Posted in All Book Reviews

Review: City of lights (By Katherine Sorin)

City of Lights Source: Amazon
City of Lights
Source: Amazon

Length: 260 pages

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The epidemics in New York and London are over, as is the months long quarantine that Ailis, Scott, and the other survivors were put into. Everyone has moved on, in the hope that they can return to a normal life. But Ailis knows that she doesn’t have that option. Discovering who she really is and realizing who the person behind the epidemic was leaves her with no hope for a normal future. She knows that she shouldn’t interfere in the natural order that’s been established for years. But she also knows that it’s only a matter of time before Desmond comes for her; and that she will never be safe as long as he alive… and neither will anybody she loves. Her obsession pushed her to do that which she knows she mustn’t – she begins her hunt for Desmond before he can find her. In the war of Desmond against her, she wants to win. But her decision throws her life into chaos and her sanity into question. She begins to lose herself to those she once hunted, and she’s forced to wonder whether her place is by the side of the humans and all the good and bad they could be, or with the creatures that she had once detested.

My take:

I waited months for this book – ever since I finished the first two, which i read in succession too. I loved the first two and was hoping that the third installment in the series would be just as good. Sometimes, the wait is what creates too much hype for the book to finally fulfill. But, thankfully, City of Lights did not disappoint!

When I began City of Lights, I realized that I was simply turning the pages. I could not stop reading and when I had no choice but to stop (given that I have a job too!), I kept waiting for the time to get back to it. But twenty percent in and I refused to put the book down. That meant another night where I stayed up for hours reading, throwing glances over my shoulder to the dark hallway, jumping at every small sound, and straining to hear any unusual, raspy breathing.

City of Lights is as engrossing as the first two books. The difference, though, is that it isn’t as graphic and actually, doesn’t need to be. City of Lights has its own share of creeps and chills, with a little graphic edge tossed in. But what keeps the story moving at a great pace is Ailis Laurent. The heroine that Katherine Sorin created is complicated in a simplistic way. In City of Whispers we saw her grow from a woman in hiding to one who fought for her survival and the survival of others. In The Old City we saw a side of hers that was not entirely pleasant but that was perfectly human as she felt anger, regret, and guilt, and yet did what needed to be done to find her sister – the woman who she had vowed to keep safe.

In City of Lights we see a new side of her that is not completely unexpected. Ailis is haunted by dreams that try to lead her to that which she needs to do. But in reality, she is as lost as she could be. Alone, with nothing but the drive to keep her family alive by finding Desmond, she finds herself associating less with those that she once called friends. She’s seen what vampires are capable of, but then, she’s also seen what human beings are capable of as mortal evil reigned in the cities that were hit by the epidemic. Katherine Sorin weaves an exceptional character, one who makes you cry, shudder, fume, and sympathize with her. Lost between who she was and who she’s become, Ailis leads the reader on a journey that goes into the very depths of the evil of humanity, the indifference brought on by ancient understandings, the understandings that led to catastrophes, and the catastrophes that led to chaos.

I found myself screaming inwardly, telling Ailis to be a certain way or not be another as she dealt with all that she’d received. And through it all, I found myself turning the pages, waiting to see what happens next, whether in Ailis’ reality or her dreams. Each turn of the page brought with it another exciting moment – horror, emotion, love and loss, are all existent and hold you in their grip at all times. And it all culminates in a climax that was eerie, leaving you perched at the edge of your seat as you wait to see what happens.

However, there was one thing in the book with which I had a problem. I found a few things too given to be likeable. There are some strange things happening in City of Lights, just as you’d expect. But I was hoping for more of an explanation to those things which never came. While I could appreciate the value they added to the story, I didn’t much appreciate the fact that they were chalked up to ‘that’s the way it is’. I thought that adding a little explanation and a ‘why’ would have gone a long way in making it flawless. I only hope that Katherine Sorin plans another book in the series, because I really want to know what happens next with each of her characters.

In spite of its one shortcoming though, City of Lights is as good as its predecessors and anyone who has been a fan of the series will not be disappointed. In fact, you will probably be up nights as you rush to finish it and find out what happens. I would recommend City of Lights for anyone who has read and liked the first two City of Whispers’ books and anyone who has a thing for vampire fiction – not the sweet, cushy vampires of course – but vampires as monstrous and devious as they’re meant to be.

– Rishika

Posted in All Book Reviews

Review: The Old City (By Katherine Sorin)

The Old City Source: Goodreads
     The Old City
Source: Goodreads

Length: 233 pages

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The survivors of the outbreak have gained international fame. Their story is followed by everyone around the world as they stand firm against the vampires plaguing their city. But there’s more to the outbreak than anyone could have known. Their popularity as hardened vampire killers takes Ailis, Scott and James out of New York… and right into the middle of London. But The Old City is no longer the beautiful place it once was. Affected by the outbreak, London has fallen into disarray much like New York. Funded by a rich and powerful individual, Ailis, Scott and James are in London on a mission – save the influential man’s son and Ailis’ sister and bring them to safety. But what waits for them in London is nothing like what they’d expected. As Ailis searches for her sister, she also faces her past – a past which brings to light the truth about the outbreak… and about Ailis.

My take:

A fitting sequel to a great book. The Old City came with a lot of expectations, given how great The City of Whispers was, and it lived up to all of them. The story picks up right where it left off and moves quickly.

In The Old City, you get to see a new side of Ailis as concern for her sister pushes her to do things that the otherwise cool headed protagonist would not have considered. Katherine Sorin has really created a wonderful character and focused not only on her strengths, but also on her flaws. The bond between the characters strains and grows stronger with each new experience and that too is depicted in a simple and engaging manner.

The action may not be as much as in the first book, but as with its prequel, it is so well done that your imagination needs little push to see it all happening around you. What I especially liked about The Old City was the parallel story style, where the present is sprinkled with scenes of the past of Ailis’ life. Although they seem random, they all take you to a conclusion where past and present combine to give you an unexpected realization. And to make it all the more interesting, there are scenes that may strike you as random in the present too, but they only add substance to a beautifully woven conclusion.

The conclusion itself was unexpected and captivating and now, I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next book. All in all, an extremely engaging read that, much like its first part, was almost impossible to put down. So, if you liked City of Whispers but have been bitten by the crappy sequel paranoia bug, leave your fears aside… because The Old City does not disappoint.

– Rishika

Posted in All Book Reviews, Horror, Post-apocalyptic

Book Review: City of Whispers (By Katherine Sorin)

City of Whispers Source: Goodreads
City of Whispers
Source: Goodreads

Length: 209 pages

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Life for Ailis Laurent changes almost overnight. Most of the people in New York, the place she just about manages to call home, have been affected by an epidemic. The result – only a handful of humans have been left human. The remaining have all turned into vampires. Cordoned off from the rest of the world to avoid the spread of the virus, the survivors are left to defend their lives against the growing number of vampires. But defending is not good enough. And as Ailis learns, sometimes, in order to survive, you need to become the hunter.

My take:

A gripping, edge of your seat read – that’s what City of Whispers is all about. I’m going to begin by saying that after the time of sparkling vampires (I mean… really??!) I’ve always been a bit wary of picking up a vampire based book. But Katherine Sorin managed to eradicate that tendency altogether with City of Whispers.

I couldn’t really put this book down and every time I had to, I could only wonder about what happens next. It moved wonderfully quick and didn’t have a dull moment. Every time you think ‘Okay, this has to stagnate now. What else is going to happen?’, something happens! I didn’t get a moment to get bored and the twists and turns were quite unpredictable. The style of writing itself is extremely engaging and it doesn’t take much to actually imagine what’s written. The words seem to paint pictures on their own with barely any help from your imagination.

The characters are really easy to associate with even though you don’t really know much about them from before the virus. And even though the exact beginning of the virus and its effects aren’t explained from the get go, there is no point at which you feel lost. Everything flows really smoothly and is intensely engaging. It made me stay up nights because I just couldn’t stop reading and put it away. And it was so captivating that it kept me at the edge of my seat, jumping at every tiny sound in the darkness of the night.

I got this book from pixelofink.com. And I have to admit that no book downloaded for free has been so interesting that I’ve gone right out and bought the sequel. But this one was. And the sequel is definitely next to read on my list.

If you’re a fan of anything post apocalyptic, vampire oriented (the ones that lust after blood) or if you like a quick, action packed read, you will definitely enjoy City of Whispers.

– Rishika