This book, though I really liked the premise of the story with the whole "let's show the world that these totally different but dreadfully cute aliens...moreThis book, though I really liked the premise of the story with the whole "let's show the world that these totally different but dreadfully cute aliens are as much thinking people as us humans are" thing, left a very bad feeling in my head.
You see, there are these little aliens. Cuddly, cute, very affectionate, little aliens. They remind me a bit of the Ewoks just without the pseudo-cannibalistic tendencies and clothes. On the other hand, George Lucas probably got the idea for his battle-teddies from this book.
Anyway, these aliens are shown as quite intelligent and sapient. Really, the word sapient is probably at least once in near to every paragraph. They are smart, oh so smart.
But while the main human character actually believes them to be people and not animals, not one human in the story seems to properly act like the Fuzzies actually are people and not puppies. They carry the aliens around like cuddly toys, talk about them like pets and talk to them as if they couldn't think at all.
Not once did the humans behave like what they preached was what they really, really believed. Neither did this come through from the way the story was written.
Maybe it's because of the era the book was written in. Or maybe it's the fact this book is considered Young Adult, and the language used was a bit too simple for my taste. Whatever it was, the aliens are always shown in the 'pet' light and not in the 'foreign culture that just needs exploring' light.
In the end, the main character even talks about opening an adoption agency for the Fuzzies because so many humans want to have a Fuzzy too. That was just weird at this point of the story, especially as the Fuzzies had already been declared fully sapient then.(less)
As far as fairy tales go, this variation of the Beauty and the Beast theme was okay. The...moreI got this book to review from the Read It & Reap project.
As far as fairy tales go, this variation of the Beauty and the Beast theme was okay. The story reminded me more of the tale of the Prince beyond the Seven Seas with the male lead changing into an animal/monster only at night, but that was quite refreshing. That particular story is seldom mentioned when people think of a version of Beauty and the Beast, as far as I know.
There were just some teeny-tiny things that made me not enjoy the book as much I would have liked.
1) the outside world time scale: (view spoiler)[In the beginning it is mentioned that the curse has existed for at least eighty years or more. Inside the house on the other hand only four years have gone by. Thus for every year inside the house at least a full twenty years go by on the outside, which makes it around 1,76 outside years for every inside month. Further Will mentions that the outside times seems to be getting faster, so the 1,76 outside years are the bare minimum of a time discrepancy that could happen. But what do we see when Beauty leaves the house? From the narration it sounds as if only some short months have gone by, that it is the November of the same calendar year that she left. But she was at least one month inside the house! (hide spoiler)]
2) Bee's character: She was too... beastly to work as the second main character in a B&tB story. Frankly I do not understand how Will could fall in love with her. (view spoiler)[She actually rips up his books and then goes on to tell him that he is acting like a beast. Didn't she ever hear of respect towrds other people's things? (hide spoiler)]
Maybe those two points wouldn't have irked me so if the story had been longer. There would have been more chance to see the character's behaviour change.
As it was, I wanted to see more interaction between Bee and Liam in the dungeon. Instead I got sort of googly eyes at the pretty boy upstairs and a riddle that made me wonder what went on in Will's head, because for a guy who spent years with nothing else to do but read his twenty-thousand-books library and look for a way out, he sure was very oblivious to the screaming obvious metaphor of the curse riddle. on the other hand, maybe he already knew what was needed to break the curse, and just to think about it. That would have made sense at least.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I like how it shows a woman's way to work for 'hell', but still...moreI got this book to review from the Read It & Reap project.
I really liked this book.
I like how it shows a woman's way to work for 'hell', but still remains a good person at heart. A person that is willing to destroy other people's hope and lives to see her family safe and secure, but still a good person.
The way Lilith's new demon powers are explained are something refreashing to me. It's not the 'normal' over-the-top powers like shooting lighting or super-strength or immortality. It's the more subtle way to seduce others to what she wants them to do. That kind of power is technically not even a power, it's basic psychology turned around to the near invincible.
It's really scary when you think about it. There are people out there in the world who do this for a living. They make people think that the ideas planted into their head are their own. One extreme of this is brain-washing, another side of it is advertising.(less)
This was a fun read. Perfect to while away some unused hours while riding a train.
Personally I thought the relationship between Gavin and Camille went a bit too fast from first/second meeting to I-am-willing-to-give-up-my-whole-life-for-you, but that is probably just a question of personal reading taste.
The ending was a bit abrupt and I am not really buying that (view spoiler)[Joel is really dead. After all, neither of the two main characters saw him die (hide spoiler)]. I've read far too many superhero comic books to believe something this drastic that is not witnessed. And even then it's not always a sure thing.
That said, I am glad there is more than one book to this story. I just want to know what happens next.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
On one hand, I really liked the fact that is is...moreI got this book from the Read It & Reap project to review.
I am not sure what to make of this book.
On one hand, I really liked the fact that is is a continuation of the story started in Amaranth. I could finally find out what happens next, this dreadful bit of emotion that makes us watch a tv series for years and years just to find out what happened with a character that was on-screen only in the first episode for maybe five minutes.
On the other hand, I really do not like that the book makes me want to see what comes in the next part of the series. Because, you see, The Gates was quite boring in my opinion. One cliche followed the next. We even got a nice and totally not unexpected return of a character previously believed to be dead.
(view spoiler)[Sadly it was not the one interesting but woefully underused character from book 1 that returned, but Gavin's mother. Gavin's mother that was held prisoner by the evil queen and made into a vampire to keep her at hand. Why said mother needed to be vampirized when apparently all Amaranthian humans can live for centuries is something that confused me to no end. (hide spoiler)]
But you want to know what really irked me? That near to anything even resembling actual action in the plot happened off-screen. Camille was told about this and that. She tells about this big motivational speech done by her guy where she was present to listen, but we get maybe ten words about the thing. She follows his lead everywhere without thinking, even though she tends to complain about said decisions.
With less words, this story had so much potential that was simply ignored it nearly made me weep. Instead I had so many moments of 'WTF?' it ruined the book for me.
People who loved reading Twilight will probably find this book pretty good. Me, not so much.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Story 1 - Shades of Grey A black-ops agent/assassin/man whose job officially does not exist is bound to a chair and tortured. This might look like your cliche James-Bond-has-been-taken-hostage scenario, but it is so much better. You see, it is not the actual plot of the story that is so fascinating, but the look into his psyche, the way he has so obviously fun while starting and maintaining a violent riot but still has enough scruples to shy away from killing children. Or his wife's lover.
Story 2 - There and Back Again A World War 2 story. As my grandfather would have said: "Starker Tobak" ('strong tobacco' in English). This story grips you hard and doesn't let you go until the bitter-sweet end.
Story 3 - Down the Rabbit Hole A story about a little boy and his toy rabbit, a toy that seems to be a bit more than just cuddly chloth and stuffing. In the beginning I thought this was just a story about the life of an abused child, but then Borger started to talk and the deaths were piling up. I still am not sure if the talking rabbit was just a figment of imagination or something more sinister. One way would be the beginnings of a scared little boy growing up to become a very scary adult. The other way is a protective avenging angel masquerading as a stuffed toy and finding ways hurt people in creative ways. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I am not very well versed in the mythology of the British/Irish islands, which is where I think some of the characteristics of this book's faeries com...moreI am not very well versed in the mythology of the British/Irish islands, which is where I think some of the characteristics of this book's faeries come from. The most I know about that kind of fae comes from Disney's Gargoyles and maybe a bit from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (this great white whale of books that I've never brought myself to finish reading and which movie version makes me fall asleep with it's gargantuan length).
Thus I come to fae lore with an open mind and a hope of great magic.
Which this book definitely delivered.
From the moment two friends on the way to their university meet a mysterious motorbike rider for the first time this book had me in its ban. The magic of woven through every word was just that - magic at its best potential.
The romance aspect of the story was not very much saccharine, which I am very thankful for. Too many fantasy or supernatural books have their main characters fall in love far too easily and without any reason.
All in all, the book is very worth a re-read and I will try to get my hands on the sequel as well. For, if you must know, I just have to find out what happens next.
A bleak future after a nuclear war. Chromosome gifted people (or as Marvel comics would say - mutants) live in the cities, apparently as some kind of...moreA bleak future after a nuclear war. Chromosome gifted people (or as Marvel comics would say - mutants) live in the cities, apparently as some kind of ruling class. Somewhere in the past there was also a war between two factions of angel decendents, which lead to all people with angel blood being considered outlaw.
A young girl tries to safe her comatose brother's life. There are intriques, mysteries, sword fights and were-beasts. There are also robotic birds and a perpetual state of being watched in the city.
All that should have made me love this book. Sadly, I am forced to admit that something was lacking from the story.
If 'When Copper Suns Fall' were created as a movie or tv series, the sparse descriptions of the culture and history would have made sense to me. The no doubt very impressive visuals of the screen medium would have been able to carry the story and made us forget that while there are at least maybe twenty characters mentioned in the book, they are mostly all just given names without anything else behind it. It would have been no problem, because we would have had a face to keep the characters apart, instead of helplessly grasping at names that mean nothing to the reader (as happened to me here).
Also what I really, really, really missed in the story was an explanation as to what the certain kinds of chromo gifted people could do. We are told that there are Trackers who can follow a person practically anywhere, but somehow they are using technology to do this. If they are some kind of human blood hounds that canliterally smell someone out, why do they need machines to do their job? The same goes with the Thoughmasters. Are they telepaths, empaths, stage actors? Or is Thoughtmaster just a glorified word for interrogator?
Then we are told that the Caduceans are good angel guys and the Tainted are the bad guys. Strangely it is the Caduceans who continuously lie/obfuscate to the narrator for her own good, or they delete her memory. The Tainted, as much as they seem to do evil things with the zombification and attemps to world domination, have not been anything but dead honest as far as I could see.
Because of this I am not so sure if our narrator is on the right side of this celestial conflict. Something just did not ring true for me there.(less)
Writing a review about this part of the Dark-Hunter series is very difficult for me because I simply cannot say why I liked the story.
There were some...moreWriting a review about this part of the Dark-Hunter series is very difficult for me because I simply cannot say why I liked the story.
There were some parts that were just so strange that they threw me out of the plot, like the bear mother wanting to see the tigard killed even though he spent years living under her sanctuary, or the far too obvious way time-travel saved the day.
On the other hand, I totally loved the fact that we get no Acheron in this book. It gets a bit annoying when the big Deus ex Machina with emphasis on Deus is always there to make everything alright in the end. This time we got a quite amusing surfer type named Savitar, who acts as something like a peacekeeper/judge/negotiator for the Arcadian/Katagaria community.(less)
In this book we meet Valerius. Dark-Hunter, Roman, and wears Armani suits to hunt vampires.
He is a bit of an arrogant snob, but that is not so bad bec...moreIn this book we meet Valerius. Dark-Hunter, Roman, and wears Armani suits to hunt vampires.
He is a bit of an arrogant snob, but that is not so bad because 1) he is very 'old money', 2) his family life was quite... hellish even for the time period he grew up in, and 3) nine out of ten times he acts the high patrician only as a shield against other people's dislike.
This guy meets a woman, who promptly stabs him nearly to death. Apparently she does this somewhat regularly as she stabbed her sister's husband Kyrian as well. Her reason: Valerius looked so much like a vampire in his black suit in that alley that her instincts ran away with her. This woman is Tabitha, self-proclaimed vampire hunter and owner of a sex shop.
There is fights in this books and glorious snark and a bad guy brought back from the dead. Family is lost and a different family is brought back together.
What is not to like in this book, you may ask? I tell you what it is. It is the fact that Acheron, first Dark-Hunter and master of the mysterious talk, is evolving into the kind of deus ex machina where even the deus has to be taken literaly. Why, oh why, does he always need to make everything 'better' for the books' plot? (view spoiler)[I could have lived with him not resurrecting and immortalizing some people. (hide spoiler)] The book's plot would have actually been more profound without that act.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Take a wolf and his comatose brother, put them in exile under danger of death. Make wolf meet his one true mate, and realize that she is only a fragil...moreTake a wolf and his comatose brother, put them in exile under danger of death. Make wolf meet his one true mate, and realize that she is only a fragile human. Cue in some shapeshifting shenigans where said wolf tries to play a human man and her trusted pet wolf, a vengeful mother at war with an equally vengeful father, and some time jumps and you have some really fantastic screwball material.
I loved it.
On the other hand, Bride's constant whining about her weight got a bit on my nerves. So what? She is a size 18*, that doesn't make her fat! From the way she is described she is well proportioned in all areas, cushioned but not flabby if you allow this describtion. A Rubens angel, to quote Vane. That is not fat, that is the beauty ideal of a curvy woman.
* I had to google the conversion of US sizes to German because our clothes sizes start at 32/34. According to wikipedia a US 18 is a German 50.(less)
This book was not as much fun as the ones before it. Oh, the story of an immortal viking warrior that is cursed to always be forgotten after five minu...moreThis book was not as much fun as the ones before it. Oh, the story of an immortal viking warrior that is cursed to always be forgotten after five minutes is mighty cool. That he falls in love with a woman born to the very people he is sworn to hunt and kill is even more interesting. But I have to admit, Wulf and Cassandra's story was not the really interesting part of the book for me.
What I loved was the look into Appolite society, their reasons to become Daimon and how there can be some Daimons that are not strictly 'evil'. The mystery around Acheron gets more and more fascinating, and it is not the fact that we don't actually know what exactly he that makes it so great for me. It's the reason why he apparently goes against his very nature to live his life as he does.
Anyway, this book had definitely four sex scenes that were totally useless for the plot. I can forgive that as it seems Kiss of the Night is the book equivalent of that 'one episode of your favourite tv show which is placed somewhat between plot points where you have to wonder if the studio only filmed it to make the season have its full number of contractual needed episodes' - a filler book, if that makes more sense.(less)
I've always had a certain weekness for the armored guys in Star Wars. Vader, Boba Fett, the Emperor's Crimson Guard and of course the stormtroopers; t...moreI've always had a certain weekness for the armored guys in Star Wars. Vader, Boba Fett, the Emperor's Crimson Guard and of course the stormtroopers; they've all been quite fascinating when I would watch the original trilogy back when I was a little one. They just seemed so... invincible, even though the body count of stormtroopers is dreadfully high in those movies.
Anyway, a long time later and George Lucas presented us with a story named Attack of the Clones. Personally I found this movie to be absolutely a bit of stilted dialogue and boring action, but it gave us something I really liked: an origin to those 'soldiers in white' that I liked so much. A while after that a video game came out with the name of Repuclic Commando in which the clone soldiers were the main characters.
And this book is technically the novelization for the game. Only that Hard Contact has nothing to do with the plot of said game. The main characters are not even the same guys, though they are clone commandos.
What the book has on the other hand is a great story about four young soldiers who, after losing their previous teams in battle, are put together to find a scientist on a farming planet. This scientist is working on a virus to kill all clones, by the way.
There is a lot of action, a bit of humour, some hints of pseudo-forbidden romance (we have one clone and a Jedi padawan interacting, after all) and one very scary antagonist. And he has to be that scary, because our clone commandos define the word fear-inducing.
But the thing that made me have problems sleeping when I read this book for the first time was not the war story. No, it was the implied back story of the clones' childhood training. That, that is the stuff of nightmares.(less)
This book has everything I like in a good story. Spaceships, aliens, corrupt establishments, and just the tiniest bit of moral sentimentality.
Some peo...moreThis book has everything I like in a good story. Spaceships, aliens, corrupt establishments, and just the tiniest bit of moral sentimentality.
Some people might say that the characters do not show enough emotions, but to me it was really refreshing to read a story where the female protagonist does not have any kind of romantic sub-plot going on. It had a kind of Ellen Ripley felling going.
On the other hand, I can already see that there could be some romance evolving between Shan and Aras in the next book.
Anyway, this book goes on my 'read it more than once' pile.(less)
I normally don't read books about angels. My first contact with such a book was so similar to Twilight in writing style that I couldn't even finish it...moreI normally don't read books about angels. My first contact with such a book was so similar to Twilight in writing style that I couldn't even finish it.
Anyway, Angelfall had everything this other book did not have. It was funny and scary. It had great action sequences and quite a fascinating mythology. Personally, I would have never expected (view spoiler)[an agnostic archangel or that the angels apparently practice slavery with their own species. And the hints about the hints about the childless Watchers being forced to hunt down and kill all the Nephilim, or their mothers... (hide spoiler)]. Good stuff.
In other words, I really liked this book and cannot wait to read the sequel.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)