31 December 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey there,

During these last few hours of 2011 the mailman rung my doorbell with a gift, AND I scored a hardcover version of 'The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner' (a 'Twilight' novel) (in Dutch) in a budget-store near us for only €0.99!!!

When she read about my offer to review YA novels, Patti Roberts asked me to review her book 'Paradox' -in exchange for a free paperback version (of her first and second book!).
Which means 'The Angels Are Here' & 'Progeny of Innocence' are on my To-Be-Read-Soon list, right along with the other books I would've hoped to have tackled during my Holidays, but will now be the first ones I read in 2011.

What books are you planning to read in 2012? Drop me a line, leave me a comment!
Have yourself a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve & see you around Next Year!

30 December 2011

2012 Steampunk Reading Challenge

Hey there!

I decided to join the 2012 Steampunk Reading Challenge which is being hosted by the 'Dark Faerie Tales' blog.
From January 1, 2012 until December 31, 2012 I'll have time to finish my selection from their list of 40+ steampunk novels. Since I already read 2 of them, have pre-ordered 2 of them and the rest is already sitting on my shelf waiting, I decided to have a go!

My reading level choice: GEARS (12 books)

I've read & reviewed books with working links already, 
the other books still need to be read!
  1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  2. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  3. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  4. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
  5. Phoenix Rising by Philippa Ballantine
  6. Soulless by Gail Carriger
  7. Changeless by Gail Carriger
  8. Blameless by Gail Carriger
  9. Heartless by Gail Carriger
  10. Timeless by Gail Carriger
  11. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
  12. Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook
Furthermore I think I'm gonna challenge myself to read 40 books in total this year, on Goodreads. I should be able to pull that off. (Besides, I can always increase the number of books, should I be going faster!) 

How about you, are you participating in any reading challenges for 2012? If so, which ones? Drop me a line!

Have a nice day! :)

26 December 2011

2011 Fav Five

Hey there,

Since the year 2012 is already scratching at the door -begging to be let in, howling and yammering increasingly loud- I thought it would be nice to leave you with my 2011 Favorite Five Reads. 
So yeah, I only started reading in July, leaving me a measly 20 books to choose from, but still! All books  are the 1st part of a series, except for 'Passion', which is already the 3rd installment. Of course I am really looking forward to the sequels, but that's another list! ;)

Here she is, my 2011 Fav Five!

5. Passion 
(Fallen #3) by Lauren Kate

(The Steampunk Chronicles #1) by Kady Cross

3. Delirium 
(Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

(Iron Codex #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

(The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Do you have a Fav 5 you'd like to share with me? 
Go ahead, leave me a link and I'll pay you a visit as well! Pinky Swear! ;)

Have a good day! :)

Book Review: When Copper Suns Fall

When Copper Suns Fall, by KaSonndra Leigh (e-ARC provided by the author)
Series: Copper Suns book 1
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal, Dystopia
Published:  November 2011
Pages: 381
My rating: 

In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected.
Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories?
With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease.

After eyeballing this book for its gorgeous cover and appealing contents, becoming Facebook-buddies to KaSonndra Leigh and shamelessly offering her my review in return for a free copy of ‘When Copper Suns Fall’, KaSonndra was kind enough to indulge me with an e-version of her book! THANK YOU once more for that, KaSonndra. And good luck on the book sales!

Let me start off by saying that digital reading and I will never, ever become friends. I find it harder to feel a connection with characters, kind of like the same way chatting to someone on your computer makes you feel. You know it’s them you’re talking to, but it’s not as good as the real thing. Something personal is seriously lacking.

Maybe that’s why it took me a little time to get into the story, but once I did, I really did! KaSonndra’s writing strengths truly lie with action sequences, because these happen fluently and believable. Her story-telling skills are great. Exciting plot turns, fencing scenes which made me hold by breath (unbeknownst to me) and mysterious boys slowly being unravelled. The plot has been given much thought and the story has a good build-up towards the climax. Great potential exists to develop this whole world even more in further books. I was confused many times though, about who the good guys were, and the bad guys. Which in my opinion does make things even more realistic: in real life there (usually) isn’t ‘just’ good or evil, there are so many shades of grey in between!

For the biggest part this a very fluently written story, it reads away easily in an agreeable, but sort of poetic prose. Some beautifully written, poetic comparisons are easily woven throughout the entire story:
Or maybe they thought I was a little bird waiting to be given an award for staying quiet.
Feelings however, are kind of suppressed -or get repeated in words (‘telling rather than showing’) several times. Also, sometimes there are (tiny) jumps leaving me confused and wondering whether I missed a bit. Then there were times descriptions of some things were lacking, like the depiction of the other world beyond the graveyard. Also, I stumbled across some wrongly written referrals which made me wonder who edited the book before it was published.
The romance between Chela and Faris, much like the time they spend in the other world, evolves rather quickly. Too quickly. They share some time and memories together and somehow out of the blue, a kiss happens. Without really reading about Chela’s change in feelings. It felt shallow somehow. 
Overall Chela is an easy-to-sympathize-with-character, as are the other characters. There’s some growth, some struggle. They’re not cardboard cut-outs, but they’re not the best-written characters I’ve encountered either.

I realize how hard it is to write something original, something nobody has thought off yet. Everything has been done already. And most of this story was very original in its plot, setting and time. But there were many details that felt familiar to me (you can play a guess-game if you’d like), like the fencing, body-tattoos, paintings that come to live, the mansion where kids with special abilities are being trained, the other world not susceptible to normal persons’ eyes, etc.  
Of course, no author owns the rights to any setting unless it’s a world they created themselves, so there’s nothing actually wrong with KaSonndra’s choice of having an important part of this book take place in an amusement park… So what if it happened to play a big role in the 'Hush, Hush' books too? (Which, by the way, dealt with angels also...) Mind you: since ‘When Copper Suns FalltrumpsHush, Hush’ on various levels, there’s no loss here, only gain.

All in all I enjoyed the story in itself, but it felt like a draft version, still rough around the edges. It definitely has potential, it’s a promising story, but it needs some more editing and tweaking. When Copper Suns Fall’ deserves those extra pages to improve the story, in my opinion! So it can truly shine like a copper sun, not fall...

~Have a nice 2nd day of X-Mas (and nice Holidays maybe?)~

P.S. By finishing this book, I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I read 20 books this year. It may not seem much, but I only started counting from July, so... ;) How about your 2011 reading list, and 2012 Reading Challenge?

24 December 2011

In My Mailbox! (4)

is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey there!
It was quite the well-timed coincidence that I ran into the delivery guy today, while walking around the block with my recently hernia-operated-on neighbor lady. I already knew 'Hallowed' was being released (and thus sent to me) earlier than planned, but with the Holidays coming up I hadn't expected my book(s) to arrive this early! I've been very excited for the sequel of  'Unearthly' by Cynthia Hand, especially after reading many good reviews!

Also 'Miss peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' made it to my doorstep today. Earlier this week I already received 'Shattered Souls' but since I posted a couple of times already I figured I'd wait till the end of the week. Also because I hoped to have some more time on my hands now my vacation has officially begun!

~Once again I wish you Happy Holidays!~

21 December 2011

Cover Reveal (2): The Girl in The Clockwork Collar

Wow, I am terribly sorry for posting twice in one day, but I just found out the cover for 'The Girl in the Clockwork Collar' ('The Steampunk Chronicles' book 2, by Kady Cross) has been revealed! (See left.) 

It's not as gorgeous as the first one, in my opinion. And I wonder who the cover-girl is? It's definitively not Finley!

'The Girl in the Clockwork Collar' is the sequel to 'The Girl in the Steel Corset' (see right) which I am very, very eagerly awaiting! Expected publication will be June 2012. From what I've understood there will be more sequels to this series, a 3rd and 4th installment will be written if all goes well. (YAY!)

When I read this book would take place in America instead of England, I was afraid I'd be left wondering what would happen to Finley, Griff, Jack and the others, and the book would focus on Jasper Renn instead. Luckily, reading a small exert from the first chapter proved me wrong. I'll leave you with this preview, hopefully getting you as giddy as it has left me! Have you read and enjoyed 'The Girl in the Steel Corset' as well? In that case, enjoy this sample and drop me a line if you wanna talk about these books! 
~Happy Holidays! :)

High above the Atlantic Ocean, July 1897 

"What are you doing?” 

Finley Jayne smiled in the darkness. She should have known Griffin would come looking for her. Gripping the slender prow with both hands she glanced over her shoulder and saw him standing just inside the dirigible’s softly-lighted observation deck. The wind blew strands of hair into her face. 

“Finding out what it feels like to fly,” she replied. 

“You’re over three thousand feet in the air.” His gravelly voice carried over the sound of the airship’s engines. “Flying might prove fatal.” 

Finley laughed. That was his way of scolding her for having ignored the signs that warned passengers not to climb out the windows or over the protective railings. Griffin King was the Duke of Greythorne and sometimes he carried the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. That he was worried about her was… sweet. 

“We’re going to be landing soon,” he called, trying another tactic. “Why don’t you come in and make sure you have all your things?” 

“I’m packed and ready,” she called back. “Why don’t you come out here and see how beautiful New York City is at night?” 

She didn’t expect him to take her up on the dare. It wasn’t that he was a coward – he was anything but. However, as a duke and an only child, it would be irresponsible of him to risk his life for no reason but a pretty view just because she asked. No, Griffin wouldn’t be so foolish, but Jack would. 

Finley pushed the thought of the notorious criminal Jack Dandy from her mind. Jack was in London, and it wasn’t fair of her to compare Griffin to him when neither of the young men had an equal. 

There was a faint noise behind her and the next thing she knew Griffin was there, sitting with her on this narrow shaft. All that was below them was the ship’s figure head – a robust blond woman of dubious virtue carved from wood – and thousands of miles of night. 

“What are you doing?” Finley demanded, her tone a reflection of what his own had been – only slightly more panicked. She wasn’t that breakable, but Griffin was. “You shouldn’t be out here.” 

One of his legs brushed the back of hers. Beneath her striped stocking her skin prickled. “I know, but I hear it’s the only way to experience the sensation of flying.” She could tell he was smiling without being able to see his handsome face. 

"It is magnificent, isn’t it? Look, there’s the Statue of Liberty.” 

It was magnificent, so much so that Finley couldn’t find words to reply. Spread out before them – just beyond the ship’s lanterns – was a blanket of lights. It looked like stars covered the ground, and set a short distance from it all was the largest lady she’d ever seen, the glow from her torch illuminating from her raised hand to just the top of her crowned head. The lights of the dirigible brought the rest of her into view. 

“I asked the pilot to fly by her so we can have a better look,” Griff said. 

“Asked or told?” She teased. This was Griffin’s private airship – the Helena, named after his mother. Someone else might fly it for him, but he was one in charge. 

He smiled. “Asked. What do you think of America so far?” 

“It’s grand.” It came out a little more exuberant than she’d planned. She had never been outside England – never been outside London – so this already the adventure of a lifetime for her. Never mind that only a fortnight ago she’d been battling for the safety of all the world against a mad man. That had been terrible and frightening, and not really a proper adventure at all. But this – soaring above the vast Atlantic Ocean with the night wind in her hair and Griffin sitting behind her… this was amazing. 

She felt close to him, enough that it scared her a little. She didn’t even know who she was inside, and he was a duke who could bring down buildings from the inside out by controlling the Aether. There could never be anything but friendship between them, but that didn’t stop her from the occasional day dream. He made her feel like she could do anything she set her mind to – what girl wouldn’t have a bit of a crush? 

“Would you like to know how it really feels to fly?” He asked her.

In My Mailbox! (3)

is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

'Tis the season to be working many, many hours again so I'm seriously lacking reading (and blogging) time! However, tomorrow is the last day of work before my Christmas vacation starts, yay! I do hope to have time to read with all the planned/obligated visits and stuff. A week is nothing, it flies by like a whisper from the wind...

So, this week I got a pressie in the mail again! Boldly, I asked Patricia Leever whether she would be kind enough to send me her book 'Cat O' Nine Tails' in exchange for a review. Because I had been eyeing it for a while... Because we both married into the 'Leever' family... ( I hoped that would do it!) Well, guess what? Patti was kind enough to send me her book (signed by the author herself) and she threw in a bookmark and set of trading cards as well! What a wonderful Holiday spirit!

Which means my X-Mas Holiday reading list suddenly expanded with this beautiful lady! Somehow Christmas seems like the perfect time to read a romantic, 'old school' pirate adventure! (At least that what I suspect/hope it will be!)

When pirate hunter Orrin and his brother Kale are hired by Queen Winifred to hunt down Aeron and her band of miscreants, Orrin never dreamed he’d fall in love with the beautiful she-pirate nor the kind, accepting people of her island hideaway. As Orrin learns of Aeron’s jaded past with the Queen, he allies himself with the pirate captain and her crew. Joining forces on the high seas to bring Winifred’s evil reign to an end, Aeron and Orrin soon discover that the strongest weapon in their combined arsenal is the love they have for each other.

For now...

I wish you 
Happy Holidays 
Once more... 
Spent with your loved ones...

(Be it books or relatives...) 

16 December 2011

In My Mailbox! (2)

is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey everyone!
I just had to share what the (soaking wet) mailman brought me today! I had pre-ordered it already on the English Amazon (along with 'The Iron Knight' by Julie Kagawa) but both books still weren't available somehow. Since it didn't matter that much 'money-wise' to order the books in my own country (you know, the flat one with the excess cheese, tulips and rain...) AND they would arrive much sooner, the choice was easy.

Once I finish reading 'When Copper Suns Fall' by KaSonndra Leigh (which is kinda hard in the annual stress period at work, during which I hardly have time for a private or social life) and my well-deserved one-week-holiday from Christmas to New Year finally commences, guess what my next read will be...?

Another gorgeous cover for 'The Infernal Devices' series!
So, what are your Holiday plans? Do you have some time off as well? And will your days be filled with books, or family? 

Have you read 'Clockwork Prince' already? 
Let me know what you thought of it, or what you'll be reading otherwise! 

Oh, and does anyone else beside me hate the fact that they make follow-up books in a series bigger than the previous instalments? It makes my bookcase look unnecessarily cluttered! 

Happy Holidays! :)

7 December 2011

Review: Immortal Beloved

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan 
Series: Immortal Beloved, book  1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 2010
Pages: 407
My rating: (Unfinished!)

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past. Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

It couldn’t have been just the blurb that got me to buy this book, because that still made me wonder what on earth the book was about. So, other than the beautiful cover, it must have been a review that drew me to the book instead. Because reading the summary on Goodreads didn’t do it for me either, to be honest…

So, how interesting can a book about an immortal wasting her (not so-precious) time be? After the overdose of vampires, angels, witches, faeries, dragons and other supernatural beings we’ve had lately, it was high time for a ‘new’ supernatural species. Why not drag out the old (pun intended) immortals again?! Okay, why not? Okay, why so?
After reading the initial paragraphs I wasn’t even that curious to find out WHY Nastasya’s life had been turned upside down, because she sounded like a drag. But I read on anyway. (One thing that stood out immediately though: the book is written in the third person! Finally! I was beginning to think they stopped making them all together!)

However, as I said before: Nastasya’s mind, where I found myself the entire time, never stopped spinning  in circles with the same uninteresting, selfish thoughts. After what happened in the beginning I really didn’t like this girl. Woman. Antique. At all. I was baffled that someone her age (about 450 years old!) still acted so adolescent. Her friends seemed like ‘the wrong crowd’ also; an elite, arrogant, sadistic, superficial, egoistic clique. Especially Innocencio. (Note: I understand people had different names in the past, but these are truly unpronounceable…)
But, a good thing happened when ‘Nasty’ didn’t like herself either and ran away, ending up at a kibbutz/rehab centre for immortals. Reyn sounded like a dream come true, being, you know, the guy you usually don’t encounter unless he’s on the cover of cheap romance novel. Swoon...

Not certain whether to blame my own lack of reading mood/time, or the promise of having to continue this particular book, I choose to go with the last reason after all. I gave the book another chance last night and continued reading. It seems the only time Nastasya really had been happy was during the sixties: when she was on drugs, at parties. How shallow. How pathetic. Things became even worse (be it with a heads-up provided by Cate Tiernan herself) when Nasty found out about Reyns German background/origins and decided to act on them when he suggested she could rinse the dishes.
Proving that maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age, I saluted and goose-stepped to the sink. ‘Yes, Herr Kommandant!’ 
My jaw practically dropped to the floor upon reading that, feeling vicariously embarrassed for Nasty. The story proceeded to drinking herbal tea, kneading bread and Nastasya’s thoughts about those things, as well as her thoughts on the self-grown vegetables. Not only extremely boring to her, also to me. Nastasya is a failure, a loser, a quitter, a very adolescent girl despite her age. She’s all the things I mentioned above about her ‘crowd’ which makes her an unattractive person, unappealing to me and undeserving of my further attention.

I don’t care what’s going to happen to Nasty, whether she will succeed in becoming a better person. It only took her 450 years to realise what a horrible person she is, I however already knew after reading the first page. (Maybe that IS a sign of good writing though?!) She couldn’t have had a better nickname. 

I give up after reading 82 pages. No matter how fluently written the stoy itself may be. I’m not wasting my time reading Nasty's story, the way she wasted her eternal life. If I happen to find myself being immortal after all, I might give ‘Immortal Beloved’ another chance. Until then it’s ‘Immortal Whatever’ to me.

Care to share your thoughts on this book with me? Feel free to drop me a line! 
Have a good day! :)

6 December 2011

Release Day Blitz 'When Copper Suns Fall'

As promised, I'm sharing the cover of the upcoming novel 'When Copper Suns Fall', by KaSonndra Leigh. I for one can't wait to get my hands on this book, because it sounds very promising!

In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected.  
Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories? 
With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease. 
In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world as intriguing as The Mortal Instruments and a story as chilling as Enclave. Full of celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.

Have a good day! :)

25 November 2011

In My Mailbox! (1)

is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Sooo, here's my first (but certainly not last!) post about which book-related (self-paid) 'prezzies' the mailman brought me last week!

'The Space Betweenby Brenna Yovanoff
'Mercy', 'Exile' & 'Muse' by Rebecca Lim
'Inkheart', 'Inkspell' & 'Inkdeath' by Cornelia Funke

When the 'Inkheart' movie was on TV again last week, I was smitten with it once more. The concept of a world where all kinds of characters from all sorts of books live together in perfect disharmony is very original. The whole idea has much potential. So, I finally decided to order the trilogy in order to find out what happened to all the characters... 

I have been wondering about reading the 'Golden Compass' books also, because I enjoyed the movie very much!

Did you read some of these books already, or are you dying to? Did you see the movie 'Inkheart' and/or 'The Golden Compass' already? In general, how do you feel about books turned into movies/TV-shows? You're welcome to share your thoughts on the subject with me!

Have a good weekend! :)

19 November 2011

Review: Delirium

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium Trilogy 1
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Romance
Published: February 2011
Pages: 441
My rating:  

When I read about this book and its intriguing plot, I knew I HAD to read it! A world where love is considered a disease you can be cured from (at the age of 18), is definitely original, and makes sense somehow -in a very scary way. Is it really for the best, to live a steady life without the dangers of falling in love and having your heart broken?
Because it’s not just a loveless marriage that lies ahead. Passions for all kinds of hobbies vanish, friendship suffers due to lack of feeling and memories, even having children (which in some cases may lead to detachment) is merely a sense of duty.
Details like the passages and psalms from the ‘Book of Shhh’ and old children’s rhymes that were adapted to this society’s view on LOVE, give the story more depth. These aspects were funny in a gruesome way, realistic in completing the rules many of us live by through the Bible.

From the start, the author convincingly conveys the detached, loveless feel that radiates from the society Lena Holoway lives in. A steady and predictable life where nothing is left to chance, awaits Lena in just a couple of months. I totally believed the importance of the BIG, defining test day; no matter how ridiculous the idea of an entire civilization based on test results playing matchmaker might seem.
Although… the idea isn’t that quaint at all. Don’t many people nowadays find their match by means of personality tests on dating sites through the internet? Apparently chemistry doesn’t play a big part anymore after a certain age, whereas compatible character traits do.

Back to the book though ;)
The narrating in the first person is very realistic and makes you feel like you are Lena completely. My first fear of reading yet another book in the first person subsided swiftly though, because it’s finally used proper here. For example: flashbacks are written in tense past, which gives the book natural feel. Lauren Oliver has a way of describing thoughts and feelings impeccably: you experience Lena’s confusion, the moments her brain turns into a big blur are excruciatingly vivid, the doubts she has are comprehendible, as well as the shock she experiences when things happen she never even knew existed (and have been taught to be literally deadly wrong). You become Lena with all her hopes, doubts and fears.
Lena certainly isn’t a flat character, as is her best friend Hana. The way Lena and Hana change, the way Lena sees Hana, the way it affects their friendship… Extremely well written, real, recognizable and relatable. I don’t think I’ve encountered any character lately I felt so close to as I do to Lena.

Normally I love my books to be as descriptive as possible, with character depth as well. Where this book lacks descriptiveness in the ‘exterior’ department (surroundings, houses, people), it makes up for emotions. I can honestly say I didn’t miss the descriptiveness. The story reads away easily and totally envelopes you, on the other hand it sure takes its sweet time to develop... Some passages drag on with minor details, unimportant to the story. Other details of Lena’s life make the story so much more alive: the way Lena feels when running for example with the happiness washing over her and the connection she shares with Hana in those moments, they all made me feel like I was there. They made me want to go out running myself, whereas I LOATHE running! (Lauren Oliver would be very good at writing subliminal messages, LOL…)

Here’s an example of the beautiful, descriptive staccato writing Lauren Oliver uses sometimes. SO recognizable how one thought triggers another! (Although I have to admit she lost me entirely with some sentences, going on and on, comma after comma, until I lost track...)
‘Snapshots, moments, mere seconds: as fragile and beautiful and hopeless as a single butterfly, flapping on against a gathering wind.’
It took over 100 pages for the romance to even begin -be it VERY modest- at the second (accidental) meeting Lena has with Alex, which was a far too lengthy and unnecessary time to do the world building and preparations in my opinion. But Alex was worth the wait. The author doesn’t fill in many gaps with background info, she makes you find out things through Lena. Very naturally their romance develops, Lena resisting at first because it feels wrong to her. I admire her strength for being able to withstand the temptation, her desire to hold on to what she’s been taught to be the right thing to do. Perhaps logical because she also fears what’s happening to her, and what will become of her. But when the truth turns out to be a huge lie, and the lies turn out to be the truth, it’s like Lena turns around completely. Her character growth feels natural, as well as understandable. Once she finds out what really happened to her mother, her last step to becoming one of the ‘sympathizers’ of LOVE, is made.

The city surrounded by heavily guarded electrified borders to keep ‘infected’ people from ‘The Wilds’ entering  (’Invalids’ they’re called, though their existence is denied and silenced by the people in charge); ‘The Crypts’ where sympathizers, infected people and everyone else endangering society are literally left to rot and die; the raids sweeping over the city once every while: all gruesome details of the story bringing it to life. People trying to escape by climbing the borders, while big men with guns and dogs chase after them, helicopters circle around them, chaos breaking loose: very strong reminders of actual escape-images regarding the border separating East- from West Germany for many years. Terrifyingly realistic. Very exciting. Movie-worthy even...

Without wanting to give away too much about the ending, I still want to share my thoughts with you. The turn the book took towards the ending, was the way I hoped it would go. It simply had to be that way, otherwise there wouldn’t be a happy ending for Lena. Unfortunately the book didn’t end then… Lena got her wish, or did she?

‘Delirium’ has left me desperate to know what happened and is going to happen. Love is the drug, but it’s also the cure. But is love enough to survive? Are memories enough, once reality hits?

I will most definitely be reading the sequel ‘Pandemonium’, because I’m not ready to abandon Lena and Alex. How can I, when I’ve actually become Lena?

11 November 2011

Cover Reveal: Rapture & Fallen in Love

Greetings my fellow Lauren Kate fans!

While surfing, I accidentally I stumbled accross the covers for Lauren Kate's 2 upcoming books! Which is kinda funny because I already stumbled accross Lauren Kate's 'Fallen in Love' by accident as well. But from what I gather, everybody was taken by surprise by this unexpected publication from Lauren Kate!
'Fallen in Love' is going to be a collection of romantic stories starring some of the characters from the 'Fallen' series, not just limited to Lucinda and Daniel. Could be romantic, could be cheesy, could be very funny too. It'll hit the stores January 24th! (I pre-ordered mine already. Since it has to travel to The Netherlands I hope to receive it around the 31st of January...)

Cleverly created to keep the fans happy no doubt, I'm sure 'Fallen in Love' will be a lovely read, but I am ofcourse still anxiously awaiting 'Rapture', the 4th and final instalment in the 'Fallen' series. Which is gonna be released June 12th next year!

The cover of 'Rapture' fits the other ones perfectly. (I actually disliked 'Passion's cover for some reason, there were too many colours in it and Lucinda's dress was too 'simple' in comparison.)

One detail that immediately stands out when you see the cover of 'Rapture' is the colour of Lucinda's dress. It's actually white, instead of the usual black... What does it mean? Will Lucinda and Daniel get married, perhaps?

What are your thoughts on the subject? Drop me a line! Oh...and have a nice day while you're at it ;)

6 November 2011

Review: Unearthly

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, book 1
Genre: Ya, Paranormal Romance
Published: January 2011
Pages: 435
My Rating: 

Angels are some of my favourite ‘things’. I simply adore these divine beings with their majestic wings. Their pure, untouched souls vibrating with untainted love. Ergo, reading about them is wonderful to me. I enjoy(ed) the 'Fallen' series by Lauren Kate very much, but was very disappointed by 'Hush, Hush' and its sequel. So I was hoping ‘Unearthly’ would be better. It was actually, being good and sweet, but not as epic I hoped it would be. It was, however, the story I expected 'Hush, Hush' to be. The way 'Hush, Hush' could and should have been had it been about 'good' angels and had it been written properly...

The beginning of the book did not draw me in immediately though. The vision Clara had, wasn’t written very strongly; it’s more telling than showing what the author does.
The rather simple writing style in the present tense even appalled me at first. (To me, writing a book in present tense feels like a beginner’s mistake.) Too many sentences are short and start with ‘I...’ or ‘He...’, another indication pointing towards the author’s lack of writing experience. But the storyline takes the focus off these flaws, fortunately.

Lately, I find myself becoming tired of 16-year old heroines. However, the concept of ‘Unearthly’ is original enough to grab ones attention and it makes one wanna read on. Being a normal, modern, school-going girl who happens to be part-angel, Clara receives a vision which becomes her life’s purpose. Bit by bit the vision becomes clearer, until Clara knows where to find the mysterious boy she is supposed to save from a forest fire. The author wrote in some lovely and believable details and explanations on angels, which were new to me. Everything is clear and simple, and explained rather than expected to be common knowledge.

Slowly, the story develops once Clara moves across the country with her half-angel mother and demi-angel brother and meets Christian, the mystery boy from her visions. Clara makes new friends and learns more about angels from an unexpected source. Because she is still uncertain about her purpose, Clara tries to get to know as much about Christian as she possibly can. This involves a mild form of stalking, not like some of the unhealthy stalking we’ve read about in a lot of YA books lately. Wink, nudge…
Nothing epic happening at first, asides from the knowledge Clara has angel blood flowing through her veins and feathers growing out of her back (when needed/forced). Through the major part of the book, the story seems to focus more on Clara’s adjustment to her new life. Towards the end and Clara’s supposed purpose-fulfilment the story picks up speed. Still the plot isn’t huge but more subtle and not entirely exposed during this first instalment of the trilogy.

Because of the simple writing style, ‘Unearthly’ reads away quickly, easily and understandably, without the ridiculous plot twists or over-the-top paranoia we encountered in ‘Hush, Hush’. Actually, for a book on angels with meaningful purposes the pace is very slow. Clearly ‘Unearthly’ puts the emphasis on romance rather than action. The story itself is endearing enough to make you forget about the lack in sentence variation or non-descriptiveness.

The romance part flows very naturally, it doesn’t feel forced on in any way. I had expected things to go slightly different, knowing Clara’s destiny was somehow entwined with Christian’s. Then again, that’s not how these stories usually turn out. The story is incredibly sweet and realistic, and like Clara, you forget she’s part-angel sometimes. Sure, there almost isn’t anything she isn’t good at, but most of the time her human side prevails. She’s a normal teen trying to find out her purpose in life, not just an angel-blood trying to live up to her purpose. Her angelic-ness makes it even harder for her to be herself, having to hide her true self most of the time.
The choices she makes are very understandable, Clara is easy to relate to. It’s hard to act divine and put yourself last, when you feel like a normal girl who wants to live a normal life and put herself first. I was left as confused as she was, in the end. Which is a sign of good penmanship after all. I truely was Clara...

Tucker seems like the kind of guy any girl would be lucky to have: an attractive, spirited cowboy with a golden heart.
Christian is still too much of a mystery to me to make up my mind about him.
My initial thoughts that something was ‘up’ with Angela were right. Gotta admire a girl with so much enthusiasm, whose mother owns one of the coolest places in town.
Wendy shares most qualities her twin brother Tucker; she’s steady, trustworthy, loyal and down-to-earth.
I know Clara's mother Maggie deliberately let her daughter find out things, but it pained me to actually feel her shutting Clara out at times.

The way things were going I should have expected the book’s ending. But the way things were supposed to be going, allowed the ending to surprise me. Thankfully Hallowed (the sequel to ‘Unearthly’) is already written and I’m glad I pre-ordered it. Because this book was clearly a set-up for a longer story, a (albeit very long) introduction for more to come; leaving some serious issues to be resolved, questions to be answered and mess to be cleaned up. A task I am willing to take on, because this book was a very lovely read. A feel-good book if you will, with its darker passages, humour, endearing characters, very promising concept and somewhat gloomy ending.

P.S. Alas, I own the book with the *least* attractive cover option out of the 3 different versions. It's hideous in my opinion even; the girl dressed in white with her 'computerized' hair, against the blue forest background. I sooo don't get this cover, as opposed to the other beautiful ones!

Review: Clockwork Heart

Clockwork Heart, by Dru Pagliassotti
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Romance
Published: April 2008
Pages: 390
My Rating: 

The story about Taya the ‘Icarus’ (a messenger flying across the city of Ondinium, on wings made of the feather-light metal ondium) starts mid-flight. Literally. On her way to deliver a message, Taya rescues Viera Octavus, one of the so-called ‘exalted’, and her son from an almost-crashing wire ferry. Because of her husbands political importance this may not have been an accident.
Shortly after the wire ferry crash, Taya meets the 2 Forlore brothers who turn out to be Viera’s cousins. The intelligent, handsome, charming Alister and his seemingly socially inadequate brother Cristof (who voluntarily gave up his caste to work as a clock writher in Tertius). Alister easily sweeps Taya off her feet, especially at the ball thrown at the Octavus Estate in her honour. The relationship with Cristof slowly evolves due to his difficult, closed character and Taya’s distrust of him because of the way he acts/does.

Ondinium is a city powered by the great Engine, running on an ondium core. It’s divided into three sectors: Primus, Secundus an Tertius. Its inhabitants are also divided into different castes: ranging from the rich and noble born exalteds to poor labourers. Because of their importance to society, Icarii like Taya are not bound to their caste. Seeing how Taya grew up in Tertius, it means she has far more freedom.

I loved the flying lessons Taya gave! Don’t worry, I won’t tell to whom, but that really was a great scene with so much emotion! Fear, relieve, patience and then something more…;) No sappy romance there, merely a refreshing and real passage. There were many other moments I had to laugh out loud because of some –awkward, sarcastic or sweet- dialogues.

Taya is a lovable character; she’s brave, curious, ambitious, funny and down-to-earth despite being up in the air most of the time. The feelings/relationships she develops or already has, don’t feel forced. I could easily relate to her crush on Alister, as well as her annoyance with Cristof.
Alister (being an ‘exalted’ means he’s forced to hide his face behind a mask in public) seems like the actual Prince Charming with his perfect looks and charisma. Until another side of him surfaces from behind his mask...
Cristof really does seem to be the ‘awkward crow’ Taya so lovingly describes him as. Always dressed in black, with sharp edges both outside as well as inside. His grumpiness is funny, painful, sarcastic and pitiful at times. But his righteousness can be felt.

The setting is very original in my opinion and well thought through. It’s not just a flat cartoonish background, but has actual depth because of the social castes and political scams, etc. This could be a real functioning society. I do miss some more elaborate world building. The strange terms and surroundings that are Ondinium are being strewn around without much explanation or history, making it hard to envision some things clearly. Another example of the lack of description concerns some of the characters. I’m not quite sure how Taya looks (definitely NOT like the cover girl!) or what age she has.
Besides the occasional difficult words (English is not my native tongue though, so…), the story read away pleasant and easily. The writing was fluid. Something exciting happened most of the time, whereas other chapters seemed to drag on a bit. It was not epic though, nor earth shattering or renewing enough to blow one away. In its genre this is kind of a mediocre story, a nice way to spend your time surrounded by pretty pictures (like the ball, again…!). A couple of days ago I read/finished The Iron Thorn and that felt so much more original and written so much stronger when it came to world building and plot. (Maybe because it was a set-up for a much more epic plot, a first part in the series.)

The plot took a turn I wasn’t happy with and couldn’t believe either. I didn’t want to believe it, I mean. Did not see it coming, or did not want to see it coming, maybe. But after a while, the story felt better and more natural. However, I didn’t find the plot that interesting. It was not exciting enough, I wanted it to be over with. It kinda dragged on after it seemed to be over and got confusing to me with the new side-plot and somewhat dry info. I caught myself skimming the pages, wondering how much longer it would take until things got resolved. Since I did care for Taya, Cristof and Alister, they were the main reason I kept reading.

The world and characters were the book’s strong points in my opinion, whereas the plot lacked a bit.

After finishing I was kinda sad to leave Ondinium, Taya, Cristof and the others behind. I really liked them and would like to know how the story continues. The ending wasn’t really open, it was happy and conclusive enough. But, the story offered more, Ondinium is a strange an interesting place and Taya’s journey has only just begun. Both are interesting enough to read more about. Since I heard Dru is already writing the next instalment, that's a good thing :)

Review: The Iron Thorn (Iron Codex #1)

The Iron Thorn, by Caitlin Kittredge
Series: The Iron Codex, book 1
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Steampunk, Dystopia
Published: February 2011
Pages: 492
My Rating: 

This book is a Must-Read! It’s got something for everyone: steampunk, romance, adventure, dystopia, secrets, mysteries, great characters, monsters, strange worlds, faeries, a beautiful written story, a plot with unexpected twists…

Here’s the short(ish) version of the review:
* The cover seems very fitting, it projects the grim feeling of dark fantasy in the story, while bringing across the lonely feeling Aoife must have had many times, surrounded by those grey skies and spying Ravens. 5/5 stars
* Caitlin Kittredge has a very poetic writing style, beautiful sentences string the pages of this book together. However, the story wasn’t overwritten: I found every word interesting, every word was where it needed to be and added only to the plot and story. The style and use of prose enhances and complements the feel of the story completely. 5/5 stars
*The characters are very interesting and very real. They have good and bad qualities, they doubt themselves, they grow, they make mistakes, their relationships change. They’re actual humans, not just stereotypes, and you really care what happens to them. 5/5 stars
*The story itself has many different elements: steampunk, adventure, dystopian, mystery, romance, dark fantasy...
One minute you find yourself in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie with all the secret chambers and flying airships, the next minute you’ve landed in a grim, alien-like Fairytale world. Madness and alternate worlds battle over one another, which one is the actual reality? Never a dull moment, but all is blended together perfectly with some unexpected twists. The action is not too overwhelming, or at cost of the story/feelings/characters. The story puts quality over quantity (despite it being sizable enough with almost 500 pages) and lacks no depth, thankfully. The ending is not disappointing, it is truly epic in proportions. 5/5 stars
*The plot and the alternate worlds built here were immensely thought through and well described with many details. The whole thing has a dystopian feel to it and steampunk it definitely is. Slowly the story develops, with surprising twists that keep you interested the entire time. It’s kind of like reading an old-school adventure, with secret chambers, traps, airship-travels, and so on. Until the story takes a turn one did not see coming, seemingly unfitting the steampunk elements. Until the author made it fit, logically and extremely well. Convincing us of the strange reality of this strange world where time ticks to a different clock. Where there is darkness, there is light. Where there is reason, there is magic. 5/5 stars
*All in all I find it a very original idea, an original world. The real world, the ‘Iron’ world, is scary with its rules and demands. Dictatorial, cold, scientific; medieval even in the sense of punishing so-called heretics who do not accept their truth as the only truth. The ‘Thorn Land’ may even be scarier with its unpredictability; inhabited by corpse-drinking Mists, the treacherous ‘Folk’ and trees that could swallow you whole and turn you into part of them. 5/5 stars

Here's an even longer review:
Already in the first chapter, a dizzying amount of info is being dropped on the reader. Necessary info, for building the world our main character ‘Aoife’ lives in. The story is being told from Aoife’s point of view (in the first person). The city of ‘Lovecraft’, Massachusetts, is a grim place, with its 17 asylums due to the immensely consuming ‘necrovirus’ which has infected many people. One of those infected people is Aoife’s mother Nerissa, whom she visits her every week in the asylum where she is committed as a charity case. Aoife never knew her father.
The necrovirus slowly consumes ones brain until its victim becomes a ‘nightjar’: a ghastly creature who in turn can infect someone, after biting them.

Lovecraft runs on a big machine at the heart of the city, built by the ‘Master Builder’ who has become the ‘God’ of Lovecraft. There are strict rules provided by the government concerning what ‘aether tubes broadcastings’ inhabitants are allowed to listen to, where they can and can’t go, what they can read and what ‘religion’ they must have. Heretics are people who do not believe in science and reality, but practice magic instead. Therefore, they are severely punished (old style, by partial or whole burning rituals) for their ‘lack of ignorance’, when caught by the ’Proctors’. Ravens (mechanically engineered ravens who have the ability to recreate an image which can be seen my a magic lantern of some sorts) are the Proctors’ little flying spies.

Aoife and her best friend Calvin Daulton both go the Academy of Engines, Aoife as a charity case or 'ward of the state'. As a young girl she is not afraid to admit when she’s scared, especially now her 16th birthday is coming up. The necrovirus is latent in her family; Aoife’s brother Conrad has already been infected and was committed to an asylum after trying to kill his sister. However, he escaped. About 4 times a year he secretly writes her a letter to let her know he is still alive and ‘well’. When he sends her a letter telling her to go to ‘Greystone’ (their biological fathers house) in order to save herself and help him, Calvin and Aoife go on a secret mission. Will she find Conrad in time, or has he been lost for good? Maybe even dead?

After seemingly saving Aoife and Cal from becoming ghoul dinner because of their initially chosen guide, the attractive but illusive Dean Harrison leads them out of the city. Dean is somewhat of a mystery, a heretic in his own way, but very loyal when it comes to standing at Aoife’s side. Aoife is not sure what to make of him at first, a liar, or not? Here’s a quote from Dean that illustrates both Aoife’s doubts as well as Deans perspective on life: "A touch of truth makes a lie worth believing." Their journey involves places Aoife has only heard rumours about, such as the Nightfall Market, the ghost of a bridge that supposedly crashed years ago (taking 21 victims along with it…) and an eventful flight in an actual airship. Encounters with deadly mud-like monsters called Shoggoths, causing one of the characters serious (possibly lethal) injury by injecting them with the virus. The ‘mad’ flashes and visions are beautifully written; truly painful, poetical craziness.

The evolving relationships are written very believable and natural, the characters seem very real.
Aoife discovers and unravels more and more about her father; his strange, secretive clockwork driven house and her lost brother. When she learns of the ‘Land of Thorn’ she doubts herself even more at first. Could she really possess a power, a ‘Weird’, like her father before her? Or are these the first signs of madness, seeing how Nerissa spoke of the Land of Thorns as well? Aoife’s self-confidence and fear keep altering, the hope to find her brother keeps her going, even though the fear for the lurking necrovirus stays with her. Learning the truth, discovering who really is the bad guy, experiencing her father’s memories, realising nothing and no one is what it/they seem(s); all these things only seem to make Aoife stronger. She intends to fulfil the destiny which has been forced upon her in order to protect her loved ones.

The author really takes you along the journey of feelings Aoife develops for Dean, slowly but steadily. Since Aoife is afraid she has no future besides the one in the madhouse, she doesn’t allow herself to get involved with anyone at first, not even Dean. She doesn’t need distractions from her quest either, after all. But Dean is the first person who does not judge her for her family’s burden en believes her without a doubt. He’s an outcast, like herself. More than once he risks his life to save hers, mind you despite the fact Aoife is not your typical damsel in distress! (She’s independent, smart, brave, not afraid to speak her mind, good with machinery and doesn’t act the way a ‘properly brought up young lady’ should.)

Calvin finds it hard to believe in anything besides the Proctors’ truth and is convinced that everything happening to Aoife is just another sign of her upcoming madness. The way he looks down upon the ‘common’ people, even if Aoife is one of them too, is not a nice personality trait. The way he feels towards women’s behaviour and future may be considered ‘normal’ during the fifties, I find Calvins expectations degrading. I actually didn’t understand why he befriended someone like Aoife at first, because associating with heretics (Nerissa) is punishable and he keeps throwing that knowledge in Aoife’s face in one way or the other, practically saying she should be thankful to have him. I find him quite nasty and unbearable and cannot comprehend why he sticks to Aoife’s side. Until things finally become clear... He’s the guy you expect to turn on his friends in the end, because of his allegiance to his country/beliefs/so-called righteousness/whatever. (You know the type…) But maybe he is not what he seems after all…

I did not expect what was happening in the end. At all. Some important things turned out right, other things spiralled out of control into a huge, epic disaster.
The only downside I can see? The book ENDED. With a major cliff-hanger! I am seriously DYING to know what will happen to Aoife, Dean, Cal and even Bethina. What will happen to Thorn and Iron, though we saw disturbing glances already. I’m not ready to leave this world yet, to leave Aoife and Dean behind. I wanna go along with them on their journey and I certainly will, once the sequel is out. Which hopefully will be soon. Yesterday, if possible. Pretty Please, Caitlin Kittredge????

Review: Destined

Destined, by Alison Kraft
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Romance, Fantasy, Supernatural
Published: August 2011
Pages: 290
My Rating: 

The idea of this book spoke to me enormously. It’s told from the perspective of modern day vampire slayer Apolline Greer (who comes from a long line of female, single vampire slayers and is rather obsessed with the ‘Titanic’) who suddenly finds herself aboard this famous sinking ship, in the body of her ancestor. Also on board are: Cristof-the vampire who killed her mother, another vampire hunter named Alexander Walker (Appoline never knew there existed others like her, let alone they were so cute) and a female vampire named Sasha whom she and Alexander were both sent to kill. Since we all know what happens to the ‘Titanic’ it’s an understatement to say Apolline is acting under a lot of time pressure. She has 4 days left ‘till the ship sinks.

Unlike slayers we already know (such as ‘Buffy’, which Alison Kraft refers to herself) the slayers in this book don’t walk around and slay every vampire they encounter because not all vampires are considered bloodthirsty and dangerous. They’re assigned to kill specific ones because they’ve turned bad. Which is why Apolline is not allowed to kill Cristof, even though he’s responsible for her mother’s death, has tormented her family before that and torments Apolline still. Yet now temptation is very strong: she has a chance to stop him before he has a chance to kill her mother.

Even though Apolline is a strong character, having lost her mother at a young age and being trained to be a vampire slayer, I find her personality a bit lacking. She’s cool and in control and doesn’t allow herself to break down and cry for quite some time. It took some time before she finally grew on me, but towards the end I could really sympathize with her.
Alexander Walker is truly an old fashioned gentleman, charming in a way. Despite the proper distance which social etiquette requires, you feel the romance between Noelle/Apolline and Alex grow, in a subtle way.
Logan seems like a good (and cute) guy too. Very slowly (for obvious reasons, as we find out later) he finds a way into Apolline’s life, because he genuinely cares for her.

As far as writing goes, this books reads away easily. Since it’s written from 21st Century Apolline’s view (in the first person), the style/language is modern, apart from the moments Apolline has to converse to her fellow travellers in 1912 of course.
Clearly Alison Kraft has done much research on the ‘Titanic’, I am pretty sure her descriptions of the ship, decks, rooms, sleeping quarters, dining rooms, floor plans, etc. are most accurate. But during the first half of the book the story is just being told without much extra flavour. Everything is a bit ‘flat’ and I miss a spark with the book.
Just like in the movie blockbuster, until the ship starts to sink, hardly anything happens. Alison Kraft takes a bit too much time writing about everything. Instead of chasing after Cristof and Sasha, Noelle and Alexander wander around the ship and talk, have breakfast, lunch or dinner and in between take their sweet time to change outfits. Admittedly, it’s nice to read how ‘crazy’ people were back then: taking hours to change into different attires for every meal, whilst the outfits they wore (especially women) were no easy task to change into. The tight and uncomfortable corsets, the hundreds of buttons on the gowns, the hair and make-up. No wonder every woman (who had some means) needed a maid!

I’m a big fan of detailed writing and descriptions, but it dragged on a bit too long. Almost every breath Apolline/Noelle takes (shallow breaths, due to her confining corset), every move she makes, is being described. The story drabbles on a bit too long. That does make you feel what Apolline feels: it’s actually rather boring to be aboard a big ship during the 1900’s.
Because of those elaborate descriptions the vampire-action gets snowed under a bit. It's almost like Alison Kraft thought about adding a supernatural theme to the story later to make it more interesting, instead of just writing another story about what it must have been like to be on the 'Titanic'.

However, as the story finally unfolded I really felt for Apolline. The love she and Alexander felt for one another was going to end either way, by death or Apolline’s return to the future. Alison Kraft described the chaos during those panicked last moments excellently. I won’t tell whether or not Alexander, Noelle and Apolline survived, but boy, did I feel some pain... All those innocent people who died that night, some of them being Apolline's new-found friends after her always solitairy life. Heartbreaking.

You should allow this book to take you on a voyage with it. The story may evolve slowly, the plot evident after some time, but it’s worth it in the end. Indulge yourself in the life style of the 1900’s for a while, take your time, and feel the romance wash over you. Don’t expect too much (vampire) action, then you’ll be fine.

Despite the collision course the Titanic was heading for, this book -as well as Apolline Greer’s life- is not. History can’t be changed, but the future can still have a happy ending.

Especially in the ‘now’ I feel for Apolline, once she has returned safely (alas, Noelle does not survive) and gets to know Logan- the neighbour she has been secretly lusting after for some years already. Being confronted with things 'Titanic' hurts too much, understandably, and Apolline questions her sanity. Was it just a dream, or not? And did she manage to kill Cristof or not, because her mother is still dead.
Once it turns out Logan is Alexander’s great-great-great grandson, possesing a letter addressed to Apolline (proving Alexander did survive the ‘Titanic’, despite the fact that Apolline saw him fall into the freezing water together with Sasha) both Apolline’s and my tears were flowing freely.