An interesting concept, and a relatively compelling storyline, but the characters didn't feel very well defined to me. Everyone serves their purpose tAn interesting concept, and a relatively compelling storyline, but the characters didn't feel very well defined to me. Everyone serves their purpose to drive the story forward, but they often don't feel like fully-realized people. Their motivations would become muddied at times, and I often wondered what was the point to many of the decisions they made. The main character, Peri Reed, also doesn't seem to have much agency herself. She might be a bad-ass spy who can draft time, but I felt like she was just the MacGuffin of the story. I'm fine with a story having a MacGuffin (in fact, there's already a MacGuffin in the form of a list of dirty agents, which didn't bother me at all), but in my opinion, the protagonist being the MacGuffin is a major no-no.
(view spoiler)[Because all the other major players are just concerned about getting Peri, I felt like she didn't actually end up doing anything. She's supposed to be assisting in Opti's downfall, but she doesn't give the alliance any vital information (the hunt for the list of dirty agents ultimately ends up being pointless), and she doesn't help them capture anyone from Opti (except at the VERY end). Even then it's virtually by accident; the guy almost lures her back to Opti, and he would've succeeded if he hadn't been interrupted by someone else. She was going to go back with him, even after everything Opti did to her! (hide spoiler)]
It seemed to me that Kim Harrison was trying to explore the idea of what would happen if you had to depend on other people to tell you who you are -- whether you would actually know deep down who you are as a person, and whether that person would still exist even if you weren't sure who the real you was. I found that part interesting, but overall I felt that Harrison lost the threads of what she was trying to accomplish with the story, and it resulted in a tangled and overly complicated climax and denouement. At the end, I still wasn't sure who stood where and what had actually been accomplished. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A strong start to this YA series. It's a reasonably well-fleshed out world with characters who are easily relatable (even if they are geniuses), and tA strong start to this YA series. It's a reasonably well-fleshed out world with characters who are easily relatable (even if they are geniuses), and the relationships between characters are realistic and compelling. Even though it's pretty obvious that there's something sinister about the Republic, I felt the way in which Ms. Lu reveals what exactly that something was somewhat unexpected, and it did have me guessing until the eventual reveal. Her writing is enjoyable to read, though I did have some trouble at times remembering which main character I was with; their two voices are a little too similar, so once they come together and are experiencing the same events, it gets harder to tell the two apart.
Also, I did feel that things happened a little too easily for the characters at times, and though Ms. Lu does sort of explain it away, it still bothered me a little. The two main characters are a bit too Mary Sue-ish for my tastes. Even so, I still enjoyed reading this, and I'll definitely continue with the series....more
A haunting and sometimes painful look at family, the futility of life, and the drive that keeps people going even when there doesn't seem to be a reasA haunting and sometimes painful look at family, the futility of life, and the drive that keeps people going even when there doesn't seem to be a reason to. If you enjoy post-apocalyptic future novels, but are also a little tired of the same old PAF tropes, Sand definitely delivers. I don't want to go into too much detail because I picked this up without knowing anything about it (I haven't even read Hugh Howey's previous work), and I think going into it without any pre-conceived notions heightened the experience of reading Sand. What it seems to be at the beginning is not what it ends up being at the end, and I enjoyed taking that journey with the characters.
Howey's writing is also very evocative and emotional. His characters are real and flawed and (mostly) fully realized. He carefully walks the line between melodramatic and sincerely heart-wrenching, and I found myself wishing I had my own copy instead of a library one so I could underline passages and come back to them. I will definitely be picking this up for myself and re-reading it many times....more
WHEW! So steamy! I was really impressed with how well Marsha Canham walks the line between cheesy and full-blown erotica. Pale Moon Rider has both a wWHEW! So steamy! I was really impressed with how well Marsha Canham walks the line between cheesy and full-blown erotica. Pale Moon Rider has both a well-developed story with fully defined characters, and plenty of sexy time.
Considering when this book was written, I was also very impressed with how much agency Renee had as a character. She does go to Tyrone to help her, but I also had the sense that she could've figured things out on her own even if she'd never come across him. Although he's an intimidating man who could easily overpower her, she still has a lot of control in their relationship, which I feel I don't often see in many romance novels (and even some of Canham's other ones!). I don't want to read scenes where the man is literally forcing himself on the woman; I don't care if she ends up being into it at the end. She didn't want it in the first place!
Fortunately, that's not the case at all in Pale Moon Rider. In Tyrone and Renee's dynamic, they both have an equal amount of control. Renee is beautiful and relatively innocent, but she's also extremely strong, and not in an annoying, "I have to argue with everyone," sort of way. There's a lot of nuance and layers to both of their characters, which made the romance between them all the more enjoyable to read. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the weird conspiracy with Renee's uncle felt kind of forced, and Canham spent way too much time detailing the genealogy and financial history of Rene's family. That part just wasn't very compelling, in my opinion.
Very creepy! I really enjoyed Shirley Jackson's writing; it's timeless and yet very evocative of a certain time period (even though she doesn't explicVery creepy! I really enjoyed Shirley Jackson's writing; it's timeless and yet very evocative of a certain time period (even though she doesn't explicitly place this story in a certain time period). The story of these two sisters is heart-breaking, sometimes funny, but definitely super creepy. I couldn't put it down!...more