Tag Archives: finn

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears by Kersten Hamilton

3 May

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears

The Goblin Wars #3
Book 1: Tyger, Tyger
Book 2: In the Forests of the Night

author : kersten hamilton

pages : [hardcover] 400

favorite characters :   .  .  . all of them

summary :

“People will die.”

Locked doors are opening, and uncanny creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. The Dark Man has marked Aiden with a new song that’s scared him badly, and a frightening new group of sídhe is lurking nearby.

Teagan knows this is war, and she must protect her family. She leaves her flesh and bones behind to join Finn in hunting the evil beings across the city. Meanwhile, their relationship is heating up—almost faster than they can control. But he is still bound to fight goblins his entire life . . . and by blood she is one of them now.

Then the gateway to Mag Mell cracks open again, and the Wylltsons find themselves caught in a trap. As her loved ones begin to die, Teagan realizes that she must destroy the Dark Man and his minions once and for all in order to save those who remain . . .

. . . before it is too late.

review :

First, look at that beautiful cover.

There will never be enough words to express my love for the Goblin Wars trilogy. Ever since I first read book one I’ve been addicted to this plot and fantastic set of characters and this is one trilogy where the next two books don’t fall short. The sequel was great, if not more addictive than the first, and the third and unfortunately final book When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears was fantastic!

Every time I thought that I knew what was going to happen next, I was proved wrong. This is a book that you don’t want to start if you don’t have time to read it all at once (cue my regret at starting it right before finals and then staying up all night just to finish) because it is just that addictive. There are a lot of characters in this book but each is so distinctive and great that there isn’t any confusion at all; I loved the mix of humans and otherworldly creatures, especially in this one where Teagan’s worlds are really starting to blend together. Everyone that Tea cares about is in danger and she and her adorable little brother, Aiden, are the only two that can stop the evil trying to claw through to their world.

With characters this great, don’t doubt that all of the bad guys are plenty terrifying. There are shapeshifters, soul-eating creatures, and, worst, one who can twist people and creatures just by singing it into reality.

I feel like I could rave about this book and trilogy for ages. When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears is a great conclusion, even though I didn’t want this to end at all. It took all of my expectations and threw them away though I’m so happy to get the ending that I wanted in an unpredictable way.

I’d recommend this series to anyone who enjoys adventure, fantasy, Irish folklore, a great book, or a read you’ll never forget.

Whether you’re new to this trilogy or have been waiting eagerly (like me!) for this last book, you’ll never regret reading the Goblin Wars . . .Actually, I’m tempted to start reading the first book now.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

29 Feb

 

The Scorpio Races

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Pages [hardcover]: 409

memorable quote: One of the lines in Finn’s code is that you’re not to say anything about Finn being attractive to the opposite sex.

favorite characters:
finn & holly

summary:

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen

review:

Ugh.

Okay. I read Shiver a few years ago with good hopes because the premise sounded awesome, and it was . . . just not the way it was executed. Characters either too exaggerated or left bland, writing awkward, nothing really clicking for me . . . I never continued with that series, and didn’t think I’d read anything by the same author, until this came along. Yet again, the premise caught me, and boy, they know how to get you hooked real good. Plus, I read and heard a lot of people saying that this book was awesome, so much better than the whole wolf trilogy, and that I just needed to give it a shot. So I did.

It could have been worse, really. I know that’s not the most encouraging point to begin with, but I did like the minor characters. Finn. The American, Holly. Even the three sisters. Problem was, I liked them a heck of a lot more than the major ones, Puck and Sean. Even the antagonist, Mutt. I honestly can’t remember if they explained why Puck is called Puck instead of Kate. How did she get a nickname like that? I’d be interested to know, but can’t tell if I found out and it slipped my mind . .

Gabe, Puck’s other brother, was annoying, as he was supposed to be, but he also made no sense. What good brother would practically abandon his siblings just to make himself happier? His decision to leave could have been postponed until they were all back on their feet and it would be less selfish for him to leave. I can’t think of anyone I know that would leave their younger siblings to fend for themselves, only because they couldn’t deal with it any longer. What sort of excuse is that?

I really liked the setting. The entire island, closed off, was easy to picture, and seemed like a magical place to live, aside from the incessant smell of fish and the man-eating horses. At first I couldn’t understand why anyone would risk their lives in these races, aside from getting the money, but learning about the traditions and beliefs of the place helped me to get a feel of their unique culture. The only part of the setting I couldn’t quite grasp was what time period it was supposed to be in. I thought it was far in the past . . . then cars came in. And there were mentions of America, so probably modern times. Then bowler hats . . . and cameras with ‘gigantic bulbs’. Clarification would have been good, if only to get a feel for the outside world in comparison to the close-knit society on Thisby.

I couldn’t ever really connect with the characters, or get invested in the plot, because the entire thing frustrated me so often. It took me forever to read this. It was another seemingly brilliant concept that ended up disappointing me. I’m not sure if I’ll be tricked into reading another Maggie Stiefvater novel, eventually . . .

I give The Scorpio Races 3/5 stars. One for the ending, one for the concept, and one because I think someone, somewhere out there will probably like it better than I did.

In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton

2 Dec

In the Forests of the Night

Author: Kersten Hamilton

Book 2 in the Goblin Wars Series
Book 1: Tyger Tyger

Pages [hardcover]: 288

Favorite Characters: Finn & Abby

Summary:

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

Review:

I didn’t think it’d be possible to fall in love with this cast of characters again, after I finished Tyger Tyger back in April. I was so, so happy to see that I was wrong. In the Forests of the Night  is a better sequel than I could have ever imaged it would be! Packed with scenes that’ll make you laugh so hard you’ll cry, then gasp and [possibly, if you have a good enough imagination] give you nightmares.

Those goblins and creatures certainly can’t be romanticized. These are villains that have impact. On Tea’s life, definitely, but on the reader as well. Sure, I have no idea how to pronounce half [or all] of the goblins and such, but that makes them no less memorable. Only a little harder to rave about to my friends.

While I greatly support the whole Finn/Teagan connection, I love how she keeps her head about it, and keeps her own goals in mind. Everything that makes her her is what made me like her as a character in the first place-her love for animals, how she puts others before herself. And she’s not about to give up her future for some boy. Not even the Mac Cumhaill. And he respects that. Which is even better. Some of the greatest parts were when Finn was talking with her father.

Once I picked up this book, I literally couldn’t stop. I’d try to find a place to leave off for the night, but just reading to the next page turned into the next chapter, turned into two chapters . . . You see where I’m going with this? It was that addictive. I really recommend this series to . . . Well, everyone. I never thought I’d like books about goblins. But this series is one of my favorites!

WONDERFULLY BRILLIANT. 5/5 stars

Stay by Deb Caletti

15 Oct

Stay

Author: Deb Caletti

Pages [hardcover]: 313

Favorite Characters: Finn & Gulliver

Memorable Quote:
If fate is a shape-shifter, then loves is too. It can be, anyway, in its most dangerous form.

Summary:

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough….

Review:

Stay is a book that I never thought I’d end up enjoying. It took me a long while to settle down and force myself to read this, but once I was a few chapters in, I was hooked. The premise seemed too simple, something that would never capture my interest. But the writing style, the beautiful way the story was told, made the plot seem ten times better, and had me wanting to know what was going to happen next.

The chapters alternate between telling about Clara’s past with Christian and present life at the beach with her father. While there was a lot of nothing happening, and things that held great impact over her life weren’t as shocking as they could have been, the words carved an intimate and accurate picture of how she was feeling, while descriptions of emotion and setting alike were at once magical and unreal and stark with reality.

I especially liked the little footnotes Clara added to her own narrative. That was a fun part of the book that I really enjoyed, and it added some really funny parts to the novel, too.

While this won’t be one of my favorite books, it’s still up there, and makes me want to read more by Deb Caletti. She has a wonderful and distinctive voice, and I think that if she has enough skill to make me enjoy something I didn’t really want to read about, I’ll only love her even more if another of her novels is more appealing to me. I give Stay 3.5/5 stars, and recommend it.

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

4 Apr

Tyger Tyger

Author:
Kersten Hamilton

Pages [hardcover]: 322

Goblin Wars #1

Memorable Quote: “Isn’t the Almighty always saying something, girl? Speaking through everything created, whispering in your hopes and dreams. Urging you to get on with business?”

Favorite Characters: Finn & Aiden

Summary:

Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures–goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty–are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn’t worried. Her life isn’t in danger. In fact, it’s perfect. She’s on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She’s focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
     Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn’s a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he’s crazy or he’s been haunting Abby’s dreams, because he’s talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby’s right. The goblins are coming.

Review:

I wish that I could write every character’s name down as my favorite. Kersten Hamilton is fantastic at creating diverse personalities and implementing them throughout the book, adding hilarity as well as a sense of realism to a plot filled with goblins, curses, and chaos.

I wasn’t sure if I’d ever like a book with goblins in it, but I know that I love books that take old legends and twist them into a modern plot. I’ve never heard much about Irish tales, and Ms. Hamilton explains in the author’s note that she’s changed much to fit in with the story, but I adore when things of legend are taken in a realistic way.

I actually started to read this quite some time ago, liked it but couldn’t get into it, and then started re-reading it two days ago. I was so captivated, I couldn’t put it down! I think it was just my earlier mindset that prevented me from enjoying this novel. Tyger Tyger had me immediately flipping the pages to see what would happen next!

Most YA books contain some ounce of romance, and this book is no different on that account. But what I especially liked was that nothing was rushed. Teagan has her own goals in life and doesn’t want a relationship to stand in her way, and Finn won’t pressure her into having something more between them. It was a pleasure to read about two wonderfully defined characters both caring for each other and at the same time thinking for themselves.

Though at times there were so many different characters in a scene my head could barely retain all of them, Tyger Tyger is one of the better fantasy books I’ve read lately. I’m glad to see that there will be a sequel In the Forest of the Night, set to come out in October. Much too long of a wait! I’ll be counting the days. I give this novel 5/5 stars and recommend it for any YA or fantasy fan, or anyone who’d love to read about goblins and folklore.

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