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)
Considering this is PNR, the romance was really sex labelled as love. I didn't like the assumption that all werewolves everywhere were bad and I'm pre...moreConsidering this is PNR, the romance was really sex labelled as love. I didn't like the assumption that all werewolves everywhere were bad and I'm pretty sure the hero was a shifter of some kind though he was apparently human despite his inhuman attributes. The villains were obvious but kind of pathetic at the same time but then the plot felt strange and the denouement wasn't very satisfying.
Although I did like the hero's ethnicity (Native American) and his trouble finding someone to like him for him rather than his pretty face and good sexual technique. His insecurity was endearing as was the heroine's reason for being ashamed to be seen with him in public. Not a good book but easy enough to read.(less)
1. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel a connection between Miss FBI (aka Special Agent Heather Wallace) and Dante, yet they fell for each othe...more1. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel a connection between Miss FBI (aka Special Agent Heather Wallace) and Dante, yet they fell for each other though I don't know why. At the beginning I imagined Dante to be as Eric from True Blood with his throne in the club with a hint of pre-godhood Acheron with everyone adoring and lusting after him so I could understand Miss FBI's automatic attraction but not what attracted him to her except that she quieted the voices in his head. They spent very little time together and there was little to no sexual tension. They were forced together, there was no love between them. I think it would have been more realistic to pair her with Lucien.
2. I wouldn't call this book PNR, it barely qualifies as UF, it's more crime/horror as there is very little romance and only one sex scene.
3. The constantly changing multiple POVs was incredibly irritating. This didn't settle down until about two thirds of the way in. There were too many characters introduced in this way at the beginning, it was confusing.
4. The pace of this book is really slow it gets bogged down with the multiple POVs sometimes of the same events, only the last 100 pages or so does the pace pick up. This book is a depressing 500 pages long so you can imagine what a hard slog reading this was.
5. Though the inclusion of the French/Casjun words and phrases were a nice touch, I'm not fluent in these languages so I didn't always know what was said. I didn't notice the glossary until I finished the book which wasn't helpful, it should have been placed at the very beginning of the book instead of the end.
6. The cover did not represent what was inside the book. This cover was very misleading. Miss FBI did not wear leather, in fact she was one of the few who didn't wear it.
7. Background - questions were left unanswered about Miss FBI's past and her present circumstances. We have to assume she is single and living in Seattle and that she is alone with no family or friends except her boss Stearns. I had questions about Lucien and his whereabouts while Dante suffered, why he left his mother and what made him Fallen, though it was hinted at. Vampire politics were also hinted at with a mention of sanctions and councils but alas no elaboration.
8. Motivations - I didn't fully understand the motives and inner workings of the Bad Seed experiment/programme, or what exactly it was in relation to the FBI and the research lab.
9. Miss FBI's 'Are vampires real?' dilemma was dealt with badly. She was skeptical then sort of accepted it, was unsure, then had to see to believe. Bloody hell, make up your damn mind!
10. Characters - Dante was intriguing but he wasn't fully developed. You don't really get a proper sense of his personality other than being musical and having to do everything the hard way. His sexuality was unclear, he kissed men but generally in greeting as he did with the women. He'd suffered sexual abuse so maybe he didn't know himself if he was gay, bi or straight although we do see him participating in a threesome with another man there was no touching between them other than a kiss. He didn't seem sexy to me, he wanted to be a bad boy but in my opinion he didn't quite pull it off. He just seemed broken with no real hope of regaining control over his mind or his abilities. Collins peaked my interest but we see little of him and then he's discarded. Miss FBI was weak, there was very little to her, you got a vague sense of protectiveness and the need to do right but other than that she was a dull, flat character. We learn very little about the bad guys Ronin, E and Moore -they were just bad because the author had labelled them so there were no reasons behind their actions. Also members of Dante's household were thrust forward without much depth or explanation for their loyalty to Dante.
11. I was confused for most of the book. I had a hard time following what was happening and why or how Miss FBI made her deductions. Overall the story is very slow, dry and bland, hell we even know who the serial killer is from the beginning so there was no mystery to hold my interest. I was bored reading this and forced myself to finish it. My only positive emotion about this book was the relief I felt when I read the final page. Basically this was a waste of time. The writing is abysmal but the story had potential and that is the only reason why I'm giving this two stars instead of one.(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)
**spoiler alert** I haven’t read many newly-risen-vampire books but in direct competition of those I have read (The Turning and Undead and Unwed are a...more**spoiler alert** I haven’t read many newly-risen-vampire books but in direct competition of those I have read (The Turning and Undead and Unwed are all I can think of at the moment) Pretty When She Dies wins hands down. It was gritty and very realistic in that if vampires did exist I wouldn’t be surprised if when they first rose they had similar obstacles to overcome, namely the bloodlust and the inadvertent killing spree to sate it.
There are good vampires, which seem rare in this book, bad ones and perhaps some that fall in between. The reasons the Summoner was evil were made obvious; his boredom and loneliness after so many centuries of walking the Earth had warped his mind - in some books you never know what turned the “enemy” to the dark side.
The characters were believable and their development over the course of the book was well done. Amaliya was tough, she’s a survivor of both physical (what the Summoner does to her) and emotional (her cruel screwed up family) pain who has learned that running away when things get hard is the best thing to do but finds that with the Summoner on her tail there is nowhere for her to run that he won’t find her so she’s forced, mostly by Cian, to make a stand and fight. The romance between Amaliya and Cian progressed from “maybe I should kill her” to “he’s not my type he’s too short and clean” to forbidden love/lust and finally relief that they could be together. I liked Cian’s transformation. His appearance changed from clean shaven good guy in hiding to a rougher, more confident and alert politician ready to take on the vampires.
Obviously my favourite character was Grandmamma – wow, I was right there with her grandson Sergio in his shock, disbelief and finally laughter after the revelation about her love life. I was glad when their fear of what Amaliya had become gradually turned into acceptance, unlike the reactions of her cruel family. I have to admit that I fully expected Grandmamma to let her religion get in the way of her accepting Amaliya’s new state and was waiting for her to call her the spawn of Satan and attack her granddaughter. I wish she was my grandmother, she’s a fierce but loving woman – no man or woman would want to cross her.
I don’t really want to make this comparison but Pretty When She Dies does remind me of certain aspects of Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. The Master (vampire) of the City system, the messed up zombies made from multiple body parts, the necromancy are all similar but I think this book is tighter and perhaps darker in its very isolating you-against-the-world nature. Overall this is an intriguing and worthwhile read for urban fantasy lovers.
I have read that there may be a sequel, Pretty When She Kills which I will definitely be interested in if and when it is released. (less)
Shortly after I started reading I realised this wasn't going to be the best book in the world though there were a couple of good jokes, one of them in...moreShortly after I started reading I realised this wasn't going to be the best book in the world though there were a couple of good jokes, one of them involves a cucumber...in a snack's trousers being used to cover his inability to get it up -the dude was anaemic and was faking everything: fake tan, fake job, fake shoulders (i.e. shoulder pads); the other involves Lissiana, a vampire with haemaphobia (a fear of blood) who faints at the very sight of blood. When I thought about this I couldn't help but wonder how she dealt with her periods, an obvious problem that Sands never addresses.
I don't know when this book was first published but it reads like it was written in the early 90s. It was highly predictable and VERY slow. Nothing surprised me. I admit I was looking for a light read with a happy ending, and I guess I got what I wanted I just didn't expect it to be this flimsy. The story was mostly about the Argeneau family, only in the last quarter of the book did you feel that Greg and Lissiana were in any danger, though it was glaringly obvious who had put them there.
There were plenty of embarressing moments for the main characters especially Greg who was humiliated a number of times though I think these instances were meant to be funny, they just came off as degrading to me.
On the plus side the history and explanation of how vampires came to be and the biological side of them was interesting as was Lissiana's mother's life story. Also the way Greg came into Lissiana's life was different to most of the paranormal romances I've read.
Overall A Quick Bite was synonymous with A Bit Dull. (less)
I'd just finished Black Magic Sanction at 1am and had a quick look at what I was going to read next, picked up Need, read the first couple of sentence...moreI'd just finished Black Magic Sanction at 1am and had a quick look at what I was going to read next, picked up Need, read the first couple of sentences and couldn't put it down.
I was instantly intrigued by the phobias as chapter names, Zara's obsession with them, her deep depression and pessimistic thoughts (I'm a pessimist at heart). The small town, the cold creepy woods and the isolating snow storms - it all adds to the spooky atmosphere. The simple, free flowing writing had me right in Zara's mind, feeling her emptiness, her hopelessness and anger at her stepdad's death. All of this made it an easy read but there were some things that brought this book down.
Zara's pacifist nature and her obsession with Amnesty International is just weird. Perhaps this hobby was just that, a hobby until her stepdad died and she just became obsessed but it was odd, I don't really think teenagers much care about the wider world or even think about being a pacifist until they leave school.
Zara's conversations with Davyn and Issie aren't quite right. Again I can sort of rationalise and say that they cottoned onto the whole fairy thing because they were bored, not much went on in the small town so they latched on to anything remotely interesting and ran it into the ground. Can't really see them making the connection between the Pointing Man in the woods and pixies just by typing a few words into Google though. A bit of a leap.
I expected Davyn to be a were but Issie felt like one too with the way she talked about packs and her hyperactive energy. I saw Ian coming a mile away, anyone that nice is hiding something. For some reason I thought there would be a twist in what Zara was, I knew the story was pointing to her being half-pixie but I assumed that she was really her stepdad's biological daughter that got pixie blood from her mother's line. It would have explained her and Nick's strong connection.
I wondered about whether there was a were community or a pack structure, it was hinted at but not explained. Nick is an emerging alpha but if his protective instincts are so strong is/does he become an alpha of something like a pack or the were community? I wasn't too clear on this.
We didn't really get much depth on the pixies, who quite frankly acted more like vampires. I don't understand why the weres didn't know the pixies were living in the woods when they are supposed to be mortal enemies and both races have been living in the same area for over 25 years.
The ending didn't quite match up to what I was expecting but it was a light and easy read.(less)
**spoiler alert** The TV series Legend of the Seeker introduced me to this book. I was intrigued by the Mord-Sith and Kahlan’s Confessor abilities. I...more**spoiler alert** The TV series Legend of the Seeker introduced me to this book. I was intrigued by the Mord-Sith and Kahlan’s Confessor abilities. I believed the usual line of ‘the book is better than the movie/TV series’ and sought out the book.
As I started to read this I was surprised by how weak both Kahlan and Richard were, there is a stark contrast between TV-Kahlan and book-Kahlan. TV-Kahlan seemed to have more steel in her backbone angered by what she had endured at the hands of Darken Rahl’s forces but book-Kahlan was down-trodden by it all like she was getting ready to give up and die. I was also surprised by how readily Richard took on his Seeker status and by how quick he was to see Darken Rahl as his father’s murderer and as an enemy of the people. Richard was hypnotised or brainwashed by Kahlan’s mysterious beauty and was taken in by everything she said, he rarely questioned the truth of her words and went by his instincts alone. I think this is why the beginning of the TV series was so different, it tried to cover the holes in the book - not that I’m saying that the TV series was better, it had many weaknesses too.
The only other series that I have read that is similar to Wizard’s First Rule is Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series which starts with Kushiel’s Dart. I could not help but compare these two books. Both had a couple, a male and a female travelling together falling in love and unravelling mysteries and plots to gain power over the people but WFR was the weaker and simpler of the two. It’s very detailed, all manner of descriptions are in-depth which I sometimes skipped. I didn’t need to know everything. I don’t want to be bored to tears by unimportant details or by every single thought that pops into Richard’s head that on occasion were repeated sometimes in the same paragraph.
The language used was at times quite juvenile and awkward especially when describing Richard and Kahlan’s attraction to one another. These were some cringe-worthy moments. They fell for each other far too quickly and easily, I can understand Richard was attracted to the mystery and beauty of Kahlan and Kahlan’s attraction to Richard’s lack of fear towards her but to fall for someone you’ve just met and know very little about was unconvincing. Their patience when dealing with each other was also irritating. They rarely disagreed or had an argument. Every decision was Richard’s to make because he was the Seeker but out of the two Kahlan had far more experience to make such decisions. She took the ‘mother’ part of being a Mother Confessor a little too seriously, babying Richard trying to control him - both his actions and his thoughts, she often saw him as a boy, with boyish expressions or mannerisms. Richard himself is too pure, too good. What are his weaknesses? His negative qualities? There has to be something that makes him imperfect.
Darken Rahl, hmm he didn’t really come through as a three-dimensional character did he? At the rate he went at killing and torturing, how many people did he think he would have left to rule? I know there are people out there who have no concept of what “reason” is but it’s fairly obvious that Darken Rahl’s attempts to rule the world would ultimately be self-defeating.
Zedd was my favourite character, though you don’t get to see too much of him. He’s a pivotal character. He’s suffered much loss and yet keeps a sense of humour. It was quite interesting to have his family (the good side) and Darken Rahl’s family (the dark side) intertwined.
Reading other reviews, I have to disagree with those who say this is too violent. I have read much more violent books. For instance, the Kushiel series of books by Jacqueline Carey as I mentioned before contain more violence. I think what people have to remember is that this is set way back in history, in a patriarchal society where women are not valued and laws can be easily broken and the innocent easily punished. I’m not sure if I’m the only one but I cheered when Richard shattered Princess Violet’s jaw and teeth, to take that much pleasure in his torture she didn’t deserve to live to become queen.
There were some original (at least to me) ideas like the Mord-sith and the confessors. I don’t believe it is the masterpiece it could have been but I can see why people like the book. The storyline is good but the way in which the story is told, the language used is what lets it down. There were some unanswered questions like how did Siddin come to be in Queen Milena's dungeon when Darken Rahl stole him for Demmin Nass?
If you’re a speed reader you’ll get through this fairly quickly despite the page count. If you are a perfectionist or have OCD tendencies you probably don’t want to read this, it will drive you crazy. WFR was in serious need of a proof-reader/editor who probably could have whittled this book down from over 800 pages to 600 or less just by cutting out the laborious descriptions. (less)
I really want to give this a better rating for the easy writing style and the effortless flow which kept me hooked but I can't ignore this book's faul...moreI really want to give this a better rating for the easy writing style and the effortless flow which kept me hooked but I can't ignore this book's faults.
Throughout I got annoyed with Damen's constant excuses and apologies and from the moment after Drina attacked Ever everything got a bit corny and Damen's explanation of what he is didn't quite feel right. However I did love the thing with the flowers and their meanings and the way he gave Ever some of her confidence back. The Riley dilemma was well-written and I could understand Ever's feelings toward Ava, she was always smiling and came off as arrogant, why would Ever think Ava could help if she was like that and going behind Ever's back and talking to Riley?
Some may compare this to Twilight but I think that's unfair, it has more in common with the Vampire Diaries. Both of the heroines have lost their families in car accidents, both are finding it hard to adjust to a new life with an aunt, both meet a mysterious new student at school and the similarities continue only Stefan was a vampire and Damen is not. Drina could have been the Damen character from the Vampire Diaries in disguise but she was more pathetic though her manipulation of Haven was creepy. (less)
I found it hard to get my head around the world created here. The Shadowblades and Sunspears were great but some things didn't quite fit, like the ang...moreI found it hard to get my head around the world created here. The Shadowblades and Sunspears were great but some things didn't quite fit, like the angels - I couldn't see them being in that world. I was also a bit unsure of the Guardians and their place, but I think that will be rectified later.
Switching between narrators was a good way of introducing us to the two characters that are to become an item, though more effort was made to flesh out main character Max than Alexander, who seemed pretty dull and boring to me. Idolising Max and wishing he could be more like her are, in my opinion, grounds for a crush rather than a foundation for a serious relationship.
The chemistry between them wasn't quite up to par. We're repeatedly told they're instantly attracted to one another in a love-at-first-sight kind of way without much interaction between them, and based on this, Max sort of trusts him and vice versa. To be honest, I was more interested in the kiss between Max and Oz and where that could lead.
Giselle, though supposedly a tough witch and Max's superior, didn't come across as a "good torturer", and therefore, a not-so-nice person. Most of the time she was on an equal footing with Max, or she let Max take charge. I didn't see the woman who we're told tortured Max when trying to bind and rebind Max to her after Max tried to escape, despite what Giselle did to Alexander.
I loved the gruesome scenes and the dark nature of the book in general, but the physical damage that Max and others suffered was so extensive I couldn't quite believe they were still able to walk around unaided and not hemorrhaging out on the floor. These absurdly remarkable healing abilities gave me the feeling that they were almost invincible, except against angels.
There are some rough edges to this book but I imagine the sequel will be smoother. I'd be interested in reading about Max's future role in the coming war and how her family reacts to her being alive.(less)
This was my first ever zombie read and I absolutely loved it. Jenni and Katie become sisters-in-arms, developing an unbreakable bond in the face of th...moreThis was my first ever zombie read and I absolutely loved it. Jenni and Katie become sisters-in-arms, developing an unbreakable bond in the face of the zombie holocaust. I was envious of their friendship. They came from very different backgrounds, their old lives lost and embark on new ones together and in Jenni’s case with a completely new personality as a crazy risk taker. Their survival was more about luck than skill, it was horrifying to see good people die so quickly and easily.
After reading this, for the first time I wished I lived in a gun-toting country. I want a gun, make that “guns”, plural, and a never-ending supply of bullets. You know, just in case.
My Favourite Bits The zombie old man outside the library clutching “Better Sex After 60″
Juan to Travis about Katie: “Ever see Chasing Amy?” “No.” “Eh, you’re fucked” “Yeah.”
Juan to Jenni: “Dropping from the harness is real loca, Loca. What if you had missed and hit the spikes?” “Um, you would miss me?” “Yeah, right.”
Mike's ominous "...the black man always gets it"
The fact that Jenni's mixed race: her mother was Mexican, dad Irish so she can speak Spanish.
The first story, fierce and dying human warrior woman meets reclusive dragon shifter, was a bit disappointing. I kept checking my reading progress. Th...moreThe first story, fierce and dying human warrior woman meets reclusive dragon shifter, was a bit disappointing. I kept checking my reading progress. The dragon's argumentative family's constant squabbling amongst his siblings and their royal parents' unconventional relationship kept a smile on my face. 3 stars.
Strangely the second story was a prequel of the first, describing how the dragon parents got together and ascended to the royal throne. I much preferred this story. It was fast-paced, funny, with a poor excuse of a mother as the scheming villain. It also gave me a different perspective on parenting styles. 5 stars.
Dragons are bloodthirsty and fierce creatures not be messed with. I like!(less)
Many people have been raving about this author recently so I took a gamble and read this book. It was interesting, intelligently written but it also m...moreMany people have been raving about this author recently so I took a gamble and read this book. It was interesting, intelligently written but it also made me smile and chuckle to myself a few times.
The relationships between the group of female friends were very entertaining despite their constant bitching and fighting, it was obvious they loved each other dearly. Plus, the main couple didn't jump into bed straight away so it got extra points from me just for that.
My overall impression is that this series gets better and better so I'll be reading that next book quite soon.(less)
Lately I think I've been overdosing on the young adult reads because I'm finding way too many similarities between these books.
Anyway, Hush, Hush was...moreLately I think I've been overdosing on the young adult reads because I'm finding way too many similarities between these books.
Anyway, Hush, Hush wasn't great. The only thing I enjoyed was Patch's embarrassing public comments about Nora and his way of antagonising her although it could also be classed as bullying. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel.(less)
First off, I love the physical qualities of this book. The cover actually reflects the story inside and the art is colourfully eye-catching. The font...moreFirst off, I love the physical qualities of this book. The cover actually reflects the story inside and the art is colourfully eye-catching. The font used is quirky but then so is the main character Tammy.
The writing relaxed me, easing me in to Tammy’s life. It reminded me of the way Janet Evanovich writes her Stephanie Plum series, however the wording of some sentences confused me but that may be down to Texan slang, I’m English I don’t know much about that so some words and sentences were lost on me. Also, there were quite a few instances where the dialogue was choppy, switching topics so fast that questions went unanswered, this required me to read some lines more than once to check if I was following the conversations correctly.
You really got a sense of the small-town nature of Tammy’s personality, she was really clueless to some worldly things – she didn’t know what a red-light district was and she thought Gaelic was written as ‘Gay-lick’, something she associated with homosexuals!
It’s a fun entertaining read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. When it looked like characters were going to die, I didn’t worry I trusted the author, that’s how I relaxed I was reading this. Although the back of this book states it’s a paranormal romance, I wouldn’t class it as one. There is some sexual tension with Bryn, he was mysterious at first but I liked him less and less after he magically rapes Tammy twice, stealing her power, the second time taking advantage of her knowing that she was under the influence of something. I was glad when she apologised to her ex-husband Zach who despite being a bit of a sh*tty husband he still loved Tammy.
When Tammy was comparing Bryn and Zach, Zach came out on top; she could trust him and he would do his best not to hurt her. Bryn on the other hand didn’t really care about her feelings, he was selfish and arrogant. A major sticking point for Zach was that he thought that Edie was just a figment of Tammy’s imagination but he seemed to see her when he was dying, whether that was down to the bite or his near-death experience I don’t know but hopefully he’ll believe Edie exists now.
For Tammy, knowing Bryn may help her in gaining more magical knowledge – that’s a pro for him, and staying with Zach whose inattentive overbearing nature drove her mad – a con for him but overall she may be safer with Bryn but I think Zach would make her happier. She only seems to like Bryn for what he has, what he can offer like Jenson, the huge kitchen and magical resources. Oh and the fact that she’s forbidden to associate with him probably makes him more desirable to her. Weird that her other family members seemed to know his father.
My favourite character, Mercutio the ocelot, couldn’t even talk. I hate domestic cats but I love big cats. Mercutio was so intelligent I expected him to be a shape-shifter or something. The story about Bryn finding him floating on a raft was weird. I wonder where he came from.
Other questions like the possibility of Tammy’s father being fey were interesting. The absence of her mother and aunt was annoying considering how many questions Tammy has for them like: who is her father? Is he fey? Why are the Lyons on the list? I guess these will be answered in the sequel.
The ending was quick and convenient and I have to say I think it was too convenient. The author obviously didn’t want her characters to die or turn into werewolves so she waved a wand and healed them up real nice. I suppose I can forgive that considering the happy tone of the whole book, it would only be right for it to have a happy ending too. (less)
I HATE this book! Everything about it is terrible. I feel cheated of my time and robbed of my money.
The plot is a simple one. In fact this would've se...moreI HATE this book! Everything about it is terrible. I feel cheated of my time and robbed of my money.
The plot is a simple one. In fact this would've served better as a novella because 300 pages was too many for what little was in them. And grammar nazis will have a fit, running out of red ink before they turn the last page.
For a supposedly lethal hunter and fierce protector of the world against monsters and demons imprisoned behind a veil, Maxine Kiss was a pansy-assed pussy. I'm sorry for my crass language but I'm so Mad. She asked everyone questions and whether they be friend or foe she never received a straight answer. Meaningless riddles are not an answer. She threatened but never followed through. ("You try anything, you even think about standing up, and I will have you shitting out of your dick so fast you'll beg me to rip it off." ~ Best threat) She just accepted these non-answers and moved on. To my frustrated consternation this happened repeatedly all the way through the book:
Maxine encountered someone, they talk some shit and do a lot of implying, she'd question them, they'd deflect or give some vague and incomprehensible response. Kick some ass, woman! Where's this fierce warrior that's supposed to "save the world"? Because frankly if you're our saviour, then kill me now. Pathetic.
And what the hell was she doing with someone like Grant? They live by such fundamentally different philosophies. Maxine kills the things that go bump in the night and Grant "saves" them. Slightly naive of him, if you ask me. Also, I'm not discriminating against the disabled here but if Maxine was going to settle down with anyone, shouldn't it be with someone who has the ability to run for his life? Otherwise, they're just cannon fodder. There's no way for him to keep up with her or effectively fight by her side. His flute would be no match for angry demon hordes.
I found none of the characters likeable, unless you count homeless teen Byron who was turned into a pitiable creature. Maxine was unkillable. It was absurdly cartoon-ish the way she was run over by a bus and got right back up again, completely unharmed. I wonder if she's hardy against poison and disease. Please, someone try it.
For someone slapped with a violently pro-active personna she did absolutely fuck all. All growl and no bite. The original premise was a good one but unfortunately it was poorly executed. By the end I still didn't fully understand what had changed from the beginning. It's taken me four excrutingly long months to finish this and that's with skimming.
"Iron Hunt sucks! I will congratulate anyone who managed to finish it. Those who gave this book 5 stars is not my friend. I've just offended 181 people but I don't care. I hate every character so far except maybe this homeless teenager who's probably just a flash in the pan. It's frustratingly slow and sparse on the background details. Good bits are few and far between. It's a challenge read so I have to finish. Stupid challenges."
I stick by this statement but to any future friends who may have rated this 5 stars, I'm sorry but we may just have to go our separate ways.(less)
Dashed hopes. That's what this book was for me. With all the rave reviews I expected a 5 star read but I was left disappointed.
The first half of the...moreDashed hopes. That's what this book was for me. With all the rave reviews I expected a 5 star read but I was left disappointed.
The first half of the book was ok and seemed to be heading some place good but then Katsa and Po rushed into a sexual relationship that she wasn't ready for. For some reason she thought that being with Po was an all-or-nothing affair, she needed time to get used to her feelings for him. One second she acknowledges her attraction to him and the next they're doing the dirty - I was unprepared for this being a YA book and all. Not a good message for the kids.
Afterwards I expected Katsa to soften just a little around the edges at least with Po; more smiles, small touches, gestures, glances between them but I was left wanting. The tension between the two characters before they got together was good but afterwards...it all seemed very forced. Katsa didn't love Po, Po may have loved Katsa but she didn't love him. She felt friendship - a bond of sharing, affection but love? No. It was almost as if she was responding to Po's desire for her rather than her own wants. She was wooden for most of the book, she rarely had any emotions except anger and perhaps fear. Even her feelings for Bitterblue were muted. She cared for her and taught her how to hold a blade because she needed her to live so that leaving Po behind had been worth it. Bitterblue didn't appear to grow on her at all, Katsa cared very little for others except her cousin and Po and even then it was debatable as to how much she cared for them.
Katsa didn't really change over the course of the book. Yes she refused to be her uncle's tool anymore but what else? She is with Po only because he needs her and she cares about him - that is it. She is not perfect, she doesn't realise that Po would never "trap" her in what Katsa sees as a typical marriage, one where the husband is always dominating and controlling his wife. Po on the other hand, made progress in leaps and bounds, I think I would have been happier if this story had been told from his perspective. He showed plenty of emotion, his grace would have made it interesting and he had all of that family who I would have loved to have seen more of. So much happened to him in this book that he sort of made Katsa look boring in comparison.
**MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT**
The demise of King Leck came about rather suddenly and too easily in my opinion. He was made out to be a very powerful evil man, hard to kill but he was brought down after only a couple of very short face-to-face encounters with Katsa. It was implied earlier in the book that he would try to make Katsa hunt and kill Po or someone that one of them cared about. It never happened.
The story after King Leck's defeat was strange. I felt it unlikely that Po would have survived so well on his own even though he did suffer permanent injury. I like a bit of reality in my fantasy - it has to have some believability to it.
All of this made me wonder if this book had originally been written for adults and was cut down to a shorter teenage-friendly size. If it had then I would understand why King Leck had to be defeated so quickly and why the second half of the book was so odd.
As I read the last sentences I felt sad, not because it was an unhappy ending, it wasn't (it wasn't exactly a happy one either) but because it had potential to be something more than it was.(less)
Better suited to the 9-12 age group, I think. It was okay. I enjoyed Tomas Tod's (Vlad's father) journal entries the most though I would've liked to h...moreBetter suited to the 9-12 age group, I think. It was okay. I enjoyed Tomas Tod's (Vlad's father) journal entries the most though I would've liked to have known more about Tomas' life before meeting Vlad's mother. Vlad taking a bite out of Henry, his best friend, when he was eight was funny. I was disappointed he didn't show any human leanings despite his mother being human. I expected there to be something special his human side gave him which would make him the special "one" spoken of in prophecy.
I never trusted Otis. Tomas mentions an "old friend" who couldn't be trusted and I believe Otis to be that person. Either he lied or there's a continuity error: (view spoiler)[Otis claims to be Tomas's younger brother by about a century which would make Otis half vamp (or their dad was still having sex in his hundreds) though he tells Vlad he's special because he's the only halfling. (hide spoiler)]
I see Beautiful Creatures as Adult Literary Fiction meets Young Adult with a heavy dose of Paranormal Romance.
The story is told from a male perspectiv...moreI see Beautiful Creatures as Adult Literary Fiction meets Young Adult with a heavy dose of Paranormal Romance.
The story is told from a male perspective (unusual for this genre) in first person by Ethan Lawson Wate who is stuck in a small southern town in the middle of nowhere, where no one moves in and no one moves out. You’re born there, live there and die there. Ethan wants to be different, he wants to get out and see the world, he’s tired of the small-town attitudes of his school friends and neighbours. He’s been having nightmares about holding onto an unknown girl he’s in love while she dangles in the air until he drops her, nightmares in which he wakes up soaked from the rain in his dream, and is haunted by a mysterious song called Sixteen Moons.
Everything in the town is the same until Lena Duchannes moves in with her reclusive uncle, Macon Ravenwood the town’s bogeyman. Everyone tars her with the same brush automatically believing she’s as “crazy” as her uncle, everyone but Ethan. He recognises her from the nightmares and sees something different in her. She’s a symbol of everything he wants: she’s travelled, she’s well-educated, well-read and she doesn’t think like the rest of the town, and when Ethan becomes her friend the town turns on them both. Ethan adores her until she reveals she’s a Caster, a magic-user who will be Claimed either by the Dark (evil) or the Light (good) on her 16th birthday but she belives she will go Dark. They form an unusually strong bond especially since he's only a Mortal and together they try to find out more about the Claiming to see if they can stop it but both Macon and Ethan’s housekeeper (or second mother), Amma stand in their way.
This is very slow-building, so slow in fact that it took me over two weeks to finish. Only bull-headed determination got me to the end. A lot of background on the town and its characters was given but there were parts that just didn’t interest me, like detail on the all-important war and the repetition of certain facts that got tiresome after a while as did Lena's behaviour, constantly pushing Ethan away "for his own good" when it was clear he wasn't going anywhere and all she was doing was hurting them both. I had to skim a few times.
Macon Ravenwood was my favourite character, I wanted to read more about him and his life. I also wanted more on Genevieve and her life after the visions, how much did she change after she made the failed bargain? How Dark did she become? I wondered if there was something special about Boo Radley the wolf-dog other than being Macon’s eyes, was his relationship with Macon symbiotic? It seemed like it. I think something more could have been made of Ethan’s father, I don’t know what exactly but there wasn’t enough interaction with Ethan especially after the suicide incident.
Ethan struck me as very feminine and extremely mature until quite late in the book when he found it difficult to say the words "girlfriend" and "I love you". I waited for his thoughts to turn sexual, like every hormonal teenager but it didn't happen. His unusual bond with Lena wasn’t really explained, even though there was a comparison to Ethan Carter Wate (Ethan’s great, great uncle) and Genevieve’s relationship, it wasn’t clear on what made Ethan able to feel and communicate (via mind-speak) with Lena so easily. There was a suggestion he was a Caster and then doors were opening of their own accord for him which was later explained away as his mother’s spirit helping him. Lena’s father is practically glossed over, we only know that he was murdered by her mother. I didn’t fully understand the extent to which Mrs Lincoln was possessed by Serafine, she said she wasn’t always possessing her so I was curious to know how much of Mrs Lincoln’s behaviour was due to Serafine and how much was her own nasty personality.
The ending was lack-lustre, rushed, not well-thought out, hodge-podge. Lena gets rid of the enemies quickly and easily, a flash of lightning was all it took. Lena isn’t claimed and doesn’t claim herself, she doesn’t make a choice instead a wishy-washy explanation was given – suddenly there is no moon and Lena, being a powerful Natural temporarily got rid of the moon so she wouldn’t have to choose (when did she have the time to do that?) until of course there is another verse of the song but instead of Sixteen Moons it’s Seventeen Moons. I’m guessing this means her choice has been put off until her 17th birthday. Ugh. I’m not sure if this is right because Ethan notices Lena’s eyes have changed colour, one has remained green and the other is now gold like those of Dark Casters. Shouldn't both of her eyes be gold like Genevieve's?
One thing that wasn’t addressed was the fact that Ethan and Lena could never be together physically, it was stated and then after the drama of the climax it wasn’t discussed by Lena and Ethan. I would think they’d be thinking about that as well as Macon. I can’t see them staying together, especially since Lena hasn’t admitted to killing the Dark Casters or even bringing Ethan back to life – which is another thing I’m not clear on. Is he truly alive? Why was his life traded for Macon’s specifically. I just don’t understand.
I know this review is quite negative but I do believe the small-town mentality was well-drawn. As a child I lived in a small English village in the country, my mother was the only black person and I was mixed race. We both felt like outsiders and the rumour-mill got so bad, led by the stay-at-home mums, that my mother sent me away while she packed our things and moved us out, back to the city. She didn't want me to be affected by their behaviour. Lena and Ethan were pretty strong not to crumble under that collective pressure.
I really wanted this story to finish in this book. I made an extraordinary effort to finish it due to the hype, some great lines and a few intriguing scenes, I deserved to be rewarded with a good ending. This book isn’t as concise as it could have been or as clear, I believe a concerted effort was made to make the town and the many characters realistic but the ending wasn’t right. The need for a sequel seemed to outweigh the need to end the book properly.(less)
I've just finished reading City of Bones. It wasn't as good as the hype. I skimmed most of it and only slowed down for Luke's explanation of events an...moreI've just finished reading City of Bones. It wasn't as good as the hype. I skimmed most of it and only slowed down for Luke's explanation of events and when Clary finds Jace with Valentine near the end. It was a plot by numbers (like painting by numbers) sort of book and the characters were puppets to the plot.
Jace started liking Clary even before getting to know her though I tried to put that down to Clary being the first female to enter his life who wasn't like a sister to him. Poor Jace can't catch a break there.
I'm guessing that Clary is going to develop abilities. The dreams she had seemed to be about the past and about the future. A prophetess like Dorothea?
I didn't see Luke being a werewolf coming though I did wonder why the werewolves wanted her. The only thing that intrigued me was the issue of incest, I may read the next book just to see how the author tackles it. (less)
With the exception of the opening pages, the first 70 or 80 pages were extremely boring and Alexia was unbelievably irritating. I put this book down s...moreWith the exception of the opening pages, the first 70 or 80 pages were extremely boring and Alexia was unbelievably irritating. I put this book down several times and seriously entertained abandoning it until the action started up. I pushed on and found that Alexia grew on me and the humour greatly improved. It was a little predictable and shaky in places but Alexia and Lord Maccon's relationship, the source of most of the humour, is what made this book worth reading. My favourite quotes are:
Alexia: "Well, my love, shall we?" Lord Maccon: "Am I?" Alexia: "Are you what?" Lord Maccon: "Your love?" Alexia: "Well, you are a werewolf, Scottish, naked, and covered in blood, and I am still holding your hand." (p. 318)
'"My dearest girl," said the vampire finally, examining Lord Maccon with an exhausted but appreciative eye, "such a banquet. Never been one to favor werewolves myself, but he is very well equipped, now, is he not?"
Miss Tarabotti gave him an arch look. "My goodies," she warned.
"Humans," chuckled the vampire, "so possessive."' (p. 320)
Soulless suffers a bit from first-book syndrome but it was good enough for me to want to be at least be curious about the sequel.(less)