Yes so Lissa tried to kill herself at the end of the last book, but I’m not really sure why. Okay so people were dying because of her but she didn’t c...moreYes so Lissa tried to kill herself at the end of the last book, but I’m not really sure why. Okay so people were dying because of her but she didn’t create that mess. Yes she’s trapped but really is it that bad? Okay as a modern woman I should be goining the men are in charge noooo!!!!! But really Lissa and the vampires are being a bit dense now and the whole trust/betrayal thing is starting to get old. They have their reasons for what they do but none of the characters seem to be able to develop to a point where thay understand each other’s motivations which is starting to raise warning flags.
Again there is an interesting idea behind the main plot but the characters are still too under developed for me, there just don’t seem to be any real villains. Yes we are told who the bad guys are but we don’t know why they are the bad guys, what did Saxom do that was so evil? There is no history there (or rather it’s under used) so again characterisation is getting a bit formulaic and it is hard to feel that these guys are a threat. There is also an odd subplot regarding murders in the UK while Lissa is in America, and I cannot believe that these ancient vampires are unable to take the same detective steps Lissa has to solve it. I get that she is being set up as some amazing super vampire but unless she stops complaining I’m going to stop caring. These books have been released in quick succession and while the essential idea is very good they zip through from beginning to end in an exciting but ultimately surface manner.(less)
Following on from where Blood Wager left off, Lissa is a very rare (obviously) female vampire and has some nifty powers that other vampires don’t have...moreFollowing on from where Blood Wager left off, Lissa is a very rare (obviously) female vampire and has some nifty powers that other vampires don’t have (of course), and she’s not telling anyone she’s got them either.
Some of this novel is very predictable, in her interactions with the vampires the author seems to be trying to isolate Lissa, and granted the male dominated world she has been dragged into doesn’t have a softer side for women, they are used to dealing mostly with men. There was a decent plot regarding werewolf vampire relations, but the vampires seemed to drift between benevolence and monstrous so neither aspect is solid enough to make me scared of them or really like them. Granted Lissa has little choice in how she is treated but she accepted being turned very quickly so I’m finding it hard to believe she can’t accept that the men are trying to protect her (albeit in a rather controlling manner) and find a way to make it work. Yes I know that is very un-feminist of me and I’d be pretty pissed at having my every move dictated to me but I do think I’d be more grown up about it. Bearing in mind Lissa is supposed to be forty-six (even though her change makes her look younger) to me the character is starting to act more like a stroppy teenager than a mature women able to reason with her guardians/captors or show a mature understanding of the reasons for her treatment.
For example she is forced into an engagement, but while railing at the injustice of it she happily sleeps with the guy so she’s not completely indifferent to him. He never forces her so she could accept his protection without any obligation and I get she is supposed to have ‘issues’ with men but these haven’t been developed enough to make a real impact at this stage. As a result Lissa comes off as rather ungrateful when the engagement is to allow her as much freedom as possible within their strict society.
That said Lissa isn’t irredeemable, she has some amusing lines and kicks-butt so hopefully she’ll settle in to her new world. This has a well-plotted story at its core and the zippy story makes up a bit for the contradictory characters. This really does follow on directly from Blood Wager and if written close together this may explain why there has been little development in the authors writing style at this stage, and some areas (such as characterisation) could still use a little more polish. I’m still sticking with the series as it’s a quick easy read, and entertaining enough to justify buying it (especially at Kindle prices.(less)
I’d like to start out by saying I enjoyed this book because I’m about to nit pick. Firstly Lissa our lead character starts out as a middle-aged woman,...moreI’d like to start out by saying I enjoyed this book because I’m about to nit pick. Firstly Lissa our lead character starts out as a middle-aged woman, before becoming a young pretty vampire, why make her younger in looks when theoretically her character is defined by her forty-six years of life experience so far? Secondly would anyone immediately accept that they had been turned into a vampire? I’m not so sure but my slight scepticism of Lissa’s easy acceptance of her new lifestyle isn’t much of a gripe as it lets us get into the bulk of the story much faster than we would otherwise.
Maybe I was being a wee bit thick, but for once I didn’t see one of the major plot points coming but I think rather than doubting my plot spotting skills I think I’ll credit that to the author. Seeing as the story is written (mostly) in a first person narrative if Lissa hasn’t noticed something the reader probably shouldn’t either and Connie Suttle restrains herself from foreshadowing this little twist and lets the reader be surprised right along with Lissa. I liked that. I also liked that she was able to restrain herself from hinting at this development to show how cleverly she plots her work and just assumes her readers are intelligent enough to follow it.
I also liked while some plot points were inevitable (like the ending because after all this is the first in a series) there is still potential for upset along the way and there is no way to be 100% sure what will happen to Lissa. This isn’t perhaps quite as good as some Urban Fantasy out there as the characters still need a little development but it’s a solid start to a series. I was swept along more by the plot than any feelings of compassion for Lissa, and I think some of the scenes towards the end that were supposed to provoke sympathy fail, as they are just slightly too heavy handed, but I’m definitely going to read the next book in the series as I’d love to see how this authors version of a supernatural world is developed.(less)
Well I went straight on to this after reading Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo and I haven't been disappointed, this is another slice of sparkly, fu...moreWell I went straight on to this after reading Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo and I haven't been disappointed, this is another slice of sparkly, fun chick-lit from Heather Wardell. Once again Heather Wardell has created a female lead who is struggling in her relationships with men and she has avoided the trap of making her character completely neurotic. I really liked MC, I felt I could identify with her and her need for privacy, but she was fun too and she would be the sort of friend I would like to have. As a result this was a quick read as I rushed to find out how things would end for her.
As the synopsis tells us MC has signed up for a dating show and ended up on an island with seven of her exes, but of course it can get worse or it wouldn't be any fun. So to top it off she has to compete against another island for the grand prize in a reality show mash-up. Whilst reading this last weekend I thought the contest was stretching it a bit even for reality TV, then i gave in and went with it and decided that actually no, it would likely be right up the reality TV executive's street and with ideas like that Heather Wardell could probably go into TV production. Seems she has been pipped to the post though if the trailers for tonight's show 'Love in the Wild' are anything to go by (I don't watch reality TV but if you are interested there is more info here).
There was plenty of witty dialogue between the characters, and while some of the exes were happy to forgive and forget, others weren't ready to move on giving us a bit of drama and tension as we watch MC deal with the men in her life. My only criticism is that MC was supposed to be a very guarded and private person, so her decision to go on a reality TV show never quite made sense to me, no matter how drunk she was! However that aside she is consistent in her reactions and decisions and certainly coped far better than I would have done in her position!
If in the run up to valentines day (or at any time really) you want a quick fun read with a happy ever after the read this.(less)
The current version of the book has a different cover to the one above, I’m not sure I’m keen on the new cover and I probably wouldn’t have bought the...moreThe current version of the book has a different cover to the one above, I’m not sure I’m keen on the new cover and I probably wouldn’t have bought the book if I seen that version instead of the one above:), my Kindle edition calls the novel ’Once Bitten (A Thriller with Bite)’ and it definitely is a thriller. Normally I read a lot of Urban Fantasy which has elements of the thriller genre in it, in that the stories are usually underpinned by a mystery that the hero or heroine has to solve but overall they are character driven. In this case we have a thriller that happens to include vampires and due to the lack of the usual Urban Fantasy world/character building (the vampire world is not integral to the story) I’d probably call this a paranormal thriller.
It took me a few pages to get into this book due to the heavy use of similes in the first chapter, but I pressed on and while I was never fully overwhelmed I was impressed by the authors knowledge of psychology, and the highly scientific and plausible research disclosed later in the book.
Despite being a thriller the mystery of the dead man seemed to be tied up quite quickly and smoe of the thrill element dropped off as I found Jamie’s subsequent investigation of Terry was pretty inevitable in its conclusion. However I was still interested in how they would leave things between them and so I was a bit disappointed by the ending. Jamie is compassionate throughout and is moved by some of the more horrific cases he deals with and I also got the impression he had a sense of justice, so I though his solution to the problem he faced was a bit of a cop-out.
I’m having a tough job pinning down exactly what bothered me about this novel while trying not to give away the ending, as while the book was a bit average I don’t feel like I wasted time reading it so I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone. But had I known the ending which to me seemed hasty and went against the idea of the compassionate psychologist I imagined, I probably would have left it on my virtual ‘Unread’ shelf a little longer. The story had been reasonable up until the last chapters, and sadly the resolution at the end made no sense to me. Considering the amount of effort Beaverbrook put in to get there, I’m surprised he didn’t do anything with the information he had gathered, nothing about his feelings for Terry had changed at the end, and what he knew then he admits he had known from the beginning, so for me it made the whole thing seem pretty pointless.
As a result I could only call this average at best I’m afraid, but the Kindle price makes it a bit of a bargain at the moment and it’s on Amazon (less)