Sunday, 22 July 2012

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren and is my first ever meme where you share all the books you received during the week whether it be from the library or in the mail post.
This week I got:

Dreamless ~ Josephine Angelini (MKB)
Finally! Can't wait to see how Angelini continues her saga :)

Fear ~ Michael Grant (Library)
Already read; Grant is nothing less than a literary god - I adore this series!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Again, already read - such a stunning book! Cannot get over how much I liked everything about this amazing novel

What did you guys get in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment and I'll be sure to check out your IMM :)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Lenah Beaudonte is not a typical sixteen-year-old girl; for a start, she used to be a vampire, notorious for being the most dangerous of her kind. Secondly, she was made a vampire about five hundred years ago. Thirdly, her coven will be searching for her to reclaim her as their queen…and when they discover she is human once again, hell will break lose for Lenah and all those she loves.

Sounds like an exciting and unique premise right? Sadly the fanfiction-esque writing, lack of character development and serious Mary Sue protagonist makes what should be a great book into a hard-to-get-through slog.

 Inevitably hordes of boys fall in love with the beautiful, smart and interesting (despite the lack of evidence for all three points) Lenah; in fact, there was only one major shock for me in this whole novel (naming it would spoil though) whilst the rest plodded out exactly as I suspected it would.

The only thing that separates this novel from others in its class is the amount of research that Maizel has clearly carried out, along with the amount of thought that has gone into the vampire mythology. If only she had put that level of consideration into making Lenah genuinely sound 500+ years old instead of the general confusion at today’s technology and the occasional dropping in of a sophisticated word to illustrate Lenah's true age, the novel would have been vastly improved.

Interestingly Maizel uses Lenah to comment on the society of today, such as girls degrading other girls to make themselves feel superior and whether or not it had always occurred, which I found quite a nice addition. 

I found ‘I’ was way too overused – and yes, it is from a first person perspective but it jars the pace of the novel when you realise the number of times “I did this” and “I did that” it feels like an eight year old had written parts.

Nonetheless, I will probably end up pursuing the sequel Stolen Nights to see how the series plays out.

[SYNOPSISFor 500 years Lenah Beaudonte has been a vampire. 500 years of seduction, blood and destruction. But she is sickened by her dark powers – and longs to feel the sun on her skin, grass under her bare feet, and share the breath of a human kiss. She wants to be mortal again. But is she really capable of being human, after her long years of darkness? Waking up as a sixteen-year-old girl brings Lenah many things – the life she has missed, taste, touch, love. But a vampire soul is not easily shed. And her coven – the four vampires she led in decadence and thrilling destruction – want their queen back . . . ]

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Thisby is a unique island where the resident’s lives centre around the capall uisce – beautiful but deadly water horses who rise from the sea. The residents either take care of the tourists that visit the island or are participants in the annual November Scorpio Races; those that are interested in neither escape to the mainland, which is what Kate’s brother is planning to do. In order to stem his journey and save the house, Kate agrees to partake in this year’s annual race, against all the odds and her brother’s wishes. It’s a difficult book to sum up, hence the vague synopsis and my own not-very-good attempt but it is an amazing read nonetheless.

Stiefvater maintains her beautiful style of writing, combined with very picturesque surroundings. However, I didn’t particularly like fact that we are given no indication of the period or of Thisby’s location in the world; this was probably to make the novel feel timeless but instead it felt a bit disjointed and messy to me.

I loved the capall uisce idea – it is extremely original, believable and just generally well done overall as it really felt like fully developed age-old mythology; the world-building was extremely thorough, barring the missing out of details that I have already mentioned.

The Scorpio Races features an excellent set of characters – you genuinely love some, like George Holly, and hate others such as Matt, although you are not compelled to feel so unlike in some other books – it is solely the way they act that makes you feel so. There was a nice pace of the romance developing, although in terms of action it was a bit lacklustre, particularly at the beginning. You really can picture the island, its customs and residents that Stiefvater writes so marvellously. One of my few complaints about the one other Stiefvater book I have read, Shiver, is that the points of view of Grace and Sam were virtually identical; happily though, in The Scorpio Races the viewpoints differ a lot more.

A simply stunning novel – very different from Shiver but still containing Stiefvater's 'magic touch' so I would recommend this book to everyone – I’m really not doing it justice in this review.

[SYNOPSIS: It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
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