Friday, April 16, 2010

Meridian by Amber Kizer

Meridian is the gateway to heaven for dying souls. Things that die seek her out to find their way into heaven before they have to be reincarnated or taken by a dark soul reaper. Meridian is ignorant of her powers and believes that she causes death and that is why she suffers from sickness and physical ailments. All of this changes on her 16th birthday when she is sent away to live with her Aunt. She learns that she is a Fenestra, a gateway or a window. However, there is trouble brewing as forces would like to rid the world of Fenestras. Tens her protector has to find a way to keep Meridian safe in an increasingly dangerous world where the enemy isn't in the open. Meridian must stand strong and choose to love to survive.

This book was an excellent read. I highly recommend it as it is very different from the typical paranormal read. This is the first book that I have read about Fenestras and the author does an excellent job of creating suspense and giving a plot that does not rush things and yet keeps the reader interested. The typical action sequences are absent in this paranormal book. If you are looking for physical fights and romance then this book isn’t for you. While the characters must struggle to survive it is not as much a physical struggle. Meridian is a nice reprieve from the typical paranormal book.

Amber Kizer is in the process of writing a sequel to Meridian although a release date has not yet been set.

Edit: Wildcat Fireflies is the title of the sequel to Meridian and will be released in Fall 2011.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Sophia aka Sophie has been sent to a reform school for performing an over the top love spell that could potentially expose humans to the existence of the Prodigium. Prodigium are the children of the angels and are in the form of witches, shapeshifters and fae. Sophie finds herself in danger as a group of witches tries to draw her into their coven. She must navigate the world of high school and figure out the supernatural world that she wasn’t raised in.

Hex Hall is an interesting read. The love story leaves something to be desired as you never really see the true motivations within the love triangle. It is also resolved in a surprising twist. It seems as though the author is setting it up to continue throughout the series. However, for those romance fans looking for a good read this might not be the story you want to read. You may want to wait for a sequel to read it.

The plot is very intriguing as it constantly surprises the reader. It takes twists that the reader can’t possibly anticipate. Sophie’s character is well developed although at times it seems that she is very slow to action and has a habit of crying and whinning.

Overall, I think this book is a good read as it has a great story. It is different from most paranormal witch stories as not much focus is given to the witch part and more of the story revolves around the plot and typical high school experiences. There are many pop culture references that make funny one liners and Sophie’s wit will keep readers laughing throughout the story.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning is the third book in the Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. The trilogy follows four teenagers: Chloe, Derek, Simon and Tori. These four teens are genetically supercharged since their genes were experimented on by the Edison Group. The last book follows them while they are still running from the Edison Group and searching for Derek and Simon’s dad.

The third book starts out really strong keeping the reader guessing about whom they can trust in the story. Chloe narrates the story and as a reader you instinctively trust many of the characters through her eyes. The relationships are extremely believable and well developed in this story. All four teens have complex personalities that Armstrong explores in her writing.

However, Armstrong falls short on the ending. The ending feels very rushed as the book spends several hundred pages building up for a final scene that lasts only a few chapters. In addition, the ending leaves more to be desired. The series is a trilogy and therefore ends with this book however the ending seems to be left open.

Overall the book is a great read for those looking for a paranormal book with thought involved. The reader will constantly question whom to trust and try to keep up with all of the action and changing in plans. Armstrong does a great job detailing the different conflicts in the book although the love aspect is not center stage as in some paranormal YA books. If you are looking for a twilight style love story this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for an action packed story with a hint of love this is the right book for you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

While examining different lists of paranormal books I stumbled across Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley. I was looking for something lighthearted and comical and Pauley delivers both in her first novel of the series.

Sucks to Be Me is an enthusiastic upbeat read. Mina, the main character, is the daughter of two vampires. Her Uncle Mortie turns her dad just before her birth and then her mother is turned after she is born. Mina is forced in the book to make a decision on whether or not she will join her parents as vampires. Mina makes new friends and discovers a lot about herself while on her journey to discovering her choice.

The main character Mina narrates the story with plenty of wit and humor. She is a strong female character that doesn’t tolerate the typical teen drama. She sticks up for herself and her friends with a ferocity that is surprising from a teenage narrator. The tone of her narration is very similar to The Confessions of Georgina Nicholson series. The lists at the beginning of each chapter personalize the story and make it seem as though you are reading someone’s diary.

The vampire aspect of this story gets lost in the human interaction. The typical vampire myths don’t seem to apply, outside of needing blood. Thus, the reader is drawn more to the typical human relationships and their evolution than focusing on the supernatural.

Overall, this was an extremely good read. It never gets boring or seems to be too slow. The quips and one-liners keep the reader interesting in even the most typical and cliché teen interactions. Pauley does an excellent job writing with a teen voice and keeping the reader enthralled in the book. The sequel is set to be released in May 2010 and is sure to rise to the expectations set by the first book.