"I spent my life folded between the pages of books." -Tahereh Mafi

Some of my reviews are normal non-spoilery reviews. But some of reviews contain lots and lots of spoilers to help you (and me!) remember what happened when the next book in the series finally comes out. Both review types are clearly marked.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This post contains lots of spoilers!!

Blue (yes, that is seriously the main character's name) lives with her psychic mom and her mom's two psychic friends in a small town in Virginia. Blue is not psychic but her proximity makes it easier for psychics. Every psychic she knows has predicted that her true love would die after she kisses him.

She goes with her aunt Neeve to a church on St. Mark's Eve, where her aunt will be able to see the people that will die that year. For the first time ever, Blue sees a spirit too. She asks his name and he tells her it's Gansey. Neeve says the only reason a non-psychic would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve is if he's her true love or if she kills him.

Gansey is a rich kid who goes to a rich boarding school. He and his friends Adam (poor townie kid who's on a partial scholarship), Ronan (tough guy who has an attitude problem since his dad died), and Noah (who is pretty nondescript) are trying to find the ley lines so that they can wake some Celtic king who is supposedly buried along them. Gansey thinks a psychic might be able to help them find the ley lines so he makes an appointment with Maura, Blue's mom. 

After the reading, Maura forbids Blue from seeing Gansey, which she of course defies. She decides she wants to help him find the ley lines. They find a strange forest where a tree shows them each a different glimpse of the future. They want to try a ritual to wake up the ley lines, but the ritual requires a sacrifice so they hold off. While walking the ley lines one night, Blue and Gansey find a dead body - it's Noah's. Apparently Noah has been dead for 7 years, but was able to manifest because of the ley lines. Once his body is moved, it becomes harder for him to manifest, but he is occasionally able to use Blue's energy to do so. They figure out that Mr. Whelk, their Latin teacher, is the one who killed Noah in his attempt to wake the ley lines 7 years ago. And he's going to try again. 

Adam and Blue have a timid sort of flirtation. Although in the glimpse of the future she was shown, she was about to kiss Gansey. Gansey annoys her at first, but eventually grows on her. She is able to relate to Adam because they're both poor. Adam's father is abusive and Gansey continually tries to convince him to leave and come live with him, but Adam always refuses because of his pride. Eventually Adam's father beats him right after being dropped off by Ronan. Ronan sees and doubles back to attack his father. Ronan is nearly arrested, but Adam ends up pressing charges against his father and moves out. 

Neeve captures Whelk so she can sacrifice him in the ritual. He's able to get free and tries to sacrifice her. Adam arrives to also try to ritual and stops them. He apparently sacrifices himself...except he still seems alive after the ritual... So I really don't know what happened there. So the ley line is awake and now the search for the Celtic king can really begin.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Farm by Emily McKay

Spoilers!! This post contains spoilers!

This book takes place about 6 months after the apocalypse. People started turning into rapid,  zombie-like vampires that everyone refers to as Ticks. Apparently they find teenager blood more appealing and are repulsed by pregnancy hormones. Teens are sent to "farms" on college campuses where they live in safety from the Ticks, but they are required to donate blood every so often. At 18, their blood no longer has as much of the teen hormones that the Ticks love so much so they are released (or more likely killed).

Lily and Mel are identical twins living on one of the farms. Mel is austic and has gotten less functional during their time on the farm. They will be turning 18 soon and Lily is trying to figure out a way for them to escape. She tries barrtering for the supplies they will need.

She runs into Carter, a guy she went to school with (and had a huge crush on) in the Before. He recently got to the farm and tries to earn her trust. He catches her trying to sneak off the farm. She's afraid that he's a Collab, but he explains to her that he's on this farm to rescue people, including her. He's teamed up with Sebastian, a vampire who is quite different from the Ticks. Sebastian's not a good guy, but he's not evil either. But he does want to stop Roberto, the vampire who (they think) created the Ticks to begin with. They think that Roberto has an abductura, which is someone who can control the will of others, working for him and that's how the world surrendered to the Ticks so quickly. Carter and Sebastian have been traveling from farm to farm trying to find an abductura of their own that they can use to defeat Roberto.

Lily is skeptical, but her and Mel escape the farm with Carter and Sebastian, along with a couple other former classmates, Joe & McKenna. McKenna is pregnant with Joe's child and he is afraid of what will happen to it after it's born. The escape does not go smoothly. They run into some Ticks, who are attracted to the tracking devices they had implanted in the farm. And the Dean of the farm comes after them. Him and Sebastian were supposed to have a deal to allow him to take them with him, but the Dean has figured out that Sebastian thinks that Lily is an abductura and he wants her for himself. Carter admits to Lily that he thinks that she is one, which she doesn't take well. She doesn't believe that she has this power and is even more upset when Carter explains that he thinks the reason he was into her in school was because of her powers.

They are able to defeat the Collabs that come after them, but the Dean grabs Mel in the confusion. Lily wants to go after them, but they need to regroup and get more gas for their van. They try to find refuge in a church because Ticks aren't supposed to be able to come onto holy ground. But apparently the church isn't iconic enough, but the Ticks attack. They dig out their tracking devices and Joe (presumably) sacrifices himself by taking off with the tracking devices in another car they had found. The rest of the gang heads off to find Mel and the Dean.

They find them and kill the Dean, but are attacked by Ticks. One attacks Lily and it looks like she's going to die when Mel intentionally draws its attention. It attacks and kills her. Lily is able to convince Sebastion to try to turn her into a vampire, which apparently only works 1% of the time. He then insists that they leave because she'll be hungry if it works (which it does). Carter, Lily, and McKenna head to Canada, Lily & Mel's original plan. Lily decides that instead of settling in Canada, that they'll get McKenna there and then Lily with continue on with Carter to Utah, the base of his rebellion against Sebastian.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

This post contains lots of spoilers!!

In this book Jace and Sebastian get linked together so that if one of them dies/gets hurt, the other does as well. So as much as they want to kill Sebastian, they can't because they'll also hurt Jace. Also their emotions are linked together with Sebastian's will being dominant because it's fun to make your good guys become bad.

Clary pretends to join with Jace Sebastian while the others try to find a weapon that can kill Sebastian without hurting Jace. Clary discovers that Sebastion's plan is to create a new race of dark shadowhunters using Lillith's blood.

The others are finally able to find a weapon that can hurt one without hurting the other from an angel. They launch an attack on Sebastion. They aren't able to kill Sebastion and he ends up escaping. But Clary is able to use the sword on Jace which apparently burns away his darkness. So he's regular Jace again except now he apparently has some sort of Angel power in his blood left over from the sword.

Isabel and Simon finally hook up in this book as do Jordan and Maia. Maia is finally able to forgive Jordan for turning her into a werewolf. However things aren't as happy for Magnus and Alec. Magnus discovers that Alec has been talking to Camille and that she offered a way to take his immortality away so that they can live a normal lifetime together. Alec considers it and then realizes it was a mistake after he almost loses Magnus in the battle against the Sebastian.  But he realizes it too late and Magnus breaks up with him anyway.