Some of the lightest touch but effective world-building I have ever experienced. I was right there in the desert, in the qasr, in bed with the demon. Lyrical, strong and subtly feminist (as much as I hate that term) and I loved that nobody bar the prince/demon had a name. This is a story about the anonymous.
A slow-burn, yes, but the pace was perfect and I couldn't put it down. One of my favourite reads of the year, for certain. ...more
So close to being a five star, just being rounded down by a sliver due to the odd pacing, and it feeling very much like two completely different booksSo close to being a five star, just being rounded down by a sliver due to the odd pacing, and it feeling very much like two completely different books.
Loved the setting, the sexual tension, the characters, the twisty-turnyness of it, and thought the "Triwizard Tournament"-style task section at the end was amazing! Sarah J Maas really excels at writing action (case in point being the THRONE OF GLASS series, of course).
Really excellent. I can't wait for more (and I definitely need more information on *THAT* anti-hero!!!).
[[I received a copy of this book for free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]]
Let’s get this out first: I am a huge Ph[[I received a copy of this book for free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]]
Let’s get this out first: I am a huge Philip Pullman fangirl. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on his His Dark Materials trilogy. I also love fairy tales, in their original forms or as retellings. Basically I pretty much embody the target market when Philip Pullman releases a collection of fifty rewritten Grimms’ fairy tales.
So why the two stars? It was nothing special. It pains me to say it. If it didn’t say so on the cover, I wouldn’t believe that Philip Pullman had had anything to do with this, let alone had written it. The stories are the same as you’d find in any old collection; there is none of Pullman’s celebrated wit and verve. It’s all very ordinary. If I had purchased the book, rather than had a galley given to me, I would be feeling seriously short-changed right about now.
The 50 stories are presented traditionally – short and sweet. After each one there is a short note discussing any narrative decisions Pullman has made, or what he thinks of the story in general. These little addendums were boring to read; Pullman lambasts any formal critique that academics have done on the folk and fairy tale genre (the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood symbolising a sexual predator, etc etc, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the imagery) – but unfortunately, hearing about these little anthropological or psychological snippets was the most interesting thing about the whole experience.
3.5 stars but couldn't quite make it a four. Great idea, at points the writing is beautiful and genuinely sinister. It's just there were pacing proble3.5 stars but couldn't quite make it a four. Great idea, at points the writing is beautiful and genuinely sinister. It's just there were pacing problems for me and I wasn't too convinced with the "slaves of the Deep South" sub-plot......more
Needs some serious editing - and anyway, I don't think the writing style is for me. I understand the characters are meant to be "immortal" but the anaNeeds some serious editing - and anyway, I don't think the writing style is for me. I understand the characters are meant to be "immortal" but the anachronisms were irritating and pointless - the Evil Queen referencing Lady Gaga and following it up by saying "you dig me?" was particularly cringeworthy. Won't be pursuing this series, but respect to the (indie) author nonetheless. ...more
[A free copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]
I can’t remember the last time a book started wit[A free copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]
I can’t remember the last time a book started with such promise and ended up being so disappointing!
Much of the blame for this lies with our heroine, saccharinely named Mirabelle, who is every bit as irritating as a focus as an ungrateful teenaged runaway promises to be. Unheeding of the rules and restrictions of her loving godparents, who have brought her up since her parents died in a fire during her christening, Mira decides – a few days before her sixteenth birthday – to run away, back to the town of her birth – Beau Rivage – and locate her parents’ graves.
Of course, her godparents had extremely good reason for everything they did, especially banning her from returning to Beau Rivage, as the town is home to a community where individuals are cursed and must carry out the storylines of fairy and folk tales. There is no escape and no free will from these pre-ordained lives.
Of course, these fairy and folk tales aren’t the Disney versions, but the originals; Cinderella’s stepsisters hack off parts of their feet in order to fit the dainty slipper; Donkey Skin’s father is fired with incestuous lust for his beautiful daughter; birds peck out eyes, hot coals are danced upon, etc etc. Promising, right?
After her arrival at Beau Rivage and her introduction to the other cursed of her generation, Mira becomes drawn to two brothers – one punkish and difficult, the other suave and charming – and then, suddenly… instant love triangle, and Mira’s quest to find herself and her parents’ final resting place is increasingly sidelined in favour of naughty lingerie shopping, drunken parties and spending a lot of time on the beach. At one point, there is a wrestle/tickling fight between herself and one of the brothers. It was absolutely cringeworthy and generally so uncomfortable to read.
The 2.5 stars reflect the promise and potential of the basic idea – plus, at times, there was some quite well written teenage ‘banter’. I still feel however, looking back to how desperate I was to get it over with by the end, and how much I hated the protagonist – that I am being generous. It’s still uncertain as to whether or not there will be sequels/companion books following the stories of the other Beau Rivage cursed, but if there are, I will certainly be giving them a miss.