This is a book that stole in on hushed slippers, the tiniest jingle of golden bracelets barely an echo, a susurrus of waves lapping against gondoliers...moreThis is a book that stole in on hushed slippers, the tiniest jingle of golden bracelets barely an echo, a susurrus of waves lapping against gondoliers, and the chiaroscuro shapes that shadows bring before dawn can break. Once the sun rises you know the story has finally ended.
It is clear that I do not have a way with words like Ms. Chase does. She created a beautiful world of sight and sound and story that drew me in from the first page. I admit, I wasn't expecting that, but once I surrendered to her world I found it beautiful in only the way that tragedy can. This is not really a tragic book at heart but there are deep dark corners of it that some might find uncomfortable. For all that I found it to be breathtaking. This is a book that I want to put away in and forget about and read again in 5 or 10 years time down the road. (less)
4.5 stars; I found this to be an enormously entertaining read with really well-thought out world building, good characterization,...moreGOODREADS ARC WINNER.
4.5 stars; I found this to be an enormously entertaining read with really well-thought out world building, good characterization, solid writing style, and a mix of both great and rather obvious plot points. It was those self-same easily spotted plot points that makes me notch a half star down and round a bit down to 4-star rating, rather than five.
This story takes place in Bulikov, the Divine City, the City of Stairs, and what was once the powerful heart of the Continent. War displaced that heart, killed their gods, and a former colony rose up from the ashes to rule. Saypur is now the uncontested power player in this story as those left in Bulikov dredge through the filthy husk of their formerly beautiful city, a city that once was full of miracles like magic and gods who listened intently to their progeny. Killing those gods killed their city and it collapsed in upon itself. Or did it?
We follow a few key players central to this fantasy noir and little by little get drawn in to the world until it seems only natural to understand what is happening around our protagonist(s). I can only thank the author for such clear communication and such an easy path to follow to take us to the end. My only wish would be to evenly slightly obfuscate some of the plot hints that were a bit too obvious. This not take away at all from the enjoyability of reading this book and I highly recommend it!! I will happily read anything else this author puts out!
If you like this style of writing I think I'd also recommend checking out Max Gladstone's Craft series starting with Three Parts Dead or Jeff VanderMeer's Cities of Saints and Madmen. If you want something just a bit softer try Cathrynne Valente's Dirge for Prester John books that starts with Habitation of the Blessed.
All filler and no substance. The entire book was babies, sex, and appearances. I know that I once really liked Laurel K. Hamilton's books but for the...moreAll filler and no substance. The entire book was babies, sex, and appearances. I know that I once really liked Laurel K. Hamilton's books but for the life of me I can't remember how long ago that was; too many books have turned into this. Both the plots of Merry Gentry and Anita Blake have become far too repetitious, boring, and dare I say predictable?(less)
I admit I've been a huge fan of Ms. Goss ever since I chanced to buy In the Forests of Forgetting so many y
...moreAdvanced Readers Copy from Papaveria Press.
I admit I've been a huge fan of Ms. Goss ever since I chanced to buy In the Forests of Forgetting so many years ago. I was hooked on the beautifully simply way she wrote that was subtly provocative, ethereal and incredibly evanescent in a wistful dreamy fashion that I had not come across before. It's hard to put into words, really. To be offered a chance to review her new poetry anthology was a dream come true and her poetry did not disappoint. There was all the lyrical mythology that one has come to expect: still pools deep in the forest, raven men and heart-broken brides, elves and Death and so much between. I cannot give this collection justice but what I can say is find it, read it, enjoy it. You will not be disappointed.
So are all the other storybook creatures that kept you awake at night. Luckily, there...moreGOODREADS FIRST READS WINNER
The monster under the bed is real.
So are all the other storybook creatures that kept you awake at night. Luckily, there are heroes as well – and, hell, everything in between because stories are real. Those bits of fiction live in another realm called Story which isn’t so far away from the mortal realm. You never know who might be hiding in your high school, your neighborhood, your city.
This is a story centered on a very special half-story/half-mortal 17-year old named Tessa Battle. Unsurprisingly she is more than meets the eye; she is the Last Scion, the last of her line who can kill storied characters and when they are slain their whole mythology dies with them. As only Tessa can cause true death she is a force to be reckoned with in the Storied realm. It’s just too bad that all she really wants to do is drool over hott (yes, double "t" which kind of makes me want to hurl) boys, go shopping, and eat junk food.
I’ve got to admit, I really liked the idea of this novel – quite a lot – I only wish that it was elevated from a simple young adult urban fantasy to something a little bit deeper with more complex writing, better plot twists, and less drooling on the hot boys. Just because a story is YA doesn’t mean it has to sink down to simplistic YA tropes. My biggest problem with this novel, though, was the author not knowing when to show rather than just tell the story as it progresses. It made it harder for me to delve into this new world when I was told he said this, she thought that, their feelings were this, everything else was that. The story came in a bit too heavy handed and a bit more nuanced writing would go a long way to flesh out this world more into three-dimensions rather than sitting flat on the page. Also: keep track of weapons - where they are, what they are doing, who had them, and what happens to them when they are discarded. A bit of proofing and editing wouldn't go amiss here.
With that said, I did very much like the artistic elements of the book. The book binding was done with care and the glossy colored art pages that came with it were awesome! I also liked some of the myriad mythological and storied ideas found in the pages and if I didn’t particularly like the use of Jeff the “Shiki” that is only because I’m a Japanese mythology aficionado which probably makes me a bit of a snob. I think fleshing out the characters themselves might have helped a bit as most of them started falling firmly into stereotypes pretty quickly – the love interest, the side-kicks, the disdainful pretty girl, the mysterious-and-potentially- bad hot male (who doesn’t cause tension for the main love interest, oh no), etc. etc.
All in all it wasn’t a bad story, just one that needs a bit of work - on fleshing out the characters to remove obvious stereotypes, on world-building which had a good start but needed a bit of follow-through, and on the simplistic writing style that told the reader too much rather than showing the reader the actions, and feelings of those within its page. So with that in mind, I’d call this a solid 3-star story.(less)
I'm always down for mindless urban fantasy reading but little by little this series has gotten on my nerves with ridicul...moreI give up. I finally give up!
I'm always down for mindless urban fantasy reading but little by little this series has gotten on my nerves with ridiculous plot holes, wearying banter, uninspired character descriptions (how many people have blue or green eyes with wavy hair?!), and overall a completely forgettable set of main characters. I know the UF genre is glutted with these kind of stories, especially in the past few years, but I keep hoping that some new creative spark remains. Alas, I was wrong. I can't even think how I made it this far through the series if not for the fact that I've been on some rather long bus rides recently and it was what was on my Kindle. So. Dropped.(less)