All I can say is WOW! I know I gush about these books but they just keep getting better. This book was rough on my emotions but it is probably one of...moreAll I can say is WOW! I know I gush about these books but they just keep getting better. This book was rough on my emotions but it is probably one of my favorites of the six in the series.
Anna Belfrage is an amazing writer and I think that was especially evident in this book. She makes her characters so real that you could almost feel the same things they were feeling. The Grahams fell on some hard times in this book and there were several parts that had me in tears. One of the reasons that I like these books so much is that they 'keep it real'. The Grahams are an extraordinary family but they aren't immune to the hardships of the real world. They in American colonies in the 1600s, life wouldn't have been easy and Ms. Belfrage doesn't try to sugarcoat what life would have been like. I also think she did an excellent job of dealing with some really tough issues as they related to some of her characters. There were a few characters who experienced some really horrible things and I thought she treated them so respectfully in the way she described the events and their aftermath.
I enjoyed getting to know some of the secondary characters more in this book. I found Lucy to be so interesting. She did some bad things and wasn't the nicest person on the planet but it seemed that really all she wanted was a little attention. Her fascination with the little painting/portal made me wonder if she'll play a larger role in future books. I also liked getting to know Sarah as a character and enjoyed seeing the friendship between Sarah and Father Munoz grow. The Burleys...UGH. I hate them so much and wish they would go away and never come back. They are some of the worst villains I have ever read about and are right up there with Black Jack Randall on my list of characters I despise. I knew they were a bad bunch but this book just cemented how awful they are.
After some of the events in this book, I am curious to see what role 'the present' as Alex knows it will play in future books. I really want to know what Isaac is doing now so I'm hoping he will show up again. I am super excited to read the next book but a little nervous at the same time (I read the preview segment, and all I have to say is WHY???). Seriously people, if you haven't read these books yet, what are you waiting for? 4 1/2 stars. (less)
Likes: This was a no nonense, suck you in immediately kind of read. There was action and adventure that began in the first few pages and followed thro...moreLikes: This was a no nonense, suck you in immediately kind of read. There was action and adventure that began in the first few pages and followed through to the very end; I definitely could not stop reading. The characters were great and I like that the story wasn't predictable. There were a lot of twists and turns that made for an exciting read. I also liked how the romantic aspect of the story didn't overpower everything else that was going on. It had the best of both worlds (good romance and good action).
Characters: Aedan was a cool hero. He was a good guy who had to engage in questionable activities in order to help his sister. I didn't always agree with his actions but he was incredibly likable. I do think I have been watching too much Game of Thrones though, Aedan has a scarred face and I had a hard time not picturing the Hound as Aedan in my mind. Whoops. Anne is a tough little cookie though at times she made rash decisions that got her into trouble. I think that added to her appeal in my mind.
Milene and the sheriff were excellent villains. The sheriff was so freaking awful and Milene was such a heartless word I won't put in my review. They were so bad that they were 'good'. I love when a writer can make you feel a strong sense of hatred toward the villains in the story!
Overall: This was a really fun read that would be a perfect addition to your summer reading list. 3 stars.
Likes: I have only read one other book by M.J. Rose but after finishing The Collector of Dying Breaths, I am convinced that I need to read more! I was...moreLikes: I have only read one other book by M.J. Rose but after finishing The Collector of Dying Breaths, I am convinced that I need to read more! I was kind of feeling like I was in a reading slump and this book pulled me out completely. Once I started reading, there was no stopping! I loved how the story jumped between past and present so seamlessly and how connected the two were. I also enjoyed the romantic aspect as well as the creep factor. It's not really a mystery novel but it definitely had a creepiness to it that I really liked. One of my favorite aspects of the story is the author's descriptions of perfumes: the smells, the ingredients and how they were made. I felt like I could almost smell the specific perfumes as she was describing them.
Characters: Jac is such an awesome character. Her ability to connect with past lives is fascinating and made for an exciting story. I also really liked Rene Bianco. His rise from obscurity to be such a powerful force at the court of Catherine de Medici made for great reading. He was a very complex character; he was a master at creating poisons for Queen Catherine but at the same time, he didn't like that he was responsible for so many deaths. I've always found Catherine de Medici to be a really interesting historical figure and I'm still on the fence as to how I felt about her in this book. There were things to like about her (saving Rene) and things that were not so likable.
Dislikes: I didn't really 'dislike' anything about this book but I would have liked to know more about Melinoe. She was definitely a very 'unique' person. Her father's death was just so weird and all the shady things she did while working with Jac made me very curious about her life in general as well as her very odd relationship with her step-brother.
Overall: I loved this book. LOVED. 4 1/2 stars.(less)