Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Supernatural Edition

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. The idea behind this meme is to highlight up and coming releases that we just can't wait to read.

It's been a while since I've done one of these, so to make up for it, I'll be featuring quite a few titles that I'm quite excited about.

First up is:

The Treachery of Beautiful Things
by Ruth Frances Long

Expected publication date: August 16th 2012 by Penguin Group USA

Summary from Goodreads:
The trees swallowed her brother whole. And Jenny was there to see it.

Years later, when she returns to the woods where Tom was taken to say good-bye at last, she finds herself lured into a world where stunning beauty masks the most treacherous of evils, and strange and dangerous creatures await—creatures who seem to consider her the threat.

Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with allegiances that shift as much as his moods.

Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice—and not just her own

Why I'm excited about this: Faeries... need I really say more?

Up next is:

Darkness Before Dawn
by J.A. London

Expected publication: Expected publication: May 29th 2012 by HarperTeen

Summary from Goodreads:
This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed.

Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles.

It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters....

Why I'm excited about this: I know I should be tired of vampires, but this book, set in a dystopian world, definitely seems like it could offer a fresh new take on a genre that seems to have been done to death. Also, how gorgeous is that cover?

Monstrous Beauty
by Elizabeth Fama

Expected publication: August 21st 2012 by Farrar Straus Giroux

Summary from Goodreads:

In 1872, mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a young naturalist.

When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

One hundred thirty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger and feels drawn to him in a way she can't explain or resist.

 For generations, love and death have been inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect...or a curse?

Hester's investigation of her family's strange, sad history leads her to the graveyard, the crypt, and the bottom of the ocean--but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of long ago.

Why I'm excited about this: Creepy mermaid story and an ancient curse? How awesome does this one sound. I can't wait. I'm loving the cover for this one too.

Innocent Darkness
by Suzanne Lazear

Expected publication: May 29th 2012 by HarperTeen

Summary from Goodreads:
Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home.

On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school.

A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

Why I'm excited about this: More faeries. Except this time, it's one with a steampunk twist.  Colour me happy.

This is the first book in a series and I, for one, can't wait to see how this unfolds. And again, I'm totally fawning over the gorgeous cover.


And, that's it from me for this week. What's on your WoW list? Feel free to share your links below.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book review: Passion

Note: This review was originally written for my blog, but first appeared on the women24 website (where I work as an online lifestyle journalist and write a monthly book newsletter), the (shortened version) of which you can find here.

Passion
Beautifully layered, complex and above all else, romantic, Lauren Kate's Passion manages to supersede both Fallen and Torment.

Passion by Lauren Kate (Doubleday)
Please note: This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the Fallen series.

Before they met, Luce and fallen angel Daniel have already lived thousands of lives. 

Luce has died for Daniel over and over again and Daniel has waited each and every time for a new cycle to start all over again; one that would mean her return and one that has ultimately, always ended in tragedy.

But this time, things are different, because Luce is still alive.

Determined to unlock and break the curse that dooms their love every time, she now finds herself visiting her past lives, in search of clues in order to try and understand why their love is so doomed, and to see if the love they have for each other is truly real.

As she journeys through different centuries and different times, she'll discover different clues in her different lives - each of which could bring her one step closer to the truth and mystery of just why Lucy is fated to die every time she gets too close to Daniel.

Unfortunately for her, stepping back in time doesn't come without its dangers and as the Outcasts, Luce's angel friends and a frantic Daniel desperately chase her through each century in order to prevent her from rewriting history, Luce will have to rely on her wits to not only find new answers, but to avoid being captured by the ever approaching evil threatening their very existence.

My thoughts:

What an incredible, exquisite read. 

I often find that book series don't necessarily get better with each new book that is released, but with Lauren Kate's Fallen series? 

I can honestly say that Passion is the best in the series so far.

I think one of Lauren Kate's key strengths is that she knows what kind of tone to set for each book that she writes. Fallen was a little slow to start with but the gloomy setting and descriptions certainly set the tone for a more angsty sequel in Torment.

With Passion, well, the title of the book really says it all. Both her writing and the book's tone are incredibly romantic, lush, evocative and beautifully descriptive.

If, by any chance you were disappointed with the previous books (I know a lot who were), Passion is the book that will change your entire opinion.

SPOILER ALERT
In Torment, we last saw Luce jumping into an Announcer, following a messy battle between the outcasts and the angels.

SPOILER ENDS


Her journey takes her to strange, exotic destinations that seem at once both foreign and familiar to her.

From war-torn, snow-blanketed Russia to gloomy Prussia, from London's famous Globe Theatre to Romantic Versailles (oh how magnificently she captures the panache of the fashion style of that era); Luce's journey takes her through a myriad of fantastic places.

Along the way, with the help of a strange little companion named Bill (who also has an important part to play), she views snapshots of each and every life that she's lived with Daniel, witnessing the joy, the terror and the tragedy of their union together.

What I loved about this book is that we get to see a real glimpse of the romantic and intense relationship between Daniel and Luce.

Their romance speaks of something ancient, precious, timeless and ageless; and what enhanced this even further, was the rich descriptions of the settings and the wonderfully detailed historical background relating to each place Luce visits.

If ever Luce needed to see proof of Daniel's love for her, each and every moment in her past life certainly surpasses her expectation, and for me, this was definitely one of my favourite aspects of reading Passion. 

I was swept up in a whirlwind of devotion, struck with wonder at the lengths Daniel would go to follow Lucy and left with the same sense of wonder that Lucy felt when she realised that Daniel really, really loves her.

It's clear that Lauren Kate knows her way around research, because all that effort showcases itself throughout the entire book and readers are especially in for a treat as we finally receive some major clues relating to the origin behind the curse.

The book sets itself up for an epic showdown, one of which I'm sure we'll get in Rapture, the final instalment in the series.

All in all, Passion is filled with all the ingredients a girl could want in a novel: Romance, History, Lyrical writing and characters who grow from strength-to-strength with each new book in the series.

Most of all, It's filled with the kind of grandeur that will have you sighing at every turn of the page.