Kiss of Midnight was an easy enjoyable read however there seem to be quite a few series that run along the same 'warrior that finds, fights for and fiKiss of Midnight was an easy enjoyable read however there seem to be quite a few series that run along the same 'warrior that finds, fights for and finally is bonded to his mate' theme. It reminded me of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Darkhunter series and J.R. Ward's BlackDagger Brotherhhood series. They are all slightly different in there own way but they all share similar qualities: alpha male vampire-like warriors with a cause to fight for who meet lonely women, an obstacle to overcome which threaten's the lives of the warriors and the women, obstacle is dealt with, couples realise they will love each other forever and sometimes form a life long bond. This can become mundane after a dozen or so of these books so I think I'm going to swear off them for a while. ...more
As a lover of Snyder's Study series I thought I'd instantly take to this one with the same kind of enthusiasm, and although I didn't that's not to sayAs a lover of Snyder's Study series I thought I'd instantly take to this one with the same kind of enthusiasm, and although I didn't that's not to say that I didn't like it.
It's not a wholly original story which it needs to be to really stand out amongst the flooded dystopian genre but it has the standard brave and rebellious protagonist who becomes a symbol of hope for both her fellow Scrubs and the Uppers, who risks her life as well as others' to achieve an almost unattainable goal. She experiences love, loss, pain and joy along the way. I will add here that there is violence -torture though it's not described in too much detail.
There were some truly dull parts which I skimmed and skipped. I grew tired of the way in which time was recorded and eventually gave up on trying to figure how old everyone was and how much time had passed.
However, the thing that kept me reading were Riley's stuffed toy family (I know that sounds weird but you'll understand once you've read it) and how they were referred to in the rest of the book. It added some much needed warmth and light relief to a serious and sometimes boring book. Outside In is the next book and my curiosity will no doubt have me seeking it out upon its release....more
My utter disappointment has driven me to give this a pitiful 2 stars. Some would argue it deserves more and up to about 15% in I would’ve agreed withMy utter disappointment has driven me to give this a pitiful 2 stars. Some would argue it deserves more and up to about 15% in I would’ve agreed with them. In just a small amount of time an original species and history had been born with an adrenaline pumping opening scene but as soon as Jacinda, her sister and mother left the draki community it fell off a cliff.
Not only did it turn into Evernight with Jacinda inexplicably falling for her hunter but her mother and sister were unbelievably harsh. They showed little sympathy for her and at times were downright cruel. I could almost understand this from the sister’s point of view having to live as an outcast for the past few years due to her inability to shift but the mother’s? For someone who claimed to love her daughter and did this risky thing to protect her, she refused to see how much she was hurting Jacinda with her words and actions. Telling Asking her to kill her draki when Jacinda had come to love that part of her and then travelling to a place where the choice would be taken away was monsterous.
However, this wasn’t my only gripe. The romance. What romance? Jacinda, draki girl meets Will, human hunter and an instant yet powerful connection is formed. Ugh. Although the connection was later explained, and being around Will reinvigorates her draki, their constant yearning for each other was supremely annoying.
And why did Jacinda always put him before her family and their safety? She made dangerously unwise decisions, took risks she shouldn’t all because of her passion for this boy whose hunter family (who’d most likely murdered her father), if they found out about her nature, would turn around and kill her and hunt down her mother and sister. A heavy price to pay to keep her draki alive.
'Can't she understand? What good is safety if you're dead inside.'
'To keep that part of me alive, I have to be close to that which kills it.'
'A sad realization. To know the ones you love will be better off without you around.'
And then Cassian arrives on the scene, ready to drag Jacinda home, even offering to let her family stay. At first I saw him through Jacinda’s eyes, an arrogant heir pursuing her for her rare ability to breathe fire, to own her instead of loving her for who she is, but then as he spoke, I came to cheer him on.
A Blood and Chocolate ending would be the best I could hope for, which would mean picking Cassian over the human…and oh no, it’s a trilogy. We’re left wondering how she’ll fare with Cassian after a dramatic incident.
"You did this!" "Not on purpose. But I am glad I ruined your little romance with that murderer? Hell yeah. You bet."
No doubt Vanish will be full of pining for her lost human love and glowering at the intriguing Cassian despite his best efforts to help her and of course, woo her. And if we’re really lucky as the third book is being written we’ll hear this trilogy has turned into a series.
And yet…and yet, I’ll probably continue reading. Despite my pessimism I’ll hope for the best now that she’s away from what I see as the negative influences in her new “human” life: Will and her family....more
Wow, the beginning of this book really packed a punch, bolting out of the gate at top speed. I had no problems getting into it.
Evie’s teenage life isWow, the beginning of this book really packed a punch, bolting out of the gate at top speed. I had no problems getting into it.
Evie’s teenage life is more para than normal. She identifies and bags and tags supernaturals over the world for a super secret organisation with her special ability to see through all glamours. There’s nothing she wants more than “normal,” to go to high school and do proper homework, meet boys, and have nice, normal fun. I empathised with this desire but not quite being able to cope when she gets a taste:
‘I always thought the Center made me claustrophobic, but now I suspected I had the opposite problem. All that time today in open spaces and outdoors made me kind of twitchy, nervous to get back inside. How lame was that?’
Evie’s character was very likeable. She was self-aware and evidently knew what was really important in life. The way she treats Lend, in a rather mature way, valuing him for himself and his real appearance rather than what he projects. Lend is an insanely nice guy, insecure about his unusual looks. He's almost too nice and slightly boring although he has an interesting heritage. I felt sorry for his dad regarding his awkward relationship with Lend's mother. What an awful situation. To be rejected in favour of leaving her corporeal body behind and returning to the lake, and after only a year together living as husband and wife. So sad. He obviously loved her, and she just left him to raise their son, practically, alone.
I liked the two prophetic rhymes describing the opposing sides:
“Eyes like streaming snow, cold with the things she does not know. Heaven above and Hell below, liquid flames to hide her grief. Death, death, death with no release. Death, death, death with no release.”
“Eyes like streaming snow, cold with the things she does not know. Heaven above and Hell beneath, liquid flames will end her grief. With her fire, at last release. With her fire, at last release.”
I still don’t understand why the “Empty Ones” were created. Though the clue seems to be in Reth’s words: “You weren’t supposed to release them [souls of the dead], you silly child. You were meant to release me. Us.” What did he mean by that? (view spoiler)[Do the light fae want to die? (hide spoiler)] Reth is a frustrating mystery. He’s close-mouthed about everything important. If only he’d explained everything to start with much of what took place in this book could’ve been avoided.
I liked Paranormalcy, it was slightly different to the usual paranormal YA books around. One definite plus, no love triangle. However, I doubt I'll read the sequel not because I don't want to, I do, but because all of my friends who've read it have awarded it with less than favorable ratings and reviews, and I trust their opinions.
Other Favourite Quotes
“That’s because you have no idea how precious normal is.”
“You have lipstick here?” he asked, confused since I hadn’t brought a purse. “Oh, never underestimate the ingenuity of a girl in figuring out where to pack necessities.” [In her bra!]
I laughed and laughed and laughed through this one. Some may not appreciate MacAlister's brand of humour and her tendency to write fluffy light readsI laughed and laughed and laughed through this one. Some may not appreciate MacAlister's brand of humour and her tendency to write fluffy light reads but I enjoyed this immensely.
There's a great cast of characters and despite this being a historical romance, Noble's son, 10 year old Nick stole the show. Such an amazing child. And it was Gillian's accepting and loving attitude, her willingness to include him on nearly all of her adventures and her steadfast refusal to be parted from him helped Nick let it all out. I cried when he did. I loved both of them in that moment. Her quirky nature helped her understand her step-son in a way that few others would.
Gillian's a mess though. Her curiosity and over-excited approach to life leads to much trouble. So many accidents. Always her fault. Lots of eye-rolling from me on this but in an affectionate "here we go again" way. She just doesn't understand why she can't speak her mind or do what she wants to do, like check out that pretty blue vase over there. Ooh, I wonder what it feels like. Why is my hand wet? Argh, blue paint. Oops. Is that a handprint on my dress? *facepalm* She doesn't like to pretend. What you see is what you get with her. Her motto should be Carpe Diem because she always lives up to it. And she gets what she wants because of it.
Noble, you poor bastard. Not many men would put up with a wife who cavorts with their enemies and disobeys him at every turn. Who occasionally knocks him unconscious or has tea with his former mistresses (which is not done by the way. It's just not done!). His anger and rages over this frighten the staff into covering for her and providing distractions because they've fallen for her just as he comes to in the end.
Noble was damanged just as his son was by his former wife and Gillian was the perfect cure. She didn't care that he was branded a wife-murderer by society, she didn't believe he was capable of such a thing. She had faith in him. She wasn't prim and proper -the kind of girl he sought but she brought life and happiness to his dark and depressing life. When he thought she was being manipulative and purposely cruel she was in fact desperately trying to help him, fighting to save the future of their marriage, their family's future. Solving the mystery he couldn't (who murdered his last wife) after 5 years of trying. You go girl!
This book would be nothing without the servants. My god, they're good. Tremayne #1, Tremayne #2, Tremayne #3 -Gillian's names for the triplets that worked for Noble, who never stop fighting amongst themselves. They took to her like ducks to water. Crouch, the "pirate" butler with a hook for a hand whose penchant for Cockney rhyming slang was excellent.
Speaking of language, in this it was used to perfect effect. The dialogue in particular. There are long conversations -all dialogue and absolutely no narrative. Sometimes two going on at once between different people, that are crafted in such a way that you could easily follow and always know who was talking without being told. I admire that kind of ability.
And what would the book be without the humour? Wow. Discovering a naked Noble tied to a bed staring up at his achingly beautiful wife trying not to get a hard-on in front of his shocked son while his wife bends over revealing cleavage, looks at his crotch and declares his penis broken (she's never seen it soft). Oh, look it twitched. Maybe it's not broken. ROTFLMAO!
Noble Intentions is my favourite MacAlister book to date. I've only read her Aisling Grey series but this surpasses those. Definitely a future re-read....more
Raise your hand if you iron your underwear? No one? Diana does. She's a little plumper than your average gal so her undies contain little more fabricRaise your hand if you iron your underwear? No one? Diana does. She's a little plumper than your average gal so her undies contain little more fabric to actually wrinkle. Anyway, one day she's ironing away when this suddenly appears in her living room:
It's that bloke off Watchmen , a.k.a. a naked blue man with a huge, er...
His name is Kor'iander. Coriander? No, Kor'iander, or Kor for short. So Coriander turns to Diana in all his blue naked glory and demands her submissiveness, claiming she is his mate and he her "leader", come to collect her and return to his home planet, where incidentally everyone is blue.
I know, I know. Sounds weird and a little silly. I thought so too at first but it's a fun and honest story. It isn't pretending to be a grand, deep and meaningful saga. Coriander was adorable. He completely accepted and loved Diana's curves partly because the sight "A too-slim female is the sign of a poor provider", to Di's astonishment. Diana's refusal to immediately obey and bow to his wishes to mate with him left the poor guy flummoxed. He'd requested a docile partner to bond with when he put in his application to the Oracle and the ancestral spirits, and they're supposed to give you what you want, not what you need, which is what happened here. He was a gentleman, he never forced himself on her. Instead he listened to what she wanted and endeavoured to give it to her. Courtship was, forgive me, an alien concept to him but he gave in to her wishes and made his best effort to comply.
Di is a heroine I can appreciate. After reading many a clueless, too stupid to live lead, this girl, she made a HUGE mistake -a slip of the tongue but immediately afterwards without any prompting she knew she'd done wrong and wished to take it back. She freely admits she deserved a Darwin Award for her recklessness. Much better than blindly stumbling about with no regard for one's own safety and being too dumb to realise it.
However, it wasn't until just before they arrive at Kor's homeworld that this book started to press my "things I really like" buttons. The history of his race, the death of the women and the resulting sterility leading them to seek and take women from other races, mostly Earthlings because they both descend from the same humanoid race but have evolved slightly differently in accordance with their planet's environments. It's actually the suns that turn Kor's people blue, as Di discovers other Earthlings also have a blueish hue to their skins.
The scarceness of women on the planet mean that they're fiercely protected and must abide by certain rules in order to remain safe. Most of these women are from other worlds and are taken, stolen if you will, without their consent. This issue is addressed here. Not all of the women are happy, not all adjust to their new situation or accept their new "husbands" but these women were picked because they had few ties, no boyfriends/girlfriends or real friends and family to speak of, hopefully making it easier for them to embrace a new life where they'll be both loved and cherished.
I'm jealous of the technology mentioned. Housework would be history and I like the idea of having a laugh with my very own Holly (from the brilliant 80s TV show Red Dwarf). In this case his name is Alphie, the talking computer with a sarcastic attitude.
I'm not an alienist. If a blue god appeared before me, he wouldn't have to say a word. I'd jump into his arms and say "When are we leaving?"
Favourite Quotes I'd really like to add some but there are too many to choose from....more
First off I will say that I don’t blame those that couldn’t finish this book. Charlotte isn’t likeable to begin with. She’s selfish, vain and superficFirst off I will say that I don’t blame those that couldn’t finish this book. Charlotte isn’t likeable to begin with. She’s selfish, vain and superficial. She’s quite forceful almost to the point of becoming a bully but she’s always, always honest. I’ll admit she made this difficult to read although the humour made it easier, and perhaps at first this book will seem light-hearted and silly, it deepens to become serious with moments of utter despair. Charlotte’s personality is what makes the book work, she grows and changes but if she'd been any other woman this book would be labeled a tragedy. I’ll explain.
Charlotte as a debutante became bored during her season. Only one man intrigued her but she impulsively eloped with an entirely different man, a minor Italian nobleman. But it wasn’t a happy marriage. Apart from consummating the union on their wedding night her husband was impotent. She tried everything to encourage her husband’s member but it hated her! Anyway after 5 years her husband died. His family disowns her. Broke and homeless she just about manages to return to England and her cousin Gillian (from the first book) who is just about to walk out the door on a trip to the West Indies with her growing family. She suggests Charlotte marry because her brother has also turned his back on her as well as bad-mouthing her to all of high society. She remembers the Earl whom interested her during her last season, the only eligible bachelor left and decides to pursue him. In fact all the ladies of England are hunting him.
What people don’t know is that Dare inherited huge debts along with his title and is struggling to keep his head above water. In his efforts to make money he’s building an engine he hopes to sell one day soon. He hasn’t the time or energy to deal with the husband-hunters. Charlotte puts him in a uniquely difficult position, thereby forcing him to marry her. But he won’t give her what she most wants: a sex life, the thing that was missing in her first marriage. He refuses on the grounds that they do not yet love each other so she goes about trying to seduce him, when that fails she studies, in a clinical fashion, the act of falling in love and tries to force it. What she doesn’t know is that she’s all ready there. You see her start to think of Dare’s needs and wants before her own. She wants to make him happy. Thus begins her change as she finds out Dare’s true financial position and takes it on admirably, not the way a vain and superficial woman would. Her unhappy marriage changed her more than she realised.
However, as things start going well something absolutely horrific happens and only someone as strong-willed and eccentric as Charlotte could've handled it, otherwise this book would've ended in truly tragic circumstances.
Charlotte's growth from a girl so fixated on what the ton think of her and the superficial need for a handsome husband with a title and bags of money, to a woman who just wants a husband to love her and for her to love in return, is wonderful. This book beats her down and reshapes her into someone you'd be proud to call a friend.
She goes from:
"Are you telling me you ran off to marry knowing that your father disapproved of your husband, knowing he would disinherit you, knowing that such an elopement would cause a scandal that would even now keep all the doors of Society closed to you, and yet you did it not for love, but because you were bored?"
"What brings heartache?" "Life," Charlotte replied, closing her eyes and giving in to the pain that filled her. "It seems like all I've done lately is fight for what I want, but for what purpose? I fought to come back to England and ended up penniless and unwanted by my own family. I fought to marry Dare and ended up a burden around his neck, driving him deeper into despair with his worry about my life with him. I fought to show him that I would stand by him, that I love him no matter what happens, and yet everything positive in my life -Dare being the exception- everything I've fought for has been stripped from me. [...] The problem is that I'm not necessary. There is no rhyme or reason to me. I am needed by no one. Ladies of our class are useless, worse than useless, dependent on everyone for everything, from cooking their meals to dressing themselves. When's the last time you dressed yourself, Caro? Combed your own hair? You see? I'm no better than the rest of our class. All I've been raised to do is look pretty and entertain people and spend my husband's money. There's no future in any of that for me -Dare wouldn't notice if I suddenly sprouted an extra limb or two, there's no one left in the ton other than you who will acknowledge me, and I have to admit that a lifetime spent with the sole purpose of entertaining you is not what I'm looking for in a life goal, and as for spending money, there's nothing to be spent."
On a different note: Batsfoam, Dare's butler and all-round manservant, is hilarious. First impressions had me thinking he was a champion of sarcasm but really he's a fan of long-winded melancholy monologues at his master's expense. Still funny though. I loved his military reaction to Charlotte, acting as if she's his superior officer and the part when he tries to aid in her pursuit of sex with her husband by destroying Dare's bed and forcing him to share his wife's:
"There was a small fire, my lord. Nothing serious, and it was extinguished almost immediately, but not before the flames rendered the mattress unsuitable." -Batsfoam's shortest ever response to anything. That alone should've seemed suspect.
I want to give this a high rating but I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to and was actually left feeling a little low despite the happy ending but I do think it's a good, worthwhile book.
One of my favourite quotes:
"I tried, I honestly tried! I wore naughty underwear, I allowed him to catch me en dishabille on many occasions, and I even sought advice from the local strumpet as to how to arouse the passion of Antonio's manly instrument, but to no avail. His instrument resisted all my efforts. I think it hated me," she added darkly. "Oh, I'm sure that wasn't-" "It wouldn't even twitch for me! [...] It wouldn't make even the slightest effort on my behalf. If that's not cruel and petty minded of a manly instrument, well, I don't know what is!"
Yes, Eloisa James gave Dr. Gregory House a happily ever after. Her intention all along according to the 'Historical Not3½★ Meet Piers AKA "The Beast".
Yes, Eloisa James gave Dr. Gregory House a happily ever after. Her intention all along according to the 'Historical Note' at the end.
They share the same scowl, a limp and use of a cane resulting from the same infarction in his quadriceps muscle of the leg producing constant pain, his abhorrence of lying patients, and misanthropic, blunt, bad-tempered, narcissistic and playfully insulting nature. They both have "ducklings" -a group of doctors who follow him in order to learn how to better diagnose patients because Piers is the leading man in his field. The name "Cuddy" is also mentioned and Sebastien appears to be Piers's Dr. Wilson.
Sebastien: I know that you have an affinity for unhappiness. In fact, paradoxically, you don't feel truly happy unless you are unhappy. The way to do that is to push away the people who give a damn about your nasty hide. Me, for one - except that I'm impossible to dislodge, so you seem to have give up on me. [...] Piers: My leg hurts like a son of a bitch. Sebastien: You and your leg can keep each other company at night, then. No room for a woman, given the terrible injury you've suffered.
Addiction to pain relief is the only thing they don't share, only because Piers's father was the addict and Piers wishes to never become like him. Instead Piers swims every morning in an ocean tide-filled pool to help relieve stiffness and pain, giving him a swimmer's body and great upper body strength.
After silliness in the first 50 or so pages with names like "Mrs Flaccide" (I feel sorry for her husband), and doctors Kibbles and Bitts (I kid you not), and the back-and-forth about Linnet's terrible downfall and what to do about it, the book took off.
The sexual chemistry between Linnet and Piers is palpable as they challenge each other with witty insults. Piers immediately sees past her beauty to her brains and her power to manipulate his sex, and she looks past his beastly demeanor to the man underneath. They get to know each other via their barbed conversations which lead to their daily tension-filled, fan-worthy, swimming lessons.
For most of the book I was merely entertained. The innkeepers' ghastly treatment of Linnet, her suffering and Piers struggling to care for her by himself, led me to become emotionally effected. Homicidal anger at the innkeepers for their inhuman actions, empathy for Linnet's pain and sympathy and admiration for Piers.
We get two romances for the price of one since Piers's father sobered up from his addiction, which caused him to permanently injure his son years earlier, and seeking forgiveness on his visit with his son's prospective bride. Whilst there Piers's mother shows up and upon finding the Duke she does everything she can to make him feel guilty and jealous, while Piers also refuses to forgive and forget. It's pure torture for him, but it all works out in the end. Speaking of which, the closing pages were lovely, and smile-enducing as the cycle begins again with a new generation inheriting the traits of their parents.
At the beginning of the story I wasn't happy Linnet's father and aunt pressured Linnet to lose her virginity to the Prince, and if not him then they were going to take her to a brothel catering to women. This is after they'd accused her of being a "loose" woman just like her philandering mother. I know women had little control over their lives, but I can't turn off the revulsion I feel every time it's replicated in historical fiction.
The level of historical and medical details included I was surprised at, as James stated A Kiss at Midnight wasn't set in a particular year/era, therefore not historically accurate and yet great care has been taken to ensure When Beauty Tamed the Beast is the opposite. I'm pleased she's made this change. I certainly think this sequel is an improvement on the debut....more
First of all, I can't quite believe this comes from the same author that wrote The Immortal Rules. Kagawa has certainly made progress in developing heFirst of all, I can't quite believe this comes from the same author that wrote The Immortal Rules. Kagawa has certainly made progress in developing her talent. There's no question that she comes up with great ideas but The Iron King shows she wasn't always great at executing them.
The first 50% of this book severely lacked finesse and, at times, was excruciatingly painful to read. Meghan's introduction to the fae world isn't seamless. Instead of the protagonist having that "seeing is believing" moment before we have a much needed explanation, we get it after, which, under the circumstances, wasn't the way to go. I found myself thinking, "Really, and you believe him why?" to Robbie's revelation about her brother's kidnap and switcheroo with a badly behaved changling doppleganger. To me, her brother's unusual reaction to his mother's accident wasn't enough evidence to start believing in the paranormal, and for following her, possibly delusional, best friend into the unknown to rescue the real, adorably innocent, 4-year-old Ethan. In Meghan's situation, I'd be trying to figure out a way to get Robbie to a mental hospital ASAP.
Other than this, in general, Meghan's point of view wasn't compelling -it was often jarring, angsty or just plain dull, and I soon turned to skimming, mostly slowing just for dialogue, which soon turned to skipping pages altogether. I don't think I missed much, lending to the idea that this wasn't as concise as it could've been. After the halfway point the prose became a little more readable so I slowed down but didn't stop skimming completely.
The Iron King has many influences ranging from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. I haven't read the former so I didn't get those references but I'm definitely familiar with the latter, and I really liked what she took from that work and made it her own.
I enjoyed Kagawa's descriptions of the fey world. The use of seasons for the environments for each fae court: summer for the "good" Seelie court and winter for the "evil" Unseelies, was a nice touch. I also liked that human belief was the magical source of strength and immortality for the fae, and the effect of human technological progress where iron rules, deadly to fey, had created this third court where the corrosive iron is poisoning the fey world as it expands, soon to be encroaching on Summer and Winter territory. I've always been a fan of politics and manipulation in books and with the regular use of binding contracts by the fey, this element pleased me.
Unfortunately, the characters within this world are pretty much throwaways, I cared so little for them.
Our protagonist, Meghan isn't someone I rooted for. She's a non-character in my eyes. She's naive, loyal to her detriment, and has the potential to unnecessarily become a martyr making her ever so slightly irritating, but otherwise she lacks a personality. She not your typical fey, or half-fey. She's stubbornly human. Which reminds me, she's also a hormonal, horny teen salivating over Prince Ash's cold beauty. There'd be no tears if she accidentally "fell" off a cliff.
[Sidenote: She's had 3 fathers. One biological and 2 stepdads, one of which she believed to be her real father who disappeared out of thin air when she was very young. I wonder what happened to him. I'm guessing her biological daddy had a hand in it.]
Robbie, Meghan's Grover and sidekick is nice and supportive with hints of having a crush on her, no doubt developed from Bodyguard Syndrome -instead of just guarding her body for all those years he started admiring it. His transformation into Puck in the fae world, I didn't like. On the one hand, his comedic flair added levity but on the other, he came across as a bit of an ass. This might be down to his difficult relationship with Ash, and later, his jealousy of Meghan's interest in Ash. I had hope he'd die before he makes his crush known (because obviously he will), thereby creating the dreaded Love Triangle. His presence, in effect, ended up creating more conflict rather than offering familiar comfort for Meghan during her journey to reclaim her brother.
Prince Ash, third son of Mab (the ruler of the Unseelie court) intrigued me to begin with. His verbal threat to kill Meghan while dancing with her had me sitting up and paying attention. His unwilling attraction to Meghan leads to a Romeo & Juliet angst-filled situation (I'm fed up of those in YA) although I'm not sure what exactly he's attracted to. Perhaps he senses an opportunity for an easy lay. Oops, I forgot. It's YA. There's none of that evil sex here, but there's nothing romantic about the pairing. They've been slapped together out of necessity, and if anything, physical lust is all that's between them.
The relationship of any substance in this book was between Ash and Puck. Previously the best of friends until Puck made an unintended mistake resulting in a deadly accident Ash has been unable to forgive. Since that disastrous day he's promised to kill Puck, meeting him in a number of skirmishes in which it seems clear that Puck has always had the advantage but has no wish to harm Ash. I think they deeply love one another. If either of them ever kill the other, I believe there would be deep regret.
The Cheshire Cat Grimalkin, the sarcastic talking cat, is easily the best character in the book. He's an independent outsider, content to observe the entertaining train wreck that is Meghan, Ash and Puck, as it unfolds, only offering help when it benefits him. However, he appears aware these are the only people able to save his homeland (and himself) from extinction so in emergencies he gives much needed aid freely without a price attached. He saved their lives many times. If Grimalkin had been narrating this book it would've been a far more delightful and humorous read.
Ash's contract with Meghan, his help recovering her brother in exchange for her willingly going with him to the Unseelie court and his waiting mother's hands, was obviously going to create fodder for another book but I just so wish for more stand alones. I don't like "crack" series -series with books which aren't that great but which you become addicted due to tantalizing (or agonizing) hooks thrown out by authors (e.g. cliffhangers), and The Iron Fey has all the markings of such. I want to read the next book but I have serious doubts after also reading Winter's Passage. I imagine it would be a frustrating experience I have no desire to put myself through.
*Bought in the UK Kindle Spring Spectacular 2011....more
A cleverly written, Tim Burton-eque fast-paced magical mystery with witty dialogue, and a beautifully eye-catching cover.
Mr. Skullduggery Pleasant isA cleverly written, Tim Burton-eque fast-paced magical mystery with witty dialogue, and a beautifully eye-catching cover.
Mr. Skullduggery Pleasant is a vengeful detective, a living skeleton with a wicked way with sarcasm, introducing Stephanie (a.k.a. Valkyrie), an intelligent, resourceful, and inquisitive young girl, into the supernatural world her now deceased uncle was once apart.
The theatrically funny reactions of Stephanie's greedy family members to the reading of her bestselling author uncle's will hooked me into listening to Rupert Degas's masterful narration of Skullduggery Pleasant.
"There's something about you, Valkyrie. I'm not quit sure what it is. I look at you and..." "And you're reminded of yourself when you were my age?" "Hmm? Oh, no, what I was going to say is there's something about you really annoying, and you never do what you're told, and sometimes I question your intelligence, but even so I'm going to train you, because I like having someone follow me around like a puppy. It makes me feel good about myself." She rolled her eyes. "You are such a moron." "Don't be jealous of my genius." "Can you get over yourself for just a moment?" "If only that were possible." "For a guy with no internal organs, you've got quite the ego." "And for a girl who can't stand up without falling over, you're quite the critic." "My leg will be fine." "And my ego will flourish. What a pair we are."
I enjoyed SP and Stephanie's new and easy partnership in the supernatural detective business, saving the world from monstrous and magical bad guys, the first being Nefarian Serpine - the man who killed SP's wife and child, then tortured him to death. You see, he likes to leave a lot of bodies in his wake in his quest to bring back The Faceless Ones.
I wasn't particularly invested in the action, but I liked the way in which Stephanie learned how to navigate this new and interesting world, seizing opportunities, taking risks, and figuring out who she can and can't trust.
While many clichés are criticised by Landy, he still uses a fair few of them in his story, though Stephanie's endearing maturity, unexpected turncoats, the comedic elements, and the more violent and horrific aspects of the novel, do attempt to make up for it.
"The Craft" meets Evernight. Despite the fast pace and entertaining story that Evernight comparison is worrying me. I don't want future books to revol"The Craft" meets Evernight. Despite the fast pace and entertaining story that Evernight comparison is worrying me. I don't want future books to revolve around star-crossed lovers I don't give a hoot about.
Sophie is sent to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for faeries, shapeshifters and witches, after Sophie uses her magic to perform a love spell gone awry for a friend, risking exposure which could attract various dangerous hunters of the supernatural. Raised by a human mother, her only supernatural contact is her warlock father whom she's never met bar a few phone calls. She's completely in the dark about who she is, her abilities, her father and his family history. Bombshells are dropped on her at the worst possible moments, leaving her vulnerable to manipulation and bullying. She copes admirably with the help of her headteacher, roommate Jenna (the only student vampire) and Archer, the resident mean girl's boyfriend.
Said mean girl, Elodie, is the leader of her coven of three and they need a fourth, a position Sophie can't turn down fast enough after their dark display of power and general racist, elitist and bitchy behaviour. It screams The Craft with Elodie as Nancy.
From the very beginning I knew Archer would play a big role in this book but as a love interest he wasn't someone I saw Sophie with but I was glad her crush on him wasn't merely based on looks and insta-love and instead deepened, as they became friends after being forced to spend a lot of time together chatting and trading snarky jibes as part of their playful flirting.
However, when Archer mentions that every witch's parents arranges a betrothal to a good match for their child at age 12 and we meet Cal, his Freudian slip about becoming a groundskeeper at the school to protect "you" and then quickly rushes to clarify that "you" meant all students, had me assuming him as her prospective fiance. After that I was looking for Cal-time. The small amount we get wasn't nearly enough for my liking though I did perceive him to be more mature, stable and kind of adorable. His hunky lumberjack look doesn't hurt either. I'm hoping he gets the page time he deserves in future. Archer is good friend material whereas Cal, I see him as someone more important. I hope Sophie sees that one day soon.
(view spoiler)[We left Archer with tears in his eyes as he escaped without attacking Sophie. I'm assuming he's being manipulated somehow. His family is either being held hostage or he's being forced to play on the wrong side -something like that. (hide spoiler)] And this is why I'm worried about the comparison to Evernight. I don't want Sophie endeavoring, risking her life, to save him. Neither do I want her pining and waiting for them to be together again. Sophie has thus far impressed me with her intelligence and snark, she's a practical girl trying to do the sensible thing, I don't want her to lose that because of some rebellious boy in a tricky situation.
I enjoyed the humour and fast pace. The plot was a good one. It was an easy read. My only other concern was the rushed ending. At least, it felt rushed to me. I needed more, to see it, the aftermath of the climax and the reactions of everyone around Sophie. I didn't like the showstopping last line either -a decision made in the heat of the moment without any detail about what that would entail. It's a hook to get you to read the next book, one that probably would've worked on me if not for my Evernight worries.
Favourite Quotes Sophie to her mother:
"Good luck explaining to God that you used to spank one of his heavenly beings.
'It's one thing to be different around people who you're really, well, different from. It's a whole other problem to be an outcast in a group of outcasts.'
Archer to Sophie:
"I'll get Elodie and her friends to lay off you, okay? And seriously, try to give her another chance. I swear she has hidden depths." Without thinking, I shot back, "I said spare me the gory details." For a second I'm not sure I even realized what I'd just said. And then it sank in and I damned my sarcastic mouth strain to hell. Face on fire, I glanced over at Archer. He was staring at me in shock. And then he burst out laughing.
'There was a sensible part of m somewhere that clutched its pearls and hissed that I better not give up my V-card in a cellar, but when Archer's hands slid under my shirt and onto the skin of my back, I started thinking a cellar was as good a place as any.'