Mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, it got off to a really slow start, and it was all over the place with weirdness. But. On the other han...more3.5 stars
Mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, it got off to a really slow start, and it was all over the place with weirdness. But. On the other hand, once it got going, it was interesting. Still weird, but at the same time, different than what I was expecting. Enjoyably different.
Alrighty. Fairytale retelling called The Glass Casket. It's Snow White, right? No. Yes. Sorta. There's a stepmother, a girl in a glass casket, and something in the woods ripping people's hearts out. So, yes, there's some pretty obvious elements of the Snow White fairytale in this sucker. Mainly, though, what you'll be reading is a more like the Snow White and Rose Red fairytale. You know, the two sisters who befriended the bear, who turned out to be an enchanted prince. There was a goblin, yadda, yadda... One sister married the prince, the other married his brother. Only it's not a straight-up retelling of that story, either. It's a mish-mosh of both, with a few extras thrown in for good measure.
Warning: Spoilers? Ish? I don't think these are spoilers, but people tend to bitch over the weirdest things...
The chick who ends up in the Glass Casket, should be Snow White, right? Well, yes. But for the purposes of this story, she's also the Rose Red half of the other fairytale. She also wears a red hooded cloak, peeks fearfully out of her house, and heads into the woods a laRed Hiding Hood. And if that's not enough, her stepmother recalls that when she first met the child, she was sitting by the hearth covered in ash, mourning the death of her mother. *cough* Cinderella *cough* Kinda neat, no?
Then again, this story isn't even really about her. Say what?! Nope, this is (the other) Snow White's story. Rowan Rose is her name, translating dead languages is her game! Huh?! It makes sense in the story...
Here are the 3 stand-out things that I really liked about this one:
1. The above mentioned twisty-turny use of fariytales. It was confusing in a fun way!
2. The stepmother. I loved her! (view spoiler)[ Not only was she not wicked, she loved Fiona with all her heart. She was truly a wonderful example of what a step-parent should be. Also, I loved that she was not stupid or blind to her new husband's intentions toward Fiona. And as soon as she saw him looking at Fiona in a way he shouldn't, she kept her eyes on that bastard. Not only did she bust in on him trying to get his freak on with Fiona, but she immediately tried to get Fiona out of there. (hide spoiler)]
3. The Love Quadrangle That's right, you heard me. There were THREE guys I thought Rowan might end up with. And, no, it wasn't even the least bit annoying. Templeman did such a good job with this part of the story! I swear, I had no clear idea who it was gonna be for quite a while. The handsome Duke, who liked her mind? The sullen brother of her best friend, who seemed to hate her? Or would it be her best friend, Tom, who didn't seem to know how she felt about him? Well, I ain't tellin' you!
Ok. The ending? Yes, while the author does wrap things up nicely, I wasn't quite satisfied for some unknown reason. I just... No idea why I felt that way.
I recommend this one to Hardcore fariytale fans only. And even then, it's not gonna be one that everybody likes. Know going into this that it's a dark retelling, and not every single character is going to get a Happily Ever After.
This isn't the first time I've read a retelling of Cinderella from the POV of the wicked stepsister, and I'm sure i...moreAlso reviewed for Addicted2Heroines
This isn't the first time I've read a retelling of Cinderella from the POV of the wicked stepsister, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I'm addicted to retellings, and if I don't get my fix I start shaking like a crack addict. The good thing about my kind of addiction is that you get to keep all of your teeth. Just somthin' to keep in mind, if you're weighing your options. Crack...living in a cardboard box beside a Waffle House dumpster. Retellings...too much time spent wandering around local Barnes and Noble. I mean, they both have their drawbacks, but...
So. The Stepsister's Tale was really good. It's nothing like I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed every minute of it. I thought it was going to explain, from Jane's point of view, why she ended up being mean to Ella. As in, maybe Ella was pulling some iffy shit, and Jane got sick of it. And it was sort of like that...but not really. Turns out, neither Jane nor her mother and sister, were ever cruel to Ella. She just made that shit up so people would feel sorry for her. I know she was just a kid, but I really wanted to pop her head off by the end of the book! But it's not exactly cut and dried when it comes to Ella, either. The main problem with her? Her idiotically doting father managed to thoroughly spoil her. Letting your kid know you love them more than anything in the world...won't spoil them. Letting them have, say, and do whatever they want...will ruin their life. And while it was obvious that he truly loved his daughter, it also became painfully obvious that he wasn't quite the man he said he was. When he dies, all of his shady secrets start to come to light, and Jane is left to pick up the pieces. His death turns into a tipping point for everyone involved, and it all culminates at the ball. However, much like the rest of this story, the events do not play out the way you might expect.
So, who was the real Fairy Godmother? How Charming was the Prince? Why was Ella covered in cinders? And finally, what got lost in translation when the story was retold? The answers to these question might surprise you...
I'm not say it blew my mind, but it's certainly worth reading if you're looking for a good twist on a classic fairlytale!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital arc for review.(less)
The big question on everyone's mind seems to be whether or not Stitching Snow is a rip-off of The Lunar Chronicl...more3.5 stars
Space, the final frontier...
The big question on everyone's mind seems to be whether or not Stitching Snow is a rip-off of The Lunar Chronicles. Hmmm. Well, retellings are, by the very nature of the genre, all rip-offs. But that's not really what people are talking about, is it? My personal opinion? I'm leaning towards, no. No, I do not think this is a rip-off. I mean, is no one ever going to be allowed to write another retelling in space, just because Marissa Meyer did such a good job of it? I certainly hope not. That would be like saying every story about a young wizard is a rip-off of Harry Potter, and every story about a snugly vampire is a rip-off of Twilight. Yes, there are some similarities. Yes, they will bother some people. But for folks like me, who gobble up multiple retellings every year? Well, I'm used to the fact that some of these stories occasionally have components that feel familiar. Granted, the reviewers who are comparing this book to Meyer's books, have valid reasons to feel the way they do. All I'm saying, was that it didn't bother me very much. However, in the interest of total disclosure, I probably would have rated this a full 4 stars if there hadn't been things that reminded me of The Lunar Chronicles' world.
So, with my opinion on that out of the way, here's the review:
This one took a few chapters to get interesting. The setting on Thanda wasn't something that drew me in, or made me want to read more. Cold = Boring. Possibly this is because I hate cold climates. I know that tons of people love the Winter Wonderland stuff, but not me. Anybody remember Chilly Willy the Penguin? Yeah, that's me anytime the temperature drops below 75 degrees. True story: When my husband and I first met, he had just moved to Florida (having spent the better part of a decade in Colorado), and I nearly killed him on several occasions. How? Every time the temperature dipped down past 70, I cranked the heat up to 90. FULL-BLAST, baby! I'd find him passed out on the couch, sweating and gasping for breath. Meanwhile, I'm wearing a sweatshirt and wool socks. All I can say is that he really must have loved me. So, for whatever reason, I found the icy setting bleak and uninteresting. It wasn't until they left the planet entirely, that I perked up and started paying attention. Once they were hurtling toward another planet, the plot started clicking a bit better for me, and by the midway point, I was fully engaged in this story.
Essie (Snow) is the missing princess. Duh. Dane is Prince (not always so) Charming. Their romance wasn't insta-love, so bonus points for the two of them getting to know each other first. On the downside, it's not really a sizzler. And instead of the Seven Dwarfs, you have seven mining bots that each have their own personality traits. Cusser (Grumpy) and Dimwit (Dopey) are the two main bots that follow Essie throughout the entire story. The rest kind of take a backseat, so, quite frankly, I can't remember their names, or who they line up with in the Disney movie. The evil Queen is very...well, evil. But, for me, she wasn't the creepiest villain in the show. No, that spot is reserved for Essie's father. You don't find out why he's so awful until over halfway through the book, so I really can't say anything without it being a spoiler. But...DAMN! He was so glad to see her alive, and had no idea his new wife was actively trying to kill his child. Yay! And yet...*shudder*
I think Lewis did a really good job of putting a lot of the recognizable parts of the Snow White story into this book. Poison apple. Check. Huntsman. Check. Kiss to Wake Up (with a twist). Check. And believe it or not, even the Burning Iron Shoes make an appearance! The only thing missing was the glass casket. Yeah, it's not there. shrugs
If you're looking for a YA romance, you'll probably think this is a bit dry and crunchy. But if you're looking for your next fairytale retelling, I think you could do a whole lot worse than Stitching Snow. However, I also think this one is going to be hit or miss with fans of this genre. So. Basically, don't come crying to me if you don't like it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (less)
So what if Peter Pan wasn't really as cute as the stories made him out to be? What if he had traded his real life fo...moreAlso reviewed for Addicted2Heroines
So what if Peter Pan wasn't really as cute as the stories made him out to be? What if he had traded his real life for eternal youth, and now he was just a brat who wouldn't grow up? Well, a powerful brat who rules the land of children's dreams. Neverland. Have you ever seen what happens to little boys who have no adult supervision?! They go feral rather quickly. Goodbye, soap and water! Hello, property destruction! If you've had kids, been around kids, or even just remember what it was like to be a kid, then you also know that children can be incredibly cruel. Mainly, because they have no idea what the word consequences means. Their saving grace is that they're adorable when they sleep... Growing up is good. You learn (hopefully) that you are not the center of the universe, that no one is obligated to make you happy, and that you need to take other people's feelings into consideration. Can you imagine what would become of a boy who had stayed a child for thousands of years? Yeah. So, Pan is just a bloodthirsty tyrant who still has all of his baby teeth.
And Hook? What if he were a big bad pirate back in the day? And what if he pissed off the wrong woman? Oh, let's say...some powerful voodoo priestess? And what if she decided he needed to learn a lesson, no matter how long it took? Uh-huh. So now he's trapped in a hell called Neverland. Doomed to die over and over again, with no end in sight. His crew is made up of Lost Boys who grew up, and Hook knows nothing he does will save them. Because the Boy needs evil pirates to battle.
But what about the Wendys? Well, they never return to Neverland...right?
Alias Hook has a really great premise that was well thought out. I loved how the author turned the original story on it's ear, and then made me question why in the world I ever thought the idea of eternal youth would be cute. It was very interesting revisiting all of the characters I thought I knew, and then see them painted in a different light. Why only three stars? Two reasons. One, I thought I would never finish it. Parts of the story were slow and drug on too much for my taste. I know that's not going to be a problem for everyone, because some readers like to take their time with a book. So, if you like stories with a lot of meaty character introspection, then this will be right up your alley. Two, I didn't like Hook. I mean, he had a few decent qualities, and he wasn't a cackling villain, but... That whole rapey/pillagey past he had? Ehhh. Not so much with the liking. Yeah, yeah, I get it. He grows as a person throughout the book. I just couldn't get past his...well, past.
On the whole, I'd say it was an interesting look at an old story, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking for an adult retelling of Peter Pan.
At first, I was a tad disappointed that there wasn't much magic in this one. I mean, it's supposed to be a retellin...moreAlso reviewed for Addicted2Heroines
At first, I was a tad disappointed that there wasn't much magic in this one. I mean, it's supposed to be a retelling of Tam Lin, right? Maaaagic! But Tam Lin's fairies are replaced with practitioners of voodoo, and the magic hoodoo stuff doesn't come into play (much) until the end. So, not a story steeped in magic. Well, unless you count the fact that Violet has some sort of affinity with bees. And let's face it, unless you can order them to ATTACK!, how freaking useful is that? What she can do is call the bees, and they sorta sit on her and give her a feeling of calm. And I think once or twice they hovered around an area that she needed to go or something. GPS? Useful. Bees? Not quite so much.
Ok. Strip all the expectations I originally had away, and this turns into a pretty decent book about a young southern girl during the Civil War. She doesn't meet Thomas (the Union soldier) until mid-way through the story, and in the meantime you get a feel for what her life is like on a small southern farm. Her mother is long dead, and she lives with her father and their two slaves, Lainey and her husband Michael. Violet and Lainey grew up together like sisters, and both she and Michael are treated like family. Now that Lainey has a child, Violet can feel a gap widening between them. And the possibility that the War may free Lainey is also a source of unspoken tension. While Violet doesn't think of Lainey as her slave, she's still afraid to talk to her about her feelings and fears. On one hand she wants Lainey to be free, but on the other she doesn't want to lose her friend. I think Nickerson did a good job with Violet's character. She didn't truly understand why slavery was wrong, because not only was she raised in an era that had condoned it, but her personal experience slavery was relatively benign. Of course, benign to her because she wasn't a slave. It was interesting to see her grow, and have her feelings on all sorts of things (including slavery) change over the course of the book. She was a good person, and when confronted with the truth of things, she was willing to bend her opinions. As far as a story about a girl goes, this was a fine way to pass the time.
Ok. I live in South Carolina, which in in the Heart of Dixie and gateway to the Bible Belt. I'm not technically southern, because I spent the majority of my life in Florida. And while that state may be geographically southern, it ain't part of the South. Or so I've been told. On numerous occasions. Still, I've lived here (read: True South) long enough to find myself sort of wanting to defend these guys somewhat. See, there was this one line in the book that got under my skin and crawled around. It was an innocent enough statement made by Thomas to Violet, in order to calm her fears. This isn't a quote, but it went something like this: Don't worry the Union soldiers won't burn down (civilian) houses. And if they do they will make sure no one is inside... First, get real, dude. This was a war. Shit like that happened all the time. Besides, every southerner I know has a grandma. And that grandma has a friggin list. And on that list is every family home burned, every woman raped, and every item stolen from them...by those Damn Yankees. Nobody holds a grudge like the Rebels. Seriously. Second, it seems to be a prevailing theme in some of these books that Union soldiers were the Good Guys, fighting on God's side for nothing other than the freedom of the oppressed. Again. Get real. While freeing slaves might have been the battle cry, it wasn't the only objective. Now, I don't think anyone in their right mind thinks that it didn't need to happen. Slavery is an ugly blight on our history, and we're still feeling the repercussions of it today. But there were lots of factors involved, slavery was just the official reason. Kind of like 9/11 was the battle cry for invading Iraq. Oil and grudges didn't have anything to do with that one...
On the whole, though, I thought Nickerson wrote an interesting story. It might be a little slower than I wanted it to be, and it was definitely lighter on the retelling part than I was hoping, but it was still well-written. The characters stand out as the high point, with very few being truly good or evil. The stepmother and stepsister are both examples of how people can straddle that line, since they each turned out to be wildly different than I originally believed.
The reviews for this book run the gamut between Totally-Lurved to DNF'd-the-Sucker. If you're thinking of buying this one, you might want to paw through some of the other reviews and make sure this lines up with your taste. (less)
If you're looking for a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, I'm afraid this isn't going to impress you much. The story itself revolves around the fa...more3.5 stars
If you're looking for a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, I'm afraid this isn't going to impress you much. The story itself revolves around the fairy who 'cursed' the princess. But it's also not like the new Disney reimagining of Maleficent, so it doesn't have that Why Did The Good Girl Go Bad? flavor to it. And I think you probably need to know that going into the book in order to keep you expectations in line.
Ok, so what is this story about? A section of a young (13ish years old) fairy's life is being retold by an anonymous narrator. And, yes, part of her story includes why a princess ends up sleeping for 100 years. But she's not an evil fairy, and while Sleeping Beauty's story is very important to the plot, it only pertains to the ending. What the book addresses is why all of these fairies bothered to come to a random princess' christening to begin with. And I have to admit, the author did a really good job keeping me interested in the reason for all of the gifts being bestowed on a royal baby.
Another cool thing about the book is the way the author wove together the tale of Puck, Mab, Banshee, elves, and the different fey courts. It was definitely worth reading just to see the way their stories were retold.
As a side note, somewhere in the middle of the book, I began to fear that I was about to have to endure another Immortally Old Dude and Waaay too Young Girl romance. I'm happy to report that Yolen found (what I thought was) a refreshing way to remove the creep-factor from the plot.
Bluebeard has always been hands-down the creepiest fairy tale to me. I mean, the guy had an entire room chock full of dead wives! And they di...more4.5 stars
Bluebeard has always been hands-down the creepiest fairy tale to me. I mean, the guy had an entire room chock full of dead wives! And they didn't pass away from old age or disease. Then there was the new wife... She's given a key to the room and told not to use it. Well, duh, of course she's gonna look! And since she broke her promise to him...She must die!!!! Alright, that's the really condensed version of the original, but you get the gist.
So Strands of Bronze and Gold is a retelling of that story. And to add to the creepy atmosphere, this one has a Gothic flavor to it. It's set in pre-Civil War Mississippi, and Bernard is a plantation owner, so slavery and the Underground Railroad play a part in the story as well. However, don't go into this expecting an accurate historical portrayal of either. It's just a side note in the plot to keep things interesting. As a retelling of Bluebeard, though, I thought it was a total win, and one of my new favorite retellings! The complaints I've seen in other reviews seem to drift toward the fact that it's not a fast-paced book, there are too many descriptions of scenery and clothes, and that the heroine is a Mary Sue. I'll give you my opinion of those three issues, and then you can decide if this is a book you'd like to read. First off, the pacing was perfect for a book like this. There is a slow-building horror to the situation that Petheram finds herself in, and (I thought) it was done very well. She starts off hearing mild alarm bells, but ignores them until she finally hears the klaxon blaring. Of course, by then it's too late. To me, that's not a slow story. As far as the myriad of descriptions go? Eh. Petheram loves all the nice clothes and expensive gifts that Bernard gives her, and she's undeniably impressed with all of he wealth in her surroundings. It's part of the reason she ignores some of those initial early warning signs. However, by the end of the book, she realizes how foolish and easily taken in she was. I'm not one of those readers who likes a lot of scenery written into the story. Give me enough to get the gist of the surroundings...and then move on. So will you be annoyed by descriptions of dresses? No idea, but I didn't feel that the story was bogged down by overly descriptive writing. Finally, is Petheram a Mary Sue? Not within the confines of this kind of story. For the time period, for her age, and for what she was aware of, Pentheram was actually quite brave. There were several times she stood up for herself and others, but part of this story is about exposing the psychology behind abusive relationships. Bertram was in equal parts very charming and very violent. At first, he seems to be a very likable and handsome man, and his eccentricities seem benign. But as the story unfolds, she realizes that everything he does is a form of control designed to keep her submissive. And what can she actually do about it? In reality, how easy would it be for a young woman of that time period to just up and leave her legal guardian's home? Not very. Naturally, as the reader, you know from the moment she pulls up in her carriage that she's about to enter the house of a serial killer. And it's also pretty easy to to scream and rant that YOU would have done something differently. However, as evidenced by women in today's society, there is something universal about the minds of abusers and victims. It happens every day, and not just to weak-willed women. I've watched formerly strong independent women get sucked into this kind of psychotic nightmare to varying degrees. The how and why are a lot simpler than people think. It starts with something like a comment about how maybe 'your jeans don't fit the way they used to', that turns into comments about how 'no one else would ever want you because of the way you've let yourself go'. Or maybe it just starts with an innocent sounding question like, 'who were you just talking to on the phone?', that ends up over time turning into wild accusations like, 'I know you're cheating on me with whoever you were talking to!'. Verbal abuse is bad enough, but these kind of attitudes can quickly escalate into violence. One of the biggest problems with violent abusers is that they didn't just punch their girlfriend or wife in the face on the first date. See, if they had done that, there probably wouldn't have been a second date. Unfortunately, the violence comes after the woman is fully entrenched in the lie that she somehow needs him. And of course, the old standby that he loves her and it will never happen again. It's easy for those of us in a healthy relationship to think that it couldn't happen to us, but the truth is, given the right circumstances, it could happen to anyone. Now, whether or not you decide to fight back and get the hell outta there if it does? Well, that's entirely up to you. And that's what Pentheram's story is really about.(less)
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this ARC
Based on The Scarlet Pimpernel? Hmmm. That sounded different and interesting. O...more4.5 stars
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this ARC
Based on The Scarlet Pimpernel? Hmmm. That sounded different and interesting. Of course, because I'm a total slacker, I had never actually read Orczy's novel. So. It may be hard to believe, but I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and read...gulp...a classic. Yes ladies and gentlemen, in preparation for this book, I read The Scarlet Pimpernel. I know! I'm impressed with myself, too!
As it turns out, Pimpernel is a pretty easy read, and I'm glad I took the time to get to know the story. It made reading Peterfreund's novel even better, since I could immediately recognize the parts of the plot that she intertwined or tweaked from the original. Was it as good as Baron Orczy's? No. It was even better! And while the original story is more of a swashbuckling story about an incredibly clever married couple who have no idea that they are each hiding secrets from the other one (think: Mr & Mrs. Smith), Across A Star-Swept Sea is a futuristic dystopian that puts a young adult spin on the tale. It also reverses the genders of the main characters, and adds it's own creative take on how the story would play out in the new setting.
I liked the way the author had the love story play out, as well. Justen finds Persis physically attractive, but he just can't stand that she's such a vapidly shallow person. Except, sometimes she seems to him to be a bit...more? On the other hand, Persis is totally attracted to Justen because he's incredibly smart and dedicated to his cause of equality for everyone. Unfortunately, she can't let him know that she's really one of the most intelligent, clever, and honorable people he'll ever meet, because she's not sure whether or not he's a spy for her enemies. It made for a great back-and -forth between the couple as they struggled to decide how much to let the other person know about their secrets.
There was only one complaint I had, and it was totally my fault. I didn't realize that this was the second book written in this world. I know what you're thinking. How many times can this idiot plunge into a book, and not bother to see that it's part of a series?! The answer is fairly simple (like me!). Lots and lots. Example: I just accidentally read the last book in a trilogy yesterday. Please direct all of your complaints about my reviewing skills to Cat. I would have liked to have known more about the disease and the previous characters, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story at all. In fact, all it really made me want to do was go back and read the other book. So I would say it's not strictly necessary to read the first book, because this one comes across as a stand-alone that's just set in the same world. However. For those of you who have already read For Darkness Shows the Stars, you'll be happy to know that towards the end of this book, those characters make an appearance. Don't get excited, 'cause I'm not giving out any spoilers!
The characters are well-written, strong, and smart. There's also no insta-love, no triangle, and no fluttery palpitations for no discernible reason. This one's going into my Highly Recommended pile!
The beautiful cover sucked me in...I admit it. And really, it's got such an interesting premise, that I couldn't hel...moreAlso reviewed for Addicted2Heroines
The beautiful cover sucked me in...I admit it. And really, it's got such an interesting premise, that I couldn't help but want to read it. Romeo and Juliet plus Hamlet? Cool! I didn't even realize that it would be incorporating Norse mythology, but that was also a bonus! So why only 3 stars? Hmmm. I'm not sure really. The author is talented, and if you've ever read her blog, you'll probably agree that she's quite a funny lady. But for some reason this story just didn't click with me as much as I wanted it to. It took me several days to finish it, simply because it was so easy for me to put it down.
I did like the way that Juliet was portrayed as a strong character, but neither Hamlet or Romeo evoked much emotion out of me. Romeo leaned toward the slightly annoying side, but not enough for me to hate him, and Hamlet was likable...but not lovable.
The journey to find and rescue Juliet was kind of the same way. There was something missing in it that I can't put my finger on. I normally love retellings, but I couldn't seem to get into this one. Maybe it's just me? I'm not much of a Shakespeare groupie, so perhaps this particular story was meant to be embraced by a different kind of reader? The kind of reader who wasn't sending sidelong glances to her copy of BatGirl while trying to get through this one...
So. The author is good and the premise is good. It wasn't my cuppa, but it might be yours?
In case you were wondering, I received a digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.(less)
It was weird, there were plot lines that were just dropped at the end, and when Snow finally found he...moreOthers may enjoy this, but it just wasn't for me.
It was weird, there were plot lines that were just dropped at the end, and when Snow finally found her Prince Charming it was a total WTF?! Where did this guy come from? moment for me. Oh, and the egg thing at the end...creepy. Not cute. Creepy. In an attempt to not give spoiler for those of you who would like to read this, I'll stop right here.
I will say, that midway through the book I was interested enough to want to find out what happened to the characters. It's not unreadable. Maybe you just have to be looking for a fairlytale about vampires to really like this one? Soooooo. If that sounds like something you've been itching to read, check out Blood and Snow. (less)
This was a cute idea! Take the characters from P&P, and put them in an elite boarding school setting. It mostly worked, too.
It was a decent YA take...moreThis was a cute idea! Take the characters from P&P, and put them in an elite boarding school setting. It mostly worked, too.
It was a decent YA take on Jane Austin's classic, but don't go into it expecting everything to be the same as the original. For starter's, Jane and Lizzie are BFF's not sisters. Lydia is Jane's younger sister, and the remaining Bennet girls get axed from the story altogether. Which was fine with me, 'cause they added the least to the overall plot... Also notably missing is the mamma drama from Mrs. Bennet. She and Mr. Bennet are just normal parents in this version. sigh Like I mentioned, this is a shortened version, so not every little twist and turn is the same. Which is not a bad thing! Just...different. And mostly really cute.
My only real problem with the story was the strange way the kids spoke to each other. It was almost like the author was trying to keep the spirit of the original language alive. It's a nice idea, but the characters didn't sound like teenagers. Or even adults from this century, for that matter.
So. Go into it expecting some changes and a bit of odd wording here and there. If you do that, there's a good chance you'll have fun reading this. (less)
I'm glad I gave Kill Me Softly a chance, because it's not your typical fluffy YA fairytale stuff. Also, some of the main Curses (Fairytales) are not a...moreI'm glad I gave Kill Me Softly a chance, because it's not your typical fluffy YA fairytale stuff. Also, some of the main Curses (Fairytales) are not as well known as others. I'm going to assume that some of the younger readers won't be able to guess Blue's curse. In other word's Disney hasn't made that one into a cartoon yet.
Even the ending (while quite satisfactory), had a little twist of darkness that made me simultaneously smile and shiver...
I really don't want to give anything away, but I think fans of retellings will enjoy this one.
This was a great short from the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. In fact, I wish this one had been a full length novel, because I thought some of the char...moreThis was a great short from the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. In fact, I wish this one had been a full length novel, because I thought some of the characters had more depth than usual.
It's the Persephone/Hades story, but (naturally) with a twist. Also, some of the minor characters from another book show up as main characters here.
If you haven't read any of the stories from this series yet, this wouldn't be a bad choice to start with. If you are already a fan of Lackey's books, then you will probably love this one.
On the book jacket it describes Ironskin as being a retelling of bothJane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. Personally, I thought it seemed a little mor...moreOn the book jacket it describes Ironskin as being a retelling of bothJane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. Personally, I thought it seemed a little more Eyreish than B & B. Doesn't matter. It's also touted as steampunk. Ok, so I'm a little confused as to what elements a book needs to be classified as steampunk. As far as I can tell, if one person shows up wearing goggles, and another turns on a gas lamp...ta-da! It's steampunk! Soooo. By that definition, yes. This was a steampunk retelling of Jane Eyre and/or Beauty and the Beast.
It starts out with Jane headed to Mr. Rochart's estate to interview as a governess to his weird kid. There has evidently been some great big Fairy War, which left her damaged and scarred (hence the huge iron mask she wears). As the story progresses you find out about the curse attached to her scarring, and what exactly is different about Rochart's daughter. There's also lots of strange going-ons in the attic (or on the upper levels of the house). I don't want to ruin anything by giving spoilers to those of you who may be interested in reading this book, so I'll just keep my mouth shut and wrap this review up.
The story started out pretty well, but by the end of the book the Blah factor had kicked in. Well, for me anyway. It was readable, but I doubt I'll continue with the series.
Recommended for hardcore Jayne Eyre fans looking for a new twist on the classic.
P.S. I feel it's only fair to mention that I did not enjoy reading the original Jane Eyre, so this may have tainted my feelings for this book...(less)
Yeah, it wasn't all that great, but I think I'm still gonna read the next book in the series to see if it improves. I mean, the concept of ex...more2.5 stars
Yeah, it wasn't all that great, but I think I'm still gonna read the next book in the series to see if it improves. I mean, the concept of expanding on Poe's short story is pretty cool. And there were a few twists that I didn't totally see coming. (view spoiler)[ Will's betrayal, and the the identity of the crazy preacher guy. (hide spoiler)] Would I recommend it? Not really...but I've read worse.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Ahhh, Swan Lake... From what I've heard it's a beautiful ballet. And maybe someday when I don't hate watching ballets so much, I'll go see it.
So, from...moreAhhh, Swan Lake... From what I've heard it's a beautiful ballet. And maybe someday when I don't hate watching ballets so much, I'll go see it.
So, from reading the blurb on this thing, you'd think this is a story about Odette (the head swan from aforementioned ballet). Well, it's not. Yeah, she's in the story, but it's mainly told from the point of view of Odile. Odile? Yes, Odile. And, frankly, she seemed much more interesting than the swan chick, so I'm thinking Lackey made the right choice. She does a good job making her into a sympathetic character that you can root for, without letting her become too boring.
Speaking of sympathetic characters, let's talk about Siegfried. Once again, Lackey makes the hero of the story a tad...repulsive. (view spoiler)[ See, he's a bit of a rapist. Only, he doesn't realize that he raped the girl. Well, until she kills herself, and her ghost starts haunting him, at least. To be fair, in his mind, he really didn't think she had been unwilling. And yet, I still thought he was icky. (hide spoiler)] So, I guess it's a pretty big deal that by the end of the book, I felt like he had somewhat redeemed himself. Maybe. Ish.
There were two villains in the book, and I thought they were both pretty well written. Rothbart was basically just a woman-hating fanatic, who happened to be a sorcerer. You never really get to find out what turned him into such a wacko, but in the end I guess it doesn't matter. Maybe sometimes Crazy doesn't need a reason? Even better than Rothbart, though, was Siegfried's mother. Now she was a real piece of work. I think she made it easier to forgive Siegfried, because she encouraged him to become such a self-absorbed idiot.
All in all, this is a good book that I'd recommend. Even if you're not a fan of the ballet.
P.S. My husband did once force me to take the children to the ballet. He said something about needing more culture in our lives. *snort* As if. My oldest daughter fell asleep, and my boys entertained themselves by making noises with their armpits. I couldn't blame them. Were we really expected to enjoy watching people prance around for hours without saying anything? Because they don't talk. At all. It's just dancing. HOURS of nothing but dancing. The armpit farts were the only thing keeping me awake! Zzzzzzzzzz.
Fortunes' Fool is based off of some Russian fairytale that I had no idea even existed, so I wasn't really anticipating much when I cracked it open. Im...moreFortunes' Fool is based off of some Russian fairytale that I had no idea even existed, so I wasn't really anticipating much when I cracked it open. Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be one of my favorites from her Five Hundred Kingdoms' series. Moral of the story: Don't judge a book based on the fairytale...or something.
My reason for liking the book may be based on the fact that, unlike in some of Lackey's other books, the hero in this one isn't a total douchebag. I found it refreshing to root for someone that I actually liked for a change. I'm funny that way, I guess.
The heroine was also quite likable. Being the capable young woman that she was, she didn't actually need him to come save the day...but it was a nice gesture on his part when he showed up to help her out.
I'm slowly working my way through Lackey's stuff, and so far I'm like her writing style. Well, aside from her apparent need to make most of the men repugnant. If you're thinking about giving her stuff a try, Fortune's Fool is (my opinion) a good jumping off point. (less)
This was my second book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, and it didn't disappoint. I thought it was a great blend of fantasy, fairytale,...more4.5 stars
This was my second book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, and it didn't disappoint. I thought it was a great blend of fantasy, fairytale, and humor. The characters are more three dimensional than what you normally find in retellings, but the best part is how Lackey keeps the romance realistic. I've noticed that the characters in these stories seem to seem to fall in love after they get to know each other a bit. Gasp! Revolutionary!
P.S. Even though the name of the book indicates it's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, you also get Snow White mixed in as an added bonus. And possibly others that I failed to pick up on...
So I'm pretty late to be jumping on the bandwagon, but this was really good! I know I normally gobble up any retelli...more4.5 stars Cinderella with cyborgs!
So I'm pretty late to be jumping on the bandwagon, but this was really good! I know I normally gobble up any retelling, but when this first came out, there were so many iffy reviews that I gave it a pass. Stupid. I should have checked it out for myself.
So you have a pretty faithfulish retelling going on here. Of course, since it's sci-fi Cinderella, there's are going to be some substitutions to the carriage and glass slipper. But they were really cool substitutions! And you could still definitely tell that this was the Cinderella story.
And the ending was soooo good! It seems that Cinderella won't be the only fairlytale that gets retold in the Lunar Chronicles...
If you've been putting this off because of bad reviews, you may want to reconsider.(less)