When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her—the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon, she was c...moreWhen Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her—the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon, she was consigned to a fate beyond death until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back. Now Elena is not just human. She has powers and gifts that were bestowed on her in the afterlife. What's more, her blood pulses with an overwhelming and unique force that makes her blood irresistible to any vampire.
I'm not going to sugar coat anything. This book was awful. Now I will agree that sometimes a book can start out slow and redeem itself by the end. Sometimes a book can have a great beginning but fall flat. But this book never took off. I was confused and annoyed by the silliness from the beginning and it got worse from there.
To be honest, I did not finish the book. I read half way and threw it down in disgust. It's a book that’s pretending to be a sci-fi work that uses anime as a reference. It’s made up of pages and pages of scenes and conversations that go nowhere, chapters that end in odd places, changes in POV that shift for no discernible reason.
It seems like LJ Smith has been cooped up in the house with every season of Sailor Moon for the past 10 years. The villains are kitsune twins, who look like Pokemon and act like Team Rocket, spout stereotypical Japanese words, and seem to generally fail at being anything other than vaguely annoying and really attractive. Or how about this harsher description: Evil Japanese twins that are incestuous, sadistic, and absolutely ridiculous (cartoonish would be accurate).
Then there are suddenly random Japanese families in Fell's Church who, of course, randomly provide clues. I'm suspecting Smith of some cultural racism because these characters border on parodies of Japanese people and folklore. Lastly, Elena's healing and flying powers all have thematic names, which she yells out as she's executing them: “Wings of Purification!” and “Wings of Redemption!" Cue anime music please.
Did I forget to mention the angry sentient trees from the angry Old Wood that has suddenly appeared in Fell's Church as though it's been there all along? And giant invisible insects made of jell-o that seems to be causing a rash of possessions in Fell's Church?
As for this being a more "adult" L.J. Smith--I could not disagree more. Gratuitous violence and sophomoric sexual overtones do not an "adult" novel make. "Adult" indicates a depth and maturity that exists nowhere on these pages. Instead we are forced to endure absurd musings over lingerie while someone is dying, euphemisms for sex that are utterly juvenile, and implications about sexuality that are at best offensive and at worst irresponsible. All of it is as far removed from the very adult, very subtle themes of the original series as to be absurd. In ”Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries: The Return, #1)”, there was no deeper meaning or affect, and I felt like I was watching a little kid curse for the first time and giggle.
College should be an exciting time, but for brainy 16-year-old Claire Danvers that's too mild a word. Due to advanced placement, Claire can start coll...moreCollege should be an exciting time, but for brainy 16-year-old Claire Danvers that's too mild a word. Due to advanced placement, Claire can start college early, but her parents refuse to allow her to go to the distant Ivy League school of her dreams. She goes to Texas Prairie University where she is tormented by the popular girls—but that's the least of her worries.
After innocently making a bad impression with the reigning Queen Bee of Cruel, overnight Claire turned from simply unpopular to walking punching bag. Claire decides to ditch her on-campus lodgings in favor of an off-campus abode hoping the old 'out of sight, out of mind' adage will do the trick. Even though she isn't exactly crossing her fingers.
As luck will have it, Claire manages to stumble across a listing for the Glass House: occupied by Michael Glass (owner and local man of mystery), Eve (bubbly goth girl), and Shane (slacker hottie who likes x-box)--all of whom have secrets galore. In "Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1)", Claire discovers her sleepy college town is actually controlled by vampires and that none of her roommates (Claire included) are currently under the protection of a vampire--effectively branding them all as fair game. Suddenly Claire's got a lot more to worry about than just midterms.
"Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1)" had strengths and weaknesses. The most interesting thing about this book is the way Caine set up the vampire/human relationship structure in the city of Morganville. The type of society she has set up is pretty neat. But when a clique of psychotic popular girls is decidedly scarier and far more vicious than the vampires controlling the city, something doesn't seem right. In this first installment of a series, the vampires were unfortunately very much one dimensional, and aside from Amelie (she seems less interested in bloody deaths and widespread property damage and more interested in maintaining power and protecting her assets, a trait that no other vampire in the novel seemed to exhibit), uninteresting. The plot reads like a cross between Mean Girls and a bad horror flick. The book ends with a cliffhanger, but I just don't care enough to pick up the next installment to see what happens.
This collection of original tales comes from some of the most popular, and best-selling YA writers, including:
Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney >>...moreThis collection of original tales comes from some of the most popular, and best-selling YA writers, including:
Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney >> Contains the start of a possibly good paranormal romance story between a reluctant vampire (who still feels the need to be accepted by her puritanical human family) and the son of one of the most feared vampire hunters.
Shelter Island by Melissa de la Cruz >> A succinct short story featuring a vampire literally making his way back home--as his means of getting away from a dark force which threatens to devour him. De la Cruz didn't disappoint with this one.
Sword Point by Maria V. Snyder >> Intertwining vampire lore with the age-old practice of fencing as a way of defeating the creatures of the night. Original storyline but dry presentation.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black >> Despite the unappealing title, this proves to be one of the better stories in this anthology. Here, vampirism is treated as a disease by the world government but the youth can't seem to distance itself from the sensual allure which beckons them.
Undead is Very Hot Right Now by Sarah Rees Brennan >> The idea of a vampire being a rock star was started by Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat and this one proves to be an insult to that. As I was reading it, I can't help but feel that Brennan is treating this as one big joke.
Kat by Kelley Armstrong >> Sci-fi genre involving cloning humans and vampires to produce half-breeds, anyone? If you want to be led into one seemingly endless chase after the heroine who's only a vampire protector, then pray continue reading.
The Thirteenth Step by Libba Bray >> Now this one is quite fresh and original in it's perspective! It actually reminds me of De la Cruz's "Blue Bloods" series but in more gruesome light. A gem among the short stories featured in this anthology.
All Hallows by Rachel Caine >> Seriously, a vampire attending a Halloween party who got misled by a couple of high school jocks and ends up getting rescued by his human girl friend dressed as Catwoman? Enough said.
Wet Teeth by Cecil Castellucci >> An angsty piece written from the perspective of a vampire who hasn't had a date since he was turned.
Other Boys by Cassandra Clare >> The usual paranormal romance fluff of a premise but comes with a surprise ending. It really did redeem itself with only a few lines towards the conclusion.
Passing by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie >> Features graduation rites of vampire hunters of the Academia Sagrada Familia Contra los Vampiros--sounds promising and I wouldn't mind picking up a copy if the authors decide to expand the story into a novel.
Ambition by Lili St. Crow >> A story which went nowhere, in my opinion. It wasn't clearly defined exactly what kind of night creature the antagonist was, including the process of turning a human into a vampire.
All Wounds by Dina James >> The story started out as realistic fiction but comes barrelling at the reader with an overload of information about the supposed supernatural healing abilities of the protagonists. Honestly, it was hardly worth the time I spent reading it.
There is a lot of variety here despite the common theme. Some of the stories were heavy with the horror theme while others were a bit lighter to the point of being ludicrous. I love anthologies since it gives me the chance to sample the works of other authors previously unknown to me. But in this case, I'm afraid I'd have to pass and stick to the authors I'm already following.
Title The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire Author Edited by Trisha Telep Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
"The world will be built new for you morning. If you stay here, you can have whatever you want." "You really don't understand, do you? I don't want wha...more"The world will be built new for you morning. If you stay here, you can have whatever you want." "You really don't understand, do you? I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn't mean anything. What then?"
Both Coraline's parents work at home, and sometimes she feels a bit ignored and bored. Nevertheless, she is encouraged to explore and so she does. First her neighbors. Having run out of people, Coraline investigates the premises. Her flat is most unusual; it has 21 windows and 14 doors. Only one door is locked, and that only leads to a brick wall.
Well, most of the time it does. On some occasions, it opens up on a world just like this one, where Coraline finds her other mother, other father, and even other neighbors. At first it seems quite nice, people pay more attention to one there, the toys are better, and, of all things, the cat talks.
Soon Coraline finds all is not quite as it seems. Everyone has buttons for eyes, her other mother has strange hands that seem to have a life of their own, and there are a remarkable number of rats. In fact, if you dig deep enough, things are really most horrible. Coraline has much to do to make things come around right.
"Coraline" is full of sinister atmosphere -- it's easy to tell real kindliness from the creepy parody that the "other" people exhibit. With singing rats, soulless children trapped behind a dark mirror, a doughy grublike "other" person, a bag of beetles eaten like candy, two "other" people melted into a monster, and a clawlike disembodied hand searching for Coraline, it's full of things that will terrify and excite. The easily frightened or grossed out should avoid this book, but those who revel in the over-the-top ickiness and horror will enjoy it.
You could say that it's Gaiman's ability to touch the sources of wonder and fear without the necessity of excessive gore and grimness.
Title Coraline Authors Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)