Tag Archives: Teen Urban Fantasy

Jealousy: A Strange Angels Novel – Lili St Crow
Book Reviews
August 14, 2010 posted by Nikki

Jealousy: A Strange Angels Novel – Lili St Crow

The Real World is  frightening place.

Just ask sixteen-year-old orphan, Dru Anderson, a tough girl who has taken on her fair share of bad guys. She’s armed, dangerous, and not going down without a fight. So it’s going to take her a while to figure out who she can trust…

Dru and Graves finally made it to the Schola Prima – the djampir training facility she was originally supposed to head to when Christophe rescued her from the evil clutches of his dad. Now their finally here, Dru should be able to relax and let her guard down a little, right?


Although she’s obviously supposed to feel safe in an environment like this, Dru knows better. Someone is trying to have her killed, and until she figures out exactly who that is, she’s not trusting anyone.

Except Graves, of course. She trusts him with her life. Apart from her deceased family, she’s never trusted anyone so much, ever.

And Christophe. Even though she’s not so sure she should, Dru trusts him too. But she doesn’t tell this to Graves, who thinks there’s more than meets the eye to Christophe. Or maybe its just that he’s jealous of the hold that Christophe seems to have over Dru. So when Dru decides to be plain and clear about her feelings for Graves, she’s more than a little confused when he pushes her away.

He liked her, right? What was he waiting for?

And so starts the frustrating game that is Dru and Graves. He says its not the right time, that she’s got too much going on, and maybe he’s right. But that doesn’t make it any easier, lessen the sting of rejection she’s trying so hard not to feel.

Dru find opposition from Anna – the other svetocha living at the Scholar Prima – and things take a turn for the worse.

Then, almost as if it were right on cue, the vampire attack happens. They’re after Dru – that much is obvious – but they’re not discriminating who they take down in the process. Dru and her friends become injured, and Graves … well, he’s nowhere to be found.

Suddenly, the game changes, and all Dru cares about, all she can think about, is finding where he is.

Is he still alive? God, she certainly hopes so.

Readers are treated to a different side of Dru in Jealousy. Her strong, fierce exterior is shelved for a while as she tries to negotiate her feelings for Graves, and the mess that has become her life. She doubts herself, misses her family desperately, and searches for a little comfort in a cold, hard world that affords her none. She’s still that kick-ass heroine we’ve all come to know and love, but this time, her human, sixteen-year-old adolescnet side just shines a little brighter than it did in the last two books.

Jealousy is an outstanding addition to the Strange Angels series. Dru’s world is one I love to get lost in, time and time again.

Publication: July 2010 (available now)

Pages: 316

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: He was full of surprises, my Goth Boy.

White Cat Cover & Release Date
December 8, 2009 posted by Nikki

White Cat Cover & Release Date

The cover of Holly Black’s new novel, White Cat, now officially has a cover. Take a look:

Pretty spesh, huh? Here’s the blurb as it appears on the back of the cover:

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers—people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail—he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the con men.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love—or death–and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

White Cat is scheduled for release on May 4, 2010.

Betrayals: A Strange Angel Novel – Lili St Crow
Book Reviews
November 17, 2009 posted by Nikki

Betrayals: A Strange Angel Novel – Lili St Crow

She’s no angel . . .

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem— she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

What I liked about Strange Angels (the first in this series) was that it wasn’t set in any kind of school for the creepy supernatural, like so many other YA paranormal books. So when I realized that Betrayals was set in a supernatural school for the kooky and the gifted, I was a little disheartened. But I was wrong to judge so fast. Let me clear this up right away, Betrayals is no high school novel and Dru is certainly no high school gal.

School never was her thing, so when Christophe dumps her and Graves at the Schola – a school for not so human folk – Dru wonders what he’s thinking. School? What’s the point? She can already fight. She already knows everything there is to know about all the beasties in the world … or so she thought.

Dru has never been great at following the rules, and decides that class can go stuff itself where the sun don’t shine, to hell with the consequences. And consequences there definitely should be. Everyone else at the Schola are severly punished for missing class, but not Dru. No one seems to even care that she’s skipping all the time. They’re not training her either, which is a worry because that was the whole reason she was dumped in this place to begin with. Christophe promised that they’d take care of her, help her refine her fighting skills. So far, all they’ve done is feed and house her.

Dru knows something is up.

Graves, on the other hand, loves his new home. He’s learning to fight, learning to control his new wolfy talents and somehow, he’s found himself in a position of power. He thinks Dru is just being stubborn, that she’s lived her life in fear for so long she doesn’t know any other way. Dru thinks Graves is drifting, distancing himself from her a little, but Dru is kind of blind sometimes. Perhaps Dru should be asking herself why Graves is spending so much time with others rather than whether he actually wants her around anymore.

And then there’s Christophe. Cryptic, tall, dark and handsome Christophe. If it weren’t for him, Dru and Graves would probably be dead by now. That warrants a certain amount of trust, right? But what does she really know about this guy (other than the fact that he makes her heart go thumpa thumpa)? Christophe is a bit of a ‘legend’ at the Schola and everyone seems to have an opinion about who he is and what he stands for. Will Dru be able to see through the stories and find the truth?

All the things I didn’t like about Strange Angels are no longer an issue in Betrayals. Where I found Strange Angels a little slow and disengaging, Betrayals is fast-paced, beautifully written, and masterfully suspenseful. Lili St Crow nails the art of writing action scenes, carving up the pages with just the right balance of description, dialogue and inner monologue. Where I was happy to take breaks reading Strange Angels, I was unable to put Betrayals down. I was found reading in the toilet, in the bath, at the dog park, in the supermarket. Everywhere I went, the book came with me.

As someone who didn’t like Dru much in the first novel, I was unbelievably happy with how her character developed in this instalment. Her rock hard exterior (which I found annoying and even a little unbelievable in the last book) softens somewhat in this novel and readers are privy to more of her personal, private thoughts. I feel I understand her more now and I found it difficult to dislike her. There were even times where my heart ached for her.  I didn’t care too much how her story played out after reading Strange Angels, but I’m happy to announce that I’m now completely invested in her trials and tribulations. I desperately want things to work out for her and I hope that she gets everything she needs to survive in this bitter and twisted world. Dru … you go get em girl!

Betrayals is a supernatural heart stopper full of all the best kind of paranormal beasties around. A must read for fans of Urban Fantasy fiction.

Rating:: ★★★★½

To read our review of Strange Angels, click here.

Hush Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick
Book Reviews
November 1, 2009 posted by Nikki

Hush Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

When Nora is partnered up with the new guy in biology, she knows instantly that there is something a little off about him. He’s cocky, for one, but that’s not all. The thing that really creeps her out is that he seems to know so much about her. And not just stuff he could have found out by sneaking a peek at her school record, or asking around on campus. No. He knows personal things about her, things that she barely knows about herself. And it’s more than a little terrifying.

Interestingly, though, after Nora gets over the initial shock that he seems to know every possible thing about her, the thing that bothers her the most about him is this weird, niggling feeling she gets every time he’s near. Is it fear? Anger? Or maybe it’s something much, much worse… but what could be worse than fear and anger? I think we all know what I’m talking about. When you’re a teenager, love can be worse than everything.

Although its totally obvious that Nora is right to be creeped out by Patch, his persistence, his arrogance, and his mysterious bad boy persona is extremely attractive. Becca Fitzpatrick didn’t need to work very hard to convince me that Patch is one hell of a character. He’s got sex appeal, he’s other-worldly, and he’s got just enough bad mixed in with all the mystery to make him oh-so-good. Patch had me at hello, and I’m almost certain he’ll have all of you, too.

But be warned, readers. Looks and first impressions can be deceiving, and there’s more than a little deception going on in Hush, Hush. The hard part is figuring out where it’s all coming from.

Nora is no idiot, and although she’s beginning to work out that those weird zappy feelings she’s having in her stomach whenever Patch is around are actually warm fuzzies, she keeps her guard up. How can you trust someone you know nothing about? How can you trust a locked vault? Patch won’t tell her anything, and when creepy, unexplainable things keep happening in his presence, Nora is smart enough to know that he’s linked to all the craziness.

Nora’s character is totally believable. She hesitates for just the right amount of time, and her natural sense of curiosity motivates her in just the right kinds of ways. Unlike so many other characters in young adult novels today, Nora totally acts her age and I bought every single aspect of her personality. She’s strong and independent, but not so strong that she is without a sense of teen innocence. She’s an awesome role model for teen girls everywhere.

Becca Fitzpatrick’s prose is effortless, and a real pleasure to read. By the end of the first page, I felt like I was sitting front and centre at the local cinema, rather than on my couch with a book in my hand.

This is teen urban fantasy at its best. It’s got romance, supernatural goodness (and badness), thriller, mystery, and just a splash of realism. When heaven and earth collide, all hell will break loose. Patch and Nora are characters that you’ll love to lose yourself in, and their crazy supernatural world is one that you’ll want to revisit over and over again.

Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Rating:: ★★★★★

Meridian – Amber Kizer
Book Reviews
September 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

Meridian – Amber Kizer

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

On Meridian’s sixteenth birthday, life takes an unexpected change. Imagine waking up only to be told that you’re not normal – not even human, in fact. Fenestra is not a word that she’s familiar with, but when she learns what they are, things suddenly start making a whole lot of sense. She’s like the window to the other world, people (and things) need the Fenestra in order to pass from this life into the next.

So that’s why things have always died around her… she’d always thought that there was something cosmically wrong with her, that they were dying because of her. It is comforting for Meridian (in a creepy kind of way) to learn that they don’t die because of her, but because they need her. Helping people cross to the other side is dangerous stuff, though, and Meridian must learn how to harness and control her powers. Nothing would suck more than getting dragged into the other world by a soul who doesn’t know how to let go…

And now, more than ever, Meridian has reasons to stay in this world.

Meet Tens. He’s Meridian’s assigned protector. It’s his destiny, his purpose in life, but what he doesn’t tell Meridian is that if he dies trying to protect her, she dies too. This is a relationship of an entirely different calibre. They’re going to be spending their entire lives together, trying to keep each other alive, so it’s a good thing they seem to be falling deeply in love with each other, too. I can’t imagine having to spend my whole life with someone that I didn’t love… can you? It’s not all roses and candy, though, and learning to trust someone with your life doesn’t come so easily.

How will Meridian cope with her new responsibilities as a Fenestra, and will she be able to carry the torch after her mentor is dead and gone?

Upon arriving at her Aunts house, considering her circumstances, I thought she learned to trust her new friends all too quickly. While I understand that Auntie is the kind of character that makes people feel comfortable immediately, I thought Meridian could have spent a little more time questioning her motives. She was, after all, ripped from her family and told she may never see them again. Her relationship with Tens develops at a nice pace, though. Readers are kept waiting just long enough to incite a bit of a frenzy within.

Meridian has all the elements of a good supernatural story. Readers both young and old will love this one! I’m interested to hear what you guys think about this one!

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Site Updates
September 2, 2009 posted by Nikki

September Book of the Month

Hi yaReaders,

I just wanted to let you know that our chosen Book of the Month here at yaReads in September is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

For those that haven’t heard of this one yet, here’s a synopsis:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf–her wolf–is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Stay tuned for a review, guest review and an interview with the lovely Maggie. All coming your way this month!

Book Reviews
August 22, 2009 posted by Nikki

The Demon’s Lexicon – Sarah Rees Brennan

Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick’s mother stole — a charm that keeps her alive — and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon’s mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase…and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians’ Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

This is The Demon’s Lexicon. Turn the page.

As if being on the run from demons isn’t bad enough. When Mae and Jaime walk into Nick and Alan’s life, Nick reckons that things couldn’t get any suckier. Jamie has been marked, and his sister (Mae) is desperate for Nick and Alan’s help removing it. But then Alan gets marked and Nick’s priority is solely and absolutely focussed on getting that devilish thing the hell off his brother. And so starts their journey – all FOUR of them.

Yep, that’s right – Mae and Jamie are along for the ride. Alan insists he’ll help them – probably because he’s jonesing for Mae, Nick reckons, but whatever. Any reason is a bad reason. Alan should be focussing on getting his own mark removed, not removing someone else’s.

Then the unthinkable happens. Nick – although he refuses to acknowledge it initially – totally starts falling for Mae. A kid like Nick could probably use the loving of a good girl like Mae. Might break his rock hard exterior somewhat. Teach him a thing or two on the treatment of human beings. Problem is, though, that Nick can’t possibly like the same girl as Alan. Brothers just don’t do that to each other, right? And what about Mae? Nick is pretty sure she likes Alan, but then, he kind of thinks she likes him to. Typical. Damn girls.

And freaking hell, girls only complicate things. Girls shouldn’t be his priority right now. Alan should be. Alan IS. Really. He’s got to get that freaking mark off of Alan if it’s the last thing he ever does. His life is meaningless without Alan. And while Alan is marked, his days are pretty much numbered.

Just when you think its all over, that they’re all going to die, the story takes an unimaginable turn…

This one is a little slow on the uptake kids, but I guarantee that once the action starts you’re not going to want to put it down. If you’re not into the dark and agro characters normally, you might have a few issues processing your feelings towards Nick at the beginning, but I assure you, you’ll fall in love with him soon enough. Reading The Demon’s Lexicon taught me that I need to take my time with the narrative a little more. I’m always in such a hurry to get to the action, the hot spots of the novel. This is one of those foundation laying kind of stories. Every word is important. When you turn the last page, you’ll realise just how important.

Like a good fantasy novel? Love The Demon’s Lexicon.

Rating: : ★★★★☆