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[Book Review] Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead

book_info

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Title: Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel
Author: Richelle Mead
Adapted by: Leigh Dragoon
Illustrator: Emma Vieceli
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: August 23, 2011
No. of Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781595144294
Category: Graphic Novel
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Paranormal
Bought at: Periplus Pondok Indah Mall IDR 20,000
Link: Periplus

book_blurb

After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It’s filled with intrigue, danger—and even romance.

Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.

thoughts

Penasaran dengan novelnya, saya memilih membaca novel grafisnya lebih dulu sekalian intip preview-nya.

Vampire Academy dibuka dengan adegan Rose yang bermimpi tentang kecelakaan yang menimpanya.
Ia dan Lissa bersahabat sejak kecil. Rose ditakdirkan untuk menjadi pelindung Lissa, asa hubungan batin yang kuat. Jika hal buruk terjadi pada Lissa, Rose merasakannya. Seperti ada telepati.

Mereka berdua lari dari St. Vladimir’s Academy, sekolah (calon) vampir. Dijemput Dimitri dan rekannya, Rose dan Lissa digiring ke kampus.

Rose adalah dhampir (setengah manusia, setengah moroi). Kekuatan supranatural yang dimilikinya hanyalah kemampuan telepati dengan Lissa. Sedangkan Lissa adalah moroi (vampir, makhluk abadi). Lissa mampu menyembuhkan dan mengontrol pikiran manusia.

Di sekolah, keadaan tidak bertambah baik. Ada Mia, social climber, yang iri dengan Lissa yang keturunan bangsawan. Lalu ada Dimitri yang jatuh cinta paea Rose. Ada juga Christian, keturunan Strigoi (mantan moroi/dhampir/manusia yang kehilangan kekuatan magis dan menjadi makhluk abadi dengan meminum darah moroi).

Dalam novel ini, tokoh yang saya sukai hanya Dimitri dan Christian. Seperti mitos novel YA pada umumnya, tokoh perempuannya menyebalkan. Bahkan saya tidak memiliki simpati pada Lissa yang digambarkan lemah dan diteror oleh seseorang.

Setelah membaca novel grafisnya, saya jadi mikir ulang mau baca novelnya.

Ilustrasinya lumayan, beda gaya sih dengan Kim Dong Hwa. Warna-warna yang dipakai terkesan suram dan gelap (ya, tema vampir sih).

Overall, novel grafis ini cukup menghibur dan bisa dibaca cepat. Really worth the money.

quotes

Magic can’t create emotions that aren’t already there.

Feeding is better than sex – or so I imagine since I’ve never had sex.

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Until next time

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[Book Review] Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: Hunted (House of Night series #5)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: March 16th, 2010
ISBN 13: 9780312577995
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/Fantasy
Website: http://houseofnightseries.com/
Format: Ebook

Book blurb:

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you?At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with an unexpected danger that might bring them all down. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, who looks gorgeous and has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading power, but what if it shows Zoey truths she can’t face? Meanwhile, the red fledglings have cleaned up well, but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to fix things with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms, and she is driven to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

Thoughts:

Buku ke-5 dari seri House of Night ini pace-nya paling lambat dibanding 4 buku sebelumnya. Buku ini juga adalah buku terlama dari seri ini yang gue baca. Agak membosankan, seperti anti klimaks dari buku sebelumnya, Untamed yang alurnya cepat dan action-driven.
Gue mulai jenuh dan capek dengan Zoey yang labil, juggling dari Erik, Heath, Stark (yang bangkit lagi menjadi red fledgling seperti Stevie Rae), hingga Kalona, si fallen angel. Seolah-olah semua cowok di sekitarnya itu hot. Dan yang bikin neg adalah Zoey ngaku dia ho-ish. Rada berlebihan. Suka sama dua cowok masih bisa ditolerir. Empat? Boy-crazy.
Gue mulai suka dengan Aphrodite dan Darius. Mereka pasangan yang manis. Gue ngebayangin yang jadi Darius itu Channing Tatum.
Zoey terluka oleh anak buah Kalona. Setelah mendekam di gua bersama Stevie Rae dan gank red fledgling-nya.
Zoey dan the Nerd Herd terpaksa menerima panggilan Neferet untuk balik ke House of Night. Suasana berubah. House of Night seperti mati. Belum lagi Raven Mockers yang menggantikan tugas Sons of Erebus menjaga House of Night, membuat keadaan semakin mencekam.
Neferet juga sudah tidak memakai simbol Nyx, dan menggantinya dengan kalung sayap hitam onyx. House of Night officially becomes a Stepford school.
Para fledgling terkena pengaruh sihir Kalona dan mereka percaya bahwa Kalona adalah utusan Nyx. Begitu juga dengan para profesor. Hanya Lenobia, Dragon dan Anastasia yang tidak terpengaruh oleh sihir Kalona. Mereka mendukung Zoey untuk menjadi High Priestess yang baru.
Pertarungan antara duo Kalona-Neferet dengan kubu Zoey berlangsung. Bagaimana cara Zoey mengalahkan Kalona yang immortal? Di buku sebelumnya, Aphrodite mendapat penglihatan dan menuliskan puisi tentang ramalan di masa datang yang ada hubungannya dengan Kalona dan Neferet.
Kali ini salah satu red fledgling yang menuliskan puisi berisi kode yang harus dipecahkan untuk mengalahkan Kalona. Zoey meminta bantuan Lenobia untuk membantunya mencari para perwakilan elemen yang disebutkan dalam puisi tersebut.

Gue kurang puas dengan endingnya. Tapi masih akan berlanjut perang antara Zoey cs vs Neferet. Moga-moga buku berikut lebih seru.

Quotes from the book:

Evil will win if good people do nothing.
A heart’s a hard thing to live without.
Sometimes the people closest to you betray you, and your home isn’t a place you can be happy anymore.
People who are filled with hate don’t know how to handle love.

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[Book Review] Untamed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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bookinfo

Title: Untamed (House of Night series #4)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: September 23rd, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780312379834
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/Fantasy
Website: http://houseofnightseries.com/
Format: Ebook

 

bookblurb

Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, the only two Zoey has left are undead and unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her? Zoey’s adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened in PC and Kristin Cast’s spellbinding fourth House of Night novel. (Recommended for readers age 13 and older)

 

thoughts

Kiss and makeup after the breakups. Yes, our Zoey lost all of her boyfriends, but she got the Nerd Herd back plus Aphrodite. I’m happy about Stevie Rae who’s back on humanity track and help her fledlings turned to crazy vampires on the tunnel.

Aphrodite had a vision about apocalypse which involves war between vampires and humans. The ancient dark spirit was about to return, chanting songs about the return of the beast with Aphrodite as a medium. It’s got something to do with ancient Cherokee’s fallen angels, as told by Zoey’s grandmother. The Raven Mockers appeared to Zoey & her grandmother, even chanting a lost song that prophesied their father’s return.

One question that still lingers in my head: why the hell did the high priestess can’t recognize that Aphrodite’s mark has disappeared?

Some new characters were introduced. I feel bad for the transfer-fledgling, Stark, who had a fling with Zoey. Bad thing happened to him. Erik’s back, and Aphrodite’s love life blossomed again since Darius stepped in the House of Night.

There’s a major turn of event in this book that changed the fate of House of Night’s fledglings.

The fourth installment of House of Night is more action driven. The romance and the ooey-gooey were put aside. I like Untamed better than the previous installments. The explanation about ancient Cherokee mythology is an eye-opener.

 

Quotes copy

Good. You’re supposed to read it, and I hope you understand what the hell it means. I never can figure out poetry. It’s all boring bull shit.”

“Free will sometimes sucks.”

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[Book Review] Chosen by P.C Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: Chosen (House of Night series #3)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: ATOM
Published: March 7th, 2009
ISBN: 1905654332
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/Fantasy
Website: http://houseofnightseries.com/
Format: Ebook

Book description from bookdepository:

“I guess it had gone okay with Stevie Rae. I mean, she had agreed to meet me tomorrow. And she hadn’t tried to bite me, which was a plus. Of course, the whole trying-to-eat-the-street-person thing was highly disturbing …” Zoey’s best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead – in an eww! zombie! kind-of-way, not in a cool vampire kind-of-way. She’s struggling to retain her humanity and Zoey doesn’t have a clue how to help. But she does know that anything they discover must be kept secret. Trust has become a rare commodity. Sinister forces are at work at the House of Night, where the line between friend and enemy is becoming dangerously blurred. – Not suitable for younger readers –

Thoughts:

Zoey is doing her best to save Stevie Rae, her best friend. Stevie Rae lives in a tunnel with a bunch of other vampirish zombies (or zombieish vampires), ex-fledglings who couldn’t make it to vampirism.

I’m kinda disappointed with Zoey, who slurs ‘H’ word to Aphrodite, but she’s doing a series of slutty things. Aphrodite was caught doing a dirty stuff to Erik in Marked, but at least she did it with Erik only. Zoey who addresses Aphrodite a ‘ho’ is dating Heath and Erik, also has a huge lust on Loren, her teacher. Well, I guess the title should be given to Zoey instead of Aphrodite. And Zoey realized that she’s turning into a ho, which made me laugh.

Aphrodite is replacing Stevie Rae to represents earth, as Erik failed during the rehearsal. Nyx wanted Aphrodite to be. So, she’s the odd among Damien, Shaunee and Erin.
Things turn the other way around. While Zoey lost the person she trusted (Neferet), she gains a new friend (Aphrodite), someone who she can talk to about Stevie Rae.
Together, they try to fix Stevie Rae.

One thing reminds me of the Vampire Diaries: Stevie Rae said she couldn’t enter a house unless invited. I guess the authors should change the method.

The story’s a bit boring and dragging in the first chapters. Things got more tensed in chapter 11. And then the pow-wow bang-bang-boom surprised knocks in chapter 14. Sorry, no spoiler, but my jaw almost dropped. I think that’s the best part of all the three books. I start to take this book seriously.

I was disappointed with Zoey. She’s a mighty goodie-goodie, but she impulsively gives up her virginity without thinking. I thought she would keep it, but I guess it’s true that she’s becoming a ho. But she paid the price. Something fishy about Blake and I was right.

One ridiculous scene is when Zoey’s friends are doing the ritual to fix Stevie Rae. She’s healed (thank goodness) and she got a new tattoo swirling on her face. Then Erin pulls a mirror in her purse. During the critical moment, she brought makeup kit?! I don’t understand. Doesn’t make sense to me.

Overall, the plot is intense and I want to read more.

Quotes from the book:

“So how was Europe?” Calm and collected, Erik draped an arm nonchalantly around my shoulders.
Loren’s smile got wider and he looked from Erik to me. “Not as friendly as it is here.”
Erik, who seemed to be having fun, laughed softly. “Well, it’s not where you go, it’s who you know.”

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[Book Review] Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: Betrayed (House of Night #2)
Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: October 2nd 2007
ISBN: 1429915994
Format: Ebook
Category: Fiction/Paranormal Romance/Vampire/YA
Official Website: http://houseofnightseries.com

Book blurb:

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs–like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Thoughts:

A lot of things going on in the House of Night. The problems were getting intensed. Zoey found a dark secret about Neferet. It had something to do with the death of two boys from Zoey’s former school.
Aphrodite showed her soft side, that she’s not that bad. I think Aphrodite is Zoey’s permanent frenemy. Aphrodite helped Zoey to figure out the dark force which haunted the House of Night.

Zoey also showed her slutty side. She was involved with three guys. How ironic, that she called her sister a ho because she’s a serial dater. Now she becomes one.

Zoey’s friends were blessed with affinity with the four elememts which makes the stronger bond of those fledglings. Neferet said Zoey was lucky to have a strong circle that will help her form a better ‘Dark Daughters’.

I like this one better than the first installment. Some said the book was badly written and it’s oh so shallow. I don’t care. I like this series and I enjoy every part of it.

Can’t wait to read ‘Chosen’.

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[Book Review] Marked: House of Night 1

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Title: Marked (The House of Night Book 1)
Authors: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Published: April 1st, 2007
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Vampire/Urban Fantasy/Supernatural
Format: Ebook

Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. That is, if she makes it through the Change – and not all those who are Marked do.

It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend.

To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Zoey adalah remaja keturunan suku Cherokee, salah satu suku terbesar dari 5 Indian tribes di Amerika. Suku Cherokee terkenal sangat spiritual. Buku pertama dari seri House of Night ini mengambil latar tempat di Tulsa, Oklahoma. menurut situs ini, memang banyak keturunan suku Cherokee yang bertempat tinggal di Tulsa.

Balik lagi ke Zoey, tokoh sentral dalam cerita ini. Zoey digambarkan sebagai anak pemberontak yang tidak bahagia sejak ibunya menikah lagi dengan John Heifer, ayah tirinya, seorang control freak yang juga salah satu tetua People of Faith, aliran agama radikal. Suatu hari, Zoey diikuti oleh seorang tracker, lalu muncul tanda bintang sabit didahinya, sebagai tanda bahwa Zoey adalah calon vampir yang harus pindah ke sekolah khusus calon vampir, House of Night. Perlahan, kekuatan supernatural Zoey semakin kuat, hingga ia didatangi langsung oleh dewi Nyx dan di”baptis” oleh Nyx. Zoey dijadikan mata dan telinga dewi Nyx.

Zoey bertemu dengan teman-teman baru, juga musuhnya, Aphrodite, ketua perkumpulan eksklusif, yaitu Daughters of Night. Aphrodite berambisi ingin menjadi high priestess. Masalah muncul ketika Zoey yang memiliki kekuatan istimewa menjadi murid Neferet, high priestess yang juga mengajar di House of Night.
Ditambah lagi Erik, mantan kekasih Aphrodite, suka dengan Zoey. Heath, mantan Zoey di sekolah lama, tidak putus asa, malah semakin semangat mengejar Zoey hingga ke House of Night.

Ciri-ciri vampir di buku ini agak berbeda dengan penjabaran vampir di buku Bram Stoker, Stephenie Meyer, atau Anne Rice.
Vampirism terjadi karena seseorang diberi tanda, dididik sebagai murid di House of Night, dan kuat hingga lulus sekolah. Hanya murid terpilih yang bisa menjadi vampir. Yang tidak lulus akan mati.

Bloodlust tetap ada, tapi biasanya semakin tinggi tingkatan seeorang, kevampirannya akan muncul.

Di buku ini, Zoey mengalami masa transisi dari remaja biasa hingga menjadi murid di House of Night, pre-vampire.

Yang seru adalah saat Zoey dan teman-temannya melakukan ritual purifikasi menggunakan elemen: udara, api, air, bumi, dan roh. Lebih mirip ritual witch daripada vampir.

Penggunaan herbs dalam ritual juga menarik. Menurut buku ini, sage digunakan untuk mengusir energi negatif. Ritual ini pada awalnya memang dilakukan oleh Native Americans, tetapi di jaman modern ini, ahli Fengshui juga melakukan hal yang sama, terutama jika baru pindah rumah atau kantor.

Smudging-Crystal

Menurut situs ini, weengush atau sweet grass digunakan untuk membersihkan tubuh, pikiran dan jiwa. Disakralkan oleh suku Indian karena sweet grass merupakan simbol penyucian. Agak membingungkan karena menurut situs tersebut, asap sweet grass tidak disukai roh jahat. Tetapi, menurut buku Marked, asap sweet grass bisa mengundang roh-roh lain yang jahat.

Zoey menyebutkan pohon oak dianggap sakral untuk bangsa Cherokee. Menurut situs ini, pohon oak dihubungkan dengan misteri api suci, salah satu elemen penting dalam ritual Cherokee.

Satu sisi, buku ini agak childish, tapi isinya sangat tidak childish. Apa gue bakal lanjut baca seri House of Night? Absolutely! This book is addicting.

Nggak sabar kelanjutan kisah Zoey dengan Erik dan Heath juga Aphrodite.

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