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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

YA Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: n/a
Book #: 1
Pages: 448
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.89
Published: May 5th, 2015
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
Taschima's POV:

"I am Rachelle Brinon. I didn't listen to my aunt when she told me to stay on the path and save my own life. Damned if I'll listen to the Forest now."

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I am a little bit in awe with Crimson Bound. I've read a lot of books lately, but none were able to grab my attention and keep me captivated quite as Crimson Bound. Who ever thought a retelling of Red Riding Hood could be as unique and engrossing? I certainly didn't, which makes me so much happier that this book blindsided me. The folklore, the characters, the crimes and the repentance... It all woven together into this perfect grimm fairy tale retelling where nothing is as it seems; there are no perfect paths to take and no perfect endings. I would recommend putting Crimson Bound high up on your reading list, because it is one of the best retellings out there. Hands down.

"A forestborn puts a mark on a human," she said. "The human must kill somebody in three days or die. If he kills somebody, he becomes a bloodhound, which means the power of the Forest is growing in him, until finally he gives up the last of his human heart and becomes a forestborn."

--different chapter--

"She killed. She was exactly like me. And like her, I will die for my sins and go to hell. But at least I'm not fool enough to think that bloodbound won't bring death all around them."

The folklore created in Crimson Bound is dark and enchanting. I think the closest magical creature to a foretsborn is a very twisted Fae. They have the Wild Hunt, they play with humans and take them when they please. They serve a an entity that they want to bring back from the brink of death so this entity can swallow the sun and the moon and they can live in eternal darkness, hunting their human prey. And our heroine is in the beginning stages of becoming one of these heartless creatures. That just might mess with a girl's head. In between Rachelle's story you get small snippets of the origin story of the one that once was able to defeat the Devourer, how she managed to do so, etc. It is a very good story, and a fantastic way to show the reader the origin story without have to info dump in the middle of a chapter.

"Rachelle wanted to sew the world back to safety, even if she must use her own bones for needles."

First off let me state that I loved Rachelle. She is so twisted up inside; she wants to be a hero but ends up becoming a murderer. Now she spends her days saving people from the nightmares that sprout from the Great Forest in order to repent. She killed the most important person in her life in order to live and she can't forgive herself. She spends the whole novel repenting and just being generally awesome by putting everybody before herself, sacrificing everything so the world can have another day full of light. She is not whiny (no "woeh is me" here) she just knows what she did and what she is worth, and damn whoever stands in her way of achieving her goals. She also has a soft spot for the one friend she has in the world (Amelie), and the one guy who might change shed light into her dark and twisty world.

"How last winter, a forestborn had marked him. How he had refused to kill, and the mark remained black on his skin, yet he was alive to this day.
How, in a fury, the forestborn had cut off his hands."

Said guy is never described as being otherworldly beautiful. First time she seems him she calls him downright average looking; his most distinctive feature being his silver fake hands. Armand Vareilles is not the sum of his looks, but the sum of his intentions and wit. He is funny and understanding and will make you smile. He just steals your heart right out of your chest, right after giving you a witty retort and a half smile.

Did I mention it is set in a pseudo French court? This excited me. While the names are hard to remember I did enjoy whatever small glimpse we could get into French court life (which doesn't seem that must different from the English really, it would have been nice if the title had submerged itself a little more into the French life style but I will take what I can get. After all, it is not a historical novel per se.)

Overall, I loved it all. I am so picking up Rosamund Hodge's debut novel Cruel Beauty next! Definitely recommend, on all counts.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

Title: The Mime Order
Author: Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season
Book #: 2
Pages: 510
Reading Level: Adult
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.24
Published: January 27th, 2015
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.
Taschima's POV:
"Until next time, Paige Mahoney.
Next time would be now."
I went through the Mime Order as slowly as I could because I knew that once it was over I would be devastated. And I was, because I have to wait a WHOLE other year in order to read the sequel. The Bone Season was fantastic, but if anything Mime Order is twice as complicated and even better for it. A lot of the decisions Paige has to take in this novel... Well, I don't envy the girl. I am so very glad we still have five more titles in the series! The possibilities are endless.
"He wanted me to forget. The Rephaim were dangerous and they were out there, lying in wait, and I seemed to be the only one who gave a damn about it."
We picked up right where we left off on The Bone Season. Paige managed to raise a rebellion and escape Scion with some of her fellow voyants. Once in London she has to make a choice, go back to Jaxon and act as his mollisher or try to make it on her own. Paige is pretty much stuck between a shit situation and a shittier one still. She has to play her cards right if she wants to accomplish her goals, and fight back. No one will listen to her because of how little power she possesses, so her only option is to find a way to make herself heard. Even if she has to go against people she has known and loved for the better part of her life.

Sometimes a lot of information was provided, and I just felt as confused as Paige did. It turns out Paige doesn't know just HOW corrupted her city is, but soon enough she will learn just how fucked up her syndicate is. Sometimes the war between Rephaim and humans seems too huge, it is like humans going agaisnt Kryptonians, and the only thing they have to defend themselves is a pretty flower. The flower is their kryptonite. Mass produce that shit and then they wont have an issue.
"His eyes were growing brighter. They flooded me with the stranger memories of my imprisonment. A gramophone's black-listed music, telling lovers' stories to the gloom. A butterfly held out inside caged fingers. His lips on mine in the Guildhall, hands gliding over my hips, my waist."
I love the romance in The Mime Order, the intimate moments are so few and far between. You really get the sense that in the next five books anything could happen between Paige and Warden, I wouldn't put it past Samantha Shannon to kill him off (or even both of them). He is immortal, and she is not. This is not a vampire situation, where Paige can just turn and have her HEA. You get the real sense that things might not actually turn out for the best with them, they know it, and yet they are still going for it. Eeeks!!

 When you get past the halfway mark in the book so many things are happening that it is almost impossible to put down the book. A lot of things change, friends become enemies, and all goes to shit. It is intense, and the fight scene by the very end kept me on the edge of my seat (much like when Paige pulled off the rebellion). The book is a solid 500 pages of awesomeness.
"Isn't hope just another form of naivete?""Hope is the lifeblood of revolution. Without it, we are nothing but ash, waiting for the wind to take us."
I do not quite know what will happen in the third book, which is something Samantha Shannon probably worked hard to do. Anything can happen, everyone is in danger, and the stakes will be higher than ever. This is the kind of author you pay the full price of a hard back for on the first release day. Without discounts. Definite must read.

ENDING: [spoiler] The guy with the gloves has GOT to be Jaxon, I bet everything it is him. I believe he is one of the two people who managed to escape the colony 20 years back and that is why he didnt want to get involved with the Rephaim, also the reason why he spent almost the whole book drunk off his ass.[/spoiler]

PS; There are a LOT of characters in The Mime Order, a lot of leaders and voyants, and sometimes I just couldn't remember who this or that person was. It would have been nice if the glossary would have included a list of the most important characters from the last book, just as a reminder. I found that the glossary wasn't really helpful in that when I actually needed to look for something I forgot it wasn't provided. A hierarchy of the people was provided, but not who they were and what role they played. For a series with as many characters as this one (and side characters, etc) a list with description would help (much like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series does); who are they, what is their power, etc.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Recent YA Releases: Week of April 21st-April 27th (4 NEW Titles!)


Here are four (4!) titles that are going to be released within the next week:

If you are looking for sequels...


The Remedy (The Program, #0.5) Invisible Monsters (Talker 25, #2)
 
 THE REMEDY! Such a gorgeous cover. The Remedy is the full fledged prequel novel to The Program, the heart wrecking tale of a world that is trying to deal with a suicide epidemic. It might sound a little too tragic, but it is totally worth it. The author is such a great writer, it hits you right in the feels.


If you are looking for a stand alone title...

Finding Paris Every Last Promise
 
 Contemporary titles for days! Not my cup of tea, but definitely worth a read if you are into contemporary.

If you are looking to start a brand new series...

N/A; Better luck next week!

Currently Reading:

The Replaced (The Taking, #2) Tether (Many-Worlds, #2)

Recently Read:

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

For even MORE upcoming releases please visit my Pinterest at: TaschimaCullen.

In it I have individual boards dedicated to YA Releases from 2014- onward by month of release. I update it daily :)

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