Urban fantasy

Life and Death – Stephenie Meyer

life and deathTitle: Life and Death (Twilight #5)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 389
My rating★★★★✫

When I heard about this tenth anniversary edition of Twilight, I didn’t know for sure if I wanted to read it. Back in 2008 I have read the whole Twilight saga in a couple of days and I really loved it back then. Twilight is still the novel that got me to read young adult and fantasy novels again. I am really happy about that. After reading the (Dutch) review that Emmy wrote, I decided that I wanted to give it a try.

What the book is about

When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic.

What Beau doesn’t realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back…

What I think about the book

Yeah, most of us already know the story of the original story of Twilight. I must admit that I had forgotten many of the details though and I also had some of the parts mixed up with the movie. Only therefore it was already nice to re-read the story. The gender switch definitely changed a lot to the story for me. Beau and Edythe can say the same things in Life and Death that Bella and Edward did in Twilight, but I do think that makes a difference. While I thought Edward was quite interesting and mysterious when I read Twilight for the first time (and yeah, until I read New Moon, because later on I was definitely on board of Team Jacob), I thought that Edythe was mostly arrogant and strange. It was as if Beau simply fell for her because she was pretty. In my head I still saw Bella and Edward, even though the names had changed.

Still the story is not completely the same. Stephenie Meyer took the chance to make it better. She has done a new round of editing, with all the knowledge she has today, and changed some words and scenes for the better. The ending was new as well. Suddenly the story took another turn. Didn’t we all wonder what would have happened if…? Well, I always did. Yes, then there wouldn’t have been a complete Twilight Saga. Or maybe there would have been a completely different story with new adventures. I did like the alternative ending, because that meant I was reading a new story instead of the same old and it kept me reading.

I must say that from the moment the book arrived at my house I just wanted to read it. I started that same evening and from the first page I was back in Forks, just like the very first time. Like I said, it has been almost eight years since I have read Twilight for the first time. I am older now and yet I am still in love with the world that Stephenie Meyer has created in her novels. Could Twilight have been better? Maybe. That doesn’t mean that I still like it a lot and I was glad that I have read this book.

Do you have to read it? Well, let’s say that if you enjoyed the Twilight Saga the first time you’ve read it, you should give this re-imagined version a try. If you have never liked Twilight, you are probably not going to this time. I’d suggest you find yourself a book you do like then and move on.

Stray (Shifters #1) – Rachel Vincent

strayTitle: Stray (Shifters #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Books
Pages: 618
My rating★★★★★

The Shifters series were recommended to me by Suze a long time ago. I have bought the books in the fall of 2013 and they have been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. So much to read, so little time. I was in the mood for a good book last week and therefore I decided to pick up the first part of the Shifters series.

What the book is about

There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .
And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds. Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared. This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them . . .

What I think about the book

Werecats, shapeshifters and a strong female protagonist. This could hardly go wrong. I was pretty sure I was going to love Faythe… and I did. Yes, from the first chapter I was into this story. Glad that I had 600 pages left to read. And then five more books. So I was definitely happy.

Like every new series, I had to get to know the world it was set in and the characters that were going to play a part. Faythe is summoned back home by her father, the alpha leader of their Pride. He has sent Marc, Faythes ex-boyfriend, to pick her up at the college she has been attending for the last five years. Back home the reader gets to meet the rest of the family and Pride. Even though it was a lot of information, it never got boring and it was pretty fast paced.

Pretty soon the problem is introduced. Sara, another female werecat – or tabby- is missing and a human body shows up, smelling like a stray werecat. When more murders and kidnappings happen, it all seems to be connected. Faythe hates it that her dad wants her to stay at home and she wants to escape and go back to her life at college. Or any life away from home. Until she is the next victim…

I really can’t wait to read the next part of the series. I like that Faythe is smart, into books and that she knows how to kick some ass. So let’s hope she can keep it up through the next five parts and I’ll be a happy reader.

Bloodlines – Richelle Mead

BloodlinesTitle: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 421
My rating★★★★★

In 2011 I have read the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and I was instantly in love with the world she has build, the characters and her style of writing. I have read other series by Richelle Mead ever since and I love her awesome characters and stories. Back then I wanted to dive right into ‘Bloodlines’, but I have decided to wait until the last part of the series was there. That time has come. I finally have ‘The Ruby Circle’ on my bookshelf so it was about time to start reading Bloodlines.

What the book is about

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

What I think about the book

I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to get used to reading the story from another perspective, because I was such a fan of Rose, but the point of view by Sydney works really well for me. It is time to get to know her and other characters from a different angle. I must admit that I thought that the Alchemists were a bit annoying during Vampire Academy, but now that I am getting to know Sydney better I am starting to love her too.

Sydney is moving to Palm Springs to protect Jill Dragomir. It would have been obvious to assume that Jill would be in danger during the story, but instead Richelle Mead has chosen a different angle for the first part of the series. It is the mature and responsible Sydney who keeps getting herself in trouble somehow. She needs to proof that she is loyal to the alchemists in order to protect her little sister from getting send there instead. Her alchemist ‘friend’ Keith is making that nearly impossible for her. And then there is the mysterious Lee. He seems to be so nice, but can they really trust him with Jill or is he he too good to be true?

What I loved most of all is the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian. Lazy old Adrian is the opposite of Sydney in every way you can imagine and still there seems to be some kind of understanding between the two of them. Besides, Adrian’s sense of humor is just great and he made me laugh several times.

As soon as I had finished ‘Bloodlines’ I jumped right into ‘The Golden Lily’, so if you are missing me, that is where I will be.

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