I can't say i found this any more interesting than Twilight. All the elements i loved in Twilight that i was hoping would be elaborated upon, were comI can't say i found this any more interesting than Twilight. All the elements i loved in Twilight that i was hoping would be elaborated upon, were completely forfitted. In fact the Cullen's took up about 95 pages out of 500-something, leaving nothing but Bella, the deep dark whole in her chest full of pain, and Jacob. Thank heavens for Jacob (although he was quite younger than i expected after watching the movie.
I really wish i could say that i loved these books and the characters, but i find most of my criticisms comes from an inability to suspend disbelief. i just can't let go and relax into the story because Bella is just so willing to give herself over and go along with all the should be terrifying events and choices that take place. I just don't understand her brand of desperate dependency, be it on Jake or Edward, in order to have self worth and inner strength. what about her do these guys find appealing, other than the fact that she is somewhat pretty? she offers nothing to the relationship other than desperate devotion and complete acceptance of their supernatural nature, I'm sorry but that does not spell true love or friendship. ...more
At first, I was really, really annoyed by this book. I contemplated giving up and washing my hands of it. I couldn't connect with Bella, didn't undersAt first, I was really, really annoyed by this book. I contemplated giving up and washing my hands of it. I couldn't connect with Bella, didn't understand her self loathing and obsessions. I didn't look forward to reading it, when i put it down, i put it down for days, weeks. I was forcing myself to like it because it was a gift from my sister who loved the stories, and wanted to share it with me. I couldn't find it in my heart to tell her she'd wasted her money, that it just wasn't for me, so i closed the book and started from beginning again after reading the first 80 pages. It was almost torture, the chapters were too long, Bella's days were so mundane. I hated her thoughts, her insecurities, her weakness, her detachment. I stopped reading again, this time for weeks.
When I started reading again it was for the sake of reading something. Bella and Edward just aren't for me. There just isn't much I find romantic about them, Bella's 'fatal' clumsiness and Edward's incessant coddling were at times unbearable to read. I was just not loving this story. Ironically, admitting this eventually allowed me to just let the story be what it was. I let go of all expectations and just read, I found myself intrigued by their dynamic. When the plot starts to pick up the pacing is very addicting. I started re-reading passages, this time for the pleasure of it, staying up later to read just one more chapter, and looking forward to picking up where I left off.
Meyer's portrait of Carlise's history and his formation of the Cullen family was by far the best part of the novel for me. I loved the Cullens, everything I feel Bella's side of the story lacks the Cullen's make up for. Their understanding of one another, Edward's love and respect for Carlise, his relationship with Jasper and Emmit and their relief that he's finally found a partner. And of course Alice, I can't wait to read how she re-discovery's her past. And I wonder what's truly behind Rosalie's hatred of Bella. I hope Bella and Charlie's relationship will grow into something more than just awkward moments here and there.
Despite all the flaws I could knit-pick to death, as to why I initially disliked the book, I find myself looking forward to how Meyer will build upon the things that I did like. I truly wish it wasn't written in 1st person narration (very few authors can captivate me in 1st person) better yet I wish it was written from Edward's point of view - imagine the insight and back story. I also have no doubt that if I'd read the book before seeing the movies and having the actors' portrayal of the characters intruding on my reading of them, I'd probably appreciate it a lot more.
Its been a week now and i'm still debating how to approach this review. Should i analyze or just review it and be done with it? but i figure after takIts been a week now and i'm still debating how to approach this review. Should i analyze or just review it and be done with it? but i figure after taking two and a half weeks dragging myself to the finish line, i might as well do both.
I think Michelle Zink is an excellent writer -it was obvious after reading the first chapter that this wasn't just another author getting by on intrigue and no literary credibility- but it's her approach to the actual storytelling that fell short. It took me a bit to put my finger on the fact that it wasn't just the choice of 1st person narration that made the story lackluster, but the fact that her narrator was so clueless. Lia had absolutely no knowledge of the prophecy, NONE! Nor did she stumble upon it mysteriously, one gloomy day, grieving for the loss of her father while reminiscing through his prized books.
Basically, she had no story to tell until one dropped in her lap by way of a very curious boyfriend. Who had not only discovered the strange one page book but had already translated it from Latin and thought it important enough to present it to her privately, and all this took place off page because 1st person narration means the readers discover as Lia discovers. But Lia isn't the most interesting narrator. She's passive and somewhat nonchalant until its almost too late. She doesn't take much initiative to source out the depths of this prophecy that has been passed down generation after generation to the women in her family. Everyone around her who has a lesser role in the prophecy seems to be leading her to the answers she should be desperately seeking. There just seems to be no urgency on her part about the pending apocalypse. Alice is the one who leads her to Sonia, Sonia is the one who leads her to Madame Berry, Madame Berry leads her to a library of forbidden books and to the man with the tea drinking goat (forgot his name) who helps her decipher the nature of the gate 'keys'. And this is the step by step linearity of the story, which makes for a boring progression. I mean seriously, what good is a narrator who doesn't do much to envelop you in her own tale?
The problems don't stop there, The story started to deteriorate further when it seemed Zink didn't know how much she wanted the readers to know in this first book. She fell through her own plot holes and started carving conveniences where ever she wanted. How convenient is it that Virgina (who was once a major part of the prophecy) could be helpful with information one second, then clueless the next? How convenient that James knows about the prophecy yet fails to mention it ever again? How convenient that the creepy girl keeps appearing out of thin air to return the medallion, yet Lia takes no initiative to discover who she is? How convenient that in her letter Lia's mother mention never telling the father her secret, yet he is the one who found the biggest clues while conveniently keeping Virgina in the dark all those years? How convenient that Virgina decided now was the time to give Lia the useless letter, even though Lia had confronted her about her knowledge of the prophecy many times? How convenient that the letter was so useless even though it was 5pgs long? How convenient that Alice (mistakenly for her side) leads Lia to Sonia, yet we never know why she went there in the 1st place? How convenient that Alice knew so much for so long, yet never had the upper hand in finding the keys? How convenient that the souls never quite reeked enough havoc to put a fire under Lia's arse? How convenient that the other world had a committee who punished those who interfere where they shouldn't, yet no one was ever punished? How convenient that so much happens in this books by way of information overload, yet little or no action what so ever?...i really could go on.
The plot and storyline is so enticing and well written that it really annoys me that Zink's decision to be so linear with it and the horrible pacing was what ruined it for me. i thought the concept of not only sister vs. sister but twin vs. twin was already complex and freaky, but then to add the mishap of their birth which causes a major reversal in their fates was so delicious. And Henry was such a sympathetic character but he was never put to proper use, shame. The pacing of the storyline was shot to hell with the girls traipsing around town and country searching for clues for a good 250+ pages while Alice was left on the wayside even though she was the most intriguing character. I shudder to think how much more frightening and brilliant this tale would've been from her perspective.
In my head i keep making the excuse that this was a YA read, so i shouldn't be so critical, but didn't Harry Potter series prove that just because its meant for a younger audience does not mean it should lose its luster along the way. JK is no Michelle Zink when it comes to excellent writing for a younger audience, but Zink is definitely no JK when it comes to brilliantly executing you story telling. so all in all [3*:] for the amazing concept and what it would've - should've been but minus [2*:] for the dreadful 2 1/2 weeks it took me to get through it. Done and Done...i don't know if i should continue with the next books but it also annoys me because had this been done right i would not hesitate.
*i think this is my longest review, that's gotta say something, right?...more
Took me back to my teenage days when i couldn't get enough of L.J Smith. Strangely the Night World books were my favorite of hers but i never read theTook me back to my teenage days when i couldn't get enough of L.J Smith. Strangely the Night World books were my favorite of hers but i never read the first 5 books. This story wasted no time getting to the dilemma, characters seemed to figure out one another's motives very quickly, and some of the dialogue was dated and corny to my adult perspective. But it was a fun, quick, morbid read. What a horrible horrible choice to have to make: die at 16 or become a vampire. Although i love how the plot progressed, i felt the discovery of Poppy's heritage was a bit convenient, and the end came way too quick. Good start to the series though, now i can finally see how all the books are going to connect to the final 4 which i loved....more
This story did not leave such a significant impact on me the way The Giver did. I was hoping there was more to the mystery of the council and why theyThis story did not leave such a significant impact on me the way The Giver did. I was hoping there was more to the mystery of the council and why they wanted to keep these special children within the midst of their control. And just when i think we might get to see that i literally turned the page only to find that the story was over, it was that sudden.
As much as i love to read teen-fiction, i kept feeling that i was too old to really enjoy this story as it was meant to be enjoyed. At times i was bored, i wished there was more detail as to how the Ruin came about. I'm only interested in reading book three because i loved Matt in this tale, it'd be nice to see how he evolves.
It has been over a week now since i've finished this book, and still i don't know what to make of it. This strange yet interesting story definitely haIt has been over a week now since i've finished this book, and still i don't know what to make of it. This strange yet interesting story definitely had a push and pull effect on me throughout, where at times i let my imagination run with the plot and at other times i just could not willingly suspend my disbelieve. It just seemed a bit far fetched, i mean docile, non-violent, silvery alien beings take over the world, by inserting themselves into the backs of our necks. Which raises the question: who inserted the first creature? How did they get here without detection of their hibernation spaceship? Just a few of many things i couldn't get over.
This aside, i do have to praise Meyer for producing such an unexpected plot twist. I thought i was going to hate Wanderer and all her kind. I thought Melanie was the character i'd be routing for, but Meyer did a magnificent job in creating a story within a story that was such a pleasant surprise. Although, there were times when i did feel i wouldn't make it through the 600+pgs, the repetition of Wanderer's mundane first days with the humans, her cowering fear and pathetic self sacrificing attempts gnawed at me chapter after chapter.
Although some of the character's were memorable, i have to say Meyer's creation of the human hide-out was excellent. My imagination went crazy with her detail descriptions and even now when i think of this book, the image of the setting always resonates in my mind. Wanderer and Melanie's odd connection and relationship evolved convincingly, although wanderer's automatic feelings for Jared seemed unbelievable and misplaced. Especially since Jared turned out to be such a dick. I understand that Meyer was trying to say love is a powerful thing between two people, but aside from Melanie's memory of the old Jared, Wanderer had nothing to love about the new Jared. The memories were just not strong or loving enough to convince me that Jared's abusive treatment of Wanderer could be overlooked in the name of his love for Melanie. I just did not care for him at all and consequently the whole Jared-Melanie epic love quickly fizzled to the point where i did not care if she ever returned to take control of her body.
I couldn't help desperately wanting Wanderer to evolve into her own being and have a real chance at human life. Her emotions were so much more affecting than Jared's, even Melanie. Plus the new love story Meyer introduces unexpectedly just sealed the deal. So despite it's unanswered questions this is a story with many, many layers (i haven't even touched on half of them) filled with intense action and thought provoking themes, the main one being that the strange dichotomy of human existence lies not only in our nature of violence and cruelty to all things around us, but also our ability to love with an intensity and passion that is not privileged to other creatures....more
I love this story, it is not the most polished or as most people claim innovative story - suposedly Paolini took ideas from other fantasy masterpiecesI love this story, it is not the most polished or as most people claim innovative story - suposedly Paolini took ideas from other fantasy masterpieces - but something about it tickels my fancy. I'm not an avid reader of the fantasy/magic genre so his ideas seem new to me, maybe that's why i can enjoy it, negativity aside.
Most times the story is perdictable, other times i'm satisfactorily surprised i like where the series is going and i'am eager for the next installments.
Yay! for Richie again, there is not one single book that this woman has written that i have not fallen in love with. I've read all her other stories cYay! for Richie again, there is not one single book that this woman has written that i have not fallen in love with. I've read all her other stories circa 1990s and wasn't too sure how i'd feel about her latest work. The creepieness of the story was just on point with well developed characters and a well written plot....more
What a major disappointment! Really i think it deserves a 2.5 star rating, nothing about this book grabbed my imagination, and it was just way too lonWhat a major disappointment! Really i think it deserves a 2.5 star rating, nothing about this book grabbed my imagination, and it was just way too long to ultimately result in such a purposeless ending. I had such high hopes for this after literally breezing through book two with such enjoyment. Everything annoyed me, this final book felt so disjointed from the previous books i almost cried at how badly Bray strayed from the potential fantastic conclusion this could have been.
Gemma, who i thought was very assertive and determined by the end of book two became selfish and neglectful of her duties. I mean it was as if the girl had no sense of purpose (all her mombo-jombo about the powerlessness of women went to shit) here she was given the ultimate power and she did absolutely nothing significant with it. Felicity and Ann were so dependent and needy, what happened to the humanization of these characters that was starting to take place in book two? They reverted back to being the senseless, annoying, untrustworthy friends of book one. Pippa was so difficult to read, i really had to muster all my patience in order to read her scenes. Yes, we knew she was going to fall to evil and Gemma's silence and magical aid only added to the tragedy that is this book.
Kartik's 'destiny', had to be the dumbest course i believe has ever been written for a character. I mean, am i supposed to think him brave, or be understanding and heartbroken? He was the only character worth liking but he essentially turned out to be purposeless, he was just there to be used as a whipping boy for the Rakshana, and an exotic plaything for Gemma. Now that is heartbreaking. Was his outcome really necessary? i must have missed a couple somethings because it made no sense to me.
There was no concise plot or direction. Bray seemed to have been overwhelmed or anxious to put in just about everything she has ever imagined without the sense of editing. She even invented facts (when did Kartik ever use a red bandanna for communication? this is the same character who was skilled at sneaking into Gemma's room to leave cryptic notes?) Ugh! What a waste of time. It was so disjointed and insignificant that i would have done myself a favor to have stopped after reading the second book....more
Whooo-hooo! I literally flew through this book. Once i started i didn't want to put it down. Everything that annoyed me in the first book was dealt wiWhooo-hooo! I literally flew through this book. Once i started i didn't want to put it down. Everything that annoyed me in the first book was dealt with so perfectly in this sequel. Bray is obviously a talented writer, her narrative voice is effortless in carrying the characters from scene to scene, everything just flows marvelously.
What i loved most was that other characters besides Gemma came to life in a way i was not expecting. Her friends who annoyed me to no end in A Great and Terrible Beauty were given a soul and personal journey. The backdrop of Victorian London was so intriguing, the gossip, the potential scandals, the balls, it was all seamless. The action was well paced with splashes of mystery, heartbreak, and a budding love triangle. The parts about Kartik hands down were my favorite to read, although i wish there was more strength and purpose to his character. The scenes about her father's addiction were so sad. And at times Gemma could be so naive and overtly trusting, but i'm happy to see that by the end of this novel, she is slowly gathering her bearings and doing what she feels is more important instead of shrinking at the slightest aversions.
I was a bit disappointed to have guessed who Circe was and to have deciphered where the Temple was hidden, so early in the book, but honestly that did not take away from the fabulous time i had reading it. I was just beyond happy that the Realms finally came alive (instead of 548 pages of Herbal Essences commercial descriptions i was expecting). I enjoyed reading about the various ancient creatures that seek the magic, the Poppy Warriors were so creepy, i loved it. The realms, this time around were so intriguing and imaginative.
As for my expectations for book 3, i hope that finally the girls get some guidance and direction as to the potential and history of the magic, i hope the magic has more importance and purpose - other than making them pretty, and giving the ability to fly - i hope the new alliance can be more substantial that the Order, or the Rakshana, i hope Gemma continues to grow more mature...i could go on and on....oh-oh i can't wait to see how Gemma and Kartik's relationship evolves. ...more
This was a really good story with some flaws and missteps, but as i'm writing this review halfway through the second installment and loving the progreThis was a really good story with some flaws and missteps, but as i'm writing this review halfway through the second installment and loving the progression, i can say honestly it gets better (the series - that is). Gemma Doyle is a character to fall in love with, the fist couple of chapters her humor seemed at odds with the Victorian time period of the novel, but i quickly settled into her personality and sarcastic nature. Her quick wit and daring bravado coupled with her insecurities and desires to fit in at a new school, humanize her. Though i can't say the same for her cast of friends, I found it hard to trust or truly like any of them. Gemma's quick acceptance of them after their childish pranks and her willingness to divulge her secrets to them was incredible. All they seemed to see in her was access to the magic so they can carry out their own selfish desires. They fawn over her when she gives in, and cross her blatantly when she doesn't, and Gemma while knowledgeable of their superficial tendencies is oblivious to their agenda.
Bray's implementation of woman's issues of oppression, and less than thrilling societal expectations and familial obligation integrates seamlessly into her plot. Although i felt Pippa's desperate decision at the end was a bit outlandish, understandable, but outlandish.
What baffled me most was how frivolous and insignificant the magical powers and oh-so mysterious realms seemed. Every time they slipped into the realms i couldn't help but roll my eyes, while picturing an Herbal Essences commercial, so colorful and flowery, with twirling girls turning flowers into butterflies and blah, it bored me. Although i picked this book up for the fantasy aspect, i found my self enjoying more the reality of The Spence School for Young Ladies, the headmistress, the maids, the bitchy girls, the proper girls, the sexy yet slightly creepy Kartik, Gemma's steamy attraction to him, and the mannerisms and customs of the Victorian era.
I was disappointed that more information was not given as to how the magic came to be, and how the Order came into possession of it? I hope the significance of the Order, the magic and the realms are made clear later on in the series, other than just being a group of women who ruled a world of dreams with the power of illusion....more