Allison is working in a bookstore when zombies attack sending her and the rest of the staff behind the reinforced door to the backrooms. There they wait for rescue and struggle to subsist on what they have. Allison discovers a wireless internet network and searches for information and other survivors which escalates into blogging her experiences while others from around the world comment. The pace picks up when a zombie squirrel* enters the picture and shatters all illusions of their relatively safe existence thus far, and Allison continues to post as survival forces her to travel.
Personalities and physical descriptions are fully formed. Most of the characters are quite distinct apart from the Black Earth Wives, the remains of a religious community who evolve into faceless, cardboard-cutout zealots hellbent on stamping out the sinners and the damned (zombies) and re-populating Earth by means of kidnap and rape of surviving men and women, and those who refuse are either burned alive or sacrificed to the walking dead. Nice.
Roux/Allison shied away from giving details in certain areas. Apparently being able to clean your ears is more important than having tampons. Things like intimacy and sex are omitted or very briefly mentioned at the wrong moments. Allison's relationship with Collin is ambiguous for a while because not enough information is given. Are they together? Are they having sex? Do they even have condoms? We find out later there was a limited supply of condoms but at a point when this was no longer an issue for Allison.
There's a strong focus on relationships. Allison's need to reconnect with her mother -a cancer sufferer, the trials and tribulations of two marriages and an engaged couple, plus Allison's own romance issues, and the responsibility of caring for children. It get's pretty messy. I'm disappointed by the out the author gives for (view spoiler)[Collin and Allison from his marriage by pairing his wife and nephew up and leaving them elsewhere. It's inexplicable when Lydia obviously wanted Collin. I guess there wasn't time to explore that side of things (hide spoiler)].
Allie makes some understandable mistakes, however, some of her decisions are either TSTL or extremely rash. In particular, her decision to sneak out and leave the group to go it alone, which under the circumstances I can understand why she would want to do this but it seemed an incredibly stupid thing to do and perhaps selfish for depriving a group she's come to know and care about of a valuable resource. Her sadistic revenge on the thief I tried to put down to adrenaline and stress but it's hard to forgive when she had the option to kill rather than torture and maim. Roux appears to realise she's turned the audience against her heroine and has Allie feel remorseful and shock at her own actions at a later date. After this her likability fell through the floor. And her crazy, outlandish heroics fell on deaf ears.
Far more detail is given at the beginning with a slower pace becoming increasingly rushed to a short, summarized ending. Frustrating and unsatisfying. I felt Julian was short-changed and deserved more page time to discover his motivation for leaving his only family and how he felt about it. I'm not even sure we get a proper physical description other than his injuries. (view spoiler)[I was sad at his passing. (hide spoiler)] Mourning deaths is almost non-existent, once they're gone, they're gone although only unnecessary and useless characters die (view spoiler)[except for Julian, a doctor (hide spoiler)]. Zombie cliche alert. "MY SON ATE MY BABY GIRL!" was as close as we got to heart-wrenching grief.
*Eating meat will have to be a thing of the past if animals can be zombified. Also, the human race may be f*cked. Maybe it only affects mammals though. That would explain why the fish and birds seemed unaffected. Then again, the squirrel is the only infected animal we come across. So, can animals be infected, or not?
Better suited to the 9-12 age group, I think. It was okay. I enjoyed Tomas Tod's (Vlad's father) journal entries the most though I would've liked to hBetter suited to the 9-12 age group, I think. It was okay. I enjoyed Tomas Tod's (Vlad's father) journal entries the most though I would've liked to have known more about Tomas' life before meeting Vlad's mother. Vlad taking a bite out of Henry, his best friend, when he was eight was funny. I was disappointed he didn't show any human leanings despite his mother being human. I expected there to be something special his human side gave him which would make him the special "one" spoken of in prophecy.
I never trusted Otis. Tomas mentions an "old friend" who couldn't be trusted and I believe Otis to be that person. Either he lied or there's a continuity error: (view spoiler)[Otis claims to be Tomas's younger brother by about a century which would make Otis half vamp (or their dad was still having sex in his hundreds) though he tells Vlad he's special because he's the only halfling. (hide spoiler)]
This is a wonderful sequel to [Book:Poison Study], which I read this from start to finish in one session. The natural progression of the story as wellThis is a wonderful sequel to [Book:Poison Study], which I read this from start to finish in one session. The natural progression of the story as well as great character development hold this book to the same standards as it predecessor.
Janco and Ari who appear in the first book provide the comic relief in this one, a new character Cahil provides some mystery and becomes a short-lived love interest, and new friend Dax who loves to tell Yelena of the astounding rumours about her as they crop up.
I loved Yelena's close relationship with Cahil's horse Topaz and her own incredibly loyal horse Kiki and their love of apples and peppermints.
I felt the Commander was ingenious in his/her disguise as an Ambassador visiting Sitia, with only Yelena knowing the truth of his/her identity. I also liked the way the Commander handled Yelena's order of excution - a very wise decision was made.
Valek was as ruthless as always still protecting Yelena the best he can at risk to his own life. Yelena's ability to get below Valek's tough magic-immune exterior is nice but we still do not know much about Valek's past for me to truly love him as a character.
As for Yelena herself, her Soul-Finder status was brilliantly put across. Her compassion towards the beggar boy Fisk and his friends, the way she reached the catatonic Tula when others had given up on her, her ability to forgive her brother Leif and helping him heal his soul and her extraordinary ability to comfort and heal others is what makes this book worthy of all the praise it deserves....more
**spoiler alert** On starting Catching Fire my first desire was to find out how Gale’s relationship with Katniss would change upon reuniting. I was ve**spoiler alert** On starting Catching Fire my first desire was to find out how Gale’s relationship with Katniss would change upon reuniting. I was very surprised when the first paragraphs summarised the months following her return with only a few lines about Gale. I had to wait until much later for a face-to-face with him. I was not pleased.
The scene with President Snow dropping by the house to warn Katniss that her actions had consequences was creepy. His breath smelled of blood, ew! By taking away her choices and forcing Katniss to marry Peeta he made things worse by making Katniss more and more likeable to the people even if it made her seem less defiant. Making the Victors of past Hunger Games compete in the Quarter Quell Hunger Games was an unbelievably stupid move, instantly making martyrs of the district champions. History really must have been rewritten if he couldn't see the mistakes he was making.
As for Peeta, I still can't see him with Katniss she belongs with Gale. They were strangers forced together who became allies in order to survive though that is pushing it as Katniss was keeping Peeta alive in both Games. The only things Peeta contributed were the lies to get good sponsors and to keep them both safe, and companionship - and I suppose his self-sacrificing nature when it comes to Katniss. In the real world, Gale is the one for her.
I think Haymitch was stupid to not inform Katniss of what was going on. I can understand not telling Peeta but Katniss could have saved Peeta from the Capitol, no wonder she tried to scratch his eyes out.
If I was President Snow I would torture Peeta for information on the rebellion and then kill him. There isn't a lot Snow could want from Katniss to use him as bait. It's too late to stop the uprisings, her defiance at the first games was the straw that broke the camel's back as it were - they weren't her fault. She may be a symbol for the rebellion but they aren't just fighting for her they're fighting for their right to keep their children safe. Even if Snow managed to lure her into a trap and tortured and killed her in public or private I doubt the uprisings would end, it would only encourage them to keep fighting so why keep Peeta alive? The same goes for Cinna though he may have brought his fate upon himself by being so brazen in his defiance, instantly turning Katniss's wedding dress into a funeral gown on stage in front of everyone.
As for District 12, well Snow can't bomb all of the districts can he? Where will the Capitol get food and clothing and those items necessary for survival? Who would he rule if he kills off all of the people? Some have all ready shown that they are willing to die for the cause. I'm looking forward to seeing District 13, I wonder if Bonnie and Twill made it there.
I may be biased in all of this because I do love Gale. I hope she lets him know she's not pregnant, not even close in fact so they can get closer. She chose him in book one and book two so I hope she chooses him again in book three....more
Wow, I’m so glad I acquired all six of the books (out so far) at the same time. The cliffhanger ending left me so hungry for more that as soon as I fiWow, I’m so glad I acquired all six of the books (out so far) at the same time. The cliffhanger ending left me so hungry for more that as soon as I finished Glass Houses I started reading The Dead Girls’ Dance right after just so I could find out what happened next. For a young adult book and a first in a series I was impressed, it’s rare to find any series that starts with a bang.
I didn’t have a problem with Claire that others have expressed. Her attitude was justified, moving away from home to go to university is tough and to do it at sixteen as a child prodigy must be even harder especially when you are being targeted by a group of murderous bullies. If you wouldn’t feel scared and depressed in that situation then you’re a robot. She was entitled to a little whining.
I haven’t read the whole of Caine’s Weather Warden series but I did read the first book, Ill Wind which wasn’t really something I could get into so if you couldn’t get into it either then you may want to give the Morganville Vampire series a try though I have to warn you it is addictive! ...more
The Dark Divine is an engrossing and engaging story which keeps you guessing as to who the "monsters" are. I say "monsters" plural because it refers nThe Dark Divine is an engrossing and engaging story which keeps you guessing as to who the "monsters" are. I say "monsters" plural because it refers not just to the unknown criminal on the loose, the label also applies to those hiding the monster within behind nice-person façades, whether they can shift physically into one or not.
The goody-goody pastor's family falling apart was portrayed well. In fact, their demise was probably one reason why I could read this from start to finish. I'm not a fan of religion and tend to stay away from anything that even hints at it but even though there are some religious references they didn't bother me too much.
However, I did begin to cringe at Grace's words more and more as the story progressed. I loved her interactions with Daniel but she was so naive and optimistic at inappropriate moments, most likely due to her incredibly sheltered lifestyle. Her talk of heroes made me shudder, since when do we believe heroes exist outside of comic books and movies?
I did figure out who the monster was before Grace did but only because that person was conspicuously absent every time an incident occurred. The ending didn't particularly thrill me though the action was good so I'm unsure of whether I'll be reading the sequel....more
As YA dragon books go Flying Blind is better than Firelight.
First of all, I should say that Flying Blind is a spin-off of the adult series which I havAs YA dragon books go Flying Blind is better than Firelight.
First of all, I should say that Flying Blind is a spin-off of the adult series which I haven't read. I believe this has been reflected negatively in my rating because I got the distinct feeling I was missing some vital information.
The protagonist is likeable, funny and loyal, and she does everything right. In desperate need of information about her destiny and her abilities as the Wyvern (female dragon shifter) for her generation, she goes to knowledgeable sources like her parents and their friends and the rest of her extended family but no matter what she asks or how much she pleads they give her very little and tell her to figure it out for herself at dragon Boot Camp, basically a summer school for young dragons. Now I'm all for children learning things on their own through trial and error to make the lesson they learn more meaningful but in this case it was downright criminal and mean to do this to poor Zoe. There are limits. It was bordering on neglectful and dangerous for both her and others. She almost killed her friends because she had no idea how to control her power. And this isn't the first time I've read a YA book where adults or people in the know withhold vital information from those that desperately need it, and I'm sick of it. And where were the adults when the kids needed them? Getting their asses handed to them by mages the kids knew nothing about despite them being enemies for I don't know how long. Ugh. But this isn't the only reason why this didn't get a higher rating.
Zoe's cousins and friends had no faith or trust in Zoe whatsoever. How could they even call themselves her friends? It didn't take long for them to turn on her, heaping everything on her shoulders, blaming her for things she couldn't control and not one of them asked her how she felt, what she was having trouble with or how they could help her. No, it was just "I want you to do this for me", "I want you to do that for me", so selfish. She had but one defender though it was implied he had a special ability that meant he could see the truth of things more easily.
The Pyr mythology is interesting and the humorous way the book is written meant this was a breeze to read. I was a little uncomfortable with the romance aspect of things because I wasn't quite clear on the age difference between Zoe and her beau. It may have been only three years (Zoe's 15) but I got the impression it was more. However, the romance isn't the main aspect of the book and there's very little angst.
Isabelle confused me a bit. Although she's set up as competition in the battle for Nick's affection so Zoe automatically dislikes her which comes through loud and clear, I hated Isabelle, too. She was overly earnest and way too helpful. I found her behaviour suspect. No one is that nice. I kept waiting for her dark side to show itself. I was also flummoxed by the prophecy that Nick and Zoe would one day be together when in fact dragon lore states that male and female dragons can never form relationships. Colour me confused.
I didn't particularly like the plot, mainly because it showed the majority of the characters in an extremely negative light, in effect discouraging you from liking them and made them appear weak and stupid. I think I would've been better off reading the adult series first so I could get a better grounding and understanding of the world-building and of the dragon history and mythology.
Flying Blind was an average read for me, nothing supremely outstanding about it except it's lack of angst, love triangles and all-consuming romance, which I suppose does mean it stands out from the crowd after all. ;)...more
What a crummy sequel. I wish I'd never read it in order to keep the favorable memory of Hunting Lila alive. Losing (my will to live) Lila is the complWhat a crummy sequel. I wish I'd never read it in order to keep the favorable memory of Hunting Lila alive. Losing (my will to live) Lila is the complete opposite of the debut: slow, angst-ridden, typical YA drivel revolving around misunderstandings between love interests. Unfortunately the book was so focused on this that it didn't have enough page-time devoted to its plot so we never get to meet Lila's mother, the person they were so intent on rescuing, along with Jack, Lila's brother. We also don't get to witness Jack finding out an important truth, or the villain of the piece get his comeuppence as he escapes to live, breathe and plot another day. Talk about loose ends. Totally unsatisfying.
Speaking of unsatisfying, sex shouldn't have been an issue and yet Alex spouts, "I'm just trying to protect your honour." Lame excuse, buddy. They'd known each other for years, she's almost 18, there's a time when they're in one of the most beautiful places on earth and either of them could die at any minute. It was legal in Mexico, the perfect moment was there for the taking and Alex blew it. Why mention sex at all if you're going to give Alex a lame excuse to abstain? Lila's obsession with Alex's resolve got old real fast. It's not often I think sex between YA characters is a good idea (mostly because they're usually incompatible strangers) but it was very appropriate and expected here. Alex wasn't a psycho stalker and Lila wasn't a girl about to be taken advantage of. It was all remarkably healthy.
I wish there'd been more attention on other characters like Amber, Demos and Thomas, even Lila's dad. More character history or perhaps their POVs would've been most welcome. Thankfully Lila is a duology so I don't need to agonise about whether to read the next one....more
"It's ironic," Jed said again, "that if you want to be stronger, the first thing you have to learn is how to let yourself be weak."
This is the theme"It's ironic," Jed said again, "that if you want to be stronger, the first thing you have to learn is how to let yourself be weak."
This is the theme of Taken by Storm. Overcoming your weaknesses by mastering them. Taking control. Bryn suffers through her fears, the pain and grief of loss, and quickly adjusts to rise above it in time to take revenge. It isn't as sweet or as lengthy as I was hoping for but it achieved the much hoped for results.
Having never warmed up to him, I was ecstatic to learn Barnes had the cojones to kill off a particular character(view spoiler)[-Chase, Bryn's mate (hide spoiler)]. He was given little page time and lacked a personality. All he was, was Bryn -protecting her, ensuring her safety, etc. She was his whole world so giving his life up for her made perfect sense.
My only criticism: old enemies do not die. As a plot device, I hate this. I hate it a lot. It's something that tarnished Caine's Morganville Vampires series for me, having the same villain come back again and again. Each time you think he's gone for good, and nope he's back, still causing trouble. If you kill the villain, let him rest in pieces. Don't resurrect him, only to annoy us again. Please.
The writing is great but because of the slow nature of the prior installment Trial by Wolves and my general dislike for it, I skimmed, so I have no idea if the pace was slow or not. I'd actually given up on this series before hearing of a certain character's death, which intrigued me enough to reserve this at the library, and now I can't wait to meet Werewolf Bryn. Broken Bryn. Her world has been shattered and remade. I hope she can carry out Sora's request and at least maintain an amicable relationship with Callum. After all, what he did kept her alive and changed the power dynamics in their favor, even though it cost the lives of those close to her. She may forgive, but she will not forget. That's the important thing.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
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
Although this is the first book in Kelley Armstrong's young adult series I still enjoyed it. I did find it hard to get into at the beginning but eventAlthough this is the first book in Kelley Armstrong's young adult series I still enjoyed it. I did find it hard to get into at the beginning but eventually I got lost in it and read it in one sitting.
The Darkest Powers series is set in the same world as the Women of the Otherworld series and it shows more towards the end. I was a little surprised that this book was similar to Stolen, the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series but it was different enough that it was still worth reading. When I got to the end I was stunned to realise that it was a cliffhanger and was desperate to read more though I understand this to be part of a trilogy so more of a part one of three, something that I'm not used to with Kelley's books. I will definitely be buying the second book. ...more
Damn. I assumed this was a prequel and looked for the next book. Of course, there is no next book. Typical. I was sucked in by this short story whichDamn. I assumed this was a prequel and looked for the next book. Of course, there is no next book. Typical. I was sucked in by this short story which had enough potential there to be a longer story or developed into a series....more
**spoiler alert** I feel very conflicted about how to rate Chosen. It was a mish-mash of good and bad.
The Good: * I applaud the way the Stevie Rae situ**spoiler alert** I feel very conflicted about how to rate Chosen. It was a mish-mash of good and bad.
The Good: * I applaud the way the Stevie Rae situation was dealt with.
* I loved Aphrodite's character development and I hope she hasn't left the series.
The Bad: * Loren, Loren, Loren! Ugh, how could Zoey say she loved him, what an idiot, she barely knew him. To me the sex scene almost came off as rape because Loren cut himself and Zoey has no control over her bloodlust and the blood drinking makes her amorous then Loren ripped off her dress without her consenting to anything with a clear and sober head.
* Zoey losing her friends. I'm surprised they were so quick to abandon her after all they've been through. After all she was protecting them from Neferet by witholding the fact that Stevie Rae was still alive and the thing with Loren had only really took off and ended within the space of a few days - hardly a long affair.
I think that the Loren situation is a right of passage for Zoey, it was a wake-up call that Aphrodite was trying to give her that not all people are good.
I really hope we have not seen the last of Aphrodite, she's Zoey's strongest ally. I'm curious to see what will happen with Heath now, whether he will still have a tie to Zoey and his perpective of what happened when the Imprint was supposedly broken. I wonder if Erik will forgive her for her huge mistake now that he knows Neferet had a hand in what happened. Only three people other than Zoey know about Neferet's dark-side first-hand: Stevie Rae, Aphrodite and Erik, can they defeat her? I can't wait to find out how everyone will take Stevie Rae's rise from the dead, how will Neferet explain that?!
'The other bunnies didn't understand his feelings. All he really wanted was for someone to come and hold him, rubbing his cheek until everything was okay[...] Why did everything have to be so wonderful when he was trying to wallow in misery.'
Emo is my kind of bunny. He just wants to be left alone but he becomes curious and not at all excited when he finds the Easter Bunny, a not so nice creature, overseeing his duck minions as they capture bunnies and other animals to slave away in the nearby Easter Egg factory. His curiosity leads him to being blackmailed by unlikely rescuers, the plague rats (Help us or we'll give you the plague!). His heroism goes unnoticed and he goes back to his miserable life.
For some reason I want to compare this to Animal Farm even though I've never read it so I could be wrong. Anyway, I rather enjoyed it. I would definitely give Emo a hug and may be slip him a couple of anti-depressants too.
'Tobias was determined to catch the emo bunny. He had been following it for a while through the forest.
A very short but intriguing story which starts:
'Tobias was determined to catch the emo bunny. He had been following it for a while through the forest. He always wanted an emo bunny. They were soft, cuddly and always needed extra hugs because they were so sad.'
That hooked me. It's young Tobias' strange little adventure with Zachary the zombie through the forest meeting magical creatures, and his innocence and good manners which gives this the feel of a warped fairy tale with not all of it's characters receiving happy endings. The only downside is the repetitive language. I'm moving on to The Emo Bunny That Should: A Story For Demented Children right now.
I'm torn. There are some brilliant aspects to this book but it was dreadfully slow. I dragged myself through because after figuring out the Meet Joe BI'm torn. There are some brilliant aspects to this book but it was dreadfully slow. I dragged myself through because after figuring out the Meet Joe Black angle I was curious to know if it would end the same way. It didn't. Actually, it took an unexpected yet not unwelcome turn that may not be liked by the masses.
Abbey is excellently portrayed. Her predicament: the ever-present crushing guilt over her mother's death, the growing distance between her and her father, and her misplaced obsession with Nate (the jock who has an obsession of his own with mountain climbing) resulting from her inability to deal with her guilt, wallowing in it instead of moving on with her life. So she imagines this fictitious romantic relationship with him to help her deal with reality. It comforts her. Yes, it's sort of creepy. She was one step away from becoming a full-on stalker but I understood her crush and empathised.
Her only company was her best friend Tanner but she hadn't revealed much about her mother's death and how she felt about it to him. He had his own hang-ups. He'd also been in a tragic accident but he hadn't been so lucky; he was paralysed from the waist down and in a wheelchair. I enjoyed reading Tanner's POV, witnessing how he was treated by others, how his relationships had suffered and the difference in how Abbey treats him. Without pity. She understands how it is for him without even asking.
'Being loners might have drawn us together out of necessity, but it was our friendship that had made us strong enough to come out the other side.'
The story is all about Abbey's transition. Realising that she's tired of being unhappy, of pretending, lying and hiding. She wants to live. It's a great message and I liked the method in which it was conveyed, reminiscent of Riders of the Apocalypse. Love, and the selfish versus the altruistic needs, wants and decisions we make based on that love were also expertly demonstrated. FYI, love's a bitch.
"Dealing with guilt and grief doesn't leave much room for anything else. I know about that dark stuff, but one day if you're really lucky, you get tired of feeling bad all the time. It's like a curtain opens and light comes in. First, it's only a sliver. Then more."
However, it's not all smooth sailing. Besides being slow I really struggled to remain interested whenever we joined Nate's dangerous climb up the mountain. Since seeing Cliffhanger as a child I never even contemplated doing something so unnecessarily hazardous. Rescue teams must love those guys. Anyway, when the Angel of Death does his Joe Black thing to Nate I cringed at his interactions with Abbey. Perhaps it was realistic given her crush but the way she sort of accepted not-Nate's behaviour was uncomfortable to read. I wanted her to push harder when she called him on it, which would've sped up proceedings.
Death had been dealt a bum hand, poor guy. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. As powerful as he was he couldn't control everything and he wasn't perfect. He made mistakes. The mythology surrounding Death was intriguing. He's sort of a swallower of souls, holding them inside him for safe-keeping until the day he's the last one to die. But each soul changes him, for better or worse and this is what prompts him to make contact with Abbey. The ravens were a nice touch -suitably eerie.
As for the romance, well this is tricky. How much to say? There are three potential boyfriends, I guess. One from Abbey's past, her present and future. And the most obvious is not the guy Abbey chooses, and I'm glad of this. Some might not be pleased but just this one aspect makes On a Dark Wing unique, for multiple reasons. The resolution at end was well done. I can definitely see people reacting in that manner to such an extraordinary situation although the lead-up to the climax was a little ludicrous.
Would I recommend this to anyone? Well, I didn't hate this book and I wouldn't dissuade anyone from reading it. In fact, I might warn them it's slow but I'd encourage them to read to the end because I think the effort just might be worth it.
***Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing me with this ebook.***...more
**spoiler alert** Hmm, I didn’t not like it but I wasn’t in love with it either. The story was so fast paced that I never really connected with Sabrie**spoiler alert** Hmm, I didn’t not like it but I wasn’t in love with it either. The story was so fast paced that I never really connected with Sabriel or her father and felt very little when he finally died, maybe I would have felt differently if he had spent more time on centre stage at the beginning. Overall I needed more interaction between Sabriel, Mogget (loved his grumpy sarcasm) and Touchstone - just some chatter that wasn’t related to “the mission” to help them become better acquainted with one another, friendlier perhaps in order to strengthen their ties.
The ending was quite abrupt and felt this was a missed opportunity for character development. I wanted to see Touchstone shake off some of his guilt and embrace his future. I wanted to know how Mogget survived the seventh bell and if being consumed had changed him. And I wanted to know how Kerrigor took to becoming a black cat. All of these things could so easily have been addressed in a well-crafted extended epilogue placed after the original epilogue of course. One thing I did like at the end was the contrast in colour between the two cats; one white mostly helpful cat and one black very evil one sitting side by side - it was a nice touch.
From everything I have just written, I’ve realised that I just needed the characters to be fleshed out a bit to make me fall in love with them because to me they seemed grey and needed to be painted with more colour, more life even if the story did revolve around death. ...more
I absolutely loved this book. The war, the politics and fragile peace, Danica's bravery in trusting the enemy not to hold her hostage or kill her. ItI absolutely loved this book. The war, the politics and fragile peace, Danica's bravery in trusting the enemy not to hold her hostage or kill her. It was amazing. There was only one small thing that I wanted to see - Zane and Danica consummate their relationship at the end. I know this is a young adult book but that would have been the icing on the cake for me. 4.5 stars....more
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales and although Beauty is a good retelling it was still flawed. There were times when I skipped oBeauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales and although Beauty is a good retelling it was still flawed. There were times when I skipped over some of the laborious descriptions to get to the action. I wanted to know more about the enchantment and how the Beast became a beast and what he was like before his transformation.
I needed more of an ending than the one given, it was too abrupt. I wanted to see Beauty introduce the Beast to her family. I wondered how her family and friends knew to come to the castle. Oh and how did Robbie get to Blue Hills so fast or was that more magic? Did Beauty’s father and Melinda’s romance mean they would be married as well? If so, would they live at the Griffin, at the house or build their own? So many questions and so few answers.
I enjoyed the story but I was a bit frustrated with the ending as you can probably tell. ...more
I can tell you this right now, if I hadn't have been listening to the audiobook this would have been a "did not finish".
It was tolerable up until RavI can tell you this right now, if I hadn't have been listening to the audiobook this would have been a "did not finish".
It was tolerable up until Raven met Alexander, after that point I worried about my face because I was cringing so much I didn't want it to freeze that way! It was love at first sight badly done. What could Alexander possibly see in the very immature Raven who constantly showed herself up to be unintelligent, and without grace and decorum next to the very cultured and almost stoic Alexander. Her obsession with him and his supposed vampire-state was beyond irritating, she barely knew him and she was breaking into his home and touching his stuff, can I say stalker?
Alexander's only reason for liking her is the likelihood that she will accept him for who he is, which brings me to what he is. Malicious rumours about Alexander and his family are spread about town, the word is they're vampires (queue the spooky music). Hints about them being such are laid on thick but then the rumours are retracted and Raven is back to thinking old Alex is human after all, until the very end when he had no reflection! Then Alex all of a sudden up and disappears for Raven's sake, whatever that means. I felt nothing at this, I'd all ready decided this was basically crap. It sort of reminded me of those tongue-in-cheek teeny bopperish American TV shows for children like That's So Raven. (I swear that just popped in my head, no pun intended!)
None of the characters were properly developed, Raven's upbeat goth, rebellious and whiny attitude grated on my nerves. Just because I like reading vampire fiction doesn't mean I'm as obsessed with Dracula, old vampire movies and everything black as Raven is. She was waaay over the top. We don't see much of Alexander and know little-to-nothing about him except that he was home-schooled, his parents travel a lot and is most likely a vampire.
As for character progression Raven had one (and perhaps her only) serious thought at the end about not wanting to become a vampire so she wouldn't have to leave her family, Matt decided to stop being a doormat and well, Trevor loses all his power to dominate, bully and generally get whatever he wants. I secretly believe he was obsessed and possibly even a little bit in love with Raven, we all want what we can't have, right?
On the positive side, and there is a positive side (I know you wouldn't think so reading this), the writing despite the clichéd teen-lingo was actually pretty good, it was simple, engaging and free-flowing with a few very comedic (read "big grin") moments.
If you're going to read this book I highly recommend the audiobook, the narrator Devon Sorvari did an excellent job of making this "readable"....more
I'm sorry, I really wanted to like this but the language used was so simple, the kind you were criticised for using when doing creative writing as a cI'm sorry, I really wanted to like this but the language used was so simple, the kind you were criticised for using when doing creative writing as a child, that my attention (even after taking breaks) kept wandering and only came back when I heard "Other Mother" or "cat".
Some of this may be down to the narrator who was hit and miss, mostly hit but Dawn French's voice was a little too calm and relaxing that I found I was just listening to her tone of voice instead of concentrating on the actual words. She'd make good money as a hypnotist.
There are definitely some very good ideas and fantastic imagery but I'm beginning to believe all of Gaiman's work should be turned into movies for me to watch instead of reading them because I think I'd enjoy them so much more, just like I did with Stardust. I'll definitely be looking to watch Coraline some time soon....more
A great book but I thought that Katniss got away and won without killing ruthlessly, she only killed in self-defense or indirectly. I was relieved wheA great book but I thought that Katniss got away and won without killing ruthlessly, she only killed in self-defense or indirectly. I was relieved when she told Peeta that the romance wasn't real for her. I want her to be with Gale, her relationship with him has a better chance of lasting....more
As The Awakening ended on a cliffhanger I continued with The Struggle and boy did I struggle with it. Many a time I was thinking "No you stupid b*tch,As The Awakening ended on a cliffhanger I continued with The Struggle and boy did I struggle with it. Many a time I was thinking "No you stupid b*tch, what are you doing?" Elena is none too bright in this, it became fairly obvious that Damon wasn't as evil as she thought him to be but she carried on thinking he was, though biting her against her will wasn't exactly a nice thing for him to do. Her secrets and lies irritated me, she expected total honesty from Stefan but God forbid she return the sentiment.
Alaric as the new young teacher to replace the dead one was weird and came off as a bit of a paedophile.
Overall: There just was too much teenage angst in this for me to even begin to enjoy the building suspense Smith tries to create....more
**spoiler alert** I feel terribly shocked and sad at Heath's death, it's all so unfair. It was just wrong for him to be killed off. If anyone had to d**spoiler alert** I feel terribly shocked and sad at Heath's death, it's all so unfair. It was just wrong for him to be killed off. If anyone had to die it should have been Erik. And poor Zoey, her tattoos are gone but still alive, barely though her soul is in the Otherworld with Heath. And then... and then the story ended. Cliffhangered again! This really has to stop.
Two crimes committed in one book: killing off a beloved character and a cliffhanger ending. With the last book I was beginning to really like the series again but now, now I'm not so sure. Everything was going swimmingly until the last few pages. I'm not sure if I will be reading Burned, I feel like I'm all ready mourning this series along with Heath's death. ...more
I enjoyed the wild ride of the first two in the trilogy but I could not get into the whole Fire Warper thing in this one. Other than that this was a vI enjoyed the wild ride of the first two in the trilogy but I could not get into the whole Fire Warper thing in this one. Other than that this was a very interesting series. ...more
Ever wanted to question the specifics of a villian's clichéd world domination plan? Call a villain out on the infantile nature of it, presenting the dEver wanted to question the specifics of a villian's clichéd world domination plan? Call a villain out on the infantile nature of it, presenting the difficulties he'll face in accomplishing such a feat, and then maintaining leadership should he succeed? Skullduggery Pleasant does all that and more with his quick, dry wit and that sharp, sarcastic tongue of his, and it's deliciously satisfying and rib-ticklingly funny. An excellent non-essential freebie.
Yes now this more like it! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shortcomings of this series have been addressed in Hunted: the story was longerYes now this more like it! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shortcomings of this series have been addressed in Hunted: the story was longer with no cliffhanger ending and the language of the teenagers was toned down with less useless chatter.
However Zoey kept repeating the word 'hell' at the beginning and the end of most of the chapters and the blow-out ending wasn't as big as I'd been hoping for, after all the waiting through four books I wanted to see a knock-down drag-out fight to the death between Zoey and Neferet - no such luck. A bit disappointed with that otherwise Hunted was the best well-rounded book of the series so far....more
We’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that peopWe’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that people suffer so much from these eating disorders. And it’s not described to purposely shock, it is shocking. It’s part of their lives. It is their lives.
On the very first page we witness seventeen year old Lisa’s suicide attempt after fighting with her boyfriend, feeling depressed after her former friend Suzanne tells her she’s anorexic, realising she’s angry and her feeling of emptiness all lead her to feel that life isn’t worth living anymore. She just wants it all to stop.
Something as simple as licking a tear from the corner of her mouth has her thinking it’s okay to do so because it’s calorie-free. When faced with food, every bad ingredient is rattled off by the Thin voice in her head followed by the number of calories they contain and the time required to burn them off on her exercise bike. Her obsessive compulsive actions lead her to eat little and exercise to exhaustion, and what she does eat is the epitome of health. No junk food. She even agonises over eating a simple French fry.
And Misery loves company. Lisa’s anorexic but her best friend’s bulimic. Tammy reinforces her twisted relationship with food as Lisa feels like a failure for not being able to throw up on command and is in awe of the fact that Tammy can ‘bring up a doughnut in thirty seconds’. Sadly, she thinks this is apparently something to be proud of.
Lisa’s struggle to become a better anorexic is downright scary. Her need to control every aspect of her body, frightening. But in her pursuit of this goal she fails to realise that her body is crying out for sustenance. Her confusion and trouble remembering things that only happened the day before and the absence of her period which at first she mistook for a pregnancy scare, then later believed it was just down to stress.
As Lisa describes her dream in which she’s told she is the new Famine, Tammy calmly tells her: “Your own personal Columbine. That’s what your Famine is. Your subconscious just wrapped the rage up in a food image, instead of a freak-with-a-gun image. You relate better to food, that’s all.”
An anorexic who chooses to not eat becomes Famine, something that means that choice is taken away is an interesting idea, it’s what drew me to this book in the first place. Well, after seeing the beautiful cover, anyway.
I enjoyed the symbolism of the Scales of office and the need for balance between being starved to doing things to excess or gluttony, and how one can counteract the other but it’s all down to perception. Lisa’s perception that she’s fat when everyone around her believes she’s too thin, being angry at those who eat to excess and feeling guilty for depriving herself of food when others don’t have a choice but to go hungry.
The horses made interesting supporting characters, seeing things from Midnight’s point of view as an immortal guide to their ever changing riders. Even War’s perspective helped me to see the change in Lisa, how her role as Famine had an impact on how she approached life. The riders all contributed: Death with his strange sense of humour and philosophical musings, Pestilence with his philanthropic way of seeing things and War with her bloodthirsty and forthright anger.
I couldn’t help but wonder if her meeting with Death and the other horsemen, and her role as Famine was real or imaginary though their role in her journey obviously helped her. You wouldn’t think it would considering they’re harbingers of the apocalypse.
After reading about Lisa’s disturbing thought processes and observing her behaviour, I had a fervent wish that please god, let this girl be okay. When she is confronted again by Suzanne and her boyfriend James, she is so distressed at them calling her anorexic that I had conflicting thoughts on whose side I should be on, when sanity told me to be on the side that makes her seek help.
Then finally we hear the three words that I’ve been desperate to read: “You’re too thin”. They come from the most unlikely source. Then again this person was so straight talking and direct, and the truth hurts.
I find that YA rarely touches upon such serious topics and I’m very glad that the author was brave enough to share some of her own experiences as she explains in the Author’s Notes at the back. I’m not certain why I’m not giving this 5 stars because it’s definitely something I’d slip to a friend with similar troubles, hoping it would help them in some way.
eBook received for review courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company....more