This was so sweet! Despite the circumstance that the main character is a man-eating plant, Specimen 313 is a heartrending tale about loving friendshipThis was so sweet! Despite the circumstance that the main character is a man-eating plant, Specimen 313 is a heartrending tale about loving friendship that put a smile on my face....more
Wow, what a wonderful book! It is a perfect mix of romance and ghost story in the beautiful setting of an old library.
The tension between Abbey and JWow, what a wonderful book! It is a perfect mix of romance and ghost story in the beautiful setting of an old library.
The tension between Abbey and Jack was perceptible from the moment they first met, and what followed was the well-known romance routine: the first awkward encounters until both realize and succumb to their mutual affection for each other. The misunderstandings that leads to their breakup, leaving both of them miserable. The ultimate happy end when love overcomes all obstacles and brings them together again. While this may sound corny and boring, it was anything but, not least by the added ghost mystery.
With ardent zeal I followed Abbeys and Jacks inquiries about the history of the library and its ghostly resident Harry and his wife. The solution was a sad yet at the same time happy one. The past and present love stories complemented one another perfectly, weaving both plot lines into an intricate tale of love, loss and reunion.
The characters were well-drawn, very vivid and each one unique in their own way, creating a kaleidoscope of odd and endearing personalities. Add to that the library itself, which can be considered a main character as well. Following Abbey's tireless struggle to revive the musty old building against all odds was a pleasure by itself.
A note on the audio book version: this was my first real audio book and not being a native English speaker I was concerned about understanding everything correctly. However, the speaker was very well chosen, with clear pronunciation, using only subtle changes in pitch to reflect different voices or situations. The soft smooth voice fit the story perfectly and was a pleasure to listen to.
An outstanding romance/mystery novel in every sense - highly recommended.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)...more
This is a perfect story to pass some time cuddled up in your favorite cozy reading spot with a hot cup of tea. While the outcome of the story was predThis is a perfect story to pass some time cuddled up in your favorite cozy reading spot with a hot cup of tea. While the outcome of the story was predictable, with its fair share of corny clichés, it was well-written, experienced and heart-warming....more
What caught my attention for this book was the cover, of course, as I am a sucker for vampire stories. The story started promisingly enough, with FionWhat caught my attention for this book was the cover, of course, as I am a sucker for vampire stories. The story started promisingly enough, with Fiona the vampire ripping apart her latest victim. Even when Alex appears and does not show any fear towards Fiona, I was still with the story, curious to learn what the outcome of that uneven encounter may be.
However, the plot soon became predictable and clichéd, especially if you've read your share of vampire fiction. The vampire girl who only feeds on evil abusers to keep her conscience clear from the fact she has to kill humans, the fatally ill human with a death wish who nobly denies the chance to be 'saved' and the bad-ass on/off vampire lover she just can't resist (while the reason for that is obvious, it takes our heroine a long time to figure it out for herself).
I did not care much for either of the three characters, as the otherwise flawless writing sometimes felt clumsy in its effort to convey the thoughts and feelings of the protagonists. However, with further polishing of the abrupt transitions and the plot's rough edges the story could still be turned into an entertaining little in-between bite of vampire romance.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review) ...more
This book completely took me by surprise and I love it! While the premise is really depressing (the female character is going to die sometime soon froThis book completely took me by surprise and I love it! While the premise is really depressing (the female character is going to die sometime soon from a brain aneurysm) and there are several other bad things happening, this book is anything but. Throughout the whole story, it managed to put a constant smile on my face. Sometimes it was only a small, shy smile, but more often than not it stretched into a broad grin. Can a book make you feel happy? This one definitely does! I've never experienced feeling so good just by reading a book. While desperately turning the (virtual) pages to find out what's happening next, at the same time I was hoping that by some magical trick there would always be a steady number of pages still ahead of me, making it never end.
While Kumquat may be categorized as a romantic comedy, it thankfully avoids any cheesy clichés. The main characters are no beauty models with homes out of magazines and their lives are anything but perfect. But it is exactly this awkward and slightly nerdy tenor of normalcy that enables the reader to relate to and fall in love with Todd and Amy and enjoy every moment of their being together as much as they do.
Pessimists may criticize that the positive attitude towards even the most unfortunate situation is completely unrealistic, and with all that happens throughout the book this rather should have been a drama. But I admire Todd's ability to cope with each rock (or, to try to fit with the book's theme, banana peel) fate throws in his way and Amy's general calm mood anyway. Of course Todd is upset with every loss he has to endure, but he always manages to get back on track and remember what's truly important: being together with Amy. OK, maybe some romance cliché after all, and you may need a tissue or two now.
I really do hope that Kumquat will get the attention it deserves and hopefully will become 'a major motion picture soon' - and I'd gladly join any fund raiser for the realization of Exit Red.
While a lot of books suffer from being too long, this book is quite the opposite. The plot develops with a speed that leaves not enough time to get faWhile a lot of books suffer from being too long, this book is quite the opposite. The plot develops with a speed that leaves not enough time to get familiar with the characters. The only person I could relate to was Lenore, but Drew, Kain and the others were thrown in without giving the reader time to get a feeling for them or even develop sympathies. The story was too rushed, which is a shame as the author presented several fascinating and original ideas regarding vampires and their unique abilities. I also wondered how Lenore could trust and even fall for Drew in record time - it just did not ring true with her personality and background. Another drawback for me was the poor editing of the book, leaving me stumbling over the sentences on a regular basis.
In summary, while the plot has some good potential and brings fresh ideas to the vampire genre, the writing must improve immensely to attract a larger readership.
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review) ...more
This book was definitely a surprise. From the cover I feared it might me to soft and romantic, but the story packed a lot of action and wasn't squeamiThis book was definitely a surprise. From the cover I feared it might me to soft and romantic, but the story packed a lot of action and wasn't squeamish at all. Somwhere around the middle I got a bit overwhelmed by the many different plotlines which seemed fit to put into several novels. However, the author managed to weave everything together nicely into one complex and original tale of vampires, angels, gods, prophecies, and inevitably the everlasting fight of good against evil.
I appreciated the ending being not too happy and preparing the ground for a sequel whithout leaving the reader disappointed with too many open threads. While another session of editing could have wiped out any remaining typos, the writing shows a very talented author and made reading rapid and fluent.
Definitely recommended and I'll keep an eye out for the sequel.
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)...more
A fast paced, action-packed and surprising story with some nice twists at the end. While Olivia's reaction to Gabriel on their first encounter rings hA fast paced, action-packed and surprising story with some nice twists at the end. While Olivia's reaction to Gabriel on their first encounter rings hollow, the rest of the story is well-crafted and original and the ending wakes your curiosity for a sequel.
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)...more
Egal was Kai Meyer schreibt - ich muss es lesen ;) Also stand natürlich auch Asche und Phönix auf dem Programm. Diesmal gab es zum Buch sogar einen CoEgal was Kai Meyer schreibt - ich muss es lesen ;) Also stand natürlich auch Asche und Phönix auf dem Programm. Diesmal gab es zum Buch sogar einen Code zum Laden der Ebook-Version. Also konnte ich das Buch bequem auf meinem Kindle lesen statt das unhandliche Hardcoverstemmen zu muessen- welches dafuer als Zierde in meinem Buecherregal steht. Aber zum Inhalt:
Das Buch zeigt klar die Handschrift des Autors - ungewoehnliche Vorkommnisse und merkwuerdige Gestalten, wie nur Kai Meyer sie erfinden kann. Dazu ein unverkennbarer Schreibstil und meisterlicher Umgang mit Worten, die alleine schon das Lesen zu einem Vergnuegen machen. Ein Dämon, der sich vom Ruhm anderer Leute ernährt, das ist originell und etwas Neues im heutigen Fantasy-Einerlei. Ueberhaupt schafft es der Autor wieder, den Leser mit voellig neuen Ideen und einer originellen Geschichte zu ueberraschen, und man hat eigentlich nie das Gefuehl "kenn ich schon", das einen bei anderen Romanen des oefteren beschleicht. Die Geschichte spielt zudem - recht ungewohnt - in der absoluten Gegenwart und wirkt damit sehr real, was die Begegnungen mit dem Fantastischen nur noch alptraumhafter scheinen laesst. Ueberhaupt ist dieses Werk vergleichsweise duester angelegt.
Nett fand ich die Erwaehnung der Schauspieler Robert und Daniel - ja woher mag ihr Ruhm nur kommen, mag man sich am Ende schelmisch fragen? Dieser unerklaerliche Hype um so manche Personen des aktuellen Zeitgeschehens scheint so unwirklich und ueberzogen, dass man die Erklaerung in dieser Geschichte durchaus in Betracht ziehen moechte.
Das allerdings hat mich auch ein wenig gestoert: der Bezug zur Gegenwart, der diesen Roman von den anderen, zumeist historisch angesiedelten Werken, abhebt. Normalerweise fuehren mich die Romane des Autors in eine voellige Fantasiewelt, in der alles anders ist als man es kennt - sei es durch den hohen Gehalt an Fantastik oder eben die vergangene Zeit oder exotische Orte. Asche und Phoenix dagegen war sehr real, die Zeit, die Orte, alles ist vertraut und das war ein komisches und unerwartetes Gefuehl.
Der Roman bedient unverkennbar den aktuellen Fantasy/Dark Romance oder wie-auch-immer-man-es-nennen-moechte Hype, nicht umsonst ist dieser Titel in der Bittersweet Reihe des Verlages erschienen, die wohl vor allem auf pubertierende Maedels zielt, deren Hormone gerade erwach(s)en und die Robert oder Daniel anschmachten moegen. Das erscheint bei Kai Meyer wie ein Experiment, ein Ausflug in eine neue Genrewelt, die der Autor aber durchaus meistert. Dadurch unterscheidet sich der Roman gewaltig von frueheren Werken, und genau das finde ich dann auch ein wenig schade. Denn gerade die vor Fantasie spruehenden Jugendromane - allen voran die Merle-Trilogie - sind es, die ich so liebe, weil sie eine kindliche Faszination ausueben udn nicht einzuordnen sind.
Mein Fazit: ein ueberdurchschnittlicher Roman in seinem Genre, aber im Kai Meyer Universum rangiert Asche und Phoenix fuer mich ziemlich weit unten....more