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Book reviews – The Faerie Guardian and The Faerie Prince by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian

My rating: five stars

THE FAERIE GUARDIAN (Creepy Hollow 1)

Rachel Morgan is one of my favourite self-published authors. Actually, she is probably my number one favourite – or ties with Tammara Webber. I just finished re-reading The Faerie Guardian (referred to as ‘Guardian’ from now on) so that the story was fresh in my mind before reading The Faerie Prince, and I think I dug Guardian even more the second time around. Violet has got to be one of the most awesome female protagonists currently gracing the pages of young-adult fiction. She’s as kick-ass as Katniss (from The Hunger Games) but much funnier. Her inability to deal with complex emotions is portrayed really well through humour.

I tilt my head back and let out a groan. Counseling. That thing where I have to discuss my feelings about killing someone. Great. The list of things I’m not good at is pretty short, but discussing feelings is probably at the top.

Whlie I’m on the topic of humour, my favourite element of Guardian would have to be the verbal sparring between Violet and her nemesis, Ryn. Their banter made me laugh so many times.

Ryn: “You’re not the kind of person to just randomly fall in love. You’re way too…”
My eyes shoot to his. “Too what?”
“Well, you know, emotionally closed off.”
“I will emotionally close off every orifice in your face if you don’t shut up about this right now.”
He laughs. “That doesn’t even make sense.”

I also enjoyed the creative descriptions of elements of the Fae realm, which are interspersed throughout the story. Here’s one of my favourites:

I stomp around the edge of a clearing where giant mushrooms are swelling as they soak up the silvery glow of the moon. “Do 
not stand on the mushrooms,” I tell him. “They don’t like it.” And the last thing I need is for him to show up at the Guild covered in poisonous goop.
An eerie howl vibrates through the air, rustling the leaves above us and causing a nest of tiny airhorses to take flight and disappear into the night.

I want to talk more about Nate and Ryn but I’m afraid of unintentional spoilers. Let’s just say they’re both fascinating, and as their characters develop throughout the story, I found myself feeling completely differently about both of them in different ways – there’s more to them than meets the eye.

The pace of Guardian never lets up, so if you’re like me, you’ll tear through the pages of this sizeable novel quite quickly. A word of warning – don’t expect a resolution at the end. No, all plot lines are left wide open. Thankfully, the next book, The Faerie Prince, has just been released so we can move on straight away and find out what happens next – I’m going to start it tonight!

The Faerie Prince

*NOTE: This review contains spoilers of Guardian.*

My rating: 4.5 stars

THE FAERIE PRINCE (Creepy Hollow 2) To borrow an expression from Violet… Oh. My. Freak.

I’ve always had a lot of respect for Rachel Morgan as a fellow self-published author, but after reading The Faerie Prince (referred to as ‘Prince’ from now on), I’ve officially become a crazy fan. I LOVED this book. When I finished Guardian, I thought I had a reasonable idea about where this series was heading, but I was so wrong. I literally gasped on a number of occasions while reading Prince, but all of the twists were totally believable. The characters and their relationships change a lot throughout the book, but the developments feel natural and organic, rather than forced.

And that ending. Wow. I’m stunned. It doesn’t leave you on a cliffhanger, it destroys the entire cliff! I’m desperate to know what happens next and will be hounding Rachel Morgan to hurry up and finish the next book. But then again, I don’t want her to finish it too quickly, because she needs to maintain the standard she’s set, and that standard is very, very high!

My favourite scene, hands down, was Violet and Ryn’s graduation. I had a huge smile on my face the whole way through it, and the smile returned to my face just now as I re-read the scene to refresh my memory of why I enjoyed it so much.

Despite revealing several vulnerabilities, Violet remains as awesome as ever. Here are a couple of my favourite Violet quotes from Prince:

It’s not as though I want him back. I mean, the guy handed me over to a prince of the Unseelie Court-I’m not exactly hoping for a happily ever after here. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what I’m hoping for. Maybe I want to look into his eyes and ask him why he did it. Or maybe I just want to kick his ass.

I look around and notice one of the male graduates watching me. Another one flashes a smile in my direction. I look away quickly, clasping my hands behind my back. Weirdos.

There were just a few things that stopped me from giving this novel a full five stars. Early on, there was a bit of obvious info dumping masked as conversation, which always irks me. And there were two separate occasions where characters’ behaviour or choices struck me as inconsistent or false. (I’ve left out the details because they’re too spoilery, but you can read them in my Goodreads review, if you’re interested).

Apart from those few points, I absolutely adored The Faerie Prince. I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens after that show-stopper of an ending. And Rachel, if you’re reading this, I promise I’ll try not to go all fan girl on you! 😉

How about you?

Have you read the Creepy Hollow series? If not, do you plan to?

Note: I received free e-copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews.

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Four books I can’t wait to read (by Charity Bradford, Su Williams, Rachel Morgan & Lauren Oliver)

I thought I’d get a lot more reading done on maternity leave than what I am. I guess I assumed I’d have a baby that would sleep longer than 20-40 minutes at a time during the day! Little Mackenzie definitely keeps me busy, that’s for sure. Here’s a recent photo of my little dictator. 😉

12 weeks old

Mackenzie, 12 weeks old

There are a heap of books that I’m looking forward to reading, but these four are at the top of the list.

The Magic Wakes by Charity Bradford 

16052411Since childhood, scientist Talia Zaryn has been haunted by recurring dreams, visions of an alien attack on her planet Sendek. Each time it ends abruptly with Talia’s death in the capital city Joharadin, a city that she has spent her life desperately avoiding. Talia keeps these dreams a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when she is unexpectedly transferred to Joharadin she is convinced that the conflict, and her own death, is at hand.

As Talia’s nightmares occur with increasing frequency, they reveal the imminent invasion of a half-dragon, half-human race called Dragumon, bent on the annihilation of her world.

In Sendek, magic is dead and science rules, forcing Talia to keep another secret, one that could cost her everything if it were known. Now, in order to save her planet, Talia must awaken the powers within her and rely at last on the magic that is her true inheritance.

Those of you who know my reading tastes well would know this book isn’t my usual cup of tea. I usually steer clear of fantasies set on other planets, especially those than involve dragons. But I’ve read so much about ‘the making of’ this book (on the author’s blog) and I think it’s going to be the exception. Who knows, maybe it will even open the door to a newfound love of fantasy? Time will tell!

Dream Weaver by Su Williams

17205213Dream Weaver is a novel of mind benders and breakers. Are your memories your own?

I wasn’t asking for a past. Not even a future. Just a few less painful memories to make surviving the present a bit more bearable.

Seventeen year old Emari Sweet has a world of choices before her. Her parents are real estate investors that dote on their beloved daughter. Her only true worries are bullying cheerleaders and cookie cutter kids that harass her for her dark and different, emo ways and the cryptic messages in her music. So when her parents are killed in a car crash, Emari’s whole world implodes around her. Night terrors stalk her sleep and haunt her through each day. And only the dream of a dark-eyed stranger can draw out the poison of the chimera.

Just as she’s recovering from the toxic dreams, treading water to stay afloat, the violent nudge of a predator reawakens the terrors. He promises her two things; pain and fear. And on a snowy December night he makes good on his promises. Emari plunges head first into her personal hell and begins to feel there is no choice left to her but death–if only to escape the torture of grief.
As the nightmares once again shred her life, Emari’s dark-eyed angel returns. With the touch of his hand, he chases away her dreams and weaves magic that quiets the roiling terror within her.

But is this a real angel or something more sinister? Is he simply a figment of her distorted imagination? How does he capture her nightmares and soothe her aching heart? Why does he whisper a single word, ‘forget’, and evanesce into the cool grey mist of morning? And how is he entering her home that’s protected by a state-of-the-art alarm system?

This book sounds full on. Dark, mysterious, and – hopefully – gripping. The possibility of your memories not being your own – that’s what grabs me most about this book. Plus, the author has been a loyal follower of my blog for a while now and I’m really happy to see her taking the self publishing plunge!

The Faerie Prince (Creepy Hollow 2) by Rachel Morgan

[Warning: the blurb below contains minor spoilers of the first book in the series.]

THE FAERIE PRINCE (Creepy Hollow 2)Guardian trainee Violet Fairdale is just weeks away from one of the most important occasions of her life: graduation. After messing up big time by bringing a human into the fae realm, Vi needs to step up her game and forget about Nate if she hopes to graduate as the top guardian of her year. Everything would be fine if she wasn’t forced to partner with Ryn, her ex-friend, ex-enemy, current ‘sort of friend’. They might be trying to patch up their relationship, but does she really want to spend a week undercover with him for their final assignment? On top of that, the possibly-insane Unseelie Prince is still on the loose, free to ‘collect’ as many specially talented faeries as he can find—and Vi is still at the top of his list. Add in faerie queens, enchanted storms, complicated not-just-friends feelings, and a murder within the Guild itself, and graduation is about to become the least of Vi’s problems.

I really enjoyed The Faerie Guardian, the first in the Creepy Hollow series, and will probably re-read it before I dive into The Faerie Prince so that the story is fresh in my mind. The blurb above makes me really excited to see where Part 2 takes the story, although I’ll be gutted if Vi falls for Ryn! The Faerie Prince is released 30 May so I have a bit of time to get through my other to-reads first!

Requiem (Delirium 3) by Lauren Oliver

Requiem cover

[Warning: the blurb below contains spoilers of the first two books in the series.]

Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena’s emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever…

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers – emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.

I recently re-read Delirium and I’m halfway through re-reading Pandemonium so that I’m back up to speed with this series before I jump into the third and final instalment, Requiem. And now I know that the book alternates between Lena and Hana as narrators, I’m even more excited to read it as Hana is one of my favourite characters in the series. I have some predictions about what will happen in this book so I’ll be interested to see if they come true (like they did in Pandemonium), or whether the author completely surprises me (like she did with Delirium).

How about you?

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? If not, do they take your fancy? What’s at the top of your to-read list?

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