God. God. I just finished, and... I don't even know where to begin. How do I rate this book?
This book left me smoking pissed. Part of me wants to give...moreGod. God. I just finished, and... I don't even know where to begin. How do I rate this book?
This book left me smoking pissed. Part of me wants to give it a bad rating because of that, just out of spite. But when I think about it, this visceral emotional reaction I am having, it is a reaction to the story. To a well-told story. How can I give that a low rating?
There are a lot of decisions that frustrated me in this book. I honestly found it hard to read, because parts of it were pretty upsetting. But isn't that a mark of caring about a character? Being agonized because they are going down a road you don't want to see them travel?
I am angry that March decided to hold himself apart from Jax, that his integrity demanded it (I am deliberately being vague here, to avoid spoiling my friends). And I am angry that Jax agreed to it. But... I can't argue that it is out of character. That decision, that is March, right down to his core. And Jax... the beautiful thing is that the Jax of book 1 WOULDN'T have agreed. But the Jax of book 4, she recognizes that there are things in the world that hold more value than her own personal needs.
Now, I can and will argue that they were both being stupid. That being partners means facing things together, and if the Armada can't handle that, the Armada can suck it.
But I can't argue that it was out of character, or that it in any way undermined these people or this story.
I am angry that Jax was utterly isolated by the end of this book. That one by one, the people she loves were forced away from her. But at the same time, I can see that this is essential, for Jax. That this is part of her growth.
I am livid that both Jax and March CONTINUE to make unilateral decisions - leap forward into their own plan of action without discussing possibilities with each other. I am heartbroken that they have not come, yet, to the stage where they trust each other enough to know that their love for each other won't allow them force the other to be someone who is less... less... just Less than they need to be.
I am terrified of March's devastation when he receives that transmission.
And above all... above all I am HORRIFIED that we have to sit with this cliffhanger for a YEAR.
But are any of those things marks of a poorly written book? Honestly, could the story have made me cry my damn eyes out through the last 50 or so pages if it was not excellent? The book took me on an emotional journey. And sure, it left me Utterly Furious... but I'd guess that's exactly what Aguirre wants me to be feeling right now.
So, 5 stars.
Cheers, y'all. See you in a year. Goddammit.(less)
I really loved this series, and so I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to this book. I think part of it is that the changeling/changeling roman...moreI really loved this series, and so I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to this book. I think part of it is that the changeling/changeling romances don't appeal to me as much as the psy/changeling... those totally different personality types coming together just, imo, make for a richer story.
That said, I enjoyed this. Riaz and Adria were fun, and while I could have stood for less Sienna (I know other people burned out on Sascha, but I love her... whereas Sienna just was a spoiled brat for too many books for me to really have been won over by her), I was thrilled to see the overall story continue to push forward... something I've always really loved about this series. I'm just so impressed at this lengthy series with a clear, strong direction and an exciting arc, that manages to keep moving as it flips from couple to couple with each book.
Well holy crap. It lived up to the hype. This book was delicious. Great characters, great world building, and... here's where I really have to give ku...moreWell holy crap. It lived up to the hype. This book was delicious. Great characters, great world building, and... here's where I really have to give kudos. I'm generally irritated by PNR because I hate the rotating main characters. Generally, the central characters of the first book, being the most developed ones, are the ones I love best and I'd rather just go on with their story in successive novels. But something about the Brothers... I am THRILLED to go on and see their HEA.
Kicking myself for taking so long to finally pick these up...(less)
This book is scary, intense, frustrating and heart-breaking. It takes place generations after the zombie apocalypse, and almost everyone from Mary's v...moreThis book is scary, intense, frustrating and heart-breaking. It takes place generations after the zombie apocalypse, and almost everyone from Mary's village has forgotten all the stories of the world outside their fence, of the time Before. Only Mary yearns for something more than the small village; it seems only Mary still hopes for a life that is more than just surviving. This story is intense and at times horrific, as you, with Mary, are left bereft of everything but Mary's precious sliver of hope, hope that there must be something out there beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth. And the story is a rough ride for the reader, as Mary sacrifices everything to pursue that hope. Even at the end, you can't help but wonder, as Mary must, if it was worth it. What is the value of hope? How much are you willing to spend, to feed it? In the end, Mary chooses to spend everything, deciding, I think, that if she's wrong, then its not a world she cares to live in. A book that is tough, and thought-provoking. Very definitely worth a read.(less)
I liked this book well enough (it was probably the least strong of the series to-date, because I felt like we were re-treading old storylines (...moreW T F!!
I liked this book well enough (it was probably the least strong of the series to-date, because I felt like we were re-treading old storylines (view spoiler)[enough with her being drugged to lose immunity, already! (hide spoiler)], but I was still having fun)... until the last 5 pages.
W T F ?
I freaking hate when such a strong, intelligent heroine just throws in the towel and embraces being a victim. Give me a fucking break! And Merlin... unforgivable.
A note? Unforgivable.
W T F. >.<["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Yum! I liked this one even better than the first one - I feel like the plot is a lot stronger in this one.
I also have to say that I really like that...moreYum! I liked this one even better than the first one - I feel like the plot is a lot stronger in this one.
I also have to say that I really like that Mercy isn't constantly playing the role of damsel in distress, in this series. Honestly, you can't even argue that she's the cause of the problem that tangles up the cast. In the first book, Adam was the target. In the second book, Stefan was the target. And in both books, now, she's saved her guys. Woo! Girl power!
This series is just a heck of a lot of fun. In this book, we got to find more out about the intricacies of vampire society. We got to see how Cin has...moreThis series is just a heck of a lot of fun. In this book, we got to find more out about the intricacies of vampire society. We got to see how Cin has found her place with The Righteous, and we got to meet a vampire king and queen. And we even got to see some more of Woof.
What I think I enjoyed best was seeing Cin and Michael work out their relationship. They utterly love each other, but as the newlywed-style passion wears away, they have to get down to the nitty-gritty of making a relationship - one that could literally last for eternity - work. This is something we almost never get to see in PNR / UF, and I thought it was fabulous. I really enjoyed watching 2 people who are utterly loyal to each other work through the inevitable kinks in any relationship.
And this series has a cast that I just adore all-around. Devlin and Juliana are magnificent (and I wouldn't be at all opposed to books that place them more towards the center), and there are plenty of others in the supporting cast that I have really grown to love.
The author seems to have a concrete end-game in mind, which she is steering towards with Morrigan. I can't wait to see what she has planned.(less)
To be honest, from the ending of book 3, I suspected that I would be. It boils down to Katie's martyr complex. I hate that in a...moreWell, I'm disappointed.
To be honest, from the ending of book 3, I suspected that I would be. It boils down to Katie's martyr complex. I hate that in a character. I hate that other characters are reinforcing it, particularly because it doesn't make sense ((view spoiler)[frankly, if Merlin is so concerned that Owen might go all dark-side, he should be THRILLED that Owen is in love. An emotional connection to someone - the feeling of compassion and concern for their well-being - makes him more of a good guy, not more likely to be a bad guy. (hide spoiler)]).
I hate that in the end, it boiled down to (view spoiler)["Well, Katie, you're apparently always going to be a victim that needs to have a super hero babysitting you, so you may as well be with Owen." And even worse, I hate that Katie AGREED with that assessment! (hide spoiler)] In earlier books, Katie was a smart, innovative heroine, who made great use of her different perspective on the world to show that she didn't need super powers to make a difference. What happened to that? Now she's just a pathetic weakling, but hey, we like you, so stick around. And she rolls over for them to scratch her belly. Seriously, WTF?
I hate the way everyone treated Owen. Firstly, the guy does NOT need more kicks to the ego. Frankly, I think that Merlin and team are well on their way to turning him into Darth Vader, by berating him for all his mistakes (even things that aren't mistakes), berating him for being compassionate, and doing their best to isolate him. They are all clearly scared of him. Does that actually help him? No. And he's such a good guy, it would be great if the people in his life stopped treating him like a whipping boy. I think he should tell them all to piss off and go live his life somewhere, letting them deal with the mess. They deserve it.
This was a fun second book in the series. Overall, as I mentioned in my review for the first book, this is a world that feels largely familiar, with a...moreThis was a fun second book in the series. Overall, as I mentioned in my review for the first book, this is a world that feels largely familiar, with a few tailored details... but it works for me. And it was great getting to see more of the world of Faerie. I will be interested in finding out more of Alex's heritage, as the series goes on.
I'm wary, though, of the love triangle. Love triangles have just never been my thing. Most of the time, it is because there is an obvious right choice, and we are just drawing out the inevitable... and the heroine seems lame for being undecided. In this series, prior to the second half of this book, I thought that was the case here - Death was, to me, the obvious choice. But I'll admit that Falin took several big strides forward to me in the latter half of this book, and I can see him as a reasonable choice. So I will say that this feels like a legit triangle - 2 fair options. But I am still wary because... love triangles are just always a recipe for giant smoking piles of melodramatic angst. We'll see how it goes.
I will say, though, that I wasn't a fan of (view spoiler)[the "warning flag" we got in this book, with the corrupted collector / changeling love story. Firstly, it felt half-assed: we know NOTHING of their circumstances. I mean, really. Drawing conclusions like that would be like me saying "well, Romeo is a boy, and Juliet is a girl, so clearly, being in love with any boy will always end in tragedy and death." No. Could Edana make the collector solid when they touched? That right there would be a big difference. I would guess no, since the collector was SHOCKED when Alex made him solid. If the author is using this to set up "and this is why the two of you can never be" (as the one collector said), then she needed to give the readers more details on their situation. More parallels. Right now, we got squat. That on top of some implication that people who were trapped in the dance were put there as some kind of "jail" (the fairies at the Bloom told Alex this), so there is reason to believe that Edana wasn't much of a good guy to begin with. Anyway, eh. I just wasn't fond of the way this was suddenly treated as a lesson for Death / Alex, with all the subtlety of an anvil to the head, with no actual reasoning given. *shrug* (hide spoiler)]
But that said, I am still definitely having fun with the series, and plan to read on.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was a fun start to a new series. I loved the details of the world, it felt so rich and realistic. Dystopia is always fascinating to me... I love...moreThis was a fun start to a new series. I loved the details of the world, it felt so rich and realistic. Dystopia is always fascinating to me... I love reading about the kinds of societies that struggle together after the modern world crumbles to dust. Something about modern people being reduced to an almost medieval lifestyle is just really fascinating.
Though I wish Aguirre had been less of a miser with some details. What happened? (view spoiler)[We are given indications of a virus... a generation nearly wiped out, sickness a constant fear, and that brief glimpse of a heading indicating that the CDC has failed to develop a vaccine. But who are the Freaks? They eat the dead. The Topsiders called them Muties. How did the virus cause this? Why do they seem to be evolving? (hide spoiler)] I imagine these details will unfold as the series progresses, but I am greedy, I want to know now!
The one thing I struggled with, which I tend to really struggle with in YA, is the relationship building. The immaturity of the characters tends to be frustrating, as they try and understand the complicated emotions in a budding relationship. That frustration is generally accompanied by a fair bit of angst and melodrama (see: Fade's brooding over Deuce's cluelessness). I really would have liked for them to figure SOMETHING out before the end of the book, make SOME progress there. Also (view spoiler)[the triangle-vibe related to Stalker was mildly nauseating. He's not a good guy. He hunted them. He planned to rape Deuce. He headed up a gang that he allowed to gang-rape Tegan and other girls. I am not saying he can't change - I like complicated characters that evolve in a solid arc. But that kind of change - a change to his entire worldview - doesn't happen over the course of a couple days or weeks. He's dangerous, cold, calculating, and wouldn't risk himself to help them. He shouldn't even be contemplated as a possible pair to Deuce without some serious evolution to his character, and when the book teased that direction, I was irritated. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, I am definitely looking forward to reading onward in this series. When is the next one due out? ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I don't buy Hancock's line that Grace was never the mission. That's bull. If it was true, the...moreI liked it - this is a fun series - BUT...
(view spoiler)[I don't buy Hancock's line that Grace was never the mission. That's bull. If it was true, then it would have never come down to Grace healing Elizabeth. Hancock claims he only needed Grace to get a meeting with Farnsworth, but then why didn't he shoot the man the minute he walked into Farnsworth's office with Grace? Mission complete. Booyah. So... I call bullshit.
Also, I missed the Kellys. Don't get me wrong, Rio is a great hero, but the secondary cast is literally the best part of this series - they flesh it out in a way that is just a joy to read. With Rio not being a Kelly, we got pretty much zero secondary interaction with the Kellys.
Lastly, meh. I don't know why, but I liked Shea better. And I resent that Grace was all over Shea's book (not literally, but the constant "she's so much more important and talented and amazing and wonderful" blah blah... yeah whatever, I get it) but Shea was pretty non-existent in Grace's book. Why on earth is Shea not equally valued? Why were both books pretty much entirely about the acquisition of Grace? Dude, in the kind of real world setting these books take place in, I'm pretty sure that the discovery of a woman actually capable of telepathy would excite some interest. It's just weird to me that she was a second-class citizen in her own book, and I had hope that in Grace's book she would get back some of her own... but nope. It's all about Grace. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I never really got into it. I don't know why. I felt like I was waiting for something to happen for most of the book.
Firstly, the relationship stuff.
It felt off to me. We got a lot of reminiscing / ranting, from Corine's POV, about what a cold bastard Chance used to be, and how she poured her heart and soul into their relationship the first time around. But the Chance that we, the readers, meet... is TOTALLY different. For the first 95% of the book, he's Mr. Sensitive: all puppy-dog eyes, heart on his sleeve, behaving like a kicked puppy when she treats him badly. And through that same segment, she is the cold, detatched bitch that she accuses him of being - despite the fact that the dude's ***mom has been kidnapped*** she never misses a chance to put him down, make him feel like crap, or just generally kick him in the teeth.
Two things happened towards the end of the book, and honestly, they both felt pretty ham-handled to me.
1 - Chance reveals that he was in love with a "gifted" woman before Corine, and she died. The implication is that he held himself back from Corine when they were together out of some kind of screwed up self-defense. This received all of one page of discussion, and frankly is something that he should have brought up waaaaaaaaaaaaay back when he first showed up and expressed that he wanted her back. Sort of along the lines of "I fucked up, here's why..." The way it was handled, it felt... odd. Tossed off. A minor point. When in fact, it is a MAJOR point. THE point, even.
2 - In the aftermath of Big Battle #1, and through Big Battle #2, Chance inexplicably becomes a douchebag. Okay, not exactly. But as I said, through 95% of the book he was so attentive to her, caring, affectionate, everything anyone could want. Recovering from the battle, despite her injury, he gives her not one iota of attention. And he takes off on his own during Big Battle #2. The impression we are left with is "hey, here's that douchebag we have been hearing about all book long." But WHY? It felt... utterly out of the blue, and horribly out of character for Chance. It was baffling to me.
Then we have the plot.
It wasn't bad, but it wasn't... well, it wasn't there. I mean, for 313 of the 316 pages in this book, I had no fucking idea what was going on. I am not even kidding. There was this necro warlock dude. And he kept attacking them. For the life of me, I have no idea what brought them to his attention, anyway. And also, given that in the last 3 pages of the book, when Chance's mom stands in the middle of the living room and explains the plot to us in a monologue, she says she put a spell on the bad guys so that they could never harm Chance, I don't entirely get why they were being attacked at all. But that aside. The plot went like this:
Chance's mom (Min) was kidnapped. --> While investigating, Chance and Corine are attacked by Necro Warlock Big Bad. They don't know why. --> As they continue to investigate, they keep getting attacked by the Necro Warlock Big Bad, who apparently isn't very good at his job. --> They start to wonder if Necro Warlock Big Bad may be connected to Min's kidnapping. Reader wonders WTF is going on in this book, but is fortunately too distracted by relationship drama to spare it too much attention. --> Random huge dude shows up, claiming to be God's Hand, here to smite evil. Says God sent him to help in their quest. --> The team (Corine, Chance, Hand of God) troop off to attack Necro Warlock Big Bad compound (Big Battle #1). --> They win. (Hand of God prolly made this a forgone conclusion.) --> Still no mom, however. Dead warlock appears to be involved with human trafficking. --> Because Corine fell and hit her head on a Montoya tombstone, they look into this Montoya guy. (there is a lot of mysterious, is-it-God coincidence in this book, FYI) --> the team (Hand of God in tow) hit the Montoya compound (Big Battle #2). Rescue mom. Never see Montoya. --> At home, in the last 3 pages of the book, mom tells us WTF happened.
Now, maybe I am spoiled, but... I like my story unfolding, as opposed to spoon-fed. I like to guess at who the bad guy is, or what the plan is. Midway through Big Battle #2, about ... 20 pages, maybe, from the end of the book, I realized that I had no freaking idea what was going on. Like, our characters are shooting Uzis at dudes in this Latin American compound, and I didn't really understand how we had gotten there.
And also, there was a ... psychic? Magic? Super-dog. Is it God? Dunno. And a dude I suspect may be Stephen Hawking, astral projecting in on occasion to help them out.
And I am more sad because I picked up the second book along with the first, at the bookstore. Now it is sitting on my shelf, giving me eyes. But I don't wanna be baffled by another book! Do. Not. Want! :(
(And for people who wonder at the 3 star rating... my scale is a little weird. I think I have to adjust it down a little. 1 star = didn't even finish it. 2 stars = why, God, did I finish this? 3 stars = Eh. I finished it, it didn't hurt too much, parts were mildly entertaining. 4 stars = woo fun! 5 stars = holy crap, everyone must read this.)(less)
I have been waffling back and forth all day on this book.
On the one hand, there was some fun stuff going on. This world is an exciting one, w...more***3.5***
I have been waffling back and forth all day on this book.
On the one hand, there was some fun stuff going on. This world is an exciting one, with some twists on old monsters (zombies and shapeshifters are a little bit different than we have seen them in other places) and an explosive framework as the relatively newly revealed "monsters" fight on the world stage for basic human rights. Things are touch-and-go for them right now. In some states (for example, New Hampshire) they have no rights at all - any human is free to kill them at any time, for any reason. They have less legal status than animals. A fairly horrific scientific group has set up shop in New Hampshire, where it happily rounds them up for experimentation / torture, and no one really bats an eye about it.
Massachusetts, the location of this book, is friendlier to them than most states. That's because of Deadtown. Because the PAs (Paranormal Americans) played a huge hand in helping the city handle the zombie catastrophe, they were rewarded with a sector of the city that they can call their own, and with a smattering of basic (very basic) rights. It is still a far cry from a good situation, but it is better than most, and it is a good start. In this book, they are on the eve of an election with one of the candidates running on a "get rid of all the monsters" platform.
So that's the world. As I said, I found it exciting. But beyond this, I had a lot of problems with the book.
I didn't find the heroine to be very likable.
Vicky was pretty TSTL. She barreled her way into some dumb situations. She was constantly making idiotic assumptions (view spoiler)[- she spent easily 1/3 of the book assuming her boyfriend had tried to have people kidnap her... instead of realizing that it was one of the BAD GUYS who had much better cause for such a thing. (hide spoiler)]
I also had a major problem with her lack of interest in the world. Let me clarify that a little bit. Personally, I have a problem with people who refuse to participate in their government / society. Too many people just can't be bothered to even go vote, and then whine about "how can these horrible things be happening?!" I have no patience for that. I have even less for Vicky. She is part of a group of people that are in a very precarious position, as I described above. Her boyfriend is one of the big fighters for PA rights - he has devoted his life to trying to get laws passed that would allow PAs to survive in this world. But Vicky can't be bothered. She states over and over that she is not interested in politics. I am sorry. This is, to me, like a jewish person that can't be bothered to protest their treatment in Nazi Germany. We are talking about survival, here. If that can't motivate you to get off your lazy ass, then what will? I don't see why Kane stayed with her; were I him, I would have found her disgusting.
She's also tremendously whiny, loves to jump to conclusions (that are nearly always wrong), and just generally a dumbass.
Somebody please go all Left4Dead on Tina, please, for the love of sweet baby Jesus.
I can't stand her character. Teenaged zombie, who is repeatedly the worst kind of spoiled brat, and does things that make dangerous situations very much worse on MORE than one occasion in this book. And not one single time does she actually face consequences for her actions. Not once. In fact, in the end, she is actually rewarded for her worst, most selfish and dangerous action in the entire book. This only reinforces what I was saying about Vicky above: she's a fucking moron. It is really hard to root for a fucking moron. This is a fundamental flaw with the book. Vicky has agreed to take Tina as an apprentice. 99% of the people in the world that are capable of breathing without drooling on themselves could tell you that this is a bad idea. But Vicky is still planning to go ahead with it. And that, again, tells you a lot about Vicky.
For the record, I also hated: Vicky's sister Gwen (again, total dumbass), Juliet, the Goon Squad, Frank Lucado, Vicky's aunt Mab, and I am not sure what I think of the good detective Daniels. I also wasn't impressed with Kane early on, but wound up on his side, and once I realized what an asshole Vicky is, I realized that Kane was correct all along. It is really hard to get into a book when you think so poorly of most of the characters.
I am not sure why I plan to read the next one, but I do. I guess I just want to see what happens in the world. And I want to cheer for someone to chop Tina's head off.
I don't know why, but I just couldn't get into it. I kept putting it down and finding something else to do, which NEVER happens with Ilona Andrews and...moreI don't know why, but I just couldn't get into it. I kept putting it down and finding something else to do, which NEVER happens with Ilona Andrews and me. *shrug*(less)