**spoiler alert** I usually don't count DNF books as part of my read count for the year, but since I am stopping at 80%, if you don't like it, you kno**spoiler alert** I usually don't count DNF books as part of my read count for the year, but since I am stopping at 80%, if you don't like it, you know where you can stick it (and I know 99% of you who read this, have no problem with DNF).
If you are even a little bit of feminist, you have most likely heard of the Man's Right Movement, or whatever it is. This book is part of that. Now let me say a few things first. Rape is rape regardless of who the victim or the rapist is. A woman can rape a man (it's amazing how many men don't believe this). Gender roles are also harmful to men.
But a man's right movement that doesn't make sense, especially when most of the feminists working today actually incorporate the above points into their theory.
This book is just . . . I hope it's written tongue in check and this Philip John O'Sullivan and his penis Pokey (yes, that is name of his penis) are just some people who thought to do something funny. If this isn't a joke, however, the guy needs help. Seriously, I believe that he was raped or is mentally ill and honestly believes that he was. There is no other way to describe this book.
Well, there is.
BIG FUCKING MESS.
O'Sullivan has not met a fragment he doesn't use. All these years, I thought sentences were suppose to make sense. Apparently, I was wrong; I should be as confusing as possible. You should also refer to yourself in third person and keep telling people about things in other books that you haven't written yet.
Honestly, if this guy actually graduated from a university in New Zealand, I think we should close all the universities in New Zealand. Seriously, my cat writes better than O'Sullivan when she walks across my computer keyboard.
Then he goes on these weird digressions, like about Pokey his penis who thinks for him and makes him help and how it is sad that women don't have one.
He's concerned that white people aren't breeding enough and abortion is the reason for this. Apparently people shit will make more land.
And anyone who is homosexual is a rapist. And all women are rapists (though I might be misreading that sentence because it was just so fucked up who knows what he really meant to say).
Then there is this strange thing about women and men being able to smell arousal and if a woman is aroused and says no, a guy should make her do it anyway.
And there are sentences like these:
"New Zealand was always known as the 'easy' country: where our women folk opened their legs too readily: masculist will necessarily have to act in closing them"
"Living in this Kafkaesque Aotearoa (another name for New Zealand; it means 'land of the long white cloud' which could mean the white people . . . "
"Fixed the earthquake yet?"
"Since the relationship picked up again later when unbeknownst, as we had spent intervening years in other cities, and had inadverntently not recalling her from infancy of course -met her again"
Or what he says about the male gaze "If the 'male gaze' is too strong for her then where is her strong women image; beaten by our gazes? Our glances do they crucify you. Then die on the cross for us our gentler living dildo is no-able; hers cannot say yes or no. her mechanical love is tiresome. Try the real thing. You then too have proven empathy, without it none. Pornographic rape is the mind of the dally dildo."
Yes, the dildo, the evil of the universe.
If this is what the men's movement is like, I can't even. I just can't even . .. ...more
**spoiler alert** I'm not into dino porn or whatever. My mind works in the "yeah, but it wouldn't fit" type of line. Honestly, I'm the one watching a**spoiler alert** I'm not into dino porn or whatever. My mind works in the "yeah, but it wouldn't fit" type of line. Honestly, I'm the one watching a movie and wondering why no one ever really needs to go to the bathroom. Honestly, did you ever see one in Star Wars? No wonder the Sith wanted to take over the universe'; they must have wanted plumbing.
So I read this because I'm in that silly mood where you want to read something stupid and bad that will make you laugh and there isn't a Resident Evil movie on.
The thing is, there is a fine, thin line between what is erotic and what is porn, at least for me. Yes, yes, I know erotica is for women, porn is for men - and please introduce me to someone who actually believes that.
This is porn, and not because it really doesn't have a plot. As the author says in the blurb, and she is quite upfront about it, there isn't one. So I knew going in what it was, but I was thinking maybe it will be so bad it will be funny. And the blurb mentioned a strong woman who didn't take shit, so I figured why not.
Then I started reading it. It started out promising, I suppose. Donna is a very active woman who isn't frightened to go after what she wants, even at 20,000 feet. But then the words "shaved pussy".
Not trimmed, but shaved. Let's leave aside the whole embracing woman for being woman thing. Do you know where the whole idea of a shaved vagina started? To imply that a woman in a porn movie was not, in fact, a woman, but an under aged teen. Legal woman with the appearance of a teen.
So, for me, shaved pussy is too closely linked to child abuse and rape to be anything erotic, funny or hot.
And that raises these further thoughts. It's great that our culture (at least in certain parts of the world) is starting to allow or embrace woman’s sexuality. Honestly, I have lost track of how many times I have seen a 50 Shades of Grey book being read by someone on public transportation. Yet, are we really embracing or allowing woman’s sexuality if it is really by terms other than the woman? In other words, are works such as this or 50 Shades, really about a woman and her sexual side OR about what a man thinks a woman’s sexual side is? (Or even about what women should believe a man’s sexual side is?) And there are writers, or at least stories that do this from the mass market success of Jacqueline Carey to the Amazon Independent kindle books such as the one about the woman and the brothers with Harleys. It just seems the other shit, the shit that advertises as woman oriented by seems frat boyish is far more numerous.
I’m not suggesting censorship because, just no. But shouldn’t the market demand better? Shouldn’t women demand better? ...more
Perhaps this is a satire. God, I hope it is a satire because I'm sorry I can't get past the writing.
Sentences like "Margaret stood up and swam back uPerhaps this is a satire. God, I hope it is a satire because I'm sorry I can't get past the writing.
Sentences like "Margaret stood up and swam back up the stairs as noiselessy as she came down". OR "She stood up and elegantly glided down the stairs with barely any noise despite the sound that should've been produced by high heels heating the polished wood of the staircase".
My personal favorite, " . . . Steve asked Margaret, taking a bite of Japanese Wagyu beef heart and fillet, wrapped in edible 30-carat gold leaves".
Or even, "The change in Margaret's looks did not happen instantaneously, but graduallly over the followiing months, as she switched to drinking blood as her only nourishment, she started seeing radical changes."
Does the London Times really have cartoons? Or is it political cartoons?
And what is a fall boot?
Grilled chicken - in the Middle Ages? Would the term grilled be used?
And I get Henry doesn't understand the whole intercourse thing, but "the abundance of unusual feminine parts of her body" make it sound like she has more than the normal amount....more
Okay, I couldn't finish this book. I admit it. Here's why - if there is a class trip to Scotland and that class trip is clearly high school, it really Okay, I couldn't finish this book. I admit it. Here's why - if there is a class trip to Scotland and that class trip is clearly high school, it really doesn't matter to me if you do lip service about how the girls are 18. I shouldn't be feeling like I have been tricked into reading child porn. Would it have been so hard to make it a college trip?
And even for erotica, it really didn't make sense. And if I was Scotish, I'm sure I would be insulted. I feel I should call everyone in Scotland and apolgize for even looking at this book....more
If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be UGH!
I would rather get on the Erin Express (a**spoiler alert** Crossposted at Booklikes.
If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be UGH!
I would rather get on the Erin Express (and if you live in Philly, this tells you so much).
This book makes me fear for the human race. It makes me fear for the state of publishing. It makes me feel for the state of writing.
(I should note here that I read this book for work so it was more of an assignment).
How does book warrant a price tag of 16 dollars?
I get it is suppose to be erotica. I get it was fan fiction first. But if the book costs 16 bucks and runs 500 pages, it needs to be more – well – professional.
And how anyone woman thinks this is an S&M guide is beyond me.
While I do not think this book should be banned or pulled from any library, this book offends me on so many levels.
Here goes – and this is going to be a rant and totally unprofessional.
The writing, in terms of style and word usage, is just bad. Take for instance these sentences, “His bedroom is vast. The ceiling-height windows look out on lit-up Seattle high-rises. The walls are white, and the furnishings are pale blue.” (111) Or “I pause, fractionally too long” (77). Or “My blood is pumping though my body” (112) –um, you mean it normally doesn’t? Wouldn’t that be a problem? Or “I try to push him away rather feebly” (59). Or “he says phlegmatically” (66) – I’m not sure how that is attractive. At one point an elevator whisks her away at terminal velocity – so wouldn’t she be dead? The college she attends is variously –WSU, WSUV, WSUVA. There are people who have apparently have stone steps – sorry, there are people who have stone steps attached to their bodies. There is this, “He pops a fragment of ice in my navel in a pool of cool, cold wine” (193). It’s supposed to be erotica but it sounds stupid (cool, cold) and doesn’t make sense. Is her navel in a pool of wine? Also apparently it is a very big and deep navel a few sentences later. And what exactly is a sandle? This bring me to
How can this book be erotica when the writing is wince worthy and makes no sense? How can it be erotica with words like "inner goddess" (who talks way too much) and "oh my" and "holy Moses"?
I know there are people who are going to say that this gripe is unfair, but I don’t think it is. Jacqueline Carey wrote two erotic series that were also political fantasy with adequate if not good world building (granted drawn on European history). James places her story in the real world (she even gives a year), and it doesn’t make sense in any way shape or form. It feels so fake. I’m sorry but if Kate wants to be a reporter, she would be journalism major, not an English major. If she ran the student paper and the interview was important, she would not get Ana to cover it. I’m sorry but American professors are not tutors in the English sense of the word. No college holds a graduation ceremony in a gym, stadiums yes. Though this apparently magically becomes an auditorium a few paragraphs later. Ana has an IPod but not a computer of any type or an email address. If Ana is interviewing Grey because he is giving a speech at her graduation, how come she doesn’t know this at her graduation? If Ana had a job at the campus library (which means payment), why is she working in hardware store? Isn’t the library job connected more to her English major? What American uses the term in situ to describe parents who aren’t divorced or absent? Considering that Ana doesn’t know basic opera information, would she really know Carmen Miranda? Internships are not salaried jobs. Finally, despite what this book implies, Washington state does in fact have speed limits. I checked.
As a reader and a holder of an English degree, I am deeply disturbed by Ana’s attitude toward reading. One, she apparently has vastly misread Tess. Two, when asked her favorite books, she simply says British Literature. Three, Thomas Hardy is never, ever light reading. Though Ana wouldn’t know this because apparently Tess puts her to sleep. If Ana loves reading so much, why doesn’t she, you know, read?
For a book that is supposedly about, in part, a woman coming to terms with her desires, it is rather misogynistic. It even endorses rape culture.
In the course of the book, Ana, unattractive Ana, is desired by three men – Grey, Jose, and Paul. Ana has made it clear to both Paul and Jose that she is not interest. Paul, at the very least, harasses by touching her when it makes her uncomfortable. Jose sexually assaults her while Ana and her friends are out drinking, trying to force her to kiss him when she repeatedly tells him that she doesn’t want to. The assault is only stopped by the appearance of Grey. Jose and Ana are still friends after this. (The character of Jose and Ana’s relationship to him is problematic for other reasons. Jose, like all minority characters who make brief appearances, is a stereotype. Furthermore, while his actions towards Ana at the bar are wrong, Ana does use him. He services her car free of charge. Ana, of course, condemns Kate for how Kate treats Jose, which is the same way Ana does).
Grey’s stopping of Jose might make him out as the good guy. But it doesn’t. The following morning, when Ana wakes up he blames her. If she hadn’t been drinking, he wouldn’t have had to save her. She shouldn’t drink so much. And she really isn’t frightened by his tracking her phone. They’ve only met three times but the stalking is a turn on (WTF?). Grey does this blaming after he has slept besides the semi-dressed Ana. He took off her pants and put her to bed because she was sick after drinking so much.
Incidentally, Grey’s concern about Ana’s drinking (and she drinks like a fish) doesn’t stop him for using it against her. Every time he and Ana discuss the rules, or the potential rules for their relationship, he makes sure she is drinking. He manipulates her repeatedly. Part of this is the rules –which is a semi-legal contact (how Ana knows that is not really a legal contact without consulting a lawyer, I have no idea. Ana is stupid in every way. The rules themselves and the discussions about the rules are so repetitive and constant; any reader should want to throw up). The rules give Grey control of most, if not all, of Ana’s life. He gets her clothes, she must eat and exercise per his command, and birth control is her responsibility. He does include STD testing, but she just takes his word for it and doesn’t ask for the results herself. And he picks her doctor.
Seriously, what woman would let any man do that?
You could argue that the book is about Ana finding her role as submissive or as a sexual woman (she was a virgin before Grey), but this is problematic because she is not allowed to discover on her own. She is forced to discover per his terms. The first spanking is by his choice, not hers. She cannot talk to Kate about it, the rules forbid this. How is this discovery? Why is food a no-go area for her, but clothes are not? And there is a reason why she fears she is like a prostitute or a mistress, she is one. She is a kept woman. He controls her computer, her car, her phone, and her living arrangements. Every time she says she needs time to think, he makes a show of giving to her, but then shows right back up – including at one point forcing his way into her apartment. He stalks her. He abuses her. He ignores her use of the word no at times. He lies when he says he doesn’t want to change her – he does. He changes her in more than just a sexual awakening, and the only person to really notice this change is Kate, Ana’s “dearest, dearest friend” and roommate (and whom Ana seems to sponge off of).
Despite claims of Kate being Ana’s dearest friend, Ana sure doesn’t act like it. While Ana starts an affair with Grey that is based solely on the physical, Kate and Elliot (Grey’s brother) start a relationship as well. Kate and Elliot are hot heavy, and multiple times Ana wishes that they weren’t, that Kate should control herself. This is rather strange coming from Ana who is fucked by Grey during a dinner with his parents and, unlike Kate who seems to know about Elliot’s business, knows nothing and shows no real interest in. Furthermore, when Grey slut shames Kate, Ana does not say anything in defense of her “friend”. And Kate is a good friend, not only apparently paying Ana’s way in terms of living costs and allowing her to borrow clothes and cars, but by being concerned and actually pegging Grey for what he is. However, Kate’s real reaction (the only sense of reality in the book) is shown to be wrong while Ana’s mother, who basically tells her daughter to go back to Grey’s hotel room, is shown to be correct. This is the mother who Ana chose not to live with, preferring to live with her step-father.
In fact, the majority of people in power in this book are men. The hardware store is owned by a man (his wife, however, is mentioned), Ana gets a job with a male boss, Grey’s go to people are all men, all the women in Grey’s offices seem to be sectaries or PAs (and a housekeeper), and Ana’s favorite professor is a man. Ana’s only female friend is Kate.
There is a one exception to this, and that is the non-seen but present character of Mrs. Robinson, the older woman who introduced Grey to the whole S&M thing. Robinson, a friend of Grey’s mother, did this when Grey was 15. Ana does not think to call this what it is – rape – until over 200 pages after she is told of it. Truthfully, she uses the word molestation. This only occurs after repeated bouts of jealously – not worry, but jealously. It’s OMG is he still seeing her, jealous. This whole thing is problematic because it implies that man can’t be sexually abused, that people are only into S&M if they are mess up mentally and abused at a young age, and shows a complete utter endorsement of rape is okay because Grey keeps calling it seduction. (What Jose did too is seduction).
I will grant that there is something attractive in having things taken care for you. But there is a fine line between being taken care and being abused. Ana, herself, refers to the Grey’s stalker and control issues. Grey’s control issues are not control issues. They are abuse issues because Ana exists solely for him, even in her mind. She worries about his reaction to everything. When she finally “leaves” him, it is implied that it is because she isn’t woman enough, not that he hurt her or is abusive. Compare that to Jane Eyre in one of Ana’s British books. Jane Eyre leaves Rochester because what he wants his wrong. It violates her being. She becomes her own being. This is not why Ana leaves Grey, though James seems to want you to think so. Jane Eyre would have left Grey long before.
James is no doubt laughing all the way to the bank. Good for her. But don’t tell me that this book is erotic or female empowerment. It’s just recycled rape culture.
**spoiler alert** Full review at Booklikes Note, that there it is in two parts.
The things you do for online friends. I think my eyeballs will never fo**spoiler alert** Full review at Booklikes Note, that there it is in two parts.
The things you do for online friends. I think my eyeballs will never forgive me. This is the funny partof the review, a more detailed anaylsis will follow, as soon my eyeballs forgive me.
At least I didn't pay for it.
"Bring on your best bikini" - Bikini fight apparently.
Emily's sex growls (Loc. 82) Vagina dentata eat your heart out. Emily's vagina is a pitbull on a leash. (Which must make it rather hard to sit down).
Wait, no. I had that wrong. Emily's sex quivered. So it is an arrow. Does that mean she has a penis?
This second part of the review is more serious. It also makes comments about the view that the book presents of the author (not the author herself). Also I feel that for those remarks, I must apologize to any man who reads this review. I’m really sorry (Unless I’m not and am just saying that.)
Okay, I’ll admit, tentacle love is not my thing. Monster loving’ doesn’t really do anything for me. If it’s your thing, great. I’m not being critical. But even if it is your thing, don’t read this.
First off, if you are going to charge 2.99 American for a book that would take anyone whose reading level is higher than second grade 20 minutes at the most to read, it better be damned good and not filled with fragments, confusing sentences, and independents clauses that just don’t make sense. (Please note, that I got this book for free. The list price on Amazon is 2.99).
Second, and more importantly, this book is a big solid endorsement of rape culture while reading like something a college boy would write while high on pot and drunk on beer; something he would be writing in the frat house with the other frat boys jerking off while he reads aloud.
It is not erotica. It is porn.
Worse, it is bad porn.
Worse, it is bad porn that goes further than objectifying women. Honestly, if the author really is the woman as the name suggests, I don’t even want to know because that would be so scary.
Our heroine and I use that term with reservations, is Emily who wants to star in porn movies, that’s why she came to Hollywood. Tell me that this detail doesn’t scream student wet dream.
But it gets worse.
Emily watches tentacle porn, enjoys it, and feels guilty about enjoying it, well not really. Really, this sounds like something a guy would want a girl to do. Not that women can’t like porn, but the porn Emily watches is really rape porn.
But I’m skipping ahead. So like most inspiring porn actresses, the only job Emily can find is waiting tables at some place. At this some place, this guy called Slick (honestly, Slick? Really. Come on, free erotica on the internet as better names than this), finally notices her and invites her to his yacht right after meeting her.
She’s okay with this.
The yacht is one big hook up party, bowls of condoms around and what not. (Sorry, high end condoms. I think that means flavored ones) Miss Emily wonders who she should hook up with when a reality star propositions her.
And I suppose, why there is a great deal of stupidity here, if you leave aside the grammar, it isn’t too bad.
But as they leave to go to a private room to knock the bed posts, Mr. Hook Up stops Emily from reaching for a condom. And she is okay with this. In fact, his getting possessive, cruel, and predatory is a major turn on. Her vagina is quivering or growling (you think the growling would be a turn off, unless it is her stomach and she gets the two confused).
It’s the girl really wants to be dominated, abused, and raped trope.
That pisses me off. Fine, ignore the conditions between porn and abuse. Ignore the stupidity of a woman doing what Emily does, and even ignore the fact that an aspiring porn actress is okay going bare back – how is rape erotic? It’s not. It’s, at best, pornographic. And Emily is seen begging for her rape, there really is no other way to put it, twice in this thing. TWICE!
It really does feel like a guy who watches too much porn’s wet dream.
And this is a problem for me. I get the arguments about rape fantasy, but rape as a turn on for women appears far too much in work that is supposed to be romantic or erotic. What that does is normalizes it and suggest to readers, who are not all women, that rape is fine. There is a difference about a man taking the lead or a woman letting him assume control; and a man dominating a woman r and using her, seeing her as a hole and nothing more. The second is not erotica; it’s rape. I don’t understand why writers endorse this. (Mainstream writers as well as kindle erotica writers do this).
The rape fantasy in this book is problematic because it comes across as a male (or lesbian, perhaps) rape fantasy. It also suggests that while women want to be raped, women should also be ashamed for their sexuality or simply use it to further their careers. I think of other freebie erotica that I’ve read – Naughty Elf or Myth erotic – and while those books were not the best ever, at least they were not rape fantasies and embraced female sexuality. ...more
**spoiler alert** So this one killed my desire to read romance books for several years, and even colors my review of romance even today. I don't care**spoiler alert** So this one killed my desire to read romance books for several years, and even colors my review of romance even today. I don't care if it was pre-feminist; I don't care that rape fantasies exist. I'm sorry, if she escapes one rape, and then is raped by a man who is really sorry, but he thought she was doxy - there is no difference between either of the men. Sorry. She should have stabbed them both, instead of just the one....more
I'm not the target audience for this book. Right now, I looked at all the wonderful reviews of this novel and wonder if the people read the same bookI'm not the target audience for this book. Right now, I looked at all the wonderful reviews of this novel and wonder if the people read the same book I did. Maybe I'm too picky.
Go read any translation of nights instead of this.
I have problems with this book. The first is that the character of Shahrazad makes no sense. All of sudden she's blind. All of sudden she's a wonderful story teller who understands people even though she avoided people by locking herself in her room. By the way, Shahrazad, her sister, and her mother are the only good women in the story. It is very unclear why Shahrazad would do what she does (the mini-series was even better here). Shahrazad is perfect! She's wonderful! (I'm going to hurl!). Her step mother was evil, but that's okay cause she died in child birth when she gave birth to a girl....more
In the 90s, there was a series called Poltergeist the Legacy. It was about a group of people who investigated paranormal mysteries. It was kinda good.In the 90s, there was a series called Poltergeist the Legacy. It was about a group of people who investigated paranormal mysteries. It was kinda good. There was an episode that supposedly took place in Boston. The series supposedly took place in San Fran but considering that the money was always marked with Queen Elizabeth II's head, the series was mostly likely filmed in CA. Anyway, the Boston show was about a history grad student who discovers that her ancestor might have been a witch.
Go watch that instead of trying to read this book. At the very least, you can drool over good looking people.
I do not know how this got named one of the top ten books of 2009 as well as all the other endorsement blurbs on the cover. Maybe, newspapers and magazines should comission reviews by people who (a) actually read (b) actually read more than one fantasy novel per year or (c) have intelligence.
The book sounds promising, if making use of an already used idea (Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne Rice have used similar ideas in thier witch books). The book fails, however, really, really fails. The first and major problem is Connie, a.k.a Mary Sue.
Connie's problems include:
1. She's smart and everyone else knows it but her. 2. She's skinny. 3. She doesn't sound like a dog owner. 4. She doesn't sound like a grad student because a. She doesn't have any basic research skills. b. She doesn't seem to have any knowledge of any language besides English. 5. She has a father who disappered (angst and sorrow!) 6. Her mother is a hippie who doesn't understand her and who doesn't act like an adult (poor baby!) 7. She can't really remember her Granna (shucks!) 8. Her advisor is a sexist dude. (Oh dear).
Additionally, why does everyone in Boston who encounters Connie and who is not academic act rude? Honestly, if I were running an archive and some stupid bimbo showed up in cut offs and flip flops (but seemingly without a shirt, considering we are not told what that looks like), I might not be so willing to hand over the keys either.
Then she meets her true love. Nice!
Other problems include the fact that anyone can figure out who the bad guy is (watch out Nancy Drew) and too much telling and not enough showing....more
I have tried reading this blasted book three times. I know it's me. Moorcock does a wonderful job of creating an alternate England. But, for me, sometI have tried reading this blasted book three times. I know it's me. Moorcock does a wonderful job of creating an alternate England. But, for me, something is missing. I'm not sure. Maybe its the whole take on Elizabeth. I don't know. Moorcock does write an excellent Dr. Dee, however....more
Not even the Dresden story is funny. In fact, the Dresden story feels like Butcher wrote it in an houThis collection is supposed to be funny.
Not even the Dresden story is funny. In fact, the Dresden story feels like Butcher wrote it in an hour. It involes a funny idea, werewolves with fleas, but all the women are topless. Okay, not all. And, I have to admit Harry playing D&D is funny, but that is only two pages of funny. Then sadly the story goes rapidly downhill and never gets back up.
Kelley Armstrong's story concerning Jamie is the best story in the collection. All the stories are very, very, very, very, very predictable. Armstrong's story is the best because unlike the others, it doesn't feel as if she is trying too hard. All the other stories feel like the authors are trying too hard to be funny (and failing horribly) or aren't as funny as they think they are. Armstrong's story is simply a story about Jamie and Savannah (who feels more like Eve), and so it works best. In fact, while the story is predictable, if I were grading Armstrong's story in and of itself, it would be 2.5-3 stars.
If you like Armstrong, her story is worth reading, but the others aren't....more
I feel like an evil person giving this book one star, especially when everyone else seems to love it. If you are reading this review you should note tI feel like an evil person giving this book one star, especially when everyone else seems to love it. If you are reading this review you should note that I didn't finish this book. I read about 250 pages, got bored and angry, guessed at the ending, checked to see if I was right (I was), and put it down.
Why didn't I like the book? I'm the eldest child in my family. I am very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very tired of reading books where the eldest child is bitter and is evil or live a bad life or dies while the youngest child is the chosen favorite. I understand the whole psychological reasons for it; I've studied fairy tales after all. But can't fantasy books break that formula sometimes? I don't think it is an accident that A.S. Byatt is one my favorite authors; after all the first story I read by her was "The Story of the Eldest Princess". So poor Greg Keyes; I have issues with the whole younger and older children thing. These issues are made worse in this book because the youngest child is such a spoiled, self-centered, idiot, twit of a girl that I wanted her to be spanked, and no, not in a good way. For me that was a main issue. Very few of the characters felt really real. The chose was Winnia. And the romance elements seemed forced. Gentleman, ladies don't always need romance in books. Really. ...more
I wanted to like this book, I swear. The author is from my hometown and a friend on Goodreads likes it. I can't finish the blasted thing.
Why, you ask?I wanted to like this book, I swear. The author is from my hometown and a friend on Goodreads likes it. I can't finish the blasted thing.
Why, you ask?
Two words - Mary Sue.
The idea is good, wonderful and inventive. It's brilliant. The execution of that idea I found to be predictable, boring, and annoying.
The first problem, the major problem for me, is the main character. Yelena. She escapes being executed by agreeing to be become the food taster for the Commander of the country she is in. This is believable and set up well. What follows asks the reader to suspend too much disbelief. Yes, it is fantasy, and that calls for suspension, but Snyder asks for too much.
I'm suppose to believe several different things about Yelena.
1. The Duke who took in orphans taught them to read (okay).
2. The Duke who took in orphans allowed them to learn special skills, such as acrobatics (okay).
3. After five seasons in a cell, all Yelena needed was a bath and a meal to look nice (yeah, right).
4. After two weeks, Yelena is a wonderful taster and knows about cooking in general (maybe).
5. After two weeks, and seemingly without much studying, Yelena has memorized a vast amount of information about poison. (maybe)
6. Despite never having been to the palace before her new position, Yelena knows all about the plumbing at the palace (huh?)
7. As if being pretty, young (she's 19-20), smart, a wonderful taster, and an acrobat isn't enough, Yelena also wins the respect of the guardsmen who were trying to capture her in an exercise.
8. As if being pretty, smart, a wonderful taster, an acrobat, and winning the respect of the guardsmen isn't enough, Yelena is also a powerful magician to be and an exotic person of foreign birth (geez).
As if that wasn't enough, the plot is entirely too predictable. It really, really is, and Snyder makes it worse by trying to give every chapter a cliff hanger feel. If the book was a horse, it's pace would look this way - trot, gallop, walk, canter, trot, gallop, stop, eat, gallop. (And a person over five feet is too tall for a jockey, unless it is a steeplechase). Also, I don't understand why Snyder needed to repeat the same infromation over and over. It didn't make the word feel real.
Also, why do the bad women have to be ugly and fat? What all us fat women hate skinny pretty women so we abuse them? Honestly? All the women who don’t like Yelena are seen to be jealous or ugly. Wonderful.
I swear, I really wanted to like it. I’ve tried reading it twice. It’s not working....more