Friday, 28 February 2014

Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur

Circle of Fire (Damask Circle, #1)
Rating: 2/5

"Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice."

With a synopsis like that, how could I not expect edge-of-your-seat suspense? But I guess the other half of it should have warned me...

"Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore."

That one sentence should really take up more than one little line of the synopsis, because for me, CIRCLE OF FIRE felt more like a sappy insta-love story than anywhere near a thriller.

This book is about 45% romance, 45% repetition and 10% action. while reading the CIRCLE OF FIRE, we would constantly be reminded of how badly Maddie's past has messed her up and made her become oh-so-scared and how Jon could tell something had messed her up and mad her oh-so-scared.

And honestly? If this story's main characters weren't adults, I never would have guessed that this was an adult book... The writing was extremely simple and juvenile, and there was the annoying repetition at least every page or two throughout the entire book. Every other page we were either reminded about 1)how Maddie's past still effects her to this day or 2)how drawn Maddie/Jon was to the other.

However, it is the small bit of action and this books simplistic writing style that is it's saving grace. The small bit of action at the end made me bump up my rating from 1 star to 2 stars, and the simplistic writing is what was allowing me to finish the book.

I think the main reason I disliked this book so much was because the synopsis mislead me. Going into it I expected an intense, magic-filled thriller that would keep me on the edge of my seat. Yes, this book was filled with magic, but the thriller part just wasn't there for me and was instead taken over by the extremely aggravating love story between Maddie and Jon.

If you plan on reading this book, please be sure it's because you want one of those sappy love-stories. If you go in expecting what I did, I have no doubt that you will be just as disappointed as I was.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

Indelible (The Twixt, #1) Rating: 3.5/5

Joy already has a tough enough life before a stranger tries to stab her in the eye. Her mom abandoned their family in the company of a younger man, her brother Stefan doesn’t talk to her since leaving for college and Joy just can’t relate to her father. Needless to say, Ink stabbing her in the eye is the last thing Joy needs. Especially when he accidentally misses and ends up marking her as his instead. Thus, Joy is thrust into a new world of strange creatures, dark corners, and danger at every turn.

Joy is a typical YA MC. A whiny, moody, “nobody understand me” type of girl. We are never really given a physical description on her, so it’s pretty hard to make Joy unique from all of the other characters I’ve read about. Throughout the majority of the book, Joy is always the damsel in distress. She does her best to solve her problems, but she always needs to rely on others to finish the job for her. Mind you, most of these situations were out of her control, so we’ll cut her some slack. (Plus, she did really kick some butt in those last few pages!)

As for Ink &Inq, they’re what Melcalf describes as “scribes.” From what I got from the book, they’re there to act as a type of messenger between the other-worldly beings also known as the Twixt. They are given jobs by different members of the Twixt (some warriors, some aether spirits, amongst a whole slew of other un-named creatures), to carry and mark their signaturae on humans so that they can claim them as their own.

Why the Twixt needed them to mark people for them is unknown to me. In the book Metcalf explains it as keeping the Twixt safe and out of the way of exposure… But the only reason Joy was even able to see all these other-worldly creatures was because she has the “Sight,” which obviously gives her the ability to see Ink & the like. Ergo, I am very confused as to why these Twixt would need to keep to themselves from “risk of exposure” if there really is no risk at all.

Now, let’s break down this plot…. Wait. What plot? Pretty much the first two-thirds of this book are dedicated to Joy & Ink and them being seen together so that Ink doesn’t get in trouble for messing up and marking Joy by accident (Ink & Inq claimed that marking Joy was done on purpose so that they wouldn’t be considered fuck-ups & therefore disposable & replaceable). It’s not until you hit about page 200 that there is even a baddy/conflict identified for Ink & Joy to beat/over-come.

So, by now you’re probably thinking to yourself… Lex, why the hell did you give this book a 3.5 star rating if all you’re doing is trashing everything about it? Well, let me tell you…. This book has some unknown addictive quality to it that I can’t even begin to understand… Also, I was really in the mood for a super cheesy paranormal romance thing, AND! THE CREATURES IN THIS BOOK WERE SO FANTASTICAL. I think that’s why the plot and everything else was so lacking, because if I were Metcalf and I had images of these creatures in my head, I would want to spew them out on paper and show them off to everyone, too. These creatures, and the last 150 or so pages make up for pretty much all of the weak points of this book.

I read a review of someone else’s that mentioned that the creatures reminded her of a Miyazaki film and I think that’s why I liked this book as much as I did. I love his movies and I can’t help but be amazed by the different types of creatures. So, if you’re a fan of Miyazaki films I would suggest checking this book out and giving it a shot for yourself. :)