July 15, 2011

Mini Reviews: Shift, Blood Red Road, The Demon's Surrender

I clearly have a problem.  We can call this problem, "April takes forever to write reviews and eventually forgets everything that happened in the book".  So I'm just going to write mini reviews that aren't gonna be too in depth and maybe a little random because I have the memory span of a goldfish.  I also have this problem called "April sucks at writing" but we can save that discussion for another time.

Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Published May 3rd, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Hardcover, 367 pages
(Summary from Goodreads)

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.
My Review:
Shift is an emotional roller coaster that you may not want to read in public, due to people giving you strange looks when you bust out laughing, blurt out "OMFG", and grin like a loon.  Not that I would know from personal experience, or anything like that.

In Shade, you are introduced to Aura's world where she and everyone born after her are able to see ghosts.  Shift explores more of the mythology of the world, which I loved!  The author does an excellent job with the ghost mythology, this coming from someone who generally doesn't like ghost books.  As much as I love the romance in these books, I hope to find out more of the mythology in Shine.

I just realized that in almost every book review, I talk about boys.  This one is no different.  I think the key to a great love triangle is you don't know who the girl/guy is going to end up with.  And Jeri Smith-Ready definitely knows how to write a great love triangle.  Even though this is the 2nd book in the series, I STILL can't figure out if I like Zachary or Logan more... but I think I'm starting to lean toward Zachary.  Love love love the prom scene ;)  I was a little confused with the introduction of Dylan and Aura making this awkward love quadrilateral.    Although looking back now I can kind of see where the author was going with it, I didn't really know what to think of it while I was reading.  It felt a little out of place and random in the book.

I really liked the usage of heritage and culture in these books.  Aura isn't just randomly Italian, Zachary isn't just randomly Scottish, etc.  The author incorporates history, ancestry, and culture into almost every character.  Personally, I think these give the characters more depth and they are more realistic to read.

4.5 out of 5 stars :)  Highly recommend this series to all readers, no matter what genre you prefer.

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1) by Moira Young
Published June 7th, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover, 459 pages
From Goodreads:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
My Review:
One of the first things you notice about this book is the writing and the voice.  Although it takes some effort to tone down your inner editor, the way it is written allows Saba to have a really clear, distinct voice that stands out.  And it really helps you get into the mindset of the world of Blood Red Road.  I can understand how this could be a turn off for people, but I really liked it and thought it made this book unique.  Props to Moira Young for turning off the spell check.

Something that threw me off a little was Saba's relationship with her brother Lugh.  They were really close and Saba was willing to do anything to get Lugh back, but I couldn't really figure out why besides that they're twins.  Although this is a minor issue, it was at the back of my mind for the entire book because the main reason Saba even has this grand adventure is because she's trying to get Lugh back.

I really liked Saba as a character and her growth throughout the novel.  You can definitely see her mature at the end of the book through her relationships with other people.  I liked how she and Jack didn't exactly have instalove, they had issues like normal couples do.  A character I wished there was more of was DeMalo.  I really liked him, and although this doesn't really seem like a love triangle kind of book, I wouldn't mind if DeMalo was part of it. :)  I get vibes that he's gonna be in the next book, so April is happy.

What I appreciate is that Blood Red Road had a resolution, and didn't leave you with a heart in your throat cliffhanger.  Although it could have been an action-packed standalone, I really liked the ending and it probably gave this book rating half a star.

4 out of 5 stars.  Although it didn't exactly live up to my expectations, I still thoroughly enjoyed Blood Red Road and anticipate any upcoming books in this series :)

The Demon's Surrender (The Demon's Lexicon #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Published June 14th, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover, 400 pages
From Goodreads:

The Goblin Market has always been the center of Sin’s world. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin’s place is in danger. Thrown out of the Market she loves, Sin is thrown together with brothers Nick and Alan—whom she’s always despised.

Alan has been marked by a magician and is being tortured so that the magicians can get to Nick. As Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see him in a new light—but she and Mae are locked in a fierce rivalry over who will inherit the leadership of the Goblin Market, and a decisive battle with the Aventurine Circle is looming. Mae’s brother, Jamie, is holed up with the magicians, his loyalties in question. And Nick—well, who knows what a demon might do to save his brother? How far will Nick go to save Alan—and what will it cost them all?
My Review:
Honestly?  I don't think there was a possibility of me NOT liking this book.  Simply because I am completely in love with these characters and the author's writing.  The Demon's Surrender is from Sin's perspective, and I really came to love her despite her not being a prominent character in the previous books.  She was wholly devoted to her family and the Market.  And I liked how she grew to love Alan, despite how they felt each other before.  Somewhat random, but I really admire Sin and Mae, and pretty much every female in this series for their strength and refusal to let people walk all over them.

Because I am such a shallow person, we cannot leave this review without mentioning Alan and Nick.  Gotta love those Ryves boys.  From page one of The Demon's Lexicon, I was in love with Nick even though I describe him as a demonic sociopath frequently.  Demon's Covenant being from Mae's perspective, I was pretty smitten with Nick still.  Not gonna lie, the demon mark (hickey of death) scene was hot.  But in Demon's Surrender you get a closer look at Alan, and I fell in love with Alan.  He has the whole broken boy thing going on which makes me want to give a hug.  It's official.  Alan makes it onto the list.  Alan Ryves for life.  And Nick too.  Because there is no such thing as teams in this book, for me at least.

As usual, SRB gets all plot twisty, but I'm not gonna give anything away ;)  But I seriously love the title The Demon's Surrender, it fits this book perfectly.  I'm seriously getting teary eyed knowing this is the last book, but I am so glad that I picked up this series last year.  Will forever be one of my favorites.

5 out of 5 stars :) A perfect ending to a freaking amazing series that will never leave me.  I'd highly recommend this series to anyone, including my grandma, my goldfish, my biology teacher, etc.


  1. Hope you have a great weekend :)

  2. Man, I haven't read any of these! I am dying to get my hands on The Demon's Surrender though.

    I totally understand what you mean about waiting too long.. haha, I still have books to review from before my hiatus in June O_O

  3. I just got blood read road in the mail yesterday. I cant wait to start it, but so many others on the pile ahead of it.

  4. oh, and i have to figure out to do those boxes you to with the text. :)