You know what sucks? Ass holes. Ass holes suck. You know what sucks worse than ass holes? Ass holes who never learn to wipe the shit from their own sp...more
You know what sucks? Ass holes. Ass holes suck. You know what sucks worse than ass holes? Ass holes who never learn to wipe the shit from their own sphincters. Can ya tell I'm angry? 'Cause I'm fuck-tons angry. "Why the rage-face, Jacquie?" Oh I'll tell ya. But, before I vomit my rant-words all over the place, let me set the scene for ya.
Any Man Of Mine by Rachel Gibson. Quick run down: Hero dude hokey player Sam sees tall curvy redhead heroine Autumn in a Vegas bar, the two get drunk, bump uglies, have a quicky impromptu wedding, hero dude Sam bails, heroine chick Autumn ends up preggers, Sam orders a paternity test and a divorce, fast forward six years, and Mr. Jack Ass decides he wants a do-over. Best synopsis ever. Also fuck you, Sam.
Surprise, surprise I hate this book, and isn't that just shocking? Normally I have indepth analytical chunky word bits to throw at you for explaining WHY I hate-face on a book. This time around, nope. This book sucks all of the ass and their subsequent turds for one reason and one reason only: the hero is a majestic prancing trout-faced cockstorm piss experiment! Sam LeClaire is a full-on, ass-flaps engaged, douche nozzle and there aren't enough words in the all the languages in all the world to convey to you my hatred of this character.
Any Man of Mine is basically a second-chance-together/reformed-bad-boy story set up, and I'm okay with that. What sick bastard doesn't love a reunion story, with a kid thrown in? No one, that's who. But! When your story features a hero whose only notable characteristic is, AND I QUOTE: "...a good-looking son of a bitch." When your story has a plot-muppet in place of a human child. When your story literally has your hero getting all ass-hurt because "OH MY GOD how dare Autumn not forgive me for me for abandoning her six years ago" then ugh!
While I hate this character to colossal levels, it's noteworthy that, hey, he doesn't stalk our heroine. He pays his child support. And he shows up to be a dad. Sometimes. Okay, so fine, he's not an Edward Cullen psycho-ass. But when faced with no other insights into him as a human being, when denied all context but a some half-assed sad backstory and, "Hey, me like Hockey!" what the hell else am I supposed to do with this guy? Throw in the fact that our author never once really redeemed this dude by the end of the book, and just no.
"But Jacquie!" you're ranting at your computer screen, "Shut up about the hero! What else about the book?! Plot? Heroine? Writing? Pacing? Dialogue? Setting? ANYTHING!" Well, um...I got nothing. See, realistically everything else with this book was okay...until. The heroine was relateably likeable...until the very end for taking back a jerk who apparently stopped being a jerk but ya could've fooled me. The writing was brisk and lively...until the middle where it lulled and dragged like a damn tank in the ocean. The pacing was even keeled and slow building....until it jumped spastic, choppy, and rushed in the last 100 pages. Hell even the plot-style couldn't make up its mind whether it wanted to be just a slow-burning emotionally driven reunion story or a Penthouse Forum Special.
So, at the end of the day, if I hated this thing so much then why the hell did I do this to myself? Well, mostly because Rachel Gibson tricked me and I'm mad about it. I spent 317 pages with this book, convinced by the tone that, before I got to page 373, hero-guy was gonna do something to demonstrate this magical love he suddenly felt for our heroine. Or, somehow we as the reader were going to witness SOMETHING in the way of why the hell these two love each other. Did that ever happen? Nope. But, as bad as the hero was, and as boring as the courtship and romance turned out to be, the heroine was all of the awesome!
Yes, Autumn pulled a few TSTL moments, but throughout the story she was interesting and dynamic and strong and likeable. Our heroine owned her own business and rocked it, she was believable as a mother and friend, as a woman and an individual. But, as fun as she was, her counterpart sucked. This suckage wrecked the novel and destroyed any happy feels I might have experienced.
There book had instalove without grounding, an asshole hero without redemption, and a told-not-shown love story that hurt my brain. Rachel Gibson tricked my ass and somebody better invent a fictional-character-to-IRL machine quick, 'cause I wanna punch Sam LeClaire in the face.
No wonder it took me a damn month to finish this damn thing.(less)
Question: What is the hardest thing on the whole damn planet to accomplish?
Answer: Reviewing the best book ever written in the history o...moreHo. Ly. Shit!
Question: What is the hardest thing on the whole damn planet to accomplish?
Answer: Reviewing the best book ever written in the history of mankind.
Trust me peeps, that is not an easy endeavor, but here goes nothing. Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon, a science fiction paranormal fantasy romance, with crying. Lots and lots of crying. That is, my crying. Why my crying? Well, basically because reasons and stuff. Namely, this 614 page behemoth focuses on two characters, Zarya Starka and Darling Cruel. But those are just awesome names, and do not do shit to describe them as pretty much the best fake-people ever made up, so let me just throw their profiles at your face.
Zarya Starka: The daughter of a traitor, Zarya was raised on the backstreets of hell. After her father’s murder when she’s 18, she rises to replace him as leader of the Caronese Resistance that opposes Arturo’s cruel laws that strangle their people.
A wanted felon trying to bring down one of the most powerful dynasties in the United Systems. Her greatest asset is a mysterious member of the Sentella she knows nothing about, one who leaks valuable intel to her and who is willing to risk his life for her.
Then there's Darling Cruel, AKA Kere: Kere has a dark secret and a brutal past. As he aids the Resistance, he’s actually working to bring down his own family- the Cruels- so named for the viciousness in their blood that runs so deep, no other name would do. Born and bred from one of the oldest and noblest families in the United Systems, Kere’s real name is Darling Cruel and he is a prince of planet Caron. And the one thing he wants most is to see his uncle, who stole the crown by murdering his father, pay for his crimes.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Right! And, frankly, if all that setup weren't enough, let me just rip the rug right out from under you and have you realize that, while this might be categorized as a romance, it is so, SO much more than that. In truth, it's a political intrigue/story of survival. This book explores the aftermath of torture, abuse, rape, and pain. It delves into a political arena so real, it makes Game of Thrones look like a sitcom. Remember when I said this was the greatest book ever written? Well I wasn't lying, because there is literally nothing wrong with this thing.
Zarya is one of the most kickass heroine you will ever meet, and while this book is definitely not her story of overcoming brutal anguish, her character arc is just as dramatic, if not more so. When a romance novel starts out with two characters already in a physical and emotional relationship, as Born of Silence does, you think, "Where the hell is this going?!" When you understand that the heroine has never once seen the hero's face, that she actually hates the individual which is the hero's true identity...when you comprehend the fact that she is solely responsible for his capture and brutal months-long torture later in the novel, you've basically got one of the most emotionally dramatic stories ever written.
And, guys, these characters are frackin' REAL! That is how damn good the writing is, which, okay, technically isn't a surprise because this is Sherrilyn Kenyon we're talking about. The woman is literally incapable of writing a bad book with flat characters, this I know. Still, that said, her entire cast of secondary characters is better than perfect. The diversity and uniqueness in personality of people that populate this novel are extraordinary, hilarious, terrifying, and flat out interesting.
Not to outdo herself, of course, Sherri also manages to have this book touch on some pretty powerful subject matter, from rape, war, torture and child abuse to friendship, Agape love, and homosexuality, which all go to feed the plot. Of all the fascinating elements that make up this story, from beautifully crafted moments of unadulterated love to epic space battles, I think the most interesting one is that Sherri takes a male lead, who is purposefully portrayed as a homosexual by the entire Ichidian universe, and believably constructs a conflict dynamic which explains why he must keep his true heterosexuality a secret. Many critics have said this supposedly about-face to Darling's sexuality is just Sherri's cowardice at writing gay characters, which is absolute phooey. Maris Sulle, Darling's best friend and supposed lover throughout the entire series up to this point, is not only homosexual but also has his own story with another gay character, Ture Xans. Cloak & Silence, the book immediately following Born of Silence, is a m/m romance; so take that misassumption and please go shove it, my friends!
Honestly, I can't stop fangirling over this novel because this thing can literally be read by any reader of any genre. Smexy romance and hot sex scenes? Check. Angsty melodrama and heartbreak? Check. Political intrigue and complex world building? Check. Epic space battles and badass fight scenes? Check. Gut-busting comedy and hilarious characters? Check. Dark characters with sinisterly terrifying backstories? Check. Complex world...make that inter-planetary building...with a character pool in the realm of thousands? Check. Scifi tech and space ships that leave you drooling? Check. A book with a high body count and a higher rate of explosions-per-chapter? Check, check, and check.
When a book can go from:
"And neither do you, ciratile. You ever try this shit again with me and mine, and I will rape and plunder the village, and burn the motherfucker to the ground." He looked around at the bodies on the floor. "And as you've seen here today there ain't nothing you bitches can do to stop me. Talk is cheap. Pain is free. And I'm peddling the shit out of it. So you come on and get some.”...“I won't forgive I won't forget. Let hell open and rain my wrath down on them all. I will not be stopped and I have no mercy left inside me. I am death and I revel in the killings of my enemies. Bring me them all until I'm drunk on their blood.”
“But sooner or later, no matter who you are, life uses everyone as its whipping boy.”...“The past is history written in stone that can’t be altered. The future is transitory and never guaranteed. Today is the only thing you can change for certain. Have the courage to do so and make the most of it because it could be all you’ll ever have.”..."Would you die already, and shut the fuck up while you do it?"
“It's all about perspective, my friend. That and the ability to duck fast when life throws excrement at you."
...Then you know you've got one damn excellent, awesome, beautiful work of fiction. Plus when a book makes you, needle-phobic, terrified poultry that you are, want to run out and get the Sentella tattoo on your own body then you know that thing kicks all of the ass.
This book was a doozy. That's right, I said doozy.
Before you lay a book where I, the simple reader, found the developing of the romantic plot to be k...moreThis book was a doozy. That's right, I said doozy.
Before you lay a book where I, the simple reader, found the developing of the romantic plot to be kind of spastic, and a tad invisible. Runa and Shade just didn't seem to "have it" on screen as a couple in my opinion, which definitely sucks. Additionally, the non-romance plot was looooooongly drawn out. I mean, like, hardcore, when-is-this-going-to-be-finished drawn out. It's your typical angry evil dude with a sharpened instrument plot.
Okay, so, yeah. Two ginormous, let-me-shoot-my-face-off problems that typically land a book in the DNF abyss. And, ye gods! A four star ranking. Well, it's accurate. Why? Simple. Awesome. Friggin'. Writing. Skills!
Larissa Ione knows how to write a good book. Even when the driving plot is a bit trite, it still kicks ass. Because, um, hello? Plot twists on steroids! Even when the romantic evolution of two characters is either non-existent or microscopic. Because, um, hello? BEAUTIFUL FRUITION. Both the romance story and the plot of Desire Unchained failed in some rather huge arenas, but more than compensated by delivering in an unexpected way. With Runa and Shade's love, it was the culminated and believable passion and devotion at the end of story. Even though I felt their developing romance was denied me, I still found their emotionalism entirely real, and not simply words on a page. Much in the way that the bad-dude plot felt a bit trite, it delivered on the shock front, the bloody front, and the Just Desserts front, all in one fell swoop.
Aside from the round-abouts with the story-line, overall I thought the writing was extremely well executed. While I found myself less invested with the characters of Runa and Shade as I had in the previous novel with E and Tay, at no point did either leading character in Desire Unchained feel one dimensional. Character wise, I did care, just not as comparably much as I did with its predecessor. I like Shade's dynamic and depth almost as much as I liked the evolution of Runa's character. (Hello! Her reality?! Totally didn't see that one coming in this series!)
Next comes the surprises within this book. Obviously, I can't divulge, since I'm anti-spoilers, but suffice it to say that Ione delivers what every PNR series reader wants; plot shocks. Some were subtle, some were elephant man huge, but all succeeded in keeping me interested in the novel, and all its characters. Interestingly, these surprises, some of which pertained to the secondary cast, had me glued in needing to discover more.
While all characters of the book were noteworthy, I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on the developing Gem-Ky thing. This is, probably, one of the biggest reasons Desire Unchained ranked so high for me. This couple's reality gave my appreciation at least a full star, if not more. And, yet, ironically, as satisfying as Gem and Kynan's dynamic were, I wish less had been revealed in this book as it had been. So much of what was on page in Desire Unchained would have felt ten times more satisfying to see printed in their own book. (Cue irony.)
Still, despite some pretty huge lacking fronts, I never found myself flat-out bored during my reading. Quite the opposite! I wasn't as invested with the hero and heroine, I didn't find satisfaction in their blooming romance, and the fundamental plot felt needlessly extrapolated upon. But! I had to know what happened, how it would happen, who bit it, when this character would find out that fact, what would HE say when that was revealed...And on, and on, and on it goes. This undeniable desperation to see the climax and fruition of a novel, paired with some stomach-achingly hilarious witty writing and dialogue, is what makes a book. Such proves that, even when a book blows on some pretty huge don't-screw-this-up book laws, it isn't always a lost cause.
So, I have to be honest with you, dear reader; I'm lying to you. Yes, yes, I'm a terrible human being for th...more
Read: December 21, 2013 Read: April 1, 2007
So, I have to be honest with you, dear reader; I'm lying to you. Yes, yes, I'm a terrible human being for the lie, but it's quit necessary. See, I have you believing that I've read the entire book, Love At First Bite. A collection of short stories that I'm sure is amazing in its entirety, but my tiny sin is that...umm...well...I've not exactly read the whole novel.
I know! A tragedy, one even the Ponds will mourn. But! Ignoring this terrible oversight, I'm still ranking this entire book at five stars. Why? Because Sherrilyn Kenyon. Yep. She's bad-ass enough to merit an entire not-all-hers novel being awesome. Simply put, Esperetta and Velkan are made of win. They are two characters that pretty much yank your feels all over the place. Their story is insanely fast-paced (because duh, short story) but holy crap if it isn't spectacular.
Love is all lovey between our two leads, and if you like a tale of redemption and estranged lovers, your mouth is gonna drool over this one! ... Well, maybe not drool because eww, but trust when I say that Until Death Do Us Part packs one hell of a whammy. While the writing seems to give more reader-time with Esperetta than our hero, Velkan, the two definitely share chemistry, and the plotting is damned solid. In short summation, let's let Benny clearly articulate why you need this short story...