Life and Death comparing with Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
Vampires, werewolves, romance. YA, fantasy, fiction.
I was curious and decided to read this novel as well as the other Twilight series books that are out. It became popular once again since Stephanie Meyer made Midnight Sun as of recently and currently working on a novel spin-off that takes place after Breaking Dawn staring Renesmee and Jacob. I will be comparing both this with the original work. Just know this is my opinion and everyone is entitled to have their views towards this franchise. I’m just critiquing the two works side by side. I will also reread the entire saga plus Midnight Sun. In no shape or form is this to harm the author. Just as a disclaimer. And spoilers ahead… Anyways…
This was marketed as the gender-bent Twilight version but the character is Edith as Edward’s female counterpart and Bella’s male counterpart is Beaufort. Not all characters were gender-swapped which is lazy work honestly. Edward’s parents were gender-swapped but Bella’s parents weren’t which was odd. This new form made Edith look like a mean girl with her attitude towards Beaufort. In the original version Edward came off as a douche bag but with the female counterpart, this didn’t make the novel any better.
As far as the events go, most events happen just like the original novel except for the endings. The gender-swapped one was vastly different than the original which is cheating and being ultimately lazy and a little misogynistic. Beaufort had the decision and was given it whereas Bella wasn’t allowed to choose. Basically whether or not the bite from James or whatever the female version of him turned the main character into a vampire or not. This could be the author trying to establish that men can freely choose and women can’t with this work. Either way, I was disappointed with the ending. That did bother me slightly because I was suspecting that Meyer kept the original ending but I do see the understanding to create a standalone work.
Overall, both novels weren’t my favorite since the love interest was a complete douche bag towards the main character, and the main character still chose the douche bag love interest that is a vampire. That is just how I see it because both Edith and Edward had gaslight Bella and Beaufort plus acted towards them in an unfavoring way. I still plan to read all the other works minus Twilight because I read that to do this comparison.
Electric Idol – Katee Roberts
Fantasy, retelling, greek gods and goddesses, the marriage of convenience, fiction.
Psyche fears her mother pairing her to the new Zeus thus making her the new Hera. Eros is growing tired of being his mother’s weapon and wants to do his own thing. Both meet and are caught in an elevator together in a position that doesn’t look so great. Aphrodite saw and instructed that Eros must kill Pysche and bring her heart to her. Eros doesn’t want to kill her because she doesn’t deserve it. He meets with Psyche to come up with a plan to protect her from his mother by marrying her. Psyche is skeptical but can’t deny that she does have feelings for Eros. Unfortunately, they need a better plan because Aphrodite is too obsessive about wanting Psyche dead and gone.
This is the sequel to Neon Gods but it is about Eros and Psyche which intrigued me and the plot intrigued me even more. I hadn’t known what I was getting into until I was a good chunk of the novel in to realize that this was a marriage of convenience trope which I have been coming to enjoy in romance novels. I found myself binge reading this in one day or rather over the course of four hours because it was that good. I loved how there were some good one-liners that Psyche had said that made me gasp and laugh at the same time. Their chemistry was perfect and I was like muttering that the tension was just silly and that she should just go for it. I can’t wait to read another in the Dark Olympus series. Katee Roberts writes romance with heart, passion, plot, and a good amount of spice.
Neon Gods – Katee Robert
Retelling, romance, Hades x Persephone, erotica, fiction.
Persephone doesn’t want to get married to Zeus. However, her mother, Demeter decided to sell her to Zeus who has been known to go through wives. She didn’t even agree to this and it was sprung unto her last minute. Persephone decides to run away across the River Styx to where Zeus can’t cross over without violating the treaty. She runs into a man who has been known as a myth or a legend for a while. Hades, one of the thirteen, has lived in the shadows for a very long time and has never stepped out of the shadows. He takes her in and cares for her. She explains her situation and makes a deal with him. She lives in the Underworld for three months until she can formulate a plan to be free and away from Zeus in exchange she can help Hades’ plot revenge against Zeus. Hades and Persephone get together to make Zeus angry in all sorts of ways including messing around with her mother Demeter. When one of Persephone’s sisters is in trouble, Persephone makes a hasty decision without Hades to ensure her sister’s safety.
Okay. I purposely left out more information but that is because I want to make my website at least PG-13 but there is erotica in the novel. However, there’s a balance of erotica and plot which makes this alright and a good book. To me, I can enjoy erotica like this if there is some sort of balance. This novel brought that balance. I loved this retelling. Both characters’ interactions felt natural and felt just right. I simply couldn’t put this book down because of the way Katee Robert wrote this in such a way that the reader is kidnapped into this world. The lore keeps you from leaving as well as the plot with other characters. This novel, I would recommend to any adult who loves Hades and Persephone. This is not suitable for anyone under the age of eighteen.
These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong
Retelling, Romeo and Juliet, the 1920s, shanghai, gang wars, young adult, fiction.
Juliette returns to Shanghai to take over the gang, named Scarlets. However, what is noticed is this new mysterious pandemic of individuals clawing themselves to death. She suspects it’s the Russians. Roma suspects that it is the Scarlets. Roma goes to confront Juliette and realized that this is an actual monster. He proposes that the two works together and set aside their differences to find what is killing people.
I usually don’t like to read any form of Romeo and Juliet. Yet alone to be caught dead reading a retelling. I always hated Shakespeare especially because of Romeo and Juliet. Anyways, this novel had kept popping up everywhere and was recommended to me. I found that I loved this novel. It had very thrilling writing and world-building as well as action with romance. There was serious tension between Roma and Juliette that felt surreal. I enjoyed this novel and found it immersive as well. The way the author transports the reader into the world was extraordinary.
Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie
Young adult, fantasy, romance, fiction.
Ailesse had been preparing for her Rite of Passage to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers. She had collected all the different bones she needed and learned all the different songs. Now she must go to the bridge to play the flute of a song that would attract her soul mate, the man whom she is destined to love and kill. Bastien was orphaned at a young age and promised to take revenge by murdering a bone crier. Sabine doesn’t like what the Bone Criers do nor their work but she must do what is expected of her. Ailesse’s mother assigns Sabine to watch her daughter’s Rite of Passage. Ailesse gets taken by her amour, Bastien, who wants revenge by taking her hostage. Sabine makes it her mission to rescue her best friend. Ailesse makes it her mission after learning about Bastien’s intentions to free him from their bond without death involved.
I had seen this while on the booktok side of TikTok and couldn’t resist the whole enemies to lovers trope. The premise doesn’t appear to be that way but it’s flushed out throughout the novel. This was one of my favorite fantasy young adult books so far. There was a perfect amount of action and fantasy along with some romance. There was a lot of tension between all the characters from the first page until the near end of the novel. The plot moved at a graceful pace that couldn’t have been more perfect. I was just sad about the cliffhanger and I have to find out if there is a sequel to the novel because this is excellent. The world-building was great and spread out just enough that it wasn’t just a lore dump in the beginning. I hate novels that do a lore dump at the beginning of the first book is the lore dump. I loved the whole enemies-to-lovers trope that is present. I can see Bastien really going for Ailesse hence I do ship it.
Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody
Young adult, science fiction, fantasy, fiction.
Enne Salta finds herself in Las Reynes to try to find her mother. She has the entire summer to find her before she must return to her finishing school. With only a name, Levi Glaisyer, she hunts him down. He is taken aback by this young woman and decides to help her for a cost. She makes an offer to him that he can’t refuse that would solve his problems. He takes the offer and helps her find her mother. As they are searching for her mother, she learns of her past that affects her future.
My boyfriend had read this novel and I couldn’t help but be curious as to why he would read this. After reading I slowly understood. The plot is really interesting as it slowly unfolded. The world is immersive and makes the reader get hooked once it picks up the pace. The diverse and rich characters involved were very unique. There were many plot twists and turns that I hadn’t expected at all which I love a good book that does that. However, the concept of a world that is sort of Las Vegas but different isn’t my type. Overall, I did enjoy the novel despite that and how slow the beginning was.
Disney Chills: Fiends on the Other Side (Book 2) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange
Disney, children’s literature, villains, fiction.
Jamal always felt like a shadow, more like in his brother’s shadow. He felt very invisible. One day he receives stuff from his grandma which was just a skull necklace. A man appears and introduces himself as Dr. Facilier. Dr. Facilier wants the necklace but Jamal doesn’t want to trade that but he was willing to trade another item. Little does Jamal know that he must never make deals with the shadow man.
This was exceptionally different and very dark for a children’s book. Like the other one there were a lot of dark themes but not too dark. I wasn’t expecting the author to continue with the same level of horror as the other one but with this one. I loved that there was a reference to the movie. The other book also has references to the movie but it was more evident in this one than the other. Altogether I enjoyed this and can’t wait to find more.
Disney Chills: Part of Your World (Book 1) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange
Children’s literature, Disney, villains, fiction.
Shelly wants to be popular for once and be a faster swimmer. Unfortunately when her parents split she had to go to a new school and join a new swim team. Just wanting to fit in and not be called ‘fish girl’. Her wish is to swim faster so that she can prove to her peers that she can be popular. Shelly finds a nautilus that takes her to this lair where an entity shows itself. Ursula, the sea witch, proposes a deal with Shelly. Shelly could become the fastest swimmer if she signs the contract and allows Ursula to call in a favor at any time. After twenty-four hours of contemplation, Shelly signs the deal. Unaware of the ramifications of her wish and the favor. It is too late to back out now…
One of my favorite Disney Villains is Ursula. She is clever and very smart with her deals as well as executing her plans. In this book, she knows what she wants and knows what Shelly wants. The deal that was made was ultimately evil and brilliant. Not only that but to make deals with Ursula one has to be hyper-specific in which Shelly wasn’t. The writing of this novel was so immersive and vivid. This novel is perfect for young readers who want to read a spooky story and are Disney fans. This is also great for all ages really but the demographic for this was geared towards children. I believe this book can be found at local Targets in the children’s section or the Halloween part of the book section. There are more books in the series that have different Disney villains incorporated.
The Infinity Courts – Akemi Dawn Bowman
Young adult, fantasy, death, afterlife, computers, science fiction, fiction.
Nami was ready for her future until she was murdered. She died when the bank robber at the liquor store shot her. She finds herself in Infinity where the mind is alive but her body is dead. The people who greet her tell her about the war against Ophelia who has taken over the Infinity and hates humanity. Nami is the only one to help save them from disaster or their world from actually ending.
This young adult novel was one of the trendy books I saw and was instantly interested. However, the chosen one trope was what got to me but besides that everything else is really good. The storyline and plot goes smoothly. The characters and their interactions with each other were alright but the chosen one trope kept getting more annoying as the characters kept telling Nami she is the chosen one and that she should train for the ultimate fight. I was expecting better for this novel but then again the chosen one trope is heavily in most young adult novels as it is popular among that demographic. It sells right off the shelves.
Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse
Science fiction, fantasy, fiction.
Xiala is a disgraced captain that was about to get punished when she is given a task that guarantees her freedom and a stable job. Escort someone or rather a special passenger. Serapio was blinded by his mother in hopes of her son becoming one of the Gods. Unfortunately what she was doing was abusive to her son and cost her son’s eyesight. He needs to be taken back to his homeland and Xiala must take him there.
This was rather interesting and intriguing. The novel discusses disability as an empowerment for which Serapio has lost his sight and can’t see but his other senses are heightened due to that. Also this novel goes over and discusses a lot of how the indigenous peoples are mistreated and how they are viewed by others. These topics were presented as science fiction and fantasy which is great. There is a lot of lore explained as well as a diversity of different perspectives. The writing was phenomenal and the characters don’t feel artificial. They feel as if I know them personally. I enjoyed this novel a lot and think I might just get the sequel whenever it comes out.