Book Review Monday

Darkness Becomes Her, by Kelly Keaton

Book description: Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

My review: I really liked this book. The first in the Gods and Monsters series, this set up a genuinely interesting world, where gods are real and somewhat terrifying. Set in a sort-of apocalyptic New Orleans, the city had been destroyed by several hurricanes and purchased by a group of wealthy supernaturals, who know rule the city under their own law. Mixed into this is an interesting take on Greek mythology and it definitely made me want to know more about everything.

A good book on its own, but I kind of see this as a great set up to what can be a fascinating series. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Keaton.

 

Red Rain, by R.L. Stine

Book description: Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction and Lea barely escapes with her life. In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers orphaned twin boys and impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark and their two children, Ira and Elena—aren’t quite so pleased. But even they can’t anticipate the twins’ true nature—or predict that, within a few weeks’ time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in.

My review: I can’t believe I didn’t know that R.L. Stine had come out with another adult horror book. I like to think of myself as a little bit of an expert on all things Stine, so I was hurt that this got by me. And R.L. did not disappoint. He delivered … his special brand of “bat-shit-craziness” that I have come to know and love.

Was it good? No. Was it particularly scary. Um, not really. The book is pretty obvious, there’s no real suspense. You know pretty early in the book not only who the bad guys are, but what exactly they are, their motivations. And the endings in any R.L. book have to have some sort of “wtf just happened” moment – which this did. Read if you love R.L. Stine. Don’t if you do not.

 

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

Book description: In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

My review: I feel that the whole angel concept is getting almost as tired as vampires – there seems to be a lot of YA angel fiction going on right now. Unearthly was a decent book, but I guess I’m starting to feel that it was a little bland.

Maybe that’s not fair to angel books in general. I like me a good angel book, but Unearthly kind of irked me at the end so I think I’m a little embittered. My issue is that there was no wrap up whatsoever. None. There was a twist at the end, which might have been interesting to me, except nothing else had been answered at all and that just bothers me. Authors: at least pretend to write a book that can stand alone. When there is clearly going to be a second part, it just ends up looking lazy that you decided to make it into two books, or more. I’m more lenient at the end of the second book in a trilogy, but the very first book? At least try.

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