For the most part, I thought this was a really great book. It definitely is worthy of the four stars that I'm giving it, but it is the worst book (so...moreFor the most part, I thought this was a really great book. It definitely is worthy of the four stars that I'm giving it, but it is the worst book (so far) in the Bloodlines series. I really enjoy the series and Mead's writing, but this book just didn't make me feel the same kind of rush that the previous 3 books did. That doesn't mean that I won't end up loving the last two books, especially considering that in the Vampire Academy series, my least favorite book was the fourth book. Maybe I just have a problem with that part of the arc in stories? Anyway, I digress.
The story was intriguing and it was definitely filled with drama, which was in keeping with the past stories. Unfortunately, it didn't have the same level of wit that I had come to expect. It was rather dry when it came to that, and the drama that happened was a lot more predictable than it should have been. The whole series has sort of been building to what happened in this book, so it didn't end up really shocking me or anything.
I can say, without a doubt, that I absolutely hate Zoe and think that both she and Sydney's father are extremely most despicable characters. I know that Zoe is motivated by jealousy and was raised by a bigot, so her motives might not completely be her own, but she was given a chance to grow and change and she didn't, which makes her actions that much more abhorrent. I already knew I didn't like Sydney's father before this book, with his previous love of a rapist and his somewhat subtle emotional abuse of his daughters, but this book made me realize what a schmuck the dude really is. I hope that Sydney's mom gets custody of Zoe, if for no other reason than I know it would make Zoe and Jared so horribly miserable.
I'm glad that Adrian was finally coming to terms with the fact that he had been living an extremely self-destructive life. I hope that he can learn how to use spirit while being on medication at some point because he really deserves to have some sort of normal life. I'm sure that his decisions to go on the medicine and, later, to go back off it will be dealt with more in the fifth or sixth book...or at least, I hope that that's the case. I think that the way his lack of faith in himself was portrayed was extremely poignant. A lot of times when writers choose to write about a mentally ill character, they don't completely "get" what having a mental illness is like, but Mead did an excellent job in portraying what it was like for him. Kudos for that.
There seemed to be too many characters in the story. I know that all of the VA and Bloodlines stories have featured multitudes of characters, but there were so many in this book that it felt like some weren't getting the level of attention that they deserved. Hopefully that won't be an issue in the next two books.
Overall, even with the stuff that I didn't like about this book, I found it entertaining, easy to get into, and easy to read. I think it is definitely worth reading and I'm glad to see at least one paranormal romance series writer getting it right. (Some of the fails that have befallen other writers in the genre had made me start to lose hope.) I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance stories, especially within the young adult age group.(less)
Kiss of Death is a lot like other books in the Morganville Vampires series. It was interesting and had the potential to be awesome, but somehow fell s...moreKiss of Death is a lot like other books in the Morganville Vampires series. It was interesting and had the potential to be awesome, but somehow fell short. That seems to the be the norm in this series. The book was a little different in that the four residents of the Glass House (plus Oliver) leave Morganville to go to Dallas. Of course, vampire-related chaos and drama ensues. Unfortunately, the chaos isn't really all that interesting, as usual. I always seem to enjoy the chapters leading up to the chaos, but find the actual action in the books to be boring.
It is nice to see Claire coming out of her shell more with each book. I like that the heroine of the series can be geeky and kickass. That is rather empowering.
The interactions among the characters are always entertaining. (They're the best part of the whole series.) I especially love the snarky sibling-like relationship between Shane and Eve. It can always provide a laugh or two. It's also cool to see the romances between the characters developing.
I would say that I hope weaker parts of the stories improve, but I figure that this far into the series, that seems unlikely. I guess I might grow accustomed to it soon. Either that or I'll just continue to feel a bit disappointed in the series.(less)
Once upon a time, I gave this book a five-star rating. After doing a re-read this past week, I'm wondering why I ever gave it such a high rating. It d...moreOnce upon a time, I gave this book a five-star rating. After doing a re-read this past week, I'm wondering why I ever gave it such a high rating. It definitely doesn't deserve it. Maybe I was just so enamored by vampire novels at that point that I thought anything with a little fang or a little blood was awesome. Obviously, I was wrong.
As is typical with the young adult vampire novel, the heroine considers herself to be a freak and lives in some sort of broken home/recently remarried type situation. As is also typical, said heroine is having boy troubles. Apparently, vampire novel heroines are always having some kind of heartache/heart-break issue. Maybe it's actually heartburn and they need some kind of acid reliever. Honestly, that would make more sense in a lot of cases within this genre.
I was intrigued that the story dealt with segregation. Once teenagers find out that they are vampyres, as they spell it in this book, they have to give up their old life and move into a special boarding school for other people who have been marked. I know that might sound a lot like Harry Potter, but instead of being just a tradition, this is something that seems to be legally required of newly marked. It is also apparent that this is different from the HP books in that the outside world knows about vampyres existing and they treat them as being lesser creatures because they are no longer human. (To be fair, the vampyres call humans 'refrigerators', so there really is no love lost.)
Zoey Redbird, this novel's heroine and narrator, is a bit of a queen of exaggeration and immaturity. She says that she has limited math skills, but makes fun of her best friend's worse one when the friend exaggerates a number. It makes Zoey seem very haughty. It was the kind of attitude that you might see someone display right before someone punched them in the face. And she really has no right to be so, since, like I said, she's got some problems with immaturity. She uses words like "boobie" and "poopie" regularly. And she gets distracted whenever she thinks about those words. It's very annoying. She's also a hypocrite. She will ridicule someone else in one paragraph for a particular behavior and then turn around and do the exact same behavior just a few paragraphs later.
Zoey and her friends like to partake in the hobby of slut-shaming. There was honestly more slut-shaming in this book than I was ever exposed to in high school. It was very alarming to see two female writers propagating the idea that girls who have sex or who enjoy being sexual in any way deserve to be treated with less respect and with continued ridicule. What does that teach the readers of these novels to think about sex and sexuality?
Zoey also uses other ways of insulting people through slurs and stereotypes. Negative remarks that she makes about others often relate to the person's sex life or their body shape and size. And do not get me started on how Damien is described. Zoey actually mentions something about not hearing a lisp. And the story goes out of the way to make him seem like he's different from every other gay guy in the world. Instead of making the story seem more inclusive by having a gay character, it actually feels more like they're being even more ignorant and anti-LGBTQ. She calls another character a "retard" and makes fun of friends of her stepfather as being "beady-eyed pedophile husbands". Both of these things disgusted me. There is even racist wording used to describe a fellow student's hair.
I know that Zoey cannot and shouldn't be a perfect character. Flaws are what make characters great, but there's a point when it becomes obvious that it's more than just a flawed character--it's a flawed book. The writing quality of the book is poor. Before Zoey goes to the House of Night, there's a scene where her mother and stepfather are talking...and they seem to only talk in cliches. The mother actually makes a comment about "what will the neighbors say." It was ridiculous. Throughout the book, it felt like the writers are trying really hard to be young and fresh. That was disconcerting to me because one of the authors is young enough that she shouldn't have had to try very hard to sound young. And, as I think I've pointed out by now, the book is filled with ignorance and bigotry. Instead of being an interesting story, it just comes across as disgusting. (less)
I haven't enjoyed this series as much as I probably should have. After all, it is fully of vampires, and those are sort of my thing. Between the dragg...moreI haven't enjoyed this series as much as I probably should have. After all, it is fully of vampires, and those are sort of my thing. Between the dragging feeling that was present in almost every book, the times when chapters would be 40-50 pages long (for a 300-400 page book), and the switching perspectives in almost every other chapter (and going from 3rd person to 1st person in those chapters) in the last few books, I have been feeling more and more disenchanted.
This book definitely would not make my list of awesome books. It isn't even one of the better ones in the series. For one thing, part of what made me keep coming back to these books were the characters Eve, Amelie, and Myrnin. Well, in this book, Eve and Myrnin barely have any part at all, while Amelie has none. Eve and Myrnin always provided some of the most humorous comments in the other books, while Amelie would provide some of the best insight; without these three, the books aren't as funny and they don't seem as philosophical/insightful. It's amazing how not having them makes the story so very flat.
Another thing I disliked was the continuation of the bad guy being the person you should least expect. For 14 books, that has been the case, whether it was Oliver, a puddle/the rain/Magnus, Naomi, or mad scientists. With every book, I thought the way villains were written would change. With every book, it became more and more obvious that it wouldn't change. It would have been okay if it had been an occasional thing, but 14 books that are built on the suspense of figuring out who the big bad is made this formula a really bad idea. Everything that happened in the story made it so obvious that this story was going to be like the other 13.
It is good that this is only a 15 book series. I think that, at least when it comes to the Morganville series, Caine has lost her spark.(less)
I'm a bit of a weirdo. I don't actually mind when fanfiction gets turned into book form...as long as it is worth reading and it makes some effort to n...moreI'm a bit of a weirdo. I don't actually mind when fanfiction gets turned into book form...as long as it is worth reading and it makes some effort to not be a ripoff of the original story. When it comes right down to it, this book and the series that it belongs to just aren't worth reading and they have obvious issues with copying from other books, as well as television and movie series.
I tried not to read up on the series or its writer before I started reading these books. I know that there was some serious drama-llamaing a few years ago on LiveJournal, but I tried to ignore that and be as objective as possible while reading these stories. So when I say that I didn't like the stories, I don't mean that I don't like the author's past, I just mean that I found the stories to be seriously lacking in many ways.
They aren't well-written at all. Even though the story's plot may seem original, it isn't. I would suggest readers watch at least the first two movies in The Prophecy franchise, as well as read the books in the Harry Potter series (where the fanfiction version of this originated), Star Wars, and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I almost started a list while reading this of all the episodes, movies, and books where a scene would be swiped from. Her inability to come up with an original plot wasn't the only thing wrong with the writing. The actual writing was bad. It was choppy. I would read a sentence, then have to take a break and try to go on to the next sentence. It felt like English wasn't really even her first language. And the editing, don't get me started on that. The errors in this book were just so shocking.
The characters weren't all that interesting. They were so trope-y and stereotypical. There is no growth by any of them. If anything, they actually get worse as the story goes on. I was offended by the way that Magnus is basically portrayed as a slut because he's bisexual. Bisexual characters always get that kind of treatment in books, and that's a major reading pet peeve of mine.
And the incestuous nature of the lead characters' relationship is just grotesque. I don't care if they end up finding out that they aren't siblings or not. Incest is not sexy. And I feel like this series almost tries to glamorize it.
I cannot understand how this book is popular or even liked by anyone. It's awful. It's offensive. If you haven't read it already, please don't waste your time in checking it out. It really isn't worth it.(less)