I totally agree that being human means being full of contradictions, sometimes massive ones, and fear and being pushed beyond what you can cope with oI totally agree that being human means being full of contradictions, sometimes massive ones, and fear and being pushed beyond what you can cope with often pressures the fault lines in those contradictions to the breaking point. Still I grew beyond irritated with our heroine Chess Barnes. For a character whose most innate drives are curiosity, learning and the need to protect, the utter prideful, selfish stupidity Chess displays in the latter half of the novel not only annoyed me but just didn't ring true. Even when I find myself pushed to places where I wonder who is this stranger living in my skin, I am aware of the reality I am reacting so irrationally to. Chess Barnes, librarian and researcher extraordinaire, comes face to face with a world that she'd stumbled into far more dangerous and deadly than she'd imagined. Yet confronted with an expert in Ryan and overwhelming evidence of the danger and more personally the threat to herself, she fights him at every turn, refusing to acknowledge her changed situation and his superior understanding. It beggars belief, and her disregard of how her choices affect Ryan border on cruelty. If I was supposed to admire and sympathize in a plucky heroine type of way, that lasted only through a third of the novel and the ending did not redeem it. My first intro to Saintcrow was short fiction. Her novels so far do not live up to the promise....more
Though I liked this a little less than the others in my book G. A. Aiken's Dragon kin series will always get 5 stars. After this one I reread them allThough I liked this a little less than the others in my book G. A. Aiken's Dragon kin series will always get 5 stars. After this one I reread them all. A more unlikely and outrageous couple would be harder to find, and in this series that says a lot. And tensions ratchet toward war as the force of evil emerges fully that the previous 3 novels have foreshadowed. This novel was another 10 year jump in time and covered a lot of ground literally and figuratively. How Aiken manages to grow and deepen her vast and growing cast of characters and still keep them as outrageously arrogant and hilarious is beyond me but I am happy to marvel and hang on for the ride.
Two inane questions though and one demand: If dragons can turn to humans thanks to magic why cannot these intensely magical human-hybrid children not turn into dragons, and since they can't is every royal house destined to die out since except for the Irons and Keita (sp?) all the royals are marrying human women? And stop with teasing and get to Brannie's love story with her "charming" dragon. ...more
I have no idea if I enjoyed this novel or not. I found myself appreciating the skill and research with which Saintcrow executed this fictional world.I have no idea if I enjoyed this novel or not. I found myself appreciating the skill and research with which Saintcrow executed this fictional world. It really is a marvel, but one strictly cerebral and aesthetic, very like the main characters. Their world though littered with familiarity is so utterly foreign, but the endless description of environment often overwhelms the story, as it deepens our immersion in its dark magical reality. I kept mentally muttering pick up the pace, and when will this be over. I liked Archibald Clare and the supporting characters. Emma Bannon not so much. She reminded me of Austen's experiment with her own Emma, curious about writing a novel around a character not particularly likable, though there is more to admire in this Emma. I think in the end it is a matter of taste. I prefer a bit more heart and warmth in my recreational reading. Other than getting a little too enamored by her own creation and over describing every minute detail instead of allowing my reader's imagination to fill in a few spaces, it really is extraordinarily imagined and written. Worth the read....more
As always I enjoyed spending time with Mercy, Adam and family/pack, but the plot while engaging was simpler and less intense than the other Briggs novAs always I enjoyed spending time with Mercy, Adam and family/pack, but the plot while engaging was simpler and less intense than the other Briggs novels I've read, more almost a prelude to what will happen in future novels. Reading the Mercy short stories beforehand will make parts of the novel easier to appreciate. This was also a kinder, gentler, more willing to be vulnerable Mercy than we've seen in her relationship with Adam and expressing her love for him publicly. The specter of war with Fairy is at the heart of the story, as factions within Fairy grapple to get the upper hand. Mercy and Adam, as always, stand between those they protect and disaster. But the way Briggs does it, it never gets old....more