Book 3 (Book 1: The Gathering Storm, Book 2: The Unfailing Light)
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890. Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors. Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina’s focus remains on the sword. Russia’s fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.
I love this series. It is beautifully written and the setting is so captivating that takes you right into the time period and country. What I love about these books is the diverse range of character types and characters as well as the fact that you are transported to the locations Katerina goes to. We get a very clear picture on Egypt from that time period which was really neat but I don’t like the deviation away from Russia. I loved the very Russian feel of the first book and I just wished that this book could have remained in the country. Katerina for the most part seemed like a helpless heroine all the time. I liked that she wants to study medicine and her dreams are so strong that she is never deterred from fulfilling it but she also had a calling as a necromancer and she never answered it or wanted anything to do with it. George Alexandrovich was barely in the book and I wanted more of him with Katerina because they both seem so complete and stronger when they are together. I liked having more Danilo but he was blurred so much with Konstantin that it was hard to separate the two. A lot of the book felt rushed and a little bit of a cheat. For example the return of someone past dead made Katerina no long necessary, Danilo’s decision at the end, zombie creatures barely made any appearance or difference, why introduce the Gregori (though I like the lore) when they didn’t do much, and the battle wasn’t very big or epic like I hoped. I didn’t like the end of the book since it seemed boring. I do love this series and would definitely recommend it.
Book 3 (Book 1: Clockwork Angel, Book 2: Clockwork Prince)
Tessa Gray should be happy – aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.
I read this book awhile ago so these are the thoughts I remember. Beware of spoilers. I’ve never read anything more beautifully written, much swooning and crying was done. I have nothing but praise for this book but I do have some minor comments. First Tessa, I think I can completely understand her mixed feelings and how she could love two men (I’m writing my own story with similar problems). She might not be the most athletic and impressive heroine but she had her own strengths which was her unfaltering love. I never expected Tessa to be half demon and half shadowhunter. My guess was that she was a clockwork creation herself but I really did like this twist and I wonder if it has any influence on Valentine’s behaviour in the mortal instruments. Now Jem, Jem is the sweetest most beautiful fictional character I have read about. I was surprised by Jem really being Brother Zachariah but his “death” seemed so anti climatic that I didn’t think Jem was really dead. I can’t wait to find out how Jem got back to normal and it was really interesting to see him in the present day time and not sick. Will was also sweet and you always secretly rooted for him. Now the love triangle. I found the ending with Will and Tessa being together and then Tessa and Jem getting to be together in the epilogue to be a bit of a cop out but the whole love triangle made me believe so strongly in love. It was nice that love couldn’t be denied by any obstacles and everyone was happy in the end. I wish that Jem and Tessa got to be more together and express their feelings like Will and Tessa did. Not only was the love triangle beautiful but the bromance between Will and Jem was wonderful. I missed the old Jem and Will dynamic that was so strong in the first two books and I didn’t like how Jem was sick this whole book. There wasn’t much plot to the book but more of character development which was nice but also a little disappointing. The many narratives were a bit confusing at times and I found myself wanting to know what was happening with particular individuals rather than other people’s stories. Mortmain wasn’t much of a villain and I found him boring at times but his creations were cool, especially the demon infused clockwork creations. Also, I am so appreciative of the family trees in the 1st edition book which I only just discovered (it’s in the flap of the cover). I recommend this series for the beautiful writing, world, and for so much more.
Book 2 (Book 1: Darkness Becomes Her)
After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari. Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine.
I really enjoyed this book. I like the mixture of mythology and supernatural things. I just wish the book had more depth. Just the surface of most things seem to be scratched. I would like to know how the other gods died and why they died. I would like to know more about the Novem. I would like to know more about Violet. More information about Ari’s dad would be nice. I would like more romance between Ari and Sebastian. I wish Ari would stop being so helpless. I understand a flawed protagonist but Ari didn’t do much. She found out a lot of information but in regards to her power she didn’t use it. I really like Bran and can’t wait to find out more about him. We do get to learn more about Henri and a glimpse at Bran but that’s all the time the secondary characters get. Athena is a perfect villian and I kind of enjoy this portrayal of her. Sebastian also has a lot of potential. Overall it’s a good book but it could have used more depth.
There is potential for another book.
Book 2 (Book 1: The Gathering Storm)
Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She’s about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia’s arch nemesis–who she thought she’d destroyed–is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She’ll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the Tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina’s horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.
I love the world that this book takes place. The supernatural mixed with history is perfect. I really like Katerina but she seems to be at times a little pathetic. She has gifts that she doesn’t know how to use properly and she has yet to make an effort to learn them. At the end of the book it seems she is finally going to start acting. In terms of romance, George is rarely in the book. When he does appear the love the two have is obvious but it is very much a tease. There was not nearly enough romance. Danillo was another possible love interest but his involvement in the plot let me down. He could have done so much but it all seemed very half done. In terms of action this book barely had any. Sure there were problems but they didn’t seem to be too urgent or present too much danger. Hopefully the final book makes up for this. However, I would still recommend this book because it is quite a wonderful story.
The final book in the trilogy will be out some time in the future.
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.
An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines-and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men-George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn. The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose-and to whom will she give her heart?
This was an awesome book. I love the combination of history and fantasy. The world of Russia was intriguing and the author paints a vivid picture of life back then and the country of Russia. Katerina is a lovely girl who is both strong and real. Everything about her is enjoyable. The rest of the cast of character are equally intriguing. As you progress through the book you discover more about each character and the world they live in. The only confusing part was the titles, the many names the characters had, and the different supernatural species types. I think the book would have benefited from a glossary at the end. I would have liked more romance between Katerina and her love interest. I won’t spoil his identity. Also, I would have liked more character development with George and Danillo. I enjoyed both these characters but found that they lacked much depth. I would definitely recommend this book.
This book is a trilogy. The next book is The Unfailing Light and comes out October 9, 2012.
Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed
So as I was reading this book I was a little skeptical as how everything was fitting together. You have a wide variety of different supernatural species and then a more mythological species is combined. At first I didn’t see how the two worlds would fit together but as the book progressed it turned into something really spectacular. A lot of things seemed to be a bit predictable surrounding Ari. The cast of characters are really interesting and fun. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys supernatural stories.
The next book is called A Beautiful Evil.
Book 4 (Book 1: Need, Book 2: Captivate, Book 3: Entice)
When evil pixies cause mass destruction and chaos in Bedford, Maine, sixteen-year-old Zara prepares for war, aligning her team of pixies with the humans she loves so much, a task made more difficult by her growing feelings for pixie king Astley.
Everything about this book and series is beautiful. The covers are gorgeous, the story is well written, and the characters are enticing. Usually when you read a series the books in between the first and the last book are fillers. They have subplots that aren’t very interesting and the reader just wants to know what is going to happen with the main plot. However, this series has none of that. Each book offers a continuation of the storyline from the previous book without the plot getting stale. In this book a final showdown between the good pixies and the weres vs. the bad pixies is imminent. Also, the threat of the end of the world is there. All the main characters get their own time to shine in the book. The relationship between Zara and Astley complicated with the return of Nick but it also builds. I was very happy and satisfied with the conclusion of that love triangle. I loved all the characters. In particular Astley is my favourite. He never wavers from being his true self and his love. My only one criticism of the book is that the Norse mythology was pretty important in the book and it was only explored in the previous book. I think the Norse mythology should have been introduced from the beginning in some small way. I would recommend this series to everyone.
Check out my character: http://shortstuff2511.tumblr.com/post/26856033258/need-series-book-character