Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: characters I'd like to switch places with for 24h

This week's TTT topic is both great but also difficult to answer. I mean, let's be honest: while there are tons of awesome books and characters, most of them go through really painful and shitty situations for large parts of the story. While I may admire them for getting through it all, that doesn't mean I'd want to be in their place. But here goes... in no particular order.

1. Mae in Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Covenant
Mae is strong and independent and smart, trying to navigate herself and her brother through a world that suddenly sports demons and magicians without any superpowers of her own. While she has it tough, I'd love to meet all the other characters from the series (Nick *cough*) and go to the Goblin Market.

2. Karou in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Definitely a world I'd like to inhabit - you know, as long as it's only for a day. I don't think I'd be fierce enough to make it much longer. But to have some of those small wishes at my disposal? Not bad... also, I loved Prague when I was there last week and want to go back already. (Besides, Karou has blue hair, and I'd love to try that out.)

3. Thursday Next in Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair
Living in a world where literature is still all the rage and people have dodos as pets and travel by airship? Sounds fine to me. Also, I love her crazy uncle. And hello, she can travel into books and meet the characters! How awesome is that? (as long as you don't have to deal with the fallout)

4. Sidney from Richelle Mead's Bloodlines novels
I would be a terrible Rose because I can't fight to save my life, but I really identified with Sidney. She fights in different ways. Trading with her would be interesting, plus I'd get to meet Adrian *hehe*.

5. Death from Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels
Weird request, but I'd really love to be her for a day. Unique perspective, among other things. She rocks. I know she has a hard job, but still.

6. Magnus Bane, from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series
by Rozetto on deviantart
I find him an extremely fascinating and elusive character. I'd like a peek into his mind, and I'd be curious to see what he does all day and how he ticks.

7. Ivy from Kim Harrison's The Hollows series
Kickass vampire and super-organized. I'd love to spend a day in the world of The Hollows but let's be honest, I wouldn't want to walk in Rachel Morgan's shoes - her life is too much of a mess for me to handle.

8. Cat from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series
Spending time with Bones, Vlad and Mencheres? Count me in.

9. Riley from Jana Oliver's the Demon Trappers series
I wouldn't want to trade with her for more than a day, but it would be one action-filled hell of a ride.

10. Sebastian Michaelis from Yana Toboso's Kuroshitsuji manga series
I don't know if mangas count... but having Sebastian's powers for a day would be awesome. Also, I'd be able to try and outwit Ciel's orders, and I'd finally know what his true demon form looks like.

This was really hard to come up with, because most stories are about awful things happening to great people. Not something you'd like to trade places with. I'm curious to see who you guys would like to trade places with and hear what you think of my choices.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves, general update & giveaway news

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly post hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase new adds to the reading pile, no matter how they were acquired. This time, I'm also using it for a general update and recap.

First off, I have to apologize for not replying to comments or checking out other people's WoW's etc. The reason is that I was on a 10-day Interrail journey which led me from Zurich to Prague to Hamburg to Amsterdam and eventually back to Zurich. Loads of train-driving, amazing memories and sights I will forever treasure. However, also not so much time on the computer/blogs/twitter/tumblr and all that. Which was nice in a way, but not something I'd want to do all the time. I'm glad to be back!

Of course, I can't go on a trip without buying books... but since my suitcase was small, I limited myself to two. I bought Paranormalcy by Kristen White when I was in Prague and read it on the journey to Hamburg. You can read my review here. When I was in Amsterdam, I discovered that they actually have a Waterstones there!! I know the store from UK trips and love it - no Swiss book store stacks that many English books! I bought:
I love haunted house stories, but I've read waaaay too few of them! This nearly 700 page monster contains stories on diverse aspects of the genre by a variety of writers - among them, to my surprise, also Virginia Woolf. Once I finish it (could take a while) I'll review some of the stories.

The day after I got home from my trip I went to the fleamarket, where I bought a book for a buck (among other things). It's a German edition and I don't usually read thsoe anymore because the (often not so good) translations upset me, but I thought what the heck, I've been looking at this at the store way too often to pass up this opportunity.


I own it with the cover on the left, but I thought it was also really interesting to compare it with the English cover. Very different effect.

When I got home today, too more pretties were waiting for me in my mailbox!

I've been wanting to read Anna Dressed in Blood for forever and was only waiting for the paperback. However, since Something Strange and Deadly only just came out, I will read that one first and probably get started on it tonight or tomorrow.

What I've recently finished:

I enjoyed both books a lot and hope to get some reviews up soon!

More news: I'm participating in the 2nd Annual Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mary from BookHounds & Forever Young (adult). Almost 200 blogs are participating! This is my first time doing something like this and I hope my post goes on at the right time (yeah... time difference doesn't help trying to coordinate blog posts and rafflecopter forms >.<) and everything works as it should. The hop starts on August 1 and ends on August 7. I hope some of you guys will check out my post and enter! I hope this will be fun :)

What's new on your shelves? Have you read any of the books mentioned above, and what did you think about them? What are you reading at the moment? Tell me in the comments :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White

So... I am back from my trip to Prague, Hamburg, and Amsterdam! Sorry for being rather inactive and not replying to people and stopping by on their WoW posts etc.! I'll be better now that I'm back, I promise. Travelling by train for up to 12 hours on end had its perks though: lots of time to read! I picked up Paranormalcy on my second full day in Prague (turns out books are much cheaper in the Czech Republic than they are in Switzerland...) and finished it in Hamburg.

Released: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Paperback, 335 pages

Description from goodreads:

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.


Despite working for the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) and being around paranormals all the time, Evie tries very hard to be a normal teen. Coming out of the foster system and picked up by the IPCA for her ability to see through the glamors of paranormals (for example, seeing the rotten corpse beneath a vampire’s beautiful disguise), she always firmly believed to be fully human. Well, plus that unique ability which makes her IPCA’s greatest asset. Evie was basically raised by IPCA and identifies with her role. She believes that all paranormals need to be registered and contained so that they do not endanger humans. She doesn’t particularly like her job, but thinks she is doing a good thing – plus, it’s basically the only thing she knows.

Evie’s world is turned upside down when she catches an intruder to the institute. Lend, a teen like her, makes her question the IPCA and everything she’s ever believed in. I really enjoyed watching Evie unravel and re-evaluate her life up to then, and the future that expected her at IPCA – and whether she wanted it.

However, apart from Evie’s identity crisis, there is another problem: paranormals all over the world are dying, and no one can figure out the cause. Evie suspects an involvement of the fairies – one of many paranormal species, and one the IPCA uses for quick travelling through fairy-portals without a second thought. Evie believes that they are much more dangerous than IPCA thinks. Also, one fairy in particular – Reth, her sort-of-Ex – keeps bothering her, trying to force a strange warmth unto her and change her in some fundamental way that scares her. Is she herself connected to all the paranormal deaths? And what about those strange dreams she keeps having?

When the IPCA center Evie and her friends live at is attacked, she has to make difficult decisions: follow protocol, or go rogue? Be a threat or a victim? Or is there another way, a way for Evie to be truly normal, highschool sweetheart and all?

The world Kiersten White created in this novel was intriguing and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Evie grow up and question her surroundings and origins. There were a lot of fun moments to lighten up the angst – I loved the snarky dialogue, and for some reason the vampires’ behavior made me crack up a lot. The pace flowed naturally; it felt neither rushed nor sluggish. The info-dump was avoided. I also enjoyed the romance, even though I’m not normally into the cute/fluffy stuff. It was very well done here.

Despite all this, the book didn’t knock me off my socks. It’s a good, solid read, but I somehow just didn’t connect as much with the characters as I had hoped. I am curious to see how things pan out in the sequels though, now that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Maybe that was part of the problem: much of the book is more of a build-up for what’s to come now.

Personal thoughts (spoilery):

At first, I found it a bit hard to identify with Evie – she was very girly (her weapon of choice is a pink taser) and very focused on a teen drama TV series. Not the kind of girl I would have chosen to hang out with. She grew on me though, and I realized how lonely she must be – her best friend is a mermaid who cannot leave her water tank, the sort-of-motherfigure she looks up to is actually her boss first and foremost. No wonder she craves the ‘normal’ promised to her by TV serieses and longs to mingle and fit in with other people her age.

Evie isn’t a pushover though, and I loved seeing her struggle and grow on the difficulties thrown in her way. She wants to get out of being other people’s pawn. It was also really interesting to compare her and Vivian in terms of personality and upbringing. I could understand them both and sometimes found it hard to know who to root for. Viv had an edge that I enjoyed a lot.

I really liked Lend, too. He was just so sweet to Evie, and they fit together really well. She can see through everything, and he can appear as whoever he wants (also makes it hard for him to know just who he is, though). He also sees her for what she is. They are evenly matched, and I like that in a love interest.

However, I could have liked Reth more. I don’t know, from what I had heard about the book I had just expected the fairy-part to be set up differently. He wasn’t even really a rival love-interest to me. One the one hand, that was a plus, since I’m not a big fan of love triangles. On the other hand, it made it hard to understand why Evie was drawn to him at the beginning.

In general, I cannot really pinpoint why this book didn’t rock my world. Don’t get me wrong, I mean what I said. It was good, the writing pulled me in, it was fun and cute but also had dark aspects. I had just somehow expected more from the set-up. I’m not sure how much ‘new’ it really adds to the genre. However, I will definitely pick up the sequels because I’m curious about where this is all going.

Have you read Paranormalcy? Did you have similar thoughts about it, or were you completely blown away? Disliked it? Why / why not? I’m really curious about other opinions on this one / the series in general (no spoilers for books 2 and 3 though, please).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black

 Unofrtunately, since the book is scheduled to release some time in 2013 by Little, Brown Books, there is no cover yet and not much in terms of a description. The following is from goodreads:

“A refreshing and inventive new twist” on the vampire genre; set in the not-so-distant future, where the vampire population has surged, resulting in the establishment of quarantined cities of vampires and humans where predator and prey coexist in a never-ending blood party of revelry.

Why I picked it despite the lack of detailed info?
I'm a huge fan of Holly Black - I have been for about 7 years or so, when I first read Tithe and thought it was amazing. But more to the point, I read Holly's short story of the same title in an anthology and I remember thinking that it'd be awesome if there was a full-length novel set in the same world. I actually tweeted the author about how much I liked it and she replied that there would in fact be a novel!! I was beyond excited. I cannot remember the exact details of the story because I read it more than half a year ago, but I recall that I enjoyed the unique quirks of the characters and the way the workings of the world in which it was set.
I can't wait for more info about the plot, and for the actual cover! A Holly Black vampire book. If she can't breathe some new life into that myth then I don't know who can...

Have you heard about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown? Read the short story (or any other of Holly Black's work)? Let me know in the comments, and I hope I'll get around to checking out everyone else's WoW's.
I might take a while to get back to you guys though because I'm still on my travels around Europe - Amsterdam at the moment, after Prague and Hamburg (which were awesome).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa

add it on goodreads
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing date: April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 485 pages

Blurb from goodreads:
"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

Review (spoilerfree):
If humanity was wiped by a virus in the near future, leaving vampires free to step in and take control, this is how things would play out. The Immortal Rules is realistic, the world and writing authentic and not trying to sugarcoat anything. From its killer opening to its conclusion, I didn’t want to put this book down. For some people’s taste, the pace might be a bit slow in the beginning, but I enjoy getting to know and connect with the characters before the action goes down.

Allie lives in a decrepit, crumbling school building in the Fringe, a stretch of town between the inner and outer walls of her vampire city. After her mother’s death, she fell in with a gang of other kids around the same age, and together they try to scrounge up enough food to survive and defend each other and their territory against other gangs. Since she’s Unregistered, she doesn’t get foodstamps or healthcare and must be completely self-reliant. In return, she doesn’t have to ‘donate’ any of her blood to the vampires living in the glittering Inner City. The practical consequence: she is constantly starving and spends her days scavenging for food and other practical items.

Allie is a strong protagonist; she knows the rules of the system and does her best to make use of the loopholes in order to survive on a day-to-day basis. When a scavenging trip to the ruins outside the city ends in disaster, she is given the choice: to die of rabidism (humans/animals gone crazy with the virus, a constant menace in the wilderness outside the city) or to have a shot at becoming what she hates most in this world. Allie chooses to live – in a manner.

The first rule of being a vampire? Drink human blood, or go mad. When a mistake forces Allie to separate from her sire and leave the city, she experiences a new kind of hunger. Fighting her own nature, she tries to blend in with a group of humans on the road to a city which might or might not exist. Trying to keep her secrets, Allie is constantly torn between her lingering humanity and her predator nature, especially when she starts to develop feelings for a certain member of the group…

The world-building in this book is phenomenal and unique. Julie Kagawa avoids the initial infodump and lets the readers see and figure out a lot of the basics by themselves, but not in a way that is overwhelming or confusing. The main characters were well-rounded and the plot engaging. Allie’s struggles against herself and her surroundings, as well as the different ways people try to deal with the situation, kept me turning the pages. I also enjoyed that while some romance was present (and it was great!), it wasn’t the main focus of the novel. The ending rounded the book off well, but it also left enough questions open to make me anxious for the sequel!

One minor point of critique: while the main characters were fleshed out, some of the minor characters only had one or two actual character traits and were primarily functional devices. It wouldn’t have hurt to add a layer or so more to them. However, this didn’t really bother me while I was reading. All in all, the book definitely lives up to the hype!

More personal and spoilery thoughts:
I knew Julie Kagawa from her Iron Fey books (I’ve only read the first 2 so far) and really enjoyed the fairy-world she created there. I’m glad to say that she writes vampires just as well if not better.

I really enjoyed the section of the book that focuses on Allie’s training with Kanin, her vampire sire. She can satisfy her desire to read and learn in a world where most of the population is illiterate. I liked Kanin a lot, and I wished he’d been present for more of the book. He’ll definitely be in the sequel, though.

Also, Asian girl protagonist with a samurai-sword? Count. Me. In!! The fight-scenes were phenomenal. I loved the theatre-setting for the fight against the people who keep Allie’s group imprisoned. In general, Old Chicago must be one of my favorite book-towns ever. It was really interesting to see how different its organization was from that of New Covington, the city Allie comes from!

Another thing about Allie that I found interesting is that sometimes, I had the feeling she was harsher as a human than as a vampire. She wanted to protect the group she travelled with and was dead-set against leaving anyone behind if it could be helped – something she wouldn’t have thought twice about as a human (unless it was a gang member).

I was a bit surprised by the structure of the book. From the blurb, I had expected Allie to be a vampire already, with the parts of her human life being flashbacks. I was surprised the human-part lasted as long as it did, but it was a good way to show the workings of this dystopian society and how radical her transition from prey to predator really is – even though also there, she remains in an in-between state and has to keep hiding.

I think I have to stop my prattling now – all in all, I wolfed this book down when I was reading and kept wondering about what would happen next when I wasn’t. Whether you like vampires or dystopian novels or both – this is the book for you!

Have you read this first book of the Blood of Eden series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Scorch, by Gina Damico

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is:

Scorch (Croak #2), by Gina Damico 

Expected publication: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Paperback, 352 pages

The goodreads blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?

 I enjoyed Croak, the first book in this series, so much! I love me some morbid sense of humor and sarcastic death jokes. I breezed through it in about a day or two, and I'm glad I don't have to wait a whole year for the sequel! I'm curious about where this is all going and I can't wait to see Lex and Zara face off, haha.

Have you read Croak? Do you have other awesome reaper books to recommend?

NOTE: I've prescheduled this post to publish while I'm sitting in a train to Prague... so it might be awhile before I can respond to comments / check out everyone else's WoW. Sorry 'bout that. The hotel should have Wlan though.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Black City, by Elizabeth Richards

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My WoW this week is:

Black City, by Elizabeth Richards
Expected publication: November 13, 2012
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Format: hardcover, 373 pages

Goodreads description:
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war. In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable--they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash's long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught, they'll be executed--but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

I read an excerpt of this here months ago, and I've been tired of having to wait for more ever since! It was dark. It was damn sexy. It was a new take on vampires. It was dystopian. It has a gorgeous cover, too! Gah, I want it RIGHT NOW >_< Seriously, I must have entered like half a dozen giveaways, but without any luck so far. If anyone has an unneeded/read ARC they could send my way... be my guest and have my eternal gratitude ;P

Have you heard of this one, and is the wait as torturous for you as it is for me? What book are you anticipating?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: most awesome worldbuilding

Top Ten Tuesday is a weeky meme by The Broke and the Bookish, where they post a topic every week and ask the participants to post their top tens. This week is a freebie, so we can choose whatever topic we like. And because I've recenty read a few novels with really great worldbuiding, I've decided to present you...

Top Ten Most Awesome Worldbuilding in a Novel/Series

In no particular order.

1. Kim Harrison - The Hollows series

This was the first Urban Fantasy series I ever read, and I am still in awe of how thorough the worldbuilding is! Rules, laws, species, habits, rockstars, food, history, places... it seems so real I know I'd be disappointed if I ever actually went to Cincinnati and none of it all was there. I love how Kim Harrison adds new aspects to the Vampire myth (living vs. dead vampires) and also bring in weres, witches, demons, pixies, fairies, leprechauns, banshees, elves, gargoyles... and all of it fits together to create one gritty, realistic world!

2. Neil Gaiman - American Gods

Neil Gaiman is a master of worldbuilding and I could just as well have chosen The Sandman graphic novels, but I decided to go with American Gods. I love the basic ideas of people taking their gods with them when they emigrated to America, then slowly forgetting about them. Old gods having to fight for survival as new gods, gods of technology, appear... intriguing idea. Loads of research on Old Norse gods, Native American gods, as well as eastern European, South American and many other regions must have gone into this. I just love how it all comes together, though I am not pretending that I understand everything in this book. But it contains some of my favorite passages in fiction.

3. Kelly Keaton - Gods and Monsters series

I am re-reading Darkness Becomes Her right now to prepare for A Beautiful Evil, and I was once again struck by how awesome the worldbuilding is! The series is set a couple years in the future, in a New Orleans (now called New 2) which is privately owned by the Novem, a city council of nine old and wealthy families. It is no longer part of the US nor under US law. New 2 has become a haven for all things freakish and paranormal. I love how Kelly Keaton combines traditional New Orleans imagery and themes with old Greek myths and creatures! I have never been to New Orleans or even the US, but the city with its old houses, smells, mix of cultures and beliefs, maskerades, rituals and cemeteries has forever nestled into my mind now.

4. Rachel Vincent - Unbound series

I have not read Shadow Bound yet, but I loved the world of Blood Bound! It is gritty and cruel and realistic. If something like Skills existed, this is what it would be like. I liked the idea of a city divided into different syndicate territories by the river, the difficulty of trying to be independent of the mob and still make a living. This is a harsh world where no one without both fighting skills and a brain can survive very long. There are quite a few serieses involving people with special skills, but the ones in this series worked differently than those in any other I have read.

5. Melissa Marr - Wicked Lovely series

Hands down my favorite fairy series ever! I love how the world of fairie and our world intersect, influence, and depend on one another! I love how each fairy ruler represents the traits of their kingdom. I love the descriptions of the clubs where fairies and mortals intermingle. I love the dark, twisted relationships of some of the characters. And I'm just always in awe of Melissa Marr's writing.

6. Holly Black - Curseworkers series

All of Holly Black's novels that I have read have great worldbuilding, but I've decided on this series for this post. I really enjoyed how the workers are both wanted/needed and feared, the whole history of them and how the great families rose to power in the US. I also enjoyed the whole idea of fighting for equal rights vs. making people disclose their abilities so they can be controlled. Plus of course the whole con artist and blackmarket aspect for workers and protective amulets, as well as the family relationships in this one.

7. Kate Griffin - Urban Magic series

Honestly? If I had put this post into a particular order, this series would top it. I loved how Neil Gaiman brought London to life in Neverwhere, but the worldbuilding in this series just tops everything. I have never looked at London the same way again when I visited after I read the first novel in this series. The city is suffused with magic, a modern magic. Magic in the telephone lines, the tube map, the river, the city lights. Magic in the gutter and the routine and clockwork of the city. The rats. The pidgeons. The beggar king. The graffity and other street art. "Life is magic", and Matthew Swift can use it all. And the writing was so gorgeous that I had to plaster the novels with sticky notes for the especially awesome bits.

8. Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Everyone raved about this book when it came out, and it took me way too long to finally get a copy of it... but I am so glad that I did! I loved the Prague Laini Taylor created in this novel, and I am excited to see what the city is really like when I go there in only 8 days! I loved the art and sketchbook aspect, I loved the ideas of wishes made from teeth and bones, I loved the idea of a chimaera world and a doorway that can go anywhere! Chimaeras are a type of creature/myth I had not seen in YA before - the book is just a breath of fresh air.

9. L.A. Weatherly - Angel series

Before I read the first book in this series, I was not a big fan of angel books. Very often they are just suffused with Christian/religious beliefs and ideology, and I'm not a big fan of that, nor do I believe in god. (Just for the record: I have no problem with people who do, as long as they respect that I don't and don't try to convert me.) But a book where angels are evil and suck humans' energy and nobody knows? Well, apart from the Angel Killers of course. Well, I was intrigued. Awesome read!

10. Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy / Bloodlines

Yup, last but not least I have to mention Richelle Meads. To be honest, I did not think the first few VA novels were that great, but probably that is because I read them in the German translation my sister borrowed from a friend of hers before she bought the whole thing as a boxset in English. I read the last 2 books this summer and I was so immersed in that world again, and it was so much better than I remembered, that I had to get the Bloodlines novels at once! I love the moroi/strigoi mythology as well as the alchemy aspects and the whole political dimension in these serieses!

Okay, this post took forever to write for some reason, and I'm sure I have left out a lot of novels with amazing worldbuilding... for example The Mortal Instruments / Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Or Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers. Julie Kagawa. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan.

So, have you read any of the novels I listed above? What are some of your favorite books with awesome worldbuilding? Let me know in the comments :)