I loved Maria V. Snyder's STUDY Series, but was let down by the subsequent GLASS series and was only mildly impressed by the INSIDE series. TOUCH OF P...moreI loved Maria V. Snyder's STUDY Series, but was let down by the subsequent GLASS series and was only mildly impressed by the INSIDE series. TOUCH OF POWER is a highly anticipated return to her story-telling in the STUDY series.
Avry was an awesome female protagonist, and there was amazing chemistry between her and the other characters. Yes, some plot threads were largely underdeveloped, especially towards the end, but I wasn't put out by that simply because 1. It's an ongoing series where questions will be answered eventually and 2. I was so mesmerized by the world and characters I was content to let those nagging questions slide, at least for a bit.
Maria V. Snyder has created a world separate from the STUDY and GLASS series' magicians, but with similar attention to detail and mechanisms in this new world. I am definitely in love with this series and Avry, although Yelena will always be my favorite I think.
If you loved the STUDY series and missed those characters (Opal just wasn't that strong of a protagonist in the GLASS series) you should definitely pick this one up. Just loved it!! Too bad we have to wait until 2013 for the next one.(less)
So this book started fairly slowly, and continued at a fairly slow pace. The world description, character description, and plot threads were beautiful...moreSo this book started fairly slowly, and continued at a fairly slow pace. The world description, character description, and plot threads were beautifully done, but I felt like I was being dragged by my shirt slowly down dusty alleyways that had no foreseeable ending. There's Kaoru's world that slowly becomes not-Kaoru's world and then the story leaves you as confused as Kaoru. Most of the time, I felt like I was sitting there in a math class that has no patterns to even try and follow and it was highly frustrating.
Now those who love epic fantasy books that have a lot of world building and confusion up until the end, some satisfaction, and then way more confusion will love this book. I have to admit, I liked the characters enough that the pace wasn't an issue for me (most of the time), and I liked Akiva the more I got to know him.
I have mixed feelings about this book, and right now I'm a little emotionally wrung out to figure out exactly why I liked this book, I'll try to go with stating facts.
1. Angel and chimera lore was very well researched. I felt that there was no inconsistencies and we were given enough information just to wonder and marvel at these different races.
2. Wishes were involved. The fact and fiction of magic was fascinating and logical if not a little sad.
3. The humanity of the non-humans. This was interesting to me, because I always like to explore what defines humans as humans versus other creatures. I think that what we've termed as "humanity" is not exclusive to humans at all, but more of a universal rightness that exists in all creatures. This book is a fabulous example of that.
I hope that is more descriptive than the rambling words my brain produced.(less)
This was perhaps the cutest book I've read on the subject of "divorce" and fathers leaving. There is not a sad feeling in this book. Yes, sad things h...moreThis was perhaps the cutest book I've read on the subject of "divorce" and fathers leaving. There is not a sad feeling in this book. Yes, sad things happen, but there's always hope.
The book is filled with straight forward innocence. It's the magic of having animals to love and protect you, about having an imperfect family that really is perfect in the end, and about having hope.
I entered a drawing for the ARC because my mom's a teacher who deals with lots of children with broken families. I won it, and was reading it for my mom, to test drive it. I would personally recommend this book to any age, from toddlers to grown ups. Perfect magic. (less)
I disagree that the point of view ruined this book. It didn't, not completely. I liked Sin alright, she was dynamic and interesting, but compared to A...moreI disagree that the point of view ruined this book. It didn't, not completely. I liked Sin alright, she was dynamic and interesting, but compared to Alan, Mae, Nick, and Jamie, she can't win. Taking this point of view was a challenge, mainly because in order to include all the facts that are needed, Sin does a lot of creepy stalking in the shadows. More often than not, there's an entire scene in which Sin is watching interactions from outside a door without voicing a thought in her head and you forget that it's from her point of view.
Also, there were some loose plot threads. For example, you see Jamie from Sin's eyes, and all of his struggles are shrugged off because Sin has written him off as a magician gone to the dark side. Mae (lovable Mae whom I fell in love with in The Demon's Covenant)is a rival and is viewed in a not so nice light, and the interactions with Alan were just flat (not Alan himself, but Sin because she's not so dynamic). Plus you never really find out what becomes of Sin's little sister and brother, other than "they live happily ever after" together. I was interested in that bit (though it was a hugely side plot) and I got nothing.
Was it a good book by itself? Yes. Was it a good companion book to the series? Yeah, more or less. Was it a good way to end an awesome action-packed and witty trilogy? No. If this book was a stand alone, in addition to a book with no Sin POV, I think people would like it more. As it is, I don't believe becoming experimental in side characters at the end of a three or so year trilogy with very vocal fans was the greatest choice. However, I enjoyed the book, even if it wasn't quite up to par.
If you enjoyed The Demon's Lexicon and Covenant, pick up this book. But I'd wait for a price drop because there's a high chance you'll be a little disappointed and paying too much for it will fuel your frustrations.(less)
After reading Graceling, I was super excited to pick up anything with Kristin Cashore's name on it. I went to Amazon in search of her next masterpiece...moreAfter reading Graceling, I was super excited to pick up anything with Kristin Cashore's name on it. I went to Amazon in search of her next masterpiece, only to find her next book didn't involve any characters from Graceling. In fact, it was termed "a companion". The word companion usually means nothing good in the world of a reader, and I didn't buy it. If I were honest, I flat out refused. But shopping at McKay's used bookstore here in Nashville, I came across a beautiful, pristine copy and picked it up for almost 75% off. I wasn't disappointed.
Where I thought that Kristin Cashore couldn't match the characters in Graceling, she most definitely did. Fire is lyrical, witty, funny, and lovable. She is so different from Katsa, an entirely different species in fact, yet I found myself loving her just as I had done with Katsa. The characters are beautifully woven, like fine silk and rubbed to perfection. Fire has weaknesses, but she's not weak. She's complicated, ashamed of herself, but so utterly and undeniably human at heart you can't help but want her to come out on top.
Of course there's a romance, no novel from Kristin Cashore could be complete without one, and it's fairly obvious who is going to hook up with whom. However, in another typical Kristin Cashore plot thread, you never can quite predict much else. Fire had me entranced, where no chapter was boring and I only skipped ahead once just to make sure nothing horrible (such as the world ending) was about to happen before I turned in for the night. This is a rare feat for me, since I have little control over my eyes and brain impulses with books.
Pick it up. If you didn't want to because there was no Katsa, do it anyways. You will love Fire and you will adore the complicated Archer and the elusive prince and his brother the king. You will not go wrong and it will be money well spent.(less)
A very good sequel to the first novella, it starts off a little oddly in tha...moreI got this ebook free from www.librarything.com in exchange for a review.
A very good sequel to the first novella, it starts off a little oddly in that a good chunk of time has passed, but doesn't keep you lost for very long. You get to know Jensen's "dad" some more, learn about her powers, and find some very interesting information about her best friend's family.
The romance was a little off in this book. I felt that we were on a paranormal romance track in the first novella and the second was "let's focus on more lore, but oh I have a romance. Let's break it up temporarily!" kinda thing. Which is okay, but it didn't transition very well and left me squirming without a real reason why I was feeling that way.
BUT I did like this novella better than the first in that more things were coming together. I am definitely going to spend some money to buy the sequel AND the prequel as well, I liked it that much!(less)
This was an interesting little novella. I got it for free from www.librarything.com and it's sequel as well for my kindle. The story was fairly fast p...moreThis was an interesting little novella. I got it for free from www.librarything.com and it's sequel as well for my kindle. The story was fairly fast paced, but that takes away from the fact that time passes differently and huge gobs of information is left out for you to come upon it happenstance in the dialogue or hint at it later. However, the lore is well researched with an interesting personal twist to it.
There is a bit of cursing with the f-bomb and some lesser words here and there, but for the most part it's pretty PG-13. The romance is pretty sweet and the personal interactions are written up there with the best books. The one thing I didn't understand is the constant substitution for "faerie" with "elf" which made no sense to me. But it didn't take away from the story. I'd recommend it for sure!(less)
This was a fantastic book. It was inventive with ghosts coming back, twists that I didn't exactly see coming, and fairly fast paced.
But the end just r...moreThis was a fantastic book. It was inventive with ghosts coming back, twists that I didn't exactly see coming, and fairly fast paced.
But the end just ruined the entire book for me. Because in the end, you are no better off than you were in the beginning. And it was frustrating that I read the entire book, expecting some reward (no matter how small) and nothing happened!
The characters weren't entirely polished. Callie was probably my favorite and the best fleshed character, but her brother and sister were missing some key ingredient. It was just oddly put together, like it wasn't quite stitched evenly.
But it is a good read. Just don't expect too much from the ending, because although it's a nice journey, you end up right back where you started.(less)
After so much hype and a gorgeous cover, I deeply wanted this book. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, only to be highly disappointed by th...moreAfter so much hype and a gorgeous cover, I deeply wanted this book. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, only to be highly disappointed by the book itself.
The characters are fascinating, if a bit slow to develop, but the plot was the main problem. It felt that the author was overenthusiastic about writing and pours out several plot threads at once, most of which having nothing to do with the main agenda of the book. Tiki steals to care for her family, oh wait she has a mysterious birthmark-tattoo on her wrist, on wow she happens to be inside Buckingham palace and happens to have a ring fall right in front of her, she takes it... and then the writing changes completely. It's like two different writers tried to fit the same book idea and characters into one novel. The writing starts declining from "mediocre" to "childish" to "high schooler trying to write a book and make it big with no regards to prose or character development". It wasn't too bad, until everything is resolved. Then everything magically turns out okay; all that was missing was "and they lived happily ever after". Which, you know, is fine in some circumstances, but felt like silk tacked on to a burlap sack. It just doesn't fit together, no matter what you do.
Even the lore was weak, if nonexistent, to the point where I had no reservations on whether or not the agent even read any faerie books before taking this one on. I wanted to love it so much, even just like it, but in the end I just couldn't. It was a rocky "oh well this is getting better" only to turn to the next chapter and have it decline again.
It was just painful to read, having so much potential gradually get burned to dust. You're welcome to try it, but don't expect too much or your soul will cry a little.(less)
I was super excited when I was given an advanced copy of this book for review. I am a huge fan of Cinda Williams Chima and have read the entirety of t...moreI was super excited when I was given an advanced copy of this book for review. I am a huge fan of Cinda Williams Chima and have read the entirety of the Heir series as well as the Grey Wolf Queen series. I have always been enthralled by her character and world building and I was not disappointed in this next installment.
Since I have always been partial to the brooding-yet-layered characters, it was no surprise to me that I liked Jonah immediately. Emma, however, I was skeptical of. The book's description paints her as a "wild child" who runs the streets of Memphis like some modern day "Beasts of the Southern Wild" character. Unfortunately, I instantly dismissed her as unimportant when she's introduced solely based on that description. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book description was way off the mark when it came to Emma. Chima writes her as a free spirit, but never conforming to any stereotypes. It was almost as if I was meeting a real person who was not just created as is but has evolved through a lifetime of pain and happiness. In my opinion, she is probably one of the most real characters Chima has ever written.
I did like Jonah, but felt the book, with what it was, didn't give a whole lot of answers. All of the other Heir books can be read as standalone installments, so I was mildly surprised that this book ended in a cliffhanger. This is probably where my slight frustration of reading the entirety of the book and then being given, essentially, the "TO BE CONTINUED..." screen came from. However, although major answers weren't given, enough character back-stories unfolded peripherally that I was drawn along just as quickly and my interest never waned. But since most all of the secrets revolved around Jonah, I was a bit more conflicted with him than I was with Emma, who was just who she seemed to be.
Overall, I will be buying this book when it comes out. I just wished I had known beforehand that it would require a sequel and when the sequel will be coming out, because I don't do well when you drop me into a high paced story and then abruptly cutting me off.
I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.(less)
This book was fairly good. I don't know the original story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but this was a decent rendition. It sounded like it was w...moreThis book was fairly good. I don't know the original story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but this was a decent rendition. It sounded like it was written for children, like a fairy tale, but it was 400 pages long so I'd say it was more for young adults. The twelve different princesses, alphabetically named, were very adorable with their different personalities. It was a very tame story for dealing with evil magic. It was even a sort of part time romance. But I just didn't like the simple writing. I felt like I was being talked to like I was an eight year old. That and the fact that the plot was not very fast and not very deep just sort of put me off.
Though I do think it was a good read. I wanted to read more, to finish it, so it was obviously good enough for me to give a high rating. Just the cover is a lot more pretty and mysterious than the actual writing and plot was.
It was an "eh" book for me. Good, but missing something to make it awesome.(less)
This was a pretty awesome story. Because it's from Simner, it is poignant and the characters have a great voice. I didn't like it as much as Bones of...moreThis was a pretty awesome story. Because it's from Simner, it is poignant and the characters have a great voice. I didn't like it as much as Bones of Faerie, hence the rating, but I liked it very much.
I liked Ari better than Haley, but both were very great characters. The only thing that was bothersome was that the story wasn't concluded too neatly, but it's still pretty good.
Simner's style is still eloquent and fluid and very creative. What a refreshing story.(less)
This book embodies everything I look for in an adventure, YA, romance, fantasy novel. It had a very lovable character who, though raised like a prince...moreThis book embodies everything I look for in an adventure, YA, romance, fantasy novel. It had a very lovable character who, though raised like a princess, is really down to Earth and smart. It had a dashing and funny boy, who was devoted to his princess even after she wasn't a princess. And then it had flighty wizards and evil wizards, and strict aunts.
It was an awesome book. Kept moving from page one, it was so very mesmerizing. Sinda was an interesting character. She evolves completely, coming from a shy princess, to a thrown out peasant, to a budding wizard (and more!). It's painful, and I felt my moods change along with hers.
And the sweet romance of it all! Light, real, sweet, and respectful, it's just amazing. I knew I might like this book, but for the first time, I feel the cover art doesn't do justice to the actual story. The cover art suggests this is a flimsy book about pretend princesses, but the meat of the book is so much more. This transcends all novels like it that I've read. I now will strive to be a writer just like O'Neal.
I read Bones of Faerie and fell in love with the world, accepting the fact that there probably wasn't going to be a sequel. In fact, I didn't even exp...moreI read Bones of Faerie and fell in love with the world, accepting the fact that there probably wasn't going to be a sequel. In fact, I didn't even expect one. But I was delighted when I saw there was one, forgetting how intense my love was for Bones of Faerie. Faerie Winter matched that adoration and rose above it.
Simner creates a world that is simplistically complicated. It's hard to explain. I felt it was pure, like the essence of, well, a faerie and not cluttered by dirt and other things that I enjoy equally in other fiction. This truly gives me a calm feeling when I read it, even as bad things are happening.
The story is done very well, and isn't a sequel as much as a companion, like the Artemis Fowl books always have a new story in each book but with the characters that tie them together. We get to explore more about the children After, their magic, and their need to be accepted and want to use their gifts to help and not harm. We also meet the cruel fae, the most cruel of the cruel in fact, The Lady herself. She was as beautiful and deadly as dry ice. And yet, as "dark" as everything was, the story never really had a dark or bleak tone. It felt like I was stuck in winter (as I read this with 90 degree weather outside) and I felt sleepy like I do during winter months.
Simner managed to catch the essence of winter in this book and balance it subtly with the knowledge that spring will come, but how easily to forget something when it's gone away for long periods. Do pick it up. Do yourself a favor. It will wow you and have you wanting more. Simner left enough threads where there could be another, but regardless, I am perfectly content with whatever is in store for our beloved characters.(less)
Definitely dark, but somehow not as twisted as "White Cat". Cassel is a likable bad/good guy and the book is fairly compelling. It just didn't have th...moreDefinitely dark, but somehow not as twisted as "White Cat". Cassel is a likable bad/good guy and the book is fairly compelling. It just didn't have the air of mystery to it that the first book had. I wasn't overly concerned about this "Red Glove" killer nor was I really into the whole "rights for workers" thing. I did like the tidbits of information Cass found out along the way. But they were more interesting and not mind blowing.
The story moved at a pretty good pace, but it never clicked with me. White Cat never clicked with me either, but it kept me wanting to know more. In both cases the world seems surreal, like it's made from plastic and is all shiny like glaze. Like I was watching from through a really hazy piece of glass. I also feel that Lila was... flat. She had some great aspects of her personality, like how wicked she was despite being worked from the last book, but I felt the other parts of her were left as a gaping hole. Like something was missing.
I just felt too many things were stretched fairly thin to me. The characters a little too strained, the story just a bit too off. But it was a good read nonetheless. Just don't be too put out that you might not connect with the story.
The cons were very well researched. Throughout the book, I wondered if Black herself was a con artist! It was great. I like con artists because they are so flawed and she really had that going for her. Kudos to you, Mrs. Black, for doing such thorough homework. If you have read White Cat, do pick this one up, even if it's just for the sake of knowing a little more. Just don't expect it to be the most real and awesome thing you've ever read, because it might not be.(less)
This book was alright. The premise was great, the mythology was pretty accurate and inventive, but the characters were a bit... lacking. I cared for t...moreThis book was alright. The premise was great, the mythology was pretty accurate and inventive, but the characters were a bit... lacking. I cared for the characters, sympathized with them, but after maybe the fifth or sixth time of Jacinda whining to herself how she needs to stay away, but oh I can't... but I need to stay away... it just got repetitive. I understand her concerns... but it's like she had amnesia when it came to remembering what she should do for survival. Please, some new development would be SO welcome.
Interesting plot, but a bit slow. Like I said, it kept repeating the same problem over and over. Honestly, I think it could have been so much better, but the character development went nowhere.
Not much else I can write in this review, as there was really only one main problem with a few side ones. And the fact that the sisters were supposedly "close"? That was not true. I don't care how angry I am with my family, I would never be so indifferent. A read that's maybe good if you get it for cheap.(less)