Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Author Links: Goodreads | Website
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father's disappearance, her mother's erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her. Raine is drawn to Torin's dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can't stop thinking about him. Half the time, she's not sure whether to fall into his arms or run. Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.
What's the cardinal rule for bibliophiles? Don't judge a book by it's cover.
I know that! I do. It's just...well, I do it all the time. An awesome cover draws me in, and a cheesy cover repels me.
I can't tell you how many times I passed Runes over in favor of another book, simply because the cover made me think I would be reading the equivalent of a B movie.
I mean, what is up with that dude's bangs?! Are they feathered or something? *shudder* Let me tell you something, when I fantasize about a sexy bad-ass, I imagine a guy who looks like he just rolled out of bed and ran his fingers thorough his hair. I don't imagine a guy who looks like he just spent 30 minutes in front of his mom's mirror with a bottle of Aquanet. Ever.
Needless to say, I was expecting the worst when I finally decided to start reading this one. So, imagine my surprise when it didn't suck! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I was once again fooled by a bad cover! However, I've learned my lesson, and promise to never ever think bad thoughts about ugly covers...maybe.
The story did have some things about it that kept my rating from going any higher, though. While I loved Torin and Raine, the attraction they felt for each other seemed a bit over-the-top. Kind of reminded me of one of those weirdo couples that sit around sniffing each other, because they can't seem to get enough. Know what I mean? I didn't feel like things were realistic when it came to her missing father, either. To me, that whole plotline felt undercooked. There were also a few times when I thought the way Raine spoke was sort of out of character for a normal teenager.
"He straightened his body, the smile disappearing from his face. Aye, he was intimidating when he stopped smiling. Antagonizing him would get me nowhere."
Um, I'm pretty sure kids nowadays don't use the term, 'aye'...unless they've been raised by pirates. Just sayin'.
I also thought that toward the end things seemed a little rushed. There were quite a few things I would have liked to have seen explained in greater detail. I did, however, like the actual ending of the book. It sets itself up with a nice cliffhanger that made me want to see what was going to happen next.
With all the complaints I've listed, it might seem like I didn't like the book very much, but the truth is, I didn't want to put it down. It bumped along at a nice pace, and kept me engaged in the story until it was over. I've seen some other reviews that complained about it being a rip-off of The Mortal Instruments series, and I'm guessing it's because in both stories they draw runes on their bodies for strength, healing, speed, etc.. While it may be a big deal to some, I don't think Cassandra Claire is the only author allowed to use runes in her books. This book deals with Norse mythology, which is pretty different from TMI's more paranormal plotline. If you want to get picky, you can say that Runes has a girl who is unaware of her supernatural heritage, and that aspect totally mirrors City of Bones. Except, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a young adult book that has that very same plot. Sorry, I'm not buying that Walters tried to copy Claire.
So. What have we learned today, kids?
Don't be a cover snob, because you never know what little gem you might be missing, and swinging dead cats* is a great way to choose your next series!
*No animals were harmed during the making of this review...