Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Iron Warrior

The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #3)

*I received a Goodreads first-reads ARC of this novel. In no way has this influenced or changed my opinion of this novel.*

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.

He killed me.

Then, I woke up.

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind’s glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.

Leading the Lady’s Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan’s nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan’s enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.

I’ve been a long standing fan and avid reader of all things Julie Kagawa. I have read every book of hers to date, and I will continue to read every book she puts forth.

Especially when I have work to do.:

I remember I was only beginning high school when I first heard about her Iron Fey series. The Iron King was something I’d stumbled upon on Amazon (this was before my time of Goodreads, terror at the thought), and after reading the synopsis, I knew it must be mine.

And so, I searched many, many bookstores in my tiny little town of Shreveport, Louisiana (where I no longer live, thank God). I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was so determined and so disappointed, I remember, and I was just about to order it off of Amazon when I went out of town with my family and finally found it in this little, about to run out of business bookstore.

I was so excited, it wasn’t even funny.

And then I read it in one day. And then I wanted moorrrreeee.

But, alas, Ms. Kagawa had not published the sequel yet, and I was amazingly unhappy. No one had heard of her by this time and I had not yet found the wonder that is Goodreads, and so I was alone in my stupor, waiting for the sequel to come out many months later.

You can guess how I was when the sequel did finally come out.

I loved the Iron Fey series with Meghan, Ash, and Puck. But, I will admit, I loved Puck the most (sorry, not sorry, Ash).

♡Teens dictionary♡ hunger games peeta ahhhhh divergent four :) the iron fey Puck the infernal devices Will and Jem the mortal instruments Jace my babe:

I’ve inhaled every Iron Fey book Ms. Kagawa has come out with in the meantime, and I was originally weary when I found out about her continuing the series through Ethan’s eyes, but I was not disappointed.

While Ethan and his gang will never compare to the original cast of Meghan, Ash, and (swoon worthy) Puck, I enjoyed them quite a lot. But, mostly, I loved this world.

And that was the selling factor for me. Some authors’ strong suit is character development, and while Ms. Kagawa has quite a lot of that, more than anything her strength relies on her scenery and worldly development. Everything is detailed, but not overly so. Never was I bored when reading about the Nevernever or the Between or any other aspect of it.

The stories are journeys. That’s really the reason I love these books so much (that and Puck).

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa Quote “Me? Die? Didn't they tell you, princess? I'm Robin Goodfellow.” - Ahh, Puck Quote :):

So I’ll always take whatever characters if that means I get another glimpse into this fearie world. This conclusion was fantastic, and I got so many more glimpses into the Nevernever and the Between, from an insane carnival with bloodthirsty clowns to a bleak land of darkness and Forgotten. Everything is just so original.

My heart ached at all the right places, and one thing I have to also give Ms. Kagawa credit for is not shying away from angst-y or somewhat sad conclusions for characters, because it’s very real. Sometimes people die and there is not some wonderful, impossible magic to bring them back at the last minute, sometimes people don’t always end up together, but end up alone, and sometimes the right thing to do is not always the best thing to do.

I suppose any real complaint I have about this series would be that I would have liked more time with the original cast (especially Puck). I loved seeing Momma Meghan and Papa Ash and Trickster/Crazy-fey-uncle-that-sometimes-gives-the-prince’s-Momma-and-Papa-a-heart-attack Puck.

I do hope there is another series in this world, but this time I would love nothing more than to see Puck get his happy ending. That man has been alone for too long.

jennifer lawrence katniss everdeen cake hunger games flawless

(Sorry, not sorry – I had to.)

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Alice

Alice

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

I tend to be a little lot judgmental when it comes to re-tellings. I love re-tellings, especially the fairytale kind. And I especially, especially love Alice in Wonderland re-tellings (for obvious reasons).

I was very judgmental of this book.

“You’re only a mouse if you let them make you one.”  

This took me quite a while to get through. Partly this is due to me being in school right now and quietly dying as I go through pathophysiology and a law class (that of which is the bane of my existence), and my long, long to-read list must take a backseat during this time (quite unfortunate, that).

The other reason is due to the first bit of this book . . . boring me, just a little. And, understand, that the few times I had been able to take and read a chapter or so of this book instead of studying, I have very little patience for books that bore me, and if I was just slightly dozing during a scene, I’d put the book down to continue writing a patho paper or continue studying the reproductive system or lymphatic system. That has been my life these past few months.

So keep that in mind. The first few chapters of Alice and Hatcher in the insane asylum were glorious. I raced through them, but once they entered the Old City, I dozed off at points, leading back to the problem I just listed above. And, so, it took me a while to get through this.

“That was the trouble with not being right in the head. You couldn’t always tell if your eyes were telling the truth.”  

But that time was short lived. By the time I was about 1/4 ways through, I was hooked. I’m now on Thanksgiving break, and therefore I had the time to sit down in my comfy – though patchy and old – reading chair and finish this book in one sitting. It was glorious.

I was thinking this book was going to be about Alice discovering her past and running from the Rabbit, but, really, that is only a short part of this book. Instead, I got gore, and lots of it.

(I loved, loved, loved it.)

This has an Alyss in Wonderland vibe (from the Looking Glass Wars).

I must warn you, of course, that this novel does include rape (lots and lots and lots of this), gore, prostitution, chaos, and quite a lot of grisly human mauling. I can say that it was not overdone, but do not take that to mean there wasn’t much of it. Because that would be a lie. There is not one chapter that goes by that does not include one of the things I listed above, and Ms. Henry is not shy about writing about it explicitly, either.

However, despite the pure amount of those things, it didn’t feel overdone. The Old City is screwed in every sense, and these things are simply a part of it all. The bosses of parts of the Old City, that of which include the Cheshire Cat, Mr. Carpenter, the Caterpillar, and the Walrus, to name some, are the worst of them all. They deal in women and drugs and blood. They are not a fairytale come to life, unless you wish to think of the Grimm Brothers’ versions.

There were parts in the beginning about Alice that annoyed me, I will admit. She was just so weak and docile at the beginning, and that was partly why there were times I grew bored of this story. However, that does not last, and Alice very quickly learns the way of the Old City and how to survive is to be bloodthirsty as well.

By this point, and if you’ve read the synopsis and even a few of anyone else’s review of this book, you’ve probably figured out that Alice has been raped by the Rabbit. If you didn’t know this already, well, now you do, and I really would recommend anyone going into this book to know this anyways.

“Alice dreamed of blood. Blood on her hands and under her feet, blood in her mouth and pouring from her eyes. The room was filled with it.”

The reason being that this aspect of Alice’s past comes into play quite a lot, and for the more sensitive of audiences, this should be forewarned. Alice is constantly being judged and reminded about this little fact of her life, and the fact she cannot remember everything about this and her past. As a woman, it always hurts deep down in my chest when I read about something like rape and human trafficking, just because I cannot imagine a worse fate.

But Alice is not scared about her past. She’ll look one of these Old City bosses in the eye – these bosses, who have men grabbing girls off the street to be their playthings, to carve designs into their skin, to give them drugs and put them into a dog cage and sell them to the highest bidder for no other purpose than they can – and smile her crazy grin, and slash their throats, because she is just so tired of being someone else’s victim. And she’s already got the knife in her hand, so why not put it to good use?

Alice is not a savior, however. She is not on some righteous spree to free all these girls and redeem the Old City. No, she and Hatcher are out for revenge and the truth. If they happen to help or free people along the way, then great, but that’s not their true purpose.

I don't know what to make of this, it is beautiful and sad, as if the king was reaching for the heart to awaken the sleeping girl...:

This is one of the better Alice in Wonderland re-tellings I’ve read, and definitely the most gruesome. But I’ve always thought Alice in Wonderland was crazy and dark, so it worked quite nicely.

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