Fans of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series may be interested in this one as Stein imagines Adele Stackhouse's (Sookie's grandmother) affair w...moreFans of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series may be interested in this one as Stein imagines Adele Stackhouse's (Sookie's grandmother) affair with Fintan, a fairy, written as extracts of Adele's long-lost diary from that time period.
I found Fintan awkward and strange. I understood why Adele would embark on such an affair - for the prospect of a child in her depressingly childless marriage - but Fintan's motivation is unclear other than easy sex with none of the responsibility for the results. It's been awhile since I've read Harris's books so I can't quite remember Fintan's point of view on this, whether he saw it as altruism or pure lust.
The Highlander's Touch resonated with me. No wait, let's be more specific. Lisa resonated with me. Her experience as a carer is so accurately portraye...moreThe Highlander's Touch resonated with me. No wait, let's be more specific. Lisa resonated with me. Her experience as a carer is so accurately portrayed I have to wonder if Moning has ever been one. Many times I read something and said, "Yes. This is what it's like. Exactly." So thank you for that. What an unexpected to surprise. This is the reason for the 'favourites' shelf.
I appreciated Cicernn's knight-in-shining-armour routine, his understanding Lisa's refusal to enjoy herself while her mother lay dying and alone, and feeling she didn't deserve to be happy having had no reason to feel much positive emotion in years. Everything else...was okay, worthy of a 3-3.5★ rating, but a solid 4★ for what this meant to me personally. Moning's author note is a stark warning for all women to ensure they attend regular cervical smear tests.(less)
After falling in love with Dragon Bound I didn't want to read this one because nothing could live up to that first book. Nothing. And it didn't. Not e...moreAfter falling in love with Dragon Bound I didn't want to read this one because nothing could live up to that first book. Nothing. And it didn't. Not even close.
I liked Tricks before this book but here she was a bit irritating here. Irritatingly perfect at times. Everyone falls in love with her. And the one person who doesn't is the villain. A villain I identified very early on. I was unhappy to be proved right. I was hoping for it to be someone I'd never considered.
Tricks and Tiago together didn't quite feel right. Sure they had some funny flirtatious times but they were thrown together out of need. Tricks needed to be protected, from assassins and from herself (she doesn't know when to stop working and look after herself), and he needed a new challenge because he's easily bored if he's not out fighting. They both got what they needed but did they love each other? I can't answer in the positive because I wasn't convinced. They never really got to know each other. Character development was poor in this book compared to Dragon Bound. We barely got to know the supporting cast, even characters that were introduced in book #1 weren't given much page time.
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 he...moreFirst 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.(less)
I much preferred Sean and Andrea as a couple. Sorry, Kim. She let her and Liam down. Andrea is more loveable. I dug the fae-shifter war but missed som...moreI much preferred Sean and Andrea as a couple. Sorry, Kim. She let her and Liam down. Andrea is more loveable. I dug the fae-shifter war but missed some of the frictions with humans in this that we saw in Pride Mates.
I did feel that Eric was out of place as the Alpha of Las Vegas come to visit, to learn how to circumvent the collars. It was a strange move to make. What were they going to get from him in return -that wasn't made clear. Instead, it seems like he was introduced so that the author could take the show to Vegas and set the next romance there, which I'm dubious about. I was just getting used to these characters and this setting and now we're jumping to another Shiftertown. I hope we come back to Austin in the future. I'm going to miss Connor's overwhelming enthusiasm and his wicked sense of humour.
Well, this series isn't boring. We've had: Pride Mates: Human Female & Feline Male in Austin, TX Primal Bonds: Fae/Wolf Female & Feline Male in Austin, TX
This one came highly rated by friends and after seeing it constantly mentioned I decided it must be worth a try. I can say I was completely engrossed...moreThis one came highly rated by friends and after seeing it constantly mentioned I decided it must be worth a try. I can say I was completely engrossed and entertained by Alex and Falin's relationship although I am surprised he wanted to stick around. That's my positives. It really says something when the highlights of a book can be summed up in only a couple of lines.
The quirky yet distinctive opener, followed by some intriguing action (Death saved a life -why, and is that allowed?) calmed any concerns that I'd made a mistake buying this one but not long after we're stalled, left waiting for the good stuff to happen.
All I wanted to do was spend time with Death or Falin. Death more-so because I needed to understand what his attachment was to Alex and why he was so close to her when standard grave witch-reaper etiquette states the occasional "hello" when crossing paths is the most that should ever pass between them. What makes Alex so special? (view spoiler)[The kiss, I thought, was him being playful, messing with her mind so I was surprised and disappointed when he announced his love for her when she was dying. He was cool and mysterious until then. I vehemently dislike love triangles and this one wasn't even close to resolved by the end. Leaving Falin hanging in the Friend Zone after what had passed between him and Alex was also awkward. If she'd explained how she felt or he'd explained his weird fae 'I'm someone else's lover' status I wouldn't have a problem with them going their separate ways or remaining friends. (hide spoiler)]
Under normal circumstances I like magic and witches and I understand the need for world building but I was picking things out that I'd read in other places. I know it's hard to be completely original but the grave witchery itself strongly reminded me of Anita Blake's zombie raising to settle legal disputes and give closure to the families of the deceased. The race against time to investigate and avoid being arrested and branded a grey/black witch was eerily reminiscent of Rachel Morgan in the the Hollows, as well as the FIB/Inderland policing. For the most part I enjoyed both of those series but here with Alex, the witchiness was over done. The amount of detail about what was happening when she was using magic, the different planes and the consequences was all too confusing and unnecessary at times that I found myself skimming.
Alex's father mentions 'The Long Game' in regards to the fae. I'm not sure if this is part of some general mythology I'm unaware of but it features as part of a long running story arc involving the vampires in the Kitty Norville series. Talking about the fae, they were tricky bastards. Some appear to be good and others, not so nice. I liked that they weren't all tarred with the same brush.
Alex herself, I didn't find endearing. First of all, she's cursed. Everyone around her goes missing: her brother Brian, her best friend and roommate Rianna, and now people she knew from the witch community. She's also not the sharpest knife in the drawer and she's a doormat. Misunderstanding clues elongated the story. It was obvious things were going to roll back to her family after the discovery of the grey book but we had to wait for her to figure out the (view spoiler)[genetic (not generic, silly girl) (hide spoiler)] connection. The doormat thing annoyed me, it's part of the reason for her money troubles, not demanding to be paid for services rendered but she also has a problem with two tiny little letters, "no". Just say it. It's that easy. If people turn their back on you, you don't jump up to help them move up the career ladder. However, the strained relationships between Alex and her father and sister were interesting to me and I wished Price had delved further into their background and past dealings. In fact, I could probably extend that to all of the characters as they were all towards the shallow end of the spectrum as opposed to fully fleshed out individuals with histories and back-stories but I'm betting that's going to be developed in the following novels.
The dog, I'm sorry but yuck, yuck, yuck. This goes to personal taste because tiny dogs like that creep me out and it's hairless -eww, eww, eww. I wanted the thing to die.
One final thing about the ending, unless I'm mistaken and please let me know if I am (view spoiler)[Alex was dying not just from a stab wound but from the soul-sucking spell. Rianna healed the stab wound but not the spell. So when Alex thinks 'we won' and all is right with her world, she's still dying. That's never resolved and yet we're led to believe it has when it hasn't. ETA: The Answer(hide spoiler)]
Yeah, so basically the last third of the book with Alex and Falin was the only good experience I can take away from this book. It's something, I guess.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Not quite what I expected. I loved Phineas the pervy unicorn -he was a hoot. I was intrigued by the idea of TouchStones -humans used as anchors in thi...moreNot quite what I expected. I loved Phineas the pervy unicorn -he was a hoot. I was intrigued by the idea of TouchStones -humans used as anchors in this world for those of the Light and Dark Paths, and humans trapped in paintings but I found the book's mythology confusing what with all the doorways and crossroads, etc. There wasn't much in the way of explanation. And there were moments when I was tempted to put it down but I knew if I did I'd never pick it back up again. It lacked a certain something, depth perhaps. I don't know. But it wasn't an engaging, all-consuming read.
It was also difficult to get a handle on the relationship between Abby and the incubus which was originally based on pure lust and sexual tension which grew to something more, to the point where they trusted each other with their deepest, darkest secrets and their very lives. All in just a few short days. Very PNR. And yet Abby jokes about the language used in such books, "my lady softness" and "turgid magnificence".
(view spoiler)[However, I hated the reference to the Buffy & Angel situation at the end because I didn't believe it was comparable. B & A had no way to overcome their problems but it seemed very apparent that this couple did.
Other than her wish at the end of her contract, Abby's world had just opened up to other magical possibilities with her highly sought after KeyStone abilities and the contracts/trades she can now make. Them giving up on their relationship so soon disappointed me and I subsequently lost respect for both characters. Nothing in life is easy and they just gave up without trying. Pussies.
I know that what they had could be classed as "just" a short fling but it was intense enough that they'd become very important to each other. It seemed everything was pointing to a HEA then did a u-turn which didn't feel right and made little sense to me. I must point out here that I don't mind HFNs or even sad endings when done properly, I just feel this was dealt with badly. Or perhaps I've misinterpreted the situation. (hide spoiler)]
Reading the excerpt from the sequel still hasn't made up my mind as to whether I want to read it. At this point, Phineus and the baby are the only characters I'm interested in but I'm not sure that's enough for me to continue with Abby's story. 2.5 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
For being a modern 20th century girl from 1997, Ari adjusted too well to 16th century Scotland for my liking. I thought she would've missed modern tec...moreFor being a modern 20th century girl from 1997, Ari adjusted too well to 16th century Scotland for my liking. I thought she would've missed modern technology more than she did. She only mentioned missing hot water. Only hot water?! And she didn't even seem bored when her days were mostly empty. No TV, no internet, no job and only a limited number of books -I'd die of boredom! Even with a hot husband and his loving mother for a companion.
Overall, it was quite slow but the characters were more likeable than those from Fever series and this was a much better first book than Darkfever. I will definitely be continuing with this series.(less)
I still had a hard time connecting with the characters but at least they were tolerable this time. There was no urge to kill Mac which surprised me. I...moreI still had a hard time connecting with the characters but at least they were tolerable this time. There was no urge to kill Mac which surprised me. I felt relief that she's learning and growing as a person because she couldn't get more shallow and TSTL.
The writing has improved though some things were glossed over and wish that the story was kept in the present instead of Mac commenting on events in past tense, it doesn't add anything to the story. I'm also a little annoyed that not much is wrapped up and that the next two have awful cliffhanger endings, or so I've heard. I won't be reading them yet, I'll wait until the last book comes out next year. I feel like these books string you along and I really dislike that feeling. I still don't understand what all the fuss is about this series but I will at least read the next book.(less)
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 is...moreWow, 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!]
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)
After reading this, I had quite a few unanswered questions. At times the story was all over the place and couldn't decide what path it was going to ta...moreAfter reading this, I had quite a few unanswered questions. At times the story was all over the place and couldn't decide what path it was going to take. It's left me confused about certain outcomes plus quite a few characters were introduced and I didn't always understand their significance with so little information being given about them.
Mainly I wanted to meet Celia's sire, learn about his relationship to Edgar, and more about these vampires in general but this was scuppered by the King of Rusland's actions.
The emotional relationships Celia had were interesting but the mystery behind her torture and her sister's death was never revealed. In fact her past although alluded to through dreams and little facts about her mother, isn't written in much detail. I would've liked more but I guess we'll see that in the sequel. Her siren status was new but didn't really fit with the rest of the book and just added more questions to the all ready long list.
Side note: It was also weird reading about characters whose names have a strong connection with me: Amy (my name) was the girlfriend of Kevin -my father's name -eww. I also don't get along with him so every time I read the name I couldn't help but feel a flare of anger. I tried really hard to not let that get in the way of my enjoyment of the book.(less)
Meh. The writing was pretty bad. It plainly said that it was unsure of its audience. One minute it read like it was for 9-year-olds and the next they'...moreMeh. The writing was pretty bad. It plainly said that it was unsure of its audience. One minute it read like it was for 9-year-olds and the next they're talking about uncircumcised penises and people poking out the eyeballs of innocent children. (Those two things aren't related by the way. Just thought I'd let you know, in case you were wondering.)
I didn't care about Kaye's smoking, drinking, shoplifting and truancy etc. It didn't bother me because it was realistic, and I sympathised with the situation concerning her mother.
Kaye's sexuality seemed stifled even for a young adult book, which frustrated me because it was difficult to figure out whether she was actually attracted to Kenny or Roiben. Corny (what a nickname, but then who wants to be called Cornelius?) however - yay for a gay character who doesn't fit a particular stereotype. He's just an ordinary guy with insecurities.
But there was one thing that baffled me. One of Kaye's friends drowns but she doesn't think to give them mouth-to-mouth and try and revive them. Guess they weren't that good of a friend.
I liked the descriptions of the Unseelie Court and it's fey but most of the book was set in Ironside (our world). Kaye didn't slip down the rabbit hole until halfway, when I was about give up on this due to boredom.
Speaking of the rabbit hole, Tithe reminded me of Alice in Wonderland except Kaye/Alice is fey rather than human so she's an outsider in the human world despite growing up there and an outsider in the fey world because she doesn't understand all of the rules there.
The different elements of this book didn't really come together in a way that worked. It was unsatisfying. The highest praise I can give it: I love the beautifully striking cover accurately representing what's inside.
Out of the all the characters Roiben and Kaye's mother were the most fleshed out, the others were thin throwaways. The ideas in Tithe were interesting but the writing could've been better. I'm the first to admit that the fey aren't my favourite supernaturals but I didn't completely hate Black's incarnation of them. Despite my less than warm reception of the book, I do believe it would make a good movie (by Tim Burton?). I won't be reading the sequel.(less)
For some reason I'm not really into this series but certain scenes throughout are worth the effort. Those scenes in this one were between Nash and Kay...moreFor some reason I'm not really into this series but certain scenes throughout are worth the effort. Those scenes in this one were between Nash and Kaylee after the big revelation. Their relationship gets complicated in a very bad way. I cheered when Tod punched Nash but if I'd have been Kaylee he would've received a good beating with my own two fists and feet. Not only was she lied to but she was betrayed in the most intimate of ways, and I despised her a little for leaving the door open for a possible reunion in the future. I could never do the same.
Tod has to be my favourite character. He gets all the best lines and does everything I'd love to do myself like knock Sophie out, something she's had coming for a long time. He's not perfect, sometimes he doesn't see things the way a normal person would but his heart's always in the right place especially when it comes to Kaylee. He's always protecting her and trying to defend her honour. It's a shame they're not interested in each other romantically, I guess he'll only ever be a big brother.
Vincent isn't afraid to tackle the tough topics but sometimes I think she explains things down to a very basic level, which you usually see in children's books instead of YA so perhaps she underestimates her audience's ability to understand her line of thinking but otherwise this was another easy read. 3.5 stars.(less)