What happened to the gorgeous covers of the first 2?! Don't get me wrong; it's a "nice" cover but there is some awkwardness to the image. And why the...moreWhat happened to the gorgeous covers of the first 2?! Don't get me wrong; it's a "nice" cover but there is some awkwardness to the image. And why the hands when the first 2 didn't? And that darkish coral-colored dress? Okay, maybe it's a bit more vibrant than actual coral, but....still.
But aside from the 1 or 2 annoying references to CORAL, the Dark Divine has captured my heart. I need to ride up to the top of a skyscraper and confess my adoration...although no one would probably hear me from the top so I guess the internet will have to do:
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEE THE DARK DIVINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Despain's trilogy comes to the PERFECT end with The Savage Grace. I certainly saw Despain's talent and storytelling grow with this series. I could picture the fight scenes in my mind, the pain of the characters, and even connect with the metaphor of the wolf. The conflicts and solutions were so seamlessly stitched together to an ending that wraps everything up in a nice bow (almost--(view spoiler)[ unfortunately, Talbot's still out there (hide spoiler)]. She kept me guessing with several of the characters: who's side are they really on...up until the very end. I could feel the conflict Grace felt from within and the scenes between her and Daniel...well...ahhhh...swoon.
The only things I was slightly annoyed about were: 1) the coral color--yes, I really really don't. like. it. and quite honestly can't imagine a teenager actually approving of it either. So yes, I am tiny bit worried about Grace Divine's choice of favorite color...coral-colored bed sheets? I've seen coral-colored bed sheets and they remind me of an 80-year-old woman's house. REALLY?!! CORAL??!!!!
2) Whoever proofread this may have been doing it at 2 in the morning: there were way too many missing words making it frustrating to read.
3) I had forgotten a lot of what happened in book 1 & 2 (especially all the werewolf lore) that made reading this one confusing at times trying to remember what an Urbat or Akh was, how the werewolf infection worked, and Talbot's relationship with Grace in Book 2. I think it would have been easier if I read each book right after the other.
Overall though, I'm just a sucker for paranormal romance or for wolves or butt-kicking chicks or childhood loves...But whatever the reason, The Savage Grace left me with that heart aching feeling you get after reading a story and wishing you could live in that world just a little longer. Those are my 5 STAR books.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm a little conflicted on how to review: on the one hand, I really like Derting (and so I want to give high marks; The Body Finder Series is one of m...moreI'm a little conflicted on how to review: on the one hand, I really like Derting (and so I want to give high marks; The Body Finder Series is one of my favorites) but on the other hand, this story just didn't live up to my expectations....
Charlie lives in the futuristic (I think) country of Ludania who follows a hierarchical system of merchants, servents, and royalty, all of who speak a unique language. Charlie, however, is special in that she can understand all languages and must hide this fact since citizens need to be segregated by different languages.
The country is ruled by an evil Queen who is dying and must seek out a female heir to take her place since the royal lineage and power fall on the females. War is eminent as revolutionaries try to overthrow the Queen and as Charlie gets involved with them, she must decide if she has what it takes to save her friends and the people.
The most difficult aspect of the story was the idea of a monarchy in a futuristic time period. For me, I relate queen and kings to medieval times and this just didn't work for me. I would see a scene with a castle and then the next scene would be of a type of hovercraft vehicle. Too confusing and hard for me to get a good picture of the setting. I did like, however, a new perspective on females having power instead of kings/males--as is typically seen.
The relationship with Charlie and Aron was a bit frustrating. Charlie's emotions would bounce between anger and desire for Aron. I'm not saying that she couldn't feel those emotions, it's just that the reasons for her anger seemed unfounded? (or maybe Derting didn't explain it to me fully because Charlie would get really upset for (view spoiler)[ Aron speaking in the royal language to her (hide spoiler)]...which I just didn't fully understand why. Was she afraid to get killed? spied on?...But, it wouldn't have really mattered that he spoke to her in that language because 1) she really shouldn't have understood him and 2) he's speaking in royal language so she wouldn't have gotten in trouble anyways since she's 'below' his status and he can speak however he wants.
Lastly, my biggest disappointment, was that I went into this expecting maybe something along the lines of the "Hunger Games" or "Divergent," something that screams Dystopia...and while the premise and story skims along the surface of rebellion and oppression, it just seemed water-downed and plain...something I would not have expected from Derting's other writings.
(Oh, and I'm not so sure if it was a good idea to have the author's note at the beginning to sort of 'explain' the premise of the story....it distracted me and I kept me looking for the analogy...which again further confused the setting.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
2.5 Stars I realize I'm probably a minority here...
So...I'm just a teeny tiny bit embarrassed. A couple weeks ago I raved about The Body Finder Series...more2.5 Stars I realize I'm probably a minority here...
So...I'm just a teeny tiny bit embarrassed. A couple weeks ago I raved about The Body Finder Series in "My Favorite Reads" Giveaway. And don't get me wrong...I still love love love The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead. But somehow this one took a turn around the wrong bend...
The Love Triangle: The thing I had loved about the first two books was the complete absence of ANY love triangle. It was a nice change to all the love-triangle frenzy. I loved watching Jay and Violet's relationship unfold. So you can imagine my disappointment when the only scenes in The Last Echo of Jay and Violet were short, simple dialogues and lots of kisses...(not that I mind the kisses but after awhile you forget what made them special). The entire book is focused on RAFE. RAFE. RAFE. Rafe, who reminds me so much of "Edward": dark, moody, mysterious. And surprise, surprise. He seems to only have a connection with Violet. Even down to the "electric sparks" between them...
Finally, a slow grin spread over his face. "Well, that was awkward." Violet flexed her fingers, still awed by the strange sensation rippling through her. "Do you mind explaining what the hell that is?" she asked. "You feel it too...don't you?"
Oh, please. And what is it about girls who can't just ADMIT or SEE that the boy likes her?
"They were just friends, she and Rafe, and she was worried for him. Friends could touch each other. Friends could hold hands."
Whatever you say Violet...But then she'll see Jay and it's all about "I need you Jay. You complete me..." I think I'm going to gag.
Which brings me to point #2-Violet: I missed the old Violet. Even though she had a few insecurities in #1 and #2, it really became full blown in this one. She's constantly worried about her relationship with the rest of the TEAM. And she can't seem to make up her mind about Jay or Rafe. Even in the end, she's still torn between the two! She doesn't seem to connect with her friends as much as she did in the first two...but then again, she's NEVER around them in this one. And I miss all of Chelsea's funny dialogue.
So what about the plot? Every few chapters, we read about the murderer and his thoughts. Derting really made him creepy and disturbing. While it was creative, I felt like he was a bit too sicko for me. (view spoiler)[He wants a girlfriend/wife to love him so he kidnaps them and dresses them up... (hide spoiler)]. And I'm not quite sure if I buy into the psychology of it...but then again, people do the weirdest things for the weirdest reasons.
Also the side plot of James Nua seemed out of place and unnecessary. James Nua is a killer who Violet happens to see in the police station and he's now out to get her because he thinks she knows something...
So Should you read it? I'm not sure I like the direction of where this series is going. I had LIKED the simple small town life scenarios of the first two...but now is the introduction of a whole slew of new characters and new assignments. It's like Veronica Mars evolving into CSI. And something's gone missing. Other reviewers really enjoyed this one, so I'm sure I'm in the minority but I think this is the end of the line for me. :(
PS. The title is confusing and Derting even says that herself. So there will be #4: Dead Silence.
Check out this review and more on Zombie Mommies.["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"]>(less)
I attempted this book at least 3 times and each time I've stopped on page 4.
Maybe it's because I felt like I was reading a textbook: girl 1 SAID. then...moreI attempted this book at least 3 times and each time I've stopped on page 4.
Maybe it's because I felt like I was reading a textbook: girl 1 SAID. then this happened. girl 2 SAID. The writing wass plain and the dialogue uninteresting. And why 3rd person?! Personally, when it comes to dystopia, I think it's so much more effective to write in 1st person.
I admit. I was a bit skeptical: here's a popular romantic YA novelist turned paranormal trying to sell me her story on dragons? What's the chances of...moreI admit. I was a bit skeptical: here's a popular romantic YA novelist turned paranormal trying to sell me her story on dragons? What's the chances of it being any good?
Which leads to admit #2. The first time I read it, I read the prologue. Then returned it to the library.
The second time I read it. It was glued to my hand. I was even tempted to read pieces of it at the stoplight, but figured that wouldn't end well for either of us.
So your probably wondering why it worked the second time around: maybe I wasn't in the mood for dragons at the time or maybe after I started chapter 1, it took on a different life than what I thought it would be. I still don't like the prologue--don't get me wrong, it is a good introduction to dragon history...but I guess that's where it lost me for awhile: I felt like I was reading an introduction when I just really wanted to get into the story. However, once the first chapter began, it changed viewpoints to one of the main characters and Hill's trademark humor and wit was completely evident...and that's what I was waiting for.
Ultimately, I am thoroughly impressed that Hill/Rallison can write equally as well in such a different genre. Typically, I'm not a fan of 3rd person, but Hill did it in such a way that I felt as if I were in each of those characters. Each of them had a unique and distinct personality: a difficult feat for a book with so many characters. Like other writers, she could have stuck with to stereotypical character mold: here's the snobby rich girl, here's the bad boy, etc.. But she didn't. She added and changed those stereotypes so that you really get to know who that person is. Plus, she also introduced me to my next fictional boyfriend: Can I have flying lessons too?
If you are interested in a modern take on dragons filled with romance (yes!) and want to see some cool fighting powers, then get your copy now! But be forewarned, you may not ever want a dragon for a pet.
(I haven't seen anything about a sequel anywhere on the web and will be heartbroken if I can't read more!)
Insurgent took me on a roller coaster ride filled with terrifying dips, twisty corners, and an end that left me hanging on for more. Needless to say, I didn't want to get off.
For me, this trilogy has been a study of humanity: what persuades us to survive and how we view human nature. Insurgent is dystopia at its best. At the heart of this story is conflict and turmoil; more specifically, Tris's personal conflicts. As Tris tries to make sense of her decisions and choices from that last scene in Divergent, her sanity and worth are put into question.
In this war among factions is a sixteen-year-old girl who has shot one of her friends dead, watched both parents sacrifice their life for her, and is now expected to survive in world that is crumbling. And she deals with that grief in ways that made me want to scream and pull my hair out...but at the same time, I got it. Because don't we sometimes try to avoid pain with pain? Don't we sometimes just want it to all END? And sometimes don't we punish ourselves from guilt?
The hardest part for me was to watch Tris make decisions that I suspected would turn out badly. I couldn't believe some of the situations she put herself in as punishment or compensation for what happened.
I watched secrets and mistrust tear people apart. I watched betrayal and lies. But I also saw love and forgiveness heal. It was a journey that Tris HAD to take, and it made for a more realistic and deeper character.
I love love love Roth's writing. I fell right in with Tris's emotions. I was kept on my toes the entire time. I couldn't read fast enough. And the haunting surprise at the end?! Why oh why to have to wait another year!!
One of my favorite series. Ever. I hope it's yours too. Plus, Tobias is hot.
Meyer definitely changes things up with this sci-fi spin of the traditional Cinderella story. While there were elements of the original story (the "ev...moreMeyer definitely changes things up with this sci-fi spin of the traditional Cinderella story. While there were elements of the original story (the "evil" stepmother, the mean stepsister, servitude, a royal ball, a prince), thankfully, there were also some new ideas: a loving stepsister, a plague, a Cyborg foot instead of a glass slipper ;). So really, Meyer deserves a round of applause for making Cinder less than traditional.
Unfortunately, while the concept was intriguing, the execution needed a little help:
Cinder: As a cyborg, Cinder is part human/part machine and according to society, is seemingly less than "human." But while there were scenes and details that depicted discrimination towards Cyborgs (mostly only to her), I just plain couldn't relate. For me, I never felt like Cinder was less human...which stems greatly from the fact that in our present society, we don't look at humans who have mechanical parts (metal arms/legs, plastic heart valves, electronic pace makers) as less than human; in fact, we graciously praise those scientist for making it possible for these humans to live. Now, if Cinder's society is an extension of the human condition, then--based on what we know today--why would I consider Cyborgs inhuman? What made her society view them as such?
Since Cinder's character as a cyborg was such a key part to the story, this depiction of her made it extremely hard for me to understand WHY certain characters treated her as such. For me, Meyer, needed to expand on what I already feel today and change it so I can relate to her character's behavior.
New Beijing: Again, Kudos to Meyer for adding a little multiculturalism. However, the setting of New Beijing needs something more than a booth of buns and Asian-type references and names. What makes Beijing, NEW Beijing? And why Beijing? (In my mind, I kept envisioning Hong Kong--with it's bright lights of skyscrapers and electronics.) So, again Why Beijing? Who are the people living there? Why is there an emperor? Describe to me the smells, the food...give me a little background so I know where I am!
Lunar: As the story progresses, we are introduced to a competing society to earth: the people of Lunar who (you guessed it) live on. the. moon. While the introduction of another colony is intriguing, there wasn't much background to their existence except that they were an advanced human race that lives on the moon and can manipulate bio-electric energy to make you do what they want. And maybe I'm being a little picky here but...how do they live on the moon? Do they live in space stations? Is there gravity/air? The reason I ask is because in a later scene when pictures are taken of them, they appear to be STANDING STILL (not floating) on the moon without any helmets. ???!!!??? Also, why is Lunar and Earth at war with each other??!
I think the main interest of this story is it's adaptation to the traditional tale. Otherwise, the story line is predictable within the first few chapters, the introduction of lies that induce conflict is getting tiresome to see in story after story, and the lack of empathy for the mc makes this book lacking.
Again, I do applaud Meyer's sci-fi adaption and the bionic parts that make up Cinder, and the writing is decent (considering that it's in 3rd person--which I don't favor) so overall, I would give this 3.5 STARS. Interesting and somewhat enjoyable to read (if you can ignore the predictability)...I think I will read the next installment to see if there's improvement to the character/plot but it was still somewhat of a disappointment to me.(less)
Plagued with guilt over her twin brother's death, Araby tries to escape her subconscious at the Debauchery night club. Outsi...moreAs seen on Zombie Mommies.
Plagued with guilt over her twin brother's death, Araby tries to escape her subconscious at the Debauchery night club. Outside the entire world is broken. The "weeping sickness" is only kept at bay through porcelain masks (I can't help but imagine "Darth Vader" type coverings), worn only by the wealthy and prestigious. Araby's father is the inventor of these masks and as Araby's world begins to crumble by those that seek power, she must decide who or what she's capable of fighting for.
Based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe of the same title, Griffin took an idea and grew it into a fascinating and complex story. This is one of the very few, if only, steampunk stories I've ever really held onto. Carriages that run on steam; new inventions with a feel of the 19th century. The world is spot on for gothic dystopia: dark, dreary, foggy...so Edgar Allen-painted with so much imagery and feeling that I could clearly picture the devastation and turmoil.
Also, try saying debauchery without getting the chills.
But what really struck me were the characters. Talk about complex. To explain, let me refer to a post I came across by Laurie Halse Anderson in which she discusses characters who have dimension and depth. Masque of the Red Death is a perfect example of those characters. Araby, Will, and Elliott all behave both admirably and despicably. Which if done poorly can make a reader go crazy but here Griffin balances their character traits so that you realize no one is absolutely good or absolutely evil. Mind you, there were some parts that made me go "huh?" but for the most part, it kept me on my toes. At times I couldn't help but wonder if given the choice, what I would decide.
My only discontent or puzzlement I have with the story is that the "Red Death" is not introduced into the plot until much later. I was a bit confused because I thought the masks were to prevent the "Red Death." I'm not so much bothered that it stopped me from enjoying the story but I think it would be an interesting idea to discuss.
If you are in the mood for a dark and captivating story, check this one out. I definitely think it's one to put on your to-reads shelf.(less)