The premise of this one so intrigued me that I picked it up, even though I've been feeling a bit glutted with YA books lately. I'm glad I didn't pass...moreThe premise of this one so intrigued me that I picked it up, even though I've been feeling a bit glutted with YA books lately. I'm glad I didn't pass it up. YA heroines often leave me feeling empty, as if they're a bit shallow (some of that just being the effect of youth rather than bad writing.) But Nolan did a great job of giving us a scarred and complex heroine paired with a similarly scarred and complex hero and making their struggles and developing relationship utterly realistic (for werewolves.)
I was drawn right in and couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.(less)
Reaper is a fascinating and touching story built in a rich, layered world where the stakes are bigger than life or death. Constructed of the familiar...moreReaper is a fascinating and touching story built in a rich, layered world where the stakes are bigger than life or death. Constructed of the familiar elements of teen love triangles and the struggle of good vs. evil, the story never feels like just the next iteration of stock YA urban fantasy.
Wendy is the Lightbringer, a Reaper, born with the power to see into the Never, the world beyond death; a world that is as complicated and dangerous as that of the living. There are the innocent and those that protect them, soul-eating zombies, mob bosses, and ruthless, power-tripping agents of the Light.
As the second book in the trilogy, Reaper picks up the story of Wendy and Piotr after they’ve already fallen in love and saved the world of the dead. But like most things, it doesn’t stay saved very long. Separated by their individual search for answers to their past, Wendy and Piotr soon learn that they’re dealing with a lot more than heartbreak and a little personal sleuthing. Wendy discovers she’s part of a vast, multi-generational family of Reapers that she never knew existed, and who would happily make sure she doesn’t exist much longer. Piotr goes searching for the story of a past he can no longer remember, and finds answers a lot bigger and more dangerous than he planned for, including his link to those who are trying to kill Wendy.
In their attempts to save each other, Wendy and Piotr are each dealt a death (or death-death) blow that will have you up late at night to see if they’re going to find some way out of the seemingly hopeless situation. The cliffhanger ending won’t tell you who survives or how, but the revelations, particularly Piotr’s, as the story in Reaper climaxes, are satisfying in a way that will tide you over until the next installment.
K.D. McEntire’s writing is smart, sharp, and utterly engaging. Reaper will take you on a thrilling trip back into the Never, where death is only the beginning.(less)
OK, it's later. I'm not going to rehash the back cover copy, so I'll just skip straight to the impact...moreKinda blown away right now. More on this later.
OK, it's later. I'm not going to rehash the back cover copy, so I'll just skip straight to the impact this book had on me. There are movies you watch, works of art you see, poems and books you read that you walk away from going "whoa."
This was one of them for me.
Complete gut-punch-powerful ending that reminded me of the experience of walking away from the big reveal in Ender's Game. (Not for any particular similarity between the stories or situations, simply the emotional impact of what just happened.)
But you don't have to wait to the end to love this book. The world is fascinating, the characters believable. In fact, I loved the main character's obliviousness and stubborn refusal to see the obvious because it was so true to this character and it made what happened in the end that much more powerful. I honestly don't remember if the prose was particularly skillful or any more technical aspect. I was too sucked in to notice. (Though that's a vote for pretty-dang-good writing, since this-sucks prose can't accomplish the same thing.)
I'm getting all stirred up again, and it's been a few weeks and several books read between as I write this. I can't recommend this enough to any science fiction or fantasy reader. Great book. I can't wait to see what this author does next.(less)
I obtained an Advance Reader Copy of INK at World Fantasy Con in Nov, 2012.
The beauty of INK is subtle and seductive, from the cover to the conclusion...moreI obtained an Advance Reader Copy of INK at World Fantasy Con in Nov, 2012.
The beauty of INK is subtle and seductive, from the cover to the conclusion.
It didn't take me long to get into this one. The cover is luscious and, really, how can you not be drawn (Snicker. See what I did there?) to a story set in Japan that promises you "Paper Gods."
Sun creates great characters here, each nuanced and realistic. Katie is a strong female character while still being a teenage girl who gets lost sometimes between her heart and her head. Tomohiro is cute and broody but Sun never asks Katie or the reader to abandon all sense and fall in love with the guy just because he's cute and broody and a little bit dangerous, consequences be damned. And yet the characters are not mini-adults, making choices and viewing things through an over-mature lens.
The best part of the novel for me was being taken to Japan to experience a place I'd never been and live among a different culture for a while. My copy of INK has a glossary in the back. It's a testament to Sun's skill that I didn't realize that until the end. In spite of the fact that she doesn't whitewash or English-ize the setting and characters, she unfolded the world like one of the flowers on the book's cover, slowly revealing the whole without swamping you with too much detail all at once and sending you looking for a list of definitions and explanations. You can't ask for better than that in a multicultural novel.
It felt less like a fantasy book than I expected, which is funny, because the fantasy element is completely intrinsic to the plot and is part of the whole from the first pages. I could see non-fantasy YA readers enjoying this one as well. Though if you're looking for a fantasy read for the lost-in-Narnia feel, this isn't where you'll find it.
A great debut and thoroughly satisfying story for any YA reader. The multicultural elements really put it above and beyond and make this one you'll remember. (less)
I got an ARC of this book from the publisher. I'm only posting the review now because I forgot to do it earlier this month...
Wendy’s been deprived of...moreI got an ARC of this book from the publisher. I'm only posting the review now because I forgot to do it earlier this month...
Wendy’s been deprived of her Light, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. The Lady Walker’s bringing nasty beasts into the Never, bent on destruction. Wendy’s loyalties are tested as one too many people she loves are put in danger, and everyone who can help has either turned against her, is trying to manipulate her, or is simply no match for this scary new version of the Never. The Lightbringer is what they need, and she can’t touch her Light…
Once again, K.D. Mcentyre takes us on a wild ride through danger and questions of loyalty, friendship, and love in a fascinating and unique world. She brings to this final book all the skill in writing she has shown all along in the trilogy. Her characters have depth and attitude and are easy to root for, even the bad ones.
In this third and final book, the stakes get even bigger, and Wendy’s got to fight this one with ingenuity and smarts, since she can’t access her most powerful weapon, the one they all want her for.
That adds a fascinating twist to your typical YA urban fantasy. Rather than watching the protagonist growing predictably more powerful with her magic, Wendy’s in the opposite position, and that’s a heart-in-throat type of situation to put the reader through, in a very good way.
The ending is sweet and heartbreaking and very satisfying, just as the final in a trilogy should be. Bravo to Ms. McEntyre for a job well done on her debut trilogy. Anyone who likes urban or paranormal fantasy should check this one out. It’s worth it. (less)