Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: The Sweetest Dark

The Sweetest Dark
The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lora Jones has had a hard life. After being found alone and mute wondering the streets of London, she was placed in an orphanage. To make matters worse, she hears music where there is no music and a mysterious voice in her head telling her that she is more than she seems. At the age of 16 she is selected to attend an elite boarding school at Iverson. The school is housed in an old castle and is sponsored by the local duke. Her future is changed when she meets two boys. One is the duke's younger son and the other is the school's grounds keeper. Both know information about her past, one is important to her future and both want to win her heart.

The Sweetest Dark is an historical fiction story set in 1915 that weaves in just enough supernatural elements to satisfy lovers of that genre. Lora is a character the reader will come to love and root for. She has overcome so many obstacles yet she is still strong enough to pursue love and question the actions of those around her. I found myself finding excuses to sit down with this book and I cannot wait for the second book to come out in late summer. With that said, the ending was great and would be satisfying as a standalone novel.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: The Obsidian Mirror

The Obsidian Mirror
The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jake is on a mission. He has done everything he can to be kicked out of school, and now he has been successful. His godfather and guardian, Oberon Venn, has asked for him to be sent to his home, Wintercombe Abbey. Jake’s father disappeared two years earlier while conducting experiments for Venn. Jake believes that he was murdered, but Venn continues to say that he left the Abbey on his own. After Jake arrives at Wintercombe Abbey, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. The experiments his father participated in involve a dark mirror that can be a portal to both the future and the past, there is a runaway girl who has suddenly appeared with many strange men looking for her, Maskelyne arrives and claims that the dark mirror is his and was stolen long ago, and strange fey who know more then they say are lurking in the winter woods.

“The Obsidian Mirror” has a lot of potential, but this first book in the Chronoptika series left me feeling let down and deflated. Each chapter bounced between characters and time periods with limited signaling for the reader to notice. Readers of “Incarceron” may choose this book by Fisher because they enjoyed that series, but the story telling is not at the same caliber. Unfortunately I do not like the characters or story enough to look forward to the next book in the series.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: Moonset

Moonset by Scott Tracey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Moonset is a derogatory word. At least it is for everyone in the witch community except the surviving children of Moonset. Justin, his twin sister Jenna and their three orphan foster siblings are kicked out of school, again. This time they are whisked to the town of Carrow Mills, New York where their parents were from. Their parent’s coven, Moonset, was a terrorist witch group that started a war the generation before. Black magic follows them to this small town, and the siblings are accused of wielding it and plotting a new witch war. Justin must work fast to uncover the real instigator and clear all of their names, if he can.

Moonset (Legacy of Moonset #1) has so much potential, but the writing style is formulistic and the story drags and jumps in fits and starts. I would find myself laughing at the banter between the teens and the adults then find myself dreading passages that just slowed to a snail’s pace. Scott Tracey has set this story line up to be a few books (hence book #1), but I feel the story would have been better served if it was written as one larger book. Although I am giving it 3 stars, I probably won’t read the sequel.

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