I was really disappointed in this book. I'm not a big fan of first-person narration in general, but sometimes I can get past it. When the narrator isI was really disappointed in this book. I'm not a big fan of first-person narration in general, but sometimes I can get past it. When the narrator is a man trying to sound like a 12-year-old boy, I found it to be just entirely too annoying and unrealistic.
There are some juvenille and YA books which have a strong cross-over, and others which are just written too young for me enjoy - and this was definitely one of the latter. It was not only not scary, it was rather insipid and boring.
**spoiler alert** I finished. I did not let it beat me!
As I was trying to give the gist to Darkk he said "So, like 'National Treasure', but with vamp**spoiler alert** I finished. I did not let it beat me!
As I was trying to give the gist to Darkk he said "So, like 'National Treasure', but with vampires." "Sort of," I said, "but not as entertaining." (Which is bad enough, since I sort of liked 'National Treasure' despite myself.)
**Mild Spoilage throughout**
Anyway - where to start? First and foremost, it was so slow and tedious. Endless details about architecture and food and what someone was wearing, and what arm they had their purse on. If this wasn't absurd enough in and of itself, these minutae are presented to us in letters supposedly written in haste, 20+ years after the events took place!
And then there was the bouncing back and forth in timeframes - and once something started to get interestinh with Helen and Paul, we would jump into what I started thinking of as "the present", for no real reason! As I mentioned it to Darkk he was like "it's like a commercial break", and that's exactly what it felt like.
The characters were paper thin, and all the letters were written in the same voice. If they didn't have the little tell-tale signs to know who was speaking, you'd have no way of knowing them apart.
And the romances! No real lead up or development, but in three days a sheltered village girl is sleeping with some random dude, a 16 year old, also sheltered girl, is getting hot and heavy with a college boy... and in 23 days Paul and Helen are engaged to be married. I mean, really? If I believed the romances at all, I might've felt more for the characters, but I didn't, and I don't.
And the coincidences. Let's sit in this random cafe and just happen to have some guy, who just happens to have also received a book, start talking to us for no reason, and we can all find out we're all part of the same hunt. Or, let's talk to the only other native-English person at a conference, and find out that he's involved, too! Oh, what are the odds? Heck, even the characters seemed distrustful of these coincidences...
And the reasoning.
This whole thing - all this drama and people being warned and disappearing and being attacked - all because Dracula can't organize his own damn library? Really!? That's what you're giving me?
I actually quite liked the scholarly, aristocratic Vlad. Since Kostova gives him such a bad shake throughout the book, as he's nothing but "the fiend" and "the evil", I quite liked the quiet, almost debonair Dracula. The fact that the whole purpose of the thing so stupid, though, was just a little annoying, especially after slogging through hundreds of pages of pointless minutae to get there.
Not to mention so easy to kill. My gods, was that last confrontation anti-climactic, or what? Of course, as we find in the epilogue, is it really 'the end'? Dum-bum-bum!
So, some people who liked it say, "Well, it's about 'historians' - what did you expect?" Well, considering that the back of the book said it was "sinister and suspensful" and "exciting and will keep readers enthralled", I didn't expect to be monumentally bored through most of the book. I would also expect to be a little bit enthralled, excited, or have some vague feeling of suspense. Nadda.
Perhaps part of this is because it's all told in past tense. We have no fear for the daughter or the father. We pretty much can guess how Rossi's gonna end up. And we don't care enough about Helen, or, well, anyone, really.
I was also irritated that while Paul will give begrudging respect to the Ottomans for their strange mix of barbarism and aesthetics, they give no such equal treatment to Vlad.
Even going as far back as the 1800s, there have been different depictions of the reign of Vlad Tepes - sadistic tyrant or horrific hero. In present day Romania he is a folk-hero. He sided with them against the Saxon merchants who taxes them heavily, and he defended them and the land from the invading Turks. Yes, he was brutal - but the story glosses over the fact that he learned his brutality from his imprisonment with the Turks.
There are some who argue that the pamphlets so heavily referenced in the book of his barbarism are propaganda - things written by his enemies to paint him in the grimmest light possible, overstating his barbarism.
And the Garden of the Impaled (which happened once in recorded history - not the common occurrence the book suggests it was) was a stroke of tactical genius. Here he is, his little army severally outnumbered by the encroaching Turks, and then up goes the Garden, made of predominantly Turkish prisoners-of-war. The Turks, already battle weary from getting as far as Targoviste, are horrified are the brutality of it. Oh, yes, it was brutal, make no mistake. But it was also a brilliant tactic - a use of psychological warfare.
And, yes, the boyars hated him. But the book makes it out that he was hated because of his brutality - and he didn't exactly treat them well. He did kill many and put the rest to hard work, which killed them. The book glosses over the fact that these people buried his elder brother alive, and he was getting his revenge while securing his position. It also doesn't mention that one reason the boyars hated him is because he tried to give more power to the peasant, and less economic adventage to the boyars.
Oh, yes, I know - he's the master villian of the story... you can't paint him at all sympathetic. You can't see him as anything less than a tyrant. Many have said that even if the story is long, the history is interesting - but how much more interesting is the strange dichotomy of this brutal, cunning, and oft-times charitable man?
Also, speaking of history, there is much emphasis placed on the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks; however, the story, once again, glosses over the fact that Constantinople was at less than its height during the Seige because the Sacking that took place some too hundred years prior during the Fourth Crusade, in which the Latin Church overthrew the Orthodox church and took over. Some sources even argue that the Byzantine peasantry was just as happy losing their political independence to the Ottoman Empire because at least then they got to keep their religious obsevances - something not so leniently granted by the Holy See. Ironic that the Turks would be kinder to them than their Christian brethren, no?
But we get no taste for the complicated politics in the book.
We also get a glimpse of non-existence ruins on Snagov - which is a tiny spit of an islet. Pretty place, to be sure, but I can find no record of there ever having been a prison there, so I'm not sure where that came from.
So to those who say "but the history is interesting", I suggest actually reading up on the history, because I'm not sure you can really trust this book as an accurate source. That is, after all, why it's called historical fiction.
I would say it got more readable towards the end, but I'm not sure if that's because I walked away from it for awhile or not. I was also rather annoyed at how this whole thing was about finding Drac and Helen, and then once everything's tied up in a neat little package, and you don't really care who has died and who has lived, and who will die. I mean, the narrator hardly seems to care when she rather blasely drops some information to come, so why should we?
The only reason I'm giving it two stars instead of one is because I still do think the premise was interesting, even if the execution was terribly boring, and I did quite like the portrayal of the scholarly Dracula, if not his lame motivations.
This is one book that might actually be improved on when it gets turned into a movie. Since one of the things that bogged the book down was all the travelogue details, the movie could certainly become much better paced. Hopefully they'll also change it around so that it's told more in present tense, and maybe actually raise the stakes a little (i.e. create suspense) and make you care about the characters some. (In my opinion, they could actually drop the whole daughter part of the story. They could make it a present-tense story of Paul and Helen searching for Rossi and Dracula, interweave Rossi's tale, and cut out the parts with the daughter entirely, since it didn't really add anything to the story to have the three different threads going on at the same time.)...more
This book was one of those books where I kept checking how much I had left to read, and kept motivating myself with "just 150 more pages" "just 72 1/2
This book was one of those books where I kept checking how much I had left to read, and kept motivating myself with "just 150 more pages" "just 75 more... " so on and so forth.
In other words, not exactly a compelling read.
I sort of liked it at first - I liked the writing, and even some of the purpley descriptions. But then they kept going. There were some, though I don't remember specifics and am less than inclined to go through the damn thing to find them, but, anyway, some which were so jarring that it took me completely out of the story. Like one simile that I remember, though without details, seemed like a contradiction and I was like "wait, don't those thing mean opposite things." Towards the end she used 'overcast' as a noun, which just seemed really odd.
Anyway, the writing did get better and the pace picked up a bit, but there was also a lot of repetition. Don Simon "murmured, almost inaudibly" at least once every other page he was present, while his "pale, fine hair draped over his collar".
Ultimately, though, the real failing of this book, for me, was that I just didn't give a damn. I didn't care about the characters, or the whodunit. The only character I liked was Lydia, and mostly just because I liked that she was scientific and rational, but still emotional. I liked the part where she was worried, and kept reminding herself it was irrational fear, but couldn't stop being worried anyway. I can relate to that.
I also liked Brother Anthony - disgusted with himself for living, but terrified of dying.
I didn't relate to any of the others. Grippen wasn't frightened, he was just annoying. Ysidro was too "distant and impassive" to actually have much of a personality, unless that counts as one. Most of his dialogue, especially if the first half of the book, was expositionary info dumps. Well, he did get better towards the end when he "opened up", but then it got ruined at the end.
And while I did not guess the who, I did, mostly, guess how he would be dispatched. I wonder if I was meant to be surprised. *yawn*
Regarding Ysidro, I didn't like the sort of veiled threats at the end. The whole "you could hunt us, but do you want to devote years" thing. I mean, it seemed, throughout the book, that Asher and Ysidro became, well, not friends - but respected frenemies. Couldn't their mutual respect and appreciation for what they've been through together sufficed?
So, what can I say? I enjoyed the book, but in a guilty pleasures, sort of embarrassed to admit kind of way. Let's admit it - this is hardly well writSo, what can I say? I enjoyed the book, but in a guilty pleasures, sort of embarrassed to admit kind of way. Let's admit it - this is hardly well written, but it's quick and light and fun, and there's something to be said for that.
That said, I didn't really like Sookie's voice. I found it rather irritating right from the start. And the dialogue - ugh, who talks like that? And if people really do talk like that, then I'm glad I don't know them.
And there's not much character development to speak of. Sookie is annoying in her so-called naivette. It just seemed like manufactured drama to me. I mean, she accused Bill of being hot and cold, but, really, Sookie was just all over the place. She loves him, she hates him, she's not talking to him, she needs him - and over silly little trivial stuff. Talk about high maintenance.
And Bill's pretty one-dimensional. "I'm violent, Sookie, but I'll never hurt you." And those clothes?
Speaking of clothes - I didn't need to know about the print on Sookie's dress, or whether or not she washed her hair and shaved that day in the shower. Really, there are some details which are just extraneous. (Not to mention her fashion sense seems stuck in the 80s. If you're going to talk clothes, then talk clothes, dahling.)
Anyway... the whole thing with Sam was pretty damn obvious, too.
Erm, as far as characters go, I liked the grandma, and every one else (well, including her, really) seemed pretty much like a pastiche.
Actually, I think the best way I can say it is that it was like reading a soap opera. Over-the-top melodrama, with thin characters, and horribly bad dialogue.
I don't see myself continuing with the series.
Oh, but I do have to say, the whole "PR thing" about it being a virus. Ok - I could buy that people would buy that there's a virus that makes people avoid the sun and be allergic to garlic, or whatever... but the virus also makes their hearts stop and live forever? Really? And the fact that Sookie is surprised to discover it's supernatural? Ugh!
I'd probably rate it lower, because it was just horribly written and ludicrous, but I liked it, damnit... so take it for what it's worth....more
I saw the movie when it first came out all those years ago, and instantly fell in love. It appealed well to my teenage angst and my gothy heart.2 1/2
I saw the movie when it first came out all those years ago, and instantly fell in love. It appealed well to my teenage angst and my gothy heart. Then I saw it again a few years ago, and was significantly less impressed, but it was still enjoyable enough, even if I tought Tom Cruise was ridiculous. After actually reading the book I'm shocked to find myself saying Tom Cruise actually did a good job of bringing a petulant and annoying character to life, and even giving him some pathos...
Ultimately, the book is slow, due much to Rice's florid and flowerly language. Louis, in his ponderings, goes off on this introspective rambles which take forever. Now, I'm all one for emo blog entries and all, but it got old fast - mostly because he incessantly whines about the same stuff over and over and over again. Hell, I'm sure my journal is full of this crap, but I wouldn't try to make a book out of it.
The characters are pretty one-dimensional, and the only really interesting character is Claudia, whose introduction to the novel breathes fresh life into the story, but even her arc becomes repetitive and dull. (Not to mention the fact that I was more than a little distubed in places with the eroticism attached to a 5-year old girl. Now, it would be one thing if, at first, Louis saw her as a child and then, as she aged, he developed complex and conflicting emotions for this woman-child. But that's not how it happens - it starts from the first, when she is still just a child - and that was disturbing. Of course, that's not the only part which was overly erotic when dealing with children (i.e. Lestat's feeding on the poisoned child, and the overly graphic and intimate portrayal of that.))
Anyway, maybe it's just because I saw the movie first, but I have to say I prefer it, mostly because the movie cut down a lot of the repetition and the purple prose, and while it deviated in places (sometimes for the better), the movie does stay true, I feel, to the general thrust of the story.
That said, I've heard she gets better and I do plan on reading the 'original trilogy'. I'll see, from there, whether I continue to any of the others or not. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.
This pretty much hits all the hard-boiled detective checkmarks, with the sole point of variation being the vampire thing, but that didn't seem to a1.5
This pretty much hits all the hard-boiled detective checkmarks, with the sole point of variation being the vampire thing, but that didn't seem to add all that much to the story 'cause the different vampire clans and groups could just be mob or gang groups, and you'd get the same schtick.
The best part was the one group of vampires with hippies and radicals. Also sort of interesting was the way the blood lust was portrayed like a drug addiction.
Other than that, Joe spends a lot of time getting the crap beat out of him, stumbling across clues, and having bad guys monologue their nefarious schemes to him.
There's a part of me that wants to write-off UF in general, and hard-boiled detectives in particular... but for some reason I keep giving these things a shot....more
I admit, despite what I'd heard about this book (i.e. that it was pieces of Lincoln's lost journals), I was expecting something more of a humorou(3.5)
I admit, despite what I'd heard about this book (i.e. that it was pieces of Lincoln's lost journals), I was expecting something more of a humorous kind of historical fiction - something more along the lines of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', and less like a standard bio would be, except with vampires.
But it was a well written and intriguing type of bio. It made the story of the man's life very interesting and readable. It was, in turns, amusing, touching, inspiring, and moving. I chuckled once or twice, especially when Lincoln met my beloved Poe and they discussed their differing relationships with vampires. I was intrigued a few times by Lincoln's alleged words and deeds. Touched by his loves and the joy he took in his family, and I teared up a few times, especially when discussing his many losses and his sometimes crippling depressions.
If nothing else, it made me want to read a real bio of the man, to learn just how much fact went into this fiction. As Grahame-Smith says in his acknowledgement (paraphrased) - Lincoln lead a life that was fascinating enough without the addition of vampires. But, aside from being interesting, it was also fast and entertaining read, perhaps even better for its touch of realism than it would've been if it were more like P&P&Z....more
First off, let me say this is a cheesy book. I mean, you can sort of figure that out by the title.
But, of course, there are two kinds of cheese -3.5
First off, let me say this is a cheesy book. I mean, you can sort of figure that out by the title.
But, of course, there are two kinds of cheese - there's bad cheese, which is just bad, and there's good cheese, which is cheesy and corny, but still fun. This is most definitely good cheese.
Oh, it has it's flaws. Of course, these types of romance novels are based on keeping apart people who should be together, and how do you keep apart people who are in love and just got married? Well, you give one a curse, of course...
There's a bit too much scenery for my tastes, though the travelling does have a point - and there's a lot of melodramatic hand-wringing. (Really, Elizabeth - he's struggling with himself not to rip your clothes off half the time - how can you think he doesn't love you?)
And it's pretty predictable.
But, hell, it's fun and sweet and touching and has some action and suspense - all the things a cheesy romance thingie should have.
I would've changed the ending, personally, but that's just me. Not that the ending was bad (though I kept wondering about if it would really result in a HEA) - but I would've gone the other way. *shrugs*...more
I'm really undecided about this book. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grip me...
Where to start?
It was a bit slow off the bat. I was reading about th2.5
I'm really undecided about this book. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grip me...
Where to start?
It was a bit slow off the bat. I was reading about the Russian ESPers and sort of wondering where everything was going, and when the actual story was going to get set-up. Looking back I suppose it was getting set up at the time, but it didn't feel like it.
Then we got to Harry, and I was much more interested. For awhile, I dreaded the parts where we went back to Dragosani. Ok, not dreaded, but I certainly didn't like them as much as the parts with young Harry. And then it sort of reversed, and Dragosani's story became more interesting, and Harry, after skipping a few years, sort of became stunted. There wasn't really any more development in the character.
I think that's the thing. This book spent a lot of time on what I consider backstory and set-up. And that would be fine, except the characters were sort of thin. I mean, I don't mind things being a bit slow or thin plotwise if we're getting some juicy character stuff, but after the initial set-up and self-discovery of the two's individual powers, it just seemed rather repetitive.
I kept waiting for something to happen... but when things finally happened, it all seemed so, well, predictable, I suppose. It unfolded as we knew it must. The action bit at the end was denoument, the real climax happening when Harry fully realized his powers. But it was just so sudden. I mean, after belaboring the earlier years and development, it all sort of clicked too neatly.
I also was expecting to be, well, horrified, I suppose. I was grossed out a few times at some of the descriptions. (Not to mention conflicted about the whole 'I really did the things they credited to Vlad, because I like Vlad, damnit.) But I was never held in suspense. My heart didn't race, my palms didn't sweat... I was never really caught up in the story enough to get truly involved, and I never really felt any impending terror.
I bumped it up a few notches, though, because I did like the very end... the resolution and the revenge. And I was glad that the epilogue explained something I didn't understand from earlier in the story. And I was glad that everything was tied up in this story. It left you with enough of a hook to continue to series, but also wrapped things up nicely if you're not that interested in continuing. And, frankly, I'm undecided. (For a minute or two I was terrified it was going to end in a cliffhanger, so I was extra-relieved with the ending.)
In fairness, horror isn't really my forte, and, perhaps, my expectations were a bit too high since this book came so highly recommended. ...more
I think I need to add a shelf: Books that I'm embarassed to admit I liked. And this - this would be one of them. LOL
There's nothing really origin3 1/2
I think I need to add a shelf: Books that I'm embarassed to admit I liked. And this - this would be one of them. LOL
There's nothing really original or awe-inspiring here. It's essentially 'Shakespeare in Love' (as it uses a lot of the same conceits from that movie) with zombies and vampires. (Also, there's a bit more "romance" than I was expecting, but it was pretty tame as far as smut goes.)
But the writing was fun and engaging, the story, while predictable, was fun and entertaining.
My main complaint is that the transition from first-person for Kate's chapters and third-person for Will's chapters weren't distinct enough in their voices. (Seems to be the theme for the week.)
And, yes, there's a lot of silliness. Love at first sight being the least of them. But I don't think you can pick up a book called 'Shakespeare Undead' and not expect silliness, so I took it in stride.
For what it is, it's well done, and I liked it. So there! :P
ETA: There was one other thing that bothered me about the dialogue. There were times when the characters would be talking and quoting Shakespearean lines but, in the book, it's just their dialogue. This is part of the conceit and similar to 'Shakespeare in Love', as I said. The problem is that when they're not doing lines from one of the plays or sonnets they talk "normally" and almost modernly. Especially Kate. So it's a little jarring to have her, as herself, spouting out Juliet's lines, and then slipping back into her normal mode of speech since she's meant to be talking and not quoting....more
I first read 'The Last Vampire' series when I actually was a young adult and I remember liking it a lot, though I didn't remember much abou2 1/2
I first read 'The Last Vampire' series when I actually was a young adult and I remember liking it a lot, though I didn't remember much about it. Recently I found myself browsing for copies to replace my lost set - and discovered not only that the original 6 were being re-released as the Thirst series (the first two omnibuses), but that Pike had written more in the series! I was excited, and yet nervous. Would the books hold up or would I be disappointed?
Well, anyone who read my first two reviews can see that I'm not exactly as in love with the series as I once was. It's not terrible, though some books are definitely better than others, and the writing is kind of choppy, and the plot's sort of all over the place, but I wasn't bored to tears and I didn't hate them.
But there was that little problem with them being rather repetitive and Sita making the same mistakes over and over and over... but, really, it was with Book 6, where Pike just threw in one too many New Age sci-fi-y thing too many, where I felt like I couldn't really suspend my disbelief anymore... but I got past that, and the ending was, while not perfect, at least satisfying.
But the ending was very, well, final. And I found myself wondering "how in the hell do we continue the series?"
And I have my answer. And while I will say that I'm happy he didn't just ret-con it completely and ignore the fact, I will say that I'm a bit less than thrilled with the whole (view spoiler)[notion of Seymour being the writer of the first 6 books and that while they're generally accurate they're not entirely accurate and some things, like the ending, didn't really happen that way. And I guess we're just meant to be happy with never being entirely sure about how much of the first 6 books were accurate. (hide spoiler)]
But the thing is, while there's a rationale for the various little inconsistencies of character and power and whatnot, it still kept bugging me.
Sita seemed really underpowered compared to what she was before, and some of the characterizations are different in not a great way.
But, really, that's not why it's only getting 2-stars. Well, not the only reason anyway.
Another reason is that while 14 years, give or take, have passed between book 6 being published and book 7 being released, Pike's writing skills don't seem to have improved any. He still tends to be a bit repetitive and slipshod.
Also, this book is a fair bit longer than any of the others. At first I saw this as a good thing - towards the beginning I felt that the slow development was giving him time to flesh out the characters and the plot more than the earlier books. However, that sentiment didn't last and there were parts that were just draggy and sloppy.
Sita still doesn't learn from her mistakes (which I guess you could say could be a positive in the sense that at least some characterization remained consistent), she still leaps before she looks and ends up in positions that are kind of ludicrous, the various twists kind of kept getting more and more ridiculous and just, in general, I was disappointed.
Perhaps the worst, though, was that I wasn't really invested in the characters. In many ways, in this recent reread, I never really was - even though it's told in first-person narration, it's written in that way that always keeps the reader a bit distant - like you're watching something instead of really being inside the character's head. This book suffered from that even more.
Ya know - maybe if I hadn't had such high hopes I'd end up rating it a 3 or 3 1/2 but, as things stand, I just couldn't feel it was more than rather disappointing and nothing more than "ok".
I'm really, really hoping that the next book wows me and sort of makes up for it. After all, this books is, in many ways, a big set up for the pending showdown in the next book. So, who knows, maybe it could totally blow me away.
But I'm skeptical.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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
This book opens with a bang, throwing you into the action from the get-go, but it didn't really capture me up front. Once it settled down a bit, ho2.5
This book opens with a bang, throwing you into the action from the get-go, but it didn't really capture me up front. Once it settled down a bit, however, and started developing the characters and the humor, I started to get into more. For most of the book I was thinking to give it a 3 stars and maybe bump it up to 3.5 - but, as a few other reviewers commented on, it started dragging a lot towards the end, pulling it down into 2.5 territory.
I think, in some ways, though, that I'm just not an action book kind of reader. I like action movies, and I could even appreciate the gun-porn aspects of the book to an extent (at least the excitement level of it, since I don't know much about guns so the various specs and things went right over my head), but some of the things that bother me about some action movies bothered me here, too - particularly the indestructible hero trope.
Thing is, I think the book has some decent ideas. I really liked the way it played with certain tropes and ideals, (view spoiler)[i.e. the fat, trailer-living elves, for instance, and the former exotic dancer who defies all stereotypes (hide spoiler)], and I think when it was focusing on some of the character stuff, and the humor, and things of that ilk it was fun and relatable. (I mean, sure, the main character is Gary-Stu-ish and there's a hell of a lot of wish fulfillment going on, but it's fun and light and not meant to be deep.)
But once it started being pretty much all action I just wasn't as interested or invested. I think part of that is because a lot of the plot twists and character developments were telegraphed pretty early on so not much came as a shock or surprise, and the action was written well, but in a way in which I felt I was more watching what was happening rather than experiencing it, and I just prefer the latter from of writing, especially from a first-person narrative.
Anyway, it's not a bad book, it does have some good things working for it, and I do want to read the sequel at some point - and I just hope the sequel's a bit tighter. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Not a bad story, but not what I was expecting. I had anticipated something a bit more silly - a fun Elizabethan romp. Instead I got something mor2 1/2
Not a bad story, but not what I was expecting. I had anticipated something a bit more silly - a fun Elizabethan romp. Instead I got something more serious and, for all that, rather on the melodramatic side. Perhaps if I had read it in a different mood or with different expectations I would've rated it higher.
That said, I liked some of the twists presented in the familiar history, and I particularly liked seeing Anne portrayed in a positive light - something of a rarity.
On the cons were the repetitive nature of the thoughts and feelings explored in the 'diary' as well as the fact that Mordred is rather gullible and dimwitted for being so old and experienced.
Oh, and the abrupt sort of non-ending was kind of off-putting as well....more
I had heard, at one point or another, that this book takes more liberties with the story than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That, unlike P&P&Z, it just took the general storyling and characters from Jane Eyre, but made its own story from those elements.
I can't say I agree with that. From what I know of Jane Eyre - which is, admittedly, through two movie versions and not through the original text - this story follows the story very truly, but with the twist of throwing in vampires and zombies and werewolves.
I must admit, though, that most of the enjoyment I got from reading this was from the original story itself. I didn't feel like adding the supernatural elements really added or changed the story much in any meaningful way.
I mean, some elements, like (view spoiler)[the Reeds being vampires and Rochester's wife being a werewolf (hide spoiler)] were interesting, and I thought "yeah, I could see how that fits", but, ultimately, it didn't really add any extra depth or dimension or anything.
Moreover, it didn't even add the humor that was present in P&P&Z. Maybe, in some ways, vampires and things fit more with Jane Eyre, and so the absurdedly level that was part of the humor in P&P&Z wasn't there.
Arguably, humor wasn't the intent with this story but, rather, a more horrirific tale. Unfortunately, it kind of fails on that point, too. The vampires and zombie aspects are presented so sort of matter-of-factly, and have such little seeming consequence on anything, that it really just feels tacked on.
It doesn't help that a lot of those scenes are sort of just asides. Jane is wandering along or doing a scene from the book, and, oh, suddenly there are vampires, and there's a quick aside where she dispatches them, or whatever, and then the rest of the story continues as if little of consequence happened.
In short, adding the supernatural elements didn't really change the story at all... and this, to me, is rather a fail.
That said, I did still enjoy reading it but, like I said, a lot of that has more to do with the original story itself.
Maybe my expectations were too high? P&P&Z wasn't great, but it had something which didn't quite feel like just the story with zombies randomly tacked on - though maybe that something was simply the novelty of it.
But I even liked things such as Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and Shakespeare Undead, which takes the characters we know and love and puts them in absurd situations, while trying to keep true to the spirit of the original people or time in some way - fictional or otherwise - so it is possible to take Jane Eyre, add vampires and things, and make it feel fresh. This just wasn't it.
ETA: There were a few typo type things that bugged me. They weren't through the whole book or anything, but a few little things that made me go "wait, what?".
One of this is that Jane was referred to as Janet as least three times in the book that I saw.
The other was that, while Jane was using a false last name at one point, a character refers to her as Jane Slayre and no one bats an eye, so it obviously wasn't meant as a slip of her real name.
Just little things but, hopefully, if there's ever a reprint or something, maybe the publishers will catch it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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
A pretty decent read, quick and easy, with a fair bit of humor and some suspense.
I liked the little "hidden" vampire and gothic references scatteredA pretty decent read, quick and easy, with a fair bit of humor and some suspense.
I liked the little "hidden" vampire and gothic references scattered throughout. The towns of Stokerton and Bathory, for instance. A student named Edgar Poe. That sort of thing.
I thought the twists of the story were pretty obvious from a mile away, but, then, I'm also very familiar with the tropes. I think a younger reader might be more surprised by them.
It's told in first person, which works fairly well for it, but there's not a lot of real deep character connections going on. The relationships which exist in the story are pretty much established before the story begins, so you just have to go with it instead of getting invested in them.
I may continue the series to see if/how it develops, but I haven't decided if I'll buy the next or bump it to a library read.
I definitely thought this book was better than the last one, but I still found myself not loving it.
This one doesn't drag nearly as bad as book #3 - aI definitely thought this book was better than the last one, but I still found myself not loving it.
This one doesn't drag nearly as bad as book #3 - and I think that's because book 3 is really a lot of set-up for the stuff that goes down in this book.
That said, I found the climax kind of anti-climactic, and I'm not sure how I feel about the ambiguous, open ending. On one hand I thought it was kinda cool, but on the other hand I felt it was sort of a gimmicky way to leave the series open for possible future installments (without having to do a weird ret-con kind of thing again).
The biggest problem is that I still didn't feel entirely invested in these characters, so it's all a little meh at times.
That said, there was some tension and some believable twists this time around (as opposed to some of the more out-there things we've been subjected to throughout this series), so it had some good bits, too.
The multiple spiritual realities thing was kinda interesting, too, and one thing I've liked through all of the series (excepting when it gets a little bit beyond the realm of believability once or twice) is the spiritual aspect of the story - and I'm glad that that was a big part of this 'final' book.
If more books come out I'll probably end up reading them - but I certainly didn't love the series as much as I did the first time I read it however many years ago....more
So, I've been reading this book somewhat sporadically as it had become my workout book. (Yes, that means I workout somewhat sporadically - sue me.)
AnySo, I've been reading this book somewhat sporadically as it had become my workout book. (Yes, that means I workout somewhat sporadically - sue me.)
Anyway, last night I found myself in the position where I didn't know what new book to start, and I really wanted this one off my plate, so I just went ahead and finished it, since I only had 20% to go.
But this was not a "OMG, this book is SO good I HAVE to find out what happens!". No, this was more an "Ugh, I can't believe I'm still reading this book, and I'm tired of looking at it," sort of thing.
Honestly, if I were going strictly by goodreads' definition of stars, I should probably give it a 1-star because, frankly, I didn't like it. However, I tend to reserve 1-stars for the worst of the worst, so, really, I guess this is sort of a 1 1/2 which gets bumped up to 2 stars.
It's not that it was bad, per se, but it just never captured my interest. Actually, I think Ala captured the sentiment well, so I'm just gonna crib off him. (Here's his full review:
It's not a bad tale, really. Just felt a bit slow and leisurely at times. And a bit long-winded and verbose. The characters were interesting for the most part, save the villains who were pretty much cliched and flat.
The take Martin is going for here is one I would enjoy had it been done differently. Sadly there's just no real substance here. No snappy dialogue or suspenseful moments. No surprise or memorability. Nothing to excite and entrap the mind and soul.
It's just an OK story, lazily meandering it's way down the River of Meh to it's berth at the port of Are-We-There-Yet?
An ok read that just didn't click with me.
Except I would change "a bit slow" to "very slow", and add that I found most of the characters kind of cliches and flat, not just the villains.
Also, a lot of the characters kept acting in really stupid ways that kept pissing me off, so that probably had something to do with the fact he rated it 2 1/2-3 and I only mustered a 1 1/2-2.
For instance (view spoiler)[York's over-confidence in being able to control Julian despite all the warnings and whatnots, and Mike *running* at a man who throws knives in a fight (hide spoiler)], and other just really stupid happenings.
I first picked up this book 'cause a bunch of people I know were reading it and because I wanted to judge whether GRRM's writing style was something I might get into, since I'm told time and time again I really just have to read ASOIAF.
Of course, these same people now tell me that GRRM's writing is much better in ASOIAF then it is here and I can't really compare the two and so this entire process was a futile endeavor AND not even a particularly enjoyable one. FML["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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