CATCHALL Vampires, you guys! I was nervous to read that book because vampires are an often-overused paranormal, but it...more****FINAL RATING: 4.10 STARS****
CATCHALL Vampires, you guys! I was nervous to read that book because vampires are an often-overused paranormal, but it sounded so good that I had to read it anyway. And I am so, so happy that I did! Dissension really blew me away with it's uniqueness and it was as intense and suspenseful as I could have hoped for. It was not a disappointment at all and I was definitely kept up late reading it.
THE HEROINES LEISHA I loved Leisha from the very beginning. She doesn't take any nonsense from anyone. She knows who she is and what she's capable of and if anyone stands in her way they had better be prepared. However, we quickly learn that her outward appearance is built up to mask her inner vulnerability. She's a vampire, yes, but she never wanted to be. I loved reign the conflict in her head of the choices she made, and how regret and the need for survival became intertwined. SAMANTHA Samantha, at first glance, is a relatively ordinary girl. Except that she isn't. She has visions sometimes, but she's learned to keep that a secret. However, that doesn't keep her from acting on them, which is how she ends up getting mixed up with Leisha and the vampires. She's determined and brave, and while she's young she doesn't let people walk all over her.
There are love interests...but right now I'm not going to go into detail about them. I will say they are fantastically layered characters and neither of them is who they seem to be at first, but talking about them without spoiling something seems a daunting task.
THE PLOT Dissension not only brings an entirely new game to the table where vampires are concerned, but takes the much-overused idea of a prophecy and makes it into something new and creative that I fell head over heels for. There's intrigue, drama, romance–and nothing is ever as it first seems.
There were tons of plot twists, and lots of things that changed as time went on. There was also great character dynamic. The relationship between Leisha and Samantha was a favorite. Even though they met by crazy circumstance, they formed a strong sisterly bond of love and seeing that in action was moving. The other character relationships were just as detailed.
Furthermore, I loved the pacing. It moved quickly enough that I couldn't put it down but not so quickly that I got lost. And everything that happened fit into the story somehow. There were no mundane scenes that stuck out to me as being irrelevant, and sometimes things look bleak only to come together by pure coincidence.
This book also involves flashback, which you guys probably know I can be iffy about, but the way it was done left no room for dissatisfaction. Leisha's memories are clear, and the way her past fits into her present is smooth.
As I mentioned above, Dissension is a unique and original vampire story. Te vampires in this book do draw from traditional vampires in some ways, but the ways they don't set them apart and that's what's made me really like them. They break from the status quo.
Dissension was overall a fun, suspenseful book with a fabulous plot and spectacular character dynamic.
THE ROMANCE Dissension doesn't have a ton of romance, which actually really worked for me in this book. There is a little, but it's not the main focus at all, and it's more of a precursor than anything. You can see a few different pairings set up, but nothing really happens. I enjoyed seeing the chemistry and in some cases history between the characters but at the same time it was really nice to have this as a side plot. Of course, I'm definitely looking forward to more romance in the next book.
THE WRITING For a debut novel, Dissension has layered, detailed writing and a complex world. It isn't fully fleshed out as much as I would have liked but it is a first book so there's likely to be more. The writing borders on simplistic at times and becomes more vivid in others, creating slight inconsistencies, but overall I still found it enjoyable and easy to immerse myself in.
THE ENDING I was very, very happy with the note that Dissension ended on. Without feeling overly dramatic or random, it still left me wanting so much more. There's not much closure but there's definitely going to be more to come and enough was resolved in the end that I don't feel like it's being dragged out. I think this was very well thought out and I'm impressed.
WRAPUP I definitely loved this book, and getting the next book is high on my list of priorities. I'm definitely a fan now and will let Adrienne lead me wherever she feels like it. I'd absolutely recommend this, too! Vampire and paranormal fans, you've met your match. This is considered an adult book but it has a lot of crossover appeal.
CATCHALL I actually ended up loving Shift even more than I loved Exiled, which is saying something. It also got five...more*****FINAL RATING: 4.60 STARS*****
CATCHALL I actually ended up loving Shift even more than I loved Exiled, which is saying something. It also got five stars, which is also saying something. I really, really loved this one, you guys. It was awesome. There was excellent character growth and the plot actually moved forward, which is more than I can say for some books. Basically it was an excellent second book. I also really like the title because it can be taken literally or…not. And depending on which way you choose to take it there are vastly different meanings.
THE HERO CHASE Chase continues to grow as a character much as he did in the last one. He's still prideful and arrogant, and more than a little impulsive. He doesn't always think before he does things and he clearly has a temper. Even so, while I don't condone what he does I can see that he doesn't do things simply to be cruel. Though I don't always like his arrogance, which he still has an abundance, we all have our faults. Plus, he is definitely getting better at learning to control it.
THE LOVE INTEREST RAYNA Rayna still has the same awesome attitude that made me adore her in the first one. I love that she isn't afraid to stand up to Chase and call him out when he's being a jerk. At the same time, she can be sweet. Rayna is incredibly stubborn, and sometimes she needs a little pushing to do the right thing, but she isn't difficult only for the sake of being difficult. She's unconditionally loyal to Chase, which I also like, but she still gets upset with him.
THE SECONDARIES I was feeling too lazy to make individual headers today… MARCUS There's a revelation about Marcus in this book that I had actually suspected but that Chase didn't, and it was really interesting to see that. Marcus don't show much emotion, but I think that he's actually incredibly passionate and just has learned to hide it. I still want to know more about him for sure. RILEY Riley is kind of a jerk, but I think that's the point. He doesn't seem like a good man, let alone a good father. But even Chase notes that he wasn't perfect, but that he wasn't always like this, that he's changed. And when you hear something like that, you can't help but want to hear more about the why. Although he's not a likable character, he's a very interesting one. WILLY Willy learns to stand up for himself and others in this book, which I love. He's not just the underdog anymore! He's willing to face down dangers for Chase and he really starts to find his own place in the world as well. I didn't care for him too much before, but I really like the direction his character was taken in, and as far as I am concerned character arcs are always a win. TIKI Tiki is still completely loyal to Chase, and will do anything for him even when he doesn't want to. He'll put himself in incredible danger. I don't know. He's not from this world, so he often acts odd and is very unusual. Still, I feel like we didn't get to know him as much as I would have liked to, so hopefully that gets rectified. CHIEF Chief has an actual name that also starts with a C, but for some reason I can't actually remember what it is, so whatever. Anyway, I think that Chief is a spectacular character. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of him. How true were his intentions? Does he really want to help? I couldn't be sure, and needless to say I was definitely suspicious. JAX I have something a secondary character fetish, so it happens a lot that I'll randomly latch onto some character who appears maybe three times and decide that they are the awesomest person in the book. Not even making that up. But anyway, the point here is that I really, really like Jax. He's not an important character for most of the book, but by the end he is and I'm sure we'll see more of him, which naturally I am happy about.
THE PLOT One of my favorite words these days is spectacular, and it happens to apply here. This book is, in every sense of the word, spectacular.
Chase is the Protector, but it's not entirely clear what that means yet. Even so, we can see that he's changing, and I mean in things regarding magic mostly, without getting too spoiler. Unusual circumstances surround him, and highly irregular occurrences also. I actually really want to say more on this, but I hate making spoiler tabs because they screw me up on my blog. And it would get way to spoilery to not use one.
This is just wonderful. I enjoy the way everything works out. It's very complicated, but it's also not so complicated that I can't understand. It isn't oversimplified, and there are complicated lines of loyalty and hatred that make up ties and breakages. I like the interconnections and seeing how everyone interacted with each other. It added a certain depth to the story.
What else I liked is the background. There's always something we don't know. Usually more than one something. There's definitely history in most of this, and hidden motives that we can't begin to guess at.
We get some awesome new characters in this book, with their own complicated background, both villains and heroes. And each has their own piece to contribute. It's a very tangled web of intrigue and also of sacrifice, as many of them have to decide just how much they're willing to give up.
There's a ton of action, so that meant that I was never bored. I turned the pages of the book at an insane rate. I didn't want to stop reading it. It enthralled me. Thrilled me. It kept me interested and throughly entertained.
What I'm trying to say here is that this thing was conceived from awesomeness.
THE ROMANCE There is more romance in this book than there was in the last one, so that just kind of makes my heart happy. I love the chemistry between Chase and Rayna, and moreover, I love that it isn't instalovey at all! There is way too much of that everywhere these days and so it was refreshing not to see it here. I love that it was given time to develop. I expect there will be troubles ahead, since, you know, there always are, but, well, you know. They'll work through them, eventually. But what's a little love without a little war? NOTHING. (Okay, so I've clearly been reading too much Shakespeare lately.)
THE WRITING Like Exiled, shift is told in first person from Chase's perspective. His outlook on the world is an interesting one, and I love being inside his head. His actions are often brash, and he doesn't think them out fully. But being able to see his thoughts as he does questionable things certainly makes him more likable than he would be otherwise. Also, I really like the way everything is described. Whenever a new place is visited, it is described so vividly that I can practically see it, and I love when I can picture myself in the same place as in my books.
THE ENDING The ending was perfect. I really, really loved the way it ended. There was definitely a certain level of happiness and security, and I was glad to see that a large piece of conflict has been resolved, yet of course the main conflict got only more complicated. But we're left knowing more than we did before, and it definitely spiked my desire for the next book. I enjoyed this ending also because it was fairly upbeat. That's not always something you see, and so it wasn't just fun to see it here, it was different.
WRAPUP So, I recommended this series after the first book and now I can recommend it even more confidently. I loved this one even more than the first one, and everything basically only got even more fantastic. So, I think you should go pick this up, like, ASAP. Pretend for life depends on it or something if that helps. I am, of course, totally in love with the series, so I would read the next book no matter what.
CATCHALL So, I was recently given the chance to read this book and I loved it! It's not usually the kind of thing I re...more****FINAL RATING: 4.10 STARS****
CATCHALL So, I was recently given the chance to read this book and I loved it! It's not usually the kind of thing I review, but I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to anyway. It was fresh and fun, and definitely a unique take on vampires that stayed true to its dystopian roots. It was incredibly interesting and I loved every bit of it. It was wonderful.
THE HEROINE KAYLA Kayla is a wonderful heroine. Even though she can't remember a lot of her past, she doesn't just sit around whining about it. Instead, she takes action. She works hard to get her memory back, but she also doesn't let its loss slow her down. She is who she is, with or without it. Also, she's totally butt-kicking without being absurdly powerful.
THE LOVE INTEREST AIDEN Aiden is sweet, if overprotective. He wants desperately to keep Kayla safe, but he doesn't always know what's best for her, and often too goes against her wishes. I like him, but he's going to have to change at least a little to impress. He needs to give Kayla room to breathe without smothering her, but at the same time his fierce dedication is incredibly admirable.
THE PLOT I gobbled this book up. It was very fast-paced. It's not the kind of book that's easy to set down. It's the kind of book that once you pick up, atomic bombs could drop and you wouldn't bat an eyelid.
The whole twist on vampires is excellent. Vampires are so often overused in YA these days, but Jessica does it in a way that manages to feel fresh and unique, which is no small task.
Despite the action, the book also manages to deal with a lot of more serious things. It's a dystopian, so the society is, of course, totally messed up. There are Highers as well as vampires, which are a unique human0like paranormal, but they are the most powerful and they control everyone else. It's a very interesting aspect, and I like the whole memory-loss factor.
The Gathering is also very interesting. I wasn't sure what is was at first, but it turned out to be something that I really wanted to know more about. It is similar to other features in other dystopians, but not exactly the same. Why do some people get chosen for the Gathering and others don't? That's only one question Kayla wants the answer to.
Oh, and she's supposed to save the whole society with only a watch. Try that one on for size!
THE ROMANCE The romance is really nice actually, and refreshing because it isn't instalovey at all. It's mentioned that Aiden and Kayla had a romance in the past, but Kayla remembers nothing of it and so thankfully this isn't used as a crutch. There's definitely chemistry between them, but also lies and a lot of distrust and that's not easy to get over. I am looking forward to more development here.
THE WRITING Jessica has really, really awesome writing. Like, really. It's so impressive. Her world-building is absolutely awesome, and the dystopian world she's created is practically at my fingertips. The description is so lush that I can really see everything unfolding before my eyes, and the setting just blooms off the pages. I don't know how else to describe it. And then, the dialogue is excellent. I love the banter between the characters, and the often salacious undertones.
THE ENDING Wow. Talk about a cliffhanger! It didn't leave me totally desperate, but it is pretty intense. It ends in such a way that I really wanted to know what happened next, but I didn't feel like it was contrived. The ending made sense, and I loved that it was clearly well-thought-out.
WRAPUP This book was extremely fun. It was definitely a quick read, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. I spend through it and it left me breathless. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel, and since the main point of my writing this review is to convince you to pick up this book, I seriously suggest that you go do so right now! It's short enough to read in-between books, and fun.
CATCHALL When I first started reading this, I had no idea that I would love it so much. Usually I don't. I mean, yes,...more****FINAL RATING: 4.00 STARS****
CATCHALL When I first started reading this, I had no idea that I would love it so much. Usually I don't. I mean, yes, it sounds intriguing but I'm not going to lie, when I first read about it it honestly didn't sound like anything special. But I could not be happier to be wrong. Exiled blew me away with its sheer awesomeness. It had some truly lovable characters, and it had some seriously epic action balanced with enough emotion and drama to keep me completely invested.
THE HERO CHASE Chase makes an enormous and fantastic character arc throughout this book alone, and I'm sure that that's something that will continue. He starts off pretty arrogant, and he still considers himself a true hunter despite his exile. He hates demons and Underworlders, and he kills them without discretion. His first eye-opening is when he meets Rayna. The change isn't immediate, which shows good attention to detail. His turnaround is slow and realistic, and isn't overexaggerated. Chase certainly still has a way to go when it comes to arrogance, and pride appears to be his strongest flaw. Even so, his dynamism suits him and he's an extremely likable hero.
THE LOVE INTEREST RAYNA Though "love interest" is far from her functioning role in this particular novel, that's still what she will ultimately be, and so she goes here. She's unique, even among the Underworlders. She has hunter blood, demon blood, and shifter blood. For the most part, though, is hasn't caused her too much trouble. She can hold her own. Basically, she is a total badass and I have a total girl crush on her. I also like that even though she's tough, she has feelings and she lets them show. She has a temper, but she doesn't let it control her.
THE SECONDARIES Yeah, I was too lazy to make individual headers. It happens. MARCUS Marcus is Rayna's guardian, and his most notable characteristic is that he rarely shows any emotion. He doesn't really seem bothered by anything. Even so, he's not a bad guardian. Clearly, he cares about Rayna and is a good father figure for her. I also have suspicions about him, and it's pretty clear that he has secrets. He's definitely a character I want to learn more about. TESSA Tessa is Chase's mother, and I really liked reading about her. Strangely, it didn't bother me that nothing seemed to be wrong with her. Obviously, we all have her faults, but it wasn't necessary to mention hers so I'm glad that they weren't. I really, really enjoyed seeing how much she cared about Chase, and impressed by the lengths she was willing to go to for him. RILEY I love reading about fathers, particularly when there's a rift between them and their children, since my own father and I don't get along at all. Riley was a really interesting character. There's a sense that he wasn't always who he is now, and even that who he's being now isn't who he was supposed to be. He doesn't seem at all like a nice guy, but he's still Chase's father. WILLY Willy is a demon that Chase rescues and against all odds, befriends. He's timid to the extreme, and suffers from stuttering. I think he does want to help Chase, but he lacks the bravery to do so. Even so, I think he has the potential to grow into a more dominant character and I'm looking forward to seeing it when he does. TIKI Tiki is intensely loyal, which we can see from the very beginning. From the moment he meets Chase, he's do almost anything for him. While that kind of loyalty seems questionable for obvious reasons, it somehow makes sense in the novel. Seriously. I actually think Tiki is a really interesting character. He's actually kind of funny since he's so weird by our standards.
THE PLOT I love talking about plots. Particularly when they are fun and action-y.
Okay, so I may secretly enjoy making fun of books that appear not to have a plot, but anyway, that's so not the case here.
This plot is intense. I use that word a lot, but only when I mean it. I mean, there were some really high stakes here. At the beginning, Chase naturally has no idea what he is getting into. I really liked the way everything was revealed bit by bit so that the story unfolded in this gorgeous and beautiful way.
I really like the way the connections formed too, and the way that I was continually surprised by major twists. Some things I suspected and was wrong. Some I suspected and was right. Some things I never saw coming! But no matter what happened, expected or not, everything fit perfectly into place. Obviously everything was well thought out and put together carefully. There aren't random plot holes, and it also isn't too perfect. It's about the perfect balance, actually.
I also adored the way emotion was incorporated. Sometimes some plots get so into the action aspect that emotion gets totally disconnected, and I don't like that. This book was easy to connect to because Chase's feelings (mostly) became mine. There was sadness, and anger, and a desire for vengeance, along with a wide spectrum of others, each one with a reason. Though I didn't always agree with Chase's actions, I could at least understand them.
You guys know the movie Total Recall? Yeah, this book kind of reminded me of that. Don't ask me why, because I have no freaking idea. The plots aren't even similar or anything like at all. So I'm probably just weird. But I loved Total Recall, so despite the fact that I can't actually justify this comment, it is totally a compliment.
THE ROMANCE This book didn't have much in the way of romance, but this is my favorite section of my reviews to write, so I'll put something here at least. Chase and Rayna aren't really shown to be explicitly interested in each other (yet) but they definitely have chemistry, which of course opens the doors for future romance. And I'm sure that you all know about my romantic-to-a-fault tendencies, so…
THE WRITING Matt's writing is awesome. I'm generally a third-person type of girl, but when first-person is executed well it can absolutely make me melt. I loved Chase's voice, and hearing his thoughts and what was running through his mind made him very real for me. I also liked the dialogue, particularly the banter between Chase and Rayna. I also the way emotion is conveyed. It isn't also stated explicitly, but it still comes across, and that, you know, is a gift. Oh! And the world-building is truly fantastic. It's unique and fun, and it was done in a believable and yet also remarkable way.
THE ENDING The ending was very unexpected for me. There was one thing that I suspected from the beginning, but having my suspicion confirmed was just as thrilling as finding it out for the first time, so no complaints there. I also really like how a lot of the plot was wrapped up and it wasn't dragged out unnecessarily, which is probably one of the most frustrating things ever. There's somewhat of a cliffhanger, but it's not an awful one, not really. And yet it's still the kind of ending that left me reaching for the next book before I even quite finished this one.
WRAPUP I think the main question here is, would I recommend this? And my answer is, absolutely! To everyone. Most of you know that I have my boyfriend read most of my books. He loved this one possibly even more than I did. So boys, girls, whatevers…read this! I am almost positive that you'll love it. Obviously not everyone in the universe will love this, because that would just be weird and unnatural, but I'm starting to ramble. Anyway, my point is that you should at least check this one out, mkay? I'll definitely be continuing this series.
CATCHALL I was surprised by how much I loved Black City. I suspected I would like it from the beginning, but I had no...more****FINAL RATING: 4.35 STARS****
CATCHALL I was surprised by how much I loved Black City. I suspected I would like it from the beginning, but I had no idea how much. It definitely wasn't a perfect book, but I found it easy to forgive its flaws since it was so spectacular. I really liked the romance, and the post-apocalyptic world that it takes place in completely and utterly fascinated me. It's one of the most fun things I've read in a long time and honestly it was entirely enjoyable. No, it wasn't perfect. But I was able to excuse that because it was amazing nonetheless.
THE HEROINE NATALIE At first, Natalie is typical of her class. She wants nothing to do with the Darklings or the lower class, called the Workboots. She's essentially and heiress and she's tied strongly to politics by her mother, a very powerful woman, and her late father. She is disgusted by them, even, and she doesn't understand them at all. As the story goes on, however, she becomes sympathetic to their plight and realizes that she cannot possibly support something so wrong. That was a strong and important character arc, and I really like that Elizabeth had Natalie go through that rather than being sympathetic from the beginning.
THE HERO ASH Ash. How many ways can I describe Ash? He is…amazing. I mean, I adore him. I completely love him. He isn't perfect, but then, neither is anyone, so that was fine with me. He's incredibly sexy. He's also half-Darkling, which isn't something that's easy in this dystopian society. He can be harsh and cold, but he also has a soft heart buried beneath his exterior and he's not as invulnerable as he pretends to be often. He has tender feelings and Elizabeth really made sure that the reader understands that he is as much a human as anyone. I kind of adore Ash. I actually have plans to elope with him. No lie.
THE PLOT Ooh, the plot. It was marvelous. Seriously.
It starts off with intrigue. Natalie catches Ash doing something he isn't supposed to, and Ash, despite his better judgement, lets her go. Perhaps this is unrealistic, but it also needed to happen, and I understand the important of that. It introduces Ash as a troubled boy who does what he needs to survive and shows that Natalie, at this point, is still who society expects her to be.
As it goes on, Ash and Natalie can't help but be drawn to each other. I'll cover the romance in a bit, so I won't mention it here. They can't seem to stay apart. Though society won't let them be together, they don't care. They'll sacrifice anything to be together. Even though sometimes this puts them in danger, it also drives the story forward.
Darklings, and the half-human-half-Darklings called twinbloods, are essentially a unique take on the overused vampires. But Elizabeth has changed it enough that it's something different. I rarely thought of the Darklings as vampires, because that isn't how they were presented. Many of the same characteristics are present, but it didn't really affect the way I thought of them. They drink blood and can be uncontrollable, and there are civilized ones too.
There's also a disease going around, as well as a tainted drug, that adds mystery to the story. Who is doing this and why? What's happening and what is the larger plan? I must say, I was honestly shocked when I found out the answers to some of these things. I never would have in a million years guessed the outcome, but it also wasn't ridiculously out of the blue.
Moreover, it was intensely emotional. There were pages near the end that had me choking out sobs, and still others that brought tears to my eyes too. There was awesome comic relief that was always in the perfect places or at least close. I loved how connected I felt to this book and how invested I became.
I seriously enjoyed this book. Really. Loved it.
THE ROMANCE Okay, so the romance. Honestly, that was probably my main problem with this book. I love Natalie and Ash together. They definitely have chemistry, and eventually I do think I see that they really love each other. But at the beginning, the romance definitely went into instalove territory. It was kind of ridiculous and had no real base. Even though I loved them together, I can't handle instalove. What I liked was that Elizabeth redeemed this. By the end of the novel, I was convinced that Ash and Natalie really had fallen in love. However, as a note to all authors in general: I realize this is YA. But even so, if your characters are having sex, then it should be obvious. It shouldn't be explicit, but I should always be able to tell whether or not they're actually sleeping together.
THE WRITING I really like Elizabeth's writing. Black City is told in dual first-person POV, and it alternates between Ash and Natalie. They each have distinct voices. Natalie's voice starts out naïve, and I love that you can see her growing maturity through her voice. Ash's words are harsh but when we're inside his head we can see that often he doesn't mean half the things he says, and that his heart is softer than he lest most people see. Also, her world-building is incredible. Some of the best I've ever seen. Moreover, her description absolutely comes alive. It is gorgeously vivid.
THE ENDING The ending was lovely and gorgeous, and yes, a little bit sad. Not everything works out ideally. There is definitely a lot of happiness. Things are going to be different now. But at the same time, the revolution really hasn't started yet. However, it is definitely something to look forward to. The ending is simultaneously beautiful and tragic, and I really loved the whole miracle aspect especially. It was dramatic and maybe a bit too convenient, but honestly, I just didn't care. I'm not saying every won't, but I just enjoyed it so much that it didn't bother me. And not everything was happy, so there was sadness.
WRAPUP I truly enjoyed Black City. I loved it. It was definitely a unique concept. Though it clearly drew ideas from other sources, they were transformed into something other so that the author could call it her own. And she did that fabulously. I'm actually desperate to have Phoenix like as soon as is humanly possible. Like, I physically need it. Oh, and I'd absolutely recommend this. To pretty much everyone! Yes, it has flaws, and if yoiu're not the type to overlook them then maybe this isn't for you. But I genuinely believe that most people will enjoy this for the gorgeous world and everything about it.
CATCHALL I enjoyed this book, but I also struggled with it. I thought it was a fun yet dark read, and it was definitel...more****FINAL RATING: 3.50 STARS****
CATCHALL I enjoyed this book, but I also struggled with it. I thought it was a fun yet dark read, and it was definitely unique in a number of ways. I enjoyed the interpretation of vampires it offered, as well as a dystopian world different from any I'd ever seen before. Sure, it has aspects in it that remind me of other dystopians I've read, but it was varied enough that it was an entirely new world that was completely impossible to not fall in love with. It wasn't the Iron Fey, but it was genuinely enjoyable.
THE HEROINE ALLIE So. Um. I have mixed feelings about Allie. In some ways I liked her, but then again in some ways I didn't. She was strong and independent, which is admirable, and yet she had a tendency to act like she didn't really need anyone, until she doesn't have anyone. Additionally, she can be too stubborn for her own good and on occasion acts like she has some sort of death wish. She also sometimes does things that are less-than-intelligent (which is my nice way of saying totally stupid) things that are likely to get her either into major trouble or dead.
THE LOVE INTERESTS KANIN Honestly, I think this guy makes a lame love interest, but apparently he is, so whatever. I also don't really have too much to say about him. He's just—weird. And he kind of gives me shivers, and not in the hold-me-close-because-I-love-you-to-death way that my boyfriend does. No, these are the creepy kind of shivers that makes me think of running for my life or something similar. I don't necessarily not like him, but I definitely do not actually like him either. God, I need to learn to get my opinions straight. Anyway, I do think that for all I didn't care for him, Kanin is actually a pretty well-developed character. ZEKE I like Zeke. He's not my favorite character in the world, but you know, not my least favorite either. He's a tad bit too naïve for my taste, and seems to think the world is essentially good. Maybe it is, but there's still a hell of a lot of evil. Anyway, naïveté aside, Zeke was a pretty good character. He's well-developed, and he's also realistic and relatable. His reactions are believable and they make sense. He doesn't just blindly accept what he's told.
THE PLOT The immortal Rules had a unique interpretation of vampires. It also involved a different type of paranormal called rabids who were essential to the story and definitely made it more interesting. Luckily, no other fantastical creatures were involved in the story, so it focused on the vampires. I loved the vampires in this story, and particularly admired the fact that they must drink human blood. That makes me sound really awful, I know, but it makes it unique the way it needs to be.
Okay, so, there were some things I found unrealistic. Like the way Allie picks up swordfighting so quickly. Swordfighting is NOT easy, people. And she kind of adjusts to things too quickly, if you ask me. Not that there's anything wrong with learning to adjust, but there is such a thing as adjusting too quickly. It's just odd and makes Allie seem insensitive.
Also, while it starts out fairly-action packed and quick-moving, the plot actually starts to slow down somewhere in the middle, which was obviously boring. For a long time, the plot remained static and nothing of any major interest happened. I guess in some ways, it was necessary to build up to what was going to happen next, but it still could have moved more quickly.
Still, which I just realized is a word I use a lot in reviews, once the plot picked up, it was actually much more fun to read. When things were actually happening, I quickly was pulled into the story and the latter half of the novel was completely unputdownable.
THE ROMANCE I'm not sure how I feel about the romantic development here. I think Kanin is too weird to be love interest, and there was no romantic development on that side whatsoever anyway. Therefore, I will be moving on. I think that the romance with Zeke was rather underdeveloped. I wouldn't call it instalove, but I wouldn't call it true love either. It's not that it moves too quickly, it's more that I don't see much chemistry and not much really happens. I don't get the feeling that Allie and Zeke are really connected, and it's difficult to get a read on their relationship.
THE WRITING I honestly don't care too much for the way Allie's voice is written. I like it, but it's not my favorite. She sometimes comes across as too self-centered. It's difficult to relate to. Also, the description can be a little weak at points. There are times when I get a really great visual in my head, but not too often. However, I do enjoy the dialogue. The dialogue is gorgeous.
THE ENDING I'm not sure how to feel about the ending. I think this cliffhanger ending was kind of cheap. It just doesn't feel right somehow. When I reached the ending, I personally mostly felt disappointment. I think that it could have been much better. It was too abrupt and somehow felt a bit—off. It was also kind of—boring. It was predictable and nothing special.
WRAPUP Well, after Julie's Iron Fey series, I will pretty much follow her wherever she takes me so long as she doesn't write something as awful as Juliet Immortal. I definitely enjoyed this book, although I'll be looking for more in the sequel. Still, I am looking forward to it! This series is fresh and fun, and a unique paranormal experience. You have my recommendation!