I picked up this book to see if I was in a reading funk or if Feed was just hard to get into. Turns out it was the latter because once I picked up thiI picked up this book to see if I was in a reading funk or if Feed was just hard to get into. Turns out it was the latter because once I picked up this baby I didn't wanna put it down. For sheer readability and level of enjoyment I wanted to give this book 5 stars but I have to acknowledge Hunting Lila's potentially overlookable flaws.
1) Lila's trusting nature. Her age explains this but the strangers she trusted could've so easily been feeding her lies in order to manipulate her, and honestly in the real world they would've most likely been the bad guys. She was very, very lucky. Too lucky, really.
2) The reciprocated love. Tricky, so tricky. How to make this seem like real love when Lila is 5 months shy of 18 and Alex in his early 20s? I was trying to figure out which country's sex laws we were playing under -age of consent in England is 16 and the US mostly 18. Legal in one country -the home Lila ran from, and illegal in the US -the "home" she ran to. Although they'd grown up together this is the first time they've seen each other in 3 years, along with her brother. Alex says he fell for Lila when he first saw her again, he can't say he's been holding a torch for her (that would be wrong, right? *paedophile alarm bells*) as she has done but it's clear he cares deeply for her.
Anyway, it was fairly easy for me to ignore these relatively minor faults in the scheme of things. It was sweet, funny and engrossing but not terribly deep and meaningful, just harmless sugar-coated candy floss. Charming little details like being unused to using her arms because Lila was relying too heavily on her telekinesis, her fear of telling her brother the truth about her ability and Alex's calm protectiveness, helped me enjoy this. I was gripped by the action, by the will-they-or-won't-they, and the (sometimes unexpectedly) endearing characters, until the end and I briefly bitched about the next book coming out in August.
I also now understand why the cover looks the way it does because on first inspection it didn't look like much but it has meaning and is not just a random image. It reflects an exact point in time during the book perfectly when everything changed for Lila & Co.
Lila reminded me what it felt like to be a teenager again without me wanting to beat her head into the ground for being stupid and annoying but I do think there is a danger Losing Lila could descend into unbearable angsty territory though I hope it doesn't. ...more
Whether you believe climate change is man-made or not is immaterial, the point is it exists inside this book.Dark Life, The Little Mermaid in reverse.
Whether you believe climate change is man-made or not is immaterial, the point is it exists inside this book. Anyway, uniquely set “Under the Sea” in a starkly plausible dystopian future with a plot which delves deeper into this unsettling world. Unfortunately, I could’ve done without the tacked-on romance.
Fish out of water, young Ariel Gemma meets Prince Eric Ty on her mission to find and join her long lost elder brother after they were separated in an orphanage years ago and is rumoured to be working in an underwater settlement. As a Topsider (a land resident) she’s blindly stumbling about unaware of the dangers of travelling alone. Ty becomes her guide as a lifelong subsea resident and as the only teenager in the still growing marine community he’s eager to spend time with someone his own age by showing her around his world.
We learn Earth is in a warm stage; icecaps have melted, sea levels have risen and large swathes of low-lying land are underwater. Space is limited. Privacy is a luxury no one can afford until the advent of Liquigen bringing with it the ability to breathe underwater and withstand the pressure, and the development of underwater settlements which farm much needed food for those left on land.
One problem, the prejudiced attitudes towards those who’ve chosen this new lifestyle. Rumours abound about what living down there does to you. People believe prolonged submergence will lead to the development of abnormal abilities and have labelled people with them Dark Life, though no one has actually owned up to having these powers. On top of this, pirates are plaguing supply vessels to and from land putting underwater residents on edge.
The world-building is amazing. The exotic fish, the fear of sharks, the inventive underwater architecture, bubble fences etc. It’s wonderfully imaginative.
I have one bone to pick with Dark Life and it revolves around the topics of gender and romance.
“Ty collected all of it himself.” ~ page 66
The protagonist is male? This gender reveal isn’t intentional. It plays no part in the plot. I had no idea. I assumed Ty was female and we were in for a rare treat. Two girls join up for a death-defying adventure. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ty was originally female and the author was instructed to change that and make him “Kiss the Girl” in order to make this baby more marketable.
Ty didn’t feel male. His interaction with Gemma didn’t say male-female relationship. Some effort was made later to masculinise Ty but I didn’t fully believe it. Ty’s physical description beyond “I sparkle” (don’t worry there’s a perfectly legitimate reason for it -eating lots of luminescent fish) is also lacking.
These “Poor Unfortunate Souls” should not be forced together. They had little chemistry. I didn't like it. They were friends, we didn't need more.
So, terrific worldbuilding, not the best conspiracy plot but it successfully drew us further into this intriguing future scenario. Thin characters. Beyond her mission there isn’t much to Gemma other than her fascination with and envy of Ty’s life compared to her cramped packed-like-sardines love-deprived existence on land. Ty is more fleshed out as a collector of the artifacts he finds, with hopes and dreams.
If Liquigen is invented...Indian Ocean here I come! Warm waters for me. Not Atlantic or Pacific –positively arctic in comparison. Although I am a bit claustrophobic. Hmm. I'll give this series another shot, hoping the characters are better developed with the excellent world-building out of the way....more
Locked In Syndrome. It's a controversial subject that's regularly discussed in the UK, in the same sentence as "euthanasia" and "quality of life". It'Locked In Syndrome. It's a controversial subject that's regularly discussed in the UK, in the same sentence as "euthanasia" and "quality of life". It's a sad situation.
Rose was in an accident a considerable number of years ago which has left her body broken and unrecognisable. She can't do anything for herself and is constantly at the mercy of others. Her only interaction with the world is via communication device that translates what little movement she can make into a voice so she can make herself heard, though that suffers a technical fault, and watching MTV all day. She has few visitors except for her sister but never the man she loved, though it quickly becomes obvious that he married her sister.
Rose longs for the day of her death when she can walk through the special door inside her only respite and retreat to what she calls the "Mind Cafe" where she appears as her younger self, complete and healthy as before the accident, a place she can speak with those who've recently died. She wishes to join her loved ones on the other side and can't fathom why those of her family and friends who weren't disabled in a terrible accident have all died before her. What purpose is there to keep her breathing when she's a vegetable?
It's an awful situation. One in which I hope to never be in. And if I ever am, I hope euthanasia is an option by that point.
"I'm officially a dirty old man. You know how cool that is?" I shook my head. "It's one of the stages of life. Dirty old manhood is what every man secretly waits for."
After reading 11 chapters I decided to put this down and return it to the library. Not because it was terrible - the writing hooked me from the start,After reading 11 chapters I decided to put this down and return it to the library. Not because it was terrible - the writing hooked me from the start, and the characterization was detailed, delivered via "show" rather than "tell", but it was obvious to me that I was going to be strung along.
Clearly this is a mystery and not paranormal, as advertised. From Armstrong's last few novels, I knew reading the whole would provide few answers to the questions and mysteries posed in the opening chapters. Frustration would only sour my view, so I chose not to continue.
However, the little I read earned my respect for the brave Olivia and left me disgusted by her mother's weak-willed cold-heartedness and James's equally despicable spinelessness when it came to loving and supporting Olivia in spite of the type of public adversity that leaves politicians and prominent figures cringing painfully....more
Slightly confusing if you've never read this series before. If the word "succubus" hadn't been in the title I might've been completely lost. I'm goingSlightly confusing if you've never read this series before. If the word "succubus" hadn't been in the title I might've been completely lost. I'm going to assume the man that bit her was a vampire but I'm not certain because I'm not sure if he broke the skin. Anyway, how a vampire bite makes one a succubus, I don't know. Seems rather silly to me. There'll be hundreds of succubi around in no time. ...more
Paul, the Devil's victim was not a sympathetic character. He was an idiot, TSTL. There is a reason why it's dangerous to hitch-hike. The Devil is thePaul, the Devil's victim was not a sympathetic character. He was an idiot, TSTL. There is a reason why it's dangerous to hitch-hike. The Devil is the Terminator, he just wouldn't die. He was a serial killer, torturer and a sexual deviant. My eyes bulged only once, when I thought he was going to turn Paul in to a eunuch but alas, he was interrupted just in the nick of time. ...more
I'm embarrassed the protag is named Amy (my name), thinks Orlando Bloom is sexy (please!), has impulse control problems, a designer shoe fetish *shuddI'm embarrassed the protag is named Amy (my name), thinks Orlando Bloom is sexy (please!), has impulse control problems, a designer shoe fetish *shudders* and falls for Lucifer (call-me-Luc), yes, the Devil himself, with little worry or angst over her new love-slave role after unwittingly giving him her soul.
A quirky and humorous story that although may seem stupid to some, I found quite entertaining. The language, especially Mike's, had me thinking this wA quirky and humorous story that although may seem stupid to some, I found quite entertaining. The language, especially Mike's, had me thinking this was a short story set in Britain but was confused by the use of the $ sign. It's Australian.
Linda's methods of revenge as a ghost on her still living ex, whom she suspects killed her and has hidden her body, are ingenious and hilariously funny though as a person she's incredibly annoying, at least from Trent's, the paranormal private investigator she's hired to find her body, perspective.
'My hair's blue, and my eyebrows are green, and my skin's orange. I look like a smurf, a munchkin and an oompa loompa had an orgy and I was their love-child. Shit.'
They're looking shocked, which scares me a little.
I look down. Fly's unbuttoned, for a start. My dick's waving hello in the breeze.
"God, sorry!" I say, putting him away and straightening myself up. "Rough night. Um...can I help you?"
One of them tears his eyes away from my pants and looks at my face, trying not to look fascinated by the fact that I'm still bright orange, I guess. My fingernails are still pink, so I must look like a freakshow even with my clothes in order.'
Refreshingly nerdy. This is The Big Bang Theory crossed with Bones (TV series based on Reich’s books). Nerdilicious.
Reichs does not talk down to herRefreshingly nerdy. This is The Big Bang Theory crossed with Bones (TV series based on Reich’s books). Nerdilicious.
Reichs does not talk down to her audience. This book is all about science and technology and the era of the digital age. The author is a real-life respected scientist so happily, for once, I can say that the science is real and the leaps made into the unknown/paranormal seem plausible. This is authentic science fiction. Take that, I Am Number Four!
Although slow to start, 14-year-old Tory’s alpha personality is established straight away. She’s a mature girl who knows what she wants. Reich’s writing style was punchy, concise and intriguing. Yes, the beginning was heavy with description which is par for the course when it comes to world-building but once that was out of the way it was action, action, action.
Although I predicted small parts of the story, there were still red herrings which diverted me. Often in YA the obvious is the answer and I’m pleased Reich’s didn’t go that route. Not everyone and everything is what they seem. Real mystery.
The main characters are intelligent sponges, soaking up information wherever they find it. Knowledge is valued and utilised at every opportunity, and I appreciated every bit of it. Tory, into natural and biological science; Shelton, the geeky-looking mechanic and general gadget master; Ben, the athletic strong silent type; and Hiram (or Hi), the overweight guy with a penchant for sarcasm and probably the weakest, physically and mentally – are all valued members of a tight knit team. They are real friends who do not judge each other over every little thing: they listen, contribute and help each other whenever they can. Despite being forged by necessity living on a tiny island together and forced to go to school with rich kids, they have strong and lasting bonds, not superficial alliances in the petty games of teenage wars.
I enjoyed the contrasting elements of rich vs poor, brains vs popularity, adults vs teens, and the demonstration of those who cling on to their social group at the exclusion and ridicule of others are ignorant and small-minded. And that some things are more important than money and social class, like say, morals and ethics.
Perhaps I have an exceptionally dirty mind, something I have been accused of once or twice, or maybe the author has a sense of humour but names like Cummings Point and Hyman's Seafood had me in fits of laughter.
Also, the number of crimes committed in the book is ludicrous. These teens are criminal geniuses when it comes to B&E and theft. Luckily they’re on the side of good. If evil, they’d be unstoppable. At times, I did find their simplicity and ease with which they committed their criminal acts a little unbelievable but I shrugged and moved on.
I am curious by a few things. What’s behind the animosity between Ben and Jason? Will they become rivals for Tory’s attention/affection? Oh yes, I forgot: there is little romance here, perhaps a crush or two but nothing more. In YA these days, this is rare but very welcome when the plot isn’t contingent upon it.
There is a self-contained story, no cliffhangers, and a reminder that not all teens are vapid, immature airheads who can’t survive without conforming, not to mention needing an I-can’t-live-without-you romantic love interest hanging in the balance. Some can be witty with talent and a bright future. People I’d like to know.
This is not perfect. It was slow to start, I’m not strongly attached to the characters and the story does feel a little far-fetched at times but I was entertained and impressed by the science and the forthright nature of Tory and her merry men.
Virals engages the brain. It is nerd candy. And I need more....more
I heartily enjoyed this and was sad when it ended. I wanted more. More, more, more! This feels as if it's set in the same world as Andrews' Edge serieI heartily enjoyed this and was sad when it ended. I wanted more. More, more, more! This feels as if it's set in the same world as Andrews' Edge series so if you liked that, you'll most likely enjoy this little story too. It's not a romance exactly but romance is a theme.
Kindle cheapie called "Of Swine and Roses". Currently $0.99 / £0.70....more
Once upon a time, a young naive princess unwittingly encounters a giant disembodied penis in her bed, poking her in the butt. She has no idea what itOnce upon a time, a young naive princess unwittingly encounters a giant disembodied penis in her bed, poking her in the butt. She has no idea what it is as she’s been kept in the dark about male anatomy and sex by her stubborn father, the king. All she knows is that she likes the way it feels...between her breasts and legs much to the shock/horror of her family. Moral: Sex Education is good. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.
Anyway, Prince Rupert hearing of her innocence and virtue begins to court the princess but all she wants to do is spend time with her penis. One kiss and the penis is now attached to a man –Prince Longwood of Shlongdia. Poor Rupert never had a chance against such large family jewels!
You can't help but laugh at the princess's hilarious descriptions and the aunts' knowing comments. ...more
Okay, I will admit there was an element of predictability. Oh come on, (view spoiler)[Roger and his gallons of free coffee (hide spoiler)] -suspiciousOkay, I will admit there was an element of predictability. Oh come on, (view spoiler)[Roger and his gallons of free coffee (hide spoiler)] -suspicious! And I can't blame Vic for his TSTL behaviour, there were mitigating circumstances. But this didn't diminish my enjoyment.
There are a couple of really hilarious moments: rogering Roger and the mini-mental breakdown as a result of Vic's new hypersensitivity to ghosts, who now chase him like he's covered in come-get-me ghost pheromones. I know a mental breakdown is not something to laugh at but the way it was written...the hysterical screaming -it was difficult not to laugh my ass off.
Stoic Maurice also gave me an unexpected chuckle as he releases Vic into Jacob's care, I won't say more but once a cop, always a cop. His timing was perfect!
It was really sad reading about Vic's unconscious attacks on Jacob and him desperately trying not lose him because of it. But don't worry it all works out in the end when Vic begins to relax into his relationship with Jacob, finally trusting him by taking it to the next level. I was so happy for them both, it made my heart swell in response.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A short story prequel involving a spell that goes awry turning teddy bears into bloodthirsty killers. Not much to it really but figured I'd warm up toA short story prequel involving a spell that goes awry turning teddy bears into bloodthirsty killers. Not much to it really but figured I'd warm up to Kimber in the book although when I tried to read the prologue and first chapter of Glimmerglass that was included I didn't get very far. It's based on an entirely different and unrelated protagonist with a dysfunctional mother. I have no interest in reading that whatsoever....more
Series name: The name of the new series is “Unbound.” As in, “An Unbound novel, by Rachel Vincent.” Or something like that.
Title: The first book, currently scheduled for September 1, 2011, will be called BLOOD BOUND.
I know, I know, there's already a Patricia Briggs novel of that name. (I read it years ago. It was awesome.) But because my novel is coming out years after hers did and because the subject matter of my book is NOTHING like hers, I’m not anticipating much title confusion. My original working title for the book was “Bound In Blood,” and we went through literally a dozen or more title possibilities with the awesome people at Mira before finally deciding (unanimously, as far as I know) that nothing else captures the feel and subject matter of this book better than BLOOD BOUND. So, BLOOD BOUND it is.
Genre: The Unbound series is paranormal. It’s a little more romance-heavy than the early Shifters books are, and about in line with romance/relationship content of the last couple of Shifters books.
Audience: The Unbound books are intended for adults. As my editor said, BLOOD BOUND is “twisted.” (Is it wrong that her quote makes me smile? ;)) If this first book is any indication, these books will be very dark and gritty, violent, and tense, but with some humor (mostly dialogue) to take the edge off.
The world: The idea behind the Unbound world-building is simple. The execution is a little more complicated. For me, it all started with the cliché “a man’s word is his bond,” then grew to include, “the pen is mightier than the sword” and the concept of “word of mouth.”
“What…” I thought, as I was brainstorming, “…if those clichés could be taken literally?”
What if a person’s word really was his or her bond? What if, once given, a promise could never be taken back? Would you be more careful what you say? Wouldn’t we all, if we were bound to our words?
Then I took it a step further. If the spoken word carries that much power, how much more would the written word carry? What about words written in (or sealed in) blood? What about words written in (and sealed in) flesh? Tattoos and graffiti take on a whole new meaning, huh?
Needless to say, once I headed down that thought-path, the world-building exploded—there’s much more to it now (but I’m not going to give you any more just yet). The story lines grew from the world-building possibilities and conflicts. The characters developed based on the experiences they would've had, growing up in this world.
The bad guys are bad (twisted, according to some…), but they have very human motivations.
The good guys are…not exactly wearing white hats. But the innocent are still innocent, and someone has to fight for them. (This may, in fact, be the only thing Shifters has in common with Unbound.)
Olivia Warren owes her friend Anne a favor. Anne needs someone found and brought to a very quick, private justice.
The catch? Olivia must work with Cam Caballero to complete this favor. The problem? Cam is Olivia’s ex—the man prophesied to either kill her or die by her hand. It's a tense reunion, at best.
As Olivia and Cam chase their target through public streets, private lives, and a dangerous criminal underworld, everything they thought they knew comes into question. In the end, they can only be sure of three things…
No one can be trusted. Everyone’s lying. And someone’s going to pay.
Announced 11th January 2011:
What POV is the book in? Right now, it's dual 1st person POV, alternating irregularly from Olivia to Cam. That could change. I've never done more than on POV on a novel, and if my editor thinks it would be better to change it, I'll change it during the edits.
What are the characters (re: paranormal abilities/species)? They are human+. But not anything you'd know from other books or movies. That's all I can say right now. Will BLOOD BOUND be available in electronic/audio formats? I can't swear to it, but based on the fact that all my other books have been and the Unbound books are with the same publisher, I would guess that yes, they'll be available in those formats. Though I couldn't say when.
What do you mean by "twisted?" Will it be too gory for me? Regarding physical violence and gore, Unbound is no more "twisted" than the Shifters series. Maybe less. IMO, BLOOD BOUND is more emotionally/psychologically twisted.
When can we see the cover? Some time after I see it. If it's done yet, I haven't heard. So we're in for a bit of a wait on that.
Questions I'm not prepared to answer yet:
Will sequels be written from the same POV(s) or from different characters' POV(s)? How many books will there be in this series? When will they be out in the UK (France, Italy, etc...)?
I can't answer any of those yet because it's simply too early. I haven't even truly plotted out the second book yet. My editor hasn't finished reading the first book yet. To my knowledge, no one else at Mira has even seen the manuscript yet. So it's a little early to talk about sequels and foreign sales, at least in this particular case.
What I can say is that if sequels do take different POV(s), which is a possibility, the main characters from BLOOD BOUND will have much more than cameo roles....more