Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2012

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I really enjoy Julie Kagawa's writing; particularly her world building.  The NeverNever- the world most of her The Iron Fey series takes place in- is one of my favorite fantastical worlds to date.  When I heard she was writing a spin-off series centered around Iron Queen Meghan's younger, human brother, I was intrigued.  I thought it wold be interesting to see Meghan, the fey, and their world through Ethan's eyes, and I was not wrong.  Ethan has FEELINGS about the fey and his sister's role in their word, and people, they are NOT positive ones.

Plagued by the fey since returning to the human realm, after his abduction to the NeverNever, many years prior, Ethan has had more than his share of problems.  Of course, no one is going to believe him when he says "invisible" gremlins are causing mischief, playing pranks on him, so he is very often blamed for the things they do.  Needless to say, he hates the fey, which kind of causes some really complicated feelings toward his sister.  He is angry.  Angry at Meghan foe abandoning him.  Angry at his parents for failing to understand.  Angry at the fey for existing.  Angry at the world for the hand he was dealt.  He pushes people away, and refuses to connect with anyone for fear that they will become targets.  After an unfortunate event involving some Redcaps and a fire in his former school library, Ethan is, once again, starting at a new school.  On his first day, much to his chagrin, he meets Todd, a half-breed, and Kenzie, a cute, persistent girl, intent on knowing him.  He wants nothing to do with either, but ends up knee-deep in a mystery involving exiles and half-breeds, including Todd,  and some very strange fey-like creatures. This mystery ends up being the catalyst that takes him back to NeverNever with Kenzie in tow.  Here we once again meet Grimalkin, one of my favorite characters from The Iron Fey.  He leads Ethan and Kenzie through NeverNever to the Iron Realm, and his sister, who he has not seen in many years.  This is where he meets Kierran, a half-breed, who has a few dynamite secrets of his own.  From there Ethan, Kenzie, and Kierran set out to find out what these creatures are, and how to stop them, and I have to tell you, it is one hell of an adventure!  Along the way we met up with other well-loved characters like Puck and Ash, and meet oodles of new ones as well.

I thought this book was a fantastic start to what promises to be a great new series!  I'm so pleased to know that, in no way, is Julie finished with this world.  As I mentioned before, I think Julie's greatest strength as a writer is her world building.  I can't get enough.  Fortunately, that is not her only strength.  I love her characters as well.  They are all complex bundles of emotion, strength  and weakness, and with almost all of them, it is impossible not to form a connection on some level.  Then there is the storytelling...  Rich with detail, expertly paced, and masterfully plotted, Julie makes nearly 400 pages seem like 50.  There were some great plot twists that I never saw coming, and there was always fantastic groundwork laid ahead of time, making what could very well have been unbelievable, extremely plausible.  I think The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten has the potential to be even better than its sister series.  I, for one, cannot wait for the second book, The Traitor Son, which is expected sometime in September of next year (especially because of who I suspect the "traitor son" is).

Overall, I have to say that if you are a fan of The Iron Fey, this is an absolute MUST-READ, but even if you haven't read the first series, I think Julie does a good enough job with the background information, that you don't need to have read it in order to enjoy this.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation: As far as romance is concerned, this book is pretty clean.  Language is minimal, violence is of the fantastical variety.  I would happily give this book to 4th grade an up (ages 9 and up).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Woe Is Me...

Just kidding!  Things could be worse...  

I know I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, and I apologize for that.  Things have been crazy around here.  On a nice note, I started a new job two weeks ago.  It's been 11 YEARS since I've had a job, so it's a bit of a learning curve as far as time management goes!  Working moms, I salute you!  It is not easy!  Anyway, it's not book related, but it's some extra dinero (more money for books, so I guess to some degree it IS book related), and it's pretty fun.  I'm working at Bass Pro Shops, and with me being the outdoorsy type, their rockin' discount is a real bonus.  Anyway, I do have less time for reading, and even less time for blogging (reading is my 1st love, after all) since it's the holiday season and we all know what that means in the retail world, but I've just made a schedule, and that should help me manage my time better...  I had actually planned on using the past two days that I had of to write a bunch of posts, but here is the woe-is-me part...  My eight year old daughter had LICE!  Ugh!  Not wanting to put toxic insecticides on her scalp, I opted for the all-natural route, and let me tell you, it was not fun.   Tea Tree Oil coating her hair and scalp for 18 hours, seven hours of combing through her very thick, very fine. long, curly hair with the nit comb, and the another seven plus hours the following day picking through every hair on her head,pulling the ones with eggs attached.  Also, tons and tons and tons of laundry and vacuuming to make sure nobody else gets it.  Painful does not even begin to describe it.  She was so good about it, so like I said, I could have been A LOT worse.  This has been our first experience with the nasty little buggers, and I pray to all that's holy, that it will be our last!  My sanity was definitely tested!

So- I do have to work today and tomorrow, but I am off Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so look for lots of posts next week! I have reviews of The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa, Bad Hair Day by Carrie Harris, and Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky coming up.  Also, a review and GIVEAWAY of the audio version of Gabrielle Zevin's Because It Is My Blood, the sequel to All These Things I've Done, is coming soon.  Stay tuned!

One more thing... I am sending a couple of my ARCs on tour with Southern ARC Tours, so if you are a  blogger in the Southeast, and have any interest in reading Shadowlands by Kate Brian or The Archived by Victoria Schwab, make sure to click HERE to sign up.  Both books were fabulous, and The Archived will, without a doubt, be making my "Best of 2013" list (which is a HUGE testament to how good it is, given that it is November of 2012)!

Anyway, I'm off to slave away to feed my bookish addictions!  See you on the other side!