For the most part, I enjoyed this book and am enjoying this series. My one big criticism is that - like a lot of UF, admittedly - it is taking the alp...moreFor the most part, I enjoyed this book and am enjoying this series. My one big criticism is that - like a lot of UF, admittedly - it is taking the alpha male thing too far.
I don't like Lucas. At all. Yes, maybe she shouldn't have stayed with her grandmother for three months, but here's the deal: he doesn't get a say. She'd known him for like three days. I don't care about the magical hooha bullshit that means apparently she's his fated mate. She knows nothing about that, nor about pack structure. She's not responsible for whatever trouble is going on in your pack - she didn't ask to join, nor did he ask her to join. Lucas is taking a lot of shit for granted, and he's taking unforgivable advantage of the situation. He tells her nothing, and uses her as if she's his pawn. He's, in my opinion, even worse than Sig. He has no right to act the way he's acting, and frankly, I wish she'd kicked him in the nuts.
Yes, she's giving Lucas a little bit of a hard time, but nowhere near as much as I think she should be. And when (view spoiler)[Desmond showed up and informed her he was moving in with her - she got no say in the matter at all - (hide spoiler)] well frankly, that was completely unacceptable to me. I get that her relationship with Desmond is a little softer, but he's there not by anyone's choice, and they can both fuck right off. The fact that she accepted it is baffling to me, and it seriously undercuts her character. If I wanted to read a series where sex makes everything forgivable, I'd go back to Anita Blake.
Secret is not a badass to me. She's a tool that is content to be used by anyone who is interested in picking her up. Whether it is a vampire or a wolf. If she doesn't mature pretty quickly and demand that she's treated with respect - by everyone - then I won't last much longer with this series. Because while I like it and the world, I'm so unhappy with how she allows herself to be treated that I can't really enjoy it much. She lets all these assholes negotiate with her life as if they have a right to it. It's presumptuous of them, and it makes me literally loathe them. And think less of her. What has the werewolf king given in exchange for all he's taken? Nothing. I'd tell him to take his pack and shove it up his ass, because I'm not interested in his leash.
If this doesn't change, I'm out.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I enjoyed this one. Yes, it is a bit bulky with character introductions, and yes, some of the detail was surprisingly thin. But the world is interesti...moreI enjoyed this one. Yes, it is a bit bulky with character introductions, and yes, some of the detail was surprisingly thin. But the world is interesting to me, and I'm curious about the backstory and deeper arc hints that we did get. So I'll be reading onward, to see what happens.
I will state that my Anita Blake warning bells were ringing, though. As long as she doesn't develop this magic power of I-must-have-sex-with-everyone-in-a-six-foot-radius-and-no-one-can-be-upset-cuz-it's-magic-lol, it will be just fine. But I'm definitely being cautious.(less)
Yes, the heroine is a little slow on the uptake (but less slow than everyone treats her... I can't tell if th...moreI adore this series. Completely adore it.
Yes, the heroine is a little slow on the uptake (but less slow than everyone treats her... I can't tell if that's deliberate cleverness on her part - she let's them assume she's less bright than she is, because it makes her less than a threat - or if the author is just working hard to keep her feeling naive and thereby more lovable), but it doesn't bother me. I like the flow of intuition and instinct, that she doesn't always know logically what she's doing, but when she lets go and does what she feels she needs to, she's able to function best. I get that it means that we as the reader don't always directly understand what is happening, but I actually like that. I like it because I feel tied to Kaylin, as if her journey is my journey. The words, at those moments, breeze through me in an almost poetic way, and though I don't always grasp exactly what they mean, I feel their weight and rightness.
It is honestly an impressive thing for the author to be able to do.
I am worried for every single one of the main characters, and I can't wait to read onward.
Ugh. Honestly, I'm surprised that I finished it. I love MacAlister's sense of humor, and generally enjoy her books, but this one was a miss for me. I...moreUgh. Honestly, I'm surprised that I finished it. I love MacAlister's sense of humor, and generally enjoy her books, but this one was a miss for me. I didn't like either the hero or the heroine, just overall the story felt meh.(less)
Overall, I really liked it. But there was one plot point that I actually hated, and I am having a hard time not fixating on it to the point where it r...moreOverall, I really liked it. But there was one plot point that I actually hated, and I am having a hard time not fixating on it to the point where it ruins the whole thing for me.
I'm alright with him being a dick - fine, fuck that guy. But bad guys happen, fine. But a couple things about that situation infuriate me.
Firstly, Cady's reaction. She just completely lets him cow her. I get that this is a scary secret for her, but in reality it isn't that big a deal. Lon knows. And frankly, she's not the only one with secrets. Why didn't she say "really, motherfucker? Okay. You expose my secret. And when you do, when the press are in my face, I will summon and bind your ass, right there on live TV. Guess which secret the world is going to find more mind-blowing? Shall we find out?"
I mean, there's a lot she can do to protect herself here. Frankly, Dare assumed from the outset that she could banish an Earthbound - that was his original instruction to her - so I'd be practicing up on that skill, and maybe practice it on Dare.
The bottom line is, her total passive behavior here was a HUGE turn-off to me, and felt so wildly out of character that I was actually shocked. On the first read of that scene, I said "wait, what?" and had to re-read it because I thought I must have missed something.
And then Lon. I don't understand why there is no scene of her telling Lon this, and Lon freaking the fuck out. Lon got her into this situation. And given that his father was co-founder, Lon should have some control here. And if he doesn't, well, (view spoiler)[Jude can sure have some control over that situation. (hide spoiler)]
Above all, I was just really disappointed that these two very strong characters were totally out of character dealing with this plot line. Lon seemed to be completely unfazed by it - (view spoiler)[I honestly thought he didn't know, until Dare did that whole "I own you" bullshit RIGHT IN FRONT OF LON (hide spoiler)] - and Cady was transformed into this whimpering spineless mess. I HATE it.
The book is a 5, but that situation is a 2, and the worrisome thing, for me, is that as that situation plays out (and it will, Cady has pretty much resigned herself - in the very last chapter, she (view spoiler)[seemed pretty resigned to being the "official Hellfire magician" (hide spoiler)]) it could easily ruin the entire series for me.
I liked it - fun start to the series. Though I expected the twist at the end... not sure why, or what prompted me to "go there", but it certainly didn...moreI liked it - fun start to the series. Though I expected the twist at the end... not sure why, or what prompted me to "go there", but it certainly didn't diminish it for me.
It's a weird experience reading this immediately after gobbling down the Kara Gillian series, as there are definitely similarities. But this book and world is definitely unique enough that it totally captured my interest.(less)
The last book felt so huge that this one feels smaller by comparison. But that's not really fair - I think it is more because I literally tore through...moreThe last book felt so huge that this one feels smaller by comparison. But that's not really fair - I think it is more because I literally tore through this series, reading the whole thing in a week... and book 5 really shocked me. Anything less jaw dropping was going to feel smaller.
That said, some significant things get sorted out in this book, and there are also some huge events. We don't get the consequences of the biggest of those events - (view spoiler)[What does it mean that Ryan/Szerain has the dagger? What is going to happen to poor Zack? And are we done with the Rowan arc now, because that has loomed overhead for too long, and I'm ready to be done thanks? (hide spoiler)] - but I'm okay with that. We've had a hell of a lot of plot movement (overall plot) in the last book and a half. I'm alright with keeping some of the big plot threads dangling here.
The reason for the 4 stars instead of 5 is going behind spoiler tags.
(view spoiler)[I think the Mzatal arc in this book was a cop out. I do understand that he was never really in the running for The One for Kara, he was more... comfort food, after her horrible experience. He has a fatherly vibe (not in a skeevy way, but as in a caretaker), and I have really enjoyed their connection - Kara needed someone to care for her. And she needed to care for someone safe. That said, I feel like the dramatic temperament swing he has in this book comes way out of left field, and is a convenient way to clear Kara's plate (so to speak).
Also, I'm not sure I trust Szerain. I do like Ryan, but now he's some weird Ryan-puppet, and... he honestly just creeps me the hell out. (hide spoiler)]
I do really like the threads laid for where Rowland is going with the story, though, and I'm excited to read on. It's really a fantastic series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I burned through this series - completely burned through it. Three books in three days.
It is fantastic. I've read the reviews where people say it is a...moreI burned through this series - completely burned through it. Three books in three days.
It is fantastic. I've read the reviews where people say it is a bit derivative of the Kate Daniels books. I will admit I felt a lot of that in book 1 (and it didn't bother me - I love those books), but it truly grew into its own amazing thing in book 2, and by book 3 the comparison didn't even occur to me.
I loved this book. I loved how gritty things were. I loved that the author didn't allow any quick fixes to the terrible events that ended the last book - I love that our characters are going to work through it, and it is going to take time.
I love that Kit isn't an idiot. She doesn't always make the best choice, but when she doesn't, you understand why. Yes, I'm talking specifically about (view spoiler)[her bond with her sword. I don't believe it is gone, and she's an ass for not taking these healers at their word - Es, of all people, wouldn't have given her false hope. But that said, I get why she hasn't tried yet. She was brutalized, broken, and the one thing that was truly hers was torn away from her. She isn't trying because she's SCARED. What if it doesn't work? She's scared to hope... and then have that hope be dashed. (hide spoiler)] And that's okay. I get that, and from an emotional standpoint, I'm right there with her. She can take some time. She deserves some time.
Just like she deserves time with everything else. She's jumping back into her life with impressive resilience in this book - but we still know it hurts her, we know how much it costs her - but it is wrong for her (or anyone) to expect her to be miraculously fine.
Fortunately, everyone understands that... perhaps even more than she does.
Fantastic series, officially being marked as one of my favorites. Can't believe I have to wait 6 months for the next one. :(["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm having a really tough time rating this one, which is why I think it merits a more substantial review than I usually do.
I liked the story. I was pr...moreI'm having a really tough time rating this one, which is why I think it merits a more substantial review than I usually do.
I liked the story. I was pretty riveted, and barely put it down while I was reading it. I liked the mystery and suspense. I liked the characters. I was gratified that while they made some regrettable choices, neither of them did anything that was TSTL. I liked that their past mistakes were completely reasonable, and no one was more or less at blame for their situation - they were just victimized.
To be totally transparent, contemporary romance is not generally my thing. It has to be either really witty (like some Julie James) or suspenseful for me to stay interested... otherwise it is just too cheesy for me. Fortunately, this book hit those buttons just right.
But there were 2 things I struggled with.
The first (and more minor of the two): the fated mate stuff was a bit repetitive. Yes, yes, I got it already, everyone always knew it was going to be Feb and Colt. Colt and Feb were an item from the time when they were just a twinkle in their mamas' eyes, apparently. It isn't that I object to the idea, but... it was said probably 400 times in this book. It began to feel like a damn anvil.
The second (and much more problematic for me): the narrative voice. It was in this forced stream of consciousness with an not-incredibly-correct southern twang. There wasn't a lot of punctuation and the dialect felt wrong to me (as a midwestern girl, I'm familiar with how people talk outside of Indy, and they don't sound like they're from Kentucky, in my experience). I could live with the "accent" being off, though - I honestly probably wouldn't have noticed it, if I didn't have to spend so much time back-tracking to reread because the lack of punctuation made me lose my way. I know the author was going for a rambling internal tone of voice on the Feb chapters, and generally I like the more speaking-style narratives, but I really struggled with this. It ended up making the book feel reaaaaaaaally long (though it actually may have been really long - I'm on a kindle, so I have no idea what the page count is). The story was exciting, so I kept with it, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't find it frustrating.
So I'm giving it a 4 for story, but a 2 for narrative voice. I just liked the story enough that I don't have the heart to really down-rate it for that.(less)