When it came time to right this review, I started with "I remember being charmed by Ruby Red, the first book in this tr...moreHere's my issue with this book:
When it came time to right this review, I started with "I remember being charmed by Ruby Red, the first book in this trilogy..." which is not entirely accurate. I remember that I was charmed by the first book in this trilogy. I have no recollection of why. And after reading the second and third books in quick succession, I'm doubting my own taste in books.
The pacing in this book was off. Nothing much happened, and then lots happened, and most of that "lots" part didn't flow well. (You'll notice I'm being vague, more on that in a second.)
Gwen was one of the least engaging teen-girl protagonists I've encountered - huge revelations about her life come out, and she's ostensibly in great peril for the entirety of the book, and she spends most of it staring at a boy who is giving her some poorly written mixed signals or being generally inept.
What would probably have been an entirely cranky paragraph on the awkward dialogue and terribly forced exposition will instead be shortened to: bad translation, not enough story to justify it.
And finally: the reason I was vague up above? It's because I really don't remember what happened for most of the book other than Gwen being numb and Gideon being so obviously mad about her but denying it for plot reasons. And time travel! And curses! And the count who was obviously evil before we ever met him turned out to be evil!
Sigh. I do so love a time travel book. Just not this one. Now if you'll excuse me, I probably have to go retroactively downgrade whatever rating I gave to the other books in this series.(less)
I liked it. It didn't live up to the glowing praise I had heard - this book has gotten some seriously glowing reviews.
I liked it. It's a quiet book, deeply introspective, and sometimes it hit closer to home than I, for one, would like to admit.
I can't say I loved it, or that I would buy it or reread it. But I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. And it was worth the inevitably melancholy I expect will stick around for the rest of the night. (less)
Aaaaaand once again, I have read an entire Laini Taylor book in a single sitting. She writes good, man.
I'm still processing - seriously, a single sit...moreAaaaaand once again, I have read an entire Laini Taylor book in a single sitting. She writes good, man.
I'm still processing - seriously, a single sitting - but this sequel delved much deeper into the (apparently generations-long?) was between the seraphim and the chimaera. Much deeper. There was a lot more death and a lot less sexual tension in this one, and I liked it just as much, which I think is an excellent sign for book number three.
Wildly creative, well paced, full of characters who have depth and motives and inner conflicts, and at no point does Taylor resort to cliches.
And I'm...moreWildly creative, well paced, full of characters who have depth and motives and inner conflicts, and at no point does Taylor resort to cliches.
And I'm writing this just moments after finishing the book, so I need more time for everything to sink in, but: the underlying commentary on colonialism and othering, identity and purity was well done. (less)
Eh. There wasn't much to this book, so there won't be much to this review.
Basically: modern day woman buys old book, finds what might be a letter from...moreEh. There wasn't much to this book, so there won't be much to this review.
Basically: modern day woman buys old book, finds what might be a letter from Jane Austen referencing a lost manuscript, engages in lots of awkward exposition with various other characters, goes searching for said manuscript, meets fine-looking gentleman, finds manuscript, reads manuscript, small drama to justify modern-day framework, neatly wrapped-up bad-rom-com ending.
The only reason this book got more than one star out of me is that the "missing manuscript" was halfway decent. No Jane, mind you, but since the modern day framework sets up the manuscript as an early try, before any of her actual published works, the less polished and over dramatic storyline almost works.
Instead of reading a poor imitation of Jane Austen, see, you're just reading Jane Austen before she was the real Jane Austen.
Except for the return to the modern day framework, which ruins the illusion and reminds you that you really are just reading a poor imitation of Jane Austen.(less)