**spoiler alert** This story follows Anastasia Steele as she and Christian Grey meet and begin a relationship though they have very different relation**spoiler alert** This story follows Anastasia Steele as she and Christian Grey meet and begin a relationship though they have very different relationship goals. Grey is heavy into super kinky bondage, and Steele wants a traditional fairy tale romance.
It was a really easy, quick read, and anybody with a pulse would find the eroticism hot. The problem was that any time there wasn't vividly described, kinky sex happening I found myself getting bored. While at the same time the whole story just felt like an erotic fantasy. And I think that's pretty much what it is.
I didn't really find either of the main characters believable. And their melodramatic interplay just made me want to roll my eyes.
list of clichés: -he holds her hair back while she vomits -he takes her back to his place and sleeps with her without having sex -he has ordered everything on the room service breakfast menu (à la Pretty Woman). -he flies out to see her even when she's visiting her mother because he can't stay away.
I can't help comparing this book to the Secretary movie from a few years back. What was so compelling about that movie was that it really did demonstrate that a woman with a huge amount of character strength could use the BDSM relationship to express her power and take control of her life. This dramatization of such a relationship just felt weak, confused, and pathetic.
I felt the need to read the book before the movie comes out, but I'm not sure that I'll pick up the next one. Perhaps I should read the next two to give James a chance to take the development of her heroine to it's end, but part of me doesn't want to bother. And that's in spite of the fact that James ends this book with a cliff hanger.
I'm hopeful that the movie can negotiate a way of presenting the characters and plot that builds more substance into their dynamic, or at least had enough on-screen chemistry that I don't notice the lack of it....more
This is another installment in the fortress series and I feel like I've settled into the story. We continue to follow Tristen and Cefwyn as Tristen beThis is another installment in the fortress series and I feel like I've settled into the story. We continue to follow Tristen and Cefwyn as Tristen becomes the lord of Amefel and Cefwyn continues to try to cement his reign in the north and prepare for war to win back his bride's land.
The story continues to be remarkably engaging. I feel deeply involved in the characters and in the plot. Cherryh's sense of pacing is also excellent and there is a lyricism to the writing that I love. This still does not elevate to the level of the first novel where the tension was almost too much to bear and left me anxious to rush from one reading session to the next. I'm so thankful that I'm not in a position to wait for the next book to be published. The ending of this novel was not satisfying and I feel like this book, the last, and the next should all be one big thing. I'm really curious how Cherryh will finish up this story and whether the emotional immediacy of the next couple of books will jump up as the long anticipated conflict with Elwynor gets going. ...more
This novel continues the story of Tristen and Cefwyn as Cefwyn attempts to cement his power as the new king and Tristen continues to explore what hisThis novel continues the story of Tristen and Cefwyn as Cefwyn attempts to cement his power as the new king and Tristen continues to explore what his purpose as Maryl's shaping may be.
Tristen is much less the innocent in this book, compared to the last, and while this is a necessary step for the continued development of the character, it caused the book to lose much of the lyricism that I so loved about the first book. Tristen is no longer staring at leaves and rhapsodizing about them, which surprisingly, was a shame. At the same time, the complexities in the relationships between the characters increases in compelling and believable ways. Initially I felt that Cherryh was a bit off stride as she portrayed the intricacies of court politics. Perhaps this was intentional, but as Tristen chaffed at the confinement of the court life, I the reader chaffed at the pace of the book. However about a third of the way int he rhythm picks up and I was again swept up in the story.
A lot less happens in this story than the first as well. There wasn't a surprising shift in any of the characters, but rather this book felt more like an interlude and a set-up for what is (I assume) to come in the next book. I would still highly recommend this and it's definitely a high four, but not quite the level of the first. I'm looking forward to Fortress of Owls...more
This book concludes the Crossroads trilogy following Mai, Zubaidit, Joss, Keshad, Arras, and Marit as they struggle for control of the Hundred. The deThis book concludes the Crossroads trilogy following Mai, Zubaidit, Joss, Keshad, Arras, and Marit as they struggle for control of the Hundred. The defenders finally have some kind of plan and organization, thanks to Joss and Mai's husband, Anji.
Clearly the best of the series and it is always nice when an author finishes strong.
The characters continued to ring true for me and I enjoyed the flavor of intrigue that entered the story at this point. Additionally the plot itself felt strong to me. I also really liked the theme of whether power corrupts everyone and what leads some to become corrupted by power while others are not.
The problem for me remains Elliott's writing style. She continued to jump through too many characters at one go and she would also leave you removed from the action at what seemed like critical points. For example, Joss would look on while Anji did something and not be able to see all of the action. This felt like Elliott was trying to have it both ways. On the one hand she was trying to give the story a grand scope by pulling in the perspectives of all these different characters, including some that were on the other side of the conflict while she was also trying to limit the scope to what was personal and perceivable by the individuals. It just ended up feeling misjudged to me. Her pacing had largely improved for this book. There were still moments when I felt she lost momentum, but to a much lesser degree than the previous two of the trilogy. The ending was satisfying, but still left itself open enough that I am hopeful she will return to this world in a future series. I guess my feeling is summed up in the fact that while I would eagerly buy more books in this series, I don't have a strong desire to buy any of the other books by Elliott....more
I need to preface this book by saying it has pretty much all the elements designed to make me like it. This book follows Tristan from his awakening asI need to preface this book by saying it has pretty much all the elements designed to make me like it. This book follows Tristan from his awakening as the resurrected creation of a great wizard and picks up perspectives of that wizard, Mauryl, and the prince Tristan befriends, Cefwyn. It then carries us through the increasing tension of a wizardly foe that Tristan fears and clashes between nations.
The thing I am a complete sucker for is the dream-like unfolding of awareness. The sense of increasing tension and inevitable momentum toward a climax. This book had that in spades. Tristan gradually finds himself, but is never sure how much of his purpose is something that Mauryl predetermined in him, how much is his own personality from his previous life and how much is the influence of those he is now connected to. All of this of course brings to mind classic questions of free will, but in a much more tangible way.
Questions of good and evil are also never far afield. Tristen wrestles with the consequences of his actions. While it appears that his motivations are to better the situations of those he cares for, this is never without other potentially negative ramifications. Tristan says near the end of the book that he does not believe he is "good," while Uwen, his servant, argues that he is. I'm not sure who's side I am on (probably Uwen's) but it is another interesting question.
Then there is the level of tension that Cherryh creates. It was delicious. With a malevolent force coming in on the wind, I almost felt as if the novel had a bit of a horror influence. And the characters were believable, smart, and compelling with motivations that felt realistically murky. Altogether incredibly satisfying. I'm not sure I know where the series is going, but I'm very interested to find out....more
The books are worth the read, but aren't going to end up anywhere near my favorites pile.
This is the second book in this epic Crossroads trilogy and IThe books are worth the read, but aren't going to end up anywhere near my favorites pile.
This is the second book in this epic Crossroads trilogy and I did like it just a bit more than the first. I think this mainly has to do with adjusting to the (what feels like) dozens of characters that Elliott is following, and having more tolerance for her jumping from one thread in the story to another. It's still annoying though.
I understand why Elliott would pick technique of using the perspective of many characters. She's trying to give a sense of scale to the story and to create that epic drama that does encompass a whole nation of characters with their different positions in life and perspectives. It does work in this way. However, I think she could have used a ruthless editor. Someone with a machete to cut down the cast and the story to a more managable level.
All of that said, the story remains exciting. I love the world that Elliott has created with the guardians and the reeves and the complex morality of the world. Because I was so involved, I got frustrated that the towns wouldn't have joined forces earlier to defeat their enemy or been more forward thinking in gathering intelligence about the threat posed to them. But that said the situation doesn't feel unrealistic to me. I also enjoyed the majority of the characters that Elliott has chosen to follow and those I did not enjoy were intentionally drawn that way. The only character I feel has been downgraded to the level of a cypher is Kirit. I'm not sure what her purpose is, but I will be reading the third in the series and I am looking forward to more development in this character and to finding out what is in store for the rest of her cast....more
Elliott's world and characters are vivid and wonderful. I enjoyed the cultures she created around the Hundred and eagle riders as well as the Qin andElliott's world and characters are vivid and wonderful. I enjoyed the cultures she created around the Hundred and eagle riders as well as the Qin and different countries. I felt like the sexual politics of the world were also interesting while not making women who were simply meek puppets. The story pulled me along for the most part and I am looking forward to reading the second in the series. I did feel during the earlier parts of the book that Elliott had limited the number of characters she was following. Every time we switched characters it felt initially jarring. At the same time, she did do a nice job of eventually weaving together the disparate elements. My only other criticism of the book had more to do with the pacing. It felt like Elliott would take odd moments to throw in detailed descriptions of the environment. Characters would be stressed and the action would be building and we'd have a time out to describe the keep. Again a little jarring, but all in all the novel was satisfying....more