Aidan O’conner - a highly successful actor who has chosen to seclude himself from the rest of the world by hiding out in a cabin practically in the mi...moreAidan O’conner - a highly successful actor who has chosen to seclude himself from the rest of the world by hiding out in a cabin practically in the middle of nowhere (his nearest neighbour is six miles away!). Past betrayals have simply proven too much, and the man is convinced there is no such thing as kindness or love.
Leta - a Greek goddess who walks through dreams and has spent the last couple of thousand years in stasis after defeating the god of pain, Dolor. She carries the memories of a tragic past full of pain and suffering.
Now, Dolor has been summoned to kill Aidan, and Leta, reawakened from her slumber, is the only thing standing between Aidan and death
Yeah. Follow that up with a huge yawn and a whole lot of head scratching while I wonder what the point of the story actually is.
I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, don’t get me wrong. I envy and revere her ability to create literary works of art. BUT despite my awe of her mad skills and the fact that she has NEVER EVER disappointed me before, I have to say that this time around, it just didn’t work for me.
Not only could I not endear myself to the characters - Aidan was forever bemoaning his existence and the circumstances leading up to the bitter man he currently was, and while Leta was much more preferable to Aidan’s whininess, her character didn’t have enough depth to allow a deeper connection - but I was also finding it hard to sift the actual plot out of all of the nonsense.
It felt like every second paragraph was a monologue filled with so-called profound epiphanies that any regular human being could have thought up without all of the deep thinking Aidan was subjecting himself too. And what also bored/frustrated me was his tendency to ramble about his tragic past in his head, and then say it all out loud. We get it! You had a shit life. Being a multi-millionaire sucks when your family spend all of their time trying to leech off you and take every penny you’ve rightfully earned. Boo-freaking-hoo.
Much as you’ve suffered, there are people like Leta who have lost EVERYTHING and are still standing. Not to mention they aren’t insufferably whiney and don’t feel the need to bring it up every ten seconds. Aidan’s inner turmoil was a big part of why I couldn’t appreciate his character and his past. A man is definitely allowed his pain and suffering, but I feel it’s how he deals with that pain and suffering that earns him respect and admiration. Aidan’s way of coping led me to believe he lacked inner strength.
On to parts of the book that actually had a smile coming to my face while I was reading: Deimos AKA Demon. Absolutely love the guy. Really, he’s just the bees knees! Every appearance he makes has me wishing I could reach through the pages to hug the shit out of him. Reminds me of that part in the cartoon Despicable Me when the little girl looks at the unicorn and says, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” When I read about Deimos, I’m like, “He’s so yummy I’m gonna die!”
Come on guys, he’s a god killer. One who cheats at chess and has incredible ink. What’s not to like? It’s safe to say he was the highlight of the book for me.
While I can definitely see the concept was a good one and that writing a Dark Hunter Universe book about an actor was a pretty intriguing idea, I really didn’t see it come to fruition with what I read. It needed some serious reconsidering and a little more depth to the plot would have been a benefit as well as some more insight to Leta’s character.
Like I said, she’s a Greek goddess. That in itself begs a whole list of questions that weren’t answered. Her past was barely touched on, and ultimately brushed over in favour of Aidan’s incessant Why-Me crap. It would have been nice to see more of her relationship with her brother M’Adoc, and also would have been nice to have more details of her last run in with Dolor. He was ALMOST superfluous in the scheme of things as the book played out.
By the way, this average review in no way diminishes my love of all things Sherrilyn Kenyon. It is safe to say that I am highly addicted to her Dark Hunter series as well as her League series and the Chronicles of Nick series. I anticipate the reading of each novel and gobble them up with relish! Now, onto reading Dream Chaser before tackling Acheron!(less)
**spoiler alert** I know I gave this book five stars, and I stick by this rating because despite the niggling bits I’m about to highlight, I really di...more**spoiler alert** I know I gave this book five stars, and I stick by this rating because despite the niggling bits I’m about to highlight, I really did enjoy reading it.
Kenyon’s Born of Shadows is the fourth installation in her League series, and so I was surprised to learn of another installation given the fact that the first three were written quite some time ago and have now been republished. Given the large gap between stories, I thought the League series was supposed to be a trilogy, but not only do we now have a fourth, we are set to be given a fifth book one in the near future. I thought the jump from one generation of fighters to another in books two and three meant things were wrapping up or moving on, but no, in Born of Shadows we find ourselves thrown back in time to pursue Caillen and his misadventures.
Having read and loved the previous books, I was not sure about reading Caillen’s story; he just didn’t seem likeable, especially in Born of Fire. Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m still not completely in love with him, but nor do I hate him. I thought his character was a little forced and more than a bit contradictory. He is described by all - including himself - as being a fierce fighter, intelligent, independent, and most importantly, incapable of falling for a woman. He was in no way ready to settle down and was adamant that he never wanted a wife and kids. Given these strong characteristics, I was a bit confused at each point in the novel where his actions or dialogue blatantly contradicted all previous proclamations of his character. Something else I found extremely odd throughout the book was his closed off personality, and yet he blurted out pretty much his entire life story to Desideria, all the while questioning her loyalty and being half convinced that she would knife him in the back the first chance she got. Not an intelligent move by a long shot in my opinion. In saying that, I still liked his playfulness and his devotion to his sisters - especially Kasen, who I could see any one wanting to strangle after being in her presence for more than a couple of minutes.
On to Desideria, then. I wanted to like her, I really did. But again, some of her attributes had her falling short in my opinion. She is described as being a fearless warrior, bred of a warrior race that shows no mercy in battle and where women are the stronger sex. Even taking into consideration that Desideria is only half Qillaq, I still found it frustrating every time she made a declaration about the strength/brutality of her people, and then followed up such a comment with a completely opposite action or piece of dialogue. I can’t recall any one instance at the moment - there were so many to choose from as well - but I really got tired of hearing her gloat about her heritage, and then promptly reacting in such a way that makes her out to be a liar. She’d spent her whole life training to survive, as she put it, but then relied so heavily on Caillen when they were under attack and on enemy soil, that without him she would have been caught in a matter of minutes.
The ending was predictable, but I won’t hold that against Kenyon. I am hard pressed these days to find a novel that leaves me in shock by the end of it.
I wasn’t a big fan of all the twists and turns. Sometimes one has to sit back and really think, “Was that last twist just one too many?” Unfortunately I have to say Kenyon should have had that thought five twists before the resolution popped up. There were far too many, and just when you thought things were beginning to wrap up nicely, it was like “Oh, hold on, so it wasn’t the aunt, it was the daughter that’s just been apprehended. Oh, but wait, the daughter’s only a pawn, and it’s the other aunt who’s the mastermind. Quick! Catch her before she gets on her ship and leaves you all in her wake.” Cue massive fight sequence #8. Or was it #9? Then cue massive, maybe fatal wounding of main character…again!
I hate to admit this, but by the last 20 pages of the book, I didn’t really care for the resolution of the assassination attempt or the happily ever after, because I was so exhausted having made it through the convoluted plot.
One thing that really concerned me was how ALL of the characters seemed to possess the same witty sarcasm. I would have thought Fain incapable of it with the way he was described. I even recall Caillen being shocked when he first encountered Fain and the guy spoke two whole sentences instead of his usual one word answer. Then weirdly, as soon as we take note of Caillen’s surprise, Fain decides he doesn’t have an off switch and the sarcasm flows out of his mouth at an alarming rate. The illusion created about his fierceness and stoic demeanour is shattered and I must admit I was kind of saddened about that. The rest of the supporting characters were the exact same, and it kind of made them blur until you couldn’t discern one from the other and none of them were memorable.
Now after all my complaining it’s hard to believe I’ve given this five stars, right? No, it was no mistake. I give it five stars because despite my misgivings, Kenyon is still one of the best writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading her work, and although this particular novel might not have been up to her usual standards in my opinion, it is still a masterpiece, and I envy her talent.(less)
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk is the first in her Allie Beckstorm series.
I had this book recommended to me by a friend, and can’t exactly say whethe...moreMagic to the Bone by Devon Monk is the first in her Allie Beckstorm series.
I had this book recommended to me by a friend, and can’t exactly say whether I’m glad or disappointed that I picked it up.
The story has definitely left me with mixed emotions, most of them leaning towards the negative side.
Allie Beckstorm is a magic user, and a Hound - someone for hire who goes around tracing people’s magic signatures back to the owner, usually in cases where the owner has done some magic offloading onto another person (something very much illegal). Over the curse of the story we find out that Allie is one of the best in the business at Hounding - something she lets the reader in on at various points throughout her journey. This was something that bothered me immensely, because by the end of the book I was far from convinced at her prowess and stellar Hounding skills. Sometimes she seemed quite incompetent and too dependant on others. I actually started to wonder how she coped with her job on a day to day basis. The decisions she made throughout the book were appalling and led me to believe she was a complete novice at her job instead of the best as she claimed herself to be. She made stupid decision after stupid decision and never learnt from her mistakes. Hell, she seemed more than eager to thrust herself headlong back into the danger, only thinking about what a bad idea it was after all was said and done.
Add in Zayvion Jones, an enigmatic, suspicious, and secretive character who just happened to be around each and every time Ali got herself into another shit-storm so he could be her knight in shining armour and it sealed the deal of turning Allie from an independent, self sufficient woman into an incompetent, needy, almost clingy woman whose only saving grace was her magical talents - which she used neglectfully anyway.
The first time she used her magic in the story was to Hound a small boy to figure out who had hurt him magically. Drawing upon her own magic, she found the offender’s magical signature on the boy, but oopsie-daisy, she forgot to set a Disbursement spell so that her use of magic wouldn’t harm her as badly as it could have. For an experienced Hound, I found it hard to believe that she would forget something so crucial and so basic. And this was just the starting point in a long list of events where she excelled in showing readers her stupidity. I read to the end of the book in an almost desperate manner to try and find out where her intelligence and self preservation kicked in, but was left unsatisfied.
Basically, very disappointed, it was just mess up after mess up and ultimately the book fell into a boringly predictable pattern. The conclusion was anticlimactic to say the least, and I thought her ending up losing her memories of the entire adventure was a sad cop out.
The only saving grace to the entire thing was Nola, Allie’s best friend who lived out in the country where there was no magic. I loved Nola’s character. Unlike Allie, you could definitely see Nola clearly as an independent, self sufficient woman, strong and brave and comfortable with who she is and how her life is playing out. For the scenes where Allie and Nola were together, they actually just highlighted Nola’s resilience and made me realise how annoying and whiny and really stupid Allie was.
I am still contemplating on whether to read the rest of the series. So far, it’s not likely. (less)