Sadly, I wasn't as enamored of this book as I usually am of her writing. I think she needed a better editor, one who wouldn't be afraid to say, "Yes,Sadly, I wasn't as enamored of this book as I usually am of her writing. I think she needed a better editor, one who wouldn't be afraid to say, "Yes, Nora, you've written a gajillion novels, but perhaps we can clean up this writing a bit here because no one knows what you mean, and also, this character's constant judgement of self and passive attitude could maybe be toned down just a bit, hmm?" There were several times when the very Nora-esque way that she put something made it almost too oblique, and I felt like I was straining to understand what the meant, the imagery implied, etc. It was like she was so involved in the story in her head that she forgot the reader wasn't in her head with her. There were times the dialogue that felt really forced, as in "let's dump some information in here," and there were certain words that were repeated several times - like the word "starter" for appetizer, and a few others I picked up on - that pulled me out of the story, frustrating both my reader and my editor sensibilities. It's little nuances like that, that make the difference between a good editor and a careless editor, a rushed book and a strong finish.
Also, according to Goodreads this book is 350 pages, and yet I don't feel like I know the characters that well. I have all the pertinent details, yes, but I don't feel like she went in-depth on any of them. There were just as many characters in both the Three Sisters Island trilogy and in the Circle Trilogy, and yet I didn't understand these characters half as well yet. I'm having trouble articulating what the difference was between those two previous trilogies and the start to this one, other than to say that overall it felt like a weaker offering. The heart wasn't there yet, what made these people tick. Just their height and hair color, etc.
I can only imagine the pressure Ms. Roberts must be under to churn out books millions of people around the world love to read, but I would rather the writing and the editing have taken a little longer to deliver a stronger product than what this felt like, which was she wrote it, and then they put it to publish. I have hope the rest of the series will bring greater clarity of character, because at the end of the day, if I don't care about the characters, I'm not going to want to read the book(s)....more
**spoiler alert** Having enjoyed Kresley Cole's adult novels, I was interested to see what her YA would be like. It's definitely smoldering, in more w**spoiler alert** Having enjoyed Kresley Cole's adult novels, I was interested to see what her YA would be like. It's definitely smoldering, in more ways than one. The heat between Evangeline (Evie) Greene and Jackson (Jack) Deveaux sizzles on the page, while the real burning fire of the Flash - the end of the world event that has killed almost everyone on Earth, turning the survivors into evil creatures called Bagmen who eat anything with liquid, or plain ole cannibals, or power-hungry militants - is gruesome enough to give you nightmares. Among the few non-evil survivors are 16-year-old Evie and the motorcycle-riding, whiskey-drinking, bad-ass bad boy Jack.
**SPOILER ALERT. PLOT DISCUSSED**
Former schoolmates from opposite sides of the bayou in Louisiana, the book opens with Evie talking about what happened in the week leading up to the Flash, the end of the world as everyone knew it. It's the first week of school and as one of the most popular and richest girls in the county (cheerleader dating the hot quarterback, etc.), Evie is trying her hardest to pretend it's business as usual. What she's concealing is the summer she spent in a mental institution, drugged and brainwashed into denying her psychotic episodes. She sees things - burning skies, plants that come alive - and often sleepwalks while having nightmares. Her mother sends her away, denying everything, and Evie is forced to play along. Everything is okay at first, but despite taking her meds, the hallucinations begin to happen all the time, and the voices in her head - voices of other teenagers - just won't stop. She also can't stop the fleeting flashbacks to a memory of her grandmother who used to tell her about Tarot; the characters were real in her grandmother's stories, not just symbols on cards. Add to all that the pressure her boyfriend is putting on her to have sex, the intense attraction and dislike she feels for new kid Jack Deveaux, and Evie is a hot mess.
Then the Flash happens, the scorching sun burning everyone and everything exposed. Evie and her mother were able to hide in their basement, but almost everyone else they know wasn't so lucky. With supplies running low, Evie makes a desperate discovery - her blood brings plants to life. Secretly tending a garden in her barn, Evie tries to not feel desperate at her mother's weakening condition, the rumors of the military and cannibals heading her way (not sure which is worse - to be repeatedly raped or murdered and eaten?), and she has no way out. Until Jack Deveaux rides up on his motorcycle one day, just ahead of the approaching army. When her mother dies in the night, Evie agrees to go with Jack on one condition - he take her to find her grandmother who Evie secretly thinks may have some of the answers to her hallucinations.
Evie has begun to realize that Tarot is real, that the voices in her head are really the voices of other teenagers who represent other Tarot characters, and that Evie herself is one of them. Along the way, Evie & Jack pick up other teenage survivors - Matthew, Selena, and Finneas - who Evie recognizes as other Tarot characters. It seems each Tarot character has a choice, whether to fight on the side of good or evil, though Evie has a hard time recognizing this battle within herself. As Evie, Jack, and the crew continue on their dangerous cross-country journey, they are fighting an uphill battle against almost everything - limited food and water, the Bagmen, the cannibals, the army they have to avoid, and most of all, their attraction to each other. Jack and Evie have an undeniable connection, Matthew loves Evie but like a brother, Selena wants Jack, while Finn wants Selena. It's all raging battles and raging hormones as the crew tries to adjust to each other, their powers, and what to do next. Both Jack and Evie have secrets to hide, and despite all they've been through, both don't quite trust each other. As Evie gets closer to realizing just who and what she really is, she realizes one of the things that scares her the most is that Jack will reject who she may turn out to be - she's not just the Poison Princess, she is the Empress, the one who will win over the other Arcana, the other members of the Tarot, by seeing them all dead with their glyphs written on her body....more
**spoiler alert** Melissa Marr hits it out of the park again in this book that took everyone – herself, her publisher, and her fans, as she was not sc**spoiler alert** Melissa Marr hits it out of the park again in this book that took everyone – herself, her publisher, and her fans, as she was not scheduled to release this year – by great surprise. What’s not so surprising is that if this book had any amount of graphic sex in it, it would be shelved in the paranormal adult romance section. It doesn’t, making it both appropriate and perhaps a tad disappointing for readers 16+. What it doesn’t have in sex, it makes up for in spades with magic and witchcraft, casual and purposeful violence, harsh emotional realities, and that romantic and sexual tension that can only be created by two people destined to be on opposing teams while being together. When you’re introduced to a centuries-old battle between witches and daimons, what else can you expect?
**Spoiler alert! Plot discussed!**
Mallory is, unknown to her, the missing daughter of Marchosias, ruler of the daimon world. Hidden for 17 years by her birth mother, Selah, a daimon Watcher, and her adopted father, Adam, a very powerful witch, in the Earth realm, Mallory was raised to hate and fight against daimons. Adam has used his magic to keep her from knowing her true daimon self, and that she is why they keep moving so often. He also uses magic to erase her memory of fighting the daimons Marchosias has sent looking for her, and that the new boy, the first boy, she has ever liked, is in fact Kaleb, a cur from the daimon realm, a part-time assassin hired to discover Mallory’s whereabouts, and one of the final contestants in the fight-to-the-death competition held at the Carnival of Souls. Once he does meet Mallory, the game changes, as they are both unprepared for the connection they have.
Kaleb recognizes Mallory as his mate, and when Adam goes missing in the daimon realm, Kaleb will stop at nothing – even aligning himself with Aya, the half-witch, half-daimon child of Evelyn, head of the Council of Witches, and Aya’s familiar, the daimon Belias – to help Mallory travel to the daimon realm, explore her daimon nature, stand up to her birth father Marchosias, and save her adopted father Adam.
I can’t help but be reminded of the machinations of the ruling families during the bloodiest years of European history, and half expect to see these twisted plot lines in a Showtime series like The Tudors someday. Earth vs. daimon realm, witches vs. daimons, parents vs. children, love vs. hate – all face off in Melissa Marr’s newest book, first in what is sure to be a trilogy or series....more
I had the chance to read this in manuscript form when I was interning at HMH. LOVED IT! It is the best kind of female fantasy heroine. Can hardly waitI had the chance to read this in manuscript form when I was interning at HMH. LOVED IT! It is the best kind of female fantasy heroine. Can hardly wait for the rest of the series....more