I wasn't sure I was going to read this one because the first book didn't click with me but I'm glad I gave it a try since it turned out to be a really...moreI wasn't sure I was going to read this one because the first book didn't click with me but I'm glad I gave it a try since it turned out to be a really good read.
I like the idea of high school sweethearts who last long like these two did. Jason and Becca were so sweet, bordering on perfection, quite honestly. And that actually could be a flaw. I thought for sure more conflict would come from their parents, something to give the story a little more umph. Any obstacle sort of bounced off them. I mean they did have those bumps but they kept solid the whole time, even the mess with Ben didn't really tie them down for too long. And maybe all of that is because of the pacing of the book since it spans from when they're 16 all the way till they're in their mid-20s, so it jumps and maybe it doesn't dwell on things as much as it could if it was on a more concise timeline. Another thing was that it started to drag toward the end, enough so that I felt Nell and Colt took over (even ended up skimming parts). And that wasn't cool with me since I don't care for that couple.
Overall, I just really enjoyed Jason and Becca. From the beginning they gave me that "old married couple" vibe. I think it's great to see a couple who does have things thrown at them but they stick to each other and support the other through thick and thin because they love each other so much and all that gooey stuff. You don't really see that in new adult. (less)
4.5 stars. I feel bad that I left this book on my bookshelf for over two years but I'm glad I finally picked it up because this was such an interestin...more4.5 stars. I feel bad that I left this book on my bookshelf for over two years but I'm glad I finally picked it up because this was such an interesting read. For the first third or so I swear I'd give this 10 stars (and if you must know the rest was 4 stars). Funny enough it displayed a few things that can bother me in a book. There was a lot of telling but not showing, probably because the writing was concise and straight to the point, and an insta-soulmate connection. But I loved all of it and I easily fell for these characters. It really hits you on an emotional level which I wouldn't expect with the writing style. But I found many wonderful introspective and beautiful lines. There was barely any development with Emily and Sam but it was like some Jedi mind trick and the author had me hook, line and sinker. Even when things went a totally different direction than what I assumed this book would concentrate on, I was still very much engaged because I think this does happen, maybe not exactly the ending obviously, but the course of Sam and Riddle's life, as sad as it is, seemed like something plausible. And so I was invested and wanted to know what would happen with them. It was so clever how everything played out, how there was this ripple effect right from that moment in the church that led all the way to the conclusion on the last page. I do recommend this, though I do think because of the writing it's one of those love it or hate it type of books. It's different than the usual YA and it sort of made me think of John Corey Whaley's Where Things Come Back so if you're looking for something like that try this one out. (less)
FINALLY. Finally I can say I'm into this series. (view spoiler)[I wonder if I took too much time between series or if it was solely on not warming to...moreFINALLY. Finally I can say I'm into this series. (view spoiler)[I wonder if I took too much time between series or if it was solely on not warming to Sydney as easily as I did with Rose. I also admit that I haven't cared for the individual book plots either. Probably a combination of it all, but anyway, I'm so happy with this book!
What's done right: romance. At least with Sydney and Adrian. I'll just ignore that stupid side cheating love triangle thing that happened here. But anyway, Sydney and Adrian. Taylor and Jet. I loved how their relationship developed. I mean hello, ADRIAN. He's too amazing for words. The way he approach this whole forbidden love roadblock? Perfect. Like he wasn't pressuring her or getting super frustrated. The whole "love from afar" was kind of simple yet also intense and even humorous at times. ILY but it's okay if you don't see it right now. I'll be over here patient and still support you in rebelling against the Alchemists and practicing witchcraft. They understand each other. They fit. They're friends. It also just feels mature. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
My feelings for Sydney are more positive than the previous books. I gained a lot more respect for her. To say she has a lot on her plate is an understatement. Also, her growth is tremendous, she's come a long way in just a few months. It was nice to see her take charge of her situation, of herself. Confidence suits her.
I'm disappointed with Marcus and his Merry Men. He did not warrant being on the cover. I kind of hoped that Sydney could take over and show them the ways of being awesome and proactive.
+ They're parents! Haha. I can't tell you how amused I was by this. Also, Hopper is adorable. + I seriously was counting Jet as the Mustang's name. Not a fan of what was chosen. + I missed the Melrose "family." + AYE. The throwback with the tattoo <3 + Reappearance of Jet Steele.
I love where this book went and the possibilities of what's to come with rebel!Sydney. Though I'm scared bc this was such a high, I can't see it lasting too long. Especially with that new development at the end. It seems like only a matter of time before she's caught and sent to re-education.
And look at that, another "third book's the charm." I seriously should consider a bookshelf for these books. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Overall, pretty good stuff. More into it than the first book.
(view spoiler)[I get frustrated with Sydney. It doesn't mean I think she's a horrible character but sometimes it's hard to see her adhere to her rigid beliefs or be clueless in other matters. There were a couple of times I just wanted to shake some sense into her. She has made some progress so it's not like she's a lost cause. I can only see her becoming more and more open about things outside her comfort zone.
I want more Trey. Please stay good (well, IDK about that Warriors association though) and hopefully he'll get to join the gang. Jill was more tolerable. Angeline was a bit much for me at first but I was glad to see she calmed down in the latter half. Eddie was honorable, dependable, loyal, and all those "good" adjectives, as always. However, meh on the Jill, Eddie, Angeline plus maybe Trey love rectangle. Take the romance out of the equation and I'm really quite fond of this "family." And maybe that's why I liked this a tad more than the previous book—they're all settled at the school and have this sort of chemistry going on now.
Lastly, how dare you be so sweet, Adrian! And gosh, poor guy gets shot down again by a girl he loves. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Can't say this hooked me as quickly as the VA books. It's a bit more laid back plot wise. I was disappointed that it was so easy to guess the twists a...moreCan't say this hooked me as quickly as the VA books. It's a bit more laid back plot wise. I was disappointed that it was so easy to guess the twists as well. But I like most of the characters (Adrian! Eddie!), so there's that. I also like the direction of one of the (soon-to-be) romances. Such a nice relief after the debacle that was Rose's love life. Just be friends for now, please. The other side romance I'm not too keen on just yet. We'll see how that goes in the future. (view spoiler)[Yay for the new dhampir on the scene because I thought she had potential back in VA #6. Boo on Micah just being a doppelgänger. I thought there was more to it than that. The drama that I sense will come after that last line has me cringing a little. I hope it isn't as bad as I think. (hide spoiler)](less)
I love Crash into You as much as Pushing the Limits. Actually I think I like this one a tad more. And that's saying something since I was beyond amaze...moreI love Crash into You as much as Pushing the Limits. Actually I think I like this one a tad more. And that's saying something since I was beyond amazed by PtL.
I can't believe the Lumatere Chronicles series is done. These books made me cry, laugh, smile, rage—exactly what I expected, especially wit...more4.5 stars.
I can't believe the Lumatere Chronicles series is done. These books made me cry, laugh, smile, rage—exactly what I expected, especially with this last installment. I don't want to let go of these characters and this world. < insert extremely loud whine right here > They were unforgettable and got to me which always happens anytime I read Melina Marchetta. The power of books, y'all, they can make you feel so much. I cared for these characters and like I said in my Froi review, they felt like old friends. In the end I just wanted there to be happiness and some sense of peace among them all.
For a moment let me just reminisce. After finishing the trilogy I still hold Finnikin of the Rock as my favorite. I loved how that book worked toward hope, the hard journey was amazing to tag along with. And in the last book Froi does mention how he misses those days with Finnikin and Evanjalin. I couldn't help but agree with that sentiment. These characters had this innate goodness and were so loyal and strong. Then Froi of the Exiles came next and to say the least, it was a change. I didn't expected it to be so depressing, to have such a cruel world and history. It helped put more pieces to the curse together and left off with a sense that something great was to come. And finally now with Quintana of Charyn. I have to say it was a sort of blend of both Finnikin and Froi. It was a rough, tiring intricate road to follow with all the obstacles and politics working against these characters. That aside it was those characters that stood out the most to make things work and band together for the chance at a better world.
Let's talk about Froi's journey. I never thought that foul-mouthed, filthy little boy in Finnikin of the Rock would turn out to be such a magnificent hero. He was the most important character, in my opinion, the center of it all to bring everyone together. You want a prime example of character growth, then look no further than Froi. It tugs at my heart thinking about his life, of what he's gone through and how he's persevered. Back when he was first introduced he had NO ONE, but in Quintana of Charyn I was so, so very happy to see how he had people—his list of 30!!! Everyone loved him and everyone wanted the best for him. And I felt so torn for him because he struggled between loyalties and bonds between his loved ones, these two kingdoms which had every right to claim him as their own.
Froi had such great relationships with so many male figures. Many acted as surrogate fathers and brothers. What really got me were those ending scenes. (view spoiler)[Finn had a very powerful line directed at Froi, "You're worth a kingdom." Cue the waterworks. He never felt worthy before and now look, his beloved Lumatereans believed he was worth something beyond words. I was also touched by the feelings felt between him and his fatherly figures, Lord August or Gargarin, Perri, Arjuro, and Trevanion. They really helped shape him into an upstanding man. But you know what made me the most happiest? The blood bond of the brothers—Finnikin, Froi, and Lucien. It was like a mark of a new beginning, of making the world a good place for the next generation. I just got the sense that their future held so much promise. (hide spoiler)]
His relationships with the women were pretty noteworthy too. I mean, hello, the three tattoos! I sort of got choked up when I realized what he did. I loved how the relationship with Lirah developed. How they ended up warmed me heart because you know that's what Froi yearned for. The romance with Quintana was savage and intense but it made sense. She was his strongest motivation to get through all those hardships. Lastly and most importantly, Froi and Isaboe. This is my favorite bond possibly of the entire book. (view spoiler)[It all started with that ruby ring and it was genius that it came full circle. It was Isaboe who gave him a second chance and it was a chance that forever changed Froi's life. I teared up when I read this thought Froi had during his last scene with his Queen: "There were no words, just the certainty that he would love Isaboe of Lumatere for the remainder of his life." Ugh, it kills me. (hide spoiler)]
The romances were top notch. I can't even name them all but I will say they were beautifully written and I instantly rooted for all those couples to work out. That's Melina Marchetta for ya.
These last two books were mainly about Froi and Charyn—something I did not expect when I first started the series—but I'll always be a Lumaterean. They were the backbone that nurtured Froi and taught him to love and belong. He became this great brave man, the perfect candidate to start bringing peace to two enemy kingdoms.
I was satisfied with how everything turned out. Even little loose ends like the John of Charyn story or the outcome of the Lumatere/Charyn valley had a very fitting end. As happy as I was that there was a hopeful ending I couldn't help but feel it was bittersweet as well. I think it goes with the territory when you see everyone grown up and having their own lives. It just made me nostalgic, thinking about when the gang were on that insane journey together back in book one. Like I said earlier, it's hard to say goodbye to these characters but what a wonderful send off. I saw the little author's note on the dust jacket, Marchetta said that if those characters called out to her again she'd return to their world. Oh, how I'd love that (view spoiler)[for Rafuel because he suffered so much at the end (hide spoiler)]. I'll be crossing my fingers. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Really good for such a short story. There isn't too much about Celie in the full-length books but I knew that any good friend of Isobel's h...more4.5 stars.
Really good for such a short story. There isn't too much about Celie in the full-length books but I knew that any good friend of Isobel's had to be awesome and Celie did prove that. There was more than meets the eye with her and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed following alongside her and a few of the secondary characters. Funny how even though it's a very short story, I got very attached to the characters. At first I was little thrown off being dropped into Belegonia and her real purpose for being there. Sort of how I felt with Froi of the Exiles. But once Celie's curiosity in this murder mystery grew mine did as well. I liked how it was done as well because it did feel like she was a real investigator. I also loved the twist reveal because I honesty didn't put that together. I mean I did figure that (view spoiler)[Tilde was alive (hide spoiler)] but everything else I hadn't a clue. I'm hoping that there's more closure for Celie and this story in the final book. ["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A reasonable question coming into this book is can someone who's committed an unspeakable action be redeemed? I wondered whether I'd be able to see pa...moreA reasonable question coming into this book is can someone who's committed an unspeakable action be redeemed? I wondered whether I'd be able to see pass that sin, to see the person as worthy, as a true hero. The answer to my question: yes. I think it's a tough job but if any author can write a believable and amazing redemption it's Melina Marchetta. In the far back of my mind I did have doubts but Froi proved himself. Again and again. He had already begun back in Finnikin of the Rock. I saw the sparks of someone who had the potential to be great. Froi of the Exiles takes place three years later and the growth I saw in Froi was startling. He was still Froi, rough on the edges, but with honest goodness and loyalty. He had found his place among these people. He found a family and had a purpose. Yet there was still something missing...
This book wasn't sunshine and flowers. Finnikin of the Rock was dark but Froi of the Exiles, in my opinion, took the cake. Honestly, I wasn't prepared for just how dark it was. I didn't read it with the fervor I had with Finnikin. It actually took me a lot longer to really get into it (and wow, two months it took for me to finish!). It was difficult to be in Charyn where there was so much hate and sadness. Froi says it best when he compares Lumatere three years ago to present-day Charyn, "Back then there was at least hope. Here there was desperation." Too true. And he further drove in the distinction with, "Lumatere was everything Froi wanted to be, whilst Charyn was a reminder of everything he despised about himself."
I feel bad saying it, but because of all the cruelty, betrayals, secrets, ambiguity, I preferred being in Lumatere more. It was a nice reprieve to visit those beloved characters from time to time throughout the book. Readers get to see after the "happily ever after" and notice there are still obstacles and loose ends to tie. Being with those characters felt like visiting old friends. I love that feeling.
I hadn't expected a brand new gang of characters but that's what I got. It took me a long time to warm up to most of them. I was confused by Quintana's "moods." Gargarin, Arjuro, and Lirah were all a bit too harsh and rough. Again, there was just far too much hate and sadness with these people. They were the ultimate dysfunctional family. Froi seemed to fit right in there. The only thing was, despite what Froi felt, I thought he perfectly blended with his Lumatere family. That's a real dilemma since it's well known that those differing kingdoms are enemies. As Froi bonded deeper to his band of people and his loyalties divided, I worried how everything would play out. I'm still worrying about how all of this will end.
When I think of this series it's like Finnikin was the golden boy while Froi was the scruffy underdog. Though, you know with underdogs, you always want to root for them. And I did. I couldn't give this the five stars so many other readers gave it but I have to say it was a very impressive second book that left me scrambling for the next one.(less)
SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS BOOK AND ITS PERFECTION. I can't even with these characters. Ugh. For me, definitely the best read of the year thus far.
Melina...moreSO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS BOOK AND ITS PERFECTION. I can't even with these characters. Ugh. For me, definitely the best read of the year thus far.
Melina Marchetta is the definition of awesome. If I could give Finnikin of the Rock 10 stars, I would. Jellicoe Road and The Piper's Son are two of my all-time favorites and since reading them I wanted to see how she faired in the fantasy world. I waited, however, until she completed the series and I'm so glad I did. I think I would have been going out of my mind waiting for each installment.
I've said a million times but I love Marchetta's writing. Finnikin of the Rock was signature Marchetta with a crueler world and harsher emotional punch. The world building was fantastic and the constantly moving pace gave no moment of respite, keeping things exciting and fresh. And when I say it was a cruel world, I'm not making light of it. Trigger warning of abuse because while there weren't meticulous details, there's a gist of what happens to people when a land is in unrest and it punches you in the gut. Several times. And so it is very much character driven—no surprise. Though there are many trials and troubles, there is such hope and goodness and faith. The tenacity and resilience of these characters amazed me and I loved every individual in the core group. And the stars of the story, Finnikin and Evanjalin, are by far two of the best protagonists I've ever read about. I can't wait to continue on with this world by following Froi. (less)
That was a rum last book, yo. Fun, exciting, frustrating, thrilling, romantic, and just plain awesome.
(view spoiler)[Han. I like him. A lot. I mean I was pretty close giving up that first book but his POV kept me going. I love seeing how much he's grown since that first page. Now Raisa was a revelation because she, too, evolved. Much more than Han, in my opinion. She became the queen I hoped she would.
Now the romance. Holy hotness Batman, that meeting in Hanalea's garden? SO GOOD. When the accusations start flying, I loved Raisa's faith in Han. It gave me the warm fuzzies. Though okay, it was sad that she thought him dead. That despair, even though we all knew he was alive, was a punch in the gut. Ugh.
Diehard shipper for Han and Raisa, but I'd be lying if I didn't mention I had that nagging voice in my head saying, "What if?" in regards to Amon. Because he totally got the short end of the stick. Maybe it's just me but I'm not the biggest fan of the "marriage of convenience" trope.
Nightwalker! I knew it, that arrogant, wizard-hating douche. He was giving me all these bad feels in the last book and I figured he'd stir something up to cause a war with the gifted since he hates them so much. And geez, it took the author long enough with that reveal. I started doubting myself at the end, thinking damn, I guess I read things wrong. I had thought he was partly in cahoots with the Bayars in the last book though. So, oops, I did get things wrong. The slayings were a giveaway to me but the Marianna thing, I wasn't too sure. And poor Bird getting the cut when basically everyone else (on the good side) survived. With the word crimson in the title I figured there might be double meaning there and a lot of people would die.
Raisa's dear old dad and grandma. Oh, the disappointment, though I can't say I didn't see that coming.
Catfire and Fire Dancer. I can't even. Sooo cute! Also individually these two were beyond awesome and kickass.
CROW. My main wizard! Haha. How effing amazing was he? I'm desperate for some prequel novellas with him and Hanalea. Or hey, maybe a sequel, not that fade to black ending. I mean what the hell happens with the guy? Will he just forever be in Aediion/amulet?
All in all I'm pretty satisfied with this ending. Okay, I lied because c'mon, y'all know that opens up for some spinoff, right? (I'm thinking Vampire Academy/Bloodlines type of thing, even though I haven't read the latter.) I'd say Dancer but that's for selfish reasons. His story is set. The guy couldn't be more perfect. Same for Amon. Though let's be real, I want him to find someone he loves. Micah would be a better candidate since he's such a gray character. He would be fascinating to follow. First, he'd need to redeem himself a bit more, as in making friends with the gang. A friendship with Han would be mind boggling. But a relationship with Dancer would truly be something to behold. Make. It. Happen. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Things happened! It was exciting! And juicy! This is what I'd been looking for since I started the series. I had always felt just a tad with...more4.5 stars.
Things happened! It was exciting! And juicy! This is what I'd been looking for since I started the series. I had always felt just a tad withdrawn from everything and now I have to say I'm hooked. I'm even fascinated with the unraveling politics. Gasp! Oh and I love, love, love how people are playing their cards—looking at you, Han and Raisa. It was really nice to see everyone together (FINALLY!) and mostly on the same page. I think that was key in my enjoyment of this book. And more than ever I felt Raisa growing into herself and taking charge even though she was feeling lost and alone.
Other things from my status updates/comments: (view spoiler)[ - Dancer, I figured you had Bayar blood from the beginning, but that's okay, you're still awesome. Your girl Cat is pretty badass, too. - Amon needs to find a girl he loves. You know, someone not named Raisa. And so this fiancée, yes, fine. All I can hope is that they grow to love each other deeply. Sigh. Short end of the stick, I tell ya. - Micah, stop confusing me. - I don't trust you, Nightwalker. At all. I have this strong inkling you're the big baddie in this game. - Mellony might need a slap upside the head. - The chapter "Second Thoughts." OH, MY. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
So this was good. I definitely liked it more than the first book. It had a mix of road trip and boarding schools—two things I'm very keen on in YAs. I...moreSo this was good. I definitely liked it more than the first book. It had a mix of road trip and boarding schools—two things I'm very keen on in YAs. I do wish I was more into these books though. I enjoy them but I seem to have this detachment to the characters and thus, I've been reading these much too slowly. If they'd all band together in a rag tag gang I'd be all over that. Make it happen, book 3!
Okay, well what a misleading cover and title because this was far more Han's story. And I preferred that since I'm more interested in his journey and personality anyway. Liked the bits with Abelard and Crow. The latter I think could be (view spoiler)[Alger Waterlow (hide spoiler)] but I don't know. I might be grasping at straws there. Now to Raisa. I still found her POVs a bit meh. All I wanted was to get back to what Han was up to. In the grand scheme of things, I liked it though. I appreciated what she was doing and the fact that she grew a lot as a character. She did get more exciting once she finally(view spoiler)[ran into Han and struck up that deal.
Cat and Dancer. Yes. Wish I could've seen more of it. Damn it, Han, why didn't you pay attention to your friends? Speaking of, I have to say I was a little disappointed at Cat but hopefully nothing like that will occur again in the future. Then this leads me to Bird. I was with Han on this. So sue me, I have grudges. It's just that I think this tension is harder to get over since these two were really good childhood friends and even were lovers that last time they were together. Then to turn her back on that, yeah I get Han's harsh feelings toward her.
And Amon, I'm sorry, buddy. Perhaps Bird? Fiona or is that crazy talk? I just hope you get some HEA when this is all done. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[These books would be so much better if there was no romantic drama; they should've just focused on friendships,...moreHmm, I guess 3.5 stars.
(view spoiler)[These books would be so much better if there was no romantic drama; they should've just focused on friendships, royal politics, spirit ability, the dynamics between the different races, etc. I couldn't stomach a lot of the romance. Cheating is such a deal breaker for me and while Rose didn't do it physically till the end, she was already emotionally cheating from the get go. It was painful to read. I did believe she tried to give an honest effort with Adrian when she returned from Siberia but when Dimitri became dhampir again she really should had been alone. It would have been the smart, mature thing to do. It's such a shame because with all the annoying romantic entanglements happening at the end, that bad taste is what I was left with and what I will remember most about this book. Ugh.
The other stuff, well, I actually, for the most part, found it good. There was a lot going on from switching three different storylines: Rose's quest to find the lost Dragomir, the Tatiana who dun it?, and the HP & Goblet of Fire trials for a new monarch. And I didn't really like going from one to the other too much, especially when I got into one of the storylines and then suddenly had to switch. And I know I should be used to it because Rose has been doing it all series but it just felt off because it seemed like more was happening on Lissa's side rather than on Rose who is the actual protagonist. The prison breakout (again?! LOL.) was yet again something fun to start out with, and just being on the run in general I found entertaining. I think what made this little adventure better than Siberia was the fact that she had actual companions I knew of and found intriguing, and the mission itself wasn't self-centered. Now to the murder mystery. I had thought it was Adrian's mom after she was so keen to keep her son safe, but after some time I thought it was too obvious. Then I was pretty clueless and obviously was surprised with the Tasha reveal so kudos to Mead on that. I'm not too sure on the Rose/Lissa unbonding because it was such an easy out, but I guess it had to happen some way.
- Angeline should be brought back. She has spunk. I was sad Rose wasn't able to take her along. - It was sweet to see Mikhail and Sonya reunite. I'm really glad that my early guess from Spirit Bound about him was entirely wrong. - Eddie, what happened to him?! Me thinks he should be a guardian to Jill. Just saying. All in the family, you know. - Mia, you badass, look how far you've come from the first book. - Why wasn't there a conversation between Christian and Rose about Tasha at the end? - Curious about Ian. - Sydney has potential and I'd love to see her evolve. I'm still holding out hope there might be something with Adrian. - And what about Robert? I can certainly see him coming back, seeking revenge for Victor's death.
So, I did really enjoy the first three books, but the last ones really felt off because I was so bothered by the romance aspect. It sucks that there wasn't a clear conclusion to this series. I do want to read about Sydney soon but I am totally burned out from Rose and all her craziness. I'm not sure I want to see the aftermath just yet so I'm going to get a few other books in before getting to Bloodlines (hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[Well first off, I'm glad the beginning skipped straight to the Academy trials rather than being stuck in school. I didn't want to rever...more(view spoiler)[Well first off, I'm glad the beginning skipped straight to the Academy trials rather than being stuck in school. I didn't want to revert back there after the Siberia trip. The prison break-in was exciting and completely made me think of HP & the Deathly Hallows. The reason behind it? Not so fun. I wasn't entirely feeling that quest for love. It was selfish dragging other people in. I just think of all the trouble she could have gotten the others in (and hey, I still think the repercussions for that are still bidding their time). Not cool. Oh, but, yay for Eddie. Sucks that he disappeared for the rest of the novel save for that brief appearance at Rose's hearing.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the convenient restoring Strigoi to dhampir idea but I get it. I mean, why not since Rose actually died and was able to come back to the living. And quite honestly, I'm kind of a sucker for a tortured soul and even though Dimitri frustrated me a little after he came back, he did get under my skin. At first I was a little surprised by how early in the book he was changed because I thought it was the main focal point but then the transgressions afterward made sense for him to return first.
- All the Court stuff was dull. It was like being stuck at the Academy again. I wanted things to happen, some action, not politics. - Tatiana. Who dun it? Victor. But it's an inside job, right? So I'm looking at you, Mikhail. Perhaps he struck up some deal so he could get Karp back? IDK. - Liked that Abe was here toward the end. But where was Jeanine? Felt like she should had popped up again sometime after the trials. - Lissa's half-sibling? I wonder, I wonder. - Rose's love life? A headache. Just be alone. It's going to hurt Adrian so much. Yet again she's being selfish. - Sydney thinks Adrian is cute! I was half joking about pairing them up in my Blood Promise review, but gosh, I'll ship it. - More Eddie in the next book. I think Mead traumatized me because every time he's on the pages I get scared he'll be killed off. - More Christian, too (hide spoiler)]. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** So conflicted! Some parts I liked. Others, meh.
I'll start with Sydney. She was interesting though not sure if I care too much about...more**spoiler alert** So conflicted! Some parts I liked. Others, meh.
I'll start with Sydney. She was interesting though not sure if I care too much about Alchemists at this point. It seems pretty obvious that this isn't the last we've seen of her so who knows, maybe she could be a love interest for Adrian or something. Sorry, I just want him to have a HEA with someone. Ha.
Avery's bit was something I saw coming. While I didn't pick up the spirit and bonds immediately, I did get the sense when I saw Reed and Simon continuously acting dark and sullen. Honestly, she was a headache and the only reason her storyline was added was to show how having more than one bond doesn't balance well. Uh, duh, I kind of figured considering the history of madness with only two people being bonded.
I kind of missed the misadventures of Rose and Christian. I mean it seemed as though they always had some epic thing each book. Here's to hoping there's more of him in Spirit Bound. Oh, and he's so going to get back together with Lissa. I'm not even the slightest bit worried. I did like Jill having a part so maybe she'll be part of the gang? Also I never thought I'd say this but that goes for Mia, too.
I liked the Abe involvement. I had a feeling he wasn't as bad as Rose thought. It proved true when she brought up the name Ibrahim while Lissa and Tatiana were talking guardians. It clicked that Abe was obviously a nickname for him, so the "Rose, I am your father" reveal was a little anti-climatic. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how that relationship pans out. And hopefully we'll see more with the Abe/Janine history too.
All these flashbacks with Dimitri--I kind of wished they were in the previous books because I always thought there weren't enough scenes with him and Rose. It's why they weren't exactly that big of a presence on my radar, making me feel a little detached. Now in this book it's like, oh let's add them in and oh, see, they're sooo connected! I liked them, don't get me wrong, but the impact of the flashbacks was soften in comparison to what it could have done in the other installments.
I was on the fence about her solo mission to free Dimitri. Part of me liked seeing Rose on her own because I guess I thought she needed this. The other part thought it was too reckless. Not to mention a lot of it made me bored. Yeah, the Alchemists were interesting, it was nice meeting Dimitri's family, and the functional bonded pair gave me hope for Rose and Lissa, BUT it was so tedious. I kept wanting something big to happen.
Things really picked up with the vigilante "goddamned hottest vampire hunters ever" group. That was awesome.
But sadly the awesomeness didn't last so long. The captivity. Oh, that was so disappointing, seeing her so weak and lovesick. I hated it. I was really on board with Rose and Dimitri in Shadow Kiss but then he died. He's Strigoi. I just, ugh, I don't know. It's too conflicting. That whole blood whore part of this book grossed me out. And the thing with the healing ring? Well I think we all figured that spirit would be the only way for Dimitri could come back from the undead but a tiny piece of me thinks it's a copout. It would be so unconventional and refreshing for Rose to actually kill him and be paired with Adrian now. Moving on from your first love isn't the end of the world. People can fall in love again. I'm guessing majority of the readers would have thrown a fit everything played out that way, though. And let's be real, it's a given Rose/Dimitri will be endgame. Now I'm just hoping Mead will find a way tp make me want them together again.
Before I forget, the Victor/Robert connection! Nice twist, Mead. Victor still needs to die, though. Just saying.
And lastly, Rose and Lissa! They've returned to be my favorite relationship at the end of this book. So glad to see them heading in the right direction now. (less)
4.5 stars. So, it seems my whole "the third's the charm" with PNR/UF books seems to hold with this series. For me, this was the best book so far.
Ther...more4.5 stars. So, it seems my whole "the third's the charm" with PNR/UF books seems to hold with this series. For me, this was the best book so far.
There was some crazy stuff going on in Shadow Kiss. I'll first get to the "small" stuff like the royal politics which I think was interesting. I have such a bad feeling about Lissa's future plans especially after that ending. Also the storm is still brewing with Victor. I'm looking forward to how it will all go down. The mana group was pretty idiotic. Ugh. But it reiterated how the little details of your choices and actions can result in monumental shake ups. And that leads me to Rose's moodier disposition.
I like that there were consequences for magic, at least in Lissa's case. It was so, so interesting to see more into the Rose/Lissa connection and how using the spirit ability, which is really something incredible, (view spoiler)[would affect Rose (hide spoiler)]. Rose's more intense moods set up some good storytelling. I also liked exploring (view spoiler)[PTSD with Eddie because it was necessary. I had expected a bit more of it in the first half of the book. I really hope he pops up in the next book because I would like more of him with her. Not in a romantic way, but in the way that they are bonded over what happened from Frostbite. Oh and I basically flipped out when Eddie was captured because I was like, geez, you can't be a nice guy or else Mead will kill/torture you. I was a little surprised that Mia moved because I had thought she would develop a better relationship with Rose after all they've been through. And Christian. I thought it was great when Rose was assigned to him because they had some fantastic scenes. I like that they do have this friendship though you know underneath there is just a tad bit of jealously due to Lissa. Oh, and I can't forget Mason. Honestly, I'm still getting over that loss. When he smiled at the end, I admit I teared up a little. I'll say it again, I'll miss him (hide spoiler)].
There was a definite shift in what my number one relationship was. I crossed over to really shipping Rose and Dimitri. His confessions in here--that won me over because while I did like Rose and Dimitri in the last books, their relationship wasn't my main focus (it was the Rose/Lissa friendship).
I was a teeny tiny bit spoiled in that I had a hint that (view spoiler)[Dimitri would turn only because I saw the lists these (or at least the first Vampire Academy book) were on. One list had said something along the lines of Best Immortal Boyfriends. So, yeah, I kind of figured something would happen to him eventually. I just didn't know which book. And gosh, this is like Buffy and Angel when he lost his soul. Though I hope it's like Buffy and Spike in which he's missing his soul but still loves her. Please! (hide spoiler)]
This was a real true changing point. Things are getting darker and darker. Rose is most definitely not the same girl we met in Vampire Academy and her evolution has been so well written. She did change when Mason died but this new devastation was so much greater. I respected and understood Rose's decision at the end. I just hope the next books don't fall into the dreaded post-high school, jumping the shark type of thing we tend to see in teen drama shows. Oh, and in connection to her choice at the end, poor Adrian. The guy's a goner, as in head-over-heels in love, like Mason. I can't see the coming book ending well at all.
Now I can safely say I don't know any further hints/spoilers about the next books (besides the fact that I think the main characters will survive because c'mon, how cruel could Mead be? Don't answer that!). And I intend to keep it that way. as best I can.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
So I'm still recovering from that ending. I mean, why? (view spoiler)[Mason! I had a feeling he'd die in this book because I took a little peek at Sha...moreSo I'm still recovering from that ending. I mean, why? (view spoiler)[Mason! I had a feeling he'd die in this book because I took a little peek at Shadow Kiss's cast of characters and saw his name missing. I'm a bit impressed that Richelle Mead was okay with killing off such a likeable character like Mason. I figured Rose would turn him down and he'd get together with Mia since she liked him. Anyway, I'm going to miss him because I felt he was a kindred spirit to Rose, and was just a nice, flirty, good guy (hide spoiler)].
There was a lot of character development which I was very happy about. I started out this book wanting to hit a lot of people but then toward the end I saw past the layers. Basically like Rose. I hoping that stronger relationships develop with (view spoiler)[Mia, Christian, Eddie, and Rose considering what they went through (hide spoiler)]. Or at least a step in that direction. I also look forward to more Adrian. He's intriguing and I do want to learn more about (view spoiler)[spirit (hide spoiler)] and all the abilities that come with it.
I feel like I'm repeating what some of the characters said in the book, but they do speak the truth: Rose is young and still has a lot to learn. She acts like a teen and does deal with the drama "normal" teens do. But, the events that transpired forced her to grow up a lot more. I look forward to seeing some changes in her, see her become more of an adult. I mean, Mason did say there was a change in her but I do hope she learns to control her temper and rashness. I'm not sure if that'll happen if (view spoiler)[Lissa is still on her meds since Adrian's words hint that Lissa's darker moods transfer over to Rose (hide spoiler)]. At least that's what I'm thinking.
Truth be told, I was a little disappointed with the lack of Rose and Lissa. They're my favorite part of the series. Though, again, they are growing up and I suppose it's natural that with relationships and other duties getting in the way, they'll have less time together. That is until she becomes her guardian. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I haven't touched a YA vampire book in years. Actually there was only one series I ever tried and then that was it for me. So, I've been pretty close-...moreI haven't touched a YA vampire book in years. Actually there was only one series I ever tried and then that was it for me. So, I've been pretty close-minded about that specific sub-genre. I'm glad I gave Vampire Academy a chance because it was a lot of fun. The world building was okay, not really that fascinating, but that's okay. The characters are what pulled me in anyway.
Rose is my kind of girl. She is sort of the typical urban fantasy/paranormal protagonist with her spunk, snark, and wit. And of course, she's also a bit special. Never is a protagonist ordinary (in accordance to abilities or powers) in the supernatural world. Now while I've seen her characteristics time and time again, these type of heroines appeal to me and so I loved Rose. Stupid decisions and all. I admired her protective mentality toward Lissa, how her job was her world and reason for being. Lissa is her other half, maybe her "better" half because, c'mon, Rose is a bit rash and in your face. To the normal eye she may seem weak, but I found her to be very strong and it was enlightening to see her struggles highlighted. Not something you see often in this genre. I look forward to seeing her character evolve because I think there is so much potential in her.
Rose and Lissa's friendship made this book for me. The boys were fun and yeah, I liked them, but none were at that swoon-worthy point just yet. It was kind of nice that there wasn't an all-consuming romance but I'm happy that there are foundations for some. I don't mind waiting to see that develop. And back to Rose and Lissa. Never have I seen such a well done and strong female friendship portrayed in YA (or at least I can't think of any others at the moment). I really, really just latched onto these two. I hope that their relationship continues to be the forefront for the rest of the books.
The petty social politics and angst was a little melodramatic and made me roll my eyes. But I suppose this wouldn't be a YA without that. I found the royal politics, on the other hand, very intriguing. I look forward for more in that area as the series goes on. (less)
This book's no joke. Armentrout didn't hold back, took it up a notch and really put these characters through the ringer. The situation definitely has...moreThis book's no joke. Armentrout didn't hold back, took it up a notch and really put these characters through the ringer. The situation definitely has gotten more intense yet it still had that humor mixed in from time to time. The previous books were hands down YA and this one is basically transitioning to NA. They're on their own, having to make hard decisions and live with the consequences. There was a lot thrown at them, so much they've all gone through and will have to go through. I'm so curious to see how these characters will handle this crazy next stage that came upon them at the end.
(view spoiler)[Part of me is still happy about how solid Daemon and Katy are but I also have to point out that they were borderline cheesy at times. They kept me entertained though so that's always good. The marriage thing didn't bother me. I get it. I'm a bit more worried about whether Katy will get pregnant like Beth. Which by the way, me thinks some shit will totally hit the fan for her and Dawson. As in someone will die. I don't know, I guess I'm a cynic. I'm judging from how many died in this one so I wouldn't be surprised.
I liked Archer. I liked Luc. Hopefully they make it out of these books alive. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Opal was better than Onyx. Like a lot better. Not sure if it beats Obsidian for me but it's definitely right there with it.
It was really difficult to get through the teen drama in the previous book and that was one of the main reasons I didn't give it a high rating. Now in Opal, it was just nice to see Kat and Daemon as a couple and on the same page. And you know, there were still insecurities and bumps on the road but they worked it out and learned to compromise. I'm glad these two still bicker and banter all the time--that's kind of what I love about them--but you know it comes from a good place. They really have come a long way.
Dawson. (view spoiler)[I knew he would be different and it sucked to see how much he changed but it's understandable. I enjoyed how Kat was able to get through to him and slowly get him back to some sense of normalcy (hide spoiler)].
I also liked how Kat and Dee was handled, (view spoiler)[that it did take a while to get back on the same ground. Though, that ground isn't ever going to be back to what it was in Obsidian, I was still happy to see progress (hide spoiler)].
Lastly, Blake. Well, I actually don't have much to say. (view spoiler)[To me, that last action he did was payback for his hurt feelings. Otherwise, I think he would have stayed true and everyone would have made it out (hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Personally, I suggest this novella be read after Obsidian and Onyx not only because readers should get a better knowledge of the characters and the wo...morePersonally, I suggest this novella be read after Obsidian and Onyx not only because readers should get a better knowledge of the characters and the world, but because it contains some hints/reveals I think are best left as a surprise.
I loved what I had learned of Dawson from the first two books. He sounded like a good, vibrant type of person. So before I even started reading this novella, I knew it would ultimately depress me since that Dawson would forever be gone. What I didn't expect, however, was being a little underwhelmed by his romance with Bethany. I just couldn't jump on board with it. It was sweet and wholesome...and unfortunately boring. But I don't regret reading it because I wanted to know that backstory and to see what went down. My favorite part of Shadows, though, was getting to see the sibling relationships. With Dawson and Daemon. With Dawson and Dee. With Dawson, Daemon, and Dee. It was both lovely and cute. (less)
3.5 stars. Good start. Good ending. Very tedious middle.
The thing I found most refreshing from Obsidian came to bite me in the ass. Lovely. It was es...more3.5 stars. Good start. Good ending. Very tedious middle.
The thing I found most refreshing from Obsidian came to bite me in the ass. Lovely. It was established that Kat felt Daemon was not serious about her toward the end of that book. Yes. That's fine and dandy, but to drag it out in Onyx was excruciating. There was obvious development with Daemon. He made an effort but (view spoiler)[Kat still ran from him (hide spoiler)]. AHHH.
And (view spoiler)[third parties—I'm looking at you Blake (hide spoiler)]—aren't they a picnic? It tested Daemon and Kat, in particular their trust. That is so important and Kat, I think, seemed purposely obtuse. Her inability to see what was right in front of her—Way. To. Fail. Trust your gut, your instinct! It sort of made her the token annoying, naive protagonist. I really can't with her on some of those mistakes.
I'm complaining but don't get me wrong, I still love their bickering and chemistry and the fact that (view spoiler)[all their feelings are FINALLY (hide spoiler)] out in the open so ultimately their relationship is that much stronger. So, yeah, there is that.
Plot-wise, it felt a little dull—all that training—but I like this idea of (view spoiler)[mutated humans (hide spoiler)]. There should be repercussions of Daemon's actions from book 1. About 70% in it got very interesting and pretty much saved the book for me. It was very eye-opening to the gritty world they're going to have to face in the coming books. Truly understanding the scope of what (view spoiler)[the DOD was doing with Luxen and hybrids (hide spoiler)] twisted my stomach. I think the next couple of books and delving into that storyline will be difficult to read. At least for me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)