Friday, December 20, 2013

{Book Review} The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor
Title: The Iron Traitor
Series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: October 29, 2013

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In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as normal as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for; his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, normal simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.

Hmmm, so all I needed was a deep immersion into one of my favorite series to brighten my week. There will be people, especially after The Iron Traitor, who will disagree with me on so many levels I may lose friends, but Keirran may be even hotter than his father, and how I do love me some Ash. But... Keirran is broken in ways Ash never was, so...

One of my favorite things about Fey is the way they can be adapted, sculpted, and completely reinvented by an author to do anything, be anything, AND then be interpreted by the reader to look or sound or, again, be anything. What I love about Julie Kagawa's IRON FEY SERIES is the way she can shift between writing terrifying, monstrous creatures who cause my insides to quiver, then write a breathtakingly heartwarming, and surprisingly human scene the very next paragraph, and everything coheres.

Let's take Keirran as an example. While The Iron Traitor is told from Ethan's POV, I think we can all agree, the CALL OF THE FALLEN is a story about both Ethan and his nephew, Keirran. One human, and one Fey. Throughout the novel, Keirran shifts back and forth between cold, and sometimes sinister, to warm and sorrowful. Granted, Keirran is only half-Fey, he's been raised in the Nevernever, Mag Tuiredh, to be exact. He's born of a Winter Prince (Ash) and half Summer Fey Princess/half human turned Iron Queen (Meghan). A boy who possesses the blood of Winter, Summer, Iron, and human... talk about confusing! And all he really wants, is to save his love Annwyl from Fading. You might think with his extensive bloodline he'd have plenty of family and friends to support him, but you would be mistaken. Aside from his parents, he has a few Iron gadgets, Razor, and Ethan. Fey politics aside, the prophecies revolving around both he and Ethan are enough to keep most Fey far away.

The journey to stop Annwyl from Fading is plagued with trouble from the beginning. Keirran is determined to pay whatever price he must to keep his love alive. Her disappearing from existence is not an option, and how often do teenagers, even those not of this world, make well-formed and sound choices when pushed into a corner? (PLEASE, leave me a comment if you know one. I now have 2 and I'm not sure either of them will ever complete this task when not backed against a wall.) Lucky for Keirran, he has a trusty uncle who will fight with him until the end. Too bad they're both seventeenish.

Ethan, my dear sweet, naive Ethan. When will you learn? So, yeah, Ethan hears his nephew is missing. Meghan and Ash are searching both sides of the Veil for him, and finding nothing. The winds whisper where he's been, but by the time someone can catch him, he disappears again. Ethan gets pulled into the chase when Annwyl shows up begging for his help. Meghan also took time away as the Iron Queen to make a quick house call, hoping Ethan would have heard from Keirran. No such luck. And, well, if Ethan's going, then Kenzie's going too. 

Anyone see how this could go wrong? 

Did I mention Puck? Yep, you'll see him too. Guess what... they're off to see Titania to ask her to reinstate Annwyl into the Summer Court so her Fade will stop. Titania despises Keirran almost as much as she hates humans and Puck.

Even to obtain Queen Titania's consideration, the two humans and Keirran will be given an almost impossible task. A task they should probably think through, consult a few bazillion people, and then just not do, but as lovesick teenagers, they run straight ahead.  It's entirely possible that Keirran doesn't have all the facts associated with Annwyl's exile either. However, I'm going to go on and say... Puck could have hindered them some. Seriously.

Now, the title of this book is ominous in itself. The Iron Traitor? I'm sure you picked up on that, so I'll leave you with that thought, and also a couple of my favorite passages from this book.

"That's quite an offer," he said, lowering his arm. "But I think you're forgetting something."

"Oh? And what is that, boy?"

Keirran dropped to one knee, driving his fist into the wooden floor. There was a blinding  flash of blue-white, and I fliched, turning away, as roars and screams erupted around us. But a second later, they cut out as if someone had flipped a switch. My skin burned with cold, and I opened my eyes with a gasp...

"I don't sell out my family." - page 164

"This was different," I told her. "I wasn't forced to do anything. This was a choice."

"Yes, it was," Kenzie agreed solemnly. "You chose to help a friend. You chose to go along with this request because it was the only way to save his life. To save both their lives." - page 316

And the reason I will insist on reading Faery Tales to my children, and their children:

"But now—" the Lady made a hopeless, weary gesture "—we are all but gone from their minds. Our stories have been sanitized and made into children's tales. The Nevernever still exists on the dreams and fears of mortals, but even it grows smaller with each passing year. For those cut off from the dreamworld, we cannot help but Fade into nothing." - page 339
*While I was fortunate enough to receive an e-ARC from HarlequinTeen via NetGalley, this review is of the finished copy which was purchased by me from Barnes & Noble. All quotes are from finished product.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

{Book Review} Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley

Title: Music of the Heart
Series: Runaway Train
Author: Katie Ashley
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 24, 2013


For Abby Renard, the plan was supposed to be simple—join her brothers’ band on the last leg of their summer tour and decide if she’s finally ready for the limelight by becoming its fourth member. Of course, she never imagined stumbling onto the wrong tour bus at Rock Nation would accidentally land her in the bed of Jake Slater, the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train. When he mistakes her for one of his groupie’s, Abby quickly lets him know she sure as hell isn't in his bed on purpose.

Jake Slater never imagined the angel who fell into his bed would resist his charms by promptly kneeing him in the balls. Of course, the fact she seems like a prissy choir girl makes her anything but his type. So he is more than surprised when after betting Abby she wouldn’t last a week on their tour bus, she is more than willing to prove him wrong. But as Jake’s personal life begins to implode around him, he finds an unlikely ally in Abby. He’s never met a woman he can talk to, joke with, or most importantly make music with.

As the week starts comes to a close, neither Abby nor Jake is ready to let go. Can a sweetheart Country songstress and a bad boy of Rock N Roll actually have a future together?

How about that cover? YUMMY, right? I definitely thought so; however, the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" can go both ways. I'm always looking for a new series centering around a bad boy Rock God and a woman worthy of his unfettered attention. When I found this one on Amazon along with an average rating of 4 stars, I thought I'd found my next obsession. I never like saying I'm wrong, but on occasion, it's a must. And Music of the Heart just wasn't for me. At all.

Sure Jake Slater started out the book being all sexy with all his flirtations and his alpha male ego. His manipulating of Abby to stay on their bus for a week instead of running to her brothers' band where she was supposed to be provided a ton of potential.

Abby was supposed to spend a week touring with her brothers' band, Jacob's Latter - a Christian rock band, so she could decide whether or not she wanted to live her life in the limelight. Instead, she accidentally finds herself on Runaway Train's bus, in Jake Slater's bed to be exact. Jake is the womanizing lead singer of this hard rock band, and Abby landing in his bed would be the beginning of his metamorphosis into an upstanding one-woman man. And now the problems begin.

My first and, by far, largest complaint was the feeling of being preached to. I get Abby grew up in a conservative Christian household, but she spent the first half of the novel preaching to this group of bad boys about how they should treat a woman. How they should act like gentleman, not make sexual innuendos, etc. Essentially her goal was to change these men, make them into something they weren't. And not just Jake, but Rhys and AJ also. Brayden was married and loved his wife and children very much so, in Abby's eyes, he didn't need to change.

Now, I understand the idea of these books is to take a womanizing rock star and win his loyalty, but it's been my experience that most of these women want the guy for who he is. They have no desire to change his personality, only his promiscuous ways. And any woman in her right mind KNOWS better than to try to change a man.

Secondly, nothing about Jake and Abby's relationship was believable. She forgave every mistake, small or large, the minute he said "I'm sorry." Sure, some slip-ups can be forgiven that easily, but bringing another girl on the bus to purposefully hurt someone you love, no. Running after having a heated make out session with the love of your life. No. Ranting at said girl, telling her the only reason she loves you is because you are Jake Fucking Slater and kicking her out of your house when she's there to comfort you. Hell no. But Abby just let everything slide.

My final point is the numerous plot holes. Jacob's Latter, the band Abby was supposed to tour with, played such a small part in the book, I almost wondered why they were even there. Then Garrett, a singer from another band in which Abby sang a duet with, played no part in the book. He was a trope to play at Jake's jealousy, but forgotten within a page or two. For womanizing rock stars, we never see AJ or Rhys in action. In fact, other than Abby, Brayden's wife is the only other female the guys from Runaway Train even converse with. AJ was humorous, and out of all the characters, he was definitely the best written.

Also, one of my biggest pet peeves is repetition, and wow!!! The repetition in this book knows no bounds.

I will not be continuing on with this series, but I've heard great things about Katie's other works and will most likely give one of them a try. I sincerely hate having so little positive things to say about a book, but on the bright side I finished it. Mostly to see if there would be some kind of lesson about trying to change a man and how absolutely wrong that plan could go.

Friday, December 6, 2013

{Survey} Looking for New Features to Liven Up the Blog

I took a break from blogging during November and thankfully I'm starting to miss it again, but going into the first of the year, I want to add some features and I need your help to find out what you would be types of special bookish type features you might be interested in. I'm also going to revamp the blog. I love the gothic feel, but it's too dark and I want to make it easier on everyone's eyes, so be looking forward to a new, fun look also.

This is me this morning! Haha.

So here's a little form to fill out. It's short and sweet. After you fill it out, enter your name in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $15 dollar gift certificate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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