Fifty Shades of Grey huh? Well James has certainly delved into the ethical grey area that's for sure. I know this trilogy has amassed a legion of fans in a fairly short amount of time, however I feel the majority of those fans don't realize their romance/smut fix is actually a re-vamped Twilight fanfic. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, a fanfic is a story written by a fan of a particular movie, television show, video game, book/series of books, etc. These stories are supposed to be written entirely for fun and the enjoyment of fellow fans of said fan base and usually come with a disclaimer that the characters, settings, etc. belong to the original author or creator and that the fan writer is in no way making any profit off of their fanfiction. Popular fanfiction archiving sites like FanFiction.Net require these disclaimers and even have a list of authors/creators who have specifically asked that their works not be reproduced and archived on fanfiction websites. Obviously, people are going to do what they want and write what they want about whatever they want. I myself have enjoyed reading fanfiction for favorite anime and book series. There is nothing wrong with exploring the depths of a world you love, as long as you realize it is not your world in any way shape or form. You do not own the world, the characters, or any of the plot lines therein.
This is where my issue with Fifty Shades of Grey comes in. Originally published as the Twilight fanfic online Master of the Universe, this story was James' attempt at taking Bella, Edward, and their fellow cast of characters, and setting them up in a real-world situation. Trading claws and fangs for whips and chains if you will. This is what we call an AU or Alternate Universe fic in the world of fanfiction. Yes, the characters find themselves in different situations than the original Twilight story, however not by much. There were several instances during the reading of Fifty Shades that I snorted with derision and shook my head because the parallels were so blatantly obvious. If this were being portrayed for what it is, a fanfiction of another author's work, I probably would have enjoyed it. However the case is, James is selling this as her own work. After her fanfic became popular, James decided to change everyone's names, slap a new title on it, and sell it as her OWN work. Some other reviewers who are aware of its regurgitation status are claiming that James has taken out all the Twilight references and made this book undoubtedly her own. This is absolute delusion as the characters, locales, and many of the plot and back story details mirror the original Twilight story almost exactly with only a minor tweak here and there.
The main character Anastasia is clumsy, plain, and works at a ... hardware store... Dear god, i wonder who that could be? It also doesn't help how wimpy and pathetic she is. She is constantly telling Christen no and standing up for herself, only to cave not five minutes later. There is a constant theme here of, "Oh gosh! I can't believe he likes me! How can someone soooooo gorgeous want me?" It gets extremely irritating as I like a strong, heroine who can stand on her own two feet without swooning every time her man comes through a door. There is nothing wrong with drooling over a sexy man, but when you start acting like a brainless husk, well, you've lost my respect. Ana is not the only character who has retained her Twilight character trait roots. She can tell her friend Jose wants more, but she just doesn't see him that way even though he is super muscular and sexy. Mexican Jacob, nice save.
Oh and our copper haired hero is none other than... Christen? He was adopted by a loving family and even at his young age, he is rich and successful and acts like a much older man. He warns Ana to stay away because he is dangerous, but doesn't do a very good job of actually keeping his distance. Stalker much? Oh and he is just OMG gorgeous of course! Literally he is just... the epitome of a beautiful man. No seriously, he's fucking hot, ok? If you're not convinced, James will keep reminding you that he is the hottest man ever without really explaining why. I was surprised he didn't sparkle at some point.
This book read more like a draft than a final product. I quickly got sick of hearing Ana's internal dialogue. Apparently she is not intelligent enough to come up with something better than "Holy Crap" "Holy Shit" "Holy Cow" or "Holy Fuck" She says these phrases constantly throughout the entire span of the book. It was so bad, it felt like she used at least one of these every couple of paragraphs. Also the number of reflections beginning with "I can't believe..." is just over the top. This baffles me because James spends so much time telling her reader how literary Ana is. Ana loves classic novels, especially Jane Austen, and is a graduate with a degree in literature. So why does she come across as a vapid teenager with a very limited vocabulary? Oh yes, that's because she started out as Bella, had her name changed, and underwent little to no character change.
Repetitive, unimaginative writing makes Fifty Shades of Grey a complete slog until we begin to hit the sex scenes. I admit, the concept of the Dom/Sub contract leading into their relationship was intriguing and is what ultimately kept me reading. However, as you get further into the book, you realize the promised BDSM element is a sham. Christen is constantly indulging in what he calls "vanilla sex" even though he insists it is just not for him. James is trying to get across to her readers that Ana is just so gosh darn special that even control freak Christen Grey can't help himself when he's around her. However, she continues to portray Christen as dark, unmoving, and unreachable. And the control freak thing? James continues to remind her readers how much of a control freak he is by having Ana reiterate it over and over and over again in her internal dialogue, emails, and conversations. We get it! He's a Dom! We are not children who need repetition to grasp a simple concept. As the novel goes on, the sex becomes less and less sexy until near the end, it became blase and anatomical at which point I was dying to finish the damn thing so I could get back to quality romance novels.
Overall, it felt like I was reading a fanfiction, probably because I was, but you would think the author and the subsequent publisher who picked it up, would have done some better cover up here. There is just no excuse for the poor quality of writing, shoddy narrative, and uncanny resemblances to another author's work. And what the hell is with charging $29.99 for a paperback copy? How can the publishing company justify that when it is so poorly written? At least do a good edit and take out every Twilight reference. The sad thing is, I probably could have liked this had she been original. The fact that this series has gained so much success riding on the coattails of Stephanie Meyer's empire makes me ill. Seeing a cover on my favorite book website has never made me so furious before.
Angry fangirls, I'm sorry I couldn't like this book. You have every right to like any book you want. On that note, I also have the right to not like any book that doesn't do it for me. If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, I'm happy for you and respect your opinion. Unfortunately I couldn't get past the completely unethical use of another author's material and the inexcusable poor quality for the sake of a cheap thrill. You want to take a shot at me? That's fine, but my opinion on plagiarism and sub par writing is not going to change.
Flat and underdeveloped narrative Choppy sentences Poorly edited Immature style Not Harlequin huh? Well these people sure gasp more than a flustered regency debutante who has found herself in a shamefully compromising position. And what the hell is wrong with Harlequin anyway? Snobs... (less)
I had lots of fun reading this book so I intend to have a good time with the review as well. I got my copy as a kindle freebie thanks to my Wigs telling me about the deal. Thanks Wigs!!!
This review is brought to you by the Godking himself! He is ever so excited to be involved in a review of a book that is about his absolute favorite subject... himself.
Let me start off by saying Mike Vasich has truly captured the unique flavor of Norse mythology that is adventurous and fantastic, but at the same time quite bizarre. The Trickster figure that spans across multiple mythologies and belief systems has always fascinated me and Loki is no exception. This short story collection recounts many of Loki's most famous tales, and opens up a whole new perspective on the god of mischief's reasoning. If you are not familiar with Norse legends let me give you a quick lesson on the general structure of your classic Norse myth.
Yes, Loki my love. That is the injustice you are faced with. Take comfort in the fact that your fangirl army is strong and keep reminding yourself that...
Whether you love him or love to hate him, Loki is without doubt one of the most fascinating characters to come out of mythology in general. This shapeshifter and master of magic spans genders and even species (sometimes both at once!) in order to perpetuate his trouble-making and, more often than not, to save his own ass from pissed off Norse gods. Oh and he's sexy as hell.
This short story collection advertises itself as "naughty" and indeed there are some delightfully indecent tid-bits, but it wasn't quite up to my wicked standards. I'll be the first to admit I'm a perv having enjoyed my fair share of bawdy fiction, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I was hoping for some decidedly more steamy Loki time. I mean, the man is just scintillating with unbridled sex appeal!
Of course my king! After the review...
Despite my disappointment in this area, I enjoyed this collection a great deal. Vasich's characterization of Loki is devilishly charming. I think I should note here that, while I've been using Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the visuals, the Loki readers will find in this book does not resemble him in physical appearance nor does he suffer from major daddy issues. The core personalities are fairly similar, but in Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster you get a much broader picture of Loki's character arc. In fact, I was massively impressed with how the sequence of the tales shows the evolution of Loki as the Trickster figure from playfully mischievous to spitefully destructive. Vasich stays true to the essential classic depiction of the trickster while putting his own spin on why Loki did the things that he did.
Ok Loki... not helping.
While the sequencing did wonders for the character development of our favorite mischief maker, it flubbed quite a bit in its consistency. Loki's monstrous children are actively present in one story, but then they are suddenly just born in the next? I think this will be terribly confusing for readers who are not familiar with Norse myths.
And Hel being depicted as a dark beauty from the waist up? Not quite accurate, but I assume the author was taking some artistic license with this detail. While these flubs were distracting for me, I did appreciate the author's note at the end of the book that gives readers a bit of an explanation for why he took that particular path.
Finally... THAT ENDING! This was by far the most creative and risky interpretation that Vasich throws at us. I will not go into it in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say the risk definitely paid off in my opinion.
Nope, sorry you're just going to have to go check it out for yourself!
If you have any interest in Loki or Norse mythology at all, I would highly recommend this book, although I think brushing up on some of the actual myths first would be beneficial. Marvel Loki's fangirls should do their research on the trickster's origins and exploits if they haven't already. Marvel has taken some heavy liberties with this character and assuming they are generally the same would be a mistake.
Looking forward to reading Mr. Vasich's full length Loki novel for sure! Thank you kind sir, you have indulged my Loki fascination with your writing. Now! All of you reading this review, go pick up your copy and...
I actually liked this a lot more than I was expecting.
Dead Witch Walking starts out slow, and I mean very slow. It takes about the first 100 pages for the plot to begin in earnest and another 50 for the action to start. Once the action gains some momentum, it doesn't stop until the end of the book.
There are many negative reviews for this book here on Goodreads, and I have to agree with most of them that it suffers from the "first book in the series" syndrome and has some issues with the character development and relationships. However, even though the story takes a bit to get started, once it does it is hard to put the book down. I had to finish this last night to find out how it ended. Now, the ending is a bit lack luster, but there is a hint of promise for following books to be exciting. I have also heard that the rest of the series is amazing and this is just one of those books you have to get through to get to the good stuff.
Don't let the slow beginning and lack of hottie love interests deter you form giving this series a try. Near the end we get a glimpse of future interests for Rachel so do not fear!
I will definitely be giving the rest of the Hollows series a try. The lush world and engaging companion characters are well worth it. (less)
I'm just going to start this review by saying I enjoyed the book overall. The series was starting to lose it's momentum, but like any good author, Mead writes her series with an end in sight. I can't stand when a series goes on forever just to squeeze out some extra money, but I won't get into that here.
If you are a fan of the series, but haven't had a chance to pick this one up, you are probably aware of the infamous ending. I don't do spoilers in my reviews so I will just say this. I was very disappointed in Mead and Eugenie. Mead has every right to finish her series the way she wants to, but it did not endear me to Eugenie in any way. Also, I think Eugenie should cut her loses with Dorian. As soon as he finds out what she did at the end of this book, well, let's just say I don't see a relationship for them in the future. Being conscious of who Dorian is and what he desires most from life, I would think it would be obvious how he will take the news.
What I did enjoy about this book, was that we got to spend more time with the characters and see Eugenie have her babies. I felt the plot was well thought out and the writing was still as good as ever I was just bummed about how it all came together at the end. In no way was this a bad read for me. As a fan, I had expectations going in and unfortunately they were kind of slapped in the face during the last chapter.
This is still my favorite series of Mead's, and I hope she has some spin-off planned in the future to sate my curiosity about what happens next. Maybe a series about Jasmine? (less)
Archangel's Kiss is a riveting sequel to the thrilling Angels' Blood. Elena, the first ever angel-Made is getting used to her new life with wings. While Elena enjoys the seemingly peaceful confines of the Refuge, a vampire is found mutilated with a knife bearing the Guild's seal, buried deep within his chest. Someone is not happy with Elena's new status as Raphael's consort and has some plans of their own. Meanwhile another, larger threat gains power in the Forbidden City. Lijuan has some new pets; the Reborn; the walking dead.
This volume of the Guild Hunter series was a great read that evoked emotions from both sides of the spectrum. We get to see Elena become accustomed to the culture and life-style changes of angel society. I've never read about a main character with wings. I forgot they were there half the time and I feel like this made the reading experience more real for me. I was confused right along with Elena and felt her frustration at the unfamiliar appendages and her joy when she finally learned how to use them. One of the best parts of this book is Elena going to school with the child angels. The beautiful innocence of the young angles she interacts with brings a new depth to the angelic world that Singh has presented to us thus far. The adult angels have a hard, cold edge, but even the cruelest of angels is humbled and warmed by the young.
Another part I loved about this book was Elena's growing friendship with Illium. He is such a vivid character to me with his exotic coloring and wry humor that is absent in most of the angels we have met in the series. His obvious affection for Elena is blooming into something more as he shamelessly flirts with her making us fans worry for Bluebell. Hopefully he doesn't push Raphael too far, I would miss him!
On a darker note, Elena's childhood trauma is brought to the forefront through nightmares and flashbacks that are interfering with her daily life and at times distracting her to the point of danger. I'm not creepy and sadistic or anything, but I enjoy a darker tone to books like these. The chilling events add substance to a character and bring us as readers closer to them, having known their difficult pasts. Elena suffered witnessing the deaths of her sisters and the gruesome torture of her mother. The disturbing things she was forced to see and participate in at such a young age have scarred her psyche, but have shaped the deeply moral person that she is. The surfacing of these memories provide a gateway for Raphael and Elena to trust and open up to each other, making them a more relatable couple. Raphael remains the dark, stoic, sexiness that he is, but now we get to see a more human side of him that just makes him that much more endearing.
Finally, the intense creepiness of Lijuan's Reborn is just well...damn creepy! We are left not with a cliffhanger, but the promise that it is nowhere near over between the Archangel of New York and Lijuan. I will be continuing this series for sure. All you Raphael fan girls out there, you know I love you! As for me, I think I'm pretty much in love with Illium.(less)
I started reading this book because I wanted to have more information on the characters and events of the HBO series, Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the show and felt it stayed pretty true to the book all for a few inconsequential scenes. While reading the book, I got a look into what the characters were thinking and feeling when they made their big decisions and went through their coming of age trials. I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
Now, setting aside the HBO series altogether. This is the start of what I can only refer to as Epic Fantasy. I have many good memories of my childhood days of adventuring in Narnia, accompanying a hobbit to the dragon's lair, and racing across icy battlefields on polar bears with a brave young girl. All these wonderful experiences reading brought me as a child came rushing back as I read through A Game of Thrones. The characters are so real you can't help but love certain ones entirely and hate others bitterly. You can't help but hold your breath in fear at their trials and cry out in victory for their triumphs.
Each chapter is told from a different point of view, focusing on one main character or another, giving us deep insights into their inner workings. This style brings the reader so much closer to the story, connecting them to the characters and making them as real as their loved ones.
This first book can be slow at times, but I believe that is mostly due to the fact that this is the first book, and the author is trying to establish a relationship between reader and character. He is trying to pull us into this lush, wonderful world before he truly shows us the big guns.
The next installment, A Clash of Kings, promises to be insanely epic. This is one girl who has fallen for fantasy all over again. (less)
This book is slow to get started, but has a lot to offer. I started to enjoy it once Claire traveled back in time to 1743. I realized, after much fret...moreThis book is slow to get started, but has a lot to offer. I started to enjoy it once Claire traveled back in time to 1743. I realized, after much fretting over the page count, that this book is so long because Gabladon gives her readers so much information about the time to make sure they understand the setting, culture, and hardness of the time she has put her characters in. Thanks to this description you'll feel immersed in the world of the book. It can get a little overwrought at times and the sexy highlander leading man talks way too much about his fond memories of how his father beat the crap out of him when he was a kid. Otherwise, the length isn't so bad.
As for the content, well... I found the story unique and compelling. Once I got about 100 pages in I couldn't stop turning them. Claire, a happily married WWII nurse, is transported back in time to the year 1743 where she meets the very hunky and adorably bashful Scottish highlander Jamie Fraser. Admittedly their are a few very convenient happenings that allow Claire to not feel so bad about cheating on her husband with Jamie, but I was satisfied when she makes a solid decision on which one she wants to be with. This isn't exactly the most moral of romances, but it is immensely enjoyable and fun to boot. (less)
I read this last year and was just suggested it again. I never finished it so I didn't think it was fair to include it in my books read, but now I jus...moreI read this last year and was just suggested it again. I never finished it so I didn't think it was fair to include it in my books read, but now I just want to rate and review it so that it won't be suggested to me again.
I am aware that this is just a fun read and not meant to be taken seriously, but honestly I couldn't stand it. The main character is a complete superficial, materialistic, idiot. There were some funny parts, but it was not enough to redeem this book for me.
Wasting my time on this type of book frustrates me when there are much better books to read out there. (less)
I just could not get past the very poor quality of writing and extremely confusing perpetual shift of narrative tense. It was just too distracting....moreDNF
I just could not get past the very poor quality of writing and extremely confusing perpetual shift of narrative tense. It was just too distracting. I was never able to feel connected to the story because I was so busy deciphering the shifts from past and present tenses. It was like one of those bad dreams where you seem to be separated from everything by a thin veil, making what is truly happening fuzzy and difficult to comprehend.
I hope I can enjoy this author's Of War series better. (less)
A sexy gladiator and his master getting sweaty? Yes please! The cover is gorgeous and so are the men, so you'd think this book would have blown my mind. Unfortunately not so much.
This book was just ok for me. Usually my next phrase would be, "and here's why..." However, in this case I have to say I couldn't quite put my finger on why this wasn't a great read for me. The premise was fairly new to me and the characters were likable enough. The story is truly heartfelt and the love between Cealius and Gaidres is both fiery and sweet. There is just something here that is missing for me, some essential spark that isn't tangible, the story either has it or it doesn't. I found myself becomign easily distracted and taking frequent breaks to read something else. I have to give the authors props for writing such hot and steamy sex scenes, but even these fell flat for me at times.
Lot's of people who have reviewed this book seem to love it, so I feel kind of weird saying it was just ok, but there you have it!(less)
Finley Jayne, a young commoner girl, displays a serious case of the Jekyll and Hydes when she is attacked by the rakish son of her employer. Frightened by the violent darkness within her, Finley makes a run for it and is hit by a velocycle in Hyde Park. The operator just so happens to be His Grace the Duke of Greythorn, who has a habit of taking in peculiar strays. Finley soon finds herself in the midst of the grand scheming of the villainous Machinist and discovers the truth about her father and his shrouded past.
While I enjoyed my read of this book, there were a few things working against it that cost the book some serious points.
The first 30% of this book suffers from sluggish pacing. It really shouldn't take that long for me to get into a book, especially one with as much potential as this loosely based Jekyll and Hyde steampunk adventure. The idea is certainly appealing, but takes forever to get going. Once it finally does, the plot twists are so predictable and simplistic that I had the villain and his master plan figured out by the half-way point. Hinting is essential to peaking your reader's interest and keeping them engaged in your story's outcome, but such obvious foreshadowing dumbs the story down. To be perfectly honest it is downright condescending to your reader.
Now, I understand that steampunk is all about the crazy gadgets and technology mixed in with the delightful drama of Victorian era novels, and I love that. However, the first 30% of The Girl In The Steel Corset is over wrought with gadgets, tragic backgrounds, and special abilities. This portion of the novel was really just an info dump wrapped up in shiny gears and cogs that leaves the rest of the novel feeling rushed and empty. Most of the gadgets, back stories and abilities could have been woven throughout the bulk of the novel to make it feel more complete and leave a little mystery to the characters, rather than dumping it all in the reader's lap at the very beginning.
Even though these aspects meddled with my enjoyment, once I finally got to the meat of the story, I couldn't help but be caught up. The best things about this novel are its vibrant side characters and the admirable camaraderie they develop for one another. Although the plot of this novel didn't work for me overall, I definitely found I cared for the characters and looked forward to seeing what happens to them in the next book, which I hear is more satisfying than this one.
My favorite character was without question Jack Dandy. This sleekly charming crimelord stole my heart from the moment he stepped onto the page! Now, I'm not a fan of love triangles, but Jack made this one amusing rather than frustrating with his dark charisma perfectly setting off Griffin's more earnest gallantry. I really hope to see more of him in the next book.
One final thing. I couldn't decide whether the whole "mandroid" thing worked for or against this book. Sam, is referred to as a "mandroid" rather than a cyborg in a completely serious manner. This term sounds hilarious to me and the fact that it is said with absolute seriousness makes it even funnier. Nearly every person I related this to had the same thing to say, "Sounds like some kind of sex robot."
The Final Verdict The Girl in the Steel Corset is an attractive concept that gets messy in its execution, but still retains an endearing quality in its charming characters. The Steampunk Chronicles may very well be a series that suffers from the 'first book" syndrome. Giving the second book, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, a chance could be a good investment.
FTC Disclosure I purchased a copy of this book to read in preparation of my review for its sequel. I received no compensation for the views stated above. All opinions are my own. (less)
I have just one word for you all; filler. Yes, this installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, when boiled down to it, is not much more than a filler, albeit a fairly good one. Now usually, I give fillers at the most a 3 star rating, if not less than that, but I felt Lover Unleashed deserved 4 stars because of how important all its components are going to be in future releases.
Lover Unleashed is the story of Vishous' vampyre twin Payne and her struggle with recent injuries sustained sparing with Wrath. Payne meets Manuel Manello, Jane's former surgeon associate, and they fall madly in love, blah, blah, blah. We've heard this before, J.R. Ward has created an repetitive, yet effective formula for this series. These two are supposed to be the main focus for this installment, yet they don't get a ton of screen time. Most of the book is taken up introducing new characters, new plot lines, and wrapping up some old plots we've been waiting to get closure on. Die hard fans will be satisfied and intrigued, but new fans of the series who have not followed up until now will be confused and likely bored.
Manny & Payne
Manny & Butch
Vishous & Butch wrap up
Vishous & Jane drama
Qhuinn, Blay, & Saxton continuing drama
The Bastards are introduced.
A new cop character.
Overall I have to say I enjoyed the Bastards a lot and am excited to see where Ward takes them. Especially Xcor, who in my opinion seems like the secret softie.
I recommend this book to fans. It was a great lead up to bigger and better things for the Brothers. I really don't recommend starting your Black Dagger Brotherhood experience with this book. Please start form the beginning and benefit from the full effect. (less)
Kathleen Strong is down on her luck and in need of a new job after false rumors ruin her career as a governess. The newly established Heavenly Host, a debauched mens club, offers to pay her well and send her home to England in exchange for her virginity. Handsome rake Alistiar Rohan, founder of the club, has a slightly different proposition for her, one that she can't refuse.
I read this in preperation for the ARC copy of Shameless I recieved from Netgalley. I haven't read the previous books in the series and wanted to get a feel for the world I would be stepping into. What better way than to read a short erotic prequel to the series?
This was very short, but well planned out unlike many other short stoires. There isn't much time to set up the characters and the situation, however Anne Stuart does a remarkable job pulling you in and not letting go until the end. I loved Alistair and Kathleen's characters and hope we see more of them in the full length stories. All in all, this was a fun, quick, sultry read that I would definitely reccommend. (less)
I feel really strange writing this review. With all the positive feedback on this book and the high ratings, I can't help but wonder if I missed something the rest of the readers saw. I just really didn't enjoy this. I could not for the life of me get into it no matter how hard I tried to like it. The potential for a really great book and the beginning of a really great series was there, but I felt it was poorly executed. The writing, at times, was poor quality, and others was intriguing leaving me with a feeling of, "Am I reading the same book? And if so, is there more than one author?" The style of writing varied so much and so often that I was constantly lost.
I really wanted to like this, but it just didn't happen. I will say however that the concept of the Psy-changeling world was so interesting that I will more than likely read the next book and give this series a second chance. There is definitely something great here waiting to come out, but it just didn't happen in this book. (less)
Dr. Gracen Ellison spends her days working in the MedBay of Camp Audie Murphy, but when she's not treating the wounds of her patients, she is pining over Master Chief Jackson Monroe. The federation's no fraternization policy keeps them both from acting on their feelings for each other, but a devastating helicopter crash in the desert will change everything. Could humanity be having its first true close encounter with Gracen and Jackson right at the center of it all?
This charming debut e-novel from author Rhys Astason, offers readers an intriguing mix of genetics bending sci-fi and smoldering romance. Add to that a tablespoon of infectious, wry humor and you've got a truly enjoyable read. I had a lot of fun while reading Water of Life. The main characters are strong and likeable and the scientific roots of the plot set-up may surprise you. For a romance novel, Astason's first book presents readers with an intriguing core concept. I won't spoil it for you, but I think you will find there is a lot more sci-fi in this book than you would expect out of a book the author describes as "a romance with light sci-fi elements." The first half of the book unfolds quite nicely and had me reading straight through in one sitting.
As a heroine, Gracen is sharp, witty, and brave. In a crisis, she doesn't wait for a hero to come whisk her away and make everything alright. Gracen actually ends up saving her hero's ass several times throughout the book. With such a strong heroine, many romance novels would have trouble producing a hero who is man enough. That is not the case here. Jackson is CRAZY hot with all his scars and service tattoos. He manages to be authoritative and stoic without being condescending and chauvinistic. And who doesn't love a sexy older man with the experience and body to make shiver and gasp? I call dibs! I officially claim him first for my book boyfriend harem!
The second half of the book, however, felt rushed and was less detailed leaving me confused. A lot is left unanswered and the "villain" isn't as well developed as I would have liked. I ended up not quite sure why he was doing what he was doing.I also would have liked to know more about the alien lifeforms that appear in the book. Again, no spoilers, so I will just say Astason only gets into their presence lightly leaving the reader very curious. There was so much unanswered actually that I emailed the author and inquired about a sequel. I was very excited to hear her reply:
"Yes to a sequel. I wrote it as the 'pilot' for a series. It was intended to leave questions out there..."
So while the book is short and a lot is left to question, a sequel that is in the works promises to fill in the gaps. Overall, I would have liked to see this book longer and more fleshed out, but as a pilot for a sci-fi romance series, it is still a very fun read. I was not ready to let go of Gracen and Jackson just yet and it looks like I won't have to! I will be looking forward to the sequel to find out more about these amazingly strong, funny, and wonderful characters Astason has created. (less)
Richelle Mead has created a world of vampires that is uniquely her own. Her take on vampire mythology is fresh and thought provoking. The three branches of the vampire race, Dhampir, Moroi, and Strogoi are at war with the Dhampir acting as guardians to the Moroi in the fight against the Strogoi. Mead does a great job in her description of the three branches and explaining the unique qualities of each. I'm still a little vague on some of the details, but I have high hopes that detail will be added in later volumes.
As the first book in this series, Vampire Academy does well, although I have to admit I am not too sure how much I like the main character Rose. I really didn't like the attitude and immaturity she displayed throughout the book. Lying to the guy her friend likes just because she doesn't think he is good enough for her was really horrible. I am willing to put my feelings aside as i think Rose did mature a lot towards the end of the book and will only get better as the series goes on.
I love Lisa and Christian together! They are the perfect representation of Yin and Yang. I hope to see more of their relationship in the next books.
I have high hopes for this series and think that it will only get better as the characters mature and come into their strengths. Oh yeah and the steamy bits were great too. Hee hee...
This has to be one of the best paranormal romance books I have ever read. The heroine is kick ass and the hero is to die for. I don't know what else to say other than WOW! The characters are well thought out and so well developed you feel like you really know them by the end of the book.
The hero Bone reminds me a bit of Spike from Buffy, but short of the British accent and the witty banter, he stands well on his own. He's my new favorite male lead.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series! (less)
With only one more book to go until Rose's journey finally comes to an end, Spirit Bound sets us up for the epic conclusion in surprising and unexpected ways. Rose must find a way to release Viktor Dashkov from vampire prison in order to find out the secret to bring Dimitri back from the dead.
This book is by far the best paced, strapping the reader in just before Rose's graduation, taking them on a wild ride throughout the gang's adventures and then throwing them off a cliff for the gut wrenching ending.
I won't spoil any of it for you, but this installment of the Vampire Academy series was really well done. I was very impressed with where Mead is taking the story and how she is almost forcing Rose to grow up and not be so selfish. It is no secret Rose isn't my favorite character ever, but she definitely steps it up this time around.
The next and final book in the series, Last Sacrifice promises to be everything we've been waiting for and more. Can't wait to read it and find out how Rose and Dimitri's story ends!(less)
Chloe Duncan is your average teenage girl who has found herself living a life she has always dreamed of. Everything seems perfect with her dreamy boyfriend Evan and close friends as the new school year opens, however the addition of a new student to the mix, Logan, sends Chloe reeling. Whenever Logan is around, she sees visions of another life, and when these visions start seeping into her dreams, Chloe starts to seek answers.
Dreaming of Beauty is the shockingly good indie retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty accompanied by a cast of wonderfully colorful characters. This was by far the best young adult book I read last year. The majority of the mainstream titles were extremely disappointing, lacking in quality and substance. Dreaming of Beauty is smart, funny, and offers a realistic portrayal of teens and their families. You know how in many YA books the parents seem to never be around, allowing their teens to have adventures with vampires, faeries, angels, and the like? Well the parents here are actually very involved and extremely likable.
The pacing feels a bit strange as it is split up into three sections, and each section feels like a new story. However, I was so taken in by the story and interested in finding out what was really going on, it didn't slow me down significantly. By the time I was half-way through section two, I was so enthralled in Camille's side of the story that I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish the book.
I very much enjoyed the juxtaposition between what was happening in Chloe's present day lifetime, and the events that happened to her as Camille. The backdrop of France was described in lovely detail and the bittersweet tale that unfolds there will capture your heart.
Overall, a fun read to cure your YA blues. I'm very much looking forward to a sequel which appears to be featuring a different fairytale princess.
Recommendation: A must read for YA fans and lovers of fairy tales and happy endings. (less)
Dragonfly in Amber is the continuing story of Claire and Jamie and they adventure into 18th century France in an attempt to prevent Charles Stuart from fighting his famous battle for Scotland. Claire and Jamie must do their best to prevent the battle from taking place, and wiping out the highlanders for good.
This one was super long like the first one, but took me much longer to read. I felt much of the excitement and allure of the first book was lost in the great detail. It dragged on at times, stuck in describing daily routines and custom of the time.
Despite the incredible length and slow pace, this installment in the Outlander series was still memorable. The return of many of the characters we love and those we love to hate, will keep you determined to finish. The events in the lives of these characters are still very much emotionally engaging and there are by no means lack of plot twists. I would keep this one at your bedside and suggest that you enjoy it chapter by chapter as they are pretty long. This one may take awhile to get through, but it is well worth the time. (less)
Not the best installment in the series, but it certainly didn't put me off of the series. Ink Exchange was definitely sexier than Wicked Lovely but th...moreNot the best installment in the series, but it certainly didn't put me off of the series. Ink Exchange was definitely sexier than Wicked Lovely but the former's character lacked the same depth of the latter's. Seth and Aislinn were portrayed like people I would know and love, but I didn't feel the same for Leslie and her beaus even though Leslie was dealing with some really dark stuff. I will move on to the next in the series, but this one follows the old trend of the 2nd in the series is always the weakest. (less)
I'm not even sure if this is supposed to be a serious attempt at writing...
This book was free on the Barnes & Noble Nook market place and as a su...moreI'm not even sure if this is supposed to be a serious attempt at writing...
This book was free on the Barnes & Noble Nook market place and as a supporter of indie authors I thought I would give it a shot. It is obvious that this is a first attempt at writing. The only other review on Goodreads understates it could use some editing. In my opinion, this person's forte isn't writing. Writing takes time, skill, and creativity and is most certainly not for everyone. While reading Two Lives...One Diary I felt like I was reading the creative writing assignment of a middle school student. It is often confusing and the main character is constantly using phrases that don't make sense. There is a point in the story where a girl gets stabbed with a needle by a homeless guy she is giving food to... While this is strange in itself, the main character suggests she will die if he doesn't remove it and cut off the blood flow. Ok, from a needle? I get that she could get AIDS if the guy was infected and was using it for drugs, but come one, the girl is not going to die from loss of blood due to a needle.
Although I cannot accept this as an actual book/novella, I will say the author came up with an interesting concept. The main character lives two different lives, one in the real world and one in the dream world. I think Array would be more successful at selling ideas for stories rather than writing them. (less)
I really wasn't all that impressed. I was expecting something seriously epic. Something I would never see coming, I mean it's the last book for cripes' sake! The unfortunate truth was I spent the majority of this book waiting for it to get epic and had guessed the real bad guy by the last third of the book.
I was disappointed, however this series overall hasn't been that amazing for me. With all the rave reviews out there I was expecting much more from the series while only receiving a handful of the epicness promised.
I won't even get into the fact that almost everyone gets a happy ending. What I'm the most frustrated about is the fact that Richelle Mead seems to require each of her heroines to cheat on or with someone at some point in their respective series. I wonder why this is? It's almost as if she feels it is a rite of passage in a woman's life. Rose spouts the adage, "You can't love someone unless you love yourself." I think with each series she rights, Mead is saying to her readers, "You can't love someone until you've cheated one people you supposedly care about."
I still enjoyed this series for what it is and will always enjoy reading one of Mead's books. I just wish her heroines could keep their shit straight. (less)
Danika is on the run from the Lords. Bloodlust crazed Aeron, keeper of Wrath, has been tasked by the gods to slay her and her family. While split up from her grandmother, mom, and sister, Danika gets into trouble and is kidnapped by hunters. Reyes, who has come to desire her, and the other Lords rescue her and take her back to their fortress in Budapest. Reyes is the keeper of Pain, yet he desires to bring Danika her pleasure....
Reyes and Danika's story is, so far, my favorite in the series. You get to see that Reyes is actually a real sweetie and as a heroine, Danika is the best so far. If you are not familiar with the series, the main premise is that each Lord is possessed by one of the demons that was trapped inside of Pandora's box. Kind of a neat little idea there. I'm enjoying seeing how each Lord overcomes his own demon in order to be with the women he loves. One thing I really like about the LOTU series is that the Lords never have to change who they are at their core, the women they are paired off with always offset them perfectly and each partner in the couple makes the other a better person. Too many women and young girls are under the impression that they can find a sexy bad boy, and fix all his problems, by molding him into what they want. I think we need more fiction like this that enforces accepting and loving our partners for who they are, faults and all.
Reyes and Danika showcase this well in that, once Danika falls for him, she doesn't try to change Reyes' pleasure from pain self, she embraces it. I enjoyed the pull of attraction here that Danika struggles with. Who doesn't love a story about resisting your sexy enemy?
We also get a good look at what's happening with Paris in the background. His side story has been an interesting one, and i can't wait to see where it goes once I get to his book! Sabin makes some cameos here in preparation for the next book The Darkest Whisper, in which he is the star.
The core plot is pushed a bit farther, revealing one of the Artifacts of the gods, making for a very nervous Cronus, and the Lords are directed to Egypt! The next book should be lots of fun! (less)
A mostly mediocre read. I started reading this because I recently saw the movie trailer and thought it looked good. I like to read the book before I see the movie in most cases so I thought I would give this a shot.
All the action of the movie trailer is not at all reflected in this book. The real conflict and action doesn't occur until the last few pages of the book leaving me thinking, where did they get all the material for the movie?
The story follow Number Four and his Cepan (guardian) Henri as they try to blend in with regular human society to avoid death by the Mogadorians. Four or John spends most of his time dealing with the tribulations of high school and his girlfriend's jealous ex-boyfriend that otherworldly threats. The main and supporting characters lack depth and tend to fall flat. The only character that really made a difference for me was their dog Bernie Kosar who is full of personality and cute quirky traits.
The book just kinda ends and leaves you thinking, "That was it?" Don't get me wrong, this isn't a cliffhanger kind of feeling it just ends and you feel jipped. All in all it is a decent read and you will keep flipping pages just to find out where its all going, but in the end you'll be left missing something and you won't quite know what it is Hopefully the movie can deliver more. (less)
This action packed YA take on a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies made my year. This is the kind of book I am always looking for. A book that makes me completely lose track of the time as I turn each page with a pounding heart. Crazy-ass nuns with freaky persuasive tactics? Yes please! These nuns are bad-ass with their wine cellar leading up into a tiny fenced in clearing surrounding by zombies. They could get anyone to give them whatever they wanted with that thing, but they are content with playing god in their creepy stone sanctuary
I primarily read dystopian fiction because I love reading about distorted possible variations of society. I have a lot of fun exploring the vast possibilities of not only what the world could be like, but also what could make it that way. You could say I am a big proponent of "What if?" entertainment. This book gave me what I was looking for and more.
The most common complaint about this book seems to be that the characters are flat. Sure they could have been developed better, but here is why I think they way they are portrayed is realistic. These people are terrified on a daily basis. Without coping skills of steel, I doubt anyone would be able to have a healthy expression of their emotions. Sure the heroine is crazy as hell, but I doubt any of us would do much better in her situation. Mary has been through more than her fair share of bull and she still manages to survive. She has lost both her parents and her only family left, her brother Jed, leaves her to choose between living with the crazy nuns or living on the streets. With these circumstances, the girl is going to be a bit unstable. On top of all that she goes through a number of horrifying experiences throughout the length of the book that would drive anyone to their wit's end. So the characters may not live up to your standards of what a person should be like, get over it. I doubt you know how the human mind reacts to daily terror and a perpetually disturbing existence of survival.
That being said, I soared right through this book. It barely every touched a surface that wasn't my hand because I was glued to it from beginning to end. Anyone who enjoys thrilling narrative, survival tactics, and zombies galore will enjoy The Forest of Hands and Teeth I will definitely be picking up book two as soon as possible. (less)
So, just out of curiosity I decided to take a peek at the first chapter. I'm in the middle of another book for my year long challenge, but after finishing Glass Houses, I was really interested to see how the cliff-hanger played out. I started reading, and didn't stop until just now at 10:32 p.m. I think it's safe to say this book was enthralling. I even had some very teary eyed moments along with Claire and even yearned for Shane and his tortured hero past.
For a YA novel, and I say that with sadness because the YA designation didn't always signify a lowering of expectations, this book is really great. The writing is good enough to keep you from second guessing the passage you just read, and the plot is well thought out and engaging. I'm really enjoying this series and hope that the following installments will be just as all consuming of my time.(less)
Bloodfever, is the continuing story of MacKayla Lane and her search for revenge against the one who murdered her beloved older sister Alina. Teamed with Jericho Barrons, Mac has become an OOP (object of power) detector with the ultimate goal of finding the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient faery Hallow that Alina requested Mac find in a frantic voicemail that would be her final message.
Most of the story takes place in Dublin, Ireland, but there is also an OOP seeking trip to Wales and a surprising siesta in the world of Faery. The very sexy Seelie prince V'lane returns for this fast paced, dark urban fantasy.
To be perfectly honest, when I began the series I was not a fan of the lead female character Mac. She was a spoiled, shallow, self-absorbed person that made me think, "Do I really want to read something where the main character is so vain?" I almost didn't finish Darkfever because I was so put off, but her character progresses throughout the first book enough to keep me interested in the second. The second book is where Mac makes some real change. I was really impressed with how she has taken her frightening situation and made the most out of it. The responsibility of handling the Spear, another Hallow, and taking over Barrons's store has really given her a chance to blossom.
I enjoyed reading this installment in the series and barely noticed flipping pages. When the end came I was so surprised I had finished it as fast as I did. I guess it just takes a great book to make you forget the time. (less)
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy... You just can't seem to keep out of trouble, can you? I have really enjoyed this series, but I am glad to have reached a good st...moreMercy, Mercy, Mercy... You just can't seem to keep out of trouble, can you? I have really enjoyed this series, but I am glad to have reached a good stopping point. I've spent the last week and a half reading through the Mercedes Thompson series and becoming familiar with its many characters and monsters. This series is a great blend of all things that go bump in the night with its main focus on the werewolves.
In this volume, we are exposed a lot more to the rules and science of the pack. As Mercy becomes closer to the pack she realizes that not all of its members may welcome her with open arms. Her bond and relationship with Adam is really focused on in the volume. Rather than the plot being problem based, it is more relationship driven. We also get a more in-depth look at the Fae and how some of their different classes function. Honestly, this has to be the most informational book out of the bunch, making me think Briggs is fueling us up for bigger things to come in the next volume, River Marked, which is due to come out March 1st, 2011. All in all a good read, but much less action than previous installments. (less)
David and Danielle James are your everyday brother and sister; they argue, David bugs the crap out of his big sister, Danielle treats her brother like a nuisance, and underneath it all they really love each other. What these two don't know is that their normal lives are about to be turned upside down as they discover their hidden roots.
Shrouded Secrets reminds me of an old school fantasy book in that McGrath takes his time building up his characters so that you notice the subtle changes they go through that foreshadow the kind of person they will end up being. The world and culture of Eruditus are carefully constructed and introduced to the reader as if they too are a passenger on this fantastical ride. The problem I had was that I felt like this was a draft rather than a final product. Some of the dialogue and description was a bit wordy and could do with an edit. Shrouded Secrets has the potential to stand up there with titles like The Lightning Thief, but lacks a certain sparkly final coat.
This is a book parents will want their pre-teens to read. The situations and characters are very YA, but unlike other YA titles, you can trust that your kids are getting something really good out of their reading experience. The dialogue is relate-able, yet wholesome and the underlying messages of self-awareness and responsibility wrapped in a sci-fi fantasy package will leave them with concepts they can use in everyday life.
Overall, Shrouded Secrets is a heartfelt first installment to a series that has the potential to become a classic. Certain scenes really grabbed me on an emotional level. Without spoiling the main plot points, McGrath creates such a innately evil, totally dislike-able character in Madison that I whooped when she finally got what was coming to her. Also, I cried when I thought my favorite character was going to die. The character really became that real for me that I feared for his/her life. So now Mr. McGrath, you can say you made me cry, which is a difficult thing to do when it comes to books and movies. You see, McGrath's debut novel is no mindless read like most YA books today, which is why I recommend it. However, it may not appeal to more adult minds until it gets that final coat. (less)