Whoa, there you awesome piece of manga, you! Yeah, to say that I enjoyed this installment of the series is like ALL of the hella-understatement! I kno
Whoa, there you awesome piece of manga, you! Yeah, to say that I enjoyed this installment of the series is like ALL of the hella-understatement! I know this is only my second volume of Vampire Knight, but I'm hardcore on the This Shit Is Awesome fangirl train.
Volume 2 is DEFINITELY all about some Zero up in here, which frankly makes me ecstatic. Between him and Kaname, and hell even in comparison to Yuki, Zero gets top billing in my book. I really enjoyed how more of the focus is shifted to him and we're given a little bit insight to his backstory. Plus we totally get to see him be emotastic and all bitey-bitey on Yuki!
I love the relationship between these two characters, and I find their connection as friends to be so damn adorable. But, while I love this Volume for exploring more of Zero's character, I have to say one fight sequence cinched this as being a 5 star read. A vamp gets Samurai-ed in twain, and while that's awesome in its own right, the fact that we switch to the gory POV made it all of the more badass!
So, yep. All the subsequent volumes for Vampire Knight?
You wanna what I love? Bad-ass heroines who rock capability and personal agency like it's a Def Leppard farewell tour. You know what I really, reallyYou wanna what I love? Bad-ass heroines who rock capability and personal agency like it's a Def Leppard farewell tour. You know what I really, really love? Independent and confident female characters that save their own damn selves when stuck in a hopeless situation all while maintaining personal identity. You know what I love more than all that; said supposedly anachronistic heroine in an historical romance.
Artemis Greaves is my favorite non-person person, not the least of which is because life has screwed her blue, and yet she survives. This character is well written, fascinating, interesting, bold, and does things in Duke of Midnight that make me stand up and hug her on a perpetual basis. Her counterpart, Maximus? Not so much.
This novel rocks it with character development and an elegantly simplistic plot...but kind of sucks mammalian testicles when it comes to hero-tastic awesomeness. Maximus is believable, yep, and he's got legit internal conflicts, double-yep, but he's kind of one dimensional. He's sort of just there, believably so indeed, but unquestionably more of the supporting actor to Artemis' lead. Who knows what the frickity-frack reason for this is, really? Maybe it's the seemingly surplus of scenes told from our heroine's POV? Maybe it's the plot which, while heavily focused on Maxi-boy, doesn't really seem all that prominent in the final analysis. Maybe it's Maybelline?
Yeah, okay, so that was admittedly a bit pretentious sounding, and so vague it probably gave you a headache, BUT! Such brain-vomit is relevant because while our hero is second to our heroine, he's still viably written. We see him feel his feels and make an impact on the story and do all sorts of other awesome stuff. Oh! Speaking of the story...
(...you like that segway? I worked on it all week.) You remember back in the good old days of two paragraphs ago, when I said the plot was elegantly simplistic? Well, it was, but more to the point, and largely the only reason why this novel doesn't get a Woot-Woot 5 Star ranking...but honestly the entire St. Giles subplot could have been completely removed from the book with little to no real consequence. After altering the hero's internal conflict only just a smidgen, the whole big swashbuckling-meets-vengeful-hero-of-the-night not only felt a bit forced and random in the dynamic of the plot, but it was boring.
There's a whole giant subplot about our hero's family and St. Giles and a bunch of other stuff that my brain just kind of went "Doooooooooon't caaaaaaare" every time the book jumped back to That Topic. Luckily these scenes weren't all that frequent, but they were there and thus, yeah, not a fan. Still! As somewhat weird as that subplot felt, the romance in this romance novel kicked all of the ass!...Well, mostly. At the end of the day, I totally bought the Artemis+Maximus ship, and I'm glad it sailed because dat heat doe!
These two had chemistry that sparked all of the smexy, and they believably needed one another, both in and out of bed. But (and that's a big damn) but I felt by their This Is Our Culmination End-Of-The-Book Scene that...well...how to put this lightly?...Basically their love story felt rushed. It went from, "Let's resist! Now let's bang! NOW let's avoid each other for a hot minute! NOW LET'S LOVE DAMMIT!"
Which is good and all, but by that point I was just like, "Yay" instead of "OH MY GOD YES YOU TWO ADORABLE BASTARDS...YESSSSS!" which is actually the reaction I prefer.
Not sure what the hell all that means, but hey I like the book and I loved the heroine and I loved me some of that romance.
So! Screw my above bitching, and read this thing dammit! READ IT NOW BECAUSE I'M SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS, OKAY?!
Oh, don't mind me. Just, you know, sitting here, basking in the brilliance of one of the most exciting roller coasters of fiction I have ever read. Ev
Oh, don't mind me. Just, you know, sitting here, basking in the brilliance of one of the most exciting roller coasters of fiction I have ever read. Ever. Hyperbole might admittedly be my thing, but let's lock that bitch right up and never refer to it as anything but copious truth. The facts are these:
1. Kristen Callihan will one day be a national treasure. 2. Moonglow is one of the most adventurously entertaining stories you will ever read. 3. You will feel All Of The Feels throughout the course of this novel. 4. Orginality is NOT dead; it's name is Moonglow.
Dear wondrous bacon, where does one even begin?! I mean, logically it's first with the characters, who deserve a damned review all on their own reality of "These People That Aren't People Be Kick Ass." Aside form all the necessary adjectives (likable, believable, interesting, etc.), Daisy and Ian are so much more than simple description. If Einstein, Kant, Kipling, and Sherlock Holmes were given a decade and an endless supply of cocaine, even they couldn't convey to you the earth-shattering, level-this-sucker-to-the-ground depth and complexity embodied by our two leads. Their evolution as whole-bodied characters reveals itself layer by layer, each chapter in the book pealing back more interest and emotional agency to their existence as people. Am I in love with Daisy and Ian? Well.
Truly it's not my fault, for obviously there's a national conspiracy at hand that has genetically engineered the perfect construction of plot with excellent writing quality. Callihan delves into a paranormal world that feels such a part of the fabric of reality within its fictional setting. The historical elements mesh perfectly with the other worldly-ones, which are fundamentally unique in their own right. Yes, we've read about werewolves, but not these lycans. Yes, we've seen be-gifted heroines with powers over the elements, but not with this backstory. Yes we've seen the animated dead, but not with that steampunk Grim Reaper twist.
You really don't; not til you read the book. (Seriously, hon; read this thing.) I mean, in this single novel we've got smokin' hot romance that is emotionally fueled by the most heartbreaking needs-some-lovin' hero and heroine, a Who Done It mystery, a monster on the loose, one hella screwy love triangle that is an acid trip into Feelville, a bloody half-century family feud even Dr. Phil wouldn't touch, all topped off with some of the most NO-WAY plot twists that would leave Steven King salivating. And, if all that wasn't enough to make you want to devour this book NOW, DAMMIT, then at the very least ignore that huge run-on sentence, for my sake. Additionally, know that you're crazy.
*Dodges the hate.* Okay, so aside from my being a douche-nozzle, I will admit that if the book contained a single flaw, it would have to be that a LOT is going on in this story. Such is a good thing, in that it makes for some hella-damn interesting story telling...but not such a good thing for crowding out room for more emotion-building between Daisy and Ian. While it would have been nice to see just an itsy-bitsy bit more of these two constructing their emotional connection, the specific plot points that occur do believably allow Daisy and Ian to short-hand their way to the lovey-dovey sentiments. Confused?
(view spoiler)[Basically Ian gets his flesh literally eviscerated (facial muscles mutilated, bloody chunky inside bits falling out...yeah) all to ensure Daisy's well being. Daisy's trust in Ian's humanity sparks a bond that supersedes the need for copious love-growing exposition. So, yeah. If that's not enough to excuse the lack of an extra heaping spoonful of emotion-cresting-telling, then may Alan Rickman help you. (hide spoiler)]
The non-spoilery answer is that Kristen Callihan is a goddess, and you should worship on her alter of awesome writing skills, dammit! She creates spectacular spectacularness and you effing -NEED- this in your life for your own well being! Moonglow's entire cast of characters are all equally well written and they're just waiting to be your friend, and you want to know the future of your friends don't you? DON'T YOU?!
Read this book. Now.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So this book kicked hella amounts of ass. We've got Steampunk, Paranormal, Alternative History, Science Fiction, and Mystery all crammed together intoSo this book kicked hella amounts of ass. We've got Steampunk, Paranormal, Alternative History, Science Fiction, and Mystery all crammed together into one big smacking pule of awesomeness.
Seriously, people. Very rarely do non-standard adventure romances pull me into a story, because mostly, and sadly, they bore me. Often I'll get very bored, very quickly, with romance-ish books; either make it a romance, or make it something else is my mentality. However, I gotta say, Gail Carriager is just a phenomenally damn good writer.
The characters were, in a word, sublime. Outside of just a likable, realistically relatable leading woman, Alexia, we have an interesting hero, Lord Maccon, who functions, initially, more as a secondary protagonist. Added to that is the rather fascinating Lord Lycon, the irrestiably compelling Lord Akeldama, and the craptastic mother and half-sisters to Alexia. Every character that arrived on-page, from the predominate individuals of the story, to the supposedly disposable antagonists and background characters had presence in this book. Every single one of them felt believable, realistic, and lifelike. Holy crap on a cracker, did they ever!
The plotting of this book took a little while to attain momentum, but I'm more of the mindset this slow build was done with intent, better to acquaint the readers with the cast, and Alexia, specifically. Despite that, once the ball got rolling, I was hooked. Even though the reading time for this novel was a bit longer than my standard, I was still amazingly engaged with the plot. I find it interesting how the actual events of the story line are paced within the context of the book. Some might say "rushed," and while I can see that argument, I think it felt more realistic as a result.
While it may seem redundant, I have to admit I was astonishingly impressed with the quality of writing this book contained within. Gail Carriger mastered the art of picturesque detail, when appropriate. The scenes were painted in fine consideration, when necessary, and left to the readers imagination when not. The dialogue, likewise, was snappy when appropriate, informative when needed, and always fluid and relevant. The pacing of the book, as a whole, was almost geniusly constructed, so much so that I doubt there is one single purposeless scene in the book.
Very rarely do I proclaim that a book can have everything a reader could ever want within, but Soulless unquestionably proved me wrong. This book could entertain just about any literate person on the planet, I believe. I am absolutely going to be seeing to the rest of the series, and I only pray the subsequent books carry the same amount of entertainment quality as Soulless....more