Jennifer Crusie's story doesn't have her usual level of humor and fun, but I do love the Librarian as main squeeze and it is a fast-paced page turner....moreJennifer Crusie's story doesn't have her usual level of humor and fun, but I do love the Librarian as main squeeze and it is a fast-paced page turner. On the other hand, the other two novels are so trite that I'm not sure I can get through them.(less)
Read for the ARRT Romance genre study. I found myself liking the characters but having a hard time suspending my disbelief about the way things worked...moreRead for the ARRT Romance genre study. I found myself liking the characters but having a hard time suspending my disbelief about the way things worked out, the whole book would have been better without the crazy epilogue, and more time needed to be spent developing the plot twists and resolutions.(less)
At the annual ALA convention (this year, held where I live) I got a chance to hear Susan Elizabeth Phillips talk about her life and work and how the w...moreAt the annual ALA convention (this year, held where I live) I got a chance to hear Susan Elizabeth Phillips talk about her life and work and how the women in her family are long lived and have children later on. Her grandmother was born the year the civil war ended! How cool is that!
She discussed this book, and read from the beginning which was fantastic for me. Though actually, this book was not nearly so fraught with will they/won't they tension as Match Me If You Can or Breathing Room, but still, you can never ever ever go wrong with a Susan Elizabeth Phillips story. She makes me proud to be a romance reader.
In this book, Blue Bailey's fortunes have just taken a turn for the absolutely devastating when Dean Robillard of Chicago Stars fame wanders into her life. The book focuses a lot A LOT on the struggles Dean has forgiving his family for the way he was not raised by them. Blue has her own family issues, and in the end dealing with your demons to be able to let love in is the theme in question with this book. I loved it and would recommend it to all of you. (less)
Even though this book is a completely engrossing and resplendent read it didn't get more stars because I have no idea what an airtrack, suicide, 6-ste...moreEven though this book is a completely engrossing and resplendent read it didn't get more stars because I have no idea what an airtrack, suicide, 6-steps or any of the rest of these terms mean in relationship to breakdancing. Since these and other breakdancing terms are liberally sprinkled throughout the book without any explanation of what they mean or how the moves look I had a hard time staying in the story at times. While this technique sped up the action of the breakdancing scenes, it made it impossible for me to envision what they were doing.
OTHERWISE. I totally loved this book. It was a fast paced read with a engrossing main character, Nicole (Raven), who doesn't sound like anyone else in YA ficion that I can think of...and her New York doesn't sound like any other New York that I've read. She has this group of friends that is not bound by anything except maybe age range and love of breakdancing. I like that in a novel (And if you do as well then you should maybe also take part in this book challenge.
Of course, this book is about more than breakdancing. It is about love and friendship and family and living forever vs living as a human. The immortals (Jiang Shi) in the book are conflicted by their immortality and how they attained and keep it. Though none of them, even the leader/mastermind who is hiding things, comes off as evil; their enemies don't come off as evil either. Overzealous yes, evil no. I think that might be my favorite thing about the book, the characters, even those without a lot of "screen time" feel totally realistic and multi-dimensional without a lot of random crap thrown in to make them that way. It is a good story, mostly well told.(less)
**spoiler alert** 17-year-old Kelley is the red-headed understudy for role of Titania in an off-off-off-off Broadway production of Mid-summer Night's...more**spoiler alert** 17-year-old Kelley is the red-headed understudy for role of Titania in an off-off-off-off Broadway production of Mid-summer Night's Dream who gets the literal lucky break. The leading lady "busts an ankle" and joy of joys she has the part. Hooray, great story about alternative career paths and following your dreams.
Except not, at all. This is yet another story about an ordinary girl who finds out she's a fairy princess, specifically Irish and with all the fun trappings and problems. After reading Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, or any of the numerous American Urban Fantasy takes on the exact same theme I'm actually pretty done and pretty bored. Which isn't to say that the book isn't readable, and it makes a pretty good read-alike to all the Cassandra Clare/Holly Black/Melissa Marr/and even yes, Laurell K. Hamilton for your older audience. And there are some unique elements that sets the story apart: I like that this book pays homage to The Bard. I like the changeling storyline and the human guards of the fairy realm, The Janus Guards, some of whom are ass-kicking ladies. I like the Central Park central location and a certain kelpie who moves into a bathtub.
Unfortunately all of that which I liked, and which fans of the Irish-specific mythology as Urban Fantasy genre will also like doesn't lead to a great book. The discovery of Lucky the kelpie and the fact that she's a fairy princess takes up too much time and the actual battle and conflict is rushed into the last few pages of the book. I did not believe the romance between Sonny Flannery, Janus Guard, and Kelley Winslow, mediocre actress/fairy princess. And by not believe I mean I'm completely unsure when he went from being creepy stalker dude to love interest but it happened somehow without ever actually convincing me that her character would actually not see him as a creepy stalker anymore. Also, despite all the time spent on her discovery of fairy princess powers it is just so ho-hum. Her reaction didn't jump off the page or do anything new, she just came around after a short time. Which might be better than pages and pages of ranting and railing and disbelief, which also would have been terrible, but still...boring.
It took me a few discs to get into this story, but once I was in, I was hooked and didn't want to get out of my car to go into the Library...or into m...moreIt took me a few discs to get into this story, but once I was in, I was hooked and didn't want to get out of my car to go into the Library...or into my house. The full cast audio recording of "Graceling" is wonderful. Katsa is graced--she has two different colored eyes and special powers--she is rare, a girl graced with killing. Her uncle Randa, king of the Midlands, uses her as his own personal attack dog. She hurts people so they obey him. She hates him, and herself for doing his bidding and so together with her cousin and some guards of Randa's, she starts a council to do good around the seven kingdoms. When she rescues the father of the king of one of the far away peaceful kingdoms she doesn't know what a can of worms she is opening. Nor does she realize she'll be opening her heart to the old man's grandson. (less)
There was a lot of natural circumstantial and character tension that this book could have built upon. The historical and physical settings were well d...moreThere was a lot of natural circumstantial and character tension that this book could have built upon. The historical and physical settings were well done and layed a solid foundation. But, instead of using the background and the natural tension to create the conflict, the author went back to the old infuriating technique in romance novels of having the characters make a bunch of assumptions about the other characters thoughts and feelings and then never talking about how they actually feel. A big pet peeve for me is inconsistencies in characters in a romance novel and this novel's characters didn't know if they were coming or going. One minute he loves her the next his eyes are glittering and cold and the next he's kissing her again without anything much transpiring to create the shifts. Also, the ending was so ridiculous, even for Victorian times, that I lost my suspension of disbelief.
Read for the setting and the background of railroads and Christmas in Victorian times, don't expect much in the way of satisfying plot or characterizations. (less)
**spoiler alert** Good, not my favorite Quinn, but enjoyable and fast paced with likeable characters.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I was less than happy about th...more**spoiler alert** Good, not my favorite Quinn, but enjoyable and fast paced with likeable characters.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I was less than happy about the epilogue. The Lost Duke didn't want to be duke through the ENTIRE book and nothing in his training or character seemed to point at him making a good duke whereas the displaced duke was very good at it. Yet in the epilogue Jack takes over the role and it just happens that he's awesome at it. What? I feel like that whole ducal issue is one that should have been written slightly differently. (less)
Wrath, Rhage, Tohrment, even these character's NAMES make them sound like pro-wrestlers and the descriptions in the book "giant, towering, intimidatin...moreWrath, Rhage, Tohrment, even these character's NAMES make them sound like pro-wrestlers and the descriptions in the book "giant, towering, intimidating, scary, scarred, muscled, mountainous" don't help much. In fact, I kept picturing all of the Brotherhood as the pro-wrestler "The Undertaker" and all of the "lessers" as that kid in "Powder." That isn't even the worst problem with this book, but it certainly didn't help me get into the story at all.
So, basically Darius, an important Vampire/member of the Brotherhood (protectors of vampires from some arbitrary war with the vampire hunters known as "lessers") is killed by the lessers. As luck would have it, he'd just asked the leader of the Brotherhood/future king of Vamps, Wrath, to watch out for his half-human daughter, Beth. Darius never bothered to introduce himself to Beth, but we are supposed to believe he's always watched out for her and cared for her. Evidently daddy dearest watched her from afar as she went from foster home to foster home like a creepy stalker. In Ward's world vampires don't mature until their 20s when they become vampires...a transition which they may not survive. Her world building is pretty intricate and even involves a glossary at the front of the book (thank goodness.)
Things are complicated by the fact that Vampires only really get much nutrition from feeding from the opposite sex of their own species (which must be unpleasantly intimate for the gay vamps.) Most vamps have some sort of relationship with their feeding partner, but our kingy, Wrath, he just has never been much interested in his partner Marissa. Of course, his disinterest means Marissa is totes in lurve with his beefy self. But, Wrath meets Beth, Darius's neglected urchin of an intrepid reporter (of course) and he's instantly all hot in the pants for her. She's instantly all hot in the pants for him. They basically explode from overwrought metaphor. It is pretty gross and not sexy. Also the fact that Wrath is so damn intimidating that scariness roils off of him like tangible waves in all directions scaring Beth to bits just before they hit the sack the first time makes me cringe. And I'm not really sure why, but the Vamps are kind of wussy and die easily so why am I supposed to be all gushy about them in the first place? Way to ruin the appeal, J.R.
For some reason though I really liked the servant character Fritz though. I guess because he kept trying to help Beth make sense of the crazy-storm around her, which not a whole lot of anyone else did.
Seriously, do yourself a favor, skip this book and read "Soulless" by Gail Carringer or anything by Kelley Armstrong or early"Anita Blake" stuff by Hamilton instead.(less)
This book is everything I want in a Victorian steampunk paranormal Romance. Oddly enough, I hadn't realized until I read it that a book encompassing a...moreThis book is everything I want in a Victorian steampunk paranormal Romance. Oddly enough, I hadn't realized until I read it that a book encompassing all these genres with the added benefit of a funny/sassy female hero w/out a soul and a surly powerful shapeshifting Duke. Those two do some verbal sparring that will make your head turn round.
Also, I love that this book is most certainly steampunk but the word "airship" was not bandied about like it was going out of style. For some reason it seems most steampunk books feel like they have to through those airships in right away and keep throwing them in so we remember that this is a steampunk book! No, the world building is much more sophisticated and wonderful than I was even hoping to see.
The plot is sufficiently complicated and twisty, the society suffocating and dry (except Alexia's best friend who is also a girl and who she talks to about Things Other Than Boys--thus this book passes the Bechdel test!) The world building (as I mentioned)is fantastic, the suspense is tightly strung, the paranormal bits are seamlessly woven into the story.
My only star-stealing gripe is that for all her awesomeness Alexia can't take a compliment about her appearance. There is a reason behind it, but it does grow thin after awhile, much as it does when you try to compliment a friend and they always deflect instead of just shutting up and saying thank you. Also, her family is just so atrocious. They remind me of the Featheringtons in Julia Quinn's Bridgertons' series, but so much worse. Mostly I just think the compliment thing was overused a bit, is all. A bit Mary Sue-ish, if you will. I can't wait to read "Changeless" and wish that I had a weaponized parasol of my very own. (less)
Skimming was the only way I could get through this book. The characters were flat and more like caricatures and none of them likeable. The "mystery" o...moreSkimming was the only way I could get through this book. The characters were flat and more like caricatures and none of them likeable. The "mystery" of the author not revealing any of what was really going on went on for FAR, FAR, FAR too long. And amnesia, despite being an awful plot device, also needed to be researched a whole lot more before Sandra Brown decided to use it in ways that make no sense.