supernatural

Book Review: Raven’s Peak

I recently signed up to OnlineBookClub and requested this book as my first to review on the site. It’s a paranormal thriller, focusing on a “hunter” who tracks down demons. It begins with an epilogue following another character, who we later learn more about. The protagonist is a young man called Haatim, completely ordinary and unaware of the paranormal activity in the world. Strange circumstances send him and Abigail – the hunter – off to Raven’s Peak together.

The beginning was rather interesting; Haatim was hired by a complete stranger to track down a suspected stalker. It soon became clear that this was no ordinary stalker, and the situation was definitely unique. However, the following plot felt a little slow to me, taking a while to really develop. It’s possible that the intended peak was earlier than I felt, but I personally felt like the main story only really started when the pair arrived at Raven’s Peak. This did not happen until much nearer the end. This meant that the “main” sotry only lasted for a few short chapters. There was a section between Haatim’s stalker mission and the arrival in Raven’s Peak that felt painfully slow and, quite honestly, boring.

The characters were okay, but I didn’t connect with them emotionally. Haatim was given an emotional backstory – as was Abigail, in fact – but I just did not feel anything for them. Their speech felt a bit disjointed and artificial, and they just didn’t feel particularly real to me. It would’ve been nice to develop the characters’ relationships more, both with each other and their own families.

Many books in the paranormal/supernatural genre feel very similar, and this book is sadly included. There was nothing about it that particularly stood out to me. Some of the ideas in the book are very interesting, though. I am intrigued as to how Haatim’s father is connected to the Ninth Circle, and I also want to know what happens in Abigail’s quest for saving Arthur. But this book didn’t fill me with anticipation or excitement to read on. In fact, it barely mentioned the Ninth Circle, and without that being the series title, I’d never have picked up on it.

I also noticed a few typos and grammatical errors, which would be the result of insufficient editing. While a few errors are often found in books, this felt quite amateurish and unfinished.

Overall, the book wasn’t particularly special or exciting, and didn’t feel as fluid as it should. It wasn’t bad, but it was not outstanding. 2.5 stars.

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Book Review: City of Glass

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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #3) – Paperback, 508 pages – Published 2013 by Walker Books

This is the third of six books in The Mortal Instruments series.

At 500 pages, I was slightly worried about this. The other two books were rather long too, and I had no problem with those, but I still feared that I would tire of this partway through. That was luckily not the case – far from, in fact.

We’re still following Clary and her Shadowhunter friends, trying to take down Valentine before he puts his plan into action while simultaneously trying to revive Clary’s mother from her coma. There’s a situation between both Clary and Simon and Clary and Jace – the latter being really rather awkward – and also a little thing going on between Alec and Magnus.

In this book, Clary finds herself in Alicante, the capital city of Idris, without any given permission. She also finds Simon there, locked up in the Gard. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that the whole sibling situation with Valentine’s children is finally cleared up, in such an incredibly believable-yet-unbelievable way. Also, we’re reunited with Hodge and a few members of the Seelie Court. Oh, and Luke’s pack of werewolves, Raphael and the vampires, and we even meet a couple of angels. Nice.

This book contains a lot of past information, details about Valentine and what he did to his children. It brings a lot of clarity, and really makes you think, I understand now. Valentine is getting ever closer to executing his plan fully, and the Shadowhunters have to learn to work with the Downworlders rather than against them. Spies hidden among the Clave are brought to justice, and one very unexpected character is introduced, before being killed off again. I do have my doubts about his death though…

As for Valentine… Well, if you don’t already know, you may as well go and read the book.

Usually I find that I prefer the first books in a series, but so far this is actually my favourite. It isn’t quite an all-time favourite of mine, but I’d be more than happy to reread it. There’s a lot of the typical YA paranormal stuff going on in here, making it not all that unique. That being said, it is really well written and very exciting and action-packed. I am wondering what the next few books are actually going to be about, now that the whole situation with Valentine and the Mortal Instruments has been cleared up…

So yeah, this is a really good book that I would definitely recommend to lovers of YA novels, dystopian and paranormal books. I found myself struggling to put it down, wanting to just read on and on to the end despite the length. I think 4.5 stars is a decent rating for this.

(P.S. I totally didn’t constantly think of Supernatural throughout this, especially not at the references to the Mark of Cain.)

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Book Review: Every Other Day

Every Other Day - Paperback Cover

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Paperback, 329 pages – ublished February 2nd 2012 by Quercus

Contains a few spoilers.

Wow. This book was actually amazing. I saw it on Goodreads and decided to order it into my library. I’m so glad I did!

Kali is like any other girl, every other day. She has no friends, no mother, and not much of a dad, but she’s human.

But every other day, she’s not.

She hunts. Not deer, or wolves, or foxes. She hunts hellhounds and basilisks and zombies – preternatural creatures. So when she sees popular-girl Bethany with an ouroboros (the death mark of a chupacabra) she knows it’s up to her to save her.

That day also happens to be the day Kali meets Skylar. Her instincts tell her to keep Skylar away – the less people she puts in danger, the better. But Skylar has other ideas, and soon she gets caught up in Kali’s world, along with Bethany and Elliott, Skylar’s brother and Bethany’s boyfriend.

The chupacabra has unexpected effects on Kali thanks to her difference to other people, and she finds herself connected with another of her kind; Zev. She is immediately determined to rescue him from where he is imprisoned, Chimera Biomedical. While trying to achieve his rescue, Kali begins to discover things about Bethany’s parents, who work at Chimera, as well as the mystical woman in heels…

Along the way, Kali also discovers the truth about who – or what – she really is. Her father brings light to some of the questions she’s had for years, and she finally discovers her mother – or mothers.

When the kids reach their final destination – the secret Chimera facility where Zev is being held – they are truly tested. Kali doesn’t want to drag her friends into it, but they want to help her. Skylar claims to know that her decision to come is the right one, thanks to her psychic gift. Things get incredibly interesting at this point…

I was not expecting what happened to Kali to happen. Even afterwards, I was waiting for something to come along and fix it, but that never happened. The letter toward the end is such a great touch, I really liked it. And it ends on an amazing cliffhanger!

Kali’s a great character. She doesn’t know her mother (yet) and up until now, thought her dad couldn’t stand to look at her. But she begins to understand his actions, as well as the true meaning of friendship. (Cheesy, I know. Sorry.)

As for Skylar… I loved her so much! She had such an awesome personality. And Bethany was a well-developed character too, who Kali gets to know slowly throughout the novel.

Every Other Day brought on so many emotions. It was thrilling, exciting, and surprisingly sad. I wasn’t sure about Kali as a character at first, but she really did grow on me. This didn’t have the typical romance story in it that many YA books do, which I appreciate. I actually think this managed to work its way up to 5 stars, and into my favourites.

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