"Please check my emails for me. My email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org. My password is Shrennanlive. Yours, now and forever, Rulagh."
He'd only met
"Please check my emails for me. My email addy is email@example.com. My password is Shrennanlive. Yours, now and forever, Rulagh."
He'd only met her two days ago and already he trusted her enough to give her his password and let her read his email. She'd dated Daniel for three years and she still didn't know his password, let alone have complete access to his private email account.
I can't believe that, in the future, people go around fucking space lizards but we haven't progressed further than email... This is that Back to the Future II lack of hoverboard sadness all over again....more
TW: graphic descriptions of rape, sexual slavery, torture, murder, violence towards women, violence towards children, xenophilia, and I'm probably f
TW: graphic descriptions of rape, sexual slavery, torture, murder, violence towards women, violence towards children, xenophilia, and I'm probably forgetting a thousand other things...
Don't let the trigger warnings discourage you (or really, really DO if they are trigger warnings to you), like many epic fantasy/sci-fi works most of these things are present. They didn't keep A Song of Ice and Fire from becoming a best-seller, and they don't keep The Last Hour of Gann from being an amazing book.
Amber, our female protagonist, crashed along her sister and a bunch of other humans (this seems so weird to write, but bear with me, I'm still on that human vs aliens mindset after 1277 pages of it) into an unknown planet.
What follows is a pretty good illustration of human character when faced by survival: horrid. That's not to say that the power dynamics which arise aren't absolutely enthralling! Scott (he can't really be thought of as the main antagonist because so many villains pop up in this book and they are absolutely despicable, but he's certainly the one who lasts the longest) who by virtue of embodying insufferable and unflagging male entitlement, no matter how repeatedly he is proven wrong, becomes so hateful that I ended up longing for his appearance just so that I could hate some more.
They end up finding one of the indigenous species of the planet: a lizardman (for lack of a better descriptor). Meoraq is part of the elite of an oligarchic society, a warrior priest, who defines himself by his strict religion.
I was expecting the romance, since I read the book's Goodreads' page, but I was still a bit... iffy about it? I mean, when you think of a dreamy hero your mind doesn't automatically go to a lizard. ...Hopefully.
But here's the thing, their relationship is so sloooooooow moving, and so well developed that when they get together (way, way into the book) it just seems natural.
One thing I absolutely loved! Amber doesn't find Meoraq attractive, and Meoraq doesn't find Amber attractive. They fall for each others' mind, spirit, character, strength, morals. I find that great! Too often books gloss over these things, but think about it: why would an alien find a human woman attractive? This is the Mars Needs Women trope at work, and I'm glad R. Lee Smith avoided it.
The action never lags, I never found myself bored - in fact I wish I did! There never seemed to be a moment of peace! The plot is coherent and addictive, the pacing is phenomenal, the characters feel real... I have nothing but praises about this book!
Then why the 4 star rating instead of 5 stars? It was too much for me. Bear in mind that this is a purely personal complaint, and does not reflect upon the quality of the book! But, as I said, for me, it was too much. Too much violence, too much rape (it's never rape for the sake of rape, it's always there for a reason and adds to the realism of the story, considering the society in which the characters find themselves), but too much... too much!
Still, it was an amazing read, and I highly recommend it to fantasy/sci-fi/romance fans.
716 exclamation points in a book with 113 pages... Every paragraph had an exclamation point. Every dialogue had exclamation points.
Then there were some716 exclamation points in a book with 113 pages... Every paragraph had an exclamation point. Every dialogue had exclamation points.
Then there were some things that were just inexcusable.
Women hating women is a common plot point in Kaitlyn O'Connor's books. I admit I let that slide because I'm not reading Mars Needs Women erotica for the feminist message. But stuff in this book was just past wrong: homophobia, transphobia, ableism...
"She liked the way [her potential rapist] looked at her far better than she'd liked the way the she-male from the village did."
"Lust in the eyes of a person that did not appeal was just plain scary!"
Read "did not appeal" as 'lesbian' or 'she-male'.
Also a mention of how it was against human social norms to get a man aroused in bed and change your mind and say no. There were also mentions of little people being "abnormal", and I'm like... what is even the point of all this ignorance? It's 2015.
I've always liked Kaitlyn O'Connor's books, so I hope this was a one off, because it was just riddled with: - homophobia - transphobia - women hating women - ableism - bad editing
If I see another misused exclamation point I don't think I can answer for myself....more
I read (and fell in love with) These Broken Stars, and since I already have This Shattered World, I was looking forward to reading This Night So Dark.I read (and fell in love with) These Broken Stars, and since I already have This Shattered World, I was looking forward to reading This Night So Dark.
The one problem I have with this series so far is that the stories are really slow to start. I think it took me over a week to get past These Broken Stars' first chapter, and I only read on because I was trapped in a waiting room with nothing else to read. In retrospective, I'm glad of it because it turned out to be my favourite book of 2014!
The same issue occurs in this novella: it's sloooooooow and when it gets to the good bits they don't last long enough (since this is a novella) to really catch my interest.
That's not to say it wasn't good, my lack of enjoyment is merely a reflection of my disappointment when my expectations for this novella weren't met. Kaufman and Spooner can write, and the quality of their writing is alive and well here.
Plus, we did get some Lila/Tarver snippets, and since they're my OTP...
Anyway, it's really short and FREE! So go read it!
Appalling editing - if it was edited at all! - but the Mars Needs Women trope (caution: that link takes you to tvtropes where you may be trapped for dAppalling editing - if it was edited at all! - but the Mars Needs Women trope (caution: that link takes you to tvtropes where you may be trapped for days) is one of my guilty pleasures and not since Kaitlyn O'Connor's The 9th Orb has it been so well achieved. Yes, even with all the misspellings, tense shifts and wrong words.
So, if you're looking for a sexy, engaging, mindless sci-fi romance to unwind after a rough day, give this one a chance!...more
I'm ashamed to admit I started reading this book as a joke.
It hadn't been too long since I was complaining about the scientific inaccuracies in ano
I'm ashamed to admit I started reading this book as a joke.
It hadn't been too long since I was complaining about the scientific inaccuracies in another book, so I thought this would be more of the same, with the added lurid element of romance with a caveman.
I really, really take it badly when a book shows evidence of lack of research, especially scientific research, because I know people read it and form wrong ideas about the subjects approached.
But Shay Savage did the right thing: right before the book started she explained a bit about Broca's area (though, for some reason, not Wernicke's area) and made a point to say something along the lines, hey this isn't right in my book, but I'm claiming artistic licence.
An author needs only make this clear and I'm open to read anything, to be honest.
And I'm so glad that, pretentious though my initial approach to this book may have been, I decided to read it anyway. Because this book is AMAZING.
Shay Savage insists that we're not to take the story too seriously and then proceeds to write an extraordinary book.
Ehd is a caveman. No details of his exact subspecies and, to be honest, since this is sci-fi, no details are needed. It's irrelevant because this book is so well written, the story is so riveting that it manages to have just about 2 lines of dialogue in over 300 pages and you don't even care.
But back to the plot - Ehd is a caveman. He lost his entire tribe in a forest fire and he's been finding it hard to find the will to go on living now that he's alone.
Until he finds Elizabeth in the pit he'd dug.
Elizabeth is, quite obviously to us readers but not something that could even cross Ehd's mind, a time-traveller. A young woman who's terrified to find herself suddenly in the middle of the woods, and even more terrified when she comes face to face with a caveman determined to have her for a mate.
I know many of you are rolling your eyes at this, "Oh, the old mate thing from Paranormal Romances, no thanks." Hold on. It could not be farther from that. Ehd sees her as a mate because there is no one else, she's a woman, he's a man, and that's basically all he knows of life: survive, find a mate, protect her and your children, provide for them. We may scoff, but survival is no joke if we're dropped in the wilderness with all the equipment needed to make it - let alone in the Stone Age with nothing but our wits.
No matter how hard Elizabeth tries to communicate with Ehd, he is devoid of the ability to understand language. He manages to learn her "name-sound" Beh, and that's it.
I think it was brilliant to have the book narrated from Ehd's point of view. We get to see his frustration at Beh's incessant sounds, we get to see his confusion over the fact that Beh is not in the slightest interested in him giving her a baby, we get to see his bafflement at Beh's insistence to never let him see her naked.
And we get to see his patience. His relief at no longer being alone.
It reminded me of the loneliest man in the world - in case you don't know the story, deforestation means that greedy lumber companies think nothing of slaughtering tribes of native Amazonians. In one such case only a single man survived the slaughtering of his tribe (which seems to have been one without any contact with the modern world). Now he lives alone in the Amazonian jungle, going through the motions of the day-to-day life of his people. Alone. He shows no interest in having any sort of contact with anyone and, really, can we blame him?
So with this story in mind, I really felt for Ehd. It must be terrible to be the last of your people. To go on day after day. Alone.
And his happiness at having Beh with him is palpable. Perhaps she's weird, her furs are strange, she's very insistent on bathing, and she keeps making noises with her mouth. But she's his Beh and now he has purpose in his life: to protect her, to provide for her and maybe, someday, she'll agree to see him as worthy of being her mate and they can have children of their own - a new tribe.
And it's... touching to see their relationship grow, even though they want different things, even though they literally do not understand each other. It's slow and it feels real, and it was lovely.
It also is quite accurate depicting their struggles for survival. Every day there was gathering, hunting, keeping the fire from going out. there was fighting off predators, and work, work, work, from dawn to dusk.
And I have to admit it, it made me cry, I can't say what exactly because I don't want to spoil this for anyone, but there were at least two times I was left in tears.
I don't even know how to recommend this book - but please see past the silly-sounding blurb, past the cover, and past the mocking reviews. And please, please, give this book a chance!!
I'm one of the pickiest reviewers in the world and the ebook wasn't enough for me, I need to go buy the paperback.
I admit it, I picked up this book because of Sarah Rees Brennan and, as always, she did not disappoint. But there were some other really great stori
I admit it, I picked up this book because of Sarah Rees Brennan and, as always, she did not disappoint. But there were some other really great stories in this book, as well! And some that were very mediocre, indeed. It was a very unbalanced anthology. Still worth reading, because the good short stories are really good.
THE KEY by Rachel Hawkins (Bluebeard) - ★★★★ Lana's mother is a psychic, she does readings in their trailer. And Lana is feeling a bit ashamed of the way she and her mother live when Skye, the gorgeous guy from her French class, brings another classmate, Milly, to come and consult her mother on the whereabouts of the missing Kimberly - Skye's ex-girlfriend and Milly's best friend. Lana's mother's prediction for her that day is that she would have to run, and fast! Oh, this was so creepy! Hawkins managed to tell a perfectly satisfying story in just a few pages, but this would have made a wonderful full-length novel.
FIGMENT by Jeri Smith-Ready (Puss in Boots) - ★ Eli's father dies in a boating accident, they weren't close, but his dad left him a plush cat, informing him it would bring him luck. Eli is already a very talented musician, maybe a little luck is all he needs... I didn't feel this story at all, but that's merely a matter of personal preference, since it combines two elements I have always disliked: the fairy tale Puss in Boots and teenaged dudes who carry a guitar everywhere.
THE TWELFTH GIRL by Malinda Lo (The Twelve Dancing Princesses) - ★★ Liv is transfered to a new boarding school which seems pretty boring except for one thing: Harley. Harley is a girl who flaunts all the rules, she doesn't follow the school's dress code, she arrives late to class, and she occupies a turret with her eleven friends, with whom she goes out partying every night. Liv is eager to get closer to Harley, she doesn't know whether she wants to be her, or wether she wants her, but either way she wants to become part of her group. But a palm-reader warned her to stay away from them... I liked the whole other world through a trap-door, and how Lo retold this tale - I usually like Lo's stories because you can always count on her to skip the usual "there was this boy and it was insta-love", she takes the time to build the relationships in a dreamy way and, of course, the boy is a girl - but this time I didn't really feel this. Harley may as well have been the usual YA love interest stereotype, the whole thing needed to be more developed, it didn't quite work as a short story.
THE RAVEN PRINCESS by Jon Skovron (The Raven) - ★ I don't get it? What was this? The whole point of a fairy tale retelling is to retell the fairy tale, not re-write the exact same story as the original in your own words...
THINNER THAN WATER by Saundra Mitchell (Donkeyskin) - ★★★★★ tw: pedophilia, rape, abuse, incest I hate this fairy tale so fucking much I didn't even know if I would be able to write an unbiased review of Mitchell's retelling... But Mitchell's writing was absolutely, flawlessly beautiful. Merula's mother died after giving birth to her, making her father promise he'd never marry again, unless to a woman as beautiful as she was. The story starts horribly, as one would expect - but Mitchell showed the readers how absolutely revolting this abuse is, and the insidiousness of victim blaming. And Merula, despite her circumstances, was a true survivor and a delight to read.
BEFORE THE ROSE BLOOMED by Ellen Hopkins (The Snow Queen) - ? Sorry, I just skipped this one, I really do not like vers libre.
BEAST/BEAST by Tessa Gratton (Beauty and the Beast) - ★★ It was alright, but nothing really stood out.. I liked how the Beast was described, but I didn't feel much of a connection between the Beauty and the Beast.
THE BROTHERS PIGGETT by Julie Kagawa (The Three Little Pigs) - ★★★ Percival Pigget is madly in love with Maya Thornton, a beautiful girl whose grandmother is rumoured to be a witch. But it takes him ages to gather the nerve to speak to her. But, when he does, things seem to be going well between them. Until Percival sees something that breaks his heart. I was side-eyeing this story almost to the very end because of all the "Nice Guy" entitlement, really, all Percival was missing was a fedora... But suffice to say it had a very satisfying ending :)
UNTETHERED by Sonia Gensler (The Shroud) - ★★★★★ Another fairy tale I hate, what with its sick message of ~Mothers who lose their children should bear their grief quietly because the child belongs to God now, and cannot rest in peace if she mourns~. Get out of my face with this shit, to be honest. Gensler's retelling was amazing, though. It treated grief with respect, it made the reader feel it and sympathise. And if you're not familiar with the fairy tale, this retelling can be read as a mystery.
BETTER by Shaun David Hutchinson (The Pied Piper) - ★★★★★ tw: rape Aboard the space ship Hamelin, Pip is an artificial human built for the purpose of being experimented upon, so that a cure may be found for the disease killing the Hamelin's children. All the Hamelin's children lie in stasis, waiting to be awoken when a cure is found, all but one: Levi. Levi is Pip's only friend, the only one who sees her as a real person, and Pip is willing to do anything to save Levi from the disease that's laying his body to waste. This was an absolutely amazing story about love, loss, impending death, being disabled, and what it means to be human; and I really, really wish it would be developed into a full book!
LIGHT IT UP by Kimberly Derting (Hansel and Gretel) - ★★★★ Greta and Hansen's dad is dying of cancer, and their greedy step-mother, under the pretext of a family camping trip, abandoned them in the woods. They wander lost, and nearly hopeless until they come upon a cabin. The ranger within it offers to drive them to the ranger station so they can radio for help, but first they should eat some deliciously tender steaks... This was so creepy, omg!!
SHARPER THAN A SERPENT’S TONGUE by Christine Johnson (Diamonds and Toads) - ★ How can you write a retelling with less content than the original? Nothing actually happened, and every facet of the story was weak and undeveloped.
A REAL BOY by Claudia Gray (Pinocchio) - ★ I hate it when sci-fi starts off with a scientist turning to another and going, "Oh no, this is wrong, we're playing God". Believe me, if awesome shit is happening no scientist is going to say that. Even if I'd just finished re-watching Jurassic Park and someone turned to me and went, "Hey, want to bring dinosaurs back to life?" I wouldn't say, "Wait a sec, hasn't this film taught us blah blah?" No. I'd be knocking people out of my way so I could finally bring velociraptors back. So when Blue (a special snowflake who is changing her actual name to Blue because of her dyed blue hair streaks) turns to one of her cybernetics professors when they're creating the greatest robot and starts thinking about God and whatever, and then zaps the robot awake and insta-loves him... I'm sorry, but no.
SKIN TRADE by Myra McEntire (The Robber Bridegroom) - ★ Morbid as the original fairy tale is, I always laugh at the part where the other girl drinks three glasses of wine and dies - what a lightweight! But yeah, the cannibalism that follows puts a downer on everything... Even if the bride gives the most badass wedding toast in history. If you haven't read this fairy tale, please go read it because it's actually amazing. The retelling however, was not.
BEAUTY AND THE CHAD by Sarah Rees Brennan (Beauty and the Beast) - ★★★★★ Beauty's father barely escaped with his life from the Beast's castle - he only managed to flee because he promised the Beast his son in service. Having no son, he thought himself really clever. But Beauty finds this dishonourable conduct reproachable. So she disguises herself as a boy and off she goes to the Beast's castle. The Beast is one among many who have lived in the castle - this Beast is named Chad. Chad was totally uncool to this broad and she just kidnapped him from his frat house, dropped him into the castle, and turned him into a monster. Not cool, am I right?! But now Chad has this totally awesome new bro called Beauty (not judging your name, bro! parents, right?) to hang out with, and he's so great, just throwing keggers at the castle and being best bros, and he's so... dreamy... NO HOMO. Well... perhaps a little homo. Perhaps a lot. This was so, so funny! I loved Chad! I loved Beauty! I loved their story! Go read this right now!
THE PINK by Amanda Hocking (The Pink) - ★ I never liked this fairy tale, angels everywhere, people tearing people to pieces, husbands shutting their wives in towers to starve to death, a really creepy kid, and almost everyone redeemed by God. This retelling didn't bring anything particularly new to the fairy tale, so...
SELL OUT by Jackson Pearce (Snow White) - ★★ Snow White with a twist! Emmett has the dubious gift of bringing back to life any corpse he kisses. So he makes his living kissing rich dead people. His next assignment is Elise Snow. She used to go to school with him, the rich girl in class who'd bully him and made fun of him for being poor. I guess this is supposed to be very deep about how people change and you're supposed to forgive the bullies who tormented you because they are now changed people, but I'm not here for this, so no. It started out great though, and it was well written... ...more
These Broken Stars was, hands down, my favourite book of 2014. I loved everything about it: the relatable characters, the cre
Actual rating: 3,5 stars
These Broken Stars was, hands down, my favourite book of 2014. I loved everything about it: the relatable characters, the creepy plot, the mystery, the way my heart was ripped out of my chest, but mostly what I loved the most was the very sloooooow build of the relationship between Violet and Tarver.
And while This Shattered World was wonderful: great plot, amazing characters, etc. It lacked that slow build. It wasn't insta-love by any means, but it was insta-lust. And while it can be argued that Jubilee and Flynn were in a different situation, more open to this than the one in These Broken Stars which was one of fighting for survival among dangerous flora, fauna and a super creepy entity which inhabited the planet in which they crashed, it still felt... rushed.
It seemed too much tell not enough show when it came to Jubilee's and Flynn's relationship. For instance, Flynn takes Jubilee as his prisoner and we are told he visited her several times which, among other things, lead to a greater attachment between the two. I would have liked to have been shown that, not told.
Also, the greatest mystery wasn't much of a mystery to anyone who'd read the first book. And the identity of the rebel instigating the war was no mystery at all... This whole book, with its 390 pages, felt... rushed.
That's not to say it wasn't a great read, Spooner and Kaufman are a magical team when it comes to writing! So go read it :)