Fire Rose (Elemental Masters series volume 0) by Mercedes Lackey
Rating: four stars
Rose Hawkins is in a dire situation. Her father died leaving her with debts and family conflicts, she has no other options than to take a job as a governess. What a coincidence, Lord Jason Cameron is looking for one! But as she travels to San Francisco she discovers that her new job is more mysterious than first meets the eyes and her new boss very secretive.
This is the first book in the Elemental series by Mercedes Lackey and can be read as a standalone. I think that the entire series can be read as standalones. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was disappointed because the Beast in this book lost all his “cruel, violent and beastly” characteristics and only is characterized as such because of his appearance (werewolf) but he is not treating Rose bad or anything. I can’t help but compare it with the original story (not the Disney one, the French version) and to Heart’s Blood by Juliette Marillier.
In fact there are a lot of similarities between Fire Rose and Heart’s Blood, plot wise and character wise and they are drifting apart from the original story…. It’s not a bad thing in itself but it feels like there is a subgenre in Beauty and the Beast retelling were the “Belle” is a scholar and is hired to work for the Beast. This actually softens the “Beast” part and completely ignores the fact that in the original story he kidnapped her…
Enough ranting lol. You all know by now my love for Mercedes Lackey. I do admit it I am a fan and sometimes not really objective on her works. I do admit that some of her books are greatly better than others and this one is in the middle. It is only good.
To be honest I did enjoy it because of the characters they were very deep. Paul du Mond especially he is a hateful character and the author made him so that you hate him right from the beginning.
Although it is not my favorite book from her I still fairly enjoyed it and it is a good change from the Valdemar series.
(Yep this is the drawing that held my attention for about a month because I could not get it right somehow…. It’s at the beginning of the book so if you read it you know what the scene is 😉 )
Broken Pride (Bravelands series book 1) by Erin Hunter
Rating :five stars
The newest Erin Hunter series finally!!!! I am a huge fan of Erin Hunter’s work, as a kid I was reading the warriors series and I also loved the Survivor series although I have not got my hands on Seekers yet.
This new series follows three animals from the savannah a lion, a baboon and an elephant. All three have joint destinies and have to face some changes in the savannah.
If you are familiar with her works, you probably know that they (yes Erin Hunter is in fact a group of female authors) likes to include animal mythologies in their stories. In fact religion (if you can call it as such) is always a centre part of how animals are acting. Personally I think it is a metaphor for their instincts. 😉
What did I not love in this book? Well, nothing! I was growing tired with the Warrior series and I don’t think I will read the last series (seriously I am getting a bit lost with all the new characters and such…. But I am still reading the new companion’s books) and this one is a breath of fresh air.
I couldn’t help myself but see some similarities with the Lion King, I don’t know if it is wanted or not but the lion’s story is very similar to Simba’s. Or maybe I am just a huge Disney fan who sees Disney references everywhere.
If you are new to Erin Hunter’s books you should, they are middle grade anthropomorphic books but awesome. I think you can start by whichever series you like but bear in mind that if you get hooked on the Warriors series there are loads of books to read!
(Simon is so damn cute…. I have to admit I did this drawing very quickly because I was caught up with my Braveland drawing (you will see it in the next review) so this one was pretty fast. Also ferry wheeles are hard to draw in details T-T)
Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Rating: five stars
Simon Spier is gay, and no one knows it.
Honestly I ate that book up like a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day (we all do this!). It was adorable and gave me happy feels. It’s been awhile since I’ve been that invested in a contemporary book, mostly because I don’t like books that are about daily lives, it annoys me or saddens me. A friend wanted to go see the movie so when I heard there was a book I couldn’t resist.
To be honest I was a bit put off first because I don’t believe in love online, I feel that you cannot build a very strong connection but I guess in this case it is different since both Simon and Blue have no one to talk to.
I do understand the hype around this book. It is sweet and fast paced; I mean I almost read it in one sitting. Even so, I do not think I will read the other books in the same series (Well it’s not a series they can be read separately but they are set in the same setting only it focuses on Simon’s friends). Still I highly recommend anyone to check it out !
Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin series book 2) by M. C. Beaton
Rating: four stars
Agatha Raisin is back ! Her love life is slowly looking brighter when she is invited to dinner from the young and handsome new town vet. But when the vet dies of a seemingly accidental injection of anaesthesia, Agatha gets her Marple senses tingling and decides to investigate.
My love for cosy mystery is back! I review the first book from the very long Agatha Raisin’s series and I just had to read another one.
I was a bit worried after the ending of the first one. I thought that Agatha was a bit too focused on James and will go man hunting like only desperate women knows how too (seriously sometimes they are scary, as a woman myself I found that kind of attitude very disturbing and I cannot understand it). And indeed it starts as so BUT it does get better because you see Agatha get her attitude together.
As for the plot, as always in cosy mystery it is very Agatha Christie-esque but that is what is making it good. There is no gory stuff, well it’s more described in a certain fashion that you don’t feel grossed out or disturbed by it. Of course police work and forensics are really secondary and it relies on sleuthing methods. What I really like about it is that it relies on detective action, nowadays I hate it when on TV they suddenly find a piece of DNA and boom they find the killer, it’s just too easy and weird. That’s why my favourite detective TV shows are Pushing Daisies and Sherlock, because they have to rely on facts but also on what people said.
I feel like the character of Agatha is getting more and more interesting more so than on the TV show. On the TV show she seemed to be irresistible to any man while in the book the author clearly mocks the fact that she feels that why but in reality she is not. It brings out a lot of funny and dorky situations which I feel are part of the Agatha Raisin series. I will definitely check out some more especially since there are so many.
Hey guys! Here we go with a new manga wrap up! Not a lot of series this month but still a lot of books XD
-Samurai Deeper Kyo by Akimine Kamijyo
Rating: four stars
First we’re going to start with a shonen series. It’s pretty old I remember reading it while I was in high school. There is a total of 38 volumes so it’s pretty long but for a shonen series it’s in the norm. It is set in the Edo period, a feared samurai Kyo demon eyes is on a journey to regain his body that has been swapped with the one of his enemy Kyoshiro. There are a lot of characters in this series and you really fully begin to know them towards the end. It’s pretty slow at the beginning but the ending is awesome. This series has been one of my favorite for a long time!
-Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
You might know the author for her series Nana and I read a lot of her works . She likes complex characters and deep relationships. This is a shojo series that follows Yukari, a high school student, who is introduced to the world of modelling through a group of art students. They are in need of a model and Georges, their leader, wants her to be theirs. I really like the whole clothes drawing and the relationships in this manga but I hated how Georges and Yukari’s relationship evolved and turned out.
That’s it for today everyone! Have you been reading some manga recently? What are your favorite series ?
The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain #2) by Lloyd Alexander
Rating : five stars
And we’re back in Prydain for the second book in the Chronicles of Prydain series. Our companions reassemble to join force once more against the dreadful Arawn. Their new quest is to destroy the black cauldron, the source of life of Arawn soldiers.
I liked this sequel even more than the first book. The characters have grown; clearly Taran has a little bit less pride than before. Not only are they faced with evils, the greatest of all is growing up and seeing that life is not peaceful even within a group.
In the first book there was no real deep trauma for the characters but in this one they face death, treason and despair a huge step up from the first book. We get more introspection within characterisation in this sequel and links between Taran and the other characters are deepened.
I was also super excited to see the three witches (Am I the only one who compared them to the ones in Macbeth?) it was the most interesting part of the book and to compare it with the Disney one (who cannot…) it had a role in the plot and gave substantial information.
I will do a full parallel between movie and books when I finish the series. I also read The Founding which is a sort of prequel before Prydain, it is not spoilery at all so if you want to read it feel free it’s super short and gives a good overview of Lloyd Alexander’s style.
(Alan and his contagious smile :D)
The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé
Rating : Five stars
The Tuvache family is running a shop, a very special one. It specializes in accessories and weapons to kill yourself, everything to leave this world in the best fashion! The Tuvache are a family very depressed and they like to be this way. It helps for the shop you see and for the customers. But their youngest, Alan, is not like them. Always smiling, making noises or running he is the epitome of happiness.
I adored this book!!!! It’s cynical, comical and heartwarming as well; a bundle of emotions that put together can only result in greatness!
Alan is the little black sheep of his family and tries to make them realize that life is something you have to like and live. He also shows that life worm itself even in depressed people you just have to push it a little bit.
This book is seriously the best self-help book you could ever read. It does not gives you any miracle way to be happy, it just tells you that living your life with a smile is the best way to be happy and help others to be happy.