**spoiler alert** It's taken me a few days to process this book, and how I felt about it. While there was so much right about this book, there was als**spoiler alert** It's taken me a few days to process this book, and how I felt about it. While there was so much right about this book, there was also so much wrong. On the one hand, I really enjoyed it while on the other, I wanted to throw it across the room in absolute frustration. I'll try and explain...
First, the writing itself. I actually really liked the writing, the syntax, the style. I thought it was great. I liked the world building. And I liked most of the characters. I found some of them to be a little too cliche and heavy handed in their roles, but for the most part, I liked them.
I liked Kelsea. I just feel like the author did her an injustice in some aspects. For one, I did not find it remotely believable that a young woman who had only ever seen a total of five people (that she could remember; her two caregivers and three that she accidentally came upon while wandering the woods) and who only once in nineteen years caught a glimpse of her reflection in a muddy pool would have any actual notion of what "plain" was, or that she would find herself fitting that description. I also didn't find it believable that it would have the kind of impact that it apparently does throughout the book. Her weight and her looks are a constant issue for her, and for someone who really had no yard stick to measure that against, who grew up totally without those things as an influence (unless her caregivers harped on about it, which I don't believe was the case), that it would have really mattered to her.
I found her Queen's Guard to be ridiculous at best. So they're being hunted by the best assassins in the land, and they're getting drunk at night? Not posting a guard on her tent? Pretty much ignoring her until the proverbial sh** hits the fan, and THEN protecting her at all costs suddenly matters? Whaaaaat??? And the way they speak to her! COME ON! They talk down to her, disrespect her constantly, condescend to her, patronize her... and this is their one and only queen, the last bastion of hope for their land? I get it that she's an untried, unseasoned, naive young lady, but they really lay it on thick. And her so called captain of the guard, Mace, is the worst. I honestly felt like they should just hand him the crown and let him be the ruler; he's actually the one calling all the shots. GET. REAL. That part was pretty bad, actually.
And what what what is her caregivers not being allowed to tell the future Queen ANYTHING about her own land about? They leave her bare of facts of the situation concerning the very thing she is supposed to govern and bring back from the brink of the abyss. And they can't (or won't) tell her ANYTHING. THAT was RIDICULOUS. I can't even. She goes in there absolutely ignorant of the political situation, not even knowing about this supposed super duper important treaty that is the only thing standing in the way of all out annihilation between her and their overlord nation, so of course she's going to screw that up. She has no idea who is charge of what. She has no idea who even does what when she gets to her new home. She has no idea how to handle anything because no prepared her it, so of course Mace has to do it, not that Mace actually gives her a choice...
There's just so much going on that needs to be fixed. And there's things that are great; I love her giant heart and that she tends to lead with it. I love that she cuts through the BS and tries to get to the meat of the matter, even if her attempts are pretty heavy handed; in a budding, untried ruler, I found that to be very believable.
The thief guy, Fetch... needs some serious tweaking, too. He has the potential to be an awesome character, but he's too much of a contradiction for him to be believable. Plus Kelsea needs to stop crushing on him; too damn cliche. Just sayin.
All in all, it was okay. Not great. Has the potential to be great. But misses the mark.
This is really hard for me to review. Not because I didn't like it; I really did. I liked it a lot. I liked it better than the first one, in fact. LarThis is really hard for me to review. Not because I didn't like it; I really did. I liked it a lot. I liked it better than the first one, in fact. Largely because although Quentin was still a whiny boob, he was becoming less so. There was real character development going on there. He might even turn into someone I could tolerate. In small doses, but still. That's progress, right?
Anyway, back to the book... the writing was solid. I liked the parts about Julia, and I liked how it all came together. I liked the character development and I liked how gritty and ugly magic could be. This book, I think, was better written than the first one.
Except for one... little... thing....
I HATED THE ENDING.
Not going to give it away, but really? REALLY??? Oh, Mr. Grossman... WHY? Not that I need a patsy little happy ending, but this.. this was just TOO MUCH. And yes, i needed all those CAPS to express how I feel. It is what it is.
So yeah, a strong 4 stars. I wanted to give it a 3, based on the ending, but the story and the writing and the character development... good stuff. It was good stuff. ...more
This is a really great book. I loved the pictures and how they coincided with the story. I thought it was very well put together. Definitely worth getThis is a really great book. I loved the pictures and how they coincided with the story. I thought it was very well put together. Definitely worth getting, and I will be reading this one again....more
Really enjoyed this one. This is my first Neil Gaiman book, and although I knew who the author was, I had never read any of his work before. I'm hopinReally enjoyed this one. This is my first Neil Gaiman book, and although I knew who the author was, I had never read any of his work before. I'm hoping that I enjoy some of his other books as much as I did this one.
The main character, Richard Mayhew, is quite possibly the coolest "hero" ever. An everyday, ordinary, average man is our Richard, thrown in the fantastic world of London Below just by being a decent guy and helping a young lady in her most desperate hour. Unable to ignore her great need, he assists her and by that action, his entire world is literally turned upside down and changed forever.
What follows is a remarkable journey for the most unremarkable of people, a story of true heroism from the most unlikely of people. ...more
I didn't think that after the last book, Butcher wouldn't be able to write the second one as well as he did the last one. I'm glad to say I was wrong.I didn't think that after the last book, Butcher wouldn't be able to write the second one as well as he did the last one. I'm glad to say I was wrong. This one was excellent. ...more
I gave this four, when it really deserves three, because the author did something that rarely happens; he made me dislike a character, then really likI gave this four, when it really deserves three, because the author did something that rarely happens; he made me dislike a character, then really like her later on.
I spent the first four or five chapters of this book thinking that I wasn't going to read it, I was going to put it down in a minute and read something better, but... yeah. Kept reading. I liked it more than I thought I would.
I like that the author isn't afraid to kill characters. Isn't afraid to be gross and gritty. I like that Eric is a douchnozzle, wants to be a good guy, but is too... not a nice guy to actually be one. I like that he's up front about his vices and flaws, doesn't like them maybe, but doesn't exactly apologize for them. But I don't actually like Eric.
I have always enjoyed the Dresden Files, and to date, this one is my favorite. Butcher really pulls out all the stops in this one. I am beyond dying tI have always enjoyed the Dresden Files, and to date, this one is my favorite. Butcher really pulls out all the stops in this one. I am beyond dying to know what happens NEXT...! ...more
This was different from anything else I've read recently. Grittier than most urban fantasy, definitely more self-centered, and altogether absent the oThis was different from anything else I've read recently. Grittier than most urban fantasy, definitely more self-centered, and altogether absent the obvious happy ending. I mean, without giving the ending away, there is happiness to be had... if you want to accept it. I did.
It was certainly interesting. Grossman caught me up in the first page, and I remained caught throughout the entire book. I was irritated with my daily life because that meant I had to put the book down and tend to reality. It was on my mind, however, as I went about my daily routine. If I could have gotten away with staying up all nite to finish this one, I would have.
Definitely worth the read. Good story, good characters, good all the way around. Will read again!
After reading it again, I liked it a lot more the second time around than the first time. Found myself disliking Quentin more, too, but I think that's part of it. What a whiny boob!...more
**spoiler alert** This book started out with such promise, and initially I really enjoyed it. Then it turned into a watered down version of the Richar**spoiler alert** This book started out with such promise, and initially I really enjoyed it. Then it turned into a watered down version of the Richard and Kahlan save-the-world-against-impossible-odds storyline, aaand that killed it.
The problems I had with the book are thus: WHY does TG insist that every single "bad guy" be a fat, smelly, bearded thug whose main interests are raping and killing with maximum violence? Except for the masterminds behind the Big Giant Taking Over the World Plot, of course. THEY are always Slick Rick, with their fancy clothes and slicked hair. And wordy bastards, too. Monologuing. They die because they get caught up in the monologue.
Not that the main characters are any better with the monologuing. WHY does he insist on lecturing his readers on morality over and over and over again? It. Gets. Old. When Alex and Kahlan, oops, I mean Jax are making their escape in the burning down building of the asylum, they actually stand there and discuss a point of morality. Really? Who does that?
Which leads me to my next point... TG freaking KILLED OFF the mother. Potentially a fantastic character, and she dies... why? I almost quit reading right then and there, because I really thought that once they broke out of the asylum, she would come with them, and be free of the drugs and handy with all sorts of useful information. But, no. Overkill is the word that comes to mind.
TG is a good writer, definitely. Not my favorite, but I dig it. However, he needs to find something new. Go with a new idea. Find a new world, new problems, new bad guys, new good guys, and let the Richard and Kahlan save-the-world-against-impossible-odds storyline finally, finally come to a close. Again, the word "overkill" comes to mind. There really is such a thing as "too much of a good thing". No, really.