I have to say I was disappointed in this final installment of this series. There was more action in this than the previous, and a little more crazinesI have to say I was disappointed in this final installment of this series. There was more action in this than the previous, and a little more craziness - but while I was invested enough to read through and figure out what was going on, I didn't find it nearly as fun or entertaining. The first book read a little like a toy-train wreck, seeing what chaos might ensue while remaining firmly in the world of fantasy. But I feel like the author at last identified too much with the indifferent supreme being who was the cause of all this strife. As though he weren't sure himself what he wanted and kept writing to see what happened next. I felt like the ending was a real cop-out, and that is just too bad for something which started so imaginitively....more
There was a lot to find interesting in this book: first and foremost, the suffering of the main character in her life in the foster care system. (It sThere was a lot to find interesting in this book: first and foremost, the suffering of the main character in her life in the foster care system. (It sends a clear message but doesn't get preachy.) The meanings of the different flowers were interesting too, and I was really intrigued by what the main character eventually does with her knowledge of these meanings. However, I really feel like many of the primary events were needlessly melodramatic. I think Victoria's story could have been engaging without creating some of the drama that the book details. And I feel like almost none of the 'adults' in this book acted like adults, which maybe carried along the plot but did a real disservice to otherwise likeable characters....more
Truthfully, the only reason this book crossed my radar is because of the author's significant references to my favorite band, The Avett Brothers. I waTruthfully, the only reason this book crossed my radar is because of the author's significant references to my favorite band, The Avett Brothers. I was a little leery of reading it for that reason only, but it turns out a number of my friends have read and loved this book. I think, however, I should have stuck with my first instincts. It was a sweet story, with a lot of truth about people and relationships. (That's to be expected if you are liberally quoting The Avett Brothers.) But there was a lot about the story that I thought was unbelievable - mostly how Lake and Will began their relationship oblivious to the things that would tear them apart, and the very fast pace in which most of the novel's events take place. It was just all a little too contrived for my taste, and while I'm not sorry to have read it, I think there is a reason I did not come across it sooner....more
I really enjoyed this one! I loved the story of two sisters desperately trying to define themselves on their own terms in spite of their family legacyI really enjoyed this one! I loved the story of two sisters desperately trying to define themselves on their own terms in spite of their family legacy. I especially enjoyed the writing style, which was more like story-telling than novel-writing. It was told like a leisurely walk in the park, where anything might catch your eye and deserve a closer look, and things that might not seem significant could divert you in a different direction completely. I have never seen the movie but I would like to now. I might have been a little, teensy-weensy bit disappointed by one aspect of the ending, but overall it was very satisfying. ...more
This book follows the story of Elizabeth Hawksmith, who was made into an immortal witch at the age of 15 under extraordinary circumstances, and who spThis book follows the story of Elizabeth Hawksmith, who was made into an immortal witch at the age of 15 under extraordinary circumstances, and who spends the next 350 years running from the creature of darkness who made her. The story is told in very lengthy flashbacks from the present, for the benefit of another teenager drawn to the mystery and magic of Elizabeth's nature.
I almost wish this book had stuck to historical fiction. We get glimpses of three very dark periods of human history in Elizabeth's life, and they are interesting and detailed views of each time. But they are viewed with an unsubtle lens, and in most cases with a kind of naivete one would not really expect from an immortal supernatural being. Teenage Bess is dramatic and stupid in a way I could forgive for a modern teenager. Eliza of the 19th century seems much less annoying, but still willfully blind (as she must be in order for the plot to move forward). During WWI, I suppose it is possible the horrors of that war could blind anyone to what is plainly before her, but by then I find it increasingly hard to believe that not only can she not spell, but that she has not taken better care to hide herself. Like actually changing her name, for example. She goes on about how afraid she is to get close to anyone, how she's always on the run from the bad guy, yet anytime something suspicious happens or she has a bad feeling about someone, she doesn't seem to be able to connect the dots until (of course) it's almost too late.
In short, I found the historical elements to be interesting if a bit long-winded, but the supernatural elements of this story just don't add up for me. ...more
A fair enough follow-up to The Damned Busters, we rejoin mild-mannered Chesney Arnstruther adjusting to life both with and without his alter-ego, TheA fair enough follow-up to The Damned Busters, we rejoin mild-mannered Chesney Arnstruther adjusting to life both with and without his alter-ego, The Actionary, wherein Chesney learns that the world is not as simple as the comic books he wishes to emulate. Right and wrong and good and evil are not as easy in the real world. There are twists beyond what you'd expect from even a traditional crime-fighting superhero, and the ending comes rather abruptly. Not your parent's eschatalogical musings, it is also not as action-packed as you might think, setting a broad and unusual stage for the next book. ...more