part of me will always be impressed by cassandra rose clarke’s novels and “the mad scientist’s daughter” will forever and ever occupy a part of my he
part of me will always be impressed by cassandra rose clarke’s novels and “the mad scientist’s daughter” will forever and ever occupy a part of my heart.
so, let’s get to the book, now, shall we?
set in the same world as “the assassin’s curse” our heroine hanna, is the daughter of a former pirate and fisherman but with aspirations to be a proper witch. under the tutelage of kolure, one very grouchy fisherman, who is following his own agenda she has to push through all kinds of obstacles including saving herself, help a non-human boy, prevent evil to spread and find a way back.
after the first few chapters you can already see some character similarities between hanna and ananna. a little ignorance, a pinch of anger and the always underlying ambition to make their dreams come true. scrolling through other reviews both the goodreads and non-goodreads variety, makes me realize that most people thought that “the wizard’s promise” lacked a special something and they wanted this hole to be filled. more worldbuilding, a greater level of characterization, tense action or at least less repetitiveness and focus on some daily activities.
in some ways i certainly did too, because as a reader i tend to expect more of an author whose books made it to my all-time-favorite shelf and keep their level of awesomeness to increase with every new book, which is strictly speaking doing both the author and me a disservice.
and you know what?
i’ve read too many bad books and this is definitely not one of them. i have this niggling feeling that after reading the not-yet-released sequel that my mind shall be appeased and that is quite enough for me, till cassandra rose clarke releases her next adult novel.
this e-arc has been kindly proved by strange chemistry through netgalley!
(view spoiler)[these paintings are actually tiny spoilers you will only understand after you read the book (heh). so consider yourself unspoiled3.75/5
(view spoiler)[these paintings are actually tiny spoilers you will only understand after you read the book (heh). so consider yourself unspoiled for now. (hide spoiler)]
every year they come out of the sky at the same day and same time to take people.
this understandably scares the shit out of people. pastor warren takes it upon himself to soothe people and point out that those beings coming to take people away are indeed angels sent from god. and that the town was blessed to be chosen. riley thinks it's all bullshit and shoots the "angel" in the face when it comes to get her. and this, people, is where all the fun begins! (not telling anything more for fear of spoiling the book)
i didn't have any expectations whatsoever concerning this book, which is why i was able to lay back and enjoy the ride all the more (even at scenes that had me scratching my chin). outcast is so much fun to spend time with and really you do NOT want to miss out on reading this! the main lead tends to be a bit mary sue-ish, but it can be forgiven. and all the other characters, take lacy for example, who starts out as the clichéd popular, bitchy cheerleader and gets so much more developed as the story unfolds.
what was crazier was that she seemed to love being this stereotype. even more than that, no one else seemed to notice what a stereotype she was. it was like no one else in my school watched movies. [arc, 15%]
how lacy coped with living her life as a barbie doll i had no idea. then again, maybe she just had no concept of irony. or maybe this was all meant to be ironic? [arc, 20%]
in one short bizarre (view spoiler)[drunken (hide spoiler)] conversation with a cheerleader my entire perspective on life had changed. well, on cheerleaders at any rate. who the heck was lacy green? who the heck were any of them? (..) i'd grown up with them. i knew them as lists of features, but that was it. i didn't know them at all. not really. felt kind of stupid about that. kind of bad. [arc, 26%]
that leads me to the swearing in the book with all its shits, hecks, shut ups. i love it when the author doesn't shy away from language. more please. moar! the ending is obviously (thankfully) a set up for the books to come, as it leaves space for a sequel with unanswered questioned. outcast is a gem among stones. it has some really interesting conversations about bible interpretations and questioning faith in general and i sincerely hope to read more of that in the future. allow me to conclude with a smirk-worthy scene:
"thank you for choosing us, and in your glory we ask that you continue this gift. we thank you for sending us guidance to steer us into your love, and we thank pastor warren for taking this burden unto himself. thank the angels." "thank the angels," repeated the fold. i wondered if pastor warren ever said the thanks, and if he did, if he had to thank himself:"we thank me for taking this burden unto myself .." [arc, 37%]
this copy has been kindly provided by diversion books through netgalley["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"I do all right, considering the Council takes care of my foo3.5/5
"Clocks are too expensive for an icarus."
"I thought you earned a reasonable salary."
"I do all right, considering the Council takes care of my food and housing and provides me with a uniform and armature. But a clock would just be a luxury. There are plenty of public clocks I can look at, and the church bells, of course."
"Are you saving your money for something important?"
The question surprised her. It seemed intrusive, although she didn't have any reason not to answer. “Retirement, I guess. I don't know. I don't need much to be happy. Just a few friends, my wings, and the sky."
everything is fine and dandy for mel. she has good grades, a supportive family and two best friends to share everything with. that is, until a vampireeverything is fine and dandy for mel. she has good grades, a supportive family and two best friends to share everything with. that is, until a vampire --the first ever-- decides to attend their school. everything changes and there is nothing mel can do about, or is there?
where vampires and mel are, disaster follows and hilarity ensues thereafter. as a rule the sidekick character most commonly fills out the goofy and/or supportive role for the main lead. in team human the american born chinese (!!yay!!) sidekick already is the main lead and oh, what a treat! not only is she witty and loyal, she's sensible to boot too. one of her best friends strongly believes herself to be in love with the aforementioned vampire (francis) after only a few days and is ready to be transitioned into one herself at the age of 17, mel is understandably upset about this revelation and fights tooth and nail to prevent this from happening. because even though as a vampire one is granted immortality and eternal youth, sunlight will be an aspect you will never again be able to enjoy and also .. vampires cannot laugh o.0 (yes, therefore they can only brood and meet the criteria of the "brooding" vampire).
a world were humans and vampires more or less peacefully cohabit a planet, but still prejudiced against another, might as well be a placeholder for lgbt or non-caucasian people. poking fun at familiar ya tropes, team human is a delightful combination with food for thought and a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, keeping the reader entertained from the first to the last page.
p.s. also, am i the only to draw character similarities between pride & prejudice and team human? p.p.s. my first book ever to read on a (sadly only borrowed) kindle touch!
------------------------------------------ team human | pride & prejudice ------------------------------------------ cathy <----> jane francis <----> darcy
****** ******** ********* *********** ******** "look, mel. can you admit that you might be a tiny bit biased against vampires? don't you feel that you might have judged them a little quickly? what if i asked you to learn more about them?" "we could read a book about them together if you wanted," i said, with visions of highlighting all the bits that said POTENTIALLY FATAL. cathy smiled. "you know how i love books. but i was thinking about a more hands-on experience." "you want me to put my hands on francis?" i made a face. "isn't that kind of a best friend no-no, cath?"
****** ******** ********* *********** ********
"no problem," i said, patting him below the knee. he shot me a strange look. "um, no," i told him. "my touching your knee does not mean i want to have sex with you." kit blushed. "i didn't--" "you know, when you're a vampire, you won't be able to blush anymore." he went even redder.
****** ******** ********* *********** ********
"your family's not that into soccer?" "well, no," kit said. "not that we don't do activities together. francis taught me how to waltz." i burst out laughing. "i'm sorry -- what?" his voice warmed. i could imagine him being delighted he'd made someone laugh, even over the phone. maybe not just someone. maybe delighted he'd made me laugh. "yes, well. at first he tried to instruct me and mom together, but mom said she'd never liked waltzing much herself [..] and in the end francis said that we were all impossible and nobody was properly dedicated to the child's education or ever thought about how i would conduct myself in society and how it would reflect on them all. so francis ended up waltzing with me himself." "are you a credit to francis?" i asked, solemnly. "oh, i'm an excellent waltzer. sadly, i don't actually know how to lead ..." i thought of several excellent jokes about kit's first ball gown and also his dance card, but i pulled myself back.
sam climbed into his berth, and i squeezed in beside him, so he could see the pictures and follow along as i
"read me a story", he demanded. [..]
sam climbed into his berth, and i squeezed in beside him, so he could see the pictures and follow along as i read. [..] i read sam a tale about someone named jack, and it struck me as i read that they are all jack -- the guys who are simple and despised by their smarter brother but who always figure out how to follow the princess into her enchanted realm and bring her and all her sisters back. then jack marries the princess and gets half the kingdom and everyone lives happily ever after.
sammy, nearly out by the time i finished, murmured to me, "jack finded her. like you find me, sarah. you're my jack."
i smiled. "you mean i'm not the beautiful princess in our story?" but he was already asleep.