I started this review two days ago, having to stop every so often, because the more I wrote, the angrier I would become, and before long, this reviewI started this review two days ago, having to stop every so often, because the more I wrote, the angrier I would become, and before long, this review will filled with enough obscenities to make a sailor blush. This is long, filled with spoilers, and basically one giant rant filled review.
Let’s start with a basic overview. This is the story of Trez Latimer and his brother, iAm, having been on the run and in hiding from the s’Hibse for many years. They’ve established a life for themselves in Caldwell, and have become good friends with the BDB. Trez was a former sex addict, but after his little encounter with Selena in The King, he has sworn off women forever. Selena, a Chosen, has a disease that was named as The Arrest in this book. It’s apparently incurable, even though the Chosen are supposed to be daughters of The Scribe Virgin. I don’t necessarily understand how this has come about, and Ward wrote it off as a result of the limited gene pool the Chosen hailed from since the Chosen were only able to mate with the Primale.
In this book, Selena and Trez decide to give their love a chance, dating, falling in love, and even deciding to mate. In the background, Xcor and Throe break up, Xcor and Layla continue to be annoying and tiresome, Rhage suddenly has anxiety issues, and iAm falls in love. We also have Assail being Assail and self-destructive with his cocaine use, because apparently vampires in Ward’s verse don’t know how to actually be functioning adults without the use of some substance. And because he can’t seem to give up being a drug dealer, he lost his One True Love. We’re also introduced to Paradise, Abalone’s daughter, and some mysterious vampire who is going to sign up for the BDB training program. Cue spin-off series here.
For some reason, Ward has decided that this series is no longer a PNR series, but an Urban Fantasy series. That would probably explain why the sex scenes in this book were luke warm at best. Ward used to really write a scene that’d leave me breathless and hot under the collar. I’m going to assume that’s the reason for that ridiculous facial cum shot scene between Trez and Selena. Someone was inspired by YouPorn.com. Don’t even get me started on the scene between Rhage and Mary where he talks about jerking off in the pantry to red potatoes because they reminded him of breasts. Are you fucking kidding me, Ward? This is the direction you’re going to go with Rhage? Do you even know the characters you’re writing anymore, or are you so caught up in your own hype that you feel you can do whatever the hell you want?
We also have the contrived and tiresome relationship between Layla and Xcor. This has gone of for the last three books, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. Not only that, but now Ward has decided to add twins into the mix because Layla doesn’t have enough shit to deal with, and she needs to be Ward’s special snowflake of a character that will birth the first twins since Phury and Z. Alright, fine. But let’s not forget, Ward doesn’t want to be predictable. She’s tired of predictability in her books.
Yet, in the same breath as Selena dying, Ward makes the most predictable move ever. She has iAm fall in love with the Princess of the s’Hibse, who was Trez’s betrothed. We find out that she doesn’t want this either, and after pretending to be a maid, she and iAm fall deeply in love, after, you know, they have wild hot sex. Turns out, the happy ending isn’t for Trez, it’s for iAm with the now Queen of the s’Hibse.
We had 500 pages of Selena and Trez, and less than 50 with iAm and the new Queen, and we’re supposed to find that ending satisfying? We’re not supposed to be upset at all? I’m supposed to, as a reader, be okay with the fact that SHE KILLED OFF THE MAIN FEMALE CHARACTER?!?! The character that I had grown to really love. She fridged the main female lead so that Trez could have his man pain thus find emotional growth somewhere in the tripe that was the ending of this book. No, Ward. No, I am not going to accept your bullshit reasoning for killing off Selena.
Let me touch on Selena’s death scene. There was so much self-insertion in this scene that if you had written a golden retriever on the bed and a middle-aged blonde self-important hack of a writer by the bed, you’d have the exact same scene. Ward even admitted that the same line she told her DOG at the vet’s office is the same line she put in the book when Trez asked Selena if it was time to go.
Not only that, but she had Selena euthanized. She had a grown ass female being, vampire is irrelevant, euthanized. Let me repeat that. SHE HAD SELENA EUTHANIZED. LIKE A GODDAMN ANIMAL.
I didn’t read Ward’s spoiler post until after I read this book. I had already found it strange that Trez would allow that to happen, that he would all but put Selena down, until Ward explained that Selena was just a substitute for her dead dog. The problem isn’t that Ward doesn’t know how to write women. The problem is Ward hates writing women, and equates them to animals. This living, breathing person was put down by the man she loved, because Ward couldn’t separate her feelings from her writing.
Fuck you, Ward.
This book had a lot of potential, but Ward shat all over it with her self-insertion, pretending this was anything but a botched PNR novel, and for killing the characterizations of her current characters. To know that Mary and Rhage are yet getting another book just proves that she has run out of ideas, and instead of ending this series with The King (or better yet, Lover at Last), she is dragging this series through the shit until no one is recognizable, or she’s killed off every last character.
The only reason I gave this book two stars is because for the first 500 pages, it was a brilliant, beautiful book. Too bad self-indulgence and hubris got in the way. As far as I’m concerned, Ward has taken the last of my money.
Next item on my To do List: Build a funeral pyre for this series as it’s as dead as Selena....more
**spoiler alert** The reason I gave this book two stars is because Gena killed off the best character in the entire series, Kat. As far as I'm concern**spoiler alert** The reason I gave this book two stars is because Gena killed off the best character in the entire series, Kat. As far as I'm concerned, this entire book series can go rot along with Anima. Yes, this is childish and petty, but I didn't give a shit about anyone in this series except Kat, and Gena killed her off. Thanks for nothing, Gena....more
I don't have a lot of thoughts on this book. It was really quick read, I read it in a day, and I guess it moved the plot along, whatever that is anymoI don't have a lot of thoughts on this book. It was really quick read, I read it in a day, and I guess it moved the plot along, whatever that is anymore. The romance was REALLY rushed in this one, but perhaps the twist in the end about their past lives explained all of that. I liked the leads, they were fun and interesting to read. It was nice to get more back story on Thorn as well. I really loved Ian, so I can't wait to get his back story as well, which is probably in the next book or after Max's book, I can't remember. I look forward to her next to books, I'll say that. ...more
**spoiler alert** This is how the first part of this book goes:
Emotional abuse. Physical abuse (under the guise of caning). Emotional abuse. Underage Rap**spoiler alert** This is how the first part of this book goes:
Emotional abuse. Physical abuse (under the guise of caning). Emotional abuse. Underage Rape. More Emotional abuse. More underage rape. Mental abuse followed by a healthy dose of physical abuse. MORE SEXUAL ABUSE. Happy moments. MORE RAPE. MORE EMOTIONAL ABUSE. Happy moments. DEATH. Resurrection. Isolation.
As a reader, if you haven't completely wanted to slash your wrists or cried your eyeballs out by the time Styxx story in Ancient Greece/Atlantis is over, I commend you for being heartless. Kenyon has once again demonstrated that she is the Queen of Angst among the writers I read, and she left me a visceral mess on my floor. Acheron's book was basically the same, but for some reason, Styxx really really left me hollow and numb inside by the time the first half was over. We knew Ash's history of human sex trafficking and being sexually molested and abused as a child up until he was an adult. It was heartbreaking and cruel, and it made you want to reach in and hold the 7 foot tall man and tell him it will be alright. Styxx's book took that feeling and made it the book it's bitch. There were a handful of scenes between Styxx and Galen and Styxx and Bethany that alleviated the heaviness of the first half, but good freaking Lord, the rest was just bogged down with so much sad and horrible stuff, it was like wading through quick sand a lot of the time.
Perhaps it's because we never got a hint of Styxx's story, just from Ash's point of view in his novel. We never see Styxx again for majority of the series accept a book here or there, but he is pretty unknown to majority of us as readers. It surprised me that out of all the Dark Hunters that she could bring into the series, she decided to write about Styxx. I was apprehensive. I wasn't sure how she was going to make me feel for a character I really didn't care nothing about, but man, was I proven wrong about 100 billion times. I should have known better. There has been very few times that Kenyon has left me uncaring after the book is over (I'm looking at you, Stryker) or just disappointed in the book all around (Darling's book in the League series). I should have had faith, because I was properly put in my place as I read about Styxx's awful, horrible no good very bad history.
There are many plot devices that are used and that have a tendency of being exploited more than actually serving a purpose. Child rape/sexual abuse is one of them. There were at times when it felt too much. It was as if Kenyon had to emphasize that Styxx was just as abused (if not more) as Acheron, that they were the same side to the exact same coin. It almost felt gratuitous, even if she never went into great detail about the rapes. I think what set it over the edge for me was when he was in Atlantis after Apollo dropped him off to be tortured by the gods, and they ended up raping Styxx even futher. That felt unneeded. It held no purpose at that point, just another way for the reader to feel completely sorry for Styxx (who would probably have sliced every single one of us open if he saw the pity on our faces). Styxx was raped and sexually molested by his uncle, Apollo, the Atlantean gods, his uncle's friends, noblemen, every body on the planet. I was so happy when he was placed on the Vanishing Isle. Not because he would spend the next 11,000+ years in complete isolation, but because I didn't have to read about his violation any more.
There was 600 pages dedicated to Styxx's history and abuse. There was 237 pages of his life in the present (or as present as you can get back in 2004) where he became the person he wanted to be out in Sahara. There was maaaaaaaaaybe 15 pages in total of him and Acheron actually interacting together in the present, and majority of it was Ash being a complete dick. There was very little discussion of what happened between them, how they became broken and left their families dissolve their brotherhood. 600 pages of watching their relationship crumble to dust, and less than 10 of it trying to be fixed. It felt a bit of a let down. Perhaps it was realistic to the point that over 11,000 years of anger isn't going to dissolve with memory jolts and cheap words like "I'm sorry." I wanted to punch Ash in the face more times than I could count, and I think that was another reason why this book was so much. You saw a side to both Ryssa and Acheron that completely blew your conception of them to bits. This isn't the kind beautiful Ryssa who helped our Acheron. This isn't the wise Ash that we were knew and loved. However, I have to give Kenyon credit, she does a beautiful job showing that not everything is black and white, and that emotions affect everything. No one is perfect, even if they're a god with all these awesome powers and has seen it all.
I will say that I really did love Bethany. She wasn't perfect, she had her moments of stupidity, but she never once lost sight of what was important to her. She was strong, could kick ass, and didn't need a man to protect her or save her. She and Styxx complemented each other beautifully, and I do like that they were together for years before deciding on getting married. They built that relationship (outside of knowing who each other were at first), and it was strong and lasted a few millennium.
Totally called Urian being Styxx's and Beth's son as soon as he thought about how he was drawn to the man, how he knew him but didn't. That should prove interesting on how it effects the rest of the overlying story. Also, I did like that Kenyon is tying into the changes from Nick's books into this series demonstrated by the change in time. I love how this is all going to end up tying together.
All in all, it was a beautiful book, if not a little heavy in places where it didn't need to be. Kenyon once again shows why she's as popular as she is, and why she's my favorite author period. I look forever to her next DH book. Next time, I'll be sure to leave my heart in a steel cage....more
This is the kind of writing I expect from Gena, meaning that I was disappointed in the slightest. There were a few things that were hokey to me, likeThis is the kind of writing I expect from Gena, meaning that I was disappointed in the slightest. There were a few things that were hokey to me, like Blue's never ending power (or at least limited ending power) and the stupid abbreviations. I'm sorry, but grown ass adults do not talk like that in real life. It may have been used as a joke, but after awhile, I was rolling my eyes. Thankfully, it wasn't too much in the book. Blue's powers seemed to be there mainly to get them out of a tight spot, but I guess when you're writing about aliens then you can kind of do whatever you want.
It seems like Gena uses the Otherworlders series as her series to just have fun in and forget that she's a born again Christian shoving her Christian influences in her other books. There was no marriage before sex (which has happened in her last angels book and LOTU book). There wasn't even a mention of how sex was a sacred bond, blah blah blah. The Otherworlder series seems to be her naughty series, and I think that's why I'm starting to prefer it more than the others.
Here's what I liked about this book: -Blue was not afraid to express his feelings. He wasn't this tough, macho, I FEEL NOTHING kind of guy. Yet, he was still a bad ass agent and football player. -Evie kicked ass throughout the entire book. She even saved Blue in numerous occasions. She didn't need to be saved. -THEY ACTUALLY TALKED ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS. -The hot hot sex.
Here's what I didn't like about this book: -The arrogance coming from everyone. We know you guys are awesome. Tone it down a notch. -The fact that Pagan ended up being just like the rest of Blue's exes, all psycho and trying to lie about being pregnant. That whole arc was pointless and stupid, and didn't add to the story at all. -That Vika would be the one to talk baby talk to her stomach. Please let's not destroy a character who had to go through a LOT in the last book only to be assassinated in this one as a simpering, baby talking female.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I look forwarded to reading about John No Name, although, I'm sure his book will be nothing but anguish and manpain after the treatment he has gotten in this book. It'll be interesting to see where she takes this story since the main bad guy dies in this one. I guess we'll get John's POV from when he was being locked up and skinned alive. FUN TIMES....more
This is the second book in Gena's White Rabbit Chronicles. In this novel, we see Alice's life take back up after the end of the last book, although doThis is the second book in Gena's White Rabbit Chronicles. In this novel, we see Alice's life take back up after the end of the last book, although don't ask me what happened because I don't really remember. I do remember not being so irritated with the story telling as I was in this novel. I'm used to adult romance, I'm used to the conflict that is needed (read: required) in romance novels, but there is something about teenagers who whine about their love lives that irritates the heck out of me. I guess because I'm of the firm belief that teenage love is not everything, the end all be all, and writers who do that are doing their audience a great disservice. I feel the same way about adult romance novels as well.
The problem with this book is that Showalter can't quite figure out if she's writing for a teenage audience or her usual adult audience. Add a sex scene and some curse words, and all you really have is adults in teenage bodies. What's almost funny is that her young adult novel has become far more steamier than her current adult novels. I can't tell you the last time a Gena Showalter adult book as left me a little breathless, but I sure as heck got a little hot under the collar when Ali and Cole would kiss. Which in a sense, skeeves me out, because this is an 18 year old and a 16 year old. Not to say that their kissing scenes shouldn't demonstrate the passion between them, but when it's adult novel level?
I do like that Gena isn't one to shy away from teenage sex, and as much as she found Jesus, isn't using her young adult novels to spout off ridiculous nonsense like "waiting until marriage" before having sex. She has subserviently started doing this in her adult novels, all her characters getting married in some form or another before giving into their wildest desires. I know a lot of people blame that on her new restored faith, so I was kind of worried what message she would send in this novel, especially to teenagers who read it. It's refreshing to see that hey, teens are going to have sex, whether they are ready or not, but let's be safe about it. I particularly did love that Nana was all about coming to her to talk about it, even if Alice was stupid and all, "let's not have this conversation." Typical teenager, so kudos on that end, Gena.
What's amusing to me, however, is that these kids are walking talking hormone factories, kill zombies, kill bad guys, get tattoos (my thoughts on that in a second), yet don't cuss. I'm supposed to believe that an 18 year old boy is going to watch his language around his girlfriend? Please, Gena, I'm not stupid and neither is the target audience. Has she even sat in a school class room and listen to what kids talk about these days? They'd make sailors blush, I'm sure. I'm not saying that it has to have a lot of cursing in it, I don't think a lot of adult books need to have the "F" word in it every single sentence (looking at you, J.R. Ward), but not one "damn" or "hell"? Okay, sure.
On the tattoo scene. Let me just say that out of this entire book, this scene bothered me the most. Why? Because no self-respecting tattoo artist is going to allow a minor to get a tattoo without parental consent. No self-respecting tattoo artist is going to believe her clearly minor friend when she says she is the minor's mother and then let that person fill out the forms. Also, I'm super surprised that Ali's tattoos didn't get infected with all the crap she went through because not once did she ever bother to wash the tattoos or put lotion on them. (Newsflash Gena: tattoo artists don't use ointment anymore. Unscented lotion works just fine.) She never talked about them itching or what. They were just a plot device used by Gena to show how Ali wanted to fit in with her slayer friends and get tattoos. It just seemed like poor writing and research done on the author's end, even for a supernatural young adult novel. Also, white tattoos fade very quickly, and again, no self-respecting tattoo artist would have not said something about this. Again, lack of research on Gena's end.
As for the plot of the novel, eh, it wasn't the best but it kept me interested. The whole Z.A. thing left me a bit confused, because I wasn't sure which part of her was becoming a zombie, and I just imagined her being split into two halves, and clearly that wasn't the case. Now it's time to wait another year for the third one to come out, and by then I'll probably forget what happened in this book, and be irritated by teenagers all over again.
I don't even know what to think about this book. I finished it two days ago, letting it digest in my head, but honestly, it was quite forgettable. ItI don't even know what to think about this book. I finished it two days ago, letting it digest in my head, but honestly, it was quite forgettable. It was good, but no where near the caliber of what Gena's books used to be. There was this grittiness to them that can't really be explained unless you've read them. That's not to say that this book fell short of the drama and violence, but other than that, it felt lacking. I don't know if it's religion or if because Gena's delved into YA, but her books don't hold the heat like they used to when it comes to the sex scenes. Gena used to be pretty explicit, and it was a trait I always enjoyed of hers because she wasn't afraid to "go there". Well, I guess she feels she went to far, because she's pulled back so much in the last couple of books. Her build ups are good, and they make you want it just as much as the characters, and then it happens, and the only ones that are satisfied are the ones in the book, and that's because the author told us they were. No cigarette having for me thanks. I will say that her setting up Cameo's and Torin's books were pretty good, and I have to say that I'm interested to see what's going on with them. That is the main reason I gave it 4 stars.
And don't think I didn't notice the not so subtle way you made the characters get married first before having sex, Gena. Your underhand way of shaming sex before marriage is going to bite you in the ass when you alienate your fans. Especially this one. I ignored the obvious religious tones in Beauty Awakended, because it was a book about angels and the Most High (or whatever their version of God is), but a LOTU book? Please. I'll be interested to see how she plays it off in her next book. ...more
I haven't reviewed of Roane's previous Guardian of Ascension books, because I wanted to get a better feel of the series before really putting down myI haven't reviewed of Roane's previous Guardian of Ascension books, because I wanted to get a better feel of the series before really putting down my thoughts about it. I do have to say that I enjoyed this book far more than I enjoyed the other ones, but I haven't figured out exactly why that is. I think a lot of it was because Jean-Pierre didn't come as jealous as the other three when they were taken over by the breh hedden. He had his moments, but it wasn't over the top like in the other three books. It was almost too much that it kind of took me out of the story, but with Jean-Pierre it was just enough Alpha to make the deepest darkest part of me swoon.
So in this novel, Fiona has all but been cured of her 100 year captivity of a blood slave, and is now working with the Militia to find Rith's other facilities and rescue the victims of his blood harvesting. I have to say that the idea of how dying blood is creating was pretty ingenious. It was horrifying and nauseating, but I have to give it up to Roane for creating those feelings. These books do have a very big "anti-female" theme to it, between Rith and Greaves and that sick bastard Stannett, and I think Caris does a very nice job of showing how the females in these books are no longer going to stand for it.
However, the fact that after only five months, Fiona was all but cured, was very unbelievable. I understand that Caris couldn't have jumped too far ahead in the story without screwing things up in her time line, but I still would have liked to see Fiona deal with having been in captivity for so long. I wanted to see her struggle with being around all these people, and having to build that trust with those surrounding her and even with men period. I did like that her and JP actually dated for five months, getting to know each other, learning about each other before even doing anything about the breh hedden. Their love story was believable because it was more than this mythical bonding thing. It was them as people falling in love. Yeah, the fact that they were each other's breh's helped, but they genuinely cared for each other before giving into the more intimate acts of their relationships. I wish we had gotten to see more about Jean-Pierre's personality or his previous life, but I guess I'll take what I can get.
In this book, we finally meet Marguerite, and I can't say that I'm too impressed. I'll have to read the next book to get a better feel of her. I just think she's a bit too extreme for me, but we'll see. Maybe I just like Thorne a lot and he deserves someone who doesn't lie to him to for her own gain, especially after he kept her a secret for so long.
I do have to agree with other readers that Roane can become rather repetitive with her stuff, but some writers are like that. I do like that she toned down the description of the smells or mentioned the smells in this book. We get it, they smell their scents when they're aroused. I do have to say that her sex scenes are written rather well, and the sex scenes in this book were some of my favorites. Big thumbs up to Ms. Author on that one.
This book isn't original in the slightest on some themes, but her world is engaging and I'm interested to see how far she takes these warriors before the good guys win. ...more