Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Forest of Hand and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Book Info:
Genre: YA, Horror, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Mary lives in a secluded village surrounded by wire fences that keep out the Unconsecrated, an army of living dead. Ruled by the Sisterhood and the Guardians, the village may be the last one of its kind. Life is not about love and risk, but commitment and adherence to the policies dictated by the Sisterhood. Betrothed to a man she doesn’t love and tempted by her best friend’s intended, Mary has trouble believing in the Sisterhood’s rules. Even more, she craves what lies beyond the village walls, seduced by her mother’s tales of a vast ocean beyond the forest of hands and teeth.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is gruesome and dark with love at its core. Set in a post apocalyptic society of religion and fear, the story draws on freedom verses imprisonment and predestination verses choice. Ryan weaves a complex web of passion, love, and jealousy. Filled with tension, strained relationships, and lots of teen angst drama, this tale is hard to put down. A great sense of irresolution keeps page after page turning at light speed. But if you want answers, this book is not for you. Written in a literary style with elegant prose and poignant descriptions, Ryan is more focused on the journey than the end result. Perhaps she will give us more answers in the second installment, The Dead-Tossed Waves.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Sidhe and the Dragon-Lost Jewel by SilverValkyre

Book Info:
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Gypsy Shadow Publishing
To Purchase

Mahshon, the immortal prince of the elves, must protect the land from all things, including dragons. His duty brings him to faraway glens and lodges, ancient passes, and magical forests. Along the way he meets beautiful young women but only one lovely lady has captured his true heart. And that special woman is no where to be found. As he answers a tricky dragon riddle, he finally understands what she meant to him. But does his realization come too late?

SilverValkyre weaves an enchanting tale that flows like lyrics to a love ballade. Her prose is graceful and ornately decorated with rich description. Each word is a jewel to marvel at and savor. The story whisked me away to another land. I could almost feel the wind on my face and catch a glimpse of the ravishing elfish prince as he turned my way.

The Sidhe and the Dragon is an indulgence in magic and passion, a real treat to read.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shades of Green by Rhonda Parrish

Book Info:
Genre: Fantasy/sci fi
Publisher: Sam's Dot Publishing
To Purchase

Rescued by Reptars at a young age, Z’thandra is the last swamp elf of her kind. A cataclysmic event called the Curse rattled her land. The elves died of fever, and the Reptars’ technology and advanced society crumbled. Now all they have is a mystical stone, rumored to be a dragon’s egg that hovers in their council hall, their last ray of hope.

Z’thandra lives a life plagued by prejudice from her foster sister and the untrusting villagers in the Reptar council. Driven by ignorance, the Reptars are fierce and quick to condemn. After a chance meeting with a handsome human in the swamps surrounding her village, Z’thandra is faced with the decision of her life. Will she leave the only home she’s known and doom the Reptars to extinction, or will she suffer for their own sins and lead them to a better life?

Set in the fantasy world of Aphanasia, Shades of Green is a unique and unsettling tale of life after an apocalypse. The descriptions are exotic and fun to read, and I felt for Z’thandra’s plight throughout. Amongst all of the prejudice and hatred she is able to forgive, and that is truly heroic. The ending is unexpected and left me with much to think about. This is no fluffy fantasy tale, but a powerful and emotional journey with a profound message at the end.