Tagged: julie kagawa

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa(Cover picture courtesy of (un)Conventional Bookviews.)

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

I seriously had my doubts about Julie Kagawa being able to end her Blood of Eden trilogy well.  It’s a very complicated world with more problems than you can count so how could she possibly come to a satisfying conclusion?  Even when reading it I had my doubts but I didn’t need to.  Julie Kagawa pulled it off once again.

I’m seriously impressed.  With that horrible cliffhanger at the end of The Eternity Cure I was very anxious about getting my hands on the final book.  Allison is still brooding from Zeke’s death and she’s turning into the monster that her brother Jackal is, the kind of vampire Kanin tried to prevent her from becoming.  I can’t go into much detail without some major spoilers but let’s just say Allie’s true colours show through when she finally decides what kind of vampire she wants to be.

The plot is insane.  There are so many twists and turns that I could barely keep up.  Some were completely unexpected whereas others were fairly predictable but overall it was an exciting, surprising plot.  The ending wasn’t abrupt in the way that some authors end trilogies, but instead there was a nice detailed epilogue that gives you an idea of what will happen to this horrifying world of humans, vampires and rabids.  There is, of course, a little ambiguity left but I was satisfied by the fact that most loose ends were tied off.

As usual, the characters were amazing.  Allie changed so much over the course of the story and we learned quite a bit about Kanin and Jackal.  All the characters that the plot centered around were well-developed and I really connected with them on a deeper level compared to the previous books.  I was honestly very surprised about how connected I felt to the characters because I haven’t been emotionally involved in a book for at least a month now.  It was a nice change.

Basically, if you’ve read the previous two books you’re going to love The Forever Song.  I know I did.  So go ahead and pre-order it!  It releases on April 15 of this year.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as normal as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for; his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he’s forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, normal simply isn’t to be. For Ethan’s nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan’s and Keirran’s fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan’s next choice may decide the fate of them all.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

The Iron Traitor is the second book in Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten and it releases on October 29, but I already can’t wait for the last book.  It seems that Julie Kagawa’s writing is still improving because I felt much more connected to the characters, more involved with the story and I felt like I was there.  The descriptions were even more vivid than before and yet they don’t veer into boring territory because they’re just the right length.

I love how Ethan is developing as a character.  In The Lost Prince he was the moody, tortured stereotypical bad boy but now that he has Kenzie and knows her awful secret he’s become a much better person.  He still fears getting close to other humans because of the faeries’ vengeance but he’s actually starting to warm up to the idea he can be sort of normal.  That it’s okay to love someone and that it’s hard to admit you’re in love.  Kenzie also has a lot more depth now that we know the reason for all her actions and stubbornness in the last book.  It makes her motivations a lot more believable and her love for Ethan is undeniable.

As for the plot, I had a really hard time putting The Iron Traitor down.  With Keirran missing in search of a cure for Annwyl before she fades, there’s an even greater air of urgency to the whole thing.  Does Keirran have an ulterior motive here?  Why did Ash and Megan keep Keirran and Ethan separate for so long?  Are the Forgotten really going to return to the real world now?  There are so many questions and many of them are answered by the end, but new questions pop up then as well.  The ending is just plain cruel, but is part of the reason why I can’t wait for the next book!  Julie Kagawa really knows how to hook her readers, that’s for sure.

So here we have a fast-paced plot, awesome characters and even more world-building.  I can’t ask for anything more in the second book of a trilogy.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ARC ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Well, I must say that I enjoyed The Eternity Cure even more than the first book in the Blood of Eden trilogy, The Immortal Rules.  And considering how much I liked the first book, that’s really saying something.

The Eternity Cure includes betrayals, new revelations, old friends (and enemies) and one of those villains that is just unable to die.  Julie Kagawa never was one for sparing her characters any pain, but wow, poor Allie really does go through a lot in this second installment.  This is definitely not a case of Book 2 Syndrome.  Allison has matured quite a bit and become more accepting of her life as a vampire when the story starts out and she has changed even more by the time it ends.  Her search for Kanin certainly isn’t an easy one and it brings her into contact with an old friend and more than a few old enemies.

As for the plot, all I can say is that it takes more than a few twists and turns.  There were even some I didn’t see coming, especially that heart-wrenching cliffhanger ending.  It was incredibly difficult for me to tear my eyes away from my computer screen the whole time, even for nourishment or sleep.  If you loved The Immortal Rules, I guarantee that you’ll like The Eternity Cure even more.  So go ahead and pre-order your copy!  It releases on April 30 of this year.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

(Summary courtesy of Goodreads.)

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Well, as of today it’s one month until the release of The Lost Prince, the first book in the new Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten Trilogy.  One of the only downsides to obtaining a book on NetGalley is that you read it earlier than everyone else and as a result, have to wait even longer for the next book!  I honestly can’t wait for the next book, which will be coming out in 2013.  Anyway, on with the review!

You shouldn’t read this book unless you’ve read all four of the previous books in the Iron Fey series.  It contains major spoilers and you will definitely be left wondering how the heck certain things happened unless you read all the previous books in the series.  With that said, if you have read the rest of the series, The Lost Prince is an amazing add-on book.  It focuses on Ethan Chase, Meghan’s little brother who was kidnapped by Machina in The Iron King.  Only now, he’s eighteen years old and about as emotionally scarred as you would expect from his experiences with the cruel, remorseless faeries.  It doesn’t help that Meghan left him at a young age to become the Iron Queen with Ash as her Prince Consort.

It also doesn’t help that Ethan has The Sight and, as a result, gets noticed by Them a lot.  He’s paranoid (with good reason) and refuses to get close to anyone for fear that the faeries may hurt them to get to him.  That’s why Mackenzie (Kenzie for short) St. James, a school reporter determined to dig up his past, becomes such an important character.  Although she may seem one dimensional or even just plain crazy, we learn that Ethan isn’t the only one with huge secrets.

An amazing plot, reappearances of old favourite characters, three dimensional new characters and a larger picture of the fantastic world of the Nevernever…what more could you ask for?  Iron Fey fans will love the fifth installment in the series, so go ahead and pre-order it if you haven’t already!  It releases on October 23, 2012.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Dangerous faeries.  Heartbreaking romance.  Thrilling action and limitless adventure.  The world of the fey has never been so powerful.  This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa’s unforgettable world of Faery.

Winter’s Passage

Never make a promise to a faery.  They always come to collect.  Now Meghan Chase must fulfill her promise to Prince Ash of the Winter Court and embark upon a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory—while being pursued by a relentless new foe and guarding her own foolish heart.

Summer’s Crossing

What can turn enemies into reluctant allies?  A call from the Exile Queen, Leanansidhe, ties legendary prankster Puck to his archenemy, Prince Ash, on a journey that may end in betrayal and will set them both on an irreversible path.

Iron’s Prophecy

Before she ever knew what might become, Iron Queen Meghan Chase was warned by the oracle that her firstborn child would bring nothing but grief.  And even as Meghan and Ash celebrate their long-awaited union, the prophecy stirs….

Being the Luddite that I am, I still do not own an e-reader and frankly don’t plan on getting one.  Reading on a screen strains my eyes and paperbacks are much more portable (or at least, more convenient to move without worrying about the battery draining).  This is why I’m so glad that Julie Kagawa’s formerly e-book only novellas are now available in print—I never would have been able to read them otherwise.

For fans of The Iron Fey, the three novellas and the Guide to the Iron Fey will be great additions to the series.  If you haven’t read all of the books in the series, then you should not read The Iron Legends because there are some massive spoilers.  Besides that, you won’t be able to appreciate all of the interwoven plot lines nearly as much.  Much like how Cassandra Clare has joined her Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, Julie Kagawa has joined her Iron Fey series with her brand new series, Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten.  And, as someone who obtained an ARC of The Lost Prince, let me say that you had better read the novella Iron’s Prophecy before you read it.  It explains a lot of the secondary characters’ behavior towards Ethan.

Although the Guide to the Iron Fey promises to have exclusive information, there really isn’t all that much that’s new.  Julie Kagawa expands a bit on the Nevernever, but there’s nothing really all that special that makes the guide a must-read.  Well, unless you’re a fan of Grimalkin because the Cait Sith has his own ‘comments’ on his biography and much of the information about the world of faeries.  However, what follows the guide is an excerpt from The Lost Prince and it definitely makes the wait for October 23 more difficult.  Even though I obtained an ARC from NetGalley and my review won’t appear until later this month, here’s a hint: it was so good I intend to buy a print copy when it comes out.

To wrap things up: if you love the Iron Fey, you’ll love this anthology, but you should read all four books in the series before you read The Iron Legends.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle.  And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city.  By day, she and her crew scavenge for food.  By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them.  The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle.  Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice.  Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most.  To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls.  There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human.  Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her.  And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

(Summary courtesy of Amazon.)

Finally, a real vampire story!

I can’t tell you how ridiculously happy Julie Kagawa’s version of vampires made me.  Vampires are stone-cold killing machines; they’re designed to kill humans.  They don’t sparkle in the sunlight and they certainly aren’t century-old virgins.  And vampires are powerful, so they naturally end up ruling the world, rather than being in hiding like they are in so many modern books.

Allie is a great protagonist.  She’s strong and accepts being a vampire relatively well, even though she got off to a pretty shaky start.  Kanin is an awesome vampire and I suspect we’ll learn a lot more about his mysterious backstory in the next book.  Or at least I hope we do because there’s a lot of hints about his past.

The plot is fast-paced, the characters are amazing and the world-building is nothing less than I would expect from an author like Julie Kagawa.  Blood of Eden looks to be a promising series and I honestly can’t wait for the next book.  Even if you don’t like vampires in general, you will love this book.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

(Cover picture courtesy of Julie Kagawa’s website.)

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over.  That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me.  But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming.  Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side.  Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

As most of you are aware, I am a shameless Julie Kagawa fan.  I love the entire Iron Fey series, but The Iron Queen (the third book) is my absolute favourite.  Here’s why:

Meghan Chase has finally acquired a backbone.

Unlike in The Iron Daughter, she has finally learned how and when to hide her emotions and lie.  She’s also more sure of her love for Ash and has stopped doubting him so much.  Overall, she’s just a better character and she’s far less helpless as she learns how to fight and use her glamour.  By the climax, when she faces the new Iron King, she shows incredible bravery and makes an enormous sacrifice in order to save the Nevernever.  It’s satisfying and extremely touching at the same time because readers could see hints of Meghan’s inner strength before, but now it finally shows through.

Since the stakes are even higher than before, there is hardly a dull moment.  The plot speeds along at a tremendous pace as the battle for the fate of the Nevernever begins.  This is the kind of book that will keep you reading into the early morning; you won’t want to put it down.  And the ending will make you desperate to get your hands on the last book in the series, The Iron Knight.

I rarely read series in order, but Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series is an exception.  I was amazed at the world-building in the first book, captivated by the admittedly cliché love triangle in the second book, but what I loved in this book was the quality of the writing.  The wonderful thing about reading an author’s first series in order is that you get to see how much they improve in writing, characterization and world-building.  Julie Kagawa has improved greatly since her debut novel and I think we can expect great things from her in the future.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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