 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the first in a series.

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: I had this book sitting on my shelf for a while.  Since it first came out, actually.  Now, almost a year later, I finally decided to read it.  Wow, I wish I would have picked it up sooner.  But better late than never, right?

Synopsis:

First there are nightmares.

Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.

When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.

Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Review:

Angelfire was spectacular.  First off, I couldn’t put it down.  I read the novel in an entire day–and when I say entire day, I mean it took the entire day to read.  But I don’t care because I feel in love.  Not just with the storyline, but the characters, the writing style, everything!  I’ve been putting off reading this book because I just haven’t been in the mood to read it.  I felt like it wasn’t going to be anything special, and always had another book I had to read before it.  Now I’m finally glad that I read it.  And just in time to wait for the sequel to come out in February (Valentine’s Day, to be exact).  I loved loved loved the characters.  They all popped, in the magnificent way that (most) writers have.  I felt like I was there, or that I could pretend (in that really nerdy way I have) to be the main character.  I could feel Ellie’s struggles as she tried to hang on to her humanity, yet strived to become a better fighter so she could save herself and others.  Not to mention Will.  Oh, Will.  What would I have done if you hadn’t come into my life?  Will is like on of those quiet, in-the-closet romantics that every girl dreams about.  And yet the ending tore my heart to pieces.  (Don’t worry, he doesn’t die).  But it’s sad just the same.  So, I can’t wait to read the next installment, where I’m sure Will will be showed much temptation thanks to Ellie.  Yeah!