Monthly Archives: July 2014

Book Review: Winterspell

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Author: Claire Legrand

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 464

SummaryThe clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Review: This novel was a wonderful read! You can clearly see the similarities with The Nutcracker, but Claire Legrand has taken it to the next level.

Clara is fully fledged character, who changes throughout the story. Legrand uses definitive action and setting for all her characterization. The world-building in this novel is phenomenal! I loved the world of Cane, the twisting magic, and the dark curses. Legrand also spends some time on the physical aspects of the three creatures who inhabit Cane: faeries, mages, and humans.

This novel is a fast paced adventure, with trouble, both romantically and physically, at every turn. Clara must face class differences, politics, and must find the strength to withstand all, or be forced into servitude in one world or the other. 

Recommendation: Wonderful! Must read! NOW

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Book Review: Incarnate

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Author: Jodi Meadows

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 374

Summary: New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Review: Jodie Meadows has done an amazing job setting up this strange world. The idea of people being the same souls, who are reborn over and over again, is new and intriguing. Adding in the idea of “what would happen if a new soul arrived?” brings more intrigue and mystery to the story.

Meadows has created some full characters as well. The main character, Ana, is defensive yet intelligent– a great combination for a strong female lead. Sam is more mysterious. With his many past lives, readers get the sense of who he is in each lifetime, but still aren’t sure of his actions and the reasoning behind them.

This book has wonderfully set the stage for the next in the series. Ana must figure out why she was born, what happened to the soul who never returned, all before she is stranded and alone until she dies, unsure if she herself will ever return.

Recommendation: Wonderful! Must read!