This one really didn't do it for me like the 1st book. I put it aside for a long, long while which means I was primarily bored.
Yes the prose was stil...moreThis one really didn't do it for me like the 1st book. I put it aside for a long, long while which means I was primarily bored.
Yes the prose was still great but Taylor started setting the scene for some serious angst and angst for me is a tough sell. It has to be 1000% believable and that's because so many author's use it as a tortured plot device in order to drag it out & use it as filler to make it to the next book in the series.
I'm not a fan of that plot device and expected better from Taylor. The reason being, based on Karou's previous experiences as Madrigal I completely didn't buy her lack of trust in Akiva and her willingness to semi trust Thiago. I know she felt guilty but puhlease.
I found the 1st 75% of the book rather tedious in spite of being well written. The last 25% picked up and there was a really interesting plot twist that I didn't see coming but it wasn't enough to redeem the book into a 4 or 5 star rating. It was fairly solid but I hardly found myself enraptured by the words or story being created as I was in the 1st book.
This one also definitely had a cliffy ending. (less)
I know that it's practically blasphemous that I didn't like this but it just didn't work for me for a bunch of reasons. I don't think that I'm a Rob T...moreI know that it's practically blasphemous that I didn't like this but it just didn't work for me for a bunch of reasons. I don't think that I'm a Rob Thurman kinda gal as I tried reading the Leandros brothers & really struggled and DNF book 3 of that series. I thought I would try it again at some point but after reading this, I know I won't bother.
I really wanted to like this more than but it was a mixed bag and mainly I found it predictable (what? yes...I know but it was & I'll get into that), convoluted and tedious.
I am surprised at the high marks but I'm guessing that's for the end more than the overall structure which started off great but ended really poorly IMO.
There are some really great parts due to the fact that when she strips it back, tells more of the story and less of the MC's every emotion or thought, Thurman creates some really wonderful prose and imagery which keep it moving. Some bits are so strong that I want to underline them & put them on my quotes wall.
The thing with me & Thurman though is that I think she gets too descriptive & repetitive esp. portraying the MC's angst. This is where it started to stall for me at the 30% mark. The MC is extremely similar to the character of her other series, Cal Leandros and since he bored me with all of his constant emo angst, it's no wonder Jackson did too.
Both MC's are a bit too paranoid of an anti-hero than I'm attracted to because it just comes across as flippant and cavalier when we all know that down deep the character doesn't mean it because it's a defense mechanism. It keeps me from getting fully engrossed & keeps me at a distance because I find it treads water in the excuse for a self-pity party & really, if I don't care about the characters, esp. the Main, what's the point of reading?
The plot...wow, I thought this was really messy. It tried way too hard to be clever & something different but more than that I felt that Thurman was trying so hard to distract from the 2 big reveals she had up her sleeve & it became a bit of a hot mess and incongruent as a result. The flow was hard for me to follow.
Let's talk those 2 reveals...
Here's where I personally thought Thurman really failed. As soon...I mean as soon as we met Eden on page, I knew she was the baddie. She was way too perky, nice & nurturing, In other words, the complete opposite of everyone else we've met in this book. Plus she sounded like a weird zealot underneath her nice words. Always chastising the people she worked with for having no manners etc. It was really odd. So....I figured she was going to be the 'unsuspecting' baddie.
Glory. Oh Glory, Glory, Glory.....of course she killed Tess! I think Thurman drew a map that couldn't have been any more obvious. I mean really...I know she gave the poor excuse of Jackson putting himself through hell because it was his only family but she also had him clearly tell the reader she was sociopathic & highly dangerous. Yet the biggest giveaway is that we had yet to meet her on page. As this continued, I knew that her arrival at the end was probably going to signify the "truth" finally coming out.
Thurman kept drumming home the evils of sociopaths via Thackery and yet Jackson is willing to go through the lengths he did over Glory? Then she had Jackson often talk about how lazy & stupid Boyd was yet there was never any motive for him to kill Tess that I could make sense of as a reader however, there was for Glory.
First...she was a sociopath that no one (except Tess in Jackson's limited - red herring - view) could get to and second, those shoes would be motive enough to drive a major sociopathic personality (at 5 years old) to hurt or kill and Thurman did such a big sales job focusing on the shoe, I thought it was pretty obvious it was Glory.
My last big issue aside from the lack of surprises in the book or how unattached I was to the characters was just how dense Jackson was. This guy can read anyone he wants. Considering he knew that as soon as they found out he was the genuine article or when he found out Charlie was murdered, his life would be forfeit, it took a damn long time for them to come up with the plan to have him read the staff!
Then the whole Charlie being lost mess, Hector & Meleah are magically in love & Charlie knew it, Fuji ghost, Tess neatly reincarnated, Charlie found by Tess etc., etc..
I don't know what the hell was going on in the end. It was all just too much to try and rectify legitimately IMO. It was convoluted, I was bored, I gave it the eye rolls, I almost gave up at the 75% mark & to get through the last 25% was a struggle. (less)
Oh this is one of those where I think - 'awww darn it. That's too bad. Shame about the potential'.
I know this isn't the majority opinion about this b...moreOh this is one of those where I think - 'awww darn it. That's too bad. Shame about the potential'.
I know this isn't the majority opinion about this book but this was mainly forgettable in my opinion. I just came out of it feeling very Meh. Shrug of the shoulders and an hour later, I don't really remember the point of this installment. It just didn't really go anywhere for me.
I LOVED Divergent. I just didn't have the same sense of urgency reading this. I still like Tris although she was overly frustrated this time around and I think it might have been this element which held the installment back for me. It hit the 68% mark and just really kept stalling from then on.
I was a little confused in general as a whole to be honest. The whole thing was kinda muddy the plot draaaaaggged itself out up until the very end. Unless Roth reveals something more in the 3rd book, there was no other point from this book to take with - other than that reveal at the end. So that made it come across as money-making filler to me. Cashing in on the Hunger Games trilogy format.
I guess that was Roth's point, to muddle everyone's true intent and as a reader we have to rely on Tris deciphering things and trying to trust her own instinct and stay true to herself by having the courage of her convictions.
However, I found it just a little exasperating. Let's take her 'relationship' for example. Clearly Tris doesn't trust Tobias and seemingly, he doesn't trust her either but considering how smart Tris is, I guess I just found her constant fibbing & then running away to do something she said she wouldn't, tedious.
We're supposed to believe how smart & strategic she can be (when not running head on into danger without any analysis 1st) I guess I was just waiting for Tris to be the one to turn the tables & test Tobias's true loyalty to her by setting him up for a change or asking for him to compromise in some way. Everything that I liked about the two of them in Divergent made no sense for me in this book. Tris went from being a savior in many ways to being babysat and constantly forced to make promises both of them knew she would never keep. That really frustrated me. I just kept thinking; then why ask Tobias? So you can be let down again & again? Those deep rooted mommy abandonment issues coming to the fore, so if Tris let's you down you can tell yourself - 'See? everyone I loves betrays or leaves me' and continue to self-sabotage any chance onlearing how to trust someone you love? I just felt like he was constantly setting up her character to fail him & it was annoying an unjustifiable considering what they been through and how at the end of Divergent, Tris would not shoot him.
To me Tobias felt like a mom & his lack or respect & trust was unwarranted in my opinion. It kinda came off like this ; "Now promise me Tris you won't touch the stove it's HOT. Do you hear me? HOT. Can you say hot? Hot is bad. Now promise me you wont go near OK? (Big Sigh) I love you but you're so aggravating to love. Now be a good girl please?"
Yet, the main thing I think, which got in the way of the suspense & pacing for me was the fact that the MC kept running off into situations that would ensure her death - so as a reader I'm assuming we're supposed to be biting our nails right? The more it happened, the less I bought it. The reason being is she is the MAIN CHARACTER and it's a trilogy! So of course she's not going to die! At least not yet. So this death wish thing that Roth was trying to beat us over the head with? It was really anti-climatic for me.
I also came to have less respect for all the factions as a whole. Not that I think segregating people is a great idea to begin with however in the 1st book, Roth did such a wonderful job of giving those factions meat on the bone that while reading, I was completely engaged, often trying to choose my own faction and assessing how I would react Tris's world. In this book, all the factions just lost any oomphf. They weren't even self-righteous really, which I expected! They were just.....IDK. I guess Roth wanted us to see how they weren't really meant to be in the long run so that's why they're not really working and all of this happened...I guess but again, I just didn't feel it.
I think my biggest issues was with Dauntless. I felt like Roth just made them come off as mindless thugs and I'm talking about the ones not on actual mind-control. Plus, it didn't make sense that they're weren't more people who rebelled against what happened to them! I mean...they're Dauntless right? Bravery, freedom...FREEDOM being a big theme for that faction. Huh?
And then we have the ending. Was that a cliffy? I guess it was supposed to be but it was as suspenseful as a poop. Ya knew it was coming and when it did, was it any big surprise? No. Not really. Haven't I seen this somewhere before?
There were more plot wholes & things that just didn't make sense to me but at this point, I'm not bothered to give any more examples.
IMO, Insurgent wasn't anywhere near as good as the 1st book. It just didn't mean anything and circuitous path in order to get the the only main plot point of this installment which came at the very end. I already don't remember much about it and my excitement for the next book isn't there & I can care less about that fact. I'll read it eventually but the enthusiasm just gone. Meh. Whatever.
The publishers and the author could've done better by the material if they made one large novel or split it in two but that's just my opinion. (less)
Huzzah! I finally finished another one for 2012! OK well it's a short but still!
So I was betwixt & between giving this a 4 or a 5. I don't know wh...moreHuzzah! I finally finished another one for 2012! OK well it's a short but still!
So I was betwixt & between giving this a 4 or a 5. I don't know why really can't give it a five b'c honestly, it ticks all the boxes...action, check. Humor, check, check. Characters are still true, triple check. Plot is interesting & pertinent, quadruple check! However, I guess b'c as a short for a continuing series, I know it has more to give & couldn't separate that.
Other than that, another solid showing from team Ilona Andrews. They do a series & all the in-betweens proud. Honestly, I wonder how they stay so strong where right about now most series falter if they haven't already. I'm gonna chalk it up to the power of having a team & a ying to the yang. An honest balance between the 2 personalities within the writing relationship which remains unbiased toward one another. I can't imagine a one-sided, I'll support you no matter how wrong you actually are just cause I love you relationship here. It just wouldn't allow such continuous strength IMO. Kudos for being honest.
Whatever the case, I'm not mad at them! So far Kate Daniels, IMO, is worthy of the title. I mean the championship. The strongest of the PNR genre by far. I haven't met a hater yet & really, there's no cause for it.
I don't even mind that Curran is allllmost Gary-Stu or kate is alllmost Mary-Sue b'c they are such badasses. The fact that they have humor & humility with exasperation to spare saves it for me.
You know, now I'm just talking to talk. If you've read this or reading this installment than your a fan b'c you've come this far so you know. I'm preaching to the choir. (less)
Very, very good. It's just under 500 pages & I blew through it in a day. People are comparing it to the Hunger Games by I don't think it's like th...moreVery, very good. It's just under 500 pages & I blew through it in a day. People are comparing it to the Hunger Games by I don't think it's like that at all. It is in the sense that it's set in another Dystopian society & something pivotal occurs when kids are aged 16 but they're two very different premises.
I think you would do yourself a disservice by expecting the same or better while reading. If you like the Dystopian novels, I would just go into this with an open mind knowing that Dystopian is a very specific genre so of course, fundamentals are going to be similar but comparing the two series? I really don't think it's necessary.
However, I will ONLY by saying this...I actually think I might have liked this better than the 1st HG book b'c I was pulled in from the start & both Hunger Games & Catching Fire were slow burners for me. I thought, while they were both very good, they both started off slow & the action didn't really start until the last 1/2 of the book or so.
I don't want to give too much away but I thought the author was very clever in the way she gave voice to the 1st person narrative. Beatrice 'Tris' is an interesting heroine & her thought process is almost robotic b'c it's so analytical & detached. A couple of times throughout the story she's asked if she is even human which does make me wonder...Hmmm.
However, by the end I believe I understood it, or rather, I interpreted as a subtle way to show how the character evolves from the beginning of the story to the end. She starts off growing up in a section of society (Abnegation) that is taught to completely tamp down any personal feelings whatsoever & dedicate their lives to giving to others at the sake oneself. Tris always felt like an outsider b'c at the root, she questioned those beliefs & ethics. They never felt right to her & b'c she knew she wasn't 100% selfless, she feels an immense amount of guilt.
We watch Tris struggle to learn who she is after she's told very early on in the book, that she is what's called Divergent which is extremely dangerous. Basically, the death knell for anyone who is found out as being this 'type' of person. For most of the novel she doesn't even understand what that means to her or others of her kind. So to read her journey as she tries to find her place in a society which only deems people to one of five personality types, was fairly brutal, at times poignant but absolutely fascinating to me.
She goes from having no voice & trying to put the pieces of her choices together in a very analytical, peacemeal kind of way to effectively having strength of self in order to stand up for what she truly believes in no matter how tragic & painful in one big swoop which is what I liked most about Tris. When shit hit fan, she actioned & she was true to herself & smart about it.
I think this is a novel that speaks for itself. You can walk away being entertained. I can see how some people will even feel that something is missing (I think this is b'c of the tone of the narrative IMO) but I also think you can walk away really taking a lot from it. It made me think.
The concept for the story arc is smart, well thought out & I really enjoyed the journey. I think the author kept the suspense pretty much the whole way through & packed some emotional punches in a cringe inducing way.
I also liked the fact that even though it is a trilogy it actually didn't end on one. There was a resolution to this part of the story although you know that there's going to be a continuation.
If you enjoyed Hunger Games, I highly rec giving this a go but separate the two. They're different & should be treated as such IMO. (less)
Well....I think Vicki Pettersson did a fine job on this series. I really liked this last installment. A lot. The series as a whole, IMO is one of the...moreWell....I think Vicki Pettersson did a fine job on this series. I really liked this last installment. A lot. The series as a whole, IMO is one of the more clever & well thought that I've read. It also has a helluva' lot of heart.
It wasn't perfect by any means but it was completely solid, IMO.
The cons about this installment before I get to all the likes:
It was a little slow to start (but picked up round the 35-40% mark).
My main complaint is that sometimes I lost the action sequences. A bunch of times I didn’t completely follow. Now, I'm not sure if it's b'c I was kind of on the edge of my seat so maybe I was reading too fast (for me) & therefore, missed some crucial descriptions or if she really didn't execute the action that well. My instinct was that she is so imaginative that it's actually almost to hard to completely describe, therefore imagine what she's created (which is kinda ironic given the theme of this book).
Last thing, to be honest I felt the end battle was a little anti-climatic.
However, I just really, really liked the way she ended the series & I really enjoy Pettersson's tone. They way she imparts philosophy & without ending up sounding preachy or like a self help book. There’s just simply a groundedness to her prose which I really like.
I love Petterson's poignancy too. She never gets maudlin & more often than not find when she writes those moments, they're so articulate that they’re beautiful. Her analogies are often close to perfect IMO & make you think from a different perspective which I appreciate.
The character's she gives voice to are always authentic & it helps so much b’c then message in the story resonates with me really well. Overall, I found the series intelligent, super creative with a lot of thought, heart & soul behind it. Pretty fierce really.
I also found VP to be more "adult" than most of the series I have read. It just came across that way to me in her overall prose. She had her own clear storyline & formula she followed & stuck to & it was obvious nothing distracted. She was on a mission to get from points A to Z.
One of the few authors who didn't do a love triangle either. Not once did I feel she pandered to anyone. Not even her own ego. Nor did I feel she ever lost sight of the world she created. When I finished the final page in the series, I thought about the character of Joanna. From her beginning stages in the 1st book & I have to say, I think VP really achieved the character’s journey. Took her there & gave her readers one heck of a ride in the process. So much so that when I finished, I felt it. I felt like I went on the journey too. It felt very gratifying b'c normally, finale's are often lackluster at best. Think Seinfeld, MASH etc..
However, I think VP just ended it on the right note & that note was really no different to how she's written the entire series. Inspiring, bittersweet, hopeful. Yet, the final pages had a now more experienced/wizened narrative which had a maturely philosophical POV yet a 'we'll see' edge to it. I thought it was spot-on.
On another note, I was very happy to see a few characters get their due, but one in particular (Warren) but can I just talk about Master Comics for a moment? I swear in every book, those scenes are practically always my favorite. They always adds a levity to the series. Like he neutrality of the shop itself, a scene at the shop is a refreshing breather to each book. I really think VP crafted that setup pretty damn perfect.
What I love about the shop so much is that the kids are 100% kids & like kids, there’s a certain truthful innocence which just doesn’t allow any artifice at all & I think VP portrayed that extremely well. No one's is overly precocious & I LOVE that she never has Joanna talk down to them or baby talk them. In fact, it's like Joanna is her most natural there as well. She completely joins in & immerses herself. There’s no distinction. She banters, teases, gets provoked, pissed off & allows herself to do or say whatever she feels as a result. I guess what I'm trying to say VP never allowed the character to condescend. I adored that b’c honestly, I could see where someone less focused (or er...competent, aware, humble?) could’ve really cocked that up. Those kids could’ve easily been majorly annoying & the whole thing could’ve come off false. It never did.
In the end, I can see how this series wouldn’t be for everyone, although in some ways I wish it would be so VP can get her due. It’s a bit existential, a bit trippy, kinda rock ‘n roll, somewhat complicated b’c it’s a tad circuitous to get some basic simple messages but most of all, I felt it really required he reader to stretch their visual imagination, which I found could be a bit daunting at times.
I felt the material kind of demanded a very strong mental visualization. Sometimes that pulled me out of the story & I would have to go back & re-read to make sure I ‘got the picture’ so to speak & then found I would draw from my pop culture knowledge to give me a frame of reference. Here’s what I came up with - a bunch of mash up’s. I would picture Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 'Don’t Do Come Around Here No More’ video, Johnny Depp’s version of Wonka with a little X-Men, Raider’s & a dash of Clerk’s/High Fidelity.
Props to Ms. Pettersson. I can’t complain about an author with serious intent & the heart to back it up. I think she did a wonderful job as a whole & I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I thought It kinda kicked ass. I look forward to whatever she comes up with next. (less)
I found this to be a compelling read. Breezed through it, couldn't put it down. A less OTT, modern day Flowers in the Attic. Dark, twisted, erotic, da...moreI found this to be a compelling read. Breezed through it, couldn't put it down. A less OTT, modern day Flowers in the Attic. Dark, twisted, erotic, dangerous & disturbed. I think that does it!(less)
I picked this series up after reading the entire Sookie series (which I adore & highly recommend).
All I can say is ..."Meh". The characters in the...moreI picked this series up after reading the entire Sookie series (which I adore & highly recommend).
All I can say is ..."Meh". The characters in the Sookie series are so colorful, twisty & complex - Harper (the main protagonist) is the complete opposite. I found her to be pretty cold, boring & one dimensional. The character of Tolliver has potential however. Although I wonder why he hangs around Harper so much to be honest.
The other issue I have is that I figured out the mystery early on in the book, pretty shortly after it was introduced so I wasn't that engaged & a bit disappointed. I also figured out the secondary character driven plot (which I imagine will be ongoing) which I can't decided how I feel about.
I will keep reading though b'c I have faith in Ms. Harris.(less)
Better than the 1st one but I am pretty lukewarm to Harper. She's no Sookie! I also figured out the big mystery pretty early on (as I did w/the last b...moreBetter than the 1st one but I am pretty lukewarm to Harper. She's no Sookie! I also figured out the big mystery pretty early on (as I did w/the last book) so the ending lacked a satisfying punch for me.
Still, I am intrigued enough to read the 3rd one in the series which I am just starting. I am curious to see how Charlaine is going to work a main issue out.(less)