[638]: Wild by Alex Mallory



by Alex Mallory

I’ve always loved Saundra Mitchell’s Vespertine series. She introduced me to the Wild Wild West of YA with nature’s magic thrown in for good measure. The fact that the books were about two things that I’d never picked out on my own volition speak volumes. She also knows how to write a good romance – which is key to keeping me coming back for more. So it was an unexpected, welcome surprise to learn that she wrote a contemporary retelling of Tarzan using a pseudonym.

Book Description

The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving— that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger…

Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy— he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.

Thrust back into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.

As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?

The novel opens up a little heavy on narration. It was Dara and her boyfriend fumbling through a camping trip that was meant to draw them closer but only managed to do the opposite. We also spent a lot of time in Cade’s head. Because he’s been living in the forest for so long, the appearance of a couple of intruders kept him in a perma-state of wonder. The forest had an air of slight danger. But I think it had to do with the way Cade stalked Dara. He was fascinated with her and the boy hasn’t talked to anyone for years, so I kinda get why he was all creepy.

Cade has such a sad story. From his parents’ choice to leave everything behind, to when they eventually left him behind, it was the kind of sorrow that you would feel with very little provocation. It was that palpable. I felt sorry for his lonesome existence and felt even sorrier when they took him out of the only home he’s ever known. He had no idea how to exist in a modern world. He had a child-like innocence untampered by civilization. So as much as I thought it would be good for him to learn the truth about the lies his parents fed him, his freedom cost him a lot more.

I had a bit of a hard time with Dara’s boyfriend, though. He was a jerk and I’m glad he was barely in the picture. I also felt that there should’ve been more on Cade’s adopted parents. They were really good to him, but Cade’s heart was in the forest so he didn’t know how to connect with them. Overall, I think I’d hoped for more. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the book was a decent size as it is, and most of the plot threads were woven in a nice plait. I supposed it could’ve used a bit more tightening, is what I’m trying to get at.

Wild is an entertaining modern interpretation of Tarzan. It had a lot of heart that will give you a mild case of chest pains. I think that you will learn to enjoy it, too if you go into it knowing that it’s not a perfect book, and as most interpretations go, it’s never as good as the original.

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[604]: The Angelfall Series by Susan Ee


Susan Ee has set a standard for books about these mythical creatures. There are only a couple that I could think of that was as good or better ( Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and The Rephaim series by Paula Weston). She came into the YA scene with such a splash that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. It was like the opening of the first book when Pennryn saw a floating feather that signals the coming doom of time. Though Susan’s entrance was not quite that traumatic. She just took us all by surprise, that’s all.


The second book to Angelfall finds Pennryn dead …for a time. Then she woke up to the horror of those people in the truck that rescued her including her mother. After a few halting explanations, everyone accepted her explanation of a temporary paralysis. They find themselves in a rebel hub bent on taking back humanity from the clutches of the angels. The humans didn’t take well to Paige’s appearance and new monstrosity. When she ran away after the humans tried to kill her, Penn has no choice but to search for her.  In the meantime, Raffe continues his search for his angel wings. Because without his wings, he won’t be able to get back into the fold of righteous army that will help Pennryn and the humans take back their world.

Sadly, my interest in this series waned a bit as I was reading this sequel. Part of the problem was I couldn’t find the same love and enthusiasm as I had with the first book. It’s been five years since I read Angelfall. And I would like to think that I’ve shed some of my fangirl tendencies since then. I was completely in love with the idea of an angel-human romance at the time. So I thought that once I started reading Pennryn and Raffe’s reunion, things will go back to normal. It did not. Because our star-crossed couple was separated for the better part of this novel. Still, Susan Ee’s talent for conceptualizing a recently destroyed world consistently shone through.


The conclusion of this series was meant to be epic. And Holy Hannah, was it ever! We find Pennryn and Raffe looking for a way to reverse whatever procedure was done to Raffe and Paige. In this book, we find out more about the real reason why the angels invaded Earth and how. Raffe’s past will also be revealed in such a way that will bring forth more problems for both angels and humans alike. Monsters unlike anything anyone has ever seen (not even angels) will be unleashed to humankind and the only way to stop them is for Raffe to band with the Pit Lord and his army of Consumed.

This was heart-palpitating action from the get go. It’s exactly how I wanted series-enders to be. The romance throughout the series was a slow burn to begin with, but in this conclusion, I felt like it reached a satisfying crescendo that will make Pennryn’s and Raffe’s fans happy. In the end, I was not invested at all. Not because I stopped being a fan, but because this book was so good that the romance took a backseat to everything that happened.


Susan Ee knows how to cast a line and reel her fans in. The breathtaking, albeit, destroyed world was something out of a realistic nightmare. The romance is sexy in a subtle way; and the monsters, truly out of this world. Postponing the release of books 2 and 3 only added to the already electrifying furor surrounding these books. So in every aspect, she’s something short of brilliant. I can’t wait to see what she’ll have in store for us in the future.

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[597]: Winter by Marissa Meyer


Winter by Marissa Meyer

And so this is the end. The end of a series that I’ve followed and loved since the first book came out. Books that I’ve loved progressively so with each instalment and with whom I’ve realised that yes, I still can enjoy fairy tales. It’s hard to say goodbye, but all good things must come to an end.


A brilliant one – with a propensity for torturing her readers to the point of madness that we had no choice but to assume the foetal position and suck our thumbs. I know I did. Because I kid you not, that’s how I felt for about 95% of this 800-page beast. Every page had the potential for heartache due to unimaginable horrors in store for our beloved characters. The suspense on whether or not Cinder will succeed in her quest to overthrow Levana only amped up the anxiety level to unbearable heights. She and her cohorts have had to work extra hard to convince the people from the outer sectors to join in her revolution, but it’s such a difficult thing to do considering how far-reaching Levana’s and her Thaumaturge’s powers were. Besides the fact that the people of Luna were a defeated and demoralised lot, I remained unconvinced that Levana would, could be defeated.


Because this last book was supposed to be about Princess Winter, it was both a disappointment and a relief to find that only about a significant amount of this epic instalment was about her story. Not as much as I originally expected it to be, anyway. Winter’s is a sad story arch. Because she’d suppressed her powers of persuasion, her mind was slowly deteriorating into madness. Meyer gave Snow White justice. From the time her Hunstman (Jacin) was ordered to kill her, to when she found kinship amongst the wolves (the dwarves), right up to when Levana impersonated herself to give her a form of poison, Marissa threaded Winter’s story so flawlessly into this final instalment.

Though it may feel like the 800 pages was a bit long, I promise you that you will not notice the passing of time. In some instances, I felt like I was not reading fast enough or I read it too fast that I had to go back. In the end, and as in most cases where you’ve waited so long for a book, you’ll be warring with your emotions. Mostly, you’ll come to an unresolved conclusion on whether you wanted more or you’ve had enough.


I understand now why we had to wait so long for this instalment. The amount of plotting and replotting required to give birth to this book must’ve cost her blood, sweat and tears. I know it’s not perfect – no book ever is. But this is pretty much close to perfection. You know that blinding disorientation you feel after leaving the theatre? That’s how I felt after closing this book. A little dazed, a little unsure of how to go on about my mundane life.

GOODREADS SUMMARY | Feiwel & Friends | November 10th, 2015 | Hardcover, 827 pp. | Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars



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