DNF Review of Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre

PUblicEnemiesPublic Enemies
By: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

DNFed at 39%

Summary:
Through a Faustian bargain, Edie Kramer has been pulled into the dangerous world of the Immortal Game, where belief makes your nightmares real. Hungry for sport, fears-made-flesh are always raising the stakes. To them, human lives are less than nothing, just pieces on a board.

Because of her boyfriend Kian’s sacrifice, she’s operating under the mysterious Harbinger’s aegis, but his patronage could prove as fatal as the opposition. Raw from deepest loss, she’s terrified over the deal Kian made for her. Though her very public enemies keep sending foot soldiers–mercenary monsters committed to her destruction–she’s not the one playing under a doom clock. Kian has six months…unless Edie can save him. And this is a game she can’t bear to lose.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed the first in this series, Mortal Danger, fairly well. I had a connection with Kian and Edie and some of Aguirre’s descriptions were incredibly creepy. I figured Public Enemies would be more of the same so I was eager to try it out. Sadly, even from the start, I was afraid this book wasn’t going to work for me. I had lost connection to the characters- maybe a reread would have helped. I didn’t really care about Kian and Edie’s relationship any longer. The writing wasn’t nearly as strong as it was in the first book. I felt that there was a lot of telling so I was unable to really get into the storyline.

I only read up to 39% so I’m not certain how things concluded but there was a more in depth look into a character, the Harbinger, (I honestly can’t remember how much this character was mentioned in the first book) that felt really stereo-typical to me. I felt that I’d read this same character many times before. He was a dangerous yet charming guy, misunderstood perhaps and I could see it going into love triangle territory. I have NO CLUE if it actually did since I didn’t finish. I could be completely off base there. The saddest part though was that even though his character felt done before he was the most interesting part of what I read.

Final Thoughts:
I maybe should have stuck this one out since Ann Aguirre is such a wonderful writer. As I neared the mid-way point and was still not enjoying it I decided I’d move on to something else. If you’ve read it let me know what you think. Did I make a mistake in giving up?

Also, what do you think of the change of pace concerning the cover art?

Review of Shutter by Courtney Alameda

ShutterCoverShutter
By: Courtney Alameda
Release Date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

My Thoughts:
That cover is SO CREEPY. I had to turn the book over as I read because that face staring at me was not working. I found Shutter to be a somewhat creepy read that I enjoyed though didn’t love. I had a bit of a disconnect with the characters though I did like them. I think I would have been more scared if I had been more emotionally attached. Regardless, the story’s pacing and action sequences did work for me. There was a countdown aspect to the story- only so much time to solve the case or DEATH- and this did add tension (obviously). I enjoyed watching the soulchain curse grow on the character’s bodies…I’ve noticed lately I really delight in the character’s pain. Not sure what this says about me?

The story was told from Micheline’s point of view. I enjoyed the character’s unique skills that allowed them to excel in ghost hunting and thought it was especially wonderful to include an analog SLR camera as a weapon against spiritual entities. I’m a photographer (for fun) and so I had an easy time connecting to this aspect of the story. Trapping ghosts on film and then developing said film? Awesome! I loved the visuals of watching the images show up while alone, in a dark room. Where my disconnect came was with the secondary characters as well as the romance.

There wasn’t anything wrong with the interactions between characters I just had trouble really feeling the chemistry between them. I think with additional books I’d come to love the characters more? I hope so.  The romance was well done but it didn’t sweep me away and honestly was a tad forgettable. That’s sort of my problem with the book–the characters didn’t stick with me. I will say that some of the ghost scenes did. A month or so after reading I still remember many of the ghost interactions and think they were done so incredibly well. For me, that was the highlight of the book.

Final Thoughts:
Shutter was well worth the read and brought some fun aspects to the horror genre (there needs to be more in YA). If a sequel is released I’d want to read it since I feel these characters have great potential. I connected very well to the horror and action aspects but never had the emotional draw to the characters that I’d have preferred. Regardless, this was an entertaining read that had great ghost imagery and action sequences.

Review of Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)Mortal Danger
By: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher
Format: Print ARC

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

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Review of Hungry by H.A. Swain

HungryCoverHungry
By: H.A. Swain
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Source: ARC

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.

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