Not surprising given that it's Victoria, although I think her Shades of London still stands at the top, then damn near tied with the ArchivI dug it :D
Not surprising given that it's Victoria, although I think her Shades of London still stands at the top, then damn near tied with the Archived (I breathe each breath waiting for news of The Returned). This one felt a little bit more real-world than her other stuff; everything before has had this surreal quality of feeling like it's taking place in a dream, or in a city that only a few people know about. But it was still so well done.
I loved how the history of the Territories could totally happen, with the whole states governing themselves etc. I also thought the portrayal of a world after the Phenomenon felt like a fresh take on a dystopian setting. The world is definitely not okay, and any other writer might have gone from the point of view of a person living in the Waste to show how Different it is, but from Kate and August's views, it showed how people will continue to live lives in a day-to-day sense, no matter what's going on.
These characters were some of my favorites. August was so lost and vulnerable, struggling with who he is and who his brother expected him to be (Leo was a really good antagonist, btw. I hated him a lot. LOT.). And Kate was unpredictable. Was she ruthless, was she playacting, did she really want to be the heir to her father's empire? So intriguing, and so well-executed. I also think their relationship is equally as well done; they have good chemistry but I would never think of them being romantically inclined. They're more a cop-partners kind of vibe, which is great, because you get all the emotional support without nearly as much angst. I like angst, but it's good to get away from it every now and then.
I'm scared that the sequel/finale won't be enough. This was wrapped up so well, how are we going to get a whole new set of problems AND their resolution all in one book?! However it turns out, you can be sure I'll be reading it....more
As always, Melissa's pacing is just off enough that I normally wouldn't like it, but in this case it feels more like time escaping froAll men must die
As always, Melissa's pacing is just off enough that I normally wouldn't like it, but in this case it feels more like time escaping from me as it does.in her world of Faerie. This book finally shows that she's been weaving threads together, and things are done being set up. Now the plot moves forward at a place that will only pick up, and I'm interested to see where it will land....more
I'm starting to hate duologies. I've gotten so used to getting three good stories with every new series I encounter, that may leave me with a book hanI'm starting to hate duologies. I've gotten so used to getting three good stories with every new series I encounter, that may leave me with a book hangover. DUOLOGIES, however, give me two INCREDIBLE stories with all the amazing qualities of a trilogy condensed into two books, leaving me with an addictive hunger for more. Wayfarer is guilty as sin in this regard. Where Passenger introduced to an intricate, fascinating world, and presented us with sweet romance and exciting adventure and altogether stole our hearts, Wayfarer took of all that and ratcheted the stakes up to the equivalent of drinking a Red Bull-Americano mixer. Are we gonna die? Who knows?! Are our characters going to be reunited and get a happy ending? Your guess is as good as mine. What's this, MORE incredible characters to get attached to? That's okay, my nerves were already frazzled to start with.
I've rarely experienced that feeling where I am on the edge of my metaphorical seat, where I'm desperately searching between the printed type to figure out how, and even if, our characters are going to escape pain/death/loss/etc. Here, the last third had me wishing I was Catholic so I could have a rosary to clutch, and the last hundred pages had me screaming internally as I raced to find out what would happen.
I also want to note that, just like with Passenger, Wayfarer did such a good job of being conscious of the social issues that were observed. One of the recurring questions posed in this book is how a traveler's role puts them in the position of having to decide how one reacts to the injustices they witness, and it couldn't be a more fitting theme to present, especially now. A scene in the latter half of the book comes to mind, but you could just as easily fan the pages of the book and throw a dart to land on any number of well-placed examples.
This book is exciting, romantic, diverse, complex, and an excellent example of craft. I seriously can not wait to see what else Alexandra Bracken comes up with (and for The Darkest Minds film!)...more
I met/saw Anna-Marie McLemore at this past GeekyCon. I hadn’t read anything of hers, and as I am just as casually judgmental as the next reader, the fI met/saw Anna-Marie McLemore at this past GeekyCon. I hadn’t read anything of hers, and as I am just as casually judgmental as the next reader, the fact that I had seen her book shelved in the contemporary section of Barnes and Noble had put me off reading it. It was a lovely cover and an interesting premise, but I haven’t read contemporary in over a year, and it’s never been my go-to genre. But then a few things happened.
First, I realized that The Weight of Feathers was a magical realism story. The mermaid-performing Palomas are all born with iridescent birthmarks that look like scales, and the tree-scaling Corbeaus grow feathers out of their hair. Not to mention there are curses and blood feuds at every turn. How could I resist?
Secondly, after hearing Anna-Marie speak on multiple panels, speaking up about Romani prejudice (PSA: NEVER use the word “gypsy” or “jipped,” they are major slurs), her experience as a queer person of color, and reading one of the coolest and most hilarious poems from her youth (written in pink crayon on pink paper), and after meeting her personally and being blown away by what a kind, genuine person she was, I had to pick this up. And I was SO GRATEFUL, as well as reminded of how much I love magical realism.
The cool thing about magical realism is that you get all the vivid imagery and significant detail that’s often seen in contemporary novels (but also just really good novels in general), combined with fantastical elements that are as normalized a part of the setting as everything else. The Corbeaus grow feathers from their heads, and the only time it’s Other-ized is when one of their own’s feathers come out with red streaks, instead of just black.
You have these scenes that are given room to breathe and bask in the fantastical condition of their existence, without having to go down the route of “I can’t believe this magic is real, how is it possible, yada yada yada.”
And because it’s normalized, it no longer is the main plot point. I love fantasies, but one can get burnt out on the same kind of high stakes. Here, the plot gets to be about the war between these two families, and the way that the enmity and conflict has shaped the lives of the two main characters.
We get to wonder at a scene where feathers appear out of nowhere, when fifty pages before our breaths were bated because an adhesive mixing plant had a meltdown and caused an environmental catastrophe. The conflict is no longer “why do I have scales on my back” and instead gets to be “why can’t we escape our families.”
The characters were so well developed, especially Cluck and Lace. Cluck broke my heart a dozen times over (and no, the name is not out of the ordinary just to be Edgy, there’s a credible reason. Everything in this story is believable, because it is so well written), and I loved seeing him evolve as a character, standing up for himself and what mattered to him. The writing was clean, simple, and therefore the picture in my head was so clear and vivid. A sentence could have maybe two or three words, and suddenly the stakes (life/death/sexual tension, take your pick) were hiked up to an eleven, without losing credibility or feeling melodramatic.
I would want a sequel, and yet I know that once the book hangover is finished, I won’t be dying with the unanswered questions of what comes next. The story holds itself upright, and gives the characters a door to exit without us feeling like we’re missing out by not following after.
I can’t wait to read When the Moon Was Ours. Roses growing out of wrists? Town witches? Water towers for homes? It’s going to be every bit as heartbreakingly beautiful as this was....more
There’s a piece of wisdom I was taught while taking my first fiction class in college: If a writer puts a gun on a table in Act 1, it has to go off byThere’s a piece of wisdom I was taught while taking my first fiction class in college: If a writer puts a gun on a table in Act 1, it has to go off by Act 3. No one knows this better than C.S. Pacat. In fact, she may know it a little too well, because all the guns she’s set through the last two books have gone off at the same time in the beginning of Kings Rising. The result makes for her strongest and most entertaining installment, and one hell of a finale.
This novel is an excellent example of how to write a trilogy. It’s different from the first two in terms of pacing, and it’s appropriate: book one was the introduction and establishment of the characters and world, as well as establishing what the conflict was and the stakes involved. Book two took what had been established and moved against it, working towards the characters’ goals and presenting moments of disruption, creating even more conflict. Book three is the result of all the planning and strategic movements that have been leading up, resulting in the final “battle,” the final condition of what the characters have made from their decisions, and how they’re going to deal with it in order to achieve their goals.
I did think some conflicts were solved a little too conveniently, and readers ended up missing out on confrontations/revelations that we’d been anticipating since book one. However, the rest of the book makes up for it in stride. Laurent and Damen’s characters have grown so much. It makes sense that this final book would use the work “King” and not “Prince” in the title, because they’re so different from the two princes we first met.
I may do a piece later on discussing certain elements of this book, because it really made me think—about gender roles, about the way books and characters are written these days—but this is a review, not a discussion, so I’ll cap it here.
All in all, a strong trilogy that expanded my reading view in more ways than one. I wish we’d gotten to see more, but in a way that shows how talented Pacat is as a writer. I hope we get to see more from her in the future. ...more