Kooky Kickin' Kids

literati_rain66 Saturday, July 7, 2012
You've probably thought it. I know I have. It's weird to have a children's book review right next to a paranormal romance review.

I started LLL to review books I read. I thought of it as an eclectic book blog, where any book I read could be reviewed. That's still true, but I've decided to dedicate another blog to the kids stuff. They deserve their own spot. I expect to be increasing the number of kiddie books I read since my kids are getting more interested and our library is close and well-stocked.

I kept looking at our Pug In A Truck review right next to my review for Shadowfever and my brain just kept telling me that was weird. Because it is. So as I was leaving the library today with my very excited Beanie, I decided I should probably bite the bullet and make a sister site. Thus, Literati's Literary Kids was born. Go give it some love!! It has zero followers and that's just unsat! (As my husband would say. We normal people say unsatisfactory.)

In all seriousness though, I'm super excited to have a place for our children's book reviews. And I'm super excited to have this blog be a little more concentrated. It's truly MY blog now. :)

Hope you're all doing well and reading something spectacular!!

Really Ravishing Review (The Calling)

literati_rain66 Friday, July 6, 2012 ,
Title: The Calling
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Harper

(From the back cover of the review copy)
In The Calling, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of The Gathering clamoring for more. 

Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves lost in the Vancouver Island wilderness. But Maya has a secret. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. It's part of who she really is- and it has something to do with the mysterious paw-print birthmark on her hip. Yet as Maya and her friends face unforeseen dangers, it becomes clear that she's not the only one in their close-knit group with something to hide. If they're going to survive, they'll need all their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.


Loved it! Much more satisfying to me as a reader than The Gathering was. (You can read my mini review of The Gathering here.)

The Calling picks up right where we left off in The Gathering, rising into the air in the helicopter, escaping the forest fire. And like Maya and her friends, you never catch a break from the action. There's no rest for the escapees, and there's no shortage of excitement. Yay!

Secrets are uncovered surrounding Serena's death, Salmon Creek, Maya's past, and even the teens she's on the run with. Nothing is as it seems.

We even see some flickers of a possible romance. The romance we all WANT to happen, even though our dear Maya is totally blind at the moment. It's okay though, I understand. I was the same way at her age. But she had better figure it out!!

I love Maya, I love Daniel, I love the suspense. But what I really, truly love about the Darkness Rising trilogy is that it's a sister series to the Darkest Powers series. The ties and connections to the DP series is what gives the DR trilogy that extra spark and intrigue that keeps me on my toes. I've not come across many (any?) other books that do that. And it's totally awesome.

It really felt like one story, not smaller stories about the same characters divided into different books. The storyteller is simply taking a breath.

The downside to that, however, is that it's nearly impossible to see the plot. It's a lot of action, moving from one harrowing experience to the next, but really.... something seems to be missing. The mystery surrounding the kidnappers isn't much of a mystery. We know what they're after, why, and who they are. We're waiting for the characters to catch up with us and figure out what they are themselves. And while we wait, they run. I'm a little sad that the story relies so much on the scene-to-scene action, and not on a Big Mystery or complicated plot.

And if that romance we all want is going to happen, things need to speed up a lot in the last book. I hope it does. :-/

I adore Kelley, and I adore her work. But I'm crossing my fingers for the last book. It's going to have to be six kinds of awesome to balance out the rest if the trilogy and make this all worth it.

4 of 5 stars.

Only One Opinion (Shadowfever)

literati_rain66 Sunday, July 1, 2012 ,
Title: Shadowfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Place in series: #5, final book

I somehow managed to NOT review any of the other Fever series books. I'm not sure how that happened. Life just gets ahead of you sometimes. But I'm here to talk a bit about Shadowfever, the final book in the Fever series.

First and foremost, this review will be spoilery to the other books in the Fever series. It's too difficult to review it without doing so, I apologize. The whole series carries my recommendation though, so if you enjoy paranormal romance, stories about the Fae, and spunky female MCs, you should probably go buy Darkfever, book 1 in the series.

Mac's world took a devastating turn at the end of Dreamfever. What a cliffhanger that was! Her protector, lover, and savior, the man who boldly proclaimed he would always be there to protect Mac, is no more. She's stuck in the Silvers, lost, with no hope and a bleak, Barrons-less future before her. Her grief knows no bounds. When the beast was slayed, so was Mac's heart. The grief that consumes her soon turns to something more: a single-minded, blind desperation to unmake the world... and make a new world where everything is perfect. Alina alive, Barrons alive, living with her parents, not a care in the world, everything pretty and pink. In order to do that, she must find it -The Book- before any of the others hunting it do, and she will do anything, anything, to find it and use it first.

Good gravy. Shadowfever was nothing like I expected. It was so much more! And yet, it was possibly too much. So much happened, I'm still trying to process it and wrap my head around it all. It could easily have been made into two books. So many emotional traumas and world-flips happened, combined with the non-stop action and plot twisting- it was a bit overwhelming.

~ I loved the non-stop action and I loved the plot twisting! Nothing was as it seemed. Everything I thought I knew I was forced to reexamine. What a ride!

~ Mac is terrifying and stupid and brilliant and hilarious all in the span of a chapter or two. At times I wanted to slap her silly, I admit. And at others I thought she was pretty daft, but making progress so that was good. And she ended up okay, and that was important.

~The repressed feelings Mac has/had for Barrons are finally admitted to and accepted (can we all say hallelujah??).

~ We learn who was behind all the shenanigans.

~ Rowena gets to have her pie and eat it too.

~ SO much happens. It's... I don't know. Two books worth, at least.

~ Some places felt rushed, some felt like they went on forever just to torture me because it was really unimportant stuff. Or it was Mac thinking the same things over and over again.

~ There was an abundance of info-dumping. I understand that as the final book, it was expected to be full and to wrap up all the loose threads, but holy moly.

~ My heart was broken, mended, broken again, broken some more, patched up, and by then I was so lost and confused emotionally, I couldn't keep up.

~ Not all of the big plotsies were resolved. I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. There were questions that I'd wanted answers to from the start, and I'm still asking them. I had to Google and see if Shadowfever was really the last book, I felt that cheated, even though I knew it was when I picked it up.

~ Mac and Barrons' relationship is whack. True, there are some issues there, but dude. It's a relationship. It's all well and good that Mac finally owned up to her feelings, but, uhm, what about him? He said some stuff, and they got down and dirty, but that's about it. Yeah, he's alpha male protector and big and beefy and masculine. But doesn't she deserve to see the tender side? I feel like he regressed, and thus even though they finally Became Something, it's all kind of.... blah.

And now I realize that it wasn't as good as I thought it was. Heh. I was going to give Shadowfever 4 stars when I started writing this, but now that my thoughts are written out, it's pretty plain that the cons outweigh the pros.

And so,

3 out of 5 stars.

(Aside: The series is fantastic. I absolutely recommend the series. And while you're at it, Shadowfever, because things happen and you need to know about them. Just be prepared for the onslaught.)