I didn't like this one as much as previous volumes. Probably because Marko is separated from his family for most of the book, and the focus on Marko'sI didn't like this one as much as previous volumes. Probably because Marko is separated from his family for most of the book, and the focus on Marko's ex, although I do like the little girl the bounty hunter rescued from Sextillion. It seems like the goal is to get increasingly x-rated with the content. Plenty of violence and some really overly sexual imagery in this book. I still like the concept and the fact that it's narrated by young Hazel. Alana and Marko are compelling characters and their star-crossed love story definitely appeals. Not to mention cute little Hazel. I just don't think the storytelling is as strong at it was initially....more
Like all of Maisey Yates' books, she takes the tried and true Harlequin Presents format and gives it an unexpected and welcomed depth. In this book shLike all of Maisey Yates' books, she takes the tried and true Harlequin Presents format and gives it an unexpected and welcomed depth. In this book she's tackled the taboo but alluring subject of step-siblings getting together. And I would say she did a great job with it.
Elle and Apollo seem to have everything to hate about each other, despite the fact that their parents are married. Apollo has set his mind on revenge, and Elle doesn't even know the whole story. All she knows is that Apollo has seemed determined to torment her from day one, and that she is so attracted to him, it scares the life out of her. When they get into an elevator together after a contentious meeting, they give into an angry and fiery passion for each other, and end up with the consequences of a baby on the way.
Apollo still wants revenge, but he also wants to take care of his baby, and he's not against doing both. Elle doesn't trust Apollo, but she wants to do what's best for her baby. They have to put their vitriol aside long enough to do right by their baby. Apollo needs to convince Elle to marry him, but Elle is pretty sure that's a bad idea, at least until Apollo can show that he is a devoted husband, fat chance. That's the rhythm of this novel.
Disguised behind the titillating subject matter is a deep story about relationships and putting the past behind you to embrace a better future. Setting aside what you used to know about a person and learning who they really are and how to best love them. I really appreciated that aspect of this story. One shortcoming is that the book does seem to lose momentum towards the end with the dramatic intensity dipping down, but I did truly love the fact that Apollo shows deep love for Elle, for who she really is. He is faced with losing her and he realizes that she's what he wants, not revenge. I love that realization the hero has about loving the heroine. Elle grows as a person as well. She's very independent and no pushover, and I liked that about her. But she also has some emotional vulnerabilities that have crippled her to some extent. Elle has wanted her father's love and respect for so long, but she's never been able to obtain it. It's surprising that Apollo can give her that unconditional love, but she realizes that for their whole relationship, she was pushing him to show her that very thing.
If a reader is just look for pure taboo titillation, this is not the book for you. If you want a deep story with that alluring forbidden love angle, with some good old enemies to lovers thrown in, then check this book out. It's not my favorite by Maisey Yates, but it's still very good. ...more
It's hard to say what I felt about this book. Probably why I procrastinated my review. The writing is very good, and I think the author went deeper wiIt's hard to say what I felt about this book. Probably why I procrastinated my review. The writing is very good, and I think the author went deeper with the story. I think that for a HP book, the relationship feels very realistic. The drama isn't manufactured, even when the author could have gone for one of those easy HP drama tactics (that admittedly I love since i am a drama hound).
Roman is a complicated guy. He is very emotionally disconnected and is not good at expressing himself verbally as far as emotions. He sends out a lot of mixed signals to Melodie and then doesn't understand the way she reacts to him as a form of self-protection. If it was about sex and being generous with his money, he'd probably be the perfect boyfriend, but that's rarely enough for a woman after a while. I was surprised at the vulnerability that Roman shows when he admits that he's used to women ending relationships because of his remoteness. And the fact that it bothers him that Melodie thinks he's one of the bad guys initially. He pursues her, sexually like a volcano, but holds himself back emotionally. I think that Melodie was brave to keep going with him, not knowing how he felt about her, and when she suspects it, that fear of rejection holding her back. I like that he's 100% self-made and it hasn't been easy for him. He's suffered some major hardships in his short life. I just wish that he wasn't such a wreck at being emotionally available.
Melodie has her own issues. Her father is despicable. And she's lived in the shadow of his inability to show love for his children and his wife, and her feelings of inadequacy. She turned her back on his money with strings attached and has been trying to make it on her own, and Roman has a habit of messing that up for her. She's conflicted about their relationship and its tone, but she has feelings for him that don't seem to want to go away.
The love scenes were very sexy and well-written. There's a lot of chemistry between them and they set the pages on fire together. From the beginning, there's a powerful string that keeps pulling them together. But I loved when Roman finally says how he feels for Melodie. She doesn't have to guess or try to read his behavior. It's all on the table. And it's clear that Roman isn't going to take it for granted in the future.
I think some readers will love this book. Very much a modern romance, although with a traditional happy ending.
This was definitely a unique Harlequin Presents. Aiesha really is a bad girl. She's not a very nice person, and while I felt sympathy for her, at firsThis was definitely a unique Harlequin Presents. Aiesha really is a bad girl. She's not a very nice person, and while I felt sympathy for her, at first, she was not easy to like. As time went along, it was clear that her outrageous behavior and caustic personality was a defense mechanism against the deprived nature of her childhood and all its attendant disappointments. She used sex as a weapon, and I'm not ever a fan of that kind of behavior. At the same time, it was refreshing to have a bad heroine and a nice hero. Milburne flipped the usual HP script around, giving Aiesha many of the HP hero traits. I think it would have been cooler if she was independently wealthy so that 'gold digger' aspect was not part of the equation.
The sexuality was a lot more blatant in this book, probably because Aiesha is quite sexually experienced and rather callused about sex. James tends to be more circumspect about sex, although he definitely knows what he's doing in the bed. I would have loved to see him as an inexperienced hero, which would have made the role reversal more thorough. Although James does have a condemning attitude towards Aiesha initially, I really did respect and like him. He was seriously harmed emotionally by Aiesha's antics ten years ago, and had a reason to be angry. I liked that he was able to put that behind him and evaluate Aiesha more thoroughly and he had learned to see past her offensive behavior and sex kitten armor to the wounded woman underneath.
The ending was pretty cool. Aiesha gets her dream come true and her man, and realizes that she doesn't have to be ashamed of her childhood, because none of that is her fault. At the same time, I think she did learn that treating people badly because of what she'd been deprived of wasn't good behavior either.
By the end of this book, I did believe that Aiesha and James truly loved each other, and were more than willing to take a risk and go after a life together, regardless of what had taken place in the past. James showed that he was for her and she showed that she loved him in a very demonstrative way.
I would give this four stars. It was well written and thoughtful. Despite the way it seemed, this is a very angsty and rather pathos-inducing. It made me feel a bit melancholy after I finished it, so that's why I didn't rate it higher....more
This was a very good follow up volume in the Saga series. It reads as though it picks up immediately after the first volume ends, which is great. I enThis was a very good follow up volume in the Saga series. It reads as though it picks up immediately after the first volume ends, which is great. I enjoy this series, but at times, I feel as though the writer/artists are deliberately trying to be shockingly gratuitous with their subject matter. The violence is quite graphic and there are at least two borderline pornographic scenes on top of the sexual content that I feel is acceptable in a mature-themed graphic novel. I didn't even understand the point of showing the porny images, honestly. I took a double take, and I felt like I had to look again to make sure I saw what I thought I was. One was so gross I had to show my aunt. I couldn't even see what the point of that was.
After all my ranting, I guess I have to explain what appeals to me about this graphic novel. What wins me over with this series is the fact that at its heart, this is a story about the purest forms of love. It's a story about a family that is committed to stay together and fight for a life for their young daughter. Even the cold, amoral bounty hunter turns out to have an altruistic side for a child who is in a very bad situation. I am a sappy, diehard romantic, and I can't help but love a story where enemies fall in love and are willing to face any obstacle for their family, where people sacrifice and fight for love. I enjoyed meeting Marko's parents, and I can see why Marko fell so hard for Alana. She reminds me of his mother in the best ways. Similarly, Marko reminds me of his father, the more gentle, but steady as a rock member of the partnership.
As before, I loved the narrative of Hazel, the young daughter of Marko and Alana. I have a feeling she will be the best of both of her parents, and she will be tough as nails for all she has gone through in her short life. The way this story is written, they are in almost constant danger, and you know that it's only going to get worse, considering that they have the rulers of both planets on their tails, and a very determined bounty hunter.
I just plain love the setting and the out there science fiction/adventure tone. If they toned down some of the violence and sexual content, I could see this is a fun series for basic cable. Of course, they could go in the direction of the HBO/Cinemax and Showtime series and keep the over the top stuff as well. I'd probably end up watching it, but I admit I would cringe or cover my eyes on some parts. That's how I roll.
Anyway, despite the porny parts, I really enjoyed this second book. I'm looking forward to the next installment....more
I can't believe Goodreads ate another review of mine! This sucks! I guess this is an opportunity to better clarify my thoughts this time.
I was very exI can't believe Goodreads ate another review of mine! This sucks! I guess this is an opportunity to better clarify my thoughts this time.
I was very excited about reading this book, and I snatched it off the library shelf. I have a fixation on assassin main characters (don't you judge me!). I also liked the idea that the heroine might fall in love with her would be assassin and vice versa (no judging!). Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this book. I'll try to start with the positives and then go to the negatives, because that seems fitting.
What I liked:
Ananna was an interesting lead character. I loved how distinctive her background as the daughter of pirates was. The author kept her characterization true to her origins. Her narration was uneducated sounding and her actions and beliefs showed the ethics of a person who was raised on a pirate ship. She was believably down to earth, and I liked that while she could hold her own and was a capable fighter, she wasn't amorally bloodthirsty.
The background on the pirate factions was intriguing. I also liked the magical aspects of this book, although they could have been better described.
What I didn't like:
Naji's characterization palled in comparison to Ananna. While this was a 1st person point of view, that didn't necessarily have to result in such an obvious lack in definition that his character had. He felt more like a background character, which doesn't work for this story, due to the intimate connection they share.
Speaking of, I think the curse could have been better described. I understand the author was trying to keep some suspense about why Naji had to protect Ananna, but it wasn't very well explained. Also Naji's magic was cool enough for me to want more explication.
I think the plotting could have been better. The beginning was catchy and I was sucked in, but around the last third of the book, I started losing interest. I couldn't decide where she was going with the story, but I didn't really care after a point. I just wanted to finish the book.
The magical aspects had a lot of potential, but after a while the different magical factions sort of ran together and lost distinction for me. I couldn't understand where she was going with the story overall.
Speaking off, I am heartily sick of cliffhangers. I think it's a dirty cheat to write a story that ends abruptly, just so people will keep reading. There are rare circumstances where a cliffhanger makes sense, or if the book is just really long. This was not the case in either way with this book. I truly believe the book could have been longer and the story could have been wrapped up to a satisfying conclusion without sacrificing tension for a series. When it ended, I was like, "What the What?!" like Finn on Adventure Time. Not cool! I don't want to turn this into a rantview, so I'll leave it at that.
While I don't regret reading this book, I wasn't satisfied with it overall. There were enough things I liked to propel me to read the second book in the series from my library. I hope that the character and story development are improved in the forthcoming books, since it has a lot of potential.
I am kind of late posting this review. I wanted to think about it and I got sidetracked by other tasks.
First of all, I am so glad my precious local lI am kind of late posting this review. I wanted to think about it and I got sidetracked by other tasks.
First of all, I am so glad my precious local library had this! I had heard about it and was recommended this book, but graphic novels aren't in my budget. And look how the Lord does provide!
Saga is a fun, fast-paced, visually appealing graphic novel. The art is beautiful and subtle, possessing a clarity I appreciated despite the simplicity of the drawings. The lettering keeps the prose equally clear. I loved the fact that Hazel (the infant that Marko and Alana make together)'s POV is rendered in a different style/font. It threw me at first, but then I realized what was going on. That not only are we seeing this intriguing couple's story play out, but we're seeing there is a future for them, since Hazel must have made it to a certain age in order to narrate. That gave me some hope, since things feel pretty dire for Marko and Alana.
I was recommended this graphic novel on the Fans of Interracial Romance group, which is awesome, and I do have to say the romance is a good driver of this story. I think it shows how fundamental a love story is in many settings. Love and the force it exerts on us and how it drives our actions. Love is not a conflict so much as a precipitator and a facilitator for the movement within a story. In the case of this young married couple, their love for each other drove them to escape from their respective, although reluctant roles in a senseless war, and their love for their baby they made together, drives them to fight for a new life and a safe haven for their family. So it's very organic to the story. Also, there is a strong theme about the foolishness of conflicts and wars and our reasons for hating people who are different from us. This story is practically begging for an interracial/cross-cultural romance. Although Alana looks black and Marko looks white, the color difference is secondary in this novel (and they have strikingly different morphological touches--Marko has ram's horns and Alana has vestigial (underdeveloped) wings). Instead, the bigger disparity is the fact that Alana and Marko are from different planets at war with each other. I really appreciated how these very different people came together and decided to commit to their love for each other, regardless of the obstacles in the way. Their strengths and weaknesses complement each other perfectly, and I can see the respect they have for each other, and their commitment to stand together no matter what.
As far as the conflict and the action, it was well done. I would consider this rustic sci-fi, along the lines of the tv show, Firefly. It also had shades of the original Star Wars films (which is in my mind sort of rustic sci-fi as well). The story keeps active, and the writing doesn't bog the narrative down with going in depth with the sci-fi world-building. This book is quite gory and violent. There is a very explicit scene that I know would be really gross if this was a live action movie, (along with a few others that are pretty in your face) although I can understand what motivated the act. Along with violence, there is a fair amount of profanity and sexual content, including full frontal nudity, and frank sexual situations. Even a disturbing part in which the readers are confronted with the vileness of child prostitution (thankfully no scenes depicting it).
Yeah, so I'm not being very coherent. What I'm trying to say is that I was impressed with this book. It is the beginning of a series I can see myself eagerly following. Yes, it's quite out there as far as sex, language and violence, but the story is good and it gives us two leads that you really like and root for, and of course, their daughter, who is all sorts of intriguing.
How much can a person survive before their humanity is destroyed?
Cassie is a young woman who will learn exactly what makes her human and what would caHow much can a person survive before their humanity is destroyed?
Cassie is a young woman who will learn exactly what makes her human and what would cause her to lose the intrinsic element to her nature. She goes from being a normal teenager who has nothing more to worry about than whether her epic crush on Ben Parrish will be returned, to losing nearly everything, and living in a earth decimated by an alien invasion that is nothing like the ones showcased in movies and books thus far.
The aliens want the earth, and view humans as pests, much like we view cockroaches. Their solution, to kill off the majority with cataclysms and world-wide pestilence, and let hysteria and suspicion do the rest of the work.
What happens when humans can't trust each other and start viewing each other as the enemy? It's not much longer before humanity becomes extinct.
Cassie learns the hard way that she is safer alone, trusting no one, but she made a vow to her brother, and she will do anything to keep that vow. When her life is saved by Evan Walker, every hard lesson she learned to stay alive in the earth devastated by the alien invasion will be tested. Can she trust, when trust has led to betrayal?
This is a bleak and heartbreaking read. I listened to the audio, and I would highly recommend this medium because it makes the story that much more personal. The narrators, Phoebe Stohl and Brandon Espinoza allow us to view the story through their eyes, and feel their pain. Their voices portray the passion and pain, the angst and longing, and the violated innocence of young people who are in a horrible situation that they cannot escape.
While this is okay for the older end of the young adult audience, I don't feel that subject matter is appropriate to kids younger than 14. The atmosphere is dark and desperate, and people die in this book. Lots of them, and many in horrible ways. Not only that, but people are forced to kill others to survive or as part of the consequences of the invasion. But don't misconstrue me to be saying this is full of gratuitous violence. Many who have read Yancey's Monstrumologist series know that Yancey is not afraid of gore, but he doesn't take that tactic in this book. Instead, his tone is frighteningly realistic. Don't think that just because the majority of the characters are children, that he will take it easy on them. You'd be lying to yourself.
As a reader, I was sucked into this world, and I asked myself how I would adapt or deal with the circumstances that our characters faced. I am amazed at the resilience of the young. That Cassie could stay strong in heart and her mind whole after seeing what she's seen and being forced to make decisions she never would have faced before. That Ben could find the strength to keep living under his burden of guilt for surviving when his family and many others didn't. That they both could deal with the massive betrayals they suffered.
While clearly science fiction, the use of technology is minimal, but it feels credible. Enough that the presence of the alien invaders is undeniable. But not so much to blunt the realism of the novel.
The tension is neck-breaking, sustained until the last words of the book. I honestly had to take my time listening to this. It's so bleak and depressing at times, it doesn't make for 'fun' reading. But at the same time, I can say this was a fantastic and moving book. I think this book shows what can be achieved in young adult literature. Showing teenagers and young people in a scenario where as much is demanded of the reader as is of the characters. Not lightening the subject matter just to get a YA rating, or fantasizing or sensationalizing the story either to get more readers. From the beginning, I was engaged in this novel, and even when things got harrowing and I feared for what would happened next, I couldn't turn off the CD player and refuse to finish the book. I had to know what Cassie would do next, how she would handle the next situation. If she would find her brother and save him.
Yancey made me care about these people. He made me rage that children had to make these kinds of decisions, but at the same time, he didn't give me a convenient villain, not in the easy way that can happen in fiction. Instead, I was continually forced to reevaluate the situation and my hypotheses, along with the characters. There were times, I just gave up on making a guess on what was going to happen and I just kept listening and decided to let the chips fall where they may.
You wonder what an author feels when he puts his characters through the depredations seen in this book. Does it hurt like he's hacking off a limb? Does he smile gleefully at the computer screen? Or does he feel the grim determination of a surgeon who is cutting into their patient to save its life? This is a question that books like this make me ask. In a strange way, I feel more connected to the writer of a book like this, because I can imagine that the creative process was a demanding one. The they sweated and shed their own blood to write a book just for me to read.
I recommend this book fully to readers who are prepared to face the bleak, upsetting content of this novel. To walk in the shoes of these young people who have to face the end of the world head on, and can't close the book and read something else when it gets too painful for them....more
This was my favorite so far in the series. The idea was interesting, and I liked the leads, Erion and Hellen, and I really felt their love for each otThis was my favorite so far in the series. The idea was interesting, and I liked the leads, Erion and Hellen, and I really felt their love for each other. Ladd is adorable. This was almost a four star book. But I think I have a high standard for paranormal romance now, so I felt more world-building and some clarity in the storyline would have added to this novel's appeal.
At least there was no butt stuff and she toned down the use of the dreaded c word for the ladyparts. I was relieved on both fronts.
This was a pretty intense read. One of those romances where extreme hate between the main couple is really suppressed longing and desire. In real lifeThis was a pretty intense read. One of those romances where extreme hate between the main couple is really suppressed longing and desire. In real life, I don't know if I think that suppressed love translates into hate, but "Hope deferred does make the heart sick." My goodness, Andreas and Sienna are super-duper mean to each other. And Andreas is a hypocrite. He's the kind of guy who calls a woman a whore because she doesn't do what he wants her to do and she doesn't fit his mold for what he wants a woman to be. I didn't like that about him at all. I did like the fact that Sienna could easily trade insults with him. It took me a while to think that I even wanted these two to be together. There were times when I didn't particularly like either character. Sienna says and thinks some really mercenary and selfish things, and I didn't like that about her. However, I could understand why she was so prickly and thick-skinned, considering her tough life and living with an arrested development mother with terrible morals and being rejected by her married father. I wish that Andreas had shown more sympathy and empathy for Sienna. When he finally starts acting like a decent man, it was almost too late for me to feel I wanted him to be with Sienna. I did like that he went after her when she left him.
I thought that despite the meanness between them, there was good chemistry and I did see their relationship change, develop and blossom. With the conclusion of the book, I had hopes that they would not take each other for granted any longer, and that love had changed both of their hearts and lives.
I don't know if this book will work for everyone. The leads are at times unlikable and mean-spirited. However, I did see a change in both characters and that their feelings for each other weren't just reluctant lust, but real love. For that reason, I gave it four stars....more