I seriously had no idea this was vampire lit.Yes, I should have realised, but, come on, this was my first experience of the genre! (I do not include TI seriously had no idea this was vampire lit.Yes, I should have realised, but, come on, this was my first experience of the genre! (I do not include Twilight, because apparently it deviates from every-single-vampire-myth-known-to-man, and as such is considered an abomination. (Like, whatever.)) Added to which, I'm like the vaguest person on earth.
The plot twist... I thought it was just me, so I ignored the fact that there was no foreshadowing. But apparently foreshadowing is good, and thinking it over, some of _that_ definitely would have been nice here. Because I was like 'What? Have I missed something here?' I went back and checked about two or three times to see if I'd just skimmed over somthing major. I've been known to do it before (read: Pirates by Celia Rees, where I didn't see the part where this girl chopped the evil dude's head off. That was pretty big). But no! I really wasn't meant to see this coming. For me, that is big news. I always miss stuff. Kinda knocked me for six.
Following this revelation, I thought, "Wow, how did Claudia Gray/Amy Vincent keep this going for so long without hinting at it?" You get me. I actually thought this was a triumph. Even though it doesn't quite seem right, I still kinda do, because, to me, a plot twist should completely and utterly render you speechless. Which this one did. So I completely forgave her, and I totally stand by that. As I have said, though, now that I think about it, a little foreshadowing would have been nice. Gray could have pulled it off just as well.
I'm rating it three stars because I'm going to have to go back and read it again to remember what happened. I remember enjoying it a lot, though. And I got over the plot twist thing. Seriously, unless there are plot holes or interesting characters who never pop up again, I don't complain. MacGuffins, lampshading, the lot. I'm fine with it. That probably says something Freudian about me as a reader.
I'll come back after I've read it and add some more review about the characters, plot, writing style and dialogue, etc, while I can still remember....more
People are saying that the romance seems a little tacked-on. I don't think so. It's subtle throughout the book. After all, she was jealous of Miss AngPeople are saying that the romance seems a little tacked-on. I don't think so. It's subtle throughout the book. After all, she was jealous of Miss Angorian, and there was that whole thihng with the red suit, and I know this isn't going to make sense to anybody who hasn't read it, but whatever. The romance was real.
Also, the movie totally butchered this book....more
Man, I was so burnt-out when I picked this up. I'd just Had It. So I went to the library and just wandered, picking up a book here, a book there, andMan, I was so burnt-out when I picked this up. I'd just Had It. So I went to the library and just wandered, picking up a book here, a book there, and putting them all back. Finally I saw this book and I just thought, Yes! Chick lit!
I'd had enough of the heavy stuff. And so I just plunked myself down on one of those dark-blue couches you find in any good library and started reading.
And I saw myself in Samantha. It's kind of ironic, since she's a high-powered lawyer and I'm only a student. But over the course of the novel, she learns how to live, and that's what I needed.
This book carried me away for an afternoon and I just read and read. I wouldn't put it down.
So I'm recommending this book to anybody over fourteen who's just plain old tired, because it's funny and simple, but not that shallow....more
I didn't lke this as much as The Duke and I, and it lost one star for the graphic descriptions, which pulled me out of the novel as I had to keep skipI didn't lke this as much as The Duke and I, and it lost one star for the graphic descriptions, which pulled me out of the novel as I had to keep skipping. But this was still a good summer-type read. Julia Quinn has a great way of intertwining some other, non-romantic themes into her books, which i think is what has pushed this book from the harlequin-type romance level into the ranks of the 'real' publishing industry. I'd still hide the cover, though......more
Ah, controversy. Gotta love it. Or not. There are a couple of good points here, but they're mostly overshadowed by some very shaky theological claimsAh, controversy. Gotta love it. Or not. There are a couple of good points here, but they're mostly overshadowed by some very shaky theological claims and a buncha !^%$#!@ that happens to go against Biblical teaching.
Plus what's with the deifying of William Wallace? And why can't I like Gladiator's bloody battles, etc? Why does it have to be a man's prerogative? Hell, that's the reason I watched it in the first place!
If I'm so manly, then I claim the right to chest hair and a beard. I think I'd look good in a moustache. And also some big manly muscles and an taste for beer. Richmond vs Collingwood, anyone?
The whole thing has made me want to go check out more of human nature and the Bible, which can only be a good thing, I suppose. I know this guy's heart is in the right place, which is good, but the method of expression... not so good....more
Bringing closure to the Cain and Abel dance between Soren and Kludd, this book is what I like to think of as the 'final' in the Guardians of Ga'HooleBringing closure to the Cain and Abel dance between Soren and Kludd, this book is what I like to think of as the 'final' in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. Indeed, when I was younger, as the first six books were the only ones the library carried, I thought it was the final. It mostly centres around Otulissa's plot to invade the St Aegolius Canyons, which have by now fallen to the Pure Ones, and, were there no more books in the series, would do a credible job of wrapping it all up.
For a Ga'Hoole book, it was excellent. All the owls are dropped into a new land, facing the perils of the Northern Kingdoms, which gives Lasky scope to reveal new aspects of their characters.
I especially enjoyed reading the sections with Otulissa and Gylfie--they are great foils for one another and I've grown to love Otulissa for her intelligence, cunning, ideals, upset outbursts, and of course, her unintentional moments of humour. Probably the best example of character development in the entire series with her sudden but understandable turn to a colder, less charitable version of herself. And yet she is by this point my favourite.
Twilight, on the other hand, has a scene of shocking cruelty, one of which I do not understand and which Lasky makes no judgement on, though the situation richly deserves it. Apparently it's all right to harass a group of vultures who just helped you out even though you shore their tailfeathers off, simply because they aren't owls. Twilight is a character I like, but at this point I like him in spite of himself.
Digger, as always, never gets enough screentime.
And Soren is one of the most likeable, thoughtful characters I've ever read. As far as I can tell (I've read up to about book 10), this is the last book that focuses much on him. I'm sorry to see him lose the limelight.
The richness of the owl culture and history as always sucks me in, with all its cheery poems, songs, and Twilight's chants (raps, really). Meanwhile Lasky retains a subtle but firm touch of the mystical, with ice weapons that never dull from an ice spear that never melts, and Soren's starsight dreams, which are excellent foreshadowing, and are rarely if ever used in a heavy-handed way. The epic tone of the story is still there, bolstered by the aspiration of the owls to be better versions of themselves, and Lasky's use of telling rather than showing at times, which hearkens back to the songs that bards would sing. They are the Chaw of Chaws, the best of the best, and they will fight for their freedom.
However, the elitism of the story also proves its undoing. The Burning loses a star, as any Ga'Hoole book always will, for Lasky's blindness in creating a band of noble owls fighting against a supremacist and rather racist cult, when they themselves behave in exactly the same way towards other birds (seagulls, puffins and vultures come to mind as especial victims). Not to mention the nestmaid snakes, who are practically enslaved by the owls, and who seem to revel in their servitude. Lasky makes no attempt to comment on this beyond actually praising this order of things, which I find quite despicable.
I also dislike that Octavia seemed to naturally take on such a role in becoming Ezylryb's nestmaid snake after she had such a different life before she was blinded. As though that were all she were good for, and all she aspired to!
The scale of the book was again off, and I, a long-time fan of the series, don't actually know how much time has passed since the series began. I thought it was a year, two at most. Apparently it was "summers and summers ago". And yet Soren and the rest of the band, whilst they have grown and changed over the previous books, are still very much adolescent and do not seem to rank any higher in the Tree than a fairly talented group of teenagers would in the real world. Meanwhile, the number of owls in the Tree is still unexplained, and when you're talking war and invasion, it gets confusing.
This book would have gotten five stars had it not been for the severe moral flaws within--however, the rest of the writing and worldbuilding is good enough to overcome it--and it has to be good. The Guardians of Ga'Hoole is a series that somehow, against all odds, rises above its unsightly flaws to live up to the nostalgia it evokes in me. The nostalgia of a different and more naive time, in which I was a different and more naive young girl....more
It's very, um, thick. Full of detail. Like, so much detail that it's about a third of the way through before the plot actually really begins. Mitch waIt's very, um, thick. Full of detail. Like, so much detail that it's about a third of the way through before the plot actually really begins. Mitch was kinda flat, though. Everybody was treating him as though he was a much more rounded character than he really was. I mean, I'm not complaining: John Grisham still managed to keep me reading, but maybe that was just because there were people conducting subterfuges.
Still, the lawyers not suspecting what was going on, when they had all the EVIDENCE in front of them, is so stupid. I mean, they're LAWYERS! The trickiest people on the planet! Not only that, they're lawyers who work for the MAFIA! Surely they wouldn't just take the first explanation they see of the evidence?? Surely!
Surely not, according to Grisham. So, yeah, I can see why he sells, but not why he sells that well.
Two things that also really disgusted me: one, that Mitch cheated on his wife near the beginning, and the photos of him in the act were used to blackmail him, and then at the end he never confesses. If he cared so much, why not confess to her? Sure, it would hurt her, but doesn't he love her and respect her enough not to lie to her?
The second thing was that the women in the book were constantly written as though the author was salivating over them, and wanted all the guys to join in, which I personally found really degrading.
I can't really see myself ever reading this one again, and I read everything again....more