Book Review: Eona by Allison Goodman

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Young Adult > Fantasy

(Eon #2)

Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled “Emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power – and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .

Book 1: Eon review

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…and I can bravely say that Eona is one of the best YA sequels I have ever read.

Lord Ido FTW!
Man, I love my villains. ūüėÄ

Eona is very different from Eon: Dragoneye Reborn. More fast-paced, better character development, and even an effective love triangle. Oh, how I revel in the romance here!

I did not expect a love triangle, not really. For this type of fantasy will rely on the world building and the decisive plot for it to become enchanting in my eyes. And yet, the entangling relationships between Eona, Kygo and Ido were inherent in releasing the power of the dragons. Alison Goodman, how the H did you do that?

I liked that Eona was not as gullible and a pushover than when she was Eon. It was a tremendous relief that Eona was finally learning that lies, no matter how good is the intention, will never be better than the truth. She said she was done with lying, with living a stolen life. There you go, Eona. And what a fantastic story you gave me. ūüėÄ

Sure I like Kygo. But it was a fleeting crush on a forbidden prince. With Ido, it was… an obsession. A very unhealthy need to make him MINE! Ahem. *flips hair* Let’s face it. Ido’s swoon-worthy moments with Eona are hotter than Kygo’s. Oh yes, I’d rather have the Dragoneye than the Emperor, thank you very much!

I would’ve given Eona a 5, but there was little union with Eona and her Mirror Dragon. I’m expecting more of that. And I would’ve liked it more if Eona ended up with Ido. Why? I found it more powerful if Eona made Ido change for the better, if she was reason enough for Ido to choose love over power. Knowing Eona’s influence over him was far stronger and deeper than he deserved. You know? The ending would’ve been stunning! But that’s just me.

Eona was an awesome follow-up. Where do you draw the line between duty and love? Eona explored her boundaries bravely, even if it means losing a little of herself.

(I still think Eona and Ido is the better match. Just sayin’.)

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EONA by Allison Goodman

Ebook, 637 pages

Published  April 19th 2011 by VIKING by Penguin Group

4.5/5 stars

Book Review: Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

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Young Adult > Paranormal

(Necromancer #2)

With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?

Book 1: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer review

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…¬†and Lish McBride didn’t disappoint! This sequel is even better than Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, like three times! Funnier, edgier, and sadder, Necromancing the Stone was a fantastic followup to the Necromancer series.

This is told in Sam’s and Douglas’ POVs. Sam‘s struggling with maintaining the house (and it’s eccentric inhabitants) he inherited from Douglas. He’s also dealing with the guilt over his best friend Ramon‘s transformation. All this while being the Head of the Council (that he doesn’t even know how to run), being Brid‘s boy toy, and being the supposedly the most powerful Necromancer.. ever.

Sam is still this charming, dry-humored guy who is almost always on the wrong side of the track. He’s at odds with his housekeeper James. Brid’s pack was not his biggest fan. His powers were as reliable as the war-freak gnomes in his garden.

Despite his somewhat “still-a-loser” status, Sam was staying positive, and he sees the goodness in everyone. So cute. If there is a contest on the most compassionate necromancer, Sam will win. I love that he doesn’t see death as the end, but something more. He associate his power over death with peace, contentment, even love. So nice.

I adored Brid’s brothers. Bran and Sean – Sam is no better off than with these sweet, capable werewolves to back him up.

Douglas‘ character was pretty solid, too. Another villain that I am a fan of. His dreams of his past life was very interesting.

Necromancing the Stone has this touch of death and grief that can overcome even the most hilarious of Sam’s unnatural situations. But, it was amazing that the desolation never lingers in Lish McBride‘s story. Death and Life were so closely intertwined in Sam’s adventures. Maybe that is what made it so enjoyable. It’s as real as it gets.

Guaranteed 100% Fun, you guys. I will be watching out for the next installment!

#22 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

Hardcover, 344 pages

Published September 18th 2012 by Henry Holt & Company

4/5 stars

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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Young Adult > Paranormal

(Blood of Eden #1)

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness¬Ö

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred ofthem‚ÄĒthe vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend‚ÄĒa place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for¬Öagain.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

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So.. where can I buy a katana? ūüėÄ

The makeup of The Immortal Rules is very different from Iron Fey series. It’s a far cry from the playfulness of Puck, the naivete of Meghan, and the renewal of Ash. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t favor my big appetite for post-apocalyptic themes. I reveled at the bleakness of Allison’s vampire world! This solidifies Julie Kagawa‘s versatility in writing. Hey Julie, I am a fan!

For such a dark content, the MC should also be dark as well. Not necessarily evil, just not unsuspecting to the dangerous world she’s in. And Allie did not disappoint. Her main purpose is to survive. Even if she sees her friends getting killed, she forcefully walked away for self-preservation. But she is not without guilt of being alive. It ate at her everyday.

And the thing I liked about Allie‘s character was that she was just not a vampire. She trained and got skills from her sire. She was a fighter, then a warrior! I would like to think that Allie can defend herself with more than just her fangs. Right? Not to mention she has no qualms of hurting someone because she was threatened. This is a girl who will not take a beating lying down. *fist pump*

The love interest was too much of a boy-next-door for my taste, but he also have merits, for he was a skilled fighter, too.

Paranormal and post-apocalyptic themes never did well for me, but The Immortal Rules changed my mind. It was sinister at the beginning until the end. I love it!

Hopelessness? Check. Kick-*ss heroine? Check. A devious plot that will suck you in? Check.

This is not a fairy tale. It’s the end of the world. Vampires are lording over humans, and Rabids are ravaging the ruins. I say: Unsheath that katana, Allison! Let’s draw blood. *evil, evil grin*

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

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THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition, 484 pages

Published April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen

4/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #6)

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love….

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review       Book 4: Lover Revealed review       Book 5: Lover Unbound review

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…So six books in, and I’m still for¬†Zhadist. Woot! Oh, there’s¬†Qhuinn. and Blay, too. *hot*

Lover Enshrined¬†showed Z’s brother,¬†Phury, as a whiner. He is mister hey-look-at-me-i’m-helping-everyone-but-myself drug addict. Phury’s attitude was a disservice to what the Brotherhood was all about. Where is the strength, man?

Zhadist‘s scenes were more enticing to read than Phury’s. It surprises me that Z’s character is consistent to that of¬†Lover Awakened. No matter how brief his appearances in this installment, he outshined¬†Phury¬†by a freaking mile. Although I did love the bromance between the two. It was full of loss, pain, the need for redemption and forgiveness.

I liked¬†Cormia¬†better than Phury. Trained to serve the vampire race and the Scribed Virgin, to think of oneself was a sacrilege for the Chosen Females like Cormia. And yet, she slowly began to accept that being different from her sisters might be the key to her happiness. Her character was slow building, but it was just right to temper Phury’s grumpiness.

So did love triumphed over duty? The importance and difference between the two were naturally resolved but for Phury, it was snail-paced. Crap, I resent him. He’s not fit as a Brother anymore!

If not for¬†Qhuinn‘s POV snippets,¬†Lover Enshrined¬†would be a total flop for me. I was excited to start the next book,¬†Lover Avenged, so see more of Q! But then again, I paused.¬†Rehvenge¬†is the lead here, and I’m not that into him. Not yet.

In the meantime, I want more Qhuinn!!!

#19 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER ENSHRINED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 534 pages

Published June 3rd 2008 by Signet

3/5 stars

Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and The Bookish.

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Hey hey! Glad you can drop by. =) It’s Top Ten Tuesday Rewind (and I am so late for this post!). I get to pick one¬† theme from past TTTs. And I chose Favorite Quotes. ūüôā

Jake was right – I’m strong in a way June never was. I know I want to be here. Even with the pain. Even with the ugliness.

            РSaving June by Hannah Harrington

“What’s the bravest thing you ever did?”¬†He spat in the road a bloody phlegm. “Getting up this morning,” he said. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

One of Sir Topher’s rule was to never indulge in sentimentality, never return for what was left behind.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

finnikin of the rock

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She went around with the attitude that she would rather be beaten to death than take any shit.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (or was it The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest?) by Stieg Larsson

It is so hard to leave-until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.

Paper Towns by John Green

To choose doubt as a philosophy in life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

life of pi

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The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fighting against it.

The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell

Goodbye is a strange concept – if the person being left behind resents it and refuses to accept it, is it still goodbye? or simply a departure? Table for Two by Marla Miniano

Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

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Maybe the secret of the starts has nothing to do with being alone. Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

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What’s on your list? Link me up! ūüėÄ

Book Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #5)

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her…

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review       Book 4: Lover Revealed review

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… and I am happy to say that Zhadist is still my favorite Brother. *fist pump*

The ending of Lover Unbound was totally ridiculous. I think it was the flimsiest excuse for a wrap-up of a Brother’s story. And to think that Vishous is so strong in character! Disheartening, really.

V was trying to get over a relationship. Getting drunk on Goose, mindless kinky sex, pissing off even the Vampire King. His carelessness got him seriously injured over a fight with the lessers, rendering him in Dr. Jane Whitcomb‘s care. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It was incredulous to think that for someone so jaded, so afraid of intimacy as Vishous, he would be quickly smitten over a mortal. Didn’t he say before that humans are just mere casualties of the war against the lessers? I didn’t get it! In a matter of days he was declaring his love and possessiveness for Jane. What. The. F.

Jane‘s character is clearly forgettable. Her supposed steel strength that enamored V in the first place looked forced, or discreetly formulated. Whatever happened to her in the end? It was utterly ludicrous. I was appalled on how J.R. Ward handled the situation.

Lover Unbound was supposed to be amazing, darn it! I was so looking forward to it after Lover Revealed, for V was so addicting there. Major sigh. Where did your personality go, V?

#18 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER UNBOUND by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 502 pages

Published September 26th 2007 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: Delirium #3: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

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Young Adult > Dystopia

(Delirium #3)

As her country erupts in open rebellion, Lena fights for the resistance and must make a heartbreaking choice between two loves.

After saving Julian from a death sentence, Lena escapes with him and other members of the resistance. But as she embraces her love for Julian, a boy from her past returns and causes her to question everything.

In the meantime, Lena’s best friend, Hana, is engaged to Portland’s young mayor and is living a safe, proscribed, loveless life. The story is told from both Lena and Hana’s points of view.

As Lena struggles to save the people she loves, everything comes to a head in this exciting finale to Lauren Oliver’s epic trilogy.

Book 1: Delirium review       Book 2: Pandemonium review

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Simply put, Requiem is one of the most lacking and disgruntling finales to date.

The dystopian element of this series (ever since Delirium) was inferior enough compared to other dystopian trilogies out there. So when the love triangle element went downhill and eventually became an utter letdown, there was nothing that can save Requiem from this reader’s chagrin. Not even¬† Lauren Oliver‘s intense and captivating writing.

As Lena‘s little Resistance group tried to survive in the Wilds, there were news that Regulators and Scavengers are infiltrating what was left of it. Add to that Lena’s drama over Alex and Julian… the pace of story became somewhat disengaging. Truly, what could a band of misfit teenagers do to make a dent on Deliria-Free America? And how come Lena’s constant fawning over Julian still gives her a right to miss and get jealous over Alex? What? Gah.

As for Hana, her POV was mildly absorbing. But her defiance despite being cured is what I liked about her. Her cured life that was supposed to quietly manage her existence only succeeded in questioning the emotions she recalled when she sees things that reminded her of Lena.

Lena and her friends were looking for the nearest Resistance group they can find, then try to instill as much damage as they can; Hana was looking for redemption for some guilt that she cannot fathom why she even had it. That’s the gist of Requiem.

It bored me really. Then it frustrated me until the bitter end. The love story that I thrived on before was the only thing I hope for. The only thing that can salvage the inadequacy of Pandemonium. And it failed me big time. I still love you, Alex.

Requiem‘s made me irritated and displeased. It was not the finale that will make waves, that I can tell.

#20 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

#9 Dystopia Challenge 2013

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REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver

Paperback, 391 pages

Published March 5th 2013 by HarperCollins

2/5 stars

It’s Monday! What are you reading? [22]

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Hello! My Monday is literally HOT..!

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I wanna go to the BEACH. *sad sigh*

But since I cannot do anything about that, let’s just talk about what’s in store for me this week.

[I really, really hope to get some reading, despite my busy week schedule.]

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Buddy Read: Eona up for my Monday reading! Along with Kwesi and Cary for this fantasy with such high praises from my Goodreads friends.

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Current Read:¬†I have 100 pages remaining for Necromancing the Stone. This is funnier than its prequel Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and twice as endearing. ūüėČ

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Next Read:¬†Arclight! Ooh, I can’t wait to start this one..

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So what are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments section. =P

[And I hope where you are right now is cooler than my location.]

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Young Adult > Historical Fiction

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is¬†The Grave Digger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up and closed down.

Literary Awards:¬†National Jewish Book Award,¬†Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children’s Literature (2007),¬†Buxtehuder Bulle (2008),¬†Prijs van de Kinder- en Jeugdjury Vlaanderen (2009),¬†Printz Honor (2007),¬†Exclusive Books Boeke Prize (2007),¬†The Quill Award Nominee for Young Adult/Teen (2006),¬†Zilveren Zoen (2008),¬†Teen Read Award Nominee for Best All-Time-Fave (2010),¬†Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (2009),¬†ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2007),ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES NEW AND NOTABLE BOOK for Teen Book Award (2006),¬†Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2010), Kathleen Mitchell Award

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I didn’t think I could read another World War II book after¬†The Diary of a Young Girl. I was just not into these kind of reading. You know? depressing, dreary, sad. But there’s also hope. So surmounting my prejudice, I picked up¬†The Book Thief… and my goodness it was just as expected. and more. Well, I didn’t cry (in case you are wandering). But the despair lingered. so did hope.

She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sound like an instrument, or the notes of running feet.

Liesel‘s affair with books (and stealing) was tantamount to her survival to the war, and to life itself. Any book lover would be scandalized to burning of books. All that knowledge! Any child would have mourned the loss of her family. And yet Liesel was brave, far braver than I would’ve liked her to be. It was admirable.

Good God, Liesel thought. This is my punishment for all that stealing. It’s finally caught up with me.

The Book Thief has its funny moments. And Liesel finally realizing the consequence of her book stealing was not an exception. Her parents (the Hubermanns) were strangely hilarious to me, but I adored them more on their unconditional (and tough) love they gave to Liesel.

Even the enemies were an inch away from friendship.

When¬†Max¬†entered the story, reading became hard. It was just so difficult to manage the stirring emotions¬†Markus Zusak¬†evoked from me. Sometimes I have to stop so I can breathe, because truly Max’s life was gripping me in more (bleak) ways than one.

Standing above him at all moments of awakeness was the hand of time, and it didn’t hesitate to wring him out. It smiled and squeezed and let him live.

I have to love¬†Max. I have to! He didn’t understand why him and his people were being persecuted for something that they didn’t do. Still, he trusted that human goodness will come through for him, and what he didn’t expect was to find a family from the most unlikely place (or people).

He must have longed for it so much. He must have loved her so incredibly hard. So hard that he would never ask for her lips again and would go to his grave without them.

I cannot accept what happened to¬†Rudy. It was so abrupt, but aren’t all endings like that? It didn’t take for me to like (and eventually love) Rudy. He was as integral part of Liesel’s life as Max.

God never says anything. You think you’re the only one he never answered?

The uncertainty of war finally dawned to Liesel and her loved ones. The aftermath was heartbreaking. Markus Zusak certainly knew how to drop his bombs (pun intended).But the ending was a winner for me. So, so good.

Can a person steal happiness? Or is it just an internal, infernal human trick?

If I read¬†The Book Thief¬†in one sitting, I might have sulked, mourned, and locked myself in my room just to exercise my grief. It would’ve been too much. But I read it gradually in four weeks, and it was the right thing to do. I avoided the emotional wreckage similar to Liesel’s.

There was no recovery from what had happened. That would take decades; it would take a long life.

Goodreads – The Filipino Group Book of the Month (March)

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THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

Kindle Edition, 576 pages

Published December 18th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

4.5/5 stars