Book Review: Invisible by Dawn Metcalf

I liked this book more than the first one in the series, but it still has many of the problems of Indelible.

3.75/5 stars

The Twixt book 2

cover invisible

Amazon description:

Some things lie beneath the surface.

Invisible.

With the power to change everything.

Joy Malone wants it all—power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever.

Her choice is balanced on a scalpel’s edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.

The plot of Invisible grabbed me from the start. The story moved along quickly and kept me enthralled. I liked certain plot twists and thought Metcalf did a good job with them. The family element of Joy’s life develops more in this one and opened up a new part of the story that helped round out the novel.

Unfortunately, besides being readable, when I looked back on the book, there wasn’t that much I liked about it.

As in the first book, the main plot of the novel doesn’t appear until halfway through. Most of the action, though attention-grabbing, does not actually move the plot forward. The book feels like a collection of scenes instead of a book with a clear plot and purpose.

I’m not a stickler for tradition exposition-rising action-climax-resolution plot structure, but Metcalf’s plot construction didn’t work for me.

None of the characters impressed me. Joy annoyed me, though I can’t put my finger on what about her made me feel that way. Probably the way she never really fights for herself (even when the author makes a big deal about her doing exactly that). Basically, she’s not my favorite protagonist.

Ink has no personality besides being the Love Interest. He is slowly becoming more human, but his character seems to only develop romantically; he doesn’t grow into a personality based on anything other than loving Joy. He could be such an interesting addition to the story if Metcalf allowed him to be it, but it never happened.

The rest of the characters–Monica, Inq, Graus Claude, the Cabana Boys–are interesting but flat. Their personalities are one-tone–Metcalf didn’t even throw in stereotypical dark secrets to flesh out their characters. This held the story back, in my opinion, from being an unforgettable read.

I still don’t understand basic elements of the world Metcalf built. Maybe I’m just the most clueless reader imaginable, but I doubt it. The Twixt and the Scribes’ jobs and how everything fits together is still confusing two books into the series. Major plot events would happen and I would not understand what had occurred, and it bothered me.

Still, I enjoyed this book for the most part. I probably should have read it faster (I dropped off reading it a bit during the school week) to get my enjoyment of the story without thinking too much about what parts of the story I didn’t like.

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2014

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and you post your top ten responses.

I haven’t done this before but I’ve decided to start. It probably won’t be a perfectly weekly thing, but I’m going to try to do it as often as I have time and interesting answers to the topics.

Here are my favorite authors I discovered this year. This isn’t to say that their books are new, just that I finally found out how awesome they are


Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson’s Mistborn series completely took me by surprise. Probably my favorite books I read this year. His Steelheart was an amazing take on writing an action story that also has substance.

Stephanie Perkins

I loved the Anna and the French Kiss series so much. It was adorable but not completely fluffy–it had meaning and emotional resonance. I’m so sad the series is over, but I’m excited to read more of her books.

Janet Evanovich

The Stephanie Plum series is awesome. They are so much fun to read, and have definitely set the record for most literal laugh-out-louds, but they also leave me thinking.

Holly Black

I’ve only read one of her books, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This book really surprised me, however. It broke the paranormal mold and told an engaging story with a unique love interest. I want to read more of her writing in 2015.

Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity was incredible. Heart-wrenching. Such a fantastic portrayal of friendship and sacrifice and–oh my god it is amazing. I sobbed. The most emotionally moving story I read this year. I haven’t read the companion novel, Rose Under Fire, yet, but I plan to when I have space in my schedule to cry my eyes out.

David Levithan

Every Day was such a unique and powerful story for me. Every You, Every Me wasn’t my favorite, but I still want to read more of his writing.

Chuck Wendig

I stumbled upon Chuck Wendig’s blog, Terrible Minds, last year, and fell in love. I decided to read his Miriam Black series, not really knowing what I was getting into. Definitely the most inappropriate books I read this year (based on my age) but I loved them anyway. Wendig is a powerful storyteller and has impressive skill with character voice.

Robin LaFevers

I loved the first two His Fair Assassin books, and I’m excited to read the last one. They balance romance and badass-ness well, and I love stories about assassins, so these books are basically perfect for me.

Phillipa Gregory

I read The Other Boleyn Girl and it rocked my world. A powerful story that has stuck with me–especially in my AP European History class. I want to read more of her books, even if they are incredibly long.

Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy was such a good story. I loved the main character and the author’s writing style.

Poetry: The Blank Page

The blank page

Stares at me

Sees my hesitation, and smirks—

Throws down the gauntlet:

A challenge.

 

And I balk

 

Take my hands off the keyboard

Drop the pen

Shut the laptop

Close the notebook

Push them far away

No confrontation today, please

 

It’s writers block, I say

(Out of my control)

It’s fatigue, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation

taking over my mind

(I’ve had a long week)

I should be studying, of course

(This won’t get me into college)

I’m not in the right mood

(The writing wouldn’t be good anyway)

 

Hopeful what-ifs shouted down by doubts and fears

 

And the blank page wins

Again and again

Book Haul #3

I went on a splurge with my sister and bought books off of Amazon and then from a local bookstore. Some of them are sequels, either that have been out for a while or that are recently released.

Please comment if you’ve read any of the books, have more recommendations, or have been looking at the same books as me 🙂

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Amazon description:

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine…

Why I Bought It: I’ve read so many positive reviews for this book so I broke down and bought it. It seems really intense and I don’t have anything like that on my TBR list right now. My sister binge read it this morning and loved it, though the ending was apparently very frustrating. (No spoilers please.) My only problem is that I got the really girly cover on the left (above) instead of the dramatic dark one (right, above) that I’ve seen everyone else reviewing it with. Call me petty.

Rebel (Reboot book 2) by Amy Tintera

cover rebel

Amazon description:

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot reservation, it isn’t what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren’s instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake—he’s underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

Why I Bought It: I read Reboot about a year ago and I remember liking it enough. My sister read it recently and really liked it. The sequel had been on my radar for a while and my sister convinced me to buy it. I plan to reread book one and then read book two soon, though it might take me a while to be in mood for it.

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin book 3) by Robin LaFevers

cover mortal heart

Amazon description:
In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever’s New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.
She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

Why I Bought It: I absolutely loved the first two books in this series. The characters were great and the romance was well done. I have a semi-obsession with assassins and such, so this series just really works for me.

Winterspell by Claire Legrand

cover winterspell

Amazon description:

Darkly romantic and entirely enchanting, this reimagining of The Nutcracker from Claire Legrand brims with magic, love, and intrigue. New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer (Cinder) says “this is not your grandmother’s Nutcracker tale.”

After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help.

But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.

When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do…

Why I Bought It: To be honest, my sister bought it. I haven’t looked at it that closely yet but I trust her judgement and I’m always up for a fairytale/kids’ story retelling. She has already read it and loved it.

Jackaby by William Ritter

cover jackaby

Amazon description:

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job,Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in a debut novel, the first in a series, brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Why I Bought It: I am so excited for this book! The plot sounds interesting and the premise is unique. I want to see what the author does with it. And the cover is so amazing!

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

cover midnight thief

Amazon description:

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he is persistent-and darkly attractive-and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by the Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival-and vengeance-might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

Why I Bought It: I love thieves, plain and simple. I’m excited for this story and in the mood for some romantic drama–which this book will definitely have.

Book Review: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

I liked this book enough, but it could be a lot better.

3.5/5 stars

The Twixt book 1

Genre: Young adult fantasy/paranormal romance

cover indelible

Amazon description of Indelible:

Some things are permanent. Indelible. And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye.

Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both.

Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

I absolutely love the setting/world-building of this book. The magic is unique and complex. There is a definite Alice in Wonderland feeling to parts of it, while others are darker and more paranormal.

However–it was also confusing. I still don’t think I really understand what the Twixt is, or how the signatures work (the magic), even though I’ve read this book twice and am starting the second. Most of the actiony scenes were really confusing and left me unsure of what was going on or how it affected the rest of the book. The glimpses I caught of the magic and resulting conflicts were powerful, but I wish they had been the entire book instead of rarities.

Joy in an interesting protagonist. She is loyal and fierce. Her relationship with Ink is interesting, though I would have liked a longer build-up for their romance (as it is, it is borderline InstaLove). Their romance is intense in a classically paranormal fashion. The one thing about her that bothered me was that she never really saves herself (until the end), counting on Ink to get her out of confrontations. Part of this is because the conflicts are magical and she can’t really defend herself against them, but it just got repetitive with her being put in danger and Ink saving her.

The one character who fascinated me was Inq, Ink’s sister. She had the most character traits of any of the characters, and they all worked together to create a weird but fun character. Her dynamic with Joy was infinitely more interesting than Ink’s. It frustrates me that Metcalf didn’t make all of her characters as impressive as Inq’s.

The plot of Indelible takes a while to become apparent. From the description on the dusk jacket, you would think that it is mostly focused around the charade Ink and Joy have to put up as lovers. That is only part of the book, and they become romantically involved so quickly that it the conflict does not create that much drama or plot depth.

The actual plot, which becomes clear later in the book, is interesting but needed more explanation. It felt like Metcalf was rushing to finish the book, instead of actually capitalizing on the meat of her book. I would have liked more of the conflicts of the book to be focused on the specific plot. As it is, the middle of the book doesn’t have a specific purpose for the plot of the beginning or the ending.

Still, this book is an enjoyable read. Fans of paranormal romance who enjoy fantasy elements would have fun with it. The book is no stunning display of literary genius, but it is a good one-day read.