Monday, July 30, 2012

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi

Synopsis: You've never read a fantasy novel like this one! The deep well of Japanese myth merges with the Western fantasy tradition for a novel that's as rich in place and culture as it is hard to put down.
              Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire. Then she rescued a boy flung into a raging river -- and at that moment, her destiny changed. Now Balsa must protect the boy -- the Prince Chagum -- on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to its source in the sea. As they travel across the land of Yogo and discover the truth about the spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga . . . and the prince's own father. 
My thoughts: Nahoko Uehashi had A lot of creativity writing this one! We are presented to Balsa, a warrior for a hire, that receives the mission to protect the Second Prince of the kingdom of New Yogo. Apparently someone was trying to kill the boy, and his mother, the Second Queen, asks Balsa to protect his son. But the prince Chagum has more things about him. He is (Spoiler) the Moribito, aka the Guardian of the Spirit, and he has within him a water spirit and he has to deliver it.
                Nahoko has a very simple way of writing, almost as if it were for teenagers or child, but it’s actually quite good. She describes every scene, every thought, every character as you go through the reading, so you are able to see their differences and don’t get so confuse. What I liked most was the fact that she created a whole new world based on ours – like the empire of New Yogo, the yakoos and everything else – and because she put a women as the main character. Balsa is tough and never runs away from her responsibilities. She learns forgiveness from the boy and he learns how to BE a normal kid and to actually love someone as well. Ok, he loved his mother but most of his life he never got real contact, you know?  Another thing that I liked is the connection the author made with all the cultures she created. It kind of shows us that we are all connected and that the world moves in one single flow. It has a lot of wisdom, I have to say.
                However, nothing is perfect right? It lacked, in my opinion, a little bit of romance. I mean, Balsa and Tanda – her childhood friend – obviously have an attraction to each other, but they don’t even share a small kiss!! I get that Balsa feels the need to save eight lives in order to repay her master’s “debt” – because he killed eight people to protect her – but come on! A little kiss won’t hurt!
                About the cover, I really liked it. The way it has been drawn reminds me of an ancient Japanese painting, and Balsa looks so stunning in that cover it gave me the line of thought to imagine every fight scene with her fierce face!

 and a half

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate


And time is running out for Luce and Daniel.

In order to stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the Fall began. Only Luce can break the curse, and it is her choice alone that will decide all their fates.

But as Dark Forces gather, great sacrifices will be made in this final epic struggle . . .

In the fight for Luce, and for love, who will win?

The thrilling conclusion to the international bestsellers FALLEN, TORMENT and PASSION.

The fourth and final book in the FALLEN series hits stores on 12 June 2012.

My thoughts: OMG, I just can’t believe it’s the end. In this one, the group of angels have nine days to stop Lucifer from erasing their history from the face of the earth, and that includes Luce’s and Daniel’s love.
                To stop Lucifer, they have to find the place where the angels fell from Heaven, but how will they find it if none of the angels remember where it was? They have to be fast. Through these nine days, there were “timequakes”, when the world seemed to tremble and split, and then get together and become quiet. Those were the parts that really confused me, because in those “timequakes” the past and the present get mixed up and you get a quite big interrogation point inside your head!
In this adventure, Daniel and Luce need to find three relics that are supposed to indicate the place of the Fall, but it won’t be easy – nothing is easy for those two – and they have to be strong one more time for their love.
                When I read the synopsis, I saw that Luce might be arranged to be with another person instead of Daniel. Well, I won’t tell who it is, but thing is that he – the men – was in love with her and still have feelings for her. She needs to find out who she really is – she isn’t just a regular girl, otherwise she wouldn’t see the Announcers and wouldn’t reincarnate over and over again – in order to save not only the one she loves, but all of her friends.
                One last decision has to be made, and Luce might be the one to tip the scale between Heaven and Hell. But who or which side will she choose? Her choice may have a high price. Is she willing to sacrifice it in order to be together with Daniel?
                This reading was a real joy to me, not only because of its story – because I absolutely love angels and romance – but of its turnings. You get to see a whole different view of the fallen angels that turned to Lucifer’s side, of the Outcasts, and even of the Throne – Heaven – itself. The ending was the cutest thing ever, and if I were Lauren Kate, I would have picked this very ending.
                There were a few things that really interested me: Cam’s love, Arriane’s love. The author, during the novels, never wrote about it, but I believe that it might have something in that extra book, Fallen in Love, that may answer these questions.
                Finally, I have to wrap this up with the book’s cover. Just like the others covers, this one has its dark beauty, and I absolutely loved it – from a girl that adores Tim Burton’s work and loves skeletons, it is quite predictable. I hope you all get the chance to read this book. I always thought that Luce was a girl that took Daniel for granted – a little – but this last one showed me that she can have some guts to fight for him. And that no matter what, they will always find each other – (SPOILER!) even if they forget about their history together.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck

Synopsis: Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

My thoughts: I wasn’t very motivated to read this book, but after the first chapter, I really couldn’t put it down. Of course, the beginning was VERY depressing and it felt as if I was reading Bella Swan’s suffering in “New Moon”, but with a different scenario. Only after Ren appears at her door that things starts getting interesting.

                After about two months dating, Ren is kidnapped and Kelsey starts a new adventure, this time with Kishan, a hot-super-cute black tiger that suffers because he believes that he is the principal cause of their tiger-curse. He is a beautiful man, and I completely fell in love for him! But, nothing is perfect, and since I’m not a character nor I’m Kelsey, I don’t have the lucky to find a guy like him to fall in love with me! ;) Yes, Kishan falls in love with Kelsey, but she loves Ren. Nonetheless, Kishan promised to help her find Ren, so they talk to the goddess Durga to protect Ren. But she has a high price for it.

                Well, I can’t tell a lot about this book, otherwise you won’t read it. But it really, REALLY, blew my mind away. I panicked for Ren, Kelsey and Kishan, hated Kelsey because she didn’t want Kishan, suffered for the black tiger, that loved her but would never have her love. I screamed the WHOLE reading, saying like “Kelsey, for God’s sake, can’t you see how Kishan is suffering?” or “Ok, girl, so just kill yourself, since your heart is THAT broken. Get a grip!”.

                Readers won’t be disappointed, since, in my opinion, this sequel was better than the first one. Now I have to wait to get my hands at the third novel.