Serena is slowly falling into her new role as Queen of the Undine. The deadline of her birthday, where she is to give herself over to the Werewolves aSerena is slowly falling into her new role as Queen of the Undine. The deadline of her birthday, where she is to give herself over to the Werewolves as a sacrifice to amend their differences, looms. Serena is willing to do anything to save her people, but Liam isn't so willing to allow his sister to die. Together, they search for a way to help both of their races thrive without anyone needing to be sacrificed.
This book picks up within a few weeks of where The Rising left off. The story was really easy to jump right back into. I found the story here to be slightly more interesting than the one in The Rising, however, it dragged a bit more. I had trouble connecting to it, which had me turning the pages with a mild interest but little dedication. It felt like I was reading a "rainy day" book that I barely cared about instead of a continuation in a series I was completely curious about.
I think the characters were the biggest blemish in the story for me. I had trouble connecting to them with The Rising and it's only made worse here. Even though the writing is smooth, I couldn't get too emotional about them. The one time I did get completely emotional, was with a side character who, depending on your point of view, hardly mattered.
The character that I got emotion about the most was Cordelia. (view spoiler)[I cried hard when she died, but I got really angry afterward. I loathe the "mother dies in childbirth" plot point and think it should never be used. It rivals only the "man finds out about a secret child days before wedding to another" plot that shows/books seem to think is a good idea to bring in drama. I hate it. Why is it painted that women are so weak that we can't survive a childbirth? For that matter, why is it a good idea to make a newborn an orphan? I hated it in Harry Potter so obviously I will loathe it in a series I am not nearly as devoted to. This plot point alone nearly ruined the book for me. (hide spoiler)]
This book suffered from the Sophomore Slump, there is no way around that. It tried to be strong, and it did advance the story fairly well. It wrapped up a few things a bit too cleanly, leaving you wondering what will happen in the third book, but it was handled well in general. The lack of Liam in the final pages was enough to latch me onto the third book, but other than that, this book suffered. I truly believe that the third in the series will make up for it, but then, I generally have low expectations for sophomore novels in a series to begin with. This series is worth continuing, even if this book wasn't as entertaining as I had hoped it would be.
The author provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
I want to start by saying that this is easily a 4 star novel, possibly higherThe author provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
I want to start by saying that this is easily a 4 star novel, possibly higher. However, my ratings are always based on my own experience with the book, and for me this book was a 3 star. The 3.5 star rating is my compromise. I went into this book knowing that I love Jade Varden, but generally dislike dystopian novels. I went in naively thinking that a great author can make anything amazing. I was not prepared for this at all.
This story is dark. I’m talking, really dark. It’s gritty and realistic, showcasing a complete loss of the rights of the people at the hands of the government. Blonde women are revered but raised for no other purpose than to bare children and other “inferior” men and women are sent off to be slaves or third class citizens. There is talk of physical abuse and less than consensual sex (Nothing graphic, it’s one of those “This is happening. Now it’s happened” sorts of things.) and a depressing social hierarchy. This is the future of nightmares.
I had trouble getting into this. I wasn’t expecting it to be so realistic and dark. I was expecting something witty with a lot of light-hearted moments that were plagued by an undercurrent of unrest. I wasn’t expecting depression in a PDF. This complete jarring of my expectations made it harder for me to get through. Originally I thought it was because I was reading it late at night when a teething infant was stealing away my precious hours for sleep, but I know now that it isn’t the case. I would not feel so uneasy about the story as I do. The opening chapters were a little hard to follow. They start off showing the main characters at the precious age of 3 being forcefully taken from their parents to begin their training for their future lives. There are social terms and titles that you never fully get a deep understanding of (Seriously, what is an Argot?) that make some things hard to follow. At some point you just pretend you know what is going on, even while you still don’t know what an Argot is. A glossary of terms would be helpful, but I didn’t see one within my review copy.
The characters are wonderfully written and well developed. They have personalities that shine. I had trouble getting an emotional attachment to any of them until nearly 85% of the book, but I blame my lack of preparedness. When the book stopped being about setup and the climax started building, I tore through it. The plot is so well done, even if it wasn’t my cup of tea. The ending is bittersweet and that last chapter!! I can’t spoil it. That last chapter tops the cake. I’m still reeling from the emotions that gave.
This is a fantastic book, but it just didn’t work for me. I tend to use fiction to escape from reality. This was far too real for my tastes. I don’t regret reading it, but I almost wish I had had better warning about it before I began. Jade warned it was different than her other novels when she offered it to me, but I didn't expect it would be this different.
Alison's story continues. With Damien dead, Lilith has taken over the Rising and is now set on making sure AlisRead this and other reviews at my blog.
Alison's story continues. With Damien dead, Lilith has taken over the Rising and is now set on making sure Alison dies for her crimes against them. With Alison's new marriage to David, Samantha's powers due to come in any day, and a new baby on the way, Alison has far too much to worry about than focusing on Lilith.
Sophomore novels are difficult. They are hard to master because you have to convey a certain amount of information in a short period. Hope is helping to prepare for a time skip, and it needs to set things up to allow for that to happen. Hope does a decent job of it, but there was some lacking.
The characters are all the same. You get to read more about Lilith and meet a few of the other Rising members, but otherwise the characters have not changed at all. They are still very likeable and leave you wanting to hate the bad ones and root for the good ones.
The story was nice as well. It's a really good set up for the third novel. Information is conveyed nicely. It was the writing that stunted me. This novel felt rushed to me. I noticed quite a few errors that the editor obviously missed or that weren't fixed before publishing. Descriptive words were repeated in sentences too closely to one another. Scenes were either rushed or not described well enough. It didn't read nearly as smoothly and this was a final copy unlike the preview copies I read for Power. The mistakes are all tiny little things, but they are unfortunately noticable. I feel like it needed a few more read-throughs before handed off to the editor. I had expressed my thoughts to Theresa that I thought the release was a rush, but now I feel like a horrible friend for not reading this sooner and encouraging her a bit more to wait. Power sets you up to expect a certain level in her writing and Hope doesn't deliver it.
The story is what is most important, and it really was wonderful. I can't say much without spoiling it flat out, but I did really enjoy it. I just found that I couldn't lose myself in the story as much as I did before because I noticed the lack in the writing that I didn't expect. I hate to have to judge the novel by that, but people do judge those things. I would still recommend this story to anyone who is intrigued by the first book. It was a great story with wonderful characters. ...more
Samantha and her family have moved around the country all her life, supposably searching for better weather forRead this and other reviews at my blog.
Samantha and her family have moved around the country all her life, supposably searching for better weather for her father's severe allergies. Lacuna Valley quickly shows itself to be different than anywhere else. She meets a boy who seems to know more about her and her family and she does, and her sister's praying is starting to look like she really can make things happen just by wishing for them. As Sam learns more about her family, she has to wonder, does her mother really want to kill her?
This novel was really hard for me to review. I was on the fence about a lot of it. The characters were hard to get attached to. I honestly couldn't tell you what Nick looks like. If his description was there, it was rushed so quickly to make it unmemorable. I was able to get more of a visual for some of the side characters than I could for the main characters. But beyond that, Sam and Nick especially were really poorly fleshed out. There were boring. I didn't hate them, but I couldn't root for them either. I just didn't care. I found myself more interested in Violet and Zach than anyone else. Danielle was the hardest to figure out. One minute it felt like she was just mentally unbalanced. Then the next it would seem that she was nothing more than a self absorbed, heartless, monster. She was too hot and cold and it made her difficult to deal with. She felt very one dimensional at that. You could've put in a cardboard box with a knife and you would have just as much of a villain.
The story was nice. Muddled and felt poorly thought out or executed, I'm not sure which, but it was still nice. The plot is intriguing. You want to know what happens. However, when you get to the end of the book, although you kind of want to know what happens next, because of the weak characters and the thin plot, you don't care as much as you should. The plot only feels thin because of the writing. If it had been better written, I think it would've been amazing. But instead it jumps around, confusing you. It was also really really slow to start. You have all these scenes or whining and that characters going back and forth, arguing about the same thing they were in the previous chapter with no new information coming out of them. It wasn't until the last quarter of the book that things really pick up, but by then, it's too late to save it. Not enough can be fit into that remaining section to satisfy you. You finish the book and are left with far more questions than you should have and a sense of frustration at the lack of resolution.
It had it's moments, and I will still read the next in the series, but I hope that some of the flaws are fixed for it, because a little gem of a story is hiding in here just waiting to be shined. ...more
Thank you Netgalley for providing my advance copy.
Jody is horribly addicted to her favorite band Regulators, esRead this and other reviews at my blog.
Thank you Netgalley for providing my advance copy.
Jody is horribly addicted to her favorite band Regulators, especially it's frontman Jackson Gatlin. She eat, sleeps, and breathes Jackson. So when she gets the chance to see Regulators in concert, she is super happy, waiting all day in the bitter cold for a front row perch. But things don't go as she plans, as she goes home with a concussion and Jackson himself, who she somehow managed to kidnap with a candy bar. Now she has the rock star holed up in her garage, and he doesn't really want to leave.
This book was nothing like I expected. It actually started out really boring. The chapters with the concert and the lining up outside the concert hall especially were turn offs for me. It was all inner monologue with lots of description. It gets better quickly after, but even then the book itself was rather slow paced.
The characters were good. I loved Mac so hard. He is just such a great guy. Jackson was a jerk and a half for a good portion of things. You kind of grow to understand him. He has no people skills, being a celebrity has killed any he might have had prior. Jody begins very unlikable. She is such a "hardcore" (see: "obsessed") fan that she is annoying. She gets better. Jackson quickly highlights her delusions and crushes her dreams. She spends a good part of the book being either really dense or really blind.
The story is actually really fabulous. The interactions between the characters all lead up to a very touching end. The tie ins with Jody's grandfather are perfect. He seems like he would've been such a fun old man, a "legend" as Jackson describes him. But the realization at the end is just brilliant. The ending makes up for what seems like a lame story. Everything builds and weaves rather slowly and when it all comes together at the end you are just left with fuzzy feelings. Not all of them are good fuzzies either. You are left feeling sorry for celebrities, feeling happy for Jackson's fate, feeling enthralled by the items that improve Mac and Jody's lives.
This was really a great book. It was hard to rate because of how slow it is for most of it. The ending really saved it. It was a great read, so I do recommend it. It will feel slow for a really long time, don't give up on it! It is worth finishing. ...more
Olivia is one of the few people on Earth gifted with the Sight, the ability to see angels and demons. The UnderworlReview originally posted at my blog
Olivia is one of the few people on Earth gifted with the Sight, the ability to see angels and demons. The Underworld is determined to kill her, as she is a threat to their kind, and they send Max to do the job. Luckily for her, she has her own guardian angel Liam to protect her. But Max will not give up so easily, and he will take down everything she loves to get to her.
This novel was really hard for me to rate, and as such this review may contain light spoilers. On the one hand, the story was really good and I enjoyed it completely, but some things didn't sit as well with me, leaving me liking it less. Perhaps, it has to do with my personal bias against angel/demon stories, but I am confident it was the story or the writing itself.
The story is nothing spectacular. It's actually really simple. Max wants Olivia dead. Liam is a warrior, not a real guardian, and will make sure she lives. Liam and Olivia fall for one another. Max gets more and more desperate with each attack. You are really left wondering why, if Liam is such a skilled warrior, does he not just swipe in, kill Max, and be done with it. Why Max lives as long as he does is really unexplainable.
The story focuses a lot on the relationships between the characters. The whole story is really the relationships with the angels vs demons in the background. The story opens with Olivia dating Max and you are left wondering why she stays with him, or why she got with him to begin with. It is obvious he is a short-tempered abusive type. All of her friends consider him to be a "douche", and she acts like she is unaware of their feelings. How can anyone not feel that way about him? How does this girl who is painted to be a sensible type not see it herself? I can understand her wanting to indulge in a bit of rebellion, but it just made no sense. They kept toting off about not effecting her free will and yet there is no other reason why I can see this sensible girl get with a guy like him. A desire for rebellion and a handsome face are not enough of a good cause to attract her to him. I might understand better if she were too afraid to get out of the relationship because she didn't know what he was like until they were together, but she is too strong of a person to let that happen. So it really doesn't make sense and considering that it is the beginning of the story it leaves you with a bit of a bad taste in your mouth about her. You want to like her otherwise.
The writing also bothered me a bit. There was a lot of cursing that I didn't feel was needed. That's a bit of a personal preference, but I have to say that I don't think it is really needed for angels to be running around with such language coming out of their mouths. Then there would be slang words like "cuz" following by paragraphs where the writing was classy and proper. It felt inconsistent. Then, the references to the desire of the angels seemed a bit off. The love in the story felt more like desire only and less like love. It didn't seem very angelic to me. Sure, it's more entertaining than a prude of an angel, but it was brought up so often that the angels were left being depicted as men who think only with their physical needs. A lot of the writing felt self-indulgent. I know a writer should write for themselves first because it will make your story so much better if you love and believe in it, but when it comes out to your audience, the self-indulgence shouldn't be so noticable in my opinion.
Regardless of it's faults, I did enjoy the entire story. There were many moments when things were predictable, but I still found myself hastening to get through to the next scene. The ending was horribly bittersweet. The teaser chapters for the second novel in the series just scream predictability and leave you frustrated. If you enjoy angel/demon stories, this really is a read that is worth it....more