Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Need (Need, #1) Need by Carrie Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Need by Carrie Jones is in simplest terms Twilight meets Melissa Marr’s books Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange. It is another vamp…oops…I mean fairy novel about malicious fey following a helpless girl who runs into a hunky werewolf who is the sworn enemy of the fey. Personally, I am beginning to feel the vampire, fairy, werewolf thing is becoming a bit over done in today’s teen literature, but hey—vamps, werewolves, and fairies are still selling so what do I know.

Once again we are stuck with a lack luster heroine sent away from her mother to the far north (Maine this time—at least it is on the other coast). Zara is attempting to recover from her depression over the recent death of her stepfather. At a new school she meets the resident hunk who drives a nifty mini cooper and helps her out on an ice slick parking lot.... Hmmm…. this is starting to sound familiar—icy parking lot, flashy car with a fast driver….where have I heard this story before? Add in a few malevolent stalking fairies who drink blood and voila—you have another Twilight wannabe.

I would recommend this to fans who just can’t get enough Twilight type books. It does have a somewhat interesting, though predictable story, but will definitely appeal to those who like books similar to Twilight. The character development isn’t very good, and the repetition of information gets a bit redundant at times.

Cautions for sensitive readers: The book can be a bit gory at times—especially in the descriptions of the fairy behaviors. Although there is no sex in the book, there is a mention of some characters engaging in sexual activities.

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Book Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire Fire by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This prequel to Cashore’s first novel Graceling was a worthy addition to the world she created in Graceling. This story takes us back in time to events that occur before those of the first book. It is a standalone novel, so don’t worry if you haven’t read Graceling first, you don’t need to. Although, you will recognize a character from Graceling in Fire it doesn’t give anything away to read this book first.

Fire is a monster. She was born to a monster father and a human palace servant. As a monster, Fire must contend with attacks from other monsters and the startling effect she has on unprepared and unshielded human minds. In the Dells, monsters are common and distinct from the normal counterparts, because of their terrible and often mind altering beauty. Fire is the last human monster and with her beauty also comes the ability to control unshielded minds.

In her home in the Dells, Fire discovers strangers in the wood seemingly interested in her. To find out more about these strangers, she and her friend Archer consult with the royal family that is currently battling for control of the kingdom since the death and misrule of the last king who suffered under the control of Fire’s father. Fire becomes embroiled in a battle for the kingdom, and is a tool for the royal family to weed out the traitors in their midst.

This book is just as interesting and entertaining as Graceling. As a rule, I normally don’t like prequels, but Cashore manages to present an interesting and relevant new story for her fantasy world. I would recommend this book to teens who like fantasy and are willing to put in the time to learn the rules and politics for this interesting world. Fire is thoroughly enjoyable, and the characters are well developed and well rounded. Even the most perfect characters have flaws, and it is nice see that she is so thorough in her character development. I hope there are more books to come!

Cautions for sensitive readers: There is violence in this book due to the battles and frequent monster attacks. Some sexuality is present, although you won’t find any explicit descriptions in this book.

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