Mundie Moms

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Shards and Ashes by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong

Edited by: Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (authors Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Veronica Roth, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan and Rachel Caine)
Published by: Harper Teen
Released on: February 19th, 2013 TODAY 
Source: arc from publisher to review
4 stars: I Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Browse Inside

Gripping original stories of dystopian worlds from nine New York Times bestselling authors, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few, and their courage is tested.
Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world -quoted from Goodreads

I have really enjoyed the YA anthologies that Harper Teen has published recently, and Shards and Ashes was no different. I love it when authors who's writing I really enjoy put together a collection fascinating short stories. The only down fall is they usually leave me wishing the story wasn't so short. This collection of short Dystopian stories is a must have for YA fans. Each of the authors featured in this book have an amazing talent for telling vivid stories with a dark twist. Here's the break down of each of the stories.

Hearken by Veronica Roth- To me she's the queen of Dystopian writing, and she does a splendid with Hearken. This is one of those stories that's a little morbid, but completely intriguing. It's also a story that as soon as I got to know more about Darya's ability and understood the reasoning behind her decision, I wanted more (4 stars)

Branded by Kelley Armstrong- This was one of my favorite short stories out of this entire collection. Paranormal elements + a dystopian setting = awesomeness! The characters in this book were fabulous! I love strong, sharp minded characters, and this story has it. Okay it also has a twisted romance that's intriguing and added a little something else to the story. I love Kelley's story telling. She created a desolate and well detailed setting, and threw in some awesome twists! I didn't see those coming at all, and I love that she was able to do what she did with this story in such a short amount of time. I'm really hoping this is a story we'll get to see more of sometime in the future (5 stars).

Necklace of Raindrops by Margaret Stohl- This is one of those stories that takes you right into the present and throws you into all that's happening with the characters, and what's going on in their world. I liked the twist in this book, and how it shifted gears a bit half way through. That ending.... Loved that unexpected twist! (4 stars). 

Dogsbody by Rachel Caine- Oh nelly! This story was one I liked, because it's narrated from a guy's point of view. Not just any guy, a cunning, patient individual who will stop at nothing to take down the very organization who's broken him and so many others. What I was not excepting is that crazy, twist at the end! This was one of the longer short stories, and extremely faced paced. It's action packed, and does contain some violence (4 stars). 

Pale Rider by Nancy Holder- This is another one of my favorites. I swear I'm a sucker for magic and fey lore, both of which this story has. This dark has a darker feel to it, and it's fueled by fear, the unknown, and a hidden secret. It also has the intriguing, mysterious Alex, mentions of the Erl King, and Dana who seems to have a knack for facing her fears head on. This was definitely another story I wish was much longer than it's was. The other thing I loved about this story, are the first two words in the story, "Shards, Ashes" are the title for this book (5 stars). 

Corpse Eaters by Melissa Marr- When this story started off it reminded me a lot of what Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series felt like, in the sense there is this underline urgency and fear that drives the characters. I soon realized there was so much more to this story. It wasn't at all of what I had first thought it was. It's action packed and a little graphic, and has one heck of a dark unsuspecting twist that I didn't see coming (4 stars).

Burn 3 by Kami Garcia- This was a story that had a feel of a few different dystopians I've read recently, and it's one that left me wishing there was a bit more to the story. It's a darker, dangerous world where destruction makes up much of the setting. The story follows that of a teen girl trying to find her kidnapped little sister, and in turn the story takes her to a unimaginable underworld. (4 stars)

Love is a Choice by Beth Revis- I was so excited to learn that Beth was in this anthology, because that means more from her Across the Universe series! Orion is the main character in this story. I really liked getting to see him, and what motivated him and drove him to make the decisions he does. Having a short story that focuses squarely on him, allowed me to get to know him on a different level, as I got to see him become the character he is in the series (5 stars)!

Miasma by Carrie Ryan- Carrie Ryan has this knack for creating vivid worlds, and giving her story's settings this sense of ruin and brokenness. In doing so, she's able to create these really strong, incredible characters who bring hope, and a sense of purpose to all that's going on around them. I also love the way she develops character relationships. She does such an amazing job with this story's protagonist. I couldn't help but cheer her on, and want to see her overcome all that she is forced to deal with. I admire a character who doesn't give up (5 stars).

Can I just say how much I love this cover! It's a perfect fit for this book. 

Cassie Clare's Unidentified Snippet

Cassie posted an unidentified snippet on her tumblr, yesterday. Hmm, any thoughts on who is talking?
"They said it was better to know your enemy, but how did it help to know that your enemy’s one weakness was your weakness, too?"

Twitter Tuesday - Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall by Leesa M.

Rachel Hawkins gave all of us Hex Hall fans a big, happy Valentine's Day pressie -- an extra scene featuring Sophie and Archer. *sigh* And that chemistry we loved between them? Guess what? It's still there. Here's a snippet from the very beginning:
Rachel: As a Valentine’s Day Treat, please to enjoy a certain couple from the Hex Hall series enjoying their first Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t read the last book and don’t know who Sophie ends up with, beware spoilers. :) ”So.”

“This is Applebee’s.”
“It is indeed.”
Archer frowned as he turned the pages of his menu. “I didn’t expect so much of the food to come in skillets.”
Laughing, I stabbed at the lemon in my ice water with my straw. “I don’t think you properly prepared for the glamour that is Applebee’s, Cross.”
He was still puzzling over his menu. “They really like the word ‘sizzlin.’”
“It was your idea to come here,” I reminded him. “I told you we didn’t need to do Valentine’s Day-,”
“Oh, we are doing Valentine’s Day.” Archer laid down his menu and linked his fingers, studying me across the table. His dark hair was falling over his forehead and he was grinning, and ugh, it really was unfair for one guy to be that cute.

You can read the rest of the story on Rachel's tumblr. And don't forget that School Spiritsamazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound; add to goodreads) is coming out on May 14th. Wow, that's so soon and I can hardly wait to get back into Rachel's dark, magical world.

Clockwork Princess News: Book Trailer & Interactive App Coming Soon!

We're 1 month away from Clockwork Princess's release and Cassie's recently announced some exciting news! She announced last week on Twitter that we'd be seeing the Clockwork Princess trailer sometime this week. Today Cassie posted this:

Hi Cassie, You said the book trailer for CP2 will be out by Feb… the end of Feb is 10 days away. Do you perhaps have an exact date? Need to mark my calender LOL "

Well, I never know specifically because usually what happens is they give the trailer to MTV or Entertainment Weekly and they kinda run it when they run it. But it’s supposed to be this week, if that helps.

Next week they’ll be revealing the whole first chapter of Clockwork Princess — yep, not the prologue, which you already got (on the app, and if you search the clockwork-princess-prologue tag)  but the whole first chapter. It’s going to be interactive, and should be lots of fun. :)

Get the Shadowhunter application HERE

Cassie's also answered some recent CP2 questions on her Tumblr:

Hi there Cassie! :) I wanted to ask you- you may have been asked before but - did you always know who Tessa was going to end up with? Did you plan the OTP way back in the beginning when you were writing about your characters?— aqsa-naveed2 

I get asked all the time! — not that I mind answering.

My initial reaction is always “But how could I write the books if I didn’t know?” But then, I just asked Paolo Bacigalupi and Delia Sherman if they know how their books end when they start them and they said, not always. On the other hand they did say that if they were writing trilogies/series they probably would feel obligated to plan ahead. You can go back and edit a single book once you work the ending out, but you can’t go back and edit books that are already published. So I would think not knowing how your trilogy turns out would really screw you in the end. How do you structure? How do you foreshadow? Wouldn’t you be wandering around in a fog, bashing into things?

On the other hand, I bet there are writers for whom it does succeed to just work things out as they go. I am just not one of them. Holly is right when she says she doesn’t just know how Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments end, she knows how Dark Artifices ends. I feel like I need to know those things, because these are books where the past shapes the future in a very real way.

Anyway, I went back and looked at the proposal I wrote (a proposal is a detailed synopsis that you send a publisher to sell them books that aren’t yet written) for The Infernal Devices back in 2008, and yes, the current version, romance-wise, ends exactly the same way. Other details changed. I found this paragraph:

Tessa comments sorrowfully to Jem that Will is nothing like she thought he was; that when she’d first met him he’d been kind, and now he was horrible. “If you saw him be weak, he’ll hate you for it,” Jem tells her, “but he needs people like that, too, people who know he’s more than he seems to be. Persevere and you will find in him a person worth knowing.”

Which — I don’t think every actually happened, but thematically, basically remains the same general stuff; Jem defends Will, Will’s a jerk with reasons, etc. On the other hand, there’s also a scene in Rye that didn’t make it in, characters that got cut (a childhood friend of Will’s) and other changes. Mostly because I found better ways of expressing those details or getting across those character points, or just realized the original ideas didn’t work and scrapped them.

How Tessa’s romantic life plays out though, has never changed an iota, mostly because part of the idea for the books was wanting to write a very specific kind of love story. Ideally when you’re writing about people in love, you’re also writing about the nature of love, and of life, and about the things you think are important. A love story isn’t just how it ends: it’s how it progresses. If it were going to have ended differently, it would have to have progressed differently too. I think when you get to the end - the very end, end - hopefully what you’ll feel is that it couldn’t have ended any other way.
(via cassandraclare) quoted from here

Jamie Campbell Bower Talks TMI with TEEN

Yesterday I posted links to the recent TMI Movie set reports from various fansites and press that were on the set, but there's one interview I seriously loved that I wanted to spotlight by itself. Recently Jamie aka Jace, sat down with TEEN to talk about his role as Jace. 

Teen: There’s a lot of action in this film. How did you bulk up before shooting?

Jamie: Physically, I’ve trained really hard for it. I started training four months — three months before we started shooting, and I sort of toyed around with different physical forms and at the end of it, what I wanted was to get to a point whereby we’ve seen this sort of big jock kind of character before and I didn’t want that and I didn’t really think that that was something that I believe, particularly, you know, with my younger cousins or whatever being girls that they’re really into — you know, the 15-year-old markets — I don’t know if that’s as sexy as it once was anymore. I think it’s more about the rock star or the girls that I, you know, the 15-year-old girls they’re into, like, skinny motherf****** from bands and the sort of lost souls and all that kind of s*** and I love that and I think that’s really cool. Ultimately, at the end of that, what I wanted to do is I built up the muscle, and then I just trimmed everything down and just got super lean and it was really tough; really, really hardcore. I did a lot of stunt training; a lot of fight training and physically kind of ruined myself, but in the best way possible. It wasn’t like I was doing stupid s*** because I was doing stuff that was good for me, but, you know, you wake up at 5 o’clock every morning, and do three hours of training, then you have a half an hour to eat, and then you go back and do another two hours, then half an hour to go and sleep, and maybe have a shower if you’re lucky, and then go through lines or learn the piano and all this kind of stuff. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it’s part of what I enjoy about it.
Tumblr (beginstherevolution)
Tumblr (beginstherevolution)
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Teen: We see you doing a flip in the trailer. What was that like?

Jamie: Harald [Zwart, the director], when Lily and I first got here, before we started shooting, we did a lot of pre-production stuff and fight training and sort of just warming up to being here while everything is going on, it’s nice to have those moments. So we were doing a lot of stunt stuff and Harald was like, “I don’t want any wires; I don’t want any wire work. I don’t want that. I want it to be very much — If you’re going to do something, if you’re going to do a flip, then you need to be able to do a flip. If you’re going to do a jump, you need to be able to do a jump” and all this kind of stuff. So for me, learning how to do flips onto tables off the mini-tram was really exciting because that’s me doing that in the movie. That’s nobody else. That’s not a facial placement. There’s no wires there. That’s me jumping from the floor onto a table doing a flip in midair, which I know sounds really stupid, but the 14-year-old boy inside me goes, “That’s f****ing awesome. That’s so cool.” I really appreciate those moments and I appreciate the fact that Harald’s been able to do that. And yeah some stuff isn’t going to look as, you know, necessarily as slick as something like, I don’t know, Crouching Tiger where there was a lot of wire work and all that kind of stuff. We know that it’s real and I know that it’s real and I love the fact that we’re able to do that and it is very physically demanding, yeah. But there’s a big payoff at the end, a big, big payoff. Hopefully. [Laughs] It’s nice to be able to go to bed at night and go, “Yeah, I tried my hardest… Oh well, we’ll see.”
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Tumblr (shadowhuntersvzla)
Read more:

Let me just say, as formally being someone who was anti-Jamie being cast as Jace based on what I thought Jace should look like, Jamie's performance is what is going to win Jace fans over. We all know that Jace's actions and what he says speak much louder that his looks do, and I for one feel that Jamie was the perfect casting choice for Jace. I think fans are going to be pleasantly surprised when they see what Jamie brings to Jace's characters. I am a firm believer that what we're going to see from Jamie's performance of Jace is the Jace many of us have envisioned. Sure he's not going to look like the Jace each of us has imagined, but his mannerisms, and he snarkiness are his most endearing traits and that is what I think we're all going to walk away from this movie going "Jamie was the perfect Jace!"

Don't miss more of their interview with the cast here