Endure

A word to the wise: If you haven’t read the first three books in Carrie Jones’ Need series (Need, Captivate, and Entice), it might be a good idea to do that now.  And if it’s been about three years since you’ve read these books, a refresher might be in order before proceeding with the fourth and final book in the series, Endure. (Should have taken my own advice on that one.)

So, I’m spending part of my reading this year catching up on various series. It’s hard to keep up when most of what one reads is part of a series.  Three years ago, during a week-long snowstorm here in South Carolina, I read the first three books in the Need series by Carrie Jones.  Fast forward a little over three years, and I finally started reading the fourth book, Endure, during yet another freak snowstorm in South Carolina.  (When I say “freak” here, I’m talking like 6 inches of snow…which basically shut down the entire state.  It was a big deal, and I didn’t leave my house–or my pajamas–for days.) It seemed to fit as this series takes place in Maine, and pixies have brought on some sort of super-winter as a prelude to Ragnarok. (Don’t know what Ragnarok is? Look it up. That’s my sassy librarian answer for you.)

Anyway, I say I started this fourth book during Snowpocalypse 2014, but I didn’t finish it until a bit later.  It was difficult to get invested in the series again after spending so much time away from it.  To put things in perspective, it took me about three weeks to get through the first 30 pages of Endure…but I read the last 230 pages in the span of a single evening. Once I refamiliarized myself with the characters and story, I was enthralled, but it did take some time…and a mention of my favorite Norse god, Loki (who I will always and forever picture as the glorious Tom Hiddleston).

Zara White is not exactly a normal girl. Not anymore, anyway. After turning pixie to save Nick–her boyfriend and a werewolf–from Valhalla, Zara has hopes that things can return to some kind of normal.  But normal’s not really possible when you are tied to a pixie king, being hunted by another one, your grandma–a weretiger–is missing, people all over your town are being abducted, and you’re at the center of it all.

As if Zara didn’t have enough to deal with, Nick wants nothing more to do with her now that she’s a pixie–a pixie queen, as a matter of fact–and Zara’s growing feelings for Astley, the good pixie king, are more confusing than ever. It’s quite the conundrum, but Zara will have to put her love-life on the back burner for now…especially if she is to have any hope of halting the apocalypse. No pressure.

Zara is facing some tough choices. How can she train her human friends to fight evil pixies? Can she retain her humanness while taking her place as Astley’s queen?  What does that even mean, and what will Zara do when some things are completely taken out of her hands?  Will she still be a strong leader? Will she still save the world from certain destruction? How? What sacrifices will Zara have to make to protect those she loves the most…and will those sacrifices be enough? There’s only one way to find out. Jump headfirst into trouble…

_______________

Now that I’ve finished the entire series, I must say that the first book was probably my favorite, and this last one came in a distant second. (It would have been a close second, but it just took me way to long to get re-invested. The perils of loving to read serial fiction.) The entire series turns pixie lore on its ear, and it pays homage to Norse mythology. That’s something I appreciate.

On top of all that stuff, the Need series features some very strong female characters. Yes, Zara is the protagonist and is seen as the strongest of the series’ female characters–which I think she is–but there are many other strong women and girls given time in this series, and each one has her own brand of strength. From Zara to her grandma to Issie to Cassidy and several more, the females in this book do not depend on men to do their fighting for them. These ladies go out and make things happen, and they are fully capable of stopping the end of the world on their own, thank you very much. (The guys do help some, but the action definitely centers on the girls in the group, in my opinion.)

All in all, the Need series is a great read if you’re into supernatural stuff with a bit of good, old-fashioned mythology thrown in. You may need to look up a few things if you’re unfamiliar with Norse mythology, but that’s part of the fun! (Granted, my idea of “fun” may need a bit of work.)

For more information on the Need series and author Carrie Jones, check out her website at http://www.carriejonesbooks.com/. You can find links to all of Carrie’s social media pages there.

Published in: on March 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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Entice

Danger, danger!  Stop here if you haven’t read both Need and Captivate by Carrie Jones.  You simply must read these two books before reading this post about book three, Entice.  You’ve been warned!

Another day, another book finished.  I think Entice by Carrie Jones is the seventh book I’ve read in the past week.  I am made of awesome.  (Of course, it’s certainly helped that school has been cancelled all week because of snow…but I’m still pretty awesome…and humble.)  I think I may take a little break after this post, partly because I have to go back to work next week, and partly because, quite frankly, I’m kind of tired.  Not to fear, though, I will still do my best to bring you the best in young adult literature–just not as much of it in one week.  Sorry.  Now, on to Entice, the third installment in Carrie Jones’ Need series.  This book picks up mere minutes after Captivate leaves off, and things in Bedford, Maine, are about to get a lot more dangerous…

Zara never thought she would be a pixie, but it seems she’ll do anything to bring her boyfriend, Nick, back home and save the people that she loves.  So she’s now a pixie.  But she’s not just any pixie.  She’s a pixie queen.  Astley’s pixie queen.  Can she convince everyone she loves that not all pixies are evil (just like not all people are evil)?  Will they ever truly trust her again?  Will Nick if she ever finds him?

More and more people are dying and going missing in Bedford, and Zara, Astley, and all of Zara’s friends must put aside their differences and work together to stop this evil from spreading.  Who is behind it all?  Is the other pixie king, Frank?  Or is there a larger force behind it all, one who no one really suspects?  The answers, I’m afraid, are not easy.  It is not always apparent who can be trusted or when trusting the wrong person will lead to even more death and destruction.

As Zara works to stop the violence from spreading in Bedford, she must also find a way to get to Valhalla to rescue Nick.  But how?  What will she have to do if she ever makes it there?  Will Nick want to come back with her once he realizes that she became a pixie just to rescue him?  Will he accept that she is Astley’s queen?  And how can Zara reconcile her love for Nick with her growing feelings for Astley?  There are no easy answers, but join Zara as she tries to discover who she truly is when you read Entice by Carrie Jones.

As you can see, there are a lot of questions to be answered in the Need series.  I’ll go ahead and warn you that not all of them are answered in this book.  I have high hopes that the fourth book will clear things up a bit, but we’ll have to wait on that.  It’s not scheduled to be released until early 2012.  In the meantime, there are many, many more books to read, and I must get to them.  So long for now…

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Captivate

Spoiler alert!  Read no further unless you’ve read Need by Carrie Jones.  I will, well, spoil things for you.  That’s why they call it a spoiler.

I’ve noticed a weird connection between several of the books I’ve read recently.  They contain connections to Norse mythology.  I don’t know why I’m gravitating toward these books, but it’s kind of spooky.  Luckily, I know a little about Norse mythology, so I’m not too confused about what’s going on in these books.  (When I was a freshman in college, I had to write a paper about artistic depictions of Odin throughout history.  I still remember some of it.  As a matter of fact, I still have that paper.  I got an A.)  Weirdness aside, it is now time to talk about my latest read, Captivate by Carrie Jones, which is the sequel to Need (if the spoiler above didn’t make that clear).  Captivate picks up right where Need left off, and it introduces some new and rather mysterious new characters.  Let’s dive in.

Zara White is still struggling with who she truly is.  After discovering that her father is a pixie king, her grandmother is a weretiger, and her boyfriend is a werewolf, you can imagine that she’s having issues adjusting to everything going on around her.  Well, things aren’t going to get any better any time soon.  She’s dealing with the fact that she and her friends have imprisoned her father and his fellow pixies.  (She’s a member of Amnesty International, so this is especially difficult to stomach.)  These pixies want out in the worst way, and there’s no telling what they’ll do to Zara if they’re freed.  There are also more pixies coming to her new town in Maine.  Why are they all coming here?  What’s so special about Bedford, Maine?

As Zara soon discovers, an ancient war is brewing, and Bedford may be destined to be the battleground.  When Zara encounters not one but two new pixie kings and a Valkyrie straight from Valhalla, she knows that things are about to get really, really bad.  When her boyfriend, Nick, is taken to Valhalla by the mysterious Valkyrie, Zara knows she must do everything in her power to bring him back and stop the bad pixies from completely taking over…even if that means becoming the very thing she fears the most.  Will Zara align with Astley, the “good” pixie king, to save Nick?  Could there be another way to bring him back?  Does Nick even want to come back to Zara?  Read Captivate by Carrie Jones to uncover the mystery.

While I enjoyed Need more, I still think Captivate is a cool book.  I’m hoping things will become a bit clearer in the third book, Entice, which I will probably begin reading in about ten minutes.  I think it will be interesting to see just how much Norse mythology really plays a part in what will happen to these characters.  This should be fun.

For more information on this series and author Carrie Jones, visit http://www.carriejonesbooks.com/.

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Need

If you follow this blog at all, you may have noticed that I am quite the wuss.  I am afraid of many, many things:  clowns (coulrophobia), thunderstorms (astraphobia), rodents (musophobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), the dark (nyctophobia), falling (bathophobia), failure (atychiphobia), evil children (I don’t think there’s a name for this one), and a few others.  My many phobias made it really easy for me to relate to the main character in Need by Carrie Jones.  Each chapter in this book begins with the name and definition of a particular phobia (and provides a bit of foreshadowing about what will happen in that chapter).  The main character, Zara, believes that naming one’s fear helps in understanding it.  I don’t know if that’s true, but, hey, it’s worth a shot.  In any case, Zara has quite a bit to fear, it seems.

Zara is moving from Charleston, South Carolina, to the wilds of Maine.  (As a native South Carolinian, I can tell you that this would be an uncomfortable and drastic change.)  The only father she’s ever known has died, and her mother can no longer deal with her, so Zara is being sent to live with her grandmother in Maine.  It appears, though, that someone has followed her.  A weird guy has been stalking her from Charleston to Maine, and Zara wonders what he wants with her.  Why did he appear just as her stepdad was dying?  Why has he followed her all this way?  This situation is not helping her fear of the unknown.

Despite everything that she’s had to endure lately, Zara’s grandmother insists that Zara start classes at the local high school immediately.  (The horror!)  Almost at once, Zara makes some fierce enemies and a few loyal friends.  But something is not quite right with some of these people.  Zara glimpses something in their eyes that only serves to increase her fear.  Do they have any connection to the man following her?  Do they know why boys have been going missing?  What is really going on in this crazy town?

Well, the answers may not be what Zara expects.  Her fears may really get the best of her when she discovers that the people around her, even her new boyfriend and her own grandmother, are not exactly what they appear to be.  Even Zara may not be who she thinks she is.  When Zara learns that “fairy tale” creatures actually exist, will she let her fear overcome her?  Or will she do everything she can to understand what’s going on and stop the bad guy from winning?  And what will she do when she discovers her own eery connection to this mysterious bad guy?  Read Need by Carrie Jones to find out.

I know this post has been a bit cryptic, and that was intentional.  I want you to read for yourselves about what Zara is facing.  It’s really cool but unexpected at times.  As soon as I finish this post, I plan to start reading the next book in this series, Captivate.  I’m eager to see what else Zara and the gang can get into and how they’ll battle the forces working against them.

Need is part of a series.  Like I mentioned above, Captivate is the second book in this series.  The third book, Entice, is already out, and I’ll start on that one as soon as I finish Captivate.  According to Carrie Jones’ website (http://www.carriejonesbooks.com/), a fourth book is in the works, and it should be out in early 2012.

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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