Confession- this is the first book I've ever bought due to a Facebook ad. Which kind of terrifies me because this book is almost everything that I looConfession- this is the first book I've ever bought due to a Facebook ad. Which kind of terrifies me because this book is almost everything that I look for in a novel. Just add a dash of m/m romance, and it would have been perfect.
I really enjoyed the magic system- it felt different to me, although I admit I haven't read enough fantasy to really have a strong knowledge of all the magic systems used. That said, I felt like it was easy to understand how things worked, and the way it was set up put a pretty powerful stranglehold on what Ethan could and couldn't do.
I enjoyed the setting- this is my FAVORITE historical time period and there simply isn't enough of the kinds of fiction I like to read set in it. I also loved that this was structured like a noir detective novel. The only thing really missing was the femme fatal from the beginning, although you could argue that Sephira Pryce fits the bill.
Honestly, the mystery was one of the weaker elements, although it wasn't terrible. Despite the threat to all the conjurers in Boston, the sense of dread and the need for judicious speed just wasn't there for me. I also felt like the final resolution of the story was a bit slap dash- it really did feel like it came out of nowhere, despite the introduction of the characters earlier in the book. I was able to say, "okay, I guess" but it didn't really feel like an "AHA!" moment.
Despite that, I really enjoyed this read and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, fantasy/paranormal, and mysteries. ...more
I bought it because I’ve recently gotten sucked into Teen Wolf/Sterek fic and I was interested in reading more stories aThis one was a disappointment.
I bought it because I’ve recently gotten sucked into Teen Wolf/Sterek fic and I was interested in reading more stories about werewolf shifters, alphas, etc.
This was not what I wanted. I think this story is a short that fits between two longer pieces, although I’m not 100% sure on that one.
I wasn’t super excited about the alpha/beta/omega dynamic in this story. Might work for others, but wasn’t what I was looking for and seemed far more complicated than it really needed to be.
I was torn about Iain. I was interested in his childhood issues, which weren’t dealt with or really explored in this book. Since this was his book, I was hoping to get more of that, although it’s possible that it happened in a previous book. If so, disappointing.
I found him to be pretty wimpy, until he makes the decision to go after the bad guy.
I didn’t really understand his misunderstanding with Teo- I didn’t really feel where it was coming from or why he was so convinced that he (Iain) was being used, etc. I didn’t see anything in Teo’s behavior that would suggest that he was that kind of guy, and we didn’t get a lot about Iain to explain why he would think that in the first place.
We were told a lot of stuff but what we were told didn’t 100% mesh with what we were shown re: the characters actions.
I was also mad that the actual book ended at the 79% mark, and then there was a sample from the next book. I’m okay with a 5-10% sample but 20%? I BOUGHT Moon Run and I wanted a full story, not a novella and a sample. The fact that I didn’t really like the book made it worse- not only did I think the story wasn’t very strong, I felt cheated. Mrs. Skye could have fleshed out the characters, the action, the details, the sex but instead, I got a part of the next book. Ugh. No.
In the end, I found the story to be pretty boring, mostly because I didn’t really feel any kind of real connection to the characters and never felt invested in the actions that they took. Would not recommend and would not read any more books in this series or by this author, unless I got a really strong rec from a trusted friend. ...more
**spoiler alert** I really, REALLY loved the first book in this series. I loved the voice, the characters and the story itself. I forced Bear to read**spoiler alert** I really, REALLY loved the first book in this series. I loved the voice, the characters and the story itself. I forced Bear to read it and he loved it too.
We were SO PSYCHED when we saw that the sequel was out and that it was available at the library. We waited to a long time, as our poor (literally) library only had one copy.
I've finally got and finished this book and I have to say, all the hype (made by me or otherwise) has left me disappointed.
This felt like an "Empire Strikes Back" kind of story- the middle of a trilogy that doesn't resolve the story and leaves you wanting- but without the kind of punch that ESB had.
The book took entirely too long to get to the zombies. Way, WAY too long. And then the finale with the zombies felt like it came out of nowhere and was a bit anti-climactic. There was plenty of time in the book to get to the zombies faster and make that entire storyline deeper and more important than it turned out to be.
The misdirect about Lucifer as Stark's father was good but not fantastic, although if he HAD been Stark's dad I would have been done with the series entirely.
The whole "Angels are dicks" thing is getting old- Supernatural does it better and with more style. There wasn't enough with the Vigil or Alita for that whole spin to really work for me.
I think Allegra needed and deserved better than what she got here, as did almost every other character outside of Stark.
There was a lot of filler, not enough meat.
I don't know. I mean, I like Stark and I like this world and for the most part, I enjoyed the book. But it wasn't what I wanted or expected and maybe that's all on me. However, this was a let down....more
**spoiler alert** On the one hand, I liked the two main characters. I felt that Shelby started out the story lost in her life. Things had not gone wel**spoiler alert** On the one hand, I liked the two main characters. I felt that Shelby started out the story lost in her life. Things had not gone well for her and she found herself getting into trouble as she made choices that started with good, if not well thought out, intentions but turned into trouble.
She gets sent to a "Brat Camp" for the summer to help her "shape up." She is not happy about this decision, especially because her step-mother, whom she does not care for, seems to be pushing the decision.
What we see in her as the story starts is that she wants to take care of people- protect them. She's genuinely upset when Charles, Mr. Winters and then Austin disappear into the woods and it seems as though they are going to be left there when the replacement bus arrives. Her impulse to follow them into the woods because she has some knowledge and wants to help is a real thing- a true part of who Shelby is. She's not trying to be anyone else at that moment and we get to see who she is.
I liked that she was active- she made choices, even if they weren't the best. She was not constantly reacting to actions happening TO her.
I was frustrated with her choice to not voice her real feelings to her father. She never tried to get him alone, tried to sit down and talk about where her life was. On the one hand, I understand that many young adults don't feel that they can communicate with their parents in that way but watching her try to fight parental controls without ever really expressing why was frustrating.
Austin was a pretty great character. He was what I wish Edward Cullen could have been. I like that he's not hundreds of years old, that he knows and understands who and what he is, and that he does have a family where he belongs.
His issues with his father felt big, in the sense that to be disconnected from your remaining parent must be like, but it was a normal type of issue that any kid could relate to.
I like that he was a good person and he let it show. Helping Ariel when she was freaking out on the rock climbing wall was a pretty great scene and if I didn't already like the character, that would have sealed the deal for me.
There were wolf stuff seemed a bit tacked on- he needed to be supernatural and the vampire thing is just so over done- but really, I'm glad it wasn't the focus of ever interaction that they had. I liked that Shelby was skeptical but was willing to believe when she was able to see it with her own eyes.
However, there were some plot problems that keep me from truly loving this book. There are a ton of plot lines that are left hanging and not even in a good, "to be continued" way.
The scratch on her arm at the end with puncture wounds- are we to assume that he bit her? That she was bitten by someone/something else? It felt out of place and tacked on that late in the book. That there was no real hook to make me think that there is going to be another book only made it worse. It felt unfinished.
I didn't like the lack of resolution regarding her parents. There was interesting set up with the phone call from the office, esp. with how happy Pricilla sounded when she heard that it was Shelby. Also, the letter to Shelby's father- all we get is a postcard that says they'll talk?
What it really boils down to is this feels like the first half of a much longer book. My guess is that it is a longer book that was split into smaller sections to be sold over a longer period of time. Do they think that young adult (esp. young adult women) won't read a longer book? Twilight (ugh) is proof positive that they will not only buy the long books but they will DEVOUR them.
My guess is that this a profit issue- they knew they had a pretty good book on their hands with characters that a reader could really connect with but they wanted to get the most bang for their buck. The fact that the book retails at $14.99 for just over 200 pages seems like overkill.
I will read the next book- I do want to know if she's going to become a werewolf or something else. I want to see Austin and Shelby on an adventure together, out in the real world. I liked them both as characters and would love to spend more time with them. I just wish it had been in THIS book instead of additional volumes.
To sum up: Loved the characters. Great story set-ups but the payoffs felt rushed. Wish there had been more here. ...more
The first three novels of the Black Jewels series really tear at me. On the one hand, I really liked some of the characters and found the world hard tThe first three novels of the Black Jewels series really tear at me. On the one hand, I really liked some of the characters and found the world hard to look away from. On the other hand, I felt that the politics were ridiculous and difficult to really understand. On top of all that, the fact that certain races live for thousands upon thousands of years made it difficult to really connect with.
This novel, however, fared a lot better in my mind because the author expects that the reader already has some base level of knowledge regarding the series. It's a smaller story in a sense because it is about Jared and his struggle to find his way out of the slave self and into the man he was always meant to be.
While the change of Lia from young woman to true Queen is very important to the story and is connected to Jared finding himself again, it feels much smaller in scale and scope than Janelle's story in the previous three books.
Lia is not a Mary Sue in the way that Janelle was. Jared is not a Marty Stu either. We watch him make bad decisions based on his knowledge and experience and his mistakes feel real and from an honest place within him.
I do think that the author may have relied too much on the reader's previous knowledge of the world- I felt like I didn't understand distance. How far they had to travel to get back to Lia's territory, why it took so long, why taking a carriage would be so dangerous, even if they had the money. I just felt like I didn't know why the journey took so long outside of it being a tool the author needed to get her characters to fall in love.
I did like how Jared and Lia found each other and connected. It felt more real and less… pedophilic than Daemon and Janelle and based on actual interaction and personality, not just on fate.
I still think all that male "protection" and the female "issues" are a bit much. Every conversation seems to center around who has greater rank, why a Queen has to listen to a male, why males lose their minds and become almost like animals to protect women, etc. Where are the conversations about books, about where people came from, about anything in general? It felt so centered on what stamp a person wore that it got old.
Don't get me wrong- I really did like this book. I was pulled in from the beginning and was sucked along until the end. I had a hard time putting the book down to do anything else, including finishing my nano novel. While I enjoyed the book, I am not blind to its flaws.
I am glad that Anne Bishop is getting away from her core characters in this universe a bit. Never thought I'd say that but while I enjoy Daemon and the rest, it makes the world that much more real to see how other less powerful people deal with the world that they are trapped in.
There was a very real and very terrifying sense of what slavery is like in this world and the terror of getting caught by the wrong people was right there at the surface.
If you like the first three books in the series, I would highly recommend this one as well. Not perfect but a fun read and a great exploration into characters that are different (wonderfully so) than in the original trilogy. ...more
**spoiler alert** I liked Shiver a lot. I thought that the mythology behind the wolves was very well done and an interesting twist.
There was a sparse**spoiler alert** I liked Shiver a lot. I thought that the mythology behind the wolves was very well done and an interesting twist.
There was a sparseness to the writing that made it feel like it was cold and wintery. It felt lonely and bleak, like the harsh winters of Minnesota.
There were a number of what I felt were plot holes. My assumption is this- the story is written for young adults who have an idea (a fairy tale ideal?) of what young love could be or should be and the pesky rules and real world just get in the way. By removing some of the authority that should be in the lives of all of these teenagers, the author is able to let her teenagers run wild (literally) and the story can unfold as the author likes.
Where did the Culpepers' go? I have a hard time believing that Sam could be in the house for all that time and Grace's parents didn't notice. Sure, there were a few places in the story where the author made a point to show us how careful Sam and Grace were to not get caught and yet there were other times where that carefulness seemed to go by the wayside.
The extremely close third person POV was at times nice but at others, very limiting. We didn't get a lot of time with Olivia or Jack or Isabel and it would have been a much richer story if we had been able to see things from their perspective as well.
Don't get me wrong- I liked this book a lot. I liked Sam and I liked Grace. Despite other reviewers, I did not see her at all like Bella from Twilight. Grace had something about her that felt real to me. She was proactive- her entire life was not about things happening to her but Grace was able to make decisions and create change for herself.
The fact that Grace has some abilities but not all of them is interesting and I'm wondering if Sam will be the same way in the second book. The idea of fever burning out the "disease" so that you were different but you wouldn't change works for me- adds some science to the fantasy of the whole thing. I liked that the author didn't pick a side- it could be science, it could be magic but what is magic but science that we don't understand yet.
Sam made me think of Ryan from the OC with a bit of Seth thrown in, in the looks department. Quiet soul, deep spirit, smart guy but caught in a bad situation. I wanted Grace and Sam to be together but I'm not sure if it was because of their personalities or if it was their "tragic" love story.
I found myself liking Isabel, event though I didn't really want to. Not enough Rachel to have an opinion on her- she felt like a character put in the story to be the subject of a sequel, which I guess is fine but I wish that she would have had more story time. I mean, there were a few lines about Grace and Isabel going over to Rachel's to bake cookies- why didn't we see any of that? If I were Rachel, I would have thought that was weird, esp. since grace wasn't friends with Isabel before hand.
And Shelby- she tries to kill Grace and fails, gets hurt but survives and then…. Nothing? Where did she go? Why did she stop trying? She didn’t seem to be the kind of creature that thought about it logically- Sam would turn eventually and Shelby would have him again to try to make him hers. So why did she just give up?
Lots of questions that you could bring up about this story but none of them were deal breakers for me. The story was beautifully written, sexy and sweet and gentle, despite the violence inherent in the story. I did feel like there could be a true love there, between Grace and Sam, the various clues about how often they watched each other made it seem more plausible. I did think that it was a bit uneven, in that Sam knew so much about Grace and she knew so little about Sam but that's not a major quibble.
I was totally taken in by the ending. I loved it and was so sad to read that the sequel isn't coming out until next year. GAH! ...more
**spoiler alert** I loved this book, though I wasn't expecting to. I had really enjoyed the first books in the series and was concerned that character**spoiler alert** I loved this book, though I wasn't expecting to. I had really enjoyed the first books in the series and was concerned that characters that I loved would not be involved in this story.
To my delight they were in the book but what made me even more happy was that I loved the new characters as much or more than the original ones.
My only disappointment was actually a fairly large one, and that had everything to do with the end of the book. It felt as if nothing was resolved. It felt rushed and hurried, as if the author realized that she had reached a page number cap and had to finish things up in a hurry.
The issue with Saetan felt weird and out of place. The deal with Daemon and the woman who would try to blackmail him, etc. felt like a very weak threat, based on other threats that they all had faced. Granted, the issue with paternity was a big one but I never felt the true weight of that in the way that I'm sure the author intended. And for Saetan to go so crazy as a result felt very...out of character, as did the amount of effort and danger trying to get him back supposedly would result in.
If the issue was that big, why was that story line only introduced in the last 150 pages of the book?
I really loved Cassidy and Gray as characters. I didn't expect Gray to be the love interest and was pleasantly surprised when that turned out to be the case. But I was disappointed when that story line was left hanging. While I understand her point was that people can't become who they once were, there was a lot of talk about putting pieces back together and mending him and so on, so I assumed that there would be a discussion between he and Cassidy, that there would be a recognition of his healing or his journey BY HIM before the end of the book. Instead, we had outside perspectives on his behavior and the reminder that he still behaved like a teenager/child. I wanted more, if only that there was a path he was traveling and HE knew it as well as everyone else.
I wanted more resolution with Cassidy as Queen. Gray has "convinced" her to stay with his garden, but that felt like such a weak scene, based on the importance that her being the Queen has held for the whole book.
The incident at the landen market was too little, too late in my opinion and opened up so many doors that seem to be ignored.
Boiling it down, the end felt like the middle of a much longer book, with smaller resolutions that opened up doors to bigger problems and bigger answers. The characters were very rich and had so much more story in them, I was sad when the book ended and not only did I have no more time with those people but I feel that their stories were ended too quickly and without all the fanfair and true story telling that they required.
This was especialy upsetting, as the first three books in the series took way too long to tell their story and wasn't nearly as interesting to me as Cassidy and Gray's story was in this book.
There is a part of me that wonders if the next book won't answer more of the questions that I have about this story and hopefully we'll see more Cassidy and Gray but I won't hold my breath. ...more