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Claire Mill "Cem" (England)

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The Iron King (Iron Fey)
The Iron King (Iron Fey)
by Julie Kagawa
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for fey fans, but not really for me, 3 July 2010
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This is the first book in a YA series, The Iron Fey. I am not very often a big fan of fey central books, and in fact with the exception of Jenna Black's YA Glimmerglass, and Richelle Mead's adult series Dark Swan, I've never more than liked a series/book focusing on fey. So I wasn't too sure about trying this one. I ended up enjoying it a lot though. I don't love it, it's not going to be a favourite, but it is still a good read.

Meghan lives with her mom, step dad and 4 year-old half-brother Ethan. Ethan is often saying that he sees and hears things, things that can't possibly be real. Except Meghan is about to find out they are real, and far more terrifying than she could think. Her sweet sixteen comes with humiliation, followed by the discovery that her little brother could be in danger. All the while being watched by a guy on a black horse, who seems to disappear and reappear at will. Her best friend Robbie, a big time prankster, is being serious and protective, something she's not seen from him before. All this leads to a big discovery. Not only do faeries exist, but Meghan is one of them, daughter of the Summer King. And now the most wanted pawn in faerie.

The book started out well, if a little slow, and built well through the book. There was a lot of action, several good twists and a lot of unanswered questions. Meghan is pretty smart and deals fairly well with what's thrown at her. She grows in confidence and competence as she sees more of the faerie and how they act. Robbie is entertaining and a little crazy at times, but he's loyal to Meghan and a character I really liked. Likewise I really liked Ash, the Winter Court prince, and cait sith Grimalkin. The romance between Meghan and Ash builds slowly and never become a central focus but still got a decent amount of attention.

The faery world is magical and dangerous as it should be. The faery's aren't all sweetness and nice and there is the age old battle between the Winter and Summer Courts. I really like the twist with the Iron fey, and in particular I loved the nicknamed 'pack rats'. The ending was pretty tense with enough conclusion, whilst still leaving a lot open for the next book. Overall it's a really good book, it's well written with the characters and their emotions coming across really well. I really felt for Meghan several times as she had to make some tough decisions. I didn't love it, but I'd still recommend it. If you're someone who, unlike me, really likes fey stories, then this is one you won't want to miss. There is a short story ebook (which I believe is free), Winters Passage, which is set between this one, and the second book The Iron Daughter (out August 2010). I'm looking forward to reading both and seeing how things continue for Meghan.


The Demon's Lexicon
The Demon's Lexicon
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't work for me, 26 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: The Demon's Lexicon (Paperback)
This is the first book of a trilogy, and it's one I've heard a lot of for a while as being really good. But it was one of those ones I wasn't sure about trying, but figured I'd get to eventually. Then a friend of mine read it and said she thought it was really good so I pushed it up the list, expecting a good read. Sadly, it really wasn't.

The book was predictable from beginning to end. It took me maybe 2 chapters to figure out the 'big secret' that was going to be revealed near the end. It wasn't particularly badly written, but I didn't think much of the characters. They were all pretty flat and generic, nothing about them really standing out to me. The only times I felt there was real life between any of them, was when Nick was arguing with Mae, the girl both brothers fancy (which, really, did they both have to like her?). What I really didn't get, was how Nick didn't figure out something was 'off' so much sooner. It's not like there weren't neon signs along the way. Alan annoyed me a lot. He was ridiculously self sacrificing, too soft, too manipulative. Brother and sister Jamie and Mae weren't a whole lot better.

They went to Nick and Alan looking for help. Jamie had been marked by a demon and they wanted to know how to get rid of it. Nick grudgingly agreed to help only because Alan insisted, which he did mostly because he wanted a date with Mae. Jamie was almost constantly afraid of Nick, which given Nick's behaviour is not surprising, but it was tiring. Mae was constantly switching from snapping at Nick to trying to be kind and helpful to both brothers, whilst protecting her own. Nothing really wrong with her, but again I just didn't feel there was much to her, or any of them.

The book had it's slow moments where it switched to explaining things for a little while, which when I really wasn't enjoying the book too much, dragged. But there is a fair bit of action and it moves along fairly quickly for the most part. I didn't think much of the 'final showdown' because I thought all 4 main characters really weren't smart doing what they did, how they did.

I didn't hate the book or anything, and I did finish it without too much effort. But I was really left with an overall 'meh' sense about it. I didn't much of it at all, and I really doubt I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy. A shame, because I'd been hoping for more from this. But it just really wasn't my cup of tea. I can see why some people like it, but for me, I just could not like the characters enough to care about their reactions to the 'big reveal' at the end. That's what the pulling factor was meant to be, and it just wasn't there for me. Could have been worse, but it could have been so much better.


Magic in the Shadows (Allie Beckstrom Novels)
Magic in the Shadows (Allie Beckstrom Novels)
by Devon Monk
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it., 26 Jun. 2010
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This is the third book in the Allie Beckstorm series. I loved the first book, but wasn't so keen on the second one. But this one I loved again. It picks up exactly where book 2, Magic in the Blood, left off: Allie standing in her bathroom hearing her dead fathers voice in her head. Unpleasant. Unsurprisingly, her father, how to deal with him, what he's capable of play a sizable role in this book, but it's far from the only thing she's got to deal with. After the death of Pike, a Hound who was trying to take care of the rest of the Hounds in the city, Allie has stepped up to take his place. While also Hounding a case for the cursed Detective Stotts, meeting with Authority members for the first time, having her best friend Nola staying with her, getting to know Zayvion again, and, oh yeah, dealing with a stone gargoyle she accidentally brought to life. Somehow. Busy girl is Allie, it works for her.

The book is fast paced and there is a lot going on to keep track of, but somehow it all comes together rather than feeling like a lot of different and unnecessary threads there for no reason. Allie is tough as ever working through her issues, memory loss and all the new and ongoing threats she faces. She is constantly being surprised by how much more there is to magic than she, or the general public, knew. And Zayvion, the guy she doesn't remember falling in love with, knows far more than he's saying. I loved the expansion of the world in this one, discovering it alongside Allie, as well as learning more about the Hounds, seeing them work together, how Allie's trying to help them. I loved Davy when we met him in the previous book, and I liked him even more in this one. There is the introduction of a couple new people in this book who I really like as well, none more than Shamus, who is funny, smart and a trouble maker who knows it, and loves it. Seeing Zayvion deal with these new people brought more depth to his character as well. We've not learnt all that much about him before, but we know more now, and meeting his 'friends' was fun and shed yet more light. Allie continues to grow and deal with everything thrown at her, some things better than others, but I love her determination to keep going in the face of fear, to protect those she cares about and to simply keep herself alive.

Overall, this was probably my favourite of the series so far. It's fast and hectic, but works really well with some good character development and additions to the character list as well. I'm really enjoying the series on the whole, I love the world, the way magic works, it's limits, it's costs, how different people deal with those costs. And I also love how Allie's best friend is someone who doesn't use magic at all. It's kind of a nice break to have her around, because she doesn't take any nonsense, takes care of Allie and while she's fine with Allie's use of magic, she doesn't feel the need to use it herself. She's probably the most 'normal' character in the series and I love that, having that element in the books, showing that it's not all magic, somethings can be dealt with just fine without it. Really looking forward to reading the 4th book, Magic on the Storm, soon, seeing more of the Authority and basically more of everything! Great book and really hard to put down.


My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers)
My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers)
by Rachel Vincent
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in series so far! Loved it, 23 Jun. 2010
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This is the third book in the Soul Screamers series and while I liked the first two, a lot, I didn't love them. No specific reason, they're well written, good well rounded characters, good plot, but just didn't fully grab me like some YA series can. But I still wanted this book a lot, especially after a few people said it was the best one yet. They weren't wrong. I adored this book!! I was hooked from the start and couldn't put it down. I had a lot of trouble getting a hold of a copy but once I had it, I read it in a day easily.

MSTKeep is darker than either of the books before it, Kaylee does a lot of growing up, loses a fair bit of the innocence and naivety that surrounded her, and it's not pretty. Which is probably why I love it so much. Life isn't easy, and growing up in particular is painful, ugly and unavoidable. Why shouldn't fictional characters have to deal with that too? The form it takes is more or less irrelevant for me, I just can't take fictional characters seriously if they're everything is easy for them. Kaylee has never had it easy, but the events of MSTKeep are much rougher on her. It picks up a month after the end of MSTSave, when Kaylee's grounding for passing in to the Netherworld has just ended. Her first night of freedom sees her at a party where she finds a friend with the scent of Demon Breath on his. Kaylee is shocked and scared. The forbidden Netherworld substance shouldn't be in the human world and certainly not being taken by high school jocks. But it is and she's determined to get to the bottom of it.

It's fast paced and had some great twists. I did guess one big thing before the book was out, but that was fine, it didn't stop it being a painful emotional ride that had me just about in tears at times. I felt so much for Kaylee as she tried to make sense out of what was going on and how to fix things. The Netherworld is dark and creepy as it should be, but I think I felt it more this time around. Nash and Tod are of course big parts of the story as well, and I love how the brothers react to each other, but also how they both play off Kaylee. Tod is one of my favourite side characters ever, for a grim reaper he's a lot of fun. He's dark and sarcastic, I love his friendship with Kaylee (and that it is a friendship, not a possible love interest) and I love seeing what he does for those he loves. Overall, a really great read, great character development and the ending was awesome, painful but awesome. I can't wait for book 4, My Soul To Steal!


Changeless: 2 (The Parasol Protectorate)
Changeless: 2 (The Parasol Protectorate)
by Gail Carriger
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic second book!!, 14 Jun. 2010
This is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series from Gail Carriger. I loved the first book in this series and was really looking forward to it. I was not disappointed!! It picks up about three months after Alexia's wedding to Lord Conell Maccon, Alpha werewolf of the large Woolsey pack, and she's more or less adjusted to life in the pack. Until of course there are suddenly many more wolves to deal with, and camping on her front doorstep (very inconsiderate of them too!). But it can't hold Alexia's attention for long. For some reason all supernaturals in a certain area of London have found themselves decidedly mortal again. Very bad news for the ghosts, because it meant sudden exorcism. *poof* no more ghosts in that area. Alexia's new position as muhjah for the Queen means she has good reason to investigate it. Her investigations lead her to Scotland, where her husband also disappeared, without a word to her, to. But being Alexia, a preternatural generally feared by the supernaturals, it is not long before things get even more complicated and she finds herself the specific target of some serious unpleasantness, both with the company she finds herself in and the acts being done against her.

This book was as fast and fun as book one. I am completely in love with the spunk and attitude from Alexia in the Victorian London setting. Add in the Scot's with their slightly less than respecful attitude to the English with Miss Hisselpenny's crazy hats, Alexia's simpering half-sister Felicity and Lord Maccon's claviger, thespian Tunstell (who may or may not be in love with Miss Hisselpenny) and you get serious entertainment as well as drama. I love it!!

There is depth and intrigue to just about every aspect of this story with some surprising twists along the way. We meet some very entertaining new side characters, as well as getting to know those we've already met better. I love the way Alexia and Conell play off each other. They're both strong willed characters who like having their own way and they seem to spend as much time yelling at each other as not. In a loving way, mostly.

I got warned by a couple of people on Jocelynn Drake's forum, very strongly, not to read Changeless before Blameless is out in September. I didn't get the advice until I was halfway through, which was kind of a shame because I should have taken it. The ending is shocking, totally didn't see it coming (well, one part of it I did, the other I didn't) and oh! I so need the next book right now!! I won't say the emotions involved because I don't want to ruin it in anyway for anyone. It was fantastically done and it leaves for a lot to be sorted in the next book. Left me hanging completely. I both love and loathe when that happens. I always hate the wait, I'm a very impatient person, but at the same time, I love it because it adds to the suspense and fun. If 'fun' is the right word... Still, this was a fantastic follow up to Soulless with drama and humor blended together seamlessly. This is a series that has easily jumped to my favourites list. Bring on Blameless!!


Lover Awakened: Number 3 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
Lover Awakened: Number 3 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
by J. R. Ward
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 14 Jun. 2010
This is the third Black Dagger Brotherhood book and follows Zsadist's story, which really started in the previous book, Lover Eternal. There he met Bella for the first time, and then she was kidnapped by the lessers. Zsadist shocked his brothers with his reaction to her abduction, because he's known as a killer. Someone who doesn't treat women with anything more than contempt. No one trusts him with Bella, but his obvious drive to save her can't be ignored. It's Bella who needs to stay strong to rescue Zsadist though.

I loved this book. It was gripping, intense and painful reading. Particularly the flashback scenes to how Z was tortured a couple of centuries ago, and how he's still torturing himself now. Pain is what he knows and understands. He struggles to accept that it's at all possible for Bella, for any female, to love him. Some of Z's thoughts on himself are heartbreaking to read. I loved how he and Bella grew and dealt with each other over the course of the book.

Aside from Bella and Z, we learn a lot more about Phury (Z's twin) and John Matthew throughout the book as well. John is easily my favourite side character in this book. I liked finding out more about Phury because we didn't know too much about him before hand, but I'm far more curious about John. I like that he's got his own background we're just seeing glimpses of, rather than just being a flat padding character. Butch's continued involvement in the brotherhood, as the only human to be so, also gets a fair bit of page time, which a very surprising twist towards the end.

There is heartbreak in more than one way in this book. And a fair few tears were shed on my part through it. But while the ending was fantastic, I couldn't help feeling just a little cheated over something. We got a fair bit from John through this book, but when a couple of big incidents happened, John's reaction to them (which should have been big) was mostly ignored. Which I thought was a real shame and after everything we got of him before that moment, I felt a little cheated by it. I also felt that there should have been more on a certain other brother with regard to the events that happened. I'm not naming names for spoilers sake, but this particular brother was hugely involved and his reaction was (rightly) massive, but then...nothing. 2 months get skipped over for the final chapter and in the last chapter I really wish there had been mention of what was going on with him, but it was very strictly a Zsadist/Bella chapter. Which makes sense as it was their book, but still, I was disappointed by that.

Still, it is a great book and that is only a small complaint. It's fast paced and intense. Like the two books before it, I had a really tough job putting it down. Book 2, Lover Eternal, is still my favourite BDB book of the three, but this isn't too far behind. I am still fascinated by all of the brothers and their lives and I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Lover Revealed, soon!


Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom Novels)
Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom Novels)
by Devon Monk
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but I liked book 1 better, 14 Jun. 2010
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Magic in the Blood is the second Allie Beckstorm book from Devon Monk. It picks up a couple of weeks after the events of book 1, Magic to the Bone, which left Allie missing several weeks worth of memories, her father dead, her body marked by a massive amount of magic and her not knowing the man she apparently fell in love with, the very mysterious Zayvion Jones. But despite being scared by the amount of memories missing, Allie isn't about to give up magic or Hounding. She's working this new case for the police, for a supposedly cursed cop, but she's suddenly started seeing ghosts as well. And they're demanding as much of her attention as the case is, without being polite about it.

I really loved the first book in this series and was really looking forward to this second installment. But I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It's not bad, by any stretch, and not even a let down exactly. It's got a good plot and doesn't ignore things from the previous book, but in many ways it felt more like a set up for the next book or two more than anything else. It is still a good read, but I wasn't as gripped by it as book one. I'd been warned that the ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but I saw the ending coming from a chapter or two previous so it didn't have the impact I think was intended. It did leave me hanging, but not so badly that I needed to pick up the next book instantly. I did like this book, I just preferred book 1.

There are some great moments in this book and we get to see more of what Hounding work, and it's cost, is like. We get to know Allie a little better, and meet some very interesting new side characters as well, who I'm hoping we see more of in the next book. One of my favourite things about this series, is the cost of using magic. How it works and works the user. Nothing like that should come without a cost, and it has a huge cost in this series. Seeing the different ways people deal with that cost was intriguing. The build up to the end was good, and it got pretty tense, but I think there was more power in the ending of book one. Still a good read, but this isn't going to be my favourite of the series. Hoping for a little more from the next book.


Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves Novel)
Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves Novel)
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 9 Jun. 2010
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I'd seen this book around on Amazon a while ago, but being a hardback release from an author I'd not read before I pretty much ignored it, until several author I follow online started saying that it was fantastic and should be bought as soon as it was released. From the blurb I thought it sounded okay, but I was expecting a bit of a cliched girl meets boy, they instantly fall in love and fight the establishment and save the world type thing. I bought it anyway and happily, I was wrong. I so did not expect this book to be what it was, and I loved it.

Bryn is smart, tough and a rebel. It took all of about a page for me to really like her and think she was a character I'd get on really well with. She's grown up human in a wolf world, and as such is in many ways a wolf who can't shift. She plays by their rules (well, maybe not exactly by the rules she's meant to, but she does play by wolf rules more than human ones), she lives how they live and she's learnt to survive in their world despite the violent way she came in to it. Meeting Chase, a teen wolf the alpha, Callum, has tried to keep hidden from her, changes things though. Once she meets him, all bets are off.

I was hooked on this story very quickly and ended up reading it in a day. I'm not sure I can even explain why the book is as compelling as it is. I may, like Bryn, rebel at some of the basics in the werewolf world (like, say, how females are to be protected at all costs. Over protectiveness is not so attractive), but there is no denying the world is well crafted and thought out. The way different packs interact and work with each other (or don't, as the case may be). How they deal with problems within the pack, how they treat outsiders, and how they treat their own. Bryn is an outsider as much as she's not. She's marked by Callum, making her pack. She shares in the same mental pack bonds everyone else in the pack has, but she doesn't shift. She's one of only two humans who do. The other is Ali. Ali is in effect Bryn's mom. She was a 21 year old human who came to the pack looking for her sister right around when Bryn was orphaned, so Callum marked her as well and gave her 4 year old Bryn to take care of. It makes for some interesting battles throughout the book because Ali isn't tied to the pack as a wolf either.

I couldn't ever really see what was going to happen next for Bryn, and I couldn't put it down until I found out. The way the story unfolds and grows with Bryn and Chase is sweet and fun and intense. There are a couple of great side characters in Bryn's best friends, Lake and Devon, and Ali as well. There are a couple others I loved, but for spoilers sake I'm not going to mention them. Bryn in particular though, is a good, well rounded character and I found her really easy to relate to. My favourite thing about this book? It's not about Bryn and Chase, it's about Bryn. It's her story, her growing up and the pains it causes. Something I think any teen or adult can relate to.

I pretty much just loved every aspect of this book, and I can't fully understand why. I'm a wolf girl more than any other paranormal creature, but I often read werewolf books and find I don't like how they're depicted, the lore involved. But here, I couldn't fault it. It was something I could get and made sense, and just...worked. The pack bonds, the hierarchy, the knacks some had and some didn't. Add in a great story with great characters and I just fell for it. There a couple big surprises throughout the book, but it all wrapped up really nicely at the end. But even so, I was left wanting more. More of Bryn, more of Chase and more of their world, so I was very, very happy to discover there will at least be a sequel next summer titled, Trial by Fire. Can't wait!! In the mean time, if you like YA UF books, this is a must read!
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Lover Eternal: Number 2 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
Lover Eternal: Number 2 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
by J. R. Ward
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Immense. Could Not Put Down!!, 9 Jun. 2010
This is the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I loved it from beginning to end. Rhage lives with a beast inside of him, constantly afraid it's going to come out and hurt those he loves. He has ways of keeping it as chained in as possible, by fighting daily and, well, a very active sex life. He's nicknamed 'Hollywood' because of his stunning good looks and his ability to have any girl he wants. But for him it's a hollow act, something he does to keep his beast satisfied as best he can, and something he wishes he could do without. Mary is a human with no idea her best friend and next door neighbor, Bella, is a vampire. She knows what it's like to fight something inside you have no control over though, she's fought leukemia and won, but now it looks like it's back. Their meeting changes things, for both of them, in a big way. But it isn't exactly all for the better.

This whole book was a rollercoaster of intense emotion. It had me laughing and crying. The ending is immense and I was in floods of tears a couple chapters from the end, feeling the pain both Rhage and Mary did as if it was real. There is, of course, some intrusion of lessers in this book, but I found myself hurrying through those parts to get back to Rhage and Mary. I love them both individually, and together. Like Wrath and Beth in book one, Dark Lover, they're very well rounded, real characters who you can't help feeling for. We also see a fair bit more of Zsadist in this book. The next one, Lover Awakened, is his story but it starts here in this one and I'm already falling for him.

I love the detail given not only to the main characters, but to the secondary ones as well, and the world around them, how it works from an inside and outside view. It's something that helps stop the books from simply being a romance, and making them books that you can really get your teeth in to. And while there are certain things that are kind of predictable, there is a lot that happens that you don't see coming. For me, this book was just about impossible to put down. I got so wrapped up in Rhage and Mary that I seriously lost track of time. It's a fantastically woven story that leaves a lot open whilst giving greater depth to the characters we've already met, and introducing a few important new ones. Z's story is only just beginning in this one, and I am hungry to get in to the rest of it as soon as I can. But I don't need to read the rest of the series to know this one, Lover Eternal, is going to be a lasting favourite. Rhage and Mary's story is just too intense, too powerful and it's one that I know I'll be rereading a fair bit!!


Dark Lover: Number 1 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
Dark Lover: Number 1 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
by J. R. Ward
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 9 Jun. 2010
I tend not to read much paranormal romance preferring urban fantasy with romantic subplots, for the same reason I rarely read any romance books, I get bored with them. I prefer more action, though I'm always happier when there is a romantic plot as well, just not when it's the whole plot. But the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was recommended to me by a good friend so I decided to give it a shot. Really, really glad I did!! I completely fell in love with J.R. Ward's world and her Brothers. The books are written in third person, from several different points of view. It flows well and I like getting to see the extensive world created here, through different angles. From inside the Brotherhood, from the human POV, and from the lessers. It also means we get to see the characters through different eyes, which helps give them more depth by showing how they're perceived by different people. And I also really like the vampire lore that exists here.

The Brothers themselves are intense. They're all unique, with different skills and different issues, but all warriors who are completely loyal to each other, and to their duty, keeping the rest of the vampire population alive by destroying the lessers, who are soulless immortal killers. Although we see more of Wrath than any of the other Brothers in this book (a given as it's Wrath's story) we see hints as to the backgrounds and future stories for the rest of them. Which made me fall in love with pretty much all of them over the course of the book!

Wrath's story is intense and violent. He's a warrior through and through and not known as the nicest guy around. But at the same time, it's touching and sweet and I fell in love with him very quickly. Beth is smart and tough, and while there is the 'girl meets bad boy and instantly falls in love' aspect, it isn't nearly that straight forward. There is a lot more to the plot and the characters, both main and side, are very 3D making even the predictable parts that much more enjoyable because you care about the characters, they're very much alive. The ongoing battle between the Brothers and the lessers is another aspect to the story, adding to it but not taking center stage. Its not without it's place, it just doesn't story the love story being the focus. But the main story is the Brothers. Their pasts, their future, and what they're fighting for. But as it turns out, the lessers aren't the only danger they face.

I love Wrath and Beth's story, they play off each other so well. It's a fantastically written and gripping book which I had a very, very hard time putting down. It left me wanting a whole lot more of the Brothers and I can't wait to read the rest of the series that's currently out!!


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