A very solid anthology - only wish I hadn't been impatient and had bought the paperback version. Enjoyed all of the stories, though didn't quite conne...moreA very solid anthology - only wish I hadn't been impatient and had bought the paperback version. Enjoyed all of the stories, though didn't quite connect on an emotional level with the character in Feral.
The Monsters Below by Lyn Gala deserves special mention as it brought me to tears in the best way possible. This story was one of the most perfectly written tales I've had the pleasure of reading. The characters, the pacing, the action, the world building and the overall storytelling blew me away.
I know many of these great stories and inventive sci-fi worlds will stick with me for some time!(less)
**spoiler alert** I had high hopes for this book as the blurb and first couple pages really grabbed me. The beginning of the book was great and I real...more**spoiler alert** I had high hopes for this book as the blurb and first couple pages really grabbed me. The beginning of the book was great and I really felt like I connected with the characters and the plot.
Then they got on a boat and everything changed. I realize pacing is difficult to do and that sometimes an author will want the reader to slow down as the characters experience a long, trying event/journey, but the trip to America was painful. The characterizations began to fall apart and I had no idea who I was traveling on that awful ship with anymore. The espionage plot kept me going, however.
In America, I hoped things would get back to the same level of consistent and engaging characterization I'd found in the first section of the book. But the chemistry had died between the main characters and felt forced/contrived. I gave up on liking Arianne and admittedly skipped ahead to see if things got better. Instead, the conclusion of the political/espionage plot was anti-climactic and I felt that Rafferty deserved someone much better than Arianne. Her reaction to his "return from the dead" at the end left me cold. It might just be my bias based on my other favorite genre of romance, but I felt Rafferty and Phineas were better suited to one another romantically if not sexually. Or it may just have been the juxtaposition of a relationship with chemistry vs. one that started with a bang and fizzled out for me.
The quality of the writing was solid, however, and there were several interwoven plots building this book into a complete story from start to finish. I loved the use of historical details and events, especially about a time period I'm not terribly familiar with. The intrigue elements did keep me guessing, but mainly because I expected something much more nefarious to be going on (like Rafferty's best friend being involved with the enemy, which probably would've been too obvious to work well anyway).(less)
The terrible errors (which I half want to blame on the editor) almost made me put this book down and walk away, but I liked the characters so much tha...moreThe terrible errors (which I half want to blame on the editor) almost made me put this book down and walk away, but I liked the characters so much that I kept reading. Still, if I had started reading this one at the store and noticed a (secondary) character's name change due to what looked like a typo within the first five pages I definitely wouldn't have bought it.
The story itself was amusing and the ending was very satisfying. The POV felt a little head-hoppy in places but it wasn't distracting.(less)