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The “Book Monsters” Tag

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The “Book Monsters” Tag

created by Betwixt these Pages

I created this post the other day and decided I wanted to see what others’ came up with for their pairings!  Also, it was suggested to me I make this into a tag, so here we go!

The Rules:

–Have fun with this!  I used mythological creatures in my post, but you are free to use any monsters or beasties you’d like!
–Be sure to put a link to each artwork in your post somewhere, so the artists get recognition.
–You don’t HAVE to state why you picked each pair, but I’d love to know your reasons (if you have any)!
–Tag people at the end or don’t, it’s up to you!  Though I’d love if you did, to keep this tag going.
–Make sure you link back to Betwixt these Pages, so I can see your posts!

Let’s do this thing!
(covers take you to Goodreads; artwork takes you to their respective pages/sources)

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The Griffin

Because it’s masquerading as one thing…with something entirely different inside!  You don’t quite know what you’re getting just looking at the cover.

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The Pegasus

There’s something magical about reading this verse novel–and “watching” the main character come to terms with everything she experiences.

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The Dragon

So pretty to look at…but so, so dangerous!  They’ve both got spikes and power behind their punches, so be careful!

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The Hell Hound

This book has bite…and is bound to drag you to depths as yet unknown, if you let it!

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 Father Time

Wait, this isn’t a mythological creature!?  What the heck, Beth?!  But I PROMISE, once you read this, you’ll understand–the play on time is just so awesome in this book!

I Tag:

Eve Messenger

Jackie @ fallinlovewiththesoundofwords

Kiwi @ Kiwi Reads

Morgan @ Bookenstein

narrativelyraw

Kim @ By Hook or By Book

Yvo @ It’s All About Books

Shealea Iral @ that bookshelf bitch

Millie Schmidt

Calliope the Book Goddess

Kendra @ readsandtreats

Until next time, happy book-ing…and thanks for playing!

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A Review of World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2), by Susan Ee

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In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

– – – – –

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: makes-your-skin-crawl, horrifying monsters; kick ass main characters; flawed, yet somehow forgivable (?) villain; awesome plot twists; lots of action; edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting plot; snarky humor and witty banter; great read all around

I read Angelfall in April; going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting what I found. Having just finished this second book in the series, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for the final installment. It’s waiting patiently for me on my Kindle—waiting patiently to smash what little’s left of my heart into bits and spit on the mess, I have a feeling.

It’s amazing how many times we have to go against our survival instincts to survive.

Susan Ee has a MORBID imagination, guys. In a fit of procrastination (the climax was quickly approaching and I wasn’t sure my heart could handle it!) I described some of the monsters to my husband. His response? “Okay. So…someone took an acid hit and then went straight to bed.” The creativity here is astounding; I’ve never read anything quite like what Susan Ee has created for us here, and that’s both an awesome and a disturbing thing. Awesome because it makes for one hell of a gut-wrenching read. Disturbing because I have more than enough nightmares already, thank you very much! Honestly, though—I applaud and bow down to the author for her creative genius with these books. I’m never going to sleep the same again.

The writing is also edgy in its own right—humorous, snarky, and almost unbearably descriptive, it’s far too easy to lose yourself in this world and let your own life fade into background noise. These books force you to focus on them. They snatch you out of reality and forge the battle around you. Your heart will pace, prance, and leap with the characters through their varying trials and tribulations. There is no escaping the intensity; you’ll be edge-of-your-seat, biting your nails, muscles clenched to fight or flee deep before you realize you’ve even begun.

I offered the enemy pain relief but never considered it for my own sister. Why?

Because she looked like a monster, that’s why. And it never occurred to me that monsters might feel pain.

It’s interesting, going into this second book, to see how the characters have progressed. Penryn and Raffe both go through some poignant and heavy changes. The fact that we only catch glimpses of Raffe here and there throughout until the very end, when they’re reunited, makes Penryn’s journey more awe-inspiring. We don’t see, until the end, that glimmer of snark and hostility that made me fall in love with her character. It’s apparent that despite their vast differences, Penryn was impacted and touched in multiple ways by the angel.

Susan Ee is also a genius at creative and out-of-left-field plot twists. Not ONCE did I see where any of the foreshadowings, hints, or outcomes were headed. Usually, I can at the very least guess at a couple. For these books? No. I go in and remain blind until the reveals are finished and the resolution is in sight. I’m not sure where the ending for this is leading me…but I can’t wait to dive into the final book of this series! At the same time, though… I’m terrified. Because it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt a lot, I’m betting.

“You’re probably right. The unruliness of the women in your family must go back for generations. You’re like a plague upon the land.”

“So long as we’re also a plague upon angels, I’m sure everyone else will forgive us.”

Once again, Susan Ee surprised me—she might just become a favorite author for me before this series is through! I’d definitely recommend to lovers of “angel” stories, dystopian worlds, or the paranormal and horrifying. This is one trilogy that doesn’t follow the rules—and THAT is what makes it epic!

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A Review of Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2), by Laini Taylor

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Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: fast-paced, intense, heart-pounding action; the exploration of what “traitor” means in a war between different societies—and what makes a traitor; angels, spirits, Frankenstein-esque monsters; the examination of love, destiny, strength, and right vs. wrong

Please excuse me just a minute. I seem to have left my heart shredded between the pages of this book; I need to put it back together before I can form coherent thoughts on what I just read. Have a quote while you wait:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

There is something enchanting, alluring, and utterly breathtaking about both Laini Taylor’s prose and worlds. She weaves intrigue so effortlessly, readers are sucked in and held hostage the entire journey—hearts breaking at every turn, hope dwindling and then spearheading again… It’s a wild rollercoaster, reading Laini Taylor’s novels, and she always finds a way to leave the wound gaping wide even at the closing of the last page. This sequel is no exception.

A LOT of things happen in this book, but every situation has a point, every moment has a purpose; nothing seems irrelevant, nothing is forced. Every word carries weight; Laini Taylor knows how to think of every loophole and make them COUNT toward the end result. Nothing should be taken for granted in her writing: she has an answer for every potentiality, and enacts them to their fullest, most lethal advantage. So while a lot of things happen in this book…you won’t feel unsatisfied, disappointed, or in any way lost on any of the separate story lines. It’s all explained. It all comes full-circle. It all pans out.

“As long as you’re alive, there’s always a chance things will get better.”

“Or worse,” said Liraz.

“Yes,” he conceded. “Usually worse.”

Hazael cut in. “My sister, Sunshine, and my brother, Light. You two should rally the ranks. You’ll have us killing ourselves by morning.”

I’ve only ever read these first two books by Laini Taylor…but I’ve fallen hopelessly, desperately in love with her words. She is the type of writer I strive to be in the future: the kind who can steal readers from their thoughts, close them off to the rest of the world, and sweep them along a journey they never foresaw or knew they needed. Her world building is pure gold, the details so exact and brilliantly imagined readers can’t help but feel as if they’re watching the action from the sidelines. The connection with the characters is instantaneous and powerful; it doesn’t take long to sidle into the story and pick a side, pick someone to root for, pick a dream to carry.

The prose is absolutely stunning. The scenes are clear, a mirage of words veiled over a reader’s mind. The characters are at odds both realistic and completely fantastical, human and utterly magic at the same time. Their dialogue is expertly crafted, a fine balance of honesty and total snark (in all the right places, and sometimes exactly the wrong ones). Every detail is so finely balanced, every thread sewn with such precision, it’s as if Laini Taylor has done MORE than just put words to a page. She brings an inventive, creative world of danger, war, and hostility to brilliant life—the morals she explores through the process, the different realizations we as readers are meant to reach and consider, only add to the overall result. It is a journey—not just of the world she’s imagined—but of oneself.

It was one of those dreams that invade the space between seconds, proving sleep has its own physics- where time shrinks and swells, lifetimes unspool in a blink, and cities burn to ash in a mere flutter of lashes.

I absolutely LOVED this read—it’s just as beautiful, just as ensnaring, as the first. I highly recommend to lovers of magical realism, fantasy, and books featuring angels (even not-so-great ones…) I can’t WAIT to dive into the third installment, and see what this captivating world holds secret yet.