Sunday, August 31, 2014

Betrayal by Gillian Shields Review

"There are the small betrayals: the unkind word, the petty lies. And there are the betrayals that break hearts, destroy worlds, and turn the strong sweet light of day into bitter dust.

When Evie Johnson started at Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, her life changed in ways she couldn't possibly have envisioned: the discovery of her link with Lady Agnes, her special bond with Helen and Sarah, and their sisterhood in the astonishing secrets of the Mystic Way. Above all, Evie's love for Sebastian has turned her world upside down.

Now Evie returns to Wyldcliffe for another term and more danger. Surrounded by enemies, she lives every day in fear that Sebastian will fall into the darkness of servitude to the Unconquered Lords. The Wyldcliffe coven is plotting to destroy Evie and use Sebastian to secure their own immortality. Evie and her sisters must master the power of the Talisman before it is too late. But could it be Sebastian himself who will ultimately betray Evie?

In this companion to Gillian Shields's dazzling Immortal, magic and sweeping romance cross the bounds of time to deliver heart-stopping emotion and suspense."

Betrayal is better than Immortal. I think I might give Betrayal a raise ever since Gillian Shields killed off... Oh. Sorry. Spoilers. But if you do want to know, then read the next paragraph in parentheses. If not, then skip the paragraph. Spoilers are never kind on the soul or heart. Or the mind. The mind always tend to remember the most annoying things of all details.

(Sebastian dies. Can we open the bottle yet?)

After that wonderful plot twist, I think I can relax now. However, I still remain disappointed in the author's abilities to pull off an Allegiant. We all know that Evie needs to die. Now or later. But somewhere in the book, please! She is really killing me. And I'm not killing. How she doesn't see things is a bit of a question for me. So much is so obvious, and she doesn't even... Gosh! I don't understand how Evie is so stupid and such an idiot. I can easily tell the bad guys from the good, and things are so obvious that I can probably play pinball ten times over while waiting for Evie to finally understand what is going on. Or for Evie to go through the plot... Okay, that sentence didn't make any sense.

The plot is irritatingly slow. Slow for me. Fast for Evie, apparently. Already, I didn't like it when Sebastian disappeared and started doing weird things in Evie's dreams. That is one level of creepiness. You don't enter a girl's dream space without her permission. (Especially if you claim to be wanting to die or fade away!) And Sebastian's character is annoying, too. The guy is more bipolar than most of the lunatics in rehab. First, he wants to die. Then he changes his mind and doesn't want to die. Then he accepts his death. THEN he demands Evie to save him. THEN (can't you believe this?) he wants to die. And finally, he accepts his death and rests peacefully. I know this is a huge amount of spoilers, but seriously? I'm really angry just by thinking about him. And Evie!

The writing is okay. Nothing to complain about over there. It is just... Okay.

Overall, Betrayal is better than Immortal, because of the surprising plot twist. (What did I give Immortal? A One out of Five? A Two out of Five? I don't remember). It would probably be interesting to those readers, who rarely read. But to me, the foreshadowing is too obvious and I still can't figure out where Wyldcliffe is (probably because I wasn't paying any attention to the school in Immortal).  Betrayal should only be for teens. Then again, I wouldn't recommend it to teens. Boys like Sebastian shouldn't exist, but they do. Even if you meet them, you should never be friends with them. 

(Stay far, far, far away from them. Like twenty leagues under the sea far. Just stay away. Just pretend he has some ugly STD. Just stay away! Bad book boyfriend!)

Rating: Two out of Five

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Immortal by Gillain Shields Review

"Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.

Evie’s only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie’s feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.

Gillian Shields’s electrifying tale will dazzle readers with suspense, mysticism, and romance."

There is something disturbing about Sebastian. Something dangerous. Does anyone understand why the female species are naturally attracted to dangerous men? Well, I know I might not be an exception, but I do see that there is something dangerous (like deadly) about Sebastian. He could really kill someone. Just for immortality. All he needs is Evie.

Immortal alters between the POV of Evie and a dead girl named Lady Agnes. Evie, the main character, lives in the modern times (I'll explain more about her). Lady Agnes, however, is someone in the past who is a witch. Yeah, she is a witch. Her powers lie with fire and she can easily call on it. Learning magic from an old book, she learns with a 'mysterious' childhood friend only named "S" in her diary. (Let me tell you that it isn't really mysterious. It is so obvious. Foreshadowing isn't the forte of Gillian Shields, isn't it? She rather gave it away too easily).

Let's talk more about Sebastian:

Let's see. He is certainly rebellious and everything else in the synopsis. Mocking, why certainly. Dangerous, of course. Attractive, but not to me. Here are the many traits not listed in the synopsis: deadly, scary, creepy, weird, crazy, crazy, crazy, and so not romantic. Honestly, I grow tire of this trend. Boy wants to kill girl, but finds out he is in love with her. Yawn. How many books are like that? (Hush, Hush, Juliet Immortal [Though he actually kills her], Firelight, and a bunch of vampire books).

Evie sadly doesn't know the difference between dangerous and rebellious. First of all, I would had done an extensive background search on Sebastian (because he is really creepy), but Evie's electronics had been taken away so... No point taken or given. I want to say that she is an idiot, but I'm afraid I knew a bit more than her, so... No point taken or given. However, she shouldn't be sneaking out and should had been more afraid. Especially because a girl die at her school. Who was possibly murdered. 

You see, girls. When you find some strange handsome dude in your bedroom, you scream as loud as you can instead of admiring his abs. You never know how cuckoo can he be until you read his medical file. Or you'll know when you're dead. Or worse.

So in conclusion, Immortal is a bad role model (as bad as Twilight) for teenagers, but it is a good book about magic. I think you might find the magic part of the book interesting. Sebastian gunning for Evie? Maybe not so much. You won't just find that part interesting. You will find it disturbing, weird, creepy, and kind of predatory or something along those lines.

So don't give your kids this book.

Rating: Two out of Five

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our Town by Thornton Wilder Review

"Our Town was first produced and published in 1938 to wide acclaim. This Pulitzer Prize–winning drama of life in the town of Grover 's Corners, an allegorical representation of all life, has become a classic. It is Thornton Wilder's most renowned and most frequently performed play.

It is now reissued in this handsome hardcover edition, featuring a new Foreword by Donald Margulies, who writes, "You are holding in your hands a great American play. Possibly the great American play." In addition, Tappan Wilder has written an eye-opening new Afterword, which includes Thornton Wilder's unpublished notes and other illuminating photographs and documentary material."

Some play written by a dead guy. Guess what? Shakespeare is also a "dead guy" too, but at least, he has a better sense of writing a play than Thorton Wilder.

I'm not too interested in plays like Our Town. It's contemporary. Boring. Telling so much without telling something. (I'm more interested in other plays like The Midsummer Night's Dream, but at least, this one didn't make me want to kill myself like Romeo and Juliet). I guess I'm one of those people who really don't understand the "greatness" of this play? Or maybe I'm just not the type. I'm no fan of the ordinary, but the mystical. I guess that might be part of the reason?

(Please notice all those question marks).

Interestingly, it wasn't the play that got me interested and excited. It was actually the Foreword (Donal Margulies) that got me so interested in this play and so disappointed when I finished it. So disappointing. Maybe it is because the Foreword contained too many spoilers for Our Town. Maybe it was because it was too tad boring.

Act I starts off the beginning and the play. (There is a lot of parallels between Our Town and It's A Wonderful Life). I think Act I is a good strong part of Our Town. (Maybe it is because I can relate so well to the Act? Or maybe it is because I like the death parts and the Stage Manager just...) In my opinion, Act I is the best part of the book. The beginning is always the most beautiful, don't you think? (Don't you dare say I'm afraid of death).

Act II is named Love and Marriage. I think this is the second best part of the book. It is the time of triumph and joy. And of course, Bridezilla. Though it should be more like second-thoughts-zilla. George Gibbs and Emily Webb panic over the thoughts of marrying each other. I love the comments and little superstition things from the secondary characters. It is all very funny (maybe not for you) and happy. Happier than Act I, and definitely much happier than Act III.

The cycle always ends in death, remember? I totally understand the last Act, but I don't get why people cry. There is something that probably isn't there until you see it live, at a stage. I understand why the last Act is a big moment, but I don't feel it! Whatever they are feeling. I felt that part was a bit boring and dull (probably after watching It's A Wonderful Life so many times). 

Rating: Two out of Five (Two Point Five, but rounded to Two)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Zero by Tom Leveen Review

"For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun: hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn't materialize, she has to completely rethink her college plans. Plus, she has a majorly awkward falling out with Jenn and they're not speaking. On top of it all, Zero's parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting. Suddenly her prospects are looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali.

But her new relationship with Mike, a skater boy who's also in a local punk band, gives her a glimmer of confidence (even if he does seem too good to be true). And when she gets support from the unlikeliest of sources,  Zero starts to wonder if she might be more than just a name."

I'm going to say this upfront and straight. How Tom Leveen describes art makes it sounds timeless, beautiful, and passionate. And when Zero's mentor started talking about art and how it is a reflection upon the artist, I was so awestruck by those words. It just made me cry. So inspiring, and all those beautiful words make art sound like a wonderful dream.

Amanda "Zero" Walsh is an inspiring artist. She was accepted to an art school, but she couldn't qualify for scholarship, so she couldn't go. Probably on her way to Community College (the author didn't tell us, shame on him), Zero is stuck between roads and trying to find a way out. She is not speaking with Jenn (who is a modern girl of rainbow colors), trying to avoid her parents' loud fighting, and well... I already told you about the third problem. Her life reminds me of my own. However, I consider her to be luckier than me. At least, her parents didn't bother to use me and my brother as their personal asset. Anyway, Zero sounds like a lot of college kids with no future and no clue to how they are going to live their life. Well, I can give them a pep talk, but I'm afraid I'm going to talk too long.

Mike is a skater boy (that detail was skimmed lightly over the book, so why is it in the synopsis) and in a band (which is a much bigger detail). He is a bit... Well, he has his troubles like Amanda. It isn't as bad as hers... I think. I pretty much know close to nothing about him.

Zero, the book, is great. I enjoyed it, but there are some areas that need improvement. Like the synopsis, but that isn't the main point. Zero's character can be worked out a bit better, but the ending does ties things up very well (although most fates of the main character remains yet to be seen). Mike's character should be expanded a little more. But Zero does tell a good life lesson (that nothing truly ends in a fairy tale unless you are in a Twilight/fairy tale universe).

Overall, I think this book deserves a five just for such a beautiful description of art, but unfortunately, I have other things to consider. But I have to point that out. Again. And again.

And I also love the mentions of girls coming of age. And thank goodness for making this book as weird, yet interesting, as possible. Some rainbows here!

(I mean LGBT, yes).

Rating: Four out of Five

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Upside Down by Lia Riley Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"If You Never Get Lost, You'll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . of if they were meant to live a world apart."

A bit more dialect would totally make this book more interesting. It takes place in Australia and California (though SoCal only appeared in the beginning and the end). At least, Lia Riley does mention a few of them, but she could had gone a bit further. Then again, there are those two lovebirds, so I guess romance takes a bigger place than dialect (writing)?

(Sounds like Twilight?)

Natalia Stolfi is a girl with a huge OCD problem. Ever since her sister died (sister's name is Pippa, remind you of someone?), the OCD got worse. At least, that is what I assume. Usually, stress plus tradegy equals a more severe case of OCD. Right? Well, you can look that up. Or think logically. For a girl with OCD, she is very brave to travel to a new country and amazing. She could work on her OCD problem, but I don't know if she is going to work on it (oh, yeah, this is a series). She is an okay character, with an interesting background. It is a good thing the author didn't throw her background at the readers all at once. That annoyed me very much in... Sorry, I'll try to stay on topic.

Bran Lockhart, a surfer, is a heartthrob/jerk. (Remember that rule that says only good looking boys can be bad boys? That rule applies here). Bran is no bad boy, but he is a surfer dude. So that counts for something? Oh, I know a bunch of weird details about him (e.g. how he acts in... [Let's not go there]). I'm not going to spell anything else out, but I can tell you that he, like Natalia (who goes by Talia, by the way) has an interesting background (perhaps a little too interesting).

The romance ("Gag," says those romance-haters) isn't quite there in the beginning. It sounded forced, tight, and quick (like a ball just suddenly thrown at you by the author). It gets better in the end, when the author slows her pacing of the plot down and let things flow.

(And sadly, this is a series).

The plot (and minor conflict, which sound so like Twilight) is barely there. I guess the romance serves as the plot, but eh? This entire book sounds more like an Adult Romance book than a NA book. And now, I'm back to Twilight referencing. Did Natalia even went to school? Oh, wait. She did. But she spent a lot of time with Bran (and I don't even remember her friends' name) while surfing (or learning to surf). And Bran? Well, he is no virgin. That is for sure.

Rating: Three out of Five (Star for mention of OCD; nice portrayal!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Killer Spirit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Review

"Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys--understatement of the year. But the varsity squad at Bayport High gives new meaning to the phrase All-American, and Toby's double life as a varsity cheerleader and a government operative means balancing protocol, pep rallies, computer hacking, and handsprings.
Now something's about to go down in Bayport, and the Big Guys Upstairs need to know what. The Squad is on the case, but it looks like this mission could put the "l" in lethal. And if the spy business doesn't kill Toby, it's starting to look like Brooke, the team's captain, might. The nominations are in for homecoming court, and rumor has it that Toby is the unlikely front-runner for queen.
Terrorist threat? Bloody mission gone wrong? Demented squad captain?
Bring it on."

Oh, this girl again. And Charlie's Angels wannabes. There is no Lucy Liu, or those two other women. I don't remember their names. Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz? Right? I can't remember.

Terrorism. And some nano-bot weapon or something like that. I don't care. All I'm interested in is if "Charlie" is really Jack's uncle or not. Unfortunately, such answers are not found in Killer Spirit. But it does go into Jack's dating past with the two cheerleaders (members of The Squad, of course). There is a little redemption, I guess.

Toby Klein is a bit more likable in this book. Her brother, however, is not. But I'm not discussing him. I'm talking about Toby "not related to Calvin" Klein. Some of her flaws are more popped out in this book, but she is still snobbish. And apparently, she doesn't care if someone nearly killed her. She took it better than I thought she would. No PTSD. Good for her.

The bad guy in Killer Spirit is ridiculous. There is a reason why Killer Spirit is titled Killer Spirit. Because of the "killer spirit." Gosh, that sounds like an awful riddle.

Killer Spirit isn't that bad. It is actually pretty good, but I'm quite disappointed by the strong lack of answers found within these covers. Like who exactly is "Charlie." Or perhaps about Jack's private life. Is he anything like The Squad? Is he like Blackthorn boys (Ally Carter reference). Or are the football players anything like the spies and agents?

The writing of Barnes sucks me right in. It is great and addictive, especially for those girls interested in adventure and espionage. (Sadly, how Toby Klein hacked CIA or Pentagon isn't revealed, though that would totally be interesting). (And two, there is this weird part in Killer Spirit. I'm not going to tell you about it, but I'm going to say that it is weird. Weird). I would recommend this book to young adults, teenagers, girls interested in espionage or chick lit.

The plot is paced okay. I didn't have a big problem with it. (It is mostly my frustration with lack of answers that get to my head). The biggest plot is about terrorism (or the "killer spirit") while the subplot stars the romance (flirty banter) between Jack and Toby. And then there is that weird part with Noah and the cheerleaders. Plus, makeup.

One last thing: Makeup and espionage does not go well together. Creeps me out like crazy. I try to ignore as much of it, but you can't escape from it forever.

Rating: Three out of Five

Monday, August 25, 2014

Perfect Cover by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Review

"Bayport High operates like any other high school--jocks at the top, outsiders at the bottom, and everyone else in between. Enter Toby Klein, a sophomore computer hacker who doesn't play well with others. She has zero school spirit, a black belt in karate, and what her guidance counselor calls an attitude problem. She's the last person you'd expect to be invited to join the varsity cheerleading squad.
But things are different at Bayport.
Bayport's varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled. Athletically, they're unmatchable, though they make it all look easy on the field. Mentally, they're exceptional--but with one flash of their gorgeous smiles, you'll completely forget that. Socially, they're gifted, so they can command and manipulate any situation. And above all, they have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkies and highlights, no one expects anything from a cheerleader.
Toby Klein might not seem like the most likely recruit, but she's never been one to turn down a challenge. If she can handle the makeover, Bayport Hight may just have found its newest cheerleader.

Pretty, popular, armed, and extremely dangerous--meet THE SQUAD."

"Hello, angels." "Hello, Charlie." That is pretty much what the Squad does whenever it gets a new assignment. Instead of three girls, there are ten. Each of them are special. All of them can fight and keep a secret. Toby Klein's skills lie in computers. Hacking, specifically. Other girls have skills in putting makeup on perfectly and fighting with knives. Other girls meaning cheerleaders.

Despite what people believe about cheerleaders, I don't think they are really that stupid as the snobbish girl (Toby Klein) claims to be. Maybe they are indeed the popular girls, determined to date half of the football team or maybe shun the "lesser females." But some of them are really intelligent. They get good grades, they are smart and looking forward to their futures, and they are very social. Stop stereotyping! Not all cheerleaders are blond!

And Toby Klein is indeed snobbish. She claims to be above and beyond everyone. Well, not in those exact words, but I can tell. (Great, now I'm sounding snobbish and uptight). She always thinks cheerleaders to be crazy, and she is snobbish. There is no other words for it. Snobbish, snobbish, snobbish. However, she does have a good sense of curiosity and high amount of intelligence. And she is apparently good at karate, too. Like I said before. Overachiever and snobbish. Her caring thoughts to her brother, though, doesn't make me hate her more. I don't like her brother that much.

The guy. Of course, there is a guy! Jake Peyton, some guy who is a football player who happened to date two cheerleaders from The Squad. Of course, he is cute. However, he is the mark, and Toby Klein's mission is to bring him down. Well, his father down.

Doesn't that sound like Also Known As? Yep.

(And he is no spy).

Overall, Perfect Cover is a short read that will delight the younger readers and some fans of Alex Rider books. I, however, am disappointed. Many questions weren't answered, and I remain deeply troubled by the true identity of "Charlie." ("Charlie" is the middleman between The Squad and the government agency, the big CIA). "Charlie" says "Hello, girls." not "Good morning, angels." (The last bit was a BTW).

I should add that there is a lot of humor. And I wonder (and remain deeply concern by) how The Squad manages to rank the importance of mascara over some mission.

Rating: Three out of Five

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Man vs. Beast by Robert Muchamore Review

"Animal rights, animal wrongs.

Every day thousands of animals die in laboratory experiments. Some say these experiments provide essential scientific knowledge, while others commit violent acts in order to stop them.

James and Lauren Adams are stuck in the middle...."

Animal rights are always complicated little things. Well, they aren't that little. Monkeys are subjected to cosmetic experiments. (Castiel: "Is it really necessary to test cosmetics on them? I mean, how important is lipstick to you, Dean?" Dean: "Not very." -From Supernatural). And there are pigs and rats going under experiments for drug testing. Oh, monkeys! HIV experiment tests. But it is really necessary to do that? And then there is eating animals. That is why Lauren is now vegan. Officially. She can't stop thinking about those poor animals dying for her benefit. That is why she is also converting other people to a vegan's way of life. It isn't that bad, to tell you the truth.
Animal rights is a complicated debate that isn't all rainbows and ice cream, chocolate and gold glitter. There is a lot of layers, many rules, and a lot of heart (or lack of it, depending which side you are on). Man Vs. Beast doesn't focus much attention on the ceaseless animal debate, but it does shed some light on it. Lauren, who is on the animals' side, bickers with James, who prefers animals to used for some purposes but not experimental. And then there is that fight between AFM and the people/managers behind the experimental house of torture on innocent animals.

James Adams is sadly a jerk in the book. Overconfident, arrogant, conceited, arrogant, snobbish, and arrogant. Oh, sorry. I should also say that I'm not repeating myself. He is truly that arrogant. Just because Mr. James Bond is excellent on missions doesn't mean he can stick that up in other people's face. Let's take a look at his other traits. Hot-tempered, mean, arrogant, conceited, snobbish, and truly rude. Yes, arrogant is his trait. He practically stinks of it. And short-sighted. And insensitive to other people's feelings. In other words, he is just like the popular kids.

I like Lauren Adams though. And Kerry. They both have the sense to be sensitive, kind, and caring. And they aren't rude or arrogant like James. I vote for them. They should become president.

The conflict and plot goes right on by quite nicely. Man Vs. Beast may be a 200+ pages book, but it goes by faster than a rocket. I can't believe how quick and nicely-paced the book is. I could had finished it in one sitting. Unfortunately, there is this thing called lunch and job.

Overall, Man Vs. Beast. is a book that unfortunately doesn't spend much time as it should on animal rights. (They have a right to express themselves). On second thought, I do like the little jabs Robert Muchamore puts here and there. Needless to say, he has a gift for making things amusing like the guy who wrote Alex Rider. What was his name? Ah. I'll look it up. Some year. Some day.

Rating: Four out of Five

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Divine Madness by Robert Muchamore Review

"When religion goes bad...

When CHERUB uncovers a link between eco-terrorist group Help Earth and a wealthy religious cult known as The Survivors, James Adams is sent to Australia on an infiltration mission.

It's his toughest job so far. The Survivors' outback headquarters are completely isolated and the cult's brainwashing techniques put James under massive pressure to confirm.

This time, James isn't just fighting terrorists. He's got to battle to keep control of his own mind."

I'm sorry, but The Survivors (the religious group) reminds me of Scientology. There is something about those Scientology articles (all made famous thanks to Holmes-Cruise split) that makes the group sound so much like The Survivors. Thanks to all those critics talking about brainwashing, I wonder if the author intended to... I should stop right here. (Bad girl!)

Divine Madness is really good though. They might have little brainwashing here and there, but it is mostly interesting, not terrible. (Happy zombies. Think of that). I love how the author introduces little topics that are so open to further research! I'm so looking up brainwashing on Wikipedia. (Okay, that is a bit weird, too. I'll stop talking about that). The book is good. There are some really good parts, but I'm not going into them. (Spoilers, remember?)

This time, the target is Help Earth, which has relationships to The Survivors (a crazy religious cult that shamelessly uses brainwashing as a tool to convert assets). James Adams must find the ties that bind those two lunatic groups together. Oh, and the author now labeled Adams, James Adams as a pervert, a peeping Tom. Truthfully, that bothers me very much. Guy could be a future serial killer for all I know. At least, he doesn't have violent tendencies. Oh, wait. He might be a future serial killer. Hmm... But he didn't get off when he killed that guy in the previous books, so maybe not.

The conflict is more exciting than previous books (prequels). In some ways, it is like the Criminal Minds' episode of that crazy religious cult. They do blow themselves up in the end. I don't need to tell you any more than that. Spoilers. Blowing themselves up is already a bit portion of the ending (endgame). And just from my hint about the Criminal Minds' episode, you can probably guess the ending and the fate of The Survivor's children and adults.

The way Muchamore wrote this book just reminds me of James Bond. No further ways can I explain this. It just James Bond-ish. Teenage James Bond.

Overall, Divine Madness is better than the previous books. It is something that hasn't appeared in a long time (of the series). There is more action, the characters are more thought-out, and I enjoyed the book very much. Other than the pervert (Peeping Tom) part.

I definitely did not enjoy that part. Too weird. And makes me think twice about using public bathrooms, showers, restrooms, etc. (Even the hotel room!)

Rating: Four out of Five

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Killing by Robert Muchamore Review

"Leon is a small time crook who's ridden his luck for three decades. When he starts splashing big money around, the cops are desperate to know where it came from.

James' latest mission looks routine: make friends with Leon's kids, infiltrate his home and dig up some leads.

But the plot James begins to unravel isn't what anyone expected. And the only person who might know the truth is an eighteen-year-old boy.

There's just one problem. The boy fell to his death thirteen months earlier."

First of all, I'm going to tell you that the synopsis tells you more than what the plot tells you. And that is the truth. I didn't know about Will (the eighteen year old boy who is also dead) until Will was brought up somewhere in 1/3 or 1/2 mark of The Killing.

James is an angry kid. He has anger issues. Truthfully, I didn't really care about that even though he is immature, overconfident, arrogant, and swag fourteen year old. Well, he is almost fourteen years old. Anyway, his "anger issues" were pulled overboard when he hit an eleven year old child (who is a CHERUB, too) because the kid was making fun of his relationship. Muchamore is officially making this series disturbing. You don't hit little boys. Even if they do deserve a good spanking!

The Killing is as interesting. However, I'm getting bored of all that "villain doesn't know who the MI5 agents are." When will these villains be good enough to find out the true identities of the CHERUB agents? In history of CHERUB, only four children died. So when will the villains finally find out who these children really are? They are said to be brilliant masterminds with clever plans and little ploys, yet they still believe that children are dumber than rocks. Or easily manipulated.

The plot and conflicts of The Killing is quite interesting. But the action isn't as crazy as the previous books. Think of The Killing as a more "Who dun it?" mystery than a mission trying to find evidence on a certain person. The murder of the boy (Will) can be done by anyone. From the original target (Leon) to the surrounding neighbors or witnesses. Or maybe, it isn't even a murder. Perhaps, it is simply a suicide or Dead Will was too drunk to realize he could fall to his death.

The secondary characters take little amounts of involvement. Dave is back (That sixteen year old who isn't ashamed of hooking up with a girl in front of James). John Jones (who seriously reminds me of the Justice League's Martian Manhunter, whose name is J'onn J'onzz) plays as Mission Controller. Temporarily. Despite all of those moving and shifting characters, their appearances are great and their roles are important. However, it sort of annoys me how James always gets the credit. They deserve a little fame to their names. James is not James Bond (the thirteen year old version).

Overall, The Killing could use a bit more intrigue and mystery. Plus, can we please stop letting James Bond wannabe from taking all the credit?

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young Review

"We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences."

Another angel book. The difference? There are no wings involved. However, there is still malice and there are works of darkness at move. That part isn't surprising. What? You thought it was all rainbows and Skittles? Or lucky charms? Nope. And there is nothing psychic about these things, about these Need (or compulsion).

A Need So Beautiful is a book that is annoying. It is because of this repeated word: beautiful. It is used in "Oh, my goodness. You are so beautiful" to "it is so beautiful" to simply "beautiful." Imagine if I changed every word in this paragraph (or this review) to "beautiful." Won't you be very annoyed? I would to. Copy and paste has never been so useful. If I tried to do exactly that. Anyway, A Need So Beautiful is terribly slow. The BIG BAD hasn't come until like halfway the book. Even worse is the "Need." It doesn't get bad until the BIG BAD shows up.

The plot is slow, and the end goes really fast. A lot of answers weren't given, and it still isn't explained how Charlotte is an angel or a superhero. It never mentioned angels, but it is implied. Especially in the synopsis. But there is too many questions and pretty much nada answers.

Charlotte is an idjit. (Sorry, Bobby's way of saying "idiots"). I still can't believe she hasn't got everything figured out. How could she not? I don't get how she is such an idiot.

The writing is a bit dry. I wish Young used more variety and stop repeating "beautiful." For once, I agree with Charlotte. I'm getting tired of the word "beautiful." Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. There. Now aren't you tired too? I totally agree.

Am I going to read the sequel?


Overall, A Need So Beautiful (I won't be surprised if everyone left already) is annoying, repetitive, and irritating to my eyes. And it infuriates me. That word is too annoying, the plot is too slow, and the characters are boring. Even the love interest isn't worth mentioning.

Rating: One out of Five

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Maximum Security by Robert Muchamore Review

"CHERUB is an elite intelligence organization that employs agents under the age of seventeen. Because of their age, CHERUB agents have an unparalleled advantage in the realm of espionage. No one would ever suspect teenagers to be agents. Rigorously trained and exceptionally talented, CHERUB agents will stop at nothing to accomplish their missions.

In Maximum Security, 280 child criminals live in the sun-baked desert prison Arizona Max. One of them is the son of a weapons dealer who has been selling U.S. missiles to terrorists. If CHERUB can get the kid, they have a chance to stop his father. Getting into the prison is easy. Breaking out is the hard part."

Maximum Security is even better than the previous books. It may star a thirteen year old main character, but it doesn't bother me at all. It is like Harry Potter. Even though the main character is much younger than you, he touches you in more ways than one. There is a sense of familiarity. And that is what draws you into the book. As always.

Espionage again. It is like Ally Carter's Gallagher without the romance though. Sure, James has a girlfriend named Kerry, but he is thirteen years old. Thirteen years old. That does not count. Does not. I repeat, does not. Maybe these days, kids have girlfriends and boyfriends at ten, but they truly don't count. Because... That is way too weird. Think about it. You and your son (or daughter) comparing who has the better girlfriend (or boyfriend). Or mentally comparing? Okay, now I'm getting weirder and weirder.

This time, the CHERUBs are being punished for being too rowdy. Or too obvious? Not camouflaged? Anyway, it is only James and Lauren and Dave this time. However, there are some special characters from Class A like John Jones who used to work for MI5. Together (along with the FBI and CIA), they are attempting to find a woman named Jane Oxford who smuggles weapons. Sort of like an arms dealer. But she is one who likes to play little mind games.

James is still cocky as usual. (He is thirteen years old, so I will not blame him too much). He plays around, acts like a normal teenager, and doesn't care about rules. Well, he is a bit free with the rules. And he is always so lucky, because he somehow worms his way out of punishments. And he is exactly like Michael Western. He is able to think quick on his feet. But in this book, Maximum Security, it is indeed interesting to see him grow a bit more. They say that prison changes people.

The conflict and the challenge in the book is really interesting. I liked it even better than Class A (the previous book). The plot goes around and around, and Robert Muchamore pulls great twists at some parts of the book. And yes, James does get in a lot of trouble (heaps of trouble).

Overall, Maximum Security is a great book for those crazy kids who also love Alex Rider, the Gallagher Girls, and the Specialists.

Rating: Four out of Five

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Class A by Robert Muchamore Review

"Drugs, cars and guns!
Keith Moore is Europe's biggest cocaine dealer. The police have been trying to get enough evidence to nail him for more than twenty years.

Now, four CHERUB agents are joining the hunt. Can a group of kids successfully infiltrate Keith Moore's organisation when dozens of attempts by undercover police officers have failed?

James Adams must start at the bottom, making deliveries for small time drug dealers and getting to know the dangerous underworld they inhabit. He needs to make a big splash if he's going to win the confidence of the man at the top."

Espionage again. I guess I do go on a wild reading spree sometimes. Let's see. Oh, just look into my reading logs and research the genres. Recently, it was with the angels. Before that was... Finishing my to-read list/killing the numbers. Before that was... Fairy tale retelling. Before that was.... Greek Mythology, Persephone and Hades. And look at that! Espionage again. Perhaps, it is a strange cycle of reading sprees. Next thing, you'll know, I'm reading Greek Mythology (books based on Greek Mythology, which is totally huge as a genre).

Class A is the second book of the CHERUB series. Think of it as the little James Bond, especially with all these twelve years old and other little guys. Lauren is nine, ten? Something like that. Heck, even the main character's name starts with James. Why hasn't there been a James Bond joke by now? Oh, perhaps James Bond is in MI6, not MI5. Still, I kind of expected Bond, James Bond to appear at any second. Perhaps Jones will make the cut?

Oh, sorry guys. No spoilers. I'm kind of forgetting that.

James is charming and smart. He is the lazy guy, but he is smart. Not smart like Jason Bourne or Michael Western (he is an ex-spy, same thing). But smart enough to not get caught. Plus, his background and gift with numbers (calculator guy) helps him with some works. I'm surprised he doesn't work hard to be the best he can be. Then again, he is one of those cool kids who always fit anywhere. He can be dropped in a house of cannibals, and they would come out with him as their beloved leader. (Why does that sound so familiar? Oh, Shadow and Bone's Mel).

The plot is awesome. There are always moments when I feel like James is going to caught. Like that part when his phone died or when Keith Moore looked at him in a weird way. (Like a predator kind of way. Creeped me out). The author is really good at little things here and there like prejudice and sexual orientation.

And relationships. I can't forget that.

Overall, Class A is awesome. I can't wait to read its sequel. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Monday, August 18, 2014

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua Review

"An awe-inspiring, often hilarious, and unerringly honest story of one mother's exercise in extreme parenting, revealing the rewards-and the costs-of raising her children the Chinese way.

All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires.

Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do:

? have a playdate

? be in a school play

? complain about not being in a school play

? not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama

? play any instrument other than the piano or violin

? not play the piano or violin

The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin.

Of course no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene:

"According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing:

1. Oh my God, you're just getting worse and worse.

2. I'm going to count to three, then I want musicality.

3. If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!"

But Chua demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters. And in her sacrifices-the exacting attention spent studying her daughters' performances, the office hours lost shuttling the girls to lessons-the depth of her love for her children becomes clear. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting- and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach one another."

I'll tell you that I read this book when I was younger. Maybe not that young. Maybe like mid-teens or something like that. I can't remember. My "tiger mother" made me read the entire book with her while I rolled my eyes and dreamed about Harry Potter, which by the way is far more entertaining and interesting. Not to mention, awesome. I remember being someone dazed and a bit annoyed by how much effort my "tiger mother" gave to get me to be top of class, blah, blah, blah.

Now, after five years, I read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother again and am now officially angry. At Amy Chua, my mother, and the standards this book set. If Amy Chua's purpose in writing this book is to make me feel dumb, she succeed. Oh, I should add that she also made me feel a bit disappointing and a disgrace to the Chinese society, which, according to her, was upheld by "four thousand years" of standards. Sure, she made reading her book funny and entertaining, but in reality, it is like a damn slap to the face to those who have little talent, are too spread out (jack of all trades), or dropped out of school.

What she made me feel: I want to support anything she says or claims to be bad or disgraceful. Maybe, she is right, but I hate how demeaning some parts of the book are. Plus, she totally went rude on the so-called "Western parents." She does a lot of stereotyping. Maybe white people are "lazy." But not all of them are. Maybe Asian kids are all "smart" and "overachievers." But not all of them are. There are some people who are unique in the world. They aren't robots or machines. They are not doctors, computer specialists, musicians, or engineers. They are artists, who believe in bringing life to their works. Not everyone follows these rules Chua dedicate.

Maybe I'm rebellious. I don't care. Honestly though, Chua takes Chinese parenting to a whole new level. And she does pin it right on, unfortunately. However, I don't think there are any Asian parents who stick it to that level. Other than the crazy Ivy Leagues-worshipers. I say they are extreme when listing them on the Asian parenting scale.

Yes, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is well written. However, I, as a reader and daughter of a "Tiger Mother," think these methods and psychological warfare and tactics to be extreme. Growing up with these little games of cat and mouse, I have a front seat of these sorts of things. I'm sure my mother is very close to being a "Tiger Mother." The difference? My brother. The "Tiger Mother" in my family uses most of those skills to help my brother, taking the heat off me. Usually. But years ago, my mother would probably be screaming at me to do multiplication or writing.

In my opinion, this memoir touches on personal feelings and memories. But after all those tactics and doing/making those schemes, there are always the more ironic parts of life. Take me for example. I used to be kicking and screaming just to avoid anything with writing. Look at me now.

From a daughter of a crazy "Tiger Mother" with a lot of opinions.

Rating: Three out of Five

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh Review

"Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible.

Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break."

I am going to warn you all that Angels' Blood isn't for anyone who isn't mature. It has a lot of language (slang included) and other stuff. Plus, all the "angels" in the book are morally ambiguous. Most of the angels are more like demons than angels. Then again, this is a much different world with angels, vampires, hunters, and humans. Plus, some modern people.

I'm going to say that Angels' Blood focuses way too much on... Well, it is more like Supernatural, but there is tons of adult stuff in there. Hint, hint.

Ignoring all the weird things, Angels' Blood isn't that bad. Okay, that is me being nice. There are some parts of it that isn't really bad, but there are of course bad seeds in the book. I'll explain more, but right now, I'm going to do a quick overview picture of Angels' Blood. Overall, it is okay. Truthfully, it could be better. And I totally wish that the angels follow more on the traditional sense of angels than these immoral creatures, but the author can do whatever she likes. And right now, the author is putting words in the plot and making it go in a certain direction. I can already see it. This is going to be a "Happily Ever After" book. Even though there are a lot of complications.

The plot is interesting. Elena Deveraux hunts a rogue archangel as she learns more about the angel world. Of course, there is no mention of God or the apocalypse. The conflict is very intriguing, not to mention fascinating. I can almost forget the stranger parts of Angels' Blood. Almost. Please notice that key word in my sentence.

The writing is similar to other Supermarket books. No further comment.

Elena is a tough hunter. It is such a misfortune that she isn't a supernatural hunter, just a vampire hunter/angel hunter. She is funny and delightful despite the line of work she does. She may hunt vampires, but she seems to be bright despite all of that craziness. And her friends are quite the charmer. Both of them. Ransom, especially, is hilarious.

Rating: Three out of Five

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Muse by Rebecca Lim Review

"An angel in exile, caught between lives ... and loves

Mercy is an angel, exiled from heaven, and when she wakes in the body of nineteen-year-old Irina, Mercy discovers that she′s one of the world′s most infamous supermodels on the verge of a very public breakdown.

Against the glamorous background of Milan′s opulent fashion world, Mercy continues her increasingly desperate search for Ryan Daley, the mortal boy she remembers falling for in a past life. But this time, Mercy′s memories and powers are growing ever stronger - and she begins to doubt the pleas of her dream lover, Luc, as more of her mysterious past is revealed. Are Luc′s desires as selfless as her own or does he want her for a more terrifying purpose?

The grand scale celestial battle for Mercy′s soul builds to an incredible stormy crescendo as archangels and demons clash in a cataclysmic showdown that not all will survive..."

Mercy is still an idiot. I'm not even going to explain. 

After being shot by a crazy lunatic, Mercy finds herself in Irina, who is one of the rudest, famous, and notorious supermodel. Especially for her streak of bloody hearts she leaves in her wake. Because Mercy is so sweet and angelic, Irina is thus Mercy and transformed into a much tamer version of a food-depraved, beautiful, mean, and rude supermodel.

Yeah, soul jacking, possession, mind control. Call it whatever.

Muse gets on with the main plot. Or subplot. The Lucifer, the Archangel of Light, plot. Muse is a bit more interesting than its previous books for these reasons: 1) Luci is home, 2) Ryan catches up with Mercy, 3) All of the archangels are together at last. And yes, those are perhaps the three most interesting things out of the entire book. Sadly, it is.

Muse is not for Supernatural fans. There is nothing Supernatural about it. (No Supernatural hunter like Dean or Sam who can kill Mercy and Ryan without a second thought and put Lucifer back into his cage). No sarcastic Gabriel, who is also the trickster. Nope, all those archangels (male archangels) are all annoyed at Mercy for picking Lucifer over all of them. It is like Bella Swan all over again. The difference: they are all archangels with special powers and etc.

Yeah, this is going to be really short.

The plot is somewhat addicting, but it is too dry. There isn't enough fat. The pacing is all wrong. Suddenly, Rebecca Lim (the author) throws a bunch of mud (of information) at her readers and throws most of them all. It is exactly like an avalanche. Of words.

And anything else?

Hmm... I don't see anything else good to talk about. It is all boring. Except for the plot. And the hope that Lucifer would be as awesome as Supernatural's Lucifer. ("I hope you didn't catch anything.")

Rating: One out of Five

Friday, August 15, 2014

Exile by Rebecca Lim Review

"An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, EXILE is the breathtaking sequel to MERCY in a major new paranormal romance series.

There's something very wrong with me. When I wake up, I could be anyone…

An angel in exile, Mercy is doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new human form each time she does. Now she "wakes" as unhappy teen Lela, a girl caring for a dying mother but never herself.

As her shattered memory begins to return, Mercy remembers Ryan, the boy she fell in love with in another life, and Luc, the angel haunting her dreams. Will Mercy risk Lela’s life to be reunited with her heart’s true desire?

An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, Exile is the second book in the spellbinding MERCY series."

Exile is thankfully not the name of our main heroine, Mercy. Mercy returns again, though it is not her that I'm coming back for. It is mostly because of the plot and storyline. I want to find the other angels, and I don't care about the bad characters or boring beginnings or etc. Isn't that a bit sad? Oh, well. Mercy can end up being dead for all I care. Oh, wait. That is exactly... Damn, it. Spoilers. I can't reveal spoilers, especially not that big of a one. 

Most people go to church. How could Mercy not know that Luc is Lucifer? Oh, perhaps, he is only a sweet little angel who sings all his heart out and has the brightest light, brighter than the sun. See? Mercy is an idiot. I lost most of my faith in angels because of her. Actually, no. I lost most of my faith in this book series thanks to her stupidity. I mean, church always blame Luc for bringing darkness to Earth, to Eden. How could she not put two to two? I'm sure she has been to church at least once in her life. And she would know all about the curses and blames towards her lover.

(And Mercy is an idiot. She should had adapted to human lifestyle a long time ago. The girl doesn't even know how to use a computer).

Luc is a lying jerk as usual. What more is there to tell? Oh, apparently, he looks a lot like Ryan, the human boy. Is there some conspiracy going on? Perhaps so.

(And where is God?) 

Ryan is desperate for answers throughout the entire book. He doesn't appear very often, but he always pins for Mercy. And I can't believe that he still likes her after all this time. Sure, you can call it love, but I call it weird. If a ghost possessed a boy I like, I would most definitely find the nearest psychic and perform an exorcism faster than you can say, "But he is a cute ghost!" Honestly, I don't care. Possession is not attractive. It is weird.

And you want the reason why I'm reading this book? Only because I want to find out what happens in the end. And also, Gabriel acts like Castiel. Oh,yeah. Angels are here. 


Rating: One out of Five

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mercy by Rebecca Lim Review

"Mercy doesn't realise it yet, but as she journeys into the darkest places of the human soul, she discovers that she is one of the celestial hosts exiled with fallen angel Lucifer. Now she must atone for taking his side. To find her own way back to heaven, Mercy must help a series of humans in crisis."

When Lucifer is (or was, or complicated) your lover, you know there must be something wrong with you. Known as the Archangel of Light, the Devil, Satan, and a bunch of other names (some friendlier than others), Lucifer, in this book, is the lover of Mercy, the ancient soul that jumps from girl to girl. Soul-jacking is what Mercy calls it. She may not remember her real name, but she does know what to do. Or at least knows part of her mission.

Mercy is a book that needs some editing. I found some typos that were a bit too annoying to my eyes. Anyway, Mercy (the book, not the character/old soul) is a confusing book with lots of questions. Mercy, the character and heroine, doesn't know much about why she was placed in that form originally. All she knows is that she possessed some girls before the current one and will always possess a next one. Anyway, I will tell you that the main character and the title of this book being the same word is very annoying. I always have to tell you which one is which.

Mercy, our heroine, is a girl of light. Or possibly more. From the synopsis, she is an angel. But she clearly doesn't know it, which makes it so frustrating. Even worse is her weird relationship with Lucifer (who I am still imagining as Mark P. from Supernatural). Mercy, however, seems to be on the brink of redemption. It is very funny that the synopsis tells more about the book than the book itself. And you should know that I'm not joking.

Lucifer, or "Luc," is nothing like Lucifer from Supernatural. This guy is so bipolar that you have to ask yourself whether or not he is faking. He is that bipolar. He is a love interest for Mercy, but he isn't that big of a deal.

Ryan, on the other hand, is the new guy for Mercy. Is it foolish of me to hope that he is an angel? I know that he seems human (or declared human, at least for this book), but is there a slight chance for grace? Oh, yeah. Sorry. I'm using Supernatural terminology.

The most shameful part? There is no one like Castiel in this book. No supernatural hunter like Sam and Dean or Bobby (Balls!). No Prophet of the Lord. No Chuck (or God, as more commonly known).

Rating: Two out of Five

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

World After by Susan Ee Review

"In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?"

World After is a great sequel to Angelfall. It is such a shame that World After came out in 2013 while Angelfall was published in 2011. By logic and patterns, that means the third book which remains untitled will come out in 2015. Now that is just annoying me. And that is only the third book! Sigh! At least 2/5 is already out. Fourth book in 2017. Fifth book in 2019. I wished I read this series a bit later than originally planned, but it is so good!

World After follows Penryn's journey to find Paige and Raffe (though he is technically a second thought, an after thought). Penryn's adventure is hard, especially in the beginning. And it doesn't get any easier. With the help of her mother and Pooky Bear (the archangel sword from Raffe), Penryn goes to find Paige who is no longer the sweet innocent girl she once known. Changed by experiments, Paige is a monster/machine/human. She is the only one of its kind after all the others had been destroyed in the first book, Angelfall. Oh, I should had mentioned there will be some spoilers.

The plot goes by really fast. It is perfectly paced. Like war and supernatural combined all together. A lot of the parts are perfect. Paige's runaway part in the beginning is a bit shady, but it gets clearer as the plot goes on. However, Raffe's entrance in the ending of World After is perfect. I love it. Penryn catching his eye and Raffe stopping in his tracks and forgetting himself. That part is probably my favorite of all parts and pieces in World After. Raffe + Penryn. I totally ship them. They are the most unlikely couple, but the Daughter of Men and the Archangel Raphael makes a great pairing. (What? I kind of gave it away when I told you the sword Penryn uses is an archangel blade. Who else uses an archangel blade? Duh, an archangel. And that would be Raphael. In this literature world, there are only four. One is dead).

Penryn is tough. Not to mention a bit careless with her own life. She goes through a lot of trouble just to find her little sister, Paige. It is admirable, but it is unbelievably crazy. I won't be surprised if Penryn goes through the exact same thing to find Raffe. Or her mother. She is that loyal and that loyalty can so get her killed. It is just like Percy Jackson all over again.

Raffe is still the same. Sarcastic. Despite his strange wings. But he seems a bit cozy with the Daughter of Men (Penryn, duh).

What needs to happen: Penryn be revealed to the rest of the angels, Pooky Bear to return to Raffe (the original owner of the sword), Raffe to spill out his feelings, more questions about God and other supernatural creatures.

Rating: Five out of Five

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Angelfall by Susan Ee Review

"It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Recommended for ages 16 and up."

For once, I'm awfully excited about reading a sequel. Angelfall's sequel. I mean, Angelfall is so good that I'm dying just to read the next. I love everything about it. The action, the plot, the book. It is awesome and I love every part of it. It has been a long time since I read an Angel book. I think it was Heaven? I can't remember the last book I read on angels. Based on angels.

Angelfall takes place after "apocalypse." The earth lays in ruins, and Penryn is doing everything she can to help her and her family survive for as long as possible. Now, it sounds a bit like Supernatural (the tv show, of course) though without the ghosts, the vampires, the werewolves, God (he has yet to make an appearance), dragons, fairies, phoenixes, genies, ghouls, Amazons, skinwalkers, tricksters, shapeshifters, cupids, witches, and tons of more Supernatural creatures. Ahh, Supernatural. It has a liking for absent fathers, eh? From God to Winchester Daddy. In Angelfall, God is absent. At least it seems to be. If God is Chuck Shurley in Supernatural, then I wonder if He will be taking a role in Angelfall.

Well, enough ranting. Time to get real.

Penryn is tough. She loves her sister and somewhat is scared of her mother, who is insane. (Her mother could be a future black widow type of murderer). She is intelligent and excellent at self-defense, which is so valuable whenever the apocalypse comes. Hey! If there are zombies (or angels, like this book), you would want to know how to fight against those creatures. Anyway, Penryn grows to care for Raffe, an angel warrior who was once her sworn enemy. She may seem a bit harsh and cold, but she is totally soft in the middle. Warm and cuddly. And she is human.

Raffe is a famous angel. It is so tempting to tell you which one, but that is going to ruin the book for you. Moving on. Raffe is like Castiel. Castiel from Supernatural. He is adorable, but Raffe is more sarcastic and mean and considerate. Castiel is an emotionless angel warrior who votes for Team Free Will. Raffe, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be on any team other than for himself. But he isn't that selfish. He is one of those Watchers, the Grigori. And he is angel. I won't tell you which rank though. But he is tough, a warrior, and a sticker for the rules.

The ending is sort of confusing. I won't tell you anything important, but Penryn's POV got a bit hazy and unclear. Because she was in a sort of condition, I will accept that the ending has a right to be all confusing and dead-like, but I just want to point out how confusing it was.

Overall, Angelfall is a great book. I would suggest you start this series in 2017 or something like that. Maybe by that time all the books will be out and you won't be moaning about how long the wait is. Like how I am with the Bloodlines series (Richelle Mead).

Rating: Four out of Five