3 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · young adult

Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn

Discord’s Apple

author : carrie vaughn

pages : [hardcover] 299

favorite characters : evie & sinon

memorable quote “Have you thought about going insane?” It would seem like a reasonable thing to do, given his circumstances.

“Did once. Got boring, so I snapped out of it.”

summary :

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.

And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse. In the same month, along with this all-new hardcover, Tor will publish a new novel in Carrie Vaughn’s popular, New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series featuring werewolf talk radio host, Kitty Norville. Kitty Goes to War will be the eighth book in this successful mass market series.

review :

I was really excited to start reading this book because I loved the concept so much! There is an untold amount of mythology involved in this book from the Trojan War, to Greek gods, to fairy tales, and King Arthur! I didn’t know that so much would be involved when I started reading and that immediately addicted me to the story. Carrie Vaughn has a fantastic storytelling style that seems perfectly fit to the legends and old tales that she incorporated into her novel. Yet I feel like it was really missing something, despite all of the corresponding elements that I usually love to see in books.

While there were several great ideas presented in the book, it started to jumble together as the reader is brought through the modern day, as well as individual tales about Evie’s ancestors and how they dealt with the storeroom, and the story of Sinon’s past. It felt like there were several different book ideas conflicting throughout the majority of the book because it was just too much to take in all at once and these great, wonderful ideas Vaughn presents rarely have the chance to reach their full potential because they are fighting against other plotlines to gain enough focus to be seen through to the end.

That was something that really bothered me. Not even the modern-day lines seemed to go anywhere and the ending didn’t help that at all. I went and looked to see if there was a sequel to this or any kind of companion in the works but, no, this is it and I wasn’t satisfied with it. I’d recommend reading this just for the beautiful writing and the stories; it’s enough to spark the imagination and be thought of fondly, but with the confusingly large set of characters that go largely unexplored and the potential that is wasted, this would-be favorite of mine has been turned into a simply okay novel, nothing more.

I really hope to read more by Vaughn, though, just because of her beautiful writing style, and I hope that perhaps in her other novels her ideas come through more completely and in a more satisfying manner.

3/5 stars

4 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · young adult

Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Steel

Author: Carrie Vaughn

Pages [hardcover]: 294

Favorite Characters: Henry & Cooper

Summary:

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

Review:

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. There were some points that I really, really loved, and others that I could have done without. Overall, I loved the entire piracy idea, and the plot kept me wanting more.

I’ll start with the negative, because there’s less of that, and it’s good to get it out of the way. I don’t think there was any one point in the story where Jill actually considered the fact that she’d traveled through time to the past. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d have been freaking out about that, instead of immediately accepting it as it was and hiding it so others wouldn’t think I was crazy. Her reactions didn’t make much sense. She kept talking about ‘going home’-but never acknowledged that home was three hundred years in the future, except for one point in the last few pages.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll move onto fencing. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about the sport, either way, except that it looks like it’d be a fun thing to try. But Jill is good at it-better than good, because she might be heading for the Olympics. This is one of my favorite things about her. It makes her unique, and also like anyone else-she hates to lose. Plus, it makes her adventures in piracy seem more realistic, because if she hadn’t had this training and picked up a rapier, she’d have been dead in moments. Not much of a story there.

And, see? I learned, without even realizing it. I couldn’t have really told you about what a rapier was before, or a beat, or any fencing terms. The chapters are all named after things and moves in fencing, and there’s a nifty glossary in the back that defines all of them.

The supporting characters were all wonderfully defined and I loved hearing their back stories as they emerged. Jill felt a little bland compared to them at times, but I never stopped rooting for her. Besides, who can really compare to pirates and come out on top?

A FUN, SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE. 4/5 stars