*round of applause* More! More! Where's the sequel? Damn. There isn't one yet. I'm a little disappointed. I was all ready to do business with that hor*round of applause* More! More! Where's the sequel? Damn. There isn't one yet. I'm a little disappointed. I was all ready to do business with that horrible "one-click" button.
We have Carla, a rising musician catapulted 50 years (via a plane crash) into a post-apocalyptic future where women are so scarce they're looked upon with curiosity and lust everywhere they go. Women stealers are everywhere and rape is a near certainty if they walk around unprotected.
In the aftermath of the crash, Carla and Lisa volunteer to find aid for the wounded survivors. They're tricked and sold into a Bride Fight where men fight for the women to become their brides. The women have no say in the matter.
These two get lucky. Their winning males are gentle with them. Carla gets Taye, a hot Native American Alpha werewolf for a mate, who's read many romance novels to ensure he can seduce and please his woman! Lisa, a blond but jealous sex god.
Taye is tender and gentle with Carla, his Lupa. As is his pack. He wants her to be happy so he acquires the most thoughtful presents for her but Carla doesn't give in easily:
"Fire!" She jerked her hand away from him. "Gotta put the fire out...I mean, put wood on the fire!" She squirmed out from under him, fell out of bed in a sprawl of flailing limbs, and scrambled up to lunge for the small woodpile under the window. She blindly tossed some in to the stove and fled to the bathroom.
But when she does. It's not only hot but hilarious. Taye has never seen or touched a naked woman before, and he's mesmerised. He innocently announces the anatomical names of her lady parts as he sees and touches them. Not only that but he insists on a step-by-step seduction process, right out of the romance novels he's studied. A verrry loooong process. He tortures poor Carla. But I can't feel too sorry for her because she gets what she wants in the end. ;)
I'm pleasantly surprised I liked this so much. Usually a short-ish story + debut novel + first in series + paranormal romance = one crappy book. Not so!
I love the premise, the characters have solid personalities and the writing was spot on. The world-building was expertly done. It had a slightly cheesy ending but that's all the bad there is. I enjoyed this immensely.
I'm desperate to find out what happened with the other survivors. How Stag will fare with his mate Sherry who's too scared of his wolf to even begin to consider him as her husband. How Shadow is going to get a very depressed Glory, grieving for the life she's now realised is lost to her, to love him again. And most importantly of all, the outcome of the indication that Quill is interested in Ellie as his mate.
I try to read this every year as it never fails to return me to my 5-year-old self, filled with excitement over the great and powerful Santa's impendiI try to read this every year as it never fails to return me to my 5-year-old self, filled with excitement over the great and powerful Santa's impending visit. The catchy rhythm and rhyme of this delightful poem is contagious. I used to repeat it often as a child until the first lines were branded into my brain:
''Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.'
It always leaves me with a warm and satisfied glow as I read the last words:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
My first taste of Koontz and I can't say I liked it. The excerpt from the killer's journal at the beginning and the closing paragraph were the best thMy first taste of Koontz and I can't say I liked it. The excerpt from the killer's journal at the beginning and the closing paragraph were the best things about this story. It was slow and it wasn't nearly as horrific or as creepy as I thought it would be. The ending sucked and it just dragged...on...and on...and...on......more
I actually read most of this fable whilst simultaneously watching the 1999 film adaptation with Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Next Generation, X-Men).
II actually read most of this fable whilst simultaneously watching the 1999 film adaptation with Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Next Generation, X-Men).
I didn't realise until I read this that some of the humorous bits had passed me by in the adaptations and found myself laughing at Scrooge's very uncharitable and gloomy nature, and later the reactions to his death.
My absolute favourite character was Scrooge's nephew and his persistent attempts to befriend his uncle, always offering an invitation to Christmas dinner every year. I loved his perceptiveness in observing and understanding Scrooge's behaviour (and taking it without offence). It was spot on.
Scrooge: "What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to merry? You're poor enough." Nephew: "What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough." Scrooge: "Bah! Humbug!"
However, the narrative was very wordy so I did resort to skimming quite a bit of the descriptions to get to the good stuff i.e. the dialogue.
It was a good seasonal read to get me in to the spirit of Christmas. 'And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!'...more
Okay, so I’ve read 7 books by Keri Arthur and I can’t take it any more. This is one of her more recent books so I mistakenly thought the problems I exOkay, so I’ve read 7 books by Keri Arthur and I can’t take it any more. This is one of her more recent books so I mistakenly thought the problems I experienced with the Damask Circle trilogy, published 10 years ago, wouldn’t be repeated here.
Destiny Kills had a premise with great promise and the power to be unforgettable but it was ruined by a number of re-occuring factors concerning Arthur’s books and writing style.
First off, sex. Nothing can get in the way of sex and the I-love-yous. Not even romance. There's a lot of love-at-first-sight fated-to-be-mated because her, sometimes wooden characters, are incapable of falling in love gradually. Now, if Arthur was a writer of erotica this probably wouldn’t be a problem. But paranormal romance tends to require some sort of storyline, a reason for the hero and heroine to meet each other and for a little time to pass together before they start bumping uglies. I prefer there to be a balance between plot and sex. And plot almost always comes last with this author.
The beginnings of Arthur’s books are mostly very weak and Destiny Kills was no exception. Our heroine is on an unknown beach with a dead body with no memory of how he died, her name or what she’s doing there. Only she knows his name and his relationship to her. She knows they’re both non-human and how to traditionally dispose of his body with the proper ceremony. I’m no expert on amnesia but I have witnessed it first hand, and I find it unlikely that she would remember all of that so quickly.
I wondered why exactly the author decided to start the book at that exact point:
Destiny’s a child when her mother is kidnapped. Destiny and her dad run away to the US.
Aged 18, attempting a rescue, Destiny is kidnapped.
10 years of confinement: includes experimentation (read: torture), forced coupling with Egan (i.e. rape), protecting the dragon children who’re also confined.
Escapes aged 28, with Egan, leaving the children behind after her mother feels Destiny’s father dying.
On the run, caught and Egan’s killed.
[The book starts.]
Beginning the book a little earlier while Destiny is still imprisoned would’ve provided better background and a sense of urgency for her escape. Obviously Arthur wasn’t scared of harsh reality and if we’d witnessed Destiny’s living conditions and how she was treated before escape I could’ve felt sympathy, encouraging me to be invested in her mission. We also could’ve met Egan who was apparently a big part of her life, before he died. The flashbacks weren’t enough. They’re too brief, often confusing with little context to fully understand what happened and the effect on Destiny’s behaviour.
Which leads me to another thing, Destiny, although not unaffected by her experience as a lab rat, she’s remarkably and suspiciously functional. I’d expect panic attacks, crying, not wanting to be touched, crippling anger –some sort of post-traumatic stress. She experiences one moment of it: when she’d had to shoot someone in the head during her escape. That’s it. She seems more concerned about dishonouring Egan by moving on too quickly with his half-brother, Trae.
Where are all the people? We live on a planet of 7 billion people and yet most of Arthur’s books (excluding Riley Jensen) contain two characters, and if you’re lucky 3 others with a sentence of dialogue each. There are no side characters, no sidekicks. There’s only one POV: Destiny’s. The scope is too narrow. They’re not the only two people in the world. Neither have friends or family. They receive no calls to check-in after going AWOL. Destiny has an excuse but then the kids, I would think, would be her family but we don’t hear much from them. Trae is an outcast who hates his father but what about friends, his mother? Not everyone is a lone wolf. Contact with other characters can be a means of showing what our heroes and heroines are really like, can provide a little light entertainment to an otherwise challenging or bleak situation, or a reason to hate the villains. Evil scientists were the villains but we didn’t get to see them being evil. We were told.
The epilogue is a rushed summary of events. Events therein could’ve been expanded so we might properly understand the effects of being confined on Destiny and the children during the search for their parents. We could’ve met Trae’s mother and seen her reaction to Destiny, figured out what kind of relationship she had with her son and how she felt about Trae’s father. Emotional relationships are very important and yet they are ignored.
I was incredibly frustrated by the lack of depth to the plot and to the characters. So much more could’ve been done to make this book special. Disappointing.
My history with Keri Arthur: 2 Damask Circle trilogy books(pub. 2001-2) [PNR]* 2 Ripple Creek Werewolf duology books (pub. 2003-4) [PNR]** 2 Riley Jensen books (pub. 2006-7) [UF] 1 Myth & Magic book (pub. 2008) [PNR]
*I own the last in the trilogy, which I may or may not read. **The best of the bunch. ...more
You must turn off your brain and ask no questions when reading this book. It’s a requirement to enjoy it. I failed miserably. It may be readable but IYou must turn off your brain and ask no questions when reading this book. It’s a requirement to enjoy it. I failed miserably. It may be readable but I Am Number Four is predictable and clichéd with inaccurate and vague descriptions and explanations.
For the most part I Am Number Four is an easy read although the language at times struck me as amateurish and clunky. Perhaps I expected too much after all this is YA but Lorien, it’s inhabitants and culture were too simple or too similar to that of Earth and humans. I was hoping for a bit more alieness than just boy-with-powers and shapeshifting animals. I expected a new spin on this cliché of a story but it was an incompetent rehash of old formulas.
A lot of “how” questions kept popping into my head in relation to unrealistic circumstances. A major one:
From what I understand 19 Loriens made it to Earth. The rest are dead. Those 19 have to repopulate Lorien when the time comes. Henri tries to dissuade John from procreating with humans because he’ll need a Lorien partner to produce pure children.
Erm...are you serious? How would this work? You need many more individuals for a species to prosper. Reproduction would eventually become incestuous with the result of such unions suffering the disorders (deformities + genetic disease + infertility = extinction ) associated with inbreeding due to little genetic diversity in such a small gene pool making it impossible to adapt, evolve and therefore survive and prosper. A tad scientific but this is science fiction, emphasis on the science. I learned the above in high school biology and this is aimed at that age group -I’m just sayin’.
Other “how” questions: --> How could John’s girlfriend, Sarah so easily accept his alien status without much proof? --> How did Mark come by the message that brought him to John’s home and into the fight? --> How did Henri explain what was going on to Mark? --> How did Six survive her many serious wounds? --> How can a book with so many illogical errors not only make it to publication but be turned into a movie when there are so many better ones out there?
Why is the book by Pittacus Lore? It doesn’t make sense. Didn’t he die 10 years ago with the rest of his people? There was something about the elders disappearing during the ultimate battle on Lorien so there’s a small possibility he still lives, however the book is in first person from John’s POV. WTH?!
Small sidenote: I don’t know about other countries but here in the UK “spastically” is controversial and considered highly offensive if not used in a medical context. I was very surprised to see it here but I’ll put it down to cultural difference and move on.
The final battle didn’t interest me. I skimmed. There were moments throughout the book that gripped me. That were exciting. I liked Henri, John and his dog they made a good team but it seems they’re fighting a losing battle. Henri encourages us to have hope even when the task ahead appears impossible but 6 kids with powers versus a whole race –I’m not optimistic. No matter how many abilities these superhero kids develop.
In some ways this reminds me of The Lightning Thief with the godlike powers, beasts and the run-for-your-life theme. That was targeted at 9-12 year olds and I think this should be too. I think they’d have a better time with it than I did.
The movie, released next week, looks spiffy and exciting. Hopefully it will be better than the book it’s based on because this was just terrible.
ETA Mar 2, 2011: The movie changed almost everything I had a problem with in the book. It was also 100x more entertaining so I encourage you all to see the movie and burn the book!...more
The best stories were: "A Princess of Spain" -a vampiric twist to Catherine of Aragon's marriage to the sickly Prince Arthur. "Conquistador de la NocheThe best stories were: "A Princess of Spain" -a vampiric twist to Catherine of Aragon's marriage to the sickly Prince Arthur. "Conquistador de la Noche" -the tale of how Rick from the Kitty series became a vampire in the 1500s. "The Book of Daniel" -a shapeshifting twist on the biblical story of Daniel being thrown to the lions. "Looking After Family" -about what happened to Cormac from the Kitty series after he killed the thing that murdered his father when he went to live with his cousin Ben and his parents. "Kitty's Zombie New Year" -a unique take on zombies which is more about the loss of free will and the result of severe brain damage than the living dead.
I couldn't force myself to read TJ's story "Wild Ride" of how he learns he's contracted HIV and his decision to become a werewolf because just revisiting him would be just too sad. Nor could I read "Long Time Waiting" about Cormac's prison time and how he came to share his body with a female Victorian spirit because I really dislike this new aspect of the Kitty series....more
Gelatinous vampire goo. Gelatinous vampire goo. I can't get over it. This is so...wrong. I'm hoping this new enemy is part of Caine's endgame. We've hGelatinous vampire goo. Gelatinous vampire goo. I can't get over it. This is so...wrong. I'm hoping this new enemy is part of Caine's endgame. We've had 11 books and perhaps she's running out of ideas even though the final book, #15 is due out in November 2013. It certainly feels like the end run.
The Villains A type of ultimate vampire, the Draug have a seductive call like sirens, need water to survive and breed, can reduce themselves to vampire goo which if you get any on you, will suck the blood/life out of you. They can remain invisible to the naked eye and easily traps their prey, human or vampire, storing them in water until they're dead. On top of this, these guys are hard to kill.
Due to past encounters, Morganville's vampires are so scared they plan to abandon the town and run. Of all things, I did not expect them to run from something they'd spent decades building. I understand a new foe was needed after the long awaited and much required death of Bishop but I did believe they'd learned to stand and fight rather than to submit to fear and flee. I was severely disappointed by Amelie's response.
Amelie + Oliver (view spoiler)[A kiss between them was to be expected though (hide spoiler)] I didn't expect Amelie to lose IQ points in the process. Killing Claire and Shane -not a good idea. I can't believe Oliver had to step in and change her mind. Her manipulation of Myrnin when it came to this was appalling. Her actions destroyed previously strong relationships. Shane and Claire have been huge assets and her fear of this new enemy has turned her into a coward. That's not what we've come to expect of her.
Oliver has always been in favour of fighting and in that respect he's very like Shane (they wouldn't react kindly to that comparison) but he balances out Amelie's need to protect and retreat. They make a good ruling pair. (view spoiler)[I hope Amelie gets a magical cure for her fatal Draug bite because Oliver as sole ruler of Morganville would be terrifying. (hide spoiler)]
The Wedding Oh, the melodrama. Why do they have to get married right this minute? I understand the tenuous nature of their relationship due to Micheal's undead status: unable to give Eve children and will most likely outlive her, remaining 18 forever but no one is stopping them from "living in sin". I really didn't care about the drama and political fallout from this mixed marriage between a human and a vamp. It ate up too many pages, boring me so much I kept putting the book down and avoiding picking it back up. If anything I'd have preferred someone kidnap Eve to try and turn her to end the prejudice, arguments and tears.
Main Character Death I instantly knew this was a temporary predicament. A cheap move. A quick and quiet death with no one around to witness it. A few character's reactions were notable though. (view spoiler)[Shane's reaction was the most extreme but also quite understandable. He'd lost everyone he'd ever loved and he was tired of fighting when there nothing left to fight for. Claire was a reassuring presence in the Glass House, she ensured everyone kept their heads and made sound decisions, her diplomatic clout with the powers-that-be also ensured the Glass House members' survival so her death would leave a huge hole in their lives. (hide spoiler)]
It also became obvious why we get multiple POVs in this book which I think was done to better effect when it was just Claire and Shane in Bite Club. Here it added little in terms of character development but is required in order to get every side of the story.
Claire + Michael Michael admits he once thought about Claire in a...romantic sense.
Claire + Myrnin Claire discovers Myrnin does feel more than just friendship. It may or may not be love but he wants her as a permanent companion.
Claire + Shane We leave them in a strong position. I can see these two marrying and spending the rest of their lives together. They have staying power. They work at their relationship, really work at it, and I think this makes them good role models for the teenage audience this is aimed at. Too many couples these days are only too willing to walk away when things get tough. However, I'm not a fan of the cringe-worthy mushiness Caine keeps shoving in our faces. They love each other, it shows. Please, don't go overboard.
The Usual Humour, Excellent As Always Myrnin pumping a sawed-off shotgun 'with unsettling enthusiasm' and calling "Let's go hunting, shall we?"
Michael to Shane: "And you know if you screw it up with Claire, I'll rip your throat out and drink you like a juice box."
I admired Eve's willingness to cut a bitch (i.e. Monica): "Micheal is missing. He may be dying. I am not in the mood for your shallow bullshit right now. If you get in my way, I will cut you, because you are nothing but a speed bump on my way to saving him. Are we clear?"
To Conclude... Although I am a long term fan of this series this is the lowest rating I've given and the closest I've come to DNF-ing one of these books. I find this troubling considering we have four more books before the end.
I believe Caine's heavy reliance on Bishop as a villian to bring ultimate fear to the residents of Morganville has left me distinctly unimpressed by this new foe despite their obviously lethal attributes.
For me, I think perhaps a threat from within would've provided more intrigue because we've done the "invasion by outsiders" thing with Bishop and to be honest it was done to death. Magnus appears to be Bishop with a new name.
In my opinion, Caine has taken the easy road by using predictable devices such as killing off a main character and magically reviving them, taking past situations and reusing them. If an author can't come up with fresh stories then it's time to stop producing them.
I still love the series. I'm determined to see it to the end but I hope Caine can inject fresh ideas into Black Dawn.
Included Short Story In my UK edition there was a short story, "Anger Management" set between Bite Club and Last Breath from Shane's POV, detailing Shane's mandatory counselling with Dr. Theo Goldman, where he's challenged to refrain from becoming angry and use non-violent methods whenever possible for 24 hours. It's not a necessary read but it was enjoyable, especially his encounter with Monica.
“Marriage is a big word for all guys,” Shane said. “You know that. It’s kind of an allergy. We get itchy and sweaty just trying to spell it, much less do it.”["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...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
Good and bad. I don't know how to rate this. Amongst my GR friends this is Marmite -love it or hate, there is no in-between. I don't adore it but I doGood and bad. I don't know how to rate this. Amongst my GR friends this is Marmite -love it or hate, there is no in-between. I don't adore it but I don't loathe it either.
To begin with, I was bored to tears by the writing, of Melinda's life and Outcast status so I skimmed but I was curious as to how everything was going to play out with IT. IT is Andy Evans, Andy Beast, Andy the rapist.
Then little things got my attention: this girl's sense of humour (sarcastic, pessimistic and cynical), skipping school, blind teachers -this is going to sound contrived but there were some things about her and her life that reminded me of my high school self.
Speak isn't a normal everyday book, it's literature -there to be studied, to interpret the symbolism, to see the reflections of this and that and derive the lessons learned by reading it. In essence, it's a school book. And who liked school? Not me...but then my favourite subject was English Lit, I never missed a class so that probably makes me a freak for liking it on that level.
For example, Melinda fainting at the sight of the dead frog's hands and feet being splayed and pinned symbolised Melinda's rape, overwhelming her with the memory of that night.
Lesson: It's better out than in. Don't let it fester. Speak up. Stand up for yourself. You can survive.
I didn't always like the delivery of this message. Why is it always the art or English teacher making that connection with the student in need? Maybe it's got something to do with the expression of self. Still, it would've been different if it had been any other teacher, or person in general. However, I did like the script-like dialogue fashion Melinda's silence was displayed:
Each character interprets her silence differently, usually in a way that benefits them and harms her.
David and Ivy were interesting supporting characters and potential BFFs for Melinda. David in particular was quite fascinating. I wish we'd seen more of them, and I'll grudgingly admit Mr. Freeman, the art teacher did good too. He wasn't too hard or too soft, or too creepy in his efforts to get Melinda to open up and express herself and her emotions in art and life.
The ending wasn't quite enough for me. After the very long build up, we see the turning point but not the consequences. I needed to witness everyone's reactions, whether positive ("I'm so sorry for how I've treated you") or negative ("You lying attention-seeking whore!"). What happened to Andy the rapist? Where does Melinda go from here?
After writing this, I think I know my rating: 2.5 stars. Melinda and her school life were well developed, perhaps a little too developed possibly overlooking other angles and characters in the process. ...more
Despite a more complex plot and less wooden, more passionate and feisty characters than Circle of Fire and some improvements in the writing, Circle ofDespite a more complex plot and less wooden, more passionate and feisty characters than Circle of Fire and some improvements in the writing, Circle of Death still didn't grab me.
I think the problem is a distinct lack of background and history of the Damask Circle and its employees. Only the heroine, the main protagonist, has enough back-story to fully understand where she's coming from.
There's very little interaction between the small cast of characters other than with the main couple (who were far more likeable than Jon and Maddie of the previous book) so there was nothing to be intrigued by or excited about. At least Circle of Fire had the violently prejudiced cop brother-in-law. There was no such equivalent here to peak my interest.
Even though I didn't like the perhaps unintended sense of isolation (like the these handful of characters were the last people alive on earth) or the lack of depth and detail, I did enjoy Kirby's magic -the ability to manipulate the elements and Doyle's shapeshifting into a panther. The language used isn't as corny and the book itself reads more like a paranormal romance with actual romance in it this time. I'll definitely finish the trilogy but unfortunately it's not a keeper....more
It's not often I award low ratings to books with a shapeshifter as a main character but this was one of Keri Arthur's earliest works and it showed.
CiIt's not often I award low ratings to books with a shapeshifter as a main character but this was one of Keri Arthur's earliest works and it showed.
Circle of Fire had a simple mediocre plot about missing teenagers including the protagonist's nephew, with shaky writing which failed to suck me in and was occasionally painful to read with it's cheesy and clichéd lines.
The characters appeared all-knowing, a bit of a stretch even with Jon's sharp instincts and the hawk's watchful eyes and Maddie's untrained, and therefore unreliable, psychic abilities.
I never truly cared about this couple or felt anything about their "romance" which to be honest wasn't very romantic at all. Jon in particular was difficult to relate to considering his lack of background. We knew very little about him other than him working as a supernatural PI for the Damask Circle. And strangely for an Arthur book there was only one sex scene, which again wasn't the best but not the worst I've read either.
Maddie's prejudiced brother-in-law, the character I was most intrigued by, was so sceptical about her abilities it bordered on murderous hatred. His behaviour towards her didn't bode well for his relationship with his similarly talented son. The quick mention of their apparently improving father-son relationship disappointed me. That was something I wanted to "see" for myself rather than have briefly described in the epilogue. I also wished to know whether Steve treated Maddie any differently after saving his son and learning of his talents, and if she would ever tell him the truth of what happened to her deceased husband.
The colourful cover is what drew me to this book but unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. I will however try out the next instalment of the Damask Circle trilogy in the hope that the writing improves....more
Perhaps it doesn't deserve 1 star but I really didn't enjoy this. Admittedly I like my romance with paranormal elements and this was me dipping my toePerhaps it doesn't deserve 1 star but I really didn't enjoy this. Admittedly I like my romance with paranormal elements and this was me dipping my toes in contemporary but the pace was slow to the point where it felt like it was never-ending but mostly I felt this was forgettable because it wasn't original. There were some funny moments like the man-thong incident but it's also quite sad and depressing which I wasn't expecting and probably wasn't in the mood for....more
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
Dear god, what have I read?! Horrific. Superficial Too Stupid To Live characters I don't care about, stumbling around blindly asking to be eaten.
ComedDear god, what have I read?! Horrific. Superficial Too Stupid To Live characters I don't care about, stumbling around blindly asking to be eaten.
Having loved the show Married with Children I impulsively decided I would love this too. However, I'm wondering now whether "zombies" and "comedy" can ever be a good mix in the post-Carry On world, and in the absence of Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead totally pulls off the ZomRomCom). And perhaps with this book by marketing it as a comedy excuses the wafer-thin characters, the TSTL behaviour (e.g. checking out a potentially zombie-infested casino for the hell of it) and inappropriately timed arguments (while zombies are bearing down on you) about nothing in particular.
Um, where exactly was the romance? We meet Sarah and David on the brink of divorce as they attend their regularly scheduled marriage counseling appointment. David's demise from having a promising future to being an unemployed deadbeat husband and all-round slacker and Sarah's exhausted from having to work 6 days a week leads her to constantly criticise him and picking fights at every given opportunity, leaving them both deeply unhappy and wanting out of their marriage. Counselling wasn't helping until...they killed their therapist. After that they work together to kill (directly and indirectly) almost every human they come into contact with regardless of whether they happen to be infected. In doing this they come to see each other's positive attributes i.e. bravely killing everything in sight, appearing as heroes in each other's eyes. So again, where was the romance? One off-stage sex scene and...I can't remember if they ever kissed. Not good.
Were pretty cool actually. From bite to brain-eating, the incubation period is 10-25 minutes. Red eyes, strangely happy facial expressions, faster than the average human and the ability to continue simple repetitive actions, describe these zombies. Although there is the requisite gory imagery e.g. a legless undead dragging itself along the ground carrying a baby in it's mouth, it never truly hits home, the gut-wrenching horror of it all.
I hold Rhiannon Frater's As the World Dies trilogy up as the epitome of all things zombie and while reading it I laughed, I cried and I added guns to my wishlist. That was terrifying but there was humour, too. A good balance. MWZ focuses too much on the humour and whilst funny, sometimes it was grossly overused and forced, at the detriment of the characters' intelligence and the graveness of the situation. It's the same with the swearing, I'm not opposed to the well-timed f-word when the world is going to hell and you could die at any moment but it shouldn't be repetitive.
After ogling this book for a while I'm disappointed it didn't live up to my expectations. I could've DNF'd at any point, my lack of affection for the couple left me uninterested in whether they lived or died but obviously they were never in any danger considering it's part of a series.
She is a PMS-Demon Slayer. Fighting the good fight for woman-kind. (May also treat male PMS too. Sex, with fast cars, how can they not like it?)
This woman knows how to instantly put you at ease and have you laughing your head off consistently throughout. And after you've finished, you'll find yourself still chuckling over the antics of her colourful characters.
Although Sissy Mae isn't one of my favourite leads, I loved her friendship with Mitch, which turned friends-with-benefits to lovers-for-life-with-a-shared-sex-addiction. If only I could find a man like that. Sigh.
I love the strong sense of family and community in these books, closing ranks and turning on the enemy outsiders even when you don't get along with the ones you're protecting.
The characters have strong personalities linked to their animal and the women are...uh...evil. Even the men are scared and rightly so. They are Crazy. Never, ever get on their bad side. Ever!
The stories may be predictable but they are always entertaining.
Words that will forever trigger laughing fits related to this book: crocodile, tug-of-war, wedgies and NASCAR. I'm now sporting a huge grin. ...more
The best book I've read by Moning so far. I'm so surprised I liked it so much I'm tempted to give it 5 stars. I couldn't get into the Fever series butThe best book I've read by Moning so far. I'm so surprised I liked it so much I'm tempted to give it 5 stars. I couldn't get into the Fever series but I'm glad to have found something else by this author....more
The flaws in Bitter Night I accepted due to being the first in the series with sequels usually surpassing the first. Crimson WiGrade: 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.
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 tecFor 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....more
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. II 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....more