Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Review of The Fiery Heart

The Fiery Heart
(Bloodlines #4)
By Rachel Caine
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.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
The story continues in this fourth book from the Bloodlines series. Adrian and Sydney’s love goes through the rollercoaster of ups and downs, made more difficult by Zoe; Sydney’s younger sister and new alchemist. Zoe has all the fears of dhampirs and morois that Sydney dealt with when coming to Palm Springs, considering them as evil monsters, which doesn’t help matters when her sister is secretly dating one of them.

To make matters worse, their parents are getting divorced and unbeknownst to Zoe and her father, Sydney wants to take her mother’s side. The friction between the sisters steadily increases, right until the very end. Zoe’s actions make me despise her, particularly the ending; no spoilers!

Sydney’s practice in magic and her sessions with her History teacher continue, and she makes a breakthrough with her ink so that the Alchemist’s compulsion can be overridden. Meanwhile, another breakthrough is made in combatting the Strigois, which I’m sure will be vital in the next part of the series.

I loved how The Fiery Heart was told from both Adrian and Sydney’s point of views. Adrian was as charming as ever, but I feel he’s lost most of his bad-boy quality now that Sydney has reformed him and because he’s in love with her. Oh well, all good things must come to an end right?

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

“You don’t have to go if you’re afraid,” I said. There was probably nothing else I could’ve said that would’ve motivated her more. She was driven to become a super Alchemist, largely to impress the Sage father, who, I’d concluded after many stories, was a major asshole.
“Everything’s fine. Maybe it wasn’t as heavy as you thought.”
“It was pretty heavy,” Rowena said, but relief filled her face. I even thought I caught a glimmer of tears in her eyes as she looked at me. “I guess you just got the block off fast enough.” There was no sign that she remembered the burst of healing.
"Because I’m manly and brave,” I said solemnly.

A sly smile crossed Rose’s lips. “I think Nina likes you. Maybe you could look her up the next time you’re at Court. Would do you good to settle down.” It was a dangerous comment, considering our past, but it no longer bothered me.
“What, and disappoint all the women of the world? How cruel do you think I am?”

“What are you doing?” demanded Wesley.
“Practicing my treejitsu skills. You’ve probably never heard of it, but believe me, it’s enough to knock you on your ass and wipe that smug look off your face.”

“She probably doesn’t want to bother you since you’re so busy,” I said. “Aren’t you failing English?”
Angeline flushed. “It’s not my fault.”
“Even I know you can’t write an entry on Wikipedia and then use it as a source in your essay.” Sydney had been torn between horror and hysterics when she told me.
“I took ‘primary source’ to a whole new level!”

“Escape plan number seventy-three,” I said. “Open a pancake restaurant in Sweden.”
“Why Sweden?"
“Because they don’t have pancakes there.”
“They do, actually.”
“Well, then, it looks like we’ve got our market already in place.”

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Academy #5

Drop of Doubt
(The Academy #5)
By C.L. Stone


Sang Sorenson and the Academy boys return to Ashley Waters High School but before they get a chance to even settle in, Sang’s life is threatened by an anonymous caller.

They retreat to the protective walls of the Morgan estate, a safe house for when the boys are under fire. But when new threats can break through those barriers that once kept them secure, it leaves Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North rushing to figure out who is hunting them.

But when you’re fighting a ghost who seems to know all your secrets, retreating is no longer an option.

The Academy, Deceptively Strategic.

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.75/5

My Thoughts:

Oh wow, I just finished book 5. It took me six days to read, but I assure you i was very tempted to read it all in one go. To stop myself from doing that, i had to remind myself that book six was not published and so after this, it would be another waiting game for the release of book six.
In this book we see a new ‘villain’ although I’m not entirely sure he is a villain per se. Volto, named after the venetian mask he constantly wears, is incredibly smart, manipulative and out to warn Sang to stay away from the Academy boys for some unknown reason. What’s weird is that he doesn’t hurt sang when he’s alone with her, in fact he even helps her when she’s in a bad situation.
However, he does plant seeds of doubt in Sang’s mind, hence the book’s name.
We don’t see Sang’s stepmother or McCoy which was a shame. Yes they’re both horrible, but they make the story much more interesting!
I felt for Gabe in this book, he felt so neglected and then ends up getting injured in a fight. Poor thing, hopefully he has a happier time in book six.
Book five was significantly darker than the previous books, probably because of the constant threat of Volto trying to kidnap Sang. There were a few fun scenes like the spa date with Victor and the finger nail painting, but there was an underlying current of seriousness behind it all.
Overall, loved where is book six?!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"The Academy wants me to quit. They encourage giving it up if I'm not happy. We don't always get to do what we want, but the Academy is built to work on your strengths and your passion. You don't make it far if you don't at least enjoy some of what you're doing." (Victor)

"I have to share you with the guys," he said. "I don't want to share you with the world." (Victor)

"Couldn't someone just scale the wall and walk in the front door?"
"They wouldn't make it over the wall. The only reason you got in was because you were with me."
"What if I scale the wall?"
"Please don't scale the wall, Princess." (Victor)

Before I had told them I didn't feel part of their group. Now it was like I was suddenly cast into cold bath water. It wasn't just me and my small Academy family facing off the world. It was the world out there, and me in an unknown place with the Academy hovering over me with secrets. I suddenly didn't know who they were any more.

"You can't just lock me up in a bubble."
"Like hell I can't," he said. His eyes told me there wouldn't be an argument about this. He collected half of the stack of photos, shoving them into his back pocket. He went to the door. "Stay her, lock up. Don't move. I don't want to have to chase your ass around town if fuck-face shows up." (North)

"She won't stop crying," Luke said. "Someone make her stop."
"The crazy girl has nerves of steel until you tell her the show's over," Victor said.

"How can you be so beautiful? Now I feel like more of an asshole."
"And on top of it, I wake up and you're right here next to me." He lifted his head. The light from the window caught in his face. "You came back for me. You pulled a fucking knife out of my leg. What the hell did I do to get you to like me so much?"
"You painted my toenails."
A hand lifted from my back, and landed with a smack against my thigh. "Shush, smart ass."

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Academy book #4

Forgiveness and Permission
(The Academy #4)
By C.L. Stone

Sang Sorenson’s abusive mother is secure in a hospital, and her father has vanished to a new family of his own, leaving Sang and her sister to fend for themselves. Sang is hanging by a thread, and her only hope is a group of boys she feels she barely knows.

She’s never really alone. The Academy team has stepped in, promising to protect and care for Sang. Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North take over, showing Sang they can be depended on for anything. But just because the parents are away, doesn’t mean Sang’s life has become any easier.

The newfound freedom will have a higher price than any of them had imagined.

Principal Hendricks now wants to use Sang to exploit Academy secrets. Mr. McCoy has his own dark plans for her. Enemies are closing in. Sang will need to learn to believe in the boys, and the boys will need to learn to trust her if they want to survive their rivals.

And each other.

The Academy, Relentless Trust.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:

Seeing as the Academy book five is set to release tomorrow, I thought I would refresh my memory and re-read the series. Finishing book four this morning on my commute to work has made me anxious for tomorrow to arrive.
In this book, we get to see Sang’s life without her parents. As per her promise to her father, she is living in her old house to take care of Marie, whilst her mother has been admitted to hospital for her treatment. The new-found freedom that Sang receives as a result is both refreshing and daunting for Sang. Now she doesn’t need to hide at the boys’ houses, since they can stay at hers, and without sneaking around.
In this book we get to see more of Derrikc and other non-academy people, and the confusion this causes in Sang’s relationship. For example, Nathan flips out when he finds out Derrick slept in Sang’s room, but Sang doesn’t understand why its okay for the academy boys to sleep with her,but not anyone else. The academy boys’ feelings for her are even more tangled than before, creating jealousy and tense atmospheres.
Sang feels increasingly out of the loop, particularly because the boys seem to know everything about her yet she’s not privy to their and the academy’s secrets. She thinks that by joining the academy she will feel more like their family, however she is having trouble wih the first vital rule of the academy; trust your family. Before Sang joins she needs to be able to trust her friends without reservation, but how is that possible when they keep so many secrets from her?
I’m really looking forward to the next book to find out whether Sang’s mum returns, what McCoy really wants, and how Sang’s relationships with the boys’ develops, particularly with Dr Green and Mr Blackbourne. I’m also interested in knowing more about Sang’s nightmares, and what happened in her past that triggers them....
The only problem is that the books are never long enough!
Zed (:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Academy book #3

Friends vs. Family
(The Academy #3)
By C.L. Stone

Sang Sorenson is forced to suffer through another of her mother’s extreme punishments. It almost kills her. The Academy boys vow it will be the last. They're determined to keep Sang safe, especially from her own family.

Their solution: complete invasion of her life.

Kota, Luke, Silas, Nathan, Victor, Gabriel and North do everything within their power to show Sang what true loyalty means. It takes more than blood to make a family and they want Sang in theirs.

In this third book of The Academy series Sang experiences a taste of freedom and what it’s like to truly be cared be wanted. Sang learns a bit more about the boys’ broken families and the boys discover more than they could ever have bargained for about Sang’s. The Academy was the answer to their problems. Could it be hers?

Sang’s actions will force her mother to reveal a startling truth. A truth that will change Sang’s life and the boys’ lives in unpredictable ways. Forever.

The Academy, Allegiance.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

My thoughts:
I absolutely love this book, reading it for the second time in 3 weeks, which is crazy for me, considering I have so many other books on my TBR pile. Rather than go into a full on review about what I loved about this book, I will share my favourite quotes.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

His suitcase must have already been in the car. Telling me he was leaving was like an afterthought. No goodbyes. No promises to call.
A hollow household with hollow people. We did what we had to do.

"You should be able to walk normally. Just no more jumping from balconies for a while."
"How about ever?" Gabriel asked. "Let's go with that. Never ever jump off the school balcony again. Or any balcony. Stay away from balconies."

Your family should come before friends or anyone else. You should always protect them. Why were principles such as loyalty and blood bonds such cruel, twisted things?

"...You'll always have the choice. Family is a choice."
"It is?"
His thumb pressed into my palm firmly. "It's your choice. Parents and siblings are your relations. Family takes care of one another and helps each other. When each side is working together, when everyone wants it, that makes the difference."

Gabriel was beaming. He hooked an arm around my neck to pull me close. "That's the best reaction I've gotten out of them yet," he said. "We should have picked you up a long time ago."
Kota swallowed. "I'm not sure she should wear that to school. If Danielle wanted your clothes before, she'll rip them from your body, now."
"School?" North asked. "I don't know if I want her leaving this house."

That alone was the biggest cause for my fear. Before they invaded my life, I may not have been so free, but my life was predictable. Now I was a shattered mess, and the boys were blowing my tender shards across the floor, toward a destination I wasn't privileged to know. Academy secrets.

The other started laughing.
"Sang," North grumbled.
"It was Silas!"
"Silas doesn't giggle like that, I'm pretty sure."

He jerked his head back. "What the fuck is wrong with her head?"
"It's the shampoo," I whispered, holding the extra towel up close to my mouth to partially hide my face.
"Gabe," North barked. His eyes met mine and held firmly. "Change the formula. It smells like shit."
"It's not there to make her smell pretty."
"I don't care. It stinks. Change it." He smirked and winked at me. "Sang can't smell like a dead rat."
"God damn shit," Gabriel grumbled, marching into Kota's room and down the stairs. "Gabriel, don't wash her hair. Gabriel, change the motherfucking formula Gabriel, cut off your own ear and eat it." There was more but he'd wandered off into the house and it was lost.

"Holy shit," Gabriel said. "The first time Sang gets asked out and it's by Kota's mother."
"Shut up," Kota said.

They took care of each other, and sometimes without asking. They got what they needed and worked together so they could do their job and move forward.
Family first, Kota had said. Family first and when that was in order, we moved on to other things.
And I was now family.

"Can't spend the night on her own in her own fucking bedroom and wants me to leave her naked in the dark closet."

"...No dating. Nothing romantic."
The surge of rejection toward this idea reverberated, surprisingly, from the others in the group around Kota.
"I don't approve," Victor called out, using the more formal method of rejection established by the Academy.
"I don't approve," echoed Gabriel, in a louder voice, as if trying to establish he felt stronger about it than Victor. Their eyes locked on each other, and Kota recognised the challenge in their faces.
"I more than disapprove, I reject it entirely," North grumbled.
Mr Blackbourne pushed a palm to his forehead. "Good god, don't tell me it's already happened."

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
Day 4 (Books of 2014 That I Won't Miss)
Rachel at Parajunkee is hosting a great New Year’s Challenge.
Books that I won't miss reading in 2014:
Drop of Doubt (The Academy #5)

Dreams of Gods & Monsters
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3)

Unhinged (Splintered #2)

City of Heavenly Fire (TMI #6)

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)

Cruel Beauty

Which books don't you plan to miss this year?

Zed (: