Possibly one of the best books ever written

The raven King

Best books ever

Gansey and his court of friends are nearing the end of the search for the fabled Raven King. They are excited and yet fearful for the end of the search may mean death, and along the way, new friendships will be forged, secrets unravelled and dreams unmade.

There is something darkly magical about this series that marks it as one of my all time favorites. Reading a Maggie Stiefvater novel is an experience unlike any other. There is nothing straight forward about Stiefvater’s writing. She doesn’t tell. She doesn’t even show. She feels and makes you feel along with her. So much of this story is not woven into the plot or even into the characters, but rather, Stiefvater delves deeper into the very heart of the reader. She teases and tempts with her descriptions but never quite fully explains, preferring rather to stretch the imagination of the reader to impossible heights. She thrills, excites and terrorizes with her magical, lyrical prose and leaves you wanting more of something more…

Amazing, fantastic, frightening, dreamy…one of the best books ever written.

5 of 5 stars to ‘Mark of the demon’ by Diana Rowland

Mark of the demon

CSI meets fantasy

There’s a serial killer on the loose and detective Kara Gillian knows there’s more to the case than meets the eye. She can see the otherworldly energy on the bodies that nobody else can. She knows that the killer is planning something big, something that could have devastating results for many. Can she solve the case in time and can she do it without the help of the demon lord Rhyzkahl? Or will she have to risk bringing him into this realm in order to save it?

Rowland has taken two very unusual genres and paired them in a surprisingly harmonious way. There’s a definite CSI feel to this novel. The crime scene intricacies were fascinating and realistic. I loved the clinical detail of the investigation. Then there were the fantasy aspects. Rowland’s demon realm is not your typical romantic fantasy world. It’s dark, dangerous, beautiful and uniquely spun around its own set of rules and regulations.

Kara’s character is strong, independent and not afraid to take risks. The demon lord Rhyzkahl is as mysterious at the end of the novel as he was in the beginning. The reader is constantly reminded that he operates according to a code of honor that doesn’t exist in this world. I kept thinking this was going to turn into a paranormal romance at some stage but there’s very little romance in this story, only the slightest suggestion. This paves the way for a thrilling, focussed, investigative plot-line that resolves itself neatly, but still leaves room for more adventures. Overall, a fascinating read.

Action-packed ending to amazing series

Rogue

Best fantasy series!

Nikolas is determined to hide Sara away in an impenetrable fort following the attack on Westhorne. He will keep his mate to be safe, even if it means taking away her freedom. Sara has other ideas. She’s tired of being underestimated and coddled. She’s not going to sit back while the Master vampire ravages the country in his search for her.
With the help of her werewolf friends and one Mohiri trainee warrior, she runs away from the Mohiri compound and the man she loves, in search of her estranged mother to get some answers. But no matter how fast and far she runs, trouble will always find her – and keeping two steps ahead of her Mohiri warrior mate may prove to be even harder than staying our of the hands of the enemy.

What an action-packed ending to one of the most brilliant fantasy series I’ve ever read! Lynch keeps the reader on the edge of your seat. Just when you think you’ll hit a lull in the story, she thrusts Nikolas and Sara into escalating danger.
The fantasy element is even more magical than ‘Refuge’ with the introduction of many more species of demons and fae. Lynch explores the powers of the various species and slowly unravels Sara’s own abilities in a perfectly paced plot. New characters fall in seamlessly with the old and each has their own quirks and powers to make a gripping mix.
The relationship between Nikolas and Sara smolders throughout the story, bringing the romantic element of the series to a fiery pinnacle. The ending is an amazing amalgamation of the many threads woven throughout this wonderful series, leaving the reader sated but eager to climb into another Lynch fantasy world! Wow!

Earning a spot on my best series ever list…

Refuge

Best series list material

With a Master Vampire searching for her, Sara knows she’s a danger to everyone she loves. In a bid to keep her family and friends safe, she gives up her entire life and goes with the warrior Nikolas to live in a Mohiri compound. There, she will train with others like her, form friendships, make new enemies, and discover the truth about the man who saved her.

It’s been a long time since I got so immersed in a series, but this is one of those rare books that make you forget the real world exists. Nikolas’ absence from the first part of the story was not what I expected. I was a little disappointed at first because I wanted to see how their relationship would progress, but it ended up being just perfect for this story. His absence paved the way for a focussed journey of self discovery for Sara. I absolutely love the fantasy aspects of this series, and Sara’s training and her honing of skills broadens the fantasy elements. Lynch introduces even more unbelievable magical creatures and once again, she manages effortlessly to make them believable!

The relationship between Nikolas and Sara is taken to a whole new level, and yet their interaction does not detract from Sara’s own journey or her character’s independence. I love the intensity between them. This is pure, innocent and yet passionate romance, artfully inserted to compliment the main storyline.

So the real world can just wait because I’ve already started ‘Rogue’ and I won’t put it down until I know what happens to Nikolas and Sara!

5 of 5 stars to ‘Relentless’ by Karen Lynch

Relentless

Magical, dangerous fantasy

Sara Grey’s been to hell and back already. After discovering the body of her father, brutally murdered, at the age of seven, Sara goes to live with her Uncle. She begins a new life, but soon finds herself drawn into a fantastical world, populated by mythical creatures she never imagined existed alongside her human friends.

But Sara refuses to forget her father and vows to get to the bottom of his strange murder. Her search draws attention from a number of unsavory characters though, and she soon finds herself in over her head. Thankfully, she’s also caught the attention of the Mohiri warrior Nikolas, who knows more about Sara’s heritage and talents than even she does, and who is determined to keep her safe.

From the very start, I was completely drawn in by Sara’s character. Independent, confident, kind and savvy, she is the perfect heroine. The character developmental arc is clearly defined as she uncovers aspects and talents of herself throughout the story. Lynch demonstrates the art of ‘show don’t tell’ expertly, especially in the first few chapters as she introduces Sara to her readers.

Many of the fantastical creatures Lynch has included are particularly difficult to believe in the context of the human world, and yet from page one, I never once questioned their authenticity. This world is amazing, believable, magical and dangerous – all the ingredients for a gripping young adult fantasy.

The romance element is a subtle hint, which I suspect will develop as the series progresses. There’s a fierce protectiveness in Nikolas that makes him a swoon-worthy hero, although I must admit that he still seems very shrouded in mystery. I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about this character!

The ending was a perfect blend of anticipation and resolution. One chapter of Sara’s life is closed and she stands at the precipice of an exciting new adventure. I can’t wait to dive off the cliff with her!

5 of 5 stars to ‘Stone cold touch’ by Jennifer Armentrout

Stone cold touch

Feeling flustered

Roth is gone, relegated to the deepest recesses of hell, but no matter how Layla tries to, she cannot forget about the demon who sacrificed himself for her. Each day is a struggle to come to terms with her loss. Then, out of the blue, Roth returns. But he’s not the demon she remembers. The new Roth is cold and cruel, and brings with him bad news straight from hell. Now, Wardens and Demons must work together to protect humanity against one of the biggest threats they have ever faced. But things are more complicated than ever for Layla. On the one hand is the Demon Prince’s who confuses, rejects and yet thrills her. Then there is Zayne, the Warden she has always wanted but thought she could never have…

This series is fast becoming one of my favorites. It’s one of those that have you itching to shirk your duties just to find out what happens next. The action is fast-paced and will keep you at the edge of your seat. But it is the dynamic within the love triangle that really makes this series stand out. Armentrout has mastered the art of anticipation when it comes to the physical aspects of Layla’s interactions with both Roth and Zayne. There is only one word to describe this installment, and that is HOT! Thumbs up to this author who can make any reader flustered without resorting to an 18 + PG rating. I’m officially in love with a demon (and a Warden)! If Layla can find place in her heart for both of them, I certainly can!

5 of 5 stars to ‘White hot kiss’ by Jennifer Armentrout

White hot kiss

Sexy without smut

Layla doesn’t really fit in anywhere. Half demon, half warden, she’s the only known one of her kind. Raised by the wardens, she believes that the other, darker side of her is evil and must be hidden from all she loves. Especially Zayne, the gorgeous warden she’s been crushing on her whole life. That is, until she meets Roth. The tattooed, sinfully hot demon is nothing like she expected. Soon, Layla is questioning everything she’s been raised to believe, and uncovering secrets the likes of which could bring about the end of the world.

Jennifer Armentrout has done it again. She’s created larger than life, passionate characters that are unique and charming in their own rights. She knows how to sexy it up – without the smut, and this novel is steaming! Roth is incredibly hot with his wit and cocky attitude. This is one author who knows how to create the perfect BBBB (bad boy book boyfriend)! Zayne is sweet and protective. Layla is strong, unconsciously hot and yet a little bit of a damsel in distress.

The fantasy world Armentrout has created is intriguing. She’s put a spin on the good versus evil premise and managed to make me fall in love with both sides, creating the perfect amount of inner reader conflict in this fantastic love triangle. The action was fast-paced and had me on the edge of my seat for most of the story.

I LOVE this series and can’t wait to find out what happens next!

White hot kiss 1

 

3 of 5 stars to ‘The beautiful ashes’ by Jeaniene Frost

Beautiful ashes

Something different from one of my favorite authors

Ivy is psychotic. It’s what she’s been told her whole life and the only way she can explain the visions of dark, parallel worlds that only she can see. Then Ivy’s sister, Jasmine goes missing into one of those strange universe’s and Ivy can only turn to Adrian. But no matter how attracted Ivy may be to Adrian, he will not allow her to forget that his destiny will be to betray her. Can they navigate the demon worlds to rescue Ivy’s sister without becoming victims themselves?

I am a HUGE Jeaniene Frost fan. HUGE. The Night Huntress series is possibly one of my favorite of all time, so I was super excited when she decided to dabble in the New Adult genre. The premise of the series is wonderfully imaginative and her creativity in fleshing out the demon realms is nothing less than the ‘awesomeness’ I expect from such a talented author.

And yet…I have to say I was disappointed. So many of the things that made me love the Night Huntress series were absent: the sizzle between Ivy and Adrian just didn’t do it for me and I did not immediately fall in love with their characters the way I did with Bones and Cat. Ivy, in particular felt a little too two dimensional for me. Adrian has a dark, brooding side to him which did endear him to me later in the book.

The world creation and action scenes were what I’d expect from Ms Frost’s calibre of work – rich, detailed and starkly ‘realistic’. Her skill in making each scene come alive with descriptive words carries through too. So while it is my personal opinion that Ms Frost excels more with adult fantasy novels than in this genre, I will remain a steadfast fan.