Although this is the first book in Kelley Armstrong's young adult series I still enjoyed it. I did find it hard to get into at the beginning but event...moreAlthough this is the first book in Kelley Armstrong's young adult series I still enjoyed it. I did find it hard to get into at the beginning but eventually I got lost in it and read it in one sitting.
The Darkest Powers series is set in the same world as the Women of the Otherworld series and it shows more towards the end. I was a little surprised that this book was similar to Stolen, the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series but it was different enough that it was still worth reading. When I got to the end I was stunned to realise that it was a cliffhanger and was desperate to read more though I understand this to be part of a trilogy so more of a part one of three, something that I'm not used to with Kelley's books. I will definitely be buying the second book. (less)
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)
I'm sorry, I don't get it. I'm not sure why Darkfever is so popular. For most of the book I was bored and on top of that the characters are incredibly...moreI'm sorry, I don't get it. I'm not sure why Darkfever is so popular. For most of the book I was bored and on top of that the characters are incredibly unlikeable. I only continued because I was advised that it gets better and it did improve a little but not enough for me to give it 3 stars.
My major problem was Mac and Barrons. Mac is supposed to be a bartender from a small town so she's sheltered but she's spoilt and lacks brains and common sense. She stumbles into bad situations without thinking of her own safety, basically she's Too Stupid To Live. Her Barbie look which had me thinking of Paris Hilton makes this worse. By the end, I thought she deserved to die. I couldn't believe how she managed to fight so well and survive without any training.
Barrons is arrogant and rude and not in a good way. He may be gorgeous and intelligent but he's not someone I'd ever want to spend time with. His change in behaviour at the end, painting Mac's nails for her because she was unable to do it herself, was completely out of character. However, I did feel sorry for him for having to deal with Mac. I'd have snapped and killed her quite early on. But that's me.
The story is occasionally commented on by Mac herself reflecting on these events from some future time. Every now and then this broke and ruined the tension and disappointed me by giving away information I didn't need to know yet. It was like someone telling me the end of a joke just before it was told. I didn't like this quirk at all. Why the author thought this was necessary, I don't know.
Not much is resolved within Darkfever so it tries to peak your curiosity to encourage you to buy the next one. Well, I got this for free from Amazon (thank goodness) and I don't see myself buying the next book. I may give it a shot at some point in the future but I'm not itching to get it from the library any time soon.(less)
Green Eyed Demon is a major improvement over its predecessor. I laughed, I cried, I sniggered at the dirty, filthy orgy. Yes, you read correctly.
What...moreGreen Eyed Demon is a major improvement over its predecessor. I laughed, I cried, I sniggered at the dirty, filthy orgy. Yes, you read correctly.
What made this so good other than Giguhl's rib-crackingly funny comments, was Sabina's growth. She's been through hell and is having to adapt quickly along the way. It's a rocky road. She makes mistakes. She gets knocked down but she always, always picks her wounded ass back up and lives to fight for another day.
Her fierce determination in protecting those she loves gives her pause. She loves? When did that happen? She's a kick-ass emotionless assassin. Since when did she love anyone, or have anyone to love her? She questions her identity. She was an assassin but who and what is she now? All this leaves her vulnerable and confused. She does her best to cope but the pressures of her sister's kidnapping, her homicidal grandmother and her undefined relationship with Adam, get in the way.
Speaking of Adam. The title refers to Sabina's jealousy regarding him and Giguhl. Her family. Hers. No one elses. They're there when she needs them: in battle, for advice and for a shoulder to cry on. The most useful advice comes from Giguhl (it's all that Oprah he watches) who tell her to seize the day because there may not be a tomorrow.
Sabina has so much to accomplish that she's advised to make a To Do List which went:
1. Perform voodoo ritual on evil owl. 2. Find out who sold us out to the anachronistic Caste vampires. 3. Make amends with lesbian werewolf. 4. Rescue twin. 5. Murder grandmother.
Anyway, this is fast-paced with lots of action, a little romance and tons of laughs. However, I can't give it 5 stars for one major reason which is difficult to explain without spoilers but I'll give it a shot. But you have been warned.
There were two characters that were near death. One was healed with the help of 3 very powerful mages but the other, only one for an injury that I would assume given the magic rules, would be impossible to "heal". Plus, the circumstances in which they were injured meant that person should be dead. This didn't sit well with me which is why it's taken me so long to write a review. But I can also see it from the author's point of view. This character was important and needed to survive but wanted to keep the "everyone thinks they're dead" angst (which was excellent by the way. It produced a highly emotional action scene).
I've never taken to Sabina's overly optimistic and wishy-washy sister so I was pleased she "suffered". I don't wish for her to be jaded, she just needs a bit more reality in her world view to make her more likeable.
The excerpt from the next book was intriguing. 114 days without violence, huh? Sounds dull. Not for long, I bet!(less)
I'm going to preface this review by saying that if I hadn't read interviews and blog posts about this and future books then I would've awarded more st...moreI'm going to preface this review by saying that if I hadn't read interviews and blog posts about this and future books then I would've awarded more stars. Perhaps I'll calm down later and see the light but for now, I'm a bull pawing the sand with my head lowered snorting in anger and frustration despite the fact that I quite enjoyed this book. It's where we go from now that troubles me.
The first half was slow with only a couple of blood-pumping action scenes. The road trip itself, although giving the characters time to bond with Trent was a bit tedious. I was beginning to believe the book had been misrepresented to me and was tempted to abandon it. And although it got better, I was kind of right. It's not what I expected at all.
This book was supposed to be about two things: Trent and Rachel becoming closer and Rachel's fight to get the shunning removed. I was in it for the former but couldn't see it happening with Trent becoming criminally dangerous with his arrogance.
I assumed, as I'm guessing many others will, that Rachel and Trent would have a fling, Trent would ruin things and they both would move on. Not so. Something more serious transpired. They learned to trust each other. Trent rightfully earned everyone's trust. He sacrificed much for Rachel and instead of imposing his will, he gave her a choice. A very important choice. Trent changed in this book partly due to a rather surprising development he'd been keeping secret which now has him tied to Rachel in a way that would have me believing Rachel and Trent will become an item in the next book, the last scene backing me up on this.
However, and this is where I get annoyed, Harrison has stated that Rachel and Trent will not become long term romantic partners. She has even been dropping hints about Rachel's future love interests (all current ones except Trent are no longer possible) in blog posts. This made me angry. I feel like I've been manipulated despite knowing all of this going in. The writing was so good regarding this that I believed they would become an item. Everything points to it becoming a done deal. I don't understand why she would do this, other than to make Trent Rachel's protector, which she now desperately needs to survive.
All of this makes me wonder what Harrison's long-term plan with this series is. I'm concerned about repetitiveness at this point. Rachel's predicament by the end of PD is a return to one she had at the beginning, just replace "black witch" with "demon". This is the 9th book. It almost read like the last. I could happily not read another and not just because I'm disgruntled. I can imagine what could come next but it probably doesn't match what Harrison has in store for us.
I've been questioning my commitment to this series. Kisten's demise led to a break away from it and since then I've missed him. Trent is/was someone I could see Rachel settling with because even though he has, as she puts it: a 'disrespect of innocent lives' and the law, they have great chemistry and now they care and perhaps even love (at least a little) one another. Trent has proven he'll do anything, and I mean anything, to protect what and whom he cares about so I'm failing to understand why...Oh, never mind. This is embarrassing. I'm an action fan, not a romance queen. I'm whining so it's time to shut up now. (less)
After a brilliant and very useful recap of Inside Out, this only got better. It found it's footing immediately and ran like the wind to the closing li...moreAfter a brilliant and very useful recap of Inside Out, this only got better. It found it's footing immediately and ran like the wind to the closing lines.
It was so jam-packed with action, betrayals and trickery I was exhausted just reading it. It wasn't simple either. I'm impressed Snyder could fit so much in (including technical detail) and I could still follow her throughout. Something I couldn't do with the first book.
I never knew who to trust. That seems to be a real theme that Snyder just loves to play with. I don't know how Trella managed what with getting injured, drugged or knocked out every five minutes and having to deal with the difficult relationships with her mother and her boyfriend. Time was a real factor, she never had enough of it but she somehow triumphed more often than not.
There was very little skimming this time around. Snyder was economical with words yet she still managed to fill many, many pages, more than I expected and I never got bored. Unusual for me with YA. The only real downside was no sexually explicit content even when it would've made sense with what should've been a very steamy shower scene, dammit! F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G.
Talking of frustration, Trella's stubborn reluctance in taking on the responsibility of leadership and leaving it to others -ugh! I was so desperate to reach into the book and throttle her and take the reins myself. Everything was falling apart and she was doing NOTHING! It was all her fault. Maybe not but she could've prevented some things or at least coordinated responses to them more efficiently. I'm so glad she learned from her mistakes.
Anyway, things were all nicely wrapped up. Perhaps a little too quickly (I wanted to know what crimes the Outsiders committed to be kicked out of Inside) but by then I was tired and just wanted to put the book down to catch my breath so I didn't care too much. I'm guessing this is a duology, I could be wrong but it ended perfectly so I'm not expecting another instalment. Oh, and I'm assuming Trella got the top spot at the end, in more ways than one. Wink, wink.(less)
We’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that peop...moreWe’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that people suffer so much from these eating disorders. And it’s not described to purposely shock, it is shocking. It’s part of their lives. It is their lives.
On the very first page we witness seventeen year old Lisa’s suicide attempt after fighting with her boyfriend, feeling depressed after her former friend Suzanne tells her she’s anorexic, realising she’s angry and her feeling of emptiness all lead her to feel that life isn’t worth living anymore. She just wants it all to stop.
Something as simple as licking a tear from the corner of her mouth has her thinking it’s okay to do so because it’s calorie-free. When faced with food, every bad ingredient is rattled off by the Thin voice in her head followed by the number of calories they contain and the time required to burn them off on her exercise bike. Her obsessive compulsive actions lead her to eat little and exercise to exhaustion, and what she does eat is the epitome of health. No junk food. She even agonises over eating a simple French fry.
And Misery loves company. Lisa’s anorexic but her best friend’s bulimic. Tammy reinforces her twisted relationship with food as Lisa feels like a failure for not being able to throw up on command and is in awe of the fact that Tammy can ‘bring up a doughnut in thirty seconds’. Sadly, she thinks this is apparently something to be proud of.
Lisa’s struggle to become a better anorexic is downright scary. Her need to control every aspect of her body, frightening. But in her pursuit of this goal she fails to realise that her body is crying out for sustenance. Her confusion and trouble remembering things that only happened the day before and the absence of her period which at first she mistook for a pregnancy scare, then later believed it was just down to stress.
As Lisa describes her dream in which she’s told she is the new Famine, Tammy calmly tells her: “Your own personal Columbine. That’s what your Famine is. Your subconscious just wrapped the rage up in a food image, instead of a freak-with-a-gun image. You relate better to food, that’s all.”
An anorexic who chooses to not eat becomes Famine, something that means that choice is taken away is an interesting idea, it’s what drew me to this book in the first place. Well, after seeing the beautiful cover, anyway.
I enjoyed the symbolism of the Scales of office and the need for balance between being starved to doing things to excess or gluttony, and how one can counteract the other but it’s all down to perception. Lisa’s perception that she’s fat when everyone around her believes she’s too thin, being angry at those who eat to excess and feeling guilty for depriving herself of food when others don’t have a choice but to go hungry.
The horses made interesting supporting characters, seeing things from Midnight’s point of view as an immortal guide to their ever changing riders. Even War’s perspective helped me to see the change in Lisa, how her role as Famine had an impact on how she approached life. The riders all contributed: Death with his strange sense of humour and philosophical musings, Pestilence with his philanthropic way of seeing things and War with her bloodthirsty and forthright anger.
I couldn’t help but wonder if her meeting with Death and the other horsemen, and her role as Famine was real or imaginary though their role in her journey obviously helped her. You wouldn’t think it would considering they’re harbingers of the apocalypse.
After reading about Lisa’s disturbing thought processes and observing her behaviour, I had a fervent wish that please god, let this girl be okay. When she is confronted again by Suzanne and her boyfriend James, she is so distressed at them calling her anorexic that I had conflicting thoughts on whose side I should be on, when sanity told me to be on the side that makes her seek help.
Then finally we hear the three words that I’ve been desperate to read: “You’re too thin”. They come from the most unlikely source. Then again this person was so straight talking and direct, and the truth hurts.
I find that YA rarely touches upon such serious topics and I’m very glad that the author was brave enough to share some of her own experiences as she explains in the Author’s Notes at the back. I’m not certain why I’m not giving this 5 stars because it’s definitely something I’d slip to a friend with similar troubles, hoping it would help them in some way.
eBook received for review courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.(less)
Passionately in love with Ligeia, his wife, until she dies and he becomes obsessed with every detail of her memory....moreThe madness of grief personified.
Passionately in love with Ligeia, his wife, until she dies and he becomes obsessed with every detail of her memory. Later marrying Lady Rowena because he secretly likes that she 'shunned' him at every turn and that she's Ligeia's opposite in every way, but despite this he hates her because she's not the one he loved most.
Unfortunately, Rowena succumbs to the same illness as his first wife: consumption (tuberculosis). At her bedside, high on opium he thinks of his love for Liegia and her demise, and on glancing at the body on the bed he believes he witnesses some imaginary sign of life in Rowena's corpse. Frantically, he does everything he can to revive her, until Ligeia's visage transforms Rowena's body.
The horror of his misfortune was obviously too much for his tortured psyche to handle. Sadly, this correlates with Poe's real life experience. His mother died when he was a infant, his father abandoned him soon after, his foster mother died, and then his wife died after more than a decade of marriage. That's more than any one soul should have to bear. Condemned to walk alone and probably terrified to love anyone in case his curse catches up with him.
Ligeia predates The Raven by about seven years, although it goes without saying that they go hand-in-hand, both detailing the insanity brought on by the grief and loss of a dearly beloved wife.
This isn't my first ride on the psychologically intriguing Poe-horror-go-round, and it won't be my last. (less)
Well, this was different. In a good way, of course. Most books that use mythology tend to stick with the Greek and Roman pantheon, instead this focuse...moreWell, this was different. In a good way, of course. Most books that use mythology tend to stick with the Greek and Roman pantheon, instead this focuses on the Egyptian one. Let me just say that I love Ancient Egypt and it's mythology. I've been to Egypt, visited exhibits and so on so this was something I was eager to read.
Sins of the Heart follows Dagan Krayle, the eldest son of Seth, the Egyptian god of chaos. All of his 4 sons are Darksoul reapers -they reap the souls of evildoers and feed them to their father who consumes their energy, preventing them from having any sort of afterlife and any chance at reincarnation, effectively destroying them completely.
Dagan meets a 19 year old Roxy on a reap of a kidnapper and murderer. She's been kidnapped and is trying to escape. Dagan admires her courage and is tempted to release her though it goes against the rules when she sees him take the heart and soul he came for. He spots her necklace which is of the Daughters of Aset -the enemies of his father. He knows she isn't one of them yet but advises her to stay away from the unless she wants to become his enemy, and though she doesn't want that she feels she has no choice and joins them anyway.
Eleven years later, one of Dagan's brother's has been killed. Seth is furious, he wants vengeance and his son's body so that he can resurrect him and find out who murdered him. Everything points to the Daughters of Aset and in Dagan's investigation he finds a necklace of a dead woman which matches Roxy's and prays she's not dead. He goes searching for her hoping she's leading the normal life he wished for her on the day he broke the rules and let her go free.
There was a lot of world building in the first 200 pages or so which I appreciate but the romance did suffer a bit because of this. There was a brief scene between the Dae and Roxy where they met and then were reunited after those 200 pages so the romance had less time to blossom even though both Dae and Roxy were yearning for each other in the 11 years they were parted.
The plot was solid and interesting though at times a little complicated with 6 or more POVs but I understand why all of these were necessary. The mystery behind which god is backing the destruction of Seth and his kin is a difficult one to guess at with so many different factors involved.
This is a complex book which though confusing at times, I enjoyed. I will definitely be continuing the series very soon so I don't have time to forget anything. 3.5 stars.(less)
Lillie is a bitter woman used and abused by her husband and considered an outcaste by society which finds itself needing her to help with the increase...moreLillie is a bitter woman used and abused by her husband and considered an outcaste by society which finds itself needing her to help with the increase in ghostly activity which sometimes poses a risk to the living. When her husband dies in a car accident and his corpse comes back to kill her, somehow she's implicated in his death and has to find a way to exonerate herself as well as dodging further attempts on her life.
Lillie's bitterness colours her perspective. Her terrible experiences with her husband has her seeing men in a negative light. She's also incredibly suspicious of Thresher's interest in her because of her outcaste status as a Talent. Everyone avoids her except those that see her as a trophy lay, a walk on the wild side. And now that she's a widow she's even more attractive because we all know widows are in need of physical touch. She was a likeable character in need of a real friend that isn't afraid of her and can accept her as she is. Thresher seemed to fit the bill though I would've liked to have seen more of him.
In some ways, the Talents are similar to the Animators in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Both are capable of raising zombies although the opinions on this by the main characters from each series as well as the laws governing them are completely different.
Overall, I liked the plot and was surprised by the tense and scary, well-written showdown which I loved but as a woman also found quite unnerving. I also loved the gentle ending with Lillie and Thresher.
However, the beginning was undefined. I wasn't sure where the beginning was in fact and there was an information overload in an attempt at world-building which if I hadn't been intending to review this book I would've given up quite early on. Perhaps if there was a prologue or something, it would've been easier to take in all the facts. The writing was shaky to begin with but gradually improved. With some editing this could easily be a four-star read.(less)
This book, with an eye-catching cover, got off to a bumpy start but about halfway through it picked up.
Allegra travels to Scotland when a Deddflower...moreThis book, with an eye-catching cover, got off to a bumpy start but about halfway through it picked up.
Allegra travels to Scotland when a Deddflower or Bleeding Rose, a harbinger of tragedy is found to be growing on the shore of a loch. She's called in to investigate in order to prevent whatever disaster is about to befall the small village.
Allegra was likeable but Casper the guardian angel stole the show. He's tortured soul and mystery man all rolled into one plus he's a golden hunk of a warrior trying to atone for his wicked past so he can get into heaven. What's not to love? Which is exactly Allegra's problem. Casper isn't allowed to fornicate. It's forbidden, part of his punishment for his sins against women in life. She has a hard time with this and even tries to spend time with an interested handsome man who also happens to be her employer on this case. The romantic element isn't resolved so perhaps there will be a sequel.
The plot wasn't as tight as I would've liked and as a result I lost interest a few times and put the book down a lot to begin with. There was also very little background on Allegra's life both personally and professionally. Casper was actually the most well-rounded character.
Overall, this was a light read with some interesting titbits of mythology and a nice little impossible romance.(less)
I was strongly reminded of the Psy/Changeling series, one of my favourites, by Nalini Singh especially the first book Slave to Sensation, when reading...moreI was strongly reminded of the Psy/Changeling series, one of my favourites, by Nalini Singh especially the first book Slave to Sensation, when reading Tempting the Enemy. The Sibile are comparable to the Psy, they believe themselves to be the superior race with incredible psychic abilities and look down on humans and shifters who in this have been hunted by humans almost to extinction.
At the beginning I was worried this was going to be love at first sight, or in this case scent but I was wrong. It's lust at first sight mostly due to Jade going into heat in Pale's presence but luckily for her he was a gentlemen and could control his urges around her unlike others who wouldn't hesitate to rape her, but it turns into a slow seduction instead as Pale and Jade work together to catch a savage and elusive serial killer.
I really enjoyed this and I'm hungry for more. I want to follow the new pack's progress and watch the forthcoming attack and subsequent human war on the Sebile, I only hope Jalla and Sage survive that conflict. Sequel please? Pretty please?(less)