Reread Lately #2

Just brief thoughts on books I’ve read for the second (or third or fourth…) time.

forgetyouForget You

Jennifer Echols

“Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her.”

Although I still enjoyed this the second time around, I found it wasn’t quite as good as I remembered. I was frustrated by Zoey through a lot of the story, and I felt that some of Doug’s actions bordered on controlling.

Originally read: 2011/2012(?) – 4 stars
Reread: 4/29/14 – 3/3.5 stars

The Girl of Fire and Thorns girlfirethorns

Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

I enjoyed this about as much as I did the first time. There were points when the pacing was slow, but the characters were able to capture and hold my interest. Once again I fell in love with Cosme (she’s brilliant!), and generally liked a lot of the secondary characters. Definitely was worth a reread (and I’m so glad I did before reading the second book).

Originally read: 8/20/11 – 3 stars – Original Review
Reread: 6/30/14 – 3 stars

pushingthelimitsPushing the Limits

Katie McGarry

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Yes, so this book is still just bursting with passion, heartache, and beautifully flawed characters. I remembered loving this story the first time I read it, and nothing has changed. Definitely would recommend this, and I plan to hopefully finally read Katie McGarry’s other books!

Originally read: 8/28/12 – 4 stars – Original Review
Reread: 7/7/14 – 4 stars

Possible Upcoming Rereads

Sarah Dessen books
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Review: Until I Die

untilidieTitle: Until I Die

Series: Revenants #2

Author: Amy Plum

Read via: Purchased

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

I know; it has taken me ages to read this book. I originally read Die for Me way back in 2011 when it was first released, and even though I’ve owned both this book and the next since they were released, I hadn’t actually read them. So when I decided to start cracking down on my ridiculously large to-be-read pile, I first went back and reread Die for Me before diving into Until I Die. I realized again how much I enjoy the world Amy Plum has created, and not just because the series is set primarily in Paris, France. The mythology of the revenants is absolutely fascinating, and the characters of the series are marvelous.

Until I Die picks up Kate and Vincent’s story shortly after the events of Die for Me. If I were to choose any YA character who I think is most similar to myself, Kate would definitely make the short list. I completely relate to her ability to exist happily on her own, but at the same time, to have very meaningful, important relationships with a handful of people. Kate’s family dynamic is a very unique one for YA. She has extremely devoted grandparents and her sister, Georgia, doubles as one of her best friends. Kate’s other friends are Vincent’s “family.” Sadly, we don’t get as much of Charlotte as I would have liked, but we get plenty of Jules and Ambrose. Both of whom I absolutely adore, and of course, we have Vincent. I really enjoy him as a character, but I must say I think my heart ultimately lies with Jules. There are also two new characters: Violette and Arthur. Fascinating, intricate, and brilliant that’s all I can say about them without giving anything away.

Most of Until I Die revolves around Kate and Vincent’s relationship, and their individual efforts to make it work. This makes the book a bit strange as the focus is on them, but they also spend a lot of time apart. However, it does work, and there are also several subplots running through the story as well. Some highlights include: Violette & Kate’s budding friendship; Jules just being fantastic; Georgia integrating herself a bit more into the world of the revenants; and the heightening struggle of the numa versus revenants. Then there is some foreshadowing which I’m thrilled to say I actually caught, and I completely predicted a major twist from book 3. Plus, there is the cliffhanger. It is intense, shocking, and just heartbreaking.

Overall, I enjoyed Until I Die. Amy Plum has created a remarkable series populated by a lovable but flawed cast of characters and set against the amazing backdrop of Paris. This is a fast-paced, creative read that is definitely worth reading. I would also recommend reading the books one after another as there are a lot of minor details from each book that come into play later.

Cover: 4
Plot: 3.5
Writing: 4 Personally: 3.5

Overall: 3.7 out of 5

Review: Clash of Kings

clashofkingsTitle: Clash of Kings

Series: Game of Thrones/A Song of Fire & Ice #2

Author: George R.R. Martin

Read via: Purchased

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over and age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. 

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

The second season of Game of Thrones was, in my opinion, fabulous. I thought it built nicely on the first season, and I loved all of the character development. I knew going in that A Clash of Kings and season 2 of Game of Thrones had many more differences than book 1 and season 1. I must agree that the changes were definitely more pronounced when comparing this book to season 2, but I also found A Clash of Kings to be even more engaging than the first book.

Most of the characters that I loved (and hated) in book 1 return in A Clash of Kings. The loss of Ned (Eddard Stark) is deeply felt, and his loss has caused ripples throughout the land. Those who are most affected by his death are definitely his children. Sansa remains trapped in King’s Landing without any allies, and develops a strange but oddly interesting relationship with the Hound. However, she continually suffers physical and emotional abuse at the orders and hands of Joffrey. I know many people consider Sansa to be a weak, female character, but I think this book truly shows otherwise. To remain in such a hostile environment and manage to keep her life is truly remarkable. With the help of Yoren (a man of the Night’s Watch), Arya manages to escape King’s Landing after her father’s execution. Thus begins a long and twisting journey for Arya, and also allows her to form some fantastic new relationships. The bond between her, Gendry, and Hot Pie is both heartwarming and hilarious, but I must say I was most intrigued by the relationship between her and Jaqen H’ghar. However, I think my fascination with Jaqen stems from the actor who plays him in the series (who did a brilliant job!). Daenerys’ story in the book was slightly disappointing compared to her story in season 2. I do understand both plots, but I just love how kick a** Dany is with the Qartheen leaders on the TV series. Catelyn continues to be a compelling character, and her journey also introduces us to Brienne of Tarth. Brienne is an incredibly sympathetic character, but at the same time, she is exceedingly strong.

Of all the male characters, I think Jon and Tyrion had the most interesting tales to tell in this book. Though I must admit that my enjoyment of Jon’s storyline is at least partially driven by the introduction of Ygritte. She consistently challenges both Jon himself and his beliefs. Plus, as Jon travels beyond the wall, the stakes for everyone in the series rise. Winter is coming, and it has a bite. While Jon faces physical trials in the North, Tyrion must deal with the deathly dance also known as courtly intrigue. Tyrion is truly a brilliant Hand. He has no problem standing up to both Cersei and Joffrey, which is something that is desperately needed. Plus, Tyrion thrives on playing the game of thrones, and he is unarguably one of the smartest, most cunning leaders King’s Landing has had in a time. Stannis, Robb, Bran, and Theon all have stories of their own to tell as well, but I must admit theirs were not the best for me.

The plot of A Clash of Kings is intricate and contains even more action than its predecessor. The nation is at war, and this, of course, leads to many battles. The highlight is certainly the Battle of Blackwater Bay. This battle is not only a brilliant example of Tyrion’s great skill as a strategist, but it also proves a game-changer in many ways. In the North, the most chilling “battle” is Theon’s capture of Winterfell, and the subsequent destruction of the Stark’s home. My heart broke as I read of the deaths of the people of Winterfell.

Overall, A Clash of Kings was a heartbreaking, incredibly fascinating read. It builds upon the set up from the first book, but it also introduces many new characters while also reminding readers that no one is safe in this world. I was very impressed with A Clash of Kings, and I would highly recommend this series. After reading this book, I am even more in love with this series and its characters.

Cover: 3.5
Plot: 4
Writing: 4
Personally: 4

Overall: 3.8 out of 5

Review: Nightspell

Title: Nightspell

Series: Companion novel to Mistwood

Author: Leah Cypess

Read via: Library

A stand-alone companion novel to the much-acclaimed MISTWOOD.  When Darri rides into Ghostland, a country where the living walk with the dead, she has only one goal: to rescue her younger sister Callie, who was sent to Ghostland as a hostage four years ago.  But Callie has changed in those four years, and now has secrets of her own.  In her quest to save her sister from herself, Darri will be forced to outmaneuver a handsome ghost prince, an ancient sorcerer, and a manipulative tribal warrior (who happens to be her brother).  When Darri discovers the source of the spell that has kept the dead in Ghostland chained to this earth, she faces a decision that will force her to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned – and lead her into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very balance of power between the living and the dead.

I adored Mistwood! Absolutely, completely, fell in love with that book, so I had very high expectations for Nightspell. It took me ages to actually get my hands on a copy, but when I finally did it when to the top of my reading pile. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed it, this never really lived up to Mistwood. I am not even quite sure why, but it just never clicked with me.

The multiple narrators was both a good and bad thing. It allowed for various viewpoints into the story and setting, but it felt like it broke up the natural flow of the story. Whenever it seemed like I was beginning to connect with one of the characters, the point-of-view would change. Darri and Callie’s relationship was probably my favorite element of the story. I loved the exploration of the changing dynamic between the two of them. The only other character with whom I felt any real connection was Kestin. Although I feel like his potential for the story was never fully realized. Clarisse is the only character that makes the jump from Mistwood to Nightspell, and she remains devious and cunning.

The story and plot were full of potential. Just read the summary and you will realize that. Unfortunately it feels like much of that potential is lost. There are some truly brilliant moments in the story. There’s a huge plot twist that I absolutely adored. I did see it coming, so I was not shocked by it, but I loved the way the author handled it. I also liked the parts between Kestin and Clarisse and the scenes between Kestin and Darri.

Overall Nightspell was an interesting, nice little fantasy, but it never succeeded in realizing its full potential. If you are looking for a good fantasy to read, I would definitely recommend Mistwood over Nightspell. This was worth the read, but not something I will probably read again. I will be looking forward to see what the author does next though.

Cover: 4
Plot: 3.5
Writing: 2.5
Personally: 3

Overall: 3.2 out of 5

Review: Nightspell

Title: Nightspell

Series: Companion novel to Mistwood

Author: Leah Cypess

Read via: Library

A stand-alone companion novel to the much-acclaimed MISTWOOD.  When Darri rides into Ghostland, a country where the living walk with the dead, she has only one goal: to rescue her younger sister Callie, who was sent to Ghostland as a hostage four years ago.  But Callie has changed in those four years, and now has secrets of her own.  In her quest to save her sister from herself, Darri will be forced to outmaneuver a handsome ghost prince, an ancient sorcerer, and a manipulative tribal warrior (who happens to be her brother).  When Darri discovers the source of the spell that has kept the dead in Ghostland chained to this earth, she faces a decision that will force her to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned – and lead her into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very balance of power between the living and the dead.

I adored Mistwood! Absolutely, completely, fell in love with that book, so I had very high expectations for Nightspell. It took me ages to actually get my hands on a copy, but when I finally did it when to the top of my reading pile. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed it, this never really lived up to Mistwood. I am not even quite sure why, but it just never clicked with me.

The multiple narrators was both a good and bad thing. It allowed for various viewpoints into the story and setting, but it felt like it broke up the natural flow of the story. Whenever it seemed like I was beginning to connect with one of the characters, the point-of-view would change. Darri and Callie’s relationship was probably my favorite element of the story. I loved the exploration of the changing dynamic between the two of them. The only other character with whom I felt any real connection was Kestin. Although I feel like his potential for the story was never fully realized. Clarisse is the only character that makes the jump from Mistwood to Nightspell, and she remains devious and cunning.

The story and plot were full of potential. Just read the summary and you will realize that. Unfortunately it feels like much of that potential is lost. There are some truly brilliant moments in the story. There’s a huge plot twist that I absolutely adored. I did see it coming, so I was not shocked by it, but I loved the way the author handled it. I also liked the parts between Kestin and Clarisse and the scenes between Kestin and Darri.

Overall Nightspell was an interesting, nice little fantasy, but it never succeeded in realizing its full potential. If you are looking for a good fantasy to read, I would definitely recommend Mistwood over Nightspell. This was worth the read, but not something I will probably read again. I will be looking forward to see what the author does next though.

Cover: 4
Plot: 3.5
Writing: 2.5
Personally: 3

Overall: 3.2 out of 5

Review: A Song of Fire & Ice // Game of Thrones

gameofthronesTitle: A Song of Fire & Ice / Game of Thrones

Series: A Song of Fire & Ice #1

Author: George R.R. Martin

Read via: Purchased

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

It seems as if everyone has heard of Game of Thrones. The HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s books has become a popular and critical favorite. I must admit I was hesitant about the series, and after watching the pilot I still was not convinced. However, a few episodes in, and I was completely hooked. Unfortunately, TV seasons take a great deal of time to create, promote, air, etc. so I had to start reading the books in order to satisfy my own curiosity (Reading is such a hardship for me, I’m sure you understand my pain).

This book started off much the same way as the TV series did for me, slowly. The world-building and character introductions can become rather tedious, but by the end, it pays off greatly. The story may start slowly, and for the first half of the book much of the action is based around political intrigue and verbal spars. However, as the political climate moves toward war, the stakes rise for each and every character.

There are certainly many fabulous characters in this series. There are those to hate (Joffrey! I need him to die), to love (Arya, Tyrion, and Daenerys top this list for me), to admire (Ned, despite his faults), and to despise (Littlefinger!!). The list of characters that populate this series is enormous, and it is quite daunting as you begin. As the stories continue to weave together though, it becomes easy to keep track of the characters and become absorbed in their tales.

I had read previously that the initial season of HBO’s Game of Thrones was remarkably faithful to Martin’s book, and I definitely agree. Certainly, there are differences. The most obvious being the changing of many characters’ ages, but considering some of the content, this was very necessary for the network. I have seen many adaptations, and I would rank this as one of the best (Note: this is strictly a comparison of A Song of Fire & Ice / Game of Thrones and season 1 of Game of Thrones. I’ve heard the second season is not quite as faithful).

Overall, I found this to be a fascinating, entertaining start to what promises to be an unforgettable series. Martin manages to weave together the lives of an amazing number of individual characters, and he has also created a world which fantasy fans are sure to marvel at. I would highly recommend A Song of Fire & Ice and HBO’s Game of Thrones, although there is certainly material that is only appropriate for mature audiences.

Cover: 3
Plot: 4
Writing: 3.5
Personally: 3.5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

Quick Reviews: Just One Day, Speechless, Diviners

justonedayTitle: Just One Day

Author: Gayle Forman

Read via: Purchased

Thoughts: I have adored all of Gayle Forman’s previous books, so it was no surprise that I had to read this as soon as I possibly could. After finishing this, I had mixed feelings. Allyson “Lulu” was a brilliant character, and Just One Day captures her beautiful coming-of-age journey. Plus, Willem was fascinating, and I still have not determined his motivations and decisions. However, I did feel like the book dragged a bit in the middle. Despite this, I am really looking forward to Just One Year, and I still consider Gayle Forman to be one of my favorite authors.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Title: Speechlessspeechless

Author: Hannah Harrington

Read via: Library

Thoughts: I enjoyed Hannah Harrington’s previous book, Saving June, but I was not sure if I wanted to read this book. I ended up picking this up at the library though, and I must say I’m so glad I did. Chelsea is a complex character. At the start of the book, I was sure I could not like this girl, but by the end, I found her to be remarkable. Hannah Harrington created a fascinating plot with some unforgettable characters. I would definitely recommend this one especially to fans of  Sarah Dessen or Deb Caletti.

Rating: 3 out of 5

divinersTitle: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners #1

Read via: Library

Thoughts: Libba Bray and I have a conflicted past. A Great and Terribly Beauty ranks as one of the best supernatural/historical series in my opinion, but I could not even bring myself to finish Beauty Queens. Therefore, I was feeling some trepidation about her new series. I was wonderfully pleased to find that this book is much more similar to A Great and Terrible Beauty than Beauty Queens. The Diviners is entertaining, complicated, and pleasantly original. The book is told through the viewpoints of many different characters, and I loved getting a glimpse into their lives. The only issue I had with The Diviners is similar to my issue with Just One Day, there were some parts where I felt the story dragged. However, the characters kept me firmly invested in the story especially Theta and Henry. The relationship between the two of them was amazing. It was beautiful, adorable, and perfect. But really all of the characters in the book are wonderfully drawn, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Quick Reviews: Just One Day, Speechless, Diviners

justonedayTitle: Just One Day

Author: Gayle Forman

Read via: Purchased

Thoughts: I have adored all of Gayle Forman’s previous books, so it was no surprise that I had to read this as soon as I possibly could. After finishing this, I had mixed feelings. Allyson “Lulu” was a brilliant character, and Just One Day captures her beautiful coming-of-age journey. Plus, Willem was fascinating, and I still have not determined his motivations and decisions. However, I did feel like the book dragged a bit in the middle. Despite this, I am really looking forward to Just One Year, and I still consider Gayle Forman to be one of my favorite authors.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Title: Speechlessspeechless

Author: Hannah Harrington

Read via: Library

Thoughts: I enjoyed Hannah Harrington’s previous book, Saving June, but I was not sure if I wanted to read this book. I ended up picking this up at the library though, and I must say I’m so glad I did. Chelsea is a complex character. At the start of the book, I was sure I could not like this girl, but by the end, I found her to be remarkable. Hannah Harrington created a fascinating plot with some unforgettable characters. I would definitely recommend this one especially to fans of  Sarah Dessen or Deb Caletti.

Rating: 3 out of 5

divinersTitle: The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray

Series: The Diviners #1

Read via: Library

Thoughts: Libba Bray and I have a conflicted past. A Great and Terribly Beauty ranks as one of the best supernatural/historical series in my opinion, but I could not even bring myself to finish Beauty Queens. Therefore, I was feeling some trepidation about her new series. I was wonderfully pleased to find that this book is much more similar to A Great and Terrible Beauty than Beauty Queens. The Diviners is entertaining, complicated, and pleasantly original. The book is told through the viewpoints of many different characters, and I loved getting a glimpse into their lives. The only issue I had with The Diviners is similar to my issue with Just One Day, there were some parts where I felt the story dragged. However, the characters kept me firmly invested in the story especially Theta and Henry. The relationship between the two of them was amazing. It was beautiful, adorable, and perfect. But really all of the characters in the book are wonderfully drawn, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Falling Kingdoms

fallingkingdomsTitle: Falling Kingdoms

Series: Falling Kingdoms #1

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Read via: Purchased

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

I had been lusting after this book for ages, and I splurged on it as a post-Christmas present for myself. After staring at the gorgeous cover for a time, I finally got a chance to read this. Sadly, I found myself to be quite disappointed in it. I’m not sure if my disappointment was due to the high expectations I had for this, but either way I wish I could have loved it.

The characters are the biggest issue I had in this book. There are a lot of characters, and I’m not sure why, but I found it quite hard to keep everyone straight initially. Normally, I don’t have such trouble, so I don’t really understand why I had it here. The jumping between narratives was also difficult to follow at times. Then there are the four main characters. Initially, I felt a lot of sympathy for Magnus, and I was fascinated with his story. However, by the end, I hated him, and I’m not sure he can be adequately redeemed. Jonas, I feel, was never as well-developed as the others, and his swiftly shifting opinions and loyalties annoyed me. I was actually very interested in Lucia, but I despised her attitude during the battle. Ironically, I couldn’t stand Cleo at the start of the book, but by the end, she was one of the only characters I was even somewhat invested in. Sadly, my favorite character and the one I thought to be the most interesting died before the story was over.

The storylines that thread together this story were quite interesting. I liked the mythology of the Kindred and the Watchers, and the way the author weaves magic into the story was awesome. However, there are a lot of elements of the plot that either did not make sense or just frustrated me. One of the weirdest things in the book was Cleo being in love with a boy and it is later revealed that her sister was in love with this boy’s father….It does not seem that Cleo and her sister are that far apart in age, so I just found this to be completely strange. Also, Cleo’s love felt like insta-love to me. Then there’s Cleo’s delightful, repeating abduction scenes. You would think this girl would gain some sense after the first time, but, no, that is not the case.

Overall, I found Falling Kingdoms to be sadly lacking. The book has some potential, but it is quickly lost amongst unbelievable love stories, ever-changing loyalties, and hard to like characters. Although I am somewhat curious how Morgan Rhodes will resolve things in the next book, I’m not sure if I am interested enough to continue. I’m very much a character reader, and, in Falling Kingdoms, the characters who showed the most promise are dead. I find it very hard to remain invested in a story when I despise the main characters. Sadly, this is not a book I will be recommending.

Cover: 4
Plot: 3
Writing: 2.5
Personally: 2.5

Overall: 3 out of 5

Review: The Indigo Spell

indigospellTitle: The Indigo Spell

Series: Bloodlines #3

Author: Richelle Mead

Read via: Purchased

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Do I need to explain why I read this book? After the delicious, tormented ending of The Golden Lily, who would not be dying to read this book? So, of course, I bought this the day it was released. Thankfully, my local Walmart actually had it this time (the first time it’s had it on release day for this series!!). It was wonderful to return to the Vampire Academy world, and The Indigo Spell is another fantastic entry to the canon.

I have to admit something now. I relate to Sydney so much more than I ever related to Rose. Don’t get me wrong I love both characters, but with Sydney I feel I have much more in common. She is intelligent, a bit socially awkward, and determined to find out the truth. Of course, she is also determined to ignore the growing feelings she has for Adrian. The chemistry and banter between the two of them is hilarious. Well any moment involving Adrian is sure to be a winner. One of the great things about this series is how it lets readers get a glimpse deeper into the man who Adrian is. Beyond Adrian and Sydney there is an amazing supporting cast. Although, I was disappointed that there was not as much interaction between Adrian and Sydney and the rest of the gang as in the previous books. We do get to meet a few new characters, most notably Marcus Finch. I was quite worried about what role Marcus would play in this book, but I was delighted to find that his role did not play out how I expected.

Through Marcus, Sydney is able to learn more about the Alchemists and their agenda. When the truth finally comes out completely about the group, I think it will be fascinating. We get a lot of hints and even some hard evidence about what the Alchemists are up to, but I think the next book will really see things start to explode. Much of this book, however, deals with witches rather than Alchemists. An evil witch is on the loose and Sydney could be the next target. It was exciting to see Sydney start to embrace her magic, and I will admit that this storyline shocked me at the end.

Overall, I thought The Indigo Spell was a wonderful addition to the series, and I am in love with the characters Richelle Mead has created. Plus, there is THE END! Ahh! I am completely in love, and I cannot wait for the next book. It will not come soon enough. I would highly recommend The Indigo Spell, especially to Vampire Academy fans, but you do not have to read Vampire Academy in order to enjoy the Bloodlines series.

Cover: 4
Plot: 4.5
Writing: 4.5
Personally: 4.5

Overall: 4.3 out of 5