Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Both Leigh and I are very excited about the impending release of The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell. (The release date is March 7th!) We've both been lucky enough to read this book, and we loved it!

From Goodreads:

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

You should probably scroll back up and look at that book cover again. It is gorgeous! And the book is as well.

It is! Without being overly wordy, Mitchell describes the surroundings and the time in way that makes it seem real and natural. I have never curled my hair using an iron heated in a fire, but I could imagine doing it as I read the scenes.

I agree completely. I feel that way about the descriptions of Amelia and her friendships. I loved reading the interactions between the young women in her circle of friends, especially when they were practicing archery. Those scenes stood out to me, and were perhaps my favorites.

Another thing that stood out to me in this book was how the small element of magic was worked into the story. Truly, it was the way the 'magic' of Amelia's prophecies swirled around and into these friendships that was most intriguing to me.

Not to mention the 'magic' of Nathaniel. *swoons* I love the darkness and drama that surrounds him. As the reader, you know society and convention say Amelia shouldn't get involved with him, but oh how you want her to. I don't want to spoil anything, so go out and read The Vespertine so you can feel the magic yourself! You won't be disappointed.

Ah, yes, Nathaniel. And? He's an artist, and we all know artists are hot. *wink*

So, get your pre-order on and enjoy The Vespertine for yourself!

Follow Saundra Mitchell on Twitter here and visit her website here.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine (And we know WoW is normally reserved for books we haven't read, but we're breaking the rules a little bit.)

**Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing us with an ARC of The Vespertine!**


Monday, February 28, 2011

Reading Rainbow: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

I started Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton knowing nothing about the book, other than the fact that it featured a Chick Who Can Kick Our Ass. You all know I love great heroines, so I was excited to read.

From Goodreads:

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

The thing I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that Ellie didn't start out as an ass-kicking heroine. In fact, she started out as a spoiled girl who seemed only concerned with her car, clothes, and partying. But, that was what made her transformation all the more interesting and exciting. I have to admit, I questioned the fact that Ellie continued to party even after she learned that she was an ancient being meant to fight evil. But, I suppose most teenage girls would want to hold onto her friends, and especially what is familiar, when faced with the prospect that she is responsible for ridding the world of evil.

Also interesting and exciting in Angelfire? Will. He's the perfect balance to Ellie and the chemistry between the two characters is fun to watch. Their sparring matches, as Will teaches Ellie how to use and control her powers, were great and reminded me a bit of Katsa and Po from Graceling. (Although in a much, much different story.)

So, if you're looking for an exciting start to a series, pick up Angelfire. And, as always, come back and let me know what you think!

**A big, huge THANK YOU to NetGalley and Harper Collins for providing us with an ARC of Angelfire **