Tag Archives: beth bernobich

Catching Up

I’ve been reading. A lot. My Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge tracker informs me that I am now 4 books ahead. Go me! Unfortunately, I’ve fallen WAY behind with reviewing said books. So here are a few quick thoughts on what I’ve been reading.

Fox and Phoenix by Beth Bernobich

The king of Lóng City is dying. For Kai Zōu, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king’s daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost dragons orders Kai to travel across the country to the Phoenix Empire, where the princess is learning statecraft. In a court filled with intrigue, Kai and his best friend Yún must work together to help the princess escape and return to Lóng City. A refreshing mixture of magic, wit, and action, Fox and Phoenix is an auspicious debut!

This was like a simple kids adventure story, with a few teenage elements thrown in. There’s a quest to find a princess, dragons, magic and love…. twooo love.

Ahem.

Anyway, I liked it. Kai’s voice is unique, even if the general storyline is familiar. There’s humor here, though nothing that made me laugh out loud. Overall, I felt like even though the world was interesting and it was a fun read, this book lacked the spark to bump it to the next level.

Though Kai’s spirit pig was pretty cool.

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.

Jeez, if you thought Wither was depressing, brace yourself. It doesn’t get any happier with this book.

For Rhine and Gabriel, this is a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. Immediately after escaping the mansion they’re captured by Madame Soleski. Madame runs a circus of sorts, full of drugged girls who she rents out to any guy who’ll pay. Yeah, not a nice place for them to be.

Of course, the people who Rhine and Gabriel meet as they struggle to find a way to New York are very representative of the world created here. Madame Soleski is hardly the most horrible thing in this book.

I really don’t want to give anything away. The plot is so much about their journey and it unfolds slowly. The writing is dark and at times poetic, though beautiful prose does nothing to distract from the unhappiness.

I think I liked Wither better, mostly because of Rhine’s interactions with her sister-wives, but Fever is still a good read. Not fun, but good. And I’m VERY eager to see what happens in the next book.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…

OK, so in my last post I talked about Abandon and how I heartily disliked it. Well, Everneath is also a retelling of the Persephone myth, but I actually enjoyed it. It was a very compelling modernization and I really felt something for the characters… at the time. To be honest, I read it about a week ago and I’m already a little fuzzy on the details. That’s what I get for waiting so long to write this!

I really liked that this book was romantic without losing its darkness. Nikki’s interactions, even when she’s happy, are always tinged with sadness. That seemed very fitting to the story. It also seemed fitting that everything wasn’t wrapped up in a nicely neat and happy ending, but then I found out that there’s going to be another book. I think it would have worked as a standalone, but that’s just me and I’m guessing that puts me in a very small minority.

Ninth Key (The Mediator #2) by Meg Cabot

Everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she’s willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad… particularly the fact that he’s not Jesse, whose ghostly status–not to mention apparent disinterest in her–make him unattainable.

What Suze can’t ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont’s past.

So, as I explained in my last post, I was recently prompted to reread some older Meg Cabot books. The library didn’t have the first book in The Mediator series, so I grabbed the second one. This was a fun and super fluffy read.

Suze is just as funny and just as much of a smartass as I remember her being. Jesse is just as hot as my sixteen year old self thought he was, puffy white shirt and all. They aren’t particularly complicated characters, and the plot is straightforward, but sometimes that’s a nice thing. Also, they have great chemistry. It makes the teenager in me squee.

What I had forgotten about were Suze’s step brothers, and how funny her interactions with them are. I’d also forgotten about her ghost dad showing up every now and then and Brother Dom’s earnest enthusiasm for mediating.

Nice to revisit and a quick read.

I have more, but I might (just might) be able to write individual reviews for the rest since they’re fresher in my mind. Also they’re pretty standout reads, so I’ve got more to say about them. And this post is long enough!

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews