Posts tagged ‘juliekagawa’

December 24th, 2010

Five Challenge: Series

by Madeleine Rex

First, a reminder: I’m participating in Persnickety Snark’s Five Challenge. For the remainder of the year, I’ll post 5 books daily that were the greatest in whatever category. Today’s is 5 Great Series. I love, love, love series! I’m qualifying a series if at least one of its books was published this year – not necessarily the first because that’s too complicated! The books pictured are the books in the series that came out in 2010.

Note: Pictures are linked to Goodreads pages.

1. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Book one in The Infernal Devices, a companion series to The Mortal Instruments, Clockwork Angel was much anticipated by me and my friends. We were not at all disappointed, and the wonderful historical atmosphere and steampunk themes guarantee that this is going to be a series I love.

My Review

2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The last book in the beloved Hunger Games series! Need I say more? This was definitely, without a doubt, indubitably (+ a gazillion more synonyms) the book I most looked forward to this year. I still have mixed feelings about it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful or that the series is one of the best I have ever, ever read.

My Review

3. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Everyone knows that I loved this book – even before I read it, really. It was pretty much love-at-first-sight-of-synopsis. Kiersten White is a fantastic lady herself, but even if she were some rascally old Grinch, Paranormalcy would shine. I cannot wait for the second book in this new series, Supernaturally.

My Review

4. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

This is book two in the Iron Fey series, and though it wasn’t my favorite, the series overall has definitely earned my love and appreciation. The mystical world of the fey, Nevernever, stole my heart from minute one, and the characters are out-of-this-world (quite literally, actually).

My Review

5. Matched by Ally Condie

I was so thrilled to find an a finished advanced copy at PNBA (Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Association)! It’s a dystopian, it’s unique, and it’s really great. I love the world of this book, and the ending is fantastic. I am so excited for the rest of this series!

My Review

These are all such fabulous books, but it was still hard choosing them over some others. I’ve read great series books this year!

What were your favorites?

And Happy Christmas Eve!

December 21st, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: The Iron Daughter

Author: Julie Kagawa

Published: August 01, 2010

Number of Pages: 304

Rating: 4/5

Quote:

“He sighed, and his eyes closed. “You were right,” he murmured, his voice nearly lost in the darkness. “I couldn’t do it alone. I should have listened to you back in Tir Na Nog.”
“Yes, you should have,” I whispered. “Remember that, so that next time you can just agree with whatever I say and we’ll be fine.”

Synopsis:

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart. [From Goodreads]

Review:

First of all, let me apologize for the belated review. It’s time for my wonderful memory (which I am massively grateful for) to step up to the plate.

It’s clear that I’m a huge fan of the Iron Fey series. The Iron King blew me away, with Kagawa’s masterfully written descriptions and fantastic world-building, and while The Iron Daughter didn’t astound me at the same level, I can’t honestly say that I didn’t love it.

Meghan Chase returns for another adventure in the Nevernever, trailing after the Winter Prince she thought loved her. “Thought” being the key word. On this trip to faeryland, we don’t begin in a summery meadow, but Tir Na Nog, under the Winter Queen’s reign.

What another extraordinary universe! The atmosphere is exquisite… and horrific. The icy tension between characters and the frozen state of their feelings [pun(s) intended] help paint the world in which dear Prince Ash blossomed. It’s immediately evident why he is the way he is… cold. On the surface, at least.

Though Meghan’s stuck in this Winter-Not-So-Wonderland for the first chapters of the book, there’s no way Kagawa could keep Meghan – or the reader – holed up for long. There’s far too much to see in the Nevernever. And way too much for our hero and heroine to do. Or heros because there’s no way in Tir Na Nog that I would leave out Puck.

He’s just as fantastic as ever! There are moments in this book that my heart ached for him – the sort of moment in which all you want to do is make him cookies and give him a pat on the back, but, as with every good character, there were moments in which I wanted to slap him, laugh at him, give him a hug… He’s an incredibly three dimensional character.

However, the character who really stood out in this book is Ash. I’ve nearly been converted to his team. Honestly, he’s so fascinating and torn. His very aura is complicated (speaking of which, you should read my post on complicated characters here). The growth – even the bits of him that change that aren’t visible but are undoubtedly there – of his character, personality, and opinions is just what the book needed to give it a stable character arc that could keep readers interested all on its own.

I didn’t enjoy Meghan quite as much as I did when I read the first book, but that isn’t to say that she’s drastically changed for the worse – or that she’s bad at all. Just as in real life, there are certain characteristics or ways of speaking or… anything really… that get on your nerves, no matter how much you like the person in general. There’s something akin to this in my feelings for Meghan, but she’s still a great heroine. You want her to come out victorious.

There are other characters, both old and new, that blew me away. Various villains and allies – all major contributors to my love for the story. Every character has a different way of breathing, walking, talking, etc. that makes them strong, individual people.

The intricacies of the actual plot, the adventure, additional world-building, and the like were just as great as ever. There’s a stint in a place called the Between (one that involves another new character I absolutely adore by the name of Leanansidhe) that was amazing! Fun, exciting, and unusual in all the right ways. The new information concerning the Iron Fey and the state of the Iron Kingdom make it clear that the next book (or books) in the series are bound to hold many more adventures… because the iron faeries are not backing down. They crumble, but manage to piece themselves back together. Consequently, any battle the oldbloods (meaning, really, Meghan and her posse) win or lose doesn’t determine the result of the war. Which is perfect, because there’s no way I want this series to end.

The end of the book is heart-wrenching, thrilling, and induces thoughts such as: “Holy cow, I need the next one!” Not to mention the fact that it’ll shatter your heart into millions of tiny pieces. The Iron Daughter ends in a bang, a loud, eardrum-shattering racket that rings in your ears for hours afterward.