Her Furry Coat (Moon Called by Patricia Briggs)

Review of 
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Mechanic. Shapeshifter. Fighter.

Mercy Thompson's life is a long way from normal. Her next-door neighbor is an alpha werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she'd fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself. 

So when a teenager walks into her garage looking for work, the coyote shapeshifter in her spots the werewolf in him. Although he's not from the local pack, she gives him a chance and a job. But all too soon, men and werewolves come looking for him, the local alpha is attacked in his own home and a dead body is left as a warning on Mercy's own front porch. She's suddenly in a heap of trouble - and finding difficult questions breed dangerous answers. 

(I apologize if this feels rushed. The Hobbit live event got me sidetracked when I was editing and then I ended up re-writing half of this. But this gets the feeling across, I hope!)

I can’t remember why I picked up this book, but I am so glad that I did! It actually reminds me a little bit of the Sookie Stackhouse series and while I hate to compare books, I do sort of feel like this is the better, slighter older sister to that one. 

Mercy Thompson is our kickass hero this time around and seriously, it’s yet another addition to the list of awesome kickass ladies. She lives a simple life and is pretty much used to taking care of herself.  She’s not the obvious, let’s rush in and kick ass -kind of a lady. She mainly goes by her gut and experience in life - they’re the parts of her that make her seem tough. Mercy can handle herself, even though she’s not the strongest lady around. She knows when she needs help and it’s interesting to see how well she knows just what she can and can’t do. It’s obvious that she knows exactly where she stands and that she’s comfortable with her slightly simple life.

The story starts off simple and spirals into bigger circles as more characters and twists are introduced. There’s a lot information introduced at times and I do remember thinking it felt a little info-dump-like, but Briggs does muscle through them beautifully. It doesn’t slow the book down, but as we’re in Mercy’s head and she’s going through some stuff it feels a little... much. There’s obviously a lot of delicious backstory that gets revealed rather slowly but it just makes it better. 

There are parts where the characters - and Mercy in her head - are trying to solve the mystery and here I think, is where Briggs really shines. She really brings it to the page how the Mercy and the others are going what, where, why and then trying to solve the clues they have. It really felt like you were solving it with them. They were so my favorite parts and though things seem simple and solved, Briggs throws a curve. Then it repeats. I love it how she basically lays everything on the table and then suddenly adds more when you least expect it. 

She also handled marvelously all the supernatural elements - they were very easy to follow and flowed flawlessly. The story didn’t need to stop for something to make sense - the supernatural aspects of the story did and didn’t feel like they were part of the info-dump-ness. It’s hard to explain, as some infos about the supernatural world or its characters sometimes were just a lot. And then again, when something supernatural was happening, the description concerning that was handled beautifully. I might have just confused you a lot and I apologize. 
Basically, everything is pretty straightforward in this world. Except then some things are not, but then there wouldn’t be anything to read about now. 

Briggs adds lovely details to all her characters. Some just walk into a scene only to walk back out again, but the details in all those scenes and the details that we get from them. It’s not just Mercy, who catches on to quite some things thanks to her experience in life. But the narrative itself doesn’t dismiss any of the side characters, no matter how insignificant they might seem. 

I just adore how Briggs writes descriptions in this through Mercy’s eyes and because of that the narrative does focus a little on the characters that she really cares about. Even the villains get a surprisingly detailed look at them and it really give you the feeling that when you’re reading the book, you’re actually looking in via a small window. 
Briggs also handles the actions scenes well, I just enjoyed so reading those. 

Moon Called does feel a little like it’s just Briggs starting up her engine. The story of Mercy is just beginning and the ending makes it feel like there’s a whole lot to come. It doesn’t quite hook you like  some books do, but it does end in a place that made me go “Then what happens?” In regards to reading the next book, that probably depends on how much you liked Mercy. It seems like the series is just going to focus on stuff and things that happen in Mercy’s life and maybe not necessarily some big grand plot. 

Final thoughts: Mercy Thompson is the hero of her story and though she needs the help of strong men, she’s tough. What may seem at the beginning like a simple story, becomes a big weave of mystery. It’s heartfelt and draws you in pretty quickly. The ending is somewhat tamed down, but leaves a nice opening for the next one. 


Interlude! Clockwork Princess!

Interludes are back! Yay! There will be another post on Sunday,  because I'm not counting these interlude-y posts. 

So, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, the last in the Infernal Devices trilogy, arrived on Thursday. I was super excited about this, because it's always nerve-wrecking to wait for a package to arrive in the post. Also, because I wanted to fondle the prettiness.

And it is very pretty. Will probably try and get that movie sticker off - it's blocking my view of Tessa and that is not cool. 

I've read about three hundred pages and will probably finish it early tomorrow. I have conflicting feelings. Mainly, because hell yeah do I wanna know how it ends and all the mysteries solved! But then again, there's that dratted love triangle. I was going to write a post about the end of this series but when I started writing it mainly became a capslock whine-fest about how a certain blogger happens to... hate love triangles. (Please no rotten tomatoes.) Lately love triangles have become something that I hate with a passion. Though I am always willing to be proven wrong. 

But the point of this post was to tell anyone reading this blog that you won't have to worry about spoilers about the series' end. There'll be no CP2 reaction post or review. I think there are enough of those on the web. At most I think I'll write a series overview - like the one I did about Black Dagger Brotherhood. And that I'll keep spoiler free. 

Speaking of BDB, the next one, Lover at Last is coming out March 26th and that I am so excited about! Not just because of the couple, that happens to be a favorite of mine, but because I expect lots of plot and drama! J.R. Ward has started her video countdown and the quotes have been coming in for some time now and I am extremely curious about the book. I have no idea where it'll go, so it's going to be an interesting read. 

Also, I've been stressing this whole March pretty badly - the reason why I missed  that one week - so it's super nice to get to relax for a week and read these books that I've been waiting to read for so long. 

PS. The paper that wraps around the book, the one that holds the family tree on the turn side - I had to take it off but I didn't want to risk seeing it. So naturally I did it with my eyes closed and hid it away in my bookshelf. 


Seal Our Fate (Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh)

Review of 
Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she's the best - but she doesn't know is she's good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thins is clear - failure is not an option.. even if the task she's been set is impossible. 

Because this time it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad. 

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other... and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. Because when archangels play, mortals break...

(Note: This hasn’t been edited. I felt so bad for not updating last week, that I just decided to upload this. So the review is mostly all about the feels and none about the grammar. Or logic. Or coherency. Might come back to edit it, but that will be mainly grammar-y stuff.)

There are some books that are just really hard to write about. This one is one of them. 

Now, I adore this book. There are several, many very detailed reasons that I could fangirl for a month about, but which I have shortened below. But then, there are some parts in this book that just made me go either “Really?” or “Just no.” So I have been wrestling with that while writing this. 

Worth pointing out it also the fact that this book is one of those that made me go "Why did I wait so long  to read this? Stupid me." Once again the reason for that was the rather unexciting summary in the back. If you are in any way curious, like the genre or something, definitely worth giving it a try! I always love it when a supernatural creature is given a new twist (but if you take fangs away from my vampires we're going to have words), so I was really, really curious about how Singh would handle angels. Have to say that I love it how she writes them! There is very little religion-y stuff, which makes me go yay and they fit her world perfectly. That's all I know what to say without spoiling something. 

One of the reasons that this book is made of awesome is the main lady Elena. We get so perfectly in to her head and we see the world as if we’re watching a movie. Everything that Elena sees (and well, thinks is important enough for her attention) we see in perfect detail and yet not in a too-much-description-way. Of course, part of this is thanks to Singh’s incredible talent for detail in emotion plus action, but Elena is the star of this book. 
Sometimes, when you have a kickass hero(ine), her badassery seems to be the only thing that she is. Elena is badass, but that’s because who she is, what she’s been through. And we get a slow glimpse of all that she is the moment we get to know her and then, the actual Elena is slowly revealed and it is delicious. While Elena is deliciously good at kicking ass, she’s got these tiny details about just going around that make her jump off the page and I especially loved seeing how she could be equal parts fierce and then caring.

When we meet Raphael, he almost appears to be the bad guy. He’s strong, uncaring and unapologetic about it. He’s the one in charge and you better agree or else. Part of Elena’s relationship with him is him hunting her down and not caring much about her person. And it’s weird because when we see glimpses of his head, he seems intriguing, (deadly) smart and not so uncaring as one would think. The fact that Elena starts out really afraid of him, made me not like him in the beginning. But there are points where we see some hope that he’s not the bad guy. 

Elena and Raphael probably have one of the worst starts to a relationship. Seriously, he almost makes her pee her pants and then he begins a manhunt for her and it doesn’t matter who gets hurt on the way. I was so in love with Elena and really curious about the mystery, that it was the only part that kept me reading. Well, Singh’s awesome writing as well, but until about half-way through the book I cared so very little for the actual romance. It picked up from there, getting some good parts that made me warm up to it. 

The plot is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Singh does this slow reveal, where we get small glues as to what the bigger picture is, but it’s revealed slowly. In part, you can guess the plot as we see these glimpses of what the bad guy is doing, but the actual big reveal - what to me felt like the big reveal that Raphael and co. were hiding - is, well, shocking. 
The end is sort of a true-love-saves-all end, but only partly. The true love in this one doesn’t fix anything. When we get out last look at Elena and Raphael, not everything is okay for them, they have no magical happy ever after waiting for them. And I like that though there was the element of true love is  the exception to all rules, there were still some things that weren’t solved. And  neither of our main characters actually greatly changed because of said true love - sometimes, the brooding hero all of a sudden becomes this loving gentleman, versus the brooding man who ate with his hands, but though Raphael maybe softened towards Elena a little - because of his feelings - he still remained the seemingly uncaring, deadly smart and strong guy. With a little bit of added heart. 

The world of this book is awe-inspiring. It’s part what makes the book so good - and Singh’s writing. There are many details thrown at you, though actually not that much is said about how things are handled, but Singh delivers them in a way that doesn’t stall the story or the leader. There is very little confusion and the parts that did confuse me felt deliberate, like a character was on purpose not telling something, but that didn’t stop the story from moving on. And even then, the confusion would be cleared. When the book’s ending came around, almost all the puzzle pieces had been collected. Though, the ending is vague enough to make me itch for the next one. 

The world wouldn’t be complete without an amazing cast of other character, from vampires, angels to hunters - with little details Singh introduces every character that Elena passes and we know everything important. Well, not everything everything, but everything that gives us a clear picture of what this person seems like, the way they speak and move and then a glimpse of the actual person who may be hiding underneath - there are some delicious hints about Raphael’s people and I’d really like to know all about them. 

Final thoughts: Definitely one of the best paranormal romance books that I’ve ever read, I think I actually would rate this higher than Black Dagger Brotherhood, but I’ll say more about that once I’ve read all the books in the series. The romance started as blah and I’ve definitely read steamier ones - the physical part wasn’t that exciting, in case you’re wondering - but the details, emotion and action that Singh delivers work out all the kinks. The plot is delicious with surprises and mystery and the characters fully corporeal-feeling. Elena is the kickass star of the book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. 


And What Is Brave? (Insurgent by Veronica Roth)

Review of 
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I have done bad things.
I can't take them back, 
and they are part of who I am.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever... because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

Insurgent continues the story of our awesome hero Tris almost immediately from where Divergent left off. If you’re planning on reading Divergent, I’d recommend getting Insurgent as well or at least the moment you know you’re liking Divergent: the effect of reading these two with each other is incredible. 

Now, in Insurgent the stakes have been raised. Divergent began as more of a story about Tris trying to find herself, making a place for herself in the world and becoming brave, the person she’s always wanted to be. But with Insurgent, all of that has basically been destroyed, left behind. Now Tris faces the challenge that maybe, the person she’s always wanted to be isn’t a good person and what does it really mean to be brave after all. 

Tris was conflicted in Divergent, but now it’s more than that: she’s ashamed and feels guilty - for many reasons. The final moments of Divergent dealt some surprises to Tris and us readers and it’s not easy for Tris to get up from all that happened. 
I really, truly, honestly love the way the feelings that Tris goes through in here are dealt with. Roth handles the near-constant conflict that Tris feels wonderfully: it doesn’t become whining, as in some books it can become when a certain complaint is repeated or not handled well. Instead, we get too feel how much Tris hates what she’s done and is afraid of what she might do in the future. 
We also see how she’s changed from the girl that we first met in Divergent. But that may not be a good thing, as Tris maybe loses herself. 

Four takes some of Tris’ limelight in this book, but it has always been obvious - at least to me - that out of the two of them, Four is the one who knows exactly what he wants and who he wants to be. Not to say that he doesn’t have his weaknesses, but in Insurgent Four is one of those people who stays constant. He does have his own conflicts and butts heads with Tris, but he still stays firmly himself - even becomes more sure of himself, which is interesting when faced with Tris’ own dilemmas. 

I almost hate to say it, but some of my favorite parts are when Tris and Four are disagreeing about something. It feels like that’s the moment when both of them are most fully themselves. Or, that actually goes for all of their interactions. 
And I do love these two together, as you can almost visibly see the connection they share. But then again, they’re so different despite their similarities that it’s really interesting to watch. (Also: KISS)

There are a lot of characters jumping up and down in this book, as there is a lot of running around and going “OMG, this is not good.” It’s really interesting to see how these people live in their world and how really different their thinking is. Roth also gives her side characters some excellent storylines and character development and deals with them in such amazing detail that few can do that. 

Insurgent isn’t as flawlessly flowing as Divergent is: it’s much more frantic, story-wise and pacing-wise. There are parts that this works for the story and it seems planned and some parts that sort of flop around. Roth goes through them bravely with her excellent writing and I didn’t find it that bothering, though there were parts where I noticed it. 

One of the standing out things about Divergent and Insurgent is the world it’s based in. It’s so very different from ours and not just because it’s in the future or because people jump off trains. It is so different in its very ideals and morals that it’s fascinating to watch people interact. The characters value so different things than we do that it’s really interesting to see how they deal with conflicts that shake their very beliefs. That is definitely one of the things that make this series. 

It seems like Roth likes to lure the reader into thinking that the worst is over, but then she brings out the really big surprises. She did that in Divergent and does so in this one as well. Though, we do get some big truths along the way. 

Final thoughts: Insurgent is a brilliant follow-up to Divergent - it almost trips the second book of the trilogy -curse, but Roth bravely manages to save it by remembering the awesomeness of Tris, throwing in some Four and adding just enough danger, mystery and action. In Insurgent everything is bigger and bolder than in Divergent, as the real game has been revealed - and the staked are higher than ever.