Books. Yeah, I read ‘em.
And to prove it, I’m going to write a little review on the ones I have read recently. Last week alone I read 3! Since then I’ve read another 2. Go me. Just showing you I can actually put down the controller, get up from the couch, and mosey up to my room to read for hours on end. Such is life.
Yes, I’ve read Twilight. I read the series after it being strongly suggested to me by a friend (way before the movies). Yes, I enjoyed them. Yes, I’m on Team Jacob. Or Edward. Screw it, I’m probably on Team Emmett. I read all 4 books in 5 days. Each day I would wake up, frantically wait until 10am then walk to the book store just around the corner from my house and purchase the next one. So yeah, I get vampires. I like the idea of them too. I recommended the series to my Mum (an avid reader) and she bloody loved them too. But she remained addicted to vamp novels, and continued to purchase every vamp series the book shops could offer her to satisfy her thirst (pun intended). There are hits and misses in vamp series as you’ll see. And I’m not just reading Vamp novels either.
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
- Vampire Academy
- Shadow Kiss
- Blood Promise
I liked this series. The books are very easy to read – I was reading one a day. The female protagonist Rose is strong, sharp and witty – everything Bella from Twilight wasn’t. The author also creates new elements about the Vampire world which work effectively. For instance, there are two types of vampires – Moroi (who are alive and wield elemental powers, which I believe could have been played up more) and the Strigoi who are undead, evil, and kill people to eat. Then you have the Dhampirs (Rose), a half human/half Moroi who’s sole job is to protect the Moroi (her best friend) from being attacked by Strigoi. Sounds complicated, but it works.
It can be a bit teenagey here and there because most of the series is set in a boarding school-like scenario, and is trying to be the next epic love tale. On the whole, not bad! 7.5/10
The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clarke
- City of Bones
- City of Ashes
- City of Glass
For once, Vampires are not the main supernatural specimens. You explore a world of Shadow Hunters who’s job it is to control the peace pact between the Downworlders (werewolves, vamps, faeries, warlocks etc) and to slay demons from other dimensions. It takes a new direction in fanatical magic, obtaining health, stealth, strength and luck by drawing the corresponding runes onto their skin, leaving black tattoo-like marks all over their body.
The story revolves around the are-they-or-aren’t-they siblings/lovers Clary and Jace. Clary discovers the existence of demons and Shadow Hunters, when in fact she shouldn’t be able to see them at all. The Shadow Hunter in question is the angelic looking Jace – who every girl under 25 will just lust after. He holds a lot of his upbringing on his shoulders, something it seems only Clary can remove.
The three books seem to offer something new in each – and special mention goes to the character of Simon – Clary’s unsuspecting but incredibly funny best friend who gives many of the best one liners. I also think he wears a Star Wars and a gaming shirt throughout the series – my kinda guy!
How to Break Your Own Heart – Maggie Alderson
I’ve read all of Maggie’s previous books, and adored them all. It’s definitely a girly girls book – where you live out your fantasies of good looks, great jobs, tons of money and amazing lifestyles. This book is set in England, which is the first time her books have ventured away from the familiar shores of Sydney. It’s about late-thirties Amelia, who has been married to her perfect husband for the last 15 years of her life. Everything seems oh-so-fabulous darrrling, except he doesn’t want kids. Eep.
Fun and light to read – watch for the character of Kikki, a crazy, floozy girlfriend with far too much money and no requirement to work for it. 7/10
House of Night Series by P.C + Kristin Cast
- Bunch of others you dont need to know
Put simply – these series are so very bad. It is written as if it’s for 10 year olds, but in the first third of the book the lead character catches a girl trying to give a ‘uber hawt’ guy a blow job. ???I will not read past the first book, that was hard enough for me. They try to pass Faith Hill of as being a ‘Vampyre’ and use the word ‘poopie’. No thanks. 2/10.
Evernight – Claudia Gray
I didn’t mind this book. It is set in the usual boarding-school surroundings and focus on the school, students and studies at a darkly school called Evernight (cough, Harry Potter). But this book threw me out – there are 2 main twists that weren’t as predictable as other books I’ve read. That’s a good start! They are definitely trying to do the whole epic love story thing here, and the whole forbidden love thing too. How original. Problem is I don’t know enough about these characters (Bianca and Lucas) to really yearn for them, with them and to really feel anything for them. In fact, I like the other guy that is in the class called Balthazar, he is very well-mannered and I think more boys should take a leaf out of his book. Even if he is a vampire. Spoiler. Whoops. Not too sure if I’ll read the other 2 in this series: Stargazer and Hourglass (due for release this year)
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
This is not fantasy. There are no supernatural species. This, I’m proud to say, is science fiction. I don’t read sci-fi. But this book is AWESOME.
Written in 1985 by the unusually named author, it is set in the future during a century of war with insectiod aliens called ‘Buggers’. The story follows Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin from 6 years of age, when he is plucked from school to start at the Battle School to train him up to become a fleet commander. Ender is a child genius, as are his two older siblings. His eldest brother was too cruel and ruthless, his sister Valentine too compassionate and kind. Ender was the perfect balance of both, and showed tactical perfection in both training and games. He rises through the ‘ranks’ at an unheard of pace – keeping up with the students many years older. It is a real psychological journey in Enders mind, observing what decisions are being made by the head of the school to make him the ultimate person to save the planet from a future invasion.
It is so cleverly written that it absorbed me in. I felt so empathic for Ender, and the amount of pressure thrown on him is exhausting. It is such a good read, one I did in less than a day. It has won a lot of awards, and it’s obvious why. 9/10
Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris
Otherwise known as True Blood on television. There are a hell of a lot of books in this series.
I’ve wanted to read these books as I’d started watching the series on Showtime and enjoyed it. I got a little lost at one stage, then I fell behind, then gave up. Reading the books let me do it at my own pace, but the characters have already been created for me. It is a fun book. There is lots going on, and major things are dropped in, like mind-reading, vampires and shape-shifting without much exposition or explanation. But it works! Sookie Stackhouse is such a gal. She knows how to hold her own with a smile on her face, and has been through a lot without wanting to throw pain back at the world. The book is very similar to the series – but there is no Tara yet! Thank god! That girl irks me to tears. I really enjoyed this book and will read the entire series. 8.5/10
Graceling – Kristin Cashore