Well, things are finally starting to get interesting! I had to really push to get through books 1-3 and there are still a lot of flaws in this book, bWell, things are finally starting to get interesting! I had to really push to get through books 1-3 and there are still a lot of flaws in this book, but it's saved by a few interesting plot developments.
(view spoiler)[a. Marc is kidnapped b. something bad happens to someone in the Pride c. there is finally some Jace action! I've always thought he was much cuter than Marc, and his scenes with Faythe are much steamier. It's not ideal that this happened while Marc was missing and that she was cheating--hello, worst girlfriend ever--but I've been hoping she'd go for Jace since the beginning. (hide spoiler)]
Faythe is also a little less abrasive in this book, and the plots aren't quite so repetitive. The ending with the news that (view spoiler)[Ethan's girlfriend is pregnant (hide spoiler)] isn't something I really care much about, but it is interesting that there is now a change in the triangle. One which I'm hoping I will like.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Overall, I liked this book better than any of the others so far. The action was more exciting and I liked that it took place outside of the Sanders hoOverall, I liked this book better than any of the others so far. The action was more exciting and I liked that it took place outside of the Sanders home. I think part of the reason I didn't enjoy the first few books as much (part of the reason, because there were a lot of problems with them) was because they were so limited in focus and nearly all the secondary males blended together. By moving the story out of that zone, it also freed up more time to focus on the primary characters. The show-downs were good and I liked the justice that was meted out by various different people...and since I'm a fan of Jace's, I'm glad to see he got more character development and ink.
I do think it's kind of cheating to introduce a new species into the fifth book of a series, however, when there's been no interaction (and only a couple of brief speculative mentions, if I recall correctly) with other paranormal ones. I was okay with the thunderbirds (what a weird animal to pick!), although I did giggle a couple of times at unintentionally funny moments, especially when they were flying away with Faythe. I couldn't help it.
Every time I think I'm starting to like Faythe a little better, however, she does more stupid and hurtful things. She's a little less loud-mouthed and rash than she was in the first 3 books, and I understand what happened in the last one, but...honestly. This situation between her and Marc and Jace is so ridiculous and drawn out. She keeps protesting it's not a good time to tell Marc about what happened while he was kidnapped, but then (view spoiler)[she kisses Jace, but then she has sex with Marc literally 5 minutes later, and then she asks Jace to help her undress and bathes naked in front of him....and she still isn't telling Marc! (hide spoiler)] Jeez! You can't fault someone for not being sure of her feelings, but you can expect that they'll try and respect the other parties as much as possible. Which she didn't.
A lot of people get pissed off by love triangles, but I don't really mind them because I sort of expect that a. the authors want to create romantic conflict and b. it often represents a choice the heroine is making in life as well. So while I get annoyed if the situation drags on interminably or when one option is clearly better than another, I don't get all huffy if I see them in books. But I don't have any respect for woman who doesn't have the guts to make a decision or to mitigate the damage and hurt she knows it will cause.
I'm obviously going to read the last book since I've made it this far, but I'm still really surprised by how much better the author's YA series is. And it's funny how much more mature and rational Kaylee is overall, even though she's so much younger--and a lot less experienced--than Faythe is.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I've never before seen any series where the main character starts out annoying and then becomes progressively even more awful. I had hopes after the lI've never before seen any series where the main character starts out annoying and then becomes progressively even more awful. I had hopes after the last couple of books that Faythe would redeem herself by finally making some good decisions, but if anything, her behavior becomes even worse. And in the end, she doesn't even make a choice...the guys do it for her.
With some decent action scenes but predictable power plays and predictable deaths, the only real question is how the infamous love triangle is resolved. Would you choose the guy who yells "What are you, brain-dead" at you? If you're Faythe Sanders, you do. ...more
1. She doesn't take any crap from anyone. 2. She's sarcastic and occasionally rude and always hilarious. Who e3.5 stars
10 Reasons to Love Kate Daniels:
1. She doesn't take any crap from anyone. 2. She's sarcastic and occasionally rude and always hilarious. Who else would greet a snarly Beast Lord with "Here, kitty, kitty...?" 3. She knows all the rules of diplomacy when dealing with shapeshifters, vampires, and other supernaturals. 4. She knows how to break all those rules and commands respect in spite of it. 5. She admits when she makes mistakes. 6. She's comfortable with herself and who she is. But she's lonely too, and she isn't afraid to acknowledge it. 7. She has a lot of men in her life that she likes for different reasons. But she won't hesitate to call them out if she thinks they're crossing the line. 8. She has a huge amount of decency and integrity. Exhausted, hurt, bleeding, and hungry, she'll still stop eating when she thinks someone else is being slighted. 9. She wields a mean sword that she calls "Slayer" that she uses to kill all kinds of vicious creatures. 10. She kicks serious ass, with or without magic.
I have a hit-or-miss track record with most urban fantasy books that I've tried, but I think Kate and I are going to get along just fine. Can't wait to read the next book! And the one after that, and the one after that... ...more
2.5 stars I really like it when humans turn into animals. I don't know why. But I do. Maybe it's the whole intelligent mind inside dumb animal thing,2.5 stars I really like it when humans turn into animals. I don't know why. But I do. Maybe it's the whole intelligent mind inside dumb animal thing, maybe it's the freedom of moving around in slinky ways.
I downloaded the sample chapters of this book and was pretty excited by the beginning: our heroine is being hunted by someone late at night, and she shifts into a small cat in order to evade her captors. She then cleverly hides inside a shopping bag that is carried out of a woman's restroom. Awesome start, right? Unfortunately, while there were a few other moments that I did like in this book, there were none that really lived up to that particular one.
I had a hard time connecting with Kita, as I just didn't understand her motivation...and the same goes for Bobby, the ex-boyfriend who has been sent by her father to retrieve her (and who is also mated and an expectant father), and Nathaniel, the vampire who turns her into a vampire. Yep, he turns her into a vampire. So we now have a shape-shifting kitty who is also a vampire who is being chased all over town. There was a lot going on, and frankly, I spent most of the book pretty confused. As much as people like to complain about info-dumps that provide explanations and back story, the alternative of too-little information that's illogically inserted is actually a lot worse. The world-building definitely needed more attention here, and it was a little frustrating that Kita didn't really use her powers all that much. She's stripped of her shape-shifting abilities after she's turned into a vampire, see, so that really upsets the whole I-like-manimals thing for me.
There's never any real reason given as to why she keeps pushing Nathaniel away or enough history given for the situation between her and Bobby, and most importantly, not enough information on this supposedly exalted position she holds in the animal kingdom. I also got really tired of everyone addressing her as "Kitten" when she keeps saying she doesn't like it. The girl has a name. Use it....more
A little more interesting that the first book, but it still isn't really grabbing me. I would love to know more about Kita at this point--her power, hA little more interesting that the first book, but it still isn't really grabbing me. I would love to know more about Kita at this point--her power, her history, her fears, her emotions, etc--and I just don't feel that I really do. Not sure if I'm going to check out the rest of the series....more
3.5 stars I liked the first book in this series a little better, but this one was still plenty fun. I enjoyed getting to know Kate better and Derek to3.5 stars I liked the first book in this series a little better, but this one was still plenty fun. I enjoyed getting to know Kate better and Derek too, and the action scenes were pretty kick-ass. All the interactions with Bran also showed us a lot more of Kate's character, and I like her more and more as I get to know her.
So far I'm still not really all that into Curran yet, but he's definitely intriguing, especially with the cat-feeding-favored-ones thing. I'm hoping that this "kill you or have sex with you" thing will move along in the next book, though!...more
Here is a most edifying (and highly scientific) quiz you may use to ascertain whether this novel is one that you will enjoy.
* Is your bookcase overfloHere is a most edifying (and highly scientific) quiz you may use to ascertain whether this novel is one that you will enjoy.
* Is your bookcase overflowing with strong, decisive heroines? * Do you chuckle over the animated Gorey titles preceding a PBS “Mystery!” presentation? * Are you fond of the Victorian era? * Does witty prose make you positively giddy with excitement? * Have you ever lingered over a bit of lace or wistfully touched a velvet coat? * Are you delighted when someone brews a pot of tea? * Does the notion of shape-shifters tickle your fancy? * Are you fascinated by the seductive appeal of vampires? * Have you a penchant for strong, handsome men? * Do you look discreetly and longingly at other people’s plates?
If the answer to most of these questions is “yes” then you musn’t hesitate—it’s quite possible that Soulless will thoroughly please your palate and leap right onto your “favorites” shelf. If the answer is “no,” then clearly there is no romance in your soul this is a book to be most assuredly avoided.
You will have to forgive my enthusiasm in this review. I was positively in ecstasies over the witty language as I was reading this deliciously dotty book, and even as I write this it’s hard to keep from smiling. The story follows Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a preternatural being who has the ability to remove supernatural powers as long as she is touching the other person. Alexia is a clever bluestocking with revoltingly independent tendencies and an unfortunate weakness for treacle tarts. As a spinster, she’s resigned herself to hovering on the edges of glittering social engagements--that is, until she gets caught up in the mystery surrounding a strange vampire attack that flaunts all the rules of polite society. Not to mention that such attacks are a serious breach of good manners.
Meticulously detailed and overflowing with good humor, Soulless is a like a cozy mystery run mad, set in an inventive alternate universe populated with a dizzying array of colorful characters. I’m quite sure that Gail Carriger has been busily spying my bookshelves to see all of the different kinds of books I enjoy and wrote this just for me, as I jotted notes continuously as I read because I found so much to exclaim over. If you’re curious about the writer’s style, I would strongly recommend downloading the preview chapter to try or having a look at my status updates, since I quoted a fair number of my favorite lines.
I haven’t read that many steampunk novels yet, but it’s hard to imagine that there could be another one that blends the Victorian era and imaginative paranormal fiction as seamlessly as this one does. I loved the marvelous descriptions of glassicals, carriages outfitted with tea kettles and viewing lenses, and the various steam-powered machines and engines. (view spoiler)[I am still disturbed by all the octupuses, however. That is never explained! (hide spoiler)]
What I appreciate most about this book, however, is that the author did a splendid job of melding mystery, steampunk, and romance together in such a wonderful way while observing the customs and attitudes of the Victorian era. I have such a pet peeve about novels that are set in this time that largely ignore traditional views towards women or the rules of society; while I don’t expect every historical novel I pick up (especially light-hearted entertainers like this one) to be completely accurate, it is a joy to find a book that is so thoroughly researched and comfortable with the manners and mores of the period. Although Alexia is obviously a supernatural being with unusual powers, she also has the same concerns as other women of her time: the feminine role in society, the need for security through marriage, the uncomfortable marginalization of thinking women, etc. I felt enormous sympathy for Alexia when she says simply, “I would so like something useful to do.” The author spends just enough time working these details into the story before she transcends those issues and gives our heroine the means to overcome her problems in a completely enjoyable way.
Once the big confrontation occurs towards the end, however, I did feel that the book lost a bit of its momentum since it would have been better if things were wrapped up more quickly, and the paranormal aspects of Alexia's abilities are perhaps a little on the slight side. There was also a bit more romance in the novel than I expected, but you know, I’m as willing to be seduced by a handsome werewolf as the next lady, so I was happy to go along with that part of the story. It’s not a hardship when Miss Tarabotti and Lord Maccon are such well-matched individuals. And, um, some of their scenes together made this reader fan herself more than once.
I had such a wonderful time reading this novel. This style of writing and humor and story will not be for everyone, but I found it to be hysterically funny, swooningly romantic, and thoroughly entertaining. I absolutely adore it.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ And I want to pepper it with kisses. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Aerial dragon battles. A girl with a cool mystical powers. Cute boys on motorbikes. What more could you ask for in a fun and fluffy paranormal book?
FlAerial dragon battles. A girl with a cool mystical powers. Cute boys on motorbikes. What more could you ask for in a fun and fluffy paranormal book?
Flying Blind took me completely by surprise. The story follows Zoë Sorensson, the only female dragon shapeshifter in existence, who has important duties to assume when she comes to maturity. The problem is, her powers haven't bloomed properly and the few times they begin to appear--in the form of a mesmerizing flame in the pupils of her eyes and a single curved talon--she can't control them. As a result, she's shipped off to dragon "boot camp" where she's huddled with a group of dragon boys she's known all her life, including Nick, the attractive guy whom she may be destined to be with.
The dragon lore is exceptionally well thought-out, with specific behaviors and mythology. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the different dragons, from a green one with silver-tipped scales to a beautiful garnet and gold one to a regal pewter and purple one with silver accents. The dragon battles are also very easy to picture, with muscular physical tussling, claw-slashing, orange-flamed fire-breathing, and tail-whomping--and with none of the typical fast-healing, "easy fix" powers to lessen the stakes.
Zoë is a bright, funny heroine who narrates in a breezy tone that's immensely appealing. She's attempting to gain control of her body while trying to figure out why such a dark cloud seems to hang over her normally good-natured friends, and there's a lot that's thrown at her as she's coming into her role as a member of the Pyr. She makes a lot of mistakes, but she owns up to them and is never afraid to take action when it matters most. I like that every person in the huge cast of secondary characters has a distinct voice and identity, and that things don't always go the way that seasoned YA readers might expect with mysterious strangers or popular girls. The story is fairly complex for a short book, but it's very light-hearted in tone, which is a refreshing change from all those supernatural YA books that aren't well-thought out or that take themselves too seriously. One of the many humorous touches? Zoë, kickass girl dragon, is a vegetarian.
This book is apparently a spinoff of the author's adult PNR series, but it doesn't feel like something that's hastily cobbled together or that is at all lacking in explanation. The author does a terrific job of gradually revealing the rules and history of dragon behavior, as well as in giving enough time (but not too much time) to characters from the other series in a way that doesn't feel tiresome or forced. It's also great to see a book that shows teens with strong, loving relationships with the adults in their lives--but the crises are deftly handled and solved by the younger dragons themselves. I will say there's a lot of information to process, some of the "dark cloud" behaviors drag on for a little too long, and Zoë does occasionally get a little moony over her crush. But all the romance issues are resolved by the end of the book, and there is plenty of time spent on the family and friend relationships, mythology, plot, and personal development to balance the relationship stuff out.
I'd highly recommend Flying Blind to any fan of non-angsty paranormal/fantasy YA, especially to fans of series such as Hex Hall or The Darkest Powers. Zoë does a lot growing up in this zippy, action-packed story--and after having such a fun whirlwind of an adventure in her company, I can't to see where the next story takes her!
P.S. The cover and title are very misleading, in my opinion. I think a story that has such a humorous feel to it deserves a cover design that makes it stand out a little more from all the other typical paranormal YA books out there. I really can't picture Zoë with such a serious look on her face at all! Also, newsflash: gorgeous battling dragons are a huge selling point. At least for me, anyway....more
4.5 stars Oooo, smut smut smut smut smut. :D Is it terribly shallow to admit that I snapped up this book because I heard there was hot *whispers* drag4.5 stars Oooo, smut smut smut smut smut. :D Is it terribly shallow to admit that I snapped up this book because I heard there was hot *whispers* dragon sex in it? I rarely read paranormal romances these days, but all of the reviews I saw for this book were raves, so I was wild with curiosity. Besides, I have a serious weakness for shapeshifters, which has sometimes led to disastrous reads and sometimes led to really fun ones. I'm happy to report that in this case, the book more than lives up to the hype.
The story is actually really good, and so well-plotted that in some ways, I'd say this is a lot closer to urban fantasy than your typical PNR; there's as much focus on the story as there is on the relationship. Pia, the central character, is very strong and principled. When we first meet her, she's just been coerced into stealing from a powerful dragon lord. Being a clever woman, she's stolen only a single penny, and she even left a note of apology in its place. Dragos doesn't care, however, and comes after her with all the force of his formidable powers and bristling with outrage and fury. Things begin to get interesting when they realize that Pia's coercion is actually part of a bigger political game between the Fae and the Elder Races...and when they discover their unwilling attraction to one another.
And boy oh boy, is this relationship HOT. Dragos is a very, um, masculine guy and he's overwhelmingly attracted to Pia. The rumors of crazy dragon sex in this book were not exaggerated, but what I also love is that the relationship between them is portrayed with a great deal of respect and tenderness. They're strong as individuals, but they're so great together that you really want them to overcome all their obstacles and get their happily ever after. The secondary characters are also great, and the set-up for the next book Storm's Heart is skillfully woven into the plot.
Aside from a small bit of info-dumping in the beginning, this is an exceptionally well-written novel for the genre, and filled with humorous situations and hilarious one-liners. Several of my friends have pulled this out as a favorite quote, and I have to share it as well, because it just makes me giggle:
“So is that your long, scaly reptilian tail or are you just happy to see me?”
Tee hee hee. How can you not laugh? This is a book that isn't afraid to poke fun at itself, which is a nice change from all the paranormal books that take their own mythology so seriously. Speaking of which, I also enjoyed the reveal of Pia's mysterious past and her...powers. It was a fun surprise and perfectly done.
If you're inclined to read this sort of book, I can't recommend this enough--it's truly the best PNR book I've ever read. Every element that you could consider--the story, the magic, the characters, the romance, the sex, the writing--is absolutely terrific. You really couldn't ask for a more entertaining read....more
Survivalist story + shifter. I should have loved this, because I really like the author's Darkest Rising series. But while the first book in this spinSurvivalist story + shifter. I should have loved this, because I really like the author's Darkest Rising series. But while the first book in this spinoff series felt like a loooong road to get to the main point of Maya's story, this installment is so jam-packed with action, there's barely any breathing room in it.
(view spoiler)[While I'm relatively indifferent to the romance, the missing-presumed-dead plot with Rafe annoyed me, because OBVIOUSLY he was just fine. And it irritated me even more when he just suddenly shows up again, and the clumsily handled "betrayal." (hide spoiler)]
This should really be 2 stars for my ho-hum/annoyed reaction to the book, but Kelley Armstrong still writes shifting sequences in a way that I love, both in terms of the character's thought processes and the sheer physicality. Maya's first shift (with her trying to back up and falling on her rump) is so utterly right, and so very familiar to anyone who's spent any time at all with cats.
Headed into the final book for sure, but how I wish this spinoff series didn't seem like such a missed opportunity. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
3.5 stars Oh Eugenie, Eugenie, Eugenie. Throughout all four of the Dark Swan books, I feel like you could have used a good girlfriend you could call w3.5 stars Oh Eugenie, Eugenie, Eugenie. Throughout all four of the Dark Swan books, I feel like you could have used a good girlfriend you could call whenever you had the urge to do something silly. Unfortunately, you didn't have my number, and as much as I've enjoyed your company, I still have to fight the urge to shake some sense into you, even after all this time.
In Shadow Heir, Eugenie Markham has her twin babies but hides them away in fear of their safety. She returns to the faery world to find that a disaster has fallen on her land, and she must work together with both allies and enemies in order to save the Otherworld that she's come to love. Eugenie's story has always been a lot of fun from the very beginning, when we first learned she was a half-human, half-fae shaman for hire who learns that she's destined to be part of a prophecy that will wreak havoc upon the mortal world. I've really enjoyed her learning to harness her powers (she can control water elements!), uncovering the truth behind her past, and watching her become a more powerful, more dedicated Queen in the faery kingdom. All of the battle scenes are really fun, and if some of the plot points are a bit on the predictable side, that hasn't mattered as much to me because the characters are all nuanced and interesting, the dialogue is snappy and humorous, and the overall story lines are fast-paced and entertaining.
What's been much less enjoyable has been watching Eugenie bounce back and forth between her two love interests, the half-Japanese, half-fox shapeshifter Kiyo, and the madly flirtatious, deadly ambitious King Dorian. While both men were equally attractive in the beginning, the love triangle dragged out interminably, with pretty bad behaviors from everyone concerned. Both men have their own agendas and secrets that they keep from Eugenie, but in the last book Iron Crowned, one of them made a horribly treacherous and unforgivable move, and I went into this book absolutely gunning for blood. (view spoiler)[ Or a fur coat. :D (hide spoiler)] One really funny thing about this last installment is that pretty much everyone else in the book hates him, too! Different characters kept bringing up the idea of killing the traitor again and again, to my great satisfaction.
I did very much enjoy reading this story and I was happy that many of the threads that were left hanging in the last book were concluded--but I'm not sure I'm happy about the way they were resolved. Eugenie makes some pretty awful tactical errors, seems deliberately obtuse throughout much of the story, and in the end sets upon a course that made my blood pressure go up a few notches. There is just no reason that she shouldn't have learned by now that dishonesty and deception are never going to pay off. Her decisions at the end were illogical, poorly conceived, and completely unfair to everyone concerned. Also...(view spoiler)[I could have used a little bit more makeout time with Dorian. (hide spoiler)]
Richelle Mead's heroines are always strong, dominant women, which is part of what I like about them--but after producing three series which manage to entertain and frustrate readers in nearly equal measure, it's pretty clear to me that the biggest issue is that in trying to make her main character flawed, she so often makes the main character stupid as well. Or at least irrational and thoughtless, which is so frustrating when our heroine usually otherwise behaves with a great deal of courage and integrity and common sense. That's not to say that obstacles shouldn't be thrown in the main character's way or that she shouldn't make mistakes, since that's what keeps things interesting. But there should be solid reasons given for withholding information/not taking action/etc, etc., other than just to extend the story. We can't root for the heroine if we're suddenly rolling our eyes at her all the time.
So this is, once again, a mixed conclusion to a Richelle Mead series. I still enjoy her books quite a lot because they're so darned entertaining--but things never seem to end with my having as much respect for the heroine as I did in the beginning. It is so very disappointing when it appears that readers believe in the characters' self-worth and honor more than their author does.
**My thanks go out to the lovely Flannery for knowing how much I was dying to read this book and being kind enough to share her ARC.**