Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scarlet by AC Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: AC Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK Edition)
Publication Date: 14th February 2012

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
I am normally not a fan of retellings (with the exception of Cinder), but Scarlet was a ridiculously fun read.
People who are more fussy with grammar and such than I am might find the style it is written in somewhat irritating as it is told from Scarlet's perspective and her dialect comes through in the narration. However, I found this quite charming and it actually has relevance later on in the story.

Scarlet is filled with action and adventure and is one of those books boys will also enjoy. In a mainly female-targeted YA market, I see this as a huge mark in Scarlet's favour!

Fans of the Robin Hood legend will enjoy the unique plot twists and the setting. It is impeccably researched and this shines in the rich atmosphere Gaughen creates.

For those wanting a break from the typical YA, I cannot reccomend Scarlet enough!

Rating: 10/10

Bloodines by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Series: Bloodines (Book 1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Razorbill (Aug 2011)
Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...
This is the second time I have read Bloodlines cover-to-cover. I loved it just as much, if not more so and am now thoroughly engrossed in the sequel, Indigo Spell.

I really enjoy Sydney. She is a contrasting narrator to Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. Sydney's sheltered upbringing makes for some amusing moments as she tries to make sense of normal teenager life.

For me, this series is also more developed in a way than Vampire Academy. Sydney bring a lot more to the table and the romance is a lot more understated. Frankly, I got a little tired of Rose telling me how awesome Dimitri is all the time.

The action is minimal in this book, as I feel it is setting the scene for the rest of the series. But don't let that deter you.

I am Team Bloodlines all the way! Keep an eye out for my review of the second book in the series, The Golden Lily.

Rating: 8/10