30 September 2010

Book Review: Marked by P.C and Kristin Cast

Marked by P.C and Kristin Cast
House of Night #1
Release Date: May 1st, 2007
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: Bland

In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well. - Goodreads Page
There wasn't much I actually liked about this book, no matter how hard I tried. The main factor which put me off was the writing style. If you've read my other reviews, then you will know that I don't like it when adult authors try to sound like teenagers. It usually always comes across poorly as, believe it or not, a lot of teenagers are very well spoken. Especially if they are as intelligent as you are claiming your character is. In Marked, the writers did just this, and that was their main error. The dialogue came across as silly, childish, and as though the Casts were trying too hard.

Character descriptions were repeated every forty or so pages, and this irritated me, as I prefer descriptions of characters to be kept at a minimum. It was starting to become very Twilight-esque!

Also, adding to the writing style, the amount of brackets in this book is quite infuriating. Every fifth sentence or so is a sly comment that the narrative is making. This is honestly just me being extremely picky, but I hate brackets!

Despite my dislike for the writing style, the plot does have potential. A girl who becomes a vampire, and starts a new boarding school that is as old and the hills and full of secrets? Yes, please! It is clearly well thought out and, if the writing was improved - and the writers stopped trying to be overly sarcastic and 'teen-like' - this could have been a good book.

I'm Back And Raring To GO!

Hi all, so those two followers who have been following me for a few months now know that I haven't been posting since May. I'm not really sure as to why that is, I guess I just lost my mojo. But I'm now back, and I've decided to concentrate more on books and reviews here and then perhaps make another blog for snail mail. Or I may just use this one for both. I'm not sure yet (:

So I just wanted to say 'Heyyyyyy' and I promise I won't leave for such a long time next time!

- x

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Infernal Devices #2
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Rating: Essential
Recommended? Yes!
Buy the Book: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep the order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length... everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world... and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all. - Goodreads Page
I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare's previous series - The Mortal Instruments - and I have to say that, to start with, I was a little worried about Clockwork Angel because I had a feeling that the storyline and the characters were going to be repeats of those in TMI. However, being the huge fan that I am, I couldn't wait to start CA, despite my reservations. I was very pleased to find that I loved Clockwork Angel! I thought it was really good.

Cassandra Clare captured the feeling of Victorian London - where the novel is set - extremely well, right down to the minor dialogue and even certain buildings! The attention to detail was certainly impressive and that meant that the description was as excellent as always. I found that yet again I could slip right into Clare's world and had a lot of trouble putting the book down. I loved how there was a good mixture of different magical and mythical beings, such as shapeshifters, vampires, warlocks and... robots?!

I thought that Clare could have done a slightly better job in making this book/series more original and stand out more than her other one, because to begin with a lot of the characters were very similar to the ones in TMI. I think after a few chapters the characters really started to come into their own. I know a lot of people found Jace (from TMI) and Will (ID) to be the same person (Cassandra Clare seems to have a thing for hot witty teenage boys), however I have to disagree. There are certainly similarities in the characters, both have a certain charm to them and both have witty comebacks and attitudes. But for those who have read both books, Will is quite obviously cruel and he pushes people away. He also seems to be a compulsive liar. Jace, on the other hand, is kind and he loves his family and friends and would do anything for them. Plus, he doesn't lie.

Tessa was a lot like Clary, however she seemed more mature which is probably appropriate for a young adult of the Victorian era.

Overall, this book is excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the young adult and fantasy genres. You can even read this book without reading Clare's previous works, as it stands as an individual novel!