Posts Categorized: Khristine Hvam


Jul 28

Review * Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review * Vampire Academy Series by Richelle MeadVampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Narrated by Emily Shaffer, Khristine Hvam
Series: Vampire Academy #1-6
Published by Razorbill Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Vampire Academy Graphic Novel
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

What I Thought…

Since I blew through this series in just 10 days I thought I would do a series review. I will give a few thoughts on each book, be forewarned – there will be spoilers – it’s impossible to talk about the series without them.

I really enjoyed the vampire world that Mead created. The two different types of vampires and the guardians were unique and made for a very good series.

VA1Ok, I didn’t read this one. Don’t throw stones! I watched the movie and was dying to know what happened next so I just jumped right into book two. Shameful, I know. (I do plan on reading it later, I promise!)


 

VA2I really enjoyed Frostbite. I love the world that Mead created and I love how snarky Rose is. In Frostbite we learn a little more about the world that they live in and also the battle between the Strogoi and Moroi. One of my favorite parts of Frostbite is discovering the relationship between Rose and her mother. There is a lot of animosity there and this is the first time in a long time that they are in the same place. Also new guy, Adrian, appears.


 

VA3Shadow Kiss had quite a bit of action as the war between the Moroi and Strogoi heat up. The Strogoi are hell bent on taking out the Moroi royal families and the academy is the perfect place to start. There was so much action in this one it was almost impossible to put down. As I hadn’t planned on reading the series I wasn’t avoiding spoilers but now I wish I would have because I have some inkling as to what is going to happen with Dimitri.


 

VA4Blood Promise takes us out of St. Vladimir’s and into Russia as Rose leaves to hunt down and kill Dimitri. The first part of Blood Promise was a bit boring as Rose is just traveling through Russia looking for Dimitri. We do meet Sydney though, whom I really liked and I hope to see more from her in the future. Even though it was a bit boring in the beginning we learn a lot more about the Strogoi, Moroi and Dhampirs as well as some other little quirks that Mead created in her world. The second half of the book really picks up as Rose fights Strgoi and we get some more glimpses into Lissa’s head to keep up with what’s been happening at St. Valdimir’s (lots of shadyness going on). Since Rose didn’t exactly leave on good terms and her and Lissa are now separated things were a bit tense and I was frustrated that neither of them could figure things out!


 

VA5The hunt for the “cure” for Dimitri begins and Rose and the gang makes some pretty bad choices in their quest to help him. In some ways they had to do what they did of course things didn’t go as planned and unleashed a whole lot of crazy. Dimitri is looking for Rose. Lissa is determined to be able to stake a Strogoi. Adrian and Rose are dating but I feel like this is a Twilight kind of love triangle and Adrian really isn’t a choice for Rose. Nothing against Dimitri, but I do like Adrian and hope that he gets a happily ever after. Christian and Lissa dance around each other a lot and it’s painful to watch because you know they should be together. There is something very off about Queen Tatiana in Spirit Bound and it’s very unnerving (She is being way too nice). Also the whole thing with Victor is bothered me because the break out happened and then… nothing.


VA6Wow what an ending! I absolutely loved how the series ended. Last Sacrifice had a lot of action in it and was pretty fast paced. At times Rose’s inability to follow directions drove me crazy, even though I know she had her reasons. I loved the storyline with Lissa it was fascinating to see the tests that she had to go through. There were a few things that I could see coming (hints of foreshadowing in previous books), but that didn’t take away the enjoyment.


Overall I absolutely LOVED the Vampire Academy series and if you haven’t read it already I would add it to your list.


Kimberly


Jun 24

Audio Review * Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Reviews 5 ★★

Audio Review * Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Published by Little Brown BYR on November 6, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 517
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Also in this series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

What I Thought…

  • This was a really hard review to write as pretty much everyone I know that has read this loved it. I did not. I did like Daughter of Smoke and Bone, though as five months have passed since I listened to it I can say that it was by no means as memorable for me as it was for others.
  • I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Khristine Hvam. She is one of my favorite narrators and while I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I hoped I did enjoy her narration.
  • The best part of Days of Blood and Starlight for me was the writing. Her writing is beautiful and for someone like me who struggles with imagery she made me able to see things.
  • So what was the problem with Days of Blood and Starlight? It was depressing. And it was boring.
  • Despite the awesome narrating and writing it was a struggle to finish the audio and there were a couple of times that I considered stopping because I was so bored. I don’t have one specific thing I can point to as to what bored me, just that I was more interested in work, then the story. I also thought it was a lot darker than Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I wasn’t quite prepared for that level of darkness.
  • In the second book in the series Karou is now working for Thiago (for those that have not read Daughter of Smoke and Bone he is not someone you want to work for) doing Brimstone’s job of resurrection. The war between the chimera and the seraphim still rages on, with Karou and Akiva on opposite sides. Karou is still (understandably) pissed at Akiva, and Akiva thinks she is dead. I liked that this tension was in Days of Blood and Starlight and that Laini Taylor didn’t resolve the issues between Karou and Akiva in the beginning of the book like so many others.
  • I didn’t really care for Karou in Days of Blood and Starlight. She wasn’t as strong of a person as she was in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I realize that things happened and that can break a person down, but I felt like she changed a lot and in some ways was very accepting of her new fate. Even though she was in an unfavorable position I still wanted her to be that strong character that she was in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
  • Most of my favorite parts of Days of Blood and Starlight revolved around Zuzana. I loved her even more in this book than in the previous one. She is one kick-ass bff and I wish there would have been a lot more of her and less of other some of the other characters. Both her and her boyfriend Mik provided the small amount of lightness that I so desperately needed in Days of Blood and Starlight.

Typically I fall into the majority of what people like/don’t like but Days of Blood and Starlight just didn’t work for me. Here are two other reviewers that loved Days of Blood and Starlight:
The Overstuffed Bookcase
Midnight Book Girl

Kimberly


Apr 11

Mini Audio Review * Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Reviews 16 ★★★★

Mini Audio Review * Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Published by Little Brown BYR on September 27, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Also in this series: Days of Blood and Starlight
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

 

It’s really hard to write a review of audiobook because I don’t take good notes while I’m listening. Not related to the book but I also wish that audiobooks would come with a list of names.

What I Thought…

  • The audio is narrated by Kristine Hvam and she is amazing. Seriously her voice is just magical and is very appropriate for such a magical book.
  • There is no way that I couldn’t be drawn into Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Laini Taylor is an amazing writer. The words just flowed and sucked me in and I didn’t want to turn the audio off, ever.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone has a Romeo and Juliet vibe and I love that. Karou and Akiva cannot be together but are drawn to each other in more ways than one. I really liked both of them, but Karou especially. Akiva has some honesty issues.
  • Karou was amazing. She was strong and funny and wanted to do what is right and what is good. She has real feelings and even though she lives in a magical world I could identify with her.
  • I loved Karou’s friend, Zuzana. She was so much fun and cool and I kind of want her to be my best friend.
  • The world that Laini Taylor created was so beautiful and magical. I wanted to be there, in Prague, and see all those magical things and magical people.
  • There was a pretty big twist that I both liked and didn’t. Part of me didn’t like it because then things got confusing, for me and the characters. But I loved it because it was a bit different and added to the story.

 

Kimberly