The Dragon's Path follows the lives of four people: Cithrin, an orphan being raised by the Medean bank; Marcus, a mercenary intent on staying out of tThe Dragon's Path follows the lives of four people: Cithrin, an orphan being raised by the Medean bank; Marcus, a mercenary intent on staying out of the coming war; Geder, a poor excuse for a soldier and a pawn in someone else's games; and Dawson, a political figure with ties to the most important men in the kingdom.
I was fascinated with the different races (13 in all), though it was hard to keep track of them all. I probably would have given this book five stars if it had focused more on Cithrin and Marcus. I didn't care much for Geder -- although that's kind of the point -- but I found Dawson's chapters about political bargaining completely tedious. All in all, I enjoyed it -- I devoured Cithrin and Marcus' chapters, while the rest was a bit more slow, but this book is what high fantasy should be. It had a sweeping story involving plenty of characters and introduced plot points that are sure to show up in future books -- which I'm looking forward to.
This book also introduced me to Daniel Abraham, so I will be looking for his previous works, because I did enjoy his story-telling immensely....more
First of all, let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of the Bioshock games, especially the first one which this book is heavily based on. HowFirst of all, let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of the Bioshock games, especially the first one which this book is heavily based on. However, I feel like the game developers were much more successful in crafting the world of Rapture. I picked this book up based on the fact that a friend liked it, and because of how much I enjoyed the games, but this book was a giant letdown.
The narrative, for the most part, is bland and boring. There were very few scenes that could actually capture my interest and Andrew Ryan never comes off as crazy or as narcissistic as he should -- even towards the end he sounds pretty sane -- he just spouts crazy ideas. I never really felt anything for the characters in the novel, and most of that is due to poor character development. There is so much time spent hopping between characters (Ryan, McDonagh, Fontaine, Tenenbaum, even Atlas and Steinman) that there isn't really time to form any attachments to these doomed people. The dialog doesn't help. While characters do have their specific accents, and the occasional speech ripped straight from the games, most of the the dialog is clunky and annoying.
Another big gripe is the author's love of both exclamation points and ellipses. Not only are they everywhere, they are used at completely inappropriate times. Yes, I know Rapture is going to fall. I don't need the majority of the chapters ending with an ellipsis to make it seem more epic or fateful.
Rapture is a beautiful world, specifically created to satisfy Ryan's paranoia regarding nuclear warfare. Yet, despite the descriptions offered in the book, the author is unable to recreate the breathtaking scenery or the majestic beauty. In fact, very little description is given -- there are more descriptions of the tech side of things since the main character is the head engineer.
Truly disappointing. I think a better author could have salvaged this hot mess. As a fan of the series, it was fun to read about the characters that inhabited Rapture, but as a reader looking for entertainment, this book was terrible....more
Abramm is believed dead by all but the people who rescued him from his execution, but Maddie is reluctant to give into the public consensus. Even herAbramm is believed dead by all but the people who rescued him from his execution, but Maddie is reluctant to give into the public consensus. Even her closest advisers are pressuring her to remarry for the good of Chesedh. Meanwhile, Abramm must undertake a series of trials that will shake his faith and delay his homecoming.
This was a satisfying end to the series, made even more so by the events that occur between Trap and Carissa. Honestly, Trap is perhaps my favorite character in these four books, so I wish he was utilized a bit more. There are so many different storylines and competing threads that a few seem to fall by the wayside for long periods of time while the main story is explored. And by the end of this book, the preaching was really getting out of hand. Despite those criticisms, I didn't want the book to end, and I'm sad this is the last of the series, even though most everything was resolved. Overall, this is one of the best fantasy series I've ever read, and I really wish there were more books to enjoy....more
I really, really wanted to give this book 5 stars, and I would have if not for how the book jumps ahead in time about four years towards the end. I haI really, really wanted to give this book 5 stars, and I would have if not for how the book jumps ahead in time about four years towards the end. I hate time jumps in books for any reason, no matter how much sense they make within the overall story. It just felt awkward, disjointed, and out of place.
That said, few books have ever tugged on my emotions quite like this one--in fact, the same can be said for all the books in this series. Some scenes have even moved me to tears. As Abramm is finally crowned king, his troubles only seem to increase, but this book is really more about the romance blossoming between the character, and Abramm's inner struggles to realize what he wants. The romance and resulting conflicts were emotional and well-told, filled with passion at the right moments while the characters struggle to control their feelings to try to settle on what they think is best for Kiriath. These books are so well-told, and filled with raw emotions, that even while I held out hope for a happy ending, I never felt like it was a guarantee. It truly felt like anything could happen and that Abramm's journey was still far from over....more
After reading the first book (which I luckily received as a free download--otherwise I would have never discovered this wonderful series), I couldn'tAfter reading the first book (which I luckily received as a free download--otherwise I would have never discovered this wonderful series), I couldn't wait to purchase and dig right into the second. Four years after Abramm Kalladorne was sold into slavery by his brother, he returns to Kiriath to claim his crown, but he must be cautious for he has many enemies. Plus, he's taken the Terstan shield, a fact he must hide if he wants his people to trust him.
Abramm's struggles only continue in this book, as new trials and tribulations test him, as well as his faith to his god, Eidon. The story throughout the entire series is an epic fantasy adventure that just keeps getting better and better (if that's even possible). While religion plays an important role in the main character's lives--indeed in all the characters' lives--I'm more caught up in the scope of Abramm's journey as he travels from faithful acolyte to successful gladiator to finally take up his role as king--a role he's never wanted for himself. Throughout the series, he grows as a character, and even as a reader who doesn't particularly enjoy religious fiction, I find these books to be captivating. I would highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction....more
One night while Clary and her best friend Simon are out at a club, Clary witnesses a murder--or thinks she does. The boy's body disappears. Even moreOne night while Clary and her best friend Simon are out at a club, Clary witnesses a murder--or thinks she does. The boy's body disappears. Even more amazing the three teens behind the murder are surprised Clary can even see them. She is what they call a mundane. The next day, Clary's mother disappears, Clary is attacked by a demon and Jace, one of the teen murderers shows up on her doorstep to take her to a place known as the Institute, dragging Clary deeper into a world she never knew existed.
There are a lot of bad reviews out there for this book, complaining that the author ripped off a bunch of other works Harry Potter (which I've never read, so couldn't care less about), Buffy (it's been so long since I've seen the series that I didn't really get the comparison, and Star Wars (this was a blatant rip-off that I saw coming a mile away and provided the biggest disappointment in the book for me.
Overall, this was a fun book. I usually steer clear of young adult bookshelves because they are swamped with angsty Twilight wannabes (and really, why would you want to emulate Twilight when there are so many better books out there). So I picked this book up based on the interesting cover, read the first couple of pages and decided to give it a try. I'm happy to say I was not disappointed. There were a few 'twists' that the reader can see coming a mile away and a couple that weren't so blatantly obvious. People have also complained about the grammatical errors/mistakes, which if they're bad they really drive me crazy considering I'm an author myself, plus I've done some editing work in the past. While I noticed errors here and there, and yes repeated words, they weren't enough to drive me crazy. I guess I've read worse.
One can't help but draw comparisons to other works as mentioned, but I liked the book enough to overlook that stuff, although seriously
*SPOILER ALERT: Don't read further if you haven't read the book*
revealing that Jace and Clary are brother and sister is just sick. Sure, I can see how this could happen. It was a believable plot device, but that doesn't mean I wanted to read about it. This is one of the twists I saw coming, and I was not happy when it finally arrived. Of all the things in the Star Wars universe, you choose the most disgusting and also one of the more recognizable plot devices? Star Wars went there and did it well, this book not so much, which is why I had to give it less than five stars. It wasn't a perfect book by any stretch of the imagination, but I still enjoyed it. I assume this series will be a lot like Twilight for me: I'll devour the books, and then when I try to go back and re-read them I'll wonder how I could ever stand reading them in the first place. For now, I'm just enjoying the story....more
After six-year-old Zoe is kidnapped, her mother seeks help from Remy Chandler, once known as the angel Remial, but now a Boston PI. The girl has sometAfter six-year-old Zoe is kidnapped, her mother seeks help from Remy Chandler, once known as the angel Remial, but now a Boston PI. The girl has something everyone wants, and Remy will have a hard time tracking her down and saving her.
I didn't care for this book at all. The blurb made it sound interesting, but I guess I didn't realize this was Book #3 in the series, so I was mostly lost from the very beginning as the author explained very little of what had come before, though Remy spends a great deal of time agonizing over the loss of his wife. Even he realizes it's time for him to move on. The biggest aggravation happened right away. I was most interested in reading about Remy as he sounded like an interesting character. Instead we start off with Delilah, a soul-sucking succubus in search of something. We don't really get an indication of what she's looking for or why, but she wants it bad, and is prepared to do anything to get it. Her chapters, combined with chapters featuring the viewpoints of minor characters, as well as the major bad guy were unable to retain my interest. These characters just seemed flat and uninteresting--the archetypal evil--and I didn't care to get to know them, or their motivations (which the author didn't do a good job of explaining anyway). So there was a lot of switching back and forth between characters, a huge turn-off considering this book wasn't overly long.
The author is also guilty of a pet peeve of mine: the heavy use of adverbs. Especially adverbs that added nothing to the story. I wanted to smack him upside the head every time I encountered one. If that wasn't enough to drive me crazy, many sentences are just poorly written. I took plenty of time trying to puzzle out exactly what the author meant because they were structured so poorly.
Since I was a new reader to the series, I felt a bit lost, as I mentioned. And the author didn't bother explaining much about what came before. Not only that, but even the characters didn't understand why they were doing certain things at certain times. They did a lot of things for 'some reason.' I realize that some of this was because Delilah could force them to do things against their will, but seriously...the character wasn't smart enough to come to that conclusion?
At the end, not to give too much away, Remy doesn't even end up starting a relationship with the person I thought he should, so the entire book was a waste to me. I'm very disappointed I picked this up as I don't think it deserved my hard-earned money....more
Merafi is a city once immune to the presence of ghosts and those with gifts to see them, but now dark magic is being unraveled, allowing in those whicMerafi is a city once immune to the presence of ghosts and those with gifts to see them, but now dark magic is being unraveled, allowing in those which have passed on. Gracielis, a failed assassin priest, now a courtesan and spy denies his strange abilities, but he can't ignore the ghost that shadows him, nor the sorceress who rules him. Thiercelin longs for his wife's love, but most of her time is spent overseeing the governing of Merafi while the queen is slowly dying. This leads Thiercelin to great risks to try to gain back that which he has lost. Deadly mist wraiths appear in the city, threatening the lives of its citizens, while Valdarrien's ghost grows stronger.
The best part of this book is Gracielis, a really likable character. At first he refuses to defy the woman he's sworn allegiance to, but as bonds grow stronger between him and Thiercelin, Gracielis realizes what's truly important....more
Yim is a young seer cast into slavery and bought by Honus, a Sarf--a warrior dedicated to serving the goddess Karm. A Sarf's only purpose in life is tYim is a young seer cast into slavery and bought by Honus, a Sarf--a warrior dedicated to serving the goddess Karm. A Sarf's only purpose in life is to serve a Bearer, but Honus's was killed. Needing someone to bear his back, Honus pays ten coppers for Yim, entwining their fates forever.
With likable characters, I was disappointed to reach the end and realize that the story wasn't really over. I wanted to like this book more, but overall it's an average telling that ended in a different result than I expected. It's still worth a read though....more
Anje is a scout for the Children of the Mother. They depend on her to retrieve information that will let them live another summer, but during her missAnje is a scout for the Children of the Mother. They depend on her to retrieve information that will let them live another summer, but during her mission she's taken captive by Trey and Brin, men who believe her to be the Gift of Lufra, a sexual goddess. Determined to awaken her to her two purpose, they set about seducing her. Anje thinks she can take whatever they dish out, but Brin is a shaman of his people, and well-trained in the erotic arts. She can't resist him for long. They are all pawns in the goddess's game, but Anje is determined to win.
I loved this book. Right away it grabbed me and didn't let go until the very end. The characters are compelling with their own unique problems, needs, and desires. They're all three determined to get their own way, though Trey plays a submissive role to the dark and dominating Brin. At the beginning of each chapter, the author included a poem, or a short paragraph detailing a little of the background of the world, usually told in beautiful words by an historian. These little bits of information helped color the world, although all the detail in this book is simply amazing--including the settings, the characters, and the different creatures and people populating it. I was amazed at how in-depth the world-building was. This book was not just about the erotic play between the three main characters (although there is a lot of sex). I really came to care about the characters by the end and the book left off with a satisfying conclusion....more
Trace Dilessio is a cop who hates psychics, especially after a recent kidnapping case involving a psychic finding the missing kid rather than the copsTrace Dilessio is a cop who hates psychics, especially after a recent kidnapping case involving a psychic finding the missing kid rather than the cops. He harbors a strong attraction to Aislinn Windbourne from the first moment he meets her, even though she isn't the type of woman he usually goes for. She's small and delicate--and worse yet, a psychic--but every fiber in his body screams for her.
Aislinn is shunned in Elf-space due to her half-human, half-elf blood, so she's made a place for herself in the human world. Trace beguiles her from the start, hinting that he might be the man she's destined to form a heartbond with--a sacred love among the elves. But Trace is so clearly against the magic that makes her unique she fears to open her heart too fully to him, not wanting to suffer that pain.
Trace is a pure alpha-male, dominating, possessive, and demanding. Aislinn strikes me as the type to keep herself shut off from most humans, only trusting a few. Most of her actions in this book, at least regarding Trace, seemed completely out of character. She'd never been with a man before, but she has sex with Trace ten minutes after meeting him? True she has a strong attraction to him because they're meant to be heartbonded, but still...wouldn't she show some reservations about her quick acquiescence at least?
I felt there were too many characters in this book to keep track of them all. Right away we're introduced to three of Aislinn's friends and three of Trace's, which makes for a lot of names to remember without getting confused. Too many scenes involved the secondary characters, like the cops following up on leads. I would have liked it if the author kept it all in Aislinn's and Trace's viewpoints so as to make it less confusing....more
Sophie is a mystery and fantasy writer who finds inspiration all around her. Now she's trying to find the legendary Chalice of Enos, thinking the searSophie is a mystery and fantasy writer who finds inspiration all around her. Now she's trying to find the legendary Chalice of Enos, thinking the search for it will make a good story. But the dangerous Severn Damek seeks it too, for far different reasons. A wealthy, reclusive billionare, no humans know Severn's secret--that he's a dragon prince. The fertility of his race is tied up in the magic of the cup. It's a priceless treasure, but after he meets Sophie, no treasure can compare to her. He intends to possess both her and the Chalice of Enos.
Sophie has got to be one of the dumbest characters I've ever come across. Severn isn't shy when it comes to dropping hints about his true form--even referring to himself as a dragon. Sophie manages to think that's a clever description since he hoards his treasures greedily and he's possessive and dominant. She even thinks of his mother as the old dragon due to her disdain for Sophie. But seriously, come on. As if that wasn't bad enough, some of the things Severn and his friends say in her presence should really clue Sophie in that there's something more to Severn than she at first realized. Not only does a decorative dragon tattoo decorate his chest, but his friends all have their own dragon tattoos and often wear clothing with dragons embroidered on them. She thinks they might be part of a secret cult. Severn repeatedly refers to her as his mate, never as his girlfriend or his lover. Sophie thinks it's a shortening of the term 'heartmate' since she wears a necklace that's supposed to tell her when she's found her heartmate. The final straw is when Severn refers to their bonding. Sophie thinks he means marriage, but at least she has enough sense to question him on it. But it's too little too late. Several of Severn's statements should have been questioned, but she just couldn't seem to be bothered.
The thing I don't like about this series is that there is far too much sex. Normal people don't behave like this. There's little romance, it's just mostly lust. And the language--while I could maybe see the men talking like this, it has no place in the mouths of the women who strike me as the submissive types since their men are so dominant....more
**spoiler alert** One of Carissa's genius students has created a magical device that opens a portal to another world. Excited to show off his find, he**spoiler alert** One of Carissa's genius students has created a magical device that opens a portal to another world. Excited to show off his find, he drags her through it one night, not anticipating that the flow of power would alert the people of this world, resulting in their capture. Den, the student, is a wizard in this world, and not trusted by the inhabitants. He's thrown in prison while Carissa is treated to a slightly more comfortable capture--she becomes the property of the king, a man who encourages his kingdom to indulge their pleasures, as a way to keep the magic flowing in a dying world. There is a prophecy that a black-haired, green-eyed woman will enter their country some day and save their land. There is much hope that Carissa is this woman, for she matches the description, but the king refuses to trust his heart to a woman who might not fulfill the prophecy.
After reading the excerpt for this book, I really had high hopes, but this book disappointed me. First of all, I'm not really sure what Den's and Carissa's relationship was like before they entered the portal together. Den is described as a shy genius. Carissa is his English teacher, so I don't know why he would show her a physics project (the portal). Next thing you know Carissa finds herself naked in a strange world, where no one has any inhibitions about sex or nakedness. The women wear gauzy dresses that are completely see-through, while the men wear light pants and shirts--described as something a pirate might wear. The people also offer their pleasure to just about anyone, and everyone seems to want Carissa, although the king is very jealous about who she might share her body with. He will only share her with his most trusted friend and captain of the guard, Malachi.
I couldn't really find the characters likable. All they cared about was sex--having it in as many places as possible, and in as many positions as possible. There was next to no romance in this book, although as you might expect the king and Carissa do fall in love. Basically this book read like something you might find on an erotica site for free. Add that together with a bunch of typos that helped drag me out of the story and I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone. The plot was bare-bones and predictable--it seemed like more of a gimmick to get these people to have as much sex as possible. The characters grew to annoy me, especially Carissa's maid Zandra. The binding ceremony between Carissa and the king really turned me off because it included piercing her nipples. Thankfully that happened towards the end, but every time her nipples were mentioned afterward, so were her piercings, which disgusted me....more
Shumei is hated and ridiculed because of the color of her hair. Black-haired people must slave away in the medicine fields and are paid little for theShumei is hated and ridiculed because of the color of her hair. Black-haired people must slave away in the medicine fields and are paid little for their hard work. But then a deadly disease breaks out and Shumei must provide medicines to help ease people's pain. Her young blond-haired brother is one of the sick. When she runs out of medicine to reduce his fever, she knows he will surely die if she does not get more. But to travel outside the protective wards of the village is a sure death sentence, for demons roam the land after nightfall. She nearly makes it back home without incident, but is caught by a handsome man who isn't really human.
Vallen is a sex demon who feeds off sex to survive. He finds no enjoyable pleasure in it anymore for it's been many years since he was first cursed. But all that changes when he comes across Shumei. He wants her more than he's ever wanted any woman and is even willing to negotiate for what he wants.
I loved this book. Shumei is a social outcast, and you can't help but feel sorry for her as she drifts through life. Her interactions with the other villagers tell you what her life has been like thus far, and you can't help but admire her loyalty when things go badly even though no one treats her nicely. Her devotion to her much-loved brother is telling too. Instead of jealousy, he is everything to her and she would do anything to protect him. I couldn't help but root for the demon (naturally--I have a strange obsession with sexy demons). The sex scenes are hot, but they don't overpower the story. There's still plenty of plot. I was pleased to discover there's a sequel to this book and I can't wait to read it....more