Where The Wolves Read

A blog where I review mostly books. I also review, if my appetite allows, movies, music, and video games. Enjoy the feast!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Summary: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

Review: *might contain spoilers for Beautiful Creatures*

Well this book was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. First off, I liked Ethan, Lena, and Link all in Beautiful Creatures, but in this book I wanted to slap Lena. I understand why she was being the way she was, but still. I'm not sure how I feel about Liv as a character at this point. I liked Marian, and it seemed Liv was supposed to be a mini version of Marian, but I wasn't digging it. Liv seemed to just want to prove she was in the know about everything. It was irritating. I guess Marian didn't bother me because she's an adult so she needs to know everything going on, but Liv was annoying. Link was still adorable and quirky. He's definitely a close second for my favorite. I'm not sure how I feel about Rid. I was up in the air after Creatures, and I'm even more thrown from Darkness. This John guy is another character I'm still unsure about. I'm not going to expand anymore than that, but I just don't know what to think anymore.

The story was fabulous. It's weird enjoying a book set in a place you've grown up to hate all your life. Just throwing that out there. I'm glad I was reading this while I was alone because there was one revelation that made me say "ew" quite loudly. The pl twists were very much present in this book, and the end was insane. I still can't quite believe anything in the second half of Darkness actually happened. I'm so glad I didn't start Darkness until I had Chaos because I'm going to run off to start it now. This is a great series so far and I absolutely recommend it.

5 howls

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorites from 2011

I wasn't even going to try to narrow this list down to 11 books, but these are the ones I enjoyed the most this year. I didn't get a chance to review all of them, but the ones I did review are linked up. Enjoy!

The Specter Key: This was just...magnificent. I couldn't stop reading.
The Farfield Curse: It was a re-read this year, but it was still amazing. Wonderful middle grade novel.
Hate List: Breathtaking. Truly. I loved it.

Perfect: My absolute favorite from this year. Touching characters you loved to hate, and a story anyone can relate to.
Triangles: Ellen's first adult book with incredible moments of love and passion. I can't wait to read her next adult novel.
Wither: Didn't do a review when I first read this book, but it was wonderful. A fresh new story with exceptional characters.
Unearthly: A new angel story that moves very well, and the bit at the end? Wow. Just wow. Can't wait for Hallowed.
Twenty Boy Summer: One of the few contemporary books I've read this year and I'm a fan of Ockler's already. Definitely going to have to check out the rest of her work.
The Girl Who Played With Fire: I loved The Hunger Games and it was a joy reading what others thought of these books.
The Dark Divine: Read this because a friend of my recommended it. Couldn't be happier with the story. I loved it and I need to read The Lost Saint and The Savage Grace.
Such a Pretty Girl: Another book recommended by a friend, and it was incredible. I can't was just great.
Seduced by the Wolf: One word: Liedolf
Dreaming of the Wolf: The return of dream-mating and Jake. He was delish.
Sleeping in Parking Lots: A wonderful non-fiction book about keeping your faith in God while enduring the struggles of being on the road.
Rage: Jackie is a brilliant writer. Incorporating self-harm into a story like this was brilliant and I can't wait to read Loss!
Hunger: Much like Rage, this first book brought a tough topic to the public in an interesting way. I love the way Jackie brings these things up in her stories.
Shifters series: To be fair, I read the first 2 at the end of 2010, but this is my favorite UF series. It was wonderful. Faythe is a great character. I adored her.
Nightshade: One of the best werewolf books I've read ever. Period.
Fahrenheit 451: I read this for banned books week and I can see why it's considered a classic. I think everyone should read this book at least once. I would hate to live in a world like this were books are burned out of fear. They should be treasured. Always.
Delirium: It's Lauren Oliver. She blew me away with Before I Fall, and Delirium showed me how well she can adjust to a new kind of story. She's an auto buy author.
Darkest Mercy: A fabulous end to an exciting series. Melissa Marr is a wonderful storyteller.
The Dark and Hollow Places: My favorite book of the series. It is so, so wonderful. I loved it.
Angelfire: This was a great book. End of story. Wings of the Wicked cannot come soon enough. It was brilliant.

Monday, December 26, 2011

New In the Den (IMM 23)-Christmas edition

From Kristi at The Story Siren

From Draper
Do I need to explain how much I love this show?

From Nikki:
Yoshi beanie!

From Candace:
*jumps up and down* YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I haven't read any of Maggie Shayne's books so if anyone has let me know how they are.

3 books from an amazing faerie series!

From parents:

I have been wanting this system for a while and I finally got it! I'm loving it! And I get to play Ocarina of Time anytime I want now!


3 movies
Never saw it, but I wanted to. It was only $10. Couldn't resist!
One of my favorite movies as a kid. We only had it on VHS, but now I have it on DVD!
I've seen this movie a couple of times and I liked it, but I never had my own copy. Now I do!
Finally bought this book. It'll be a while before I can get to it, but at least I have it.
Finally bought this one too. A stand-alone Maggie Stiefvater book? Yes please!

I also got sugar cookies from Desire', and I apparently have gifts from Kaitlyn and Michelle. I just haven't gotten them yet. I had a pretty great Christmas. Hope you all did too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Specter Key by Kaleb Nation

Summary: Blogging phenom Kaleb Nation delivers an exceptional follow-up to his debut hit, The Farfield Curse. Re-enter the world of Dunce where magical hero Bran Hambric has recently discovered a safe deposit box in his mother's name-in the very vault where he was discovered as a boy. Now he's on a frightening path that eventually leads to his father, whom Bran believed to be dead. When Bran's best friend, Astara, is kidnapped and turned into a Specter, he must explore a side of himself he never knew existed. But will the magic destroy him the way it destroyed his mother?

Review: Bran is back along with some old friends (Adi, Polland, and Astara), as well as some new ones. The old characters were still fabulous to read about. I savored every scene with Adi, Polland, and Astara because there were new characters for Bran to meet. Let's get into some of those, shall we? Thomas. Um no. He He's going to have to do a lot of redeeming to make him even remotely appealing to me. Gary was interesting, but I'm on the fence with him. I don't quite know what to do with him at the moment. If he returns in another book, maybe he'll be able to convince me he's a decent guy. My biggest problem with him was how much of a jerk he seemed to be to
Bran when Bran first met him. Maybe that's just me, but I'm keeping my eye on him. Then there's Nim. I didn't know if I was going to like her or not because of Thomas, BUT she turned out to be an interesting little character. And I mean little. She's a fairy...sprite...thing...? She's some fierce little something or other and I thought she was great. A very cute character.

Now let's talk story. The writing and the story itself was excellent, but really Kaleb? Why did you do that to Astara? I'm not going to say any more because I don't want this to be a spoilery review, but dang. I started making weird noises and my friends gave me odd looks. I didn't know how to contain all of the emotions I felt while reading this book. Once again, Kaleb blew me away with his storytelling. I'm very excited to see what Bran's next adventure will be. Even if it means I will once again be emotionally distraught by the end. So yeah, Kaleb, anytime you want to finish Bran's next book feel free. ;D

5 howls

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation (new review)

Summary: A six-year-old child, his only history a scrap of paper with his name (Bran Hambric), is found inside a securely locked vault in a large city bank. He grows into a strapping teenager, remembering nothing before the vault, mostly forgotten even by his foster parents. But elsewhere, Bran is not only remembered; he is sought by those who want him back. dead or alive.

Review: (Note: I'm sort of re-doing my review for The Farfield Curse because my original review was written in April 2010. My blog was only a couple of months old and middle grade isn't my usual read so I didn't really know how to review it without comparing it to another series. Here is a link to my old review. I'll keep it just so I can see how I have changed as a reviewer.)

Bran Hambric. He's a sweet kid, but he wasn't my favorite character. He had some great moments and as main characters go, he's definitely up there. Kaleb just wrote better secondary characters in my opinion. He is a solid character, but he might be a bit too innocent for my tastes. I think that's why he fell short as my favorite. Astara, Polland, and Adi were all strong characters and I loved the different perspectives they gave to Bran. Astara is the girl going through similar things Bran is going through with her age and magic. She gives Bran a young female's Polland is a gnome so he has to hide through most of the book and he gives Bran that underground perspective. Adi is a more experienced woman (not in a sexual way) so she gives insight that seems more wise. I don't know which of those 3 would be my favorite. Probably Astara, but they all come pretty close so well done Kaleb on writing characters that are just plain likable. Let's not forget about Rosie. If she was more central to the story then she might be in the running as a fav, but she kept life in the Wilomas house interesting.

The story was dark in my opinion. I didn't think much of it when I read The Farfield Curse the first time, but it didn't escape my notice this go around. That isn't a bad thing. Not at all. It isn't overpoweringly (not sure if that's a word) dark so it would scare kids away. It's just a different flavor from other middle-grade books I've read. Granted, I don't read a lot of MG so it might fit in perfectly. Someone that does read more of that genre can tell me if I'm crazy or not. The main story with Emry and the Farfield Curse and Baslyn was dark, but it was balanced quite well with the happenings at the Wilomas house. There is a sort of silliness that goes along well in this book because of how it balances the darker parts of the story. As an added note, when I was reading this book I could hear Kaleb in my head. Not the entire time, but while reading some of the dialogue he was definitely there. Not sure if that's because I've been watching too many of his videos or what. Anyways I certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good fantasy series to start.

I originally gave the book 4.5 howls and I'm going to have to keep the rating at 4.5 howls. Great story!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Will Bring

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This is the first time I've done a TTT, but I was bored so I figured why not? I might have cheated and put 11 books on here. Sorry

This is one of those informative books that I think would be interesting to read. The best part is that it focuses on Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Narnia. I've enjoyed all 3 of these worlds very much, and I think I would enjoy this book too.
I have all of David's books except for this one. I've loved them all (except The Telling Pool). Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if this book ended up being like The Telling Pool for me, but I don't care. I want it. I want to read it. I need something to help me deal with The Scream of the White Bears mess.
Of course I've seen reviews out the rear for this book and I haven't read it myself. I'm cautious about my fantasy books, but I'm convinced that I should read this book.
I loved Sister's Red, but I haven't gotten Sweetly yet. I guess I'm not dying to buy it because it isn't part of a series really. New story, new characters so I haven't gotten around to getting it. I've heard it's great though so I want it.
Shade was brilliant and I've heard Shift is brilliant as well. I have no excuse for not picking up this book. I just haven't gotten around to it. And I'm broke.
I enjoyed Angel Star a LOT so I need to get my hands on Lemniscate at some point.
I haven't read any of these books yet, but if I get Inheritance then I'll start reading them. I have all of them except this one. Reading these books was going to be my Summer project, but that didn't happen.
Ash was incredible and I can't help but look at this book when I go to the bookstore. I want it so bad.
Another book I want because I have the others. I haven't read the other books in this series, but I own them. I loved Scott's Uglies series so I'm certain I'll love these as well.
I've heard good things about this book, and I love Jen's Raised by Wolves series so I have high hopes for this one.
I loved the other 2 books in this series and I am aching to see how it all ends!

There are other books that I want as well, but I should probably stop here. Though there is THIS site which has some other books I would love to get as well.

Yeah well that's my list. :D