{mini}Book Review #2

{mini}Book Review is a weekly meme hosted here at The Book Curmudgeon and focuses on reviewing books from the past.  This can be an old favorite,  a book read in quick abandoned passion (i.e. read too quickly to fully review) or a hidden treasure that should see the light of day.  Everyone is welcome to join in at any time!


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. {goodreads.com}

My Thoughts:

This is literally one of the best stories that I have read all year. I was first drawn in by the cover (as you can see it is one of the most beautiful covers of 2014), and then by the wonderful characters that Walton created. This story is full of wonder, mysticism, and love.  The generational story of the women in this family will have you laughing, crying, and yelling right along with them. This is Walton’s first novel, and believe me it will not be her last. I recommend this story to everyone who loves to read.

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

 

It isn’t ten-year-old Pia’s fault that her grandmother dies in a freak accident. But tell that to the citizens of Pia’s little German hometown of Bad Münstereifel, or to the classmates who shun her. The only one who still wants to be her friend is StinkStefan, the most unpopular child in school.

But then something else captures the community’s attention: the vanishing of Katharina Linden. Katharina was last seen on a float in a parade, dressed as Snow White. Then, like a character in a Grimm’s fairy tale, she disappears. But, this being real life, she doesn’t return.

Pia and Stefan suspect that Katharina has been spirited away by the supernatural. Their investigation is inspired by the instructive—and cautionary—local legends told to them by their elderly friend Herr Schiller, tales such as that of Unshockable Hans, visited by witches in the form of cats, or of the knight whose son is doomed to hunt forever.

Then another girl disappears, and Pia is plunged into a new and unnerving place, one far away from fairy tales—and perilously close to adulthood. {goodreads.com}

My Thoughts:

Engrossing. That is really all I need to say about this story. Grant has the ability to draw a reader in and make sure she gets just enough hint of the mystery and then pulling back to drag her in further. It is a truly terrifying mystery that will be loved by readers who enjoyed The Lovely Bones.

Sea of Shadows

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever. {goodreads.com}

My Thoughts:

I am a HUGE fan of Kelley Armstrong, both her Young Adult and Adult series (as you can see in my past reviews). However, this new series is quite an about-face for Ms. Armstrong. She has truly found a story that has her out of her depths, and it is MARVELOUS! I recommend this story to any who enjoy a good strong female protagonist, and of course anyone who loves Armstrong.

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