I can’t believe that I haven’t written about this series yet. It’s one of my favorite series to go back and read. In particular, it’s my go-to series when I’ve finished one book but the book I want to read next is coming in a couple of days. (Like for instance, I’ve finished My Lady Jane but A Court of Wings and Ruin, The Dark Prophecy and Always and Forever, Lara Jean comes out of Tuesday) I usually don’t want to start a new book that I might not finish before they come out so Unearthly or one if it’s sequels, Hallowed or Boundless because I’ve read them so many times, I can skip over parts or not feel bad if I don’t finish. It’s a romance, it’s a comedy. It has some action! and it has one of the most swoon worthy love interest of any teen novel. Unearthly is about Clara, a half human half angel, who moves with her family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to fulfill her purpose. All Angelbloods, as they are known, are put on this earth to carry out some divine purpose. For Clara it starts when she starts having visions about meeting a boy her age in the woods during a forest fire and wouldn’t you know that guy is super dreamy too. Christian is the guy in high school that every girl has a crush on and every boy wants to be. However, he’s the guy that makes me swoon. That title guys to the other love interest. Tucker Avery. Tucker Avery is a cowboy. He wears cowboy boots and hat. He rides in rodeos and is very outdoorsy. He would be the perfect boyfriend. They relationship starts off in the stereotypical bickering back and forth before they realize how much they love each other. Aww.
I would say the real theme of the series is fate and destiny and how much control do we have over our future. Clara is not your normal teenager. She has Angel blood in her and because of that is she expected to carry out her purpose. At first she is all about it. If it means getting to know Christian, the hot boy is school, she is all for it but what does divine really want from her. Is she only supposed to save Christian from the forest fire? Are they supposed to be a couple? Is God trying to set her up on a date? She discovers that finding out her purpose in life is not that easy and only gets more complicated when a.) she starts to fall in love with Tucker and b.) she finds out that she has more in common with Christian then she thought. How much about her future does she get the decide and how much of it has already been planned for her. She is impulsively drawn to Christian but is that because she is supposed to because of her purpose or does she really have feelings for him and him for her? And if she is supposed to be with Christian then why does she fall in love with Tucker. (because he’s perfect! but I digress)
All the while she’s trying to find out why she was put on this earth and fighting evil Angels, she still has to dodge of the landmines of attending high school. Taking test, finding new friends and keeping them. Going to Prom. It’s not easy but an Angelblood in high school. Clara is able to navigate all of these things thanks to other awesome character, Angela, another Angelblood. Together help each other to figure out each other purposes and the other mysteries of being half angel. Their friendship is one of those great but sadly rare in fiction, solid friendships between two girls. They truly love and support each other throughout the everything. Yes, they have their disagreements but when it matters, they are there for each other. They push each other to be better. Challenge each other to learn and know more about who they are and what they are supposed to. There really should be more relationships like this featured in YA novels. Too often female friendships get pushed aside once the heroine starts a relationship. But then again, Angela is not someone who would ever let a boy become between her and her best friend. So yes, go read this series. It’s the perfect weekend getaway book. Just don’t let the cheesy covers scare you away.
April 2016 was our most successful month page views wise. We had 589 views, which beat our previous record of 552 in December 2015. It made me wonder what were we writing about a year ago to get so much traffic. Well, The Raven Cycle and Maggie Stiefvater. It’s hard to believe that the The Raven King came out a year ago. That it has been a year since we found out if Gansey, Blue, Ronan and Adam would find the sleeping Welsh King and If Blue and Gansey would kiss and if Gansey would die. Those mysteries have been solved. Thankfully, we know that we haven’t read the last of the Gang as Maggie is working on a trilogy about Ronan. Whee!!!
My editor is going to hate me, but I just outlined three books for a Ronan-centered trilogy.
And we have another Maggie book coming in October. So we have a lot to look forward to but let’s take a moment, in honor of the 1 year anniversary of the release of The Raven King and the end of the The Raven Cycle, to look at everything we have ever written about the series.
This February Beth and I are going to be doing something we’ve talked about but haven’t yet done. We’re going to be reading a book together (or, three books as the case may be). Starting February 1st, we will be reading March by John Lewis. This award winning book tells the story of Congressman John Lewis’s coming of age in the Civil Rights movement. We invite you to join us in this reading. As we read, we will be posting our thoughts and open-ended questions. We hope that you will join us for the reading and some discussion.
This series was different in that it billed itself as having the villain as the protagonist. I argued in my review of the last book, The Rose Society that Adelina wasn’t really the true villain of the story. While she does commit several villainous acts on her way to power she is just as much a victim as anyone else. I also argued that Teren, in his religious fervor was the character to be most feared then any of them. After finishing The Midnight Star, I feel a little justified and also not. It starts out with Adelina and her Roses conquering another country by fear. She is merciless in her rule. She has taken all the power away from the un-marked and given it to the marked. She kills anyone who speaks out against her and punishes her family. She is by no means a heroine to be worshiped. She is also a young girl who has been bullied, abused and marginalized her whole life. In her mind she is righting the wrongs. Taken power and given it back to the powerless. I’m not saying it’s justified or what she did was right but I can also understand her too. A crisis bigger then her own fears aligns her once again with the daggers and gives her a path of redemption. Raffalle has figured out the origin of the blood fever that lead to the Young Elites powers. They was a rift in the mortal and the immortal world that allowed the powers of the Gods to effect the mortal world. It’s now poisoning them. Their powers are turning against them. Lucent, who could fly, bones are hallowing out. Violetta’s power to block others including her own is not overcoming her. Adelina’s voices in her head are her own illusions overtaking her. The only way to save them and the world is to go to where the rift occurred and offer to give their powers back. Now these enemies will have to work together but how can there when there has been so much blood already spilled and the body count in this book is pretty high as well. I wouldn’t say it had a happy ending but really the only ending that it could have. It was bittersweet. I will miss the lush atmosphere of this book. Stylized after a medieval society, Marie Lu gave her settings life and beauty. It was a good series and enjoyable read but year not going to lift you up.
It’s been awhile since I did one of these. In fact it’s been 5 months. Oops. I think it’s about time I did another one, don’t you think? I can’t think of a better series to welcome back this column then Necromancer and Firebug series’ by Lish McBride. Really, I can’t believe I have waited this long to write about them. It’s actually two different series but they take place in the same world, just on opposite coasts. Necromancer consists of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone. Two of the best book titles in history of literature. I decided to read the first book based on the title alone. With a title like Hold Me Closer, Necromancer it had to be good right? Firebug at the moment is the only book in it’s series but the sequel, Pyromantic, another great title, comes out in March of next year. (I hope, I’m pretty sure. It’s released date has been pushed back more then once to my chagrin) They both take place in the underground world of the supernaturals. Sam, our hero in Necromancer is a necromancer. When he is discovered by another Necromancer he brought into a world of werewolves and other supernaturals creatures that he didn’t even know exist but now is in the thick of it. You’ll think about Seattle in a different way after reading this book. Ava, our little firebug from Firebug, is forced to work for the Coterie, a magical mafia. She along with her friends, Lock and Ezra, she must track down creatures of all kinds who are behind in their payments or doing something they are not supposed to.
So why do I like these books so much? For one thing they are hilarious! Like laugh out loud funny you just can’t help yourself. The situations the characters get in are at times so ridiculous and absurd it’s just too funny. They are also very original. Sure, there are a lot of other books that feature werewolves, ghosts, nymphs and other supernatural beings but nothing is like this. I’m not sure how to describe the weirdness of these books but they just work. There is also a realness to them as well. Sam and Ava are both great protagonists. They both find themselves in situations that are out of their control but with the help of their friends and their own gumption they find ways out of them. They both have a little sassiness to them that I love in my characters. The supporting characters are more then just comic relief or filler but true characters in their own right.
Firebug came out two years ago and I have been waiting (mostly) patiently for Pyromantic to come out. Like I said earlier, publication has been pushed back a few times because well life I guess. Lish Mcbride is not just an author but also a bookseller as well. The biggest secret of the publication world is that just because you have a book published doesn’t mean you are set for life. Most authors don’t live off of their writing. They have to have day jobs to make ends meet. Recently Lish started a Patreon page. If you not familiar with Patreon, it’s sort of a crowd sourcing website for creators and artist. You can pledge to give so much money a month to an artist and in return you get exclusive material from them. Lish so far has posted a new short story and read a chapter from Pyromantic. It’s been satisfying so far. It ties me over until her new book comes out and I also can feel good about supporting an author I love. It’s a cool way to support artists and all for that. So before Pyromantic comes out, I suggest you read Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Necromancing the Stone and Firebug and read her public post on patreon page. You will not be disappointed.