I chose four stars because Corrine isn't really my type of heroine. She's shy and doesn't have an extreme amount of drive to her. She isn't willing to...moreI chose four stars because Corrine isn't really my type of heroine. She's shy and doesn't have an extreme amount of drive to her. She isn't willing to risk everything for what she knows is right. However, the book was set up quite well and bitingly realistic. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a Gothic fantasy novel.(less)
I felt nothing for the characters. There was no depth. At least if I hate a character, that says something for h...moreSo I'll just jump right into it, yeah?
I felt nothing for the characters. There was no depth. At least if I hate a character, that says something for how they were portrayed. Yet with this...there was nothing given to me. Nothing to round out their characters. Most of the time, I felt disdain for Aislinn's character because when she was supposed to come off as fierce, she just seemed fake. Like a child playing grown-up.
The writing style. Ah. The writing did nothing to credit this story. It felt more like a retelling, giving no credit to these character's personal feelings. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing. Very short, to the point, and shallow. It seems that the popularity for this book runs entirely off of the idea. I could not feel any passion from the writing. None at all.
The end lost me. The climax should be the best part of the story. I was reading and going, "What?" Things were not explained well enough and again, there was no passion. It moved too fast. I felt no shock at the turn of events. I couldn't really bring myself to care what happened to the characters. When Aislinn gripped the staff, the outcome was poorly described. I was thinking, "So what?"
I suppose I will check out the sequel because for better or for worse, I am curious to know what will happen next. Though I am sorely tempted to drop the series. The epilogue really did it in. I was less than ten pages from the end and just wanted it to be over with. How the relationships turned out? Not at all to my liking and I cannot even summon the passion to drive that point home. That's how little I really got from the characters.
The summary really builds this story up and it doesn't deliver. I remember viewing this book as promising when I read the description. I love the cover, though. I love all of the covers. I doubt I'll ever buy this series (if I do, it'll be all in paperback because I am not spending all the money to purchase a hardcover edition). I prefer the Wondrous Strange series by Lesley Livingston or The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones. The writing was much better in those two series--the passion clearly coming through.
WARNING: To younger and/or more sensitive readers--there is mild language in this book, including the F-bomb being dropped a few times. It is not, however, as thick and extensive as Holly Black's "Valiant".
I do have a song that would go well with this book, though: "What Would It Be Like" by Lindsay Aline (she has a BEAUTIFUL voice). In describing Aislinn's despair and all that jazz.
I only got about a hundred pages in. It's not because of the writing or the story but the swearing did me in. I couldn't read it anymore. I hate all t...moreI only got about a hundred pages in. It's not because of the writing or the story but the swearing did me in. I couldn't read it anymore. I hate all the swearing Holly Black used in this book. There was more than called for in "Tithe" but it wasn't so frequent as in this book. So I just had to say no.
The first pages--minus the extensive cussing--are pretty good, story wise. Good progression, good action. Pretty decent characters. Worth a look if you don't mind swearing.(less)
The only reason I'm giving this book a "B-" is because I liked the idea. But I can't say much more than that. Needless to say, I had a huge issue with...moreThe only reason I'm giving this book a "B-" is because I liked the idea. But I can't say much more than that. Needless to say, I had a huge issue with this book.
The biggest part was the writing style. It was all telling, not showing. Kay's reactions weren't really described very well. It was written almost like a biography. It gets better at the end of the book, but I had to grit my teeth to get there. There was absolutely no way I could get into Kay's character. She seemed so...shallow. I really hate when shallow characters get to do all the cool stuff and they "miraculously" get all the good ideas. Just irks me.
Another thing was that the stakes were not drawn very clearly. I mean, all that would happen is that she would get thrown in jail? That's it? Oh yes, it's just so incredibly horrible! Is that really the best she could do?
This book just kinda flew over my head. And it's such a shame, too. I really wanted this book to be good because I love the topic of dragons, and after "Eragon," not a lot of people have touched the subject, just like no one has really touched the subject of wizard schools since "Harry Potter".
The ending was very rushed, too. And hokey. It would have worked better with a different writing style, say if Carrie Vaughn wrote with a more magical hand, then the ending would have appeared better. But the last few pages were really rough writing-wise. I couldn't get any sense of realism, of actually being there with the characters. This book could have been so much longer if Carrie Vaughn just put some depth into it.
I loved the cover, though. It was partly why I picked it up.
Teaser: She knew how to talk to at least one of them, if only she dared tell anyone. And if only she could be sure she and Artegal would see each other again.
As always, I still recommend that you give it a try. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean that you won't.
I'm sure that this is a great book but it isn't designed to be read by someone like me. There are waaaaaay too many fashion references. Now, if you kn...moreI'm sure that this is a great book but it isn't designed to be read by someone like me. There are waaaaaay too many fashion references. Now, if you know fashion like the back of your hand, then go ahead and knock yourself out with this book. But I won't be finishing it or picking it back up again anytime soon. Sorry, Miss Melissa. It looked really promising.(less)
Consider this: the average page length of a book I read is about 300 pages. My rule: if I can't get into a book by the first hu...moreRE-REVIEW COMING 9/3/11
Consider this: the average page length of a book I read is about 300 pages. My rule: if I can't get into a book by the first hundred pages--that's one third of the book--I won't finish it unless I feel compelled otherwise. I won't waste my time.
Unfortunately, the first hundred pages of "Vampire Academy," were not charming. I liked the first seventy pages or so and had high hopes for it, then...in the last thirty pages or so, it started to dwindle very fast. Where was the conflict? Where was the backstory? Where was the character development? All I had were horrible flashbacks of the House of Night series, which I gave up on by book three. (As in, I read book three and didn't bother with book four.)
I wanted this book to be good. I've seen a lot about it and I needed a new series to emerge myself in. I enjoyed the humor and for a while, the writing style. But not enough to make up for everything else. A good idea, poorly executed.
"Vampire Academy" seemed more like a repeat of the House of Night novels. And did you notice how both books were published in the same year? Heh? We have a parallel series going here.
The main character, Rose, is trying to be such a tough punk. But she's not. She's not very bright and she's just as judgmental as the people she looks down on. She's got a huge attitude, but not in an appealing way. She doesn't have much between her ears except some fluff and hot air.
I don't want to go any farther with my criticism because all reviews are relative. A LOT of people love this book series, but it's just not for me. Vampire novels have been notoriously shallow to me and I have yet to find a series that has some real class. "Twilight" appeals to me because of the writing, but not much else.
The cover wasn't really appealing to me either. Why do all vampire novels have to be steeped in sex--one way, or another? Gives a really bad label for vampires.
Sorry, "Vampire Academy" but I'm taking you back to Borders. (In perfectly saleable condition, by the way.) You will find a better, more appreciative owner, I have no doubt.
Bout the only thing I liked about this book was the humor. I found myself laughing--in between the time I was either la...moreGreat idea, not delivered well.
Bout the only thing I liked about this book was the humor. I found myself laughing--in between the time I was either laughing AT the book, or just ready to throw it across the room. I figured, Okay. This Gwen girl looks pretty good. And I've read a lot about her, including a character interview. She looked like a cool enough girl.
Then I read it.
This book would have been a lot longer if actual detail had been added. There's just no depth. I felt no sympathy for Gwen whatsoever. I was completely pissed at her half the time. Consider: your boyfriend dumped you because you've got shapeshifting abilities--which is COOL, for the record. But you do not apologize to HIM! Gwen has no backbone and I kept thinking, "Oh my GOD! This chick needs to toughen the heck up." The scenes with Zach just pissed me off.
I think it was the lack of description that really did this book in. The writing is short and nearly all of it is told and not shown. You don't have to tell us that she's mad if you show her slamming something or is about to punch someone. There's no credit given to the reader when everything is told to you.
I would have really, really, really liked this book if it had been executed differently. I felt no sympathy for the characters--I have no idea how I got through the entire book. I did want to know if I was right about who the killer was--and I was. I figured it out pretty fast but it was kind of interesting how Karen Kincy executed that scene.
The one thing that really got me about the style, was how inconsistent it was. There were beautiful lines amongst hundreds of pointless sentences. It felt like a rough draft to me, instead of a published copy. I'd come across lines like this: My pooka half rises slowly within me, leaning against my bones. It isn't eager to shapeshift and fight. It's...defensive. Feeling my fear. (page 166-167) It's incredible description, and I wish it had continued throughout the entire book.
I'm attracted to humor, which is why I'm keeping this book in the first place. I AM going to look to it for inspiration for a humor fix. Now that I've read it, I can go back and reread all the good parts.
I loved the cover when I first saw it, then I got to look at it up close and I could see the graphic mistakes. So, from a graphic designer's standpoint, I was disappointed. Also, the cover is so freaking glossy! I could send signals to the moon with it. XD
I don't think I have ever seen such a downfall between books. Where Alera was merely an irritant in the first book, Legacy, she has turned into a thorn in my side. Ultimately, she ruined the whole book for me. I couldn't finish because she was just that irritating. While Ms. Kluver's writing has the kind of archaic grace up there with Christopher Paolini, I wasn't as impressed this time around versus with the first book. Bottom line: I was so uninterested and disgusted with the whole thing that I couldn't trudge through the last bit of the book.
There was no character development whatsoever in terms of the main character, Alera. The girl was dumb. Not only dumb, but selfish, immature, and misguided. I had an issue with the fact that people could walk all over her, but I was downright pissed when she stood up to the wrong people. Also, I can understand her ignorance--she grew up in a society where women were completely subservient--but she never even realized that her ignorance eventually became a hindrance, and then deadly. I was expecting her to finally say, "Teach me how to fight." Did that happen? ---> -_____- No.
The sub characters showed little development and almost seemed 2D. Instead of taking this chance to flesh out her characters, Kluver practically kept them from expanding. I saw many chances to see more of these characters, but that never happened. The only character development I saw was from Steldor. He annoyed me in the first book, but his character really changed this time around. Only problem is, Alera has the stupidest priorities. Pining after a guy who's told her to forget him when Steldor--her husband--is right in front of her?
Alera had this knack of being a complete pain but making other people ignore her shortcomings. And many of the characters like London and Cannon told her that she had "strength". And I'm left going, "You're joking, right?"
I was done when Alera completely ignored the torture of one of her closest friends because she became trapped in Narian's gaze.
I was very disappointed with this book. I loved Legacy mostly because at the time I thought it was well-written and it was written by someone barely a few years older than I was. But with Allegiance, I felt like all the time I spent reading it was completely wasted. So at the end (I got 84% into it) I just didn't care. I didn't even care about the characters that I liked, like London and Galen. The only person I was really curious about was Steldor. I feel really sorry for the guy, having to put up with Alera.
I may pick up the third book out of curiosity to see how things change, but I won't buy it. Alera was just too much.(less)
I've seen it before. Maybe not the exact plot or the exact world but it's too close for my comfort. It reminded me too much of all the other fae/faerie books that have been done: Holly Black, Modern Faerie Tales; Lesley Livingston, Wondrous Strange; Melissa Marr, Wicked Lovely; Jenna Black, Faerie Walker. All these fae/faerie books have so much in common. I wanted to see something edgier that hadn't been covered yet.
Oh god. Then there's the main character. Talk about raging insecurities. Sure, she might have a dry, innocent sense of humor but she isn't that charmingly naïve character. I think Meghan is ridiculous. How come none of these stories have main characters who KNOW anything already about fairy stuff? Like, never promise the fae anything. Etc.
The character set overall was too predictable and standard for my taste.
The writing was pretty good, though. That was the one thing I liked, but it wasn't' enough to hold up the whole book.
Overall, I just wasn't compelled to continue reading. I'd previously read about a hundred pages in before leaving it for a few months, and so I picked it up from there. I only got about six pages before I put it back down.
I know this is a wildly popular series, but it just wasn't for me.(less)
So the introduction (prologue) was pretty good. Daniel’s attitude was kinda eating at me; he seemed pathetic, worrying about Luce so much. Just chill,...moreSo the introduction (prologue) was pretty good. Daniel’s attitude was kinda eating at me; he seemed pathetic, worrying about Luce so much. Just chill, you know? And stop being such a domineering tyrant. So she needs his permission to go somewhere, do something? Oh uh uh. That is not about to fly. I understand that this guy is totally whipped but he needs to get. a. grip.
As for prima donna Lucinda. She needs a good slap in the face. I think this falls under the category of a writing error. How many times can you say how much you love/miss someone? Oh. My. God. Once every few pages (or scenes, better yet) is okay, but not every other paragraph. We get it. Luce is desperately in love with a dude she doesn’t know the first thing about. Duly noted. She misses him like crap. Got that too. Move on!
I felt like the writing was bogged down by the “I knew he was going to say that” aspect. When I read, I unconsciously expect to be given original information that is unique to the story and properly reflects the character’s voices. Well, these voices are not that unique. Daniel’s an okay dude, but for God’s sake, come up with some more original lines. This is not a teenage soap opera. Luce’s lines are very typical too. Can you say dull?
It’s a shame. I love thick books, but the angel books have disappointed me as no topic has before (except for vampires). (The only angel books I like are “Hush, Hush” and “Crescendo” by Becca Fitzpatrick.) The covers for these books are beautiful. I’ve officially given up on this series, though. I’ll be having a giveaway of “Fallen”, “Torment” and “Halo” (by Alexandra Adornetto) sometime next month. So look out for that if you love “Fallen”/”Torment”/”Halo”.
The writing did nothing for it. I almost never start on an author's writing style but in this case, i...moreIn a nutshell: Fantastic idea, horribly executed.
The writing did nothing for it. I almost never start on an author's writing style but in this case, it was a significant factor in how I viewed the book. The style described too much in the wrong cases, not enough with the right ones. There was also a lot of telling rather than showing. The short, almost inconsiderate descriptions of the character's feelings made it seem false. I couldn't get a grasp on the characters at all.
This was an absolutely brilliant idea. If it had been executed differently, this could have risen to Harry Potter status--or at least, it would have had the potential to. The idea was fresh, new and incredible. It just...never took off the ground for me. I found myself skipping pages and I would still know exactly what was going on.
Writing aside, nothing anchored me to the characters. Even if you hate a character, that means that there was enough given that you're CAPABLE of hating them. It means that they were put through situations and were complete and total idiots and did a million things wrong and you hate their guts for it. But at least you have the proof. When you can't even cast an opinion on a character...oooh, well, that just goes to show that you weren't shown much. But Dodge and Alyss had such incredible potential! I just wish they were shown better. I could have really come to love them as characters. Same goes for the antagonist. Redd was downright creepy at first, but she quickly lost credibility.
The dialog required much-needed help. It was mostly in the dialog that I lost the characters. Even with the sometimes skimpy writing, dialog can pick up the slack. Not in this case, though.
I wrote a review for this now because I'm 95% certain that I won't be picking it up again. If I ever have children, I would try it out on them because it's more of a read out loud kind of book. But for readers who have a preference for more complex, lyrical writing that must be read inwardly, I don't recommend this book to you.
I gave it a B- because I respect the idea so much. It wouldn't feel right to bring it lower than "B" status. Perhaps if Frank Beddor writes another series, I would take a chance on it. Otherwise, I'm not venturing into Wonderland again.(less)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was, in short, a Twilight-remake in almost every sense of the word. The main character, Mara, was pitiful with her one-track mind. The plot was not executed very well, though held promise. In fact, the only part of the story I liked was the humor. The rest fell apart for me -- the characters, the plot, the setting, the magic, everything. I somehow made it through and the ending did throw me for a loop, a clever trick since I do feel like I might want to figure out what happens next.
Mara was awful. Irritating, with her inability to decide whether she's going to stand up to someone or run away like a coward. Her inconsistencies ruined her for me. Couldn't keep her shirt on, or her priorities straight. For some reason, I did like Noah a bit. Not in a, "Ohmygawd so hawwwt!" But because he had more depth to his character than the main character's. He was a bit too typical, though, with the whole misunderstood rich boy/bad boy complex. I kept thinking, "When's he gonna sneak into her room and watch her sleep?"
The plot was just drama. Dramadramadrama. From the moment she met Noah to practically the end of the book, the entire thing was dominated with their relationship. So the plot was a little sketchy when it finally made an appearance. Nothing made sense and not in a "Oh this is so creepy but so cool" kind of way. More like, "Hurry up and make a point already" kind of way.
Nothing emotionally tied me to this book. And besides the humor, the only other thing I really appreciated was the symbolism going on. Mara = death, Noah = life. Ying and yang coming together. It was clever, but not enough. On a single page alone, there were three lines I swear came straight out of Twilight. Bleh.
Maybe I'll continue onto the next book. Michelle Hodkin left a pretty decent cliffhanger. If Mara doesn't get her act together, though, forget it. I'm just grateful there isn't a love triangle. Small mercies.(less)
I’ve been excited to read this book for forever and that’s why it was even more disappointing when I couldn’t get into it—and was sorely tempted to th...moreI’ve been excited to read this book for forever and that’s why it was even more disappointing when I couldn’t get into it—and was sorely tempted to throw it across the room as I got farther and farther into it. I know a lot of people have really enjoyed this book, but I am not one of them. I got nearly 200 pages in, cut somewhere in the back and basically got the whole story.
There were two things that really ate at me. The writing and the characters.
One of the first things that struck out at me were the poor scene changes. There would be a break in the story when there was no need for it. It was if it were meant to show transition when really, no time had passed. It was distracting and reflected poorly on the story.
Then, as I continued reading, I started getting frustrated by the poor execution of “show, don’t tell”. I could go through and point out several sentences/passages that could have been presented much more effectively by merely changing it so it came straight from the character and not as if it were a retelling. Due to this, there was a complete lack of personality in the style. It was plain and didn’t pull any emotion out of me, except frustration.
Most of my enjoyment comes from characters. If the characters flop, most of the story does as well. Which makes sense, since the characters are the ones who carry out the story. No characters, no story.
There was, once again, the archetype god-like hero and the plain heroine. Please, God, give us something else. I am just downright sick and tired of reading through the same character over and over again. Also, the social rival was far too cliché. There are nasty people out there, but I don’t want the Disney channel mean girls. (They make me laugh…kinda counterproductive, yes?)
Haven might have turned out to be a decent character if she’d just stayed consistent. She had some good lines, but they flopped afterwards because she didn’t have the personality to make her reaction credible. She was also very selfish and her lack of perception just made me want to scream! Half of her actions just defied common sense. She also seemed a bit dim-witted. Most of the time I was going, “No, really?!”
I think Beau was the realest. He showed the most personality and I really took a liking to his character. Though, I wasn’t really taken with Beau and Haven’s friendship. It didn’t seem real, credible, convincing…whichever word you want to use.
Iain was pathetic. Not taken with him in the slightest. He was too cardstock without any flair or personality at all. I went about four chapters with his character and just started rolling my eyes.
As I said before, I got 200 pages in, skipped around in the back and not only felt as if I’d gotten the whole story in a pinch, but I was uninspired to continue. I like it when, in series, you can pick up any book without having to start with book 1 but not in a book itself. I shouldn’t be able to cut in midway and know everything that’s going on.
I could barely get into this book. I barely got through the first two chapters. The main character, Charlotte, drove me completely bonkers. Her constant whining made me want to throw the book across the room. Her low self esteem, cookie-cutter responses and her GORGOUES SISTER (aren't they always?) just annoyed me.
The story didn't hold much appeal either. The beginning was confusing—are ghosts real or not? Are they "energy" or are they real spirits? Confusion doesn't bode well for any story.
The writing wasn't much better. Nothing particularly appealing about it; didn't draw me into the story.
The writing coupled with the type of story made it come off as little kiddish. Charlotte's "holier-than-thou, I'm-so-misunderstood" attitude is something I expect in a middle grade novel, not YA.
Now, there might've been something more interesting farther in, but the first couple of chapters turned me off so much that I just wasn't willing to wait it out.(less)
This idea of angels being the bad guys and the assassins the heroes was fascinating and one that L.A. Weatherly put together nicely. The story was told in a simplistic yet effective writing style, yet there was major flaw that kept me from fully enjoying this story. The characters. Even amidst a story full of a great mix of action and romance, the characters began to wear at me as the plot progressed and it strongly affected my rating for this book.
The beginning was great. I was immediately captured by the story and the characters and before I knew it, I'd burned through the first hundred pages. I felt this was going to be a great story because Willow had a great introductory scene, full of humor and a sharp awareness. And she's a mechanic. Brownie points right there. Alex had a deep complexity about him and I immediately got a sense for his character, thank goodness.
Then the romance hit. And everything went downhill.
In a nutshell, this book could have been remarkably more enjoyable if the characters hadn't played towards every cliché line ever invented. Given spicier lines that were more character-specific, I would have been more invested in the story, after I got about three hundred pages in, I started rolling my eyes and fifty pages after that, I had to work towards making it through the entire book. Cliché to the last word.
This idea was so clever and everything seemed to be primed for a read full of humor, breathless adventure and steaming romance. Yet it just didn't deliver.
(I did like how the tense switches persons when there was a change between Willow and Alex. Willow's narration was in first person; Alex's in third. I thought that was an interesting touch.)(less)
Possession felt wrong to me from the start. Immediately, I sensed there was going to be a problem: I felt no conviction about the main character, Vi's, rebellious spirit. I didn't feel much towards the world, or the writing style. I only managed roughly a hundred pages, and I didn't see any reason to continue reading.
The main character, Vi, thought a lot of herself, acting "so rebellious" in the face of the Thinkers. She acted like a child, and worse: a rebel without a cause. I had no idea what was so bad about her environment in the first place, so I was lost when she was being arrested. Her thoughts and motivations were all over the place, if explained at all. I didn't care that she was being arrested, or that she was "losing" time with a boy. Her "fire" seemed forced just within the first twenty pages.
The writing was rather weak. Not enough time spent setting things up, so not enough suspense created to make me want to find out how things worked. There was a lot of telling -- a lot of telling.
I can't say much in terms of plot since I didn't very far into it, but even so, a hundred pages in should tell me something. It wasn't that nothing happened, just that nothing that drove me to continue for the plot's sake. I felt that her relationship with Jag was very predictable from what I caught of it.
I was really disappointed by this: I was looking for to it.(less)
What drew me to The Goddess Test was the cool idea and incessant coverage in the blogosphere. I love Greek myths, especially when they're retold in a fresh, new fashion. But I didn't think anything about The Goddess Test was fresh, or new. Every aspect, from the main character to the cheesy high school experience, left me unimpressed. It was a promising seed of an idea, but it I felt it could have been presented a lot better.
The summary itself doesn't seem to promise much. It's chockfull of unsurprising elements. Of course the Lord of the Underworld is "dark" and "tortured." When I think of a fresh, new take on Greek mythology, I have more in mind of a Hades (if he's a teenager in the modern world) that likes to go around wearing a Black Sabbath tee and ratty biker boots. Not a long, black trench coat. And, of course, Henry is unbelievably, undeniably gorgeous. Not the kind of depth and originality I was hoping for.
Modernizing the myth of Persephone is a rich concept, whereas Carter's story seemed to barely scratch the surface. It was clouded with things that had already been done before, from the bitterly worn out high school hierarchy (where the head cheerleader is blond and of course dates the quarterback and/or captain of the football team) to the prose itself. The prose was entirely telling, no showing, making it lackluster for me. From page to page, I was left unsurprised. It was so easy to see how the plot was going to progress from page one, so by the time I got to page sixty, I was ready to cry with frustration and boredom.
The frustration came mostly from the main character, Kate. I can empathize with her plight (though I'm not watching my mother slowly die, it's a member of my family) but I cannot sympathize with her. I expected more anger out of her; some other emotion than just perpetual flakiness around anyone other than her mother. She just came off childish after a while, and I quickly tired of her.
I thought The Goddess Test was going to be amazing, but it was simply one of those books that did not live up to my expectations. I was hoping for a story with an edgy charm, but it was blunted by superficial characters and melodramatic action.(less)