Monday, 21 January 2013

Mini Reviews: Radiant & A Killer First Date

Radiant (Unearthly, #2.5)

Radiant (Unearthly #2.5)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: December 4th 2012
My rating: 4 stars

 From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a riveting original novella (available only as an ebook) set in the world of the Unearthly series.

Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn't ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .

For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.

Alternating between Angela and Clara's perspectives, Radiant chronicles the unforgettable summer that will test the bounds of their friendship and change their lives forever.

Radiant was an amazing novella.  A lot of times novellas can be disappointing and short, but this isn’t the case here.  I highly recommend reading this before reading Boundless, as I think it will be an important piece in the story.

Don’t read this if you haven’t read Hallowed, as it would spoil major plot points. 
This takes place just a few short weeks after the events in Hallowed.  Clara and Angela are spending the summer in Italy, staying with Angela’s family.  Clara is still heartbroken over her mother’s death and Tucker, and can’t get him off of her mind.  Angela can’t get her mystery man out of her head, and we finally get some answers to this nagging bit of the puzzle. 
I didn’t trust Angela in Hallowed.  I always suspected she was hiding something, and this novella sets some things straight in my mind.  I want to smack Angela for something she does, because I think it’s going to come back and bite everyone in the behind later.  I know, cryptic.  Come back to me after you’ve read this and we’ll discuss. 

Christian’s presence is, surprisingly very sparse.  Hmm…wonder what that says about Clara’s final choice.  I guess we’ll all find out very soon!  I’m jumping up and down with anxious excitement over the release of Boundless.  I want to read it immediately, if not sooner!

Okay, you know I have to give you a swoony quote.  It wouldn’t be a “Rachel” review without one.  I won’t tell you who it involves.  You can try and figure it out on your own:

He kissed me so many times, more than I could count, but each time it was like this wonderful surprise.  He always got this I-want-to-kiss-you expression in his eyes, right before he’d draw me in.  My throat aches as I remember the agonizing joy of those few seconds before his lips touched mine. 

A Killer First Date

A Killer First Date by Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication date: February 14th 2012
My rating: 3 stars
Nicholas and Lucy have known each other for most of their lives, but now that they've finally admitted their feelings for each other, Nicholas wants to take her on their official first date-away from all the life-and-death drama that has surrounded them lately. Is it too much to ask for just a fun double date at the local carnival with his older brother, Quinn, and Quinn's new girlfriend, Hunter?

A Killer First Date centered on my two favorites couple in the Drake Chronicles: Lucy and Nicholas, and Hunter and Quinn.  It was a cute short story with a little bit of oh-my-heart romance, humor, and fun action. 

Lucy and Nicholas are my favorite couple in the series.  Their relationship started out tension filled and antagonistic.  Here is Lucy’s first line about Nicholas in book one:

“He was gorgeous, there was no use in denying it, but he always knew how to make me want to poke him in the eye with a fork. “

Gradually, their relationship developed into a sweet romance.  Still snarky at times, but that’s what makes it so much fun!   Being in on their first “official date” was too cute.  Unfortunately, the Drakes can’t go anywhere without danger following.  So instead of riding the Ferris wheel, eating cotton candy and winning horrible stuffed prizes, they get: stakes, evil-smelly-vampires, and an out-of-control merry-go-round as part of the evening!  Don’t worry; there are some swoony scenes, too:

“I bet cotton candy tastes good on you.” I swallowed, reflexively licking my bottom lip.  He leaned in closer, his mouth just barely brushing mine when he spoke.  “Ready?”  I nodded, breathless despite myself.  He pulled back as if it was the most difficult thing he’d ever done.  Oh man, I was in real trouble with this new Nicholas.

Hunter and Quinn are in on the fun, making this a double first date.  They’re my second favorite couple of the series.  Hunter the vampire killer (only the bad ones), and Quinn the vampire.  Quinn was quite the ladies man until Hunter came along.  Now he only has eyes for Hunter. 

After finishing this, I’m totally excited to continue the Drake Vampire series with Bleeding Hearts.  If you haven’t picked up this series yet, you should!  It’s fast paced, action packed and full of witty humor! 



  1. I know you said not to read the review for Radiant if I haven't read Hallowed..but considering I won't be continuing this series, I read on :) And HOLY CRAP. A lot seemed to have happened in Hallowed! heheee I'm also pretty excited about who Clara will end up with....
    Ooohh I don't think I've read any of Alexandra Harvey's books..? Her books sound awesome though! Great reviews, Rachel :)

  2. I've yet to read Hallowed so I'll steer clear of your review for Radiant. Great review for A Killer First Date, and you picked great quotes as usual. Lucy and Nicholas have a lot of good ones, I love their interactions :)

  3. A Killer First Date sounds like a fun read. I don't why, but I've always found fun fairs a little creepy. xD I love a relationship with snark and those quotes! *swoons* Might have to check the Drake Chronicles out. Fab review!

  4. I've decided not to read Boundless, but I might give this novella a chance. You had me at the mention of Christian not being around. ;) And I wasn't aware of A Killer First Date, though I've read the first few books of the series and enjoyed them well enough. Great reviews, Rachel! Wonderful choice of quotes as always. ;)

  5. I haven't read Hallowed... so I did not read your review! Cynthia Hand is on my To Read Eventually list though. I'm still catching up with my 2012 reads, it's tragic!

  6. And Killer First Date sounds great, though not what I'm looking for at the moment. :)

  7. I don't think I've even heard of the Drake Chronicles, but Killer First Date sounds really good. I love the quotes you included!

    I haven't read the Unearthly series, so I didn't read your Radiant review. I'm happy you liked it.

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Unearthly series so much, Rachel! It just wasn't one for me, but the Drake Chronicles do look really good - I think I'll have to start that soon. Thanks for putting it on my radar, dear!(:

  9. Hunter and Quinn are my second favorite couple too, and Lucy is totally my book BFF. I just finished the last book and although I didn't like it from the beginning, I really liked how it ended and was super happy with the second half. Hopefully there'll really be this spin-off people keep talkign about.
    Great review(s), Rachel!

  10. Wasn't Radiant awesome Rachel? And yes, Christian was notably absent from Clara's thoughts. TEAM TUCKER! I definitely like Christian, don't get me wrong, but I'm a Tucker girl through and through. I still need to read the Drake Chronicles, I don't know why I haven't read them yet. I've heard such good things! *hangs head in shame* One day I'm going to get caught up on all the awesome series out there. One day.

  11. Lucy and Nicolas sound like such a sweet romance. Thanks for the mini review!
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  12. I haven't read hallowed so I'm not going to read this! I have both of the first two books and I swear I'm going to read them this year! I'm not all that big a fan of novellas, but it sounds like this one actually has something to add to the story so I will add it to my tbr :)

  13. Nice review of Killer First Date. Sounds like a fun one! I didn't read the first review because I haven't read any of these series...and if I do, I don't want things spoiled. thanks for the warning. :)

  14. I loved Radiant! I've always wanted to know more about Angela. I am so excited to read Boundless.

    Team Christian since 2011! ;)

  15. I've heard of the first series but not the second, these both sound like good reads!

  16. Radiant sounds brilliant, but I didn't read too much into it as I have only read the first book, I know *facepalms* I need to read this series. Killer First Date sounds brilliant... That is just my type of romance with a hint of danger. I love a bit of snarkiness and infuriating characters to start the romance! Great Reviews Rachel.

  17. I've never trusted Angela but I'm curious to find out her perspective through Radiant. Thanks for sharing that it would be better to read Radiant before Boundless. I haven't read any of Alyxandra Harvey's work but it's wonderful to learn how much you're enjoying the series. Lovely reviews, Rachel :)

  18. These sound like a couple of cute, fun novellas. I don't read novella's myself, but I'm glad you managed to enjoy them.

    Lovely reviews, Rachel.


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