It was good for a lot of parts, but ultimately didn't have quite the punch it needed to stand. Especially that epilogue. I've never read such a paltry...moreIt was good for a lot of parts, but ultimately didn't have quite the punch it needed to stand. Especially that epilogue. I've never read such a paltry attempt at closing a book.
Some moments of truly knock-out feels, but a lot of annoyance at the amount of naivety we were supposed to believe. If he was 6 or 7, it might've been more realistic...
A book set in the Holocaust, but ultimately not a book about the Holocaust.
And here I thought I would cry. Both this and The Fault in Our Stars were sadly not cried over at all. Guess I gave it all to The Last Unicorn animated film. (less)
While it still kept to its core of historical mystery, I was half sad and half proud of this volume for not continuing to be a typical CSI mystery series, and instead talking about historical mysteries and keeping the series neatly within the era's context.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that this volume surprised me by being so different from what I expected. Instead of more suicide-mystery victims, we got something far more intriguing.
I wish I found interesting things like ciphers in my used books. Instead I get pictures of Brad and his 10 pointer.
"Jen loves Brad." everybody.
And now its leaving me longing for the next volume. A pre-order date? Anyone?
I was kind of more than a little surprised (and impressed to be honest) how much I ended up liking this novel at the end of it. For the first 100 page...moreI was kind of more than a little surprised (and impressed to be honest) how much I ended up liking this novel at the end of it. For the first 100 pages I was in agony; seeking only to read my required amount (I give every book 100 pages to shape up, though there are exceptions to that rule), before I could smack it across the room and into my to-sell pile.
But somehow I ended up reading the next 100, and the 100 after that.
Hades' Daughter has an...interesting...plot. And by that I mean its crazily convoluted and just...well out there. Reincarnation, jumps in time, moments with a murderous Minotaur (and believe me that sounds much more fun and scary than it actually was), gods and goddesses, ritualistic, rapey sex...
Yeah, it's one of those fantasy novels. With plenty of emotional outpouring (literally and metaphorically) by the characters to boot.
I think my shelves say it all. The cast in Hades' Daughter had both a very whiny (enough to rival the majority of the YA heroines I read) and highly annoying protagonist (her tears alone....jeeze) and a bunch of idiots who get much too overworked over their jealous feelings.
And one of the main villains can't seem to figure out how to assassinate someone, even though she has the power to create crazy sea storms, destroy gods, and apparently is good at manipulation based on her ability to control these jealous idiots.
but that would ruin the plot, Carissa.
The main villain, said Minotaur, is sadly as about as interesting and compelling as our whiny, pathetic heroine, and most of his random moments made me want to jump in with a jar of tar-tar sauce and kill him, so I wouldn't have to read about him chuckling in the darkness and stroking his knife (no that is not a euphemism, I hope anyway) while waiting for his revenge.
Which, considering there are THREE sequels to this series, is going to be a lonnnnnnnnng time in coming.
Which is also kind of the reason why I'm not going to continue reading the series, even though I'm sort of interesting in reading more. I'm trying to be more selective in my reading choices, something a long 500-pages meh quartet doesn't quite cut it, plus based on the synopsis for each of them, there's a definite reincarnation and repetition theme going on, probably with some added character development.
Which, if you hadn't guessed, I'm not quite intrigued by.
All in all, while I was somehow sucked into this novel (something I'm still trying to figure out-its definitely not the writing, maybe it's train-wreck-cant-look-away worth?), its not a fantasy series I wish to continue. Too much crying. I've been there once before, with Wizard's First Rule. On the bright side, however, my reaction does bode well for my future reading of The Wayfarer Redemption. 3.5/5(less)
I love the political repercussions to the previous arc. It's definitely proof of the series' utilization of history, and it just generally makes me ha...moreI love the political repercussions to the previous arc. It's definitely proof of the series' utilization of history, and it just generally makes me happy.
Now if only I didn't have to deal with cliffhangers!
When I first started Red River, I thought it was going to be like another certain time traveling manga/anime series I follow.
But Red River e...moreWhen I first started Red River, I thought it was going to be like another certain time traveling manga/anime series I follow.
But Red River ended up being very different from Inuyasha, and focused more on both historical accuracy and the romance angle between Yuri and Kail. Its setting is also in the Hittite Empire, a place I know NOTHING about, and I respect the dedication done throughout the series, so far, to keeping it mostly accurate to that time.
(That being said, I don't know much about that time, but from my general impressions, as well as a warning to stay away from the actual history of the time, I gathered there was significant amount of historical incorporation.)
The romance is pretty shojo, and while it moves fairly quickly, it doesn't fall into insta-love standards, and is constantly being questioned and redefined by the characters-most of which occurs because of the time-travel and Yuri's status as someone from 20th century Japan. Its nice to see characters act like adults and question their right to be together due to the circumstances that surround them, even if I'm seriously yelling "JUST KISS ALREADY" every volume :P
The character interactions are definitely wonderful, and the mangakan takes the time to create relationships and friendships that are complex and deep, and don't become these side-shows to the romance between Yuri and Kail.
The politics are especially interesting in this series, and I like the incorporation and questioning of concubines and queens that goes on. In spite of the amount of magic that goes on, and it's really insignificant, this series is definitely on the side of history, and really tries to incorporate things like armies, chariots, etc... that keep it true to the setting its situated in.
All in all, while Red River made me initially compare it to Inuyasha, it turned out to be its own thing with an emphasis on history and politics that made me respect it, and a romance that had me swooning from page one.
Even if it didn't include a certain something that I love about Inuyasha.
I was initially recommended A Curse Dark as Gold as a kind of darker Ella Enchanted-like tale.
For someone like me, who read EE when I was like 14, and...moreI was initially recommended A Curse Dark as Gold as a kind of darker Ella Enchanted-like tale.
For someone like me, who read EE when I was like 14, and am now 22(3) this analogy made a lot of sense. A Curse Dark as Gold is, after all, a retelling of the famous Rumplestiltskin story, but a very, very, very dark version of it. For the 13 year olds who are reading EE for the first time, you might want to stay away from this title for a few years.
Because A Curse Dark as Gold is very, very, very dark. It is unbearably sad, creepy as heck, and twisted in all the right places to make you wonder who is actually going to make it out of this book alive. It is not a cutesy story like EE was, nor is the rampaging musical wreck the film version made it out to be, but a dangerous tale that's often more depressing than it is happy.
You know the rule that if anything will go wrong it will? Murphy's law, I think? Well this book is like a living testimony to that, because everything that can go wrong DOES in this novel. Even the things you don't expect to happen go wrong. And the things you know are going to happen happen. So by the end of it you just kind of give up on life.
That's not to say A Curse Dark as Gold is a bad book or anything. Just have a lot of chocolate and some happy movies with you while you're reading it. Because it will make you sad and paranoid and sad some more. (view spoiler)[And then you'll be relieved. (hide spoiler)]
It is, however, a beautiful novel in all the right ways. It uses language lovingly, especially for a debut novel. (There are quirks within the writing, but those are more the writer getting used to her writing than anything else.) It creates a world that's not only seeped in realism and history, but one that only touches the mystic realm of magic without it taking over the story.
Magic in this novel is especially well done, because it is utilized so little (and where it is utilized it gives you the freaking chills), while still remaining true to the historical narrative and setting. I really loved the incorporation of traditional forms of witchcraft and defenses, as well as its part in the overall tradition vs industry/modernism theme the novel held on to. Bunce does a lovely job of bringing the theme of letting go of the past, but not forgetting it not only as a large thing in terms of its relation to the mill as a whole, but even to the characters, especially the protagonist, Charlotte. So much of the novel depends on forgiveness and remembering, its fascinating how well Bunce is able to play around with those notions for her characters and their situations.
The characters were another part of the novel I really enjoyed, especially Charlotte. Realism was especially apparent here, and I loved the grayness of each and every character presented. Evil is more of a concept in this novel, something that only comes about in relation to the idea of power, while good is not quite as easy an ideal to achieve. Charlotte struggles with this throughout A Curse Dark as Gold, and it is her humaness that makes the novel truly wonderful. She is not a perfect heroine, though a strong one, but has a number of faults that get her into situations as easily as they do get her out of them. More than once I raged at her for not letting others in and help, but at the same time I could easily understand her stubborn attitude towards taking charity, and being dependent on someone else. I am like that more than I care to admit.
The romance was another realistic aspect of the novel I really liked as well. Charlotte and Randall are not the perfect couple, nor do they fall into the trap so many YA counterparts do (ie I love you but I can't be with you because I am le stupid!). They are insecure, fragile, and unfamiliar to one another, and its kind of amazing to see that realism in a YA novel, as most contemporaries today are filled with gooey romance and wayy too passionate relationships that make me question their existence. While they struggle in their relationship, its an understandable kind of struggle; one that borders on trust issues-issues they've (and I even) had since the beginning-instead of something made up to fit the plot. Their growth as people is wonderfully done in this novel, and makes me long for romances more like it.
One thing I will say negatively about the novel is that it's slow. It takes a while to move, and remains at a kind of pace that makes you wonder when the actual plot will come about. At the same time, however, I don't think it could be written any other way. The plot the novel demands really needs that slow build in order for the climax to come around, and it wouldn't be half as creepy if it had been written with a faster narrative in mind.
All in all, I really enjoyed A Curse Dark as Gold and the twists and turns I saw and didn't see coming. It's a beautiful novel, sad at times, but ultimately rewards you with all the answers to the questions you've been looking for and more. Definitely plan on reading more of her work. 4-4.5/5["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm kind of surprised by now much I actually enjoyed this novel in the end. We I first initially began Angeline I wasn't at all interested in the whin...moreI'm kind of surprised by now much I actually enjoyed this novel in the end. We I first initially began Angeline I wasn't at all interested in the whiny protagonist's religious and racial prejudices nor her decision to be a stubborn little idiot and refuse to cooperate with her masters. urg by the 65-75% mark I was surprised to realize I had developed some amount of feeling for the characters and their predicaments. Angeline's plight actually got to me for a few moments, and even though it was quickly overshadowed by her continual stupidity and naive personality, did have me actually liking her as a protagonist. Personally if the ending hadn't been so quickly realized I might've ended up liking the novel or Angeline herself (view spoiler)[ especially if it would've been Angeline herself who would've saved herself, and not have the plot depend on Stephen's timely rescue after finally, but quickly and perhaps even of sort of mysteriously, refinding his faith and essentially becoming a freaking responsible human being after emoing out for entirety of the novel. knight in shining armour syndrome much? (hide spoiler)]
Angeline is an interesting novel in terms of its themes and historical background. Set in the end of the crusades, and revolving around what is now known as the Children's Crusade, the story is essentially about the idea of tolerance and acceptance between two of the main religions in this part of the Middle Ages: Islam and Christianity. Which is kind of important for our own concerns about religious freedom in this day and age. The book is, thankfully, not completely forceful about its themes, though it does feel like it beats you over the head with the characters' revelations concerning religious freedoms.
OMG Angeline Muslims aren't terrible people? NO WAY?!
On the more positive side of things, in spite of Angeline's religious theme, characters, and historical background, the novel is never religious to the degree it can be qualified as Christian fiction, and therefore is a good fit for any reader with or without a religious background.
It's fairly typical in terms of its characterization; Stephen and the priest as well as Angeline's mistress being some of the most prominently stereotypical with their dark secrets, religious prejudices, and manipulative personalities respectively. Angeline herself did acquire some depth, but never really to the degree that I felt she became a complex character. Like I hinted at before, there is a reason she made my whiny heroine list, though it does say something that she didn't make my stupid character one when she easily could've at the beginning.
The writing is nothing really to write home about, but it does get the job done in a fairly timely manner with a good balance of description and limited 1st person narrative. One word of advice for those wanting to buy the ebook: it isn't quite formatted correctly and quite a few words are squashed together. It's never too much of a bother or makes the story confusing, but its something to be noted.
All in all, Angeline is a nice book. Not terrible, not brilliant, but normal and sadly unmemorable. A good novel for youngsters who are interested in religion or history. 2-2.5/5["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Re-read this for my Arthurian Lit class as part of a project.
Hated it the first time around, haven't garnered much respect the second time, but it was...moreRe-read this for my Arthurian Lit class as part of a project.
Hated it the first time around, haven't garnered much respect the second time, but it wasn't terrible.
Definite play on the history of the time with the Arthurian legend, lots of references to things, including religion. (Though strangely the whole Galahad thing isn't at all going on...) Lancelot/Gwen refs, etc... Sadly, no lady of the lake.
Bitch, where my Lady of the Lake at
Gwen and Morgan are played off on one another through cool-boy-like qualities and sexualized seduction abilities respectively. Lame. The whole plot twist with Gwen was, additionally, kind of annoying. Probably b/c I remembered it, and well, it didn't really 'fit' with the world Yolen created.
(view spoiler)[I mean how stupid are you at 21 to think you can suddenly be a knight and go beat Gawaine? Like really? Also who mistakes a 21 year old woman for a 12 year old boy? Come on. (hide spoiler)]
Was nice to see Gwen and Arthur as friends as opposed to lovers. Makes much more sense with the canon, though I don't think I like the fact that it ends up being Morgan's curse that will bring about Gwen's downfall.
I mean, can't she just fall in love with Lancelot and have it be her choice? No? Oh, right that whole doom thing. Yeah.
After I started to watch the anime of this, I became a (dreaded?) Inuyasha fangirl. So there was really no way I wasn't going to like the manga series...moreAfter I started to watch the anime of this, I became a (dreaded?) Inuyasha fangirl. So there was really no way I wasn't going to like the manga series.
It's interesting how close the anime and manga are, but still retain a few differences. The art is especially interesting for both, and I'm curious to see if Sessy will look more like his anime counterpart as the series goes on. He seems shorter and cuter in the manga (not a terribly bad thing) :D
All in all, I loved this and can't wait to read more! Even though I know what happens next...