Weekly Wrap Up + What We Read 5/1/16

The wrap ups are BACK! This week’s video is a little longer than usual, just because we read a lot over our hiatus and then came back with a LOT of videos and posts and livestreams and so on. It was kind of crazy. As usual, that’s why we do this! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • Betwixt the Books content was moved to Saturday this week

Wednesday: 

Thursday:

Friday: 

Saturday:

Advertisements

Worth It Wednesday: “Angelfire” by Courtney Allison Moulton

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

7285498Title: Angelfire

Author: Courtney Allison Moulton

Goodreads Description: First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Why it’s worth it: Okay, I know what you’re thinking. That blurb sounds kind of corny. HANG IN THERE WITH ME.

I got into Angelfire kind of on a whim, back when angels were big but I was being seriously bored by a lot of the other stuff out there. I saw the sword on the cover and instantly knew that this was going to be something different, and maybe something closer to what I was looking for. I was right.

Okay, so Angelfire is a bit predictable, especially looking back on it all these years. However, what I also saw as the merits then are still serious merits now. In so many other angel books I was reading, the girl never got to be the hero. She was the human or less-that-the-guy angel who didn’t really get to do anything cool. Ellie isn’t like that at all. SHE is the warrior, and it’s up to HER to save the day. The lore fed into the angels think in a really cool, unexpected way. The books were also REALLY fast paced and action packed. In my review of the second book, Wings of the Wicked, I start off by saying that I had to read that book in one sitting because I couldn’t find a place to put it down!

The romance, while kind of cutesy, also struck me as just … good. I really believed that these guys had a connection across reincarnations and time, and I understood why they struggled because of that. Will and Ellie were partners, not one-over-the-other protectors. Will doesn’t like it when Ellie puts herself in danger, but he lets her do what she needs to because he knows that she’s strong enough to take it. They fight each other, they find each other, and they really love each other. That’s enough for me to be happy.

While I mention in my review of the last book, Shadows in the Silence, that I was a little bit iffy on the ending, the only reason is that it happened too quick. That’s not surprising, however, since these books are SO fast paced. And if that’s my only complaint, it’s still VERY MUCH worth it to read!

Read it if you’re looking for: strong female characters, swoon worthy romance, angels, mythology, action, adventure, fast pace, fantasy

Review: “Shadows in the Silence” by Courtney Allison Moulton

Shadows in the SilenceShadows in the Silence (Angelfire #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton

Goodreads | Amazon

Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

In this final installment in the Angelfire trilogy, Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing bright conclusion.

5 stars

Warning: This review will contain spoilers of Angelfire and Wings of the Wicked. Don’t forget to check out my review of Wings of the Wicked!

Well. It’s finally here. It’s finally the end. I can’t believe it. I won’t believe it. Even though I must.

Shadows in the Silence picks up right where Wings of the Wicked left off. Ellie has a sword leveled at Cadan, demanding that he help her find someone who can help heal Will, who is slowly dying.

At this point, the book starts its favorite thing to do: travel. I have no idea how Ellie was able to get enough time off from school to travel around the world three times, but it happened. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but there was a LOT of travelling.) Usually I get annoyed when a book bops around like that, but for this one it worked. Ellie has a lot of history all over the place, and it makes sense that so is her legacy. I think there was only one trip where I felt like “Okay, this had no point but to further these characters’s relationship,” but it was Will and Ellie so that was totally okay. (Yes, Will ends up being fine. That’s not a huge spoiler, I’m sure.)

Guys. Will and Ellie. Guys. I love this couple so much. I love who dedicated they are to each other and just…all of the feelings. Those worrying that Will’s incapacitation will mean few Will and Ellie scenes can stop. The scenes that they do have are so powerful. I’m really going to miss these guys as a couple.

I also particularly enjoyed how, despite this being the last book, other characters got room to expand. I say this in terms of Cadan and Will especially. Even Marcus was given a little more meat. In a book that could have been completely about Ellie, these guys got some time to shine too, and it really made the whole book connect even better.

*MILD SPOILERS BELOW*

Ellie’s transformation was, of course, the focal point of this book, since this is the final book. One of my only problems in this book was that so much of it was spent trying to find a way to defeat all the demons without Ellie having to become Gabriel when it was so obvious that she was going to anyways. And then when she did, Ellie-as-Gabriel had this FANTASTIC moment where she forgot everything that made her Ellie and was entirely Gabriel, but it was over way too fast. I really wish that had been expanded upon, but I guess I can understand why it wasn’t.

*MILD SPOILERS END*

All in all, I thought the end of the book was really well done. The final battle was amazing. I did find the book’s epilogue to be a little corny, but honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Courtney hasn’t disappointed with one second of these series and this was no different. My only real disappointment is that now we have to say goodbye to this universe once and for all. I’m looking forward ridiculously hard to what she’ll do next!

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

I am SO excited for this topic, I have NO IDEA how I’m going to pick just ten for this topic! Also, if you’re seeing this, I’m so happy because that means I haven’t been swallowed by Hurricane Sandy. Or wait. I have Auto-Post. Maybe I have… Er. ANYWAYS!

1. Yukiko from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Anybody who can befriend a thunder-tiger deserves to make this list. She isn’t bad with a small knife, either. And she has no problem murdering emperors. (See my review HERE!)

2. Calaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Teenage female assassins? Uh, YES. There is no way she DOESN’T make this list. She also never shies away from violence, and loves to cause a ruckus herself. (See my review HERE!)

3. Allie (Allison) from The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Kick ass theif turned kick ass vampire. It doesn’t get much better than that. (See my review HERE!)

4. Ismae from Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

This girl was raised to be an assassin by KILLER NUNS. I have yet to see an assassin training establishment that awesome. (See my review HERE!)

5. Ellie from Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

She’s snarky, has swords of light and totally knows when to cease the killing and go to a party. Need I say more? (See my review HERE!)

6. Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

The Queen of Snark right here. Also the queen of snarky kick assery. It doesn’t get much better than her!

7. Kel from First Test by Tamora Pierce

Okay, she’s a little less snarky than the other girls on my list, but there is no way you can weild a sword better than this girl.

8. Alanna from The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Not only is she the best at weilding a sword, but she can also kick ass with magic. Her temper is pretty fierce, too.

9. Eona from Eon by Alison Goodman

Pretends she’s a guy so she can prove her kick assness. Also controls a dragon. Do not mess with.

10. Evie from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Her weapon of choice is a pink, glittery taser named Tasey, but don’t underestimate her even without it–she can kill with snark alone, I swear. And also fashion sense.

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Alright guys, this is kinda a strange list. My typical idea for this post would be scary books, but I don’t read many of those. So we’re just going to try this out and hope it goes well.

1. Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

ZOMBIES. That’s Halloween-ish, right? You know it. I also reviewed this book at the beginning of the blog. So yeah. ZOMBIES.

2. Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

I actually DNFed this one because it FREAKED ME OUT. But I’m thinking some of you might like that, especially around Halloween.

3. League of Strays by L. B. Schulman

This doesn’t include any ghosts or ghouls, but it leaves chills at the back of your spine and that counts for me. I used the word “creepy” way too much in my review.

4. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

VAMPIRES. EPIC vampires written BEAUTIFUL and CORRECTLY. You can’t get better than that. See my review for more.

5. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

DEMONS. Awesome demons. You can never get enough demons on Halloween.

6. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Necromancy. Werewolves. Genetic experiments. FREAKING EVERYTHING. You can’t miss with this one.

7. Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

If you’re looking into snagging your own Edward this All Hallow’s Eve, allow Jessica to be your guide.

8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Arguably my funniest entry on this list, but c’mon. I couldn’t NOT put it on here. It’s HEX HALL. It has EVERYTHING. Spell Bound is the only review I have on the blog, but I loved them ALL.

9. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Given the origins of this holiday, let’s through in some mythology, shall we? Also, demons and demon slaying. My review of the second book in this series, Wings of the Wicked, might tell you more.

10. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

BEST VAMPIRE BOOKS EVER. READ THEM. (AND THEN READ BLOODLINES AND THE GOLDEN LILY.)

Top Ten Books I’d Like To See Made Into A Movie

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Let’s face it. Books-to-movies is a really touchy thing. I even blogged about it once, back when I really couldn’t find many things to blog about, it’s THAT important. 😛 However, I’ll make up this list with the hopes and dreams that studios could get a hold of these books and NOT demolish them. So is my faith in humanity. Some of these books might even have options on them or whatever, but I don’t keep track. I usually don’t even know until the trailer comes out. 😛 So here they are, in no particular order!

1. The Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

Seriously, I want this to be a thing. I’d be very, very vocal about their casting choices because Sophie and Archer and, er, everyone would have to be JUST perfect, but gah. This would be a beautiful thing. Laugh out loud comedy AND magical action? I’d bankroll the project myself if I could.

2. The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

I know this already has on option on it, thank you very much. I’m even a fan of the movie’s page on Facebook. But that DOESN’T mean that it will actually be made into a movie, so just let me lend it some more support. It SHOULD be. For the only reason that I want to see Dimitri come to life.

3. The Angelfire series by Courtney Allison Moulton

THIS WOULD BE AMAZING. Nonstop action, sarcasm and supernatural butt kicking. This would be a spectacular movie; it already reads like one! I would shave my head to have this happen. (Just please don’t actually ask me to shave my head. That would be awkward. I have an oddily shaped head.)

4. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

How in the world would anyone NOT want to see giant dragons flying around spitting acid, a building that moves and talks AND THAT MASQUERADE. I would do ANYTHING to just see that masquerade come to life. Heck, I’d put one on. Any Incarnate fans want to help?

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Quite frankly, I’d be floor if something wasn’t already in the works for this, but hey. I haven’t heard anything about it, so HI LIST! I’d pay good money just to see the scene where they jump off the train. And the scene where their fears come to life. And the scene–er. Ahem.

6. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

This could be the darkest, coolest teen vampire movie ever. At least nothing would sparkle. Plus, those zombie-vamps? That’d be cool to see–especially the fight scenes. Now please?

7. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

I know they’re casting a Mortal Instruments movie, but I’m worried that if they screw it up we’ll never get to see the Infernal Devices come to life, which would be upsetting. The Mortal Instruments is awesome, but their supernatural world mashed with clockwork soldiers? Now that gets even cooler.

8. At least ONE of Tamora Pierce’s series

I mean, come on! You could pick anyone and have awesomesauce right there. They’ve been optioned, apparently, but the studio thinks they’d be too expensive to produce. Pardon me? I saw the Hunger Games. I can guess the fx bill for one SCENE. If there is interest, they will make it. HI, HERE’S INTEREST!

9. The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

Though I can’t share my review of this book with you guys until August, I CAN give you guys a teaser here so you know what I’m talking about. While I wasn’t impressed with some of the characterization, I’d pay money just to see this world come to life. Lightbulb people? Steel wolves? Mirror people? Yes please!

10. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Just finished this one, and it’s one of my new favorites of the year. Historical romance with a girl assassin? How can you go wrong? Plus, I’m a sucker for period pieces like this because I want to marry the costume department EVERY time. Can you blame me? Can you see the dress she’s even wearing on the COVER? This is a definite must for me.

Review: Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

4 1/2 stars

“Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.

“Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who is really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

“She’s been warned.

“Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything–including herself.

“She’ll be betrayed.

“Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.”

Where do I start? WHERE do I start? Guys: THIS BOOK. This book kept me up until ONE THIRTY in the morning after a long night of work.  It NEVER STOPPED moving. I finally finished it, put it down, and tossed around for a while because I needed to breathe. Not kidding.

When the first book in this series came out, I was instantly hooked. I loved the world, I loved the characters and I loved Ellie. Finally, HERE is a girl who can take care of herself and make quips while being pummeled to death. Angelfire was fast paced, funny and included a guy that I actually crushed on because he wasn’t another one of those Edward types. (Ew)

Wings of the Wicked is a lot like the first book, except it’s darker, somehow even MORE fast paced and–hold your hearts, Will fans–a heck of a lot sexier. Don’t worry: Will and Ellie can’t even stay apart correctly, and once they get together SOMEONE GET A FIRE EXTINGUISHER. (Nono, nothing like a romance book or anything. The book is firmly PG-13.) Yet they also continue to be adorable around that. Go figure. Nice one, Moulton. 😀

You also learn a LOT more of about the world of angels, who Ellie really is–and when I say a lot, I mean it. Sometimes it felt like Nathaniel was facilitating an info dump, but I ate it all up. And then there still managed to be MORE questions that were opened up. I was so totally sucked into this world that I was literally wailing “No EXPLAIN IT!”

The main thing that I keep coming back to with this book is the pace. You read it, and you feel like the Roadrunner. You just CAN’T stop. If you could, I’d be a little more rested than I am right now. 😛 Ellie literally never catches a break; when she gets a chance to breath, you can’t even breathe with her because you know the next big thing is right around the corner of the next page and you are always right–and somehow it’s ALWAYS worse than you imagined. The book reads like a rapid fire shotgun. Just the way I like it.

Ahem. Now, I guess I ought to get technical instead of gushy to try to retain some semblance of credence. Alright. There WERE a few things that caught me as off. The first had to do with the pacing: with so many things happening, of course you’re in danger of not letting Ellie properly deal with what’s happening to her. The biggest events were dealt with beautifully, but sometimes it felt like she didn’t have reactions to some of the smaller things because she just didn’t have the time. The second thing: the relationship with Cadan. The whole thing just felt off to me, and got worse by the page. For one, he seemed to only show up when Ellie needed something explained to her, which just made him feel like a foil. Plus, the whole why-he-loves-her thing? That seemed…off. Perhaps it’s going to get expanded in the next book; I hope so. The third thing: what Bastian is to both Cadan and Will. I’m sorry, but if you ask me that just seemed like a whole plot event meant to facilitate a love triangle and WHY MOULTON WHY. I enjoyed that she tried to have Ellie shut Cadan down right away, but it still doesn’t sit right with me.

Still, overall, this book is AMAZING. I picked up Angelfire on a whim when it first came out and I am SO GLAD. I did. I’ve heard this book recommended for fans of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series and the Unearthly books by Cynthia Hand (both of which I’ve reviewed on my blog, go check out My Reviews!) but I disagree. The only thing that they have in common is angels. Ellie is more like Buffy Summers: kick butt, sarcastic and can totally take care of herself. So what are you waiting for? GO READ THEM.

The third and final book in the Angelfire series, Hymn to the Fallen, is slated for a 2013 release.

 

March 8, 2012 EDIT

Because Courtney Allison Moulton is awesome, she not only read this review but ALSO took time to chat with me on Twitter (@CAMoulton)about how there is NOT going to be a love triangle in Hymn to the Fallen. So you may ax that entire freakout from my initial review, color me curious about how this Will/Cadan thing is going to go and then please allow me to go off and happy dance. It was silly of me to think these books could be less than the awesomest thing on the planet.