Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's time... for the Clockwork Angel Release!



The long-awaited day has finally arrived! Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1) has hit shelves! For anyone who has been living under a rock, The Infernal Devices will be a prequel series to Cassandra Clare's bestselling Mortal Instruments. Clockwork has the mystique of the Shadow World with the charm of Victorian London - a can't-miss combination! For your viewing pleasure, here is the intense trailer for this new series:





I just love the "holy water and blood" quote! I was lucky enough to read an ARC copy of this novel and conduct an interview with Cassandra Clare herself! If you'd like to hear me rave about Clockwork, you can check out my review here, and you can see what Cassie had to say about her old world and new characters in the author interview here! This is one of my top five favorite reads this year, without a doubt. Get excited and get a copy ASAP!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Release Roundup: August 29 - September 4, 2010


This is a new weekly feature I'm starting here on The Bookish Type, showcasing some of the upcoming week's exciting new releases!

August 31


Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.



Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.




The Ivy by Lauren Kunze

Freshman year at Harvard--glamorous parties, blossoming friendships, steamy romances, and scandalous secrets. Skip the campus tour and get right to the good stuff: classes are for scoping guys (and their Facebook profiles), not taking notes. The library is for study dates (the medieval history stacks get a lot of action), not studying. And success is a 4.0 GPA... plus getting into the most exclusive parties. How will Callie--a California girl with brains, beauty, and big dreams--and her three roommates survive?

Get admitted to The Ivy, the first book in a provocative new series about the world of the Ivy League.



Radiance by Alyson Noel

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley...



The Haunted (The Hollow #2) by Jessica Verday

An impossible truth. An impossible love. After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with--the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead--Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all. But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates--a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess.... 



Truthseeker by C. E. Murphy

ACROSS TWO EXTRAORDINARY WORLDS, TRUTH IS THE DEADLIEST MAGIC

Though gifted with an uncanny intuition that allows her to discern when someone is lying, Lara Jansen is sure there’s nothing particularly special about her. All that changes when a handsome but mysterious man enters her quiet Boston tailor shop and reveals himself to be a prince of Faerie. What’s more, Dafydd ap Caerwynn claims that Lara is a truthseeker, a person with the rare talent of being able to tell truth from falsehood. Dafydd begs Lara to help clear his name by solving his brother’s murder, of which Dafydd himself is the only suspect.

Acting against her practical nature, Lara agrees to step through a window into another world. Now caught between bitterly opposed Seelie forces and Dafydd’s secrets, which are as perilous as he is irresistible, Lara finds that her abilities are increasing in unexpected and uncontrollable ways. With the fate of two worlds at stake and a malevolent entity wielding the darkest of magic, Lara and Dafydd will risk everything on a love that may be their salvation—or the most treacherous illusion of all.

My Review
Author Interview

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa.

As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.




Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.



When I was Joe by Keren David

When Ty witnesses the knife murder of another boy and helps the police identify the culprits, he’s forced to live in a witness protection program with his mother. As they pack, a bomb is thrown through the front door of their apartment, nearly killing them both. Over the coming months Ty becomes Joe, takes on a new look, and starts at a new school. To his surprise, he finds he is attracting the attention of the girls in his class, and the boys find his need to conceal his real identity cool — being Joe is not so bad. His ability as a runner is spotted, and he starts training under a college student who is a Para-Olympics contender, but this special treatment attracts resentment. Somehow Joe keeps drawing attention to himself despite his efforts to remain anonymous. Then his beloved grandmother back in London is badly injured in an attack designed to flush Ty out of hiding, and he realizes something must be done. This wonderfully gripping and intelligent novel movingly depicts a young man’s confusing sense of identity in extreme danger — a remarkable debut from a great new writing talent.



TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912.Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, "Take my hand..." But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren't rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose - to fix broken history.'Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That's why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...
 

September 1


Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV...no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston--and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends--and potential boyfriends--is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive....




Monster High by Lisi Harrison

From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the horrors of trying to fit in.

They prefer to call themselves RADs, but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, Oregon, but this year two new girls enroll at Merston High School, and the town will never be the same.

Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's lonely formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and friends. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.

She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?



The drizzle had broken into patches as they walked. As Drina scooped up the pale sand, Kate found herself standing in the smudge of shadow cast by the deadfall. She had never before noticed the way shadows gave things weight, made them look heavy and real and connected to the ground. Without hers...

She edged into the light.

Her shadow looked strange and thinned. It seemed not cast against the ground, but floating above it, like a fog. What Linay had said was true: No one would notice this, at first. It was just an uneasy little change, like the half-felt movement of a boat that slowly induces a great sickness.


Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Descriptions from Goodreads. Click the hyperlinked titles to preorder or purchase.


This is a big week in books! Clockwork Angel is finally, finally coming out! It is amazing, so I recommend getting it as soon as you can! I've also been hearing lots of great things about Paranormalcy, so I can't wait to pick it up! There's been a lot of buzz for Halo too. I'm reading it right now and the jury is still out, but the review will hopefully be up before the book hits shelves. Another one that hasn't been getting as much hype but that sounds really interesting is TimeRiders. It kind of reminds me of that episode of "Fringe" with the bald guys - does anyone else know what I'm talking about? So many great new reads, so little time!

What release are you most excited for this week?



Saturday, August 28, 2010

In My Mailbox: August 23 - 29, 2010

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

For Review:



Awakened by Ednah Walters

Most teens turn 16 and get the license to drive, Lil gets the license to kill demons. Raised by an eccentric grandfather and used to being alone, she now must train with other teen Guardians, master her powers and follow rules set by the Council. Then she meets Bran, a mysterious, gorgeous guy who seems to be in tune with her emotions. Is he a Guardian or an agent of the demons? And why does he need her help?








More angels, I know ;-) I haven't been able to check my mail in a few days, so anything I've missed will go in next week's post.

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: August 27 - September 2, 2010

Welcome and thanks for hopping by!

The Book Blogger Hop is a great meme hosted by Crazy-for-Books! The idea is to network and find amazing new blogs to read. You can hop over there to see the rules and join in the fun!


This past week was crazy, so I failed a bit on hopping around. I did find a few new blogs though! Check out these awesome fellow bloggers:

Musings of a Reader Happy
John Smith on Writing
Smash Attack Reads


This week's question is...

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I do have a rating system. I break it down into premise, plot, characters and writing, then average them all together to produce an overall rating. Those four categories are what make or break a book for me. The best books are original, with a compelling plot and lively characters - but all that is moot without good writing behind it. If the writing distracts from the story, that's a huge problem. I don't think I could assign an overall rating without first evaluating how I felt about those aspects of the story.


On the blog this week:
Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Author Interview: Rebecca Maizel


Thanks for hopping by! Head over to Crazy-for-Books to sign up and see all the participating blogs!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Author Interview: Rebecca Maizel



Rebecca Maizel graduated from Boston University and the Rhode Island College master’s program. She teaches community college in Rhode Island and is studying to receive her MFA from Vermont College.

From Author's Website


 

How did your interest in writing develop?

I think I was always writing. I know that seems like a stock answer but it's not. As a kid, I loved writing stories and making up characters. I loved making movies on my sister's video camera (when video cameras were VIDEO - yep, I'm old). I think I was always creating in a narrative form. 


Infinite Days has some really wonderful turns of phrase. Which quote is your favorite?

Hmmm. Well, I feel silly saying I just LOVE this bit of writing, etc. But if I have to choose one from Infinite Days it's this:

"At Wickham, Tony was my only companion. His friendship kept me company as well as all the memories of my vampire life, piling on and on in my mind like a stack of books, each memory a leather binding, reaching higher and higher toward an endless ceiling."  


What was your biggest challenge in writing this novel?

Writing the sequel!!! :) No, really it is. And letting go of the inner editor. Sometimes, you have to say to yourself that the work is enough - that the process is enough and you turn off the inner censor and just WRITE.


Do other magical beings besides vampires exist in the Infinite Days world?

Yes. Thematically, it's only been relevant for you to see vampires as they are the crux of Lenah's problem. But yes, other creatures. You'll see... 


We learn that Lenah does not like The Awakening by Kate Chopin. What are some of her favorite books? What are Rhode’s?

Lenah's favorite books! I LOVE this question. She loves Jane Austen - particularly Pride and Prejudice. She loves Les Liaisons Dangereuses - or Dangerous Liasions because she really appreciates the Marquise de Merteuil - the evil heroine of the book. Rhode appreciates philosophy and science. He reads John Locke, Rousseau and Voltaire. He's really not into fiction. Astronomy, plant life, philosophy. Lenah also appreciates Shakespeare and books on medicinal healing. Rhode's favorite poet is John Keats.


Each of the main male characters is very different, but appealing in their own way. Which would you choose to be your romantic interest – Rhode, Justin, Vicken or Tony? Why?

If I was looking for a crazy time - Justin. I know he would have me do things I was scared to do but I would have a great time doing them. He would take me bungee jumping or for some exotic meal. And he's pretty to look at.

If you want to fall in love for the rest of your life? Rhode.


Intent affects several of the novel’s events. What inspired your interest in intentions?

Morality in general interests me. If you really think about people's intentions and consider why it is they behave the way they do - it'll fascinate you. I have my own feelings on humanity and morality and I chose to explore them in a fictional place. I won't get on my soap box here. :)


Part of Lenah’s journey involves rediscovering her humanity. What do you think it means to be human?

To appreciate all that is around you. Life is hard - enjoy the small things. 


If you were a vampire waking up from a 100-year hibernation, what would be the hardest thing to adjust to about the 21st century?

Probably how loud it is! Everything now has sound - hard sound too. Cars, sirens, even typing creates a constant sound. I can't imagine how much quieter life was in the 1900s.


This is the first vampire world I’ve seen where it’s possible to become human again. Can you explain how the magic of the vampire world makes it possible?

They'll have to read the book...:) 


Which century was Lenah’s favorite? Why?

17th century before she truly started to lose her mind. In my vampire world, the longer you are a vampire, the more your mind starts to wane. Most vampires go crazy. 

She was with Rhode living a fantasy. She didn't realize she was slowly going crazy. She loved Rhode and thought she would live with him forever. She didn't mind the murders she committed - the blood lust was enough. Very shortly after...her sanity began to wane...She wasn't as strong as she thought she was. 


What is the one question you’ve always wanted to be asked about Infinite Days? Can you answer that question for us?

People have asked me this before and I never know what question I want to be asked. I know that I want people to enjoy Infinite Days and I hope they can take something positive away from it. :)  


Why do you think the fantasy genre, and especially paranormal romance, is so popular in modern times?

Oh boy, that's a tough question. I think people want the escape. Life, mortality, violence all of it is in our face 24/7 and it's nice to dive into a fantasy world and forget it all. Maybe I'm reaching here but I think that has to do with it. 


What authors have inspired you? What about them is inspirational?

Alice Hoffman is a big inspiration to me. She has an incredible way of making the ordinary extraordinary with a turn of phrase. She's incredible. I also love Amy Hempel but her fiction is more for adults. She can break your heart with just a few words. She's one of my favorites.  


What is a random fact readers probably don’t know about you?

I like pineapple on my pizza. No ham, no green peppers. Just cheese and pineapples. Random, eh? Oh, and I used to be a radio DJ. 


What can you tell us about the remaining books in the Vampire Queen trilogy?

You'll learn a lot more about Lenah and Rhode's past the farther you get into the trilogy. :)


For more information about this debut author, please visit:

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Many thanks to Rebecca Maizel for this great interview! I'm so glad to hear that we'll learn more about Rhode's past in later books! There's just something about Rhode... ;-)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

"I release you, Lenah Beaudonte. Believe...and be free." The ritual is complete. The most powerful female vampire of the past five centuries awakens to find herself human once more. Such powerful magic doesn't come without a price, however, and Lenah must live with the devastating consequences of her choices for the rest of her life. Mortal and alone, Lenah is faced with the intimidating task of learning to be a 21st century teenager -- no mean feat after 100 years spent six feet underground. Lenah is overwhelmed by the unfathomable technology and staggering social customs that accompany daily life at her new boarding school, but all that changes when she meets Justin. Justin is the school's resident daredevil with an unrivaled passion for life, and he seems to be the only one capable of teaching Lenah's dormant spirit how to live again after nearly 600 years of darkness and death. But even though Lenah is enjoying her new-found freedom, she can't silence the ticking clock in the back of her mind -- a constant reminder that her days are numbered before the shadows of her past return and the inevitable hunt for the vampire queen begins.

Infinite Days is a refreshing premise played out with a cast of quirky characters. Lenah is now a human, reborn through sacrifice out of her vampire existence. Readers will laugh as they watch her struggle to learn the novelties of life in the 21st century after hibernating underground for a hundred years. Rebecca Maizel creates a fascinating interplay of light and darkness in Lenah, weaving together her more naive present and her darker, storied past. The flashbacks that appear throughout the novel allow the reader to understand how Lenah became the person she is today, and discover the journey she took to arrive at this unique place in her long life. The horror she created in her past counter-intuitively makes her even more compelling, showing the significance of her loving human self.

The flashbacks also allow readers to meet the loves of Lenah's life: suave and sophisticated Rhode, smoldering and wicked Vicken, and, of course, her modern day teen heartthrob Justin. Each of the leading men, though not all present at once, are strong characters in the story and are each devastatingly appealing in their own unique way. Then there's Tony, who really steals the show. Lenah's first friend at Wickham Boarding School, Tony is artsy and alternative, with a hint of vulnerability that makes him irresistible. Tony isn't perfect, but he's truly the best friend any girl could ask for.

As the novel progresses, the air of mystery increases -- Lenah is alone, slowly and sometimes painfully discovering the truth about the ritual that set her free. The magic of this world is complex and elusive, making it impossible to predict what lies around the next corner. There are a few moments when the natural laws that govern vampirism and dark magic become confusing, but the ending seems to promise further illumination in the sequels. As the tension builds and the demons from her past return to haunt her, Lenah is forced to face choices she thought she'd have a lifetime to make, and her ultimate, stunning decision will leaves readers awestruck and absolutely ravenous for the sequel, Stolen Nights.

Rating: 


Click here to purchase Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this novel from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.





Tomorrow: Don't miss my author interview with Rebecca Maizel!







This novel is part of the Debut Author Challenge



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting!

I'm doing my post a day early this week so that I can post my review of Infinite Days and interview with Rebecca Maizel as scheduled.


Coming January 4, 2011!



Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees. . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?


Description from Goodreads


My thoughts: I mentioned I was on an angel kick, didn't I? :-) What I really love about this one is that she's part angel and doesn't know it, then starts having these crazy dreams. I also really love how her destiny seems to be to help this town combat the forest fire - an issue that hits rather close to home. This novel seems to be blending fantasy with all-too-real reality, and I like that it shows that consciousness. Plus, it seems like she's hanging out in town, just waiting for the inevitable disaster to strike. You can feel the tension just from the brief description. And, of course, I can't lie - the part of the description mentioning Tucker's appeal to her "less angelic side" is certainly intriguing ;-)


What read are you anxiously anticipating this week?





Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Captivate (Need #2) by Carrie Jones



WARNING: This review may contain spoilers if you haven't read the first book in the series, Need.

Zara thinks she has the pixie situation of Bedford, Maine under control. Her father, the pixie king, and his many minions are still securely locked away in their mansion, held captive by the iron bars Zara and her friends placed around the house. Occasionally a new pixie will wander into the neighborhood, but the band of protectors capture and incarcerate them pretty quickly. Unfortunately, Zara's father and his court aren't the worst of the teenagers' problems. Not one, but two new kings are in town and each of them is determined to have the pixie king's powerful daughter for their queen. Zara doesn't know who to trust or what to believe, and new myths are coming out of the woodwork all around her, but when the unimaginable happens Zara is forced to face her fate and make the choice that has the potential to save or destroy them all. 

Captivate features more action and a stronger plot than its predecessor, Need, but still lacks the character development that would make it a truly engaging read. However, this novel is still entertaining - full of little quirks, comic relief and plenty of romance. Carrie Jones continues to develop Zara's distinct and fresh voice that stood out in Need, and switches things up by including hilarious "pixie tips" at the beginning of each chapter, in lieu of listing phobias. The tips are a playful and clever insert, reflecting the pixie manual that Zara and Devyn are writing in the story. Zara finally develops as a character, gaining spunk and taking action. Yet the guys still seem to dominate, despite their lack of depth. Zara is the pixie princess and the pixies are her problem, but the guys run the show -- Devyn doing the research and Nick doing the legwork. Even though Mrs. Nix and Betty balance out the male weres, they are not nearly as present in the story. Thankfully, readers get to see more of the energetic and endearing Issie, Zara's unswervingly loyal best friend.

Jones also introduces a new character in the form of Astley, a rival pixie king who makes Zara question everything she knows or has assumed about pixies. The handsome king should be dangerous - after all he is a pixie - but his behavior towards Zara is surprisingly sweet and sensitive, leaving readers (and Zara) uncertain of his true nature. Astley seems to be a creature of contradictions, creating an alluring mystique that draws the reader in. Zara does at least try to take matters into her own hands, and when she finally earns her warrior badge, it adds a new facet to her character and raises a lot of questions (questions that are inherent in the novel as a whole) about the nature of good and evil. Zara's human rights activism also evokes some ethical questions about pixie rights that add a deeper layer of meaning to the narrative.  Though there is more substance to the plot of Captivate, it still becomes cryptic and confusing at times, seeming to contradict itself. It would add greatly to the series if the pixie, were and other Shining Ones lore was explained coherently and in depth. Still, this novel has its moments of heart-pounding action and gut-wrenching sadness. There are several surprises in store and the plot twists will have readers on the edge of their seat, mouths gaping in disbelief, while they anxiously await the final installment of the trilogy, Entice.

Rating: 


Click here to purchase Captivate by Carrie Jones

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