I really enjoyed this one. I liked seeing Sydney grow more and loosen up. Adrian was also funny and more appealing here. He grows and makes changes an...moreI really enjoyed this one. I liked seeing Sydney grow more and loosen up. Adrian was also funny and more appealing here. He grows and makes changes and that's nice to see him go from being just a rich playboy in the Vampire Academy series to a more rounded character by this point in the spinoff series.
Things definitely heat up between the two though as this is YA and the romance is very tastefully done without any real sex scenes or detailed descriptions.
Definitely curious to see what happens next as it ends with quite a perilous situation!(less)
I got this as part of a six-book set Nook books on bn.com and the first two in the collection were kinda eh. So this one was a bit of a fresh...more3.5 stars
I got this as part of a six-book set Nook books on bn.com and the first two in the collection were kinda eh. So this one was a bit of a fresh air. I enjoyed it and while it was far from perfect, I was entertained throughout the story. It's not deep reading but it kept a solid pace and had an interesting set-up.
I'd read the next in the series to see where it continues from here. I liked the various types of powers and would like to know more about the fae which I hope is explored a bit more in the second one.(less)
Even though I was very pissed that Caine jumped the shark and made Bryn an actual flesh eating zombie at the end of book two which made me not want to...moreEven though I was very pissed that Caine jumped the shark and made Bryn an actual flesh eating zombie at the end of book two which made me not want to continue reading the series, when I came across the fact it was the final book in said series, I figured what the hell.
It was ok. SO much non-stop fighting, chasing, on the run and just go-go-go which felt more filler than plot. The ending was a little too sappy but it did resolve relatively well.
I still hate zombies but at least there really wasn't much of that to be had.(less)
Hrm, this is a tough one. Technically it's the first in a series. But it's not the first series about this character. So there is a METRIC TON of back...moreHrm, this is a tough one. Technically it's the first in a series. But it's not the first series about this character. So there is a METRIC TON of back story you *sorta* get in weird bits and pieces. Like, apparently at one point she was human, then there was this whole Garden of Eden, Adam, Eve, Lilith, being turned into a demon thing that you kinda get told about but in bits and pieces. Made it a little hard to understand motivations and such when you're coming into a story so far already in progress.
It wasn't bad and it seems interesting, but I think this is NOT the place to start with this character.(less)
The book was interesting but was hampered for me by several things. First is that the book has not been edited for an American or non-European audience. This makes for some awkward terminology ("tyre" and "kerb" for example) as well as references to places and things I wasn't familiar with. (Grant kept mentioning shutters on windows and I wasn't sure if she meant some kind of blind, or what. Being from Florida, I kept envisioning metal hurricane shutters which seemed a bit much but without any frame of reference or explanation, I'm still not quite sure how to picture them.) It's not unreadable because of this, but for someone with little European point of reference, it might be a little bit challenging.
I liked the idea of sneaking into unused and abandoned places but I liked the concept better than the execution. Especially at the beginning, when they went into the old castle, THAT was something I enjoyed more then breaking into rich people's homes. That felt more wrong.
Veerle's mother was such an annoying character throughout that it was hard to reconcile any sympathy for her and I even got annoyed at Veerle for tolerating so much of the nonsense. It just seemed so over the top.
It's obvious given the prologue who the bad guy is so there's no real mystery there.
The worst part was that the book literally just ends. BAM. I was like, where's the rest? It felt like Grant was typing and typing and telling a story and then hit an unbreakable line in the sand and so had to just stop typing and call it finished. You get literally half a sentence about Veerle's Mom, one sentence about Kris and but literally no more than that. You're just left hanging.
Apparently, there will be two more books in the series but I did not know that upon reading it and nothing in the novel says anything about the continuing story or whatever so it just felt extremely abrupt and unsatisfying.
Overall, the book was an interesting tale and looking past the slight oddities of situational and language differences that were a little hard to get through at times, and despite the really lackluster lack of ending, I would look into book two to see where it goes from here.
Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children" was the initial draw for me to pick up this anthology as I'm a fan of her work. It was just ok thou...moreMixed bag.
Kelley Armstrong’s “Suffer the Children" was the initial draw for me to pick up this anthology as I'm a fan of her work. It was just ok though. Felt it ended abruptly too. About 3 stars.
David Liss’s “A Bad Season for Necromancy” was the surprise stand-out for me. I liked the setting and felt the story flowed well. 4 stars
“Pipers” by Christopher Golden was well-written and solid progression of story (you can never say Golden can't write; he's quite prolific!) but it fell a little flat for me. It was good but not great. 3 stars
“Alive Day” by Jonathan Maberry is not the kind of thing I would normally ever read. VERY heavy military story, set in Afghanistan and just not my cup of tea. Minor supernatural thread throughout but I found the book slightly off-putting and confusing. 2.5 stars(less)
The first story I did not get at all. It was really hyper and random and had no sense of actual plot (pesky things like beginning, middle and end....moreMeh.
The first story I did not get at all. It was really hyper and random and had no sense of actual plot (pesky things like beginning, middle and end.) It also had nothing to do with the Undead and... series. Total fail.
Second story was ok. Still a bit hyper and disjointed but had enough information that even though I've never read the Fred the Mermaid books, I had a passable time getting through the story. Besty comes off slighly more coherent here (at times) but it's annoying how characters from the Mermaid world are simply clones of the Undead world. (Like Fred's friend is a Marc clone except, no he's not gay, just uber metrosexual. Whatever.)
Third story was not as bad as the first, but not as good as the second. (Not that the second was really terribly good to start.) It takes place in the future and makes awkward attempts at poking humor at "outdated" things (as in, things from the 2000's) Always comes off hokey. Also, I just didn't feel like I knew or terribly cared about the characters since they don't actually exist in the "present" of the Unead books in that form. (i.e. the main character, Laura, is a toddler I think currently.)
All in all, just a week trilogy of stories. Absolutely no need to buy this one. In fact, there's little reason to even read it since none of it directly relates to the Undead series at all.(less)
I was interested in the book since I still fondly recall how much Imagination sparked my own imagination and sense of wonder since my first t...more3.5 Stars
I was interested in the book since I still fondly recall how much Imagination sparked my own imagination and sense of wonder since my first trip to WDW in 1984. Figment and Dreamfinder hold special places in my heart and I was curious to learn more about the characters, the creation and the back story as it were.
The book does get into a bit of that, but it's not just about that. It's about Schneider's history in theater, amusement parks, etc. from his early days of visiting Disneyland as a child through various jobs ranging from dinner shows to theme parks and more. He's been all over the place apparently. I never gave much thought to the scope of the actor for whom the singular character was my only prior point of reference.
And while all of that was interesting from an autobiographical sense, really, I thought the meat and bones of the book was going to be more JUST about Dreamfinder. And it wasn't.
The other issue is that Schneider comes across in the beginning as a wide-eyed kid full of wonder and spunk, but by the end, you feel he's got a bit of a self-inflated ego. Everything HE thinks is - or often rather would be - flawless and perfect, if it weren't for those meddling managers! (Said in the Scooby Do villain voice.)
I've know this kind of person before. Having been VP of Drama Club, worked in theater, doing voice overs, plays, etc. [oh so many years ago] myself in my younger days, I encountered people for whom there is NOTHING they are not certain they know better than EVERYTHING theatrical. They get so deep into it that they become annoying to be around because everything they do is GOLD and they always have something critical to say about others - but never themselves. Their passion is impressive but it overrides their balance and their ability to interact on a social level or business level in more moderate ways. For those who have worked directly in creative environments and have encountered these types, you'll recognize immediately as the book goes on how Schneider is so thoroughly That Type. (For those who haven't worked with creative types, well, I still think you'll see what I mean as the book progresses.)
All that said, the book was still interesting. And there's no doubt Schneider has a lot of experience and passion for the craft of entertainment and characters. But, if you're in it for the Disney-only side of things, Dreamfinder is only a small part of the book, so I'd caution you against buying it merely for some deep, insider knowledge of that character alone.
This would be an informative book for someone wanting to pursue a career in live entertainment (with a theme park focus specifically) because of the depth of tips and knowledge included but...I'd caution against taking it all too literal. You'll see Schneider goes through many (many!) jobs throughout his career and many of them ending due to "problems" with "management" which translates into being "a difficult to manage" employee. One needs to tread lightly in his lessons to take the truly valuable tips while leaving the slightly smug sense of superiority behind.(less)
Somewhere in the realm of 3.5 probably but good enough to warrant the extra star bump to 4 since I can't do halves.
The tone was a bit different from t...moreSomewhere in the realm of 3.5 probably but good enough to warrant the extra star bump to 4 since I can't do halves.
The tone was a bit different from the first but I still enjoyed the story. I saw the resolution coming and figured it out before it was revealed but that's not to say I didn't still enjoy the experience and the read.
Both this and the first are unique in their "voice" and I like the depth of the setting created.(less)
Very interesting premise but a lot of it I didn't like or was uncomfortable by. The fact that (view spoiler)[Lena was literally a sex slave from an un...moreVery interesting premise but a lot of it I didn't like or was uncomfortable by. The fact that (view spoiler)[Lena was literally a sex slave from an unbelievably degrading and masochistic book really was off-putting and downright creepy for me. (hide spoiler)]
The idea was neat and there were some interesting uses of the magic but it felt a bit all over the place. A bit sloppy in the "rules" of what could and could not be done, some muddling of ideas and just general rushing without any real plan or idea. Felt a little like the author just wanted to cram it all in there as fast as he could to keep you from realizing a lot of it wasn't that great.
So it was alright but not as awesome as I had hoped it would be.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Really excellent. I very much enjoyed this installment in the series. There's a lot of Big Things that happen and the pacing keeps the story progressi...moreReally excellent. I very much enjoyed this installment in the series. There's a lot of Big Things that happen and the pacing keeps the story progressing at a quick - but not breakneck - pace. We learn more about Toby's magic, her family (including her Mom), and sweeping changes for the region come to pass. Additionally, we learn some secrets and things are officially revealed.
I put the book down and was pained that it was over. I can't believe I have to wait another year to get more of this world! LOL
Wonderful book. Obviously, we're so far into the series at this point that it is NOT a suitable stand-alone volume but for those who have read the series, this is definitely one to pick up as soon as possible.(less)
This is somewhere between 3.5-4 stars but I felt it deserved the 4 star bump for rating purposes.
Obviously Armstrong is most known for her Women of th...moreThis is somewhere between 3.5-4 stars but I felt it deserved the 4 star bump for rating purposes.
Obviously Armstrong is most known for her Women of the Otherworld series; books I've read and enjoyed. So I wasn't quite sure what to make of this new adventure. And, having completed the first novel in this new series, I have to say I'm still not sure exactly.
It reads a lot less obvious supernatural/fantasy then her other books though there are teases and hints at things to come. Part of the problem is the pacing; if you're waiting to get a big reveal by the end of the book you'll be disappointed. Nothing is resolved and Olivia is no more informed about the "other" things than the reader is by close of the book.
I believe this is intentional on the part of Armstrong to make the series less about the otherworldly and more about the storytelling/mystery/character building. And, as the book goes on, I certainly come to like Olivia and Gabriel much more than I did at the start; there is growth and depth that happens as the book progresses.
Still, it's much less fantastic then I thought it would be and I felt a little frustrated at having read the entire novel and still only having hints and teases about the greater picture.
I did enjoy it and I will read the next but I do hope that things pick up a little more in the big "reveal" part in the next novel or I can see a lot of people - likely myself included - wandering away and losing interest.(less)
I had so many problems with this story. From the sam...more(I actually read this version: The Stardance Trilogy but I wanted to review each story separately)
I had so many problems with this story. From the same old rehashing of the villains to the repetitive themes and elements, a lot of this felt like it was weird filler that didn't actually mean anything except passing time until the big ending.
That big ending however, was what I truly despised about this book and what made me give it only 1 star. The entire series tells us - and even the basis of the story for this book and why Rand needed to go to space on such short notice - that some people simply cannot adapt to space. That they are born "perpendicular" and absolutely require a horizon. And yet, the culmination of this book (view spoiler)[ every single human on the planet is forcibly ejected off said planet and forced to become a Stardancer. So....how does that work exactly for people who literally cannot live without "up" and "down?" Who knows.
Not to mention, it makes so much of the book moot. Why get into all these weird random "miracles" like cities being completely repaired and revitalized and weird almost "living" buildings sprouting up all over the planet if everyone's leaving anyway? What was the point? And what did the whole "spontaneous" healing stuff (like the dancer's ankle) have to do with anything?
The Fireflies seems like a bunch of asshole landlords kicking everyone off their planet in the name of "growth." Why is that a good thing? Why is leaving Earth behind supposed to be so awesome that they forced it on the entire human race?
Then you also have to think about the small things like millions of people's pets trapped in houses that are just going to die because the humans float off into space. Why does it make sense to just leave an entire planet and every other species behind like that? Why would this be a grand design? It just makes no sense. (hide spoiler)]
I didn't like it. I thought it was pretentious. I thought it was nonsense and I also thought it was creepy rather than some amazing gift. This whole series as a concept was a lot neater to my 12-year old self obsessed with space than my 36-year old self who can look at it with mature eyes and see it's really just a weirdly preachy, frequently racist, and all-around hooky attempt at superiority in the form of faux-enlightenment drivel.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It wrapped up the "main" part of the story but left a lot of things without closure (or even mention. (view sp...moreIt was alright. Not horrible, not great.
It wrapped up the "main" part of the story but left a lot of things without closure (or even mention. (view spoiler)[Like you have no idea what happens to the other syndicate or Cam and Liv for example. (hide spoiler)])
It wasn't as dark and bleak and hopeless as the other two so that's a plus. But I felt like it was a Big Deal that Sera was (view spoiler)[double Skilled and they made a big deal about her needing to learn how to control it and yet, they wound up just shooting Julia and it didn't even come into play. It's like Vincent couldn't figure out how to actually use the set-up she wrote. (hide spoiler)]
So it was ok. Mostly felt like you got some conclusion to the story but while it was an interesting setting, it just wasn't as interesting a tale. Surface, it was a great concept, but in the depths of the trilogy...eh, not so much.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Probably about 3.5 stars but definitely not a 4 star so I'm leaving it at 3.
By the end of this book you wonder if this is it for the series. It ends i...moreProbably about 3.5 stars but definitely not a 4 star so I'm leaving it at 3.
By the end of this book you wonder if this is it for the series. It ends in a manner that feels as if most (but definitely not all) things have been nicely tidied up to give a level of completion. So as I finished the final pages of this one, I felt a little weird, wondering what - if anything - was next for Jayne and company.
You learn a lot more about Jayne, her family, Eric and all in this book. There are quite a few "ah ha!" moments in the sordid tale that brought them all to this point. Someone also FINALLY thinks to even slightly ask about THAT DAMNED TATTOO on her back which has been the freakin' elephant in the room as far as I'm concerned this entire series. (Seriously, it'd annoyed the ever-loving crap out of me that no one thought a thing of it despite the fact it's on every cover and mentioned multiple times every book!)
The other thing is I'm not sure I understand exactly how (view spoiler)[Jay wound up being host to the Graveyard Child. We hear about how Jayne's mom was "hollowed out" so she could be a vessel for the Black Sun but when was Jay hollowed out? They made it sound like it was quite an involved process to really make someone ready to host the Graveyard Child and yet I don't recall getting ANY info on when/how that happened to Jay. I thought it was a good twist, but just one I didn't feel was adequately explained in an attempt to make a "dun dun dun!" reveal moment. (hide spoiler)]
I have liked how Jayne and the Black Sun's Daughter have come to a nice balance with each other and that's a topic that definitely didn't fully resolve. So I hope if there are more books to come, we get more story and completion of that very important part of the series.
Decent but left me a little confused due to to the ambiguous ending.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was a pretty solid anthology. Most were enjoyable. Don't buy it for the Sookie one though; it's very short and not very good.
I especially enjoyed the Jane Yellowrock one (by Faith Hunter) and the Kate Daniels one (by Illona Andrews.) I also was pleasantly surprised to learn that the actress who played "Tara" on Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, Amber Benson, is an author now. Who knew? (Not me clearly.)
There weren't any horribly unreadable stories in the bunch and even ones I wasn't familiar with were enjoyable enough to be read without all the backstories. I generally either enjoyed or at least appreciated the story in each of the 13 tales within.(less)
This remains one of my favorite series I'm currently reading. I always look forward to the next and thankfully, Neill doesn't keep me waiting for year...moreThis remains one of my favorite series I'm currently reading. I always look forward to the next and thankfully, Neill doesn't keep me waiting for years between books! :)
I enjoyed this one (as I do most all of them!) and some rather large things happen. I'll be curious to see how these major events play out.
For the entire first half of the book, I truly wondered if ANYTHING was going to actually happen in the story or if it was all going to be fi...more2.5 stars
For the entire first half of the book, I truly wondered if ANYTHING was going to actually happen in the story or if it was all going to be filler. I was halfway through the book and nothing had actually happened. Just the same old rehashing of past events in a rapid-fire, confusing nonsensical vomit of words as always. (Seriously, tone down the vapidness of Betsy's inner monologues a little! It's nearly impossible to keep up with!)
Through the second half, you do get some actual progression of story. Some big things do happen. There's a jarring point-of-view change that was highly confusing at first but eventually settles down into something readable.
All told, this installment was better then some recent ones though not as good as the earlier stories. At least, when you get through the first half of the book, you are rewarded with actual plot.(less)
This is a complex book to review. I admit that I was worried about the premise; I didn't want it to turn into some kind of preachy, thinly ve...more3.5 stars
This is a complex book to review. I admit that I was worried about the premise; I didn't want it to turn into some kind of preachy, thinly veiled ad for religion. Thankfully, it's more mystical and mythology-based so far and doesn't come off as an ad for any specific religion.
It's hard to get into as it feels like a story and world fully established and already in progress. As another reviewer pointed out, it was 80-odd pages before the term, "Gemman" was explained for example. It's not to say you can't follow along, but you are not spoon fed information, rather it is slowly revealed as the story goes on. But initially, it can make you feel a bit lost as a result.
I found the book interesting. The concept and style were unique. I've read nearly everything by Mead and have always appreciated her skill as a writer and the depths to which she fully realizes a world and setting. This book was no different.
I'm knocking a little off for the steep curve in learning about the setting and details simply because it takes a little too long to fully make sense of all the little intricacies, but I did enjoy it and will look forward to the next one.(less)
This is a series I really look forward to. I really enjoy the creativity of the world created and how unique it is. Kate continues to grow as a person...moreThis is a series I really look forward to. I really enjoy the creativity of the world created and how unique it is. Kate continues to grow as a person and in her skills and power and it's very exciting to see her progress and where it's going to go. We get to see some forward movement in Kate's magic skill in this and some hints of future abilities to come. It's tough because you want to see her all uber badass, and yet it's really good how the progression isn't all at once and she as a character needs to learn and grow. Wise of the authors but darnit, I want more now! LOL
This installment was quite different from the previous ones as you are immediately taken out of Atlanta and in a very different setting. I felt like I cut through this book like a ship through water and couldn't believe when I came to the end. It seemed too quick! (Even though the book is a good, solid length, it's a series I enjoy so it always feels like it goes quicker then it really does.)
There's a big surprise moment at the end which came as a hard blow but it fit in with the events and though harsh, wasn't meaningless. I'm curious to see the ramifications for this in upcoming installments.
Really, all that's left to say is, when is the next one?! I can't wait for more. Ilona and Gordon, you guys have me hooked! :)(less)
Note: I'm actually reading this version: The Stardance Trilogy but I'm adding them separately so I can review them individually. Though, WOW, I rememb...moreNote: I'm actually reading this version: The Stardance Trilogy but I'm adding them separately so I can review them individually. Though, WOW, I remember this exact cover when I read it originally as a kid.
This book was written in 1991 (versus 1977 of the original) so while it's still a bit dated in 2013, it's much LESS dated than the original. It's also reads a lot less straight out of the Summer of Love mentality. (Though it's still quite a bit "free love" mentality in that there are no sexual taboos and public nudity is A-OK because you're all going to be telepathic and thus "naked" when a Stardancer so feel free get it on! *eyeroll* Apparently anyway.)
I liked the main character in this one better. And it felt more complete a story. Though it's still weirdly un-PC; calling people "Oriental", bad guys being bad Chinese and Muslim stereotypes, weird part where a character dies because she's too politely Japanese to say she's running out of oxygen (hu??), etc. And it wraps up and ends VERY quickly. Like big finish, next page it's over.
It's still a neat idea and you don't need to read the first to read this one. But it's definitely not a current book and it's still a little odd and quirky at times, inspiring some annoyance and eye-rolling. Not all the quirks are amusing, some are aggravating.
I read this when it first came out and I was 14 or so and it was interesting to read it again. I found I remembered the feel and gist of it, but a lot of it was "new" to me after so many years. I'm glad I re-read it simply because I remembered it fondly as such a neat idea as a girl. I still think the idea was neat though I'm a tougher critic at 36 than 14 and so I wasn't as blindly enamored by it this time around.(less)
Note: I'm actually reading this version: The Stardance Trilogy but I'm adding them separately so I can review them individually.
Stardance is just OK....moreNote: I'm actually reading this version: The Stardance Trilogy but I'm adding them separately so I can review them individually.
Stardance is just OK. It's not bad and it's probably more of a 2.5 but I can't give 1/2 stars in my rating. The thing is, this book was written in 1977-79 (first as a short story; later expanded to full novel length) and it reads like it. It's very outdated and really comes from a mentality of 70's "hippies" and that "crunchy granola" culture of the era.
Everyone in the book smokes pot. All the time, in all kinds of environments (including space!) without comment. And while I'm not crazy anti-drug, it's just overdone and feels forced. There's a frankness about sex that's also very firmly part of the time period and it makes this book definitely not YA friendly. I just think it's a bit too mature in it's approach to drugs, casual sex and other adult themes for a young reader.
The book also suffers from being heavy-handed on a pseudo-philosophical level, trying to be much too full of it's own self-importance. It waxes poetical about EVERYTHING and much of it just noise trying to make the author feel special.
Oh and there are vast technical inaccuracies in the book (such as the multiple times he discusses playing audio and sound in the vacuum of space) but those can be [mostly] overlooked as a product of the time in which it was written and lack of knowing better.
At the end, the extremely bad stereotype American bad guy is such a disgustingly trite character, he becomes parody. It's insulting how often Robinson manages to blatantly slander Americans throughout the book. It's just stupid and needless.
In addition to repeatedly disparaging Americans, there's also a lot of things that are very dated in terms of being not politically correct.
The idea is interesting, but too much of the story is spent on attempted literary masturbation by the part of Robinson and just winds up being uncomfortable to watch [read] a lot of the time.(less)
Solid story with Elena and Clay as the main characters with side character, Morgan making a re-appearance from a previous "Otherworld" novel.
Coming in...moreSolid story with Elena and Clay as the main characters with side character, Morgan making a re-appearance from a previous "Otherworld" novel.
Coming in around 260 pages, it's a decent length and feels like a fully flushed-out story rather than a short story. It's nice to have a chance to read additional stories in the "Otherworld" world since I have enjoyed them greatly. Despite the main series being complete, these additional novella-length stories are a really nice bonus.
At $5.99/ebook it wasn't cheap but it was long enough not to feel ripped off. The formatting of the ebook was great without any problems on my Nook.
I will definitely continue to look for additional novella-length (or greater) stories like this and I appreciate them being released as e-books for those of us unable to buy all the fancy, Limited Edition printings.
Fans of the Otherworld series, especially those of Elena/Clay will enjoy it. Though I will put a slight caveat that this is not a "werewolf" story. If you're expecting a lot of Pack or Mutt or time spent as wolf, you would be disappointed. I appreciated that the story was able to be told without it needing to be all about the supernatural side of the characters. (It does play a role, but it's not the main focus.)(less)