Tag Archives: Paranormal

Book Reviews
April 26, 2014 posted by Emma

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) – Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.


Okay, so I’m a huge fan of Richelle Mead. The Vampire Academy series is probably one of my absolute favorite series to ever have existed. And then when I heard that she was writing a spin-off series, obviously I flipped out. I’ve been absolutely loving the Bloodlines series so far, and I’m extremely happy to report that The Fiery Heart definitely doesn’t disappoint.

I wasn’t the hugest fan of Sydney in VA (or really in the beginning of this series either), but she’s 100% converted me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rose. She’s probably the most badass heroine out there, but the fact that Sydney is so different, and yet still a total badass, makes me really happy. I love that she shows people that you don’t have to beat people up and be an expert at wielding a stake to kick major ass. She shows how strong she is with her intelligence, her logical thinking, her determination, and her loyalty in The Fiery Heart maybe more than ever, and I absolutely LOVE her for that! Her character development has been absolutely insane throughout the course of this series, and I’ve adored every second of it.

Another thing that I loved in this book was her relationship with Adrian. I honestly think that their relationship has got to be one of the healthiest that I’ve seen yet in YA fiction. Neither of them really have their stuff together one hundred percent, but they love each other for it. It’s repeated so many times that they make each other better, they strengthen each other. Their relationship is more than just something fueled on teenage passion and lust. They went from being true, genuine friends to something honestly so beautiful. I love that they’re there for each other for the other person to lean on, while at the same time encouraging them to be the best person they can be. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they believe in each other, and there’s something so mature and honest about that. BUT don’t worry, there’s plenty of steamy, romantic scenes too, thank GOODNESS!

Okay, but here’s the thing, right? There’s something that happens in this book that I can’t really talk about without giving away a huge spoiler. It has to do with something that Adrian did in his past, and I just want to say that I’m really NOT okay with it. A lot of people will be able to gloss over it and say, “Yeah, but he’s changed! He’s not that guy any more!” And I definitely agree that he’s not, but it’s honestly really problematic and something that can’t be overlooked. I’m not saying it changed my opinion of Adrian, but it made me take a solid step back. It just, ugh. Yikes. Gave me a very yucky feeling in my stomach, for sure.

And then the ending?! Oh my goodness, what a cliffhanger. I was absolutely SHOCKED! And I’m so scared for what’s going to happen to Sydney in the next book, oh man. Definitely prepare yourselves for this one, guys, cause it’s a heartbreaker!

All in all, I did really love this book. I thought it was maybe the strongest one yet, and I can’t wait to see what Richelle has in store for the next one!

Check out this series immediately, if you haven’t already!!

Pages: 420

Date Published: November 19, 2013

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Reviews
April 18, 2014 posted by Emma

The Shadow Society – Marie Rutkoski

The Shadow SocietyDarcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .


Man, I’m bummed about this one. After practically devouring The Winner’s Curse (also by Marie Rutkoski), I was so excited to see that she had another book already out that looked right up my alley. Urban fantasy? Check. Badass heroine? Check. Hot dude who secretly isn’t the nice guy he claims to be? Check. But unfortunately, I just couldn’t really get into this one, despite wanting to so, so bad.

The Shadow Society tells the story of Darcy, a girl who was orphaned outside a fire department when she was five, and has always felt a little out of place. When the new guy at school takes a special interest in her, she can’t believe her luck! As they get closer, things seem to be going great, until…well…it turns out that she was right all along. She’s not normal at all, and Conn’s definitely not who he seems. And thus begins the wild ride alternate universes, infiltrating a secret society of Shades, and fighting tooth and nail to stay alive.

At first I was definitely digging this book. Darcy was likable enough, her friends were pretty funny, and the premise of her being something other than human kept me hooked. But after a while, there were just too many YA cliches that I couldn’t get past. Like the hot new guy takes an interest in the not-so-special normal girl. Which was fine, once you find out that the real reason he’s interested in her is because it’s his job to hunt down Shades, which is what Darcy is. But the thing is, his priorities change so fast and the budding relationship between them just felt so rushed. They become closer while he’s undercover because they’re working on a joint English project, and that’s all fine and good. But you never really experience that firsthand because time lapses pretty quick and the next thing you know they’re best friends and hanging out all the time. And then super fast he’s revealed to be the enemy, which in the book isn’t actually that soon because they’ve known each other for a few weeks already, but it feels fast cause it happens over the course of like, 3 chapters. But by that point they’re in love, and despite being the IBI (interdimensional bureau of investigation)’s best agent, he pretty much doesn’t give a crap about his job anymore and wants to keep Darcy safe. Yikes. Way too much insta-love for me!

The plot was slightly better, but again, some of the beginning events felt like they happened too quickly without a lot of explanation. It kind of seemed like Ms. Rutkoski just really wanted to get to a certain part of the book, so she was just moving really quickly through the more…boring parts? I guess? Even though to me, I would’ve liked to learn more about the agency Conn works for, and just more about the society in general. Oh well.

Anyway, I ended up DNF-ing this about halfway through, just because I was having a hard time staying focused and forcing myself to keep reading. I’m sure there’ll definitely be tons of fans of this book, but it felt a little too high school for me, with not enough substance to the plot to sustain it. And again, I’m SUPER bummed about this! I absolutely adored The Winner’s Curse, so I know what Ms. Rutkoski is capable of, but this one just didn’t deliver for me.

Pages: 416

Date Published: October 6, 2012

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Rating: DNF

Book Reviews
April 10, 2014 posted by Emma

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…


Anyone who knows me knows that I became a huuuge fan of this series after recently picking up a copy of The Raven Boys. There’s just so much goodness in these books, I can’t even begin to describe it.

Of course as soon as I finished the first one, I knew I had to get a copy of The Dream Thieves ASAP. This second installment picks up pretty closely after the first one ends, with Blue and the gang still desperately looking for Glendower. However, finding Cabeswater and the ley line changes all of them pretty drastically, and now they have to deal with the aftermath, along with staying alive against some not-so-nice people in search of the same magic that Gansey is looking for.

This book is definitely a little darker in tone than the first, because most of the gang isn’t coping very well with the discovery of the ley line. But now they’ve got bigger things to worry about, with the addition of an even more sinister villain (or is he?) and some new characters as well. I’m not going to lie, the plot definitely confused me (again), but like the first time, I pushed through for the sake of finding out what happens to the characters. There were so many things happening in so many different directions that at times it did feel a bit much, but it ended up being worth the confusion. I loved every single twisted second!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it absolutely astounds me how Ms. Stiefvater is able to create a world that’s so implausible and disconnected from our own, and yet so refreshingly real at the same time. Every word, every action, every breath that the characters take feels like they’re actually there with you. Or I guess, like you’re actually there with them. It’s beautiful, it really is.

And speaking of characters, we get to learn even more about the gang in the second book. The Dream Thieves shifts its focus a little, as far as who is doing most of the narrating. In this book, it shifts away from Gansey/Blue and more towards Ronan, which I really enjoyed. He’s such a darkly enigmatic character that it was fascinating (and oh my goodness, so heartbreaking) to learn about his backstory. Watching him struggle with his new abilities was amazing and little bit frightening, especially considering some of the revelations that go along with it. He gets fleshed out a lot more in this second book, and I loved it.

But don’t worry Gansey and Blue fans! They’re still present, just slightly less so. They’re just as bicker-y and snarky as the first book, except this time with a little more romance. As someone who loves the two of them together (sorry, Adam!), I enjoyed watching the slow build of their relationship as they became closer. But at the same time, her romantic entanglements are a little sad to watch, because you just know that someone’s going to get hurt.

Which brings me to Adam. Oh, Adam. He’s such a sweet, insecure guy, and I love him to death. But a definite darker side comes out in this book. Admittedly a huge chunk of it has to do with the effects of the ley line, but to what extent, I don’t know. Either way, if in the last book he was heading towards the edge of the precipice, in this book he’s teetering at the very tip. I’m so worried for this character, guys! He’s so unstable and unpredictable, and reading from his point of view feels like reading about a ticking time bomb, just waiting to explode. Definitely excited (and wary) to see what happens with him in the third book.

All in all, this book absolutely rocked just as much as the first one! Anyone who’s a fan of kickass heroines, slow-building romance, urban magic, and beautiful writing has GOT to check The Raven Cycle series out. Or really just if you like reading at all, check it out!

Go get your copies, this one’s a must read!


Pages: 439

Date Published: September 17, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Reviews
March 28, 2014 posted by Emma

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. Her Shiver series just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t really enjoy any of the standalone novels she’s written either. So despite ravings on Tumblr and Goodreads about how amazing The Raven Boys was, I went into it pretty hesitantly and with low expectations…which were completely blown out of the water!

The Raven Boys is a pretty intricately woven story about a girl named Blue, a non-psychic born into a family of psychics. And for as long as Blue can remember, she’s been told that when she kisses her true love, it’ll kill him. That’s when she meets Gansey, along with the rest of his friends. He’s rich, a little condescending, and everything Blue despises, but something about him makes her want to know more. And then the adventure really begins, as she’s drawn into the crazy world of the Raven Boys, full of long lost kings, ancient Welsh mythology, psychic magic, leylines, and some unexpected romance too.

In case you couldn’t tell by the description, this book was like NOTHING I’ve ever read before. Props to Maggie Stiefvater, because she’s officially converted me to her side. There’s so much goodness about this book, I don’t even know how to begin.

I guess I’ll start with the characters! As the narrator of our story (somewhat, it’s told from multiple perspectives), I adored Blue. She’s feisty, quirky, sharp-tongued, and smart as hell. I think the best way to describe her is prickly, but with a heart of gold. The thing I loved the most about her was how she’d call people out on their BS…she didn’t take crap from anyone, no matter who you were. And the rest of the cast was just as flawless. The boys themselves each had such vivid, well-woven personalities that practically leaped off the page. They felt like real people to me, which was so wonderful. Adam was the most precious (and heartbreaking) character I’ve ever read about…he was so bitter and resentful, but so sweet and gentle at the same time. Ronan was fierce and cruel, but you could practically feel his dedication and protectiveness of his friends. Noah was so quiet that he practically became invisible among his boisterous friends, and I just wanted to wrap him up in a blanket.

But oh my gosh, you guys. Gansey. Gansey. I’ve never loved a fictional character as much as I loved him. And I know I say similar things a lot, but I mean it this time. You know how sometimes you just connect with a character on such an emotional level? That was me and Gansey. I felt his pain, I understood what he was going through with his own internal demons, I cried over him. He was rich and privileged and a little bit oblivious to his own occasional tendency towards being condescending, but he meant well. He cares so fiercely for his friends and wants nothing more than to keep them all together and happy. He’s charming, smooth, but somehow down-to-earth at the same time. God, he’s just fantastic. He’s so incredibly real…but all of them are, really, and that’s what makes this book especially stand out.

The plot itself was the only tiny downfall. While it was fascinating and I had no idea what was going on…that was also the problem: I had no idea what was going on. Not for all of it, mind you, but there were definitely parts where I was like…umm…wait, what just happened? The thing was, it was so complex with so many different storylines that at times it felt like a bit much. BUT, by that point I was already so invested in the characters and the story that I didn’t even care!

All in all, this book is amazing. It’s hugely character-driven, which normally I don’t like, but you can’t not get invested in their lives and backstories. It’s also told from multiple points of view, which I also normally don’t like, but it worked in The Raven Boys. Please pick up this book immediately, guys, you won’t regret it! The plot is unique and full of magical goodness, the characters are utterly real and layered, and the writing is beautifully lyrical and sweeps you away.

This one is worth buying!

Look for my review of the second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, coming soon!

Pages: 416

Publication Date: July 30, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Book Reviews
March 27, 2014 posted by Emma

Dark Companion – Marta Acosta

Dark CompanionOrphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.

They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove and what she would risk to stay there..because even the brightest people make terrible decisions when they are offered the things they desire most.


I originally picked up Dark Companion for two reasons: the gorgeous cover, and the comparisons to Jane Eyre. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy some parts of the book, I was left mostly underwhelmed.

Things I liked:

The writing! It was really lovely and well-done, and had very Gothic, dark tones which appealed to me a lot. The book could definitely be a little creepy (and weird) at times, especially when the author was describing the gloomy, dreary school, but it worked. Sometimes it risked feeling a little too gloomy and drab, but all in all, the writing was a plus.

I also really enjoyed reading about some of the characters, with the exception of a few. Jane herself was kind of hit-or-miss with me…sometimes I felt myself empathizing and cheering her on, and sometimes I wanted to slap her upside the head (especially the way she let some of the others treat her). The best characters for me, however, was her best friend, Mary Violet, and the love interest, Jack. Mary Violet in particular was hilarious, with her quirky poetry and odd way of speaking/behaving. Jack was kind of an oddball, and while I’m not sure he’ll go into my list of favorite book guys, he was interesting and well-developed enough.

Things I disliked:

Lucien, or Lucky as he was called. Oh my gosh. He was so creepy, so abusive, and so weirdly possessive. I hated the way he treated Jane, and even worse, I hated that she let him! For a good chunk of the book she practically worships him, which I absolutely couldn’t stand, especially when his brother Jack was clearly the better choice.

Speaking of Jack, the romance wasn’t all that great either. Jane spends most of the book fixated on Lucky while ignoring the obvious signs that Jack is into her, in a kind of forced love triangle that didn’t really work (mostly since Lucky was a creep and clearly not a viable choice). And then when she finally does open her eyes and realize that Jack has been there all along…it feels really sudden and rushed. There was definitely some sweet moments between the two of them, but I just wasn’t feeling it, despite really liking Jack’s character.

And lastly, I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but basically the plot gets really weird really fast at a certain point, once Jane starts to figure out what Birch Grove’s big secret is. It was a little (okay, a lot) strange and I’m just not sure how much I’m willing to roll with it. Especially where Lucky is concerned, yuck! Again, I can’t say much…but I will say that it was definitely a little disturbing.


All in all, while there were some aspects of Dark Companion that I thoroughly enjoyed, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was a little too creepy in some parts and a little too bland for the rest of it. Some people might totally love it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Pages: 368

Publication Date: July 3, 2012

Publisher: Tor/Macmillan

Rating: ★★☆☆☆



Book Reviews
March 24, 2014 posted by Emma

World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) – Susan Ee

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?


Some mild spoilers in the following review! 

After reading (and falling madly in love with) Angelfall by Susan Ee, I just had to get my hands on World After, the next book in the series!

World After picks up almost directly after where the first book ends, with Penryn finally reunited with her mom and Paige. She’s safe, but they’ve got bigger problems now…the resistance is growing and as Penryn is taken to their camp by Obi and his men, she comes to realize that things aren’t looking up for the humans. On top of that, things aren’t going too hot for Raffe either…she hasn’t seen him since their parting at the Aerie, so for all she knows, he could be dead.

Personally, I loved World After almost as much as I loved the first one. The pace was just as quick as before and the action just as heart-pumping. It was somehow even more disturbing and creepy in a lot of parts, and at times I literally had to set my book down and take a few deep breaths! Susan Ee doesn’t hold back any punches with the descriptions of the atrocities of the angels, and sometimes it’s so vivid that it’s like you’re really there with Penryn. Definitely shuddered a few times, but couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page!

Penryn’s just as fabulous as before, with tons of snark and badassery all around. Although her mind definitely drifts in romantic directions towards Raffe a few times throughout the book, she again makes me proud by staying focused on keeping her family safe first and foremost. This girl’s got her priorities straight, that’s for sure.  The love that she has for Paige (and her mom, too) is almost tangible, and it was honestly really difficult sometimes reading as she struggles to reconcile the Paige she used to know with the damaged little girl she rescued from the Aerie.

Plot-wise, Susan Ee brought her A-game once again! Learning new bits of angel folklore and mythology was fascinating, and I was pretty much kept on the edge of my seat the whole time wondering how exactly the angel apocalypse (or is it?) will play out in future books. I still don’t know, to be honest, but I love that she keeps the readers guessing and theorizing!

The only issue that readers may have with the book is Raffe…or more specifically, the lack thereof. He’s MIA for a good chunk of it, which is definitely a huge bummer. To be fair though, Ms. Ee manages to come up with a very creative way to keep readers from missing him too much, and after all, absence makes the heart grow fonder! It’s a ballsy move on her part to have the love interest gone for that much of the book, but it works and somehow manages to actually increase the romantic tension between them (if that’s even possible). Plus, when he finally DOES show up…trust me, it’s worth the wait.

Long story short, this series is a MUST READ! I could sit here for hours and hours gushing, but it’ll be much better if you pick up your own copy. Seriously. Go, now!

Pages: 438

Publication Date: November 19, 2013

Publisher: Skyscape

Rating: ★★★★☆

Juliet Immortal – Stacey Jay
Book Reviews
December 29, 2011 posted by Nikki

Juliet Immortal – Stacey Jay

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn’t anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she’s fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

The world’s greatest love story ever told is a lie. Romeo and Juliet didn’t commit suicide and die for their love, Romeo murdered her. Her one true love, the one she trusted and wanted to be with more than anyone else in the whole world, betrayed her and took her life in an act of brutality Juliet isn’t able to escape. Not even now, in present day, and she jumps from body to body.

Seven hundred years on, Romeo is still working for the bad guys, and Juliet is still ambling through her existence, trying to save true love from the grips of hell. She hates her life, but after seven hundred years, she’s pretty used to it: invade a body, conquer and make love happen, escape and move on. But when Juliet invades Ariel’s body, she never ever expected that she might be the one to fall in love with her subject. It’s unheard of and absolutely forbidden. It feels like Juliet has met his soul before, encountered him in another life … but its impossible, right?

Meanwhile, Romeo will stop at nothing to get to his Juliet. His love is of the sadistic kind, and although he seems hell bent on destroying her life, in his sick way, he does love Juliet. And she’s slipping from his grasp. He’ll stop at nothing to prevent that from happening.

As a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet, I was deathly afraid that this story would butcher the classic for me. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. Yes, I struggled seeing Romeo in such an evil capacity, but it … worked. Juliet seems to hold some of that hopeless romance she carried in the original tale, but what I was happiest about was her strength. In the original classic, Juliet takes charge of her life, decides what she wants and finds a way to make it happen. Although Juliet in this story is a slave to her circumstances, she does find a way around her pitiful situation and goes after what she wants. I was happy to see that element of her character remained true.

Thus, Juliet Immortal  did not ruin the classic tale for me. It was a really enjoyable representation, actually. I think those that even hate the original tale will get a kick out of this one.

I take my hat off to the jacket designer. The cover is perfect, and was actually what made me pick it up in the first place. The red dress against the murky, restless ocean really struck a cord with me.

Pages: 306

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication date: 2011

Teaser Quote: Life is precious – his life especially – but there are worse things to lose. I turn back to Ben, brush his hair away from his ruined face, a part of me wishing he was conscious so I could say goodbye, the other part glad that he’s beyond feeling pain.