I have mixed feelings about this novel. The concept of the story intrigued me, and for that reason, I'm glad I read it. I think the author could haveI have mixed feelings about this novel. The concept of the story intrigued me, and for that reason, I'm glad I read it. I think the author could have taken the story-line a bit deeper, though. I'm aware the story is written for young adults, yet this seemed a bit too white-washed even for that age group. The main character is supposed to be rather brilliant, a great debater, etc., yet her insights into her friends and family seemed rather shallow. Since this was written as a first person narrative, her perspectives were all we got.
The biggest problem I had with the novel was with the writing itself. Jumping between present tense and past tense, along with several typographical errors kept drawing me out of the story. The other problem I had was the feeling I was constantly being beat over the head with the fact that the MC was from the country. This is repeated so many times, that it became intrusive and annoying.
Despite these issues, I can recommend this story to any reader that might be interesting in dipping a toe into the Transgender world, and don't feel quite ready for a more adult and/or clinical book. There are lots of concepts and memes that are addressed that might be just the first step someone needs. ...more
I neither loved this book nor really disliked this book. It was okay for a first in a series. Lots of world-building, though I think the author missedI neither loved this book nor really disliked this book. It was okay for a first in a series. Lots of world-building, though I think the author missed out on building the paranormal society. In this book, we only have brief touches with it, which would be rather unappealing to most young-adult readers. I had a hard time relating to the MC as a teenager, also. There was something in the way she was developed that made her feel more like a twenty-something year-old, in several scenes throughout the story.
The basic story-line was interesting, and I am tempted to follow up with the second book....more
3.5 stars This seems to be a good introduction into what may possibly be a really good series. There was some character building of the main character3.5 stars This seems to be a good introduction into what may possibly be a really good series. There was some character building of the main character and enough background story to be intriguing, yet far too short to give a real taste. ...more
I picked this up for Halloween, but didn't get a chance to listen to it until today. This had originally been published in 1948, but stands the test oI picked this up for Halloween, but didn't get a chance to listen to it until today. This had originally been published in 1948, but stands the test of time very well.
A young couple, very much in love, find themselves in the wrong place, and are imprisoned and turned into vampires by a long-lived nobleman vamp. Their love for each other is the only thing that keeps them going in their new, hateful existence.
The story and main characters are both sweet and bittersweet.
The narration was wonderfully done by Bill Mills (a friend of mine, though that is not swaying this review in any way). His voice lends an eeriness that made the spooky factor of the story even more spooky. ...more
This first novel by Karen Lynch took me by surprise. It is well-written, (with a few minor typo/grammar issues -- none of which really hurt the flow).This first novel by Karen Lynch took me by surprise. It is well-written, (with a few minor typo/grammar issues -- none of which really hurt the flow). The character development is complex, with a deeply, fully drawn out protagonist. Even though the main antagonist(s) are barely present in the story, we feel their presence through their manipulations that bring so much woe to the protagonist.
The pace is fast, making this very hard to put down. Only sleep over-taking me could make me stop reading.
Many paranormal/urban fantasy stories tend to rely on certain cliches. Those cliches were absent in this story. The vampires are creepy, repulsive monsters in mostly human form. There were humans that were, in some ways, more monstrous than the monsters of the story. There were many additional creatures, such as trolls, imps, half-human/half-demons, that were fun, entertaining and added another layer of interest to the story.
The author is adept at writing descriptive scenes and emotions, allowing the reader to feel the rough forest floor with bare feet and the fear and repulsion felt by the protagonist when she is caught by the vampire, Eli. I still cringe at the image of him whispering to her.
I liked the MC quite a bit. She held many secrets, some very dark. She was not your standard angsty teen, though her decision-making skills made it obvious that she really wasn't way mature beyond her years.
I am looking forward to picking up book 2 to find out what happens to her next, and how her various relationships will play out.
I was looking for something quick and light and I found I had downloaded this some time ago. This was a light and easy read, though a bit too short toI was looking for something quick and light and I found I had downloaded this some time ago. This was a light and easy read, though a bit too short to be really satisfying. ...more
A few months ago, I read the prequel "Safe Haven". I enjoyed the story, but wanted more of the younger character, Sam. This story satisfied that desirA few months ago, I read the prequel "Safe Haven". I enjoyed the story, but wanted more of the younger character, Sam. This story satisfied that desire.
Sam, short for Samantha, is now 15 years old. Lily, her older sister, and Lily's husband, decide that Sam is ready to travel to the Continent, where Sam should find a place that is considered safe for people like her. Sam is a "Natural", and "Naturals" are considered very dangerous.
In this richly textured, alternative Victorian novel, "Naturals" have the ability to sense the desires of mechanical contraptions, such as watches, steam-powered carriages, etc. and to bring their desires to fruition. The problem is that these newly designed contraptions can be inadvertently dangerous to humans.
Sam's trip to the Continent does not go as planned and much of the trouble she lands in is of her own doing, though not intentionally.
Nat, a well-educated young lad, is learning the ropes of living on a ship that runs poorly and doesn't have the finest of crews. He makes some unwise decisions that cause him some serious problems.
The world-building is so well-detailed that I could smell the ocean air, hear the wood creaking and see the throng of life on the docks as though I was there.
Sam and Nat, as characters are interesting and feel painfully real. They are rash and naive, yet are essentially good.
When I finished reading this, I immediately looked for the next book in the series and was sad to see I'll have to wait.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this e-book for free from the author for an honest review. In addition, I personally know the author as a member of a local writing group....more
This was a very quick read, and I would give it 3 stars if it weren't for the not-very-stellar character building.
The premise sounded interesting. AThis was a very quick read, and I would give it 3 stars if it weren't for the not-very-stellar character building.
The premise sounded interesting. A girl, born a vampire, is going out into the world and entering high school, to learn how to fit into the human world. There's not any reason provided as to why she wasn't learning how to fit into the human world before 17 years of age. Maybe mom didn't feel the girl was able to exercise self-control until then. What started out as an interesting premise quickly turned into a tormented story of a girl torn between two guys.
The main character is rather naive, which is believable, up to a point. What isn't believable is that mom seems to have no concern about what her daughter is doing. This was a person who kept her daughter sheltered all these years and now she barely cares at all?!? Huh?!?!
The development of all the characters is rather weak and cliche. I couldn't build any empathy for Alice, the MC. Kai, the clingy, obsessive love interest, was not very likable. Max, the hunky interest, was shallow, and only slightly more likable than Kai. I think if more time had been spent on developing a few levels of complexities into these characters, the story would be much stronger and more interesting.
Lily has a secret she values over everything else in her life. Meeting Henry, an officer of the law, and a man that has been enthralled by her from aLily has a secret she values over everything else in her life. Meeting Henry, an officer of the law, and a man that has been enthralled by her from a distance for quite some time, puts her and that secret at great risk. Should she risk getting closer to him and possibly lose everything, including her freedom, or should she stay true to her plans to find a safe haven?
The author has created an interesting Steampunk version of Victorian England, that felt gritty and oppressive, with fantastical mechanical devices, that made for a great background for the dilemma our main characters find themselves in. What Lily holds secret is considered dangerous by others and is illegal. As noted in one of my favorite lines, "...rules troubled the good and bad alike, little caring what reasons might put them under its weight." This theme is played throughout the story, while the potential lovers struggle with their feelings and what is right and wrong.
Lily is well drawn out, with strengths that felt realistic for her time period and situation. Henry, her male counterpart, brought a nice Yang balance to the story, without being developed as some super dominant hunk like those that have shown up in many Romance novels. The relationship between the two felt credible and I grew, quickly, to care what would become of them.
My favorite character was Sam. I don't wish to spoil any fun surprises that arise, so I will just add that she was really delightful.
I am looking forward to future stories in the world that the author has created. I, especially, want to read and learn more of the Naturals and mechanicals.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this e-book for free from the author for an honest review.