**spoiler alert** I liked most of the previous Anita Blake books (the exception being Blue Moon), but this really is were the series shifts. The hint**spoiler alert** I liked most of the previous Anita Blake books (the exception being Blue Moon), but this really is were the series shifts. The hint at the end of OB that Anita wants to get her life under control is not fulfilled here. In fact, it is almost like Anita has become a totally different character. There is no real plot to this book, honestly. The melding that occurs seems to have been pointless, and just made Anita weaker, in the form of enslaving her to sex. Considering that Hamilton always teased with the idea of Anita being in a real relationship with two men at once, there seems no point to having Anita gain the ardeur, unless it is to have her sleep with more than two men. This makes it a bad plot device. But my main problem is that in the hardcover edition, the Anita/Micah shower sexual encounter shows it as a rape, and then I am suppose to believe Anita loves Micah? Anita from the earlier books would have, at the very least, shot Michah or turned him into the cops at the end of the books. If you are looking for a book that is just pointless sex, read this. If you are look for a book that deals with a plot that has sex, and handles sex and rape in an adult manner, this is not the book for you. ...more
If this had been the first Anita Blake I had read, it would have been the last Anita Blake I had read. There is a plot. It is an interesting plot evenIf this had been the first Anita Blake I had read, it would have been the last Anita Blake I had read. There is a plot. It is an interesting plot even. The plot, however, takes a different car than the sex that gets pushed to the fore. (Yes, I know the correct expresssion is "the plot took a back seat to the sex", but the plot is farther back than that). The main problem, however, is that in this book I found Anita to be totally unlikable (I wanted her to get hit by a Mac truck). I also think it is interesting that we are told she is going to be taught to use her newfound powers, but we never see it....more
Why I did I not like this book? I suppose it could have been the fact that a once kick ass heroine is now a sex fiend. However, Anita is Hamilton's chWhy I did I not like this book? I suppose it could have been the fact that a once kick ass heroine is now a sex fiend. However, Anita is Hamilton's character, and Hamilton has the right to change the character. I just wish she had done it in a more believable way. Why, for instance, can't Anita control her desires when Jean-Claude can? Why doesn't Anita even try? I might not have liked the book because all the sex sounds the same. It really does, and it is really boring sex. The only difference in the way the men have sex with Anita is the size of their equipment. Maybe it is because Anita is now totally self-absorbed that everything she does is right, and everyone else is wrong. This isn't character growth. It's character regression. How does Jean-Claude rule as a master vampire when he is wimp? How does Richard keep power when he is a wimp? Why doesn't someone shoot Anita in the head and take over the city? The fact that the characters have been so warped might be another reason why I did not like the book. Actually, it was all of the above combined with the fact that Hamilton or her editor neglected to use her Spell checker. I wanted to get out a red pen and fix sentences. If you like unintended comedies, you might like this. ...more
**spoiler alert** I like historical fiction, and I like Cleopatra. I don't even mind if she is painted as a bit of hussy in books, honest. This book g**spoiler alert** I like historical fiction, and I like Cleopatra. I don't even mind if she is painted as a bit of hussy in books, honest. This book gives a Cleopatra who has sex a lot and who has sex with just about every guy she knows. If she was having sex this much, she would not have been able to rule. The book is smut, and sadly, it is not even fun smut. No character is likeable or even sympathetic....more
**spoiler alert** I know this historical fiction, but if Elizabeth was as stupid in real life as the fictional Elizabeth is in this book, she would ha**spoiler alert** I know this historical fiction, but if Elizabeth was as stupid in real life as the fictional Elizabeth is in this book, she would have lost the throne. Even a fictionized version of Elizabeth should show some strength of character....more
**spoiler alert** Despite the rather presumptuous sub-title of "case closed", Cornwell doesn't prove her thesis. In fact, this book is a text book for**spoiler alert** Despite the rather presumptuous sub-title of "case closed", Cornwell doesn't prove her thesis. In fact, this book is a text book for how NOT to write a book that solves a historical mystery.
Problems 1. Cornwall has never heard of footnotes.
2. She does not fully explain why she chose to investigate Sickert. It really does sound like she chose him for the killer because she liked the cop who thought he did it.
3. When discussing how women were seen at the time, why is Cornwell citing a book written in the 1600s? And only that book?
4. No close ups of the paintings that show ripper themes which means I did not see what she was talking about.
5. Having the lab you fund do tests to prove your thesis doesn't look good. At least have an independent lab back up the findings.
6. Any criminal, according to this book, is a psychopath.
7. Presumes that the Ripper wrote all the Ripper letters.
8. How does she know her Ripper letter is the real, deal? (If just saying it makes it so, than anyone want to buy the lost Manet masterwork of a woodpecker I own?)
9. Somehow I doubt that Cornwell is the only Ripper expert who worked hard, despite what she implies.
10. Cornwell keeps saying she wouldn't do something, and then does it. She says she won't psycho analyze, and then there she goes.
11. How does she know about the penis of a dead and cremated man? (I really want to know the answer to that one).
12. If he wasn't a good actor (which is what Cornwell says), how could he be so good at disguises that no one recognized him until Cornwell did?
13. She does not rebutt fully the claim that Sickert had an alibi.
If you want to know how NOT to construct an argument, read this book. Otherwise, skip it....more
**spoiler alert** While the Xanth series has always thrived on puns, this book has too many puns. Sometimes the book feels like it is nothing but a li**spoiler alert** While the Xanth series has always thrived on puns, this book has too many puns. Sometimes the book feels like it is nothing but a list of puns with just tiny bit of plot thrown in. A central character seems absent for much of the book; she's there but too quiet. Compared to the earlier books in the series, it seems as if Anthony feels a little bored with Xanth. Really didn't like this one; surprising considering Night-Mare was my favorite in the series....more
**spoiler alert** I think this is suppose to be a child's book. I'm not sure because it reads like the book itself doesn't know what it wants to be. I**spoiler alert** I think this is suppose to be a child's book. I'm not sure because it reads like the book itself doesn't know what it wants to be. If it is a children's book than why does it have a rape in it? If it's an adult book (or even YA), than why is the writing childish? Is Woodall trying to sound like Adams and not just doing a good job? One problem with the book are everything is oversimplified. This wouldn't be a problem if it was a children's book, but that brings us back to the rape, which is a bird rape. It's not overly graphic, but considering the simplification and writing level, it seems out of place. I also find it hard to believe that any bird would give up eating bugs. Females characters are very flat and rely on the male characters too much. The excuse of "they're animals" doesn't work. Look at Watership Down and the female rabbits there; look at Horwood and his moles. Additionally, the motivations of several characters were too simple and not deep enough. ...more
Don't read this book if you really like the Brontes. If you want to know about thier private lives, go pick up a biography. This is book is just insulDon't read this book if you really like the Brontes. If you want to know about thier private lives, go pick up a biography. This is book is just insulting. If Charlotte Bronte were still alive, she would be sueing for defamnation....more
I couldn't finish this book. I understand it's Jenoff's first book, but there is far too much showing not telling. Emma's change of emotions is far toI couldn't finish this book. I understand it's Jenoff's first book, but there is far too much showing not telling. Emma's change of emotions is far too sudden. We're told that she starved in the Ghetto, but in terms of the book, it feels like she was only in the ghetto for five minutes. Even taking into account the difference in time (it helped that I had just read Defiance), she still feels so passive and "oh dear me" that it is hard to like her....more
I didn't really "read" this one, as I couldn't finish it. It seemed like a good book, I even read a few pages thoroughout before I brought the thing.I didn't really "read" this one, as I couldn't finish it. It seemed like a good book, I even read a few pages thoroughout before I brought the thing. I should have seen this coming, but the section I read was interesting. Next time, I start fromt the beginning.
The characters are flat, unengaging, and sound alike. Even the women sound like the men. There is no real clear to what some of the characters look like. The world is filled with large words, there is no clue how to pronounce them. It feels like there are six levels between the action of the book and reader, so the reader is totally unattached to anything. ...more
**spoiler alert** I was a Dragonlance, and by extension TSR, nut in high school and early years of college. At one point, I must have had every Dragon**spoiler alert** I was a Dragonlance, and by extension TSR, nut in high school and early years of college. At one point, I must have had every Dragonlance novel. I hung out with Dragonlance nuts (we were also Robin McKinley nuts. What? You loved The Hero and the Crown? So did I! So I should read these, huh?). Looking back now, when I have long gotten read of several Dragonlance novels, including this one, I still have to admit that the first six books (Chronicles and the Twins) are good, not great, but good. In particular, because they do examine aspects of good and evil; the last book of the Twins when Raist gives everything up for one thing others would see as worthless is just wonderful.
Dragonlance is still around today, and ever so often I can impress students with "Yes, I know what it is. I like kender." Yet, unlike Terry Pratchett who I have been having a literary affair with for over a decade, or Robin McKinley with whom I celebrated a twentith anniversary, the Dragonlance books didn't have the same staying power, at least the newer books.
In part, it is because of this book. The Second includes original and previous published short fiction. The previous published fiction was great. The fiction created especially for this volume and leading to the next book, I had a huge problem with.
I hate it when writers go back and totally change characters. And that is what Weis and Hickman did. What was worse was who they did it to. In Chronicles, Tanis the half elf is torn between his love for Kitara, a human, and Laurena, an elven princess. Laurena was based on Hickman's wife, and Kitara is a human woman who, it is revealed fights for the evil army. Kitara is also the only dark haired woman in the series. (Tika is a red-head so don't yell at me. Geez). Laurena has long blonde locks, is always rights, and despite being a spoiled princess because a great warrior. Kitara was sexually loose, a skilled fighter though hard work, and came from a dysfunctional family. While I never liked Laurenana the differences didn't really bug me as a high school/ early college student because at least Weis and Hickman shaded Kitara.
In this one book, they ruined that.
It is said that we can never go back, that our prespectives always change with time because we age and we learn. Sometimes that is true, but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes we go back and we like it better. Sometimes we go back and we now hate it. Sometimes, our opinion stays the same. Everytime I read LOTR, I still feel that same thrill. I still dare Moira with the Fellowship. When I watch Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, I still smile. I've been reading McKinley for over twenty years and still respect her. I've been reading Datlow/Windling for the same amount of time and still love the collections. Ever time I read "The Cloak" by Blixen, I'm convinced it is one of the most perfect short stories ever.
Books and series that stay treat their readers, fans, viewers with respect. Pratchett said it best, he would rather have readers than fans. When you look at series or books that would rather have fans (money) then viewers or readers, you see disappointment. Think Star Wars, or even Star Trek. (And no, I'm not taking about books vs. movies here. That's different. SW and ST books are written be different writers, there is going to be a difference. There the characters just need to be in character. I'm taking about old and new films/television).
What ruined Dragonlance for me was this book because of the rewriting of character, of series history, that Weis and Hickman did. They turned Kitara into the sterotypical evil seductress, who sleeps with a holy knight and refuses to marry him, but then discovers she is with child. Something that quite clearly did not happen in Chronicles or in the prequel featuring Kitara and Sturm (the knight in question). Looking back, it seems as if the writers shied away from giving Tanis a bastard son because that would effect the Tanis/Laurenana relationship. However, that son would have mad sense. Additionally, if Kit were so evil wouldn't she just have an abortion, wouldn't a sexually loose woman who is a warrior use birth control? It felt cheap, wrong, and worse insulting, especially when the book came out in hardcover with hardcover prices.
Today, I would add that it is extremely interesting how the evil man is allowed to redeemed himself but the evil woman is made to be even worse. Hmmmm. Was it because she wasn't a blonde? Does peroxide sterlize the soul? Hmmm.
In some ways, I suppose I should thank them. For after them, I no longer followed blindly were writers went. I wanted writers to acknowledge that readers had exceptations and things should make sense. Yes, that means you can't always do shocking twists, but it also means that sometimes you do the difficult thing because it would work. When Weis and Hickman didn't do the difficult and opted for the cheap and easy out, it felt like a bad television show.
If you don't respect your readers, why should your readers read your work? This true of writers and publishers....more