Searching for another kick-ass urban fantasy heroine? Look no further, because McKenzie Lewis has arrived. Caught in a fascinating war between the faeSearching for another kick-ass urban fantasy heroine? Look no further, because McKenzie Lewis has arrived. Caught in a fascinating war between the fae king and the rebel faction, she is kidnapped by the rebellion, who wants to use her special cartography skills for their own means. McKenzie fights to escape in some seriously great action scenes, but gradually she starts to wonder whether the truth behind the war is even more complex than she ever imagined.
What's intriguing about McKenzie is that unlike most other urban fantasy heroines, she's not a warrior. She has no magic sword, she doesn't have mad martial arts skills, and hell, she can't even fire a gun. But she is an exceptionally gifted shadow reader, a person who can see the trace imprints left behind when one of the fae has teleported to another location. The author does an amazing job of showing us how special McKenzie is, particularly in scenes involving a tracking test that's set up for her by the rebels. This girl is fierce and determined and fearless and funny, and I liked how she actually thinks and reasons. You know how sometimes you want to yell at the page because something should be occurring to the heroine, but it doesn't because the author wants to let the story drag on? It's like McKenzie hears you yelling loud and clear and answers you immediately in her actions. But I also like that she's so very human in the middle of all the powerful magic and power plays exhibited around her. She miscalculates, she doesn't know whom to trust, and she actually bleeds and feels pain in a jarring, wince-inducing way. And I like that in the middle of a blistering attack when her own life is in danger, she stops to rescue a little squirmy kimki animal.
And yeah...there are a couple of really sexy guys in this book. McKenzie's been waiting 10 years for something to happen in her forbidden relationship with the strong and principled Kyol, the king's swordsman; but her rebel captor, Aren, is also strangely compelling, with awesome healing powers and a pesky habit of making her feel things for him that she shouldn't be feeling. (Oh, and he has disheveled, sexy hair, too. :D ) Love triangles are usually equal parts agonizing and annoying, but the romantic entanglements are handled incredibly well here. It's like the Dorian-Kiyo thing (view spoiler)[without the murderous deceptive part (hide spoiler)] but done in a much more sophisticated, non-icky, non-frustrating way. I like that everyone behaves honorably and that fae politics and war add so many complicated layers to the situation; while everyone has secrets and agendas, it's clear why both men are so attractive to McKenzie, because both are certainly very attractive to us. The electricity running under her skin whenever she's touched by one of the men is incredibly hot, especially considering that there is no actual sex in any of these relationships. Yet.
Aren holds on for a moment more, his lips and hands lingering as if this is his last breath. As if this is the only breath in his life that has ever mattered.
"Fine," he says, his words coming out breathless. "I'll save your precious sword-master, McKenzie. But I will never, ever give you back to him."
I'm really happy to find another great series, especially one that features such a smart and funny heroine and a well-plotted story. If you're a fan of Richelle Mead, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, or Chloe Neill, don't wait another minute! This is urban fantasy series you've been waiting for.
P.S. If you're still not convinced, let me just say that I made the mistake of starting this book when I went to bed late at night and I was so hooked, I couldn't put it down until I finished it at 6 am. By the time I woke up a few hours later, a few of my friends had already purchased it..and it looks like they really enjoyed it, too. Yay!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is probably the hardest review I’ve ever had to write.
Shiver tears my heart in two every single time I read it. I felt Linger had its problems, mThis is probably the hardest review I’ve ever had to write.
Shiver tears my heart in two every single time I read it. I felt Linger had its problems, mostly in the diluted narrative with the addition of two more POVs, but it was still extremely moving and I wanted to see what happened next. How strange it is, then, to read Forever and experience nothing even close to the emotions the first two books inspired.
The Wolves of Mercy Falls series is love story told almost like a fairy tale. Aside from the bittersweet urgency of the romance, one of the most poignant elements in the books to me has been the wolves’ desperate struggle to hang onto their human selves. The knowledge that they will lose every shard of awareness of who they are moves me unbearably, and Sam and Grace together are unlike any other couple I’ve ever read.
I am far less interested in Isabel and Cole. I like them just fine, even though they are both just typical YA characters that can be found in 100 other novels. If they had an entirely different book to themselves I probably would like them better—but they don’t. They’re stuck right in the middle of Sam and Grace’s story, and the intrusiveness of losing momentum in every other chapter as the story switched to their first person POVs became an increasingly frustrating experience. This is the end. There are no more books. I don’t give a shit about Isabel’s ongoing daddy issues or Cole’s woe-is-me rock star problems (view spoiler)[and it’s beyond weird that he’s the one with all the scientific solutions (hide spoiler)], all of which are rehashes from the previous book, I care about what happens to Sam and Grace. The story is even further fragmented by the addition of yet another POV, which was completely unnecessary and added nothing to the story.
There are too many starts and stops that interrupt the flow of the action, there is a scene of shocking ugliness (view spoiler)[involving the increasingly crazed Shelby and a dead bird (hide spoiler)] that I thought was completely out of place, and the actual resolution to the problem seemed to be dragged out far too long. I also didn’t find a single quote that I wanted to pull. I normally am rapturous over the author’s prose as well, but even the language in Forever didn’t move me as much. Sam and Grace also seemed like shadows of their former selves, and I found myself becoming impatient with the way their narratives dawdled over insignificant details.
The only scene that really moved me—yes, the only scene—comes very early in the book when Sam is racing to pick up Grace after she’s turned human again for the first time and the awful feelings he experiences (view spoiler)[when he arrives to find nothing but her clothes and a pair of shoes (hide spoiler)]. There are a few good scenes later in the novel that involve some sacrifices, but I read them with a fairly detached attitude. I’m not sure if I’d just become so numb by that time that I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself again, or whether they really just didn’t hold the same urgency and depth that I've come to expect from this series.
What I found most disappointing, however, is that so many scenes did not ring emotionally true. If you’ve been separated from the love of your life for months, the first thing you would do when you become human again is to findhimfindhimfindhim and hang on tight before you lose yourself again. It’s not to wander out to have a random meaningless conversation with someone else. (And he would probably not have let you out of his sight to begin with.) The reunion scene was incredibly distant and anticlimactic, and the actual ending was even more of an emotional dodge. Everything honestly felt as though it was done for sake of a writing technique rather than something that was really true to the characters--or true to human nature.
Readers who are invested in Isabel and Cole’s story will probably like this one much better than I did. But for me, this story has always been about the boy who became a wolf in winter and the girl who loved him. I am unbearably saddened that their beautiful story has become so diluted and so…mundane. It’s possible a future re-reading may make me look upon this book with a different perspective, but frankly that’s pretty hard to believe at this point. I bleeding heart love Shiver and will always be grateful for the beauty and wisdom and romance it brought into my life. But I will probably be much happier if I forever look upon it as a standalone novel that is perfect in and of itself.
It breaks my heart to do this, but this is a 2.5 star book for me.
This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really liked the first three Evernight books, so was very much looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, this series ender didn't quite work for mI really liked the first three Evernight books, so was very much looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, this series ender didn't quite work for me.
The events of the book seem pretty scattered and when action sequences finally happened, they seemed rather rushed and were described in a distant, brief way you might tell a story to someone who wasn't there. The biggest issues, however, were that Bianca just didn't seem as likable or interesting as a wraith, and the relationship between her and Lucas just felt off with its constant and repetitive push and pull. (More more push than pull, actually, and the "push" factors didn't really seem to be all that insurmountable.) There's a lot of talking about loving each other and recalling it in this book, but there's not much *showing* of it, and the ending, while realistic, might have been more emotionally satisfying if it had been a little less blunt.
Hopefully the Balthazar spinoff does him justice......more
So after 5 books, hundreds of pages, and many years...it all comes down to an ultimatum. If Keenan had just issued one in Wicked Lovely, it would've sSo after 5 books, hundreds of pages, and many years...it all comes down to an ultimatum. If Keenan had just issued one in Wicked Lovely, it would've saved a lot of time....more
Lovely, lyrical, and achingly sad. Shiver is more introspective than most YA books and is sometimes criticized for being too slow or wordy, but I founLovely, lyrical, and achingly sad. Shiver is more introspective than most YA books and is sometimes criticized for being too slow or wordy, but I found it to be beautifully written, tragic, and a gorgeous take on werewolf lore. Sam's desperate struggle to hold onto his humanity is incredibly poignant, and his heartrending relationship with Grace is deeply emotional and sweet. It's a book that makes me cry every time I read it.
Sam cupped my face in his hands and looked me in the eyes. His eyes were yellow, sad, wolf, mine.
"These stay the same. Remember that when you look at me. Remember it's me. Please."
PS--this book is NOTHING like Twilight, despite the inevitable comparisons because of the subject matter. It's in a class all its own....more