Blogmas Book Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

fullsizeoutput_238b

GoodReads Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.
Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.
When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.
Don’t miss their unforgettable final chapter…
The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)Review:
The final book in this series, The Ruby Circle, was not my favorite. Honestly, I think things could have ended at book four with a great happily ever after. I still enjoyed it because I’m obsessed with these characters.
I’m going to start here and say like I did in my last review that if you haven’t read any of the books in this series you should stop reading now. I would write this without spoilers but that’s pretty much impossible at this point. So, if you don’t want to be spoiled please stop reading here.
Sydney really started to stand up for herself and I loved that. She asked for help when she needed it. She made deals where she saw they would benefit her and her loved ones. I just really love her. She’s brave and stubborn and does whatever it takes to reach her goals and protect those she cares about.
Adrian was honestly kind of losing it in this book. Spirit is starting to take over and I hated that. I hated that he let it get to this point, but I loved the way things ended. He proves again and again how strong he is, and that he won’t let spirit win.
The part of this book that I didn’t like about this book was Jill. She’s been kidnapped at the end of Silver Shadows and while it’s obviously a big deal, they basically do nothing about it until the end of The Ruby Circle. I just didn’t feel like it was a big of a deal as it was supposed to be. Everything else kept getting in the way. I think maybe this was because Sydney and Adrian weren’t allowed to help, so we didn’t get to see the start of others looking for Jill.
Overall, I still enjoyed this book. This series is one of my favorites and I’m really glad they have withstood time, unlike many other books. Richelle Mead is an incredible writer. She’s created such a loveable group of friends that manage to work past their differences and care about each other anyway. Also, Richelle, when are we going to get a series about Declan as an adult? Because I would make some serious sacrifices to the gods for another series in this world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

fullsizeoutput_238b

GoodReads Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .
Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)Review:
Man am I a sucker for a forbidden love. I’m just going to go ahead and say that if you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series or any of the books in the Bloodlines series you should stop reading this review now. It’s practically impossible for me to say anything about this book without spoiling things in the previous books. So, stop reading now and come back when you’ve read the books.
Sydney really broke my heart in this one. Not because of anything she did, but because of the things she had to deal with. She’s been taken by the Alchemists and sent to reeducation, a place that is basically the worst nightmare of the Alchemists. She endures it to the best of her ability. She’s stubborn and determined to help anyone that she can that happens to cross her path. Despite literally being tortured, she still manages to help her fellow Alchemists that have been sent to reeducation. I just love her more and more in each book.
Then there’s Adrian, who does not handle things as well at Sydney does. He basically loses his shit and I really had a hard time with his chapters. I was so mad at him that I didn’t even want to listen. I was so glad when he finally pulled his life together and came up with a plan to save Sydney.
As always, I adore all of the supporting characters. They’re such a tight-knit group of friends and I just really love them.
Overall, this one was probably my least favorite in the series, but that’s not to say it was bad. It was a four-star read, but I just didn’t love it because Sydney and Adrian were apart for most of the book. I did however absolutely adore the turn their relationship took after Sydney was away from reeducation. The end of this book was terrible. I just want them all to be safe and happy already. Richelle Mead really has a way of ending a book leaving me shrieking into the void. I’m actually listening to the final book in the series as I type this review because I just couldn’t wait.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

GoodReads Summary:
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
The Coldest Girl in ColdtownReview:
Honestly, I am living for all of these backlist vampire stories that I somehow never read. To those that think the vampire craze had ended, they are completely wrong and should go away. I will be obsessed with vampires forever. My husband likes to joke that I have a fetish. (Really a joke or not? We may never know).
Tana was a main character I could get behind. She’s got trauma in her past, and because of that she’s trying to the right thing for her dad and her little sister. But also, she’s beyond intrigued by Gavriel, the mysterious vampire that she rescued along with her ex-boyfriend Aidan. I liked Tana. She never gave up even when it seemed like things just could not get any worse, the did. But that didn’t stop her. She made this story what it was.
Gavriel was interesting. I really enjoyed that we got his history throughout the story. It really gave us a better understanding of who he was and how he got where he is now. I couldn’t help but like him, even though he was kind of crazy.
Adian was an idiot. He was also kind of a jerk. I just wanted him to F off. I mostly liked the rest of the supporting characters. They were well developed and added the right stuff to the story. Except Pearl. Every time I read about her I couldn’t help but shake my head. I get that she’s just a little girl, raised in a world that glamorized vampires, but she was just too much.
Overall, I really loved this book. It was perfect for October. I loved the twist on vampire lore and the way the vampires changed the modern world. The only thing I didn’t like was the final chapter. I was left with just one question. Which was better than lots of questions, but it was a pretty important question. Despite that, I still loved this book.

Quotes:

“Every hero is the villain of his own story.”

“Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them.”

“We labor under so many illusions about ourselves until we’re stripped bare. Being infected, being a vampire, it’s always you. Maybe it’s more you than ever before. You, distilled. You, boiled down like a sauce. But it’s you as you always were, deep down inside.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Vampires are Forever by Lynsay Sands

GoodReads Summary:
Vampires Don’t Exist…Do They?
Inez Urso is beginning to have her doubts. Her business associate Thomas Argeneau has some interesting traits, like an allergic reaction to the sun, excellent night vision, and not much of an appetite for food. And to top it all off, he just tried to bite her neck…but maybe that was a sign of passion. If so, she’d be happy to experience more, despite her determination not to mix business with pleasure.
He’s Been Waiting Forever For A Woman Like Her…
Well, if not forever, at least two hundred years. Inez is the most beautiful woman he’s seen in centuries. Those luscious lips, seductive curves, and her elegant neck…he just couldn’t resist the temptation of one little bite. Now Thomas will do anything to convince her that only an immortal like him can satisfy her all night long…
Vampires are Forever (Argeneau #8)Review:
In this installment of the Argeneau series, we follow Thomas. He’s the kid brother that no one takes seriously. I was excited to finally get his story. He had to watch all of his siblings find their lifemates and fully expected to wait 100+ years to find one for himself.
I adored Thomas. He learned some things about his family, that maybe know him a little better than he thought they did. He secretly writes music, something he’s pretty successful at. But hides this from his older brothers. Until he finds out they all already know about it. I liked the familial growth that we got to see. I think the family dynamic is one of my favorite parts of this series.
Then there’s Inez, she’s the new vice president of the British branches of Argeneau Enterprises, but because of Bastien’s being a bit too wrapped up in his lifemate, Terri. So, he sort of forgets to tell her the big vampire secret when he promotes her. Thomas is left with that responsibility. He bites her and then, too late, realizes he can’t read her mind to wipe her memories. Then the lifemate antics ensue. I liked Inez. She was very logical. She’s smart and capable, but also way too judgmental of herself. I didn’t love how much she criticized herself. Her looks, her weight, etc, I didn’t love that at all.
I did love the pair galivanting all over Europe attempting to find Marguerite. The mystery of what happened to her was interesting enough to keep me invested in the story. Though I was a little annoyed that we never really get an answer as to what’s going on with her.
Overall, I enjoyed Vampires are Forever. I love the twist on vampires. I love Thomas with my whole heart. I love him with Inez. I just loved it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Goodreads Summary:
FATE GAVE HER FANGS…
Ever since an accident turned her into a knockout vamp, Elvi Black’s been catching her z’s in a coffin, staying out of the sun, and giving up garlic. She knows there’s more to being undead than what she saw in Dracula, but she can’t very well ask her mortal friends about proper biting etiquette. But when her neighbors placed a personal ad for her in the local paper, she never imagined she’d meet Victor Argeneau, a vampire who could have his pick of any woman – dead or alive.
HE’LL SHOW HER HOW TO USE THEM…
Rich, powerful, and drop—dead gorgeous, Victor’s the perfect man for a novice neck—biter like Elvi. He’s willing to teach her everything he knows, but he’ll have to do it fast. Someone’s out to put a stake through her new vamp life, and only Victor can keep her safe – and satisfied – for all eternity.
The Accidental Vampire (Argeneau #7)Review:
The Accidental Vampire is now my favorite of the series. It’s so hard for me to decide which is my favorite because I have so much fun each time I read the next book in the series. But this one, man, this one had me laughing so hard that I actually woke my sleeping baby. I just couldn’t stop laughing.
We follow Victor who is related to a different character from a previous book which is something I didn’t realize until over halfway through the book but warmed my little heart when I did learn it. I really liked Victor. He wanted to give Elvi the benefit of the doubt, even though that wasn’t quite his job. Then he learns he can’t read her, and things take a turn for the romantic.
Elvi is the ‘town vampire.’ She was accidentally turned while on vacation in Mexico. The town gets behind her and supports her by donating blood for her. But the funny thing is…everything Elvi knows about being a vampire she’s learned from movies and mythology. It was the perfect set up for absolute hilarity.
Her best friend, Mabel, sets things up so six men (vampires) come to stay at their bed and breakfast, just setting up for more hilarity. It ends up being four suitors and a friend. They all know each other and it was just absolutely great.
I love the twist on the vampire mythology. It’s science-based and I just adore this aspect of the series. I also really loved the dynamic between all of the characters. They were from all different backgrounds and time periods and their personalities were all so different. I just think this one was done so well. With Elvi learning that everything she thought she knew was wrong, these men teaching her the truth was just absolute gold.
I loved this book. I love this series. I love everything about it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Series Review)

GoodReads Summary:
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Review:
I loved Vampire Academy just as much as I did the first time I read it. I love everything about it. I love the vampire lore, the characters, literally everything. I know this isn’t a perfect book. But it’s nostalgic and it’s perfect.
I love Rose. She’s kickass, loyal as hell, and doesn’t take anyone’s shit. I love how much she loves Lissa. I also really enjoyed the fact that she learned she was wrong, accepted it, and tried to make amends for it. Rose is just one of my favorite fierce females.
Lissa was more complex. She’s got some serious issues, and Rose is the only reason she gets through them. I don’t know why I’d completely forgotten about the self-harming aspect of this story, but it’s there and it really showed the severity of Lissa’s issues.
Then there’s my favorite, Dimitri. My favorite book boyfriend. I love him. He’s strong and powerful, plus really hot. I love that he looked out for and mentors Rose.
Overall, this is still one of my favorite books. I’m interested to see how well the rest of the series holds up. I loved this first book, and I’m excited to continue on with the next.

But wait! There’s more! — So, I managed to finish the rest of the series on audiobook while I was on vacation and didn’t really have time to give a review for each book. So, I’m going to do a series review for the rest of the book. There are potential spoilers for all the books after the first one. So, if you’ve only read the first and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP HERE.

I love everything about this series. The second and third books, Frostbite and Shadowkiss, are my favorite and I honestly believe they could have ended Rose and Lissa’s story right there. Rose had so much incredible character development. She really grew into herself. But then book four comes around and her life goes to shit and she regresses. I understand that parts of that were Rose taking spirit’s effect from Lissa, but it just made me mad. I also absolutely HATED the fact that they made Dimitri a Strigoi. I understand the reasoning behind everything in books four, five, and six. But I just don’t know that it was needed. I think Richelle Mead could have made VA a trilogy and then had another trilogy with other characters. That’s complicated and probably over convoluted though. If that was the case, I’d probably be complaining that I hadn’t gotten enough of Rose and Lissa and the gang.
The gang was definitely my favorite part of this series. I loved Mason and he deserved better. I loved Eddie (and I’m still loving him in Bloodlines). I even adored Christian. I hated it when he and Lissa weren’t together. I adored Adrian as well. I love the bond they all form and how they become their own little family.
I really really didn’t like Rose and Adrian together. I felt like this was added just to have a love triangle. It wasn’t fair to Adrian for Rose to do him dirty the way she did. I really feel for the guy because everyone in the world (not really, like at all) knew that Rose and Dimitri were endgame. I just feel bad for him.
Overall, this is still an all-time favorite series of mine and I’m really glad it’s held up so well over the years.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
SWM – “Lucern.” Successful biographer of family, books recently categorized as “paranormal romance.” Something of a recluse. Hates crowds, aggressive women. Doesn’t like sunbathing, garlicky dinners or religious symbols. Likes old-fashioned values; spicy Mexican dishes; warm, nice-smelling neck; and plump red lips. Stronger than ten men and can vanish in the blink of an eye. Currently unaware he’s seeking a woman to share eternity.
SWF – “Kate C. Leever.” Newest editor of Romance at Roundhouse Publishing. Perky, fun. Has recently discovered a legacy author just dying to be broken out. In fact, her career could take off from it. (The tall, dark, handsome writer just needs to be taken to several romance conventions and introduced to his fans…and stopped from acting so strange in public.) Dislikes “difficult, rude, obnoxious, pig-headed writers.” Currently unaware she’s met the man of her wildest dreams.
OH, DEAR.
Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)Review:
Single White Vampire had the potential to be a favorite. But sadly, it wasn’t. It was actually my least liked book of the series so far. I blame that entirely on Lucern.
Lucern is basically an old grumpy man stuck in his ways. He ‘doesn’t like outgoing women’ and his mind is stuck in the 1800s. He’s constantly talking about how ‘women shouldn’t act this or that way’ which I really didn’t like. He is not as bad in the latter half of the book. But I just didn’t like his old-fashioned thinking. Though I could respect him keeping his word to go to the conference even though he’d sort of been lied to about what he was agreeing to do.
Kate, however, was the best. I adored her. She’s an editor at a publishing house and she makes sure to get what she wants. She’ll do anything for her authors and I loved her passion for her job. I loved this aspect of the story, as well as the romance conference. This was when Lucern and Kate’s relationship started. I really enjoyed the things he got her to do.
Overall, not my favorite Argeneau book, but I liked Kate enough to bump up my overall enjoyment.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.