So this book kicked hella amounts of ass. We've got Steampunk, Paranormal, Alternative History, Science Fiction, and Mystery all crammed together into...moreSo 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.(less)
You know those crazy-ass novel plot pitches, the ones that sound like someone was huffing a seriously epic-amount of Elmer's glue to have come up with...more
You know those crazy-ass novel plot pitches, the ones that sound like someone was huffing a seriously epic-amount of Elmer's glue to have come up with THAT idea? Those stories typically had some crazy element, like one of the characters is a dead-like ghost-zombie throughout the entire novel; crazy bad, right? Well, I'd have thought that right along with you, dude or dudette, and we'd have both been wrong. Crazy, yes, but bad? Nah, not always!
C'mon, reviewer reader, I would never-not-ever lie to you...And neither would this review. Put simply, I'm a bit blown away by how much I literally-like-whoa enjoyed this novel. The premise of the story alone was a sink-or-swim reality, and when all's considered, the writing of the book actually held up pretty well...for the most part. As far as a technical standpoint, The Ghost and The Goth stood up all in all decently. The pacing of the story was excellently well done with negative zero lag time, and the two main characters are believably real, but...
...While more enjoyable than a bowl of calorie free tasty ice cream, this book contains some seriously serious issues. While the novel is well constructed, with excellent build up/pay off scenes that drive the plot, at times this focus of pacing and plot definitely come as a sacrifice to quality character development. Yeah, yeah, I know, a lot of fancy-schmancy critique there, but basically the novel blasts along with the plot being a demanding bitch, doing all the driving while never once giving the keys to the characters for some off-roading exploration.
(That GIF is apropos for more than one reason, there!) Put simply, Alona and Will, while believable characters with their own solid identities don't get much more character exposition than "Here's cliche One, cliche Two, and cliche Three," along with a character description. This is a pretty ouch-inducing criticism, especially considering, um, hello? THIS NOVEL IS WRITTEN IN FIRST PERSON! Okay, sorry...*attempting to reign in book-nerd-rage.* Overall, if I had one heavy Bitch-Just-No! complaint, the above would definitely be it. However, while I will give the novel some latitude because, after all, it is a part of an on-going series, I'm still a wee bit disappointed.
And, on that note? The secondary characters! Now, yes, yes, yes and yes...I get that in deep split first person POV, the supporting cast typically get shafted in the "Hey, I'm a real boy!" department. But, even still, most authors can do a tad bit better than playing the cliched "I'm the evil principal" character, "I'm the cliched worried mom" character, "I'm the neglectful parent" character, and so on. Not, alas, for Stacey Kade. Considering the issue with the aforementioned lead characters' lacking development, not to mention their pigeon holed character types, it seems writing cliched characters is kind of Ms. Kade's modus operandi.
And, yet, in spite of all the bitching and moaning I've been doing... I still like this book! Surprising, right? Well, for starters the uniqueness of both the plot, and specifically the characters, truly helps. While Alona is the stereotypical cheerleader preppy chick, and Will is the stereotypical goth dude, such works geniusly well for the book because their identities are given excellent framing and the motivations for their personalities are stronger than just "I like the color black," or "I love pompoms!" While their setup is cliched, their delivery is not; thus the lead characters are cliched, but believably cliched!
I did, Violet; I did! And, reader, I recommend you doing the same! This book is crack, it's not good for you, and it certainly won't improve anything other than your Happy Brain Place, but indulge, just this once. I did, and will probably do so again!
One twenty-four hour time slot. That's how long, or rather how little, it took me to finish this book! Thus, holy crap, it was awesome! That's pretty...moreOne twenty-four hour time slot. That's how long, or rather how little, it took me to finish this book! Thus, holy crap, it was awesome! That's pretty much the verbatim reaction I had with this most entertaining book!
I honestly fell in love with this story, truly. And, what's more, I really didn't think such would happen. Considering this book's existence seemed as if Ione was grasping at straws to keep the series in motion, having only really met this hero in book three, I am glad to say that I was wrong. Not only was the book meritable on its own standards of quality, but the on-page presence of the hero, Lore, was entirely believable. Likewise, the heroine of Ecstasy Unveiled, Idess, was one awesome chick.
Aside from the likability of the leading two characters, I found the plot absolutely fantastic! It amazed me how Ione was able to weave such an intricate story that was entirely outward driven, and yet simultaneously remarkably internal. Looking back, if one were to pick a primary theme of Ecstasy Unveiled, such would be easy; family. Family is such a huge fundamental driving force in both Lore and Idess' roles, as well as the overall plot. Unlike this book's predecessors, which contained plots that forced the brothers to come together, this plot experimented in the realms of tearing apart, then healing, the framework of almost every single character within this series.
I was most fascinated by ease with which this plot developed, especially when reflecting upon how complex the story truly found itself. And yet, rather than becoming bogged down in intricacies, Ione did a phenomenal job in maintaining logic and action within Ecstasy Unveiled, all the while keeping the emotional drama between Lore and Idess very much on-page.
So, excellent characters? Check. Excellent sexual and emotional romantic tension? Check. Excellent plot? Check. Fan-damn-tastic world building? Double triple quadruple check. Of all the things I most admire about Ione is her ability to create a high dramatic, textual world for her characters to live within. Being able to buy the reality and believability of an author's paranormal world is paramount. It's one thing to say or describe "here is World X with Rules Y," but quite another to subscribe it. Ecstasy Unveiled, more so than any other book of the series, I'd gather, does this to perfection. In a way, book five culminates in such, harmoniously. Stepping into the Demonica world was truly an experience, with the previous books establishing it, forming it, expounding upon it, Ecstasy Unveiled cements it.
Lastly, I think Ione additionally did a great job at establishing the parameters and interest for the following book, Sin Undone. Rather than trying to create an entire new potential plot-line to form, explode, then resolve, she instead took opportunities from this book to establish the tone of the next. This genius gave Sin's upcoming story not only validity in not seeming as just a desperate attempt to maintain the series, but interest and anticipation, too.
Put simply, Ione killed it, in the wow-wow-wow, I'm-lovin'-it context!(less)
HOLY FRIGGIN' CRAP! - This book was mindbogglingly amazing! The second installment to the Dark-Hunter spin off young ydult series, Chronicles of Nick,...moreHOLY FRIGGIN' CRAP! - This book was mindbogglingly amazing! The second installment to the Dark-Hunter spin off young ydult series, Chronicles of Nick, the plot of Invincible was just as amazing as Infinity's.
I couldn't help but fall in love all the more with this amazing character, Nick Gautier. He had captured my adoration and love all the way back to the first novel of the Dark-Hunter series, Night Pleasures, and he continued to do so off-and-on throughout the twenty three books of the series, thus far.
The witty writing, still amazing. The cohesive, understandable, and entertaining plot, still amazing. The character development, still amazing. The expansion of the characters, still amazing. The dialogue, setting, and description, all still amazing. Sherrilyn Kenyon is continuing to prove, as she always does, that she is a phenomenal author and creative genius.
Invincible absolutely blew me away with taking yet another fascinating angle, necromancy, and maintaining a unique storyline throughout. I'm so excited about this series, and can't wait 'til next years installment!(less)
Read: October 22, 2013 – October 25, 2013 Read: July 19, 2010 Read: January 15, 2009 – January 17, 2009 Read: November 2008 Read: April 2007 Read: January...more
Read: October 22, 2013 – October 25, 2013 Read: July 19, 2010 Read: January 15, 2009 – January 17, 2009 Read: November 2008 Read: April 2007 Read: January 1, 2005
Love, pain, loss, blessings, death, reunion, sacrifice, torture, happiness, parenthood, responsibility, darkness, evil, honor, goodness, determination, and redemption are just an itsy-bitsy list of the themes with which Night Embrace is gonna rock your world. You're gonna laugh, you're gonna cry, you're gonna face-scream and applause pretty much throughout the entirety of this awesome behemoth. Put simply, Bilbo had it right - this book's gonna adventure you so hardcore. And, this loveliness starts, of course, with Talon of the Morrigantes.
Basically, he's the epitome of a bad-ass. A Celtic bad-ass, even. However, in my not so important opinion, while I adore Talon (because c'mon, how could you not?) I find his back-story, while heart breaking, less so in comparison to other tragic Dark-Hunter stories. Mind you, this could be my being a picky-ass, but Talon's personal tragedies were often brought about by his own choices. These choices, and while understandable, put a distance in my adoration of him. I fully admit, though, that my wanting to slap him upside the head with a crowbar, on occasion, did contribute to making him a fleshed out character.
(*Grins.*) Joking aside, Talon is unique among the DH boys for, while scrumptious and tortured, he frequently allows his emotions to get the better of him, thus making him seem more human than any other Dark-Hunter. I like Tally, but there exists an element that makes me want to throttle him right before I hug him. Still, while bodaciously adorable and likeable, it's Talon's sense of humor that wins him All Of The Loves. His dynamic with Nick, Acheron, fellow Dark-Hunters, hell, even with frenemies like Zarek, will undoubtedly leave your face muscles aching from laughter. Of course, speaking of laughter, we can't neglect Sunshine Runningwolf.
Yep. I admit it; I totally love her with much love. Of all the heroines that could be written, she is the single most memorable. Without question this girl struts on the page with bucket-loads of personality that grab you be the shirt and ask, "Who IS this chick?" A flibbertigibbet artist who is unquestionably a refugee from a hippie camp, what makes Sunny so adorable is, yes, her forgetfulness, yes, her love of life, but most importantly her heart. While Talon is her antithesis in the small things, the two share a kindness for others that is remarkable, and down right adorable.
Oh, by the way, did I mention the plot?! Holy-crap-stick, THE PLOT! This baby comes in at a whopping 408 pages, and that's a bit long for a standard mass market paperback, but trust that this sucker doesn't lag. We've got pissed off gods, renegade Dark-Hunters, an "let's-avoid-the-apocalypse" story line, not to mention a most excellent cast of supporting characters. Interestingly, while the plot does take a backseat to the romantic buildup and relationship of Talon and Sunshine (we'll get to that in a minute, friends), when this sucker arrives for the climax, it busts onto the scene with TNT. The surrounding plot threads make this book unquestionably fun, mind-blowing, and definitely worth the read. As for the actual romance between Talon and Sunshine? Well...
I know, I know! (*Ducks behind couch to avoid the rotten tomatoes.*) Sadly, I'm not really in the Fangirl Camp for these two awesome characters. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love them as characters, and while I do believe the HEA at the end, I never really felt the connectivity between them as their story was unfolding. I think this stems largely from the soul mate aspect (you'll see when you read), but because of this it made their romance difficult for me. I still heart them, I did love the book, and I enjoyed Talon and Sunshine interacting, but as for the love-story itself? Gotta say no. The book kicks copious ass, even outside the lovey-dovey element, if for no other reason than climax, the supporting cast, and the universe around Talon and Sunshine. These elements make this book so frakking good.
You request it, Night Embrace, and you damned sure get it.(less)