I quickly devoured C.S. Friedman's Wings of Wrath because I needed to know where it was going next. While Feast of Souls was Kamala's story, Wings of...moreI quickly devoured C.S. Friedman's Wings of Wrath because I needed to know where it was going next. While Feast of Souls was Kamala's story, Wings of Wrath gives the rest of the cast a lot more to do and care about, and the book benefits from it. In my opinion it benefits from spending less time on the petty politics and actions of the Magisters, with the stakes much higher. I felt even more sympathy for Siderea this time, and I'm very happy with Gwynofar getting out of the castle and more into her own agency.
The fate of all of humanity is actually at stake, not that everyone realizes it yet. While the Guardians are still training for the prophesized return of the Souleaters, even they don't know the true origins and reasons for what they do, and this time the Souleaters are invading in a different, smarter, subtler way than anyone expected.
Wings of Wrath's mood really reminds me of 70's-early 80's fantasy-sci/fi: the darkness, the awe and beauty combined with repugnance, the involved sexuality. (It's also nice that while the book uses euphemistic terms for sexual actions you can actually understand what's going on. In some books it gets so euphemistic that it's impossible to tell.)
I'll definitely pick up the next book, Legacy of Kings.(less)
Child of a Dead God by Barb & J.C. Hendee was involving and a fast read, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the last book, Rebel Fay. While I...moreChild of a Dead God by Barb & J.C. Hendee was involving and a fast read, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the last book, Rebel Fay. While I appreciate that their mission involves a lot of travel, I felt that too much of the book is devoted to everyone suffering and often starving as they trudge along on foot.
Still, Child of a Dead God has some very important events resolved, as Magiere and her group get closer to reaching the castle that haunts her dreams and contains the magical object that must be kept out of the wrong hands, such as Welstiel's, her vampire half-brother who wants it and is stalking her to get it, and the corrupt leader of the elves, who's sent some elves to stalk her party and get the object. Some characters aren't sure if they're working for the right side or if what they're doing is worth it. Many characters are disappointed by what they find out, which translates a bit to how the reader feels as well.
I'll be going on to the next book, which starts the next arc, In Shade and Shadow, to see what happens next. (less)
I'm still only here to see what happens next because the writing and Zoey annoy me so much at times. After Untamed thankfully resolved the ridiculous...moreI'm still only here to see what happens next because the writing and Zoey annoy me so much at times. After Untamed thankfully resolved the ridiculous love triangle, Hunted gets us back to Zoey toying with several guys at once while finding herself completely unable to make a decision again. Everybody wants Zoey, but I guess that's life when you're a Mary Sue!
Teenagers don't talk like this. "Bullpoopy"? Do we really need such a detailed account of all the new interior decorating in the tunnels? Also, when a new black girl and a Latino are introduced they have to talk and dress as stereotypically as possible, just as Jack and Damien must often be really femme, especially Jack, to remind us that they're gay.
When the non-boy-crazy plot moves forward with struggling against Kolona and Neferet and Stark, things are usually pretty interesting, and the books are quick reads, but if I had to pay for these things instead of read them for free from the library I wouldn't bother. (less)
Jay Lake's Trial of Flowers starts slow, and the various viewpoints can be a bit confusing at first, but once it picks up and you get used to it thing...moreJay Lake's Trial of Flowers starts slow, and the various viewpoints can be a bit confusing at first, but once it picks up and you get used to it things get very involving. In an ancient city besieged by mysterious and deadly magical attacks and threats of invasion, a few people try to save the city's people. This isn't your usual fantasy environment, though. Out of tradition some children are boxed to stunt their growth and altered to make them dwarfs, who seem to be made for administrative purposes but there's actually an older reason for the practice. There are two factions of them, the Sewn and the Slashed. The Sewn are the conservative, traditional faction, who keep their lips sewn mostly shut out of... crazyass tradition, I guess. Eyeless dead orphan children with long slavering tongues wander the streets literally sniffing out rebels. Mercenaries dressed as clowns ride strange mounts through the street. In one blurb Walter Jon Williams says, "Jay Lake is more inventive than a hive of meth-addicted weasels," and I have to agree. The City Imperishable feels like it has a vast history. The plot unfolds, gradually revealing the truth of what's going on. The section spent in the sewers in particular is very vivid and interesting to me.
I recommend the book, but there's some rape and sexual torture alluded to that some readers might find triggery. (less)
I enjoyed Barb & J.C. Hendee's Rebel Fay quite a bit, though I had some problems with it. A lot happens, our protagonists are often in danger, and...moreI enjoyed Barb & J.C. Hendee's Rebel Fay quite a bit, though I had some problems with it. A lot happens, our protagonists are often in danger, and there are very few slack sections. We and Chap learn more about his purpose and origins, while Magiere gets a glimpse of her possible, highly unpleasant future. I appreciated the character development our protagonists get.
That said, sometimes I wanted to smack Leesil very hard for how often his obsession with finding and rescuing his mother from captivity in one of the elven territories led to him stupidly putting himself and his friends into danger he knew they didn't need to be in. It's part of the point of it, but it's still frustrating to read. The parts with Chane and Welstiel don't add up to anything for this book and seem to be set-up for something in the next book, so here they feel more like unnecessary distractions. All the accent marks and apostrophes strewn throughout the names and language of the elves--such as Brot’ân’duivé, Cuirin’nên’a, Léshiârelaohk, bóijt’äna, and Grôyt’ashia--really started to get on my nerves now that the book is full of elves.
I continue to find parts of the plot interesting even as Zoey annoys the crap out of me. This can be a problem when she's the first person viewpoint c...moreI continue to find parts of the plot interesting even as Zoey annoys the crap out of me. This can be a problem when she's the first person viewpoint character all the time. She's ridiculously overpowered, so the authors seem to be trying to make her seem less of a Mary Sue by making her whiny and nearly helpless on her own. Her friends have to figure out everything for her. Everything's so haaaaaaaard. Also, her whining over having three guys attracted to her--all three guys she also finds attractive--gets old really fast.
But then I have to pick up the next book because I need to find out what's going on with Stevie Rae. Curse you, authors!(less)