Won this book on First Reads and just started reading it.
Edit: My mother caught me reading this (she was intrigued by the black people on the cover -...moreWon this book on First Reads and just started reading it.
Edit: My mother caught me reading this (she was intrigued by the black people on the cover - she's Bajan) and asked to borrow it, now I'm wondering whether I'm going to get it back so I can finish it.
Edit #2: Okay so I got this back a few days and I started reading it again from the beginning. I didn't get very far and have decided to put it down indefinitely. Despite loving the sense of humour, I was pretty disappointed that the main character never makes it to the UK. I live here and was looking forward to a foreigner's perception of my home country. Also I was a little unsure of the realism of walking off with a stranger to a strange place without anyone knowing where you are, I wondered why she didn't act on her "he could be a serial killer" thoughts. Plus, if I had spent what would have been a lot of money and was going to be taking my first trip abroad I wouldn't be wasting that kind of opportunity for an unknown man. If she had made it to the UK and then abandoned the tour for the seemingly interesting stranger I might have felt differently. But what really made me stop reading were the over-the-top cringe-worthy thoughts and antics, I found it too painful to continue.
There is potential here especially with the incredible sense of humour but the thoughts, actions and behaviour of the characters need to be toned down and made more rational for it to appeal to a wider audience.(less)
Deeply depressing. Jill has suffered, she's broken and alone and considering this is written in first person she makes you feel the same way until it...moreDeeply depressing. Jill has suffered, she's broken and alone and considering this is written in first person she makes you feel the same way until it just gets old. Her lack of emotion towards most things meant I couldn't really connect with her. She was cold, everything about her life is depressing. It seems she's never had a healthy relationship, and her life now isn't much better than her old life, selling herself on the streets.
The writing was generally uninspired and the constant use of italics and adjectives were irritating. I found this to be excessively dull and boring, I had no interest in the plot, it just didn't grab me. There was practically no humour or sarcasm, no witty banter - nothing to keep me going.
However, I was intrigued by Perry, the supposed bad guy (because he was hellbreed) Jill had made a deal with. My impression was either he was an evil charmer or not as bad as Jill made him out to be. I'm guessing the latter because who would trust a hunter of their species to control herself enough not to kill you while you force her to hurt you in S&M play as part of the deal? Or perhaps he was suicidal?
With this I was giving Lilith Saintcrow a second chance, I've read Working for the Devil which was much better than this, at least I finished it. I rarely leave a book unfinished but I have plenty to read and don't have time to waste on this.
Pages read: 110/359. Conclusion: Life is too damn short.
I knew early on that I was never going to finish this book. The death knell went off every few...morePages read: 110/359. Conclusion: Life is too damn short.
I knew early on that I was never going to finish this book. The death knell went off every few pages.
It failed to suck me in. It was not funny even though it tried to be. There was a stereotypical lesbian couple (the butch one and the pretty one). Odd behaviour concerning a corpse -not necrophilia, though that would've been 1000x more interesting. The strange supernatural reveal and Jane's reaction to her mother's secret. I didn't feel anything for Jane. And the list goes on and on.
Ryu, the vampire love interest. I'm not sure what it was about him but he was a complete turn-off, which is probably to be expected since this has been compared to Sookie Stackhouse, meaning Ryu = Bill. This comparison is also an insult to the Sookie series which was actually entertaining.
Anyon - He caught my eye. I know he's a shifter even though we haven't been told but I expected him to be Jane's love interest. And for some reason, I sense a love triangle forming at some point. I detest love triangles.
Although my overall perception of this book was negative there were a few things I liked: the beautiful cover art to lure unsuspecting readers, the name of the bookstore "Read It and Weep", and Jane as her father's carer feeling trapped in a town that hates her.
Reading Tempest Rising was a struggle which I'm not prepared to continue. I know they say "no pain, no gain" but I think I'll gain little from finishing this so I'm not prepared to even try.(less)
Right from the beginning it rips into Twilight with delightful abandon but it does a good job of pointing out the many flaws in...moreReviewing as I read...
Right from the beginning it rips into Twilight with delightful abandon but it does a good job of pointing out the many flaws in Meyer's writing.
Heffa (aka Bella) is vulger, self-obsessed and I'd like to kill her even more than the original character. Oh and the vamps eat raw meat, weird but some of the character names are apt e.g. Wanda Mensional.
Warning: To be digested in small amounts. I'll probably read a little bit everyday until I finish. It's that full-on.(less)
I'm giving up on this one. I wasn't offended by it as others have been, I just found it uninteresting and was struggling to read every page with enoug...moreI'm giving up on this one. I wasn't offended by it as others have been, I just found it uninteresting and was struggling to read every page with enough concentration to take in the information.
Chess isn't a very sympathetic character as she's rather selfish and unconvincing as a survivor of an abusive childhood. She's a functional addict but the drugs cause her to make mistakes in what can be a very dangerous job. Her troubles are of her own making as others exploit her weakness for pills in order to satisfy their own needs. She's bothered by none of this. Me thinks she has a death wish. It all felt very blah, very monotone. More of the same. It seemed there wasn't anything to look forward to. 102/346 pages read.(less)
EXHIBIT A: First published in hardback with this cover:
It's a mirror image of a statue symbolising the ident...more**spoiler alert** A review in book covers.
EXHIBIT A: First published in hardback with this cover:
It's a mirror image of a statue symbolising the identical twins on opposing sides in the book. It screams dark, gothic and mysterious.
EXHIBIT B: Now available in paperback with this cover:
Now this is an image of two very different girls with an airy fairy silver leaf design which is also present on every page.
I wanted to read EXHIBIT A but when it came to reading the story I got EXHIBIT B. I'll explain further. When I read the description and saw the cover for A I was intrigued, believing it would be an edgy Victorian story. Instead I got a deeply dull fluff piece where all the protagonist, 16-year-old Lia, does is walk, talk and worry. Step, blah, frown lines. Step, blah, frown lines.
I didn't finish. 160/352 pages read. Frustration won. I was defeated when I flipped through the rest and found more of the same. Oh wait, one character dies but I felt nothing even though the author attempts to elicit sympathy for their plight. It didn't work on me.
I don't have any guilt at not finishing this. There was nothing to keep me entertained. No wit, no romance -not really anyway except for an all ready established relationship with 19-year-old James from whom Lia distances herself. Alice, her twin becomes more and more...well, evil. It would've been interesting to have seen things from her perspective. Overall, a stupendous waste of time. (less)
The flaws in Bitter Night I accepted due to being the first in the series with sequels usually surpassing the first. Crimson Wi...moreGrade: F for Epic Fail!
The flaws in Bitter Night I accepted due to being the first in the series with sequels usually surpassing the first. Crimson Wind doesn’t follow this pattern. No, it goes the other way. It may be unfair to make this judgement after only 74 pages but I don’t think so.
Characters: Max is a tough bitch, an Uber-Alpha. It’s over the top. Alexander is also supposedly Alpha but um, he’s a bit wet and dull. We didn’t need his POV, it only served to add pages where none were required. Giselle is presented as the powerful witch presiding over the group when in fact she is Beta to Max’s Alpha, which is confusing considering their history as torturer and victim. The characters are misrepresented, under-developed and unappealing though the cast is a large one so there’s little time to get to know them all individually.
Romance:Forced. Max is reluctant to be with Alexander...because he’s a stalker. He worships the ground she walks on. She doesn’t say or think this. It’s my opinion of him. We’re told they have this hot sexual tension between them when there’s no evidence of that. There’s more chemistry between her and warrior angel, Tutresiel. Their witty banter was the only element I enjoyed which covered a very tiny percentage of the book.
Plot:To find, save and bring Max’s family back to Horngate. Procrastination. By the time I gave up, Max hadn’t made it out of Horngate for this mission. She wasn’t even prepared to leave yet and I was almost 25% in. What took place in this time wasn't very interesting to me. It was just a lot of foreboding nonsense. However, I was intrigued by the fact that Max hadn't interacted with her family in 30 years which threw me. I was curious as to how Francis was going to make that work.
World-building: I was unconvinced by the world created in Bitter Night and wasn’t reassured in this one. It’s too easy to poke holes in it. There‘s a melding of mythologies that doesn’t quite work. The angels seem out of place. It’s a closed world where everything supernatural is a secret from the main population. However, Armageddon has now been unleashed on the world but we’ve yet to see the effect it has had outside of Horngate. Perhaps if I had read on this would’ve been rectified. On the whole, there are just too many questions and not enough answers.
Series name: The name of the new series is “Unbound.” As in, “An Unbound novel, by Rachel Vincent.” Or something like that.
Title: The first book, currently scheduled for September 1, 2011, will be called BLOOD BOUND.
I know, I know, there's already a Patricia Briggs novel of that name. (I read it years ago. It was awesome.) But because my novel is coming out years after hers did and because the subject matter of my book is NOTHING like hers, I’m not anticipating much title confusion. My original working title for the book was “Bound In Blood,” and we went through literally a dozen or more title possibilities with the awesome people at Mira before finally deciding (unanimously, as far as I know) that nothing else captures the feel and subject matter of this book better than BLOOD BOUND. So, BLOOD BOUND it is.
Genre: The Unbound series is paranormal. It’s a little more romance-heavy than the early Shifters books are, and about in line with romance/relationship content of the last couple of Shifters books.
Audience: The Unbound books are intended for adults. As my editor said, BLOOD BOUND is “twisted.” (Is it wrong that her quote makes me smile? ;)) If this first book is any indication, these books will be very dark and gritty, violent, and tense, but with some humor (mostly dialogue) to take the edge off.
The world: The idea behind the Unbound world-building is simple. The execution is a little more complicated. For me, it all started with the cliché “a man’s word is his bond,” then grew to include, “the pen is mightier than the sword” and the concept of “word of mouth.”
“What…” I thought, as I was brainstorming, “…if those clichés could be taken literally?”
What if a person’s word really was his or her bond? What if, once given, a promise could never be taken back? Would you be more careful what you say? Wouldn’t we all, if we were bound to our words?
Then I took it a step further. If the spoken word carries that much power, how much more would the written word carry? What about words written in (or sealed in) blood? What about words written in (and sealed in) flesh? Tattoos and graffiti take on a whole new meaning, huh?
Needless to say, once I headed down that thought-path, the world-building exploded—there’s much more to it now (but I’m not going to give you any more just yet). The story lines grew from the world-building possibilities and conflicts. The characters developed based on the experiences they would've had, growing up in this world.
The bad guys are bad (twisted, according to some…), but they have very human motivations.
The good guys are…not exactly wearing white hats. But the innocent are still innocent, and someone has to fight for them. (This may, in fact, be the only thing Shifters has in common with Unbound.)
Olivia Warren owes her friend Anne a favor. Anne needs someone found and brought to a very quick, private justice.
The catch? Olivia must work with Cam Caballero to complete this favor. The problem? Cam is Olivia’s ex—the man prophesied to either kill her or die by her hand. It's a tense reunion, at best.
As Olivia and Cam chase their target through public streets, private lives, and a dangerous criminal underworld, everything they thought they knew comes into question. In the end, they can only be sure of three things…
No one can be trusted. Everyone’s lying. And someone’s going to pay.
Announced 11th January 2011:
What POV is the book in? Right now, it's dual 1st person POV, alternating irregularly from Olivia to Cam. That could change. I've never done more than on POV on a novel, and if my editor thinks it would be better to change it, I'll change it during the edits.
What are the characters (re: paranormal abilities/species)? They are human+. But not anything you'd know from other books or movies. That's all I can say right now. Will BLOOD BOUND be available in electronic/audio formats? I can't swear to it, but based on the fact that all my other books have been and the Unbound books are with the same publisher, I would guess that yes, they'll be available in those formats. Though I couldn't say when.
What do you mean by "twisted?" Will it be too gory for me? Regarding physical violence and gore, Unbound is no more "twisted" than the Shifters series. Maybe less. IMO, BLOOD BOUND is more emotionally/psychologically twisted.
When can we see the cover? Some time after I see it. If it's done yet, I haven't heard. So we're in for a bit of a wait on that.
Questions I'm not prepared to answer yet:
Will sequels be written from the same POV(s) or from different characters' POV(s)? How many books will there be in this series? When will they be out in the UK (France, Italy, etc...)?
I can't answer any of those yet because it's simply too early. I haven't even truly plotted out the second book yet. My editor hasn't finished reading the first book yet. To my knowledge, no one else at Mira has even seen the manuscript yet. So it's a little early to talk about sequels and foreign sales, at least in this particular case.
What I can say is that if sequels do take different POV(s), which is a possibility, the main characters from BLOOD BOUND will have much more than cameo roles.(less)
While I enjoyed the imaginative, quirky and humorous writing style of Warm Bodies, the events and dialogue defied believability and I just couldn't fi...moreWhile I enjoyed the imaginative, quirky and humorous writing style of Warm Bodies, the events and dialogue defied believability and I just couldn't finish. But I did go and see the movie which I managed to sit through, though I did do a fair amount of cringing, it cut out the more unrealistic elements of the story, e.g. the school for zombie children to teach them how to hunt and feed.
I doubt I'll ever finish this book. Just not to my tastes. There were some intriguing bits but it was too slow and I'm not really interested in US pol...moreI doubt I'll ever finish this book. Just not to my tastes. There were some intriguing bits but it was too slow and I'm not really interested in US politics -instant Zzz's.
I jinxed myself. I read the first 5 pages and thought I might actually like it after procrastinating over the decision of: to read, or not to read? I...moreI jinxed myself. I read the first 5 pages and thought I might actually like it after procrastinating over the decision of: to read, or not to read? I blame myself for settling on the former, as many have compared it to Jim Butcher's writing. Me and that dude do not get on. We are chalk and cheese.
The humour is unfunny; it's forced. The info-dump is off-putting; too much, too fast. Dialogue-overload. Not enough description.
Atticus claims to be 2,100 or just 21 to humans. He lies to everyone but the humans. He ain't two thousand years old. There's no way. He brags about the famous historical events he's witnessed, the powerful and dangerous gods he knows, and thinks his physical prowess is that of a ninja. He sounds like an immature boy. Show me you've lived longer than most, don't just tell me. He also feels too modern and "down with the kids".
These gods care enough to warn Atticus of an impending threat on his life but he doesn't take them seriously. Even after he is attacked. I don't understand why they care if he never listens to them.
One of said gods has promised not to let Atticus die. So if he's in terrible agony from multiple wounds, he won't die. That's awful. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, and this woman is supposed to be an ally. Some ally. No thanks.
I wasn't impressed with the gods we met in the beginning. Not much intelligence or wisdom to be found in them. They were only concerned with petty grievances and vengeance. The norm for gods generally, though some semblance of substance or the ability to champion a worthwhile cause would've been nice, anything to show some depth of character to engender interest from me as the reader.
I hear Oberon is a hoot and an adorable sidekick. Well, I met him but he doesn't seem terribly dog-like.
I've never given up after so few pages read before, but I can't force myself to read any more.
After reading 11 chapters I decided to put this down and return it to the library. Not because it was terrible - the writing hooked me from the start,...moreAfter reading 11 chapters I decided to put this down and return it to the library. Not because it was terrible - the writing hooked me from the start, and the characterization was detailed, delivered via "show" rather than "tell", but it was obvious to me that I was going to be strung along.
Clearly this is a mystery and not paranormal, as advertised. From Armstrong's last few novels, I knew reading the whole would provide few answers to the questions and mysteries posed in the opening chapters. Frustration would only sour my view, so I chose not to continue.
However, the little I read earned my respect for the brave Olivia and left me disgusted by her mother's weak-willed cold-heartedness and James's equally despicable spinelessness when it came to loving and supporting Olivia in spite of the type of public adversity that leaves politicians and prominent figures cringing painfully.(less)
Too many POVs when one would've sufficed until that one character met up with others. Chopping up the bo...moreDNF. Skimming isn't going to get the job done.
Too many POVs when one would've sufficed until that one character met up with others. Chopping up the book in this way prevented me from feeling sympathy and developing an emotional attachment because once a tragic event occurs it cuts to a different character in another location. Mason's POV begins the story, I wanted to follow him to his blown-up school not switch to someone else, and when we do return to him 24 hours have gone by. Frustrating.
Graphic violence doesn't bother me, my boredom of its ever presence without a break to develop some depth did. This kind of reminds me of my experience with the movie Skyline, and even Cloverfield.
Flipping to the back and reading the end didn't give me any hope Dark Inside would improve.
Damn this seductively beautiful book cover. *sigh*
Confused and worried about the yo-yo ratings given this by my friends, I was hoping my experience wo...moreDamn this seductively beautiful book cover. *sigh*
Confused and worried about the yo-yo ratings given this by my friends, I was hoping my experience would fall closer to the positive end of the scale and since I decided to participate in a read-along with THT I gave it my best effort. And a challenging read it was. I dragged myself, kicking and screaming to page 80 whereupon I began the process of DNFing when I realised the griffin, much-loved by many reviewers, had entered the picture. One last chance was given for Stormdancer to win me over. Unnecessary animal cruelty sealed its fate.
The insurmountable problems I experienced while reading Stormdancer:
• Ignorance. I don't enjoy feeling stupid. Too many foreign words were introduced without explanation (some of which were repetitive). Later, I learned there was a GLOSSARY IN THE BACK. Reading the e-ARC, this was a bit of a problem. Rather than wasting time trying to figure out how to find it and refer to it in a timely manner or use Google I continued reading, hoping it wouldn't matter. IT DOES MATTER. DON'T READ THE EBOOK, read a hardcopy. To my dismay I found myself calculating how much Japanese culture, media and language I have consumed (view spoiler)[(I've watched Pokémon TV series and Studio Ghibli movies. Owned a Tamagotchi. Read and enjoyed Battle Royale and watched the movie. I'm aware of things like manga, animé, shibari and hentai.) (hide spoiler)] because I understood just one word: katana. A sword. The rest...who knows what it said or meant because it went right over my head.
• Authenticity was always going to be an issue being that the author is neither Japanese, and as far as I know, didn't spend considerable time in Japan. Artistic license is allowed and I definitely noticed non-Japanese references like the mention of pandas. I can't speak to how authentic Stormdancer is, but having recently read Across the Nightingale Floor, also by a Western author, I'm wary now of authors writing books set within histories and cultures they haven't immersed themselves in and admittedly know little about.
• World-building. Wading through the info-dump, compounded by my ignorance of the language, consisting of detailed stories and myths I couldn't fathom or hope to remember, was nearly impossible to read. Real myths or part of Kristoff's fiction? Important to his story or not? I didn't know. The author certainly succeeded in convincing me I was an alien introduced to an entirely different world.
• Slow pace. Very little happens in the 90 pages I read. I liked three of the scenes: the drunken gambling, the playful puppy and the childhood memory about the heroine's unusual ability to communicate with animals via telepathy. Golden nuggets of awesome in the writing of those scenes lured me into continuing. That, and the Guildsmen reminded me of Hellboy's Karl Ruprecht Kroenen. I'm not sure if that was intended or even an accurate interpretation, its just what I imagined from the description. Anyway, not much else happens between receiving orders from the Shogun to find and retrieve a griffin and actually stumbling upon one.
• Unnecessary animal cruelty. If communicating with the creature was possible, why not give it an ultimatum -i.e. stop thrashing about which will cause us to crash our airship or we'll have to clip your wings, which is it? Such a simple step and one which would've preserved this mythical specimen, perhaps the only one of its kind left, to present to the Shogun in perfect condition. I hardly see the Shogun being able to ride the griffin into battle, as he wished to, now the poor creature's wings have been clipped.
I desperately wanted to like this book for its uniqueness amongst other young adult novels, even adult ones, in not only setting a tale in a non-traditional (i.e. non-Western) place but going back to feudal times, adding steampunk and griffins -a tall order. With such lofty aspirations Stormdancer was either going to be award-winningly brilliant where we'd all be toasting Kristoff's genius, or quietly hoping to forget this overly ambitious experiment. Sadly, I'm in the latter camp. Sorry.
***My thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the e-Arc in return for an honest review.*** ________________________________
I came across this stunning book cover while browsing my library's new orders so I reserved it. A thrilling first chapter reminded m...more80/499 pages read.
I came across this stunning book cover while browsing my library's new orders so I reserved it. A thrilling first chapter reminded me of Carrie and the movie Cherry Falls.
Genie knew when her beloved grandmother died and told her fanatically religious mother. When her mother found out Genie's prediction was true she locked her daughter up in her bedroom behind bars, let her church's congregation call her the devil's plaything, encourage her to take her own life, burn the crucifix into her flesh, etc. Quite disturbing. Meanwhile 34 children go missing with no word from them and no bodies to bury. Rumours fly around and frantic parents are scared their child will be next. Uncomfortably childish and unrealistic writing from the moment Genie is rescued meant I couldn't continue.(less)
Werewolf hero cheats on heroine after he's blackmailed into giving Red's aunt oral sex of a weird kind (inserts his shifted snout into her vagina while the rest of him remains human). Heroine catches him, tells him it's over and runs off. Hero proceeds to chase her and force her to give him oral sex, and by the sounds of it full intercourse.
Cheating, even in this case (to save Red from the stigma of dating a lowly werewolf), is a complete turn-off. His abusive (read: rapist) and possessive nature after Red rejects him for his infidelity sealed the deal.