Goodreads: This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended–Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer–one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack–and the man–she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.
In this second book set in Cremer’s Nightshade Universe Calla is even more bad ass than before. We immediately started off straight into the action and the ending of this book sets up the next book Bloodrose perfectly.
The only criticism I wish to give is HEY WHERE THE HELL WAS MY REN. By my Ren I mean Ren in general. There was a sad lacking, and Cremer focused on the relationship that might developing between Calla and Shay (whom I loathe with the fire of a thousand suns) and her guilt for leaving her pack behind.
We learn more about those who oppose the Keepers that enslave her Guardian pack. We learn more about Calla as a person and I think in Wolfsbane her personality really shines through. Which is why I really dig the new covers. I really think they express the Calla I have come to know while reading Nightshade and Wolfsbane.
I felt Wolfsbane was a solid sequel and I am very interested in reading the third book. I have a feeling there will be more Ren. The big reveals are insane and Cremer’s plot pace was steller. If you haven’t read Nightshade pick up a paperback now!
I reviewed this book as part of the blog tour that Mundie Moms organized. There is tons of other cool stuff happening this week on other blogs so check it out!
From Goodreads: 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 mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, 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.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts 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, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
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.
Let me start off by saying I have been reading Holly Black since before I was a blogger. Since before I knew what the term Urban Fantasy was or what it meant, what imprints were and how they influence my reading. It’s not often anymore I can bring you a review of a book from an author that I was fangirling over back before Bookalicious was born, and Holly Black is one of those authors.
We find Cassel at a boarding school (and y’all know I love me some boarding schools) where he is generally bored and making a nuisance of himself by running an illegal betting pool with stacked odds. Cassel is immediately likable even though he is the type of character we all love to loathe normally. I am still not sure how Black pulled that one over on me. Cassel has a nightmare that he is standing on a roof about to jump when he wakes up standing on a roof about to jump, has he been cursed by a worker? The school freaks out and throws him out until he can promise not to sleep walk anymore and this is where the true meat of the story begins.
We follow Cassel through the book trying to come to grips with a murder he committed. He killed his best friend Lila, she also happens to be the next in line for the head of a huge crime family. His family helped him cover up the murder and sent him to a fancy school as his mother is sitting in jail having been caught emotion working a rich guy for some cash. I really can’t tell you more without giving plot points away just know it is real, it gets gritty and it’s dark and it is well worth reading.
One of the most interesting things that Black did with this story is that the environment itself was almost a character on it’s own. We have mobsters who take young workers whose parents abandon them and bring them up in crime families, everyone wears gloves to keep from being worked on the street randomly. We have bills in office to legalize working because some workers want to use it for good, and underground support groups helping workers in countries where their hands are being cut off out of fear from people who are afraid of being worked. Dare I say this book has some dystopic undertones for the workers?
If you haven’t read this yet you should, especially with book two Red Glove coming out just around the corner in April!
FTC Disclosure: I got this book as a Christmas present, oh and don’t come to close if I don’t have my gloves on.
From Goodreads: As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…
When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.
The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.
Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…
Buy Firespell from Kepler’s and support an indie! (This is not an affiliate link, I make no profit.)
I won this book in a contest from Truth, Beauty and Books. The author sent me the book with a post it on to p saying congrats, the book was signed and some bookmarks and an awesome sticker.
I have to say I was looking forward to this book because I was in the mood for witches. However I didn’t get exactly what I bargained for, I got way more. Lily is a very fun character who is easy to like and follow. Her penchant for mischief is hilarious and the slow going but fast paced way she has her revaluations about her new found friends are brilliantly written.
The side characters are well fleshed out and laugh out loud funny. The boarding school theme which can sometimes overwhelm the book itself was just right.
If you like Hex Hall and Once a Witch you will adore Firespell. Here is a video of me reading an excerpt from the book.
Bookalicio.us: I have to say you have Southern people described to the letter. Are either of you Southern or have family that lives in the South? As I was reading I was fascinated with how much your book took me home to my teen years in Saltville Virginia (The Salt Capitol of the Confederacy).
Kami: My family is originally from a small town in North Carolina, so I grew up with three generations of women (two Southern) living under one roof. I have a deep affection for the eccentricities of the South, and still go to see my mom in North Carolina every summer. Margie’s family is originally from a tiny town, though not in the South, and I think our shared stories from casserole counties are what made us want to set our story in Gatlin, SC. Even if it isn’t the Salt Capitol of the Confederacy!
Bookalicio.us: I often wondered through out the book why you chose Ethan as opposed to Lena as the main character. The more I read the more I was confused about that, but the more I read the more I loved the fact you did so. It was a breath of fresh air in the paranormal YA assortment.
Margie: You have to remember, we originally wrote this story on a dare from seven teenagers, who read our pages nightly and weekly as we wrote them. So we weren’t really thinking about anything other than what they would want to read. They were powerful, strong, individualistic teenage girls – except for our one Caster Boy! – and we wanted to give them a story where the girl was the powerful, mysterious supernatural, and the boy had to unravel her mystery, find his way to her. Also, I think we also wanted to give them something they hadn’t read before.
Bookalicio.us: The Character of Lena’s Uncle was an amazingly thought out addition to the story. I can’t go into too much detail of how you as the authors used his character for some plot twists without giving spoilers, I wanted to ask how you fleshed him out the way you did.
Kami: Lena’s Uncle Macon is one of our favorite characters, and an important counterpoint to some of the smaller-minded folks in town. He’s brilliant and sophisticated and worldly and unique, and he’s been living in Gatlin as long as the town folks who loathe him. He’s also a wonderfully loyal father figure to Lena. We love how he loves her.
Bookalicio.us:I like the different kinds of paranormal in the book and the way you handled the naming of things and persons with even a little Southern Voodoo thrown in for charm. How did you mesh so many different supernatural elements into one piece without making it over the top?
Margie: We named our Casters from day one. It was important to us to create our own unique rule set for our own magical universe. We didn’t want to be generic, and we wanted to give our readers a kind of magic that was deeply regional, and tied to the Caster County our book lives in.
Bookalicio.us: What is your favorite place to write?
Kami: In my comfy chair, in complete silence, with a Diet Coke. Extra ice.
Margie: In the library or in my own comfy chair, also with a Diet Coke and my earphones blasting my mix of the day!
Bookalicio.us: Pen and paper? Mac or PC? Why?
Kami: We’re both Mac girls, though we use more white boards with more complex color-coding that you could possibly imagine.
Bookalicio.us: Beautiful Creatures is a book that made it on my short list of favorites for 2009, it almost didn’t make it on there because I hadn’t heard about the book. Usually I get recommendations from literary blogs, and Amazon is always throwing stuff to me I devour. It is kind of hard for me to miss a young adult novel, and I am so glad I didn’t miss this one. How hard has it been marketing a YA book in a sea of others? Teens are statistically
reading more now and there is so much to choose from. Publishers expect you to be able to market yourself effectively from the beginning now as well.
Margie: Little, Brown has been incredibly supportive of our book from day one. Our editors, Jen Hunt and Julie Scheina, have always made us feel like a priority, and our publicist Jessica Kaufman is amazing. And the day Amazon picked us for their Top Ten of 2009 and their number one Teen Pick, we were thrown into a bit more of the spotlight than we had ever anticipated. The Warner Brothers movie announcement hitting the day before our book came out was another spotlight, and things just sort of kept rolling from there.
Bookalicio.us: How do you feel about book trailers? Have you ever watched one that made you want to buy a book?
Kami: We love good book trailers. Vania Stoyanova, the photographer who made one of our BC trailers, is so talented that she makes you want to buy any title she makes a trailer for. That’s why we were so happy she made one for us! You can watch her trailer on the homepage of our site, under the reviews. www.BeautifulCreaturestheBook.com
Bookalicio.us: What has been the best part of reader reaction for you?
Margie: It’s amazing to hear people talking about the characters, the town, the story – all of these things that only existed in our heads for so long. We also love love love our librarian readers, so the Morris Debut Award nomination from the YALSA was a special kind of “reader reaction” that we will never forget!
Bookalicio.us: Are you going to be a book tour? Release dates in other countries or movie deals (really it should be a movie)?
Kami: Beautiful Creatures is being published in 25 countries, which is really wonderful. We are going to be on our Southern US book tour from January 18th until the 29th, and then on a more limited northern states book tour from February 20th until the 27th. The movie is going forward in development at Warner Brothers, and we couldn’t be happier about that. For more information on all of the above, be sure to check back at www.BeautifulCreaturestheBook.com – we will be updating the site the whole time we are touring, so you can see the latest BC happenings!
The towns are so boring and you can only dream of getting out. Ethan marked his days down until she showed up in town. Long black hair, weird slightly gothic style. She completely knocked the wind out of our Ethan and in a good way. Over time we learn more about the girl. Her name is Lena, she lives with Macon Ravenwood the town shut in. Was Lena crazy too?
Seriously strange things start to happen to Ethan, he is dreaming about Lena in a way that seems so real he even awakes with dirt and grime in his bed. Songs start showing up on his iPod with varying lyrics and messages. When he learns the truth about Lena and her family he realizes he has to race against time and break every southern social rule in order to save Lena from her fate.
The character development in this book is amazing. From Ethan, to Lena, Macon to Amma, Link to Ridley. I was laughing out loud, visibly annoyed with some, and smirking at the sarcasm. This book was short listed here on Bookalicio.us as one of my favorite reads in 2009 and short listed way more important places like you know Amazon! Absolutely this volume deserves its best selling status!
A movie is in development, I cannot wait to hear more news on that.
If you haven’t read Beautiful Creatures you need to. If you have let me know what you thought or share your star rating below. If you are like me in mentality and think it has been hyped too much to possibly be good. Then you are wrong. Pick it up, read it, and if I am wrong I will give you a cookie. Not any generic cookie, the good ones. Milano’s from Pepperidge Farm.
I was also lucky enough to conduct an interview with our lovely authors. Check it out: Interview with Beautiful Creatures Authors.