Angel’s Kiss by Melanie Tomlin really hits the ground running. Angels, demons and all kinds of other monsters are real, hidden for years from the mortals they live alongside, and Helena has just been thrown right into the middle of them.
Starving and freezing Helena takes refuge in an abandoned house and waits for the angel of death to take her, what she actually meets however, is a vampire. Danizriel, otherwise known as Danny, is an angel on Earth who’s job is surveillance. When he arrives on scene he is shocked to find the vampire dead, and Helena still alive. Unsure how she survived or what she might be, Danny begins to explain the workings of the angels and demons and vows to keep her safe from them all.
I liked the twists Tomlin put on vampires, werewolves and the other creatures and Danny’s reasoning that mortals put a lot of conditions on monsters to help us sleep better at night. Most of what mortals believe about these monsters has no bearing on the real things. I did find Danny’s ‘blink and it’s there’ ability a little convenient, whenever Helena questions it he gives the explanation of “angel, remember?” This ability is useful nonetheless, especially for things like doing the washing and creating the odd garden for Helena to explore.
A lot of the book involves Helena exploring exactly what she is capable of, and she certainly is capable of a lot. She really grew as a character and a person throughout which book which was enjoyable to read. This is the first book in the series and it definitely leaves you wanting more!
I picked up Bookworm by Christopher Nuttall for two reasons. The first was that it was, as the title suggests, about books and the second was that it involved magic.It is also largely set around a huge library filled with these books on magic, my interest was piqued.
Elaine No-Kin was brought up in an orphanage in the Golden City, never knowing her parents or where she came from. Although her magic is limited she attends and graduates from the Peerless School and then takes a job at the Great Library. The Great Library holds the largest collection of books on magic there is, including those books which are banned as they contain information on the dark magic which nearly destroyed them in the necromantic war many years ago.
While sorting through a box of books left to the Great Library by a recently deceased duke Elaine accidentally sets off a magical trap which almost kills her. When she finally comes round she realises that she now has the the knowledge from every book in the library stored inside her own head, including the banned books kept locked in the Black Vault.
I am very conflicted on this book, so lets start with the good points. If there is one thing I love it’s imagination put into books about magic. This book definitely has that. The magic system is well thought out and it works well, throughout the book we see hints of magics capabilities and its limits. We are shown the different and complex ways it can be used, and its shortcomings. The main character is very relatable, and the other characters are really brought to life and hold their own. The plot moves at a good pace and definitely kept me interested, the world it itself is fascinating and beautifully described.
With all the praise I have given, why then am I conflicted and whats stopping me from giving this book a five star rating? This book is listed in more than one place as being Young Adult fiction, so why then is it filled with so much sex? It adds nothing to the story and certainly makes it inappropriate for the young adult category. Elaine and her roommate have a fairly detailed conversation about oral sex after Elaine’s first date, she later walks in on a man receiving oral sex, after being kidnapped she is tortured, mostly psychically but there is also some sexual abuse from her captors. This is all rounded off with a graphic sex scene between Elaine and Bee, her new boyfriend. I have no issue with erotica, but if I want to read that then I will buy it. I don’t expect to find in when reading a young adult book.
Although the book is part of a series, the plot comes together nicely at the end. It makes it clear that there is a next one but wraps most things up satisfyingly. If it had not been for a repeated sexual content this book would have had five stars. However it just felt out of place and inappropriate, therefore I have given it 3 stars.
I really enjoyed Serpent’s Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz, it was the perfect follow on to Witches of East End.
Freya’s twin brother Fryr, now known as Freddie, has escaped Limbo and returned to get his revenge on the man he believes responsible for his incarceration, Killian. While Freya goes between the two attempting to prove Killian innocent and find out who is really to blame, Ingrid has her own problems. Her new relationship with Detective Matt Noble is blossoming, but the pixies who accosted her in the park and are now asking for her help are at the center of his investigation into recent burglaries. Joanna meanwhile has received a message from the dead which she is struggling alone to decipher, and the best person she can think of to help her is her long estranged husband, Norman.
One of the highlights of this book was the pixies and also the background information their story line provided into the different worlds which have been touched on in the previous book. World building and lore always get a thumbs up from me!
Overall a very enjoyable and entertaining read. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern may just be one of my favourite books of all time. From the moment you start reading you get sucked into the story, and also into the circus itself. Spread throughout the book between chapters, is your own walk through the circus. The atmosphere, the tents, the people, everything is described in such detail that you become almost sure you are there yourself. The further into the the book you go, the further into the circus you walk, and by the end of the book you do not want to leave.
Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair are the pupils of two different magicians, set to compete against each other in an unknown game with the circus as its venue. Neither of them fully understand the game that they have been training for most of the lives for, but they begin to make moves by creating new wondrous tents for the circus.
The circus is brought to life by the wonderful characters both within it and outside it The tarot reader Isobel, the owner Chandresh, the Murray twins Poppet and Widget, Bailey, Friedrick Thiessan who is the unofficial leader of the circus’ fan club, the Rêveurs and many others who become intrinsically linked with the circus.
I have rarely read a book so well thought out, it will take you until the very last page to put everything together but believe me it is worth it. This book is truly magical. I will happily pull out my black coat and red scarf and read this again and again. I definitely consider myself a rêveur.