I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I went into expecting something different- don't ask me what, just something different- and I was a li...moreI'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I went into expecting something different- don't ask me what, just something different- and I was a little surprised at how long it took the meat of the story to unfold.
That said, Libba Bray makes the world of Victorian England come alive. The corsets, the rigid upbringings, the expectation that a daughter was nothing more than a piece to move around the board. That was all done wonderfully. I think it was Gemma's early life in India and the freedom she experienced there (as limited as it was) that brought all that to life. Gemma feels just as trapped as the other girls, the difference being that she's tasted what's out there. Pippa, Felicity and Ann haven't.
I thought the feelings Gemma felt for Kartik rang true. She doesn't know what she wants, yet she knows she wants something. She doesn't know why she's drawn to this boy who threatens the very things she's learning to embrace about herself. Their unexpected kiss in the Gypsy camp was equal parts sweet and hot.
All in all, there was a lot I enjoyed about the book. Yet it still wasn't what I was expecting. I liked the idea behind the Realms and the Shadowlands and I'd like to see more about them, especially how they can be used. By the time Gemma and her friends are traveling to the Realms and unraveling the mystery behind the diary, I was beginning to get a little tired of their self-centered ways.
It's more than likely that I'll read the next two in the series because I'm one of those people who likes to know how things end. I guess if I take it as a glimpse at a slice of Victorian repression mixed in with some touches of magic and mayhem, I can go into it with a clearer idea of what I'm getting into.(less)
I've read the entire Dark Tower series and it always comes back to the first three books for me. I loved them the first time I read them and I love th...moreI've read the entire Dark Tower series and it always comes back to the first three books for me. I loved them the first time I read them and I love them to this day. Where the first book forces you into a fantastically realized universe where the world has moved on, this book expands Roland's quest epically and makes it so much more than simply the last gunslinger chasing a man in black across a dusty land.
Roland comes to realize some hard truths about himself. Maybe they're things he's always known and maybe not, but he sees the obsession in himself clearly. He sees what he's willing to sacrifice in order to reach his goal. And it's tragic and sad.
Physically, he falters badly in this book. His spirit is more than willing, but his body has been pushed past its endurance point and can't keep up. These physical issues also force him to confront new limitations in himself. A gunslinger who can't handle his guns is no gunslinger at all.
Eddie's and Odetta's journey is no less harrowing. Eddie must learn to deal with his addiction and Odetta has many ugly truths she has to learn about herself. Are they strong enough to join Roland on his quest and keep the worlds from falling apart? Not without Roland's guidance.
I really enjoy this series. Like, ridiculous amounts. Read it from the beginning and see why it's considered to be Stephen King's most ambitious work.
We're back with Elena as the narrator and I adore Elena. Adore her. Being the only female werewolf, Elena doesn't have any guidebook to follow when sh...moreWe're back with Elena as the narrator and I adore Elena. Adore her. Being the only female werewolf, Elena doesn't have any guidebook to follow when she and Clay decide to have kids. Tamping down her natural instinct to throw herself into the middle of all sorts of danger is only her first problem when a routine breaking and entering job for a fellow supernatural has unintended side effects. You know, the type where serial killing Zombies are terrorizing Toronto? Unraveling who and what has been unleashed becomes critical when it seems like Elena is being targeted by the Zombies. Jaime Vegas puts in another appearance (paving the way for her grand entrance in the next book as the narrator) and the Pack shows up to lend support and help fend off the rotting dead. Yeah, they had me at werewolves and Zombies.(less)
One of my other favorite werewolves (besides Elena and Clay and Nick and Derek and ... all the other guys), North American Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers,...moreOne of my other favorite werewolves (besides Elena and Clay and Nick and Derek and ... all the other guys), North American Pack Alpha Jeremy Danvers, finally gets to cut loose when he travels to Hollywood to join Necromancer Jaime Vegas as she films a TV special. With Jaime as the narrator, the two of them help right some grievous wrongs and finally take the next step in the relationship they've been dancing around for the past four years.
One of the interesting things I've seen in Jaime's character is that she was originally portrayed as the ultimate party girl. She takes home guys she doesn't know, she can play the ditzy, air-headed celebrity with easy and yet she's smart enough to know when not to rush a relationship with Jeremy because he's not mentally ready for something long term. Kelley Armstrong did a great job juxtaposing those two sides of her. Jaime may not be the smartest or the fastest or the deadliest of the Supernaturals but she wields a power that can be terrifying if not tempered with her innate morality.(less)
With Eve Levine as narrator this time around, we're taken into the afterlife and meet a few angels, the Fates, a serial killing demi-demon and draw fa...moreWith Eve Levine as narrator this time around, we're taken into the afterlife and meet a few angels, the Fates, a serial killing demi-demon and draw favored necromancer Jaime Vegas back into the fold. You know, I like Eve. Portraying her as a black witch in the previous books had me thinking that she's just plain evil. She's not. She might have a flexible moral code and she might not care if people die by her hands but she doesn't actively seek to cause murder and mayhem. There are lines that she won't cross and she loves her daughter (Savannah from previous books) so much that she has a hard time letting her go after she's dead. Once again, Kelley Armstrong gives us a new set of Supernaturals to learn about, expanding this world by leaps and bounds.(less)
The reread continues! One of the things I love most about this book is how explosively it expands the world. In book 1, we were shown werewolves. Peri...moreThe reread continues! One of the things I love most about this book is how explosively it expands the world. In book 1, we were shown werewolves. Period. Book 2 gives us MULTITUDES of new supernaturals and this little, niggling feeling there's so much more we HAVEN'T been shown yet. That's a beautiful feeling!
I had honestly forgotten how ...well, annoying Paige is when we first meet her. She's not the biggest people person and she has a tendency to barrel into things. The events in this book force her to grow up in a lot of ways, which is a good thing because we'll be seeing plenty more of her. We also get introduced to Savannah, who we get to see grow up as the series progresses. Again, it's interesting to see her as a child again instead of the confident young woman she becomes later.
But let's talk about Elena, shall we? She's settled into her life with the pack. She's happy. She has a family with Clay and Jeremy. She has a place within the social structure of the pack. Then she's kidnapped and she's back to relying on herself again. Honestly, it was hard to watch her force herself to go along with what her kidnappers wanted from her. You could feel her struggling against the desire to lash out and HURT these people constantly.
And the bad guys? CREEEEEEPY. I get the willies thinking of how they stopped seeing their subjects as thinking, breathing people and started seeing them as only experiments they could learn from.
I loved how far reaching the world building is in this book. I liked learning about the different supernaturals and how they fit together in the grand scheme of things. I just... like this whole series!
I have a soft spot for that Colonel Kenslir. He has a knack for popping in when the situation is dire and beating the crap out of the things that go b...moreI have a soft spot for that Colonel Kenslir. He has a knack for popping in when the situation is dire and beating the crap out of the things that go bump in the night. The fact that he's nearly immortal and can take a lot more damage than a normal soldier can doesn't detract from the fact that he does all this with BADASS STYLE.
And this book doesn't change that. He not only kicks butt, severs heads, and takes names, he does it all while protecting the men around him. Even when they're not part of his team and they kinda don't listen well.
Let this be a lesson to you -- don't try to show up a super soldier. You'll just look douchey doing it. No one wants to look douchey. Just let the Colonel do his thing. Even if you don't know what that thing is. He's got you covered. For real.
Needless to say, this is another fun installment in the Stone Soldiers series! While we didn't get to see the regular crew tangle with baddies, we did get the trademark ass-kickery I've come to love.