All That Glows by Ryan Graudin - ARC provided by publishers via edelweiss
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.
DNF'd at: 300/480 or 63%
I told myself I would at least try this and it was:
-overwrought metaphors which are
-full of purple prose and mangled syntax
- the book is meandering and plotless while still managing to be
-full of instalove between
-utterly bland characters who remain consistently
no sense of place -- why set your story in England/Britain if you're not going to use the locale?
Rating: 1.5/5 (ideas, some sentences that worked nicely)
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton (Witch Finder #1) - ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.
DNF'd at: 220/375 or 59%
Where is the plot? Why should I care about these characters? How is the cover more interesting than anything going on in the novel?
Rating: 2/5 (didn't hate the romance, decent/solid writing)
The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain (Into the Dark #1) - ARC provided by publishers via edelweiss
Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.
Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.
Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
DNF'd: 65% in (or about 330 pages)
An extreme case of instalove. Boring, staid, overly perfect characters. Little plot progression or even acknowledgement that there is a plot besides the overwrought romance. The "chosen one" trope is also in full effect and horribly noticeable. A waste of an interesting premise/adaptation of the Persephone myth.
Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam - ARC provided by publishers
Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.
A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.
Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.
Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.
Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.
DNF'd: 280 pages or about 70%
Disappointing execution of an interesting concept. Reminded me way too much of the Realms, from Under the Never Sky, though. Characters are shallow, boring, unlikeable, or all of the above. A lot of infodumping going on in the beginning. I was bored and just wasn't invested enough to read 400 pages.
Rating: 2.5/5 (creative ideas for technology, pretty well-constructed mystery)