Captured me from page one, it did. The first little bit I read at the JoBeth in Cincinnati haunted me until I broke down and bought it online. FinisheCaptured me from page one, it did. The first little bit I read at the JoBeth in Cincinnati haunted me until I broke down and bought it online. Finished it within two days. If I had a hat, I'd tip it to Ruta Sepetys....more
Gilt came onto my radar after I attended an author panel with the lovely founders of YA Muses. Katherine Longshore herself wasn't there due to a family emergency, but Talia Vance read the first chapter of Gilt and I started thinking, "I've gotta go read this book." Even though historical fiction novels are decidedly not my thing, Gilt was a fascinating and intriguing book with a great sense of time and setting, along with a well-built cast of characters that I'm sure will appeal to historical fiction junkies.
Just based on the synopsis, one can see where the overall plot is headed before even reading the first page. I knew going in that there was going to be a downfall, but Katherine Longshore seemingly took my definition of a "downfall" and racked it up to an extreme level. She did this by giving me, the reader, an emotional tie to the main character, Kitty. Kitty and Cat's relationship was expertly done, what with the way Kitty is brow-beaten into submission by Cat and how this, and Kitty's reaction, is believable because Kitty's options are clearly understood: meaning, Kitty takes constant abuse from Cat (beyond mean words, she also lies for her) because Kitty can't afford not to please Cat. Cat's favor gave her protection.
These little motivations and understandings gave the novel a complexity and depth that I appreciated as a reader. It made the climax so much harder to bear. However, the entire novel was on the brink of depressing with how there's a constant cloud of mistrust hanging over the plot. There was no reprieve, literally no one to trust. And, paired with Katherine Longshore's visceral writing style, it greatly affected me as I read.
I had a few moments during the story where it got so depressing, I wanted to stop reading. But I wanted to finish it. Despite the seemingly easily predictable ending, Katherine Longshore had thrown in some plot twists that made me doubt how predictable the ending might really be. Also, I'd grown attached to Kitty's character and wanted to know how she'd come out of it. My attachment to Kitty's character speaks to how well Katherine Longshore has a unique talent of character building. While I couldn't agree with Kitty's actions, I could go along with them because they made sense to me. I wasn't left thinking, "Why is she doing this?!"
I loved the world that Katherine Longshore built. As I understand it, it's mostly historically accurate, but even if it wasn't, I wouldn't mind. Longshore had built a world that was layered with its heights of grandeur and lows of poverty. She showed the cracks that are not often shown, both in the world itself and at court. Longshore convinced me that I don't ever want to be accidentally transported back to 1500s England.
Gilt was a fantastic story with an even greater main character, a well-detailed world, and a heart pumping plot....more
When first discovering A Temptation of Angels, I was engrossed by the storyline (if a bit put off by the prospect of a love triangle) because it appeared to be an action-packed story set in a Victorian-style London full of political intrigue and stunning romance. Well, there was action and there were some nice romantic scenes, but overall, I was disappointed. What the summary promised, the story did not deliver. As this is my first of Michelle Zink's work, I'm not encouraged to pick up another of her stories.
The main character, Helen, was promising...at first. I liked her quick and inquisitive mind in the opening chapters, but as the story began to set in, I was unimpressed. I couldn't exactly place why other than a few cases of horribly chosen arguments. Her tenacity was endearing until it became irritating. I believe having her particular character in the third person wasn't the best for the story. I felt distanced from her; this complete inability to connect to her.
When the romance started, I was torn between being enraptured and frustrated. It, like the beginning of the story, started too quickly and proceeded with frightening predictability. Of course she's going to develop immediate feelings for a man she's living with, who teaches her to use her angelic powers and swears to protect her. And of course she's going to be "torn" between him -- the dedicated protector -- and a man she played with...when she was five. Love triangles are a horrifying creation of torture in young adult literature, truly.
The plot itself was rather weak. It wasn't very tightly wrapped. It seemed to be a story about Helen's emotional journey -- mourning her parents, growing into her role in her new world and trying not to get herself killed -- but with sudden, harsh missteps into this "bigger picture". I got bored with it after a while. I saw there was direction, but I didn't feel the pull to see the characters through. It just got...boring.
Michelle Zink's writing, besides the third person point of view, was good. What drew me to her in the first place was what I read briefly from The Prophecy of the Sisters and how I was impressed with her style. I say "good" because it didn't keep me glued to the pages, but I wasn't repulsed by it either. I did see a lot of telling and not showing, but there were also a lot of great lines.
Overall, not a fan. It just wasn't a book that appealed to me....more
Dragonswood is distinguishable to me for being (basically) the first book for me to buy on pure impulse rather than a desire nurtured and built up over several months to read it. My attraction was instantaneous and my instincts won out. Dragonswood had me captivated in the first few pages on Amazon's Quick Look. Elegantly written from the point of view of a tortured soul, I was drawn into the world with dragonlords, stolen treasure, and witch hunters.
Janet Lee Carey's writing style was simple, but elegant. It held the charms of an archaic style, but wasn't riddled with overwhelmingly abstract thoughts about life, and there was just enough detail for me to appreciate the level of research the author did, and also how much she cared about her world.
I think it was the setting that distinguished Dragonswood from all the other fantasy books I've read. I really enjoyed how it was set in history -- there were references to Arthur Pendragon and Merlin and Ireland. It was also rife with detail about how life was back in the 1100's. Dragonswood was so set in its own originality that it was hard looking up to electricity and oreos and clean water and indoor plumbing.
I loved how the entire story was character-driven, centered entirely on Tess. And Tess was a good main character. I loved her for her inability to be perfect: Janet Lee Carey brought out aspects of things that you have to deal with in life that, I think, would really hit home to a reader. Injustice, betrayal, uncertainty, determination. All these things major themes in Dragonswood and apparent in Tess's experiences.
My favorite part though? The legit romance. It's the kind that makes you want to believe in (and yearn for!) a happily ever after. While romances are generally very straight forward (sometimes even in love triangles), I was tiring of the in-your-face method of mainstream YA novels. The romance in Dragonswood was subtle, and built up slowly over the entire book. That was what made it awesome.
Dragonswood was an amazing novel. The writing, the world, the characters, the romance: everything perfectly combined to make one stunning read....more
Straight up: probably one of the best books I've read in a while. Robin LaFevers has constructed a story chockfull of political intrigue, breathtaking romance and exciting adventure. Coupled with her incredible writing ability, this is a book I will put time aside for to reread. It was that good.
The main character, Ismae, was fantastic. She started out with a rough life and was given a second chance. She didn't let the chance go to waste. I cheered for her from page one. She wasn't a perfect character. She made mistakes and misjudgments and let her mouth get away from her. She had a wicked sense of humor. She was flawed. She was awesome. Her emotions were raw; Robin LaFevers didn't sugarcoat anything.
The romance was awesome! I liked how Robin LaFevers held out just long enough to put me on the edge of my seat. It's one of those romances that you know they have to get together--they just have to!--but it takes a ridiculously long amount of time. It was satisfying though. So kudos to Ms. LaFevers.
The eerie setting was the perfect backdrop for the compelling plot. The story was brilliantly told and artfully crafted. It's so rare I see such depth to political intrigue. (MCs are generally on the outskirts or indirectly affected by political dealings, so it was nice to have a MC in the thick of it, actively changing the course of the fate of the world around her.)
Robin LaFevers has an enviable writing skill. She transitioned smoothly, almost seamlessly, between the stages of Ismae's character development. She created a story of a strong, scarred young woman called to the life of an assassin. I loved the uniqueness.
Grave Mercy was a thrilling, very satisfying read. I resolve myself to the life of nagging Robin on twitter until the sequel, Dark Triumph, comes out....more
I have always been wary of classics. I had the misfortune of starting and completing Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger shortly before I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and it was one of many that made me question why classic books were "classic." But when I started To Kill a Mockingbird, I wondered if it was one big cosmic joke. Because To Kill a Mockingbird was good.
Of all the "classics" I've read, this was the only one I've seen that actually reads like a modern-day novel. The voice of Scout was clear as a bell and immensely enjoyable. I loved her sharp wit and stubborn streak and fighting spirit. I also liked how Harper Lee made the prose mature and the dialogue child-like, so it really did sound like Scout was narrating her life from a much older age. It also made the story so much easier to understand, and that's the point isn't it? To understand the story. Not something, I feel, most classics get.
Even before I saw the movie, I had pictured what Maycomb would've been like. And with Harper Lee's excellent writing style, it was easy. She took her time with it and put in details that made the setting come to life.
The characters were just as life-like. I am a huge fan of Atticus and Cal and Jem. Besides Scout, that is. Scout was awesome. To Kill a Mockingbird was simply jam-packed with unforgettable characters that told an unforgettable story....more
An interesting story, but not one that struck my fancy.
It was excellently written, though I had a hard time buying into the atmosphere. I usually get a feel for the world within twenty or so pages but this one…I got a hundred pages in and still felt like I was stumbling around in the dark.
I liked the main character, Victor, though mostly for his bad-boy appeal. The emotional journey was incredible, and very real with its switchbacks and unpredictable U-turns. The cousin, Elizabeth…I couldn't decide whether she was cool or just annoying. She was fiery, but she had her moments of eye-rolling girlyness.
It was a great idea. The plot was intriguing, if a bit predictable—except for the end. Boy was that a belly dropper. But I couldn't really get into it because the story of Frankenstein has never interested me. (I picked this book up mostly for its cover. Shh.)
This book makes me have more faith in Kenneth Oppel's work. I had previously attempted to read his popular book Airborn but couldn't manage because it was bogged down by so much detail. This Dark Endeavor was very elegantly written and wasn't swamped with nit-picky details, so maybe I'll grab a copy of Airborn.
Well written, short and torturing, it's worth a gander....more
When it first entered the blogosphere, Born Wicked made quite a splash. Though they haven't gone as viral as vampires and werewolves, witches are a very popular source of entertainment for those who lean towards the supernatural side. And oh, does Jessica Spotswood know how to provide entertainment. The allure of witches had previously passed me by, but what Spotswood has done in Born Wicked has my interest piqued. She presented her world with delicious details, her characters with stunning contrasts, and her romance with a tragic twist. Born Wicked drew me in from page one, and I was reluctant to let go at the last.
I love it when the atmosphere of a book is so clear and profound that it leaves little watermarks in my mind. The world of Born Wicked has a whole light spectrum of depth to it, ranging from rosy moments of happiness tinged with a dark slash of forbidden love, and dark encounters with danger and magic. While I may not know how historically accurate the real parts of her world are, I was fully satisfied with Spotswood's creation.
I was also deeply satisfied with the main character, Cate. Too often, books that come with an interesting premise, a steady and promising writing style, and edgy world are torn apart by a weak and inconsistent main character. Cate was a true heroine. She had enormous responsibilities stacked onto her shoulders and not to mention more secrets than she could hide under her bell skirts. I loved how, from page one, her vulnerabilities weren't shrouded by pride and anger. This allowed me to really connect, and cheer for, her character.
And for the romance, too. Oh, Finn. My heart broke for you. Love triangles have such a bad rep, but with this one, there isn't the classic template of the heroine flitting between the two heroes. It is merely an awkward situation where two men are vying for the same woman, but not necessarily the other way around. I loved Finn's character -- he was so adorable! And he never got all macho, or smothered Cate with all his proclamations of protection. I loved their relationship.
Another kind of relationship I loved was the one between Cate and her sisters. Their relationship was constantly torn at throughout the story which (despite the unfairness of it) I liked because it was realistic and it challenged the characters, forcing them to grow. The three of them made such an impression on me. I'm practically twitching from the anticipation of what other horrible fates will descend upon them in the next book. (Gosh, I sound so bloodthirsty there. I love the sisters, I promise!)
Jessica Spotswood has a real eye for plot progression. There was always something to move the story forward. She didn't pussyfoot around -- she threw obstacle after ungodly obstacle in front of her characters until I wanted to cry for them. By the end of the story, my heartstrings were in knots. But I have to give it to her... Jessica Spotwood knows how to put a story together that kept me glued to every page.
Whether you're a fan of witches or not, Born Wicked may spark your fancy for them. Or maybe, like me, you'll just figure that no one else will do it better than Jessica Spotswood, and declare that you only like witches if they're in the Cahill Chronicles. ...more
The Girl in the Steel Corset really blew up the blogosphere when it first came out, and I can see why it would, but I can also see that this is another one of those cases where it's an extremely popular book that just doesn't work for me. There was a great sense of atmosphere surrounding Steel Corset, what with all the inventions and the time period, but beyond a sense of setting, there wasn't a lot to recommend it to me. I wasn't impressed by the main character, Finley; the plot was far too easy to figure out; and the writing didn't do anything for me. If I was looking for a dramafest, I found it. I didn't find anything engaging or thought-provoking about The Girl in the Steel Corset.
My main issue was with the characters. While they each had their own deal (Emily with the machines, Sam with the automaton complex, Jasper with the cowboy boots and Griffin with being lordly and all that jazz), I wasn't very intrigued by their interactions. It was wildly obvious from the beginning where the romances were going to develop and the love triangle? I shy away from love triangles enough as it is but this one especially because there was no foundation for it. Finley's perspective:
"She felt like a bone between two hungry dogs."
And she was about as voiceless as one, too. I felt like Cross was trying to build up one as the powerful duke with a heart as big as his extensive wealth, and the other as a dark angel with hidden compassion. It just made me cringe.
There wasn't enough depth to go around. The only thing that had detail and intrigue was the machine stuff. (They had motorcycles and flashlights and automaton cats, for heaven's sake. What's not to find interesting?) But with things like Finley's problem, the romances, and especially the plot, I was left uninterested.
My problem with Finley wasn't that she was a useless character (though she had a lot of very, very dim moments). I liked the concept of the Jekyll and Hyde complex, but I was unconvinced by what was shown of Finley's duality. I wanted -- and expected -- more complexity. She didn't come off as very badass to me, just a cut out doll who talks and "supposedly" turns into a hardcore killer when she's threatened. There wasn't a lot in her character to trigger my sympathy.
The plot was really disappointing for me. While it was interesting at first, it was incredibly predictable the farther I got into the story. And really, anyone who saw The Great Mouse Detective as a kid could have guessed what The Machinist was plotting. Because of that the climax wasn't all that exciting. I feel like it would've been more heart-pumping if the climax had actually challenged the characters on every level. So it just seemed like a culmination of drama than a real struggle to win out over evil. And while there was a cliffhanger at the very end, I saw it coming two hundred pages away.
That was the main issue I had with the writing: it completely lacked impact because I knew what was coming. Some of it was clever and the dialogue was, for the most part, great, but there was very little mystery. And the prose gave depth and detail in all the wrong places. For example, every time a character changed into another outfit, it was noted and described in detail. It was cool, but I just wish the attempt at depth had been uniform throughout the story and not just in that area. There was a lot of telling and nowhere near enough showing, so whenever a character was getting "passionate" about something, they just came off as childish. And also! There were very slight narrative leaps. The best (and most irritating) example is how Griffin might be narrating but Finley's emotions are described. Small things like that pulled me out of the story.
The Girl in the Steel Corset was built up by the blogosphere to be this heart-pumping steampunk with a truly badass heroine, but I just couldn't see it. I'm a bit on the fence about whether or not to continue with the series, but, to give Kady Cross some credit, she does know how to end on a cliffhanger....more
I wanted to like this book. It offered a unique story set in an exotic place with a forbidden romance and a compelling mystery. While the book delivered a foreign place, a romance and a mystery, I did not feel compelled to enjoy any of them. The main character was flighty and indecisive; the romance was melodramatic; the plot fell flat, and the locale was not exactly the definition of intoxicating.
Cassandra Caravello and I would not be best buds. I felt no compassion for her, or for whatever situation she'd stumbled into. At every turn she was getting in trouble. And not just finding it, but throwing herself into it! The girl's brain had the consistency of wallpaper paste. She threw herself into danger unnecessarily, and usually had nothing to show for it except that she has a penchant for being saved like a damsel in distress. And if she wasn't following scary lights into the darkness, or rowing across Venice by herself with a killer on the loose while pursuing a thin thread of logic, then she was passing out or throwing a temper tantrum. The girl was moody and a downright irritant.
I didn't find much value in the love triangle, either. (For of course there must be a love triangle!) I normally despise love triangles because they almost always reflect poorly on the main character, and what should be a conflict, or obstacle, really just comes off as melodramatic tension. In this case, I felt no sense of tragedy at Cassandra's loss of her "true love." Partly because I did not care for Cassandra or her troubles, and partly because I felt no compassion for any of the other characters.
Also, I felt no stirring towards the world. I wanted to come out of the book feeling like I had just come back from an adventure. Venice is a place with enormous potential for a magical adventure story, and yet I just felt...very meh. Yes, I was shown gondolas and canals and palazzos, but while they were mentioned, I couldn't really see what was so magical about them. I couldn't sense the magic of the world at all because it lacked a lot of small, important details that would've brought it to life. The lasting effect was...less than intoxicating.
The plot was not compelling. The supposed "danger" to the character was overrated because nothing about the murders in Venice truly disrupted Cassandra's life. I slogged through it, waiting for the stakes to rise, waiting for something unexpected to happen. The plot twists bored me because I had figured them out several pages beforehand. By the end of it, the only thing I wanted to know was a) whodunnit and b) why. Both revelations were tiresome.
Overall, not impressed in the slightest. I don't think I'll be continuing with this series....more
I don't know what I've been doing with my life. Clearly, I was blissfully unaware of how deprived I was by not having read this book yet. Thank God --I don't know what I've been doing with my life. Clearly, I was blissfully unaware of how deprived I was by not having read this book yet. Thank God -- I have found a new, juicy series to sink my teeth into this summer. Thank you, YS Lee!
So sure, it can be a kid's book, too. But as we all know, Harry Potter was published for children and look how many people love it. (Lifetime lover of the HP series, right here. Read HP1 when I was a wee little girlie at five-years-old. Just in case you were wondering...) So this book doesn't contain all the nitty-gritty, teenage dramatic rabble we get so much in YA fiction today. Instead....
It's a wonderfully refreshing journey. I very much enjoyed how it wasn't centered around a romance or a couple or the "normal" setup. It's set up at the beginning of World War I--1913--and it was rich in detail and atmosphere. For a while, I've felt the beginning signs of a history lover in me. I don't know of many books that are set in the World War time periods and are written specifically for young adults. I consider this a jewel for inspiring children--making them interested in their history.
It was a fascinating mix of future and past. And I do believe that is what Scott Westerfeld describes as the "steampunk" genre. I haven't been very impressed with the few steampunk novels I've read but this one was brilliant. This wasn't something that Mr. Westerfeld came up with on a whim. He put some real effort into this--doing his research and getting it right. I can't even begin to wonder how he came up with half the creatures in this book.
Some say "slow". Of the reviews I've read of "Leviathan," they say that it was slow--not a lot of action. As I read, I couldn't help but think, "Ooooh, they meant that kind of action." Like I said, this was written to be appropriate for middle grade kids while being interesting and complex enough for older teens. So, no. It won't have hot and heavy sex scenes. But there was plenty of action-action. Like the kind you see in war films. Getting chased by a huge metal spider-like thing while on the run for being the son of a murdered archduke? Getting caught in the middle of a storm strapped to the belly of a giant flying jellyfish? Getting stranded on a glacier in the mountains, waiting for your giant, hydrogen-making, living ship to re-inflate itself? And they say "no action"? Oy.
I loved the characters. Deryn was so flipping awesome! Maybe an overuse of the British slang but still, awesome all the same. A very strong heroine. :) And Alek wasn't too bad either. They were both so sharp and both had their own unique voice. (The chapters alternated between the two.) Sometimes I had a hard time keeping Alek's crew straight but it became clearer as I continued to read.
Thrilling plot. Talk about a cliffhanger! Grr! (But I can't say anymore--gotta keep to the Spoiler Free policy, after all.)
Shew! The illustrations? Okay, talk about talented. Personally, I LOVE young adult books that have illustrations in them. (The "Leven Thumps" series by Obert Skye is the only other series I know that is middle grade/young adult that has illustrations in it.) The illustrations provided the perfect visual aid I needed...it gave the extra spunk to the imagination.
Definitely a favorite. I can't wait to head to Scott Westerfeld's appearance in Raleigh on the 22nd. I want to ask him so many questions! And I can't wait to read "Behemoth" (which released on October 5th, by the way.) On the 22nd, I will be the proud owner of a signed copy of "Leviathan" and "Behemoth" by Scott Westerfeld. Oo-rah!...more
God, I freaking loved this book. Fantastic prose, loved the character development and all the emotional upheaval will make your heart ache. I was afraid at first that I would have to reread Aurelia to get the characters fresh in my head and get the story straight, but I went ahead and read a bit of Exile as soon as I got it and realized it wasn’t necessary. I’ll tell you why…
The characters were more alive than ever. They came back as if I’d just finished reading Aurelia. Aurelia was up and fighting, straining against the unexpected bounds her expedition set on her. Robert, frustrated as ever, trying to tell her not to be so reckless and stupid. The two of them are presented so well. It’s so easy to imagine their relationship and with Anne Osterlund’s expressive writing style, everything comes alive—including the increasing heat between our two MCs.
I said fantastic prose, and I meant it. Right away, I found a passage that I just had to make note of. (I’m serious when I say this. I always keep an index card inside the book I’m reading so I can make note of this stuff for my review.)
“Eyes watched her. From behind pitchfork tines and around morning glory trellises, through the gnarled apple trees, and under the long, crisscrossed shadows of orchards…She tried smiling at the onlookers , but they ducked beneath their leafy screens and sank to darker slate-gray depths.”
Excerpted from ARC paperback edition p. 7
I wish I could share some of my favorite bits of prose, but they’re cliffhangers. Oh boy, can Anne Osterlund leave you a cliffhanger. Usually books don’t take me by surprise but I gasped a few times throughout this book. It might have been due to the slight change in her writing style. She had a tendency to write punchier sentences instead of the longer flowing kind. I think it’s what really made the emotion pop out in this book.
IEU: immense emotional upheaval. Aurelia was struggling with her traumatic memories of court, as was Robert. Aurelia was also challenged during her expedition in more traumatic ways than ever. Reading about her heart-wrenching reactions made me feel like a peeping tom. Like being in the room when someone’s crying. I think this feeling speaks of Anne Osterlund’s ability to bring out the soul of a character.
I love how it all comes together. I was so swept up in the adventure, thinking what the characters thought, that my Reality Button was turned off. It’s what usually clues me in on what’s going on—what the author is trying not to tell you. But as I said, the characters…you think what they think and when they put it together, I was suddenly going, “Ooohhhhh!!!” when it clicked for me too.
This is now the third novel I’ve read of Anne Osterlund’s and personally, I hope I have the money and means the day her tenth bestselling book comes out. I was so honored that she thought of me for a review copy. :) Definitely one of the Cucumber Fairies. XD
If you haven’t picked up any of Anne Osterlund’s work, you need to get on that. Like, right now. As in, this second. In fact, why are you still even bothering reading my review, which doesn’t do her work nearly enough justice? You need to be at the bookstore picking up one of her books. Why are you still here?!...more
Not too bad for a short book. I seem to have this misplaced misconception about short books: that somehow, because they lack a significant page count, they aren't as good.
Like I said, misplaced.
The Poison Dairies is a little dynamo. Small, but really packs a punch. The emotional journeys of the characters—especially Weed—were heart wrenching. It is always spine tingling to see the cruelties a person can render.
The main character, Jessamine, starts off interesting and likeable and woefully honest in her view of the world. Towards the end, however, I thought she was weak and pitiful and annoying. I became bitter towards her.
Weed, however, was awesome. He really seemed to me to be a fleshed out and very interesting character—his affiliation for plants is different than "earth magic" in, say, a Tamora Pierce-style world because Weed isn't seen doing any particular magic other than speaking with plants. He evolved as a character, starting off as a weak, seemingly witless fool. At the end, he's strong and pitiful from love.
The atmosphere was the most potent aspect. I gladly entered Jessamine's world in a little corner of Northumberland, filled with friendly flowers and poisonous plants.
Besides being a romance, it is also a heroic tale with deep character arcs and internal struggles. The ending had me glued—Weed's speech was sheer brilliance, if seriously misplaced. Like I said, Jessamine got pathetic towards the end.
I received the sequel The Poison Diaries: Nightshade from NetGalley and I'm really glad I picked up this series. Now I can't wait to start the next book. ...more
Truly, this summary doesn't give the book justice. You read it and it's like, "Oh sure, sounds fine." But the book contains so much more.
This takes aTruly, this summary doesn't give the book justice. You read it and it's like, "Oh sure, sounds fine." But the book contains so much more.
This takes a young boy and after being thrown into jail is transformed into a hardy, cunning young man with a mind for inventions and flying.
Eoin Colfer once more gives us his brilliance for winding a web of the plot, making you think one thing only to discover you were completely wrong; setting you on the edge of your seat when you're practically begging for Conor to bring justice and reestablish the link with his family. It's nerve-wracking, but is one of the best books I've read.
It took me a little while to get into it (mostly due to school issues) but one weekend I managed to score some time and I flew through this book--pardon the pun. The pages were just gone as I read. I couldn't wait to get to the end and discover whether or not Conor gets his revenge, if he meets once again with his family, if he gets the girl.
Signed with his signature humor, "Airman"'s suspense is as light-hearted as it is heavy-hearted.
A thrilling ride. Eoin Colfer does it again.
* 5/5 for Best Books Ever, Best Cast of Characters, Best Original Idea, Best Plot * Pages - Hardcover, 412 * Hardly any swear words, all of them mild. * No sequel reported. :( * Other books by Eoin Colfer: The "Artemis Fowl" series, "Half Moon Investigations", "The Supernaturalist", "The Wish List" ...more
A creepy as hell story, but so not my style. There are some authors that can write this really flowery, in depth stuff that I can still connect with, but Wooding was way over my head. Just too archaic for me to really wrap my head around, though there were some moments I could really appreciate—but only for their brevity.
Thaniel drew a pistol, opened it, spun the chamber to check he had a full load of bullets, and snapped it shut.
"My pleasure," he said.
Excerpted from hardcover edition, page 51
Everything else just went – whoosh! All these elaborate descriptions of rooms and characters…eek. If he took about half of it away, it would still come off just as creepy and haunting but keep my attention.
So even though I would covet this book for elaborate descriptions, I'm not going to spend several days slogging through it all.
I'd tried reading it before and I believe I stopped for the same reason: too much description bogging down the story and the characters....more
Aurelia I must say is a brilliantly written novel. The plot is one of the best I've read, keeping me riveted to the pages. The style reminds me a lotAurelia I must say is a brilliantly written novel. The plot is one of the best I've read, keeping me riveted to the pages. The style reminds me a lot of Tamora Pierce minus the fantasy twists.
I just have to add that I was so excited about the ending and I thought the closing was amazingly done. Very satisfying way to go into the next book. Aurelia showed them good!
I must find more of Ms. Osterlund's work. I'm definitely taking tips from her on plot twists. :)...more
While Cassandra Clare's writing style is excellent, I found myself thinking that "Clockwork Angel" was like a past life--meaning, a rehashing of "City of Bones". The characters were paralleled almost exactly. Clary to Tessa; Jace to Will; Isabelle to Jessamine. Far too similar for my taste. I expected to be provided with more depth of the world, expansion, not the same characters with a different name and a new setting.
I was expecting more from Tessa's power. It was a refreshing change for her to have the ability to shape-change into other humans, but it was perhaps only truly used in the beginning and then there was this huge gap where it wasn't mentioned at all and then used once at the end. That irritated me because you got the impression that Tessa shunned her power but the lack of mention caused that to collapse.
Lemme just say this about the writing: it was magnificent. While sometimes I skipped over the author's sometimes-lengthy descriptions of rooms and outfits, I did like how the information was presented and how the writing really carried. The author did well with the dialogue, keeping it appropriate for the Victorian era. Now that I've established that, let's move onto the characters.
As I said, the characters were far too much alike for my taste, which did nothing to make me like the book more. I disliked Tessa's character. For a girl who was supposed to read a lot, she sure didn't know a lot about how people interacted. In my opinion, she was shallow and uninteresting and her "shining moments" sounded false.
Let's talk about Will. I know a lot of people go for the tortured souls and I myself have a soft spot for characters that can make me laugh. After reading about Jace's character in the Mortal Instrument series, Will didn't come off right. Nothing he did seemed original to his character and he lost his allure fast for me.
My favorite character, though, is definitely Jem. While I was expecting something more dramatic (for all the fuss they put up) about the real issue behind his illness, I really did enjoy him as a character. The unassuming way he was described carried through and compared to all the others, he was definitely my favorite. He was consistent and while maybe a bit too soft with Tessa, he was one cool amigo.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed after all the hype that this book got around the blogosphere. What I would love to see is Cassandra Clare take all that talent and creativity and finally put some books into circulation with strong, sensible main characters. I'm not keeping this book, it is unfortunate to say. I'm returning it to Borders next time I go.
The cover: I was rather impressed with the cover--from a graphic designer's standpoint, it goes together well....more
A truly fascinating read. "Magic Under Glass," opens with Nimira performing at a crummy stage, searching the crowd for the eyes of her gentleman. A feA truly fascinating read. "Magic Under Glass," opens with Nimira performing at a crummy stage, searching the crowd for the eyes of her gentleman. A few scenes later, that gentleman offers her a job, performing at his estate alongside an automaton. Mirmia abandons her crummy life to step into adventure.
I admire Nimira, but differently than how I admire other characters. She's grounded but with a dreamer's heart. She isn't floppy, isn't outrageously brilliant and doesn't step up when you want her to. But she has a fast tongue and a kind heart. There's a certain air about her that makes her identifiable. As I said, she isn't the stunningly brilliant heroine I prefer to read about (and that kind is found so little in modern day fiction). Nimira does gives us a substantial amount of girl empowerment. Her determination and kindness make her shine.
I can see why someone would dislike this book. If you take it at face value, you see someone you might consider wimpy and uninteresting--the worst kind. But there is something there, between the lines. Nimira possesses something, or perhaps it is simply the plot. The world had me confused: I'm used to medieval maps and a defined time period. This time period had to be after the 1600's, for they have pistols. But the world is foreign. It almost runs parallel to a colonial time period--set in England with it's outlying estates, foreign worlds just behind the horizon, and snotty upper class.
I read this book in less than nine hours. It's a short read--only 225 pages--but the idea was original and it is originality that begins a great adventure. Something about it pulled me along and I read it every spare moment I had, and before I knew it, I was done with it....more