Four stars because it's THIS series, but if it were another series...it would get three stars, max.
1. Eden is an immature, stupid, impulsive child. I...moreFour stars because it's THIS series, but if it were another series...it would get three stars, max.
1. Eden is an immature, stupid, impulsive child. I expected her to mature in this book. I expected her to beg for Izzy's forgiveness. Instead, Brockmann throws in a bunch of excuses that supposedly let her off the hook. And, Izzy does SO MUCH apologizing to Eden!!! Over and over he has to apologize to her! She does completely stupid things and then he has to apologize to her for calling her on it. Any time she doesn't get her way, she runs away, often into danger. Izzy deserves better. All she has to do is cry (which happens in pretty much every scene)--AND, Brockmann constantly tells us that Eden is "stoic" and hides her emotions.--um, in what world are you living!?!?!?!! This "woman" bursts into tears every five minutes and then runs away, slamming doors like a toddler.
2. Ben. He was fine at first, but then he started acting all self-righteous, bossing people around and telling them how to live their lives. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when a side character butts into the business of the two MCs, telling them how to act, and it's even worse when it's a freaking KID telling them! What right does he have??? AND THEN, there's the thing he does toward the end: (view spoiler)[Goes out to get himself kidnapped! The idiot! HE KNEW baddies were after him. (hide spoiler)]
3. The cliches. In 99.99% of romance novels, at least one character threatens the life of the hero - "I'll kill you if you hurt her" etc... Why does that have to be in EVERY book? I find myself waiting for it to happen. Is it in some rule-book?
HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE NOVEL 101
Step 1. Make the heroine a whiny, I-turn-independence-into-bullheaded-idiocy, immature b**ch.
Step 2. Have at LEAST one character threaten to murder the hero for no reason whatsoever.
Step 3. Throw in a stupid kid who acts more like an adult than the heroine, then have him boss the MCs around, telling them how to live their lives (since we all know 15-year-olds know EVERYTHING about relationships and totally have the right to tell adults what to do, since they clearly are smarter).
Step 4. Remember that heroine? Yeah, make sure she bursts into tears in EVERY SCENE! You can't have a strong heroine unless she also has a vulnerable side, aka she tends to act like a 10-year-old. Also, be certain that the heroine's tantrums lead to the hero begging for her forgiveness, even though he's done nothing wrong.
Step 5. If you're going to have two couples, this is what you should do: Make ONE of the men likable, and ONE of the women likable. You CANNOT have more than TWO likable characters. This is important. You don't want your readers to like or relate to the characters.
Step 6. The UNLIKABLE hero, aka Hero #2. Make sure he's an a-hole up until the VERY LAST PAGE. Have him hold onto irrational anger and hatred for no reason. He needs to INSULT his heroine, too, and make her feel insecure. Also, he absolutely HAS to hate the other hero and heroine for no reason. Preferably, have him call the other heroine a whore or slut throughout the book.
Step 7. Let the "other" heroine get her revenge on Hero #2. What you want to do is set it up so she thinks Hero #2 is physically abusive, and have her accuse him of this to his face for extra drama - be sure the whole situation is unrealistic. For example, set the scene up like this:
Hero #2 is attempting to push his heroine out of his path, but then somehow he accidentally punches her in the face. Now, we know that her shoulders are not on the same level with her face, so we also know this is borderline impossible. Perfect! I know I grab someone's shoulders with clenched fists! All the better to GRIP onto said shoulders!
Step 8. Continue the theme of Heroine #1 throwing pity parties for herself, and have this lead to the hero apologizing to her some more. Now, this is very important, so read carefully: It is ESSENTIAL that the heroine come off as ridiculous, self-pitying, immature, whiny, stupid, and ungrateful. AND construct it so your readers are on the hero's side, but then have him grovel anyway. Why? Readers LOVE when books make them so mad they want to rip out their own hair. In addition, have the heroine say something like "You are not allowed to look at me anymore" while screaming at the top of her lungs in one of her tantrums, but ALSO have her boss the hero around to make her a hypocrite, 'cause who doesn't love a hypocrite? AND, have her say "I hate you" to her hero over and over, like a little kid. Remember, make her A TOTAL witch. Have her cry while she's being a witch so no one can get mad at her for said witchiness.
Step 9. Throw in an irrelevent subplot just because you can, and also to add more drama and force the book to be bulkier. Have the subplot be really, really annoying, and have it go nowhere until the VERY end. Make sure each time you switch to the subplot, you essentially write the same scene over and over. For example:
Create a little illegal immigrant girl. Have her evading baddies. Every time she's on the scene, make sure she's either A. running away from baddies, B. running away from the good guys, or C. spying on the baddies. Try to make all the scenes feel the same, and make the girl have the same exact thoughts during every scene, too, because readers like to be bored and annoyed at the same time.
Step 10. Sprinkle in little things here or there that are sure to annoy your reader. Have your likable hero portrayed as the bad guy and your unlikable heroine as the good guy. Have your likable heroine forgive your unlikable hero for everything he does after he says "sorry." Don't have him elaborate.
Step 11. Your unlikable heroine must also be REALLY FULL of herself. She must constantly think about how beautiful she is. Have her dwell on how she can never get a job, because no matter where she works, guys will be pawing her. Have her say the only two places to work are McDonalds or a strip club. No other stores exist. Now, we all know pretty women go to work all the time without getting pawed and having hands stuffed up their shirts, but that doesn't matter because we want this to make no sense. We want readers to be thinking: Well, I'm considered pretty...why don't I have this problem? Or, I know someone gorgeous, why not them? WELL, because NO ONE is as beautiful as EDEN! DUH!
Step 13. Give the unlikable heroine a long, drawn-out, extremely ridiculous sob-story so all the characters will think she's awesome! As a bonus, have every single male character in the book, save for Hero #2 and his little gay brother, be a pervert who forces the heroine (view spoiler)[into some type of sexual situation. (hide spoiler)] Have these sexual situations be unavoidable and make her be seen as a hero.
Step 13. In the end, have your unlikables both be just as unlikable as they were at the start. Maybe give them a few moments of nice, smart, kindness, but then forget it! They're back to being jerks.
Step 14. Have this book be the last in the series (for now, at least) so that people will already like the series, and won't be able to give it a low rating, since, well, THEY LOVE YOU!
Love Izzy and Jenn. Hate Dan and Eden. I did enjoy the book because I love this series and like I said, Izzy and Jenn. Dan had a few redeemable moments, while Eden had maybe one, but all the same it WAS interesting, and there were moments I really enjoyed. Plus, Izzy is hilarious. It so completely annoyed me, though, hence my 101. That being said Brockmann's talent is in creating unique, stand-out characters, whether they're annoying or not. I've NEVER read about characters like ANY of the ones in this book--or this series, for that matter, so three stars for that alone, really, and one more for Izzy. No doubt she's an amazing author and I'll pick up anything she writes in the future. Oh, and despite what I said about the subplot, I do love Nisha. I want to adopt her haha.
I really don't mean this review to be totally negative. It really isn't a bad book. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
All I have to say is Adrian better be in this series, and he better find someone to l...more118 days, 30 hours, and counting...
IT HAS A COVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All I have to say is Adrian better be in this series, and he better find someone to love him, or else I'm going to have to jump into the book and make him mine.
Update: According to Mead's blog:
Bloodlines is the spin-off series to Vampire Academy (it's the name of the first book and of the series). It's set in the VA world but will be about different characters: Sydney (our narrator), Jill, Eddie, and one of the love interests from VA. I'm not saying who that last guy is, but it's mostly to protect those who haven't read Last Sacrifice. If you have read it, then it should be pretty obvious who the other character is.
So, clearly, this means it is 100% confirmed that Adrian is in it, so YAY!!! Thank you!!! Also, it sounds to me like it will be in first-person, so I'm not sure why it says otherwise on here, but we shall see!
Mary. So, I wasn't expecting to like Mary, but I really did. She's kind, loyal, smart, caring, tough, sweet, and just everythin...moreOoookaaaay.
Mary. So, I wasn't expecting to like Mary, but I really did. She's kind, loyal, smart, caring, tough, sweet, and just everything I like in a heroine. If she's made a mistake, she admits it. She's very insecure around Rhage at first, and I could completely relate to her. It was great watching her slowly fall for Rhage and slowly start to believe that she's worth it, and that, to Rhage, she is beautiful. The way she could tame his beast...amazing. So sweet. I just really liked her and liked reading about her and genuinely cared about her.
Rhage. In a word: yum. Okay, but shallowness aside, I adore Rhage. Seeing his POV was very elightening to me. We find out a lot about how he feels about all the woman he sleeps with, and I really began to sympathize with him. He just seems like a genuinely good guy, despite his fiery temper. Every time he came back from his beast form, I just wanted to hold him close.
Bella. So far, I really like her. She's very gutsy, and I couldn't believe how well she stood up to Zsadist. Those two are gonna make a great couple. She seems caring as well, and I can tell she's the type to go after what she wants no matter what.
Zsadist. I was pretty excited to get some time in Z's head. I already knew he wasn't the soulless monster every thinks he is, but it was still awesome to have it confirmed. He's just so interesting. I want to know everything about him.
Just a little rant about Phury. I know I'm supposed to feel so bad for him b/c he has to deal with Z, and I do sympathize with him, but I think he crossed the line when he said Zsadist was ruined and blah blah blah there's no hope for him...they just have to wait till he dies....etc...Sorry, but I really didn't like that shit. Please don't bite my head off for saying this!
John Matthew. Hmmm, I have some suspicions about him. Anyway, he's all right so far. He's currently sort of pathetic and pitiable (and I don't blame him for that), so I can't wait to see how he develops.
And a little bit about Butch here. I actually liked him in this book. I can't lie. After that scene toward the end where he talks to Z...I just like him better now. That is all.
Mary and Rhage. Perfect. Seriously perfect. And I thought Wrath and Beth had chemistry? These two are so perfect for each other I can almost taste it. I just think they make such a great couple. I actually really liked that the brother everyone says looks like a model ends up with the not-too-attractive Mary and really makes her believe that she is beautiful. These two help each other so much. She accepts him for who he is and helps with his beast, and he does the same for her--minus the beast. When I think of love, this is what comes to mind. It did take Mary quite a long time to finally admit she loved him, but I wasn't too bothered b/c it was just so obvious throughout. She had a few tstl moments, but other than that, only once was I bothered by her. This was when Rhage needed to feed and Mary was skeptical. She actually considered telling him not to feed, which I think was stupid, since he'd die otherwise. I think she made too big of a deal about that whole thing. I get why she was uncomfortable with it, but the fact was he had to do it to survive, and she shouldn't have made him feel so bad about it.
I can already see the chemistry between Bella and Zsadist and can't wait to start their book (in twenty minutes).
I want to say that the Scribe Virgin pisses me off. She's creepy. Had to get that off my chest. Seriously, if I saw that broad, I'd run away screaming.
This could have been a five star book. I'll start with the bad and then move to the good. There isn't much bad anyway.
1. Wynter. I do like her, but a...moreThis could have been a five star book. I'll start with the bad and then move to the good. There isn't much bad anyway.
1. Wynter. I do like her, but a few things annoyed me. I didn't mind that she started off arrogant and cold/calculating, because it was fun to watch her grow, however, two things bother me about her. The first is that she is homophobic and basically comes right out and says she might not love her brother if he were gay. That made me icky toward her--I don't care about the time period or how she grew up. Secondly, at one point she actually FORGETS that one of her friends is being held in the dungeon at night, possibly being tortured. Who would freaking forget something like that?
2. I like Lorcan, Wynter's father, but I feel there was way too much of him. He's in 99.99% of the scenes and sometimes I felt like everything in the book was revolving around him. That's not to say I didn't feel sorry for him, though. Also, not enough Christopher. I know, I know. Wynter is the main character. But come on. SEVEN Christopher-less chapters. No. Nope. I'm not having it.
ONTO THE GOOD.
I like the world. It's unique and eerie and just really cool. I haven't read anything quite like it before. It's magical.
And the characters. They're all very unique and full and real and have so many hidden layers.
I could have killed Razi on a number of occassions for being a complete a-hole, and yet I still like him and feel so much sympathy for him. Should I kick him or hug him? Yeahhh.
As for Chritopher. OhGod. He begins as a character who seems like a stereotype, but that's because Wynter immediately begins judging him and putting him into categories and thinking she knows his every secret. Now, I loved him from the moment he stepped on the scene, but the more I got to know him, the more I wanted to steal him for myself. He's just so. Freaking. Sweet. He has no right to be so honorable and kind and funny and caring and loving and smart and AHHH. I almost want to eat him. Except no. He needs to be my husband. Anyone have magic powers to pull characters out of books, huh, huh? The scene where he's telling the story to a little boy in the palace. Holy God. WHY? He kills me. And the way he says 'afeared' or 'mortal feared.' So freaking cute.
Okay, okay. Moving on. I cried quite a few times reading this, mostly in relation to Christopher, but also about the terrible things that happened to some of the ghosts. I won't say what it is, but I didn't even know OR like one of the ghosts, but I felt so damn bad for him and was bawling my eyes out. That is how you write, people. You make your readers feel things other than annoyance.
This scene ensues when a little 'spit boy' asks my darling Christopher how he lost his two middle fingers.
"They were eaten by a bear," whispered Christopher, with such easy conviction that for a moment Wynter believed him, though the story was patently ridiculous.
The child's eyes showed silver under his lashes again and he peered at Christopher across a huge chasm of sleep, not sure if he believed him. Christopher breathed another soft laugh. "I was fishing for flies..." he said confidentially.
"Aye." Christopher's thumb kept up its easy stroking of the little forehead. "Ain't you never fished for flies?" The child shook his head, his eyes closing despite his best efforts. "Huh," said Christopher, "how do you feed your frogs then?"
Christopher straightened and then chuckled as the sleepy little voice said, "Don't got me no frogs."
Christopher bent forward again, murmuring low so that Razi and Wynter had to strain to hear. The fire shot blue and lilac highlights through his curtain of black hair and outlined his chin in gold as he said, "Oh, you must get some frogs, lad. They are excellent good companions."
"How you fish for flies?" the boy mumbled.
"Well..." Christopher's scarred hand lay on the side of the small head. "You just dip your fingers in honey and wait. "'Course, I fell asleep, didn't I? And when I woke up, that bloody bear was making off with my fingers. I chased him, of course, and he dropped all but the two that are missing. And your good Lord Razi, he sewed the others back on for me, because he is a great doctor, and a most excellent man."
"You know what the worst part was, mouse?"
"Those two fingers had all my best rings on them. Now, whenever I see a bear I follow him home to see if he's shat out my jewels."
The child squeaked out a little laugh of delighted revulsion. "Ew! You roots in bear poop!"
"Silly boy," tutted Christopher, "I use a stick."
Oh how I love this boy book.
Christopher (With short hair and modern clothes, of course ;)
Wynter is not good enough for Christopher. She's likable enough in this book, but pretty terrible in the next one. She's sooo full of herself, as well...moreWynter is not good enough for Christopher. She's likable enough in this book, but pretty terrible in the next one. She's sooo full of herself, as well as being ashamed of Christopher.
I'd like for Wynter to be real so I can beat her up. Really. She needs a good knock to the head. She has NO idea how lucky she is to have a guy like Christopher.
Five stars because I adore Christopher and he was in this book a LOT. Otherwise, there was a bit too much crazy drama/depression. Human sacrifice? Fine. Humans being sacrificed coming back as ghosts for further drama? No. It was too much even for me. There's a point when death can be overdone. By the eightieth uncalled-for death (usually always a man, since Kiernan has issues with killing women), it got to be a bit much. For a book that has no war in it, it certainly has enough deaths for one.
Additionally, I don't like Razi. I know I'm the only one, but he's grumpy 99% of the time and he's often very cold an aloof and his actions counteract his supposed traits. He's supposed to be selfless, but he's actually really selfish and childish most of the time. He puts his own hardships above everyone else's and doesn't even realize it and no one else realizes it, but sure. Sometimes the characters feel almost too real, and I literally feel their emotions and become extremely stressed whenever one of them is upset, which is on every page, of course. The characters and the setting. And, for an epic fantasy, it's far from boring. Usually with these types of books, you have to slog through three-hundred pages of boring descriptions, so thank God for none of that.
Despite this, the characters are so real that I can't help being entranced by them, even if most of them piss me the hell off.
As for Wynter...girls who cry for sympathy get under my skin. (less)
Here is Wynter (her name is so perfect; suits her):
Wynter is terrible in this book. Really. Her initial shame of Christopher made me sick. She also ha...moreHere is Wynter (her name is so perfect; suits her):
Wynter is terrible in this book. Really. Her initial shame of Christopher made me sick. She also has many thoughts about how she wishes Christopher was suffering. Who the hell would want that? What's wrong with her? God, she so does not deserve him. At one point Chris is falling asleep with a cup of scorching tea in his hand, and she laughs to herself, hoping he'll drop it on his lap and burn himself. If it was cold, MAYBE that would be funny, but otherwise, no. She's like a little She Demon.
Okay, so. I didn't like this book. The only reason it gets as high a rating as this is for Christopher, my dear, darling, wonderful Christopher. It started off okay, then became very boring. Alberon is an asshole and remains that way until the end, so I wasn't interested in his character. Razi is selfish and jerkish in this one, too. He turns Christopher's vengeance into something about benefitting himself and the kingdom, rather than having it be FOR Christopher, which may sound okay, but since Razi always puts the kingdom ahead of his friends/relatives, even though he's not even a prince or a king, this is just more of the same. It would be nice if he actually did something FOR his friend and his friend alone.
Wynter is worse than Razi. She cares waaaaay more about strangers she's never met than her own boyfriend or brother.
There were many more unneccessary deaths and a ridiculous bout of amnesia that was just a plot device to bring Wynter to center stage, which didn't even work well, since Wynter has gone downhill in this book.
The characters seemed to grow stupid in this book as well. Chris was hardly in it, which was a mistake in my opinion, since most of the characters are unlikable, and when he WAS in it, he wasn't even acting like himself.
Then there's the end. What was up with that? It goes on and on and then just ends. I swear, Wynter was running toward someone for a good three-hundred pages, even though the person was RIGHT THERE. And THEN, the man who claims to be Chris' father chooses to rescue a DEAD BODY instead of Chris. What the heck? Chris is lying there bleeding to death, and the guy ignores him to pick up a dead body and run away with it? Um, no. That's not how things are done. Grieve later, unless you want to be grieving for two people instead of one. Idiot.
And the epilogue? Yeah, it needed to be there, but from the POV of someone we'd never met before? Why? Stupid. Which makes sense, since all the characters were idiots. Jonathon was basically a gorilla/baboon, except not as smart. Alberon was so dumb his head was almost deflating, since his brain was absent. He was either being dumb or strutting like a peacock.
When reading this, I was either bored or pissed off at either Wynter, Alberon, or Razi. I did not enjoy it. There was ONE funny line in the whole book, since Kiernan decided to take away Chris' sense of humor so she could concentrate on Alberon's meanness and arrogance.
It really annoyed me how Razi wouldn't correct people when they called Christopher his 'property.' It's so absurd, because Chris is a better man than anyone in this whole book, and yet he's treated like crap and people think he's not good enough for Wynter, just because her father, who was a carpenter was given a courtesy title by the king. So the heck what? Yes. I get that titles were sooo important, but it sickened me how even Wynter felt this way. As if SHE deserved better? Good joke, Wyn. The lengths to which you do not deserve Chris are so immense they could make a planet.
Also, at one point in the story, a HEALER tells Wynter it would be a good idea to kick Chris in the head next time he lost his temper. Even Wynter was like, Huh? So the lady justifies herself by saying, "Men are men." Um. Yeah. She's a genius, this one. Men are men! Really!?!?!? Wow! I never would have guessed! Men are men, so women should kick them in the head! That makes perfect sense! ...Ohman.
I don't think it's a smart idea to make your narrator the least likable of the main characters.(less)
I don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feeli...moreI don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feelings" garbage, but she turned out to be an awesome, caring, kind young woman who, with Ryan's help, really grew as a person. Their romance bloomed from friendship, which is the best way. Jenna's dad, though. Oh, man. If he was my dad I'd have run away from home when I was her age! And don't get me started on Ryan's mom.
She has two sides. I loved her at first, and then...But Cole was awesome. I love how he was Ry's mom's boyfriend, but also really cared about Ry as his own son. Meh. I'm gushing. Just read it. (less)
Roden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, n...moreRoden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, no, won't you please be my bestie and the captain of my guard instead? Roden: YESYESYES! A thousand times yes, MY LORD! *falls down on knees* I never really could have killed you!!!
Okay, I am so confused. I mean, did I miss something here? Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. Jaron/Sage is my man, and I adore him like no other. The new characters, especially Fink and Harlow, were awesome. Seriously, the characters in this book are a vast improvement from the last one, in which it was basically Sage vs. The World.
The one thing I don't really love is Imogen. She's all right, but to be honest she comes off as a bit bland and uninteresting compared to Jaron. I feel like someone else would suit him better. I don't think she can match up to him. Sure, she can get angry and "have words" with him, but it never really feels to me like they are on the same level, and NOT because she is a servant. I like the servant/king forbidden love stuff, but Imogen's personality is just too run-of-the-mill, so she really fades into the background.
I feel as if Jaron could really banter away with the right girl. Of course, this will not happen, but since I'm not in this for the romance I don't mind.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the glimpses we got of Jaron's softer side, of his inner child, the child wanting to be loved unconditionally, wanting his parents to be warmer to him. I think that really made me sympathize with him on a very deep level. His decisions come across as totally rash, uncalculated, and based more on emotion than logic (although he claims otherwise). I mean, do you really want the guy who just broke your leg and almost caused your demise to be in charge of your guard? Just because at one point in time you didn't hate each other?
My memory may be failing me, but I never felt as if Jaron and Roden were friends in the first book. I thought Roden grew to tolerate him at best, but Jaron seems to think they had a nice bromance going on. Is it just me? Maybe I need to do a re-read?(less)
1. Maggie actually DEFENDS CLAY!!!!!!!!!!! When her friends are treating him like crap and judging him unfairly,...moreI'm only going to make a few points.
1. Maggie actually DEFENDS CLAY!!!!!!!!!!! When her friends are treating him like crap and judging him unfairly, she actually defends him. I'm sorry, but this is the first time in my life I have ever encountered a heroine who stuck up for the guy she loved. It was because of this that I was able to truly believe her love for him, able to believe in their love for each other.
2. Clay has issues...that are not solved by love. Seriously. When he gets together with Maggie, he's not miraculously cured.
3. Their relationship works because Maggie is strong as hell and can totally handle someone as messed-up as Clay.
4. I'm so thrilled (there are no words) that a book has FINALLY addressed the fact that when a guy acts the way Clay does, it's not simply because he's an ass, but because he is sick and has a mental disorder (or in his case more than one!) People tend to brush off characters like Clay as "just a psycho." But for once, the author understands that, no, actually, there is more to it than that. I think a lot of people can learn something from this, and possibly become less ignorant about the seriousness of mental health. Contrary to what some people believe, individuals like Clay do not "decide" to be assholes. Mental illness is real. This book tells you that.
5. Clay is mature and self-aware enough to understand that he is not in a place where he can be in a relationship with someone. He knows only more destruction will come if he stays with Maggie, so makes the decision to try again to get help so that he can be in a healthy relationship with Maggie and stop hurting her.
6. Love Clay. Love Maggie. And I never love heroines. These aren't just characters. They are real people. And THIS is why I read books. I'd forgotten for a while, there. (less)