WWW Wednesdays #18 – November 19th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

innocenceharrypotterandthegobletoffireI’ve started Innocence by Dean Koontz the other day, and although I do like the story so far, I’m wondering if the ‘complicated’ prose Koontz uses in this novel is what I need right now… So I decided to finally reread the fourth book of the Harry Potter series first: The Goblet Of Fire. I’ve always loved this one and I’m really looking forward to read about the tournament again.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

clockworkangelinterviewwiththevampireI finished reading Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, and unfortunately I couldn’t appreciate the prose Rice used to tell her story. A full review will be up before the weekend, but what I can say for now is that the slow pace almost caused me to DNF this novel… Maybe a case of not-for-me? I’ve also finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare recently, which I did love. A full review has already been posted!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

?I still have Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer lined up to fill the Green Cover square of the Bookish Bingo challenge… But it could also be a complete different title depending on my mood.

Teaser Tuesdays #21 – November 18th: Innocence

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve just started with Innocence by Dean Koontz; yet another book for the Bookish Bingo challenge (Snow On Cover square). It’s too soon to have a proper opinion, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed this one is better than my last read…

innocence“One thing wrong with the darkness in the bedroom was the smell of it, which had been fresh and clean before. Now a spice cologne faintly seasoned the air. The Goth girl had not used or needed fragrances, and this was the very scent that I had first smelled the previous night at the library.”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Angel – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Angel
(The Infernal Devices Trilogy #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: August 31st 2010
Finished reading: November 13th 2014
Pages: 479
Rating 4,5

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

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I’ve read the book City Of Bones by the same author a while ago, and have a few sequels of The Mortal Instruments series waiting for me on my TBR pile. When I needed a steampunk book for my Bookish Bingo challenge, and someone suggested reading Cassandra Clare‘s first book of the prequel trilogy, I knew I would probably enjoy it as well. So I decided to pick up a copy of Clockwork Angel, and I have to admit I enjoyed this first book of The Infernal Devices trilogy even better than the actual series. Maybe it was because of the historical London setting, maybe it was because of the many  book quotes or maybe it was even because of the automatons and vampires. But I liked the story and characters way more than in The Mortal Instruments series. The role of Mortmain was surprising and I loved Tessa as a character!

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The story starts when Tessa Gray is invited by her brother to leave New York behind and travel to Victorian London. What she doesn’t know is that her brother Nate was forced to write that letter and as soon as she arrives she is held prisoner by the Dark Sisters. It turns out she is not an ordinary girl; she is actually a shapeshifter who, after some training, can change into anyone she wants by just holding something that belongs to them. The Dark Sisters say she is promised to the Magister, but she manages to escape on time with the help of a Shadowhunter named Will.

Shadowhunters are demonslayers and protect the mundanes (humans) from harm. They give Tessa protection, understanding that in the wrong hands she could be a powerful weapon… And they also realize something big is going to happen soon. A secret organization named the Pandemonium Club is out to destroy the Shadowhunters and take control over the British Empire. They are trying to create an army of clockwork creatures supposedly almost impossible to kill… Vampires, demons, warlocks and humans working together to finish them on time. And there is the case of Tessa’s brother, who is still missing… Will the Shadowhunters find Nate on time and prevent a war with the Pandemonium Club?

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I enjoyed this prequel way more than the actual series, and I will definitely be reading The Infernal Devices trilogy before continuing the actual series. Clockwork Angel was easy to read with interesting characters and historical references. I’ve never read a steampunk novel before, so I cannot make proper comparations, but the automatons added a nice touch to the plot and Tessa’s necklace sounded awesome. Some of the characters were a bit annoying (especially Jessamine), but the rest of the story definitely makes up for it. Definitely recommended for YA Fantasy fans! If you haven’t started The Mortal Instruments series yet, I suggest you to read this prequel trilogy first… Although I have to warn you the series might disappoint you after reading the prequel.

Friday Finds #15 – November 14th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I’m still trying to limit new additions in order to downsize my TBR list, but as you might guess it’s too hard to ignore newly found books and I’ve added a bunch this week anyway. Below you can find a selection of the titles I’ve added recently:

My finds:

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ARC REVIEW: The Elect – by Elle Todd

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Title: The Elect
(Allison’s Story Series #1)
Author: Elle Todd
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
First published: July 13th 2013
Finished reading: November 10th 2014
Pages: 353
Rating 4,5

Allison thought about telling him she’d seen the same movie and was pretty sure the claim was bogus. Instead, she offered her own bit of nonsense. “In some cultures, saving a life is considered an interference with fate and is punishable by death.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
(Guest Reviewer Program) ***

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I was intrigued by this first book of the Allison’s Story series as soon as I read the blurb that was sent to me by Ethereal Book Reviews. I admit it took me some time to finally start reading The Elect, but that was mostly because I wanted to be in the right mood for it… And I’m glad I did. This paranormal fantasy story with a dash of romance was worth the wait and left me wanting for more. I know Elle Todd has already published the second book, The Vanguard, and I will definitely try to read the sequel to find out what happens to the main characters. The Elect is a story with a fast pace, easy to read and Elle Todd is able to build up the tension quite smoothly by letting both Allison and the readers discover her powers gradually. I’m normally not a big fan of high school novels, but in this case the emphasis is being laid on the supernatural powers of the elect and it makes the few ‘cliche’ high school scenes tolerable. All in all definitely recommendable!

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Allison and Delaney have been best friends for ages. Allison is the quite and ‘invisible’ one of the pair, while Delaney doesn’t mind a little excitement. When the popular mean girl, Rebecca, decided to spread a horrible rumor around, Delaney is out for revenge. She convinced Allison to break into their high school to falsify an email accusing Rebecca of cheating… But things get complicated when Allison discovers they weren’t the only ones trespassing; the three boys doing something she never believed would have been possible. People can’t produce fire with their bare hands, or can they? Allison doesn’t know whether to trust her own eyes…

She doesn’t think the three boys recognized Allison despite her fiery red hair, but when Delaney wants to spy on them she doesn’t think it is a good idea. Ryan, Nate and Jeremy are the popular guys at school, and apparently they are hiding something that isn’t normal. When the three suddenly start showing interest in the two friends, Allison suspects something is off… But Delaney is developing a crush on Jeremy and thinks becoming friends with them is the best way to spy on them. They soon discover what the three boys are hiding, and Allison makes a discovery of her own… Nate and Jeremy are no the only ‘Elect‘ gifted with supernatural powers; Allison is able to use them as well when they are close! She is now forced to uncover the secrets of her past and find out who she really is… Because she is the first Elect that is able to use more than one power, and soon others are after her.

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I really enjoyed reading The Elect and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. It is an interesting story that is easy to read, and the ending leaves you wanting for more. Allison is a character you can easily relate to, and while some of the high school scenes were on the verge of annoying, the rest of the story made up for it. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy YA paranormal fantasy novels!

WWW Wednesdays #17 – November 12th

wwwwednesdays

Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

interviewwiththevampireclockworkangelAfter reading the first few pages of Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice I decided I wasn’t in the mood for it… So I picked up my copy of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare first, a prequel triology to The Mortal Instruments series, first. Until now I’m enjoying Clockwork Angel, and I hope to finish this book later today.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

fahrenheit451theelectI’ve recently finished both the dystopian classic Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the ARC The Elect by Elle Todd that was sent to me by Ethereal Book Reviews. I highly enjoyed both books and have posted my reviews recently. Hopefully I will keep getting lucky with my reading choices!

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

?innocenceAgain, I’m not sure yet what to read next. I do know it will be a book that I can fit in one of the empty squares in the Bookish Bingo challenge. Maybe Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer for the Green Cover square, or Innocence by Dean Koontz for the Snow On Cover square… Or a completely different title, who knows?

BOOK REVIEW: Fahrenheit 451 – by Ray Bradbury

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Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Classics, Dystopia, Fiction
First published: 1953
Finished reading: November 6th 2014
Pages: 227
Rating 5

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

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I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this classic. Brave New World has been one of my favorite dystopian classics of all time, as is 1984. Now I have a third one to add to this list: Fahrenheit 451! I absolutely loved reading this novel by Ray Bradbury, up to the point that I’m lost for words describing my feelings towards Fahrenheit 451. The prose Bradbury used to describe this dystopian world is absolutely brilliant and I devoured every single page of this classic. Ignoring and burning books is a very scary thought and unfortunately the first has been happening on an increasingly larger scale over the years. Of course things haven’t evolved to the extreme of Guy Montag’s world, but it is true that in general people have an increasing tendency towards the fast and easy and books are being pushed towards the background. Fahrenheit 451 sure makes you wonder how things would be in the future, and if in our world we ever would reach such an extreme. I sure hope it doesn’t, because that would mean the end for classics as good as this one!

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Guy Montag lives in a world where literature isn’t appreciated anymore and it is all about being happy. Montag is a not an ordinary fireman; his job is to burn books. The new authority believes books are the source of all unhappiness and cause nothing but problems. They have forbidden almost all books, and with the help of the Mechanical Hound and the Fire Department they care to track down everybody that tries to preserve and read the books that are left in this world. Montag isn’t happy with his current life though, and after talking to the young girl that lives next door, he starts to wonder if there is more to life than the government wants him to believe. Are books really that dangerous?

Montag then does the unthinkable and starts stealing books from the book burning sites.  Soon he has a small collection of books me makes sure are hidden even from his wife… When one day a book owner prefers to die over giving up her books, Montag is suddenly not so sure the government is doing the right thing anymore and he makes the mistake of showing his wife and some of her friends one of the books. Soon the Fire Department is stopping by at his place, but this time it is not a friendly visit from collegues… And soon Montag is running for his life.

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Ray Bradbury used some very beautiful and strong prose to describe this dystopian world! I absolutely loved reading every page and Fahrenheit 451 will definitely be high on the list of my favorite reads this year. Somehow this combination of an intriguing story and strong prose just works, and it is absolutely worth the full five stars!