Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











18046744From Goodreads: Orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she has a paying job, a tiny apartment, and a plan to attend university. She loves her independence and is steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.

The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix was first to find one, but he made a fatal mistake and she was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Phoenix soldiered through the next century wrapped up in grief and guilt, his only outlet planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When one of his brothers brings Mariah to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.

Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah sees the pain and misery Eryx unleashes on humanity, and the boxes in her mind begin to fly open, one by one. All that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.

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Perhaps the darkest novel of The Mephisto Covenant series to date, Trinity Faegen once again captivates readers as she tackles the very raw topic of abuse.  Mariah, biological sister to Jordan (who is the heroine of the second novel, The Mephisto Kiss), takes the forefront in this third installment, allowing readers to connect with her on a much more personal level as the story delves deeper into her life, unleashing the scars of her past that readers so briefly learned about in The Mephisto Kiss.    

Readers beware, this novel touches upon both physical and sexual abuse, and while extreme details are not given, the allusion of these acts against a child create vivid enough depictions and it is impossible not to feel Mariah’s pain as she attempts to heal, especially as she begins to open up to Phoenix and tell how she survived.

Faegen does something extremely interesting in this series, which is something not often attempted by writers, and it is that she overlaps the storyline of The Mephisto Mark with its prequel, The Mephisto Kiss.  For those who have read the prior novels in the series, you may note that Mariah’s story sounds very familiar because we’ve indeed heard it before in the second novel.  However, whereas The Mephisto Kiss skates over much of Mariah’s life, focusing more so on the points that deal with Jordan, from her adoption from an orphanage to her reuniting with Mariah, readers get the other side of the story in The Mephisto Mark.  Here, readers who wondered how Mariah survived while Jordan grew up in luxury get their answers, and while it isn’t a pleasant or happy story, it is beautifully told.  It’s gut wrenching at times, but Mariah is a triumphant survivor of abuse, and as she works through her past, she opens doors for others, such as Phoenix, allowing him to move on and do what’s right by all his brothers and the memory of Jane.

The Mephisto Mark also charges on past the cliffhanger from The Mephisto Kiss, shedding light on what happens after Jordan’s naive decision concerning Eryx, weaving the two novels together even more as the story unfolds.  It’s a perfect set up, in my opinion, and I love how seamlessly both novels intertwine.  This is also why I strongly believe that readers of this series should read these novels in order.  While it is true that a new reader to the series could actually begin with The Mephisto Mark, I strongly advise against it for a number of reasons.  Because of the deep intertwining between The Mephisto Kiss and The Mephisto Mark, I believe too much information would be divulged concerning the events in The Mephisto Kiss and Jordan.  Likewise, a truth is outted in The Mephisto Mark that, until this third installment, I believed to be wholeheartedly true.  I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t, which is turn changed everything, especially as it’s a main focus in both of the prior novels, and this is another reason I believe this series should be read in order; otherwise it will take away from the extreme surprise Faegen has in store for her readers.

In my humble opinion, all the novels in The Mephisto Covenant series has been perfectly executed, and I’ve loved them all immensely.  I highly suggest you read all three because they’re that superb, but book three is now definitely my favorite.  It’s so raw and deep, getting under your skin, leaving long lasting memories.

I am excited to see where this series goes from here, especially as Faegen gives readers a hint of what’s to come in the fourth installment of this epic series.  And, based on what I know from The Mephisto Mark, the fourth installment is going to go into uncharted waters.  It will be like none other, that’s for sure, and I can’t wait. Five stars.

5 stars

Pink Publishing, LLC has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this amazing novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on September 24, 2013.

The Mephisto Covenant (#1)

The Mephisto Kiss (#2)

The Mephisto Mark (#3)

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17167166From Goodreads: An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

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I am always a little bit wary when reading a sequel to a novel I absolutely adored because I have a fear that it just might not be as epic as the first, and I don’t want a novel to fall short of my expectations.  Fortunately, Maas’ second novel in the Throne of Glass series is just an enticing and kick butt as the first!

This is, truthfully, a fantastic book, and Celaena is once again full of surprises.  And, although the synopsis tells us time and time again that Celaena is an assassin, I guess the nature of her job didn’t really hit me until this novel when we actually see Celaena begin to fulfill her duty and go after people who don’t necessarily deserve to die.  The first time she brought a body part to the king for his inspection, I actually was quite mad at Celaena, but rest assured, there is a rhyme and a reason behind what Celaena is doing, and you won’t be shocked or mad at her for long once she lets you in on her secret.  Readers beware, though, a beloved friend dies in this novel, sparking a darker side of Celaena that we haven’t seen before.  It, too, shocked me just a bit, but I found myself rooting for her the entire way, especially as she uncovers a plot far more sinister then she, or the kingdom, even thought possible. And so it goes, surprise after surprise as you read, and I loved every minute of it.  Especially when Celaena does go after the truly bad guys, showing her advanced training and ruthless nature when appropriate.

There is, of course, a little tiny love triangle, but Prince Dorian is more or less by the wayside, giving Chaol more of a chance to shine in this novel.  But both pine for Celaena, and I loved their many interactions.  It always pleases me to see the softer side of Chaol when he’s with Celeana, and they really are the perfect match.  However, I do love Dorian, too… making this a difficult triangle for me to navigate.  But, when all’s said and done, I think I’m cheering for Chaol, but then again, book three might just make me switch sides.

Full of fantasy of epic proportions, readers learn a lot more in terms of Celaena’s background and birthright, and it’s an exhilarating rollercoaster ride as everything unfolds, clearing up one mystery only to shroud the reader in another. This is definitely one to pick up in the bookstore first thing tomorrow!   Five stars!

5 stars

Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release tomorrow.


et cetera
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