Although this is the first book in Kelley Armstrong's young adult series I still enjoyed it. I did find it hard to get into at the beginning but event...moreAlthough this is the first book in Kelley Armstrong's young adult series I still enjoyed it. I did find it hard to get into at the beginning but eventually I got lost in it and read it in one sitting.
The Darkest Powers series is set in the same world as the Women of the Otherworld series and it shows more towards the end. I was a little surprised that this book was similar to Stolen, the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series but it was different enough that it was still worth reading. When I got to the end I was stunned to realise that it was a cliffhanger and was desperate to read more though I understand this to be part of a trilogy so more of a part one of three, something that I'm not used to with Kelley's books. I will definitely be buying the second book. (less)
Yelena was convicted of murdering a General’s son and was sentenced to death. As she is walking to her death she is redirected to Valek’s (chief of se...moreYelena was convicted of murdering a General’s son and was sentenced to death. As she is walking to her death she is redirected to Valek’s (chief of security) office where she is offered a choice: the noose or becoming the food taster for the Commander. Only the next convict sent to their death after the predecessor has died can become the new food taster as it is a death sentence anyway. Yelena accepts Valek’s offer but she is not only in danger from possible poisons in the Commander’s food but her life is threatened by the grieving General whose son she killed.
When Yelena was convicted no one knew her motive for the murder so everyone believes she is a cold-blooded killer, though Valek rightly begins to suspect otherwise. In this society any unnatural death is murder and therefore the punishment is always execution.
I was intrigued by the political structure in this society. The monarchy was overthrown by the current Commander and a new military structure was put into place. It seems like a very communist society for example, every child at age 12 is assigned a job based on their skills and is entered into training and every person must wear a uniform according to their political and social standing. This is very different to most of the fantasy books I have read.
Yelena was very well written. She is a victim to begin with, she would run away at the first sign of trouble but as she is put in more and more danger she decides to find people to teach her some fighting skills. She becomes more confident and stands up to those that are bullying her.
This is a very easy to read fantasy with plenty of action and adventure as well as a slow burning romance. A brilliant start to the Study series. (less)
I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Too depressing.
It was fairly good until I got to the bit where Bella was brushing Jacob aside to go and rescue E...moreI couldn't bring myself to finish it. Too depressing.
It was fairly good until I got to the bit where Bella was brushing Jacob aside to go and rescue Edward. At this point I had to take a peek at the ending. I was appalled and couldn't continue reading it. Edward is flat and unlovable in this. Jacob was warm and full of life, I fell in love with him but evidently he was too good for Bella if she couldn't see what she had with him and dumped him for cold hard Edward.
I'm bitterly disappointed. I bought Eclipse at the same time as New Moon but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it now. I don't understand the hype anymore. I will not be watching the movie.(less)
A beautifully warm and well-written light fantasy for all ages to enjoy with a twist worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan film ('Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreaka...moreA beautifully warm and well-written light fantasy for all ages to enjoy with a twist worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan film ('Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable'). My only complaint would be that I would have liked the ending to have been extended to when Fiona finally comes home to Reed, I guess I'll just have to imagine it. (less)
This is a wonderful sequel to [Book:Poison Study], which I read this from start to finish in one session. The natural progression of the story as well...moreThis is a wonderful sequel to [Book:Poison Study], which I read this from start to finish in one session. The natural progression of the story as well as great character development hold this book to the same standards as it predecessor.
Janco and Ari who appear in the first book provide the comic relief in this one, a new character Cahil provides some mystery and becomes a short-lived love interest, and new friend Dax who loves to tell Yelena of the astounding rumours about her as they crop up.
I loved Yelena's close relationship with Cahil's horse Topaz and her own incredibly loyal horse Kiki and their love of apples and peppermints.
I felt the Commander was ingenious in his/her disguise as an Ambassador visiting Sitia, with only Yelena knowing the truth of his/her identity. I also liked the way the Commander handled Yelena's order of excution - a very wise decision was made.
Valek was as ruthless as always still protecting Yelena the best he can at risk to his own life. Yelena's ability to get below Valek's tough magic-immune exterior is nice but we still do not know much about Valek's past for me to truly love him as a character.
As for Yelena herself, her Soul-Finder status was brilliantly put across. Her compassion towards the beggar boy Fisk and his friends, the way she reached the catatonic Tula when others had given up on her, her ability to forgive her brother Leif and helping him heal his soul and her extraordinary ability to comfort and heal others is what makes this book worthy of all the praise it deserves.(less)
I enjoyed the wild ride of the first two in the trilogy but I could not get into the whole Fire Warper thing in this one. Other than that this was a v...moreI enjoyed the wild ride of the first two in the trilogy but I could not get into the whole Fire Warper thing in this one. Other than that this was a very interesting series. (less)
**spoiler alert** After the twists in The Safe-Keeper’s Secret nothing in this second book came as a surprise. It was obvious the newcomers from the r...more**spoiler alert** After the twists in The Safe-Keeper’s Secret nothing in this second book came as a surprise. It was obvious the newcomers from the royal city were the missing prince and his cousin. I was very happy with the story up until they arrived in part 2. For some reason I couldn’t bring myself to like Gregory (Tobin).
I loved the twins Adele, a safe-keeper and Eleda, a truth-teller - mirror images of one another (one left-handed, the other right, both have one green eye and one blue but in different eyes) yet so different. I liked that Eleda’s ability to ascertain truth from lie failed to work when she fell for Edgar’s charms, blinded by love and blind to the truth of him. The guilt and shame she felt when she learned what he did to another girl on the night she was supposed to secretly meet him.
Fiona’s appearance in this left me wondering how things were with Reed. I wanted to know if they were living happily ever after. It was interesting to see Fiona’s mother Melinda in her role as the dream-maker though I wouldn’t have minded seeing mother and daughter interacting.
This is the first Neil Gaiman book I have read and I’m sad to say I’m disappointed. Though it’s highly regarded I found it to be rather boring. I was...moreThis is the first Neil Gaiman book I have read and I’m sad to say I’m disappointed. Though it’s highly regarded I found it to be rather boring. I was tempted to abandon it after 50 pages but I persevered. The only reason why I’m giving this two stars instead of one is that the original idea was good and there were parts that drew me in but then it always lost me again.
The story was disjointed and episodic in nature. It went off in different directions that were either not resolved or unsatisfactorily explained. The lack of realism in the fact that I doubt a baby could crawl out of its cot, out of the house and down the road into a graveyard at what must have been lightening speed not to be caught by the man Jack, was ill conceived. Also the reason for Bod’s family’s death didn’t seem feasible or at least wasn’t revealed in enough detail, especially the workings of the Jack-of-all-trades.
It's almost as if Gaiman's popularity (and therefore money-making ability) meant that the publishers rushed to publish this book without so much as glancing at it first, when really they should've hired a team of editors to help whip it into shape fit enough for public consumption.
I feel this will serve better as a movie rather than a book. I hear it has been recently picked up by writer/director Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire, The Company of Wolves) and is due out in 2011. I look forward to seeing how he transfers The Graveyard Book to the silver screen hopefully updating and expanding on this poor book. (less)
Some of the teen-speak annoyed me as well as the assumptions and judgements about others. I don't remember being that bad as a teenager. Also I feel l...moreSome of the teen-speak annoyed me as well as the assumptions and judgements about others. I don't remember being that bad as a teenager. Also I feel like I all ready know what will take place in the sequel, I'm not sure whether that was the intention of the authors to make it obvious but anyway other than that it was an okay book. (less)
Got this out at the library this morning, started reading it at midday and finished it three hours later. I really needed something to concentrate on...moreGot this out at the library this morning, started reading it at midday and finished it three hours later. I really needed something to concentrate on before my dentist appointment and this was a perfect distraction.
I enjoyed Betrayed much more than [Book:Marked], it flowed more easily and Zooey was less annoying. (less)
**spoiler alert** I feel very conflicted about how to rate Chosen. It was a mish-mash of good and bad.
The Good: * I applaud the way the Stevie Rae situ...more**spoiler alert** I feel very conflicted about how to rate Chosen. It was a mish-mash of good and bad.
The Good: * I applaud the way the Stevie Rae situation was dealt with.
* I loved Aphrodite's character development and I hope she hasn't left the series.
The Bad: * Loren, Loren, Loren! Ugh, how could Zoey say she loved him, what an idiot, she barely knew him. To me the sex scene almost came off as rape because Loren cut himself and Zoey has no control over her bloodlust and the blood drinking makes her amorous then Loren ripped off her dress without her consenting to anything with a clear and sober head.
* Zoey losing her friends. I'm surprised they were so quick to abandon her after all they've been through. After all she was protecting them from Neferet by witholding the fact that Stevie Rae was still alive and the thing with Loren had only really took off and ended within the space of a few days - hardly a long affair.
I think that the Loren situation is a right of passage for Zoey, it was a wake-up call that Aphrodite was trying to give her that not all people are good.
I really hope we have not seen the last of Aphrodite, she's Zoey's strongest ally. I'm curious to see what will happen with Heath now, whether he will still have a tie to Zoey and his perpective of what happened when the Imprint was supposedly broken. I wonder if Erik will forgive her for her huge mistake now that he knows Neferet had a hand in what happened. Only three people other than Zoey know about Neferet's dark-side first-hand: Stevie Rae, Aphrodite and Erik, can they defeat her? I can't wait to find out how everyone will take Stevie Rae's rise from the dead, how will Neferet explain that?!
Though I liked the story there were some really really annoying things to overlook in this book and perhaps the series in general. The constant catch-...moreThough I liked the story there were some really really annoying things to overlook in this book and perhaps the series in general. The constant catch-up bits from previous books, the repetitive use of Grandma Redbird's use of the Cherokee word for daughter and the language use - the twins' converstion and the vocabulary words spouted and explained by Damien mostly, and the forced relationship between Damien and Jack makes me cringe. The cheesey all-for-on-and-one-for-all group feeling in this reminded me of Buffy's Scooby-gang. Other than these things Untamed was enjoyable and I look forward to reading Hunted.(less)
Yes now this more like it! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shortcomings of this series have been addressed in Hunted: the story was longer...moreYes now this more like it! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shortcomings of this series have been addressed in Hunted: the story was longer with no cliffhanger ending and the language of the teenagers was toned down with less useless chatter.
However Zoey kept repeating the word 'hell' at the beginning and the end of most of the chapters and the blow-out ending wasn't as big as I'd been hoping for, after all the waiting through four books I wanted to see a knock-down drag-out fight to the death between Zoey and Neferet - no such luck. A bit disappointed with that otherwise Hunted was the best well-rounded book of the series so far.(less)
Now I love fairy tales, and I love fantasy, but Stardust I did not love. With all of the hype over this book and the movie - which I've yet to see - I...moreNow I love fairy tales, and I love fantasy, but Stardust I did not love. With all of the hype over this book and the movie - which I've yet to see - I expected to like Stardust instantly but that didn’t happen, and after the first fifty pages I was looking for the ending - an unusual thing for me.
Despite being all of 200 pages it has taken me three days to read from beginning to end, with only the last 70 pages flowing easily. The language appears to be written for children but then there are swear words and sex scenes, which I found a little disconcerting.
There were some brilliant ideas and intriguing scenes, for instance, the first mention of the dying 81st Lord of Stormhold and the naming convention of his sons. However, at times, things seemed to be either glossed over or perhaps edited out, like Tristran’s meeting Lady Una for the first time with the new knowledge that she is his mother; he took it in his stride without any fuss – very unrealistic.
Overall, the story seemed squashed into too few pages with language that was, in my opinion, unsure of the age of its audience. I believe Stardust would have benefited from more pages with which to express its story, and the removal of the swear words and sex scenes.
ETA: I've now seen the movie, and I much prefer it over the book upon which its based.(less)
**spoiler alert** Hmm, I didn’t not like it but I wasn’t in love with it either. The story was so fast paced that I never really connected with Sabrie...more**spoiler alert** Hmm, I didn’t not like it but I wasn’t in love with it either. The story was so fast paced that I never really connected with Sabriel or her father and felt very little when he finally died, maybe I would have felt differently if he had spent more time on centre stage at the beginning. Overall I needed more interaction between Sabriel, Mogget (loved his grumpy sarcasm) and Touchstone - just some chatter that wasn’t related to “the mission” to help them become better acquainted with one another, friendlier perhaps in order to strengthen their ties.
The ending was quite abrupt and felt this was a missed opportunity for character development. I wanted to see Touchstone shake off some of his guilt and embrace his future. I wanted to know how Mogget survived the seventh bell and if being consumed had changed him. And I wanted to know how Kerrigor took to becoming a black cat. All of these things could so easily have been addressed in a well-crafted extended epilogue placed after the original epilogue of course. One thing I did like at the end was the contrast in colour between the two cats; one white mostly helpful cat and one black very evil one sitting side by side - it was a nice touch.
From everything I have just written, I’ve realised that I just needed the characters to be fleshed out a bit to make me fall in love with them because to me they seemed grey and needed to be painted with more colour, more life even if the story did revolve around death. (less)
Let's see why I loved it: The cattiness of the teenagers was realistic Dimitri was honorable and understanding Rose's maturity in her...moreI loved this book.
Let's see why I loved it: The cattiness of the teenagers was realistic Dimitri was honorable and understanding Rose's maturity in her devotion to and caring of Lissa I had to agree with Victor that the Moroi should be fighting alongside the Guardians.
What I didn't love: Lissa - I couldn't see why Rose loved her so much The sad ending - I cried and I rarely do so, when Dimitri was carrying Rose to the clinic and telling her why they couldn't be together.
From what I've heard and read about the rest of the series, I think I'll wait until it's finished before I read any more. I need to know if it ends happily or not so I can be prepared (i.e. buying lots of tissues).(less)
A great book but I thought that Katniss got away and won without killing ruthlessly, she only killed in self-defense or indirectly. I was relieved whe...moreA great book but I thought that Katniss got away and won without killing ruthlessly, she only killed in self-defense or indirectly. I was relieved when she told Peeta that the romance wasn't real for her. I want her to be with Gale, her relationship with him has a better chance of lasting.(less)
I read this in anticipation of the TV show and was surprised by how very Twilght-y it was. I gather that this was first published in 1991 so Smith was...moreI read this in anticipation of the TV show and was surprised by how very Twilght-y it was. I gather that this was first published in 1991 so Smith was there first. There were a couple of lines in this that I swear I read in Twilight but I digress.
Elena, who could double as Cordelia from Buffy, was a self absorbed evil teen queen then Stefan comes into her life and he becomes her obssession because no one turns down the high school princess. Perhaps she suffers from small-town syndrome where she wants to experience something different, exciting and exotic but rather than a boy I would recommend more holidays to France and other places rather than chasing down strangers. Anyway she chases him down and finally gets him. Nothing else matters to her once she has him, she doesn't care about anything but him even when she sees the monstrous vampire side of him, she accepts it. Even when he's suspected of murder and being associated with him threatens to ruin her reputation she's adamant and sticks by her man, that's growth I suppose.
This is a super light fast read not to be taken too seriously.(less)
The Soul Screamers series is certainly different from the mainstream.
Kaylee has a powerful urge to scream every time she comes across someone who is...moreThe Soul Screamers series is certainly different from the mainstream.
Kaylee has a powerful urge to scream every time she comes across someone who is about to die, it only stops when she either puts some distance between her and them or when that person finally dies. She knows she's not crazy but she covers up the truth by stating that she has panic-attacks. She doesn't know why she has this ability or why the most popular boy in school is now interested in her and frankly neither did I until about half way through the book.
Nash and Kaylee's attraction seemed to be down to their secret shared heritage and teenage hormones and not much else. Nash's sudden personality change when it came to Kaylee was odd considering how he treated numerous other girls so I understood why Kaylee at the end was questioning how long it would take for Nash to get bored and move on.
Kaylee's family keeping her in the dark for so long was not only dangerous but damaging to her. Encouraging her to think that she's crazy instead of revealing who and what she is was cruel.
The revelation of Nash and Tod's connection was unexpected but made sense. The idea of the reapers reminded me of the TV show Dead Like Me but with master lists of those to die instead of just post-it notes!
What I couldn't quite understand was Aunt Val's motivation for doing what she did. How was she going to get what she wanted by making that deal? Maybe I missed that part or maybe she was just deluding herself into thinking that what she wanted was even possible, who knows? We all know that Faustian deals are just wrong, wrong, wrong - they never end well.
I read the prequel My Soul to Lose first and this straight after, I recommend that others read the prequel first too because it highlights the seriousness of Kaylee's situation and her family's reaction to it.
Overall I was pretty impressed with the originality of the story but there did feel like there was something missing, I'm not sure what it was, I can't put my finger on it otherwise I would give this 5 stars.
Wow, I’m so glad I acquired all six of the books (out so far) at the same time. The cliffhanger ending left me so hungry for more that as soon as I fi...moreWow, I’m so glad I acquired all six of the books (out so far) at the same time. The cliffhanger ending left me so hungry for more that as soon as I finished Glass Houses I started reading The Dead Girls’ Dance right after just so I could find out what happened next. For a young adult book and a first in a series I was impressed, it’s rare to find any series that starts with a bang.
I didn’t have a problem with Claire that others have expressed. Her attitude was justified, moving away from home to go to university is tough and to do it at sixteen as a child prodigy must be even harder especially when you are being targeted by a group of murderous bullies. If you wouldn’t feel scared and depressed in that situation then you’re a robot. She was entitled to a little whining.
I haven’t read the whole of Caine’s Weather Warden series but I did read the first book, Ill Wind which wasn’t really something I could get into so if you couldn’t get into it either then you may want to give the Morganville Vampire series a try though I have to warn you it is addictive! (less)
I've enjoyed Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan/Hollows series and decided to try out her YA book. Madison is very much like Rachel, things just seem to hap...moreI've enjoyed Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan/Hollows series and decided to try out her YA book. Madison is very much like Rachel, things just seem to happen to her. When Grace came on the scene I instantly thought of Jenks with her funny limericks, her naughty deeds and pixie-like stature.
The premise sort of reminded me of a TV programme called Dead Like Me but this book was slightly more complicated. Reapers are angels of death who are given amulets which give them magical abilities by human timekeepers, who also give them times and location of those whose lives are about to be cut short. The dark reapers serve the seraphs (heavenly beings) who believe that people who are destined to make the wrong choices which have a major negative impact on other lives should be killed. Dark reapers do the killing by using black wings (creepy wraith things that look like crows) to find their victims and their sword which is connected to their amulet. On the flip side, light reapers serve a light timekeeper and believe that human choice is paramount so they try to prevent the dark reapers from reaping these souls. They believe the seraphs are all about fate and are killing people before they've even done anything wrong - reminds me of Minority Report .
There is some YA cheese but I really enjoyed the ending with Ron, Nikita, Barnabus and the seraph.
It's a fast-paced, short read. I think the next instalment on Madison's life (or death) will be even better than the first. At least I haven't got long to wait, only two months and some change. (less)