The Violet Hour: January 1, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Review – THE MIRROR by Alexandra Pelaez

Kindle Edition

Published October 7th 2011 by Alexandra Pelaez

ASINB005TWZV94

Source: Copy provided by author for an honest review
Goodreads

“While Mercedes and Shadow wait for the royal family to call them, a mysterious god-like entity contacts the king of the dragons and delivers an ultimatum: kidnap Mercedes Strand and wipe out the vampire race or the sacred grounds of all dragon kings will be destroyed.

Shadow vows to hunt down and destroy the one who stole his love, and being a prisoner won’t stop Mercedes from attempting to unravel the mystery behind this god along with the origins of the lethal Evanescence…

THE MIRROR is the second book in the Evanescence series, and continues right where EVANESCENCE leaves off. Mercedes and Shadow are still have a passionate connection, and while getting to know each other after their ordeal with Xavier, a new threat presents itself to the human realm and seeks to destroy all they know, including the entire race of vampires. 

That threat, is  Tarasque, the King of Dragons. He and the dragon kings before him, use a mysterious mirror to peer into other realms and watch for any dangers to the dragon world. I’ve never really read a book dealing with dragons, so this was entirely new to me. I thought it was interesting that in order for him to inhabit the human world, he had to shift into three human bodies to accommodate his massive dragon body. Being able to add entirely new elements (vampire society, following the laws of Duality, etc.) is just one of Pelaez’s strong suits.

While I really like this series and will continue to read it, I feel that there were too many POV switches. It was just too compartmentalized for my taste. I would have rather ‘seen’ some of these through a main characters eyes. I think that if it had been kept to the four main characters ‘ (Mercedes, Shadow, Tarasque and Blackhole) more of the story could have developed. For example, instead of changing to the perspective of one of the dragon soldiers to give Tarasque a report, I would’ve liked to have ‘heard’ it from the kings’ vantage point, only because it would help bring out his personality and depth a bit more.

Pelaez did a fantastic job of conveying both the despair of Shadow and Mercedes at being separated, and the struggle of Blackhole and Tarasque between pleasing someone else or doing the right thing. She is currently working on book three, and also a new dystopian project that I am pretty excited about. THE MIRROR is another great story from Alexandra Pelaez.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review – TEMPEST by Julie Cross

Kindle Edition, 336 pages

Publication: January 5th 2012 by Macmillan Children’s Books

ASINB006J68GGE
Goodreads

“Jackson Meyer is hiding a secret. He can time-travel. But he doesn’t know how he does it, how to control it or what it means. When Jackson, and his girlfriend Holly, find themselves in fatal danger, Jackson panics and catapaults himself two years into his past, further than he’s ever managed before, and this time he can’t find a way back to the future.

All the rules of time-travel he’s experienced so far have been broken and Jackson has no choice but to pretend to be his younger self whilst he figures out a solution. Jackson is tearing himself apart with guilt and frustration, wondering if Holly survived. he’s also become the target of a enemy force he cannot even begin to comprehend and it seems even his dad is lying to him.

Jackson is racing against time to save the girl he loves, discover the truth about his family and, most importantly, understand why he can time travel and who wants him dead.”

I am completely new to the realm of time-travel, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Turns out, I love time-travel! Usually when I watch a movie that deals with time travel, I get confused with all the loopholes and such, but I really enjoyed TEMPEST, and didn’t have any of those feelings toward the story.

It had a very ‘Butterfly Effect’ (2004) feel, but Julie Cross makes it her own. She did an excellent job at explaining what was going on with Jackson and the information he received through the book. The characters in TEMPEST were all very likable, and it was super interesting to get to see Jackson intereacting with them at different times. I can’t even imagine what that was like.

There is love, action (lots!) and there is a particular scene dealing with Jackson’s twin sister that totally made me tear up. It was just so incredibly, heartbreakingly sweet. It really just makes the point that you shouldn’t hide your feelings for those you hold dear. You never know when will be your last chance.

Jackson’s actions at the end were noble, but I hated that it was necessary. I am definitely on edge, and waiting for the next book. I have SO many questions! If you were like me and are a little leery of time-travel books, TEMPEST is a great starter book to help you delve into this genre.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review – CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare

Hardcover, 502 pages

Published December 6th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

SBN 1416975888

Goodreads

“In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.”

When CLOCKWORK PRINCE finally arrived, I was more than a little nervous. Not only because Cassandra Clare is known to make her readers sob with despair, and my attachment to her characters, but because I had just been burned by a terrible ‘end of series’ incident. I was so upset by this other book, it transferred to my feelings about the second book in The Infernal Devices series. I had just reread CLOCKWORK ANGEL, so I was extremely curious as to how Clare would continue.

As I started reading, all of those fears and preconceived notions dissipated. I was sucked into Tessa’s world, after being betrayed by her family. I read this book in 7 hours. There was NOTHING that was going to prevent me from finishing once I began. Clare’s writing was as impeccable as ever. I love the way she can switch points of view so easily, never missing a beat.  CLOCKWORK PRINCE was the epitome of epic.  My heart broke multiple times during this book. Between my fear for Jem’s health, and Will’s story finally coming out… How could it not? The dynamic between the two boys and Tessa was SO intense. I’ve always been on the fence about what ‘team’ I was on, even though I leaned a little more one way. All I will say is that this was a freaking emotional roller coaster.


I thought the ending was perfect. While things may not end the way everyone wants (I was more than satisfied, personally), but the manner in which it ends leaves things quasi-open for other possibilities. Both The Infernal Devices (which you’ll catch where the title came from if you’re paying attention) and The Mortal Instruments series are incredible, and if you haven’t read them, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. 

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