Eek. I was terrified. I'd seen so many 1 star reviews while waiting for it to arrive. Not a good sign. But I love the Sookie series, surely this book...moreEek. I was terrified. I'd seen so many 1 star reviews while waiting for it to arrive. Not a good sign. But I love the Sookie series, surely this book cannot be THAT bad. And it wasn't.
The negative - The title is horrible. The complete stories? Yes, I agree with the complaints. Especially for people setting out to discover the world of Sookie, this could be misleading.
It's short. Five short stories to be exact.
They've all been published before, in anthologies. Many fans seem to have read some or all of them before.
The positive - Despite the title, the description is accurate. If you look beyond the title, you'd know just what you're getting.
So it's just five short stories. They're all Sookie. The reason I've never read any of them before now? I had no interest in buying the anthologies that they appeared in before now. I own one anthology that has a Charlaine Harris story in it (not a Sookie story). I've found anthologies hit and miss, so I don't tend to buy them. But this is all of the Sookie short stories, in one place. Just what I wanted.
I'd always felt as though I were missing out on the story of Sookie's cousin. I knew there was a short story out there somewhere. Now I have it. We'd been filled in on this story in the novels, so it's not something we had to read. Still, it was nice to read the actual text where the events originally took place anyway.
Charlaine Harris herself starts the book out by telling us how daunting a task it is to take such a complicated series of characters and be asked to write short stories featuring them. Of the five stories, were some better than others? Of course. But the same can be said of the novel length stories. None were so horrible that I'd give them 1 star. They were all definitely true to Sookie. Still, this is only for the true fan, who has read the other books, and who wants a little filler while waiting for the next novel. If you're new to the Sookie/Southern Vampire/True Blood books, don't start here.(less)
Mixed feelings about this one. I'm a big fan of Charlaine Harris having read all of the other Sookie books and the Harper Connelly series. I was looki...moreMixed feelings about this one. I'm a big fan of Charlaine Harris having read all of the other Sookie books and the Harper Connelly series. I was looking forward to this book and consider all of her books 4 to 5 stars. This book though falls short of her usual work. That's not to say it's a bad book, it's not. It's just not great. It's simply okay.
Without giving spoilers, I'll say only that there are things that are just flat out of character for characters in the series. The final scene for example leaves Sookie really ignoring some pretty major things. She's always been a strong woman. Can someone go through so much that they just snap and change? Sure. But this doesn't feel like that. It just feels -- odd. Yes, she's capable of forgiving many things... Major things even. But c'mon there are limits to forgiveness and doing this so suddenly and completely is just completely out of character. I don't know, I can only hope that there's something I'm missing - maybe something happened to Sookie that we didn't see, she was slipped drugs or one of the supes did something to her and it'll all be explained in the next book. Because I will be back for the other books. But if there are not good follow ups explaining some of the weird changes in everyone, if keeps sliding downhill, there's a limit to my loyalty, even to Charlaine Harris. I'm sure she's still got some greatness left in her, there were hints of it here. Still, if you've not read it and you are a fan -- Do not go into this book expecting it to be as good as the others. (less)
They live among us. And who are they? Supernatural beings, of course. Gnomes. Vampires. Genies. Half this, half that. They're all here. The dog you wa...moreThey live among us. And who are they? Supernatural beings, of course. Gnomes. Vampires. Genies. Half this, half that. They're all here. The dog you walk day in and day out may not be just a dog. Of course, they don't want us to see their true nature, so we don't. This would, however, explain a lot about my cat -- I'm going to start watching her more closely. Perhaps her glamours will slip one day.
Like all of us, Jane never saw any of these beings, despite being half one herself -- until one day they make themselves known to her. They'd watched her from afar and would have let themselves known to her -- someday, if they felt it necessary. And then she stumbled upon a murder scene that affected their world. So, of course, they were forced to welcome her with open arms. Or some were, anyway. This turns Jane's otherwise boring life upside down. In good and bad ways both. The town outcast can always use some excitement, after all.
There's a fair amount of pop culture references in this book, which typically makes me a little nervous. It makes me feel as though it might leave some people out. Sure, my mom will get the MC Hammer reference, but some other the other songs or movies that were mentioned? Maybe not. Still it worked in this book, most are popular enough that almost anyone would have at least an idea of who/what they were -- that or the names alone gave you an idea of what they were about. So, my usual pet peeve when it comes to this, went right out the window and I ended up finding it charming -- That Jane was so often chatting with herself using books, movies, songs, etc as reference points to compare her own situations to.
The cover explains to us that this book is a must for Sookie fans. I agree. It's written in the same fun spirit as the Southern Vampire Series. A totally different world though. The Sookie world really focuses on Vamps and shape shifters. This is a bit of wow who ISN'T here. 5/5. I'll be back for the next book.(less)
Why do series writers not know when to stop? Stop! Stop! Stop! While we still like you enough to buy future books unrelated to the series you've kill...more Why do series writers not know when to stop? Stop! Stop! Stop! While we still like you enough to buy future books unrelated to the series you've killed. Please stop taking advantage of my devotion. I may never read you again if you keep this up. Oh and yes, I get it-- he's just like Jason, but not. how many words must you waste to say that? Filler, filler, filler. Yes I realize the author won't read this, just venting.(less)
Jack "Pagan" Henderson is a vampire hunter. Not just any vampire hunter, a rather famous one. The kind that has television shows and smutty novels nam...moreJack "Pagan" Henderson is a vampire hunter. Not just any vampire hunter, a rather famous one. The kind that has television shows and smutty novels named after him. Parts of the world have gladly accepted the vampires -- the USA for example, where they've even been given some rights. Pagan, however, works for the Ministry in the UK. They don't see the vampires in quite the same light. They've not welcomed them in, not given into their charms. Instead they've seen families slaughtered, had homes destroyed, etc. So they fight them. Jack, obviously being the best at this job, hence his fame.
In this novel we learn how Jack has ended up as a hunter, how his team came together, their backstories, etc. And finally we follow them on their current mission -- take down one of the three major leaders in the vampire world.
My only gripe is the frequency of detailed weapon accounting. That could just be me though. I'm not into weapons. It all went over my head, I starting skimming a lot of those paragraphs as really you could have just told me really big guns and had the same impact. Still I can see why some people appreciate that kind of thing.
In the end it felt like this was really just a introduction to what could be an even better series later. Not that this wasn't a good novel, it was. Just when I read the teaser for the next novel, I felt like AHA this one was just to introduce me to the characters -- the next one sounds so much better. But that's a good thing, authors should make me want to read on. (less)
The book just prior to this one, Nightfall, had gone so far off track that I'd been quite worried for the series. I decided to keep reading because ri...moreThe book just prior to this one, Nightfall, had gone so far off track that I'd been quite worried for the series. I decided to keep reading because right at the very end of that book, we'd gotten hints of what would happen next. Aha! Is there hope that it will get back on track?
Yes. And no. With this book, it did and it didn't. Some of what was so odd in the previous book is back. The wings -- they're still here. I guess once they were introduced it was too much to hope that some of the really more out there things would just be forgotten. There would be good reasons to forget some things or at least leave some things out. You see, it felt as though L.J. Smith perhaps crammed too many story lines in and yet why? Some seem to never go anywhere. I know, I know -- teasers for the next book perhaps? Sure. But again why?
The book ended with one main event that could be the whole theme for the next book. Instead there are several story lines from this book leftover, barely touched, yet clearly major plots. They really did nothing for this book. For example, without giving spoilers: There's a somewhat major character who has what should be a major major storyline going on. It was basically mentioned in passing with only one real scene of the book devoted to it, after that - it's here, it's there, but it's treated very casually. No resolution but also no real build up to make me care even though it is so obviously a huge story, so I assume it'll be completed in the next book. But the way it was handled in this book? Well, I'm at the point where if it's never mentioned again I'd probably not care, why should I when it feels as though the author doesn't? The next book could start with that character just dying off and I'd shrug. Nothing was done to make me care. Not good when dealing with somewhat major characters and something that should be uber dramatic, potentially affecting the whole town.
There were minor characters I cared for more than some major ones just because they were actually given more character / page time even though I find myself asking why.
Ah, but the saving grace -- Damon. It's really his series now, even if it was supposed to be Elena's originally. And then Stefan's. And then Damon's. It's all Damon holding this series together now. The way he likes being a vampire and toying with people but in the end not really being cruel - that is just too fun. And maybe even Elena, she might still be helping this series too. I found myself asking "Okay Elena make up your mind -- Are you a good person or a horrible egotistical wench?" Those two things keep me interested -- watching Damon struggle with who he is and watching me struggling with trying to figure out who in the heck Elena is. Do I like her or wish they'd all run far far away from her?
Everyone and everything else is so all over the place that it could be there or not. I do like when larger groups of the characters get together. Those dynamics are fun. But somehow every time it seems like that's just about to really go somewhere, it's rushed through and then back to Elena or Elena/Damon or Elena/Stefan. And the romantic aspect isn't working as much as just the individual aspects of Elena and Damon at this point.
I thought that the original books were 5 stars. Nightfall was 3, though I was being generous and giving extra credit to the good parts and not dinging the bad parts as much as I should have. This? I'm torn. I have to rate it higher than Nightfall. If only there were 1/2 stars. I'm not sure if I should downgrade Nightfall to 2, so I can give this 3 -- or just cave and give this 4. I think I'll give this the benefit of the doubt and go for 4. But ONLY because Damon saved it some.
I will read the next book. I want this next Vampire Diaries book only to see how it ends. It really is time for it to end. Or for Damon to just get his own series and stop pretending this is a series where the others matter, they obviously are after thoughts or word count fillers at this point. It's time for L.J. Smith to focus on her other books and just let the guys with the tv show take this baby over. I'm looking forward to her Night World book more than I am the next Vampire Diaries, sadly. (less)
I think I'll start this review with what I didn't like. It felt as though there was some questionable editing. Not something I usually notice, errors...moreI think I'll start this review with what I didn't like. It felt as though there was some questionable editing. Not something I usually notice, errors happen, even with good editors. Humans make and miss mistakes no matter how perfect we'd like them to be and who am I to complain, I'm neither an editor nor a writer. Still, when *I* am noticing them, it's probably a problem. (Ex. "She looked around her, hers eyes darting over every face...." Hers eyes?).
Also it felt like the author struggled to find words at times. I was starting to get a serious case of déjà vu about the hundredth time that she knitted certain characters brows to express an emotion. I was also left wondering how many time one could intimate something. There were times that things like this made me want to finally just say: you can use other words. It's actually unfortunate as I do feel that those things distracted from a fairly decent story. Which leads to what I did like, the story itself.
Prophecy is a vampire who has been locked up in her home, for... well she doesn't seem to know how long. In fact, she doesn't seem to know much of anything, including why all of the other vampires get to hunt whereas she does not. When she asks her mother when she'll be allowed to hunt with the others in their family, she is told only that her time will be soon. Impatient, she sneaks out, meeting Valentine. Valentine being a fellow Vampire. A forbidden fellow vampire as he belongs to a different bloodline. The rules are very clear in this vampire world. Vampires do not consort with vampires of differing bloodlines. Except in their case, it appears they may not have a say in the matter, as we quickly learn that perhaps her name is not just a name. There is a prophecy and depending on who you ask it's either about the fate of vampires or maybe of the entire world. And yes, Prophecy is smack dab in the center of said prophecy. The problem with this prophecy is that there are two takes on it. Valentine will have to choose between staying true to his own family by killing Prophecy or risking his own life (and hers) to find out which version is the truth.
And now onto what I'm on the fence about. Generally when reading a series I like for the book to be its own book. Sure, there will be continuing story lines, but each book should stand on its own. This is not really that. It ends with a major cliffhanger. I'd prefer that not to happen until later in the series once I'm more invested in it. I feel as though I HAVE to keep reading, like it or not, as this adventure isn't yet done. Luckily, despite its flaws I really do care about the characters enough to WANT to know what happens, otherwise I'd be ticked that I'd have to buy the next book if I want to know about how the adventure from this book ends, not to mention the fate of a major character is left up in the air.(less)
I said in my review of the first book (Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm)) that it was a good thing I liked the characters and overall story en...moreI said in my review of the first book (Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm)) that it was a good thing I liked the characters and overall story enough to buy this, the second book, otherwise I'd have been ticked, as the cliffhanger that ended that first book had been so huge that it left me feeling the story was incomplete -- yes even for a book that is part of a series. As if to prove my point, this book picks up almost right where the first book had left off. Unlike some books that are parts of a series there is no recapping of the prior book. I literally went from reading one book to the other and felt as though all I'd done was moved on to the next chapter. So make no mistake, these are not stand alone books.
This one starts with Prophecy on the road with Venturi, the guard who had been standing next to her at the end of book one. They're off to find Valentine. And, of course, they still need to figure out this whole prophecy thing so they can save the world. Along the way we once again meet the three witches, Elena, Mathias, Kalinor, Arkalus, and some of the others from book one. And, oh, we meet who appears to be the oldest vampire! There's battles to fight. Deaths. More questions. And yes, even some answers. Sorry, that's all I say. I'd not want to spoil it for you.
I gave the first novel 3 stars. Primarily because of two things: 1) I'd felt the author was at a loss for words at times. Repeating herself often enough to frustrate me. 2) The feeling, as I said, of it not being a completed book.
This book, is definitely better and so I'm giving it 4 stars. There were still a few times when I felt as though I'd seen that same expression or word a few times too many, but the writing in that sense is greatly improved in this book. Also, I did feel as though this story had a completed adventure even as it left us on an cliffhanger that will surely lead to an even bigger battle in the third book.
I have decided to move onto Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising (Vampires Realm). Whether I continue on with Vampires Realm after that, we'll see. But for this Prophecy trilogy aspect, I don't see how you can start it and not finish.(less)