Sadly, DNF. Cute concept, started off promising, but the heroine was just a bit too neurotic for me and as the book went on, the writing got more stil...moreSadly, DNF. Cute concept, started off promising, but the heroine was just a bit too neurotic for me and as the book went on, the writing got more stilted. The dialogue didn't sound natural, and even the first person narrative started having some issues. Plus, about 1/4 of the way through, a large area of info dump slowed the pacing considerably. I think I could have gotten past that if it had been smoothly written, but I needed the author to use contractions in her dialogue and narrative, to at least bring it into the 21st century and make it flow more naturally. Disappointing. (less)
I just couldn't warm up to this heroine (there's irony in those words, since she's an arson investigator). I actually got to chapter fourteen and fina...moreI just couldn't warm up to this heroine (there's irony in those words, since she's an arson investigator). I actually got to chapter fourteen and finally just flipped to the end to see what happened. The book had some intriguing elements, and the writing was serviceable, but it lacked that spark that I needed to really draw me into the story (sorry, unintentional play on the whole fire angle, again). The heroine was just too...depressed. For her, everything about her life was hard, she didn't ever let people get close to her, she bordered on anti-social in some ways, we got a lot of "woe is me" backstory and there was just nothing that drew me to connect with her. DNF for me. (less)
Note: I got this book as an ARC from HarperCollins via NetGalley. I hope they don't decide to never give me another book again!
Straight up: I only re...moreNote: I got this book as an ARC from HarperCollins via NetGalley. I hope they don't decide to never give me another book again!
Straight up: I only read the first 1/3 of this book and then the last 3 chapters, so I didn't read the whole thing. I'm going to tell you why. I wanted to like this book (kind of desperately wanted to like it because I'm eager for a new steampunk series) and I thought the book started off really well. Unfortunately, as I went on, I found myself feeling disconnected from "our heroes" (reference to chapter subtitles) the two main characters who carry the book, and thus struggling to keep going as the story went on. I read further than I otherwise would have because of how much I wanted to like the book, and thought the parts that I did read had scenes with great promise and of real interest, but in between were moments when I could barely keep going. I just could not care about what was going to happen next, because the characters felt somewhat unlikeable for me.
Now, that said, I also read the last three chapters and I thought the end was fascinating (but not enough to go back and read the rest, but just interesting as in world development).
I think there are people who are going to really love this series, because even though it's not for me, I can see its potential. If you like Native Star, or the Gail Carriger books, you may want to give this a second look. To give you an indication of where I fall, I liked the first two Gail Carriger books and the third not so much. I didn't care for Native Star (I did review it here on Goodreads) for similar reasons to this one--disconnect from characters--so if you loved Native Star this book may be for you! (less)
This is one of those books that I read the first three chapter of, and then skipped to the last. I love a good majority of the urban fantasy books tha...moreThis is one of those books that I read the first three chapter of, and then skipped to the last. I love a good majority of the urban fantasy books that come from the Ace imprint, but this one was not for me. The motivations of the male character were...weak for me. Basically, he developed an obsession for a woman who disappeared, and he's been searching for her in a dangerous, post-apocalyptic world for around over a year. His memories of her show her to have had seemingly little interest in or care of him, but he's obsessed with finding her, holding her up as...some sort of ideal, or symbol. He has no hesitations in using the heroine and her dog to further his quest.
Meanwhile, the heroine is presented as a somewhat cold, suspicious person, yet she lets this man into her home and then lets him stay. And semi-masturbates at a time when she thinks he might be watching. Yeah, that was pretty random in this clearly non-romance book. Her actions are inconsistent with what we're told about her.
So, both of these characters hit no empathy or connection for me, and after flipping to the end and seeing how it ended (on a kind of cliffhanger, really, and definitely no kind of hopeful tone) it was only too easy to set it aside. I was never able to get into this author's books when she wrote as Chris Marie Green and, unfortunately, the pseudonym change hasn't changed that for me.
However, fans of darker urban fantasy featuring vampires and shifters might favor this. (less)