Updates On My Novel – January 3, 2012

First of all, I’d like to thank all my new followers for all the amazing support you’ve given me. The blog now has frequent visitors and it makes me happy that my work is appreciated. As you’ve noticed, I’ve been posting around 2 reviews per day and I have a contest going on. I think the contest helped bring new readers and it’s the reason why I’ll hold more of them.

Now, the main reason I’m writing this post is because I’d like to update you on the progress of my novel. For those of you who didn’t know I was writing one, you can read my first update post over here: https://iulialesleybooks.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/happy-holidays-novel-update-impossible-does-not-exist/ – the incredible thing about it, is that I know I’m finally on the right track. I barely slept last night because I felt the need to write. Ideas kept popping into my head. I ‘ve been worried, mainly because I was stuck at chapter 5. I’m writing from three different POVs and it’s a pretty hard job to do. The new ideas I had last night had nothing to do with the first book, but with two different characters that are important in the book I’m writing.

I feel compelled to write their story first, and by doing this, get to know the characters better. It will also help me envision the world I built much better. That being said, I think I’m going to put the words on paper now, before they eat me up from the inside. I barely slept around two hours last night because I kept imagining their lines, their emotions…it was pretty intense. I’ve also decided the title for the first book will remain unchanged for the time being, so I might as well share it with you. The book will be called The Archangel Covenant and it’s 7225 words long, for now – I’m hoping it will be a long one. What do you guys think? I might post the first draft of the prologue after we get a few more readers. I would love to get some feedback!

Anyways, I’m ending this post with a picture of an angel and his lover. I’ve been searching the net for a picture that could represent something from my book and this one seemed appropriate for a story of a character I’ll be writing later on. Much love,

Iulia Lesley xo


REVIEW: ‘Darkness Calls’ by Marjorie M. Liu

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Ace

Release Date: June 30, 2009

Series: Hunter Kiss


“Nomad born and bred, demon hunter Maxine Kiss has always relied on herself to fight the darkness that surrounds her, and the predators – human, zombie, and otherwise – who threaten the earth. One man has managed to get through her protective isolation, but Grant isn’t just special to her. He’s the last of his people, and can use music to control any living creature…including demons. And now that they’ve found him, his life is in danger. 
Maxine follows Grant’s trail through night-bound cities and underground clubs, ending up in an ice palace lost in a fold of time. She comes to understand that to save Grant, she has only one choice – to lose control, and release her own powers of darkness. But a great evil is coming, and Maxine has more to lose than love.”

Praise For The Hunter Kiss Sequence
‘From the imagination of one of today’s most talented authors comes a mesmerizing, darkly disturbing world’ – Romantic Times
‘Excellent…I look forward to reading the further adventures of Maxine Kiss’ – sfrevu.com

My Thoughts
‘Darkness Calls’ is probably the best book from the Hunter Kiss series. It certainly took a while till the story and the characters grew on me, but the sequel to ‘The Iron Hunt’ is remarkable!
The plot, the new characters, and the ever-present Maxine and Grant made this book a success! I loved every minute of reading this book and I finally understand how Maxine works. She’s a very complex character and it took me some time to get to know her. To some it might seem pretty straightforward, but the inner conflict Maxine had to face this time, was utterly mind-blowing.
We all know love is complicated, but when you have to fight a darkness inside you, and keep the person you love safe, all at the same time, it becomes almost impossible. Maxine had to face that and so much more! Of course, she still had the help of the little demon bodyguards: Zee, Raw, Aaz, Dek and Mal – I love these boys, I’ll definitely be thinking about them for some time now. Because of them, I’ll always start laughing when a Bon Jovi songs comes on the radio.
Grant is also not your normal human as I thought he was. As some of you may recall from my previous reviews of the series, I was not very fond of Grant. Past tense. He has a bigger role in this book and I understand now why Marjorie M. Liu paired these two! I used to think Maxine didn’t really need Grant, he didn’t really complete her. He was just the guy she liked and she was this bad-ass demon hunter.
I won’t say more because I’d hate to spoil the fun for you all, but this is definitely a great book and I can’t wait to read the next part in the series.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – 4 hearts!

REVIEW: ‘The Iron Hunt’ by Marjorie M. Liu

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Ace

Release Date: June 24, 2008

Series: Hunter Kiss


“During the day, Maxine’s tattoos are her armour and she is invincible. At night they peel from her skin to take on forms of their own, leaving her human and vulnerable – and showing themselves to be demons sleeping beneath her skin. 
But these demons are the best friends and bodyguards a woman could have. And Maxine needs bodyguards. She is the last in a line of women with power in their blood, trained to keep the world safe from malignant beings who would do us harm.
But ten thousand years after its creation, the prison dimension that kept the worst of these from us is failing, and all the Wardens save Maxine are dead. She must bear the burden of her bloodline and join the last wild hunt against the enemy.”

Short reviews
“From the imagination of one of today’s most talented authors comes a mesmerizing, darkly disturbing world on the brink of apocalypse.” – Romantic Times
“A stunning new urban fantasy series from an author who never ceases to amaze” – Booklist
“Liu’s books are kick-ass reads” – Kelley Armstrong

My thoughts
You can all read my views on the prequel for this book and, unfortunately, it disappointed me. BUT NOT THIS BOOK! I was sooo happy with this book and it finally grew on me. I guess, I’m just not a novella person! Well let’s get started then, shall we?
Because I read the novellla, I already knew the background story and already loved “the boys”, a.k.a. the amazing little demons that protect Maxine. I’m not a big fan of Grant’s, if I’m totally honest, but I’m glad Maxine is happy with him.

The writing improved, or maybe I just got used to Liu’s style. It’s really unique and it certainly grew on me. If you don’t want to be confused about the whole story from the beginning, you should deffo read the novella.
I loved the plot! I really did. It’s one of those ideas that is seriously complicated and I had to continuously stop studying for my exams to see what happened next. I was hooked.
New characters were introduced and I loved every single one of them, but one stuck in my mind in particular. Tracker. Oh man, I was already swooning as soon as he was introduced. I think he would be much better suited to Maxine and they would make a kick-ass pair! If not, I’m happy to keep him to myself (*laughs evilly*). Okay, moment over.
I’m curious now what happens next! Hopefully a certain tracker will show himself in this novel….ok, I seriously have to stop thinking about him, it’s not healthy.
So if you want to read a kick-ass story, full of lovely twists and hot guys, interesting demons and whatnot, then you have to read this book.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – 4 hearts!

REVIEW: ‘Hunter Kiss: A Companion Novella’ by Marjorie M. Liu – Wild Thing Anthology

E-Book: 384 pages

Publisher: Berkley

Release Date: February 6, 2009

Series: Hunter Kiss

“In this eSpecial, New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu provides a companion novella to The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls, the first two books in her gripping new urban fantasy series. Meet Maxine Kiss, the Earth’s last protector.”

This novella, a prequel to The Iron Hunt, was originally published as part of the Wild Thing anthology.


My Opinion
I recently bought this novella in a eBook format cause a friend of mine loaned me the two novels: ‘The Iron Hunt’ and ‘Darkness Calls’ and she told me that this novella was the prequel to the whole story so it made sense for me to buy and read it. At first, the novella was really confusing. Marjorie M. Liu’s writing style is like no other I have encountered before, which is sometimes bad and sometimes good. It could get really confusing for an international reader like myself, because there are some expressions used that I haven’t encountered before. The confusion quickly changed into fun though! The way the two main characters connect with each other is mesmerizing and some dialogue exchanges made me laugh. The relationship moved maybe a bit too fast for my own taste, but it’s not really my place to judge. Being a novella, I understand the need to make it short and make it get to the point faster, which is why I enjoy novels more. 
It would have been probably better to integrate this in the first novel instead of making a separate novella for it and then maybe make it longer and explain things a bit better. 
All in all, I enjoyed reading it. I’m curious if the relationship between Maxine and Grant will somehow evolve, cause I personally enjoy reading books where people take longer to fall in love, to battle their inner conflicts and then, give in to love after they realise it is impossible to avoid it.

Rating: ♥♥♥ – 3 hearts!

Favorite Quote
“Boo,” Zee replies, regarding him thoughtfully, sticking the tip of a silver claw into his mouth, sucking lightly. “You got odd eyes, hu-maan. Deep sea seeing eyes. Bet they taste good.”

Additional Info
Follow Marjorie M. Liu on Twitter (@marjoriemliu) to get all the latest news on her books.

REVIEW: ‘City of Bones’ by Cassandra Clare

Hardcover: 496 pages

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Release Date: March 27, 2007

Series: The Mortal Instruments

“Clary Fray is seeing things: vampires in Brooklyn and werewolves in Manhattan. Irresistibly drawn towards a group of sexy demon hunters, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City – and the dangers of forbidden love.”

‘The Mortal Instruments series is a story world I would love to live in. Beautiful.’ – Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight

‘Cassie’s writing makes my toes curl with envy. She is the rare writer who can write fast-paced dramatic fantasy with gorgeous language and memorable characters that you grow to love and worry about, as well as really funny bits that will make you honestly laugh…It is rare to find someone who can do any one of those things well; to find someone who can do them all us just dangerous.’ – Holly Black, author of Tithe

‘Hold on tight for a smart, sexy thrill ride.’ – Libba Bray, author of A Great and Terrible Beauty

‘Dagger-sharp, funky, and cool.’ – Christopher Golden, author of the Myth Hunters

‘Clare’s atmospheric setting is spot-on, informed equally by neo-gothic horror films and the modern fantasy leanings of Neil Gaiman. Werewolves, vampires, angels and fairies all fit in this ambitious milieu. At the core, though, this is a compelling story about family secrets and coming-of-age identity crises. Fans of the smart/chic horror typified by Buffy the Vampire Slayer will instantly fall for this series.’ – Publishers Weekly

‘The story’s sensual flavor comes from the wealth of detail: demons with facial piercings, diners serving locusts and honey, pretty gay warlocks, and cameo appearances from other urban fantasies’ characters…Lush and fun.’ – Kirkus Reviews

My Thoughts
I loved City of Bones. There is just no other way to say this. Cassandra Clare treats us with all our favorite supernatural creatures all in one book, well series. You like vampires? Check. Maybe werewolves? Check. Or maybe fairies? Check. Hmm, how about angels and nephilim? Check and check. Wow, what about demons? Still check. If you love fantasy novels then you’ll love The Mortal Instruments. There is just no way around it.

I first stumbled upon Cassandra Clare when I bought ‘The Clockwork Angel’. Everybody was telling me how amazing the Mortal Instruments series was, but I did some research and found out that TCA is the prequel to the whole series, so I said, why not? The story world is really mind-blowing! Clare’s writing is exquisite and I was so happy to see how many things remained intact in City of Bones.
I was blown away by The Clockwork Angel and didn’t expect the sequel series to be as good as the prequel! Well I don’t know if I was right or wrong, but Cassie did not disappoint. She delivered times ten and then some.
Clary and Jace are really, really sweet and I found myself going through all their troubles. This book is fast-paced, sexy, sweet, emotional, and funny. I found myself laughing at some scenes and fell in love with lots of characters from the series, not just Clary and Jace.
My favorite character clearly has to be Magnus Bane! I didn’t like him as much in the Clockwork Angel, but LOVED LOVED LOVED him in the Mortal Instruments.
I can’t even say for sure where one book began and the other one ended cause I remember them as a movie. Everything that happens is so action packed and brilliant, that you cannot bare to part ways with any of the characters.
I am so happy that this book is being turned into a movie and I hope the others in the series will follow cause they are all amazing!!!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ – 5 hearts!