very satisfying ending to a kick-ass series. Dru gets stronger and hardened. Graves goes through some changes, Ash is evolving. Dru puts her foot down...morevery satisfying ending to a kick-ass series. Dru gets stronger and hardened. Graves goes through some changes, Ash is evolving. Dru puts her foot down with Christophe and a few other people. There is a lot of danger, horror, fighting and strange things going on. There is a wicked final fight between Sergei and Dru. The dialog between all the characters is very well done - the teens sound like teens. The dhampir sound like centuries old men stuck in young bodies - the the vampires are creepy. The glimpses of Gran and Dru's father are great - I love how Dru draws on their voices and remembered advice, almost like they're ghosts residing in her head, when ever she needs the extra strength they give her. There is no Happy Ever After ending - you won't get that with any of this author's books - but you will get good endings with possibilities. And you'll get a good story with wicked fights and dangerous situations. Kick-ass ending to a kick-ass series - with kick-ass characters. Enjoyed it thoroughly.(less)
Terry Pratchett has done it again. Put out a book that had me engaged from the beginning to the end.
Snuff features Commander Vimes of the City Watch (...moreTerry Pratchett has done it again. Put out a book that had me engaged from the beginning to the end.
Snuff features Commander Vimes of the City Watch (of Ankh-Morpork) being strongly encouraged (forced) to go on vacation with his wife the duchess and his now 6 yeard old son, Sammy. As usual, nothing is as simple as a vacation - there's something going on at his family estate.
Goblins are being persecuted and a form of Shanghai slavery is going on. It unfolds gradually, with Vimes catching a whiff (really, the goblins have a strong odor) of what's going on and not stopping until he gets to the middle of things.
Not only is he getting involved in a rather long lasting and complicated intrigue, but his son is getting involved with the family estates - via poop. Yes. He's beginning to learn about farming and animals (and science and biology) by studying poop - and what little boy isn't happy with that?
I enjoyed the usual mix of humor, dry wit, a bit of social snark and wonderful action scenes via Pratcett's writing. He's is a genious with words. I love the way he keeps two or three action scenes going on at once, going back and forth with micro cliffhangers between the differing characters. Love this type of writing and Pratchett is a wiz at this.
If you're a fan of Terry Pratchett, you're going to enjoy this latest novel very much. I really believe he is a genius at social satire, as well as writing suspensful yet funny, engaging stories. I love all the discworld novels, and this one is just as good as I expected from Pratchett. I hope to be able to read many more by Terry Pratchett.(less)
I don't read many short stories, though I do enjoy them occasionally. I recently (just now) read The Drorgon Slayer's Choice by Tahlia Newland and fou...moreI don't read many short stories, though I do enjoy them occasionally. I recently (just now) read The Drorgon Slayer's Choice by Tahlia Newland and found myself enjoying the fantasy/light romance.
Julia is on her break from work, hoping to get some coffee when she bumps her head after a fall. After dusting herself off, she sits down and notices that everything is brighter, she can see and hear better....and oops! Suddenly she's seeing some disturbing things. Like a giant octopus and people fighting this thing. Only no one else seems to notice.
What follows is an entertaining beginning of a romance. Julia follows the fighters to a new location and gets noticed by one of them- a handsome one. The rest is kind of a sweet beginning to a romance. And even though I'm not really into the romance formulaic style of writing, I enjoyed this, because it wasn't too heavy handed with all the romance buzzwords about how hot people are. I found Ms Newland's style of writing easy to read, and the dialog (which can be a deal breaker for me) was fitting. Of course, this being a short story - things move a bit fast, and there's an interesting fantasy twist to the heaven and hell (differing planets).
For the price of a candy bar, you can read this short story yourself, and it's less calories than candy. LOL. Give it a try - Tahlia Newland has a fine writing style and can sure write an entertaining read.
cover - On her website, Ms Reeve has notations or quotes up about the "wretched" covers. I kind of like the cover, however the one thing that gets to...morecover - On her website, Ms Reeve has notations or quotes up about the "wretched" covers. I kind of like the cover, however the one thing that gets to me is the blond hair - the character has short dark curls, not flowing long blond locks. Also, I don't remember her carrying a large gun anyplace in the book, or even the sequels. But you know - how covers can be. I still like the cover though.
I just love SciFi - especially SciFi with space ships, implants and enhancements, and bigger than life scenarios. This trilogy has it all - even a tortured, flawed yet strong female character. Ariane Kedros just doesn't give up.
Ariane Kedros has a past, one with a different name, different face and slightly older face than she has now. She's in a program to protect her identity because of her history of following some orders that destroyed a solar system. Even though her identity is supposed to be secret, seems someone knows or has guessed who she is.
Ariane works for Aether Explorations - is part of a two person crew. Her other job is as reserve military, and sometimes undercover work for a Colonel Edones. In this novel, she's assigned to be part of an inspections team as two former warring factions are dismembering their weapons of mass destruction - these weapons can destroy whole solar systems...like in her secret past.
Ariane also has a problem - she's an alcoholic who practices extreme self control with the exception of her occasional binges. Being an N-Space pilot necesitates her using certain drugs, so that complicate matters.
So off Ariane goes, to her new assignment and her undercover second assignment - to be bait for someone who is systematically murdering her former crew-mates...and the plot thickens.
I enjoyed this book so much. There is intrigue, suspense, fighting and interesting characters. The dialog is superb - sounding real and never over dramatic or forced. I also enjoyed all the SciFi elements, the ships, the space travel, the weapons. There were sections where info was woven into the story, but it didn't feel heavy handed - it was handled in an interesting way, so that I wasn't left feeling like I wanted to skim over parts, or wanted to nod off. That's probably not easy to do when writing SciFi or any type of novel where you have to basically invent a whole complete history with added beings. In this case, the added beings are the alien Minoans. They are this super law abiding species that has extended a helping hand to humans, helping them to achieve space travel. Only they might have a hidden agenda. Many are afraid of them, because they can destroy quickly and have almost magical technology.
There are two other books in this series - Vigilante, and Pathfinder. At this time, I've finished all three, and enjoyed each one.(less)
cover-Like the first cover, love it...however, the gun and the hair don't really match the story - small potatoes though when compared to the other fa...morecover-Like the first cover, love it...however, the gun and the hair don't really match the story - small potatoes though when compared to the other factors of the cover. I LOVED this series. Emotionally scarred, functioning alcoholic, n-space pilot, military reservist with undercover assignments, mixed feelings for her civilian boss, a job on an exploration ship, Destroyer of Worlds, Explorer of Worlds, Ariane as Kedros, full of guilt and ghosts in her head - and that's just one woman. The other characters are just as interesting. Her military commander, her civilian boss, the newly growing Aritifical Intelligance, the spies/enemies turned "allies". This is one hell of an interesting novel full of intrigue, betrayal, twists, aliens, space ship travel and danger. Loved it.
One of the best things about this book is the dialog and the differing pov's in the narration. I guess some would call this the characterizations. Each character had a distinct voice and style. The dialog between all the characters was so believable because it all read so naturally - all the differing characters had their idiosyncracies and manners of speech. I feel like I might be raving a bit, but sometimes in these SciFi books, the dialog can be a bit....over-dramatic or overly formal to denote a different planet or country. These all meshed nicely. Some of the characters even had the added depth of a type of sign language - little flicks and gestures that added to the conversation.
In Vigilante Ariane Kedros is off duty, traveling with her business partner to a generational ship that is in a new system. Things are complicated when the generational ship is attacked and taken over by extremists - extremists who don't care how many people they kill or if they cause a sun to go nova. They have an extremist agenda - and yet the leader is being led by someone else. Many layers are well - layered on this plot. Once again Ariane has to deal with a weapon of mass destruction, only this time it's a stolen one and she has a very slight chance of saving the system. Her former enemies are suddenly uneasy allies, because everyone wants to survive and they're all under attack.
There is one more book to go in this trilogy (which I've read by now) I think the trilogy is worth reading and I wish Roc/Penguin would ask for more from Reeve. Fortunately, Reeve is working on a prequel to Ariane's story and hopefully it'll be available for purchase...I'm hoping. anyway, you can check out the website and sign up for notification, which I did. sometimes, I'm quite the geek. The website also includes some of her worldbuilding, alternate history, info about the mysterious Minoans (the aliens) and the characters. I'm already missing the novels, now that I've finished reading them. It's fantasy/UF time now, though. I've ran the gamut of all the SciFi I could find that caught my eye. (I am a bit picky about my SciFi Space Travel novels) (less)
Thoroughly enjoyed this read. It's a nice blend of SciFi and fantasy. Once I was able to concentrate solely on this novel, I found myself absorbed by i...moreThoroughly enjoyed this read. It's a nice blend of SciFi and fantasy. Once I was able to concentrate solely on this novel, I found myself absorbed by it. The different characters had distinctly different voices. Jaine Fenn did a wonderful job of drawing these characters, making them stand out from each other. I also enjoyed the dialog (one of my pet peeves) - found each character's way of speech consistant and "fitting" each person. Written in third person - I also found the narration interesting and not once was I bored with info-dumps or huge chunks of explanations. There may have been a few things that seemed a bit involved, but I was able to keep reading and eventually understand what was happening, or understand the different levels of people/society. I think the author put a lot of thought into building her world and her different societies and fringe societies. I also enjoyed the way she let the reader learn little bits here and there without overwhelming me with too many details and long explanations. As soon as I finished Principles of Angels (and of course when I had a few bucks in the bank) I ordered the second novel in this trilogy (or is it a four-bit now?). According to Fenn's website, the second book takes place at the same time as the first, though on a different planet. The third book has the characters of both first and second books coming together for a story. Looking forward to it. Note, that if you're squeamish about prostitution or drug use, there is some of that going on. For me, that's not any worse than reading about murder and violence, though - so it doesn't bother me to read about, especially when it seems to be an accepted part of life in a story's society. Very interesting read that has me wanting to read more. Just different enough to satisfy my SciFi cravings and Fantasy cravings at the same time. (less)
The final installment to the Vatta's War series is one of the best books of the series. I found the ending satisfying, if a bit heartbreaking.
Ky has e...moreThe final installment to the Vatta's War series is one of the best books of the series. I found the ending satisfying, if a bit heartbreaking.
Ky has earned quite a reputations as a commander of a space force, yet it hasn't come without some tragedy. She's also been dealing with grief from family death, the loss of a way of life and being the cause of death of others - even though they may have been enemies, it doesn't feel that great to know she's the cause of so many deaths. She's also been a bit bothered by how much she enjoys the kill at times - something that's come up since the first book in the series. She finds herself perilously close to a breakdown, just when she needs most to keep herself sharp. She is going to be in charge of a multisystem force to fight the pirate, which have also grown in force. The odds seem too high.
Rafe has his own difficulties, his father has been damaged, his sister has been depressed and his mother isn't quite the same. On top of that, the board of ISC seems to be growing suspicious of his intentions, though at first they were glad of his help. He's chafing at having to be in charge of everything - and fighting not only his own board, but the government to take the threat from the pirates to their planet seriously. Besides dealing with many spies, there has been mismanagement on all levels by many people at the family corporation.
Stella and Toby have to deal with a kidnapping attempt, and Toby is also dealing with a first love situation - Zori comes from an important family and they're suspicious of Toby's family. And there's something creepy about Zori's dad...
With a great mix of espionage, relationship issues, war strategy and heroics from unexpected places, Victory Conditions was a great final book to a fun series about space traders, pirates, tragedy and family.(less)
After thoroughly enjoying Aunt Grace's sections in the last book, I was more than ready to read more of her. However, even though there are sections s...moreAfter thoroughly enjoying Aunt Grace's sections in the last book, I was more than ready to read more of her. However, even though there are sections starring Grace, the main stars in this novel were Ky and Rafe. Stella and Toby play a large part also, but the novel seems to focus on Ky and her expanding fleet and allies and Rafe.
Rafe has grown concerned at the lack of communications from his family. Though he's been a bit of a black sheep, distanced from his father they had been keeping in touch and he has been doing some undercover industrial espionage type of work for his father and their company. ISC, a huge powerhouse that had a monopoly on systemm to system communications, is in huge trouble. Seems there has been trouble brewing for quite a while, trouble that Rafe is just beginning to find out about - the ansible outages of the previous novels are just the tip of the iceberg. And now it seems his father, mother and sister have disappeared. Rafe goes undercover to find out what happened to them.
In the meantime,Ky is going into battles with the pirates that have tried to destroy her family and other systems. Allies are coming forth. Unfortunately she's also finding out the limits to her own ships, ships that she thought were in good shape after the retrofitting she had spent so much on.
Stella continues to build the business back up in the new temporary headquarters, and Toby has refined the shipboard ansibles that they found on the ship Ky confiscated from her pirate uncle. Good stuff.
The series continues to get a bit more complex, the characters are multilayered and it's been great reading. All the main characters are finding their beliefs and views challenged on more than one front. I'm looking forward to reading the final novel in the series.(less)
This is my favorite out of the Vatta's War series so far. Ky has obtained a ship from an exiled piratical relative, and she is continuing her plan to...moreThis is my favorite out of the Vatta's War series so far. Ky has obtained a ship from an exiled piratical relative, and she is continuing her plan to gather reinforcements to fight the pirates that seem to have caused so much death and tragedy to so many systems.
Stella's personality continues to emerge. Toby is revealed as a tech whiz, and Rafe continues to be an interesting almost friend - a friend you can't quite trust yet.
The best part is the alternating pov between Ky and Grace - the aunt that has been staying under everyone's radar as a dotty old lady who is obsessed with baking horrific fruitcakes. This woman is almost a one woman security force. There are some great scenes between her and one of Ky's former commanders in the academy-MacRobert.
Stella and Ky have decided to set up temporary headquarters for the family business (they've been unable to communicate with the home planet) and are trying to bring in any family business ships that are still out trading. Stella proves herself to be excellent at this side of the business. Ky continues with her part, strategy and providing some safety to whomever she can. Some allies come her way and after a tragedy involving pirates, she ends up with two other captains who will follow her.
The characters - all the other system characters, spacedock staff, etc. are dramaticlly difficult or judgemental, yet I still find this to be an interesting series. I have enjoyed this particular novle much more than the first two, which I had fun reading. (less)
A very interesting sequel to Trading in Danger, Marque and Reprisal starts off almost right where the first novel left off. Ky is continuing to try to...moreA very interesting sequel to Trading in Danger, Marque and Reprisal starts off almost right where the first novel left off. Ky is continuing to try to keep her ship in condition, trade for profit and is finding out that many systems have been having trouble - communications ansibles have been sabotaged, systems are left isolated with no means of communicating with the rest of the universe, and these places are being hit by pirates. Ky is putting two and two together and is coming up with a plan. Unfortunately - most people don't believe in either the need or the plan, so she's not getting much support.
It's good reading, Ky's decisions, the mistakes she makes and her solutions. While dealing with the news of her family's many deaths and the attacks on the home planet, she also comes across two family members and a new character - a bit of a rogue that's more than he seems. In fact, her cousin Stella is also more than she seems. Things are becoming a bit more complex.
There is still lots of dialog that probably could have been pared down, and lots of information and space/trader strategy narration, but the series has continued to interest me and I read this book almost in one sitting. One of the problems Ky has been dealing with is not being taken seriously because of her age, and her sex. In fact, I had a bit of a problem with how sexist the older males were in a supposedly advanced society's, where there are many females in high positions, it's amazing how Ky's actions are blamed on being a female, being "turned by a pretty face" and her age.
However, something about this series keeps me interested, and the characters - Stella, Grace (the supposely weird frutcake making aunt), Toby (the young cousin) and Rafe all have hidden depths of character. It's mostly because of the space opera tone and the characters that I'm wanting to read more.(less)
First off, I enjoyed this book - very much. So much that I pretty much read it cover to cover without my usual switching back and forth between books....moreFirst off, I enjoyed this book - very much. So much that I pretty much read it cover to cover without my usual switching back and forth between books.
I liked this book in spite of....lots of dialog that seemed repetitive. Kylara (Ky) seemed to be making the same explanations over and over, and as a reader I got to read it over and over...
There were also a lot of what I describe as obvious characters - stuffy older captains, bigoted people, etc.
Many, many explanations in dialog and narration of the minutae of space ship/trade ships. The loading, the buying, the trading, etc. However, in spite of all of these things that would normally make me put a book down, there was something about this novel that kept me reading it simply to find out what happens in the end. And then when I got to the end, it made me want to continue reading this series and I went out and bought the next two novels.
In this first novel, Kylara Vatta is an uptight seeming, by the book almost naive young woman who has been asked to resign from the Space Academy due to a political scandal that she was tricked into taking part in. She goes home, mortified and is given just a short time to recover. Her father asks her to captain an aging ship on it's last trade run that is supposed to end in a space ship junkyard.
This is where the real story begins. While she is captainin her first ever space ship, she's not so sure she wants to turn the ship into a junkyard. Her family on her homeworld is also attacked, her own ship ends up in danger and Ky ends up learning some hard lessons as well as succeeding in keeping her ship and crew alive.
Very interesting, easy to read (if you don't mind lots of details in the dialog) and made me want to read more.(less)
I am still loving this series. Torin, newly promoted (though she really would rather stay away from being top brass) to gunny sargeant has agreed to a...moreI am still loving this series. Torin, newly promoted (though she really would rather stay away from being top brass) to gunny sargeant has agreed to accompany Major Svensson as an aide to Crucible. Crucible is the training planet for the Marines. That's where they put all their learning to practical applications. The planet sounds kind of cool - the marines have a few different training situations complete with terrain and weather variations;winter with below zero temperatures or tropical with all the accompanying bugs and heat. There are drones and other dangerous things that are programmed to run certain scenarios to put the marines through their paces - it's supposed to be dangerous, but non-deadly.
At the same time Torin's new man - Craig Ryder - is wondering where that escape pod is. The one he used to escape Big Yellow and bring help back to the others. Weirdly, it seems that only ones who remember this escape pod are him, Torin and Presit (the reporter). Strange. In fact, Torin was almost in trouble over asking questions, something that makes her think she's being used,making her angry.
Back on Crucible, Major Svensson (who has recently regrown almost his entire body and nervous system - I love futuristic sci-fi) seems just a bit odd to Torin. She's being his aide, managing him and protecting the civilian doctor who is monitoring him while the recruits they are accompanying are being put through the beginnings of a training program. The Staff Sargeant in charge of the recruits is the same staff sargeant that Torin trainined under years before, and she's surprised that he's still in the marines (something to do with Di'Taykan culture and his age). In fact, she finds something off about him also....
Things go from a bit off to that incredibly descriptive old anachronism - SNAFU. Yep - situation Normal-All F-d Up. Love that phrase. The training drones are suddenly deadly, the major is behaving strangely inconsistantly, the staff sargeant in charge suddenly is incapacitated and things go horribly wrong.
I enjoyed the return of a few characters from The Better Part of Valor - Craig Ryder (the man for Torin), Presit (the reporter who irritates Torin and who doesn't really like Torin), and General Morris in all his pompous glory. The man tries so hard to be a good general, but he's....well he's a bit pompous - he had a smaller part to play in this book, but important. I also really enjoyed a few new characters from the recruits and the Navy spaceship. There is a recruit that is so enthusiastic that she packs everything on the suggested list - something that the other recruits thought unnecessary. She's the first to volunteer answers and actions, and she has developoed a crush on Torin. There's the tech whiz, who's good at all things programming and hacking. The Di'Taykan cultured is almost a character in itself.
Ms Huff has written a great series and I've enjoyed this third novel very much. After finishing this novel, I grabbed the fourth novel off my shelf right away. (less)
Even though I read this about a month ago, taking a very long time to review, I enjoyed the hell out of this book. In fact, I went into a serious read...moreEven though I read this about a month ago, taking a very long time to review, I enjoyed the hell out of this book. In fact, I went into a serious reading frenzy. Taking a chance, I had bought the first four novels in this series (two of them in the omnibus edition, giving me a two for the price of one deal). I'm usually not really into military fiction, it's just not really my usual reading interests. However, I've found myself almost obsessed with this particular series. It must have something to do with the strong female figure, in charge even as she's subordinate to her superior officers combined with Tanya Huff's unique sense of humor, writing style and the way she writes her dialogue. In about three weeks I had read all four of my Valor novels, and it only took me that long because I had a few other obligations and grandchildren. As of now, there's only one more book in the series waiting for me to buy...
This series - Confederation series - It is far, far into the future. So far, in fact that there are many planets that have been colonised, terraformed, or discovered - all in different phases of advancement. It is so far advanced, that a lot of terms and phrases we take for granted don't make any sense because of technical advance, such as "rubber-stamp it". Nobody seems to know what an actual rubber stamp is, or what it was used for. One of the characters in the first two novels is full of these type of sayings. One of the fun quirks of Huff's writing. There are also entire universes (I might have the wrong term) at war with each other. The Marines are still the marines, but they do a lot of space travel, of course, to get back and forth. The Navy is the branch that runs the space ships - kind of like the navy has water ships now, just a different venue. The Navy and the Marines have, naturally, a kind of rivalry going on - I'm sure they do now in fact.
In the first book - Valor's Choice, Torin Kerr, a Staff Sargeant in the Marines was part of a diplomatic mission gone wrong. One of her final actions involved punching the general - it needed to be done- but she also made a comment referring to parentage. Apparently he has remembered this. In The Better Part of Valor, the General orders her away from her regular platoon into an investigation of an apparently abandoned huge spaceship. Either he's punishing her for her previous actions, or he's using her skills - trusting that she's the best person for the job, since they are going into an unknown situation. Never know with a general.
Seems a salvage operator (space style salvage operators - keeping open space clean by recycling broken and destroyed spaceship pieces and detritus) left suzumi space (similar to FTL travel) finding this large vessel just floating. Scans revealed no life forms. A scientific team is going to take a look at it, study it with the marines in attendance for safety. Torin is assigned a group of marines who have all been hand selected from a wide variety of other platoons. Their's is a top-secret mission to keep scientists safe while they try to find out what exactly this huge bright yellow ship is. Because it doesn't even scan as any metal or plastic that they've ever come across before. Unfortunately, complications arise almost immediately.
From the moment they enter the ship, strange things begin to happen. First an explosion occurs, caused by the scientists deciding to drill into the wall. It kills almost all the scientists. Then Torin and the salvage operator fall through the floor - slowly.
After this, they have to find their way to a new port, since the shuttle they came on and the airlock were destroyed in the initial blast. Their way seems to be complicated and yet when they most need it the most, they get a break in the form of a shortened passageway, or a sudden room. Creepily, the compartments and passageways start to feel familiar - they seem to have been taken right from their memories. Torin and the salvage operator finally get together with the remnants of their crew and they all, including a reporter who has invited herself along the expedition, continue to try to make their way to another airlock, without the aid of any outside communications - they've been left without contact and with few supplies. It soon becomes apparent that there is another almost similar group going through the same thing - the confederation's eniemies called "the others".
Something mysterious is going on. The twists and turns they went through along with the story of what was going on in the ship that they came on, the discovery of the enemies on the other side of the huge abandoned ship. It all added up to one hell of a novel. I found it a very engaging and entertaining novel. As usual wlith a Tanya Huff novel, I found all the characters fascinating - the irritating characters as well as the characters that were doing their best to get through their situation. There was a great variety of personalities. I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters very much. Loved it.
As soon as I finished The Better Part of Valor, I was grabbing The Heart Of Valor, #3 off my shelf. I am really looking forward to reading the fifth in the series and hope that Tany Huff has plans for more.(less)
Ghellow Road is a book written in fiction form, but very strongly based on true events of the writer's childhood. Ms Waters has taken her very stressf...moreGhellow Road is a book written in fiction form, but very strongly based on true events of the writer's childhood. Ms Waters has taken her very stressful childhood memories and created a book that possibly has helped her to process her childhood.
If you read the blurbs about the book, it mentions demons and paranormal - This is referring to some of what the mother was going through. Hearing voices and talking to them. I mention this, because at first I thought it was going to have paranormal events going on, I was picturing ghosts, or poltergeists, maybe exorcisms. I was actually picturing a paranormal story, written diary style, especially after reading a short excerpt with an explosion in it. But the mother is dealing with schizophrenia, which is pretty intense. So this is not a paranormal story, but rather the story of how a young girl survives a stressful, unstable childhood. This young girl, Theresa from early on, witnesses her mother's extreme mood changes and her father's journey from hopeful father and husband to a man who has gone through so much, who apparently had some hidden issues of his own, that he takes his own life. Imagine - dealing with that, and a mother who needs frequent hospitalizations.
Even though these two kids had relatives, these relatives didn't always step up. There was help at times from family, but not often enough. The children ended up in a bad foster care situation once, and other times they were taken in by family members - sleeping on couches, sharing bedrooms, never knowing for how long or when they were going to be booted out of the family's home. Life was pretty unstable for most of their childhood and the two kids ended up separated when the mother kicks the oldest (brother) out of her home. Reading this was hard, because I could never think of a situation where I would ever send one of my kids...even at an adult age, out into the unknown to make do. No Way. But unfortunately not every one has help when they need it, whenever they need it. Even though the boy stays at first with a friend, that situation doesn't last and he ends up in an even worse situation. Heartbreaking.
Even with all they went through, Theresa learned how to push her feelings aside and put up a happy front, so that she could try to fit in with other students -spending so much time at her friend's houses, putting off going home. If you ever have a kid who seems to be happier at your house, and doesn't ever seem to want to leave - there might be a very good reason. And ultimately Theresa does find happiness with a relative, even though it comes a little late, she finally finds a great situation with one of her aunts.
One of the things that I was impressed with, is that the author wasn't afraid to show Theresa's temper tantrums or some of her not so great decision making. I'm sure some would be tempted to make the main character into a very well behaved victim, but I found the times Theresa acted out to be honest. I also thought she did a great job with the dialogue between the characters, making them sound pretty real (well, they WERE real characters).
I found Ghellow Road to be a very powerful book. The main character went through so much that she shouldn't have had to deal with, and yet managed to find friends and what I call second families- those people that take the place of your real toxic relatives. We might all have at least one or two....a mother figure perhaps that we work with, or a friend that you feel like could be a sister....sometimes family is found outside your biological family, even if it's a temporary situation. Sometimes people are able to even mend brokent relationships later in life, or at least to come to an understanding and a new type or relationship with their estranged relatives. Not always though. And yet, everything that you deal with growing up stays with you one way or another. Makes you stronger or breaks you.
I would recommend Ghellow Road - there are so many people growing up and living in unstable homes, in foster care, or with relatives. For as many people who seem to be in great family situations there are just as many who are having a very difficult time, and reading a book like Ghellow Road can shed some light on what it's like living with mental illness or remind some of us others what we've been able to overcome. (less)