The Becoming, the first book in a new trilogy and Meigs' first novel follows three main characters as they experience the initial outbreak of the zombie virus Michaluk and fight to survive. Cade, Ethan, and Brandt pick up other survivors along the way, but when Ethan insists on returning to Memphis to find closure with the loss of his wife, Cade and Brandt forge on to find a safe place for their group.
Finally! A strong female lead character in a zombie series other than the Newsflesh Trilogy! I've been reading a lot of zombie fiction lately and I have to say I'm sickened with the amount of wimpy, whiny, practically useless female lead characters. The Becoming was a breath of fresh air for me and certainly for the genre itself. Finally a woman who can hold her own and is just as gritty as the boys. While there were still times I was frustrated with Cade's often overly dramatic actions, I still enjoyed her character.
Really each character Meigs has crafted for this novel is well developed and relatable. For me, there is nothing better than well written, character driven apocalypse fiction and this novel delivers it in droves!
One other thing that really stuck out to me was how much more cinematic this novel felt to me than others I've read of the genre. In the first chapters of the book, the tension is slowly and carefully built, setting the reader up for horror moviesque anticipation for the action to kick off. The tension had me biting my nails as I waited for the first zombie to rear its ugly head. This is one of the first zombie novels that truly made me experience horror rather than simulating it with over the top gore and action. Meigs played on my worst fears from the very beginning, sucking me into her world completely.
I think the only thing that rubbed me the wrong way about this book was the fact that the main characters took forever to catch on to what was happening. As this book is set in our world, which has been saturated with zombie movies, books, and pop culture for decades, I would have expected the main characters to have caught on right away. Instead, they spend the first quarter of the novel going, "This is so weird! I wonder what could be happening?" Umm... duh... A real world example would be the incident in Miami recently where a naked man was gunned down by police as he ate the face of another naked man. Although it has been ruled that the man was incredibly high on an illegal narcotic that caused him to act this way, many people associated the actions with zombie like behavior. No, I'm not insane, I don't think the zombie apocalypse is upon us, my point is, people are smarter than you think. It doesn't take an erstwhile Marine you randomly meet to tell you its freaking zombies chapters later. I really felt this dumbed down her otherwise impressive and capable heroes for me. Really, this may not make much of a difference for other readers, but it is kind of a sore spot for me when it comes to zombie fiction in general.
The Final Verdict
Regardless this was an amazing read for me full of action, true horror, and visceral emotion. Well written and superbly edited, The Becoming is a zombie novel you don't want to miss. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
I was provided a copy of this book by the author and IO Tours in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for the views stated. All opinions are my own....more
After being saved by, and feeling up, a shadowy man in the alleyway behind her home, Miranda dreams steamy dreams of him every night. Three years later, the destitute status of her father forces her to marry The Dread Lord Archer, a darkly eccentric nobleman whose face is perpetually covered with a mask in public. He makes ladies faint in fright at the thought of what deformity he is hiding, but really he cares only for the affections of one lady in particular. The young lady he saved in that alleyway three years ago. The beauty marries the beast in an attempt to pay back her father for ruining him forever as a merchant with her dangerous gift. Can this beauty ever truly learn to love a beast?
I will begin by saying I absolutely adored this book! As a fan of historical romance and urban fantasy, I about died when I read the description for Firelight. A sassy heroine with supernatural skills forced to marry a mysterious masked man with a frightening reputation in Victorian London? Yes please! Usually, I bounce back and forth between a saucy historical romance and a gritty urban fantasy, however in this case, both of my cravings were equally and undeniable satisfied. Callihan's ability to place the reader directly in her world without getting too into the often tedious societal explanations is astonishing. I literally felt like I had jumped straight into Victorian London from page one. The world building is done flawlessly throughout the span of the novel as Miranda and Archer attempt to keep their secrets from each other. The third person perspective jumps from Archer to Miranda nicely offering readers intimate insights on each of the characters and their back stories. I ended up soaring right through this book and was left desperate for more. Not to say Miranda and Archer's story isn't wrapped up, it is, and very nicely so. Now to discuss my new favorite couple...
The chemistry between Miranda and Archer is incendiary! I can honestly say I have never been that hot and bothered over a near-kiss scene before. I mean, they don't even really kiss and I was fanning myself due to my furiously flushed face. The tone set between the two of them left my skin tingling in anticipation of the next heady moment.
“With the suddenness of a cat leaping upon its prey, he leaned forward and caught up her wrist. "Tread lightly, Miranda Fair." His thumb moved lightly over her fluttering pulse, as she stared with her mouth assuredly hanging open in shock, her heart beating furiously within her breast."You know, it's never wise to tempt the devil." His gaze lowered to her hand, still locked in his grip, her fingers glistening with pear juice. "Had I not this mask, I should be of a mind to suck that juice right off of your fingers.”
After ridiculously sexy scenes like this I was dying to get to the good stuff. The frustration Archer and Miranda felt at being so close to each other, but still kept at arms length due to their secrets was so palpable, I ended up writing this short poem to express my own longing.
Oh sweet frustration!
Oh agonizing fascination!
Oh desperately desiring delight!
Oh despair for I am doomed to die without Dread Lord Archer's dark dalliance!
And oh what dreams may come!
Archer's secret was definitely not what I was expecting, and a tad bit disappointing, however I think it is fair to say given such a wonderfully intriguing tool as a masked man, it is easy for what we imagine to be much wilder than reality. All in all, I am thoroughly impressed and delighted! Calihan has been added to my list of must have authors. I don't have too many series or authors that I will go right out and buy without seeing if the library has it first, however anything Callihan releases from now on will be sure to appear on my bookshelf!
To Be Continued? Absolutely! I will be impatiently, agonizing until book two, Moonglow, comes out in August! ...more
It has been awhile since I've read a chick-lit title. A very dear friend of mine gifted placed a shiny paperback copy of this in my hands a few weeks ago and requested I read it so we could discuss the relationship of the two main characters Darcy and Rachel. I was aware they had made a movie out of it and was a bit hesitant to read it due to the implied subject matter, however I am glad I did.
Rachel and Darcy have been best friends since they were kids, experiencing all the important mile stones in life with each other minus marriage. Now Darcy, the lucky beautiful one, is getting married to Rachel's old college buddy Dex and Rachel is the Maid of Honor. A few months before the wedding, after Rachel's birthday party, Rachel finds herself falling into bed with her best friends fiance and the craziness only escalates from there.
Giffin's writing style makes for enjoyable, page turning beach reading. The perfect summer pick. The dynamics of Rachel and Darcy's relationship will remind you of friendships you have had or are having leaving you to examine them with new light. I'm not really a fan of justified cheating novels, but there was really a lot more going on here. My only real complaint is that it almost feels like Giffin is trying too hard to make you hate Darcy, while Rachel is indecisive and kinda wishy-washy to be honest. The girl can't make up her damn mind!
The conclusion was satisfying and you will be left interested in finding out what happens next. The following novel, Something Blue deals with the aftermath of all this craziness.
The final verdict,, definitely give it a read.. You will love bitching about the characters and situations with your girls. ...more
Amy and her parents sign up to be cryogenically frozen so that they can travel to Centuri-Earth and help colonize a habitable planet. Staying frozen for 300 years while traveling through the stars on the ship Godspeed doesn't sound too bad, but when Amy is woken up 50 years early by a rebellious occupant of the ship her entire future is irrevocably altered. There is no way for her to be refrozen without risk of death or extensive damage so she must find a way to be content with living her life on the strange ship with a community of people who are disturbingly different. If that wasn't enough, Amy faces danger from the ship's leader, Eldest, who believes her drastic differences from the other occupants could lead to mutiny. Luckily, she seems to have made a friend in the ship's future leader Elder, a 16-year old boy who has begun to question Eldest and his methods. As a killer threatens the lives of the other frozen occupants of the ship, Amy must find a way to fit in and discover the ship's secrets before it is too late.
I think I will start out by saying, there were many impressive dsytopian elements to this book. Revis sets the disturbing tone of the book right off the bat letting the reader know, no matter what it may seem like on the surface, something is very wrong here. The American concept of manifest destiny will undoubtedly one day extend to the stars, giving humanity hope for the future. And that's just it, voyaging among the stars and heading to a new planet to colonize should reflect hope and wonder. However, Across the Universe manages to delve deeply into the possibility for flaws and the horrific consequences of desperation. Through this work, Revis asks her readers, "When does the need for order and safety override a human's basic rights?" When it comes to saving humanity, how far is too far? The implications this book presents to its readers are truly frightening and the part I enjoyed the most.
Across the Universe has some amazing moments and makes for a great discussion book, however lack of strong characterization and inconsistent pacing may leave more mature readers on the fence. Now, when I say lack of strong characterization, I men that I personally had a difficult time connecting with the two main characters Amy and Elder. While Amy fights for what she believes is right and doesn't let anyone walk all over her, she also has some very childlike qualities. Throughout the book, she calls her dad, daddy and uses "It's just not fair" reasoning quite a bit. She also seems to throw abrupt temper tantrums and her thought process can be aggravatingly immature. If you are familiar with my reviews, you will know that one of my biggest pet peeves is the "damsel in distress" syndrome. Unfortunately, this happens a lot here. Elder or his best friends Harley are constantly jumping in and saving her from brainless men, Eldest, and often times herself. For me, Amy stopped being likeable after she was unfrozen, which is most of the book.
Elder is a bit better. He questions the ethics of the way the ship is run and wonders if there isn't a better way while still managing to come across as completely ignorant, which he is. It's not really the poor guy's fault, being raised with alternative history to make totalitarian forms of government appear vastly better than the other options. Everyone on the ship is monoethnic, they all have brown skin, brown hair, etc. Everyone looks fairly similar and there is a pretty high risk for incestuous relationships, but what do you expect from a population of people that have been completely isolated for 250 years? Differences are to be feared and only prove to cause trouble. Elder can't help but appear numb or apathetic at times due to his surroundings. He is actually one of the only free-thinking people on board. I saw a lot of good development with Elder and am interested to see how he will do in the next book.
The book also suffers from a mild case of predictability and may or may not have a mind-blowing ending depending on how perceptive you tend to be while reading. I had already figured out who was killing the frozen people by this person's second appearance. I did not see the last little plot twist coming, thank goodness, and was glad to have had a bit of a thrill from my reading experience. I just think this book does not live up to its hype and potential. However, taking in the fact that it is difficult to pull off a mind-blowing first-in-series book, I do give Revis props. Across the Universe is intriguing and an overall enjoyable read, I just wish the characters had been more developed.
To Be Continued? - Yes, I will definitely be giving book 2, A Million Suns, a shot. I can see a lot of the problems I had with this book being resolved. ...more
The White Queen was... well... not what I expected. I went in with high expectations because of all the hype over Phillipa Gregory. I really need to sThe White Queen was... well... not what I expected. I went in with high expectations because of all the hype over Phillipa Gregory. I really need to stop doing this because it almost always ends in disappointment which is largely my own fault. I feel like if I hadn't begun reading The White Queen with assumptions on the writing quality I would've enjoyed it more. It was a bit difficult not to though when a critic review describing the writing as 'lyrical' is slapped on the cover. The style and quality weren't poor but I certainly wouldn't describe it as lyrical by any means. It just didn't stand out.
Yes, I'm beginning this review with some criticism, but I did honestly enjoy the book overall. History itself is very intriguing to me and this particular period is one that we don't know a lot about. The mysterious dilemma of the 'princes in the tower' and the shadowed figures of this era's power hunger royal families give it a mystique all it's own.
Gregory does a fantastic job blending what little fact we have with enticing fiction. Her interpretation of Elizabeth Woodville's family life and witchy habits is believable and seamless. However I just couldn't connect to her character emotionally. For the majority of the book she handles each conflict she runs into with such calculating ease that I had a hard time forming any bond. For example: My husband has and is currently cheating on me with what could be hundreds of women. No worries as long as I don't have to meet them because I'm the Queen! I don't think this would've bothered me as much as it did if she didn't constantly emphasize how deep and pure and destined their love was. Maybe if it had been a marriage of purely power and convenience, but this just doesn't work for 'true love'.
I could be completely off base with this one, but personally, it rubbed me the wrong way.
Other than that, it was a quick, entertaining read once I delved into the meat of the book. I most definitely will be picking up the Red Queen to get Margaret Stanley's view on the tumultuous events. ...more
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. ...more
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. ...more
This book started out really promising, but got confusing towards the end. There wasn't enough explanation of the world and the rules of the magic within it. Andrews just throws us into Kate's world with no idea of when or where she has sent us.
I want to be clear. I really did like this book, but there just wasn't enough world building and character development for me. Kate is a great character. Strong, smart, and intense, Kate handles everything that is thrown at her with a punch in the face, however she seems to be in the same place attitude wise as she was at the beginning of the book.
I will be trying out the next books in the series to see if they clear up the inconsistencies and holes that lost me in this book. ...more
This was a fun, fast read. Caine offers a new and interesting take on vampires and their interactions with human society.
Claire is a 16-year-old prodigy surviving her freshman year in college at TPU Texas Prairie University in Morganville, Texas. After getting herself into trouble with the campus it-crowd, she looks into renting a room at the Glass House. There she meets her friends and learns that there is much more to surviving life in Morganville than going to class and dodging the homicidal gossip girls.
The one thing I really like about this book, is that Caine lets you get to know these characters as Claire builds friendships or rivalries with them. She doesn't make it overtly obvious who Claire's romantic interest will be right off the bat. You really get a chance to know who the characters are as people first before the main character starts romanticizing them. Sure Claire notices the boys are attractive, but not more so than any other teenage girl would.
The plot is interesting and keeps your attention until the end. Top it all off with a horrendously unfair cliffhanger and you've got a great series starter. ...more
Simply amazing! I was completely engrossed from the start and finished this in only a couple of sittings. I have found a new favorite series from an author I never expected to try again. I was so incredibly disappointed with Slave to Sensation that I just figured that Nalini Singh was not the author for me. Boy how wrong was I! Maybe it was a matter of not being able to identify with the forced, emotionless character of her Psy-changling series, or the fact that a lot of great series' start out with a not so great first book. Whatever the case, Singh has redeemed herself in my eyes with Angels' Blood. I loved the characters, especially suffocatingly hot, dom Raphael. The plot and world development were engaging, the writing gripping, and the tension between Elena and Raphael blistering. I can't wait to read the second book! ...more
I just realized that I hadn't writeen a review for this one! I read this a year or so ago and found that I enjoyed it, but didn't like it as much as tI just realized that I hadn't writeen a review for this one! I read this a year or so ago and found that I enjoyed it, but didn't like it as much as the Black Dagger Brotherhood series it resembles.
It presents a very interesting premise, each hero is possessed by one of the demons from Pandora's Box. This first book pretty much just lays out some of the characters and the main ideas for the series. We get a much deeper idea of what is going on in books 2 and 3. This is not one of my favorite books in the series, but it is still a decent read. It does suffer a bit at the beginning from the "first in series syndrome" but I think lovers of paranormal romance will find it satisfying by the end and enjoy the other books in the series much more. So far book 3 The Darkest Pleasure is my favorite.
My advice: give it a shot, if you don't like it, well you could have done worse than spend a few days reading about hottie demons. ...more
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 fretThis 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. ...more
For the first book in a YA series, this was alright. I expect the first-in-series to be a little off so I have high hopes for the next book to be much better. Now I'm not saying I didn't like it. I enjoyed a diversion from the vampire saturated market, that today's YA fiction has become. The mythology of Hush, Hush unfolds for the main character Nora as she delves deeper into the dark and tangled world of the mysterious guy Patch.
I'm eager to see Nora's character develop, as she was a bit flighty and twitchy. If Nora's emotions and decisions in this book were a car, it would be swerving all over the damn road causing devastating accidents. It's a bit annoying and distracting from the story. I'm also not a fan of her friend Vee who seems to be just as superficial and fickle as the girls that pick on her for her weight.
All in all I am looking forward to reading the second book Crescendo and seeing how the plot develops from there....more
I was a little skeptical with this one at first. Honestly, I had a hard time getting into it seeing as werewolves are so not my thing. However, as I pI was a little skeptical with this one at first. Honestly, I had a hard time getting into it seeing as werewolves are so not my thing. However, as I progressed into the story and learned some of the mechanics and rules of the world of Kelley Armstrong's weres I realized this wasn't your everyday mythology. The weres do not have any speical powers and can be killed just as easily as a regular human or wolf could be. They must realy on their own cunning and courage. Each character's personaility is well developed and thought out making them endearing and special. The only problem I had is that Armstrong added a few extra "oh by the way they can do this too..." i.e. mild psychic connections of the Alpha to his pack and maker to protoge. Other than that I liked it, but it did take me awhile to warm up to it. I will definitely try the next book in the series. ...more