3.5 stars This went much further into the fantastical. While it was good, I missed the grounding in history from previous books. This could have been s...more3.5 stars This went much further into the fantastical. While it was good, I missed the grounding in history from previous books. This could have been set at any time--and frankly, felt very action movieish. There's no "magic" per se, but I think this fits better into fantasy, or at least speculative fiction. Maybe that's the evil villain/superhero vibe coming across.
...Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I just don't like this direction as much, personally.
P.S. I'd appreciate it if McCammon tried to bump up the Bechdel quotient of his female characters a bit. They're plenty feisty--if not downright evil--but they tend to revolve around Matthew either as support, sex partner, or antagonist too much for me. We need some females in this series who could frankly care less about Matthew, but are their own persons. That just gets too male-fantasyish for me. (Mrs. Herrald, the pub owner, and the Madame are the only ones I can think of who don't revolve around Matthew. I have yet to notice them talking to another woman however). Just a suggestion...I know this series seems to be aimed more at male readers.
Please do not read this unless you have already read the book (contains speculation and SPOILERS!): (view spoiler)[Anyone want to guess who Matthew's secret nightly sex partner was? I'm guessing it was Professor Fell! Yes, any reason why s/he can't be a woman? It would explain the costume anyway. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I may be the exception to the rule, but I enjoyed a watery-type (and quite scary) monster this time around. Plus, demonic river otters! Who'da thunk?!...moreI may be the exception to the rule, but I enjoyed a watery-type (and quite scary) monster this time around. Plus, demonic river otters! Who'da thunk?!?
I'm not sure how I feel about all the Native American mythology included in this. It was certainly a change to the Euro-centric fantastical elements in the prior books. Coyote himself felt right, and I thought the various personifications of the archetypes (Raven, Bear, Snake, Thunderbird, etc.) were interesting, if a little over the top. I'd be interested in hearing how other readers, who actually have an Indian heritage reacted to this. Did you like it? Or not? Why?
Personally, I'm glad Adam and Mercy finally got to spend some quality time with each other, although cut short. Reading this series, in a short time span, makes me realize how much has happened to them in a relatively short time span from books 1 through 6.
Cover art: Although this is still not Mercy as we know her, and the sexed-up midriff is annoying, the artist model is beautiful, and the art itself is stunning! I'm enjoying seeing Dos Santos' art get better and more accomplished as the series progress. I think this cover is my favorite so far. Wish he'd lay off the feathered earrings though. They are SO not Mercy. And can I say waaaay unsubtlely heavy-handed in a non-pc way? (Trying to sell to teenagers, I guess.)(less)
3.5 stars. Plot and characters still strong but dialogue, (and, consequently, wit) is horribly and disappointingly diminished.
What happened to Vetina...more3.5 stars. Plot and characters still strong but dialogue, (and, consequently, wit) is horribly and disappointingly diminished.
What happened to Vetinari in this book? He's a threatening bully who now has trouble completing crosswords. Very different indeed from the prior delightfully menacing genius. (view spoiler)[Anyone else think Vetinari may now have Alzheimers too? (hide spoiler)]
Moist seems to mostly brag a lot, which loses charm fast.
Train buffs will probably enjoy this more. I enjoyed seeing Discworld modernize, although trains are not terribly interesting to me.
I found female characters sadly diminished to walk-on parts--even Spike, who was all too disappointingly Adora Belle all-the-time (except for one lovely scene, too quickly over).
I like what Goblins are doing to this world. Dwarves are much less interesting, although parallels with Islam and suicide bombers were believable and gave Pratchett a way to comment on Round World. (view spoiler)[Rhys: Queen Victoria parallel? (hide spoiler)]
Vimes and co. still going strong. Luckily dialogue problems less noticeable there (taciturnity expected), although they were affected.
* * *
For those of you who like the stories behind the story, I recommend reading http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/inde.... Be sure to select the Annotations link on the right side. I hope more annotations will be added over time. (I thought of a few, but am not enough of a Pratchett/Discworld expert to contribute.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It popped up on my kindle last night around 9pm. I made the mistake of starting it on a worknight. Mistak...moreI devoured this book....and it was delicious!
It popped up on my kindle last night around 9pm. I made the mistake of starting it on a worknight. Mistake, because I couldn't put it down until I finished it around 2:30pm. (No, I'm not doing too well today on 3 hours of sleep.) But it was well worth it.
First of all, you have to know that I love this series! I think Penny Reid writes amazingly compelling books. I love all her characters. And her plots...she does amazing plots. Each book incorporates the characters from before, but each plot is fresh, different, and completely unlike anything else I've read before. (Very unusual within the saturated (and often stale) romance genre.) Plus, they're hilarious! Don't let me forget to mention that.
Well, this one, Ashley's book was a huge treat. Ashley has kind of flown under my radar in this series so it was a ton of fun to see her made 3-dimensional. I loved Drew and his depth and quiet strength. I loved their careers and how that shaped them both. I loved their past and how that also shaped them.
Besides Ashley and Drew, and input from all of our favorite Knitting in the City friends, there were two more favorite elements for me. 1) The family dynamics and interactions. It's rare to find an author who can write believable men. Here we have them in spades. I loved seeing Ashley and her brothers change and grow closer. 2) The depth of this book. Unusual, and I'm not going to spoil it for you. But you should be aware that this book has a deeper side. I so appreciated the way Reid handled this. It's something that we all will have to deal with at some point in time, and it's truly beautiful to see it handled so well. This emotional depth makes the book stand out for me. Few authors do this well. Either they minimize the pain, or they leave me feeling manipulated. Reid does this in a human/e and caring way and I identified with what the characters were experiencing and compared it to similiar situations in my own life.
Note: This book takes place after "Neanderthal Seeks Human" and during and after "Friends Without Benefits". As per author's note, be sure you've read...moreNote: This book takes place after "Neanderthal Seeks Human" and during and after "Friends Without Benefits". As per author's note, be sure you've read NSH BEFORE reading this book.
I really enjoyed this book! I loved Janie & Quinn from Neanderthal Seeks Human, as well as Janie's knitting gang. However, I've been burned before with sequels--sometimes sequels tarnish the glow left from the happy ending of the first book--so I was a little hesitant going in. But let me reassure you, this is not one of those books. I loved the character development and the relationship development between Janie and Quinn. It seemed fairly realistic, was hilarious at times, and I loved the way they negotiated their way forward. This wasn't just filler fluff as are some many sequels, it had substance.
It was an absolute blast seeing the rest of the Knitting Group again, and I can hardly wait for the rest of their stories--particularly Ashley's which is coming up in September in "Beauty and the Mustache" and I can hardly wait! I think hers is one of the MOST intriguing and weirdest teaser chapters I've come across. It definitely has me waiting on tenterhooks to find out what is going to happen to her.
One thing I missed in this e-book was the translation links to Nico's Italian phrases. While reading, I didn't have an internet connection, so wasn't able to google the phrases. This was a little annoying after being spoiled by the lovely link translations in "Friends Without Benefits".
As another reviewer mentioned, I sure hope we get to see more of Quinn's sister. She is wildly intriguing in this and I want to know more about her and where she's coming from/going.(less)
I SO enjoy this series. In this particular installment, I particularly enjoyed the focus on crimes against the elderly. I also like the way Maron show...moreI SO enjoy this series. In this particular installment, I particularly enjoyed the focus on crimes against the elderly. I also like the way Maron shows the interaction of a large extended family; being part of one myself, it feels familiar and true. I like the way Deborah and Dwight are settled within the community.
More please. :-)
(view spoiler)[My favorite scene when the wife-beating pastor was 'dealt with'! Also liked all of the oral history and colorful stories shared by the older generation. Value added and great human interest! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A nice set-up for a new twist to the Elder Races saga. Frankly, I'm kind of on edge now waiting for #8 after reading...moreEnjoyed more than I was expecting.
A nice set-up for a new twist to the Elder Races saga. Frankly, I'm kind of on edge now waiting for #8 after reading the teaser.
While I wasn't really excited about a vampire (vampyre) love interest,(been there, done that), I found myself liking Xavier del Torro more than I was expecting. I also liked the logical plot for this fantastical series. (Usually* Harrison's world makes internal sense, which is kind of unusual in these types of books.) This one was no exception. Also, I liked Xavier himself. I enjoyed his logic, restraint, and demonstrated protectiveness towards his people. That was nice. I liked Tess' instinctual revulsion towards vampyres, and how that added depth to the plot. This was a nice touch.
Hope #8 comes out soon!
*Don't get me started about "Peanut Goes to School".
Cover Art: I'm not in love with the purple overly-defined abs--GLRGH!, but TH's covers are nearly always pretty bad. XdT would have been better suited by a depiction of a sharply dressed male torso--leave the tie unknotted if that helps the sales/sexiness quotient. Frankly, what would have been really nice and suitable to the storyline, would be a cover like Julie James' "A Lot Like Love". Just switch out the dress for dark blue.
Not that anyone cares, but the only TH cover I like is .(less)
I'm still not sure why Flavia would think (view spoiler)[that she could raise her mother from the dead by the power of chemistry AFTER 10 YEARS!!! Sur...moreI'm still not sure why Flavia would think (view spoiler)[that she could raise her mother from the dead by the power of chemistry AFTER 10 YEARS!!! Surely she knows about decomposition? I'd think ANY 11-year old would, let alone a genius like Flavia. (Magical thinking?) And, how exactly, do you keep a body on ice and relatively unspoiled (enough to be recognizeable for that amount of time?!? Bradley's moving into fantastical territory, rather than modern here, imo! (hide spoiler)]
But it was a nice thought, and I'm glad to see the series moving forward with a little more momentum than has been the case.
I'm getting a little tired of her father's droopy wet-blanketness (again 10 years...time to snap out of it!) But I really appreciated the funeral oration and performance by the 2 older sisters.
The mystery is resolved in a fizzle rather than a bang. I think this book is weaker overall than others, but does introduce some intriguing hints for continuance of the series. I'll try the next one.
1st read 8/14/13: Great characterization, strong well-written relationship turning into love. Paris. Chocolate. What's not to love here? Florand is on...more1st read 8/14/13: Great characterization, strong well-written relationship turning into love. Paris. Chocolate. What's not to love here? Florand is one of my very few auto-buy authors.
Loved it. Especially Dom. Truly great characterization. (view spoiler)[What made it for me was the way he was hurt and hurting by his past, yet he took action in seeking therapy in order to make sure he would never pass on that cycle of hurting to anyone else. The way Florand wrote about his relationship with his staff, and the way he was so sensitive to others in the same position really made him come alive for me. (hide spoiler)] I really, really, really liked Dom. Also liked the theme of hands. His viewpoint contrasted to hers.
Jaime....hmmm.... I liked her, and felt for her, and sympathized with her. But, she didn't have quite the same impact on me. I did enjoy the way Florand included Jaime's family and all of their interactions. That kind of writing--outside the 1+1=2 romance--makes Florand shine as an author
Cover art: Pretty, but could less appropriate models (as per book's physical description) have been chosen?? I doubt it.
Re-read 3/11/14: I think Dominique is my favorite Florand hero. I like Jaime more the 2nd time around.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Wow! It is really rare for me to come across a series that is 7 books long that is so tightly plotted and complex. With great character developments,...moreWow! It is really rare for me to come across a series that is 7 books long that is so tightly plotted and complex. With great character developments, complicated plots, and suspense. Most of all, where every book builds on the other and in the final book, the strings come together for a very cathartic conclusion. Kudos to Moon, that is hard to do, and rare for me--a reader--to find.
This series builds slowly. I read the first 3 books several years ago and found them suspenseful and humorous. I had mostly forgotten the plots when I started #4 a week or so ago. Starting with #4, I wasn't blown away but gave it a 3.5. As I read #5 and #6, I went back and upgraded my stars as I came to see how she kept all the balls in the air and all the disparate parts of the plot connected. I would recommend for new readers of this series to plan on reading each book in order--and if possible, one directly after the other. I think your reading experience will be richer if you can manage that. I definitely recommend AGAINST reading this series out of order. The series was slowish to start and I really came to respect it as I saw how Moon built it up by books 6 & 7.
I also want to commend Moon for her strong women characters. There are many of them in this series, all different, all competent, all complicated, all ages from young to old, and mostly not relying on their 'beauty' or 'sex appeal' to succeed but on their COMPETENCE, knowledge, and skill. WHY is this so hard for me to find?!? Why can't more authors manage this? I wish this weren't so rare. I recommend this author to you for 3-dimensional female characters worthy of your respect.
Trigger warning: (view spoiler)[The experience and impact of rape is a huge integral part of this series. At times (books 4 & 5 in particular), this was fairly painful reading for me. I forced myself to finish these books. The way Moon used rape in the various plots is not exploitive or unnecessary--not gratuitious, but experiencing along with the characters was rough for me.) I almost didn't continue. I'm glad I did. And I think the experience as a female reader probably makes this more intense and personal than for a male reader. But I do want to warn other readers who may be affected by the reading experience. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
First read 11/13/12: Thoroughly enjoyed! 3.5 stars. Favorite thing? Back cover illustration! 2nd favorite? The way she plays with the forced marriage/...moreFirst read 11/13/12: Thoroughly enjoyed! 3.5 stars. Favorite thing? Back cover illustration! 2nd favorite? The way she plays with the forced marriage/platonic marriage w/benefits. And some lovely slapstick scenes. One thing I wasn't expecting: (view spoiler)[ Takes place before Cryoburn. (hide spoiler)]
2nd read 2/9/14: Enjoyed it even more the second time. Less confusing.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)