This is definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys this series. It is quite different from Kelley Armstrong’s earlier books because instead of havin...moreThis is definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys this series. It is quite different from Kelley Armstrong’s earlier books because instead of having just one female narrator we have one female, Hope Adams (chaos half-demon) and one male Lucas Cortez (sorceror and reluctant heir to the Cortez Cabal). I did wonder why we needed to see Lucas’s side of things right up until a major plot development which will leave both him and Paige with a lot to worry about in future books.
Most readers probably won’t know who Hope is, though she is briefly mentioned in Broken. She has her own short story in the anthology ‘Dates From Hell’ so I would advise people to read this before reading Personal Demon.
This book brings a few of the series’ minor characters to the front of the stage and in doing so we get to learn a little more about Pack history and a little more on what it’s like to work for a cabal.
As for Hope, I didn’t really connect with her though I did feel sorry for her having to struggle with her ability to not only detect chaos but to feed off it as well. This made her feel guilty, getting a thrill out of something bad. I was more interested in Karl Marsten, werewolf thief; Troy, personal bodyguard to the head of the Cortez Cabal and the Cortez family itself.
Overall, its a good read with death and conspiracy popping up everywhere you look. I'm looking forward to reading about what happens next for Lucas and the Cortez family. (less)
1. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel a connection between Miss FBI (aka Special Agent Heather Wallace) and Dante, yet they fell for each othe...more1. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel a connection between Miss FBI (aka Special Agent Heather Wallace) and Dante, yet they fell for each other though I don't know why. At the beginning I imagined Dante to be as Eric from True Blood with his throne in the club with a hint of pre-godhood Acheron with everyone adoring and lusting after him so I could understand Miss FBI's automatic attraction but not what attracted him to her except that she quieted the voices in his head. They spent very little time together and there was little to no sexual tension. They were forced together, there was no love between them. I think it would have been more realistic to pair her with Lucien.
2. I wouldn't call this book PNR, it barely qualifies as UF, it's more crime/horror as there is very little romance and only one sex scene.
3. The constantly changing multiple POVs was incredibly irritating. This didn't settle down until about two thirds of the way in. There were too many characters introduced in this way at the beginning, it was confusing.
4. The pace of this book is really slow it gets bogged down with the multiple POVs sometimes of the same events, only the last 100 pages or so does the pace pick up. This book is a depressing 500 pages long so you can imagine what a hard slog reading this was.
5. Though the inclusion of the French/Casjun words and phrases were a nice touch, I'm not fluent in these languages so I didn't always know what was said. I didn't notice the glossary until I finished the book which wasn't helpful, it should have been placed at the very beginning of the book instead of the end.
6. The cover did not represent what was inside the book. This cover was very misleading. Miss FBI did not wear leather, in fact she was one of the few who didn't wear it.
7. Background - questions were left unanswered about Miss FBI's past and her present circumstances. We have to assume she is single and living in Seattle and that she is alone with no family or friends except her boss Stearns. I had questions about Lucien and his whereabouts while Dante suffered, why he left his mother and what made him Fallen, though it was hinted at. Vampire politics were also hinted at with a mention of sanctions and councils but alas no elaboration.
8. Motivations - I didn't fully understand the motives and inner workings of the Bad Seed experiment/programme, or what exactly it was in relation to the FBI and the research lab.
9. Miss FBI's 'Are vampires real?' dilemma was dealt with badly. She was skeptical then sort of accepted it, was unsure, then had to see to believe. Bloody hell, make up your damn mind!
10. Characters - Dante was intriguing but he wasn't fully developed. You don't really get a proper sense of his personality other than being musical and having to do everything the hard way. His sexuality was unclear, he kissed men but generally in greeting as he did with the women. He'd suffered sexual abuse so maybe he didn't know himself if he was gay, bi or straight although we do see him participating in a threesome with another man there was no touching between them other than a kiss. He didn't seem sexy to me, he wanted to be a bad boy but in my opinion he didn't quite pull it off. He just seemed broken with no real hope of regaining control over his mind or his abilities. Collins peaked my interest but we see little of him and then he's discarded. Miss FBI was weak, there was very little to her, you got a vague sense of protectiveness and the need to do right but other than that she was a dull, flat character. We learn very little about the bad guys Ronin, E and Moore -they were just bad because the author had labelled them so there were no reasons behind their actions. Also members of Dante's household were thrust forward without much depth or explanation for their loyalty to Dante.
11. I was confused for most of the book. I had a hard time following what was happening and why or how Miss FBI made her deductions. Overall the story is very slow, dry and bland, hell we even know who the serial killer is from the beginning so there was no mystery to hold my interest. I was bored reading this and forced myself to finish it. My only positive emotion about this book was the relief I felt when I read the final page. Basically this was a waste of time. The writing is abysmal but the story had potential and that is the only reason why I'm giving this two stars instead of one.(less)
Lately I think I've been overdosing on the young adult reads because I'm finding way too many similarities between these books.
Anyway, Hush, Hush was...moreLately I think I've been overdosing on the young adult reads because I'm finding way too many similarities between these books.
Anyway, Hush, Hush wasn't great. The only thing I enjoyed was Patch's embarrassing public comments about Nora and his way of antagonising her although it could also be classed as bullying. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel.(less)
I HATE this book! Everything about it is terrible. I feel cheated of my time and robbed of my money.
The plot is a simple one. In fact this would've se...moreI HATE this book! Everything about it is terrible. I feel cheated of my time and robbed of my money.
The plot is a simple one. In fact this would've served better as a novella because 300 pages was too many for what little was in them. And grammar nazis will have a fit, running out of red ink before they turn the last page.
For a supposedly lethal hunter and fierce protector of the world against monsters and demons imprisoned behind a veil, Maxine Kiss was a pansy-assed pussy. I'm sorry for my crass language but I'm so Mad. She asked everyone questions and whether they be friend or foe she never received a straight answer. Meaningless riddles are not an answer. She threatened but never followed through. ("You try anything, you even think about standing up, and I will have you shitting out of your dick so fast you'll beg me to rip it off." ~ Best threat) She just accepted these non-answers and moved on. To my frustrated consternation this happened repeatedly all the way through the book:
Maxine encountered someone, they talk some shit and do a lot of implying, she'd question them, they'd deflect or give some vague and incomprehensible response. Kick some ass, woman! Where's this fierce warrior that's supposed to "save the world"? Because frankly if you're our saviour, then kill me now. Pathetic.
And what the hell was she doing with someone like Grant? They live by such fundamentally different philosophies. Maxine kills the things that go bump in the night and Grant "saves" them. Slightly naive of him, if you ask me. Also, I'm not discriminating against the disabled here but if Maxine was going to settle down with anyone, shouldn't it be with someone who has the ability to run for his life? Otherwise, they're just cannon fodder. There's no way for him to keep up with her or effectively fight by her side. His flute would be no match for angry demon hordes.
I found none of the characters likeable, unless you count homeless teen Byron who was turned into a pitiable creature. Maxine was unkillable. It was absurdly cartoon-ish the way she was run over by a bus and got right back up again, completely unharmed. I wonder if she's hardy against poison and disease. Please, someone try it.
For someone slapped with a violently pro-active personna she did absolutely fuck all. All growl and no bite. The original premise was a good one but unfortunately it was poorly executed. By the end I still didn't fully understand what had changed from the beginning. It's taken me four excrutingly long months to finish this and that's with skimming.
"Iron Hunt sucks! I will congratulate anyone who managed to finish it. Those who gave this book 5 stars is not my friend. I've just offended 181 people but I don't care. I hate every character so far except maybe this homeless teenager who's probably just a flash in the pan. It's frustratingly slow and sparse on the background details. Good bits are few and far between. It's a challenge read so I have to finish. Stupid challenges."
I stick by this statement but to any future friends who may have rated this 5 stars, I'm sorry but we may just have to go our separate ways.(less)
**spoiler alert** Practically from the opening line this book had my attention. Georgina Kincaid is a self-loathing succubus. Many centuries ago she t...more**spoiler alert** Practically from the opening line this book had my attention. Georgina Kincaid is a self-loathing succubus. Many centuries ago she traded her mortality away to pay for a mistake and now in order to survive she has to corrupt the innocent and suck down their life energy during sex, shaving a few years off their lives in the process because of this she never dates anyone she likes and she’s lonely. All she wants is a loving relationship. Then her favourite author comes to town so she dresses up to meet him but that same night she accidentally meets the handsome and persistent Roman.
Georgina is a likeable character, you feel sorry for her succubus status. I certainly wouldn’t want to be one for the same reasons Georgina hates it, having to sleep with scumbags to survive because you can’t in good conscience take years off the lives of good men. There are some pluses to her immortal nature. She can shape-shift in to anything she wants including make-up and clothes to lure men to her bed, she can stay young forever and instantly correct any clothing spillages - very handy. Her history shows that she’s not infallible but you can understand why she cheated on her husband and why she keeps sacrificing herself for the people who love her.
Seth as Georgina’s favourite writer was very cute but the whole time he was on stage, all I could think was “friend”. On the other hand, had I been Georgina I would have jumped at the chance to run away with Roman, he may have been a little crazy but he was willing to give up his mission for her and they clicked on more than one level – they had more things in common. Georgina was in love with Seth’s books, what he could create whereas she struggled to create something out of nothing. She was not in love with Seth himself, she admired him. Her sacrifice for him to keep his memories intact went a bit far, she may like him but any relationship or non-relationship would be difficult to cultivate and maintain, ultimately I think she will regret her decision just as she did the first time she made a deal (which she made her a succubus).
The writing was entertaining but the amount of page time devoted to Roman and his tenacious personality made me want him to “win” though I didn’t want Carter to die. Carter, I’m guessing, will be a main character in this series and as such he would be my favourite out of all of them. A caustic hard as nails angel but soft and understanding when it counts. He lives in the grey being best friends with a demon, rather sticking with his own in a black-and-white good-and-evil sort of way, you’ve got to respect that.
It was fairly obvious who the Nephilim was fairly early on which left me rather frustrated knowing that Roman was probably going to be killed off. I was happy when he managed to escape but it’s unlikely that he will have any kind feelings left for Georgina.
After reading Vampire Academy I see now that Richelle Mead likes to create doomed romances with her heroines, its certainly a change from what I usually read but I think I like my happy endings too much. Succubus Blues is an entertainingly light read with an interesting take on demons, angels, and the succubus and everything that being one entails. (less)
**spoiler alert** Highly entertaining. Lucien aka Death is minding his own brooding business when Anya, a beautiful strawberry and cream scented godde...more**spoiler alert** Highly entertaining. Lucien aka Death is minding his own brooding business when Anya, a beautiful strawberry and cream scented goddess tries to seduce him in a club much to his disbelief. You see, he has scars, on his face and body that terrify the ordinary person. No women approach him.
Everyone assumes she's Bait to capture or kill him, yet there are no weapons on her and no hunters around to do the deed. She'll only go away if Lucien agrees to give her one kiss. After stalking him for weeks she feels she deserves something for her efforts! And what a kiss it is too!
One problem. Anya is on the new god-king's, Cronus's hitlist. And he's just realised she's trying to court Death so he orders him to take her soul. Eek!
Anya is playful, feisty and sexy. She won't go down without a fight or a taste of the man she's obsessed with. Hilarious escapades ensue, I especially like the chase involving the gay strip club:
"Ready to have some fun?" She didn't give him time to answer. Weighed down with the chains, she flashed to a busy street in New York-fingers crossed he would be run over - then to a gay strip club in Italy-fingers crossed he would be groped - then to a zoo in Oaklahoma-fingers crossed the elephant shit was ripe.
"Enjoy," she muttered with relish. Anya flashed one more time, back to where she'd begun: his home in Greece. Lucien was still following her trail. Lightning quick, she hid the chains under the bed and palmed her Taser.
When she straightened he was there, just in front of her. Her breath caught. He was scowling, teeth bared and sharp, Death glowing in his eyes. He had a bleeding cut on his leg and he smelled like shit.
Her nose wrinkled. "Step in something?" she asked innocently.
"That I did not mind." He took a menacing step toward her. "What I did mind was being hit by a cab, then landing on the lap of a naked man. With an erection, Anya. He had an erection."
ROFL! Gena Showalter is a comedic genius!
On a more serious note, I felt bad for Paris (Promiscuity). It seems he's lost his chance at freedom from his demon. He was right about Sienna and his reaction to her. No one seems to realise his subdued behaviour is him grieving. Even though they have their brothers they're still alone. It's so sad.
Anyway, my only problem was that Anya lost. I wanted them to win but she still had to give up her security and is now vulnerable to Cronus. That angered me but I guess you can't always win. That's not realistic. (less)
A little too slow and repetitive for me but at least we find out about the nightmarish event in Elena's past. In this we see Elena and Raphael learnin...moreA little too slow and repetitive for me but at least we find out about the nightmarish event in Elena's past. In this we see Elena and Raphael learning to trust each other and begin revealing their most guarded secrets to one another. It's nice to see their relationship grow but the repetitive descriptions of Raphael's body and eye colour grew irritating. I also think that more could have been made of Lijuan's part in this book, despite the heavy collateral damage taking her down happened almost too fast and too easy.
There are plenty of interesting things that catch the eye about angelic society; the Refuge and the way it's divided, the angels' love of children -seen as precious gifts and the angels' beauty contrasting with their utter brutality. The supporting characters, mostly Raphael's Seven are well-drawn. They all have distinct personalities and stories just waiting to be told. Jason and Aodhan are the most mysterious but I like Illium and Galen the best as they've helped her with her transition from strong mortal to weak immortal, helping her to adapt and become strong again.
There is a link to Ashwini's story, Angels' Pawn, a prequel to Angels' Blood which I would recommend reading before this so that you get the background on one of the suspects in this book.
Although Archangels' Kiss left me feeling a bit flat I am looking forward to seeing Elena back in New York, returning to her job and seeing her father's reaction to her new angel status. (less)
Archangel's Consort was far from perfect with it's superfluous sex scenes and slow build up to an uncertain and frankly lack lustre ending. It pains m...moreArchangel's Consort was far from perfect with it's superfluous sex scenes and slow build up to an uncertain and frankly lack lustre ending. It pains me to say all of that because Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors with her Psy-Changeling books being my favourite paranormal romance series. My disloyalty is blasphemous but it needs to be said.
The numerous sex scenes led to boredom and skimming, not because they weren't hot, they were, there were just too damn many of them. Especially if you include all the lustful admiration/adoration Elena and Raphael do of each other. It felt like filler and it screwed up the pacing, slowed everything down. I needed more action. I mean, of course, there was death and distruction and political manoeuvring (this is a Nalini Singh book we're talking about here after all!) but it wasn't exciting enough to suck me completely out of reality and into this angel-dominated world.
This is unusual. Singh is usually the master at balancing plot, kick-ass action and romance with a good sense of pace. But not this time it seems. I had a fantastic time reading Angels' Blood but I experienced similar problems with Archangel's Kiss. The slow build had us waiting...and waiting...and waiting for Raphael's mother to awaken to show us whether she was 'batshit crazy' or not. 'Kiss' had us anticipating the confrontation with Lijuan. I am not a patient woman. I have trouble waiting for the kettle to boil for my morning cuppa tea. That we were left as uncertain about Raphael's mother at the end as we were in the beginning didn't help matters.
I believe also that the romance element in this series isn't as appealing to me as it should be. Elena and Raphael are both very alpha, dominant characters and their relationship is a difficult one, even without the emotional scars they both have. Together, they're learning to compromise, trust each other with their secrets and are generally growing into their relationship. This is good. However, sometimes they feel very un-relateable when they become aloof and formal with one another. Even in private. I understand a working and personal relationship is being attempted but it's not working for me.
After complaining about what I didn't like it's time for what I did:
The cover is absolutely gorgeous!
I now know how angels dance and it was breath taking, death defying and if I should ever take part in this activity I'd probably suffer a heart attack! It brings a whole new meaning to "mile high club". ;)
We get to see a little more of the intriguing Seven: Aodhan (we'll be seeing more of him in future, yay!), Illium, Jason, Dmitri and Venom, in particular. All of the Seven are mysterious, with a few tortured souls I want to comfort and kiss it all better. The introduction of Illium's mother, the Hummingbird is cloaked in mystery. So many questions and no place to start...
The character development is amazing with their distinct personalities and realistic dialogue. Evelyn's innocence captured my heart when she divulged her pent-up feelings to Elena. So sweet. Actually, Elena around any child is a heart-melting experience.
Singh explores the fact that immortality though highly sought after, isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. Some would give it up in a heartbeat if they could. It would be interesting to see a conversation between Beth and Jason on this subject.
And finally, Janvier and Ashwini. Honey, eh? Wink, wink. Details, please?! I need details. Ever since I read their short story, Angels' Pawn I've been eager for a follow-up. We only get a sneak peek at them in this but it was Juicy.
Tepid. Okay. Unenthusiastic. Halfhearted. Harsh words, well to me and any other fan but this was my overall reaction upon finishing Archangel's Consort. This makes me sad because I know Singh can do better. A little more action earlier on, a little less romance, gushing and sex, and a faster pace would've done wonders for this.
I loved Janvier and Ashwini's relationship. Who was hunting whom? That is the question. I hope we get to see more of their relationship in the future...moreI loved Janvier and Ashwini's relationship. Who was hunting whom? That is the question. I hope we get to see more of their relationship in the future Guild Hunters books.(less)
Throughout the book there was an interesting theme of "what/who is good/evil?" going on, and just because you trust someone doesn't mean they are dese...moreThroughout the book there was an interesting theme of "what/who is good/evil?" going on, and just because you trust someone doesn't mean they are deserving of that trust. Just because someone is a demon doesn’t automatically make them evil and not all humans are “good”. There was a grey area and plenty of stereotypical role reversals to keep me on my toes. The humans actually seemed more evil as they had a choice over their actions whereas not all of the demon species could choose, it was simply their nature. The demons were more humane (how ironic), they didn’t torture Tayla, their enemy but treated and healed her wounds but the humans tortured and killed Yuri.
I found it interesting that Tayla could probably best Eidolen in a fight, that's unusual in PNR. Tayla’s difficulty in reconciling what she was with what her father had done was done well, she was very strong to have survived all she had. The relationship between Gem and Tayla was very realistic, it mirrored my experience of when I found my half-sister and all the emotions I felt about her, her life and her experience with our father, and vice versa.
I was intrigued by some of the supporting cast; Gem and her unrequited love for Kynan but the death of his wife brings me hope that something might happen between them in future, and Wraith, I can’t wait to read his book –I’m a sucker for mysterious tortured souls.
The beginning of this book was unbelievably frustrating with the constant switching of POVs but this evened out with the reasons for this becoming clearer in the second half of the book, which was the better half by the way. I’m not usually one for half stars but I’d give this 7/10 so that’s 3.5 stars. (less)
I skipped book 3 so I could read this. It was worth it. Virgin Daiquiri was a smoother and more satisfying read than the others I have read in this se...moreI skipped book 3 so I could read this. It was worth it. Virgin Daiquiri was a smoother and more satisfying read than the others I have read in this series. 4 stars.(less)
Many people seemed to like this one but unfortunately I didn't. About 50 or so pages in childhood sexual abuse is described immediately followed by wh...moreMany people seemed to like this one but unfortunately I didn't. About 50 or so pages in childhood sexual abuse is described immediately followed by what was supposed to be a hot sex scene with a demon lord who at first tries to rape Kara using mind control, she calls him on it, he stops but she sleeps with him anyway. This made me extremely uncomfortable and soured the rest of the book for me.
I skimmed until I got to the last 100 pages where, I think, the author had gained more confidence as the writing had improved. However, I didn't much like Mr. FBI after he revealed he knew about the arcane; he became overly sappy for my tastes. I can't see him and Kara being more than just friends.
Kara, too, annoyed me. She could've saved herself a lot of pain and trouble if she'd just called the demon lord before the ritual started. I kept waiting and waiting for her to do it but she was a last minute girl, living and dying on the edge.
Although the plot was good, the writing suffered from being the first book and the only thing that really interested me was the demon lord who we sadly didn't really see much of.(less)
I began reading Iron Hunt and was having a confusing time of it when someone mentioned that there was a prequel (thank you, Kendra) so I put Iron Hunt...moreI began reading Iron Hunt and was having a confusing time of it when someone mentioned that there was a prequel (thank you, Kendra) so I put Iron Hunt down and read this. It explained how Maxine met Grant and described some of her background, all very helpful but for someone who constantly moves around and avoids men like the plague, Maxine sure did fall into bed with Grant very quickly, they're not even well-matched or have much chemistry. Grant gravitated towards Maxine like a moth to flame and Maxine appears to be settling with Grant because she doesn't want to run any more, she wants a home and Grant can provide one.
The story was interesting, however the writing made it hard for me to connect with the characters despite it being written in the first person. I'm a big fan of first person narrative but the language was so formal and old fashioned with a lot of "I cannot" and "I did not" instead of "I can't" and "I didn't". This wasn't set in the past nor was it written decades ago, it made the story move more slowly and Maxine seem very detached and unemotional which left me feeling bored, bewildered and very thankful that this was only novella and not a full-length book.
The action at the end had me wondering if this storyline was going to be continued because the resolution was too quick and easy. One minute Grant was going to die and become enslaved and the next they are both out of danger and dismissed with a warning.
I will read Iron Hunt and it's sequel as they were impulse buys at a closing down sale but if I hadn't have done that I wouldn't bother reading them after suffering through this very dry ebook.(less)
Definitely not as smooth or as intriguing as Pleasure Unbound. The main story lacked something for me. I wasn't particularly interested in reading Sha...moreDefinitely not as smooth or as intriguing as Pleasure Unbound. The main story lacked something for me. I wasn't particularly interested in reading Shade's story after reading the first book, I wanted Wraith's. I think the BDSM thing was an attempt to make Shade more interesting but I couldn't have cared less about it but when Runa was forcing him to hurt her I got annoyed, especially when Wraith assumed the worst. Shade's relationship with Wraith is complicated, they may be tight but Shade keeps a lot of secrets from him so in some ways he's closer to Eidolon.
What really irritated me and obliterated the chance of me getting my happy-ever-after buzz I usually get from PNR were the side story endings. Kynan. Sigh. I could have handled him leaving for a while to protect the hospital but the whole scene with Arik was just weird. Part fallen angel?! Going to destroy the world?! What?! First of all, Kynan was now a cynical pessimist so why didn't he question this? Why did he leave with the very people he had believed would kill him for his betrayal? Secondly, if all this is true then it was a horrible bomb to drop in at the end of this book with no details. It was OTT. On the other hand, I wonder if this is to set Kynan up for Gem's HEA to give him a long life and possibly a sense of purpose. I've really grown attached to Kynan which is probably why I feel so strongly about this. He's become friends with Wraith, two broken men together. Wraith even tries to push Gem on him because he knows that's what Ky needs.
After this I was deflated, then another bomb dropped. Wraith's gone through the s'genesis early somehow. Again no real details except that Wraith can't gain a mate. Another sigh.
I have Passion Unleashed but I now resent the fact that I've bought it. I even read the excerpt and don't feel compelled to read it. Wraith's book! That I was previously dying to read! I'll give it a chance at some point soon but I feel a little let down after the intriguing debut.(less)
I listened to the audio of this novella today. It wasn't bad but it isn't something you have to read as part of the series. It's an Eve book set 5 yea...moreI listened to the audio of this novella today. It wasn't bad but it isn't something you have to read as part of the series. It's an Eve book set 5 years after Haunted. I would have rather had the book so I could look at the illustrations but I wasn't savvy enough to figure out this was a limited edition. I learned my lesson, I've pre-ordered the next one, Counterfeit Magic (a Paige book featuring Savannah) which Kelley has promised will be even better (and longer).(less)
Wraith, I loved you in Pleasure Unbound and was sorely tempted to skip the sequel just to read your book but dammit I couldn't, then in Desire Unchain...moreWraith, I loved you in Pleasure Unbound and was sorely tempted to skip the sequel just to read your book but dammit I couldn't, then in Desire Unchained I read you decided to enter s'genesis early which pissed me off. How could you? I had to take a break to cool down. Now, reading Passion Unleashed made me realise you weren't as badass as I thought you were, plus you fell for Serena a little too quickly -no, I'm not jealous, just disappointed.
Your friend Kynan, how I've been rooting for him and Gem from the start. But again he disappointed me. In the sequel, he didn't fight when he was approached at Gem's apartment, he accepted the outrageous claims of his estranged employers and left Gem. The whole celestial thing, the little piece of heaven was out there. The states of his existence attempted to play with my heart strings but I stood strong. By then I'd taken a step back, distancing myself from these unbelievable events. My hope was that Gem would get over him and would find happiness with Lore but I was wrong. Perhaps Lore can satisfy my needs, I'm over you Wraith, I'm sorry.
I'm going to preface this review by saying that if I hadn't read interviews and blog posts about this and future books then I would've awarded more st...moreI'm going to preface this review by saying that if I hadn't read interviews and blog posts about this and future books then I would've awarded more stars. Perhaps I'll calm down later and see the light but for now, I'm a bull pawing the sand with my head lowered snorting in anger and frustration despite the fact that I quite enjoyed this book. It's where we go from now that troubles me.
The first half was slow with only a couple of blood-pumping action scenes. The road trip itself, although giving the characters time to bond with Trent was a bit tedious. I was beginning to believe the book had been misrepresented to me and was tempted to abandon it. And although it got better, I was kind of right. It's not what I expected at all.
This book was supposed to be about two things: Trent and Rachel becoming closer and Rachel's fight to get the shunning removed. I was in it for the former but couldn't see it happening with Trent becoming criminally dangerous with his arrogance.
I assumed, as I'm guessing many others will, that Rachel and Trent would have a fling, Trent would ruin things and they both would move on. Not so. Something more serious transpired. They learned to trust each other. Trent rightfully earned everyone's trust. He sacrificed much for Rachel and instead of imposing his will, he gave her a choice. A very important choice. Trent changed in this book partly due to a rather surprising development he'd been keeping secret which now has him tied to Rachel in a way that would have me believing Rachel and Trent will become an item in the next book, the last scene backing me up on this.
However, and this is where I get annoyed, Harrison has stated that Rachel and Trent will not become long term romantic partners. She has even been dropping hints about Rachel's future love interests (all current ones except Trent are no longer possible) in blog posts. This made me angry. I feel like I've been manipulated despite knowing all of this going in. The writing was so good regarding this that I believed they would become an item. Everything points to it becoming a done deal. I don't understand why she would do this, other than to make Trent Rachel's protector, which she now desperately needs to survive.
All of this makes me wonder what Harrison's long-term plan with this series is. I'm concerned about repetitiveness at this point. Rachel's predicament by the end of PD is a return to one she had at the beginning, just replace "black witch" with "demon". This is the 9th book. It almost read like the last. I could happily not read another and not just because I'm disgruntled. I can imagine what could come next but it probably doesn't match what Harrison has in store for us.
I've been questioning my commitment to this series. Kisten's demise led to a break away from it and since then I've missed him. Trent is/was someone I could see Rachel settling with because even though he has, as she puts it: a 'disrespect of innocent lives' and the law, they have great chemistry and now they care and perhaps even love (at least a little) one another. Trent has proven he'll do anything, and I mean anything, to protect what and whom he cares about so I'm failing to understand why...Oh, never mind. This is embarrassing. I'm an action fan, not a romance queen. I'm whining so it's time to shut up now. (less)
Well, all I can say is that Sabin is a better man than I.
I could never let my mortal enemy go on the whim of the person I loved, especi...moreWell, all I can say is that Sabin is a better man than I.
I could never let my mortal enemy go on the whim of the person I loved, especially after he'd just mutilated one of my brothers-in-arms and had previously murdered my best friend. Okay, I wouldn't kill him...yet, to save my lover's feelings but I'd lock him up, maybe torture him a little. That's why I couldn't give this 5 stars.
***End of Spoilers***
However, I continue to love the humour in these books:
William growled in his throat. "Anya, must you share my secrets with everyone?" He flattened his palm on the arms of his chair. "Fine, if you can spill, I can, too. Anya's the reason the Titanic sank. She was playing chicken with the icebergs." Scowling, Anya anchored her hands on her hips. "William had a bronze made of his penis and placed it on his mantle." Rather than embarrass the man, her words spurred him on. "Anya visited the Virgin Islands a few years ago and after that, all the natives started calling them the Islands." "William has a tattoo of his own face on his back. He says it's 'cause he doesn't want to deprive the people behind him of his beauty."
ROFL! I love this woman. Anya continues to brighten not only the the lives of the warriors and their women but us readers too!
Damn, I don't have the next two books. Must order them now!(less)
As a cross between TV shows Six Feet Under and Dexter for a YA audience (hmm, really?) this was a fascinating and insightful look into the sociopath...moreAs a cross between TV shows Six Feet Under and Dexter for a YA audience (hmm, really?) this was a fascinating and insightful look into the sociopathic mind of a fifteen-year old boy as he attempts to take down a demon serial killer that goes on a rampage in his small town. Strong stomachs are required for this gruesome psychological thriller with undertones of black humour. Or a sick bag.
First off, I must say, sociopathy is becoming popular, is it not?
I referenced Six Feet Under for the family-run mortuary and black comedy, and Dexter for the serial killer with rules but I noticed the one thing they have in common: Michael C. Hall. He stars in both shows. Is he Dan Wells? If not, he must be a fan because the similarities between the TV and book are uncanny. This is good by the way. I loved both.
Anyway, I digress.
Named after the actor and consequently a serial killer, and a weapon, John Wayne Cleaver struggles to appear normal in his quest to not let his inner monster out. In order to succeed he studies what he doesn’t want to become: The Serial Killer. He knows about them all: number of kills, technique used, forensic profiles -the lot. You see, if he understands their motives, what makes them tick then he can create rules for himself to prevent him from becoming...Just. Like. Them.
John as an adult?
His obsession to the outsider is unsettling as it appears he idolises and wants to imitate the killers. He talks about it to anyone and everyone, even submitting school reports on them:
”The project I did last year was on Jeffrey Dahmer,” I said. “He was a cannibal who kept severed heads in his freezer.” “I remember now,” said Max, his eyes darkening. “Your posters gave me nightmares. That was boss.” “Nightmares are nothing,” I said. “Those posters gave me a therapist.”
John comes clean with the therapist for the most part but because he’s under 18 his issues are discussed with his mother. She doesn't understand, instead she gets mad at him for things he can’t (or is desperately fighting to) control.
You see, he has many of the predictors of becoming what he fears: he’s an intelligent and insightful sociopath who’s studied human behaviours in order to understand and emulate them, he works part-time in a mortuary run by his family (helping with the embalming process so he’s constantly surrounded by death, natural and otherwise), and he’s killed and cut into animals with no human victims. Yet.
Throughout, John’s level-headedness cons you into believing he isn’t really a bad guy. There’s nothing wrong with him. He's just your typical teenager. That is until you witness one of his outbursts when he’s pushed to breaking point. The monster comes out, and he ain’t nice. It’s quite shocking as you begin to understand what John has to contend with in order to remain part of society without giving into his urges. It's a chilling reminder that he is not an innocent hero even though you're rooting for him.
In a way Wells addresses the subject of vigilantes:
’I wasn’t sad, I was thoughtful; I didn’t feel bad that ________ was dead, just guilty that I hadn’t been able to stop his killer . I wondered then if I was doing all of this because I wanted to save the good guys, or if I just wanted to kill the bad guy. And I wondered if that made a difference.’
Does it matter his intentions, altruistic or not, as long as he disposes of the murderer? But then what do you do with the one that did the murdering? You still have a killer on your hands. He may hurt someone else, perhaps a completely innocent person -a conundrum.
My favourite scene was the ultimate comeback to a bully’s comments at the school dance. John made it into a personal threat so that not only was it scary but 100% true which made it all the scarier. In Max’s words “that was awesome”. It totally was. :D
I Am Not a Serial Killer was incredibly realistic. There were moments that really resonated with me -a testament to Wells' research and a great understanding of the human psyche. Everything was so well-developed, the characters and the dysfunctional relationships all realistic, and here’s the But.
(view spoiler)[The demon. (hide spoiler)] It was so out there. The setting of the book was in the real world, nothing paranormal about it and all of a sudden we have this (view spoiler)[hideous beast (hide spoiler)]. Huh? I wasn’t quite sure if he was real or a figment of John’s imagination. Was he beginning to lose his mind? Hallucinating? Is he schizophrenic? Was he the killer, projecting what he was on to someone else? This is what studying psychology does to you. You can’t take anything at face value. Eventually I was left with a final question: Was it going to be a Sixth Sense twist ending?
Which leads me to the different ways certain aspects of this book can be interpreted. On the surface, instead of teen angst we get a fight to remain "normal", to fit in with everyone else, to be accepted by society –all classic signs of being a teenager. Perfect stuff for a YA novel, right? Sneaky.
A 15-year old taking on a serial killer is perfectly normal in the real world. It happens everyday. Maybe not. John tries pointing the good guys in the right direction. It was lambs to the slaughter. Cannon fodder. "Messy" doesn't quite cover it. So it was up to him, as an expert on killers and with an inner demon of his very own he understood how this one worked. Unfortunately he has to sacrifice his hard won control in order to fight the demon. And once the cat’s out of the bag, he can’t shove it back in. Eep!
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The first book, The Fallen had potential with a good idea but the characters were transparent, they were so thin. We were never with the characters lo...moreThe first book, The Fallen had potential with a good idea but the characters were transparent, they were so thin. We were never with the characters long enough to truly care about them so that when they died I felt nothing and wondered why it took so long for Aaron to get angry about this when generally he was short-tempered anyway. And why did it take him so long to embrace what came with his anger, his angel heritage, his power which could've saved them?
Verchiel as an adversary was so blind to his own madness it was comical at first until it became inexcusably pathetic. He knew what he was doing was his will, not God's and yet he continued with every goal he tried to achieve only hastening his own failure. Could he not get a clue from that alone that God was unhappy with him? Plus, I don't understand how his blasphemous actions: hunting, torturing and killing innocents in the name of God -haven't seen him lose his wings (literally and figuratively). All he received was a lousy lightning strike which may have cooked his ass but didn't kill him. I don't get it. Please let me in on that piece of reasoning. Others have Fallen for a lot less.
Aaron's yellow Labrador companion, Gabriel was mildly amusing and it would've been nice to see more of Zeke (Camael was a poor substitute in my opinion -very wooden) but the budding attraction between Aaron and Vilma although forced was also sort of sweet and realistic at the same time. However, the language created a very slow pace so that there was no immediacy to any of the action. 2 stars.
The second book, Leviathan was meaningless trash. B-movie stuff which reminded me of old movies like The Blob or a weird non-episode of The X-Files. I skimmed my way to freedom. There was no way I could read every word without my brain exploding in revolt. 1 star.
I doubt this book will charm the Hush, Hush crowd though it might snag the interest of young boys of about 10 who are easy to please with monsters and fire and swords, oh my.
I give up. I'm tired now having stayed up most of the night to finish this rubbish and feel I'm turning into a vindictive b*tch so I'm going to stop writing now. (less)
**spoiler alert** Ah Aeron, he seemed so without emotion (except wrath of course), so inhuman but boy were we wrong. Olivia lit his emotions up like a...more**spoiler alert** Ah Aeron, he seemed so without emotion (except wrath of course), so inhuman but boy were we wrong. Olivia lit his emotions up like a Christmas tree! I loved Aeron's story but I always find it difficult when Showalter doesn't give us a 100% happy ending. There are sacrifices made and I know these things can't always be perfect but dammit I want them to be!
As for the other characters, well at the moment I really don't like Scarlet (Nightmares) and I'm guessing she will be Gideon's. I love Gideon in this one by the way. His interaction with Olivia was entertaining!
Although I don't particularly like the path Selena is now set on I'm glad that she hopefully will be returned to Paris. It will be interesting to see how she copes with being the very thing she hates. No doubt she will be used as a pawn by Cronus to bargain with the Lords, especially Paris.
William and Gilly, aw their feelings and interactions were so sweet. I hope they become an item in the future when Gilly's a little older. Perhaps she'll be the one to make William settle down.
Galen and Legion -wow, I did not see that coming! He seemed genuinely intrigued with her right up until she tried to kill him. I wonder how he survived her poison and whether he really is intent on revenge or whether he just wants to possess her. Great stuff!(less)
EXHIBIT A: First published in hardback with this cover:
It's a mirror image of a statue symbolising the ident...more**spoiler alert** A review in book covers.
EXHIBIT A: First published in hardback with this cover:
It's a mirror image of a statue symbolising the identical twins on opposing sides in the book. It screams dark, gothic and mysterious.
EXHIBIT B: Now available in paperback with this cover:
Now this is an image of two very different girls with an airy fairy silver leaf design which is also present on every page.
I wanted to read EXHIBIT A but when it came to reading the story I got EXHIBIT B. I'll explain further. When I read the description and saw the cover for A I was intrigued, believing it would be an edgy Victorian story. Instead I got a deeply dull fluff piece where all the protagonist, 16-year-old Lia, does is walk, talk and worry. Step, blah, frown lines. Step, blah, frown lines.
I didn't finish. 160/352 pages read. Frustration won. I was defeated when I flipped through the rest and found more of the same. Oh wait, one character dies but I felt nothing even though the author attempts to elicit sympathy for their plight. It didn't work on me.
I don't have any guilt at not finishing this. There was nothing to keep me entertained. No wit, no romance -not really anyway except for an all ready established relationship with 19-year-old James from whom Lia distances herself. Alice, her twin becomes more and more...well, evil. It would've been interesting to have seen things from her perspective. Overall, a stupendous waste of time. (less)