Friday, August 7, 2015

Series Wrap-Up: The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey (Part 2)

Bleeding Hearts

Title: Bleeding Hearts (The Drake Chronicles #4)
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: December 20th 2011
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Book Depository

Violet Hill is under attack by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, who are determined to take their rightful place alongside the other vampire clans at the Blood Moon. The Royal Drakes might be powerful, but their love for a mere human—Lucy—makes them vulnerable. The Hel-Blar don’t count on targeting Lucy’s innocent cousin Christabel by mistake.  And Christabel didn’t count on finding such drama in a sleepy town like Violet Hill—or being rescued by a vampire as tempting as Connor Drake. - Goodreads Summary

We're back to Lucy's POV, although there's the introduction of Christabel, who gets her own POV and is Lucy's cousin. She and Connor share sparks, which was cute to read about since they were so sweet together. What I do like about this series is that it's not just romance, but there's a pretty well-developed plot and structured vampire society that exists and we get to learn about the different types in addition to the political struggle that exists due to Solange's prophecy. And it's balanced nicely with the snarky humor and the cute and swoony romance which makes this series a gem to read. Also, Nicholas and Lucy are pretty much the perfect couple and I love them together so damn much.

My Rating: ★★★★

Blood Moon

Title: Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles #5)
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: June 19th 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Book Depository

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange Drake is plunged into a battle with her feral nature. The Drake brothers have been raised knowing that they had to protect their younger sister at all cost. But forbidden magic and a mysterious stranger have put them all in terrible danger.

Nicholas is going to have to make a difficult choice: between his girlfriend, Lucy, and his little sister, Solange- blood, or love? - Goodreads Summary

In this book, besides Lucy and Solange, we had Nicholas's POV, which was one of my favorite parts of this book. The tables have shifted far from the first book when we had Solange's POV, and the build-up in the last few books doesn't disappoint, as Solange finds herself in a very dangerous place, emotionally and physically. On the other hand, Lucy is fiercer than ever, and I loved her loyalty and especially her courage. And lastly, Nicholas, who I love so much, made this book an absolute joy, especially since the plot took a surprising turn on his part, which gave me some heart-wrenching moments that made my toes curl.

My Rating: ★★★★

Blood Prophecy
Title: Blood Prophecy (The Drake Chronicles #6)
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: December 24th 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Book Depository
Solange Drake has been officially crowned Queen of the Vampires, fulfilling the centuries old prophecy that foretold the rise to power of a daughter born to an ancient vampire line. Except Solange's thoughts and actions are no longer her own-she's been slowly being possessed by the spirit of Viola, the first daughter born into the Drake line, since her bloodchange. And instead of uniting the vampire tribes under the rule of an ancient daughter as the prophecy predicted, Viola would rather destroy them all and enslave humans in a personal vendetta for the devastation both wrought to her life centuries ago. Can Solange break her hold in time to save everyone she loves from a vampire civil war, hunter attack, and each other? Not everyone will survive the prophecy . . . perhaps not even her. - Goodreads Summary

The conclusion of this series was, as a whole, quite satisfying. There was kick-butt action and drizzle of romance, snarky remarks and a few plot twists that were a pleasant jolt of surprise. I feel like the series started off strong before it dipped as we approached the end, but I am still very fond of the cast of the characters and I will miss them especially Lucy and Nicholas, a lot. The constant changing of POVs deterred my proper enjoyment, but this is still worth a read if you love the inhabitants of Violet Hill as much as I do.

My Rating: ★★★(3.5 stars)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want To Read

*Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Fairytale retellings are one of my favorite kinds of books and I am always eager to read the twists and turns that authors come up with to breathe new life into these age-old tales. Here are a few of my favorites, and a few that I have been dying to read.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales. - Albert Einstein

1. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
This particular retelling of Alice in Wonderland was whimsical and fun. The idea of imagination being magic, one that could be used for good or evil, and the various twists on the familiar features in the original was absolutely charming.

2. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
I loved this one, because of the town that it is set in: Beau Rivage, a magical and cursed place. I also loved the twist on the characters in the story, who are doomed to whatever fairytale destiny they have been born with. Some of the scenes, especially the ones with my favorite character Blue, hurt my heart and it was hard not to enjoy this magical read.

3.Cinder by Marissa Meyer
No list of fairytale retellings would be complete without this book, which is the first in the popular Lunar Chronicles. Although I enjoy this series, Cinder, based on the ever classic Cinderella, is by far my favorite. There is something endearing about Cinder, the main character, and her heart and courage in the face of the swirling obstacles that face her in these books; and how Marissa has taken the fairytale and transformed it by setting it in a futuristic world that is vivid and fascinating.

4. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Cruel Beauty is a retelling I enjoyed, because of the different shades of morality each of the characters had and the complex emotions that twist our actions as a result. And Rosamund Hodge's writing is gorgeous, which made this book a pleasure to read.

5. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
I have been looking forward to this book due to two reasons: it was based on not only one, but two fairytales, and I enjoyed her other book Cruel Beauty. Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl with No Hands. I have never read a book based off of the latter tale, and so I am keen on finding out how the themes of it will be incorporated with Little Red Riding Hood, specifically the idea of cannibalism that the author explored.

6. Tell the Wind and the Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
This is one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2016 because Sarah Rees Brennan wrote the Lynburn Legacy series, which I adore and I have been excited for this book for quite a while. I've read A Tale of Two Cities, and I'm curious as to how the book will incorporate the themes of such a classic, and doppelgangers always add a rather nice twist to things.

7. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
While Romeo and Juliet has never really resounded with me, I am always interested in retellings of it, a rather ironic statement. This one features two acrobat performing families, and I'm very interested in finding out more about the main characters who will doom themselves to love, as all Romeo and Juliet-inspired characters will end up doing.

8. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I have had this book on my tbr list for quite a while now, but I have been hesitant on buying it, because I have heard how devastating it can be from some of my friends. Peter Pan is always a joy, but knowing what we all know about Peter and Wendy, you can already see how this will inevitably end tragically, as the synopsis seems to hint, and I hope to have my heart crushed soon with this.