**spoiler alert** I hate this book more than I've hated any other book in a long time.
At first I really liked the idea of a vampire character who is s**spoiler alert** I hate this book more than I've hated any other book in a long time.
At first I really liked the idea of a vampire character who is so gentle she refuses to fight or kill or drink from a live being. But then it turns out that not only is her Valkyrie family embarrassed she's a pacifist, they mercilessly make fun of her for it. But wait, they also tell her that she's not allowed to bite a human, because she might kill them. So, it's OK to kill in epic battle, but not for food? Apparently, Emmeline eventually get her I-am-Vampire/Valkyrie-hear-me-have-a-15-page-fight-scene on, but I wouldn't know, since I only read the first 40-or-so pages.
But here's the real reason I only read that far: I'm not really into romances that stem from attempted rape. In one of the more chilling encounters I've read, our heroine meets her "mate" when he's one a destructive rampage through Paris, looking for her. He finds her, rips her blouse and bra open to ogle her on a public street, and forcibly makes her take him back to her hotel. Once there, he kisses her, uttering such charming phrases as, "Kiss me back, witch, while I decide if I should spare your life," and "Kiss me like your life depends upon it." Then he makes her take a shower with him, during the duration of which he manhandles her, forces her to spread her legs and is about to rape her, which she only manages to circumnavigate by giving him a hand-job.
And then he steals her credit card to buy himself a new wardrobe. (Note: if you look really menacing, concierges at fancy Parisian hotels will let you use an AmEx Black card with a woman's name on it, even if you are a man who has been trapped at the gates of hell for a thousand years.)
And then he performs oral sex on her while she sleeps.
Did I mention that she's a 70-year-old virgin who's never even had a kiss?
But I guess the almighty mating bond (a trope I am so very tired of seeing) really does conquer all. Except my gag reflex....more
**spoiler alert** A decent yarn and a responsible re-set of Stark's power. However, it's not one of those books you finish and think, "Yeah, that was**spoiler alert** A decent yarn and a responsible re-set of Stark's power. However, it's not one of those books you finish and think, "Yeah, that was $13 well spent." It read more like a bridge novella than a destination, an actual installment of Sandman Slim's saga. The ending was anticlimactic, and my first thought was, "Wait. That's it?" I didn't even realize I was near the end.
I also don't really understand why Vincent, a character I liked a lot, was killed, just to make Samael the new Death. And I really didn't fucking like Julie in this book. She spent the whole time chiding Stark about doing things her way, and after she let her agency take the credit for fixing death, she fired him for doing it. How the fuck did you think he was going to save the world? On busywork stakeouts? And who do you think she and Chihiro will call when they need doors kicked in to save the world? Stark, of course, but Julie will expect him to do it for free, because he doesn't work for her anymore. Julie went from being likable, reasonable law enforcement, to being just like Wells. They use Stark, because he can't help but save everyone, and then they fuck him over, because he didn't do it in a way they find acceptable, or because he didn't fill out the right bullshit forms. It's infuriating to see it happen over and over in every book. Though, I have to admit, that's a lot like how life really is. Doesn't mean I like reading about it repeatedly.
So, I enjoyed the it reasonably well, but thought it was lazy work. I'm not sure I'll pre-order the next installment....more
not done with this yet, so i can't say much other than so far, so good.
what i can do is complain about the cover art. yet again, jack winter is depictnot done with this yet, so i can't say much other than so far, so good.
what i can do is complain about the cover art. yet again, jack winter is depicted as a meaty, hunky hero, instead of the wasting junkie he is in the novels. he's a skinny, dirty punk who's spent the last forty years having the shit kicked out of him and shooting up junk. he doesn't eat three squares and work with a personal trainer six days a week.
in the grand scheme of things, this isn't a big deal, i know. but ye olde punk in me can't help but be annoyed....more
I would give the first half of this book two stars and the second half four, if I could. The beginning is like a summary of a better book, lacking inI would give the first half of this book two stars and the second half four, if I could. The beginning is like a summary of a better book, lacking in sufficient world building. I'm guessing that this is because Kadrey came from short stories, and you generally get plot, character or theme in short stories, not all three. His later books are much better in this respect, so he either got a better editor, or just plain got better.
OK. I'm going to be all kinds of judgey about people now, so skip this part if that sort of thing bothers you.
I have a fair amount of tattoos. I would probably have a lot more if shops weren't run by people like Spyder and Lulu. I really hate people like Spyder and Lulu. They are enormous douchebags. I think tattoo fandom, like all fandoms, tends to be very insular and protective of itself. If you don't fit their highly selective idea of who belongs, then get ready to be shunned and/or mocked. At the very least you'll feel pretty uncomfortable.
They are slightly less loathsome in the back half, which is part of why I liked it more. You learn that Spyder and Lulu are assholes because they are WOUNDED by LIFE. Which, sure. Fine. Kadrey maybe should have included some of the character building in the beginning, too.
Like Kadrey's other works, the secondary characters are totally ace. Primo, the Count, the lost bookseller, etc.. Love them. I would read books about any of them. Also, this book has the kind of Lucifer I love. I wish he could be the devil in the Sandman Slim books. I vastly prefer a Lucifer who says, "Fuck you. I was RIGHT," to one who just wants to go home and have Daddy love him again.
I will conclude this review by praising Kadrey for changing his headshot after this book. The one included here is the most ridiculous....more
Here's the thing about self-publishing: you still need to use a copy editor. Story seems interesting enough, but grammatical errors make my face twitcHere's the thing about self-publishing: you still need to use a copy editor. Story seems interesting enough, but grammatical errors make my face twitch. In the small amount I read, there are issues with punctuation, shifting tense and homonyms. So, I can't. I just can't....more
Right. Well. I finished it. And I still have no fucking clue what the point was. Some sort of treatise on good versus evil, but other than that, no idRight. Well. I finished it. And I still have no fucking clue what the point was. Some sort of treatise on good versus evil, but other than that, no idea what the shit it all meant. Snakes, but not very poisonous ones, and people are awful, and there's a magic tree-house, and God doesn't love us enough.
I DON'T EVEN KNOW.
Other that not understanding whatever Hill was trying to say, my main problem was the lack of characterization. I didn't feel like I really knew anyone in the book. Everyone's motivations were kind of nebulous. The only character I cared about was Glenna, and that was probably mostly projection.
And the X-Men reference was so Grant Morrison, I kind of wanted to cry. Stop making mind symbols at Joe Hill, dude.
So, no. I wanted to like this book, but no. Read HEART SHAPED BOX. It's a better book. And then maybe read this. Maybe you'll get something out of it that I didn't. However it goes, I do look forward to more from Hill. He really does have something. He just didn't quite get it right this time.
I was hoping for a gay werewolf bromance, but got a burly bear and his chick-with-a-dick. Semi-unreadable, I had to quit about half-Gay werewolf smut!
I was hoping for a gay werewolf bromance, but got a burly bear and his chick-with-a-dick. Semi-unreadable, I had to quit about half-way through. Still, I'm glad that gay romance actually exists as a genre, and maybe someday my bromance ship will come in.
**spoiler alert** I need to start by saying that the summary goodreads has supplied is the absolute worst one I've read. It's completely misleading an**spoiler alert** I need to start by saying that the summary goodreads has supplied is the absolute worst one I've read. It's completely misleading and says nothing about what the novel is really about. Bad site, goodreads. No cookie.
I swear, reading this book almost killed me. I bawled non-stop through the last parts of it. It was one of those books in which the main character's lot in life is so miserable I can hardly stand to keep reading, but am so invested in that character that I can't stop.
I can't remember another urban fantasy I've read in which the heroine starts out the novel as a six-hundred-year-old vampire with fully-formed powers. This is no ingenue who has no idea how powerful she really is. In fact, by the end of the book, Mira realizes how helpless, how powerless, how out of control of her own fate she really is. Mira's relationship with Jabari was brutal to read. I love student-mentor relationships, and to watch that break down really hurt. I loved her with Michael, and even though I know Danaus is her intended love interest, it still sucked to find out that all was not as it seemed with Michael, and of course he can't stay, because he'll always be in her way (hahaha).
All of that said, there were certainly some novice mistakes. As other reviewers have mentioned, there were repetitious phrases, as well as some icky sentence construction and tired cliches. On the other hand, there were some absolutely beautiful passages. One chapter ended on a rhyming couplet, my all-time favorite poetic device, that actually made me tear up (because I am such a sucker sometimes).
Predictions for the next novel in the series (though I need to take an emotional break before starting it): Mira and Danaus are both descended from Naturi (an easy one, I know), and therefore, it is not the natural order of things for them to kill each other. Jabari will bite it (yay!) and Gabriel's the traitor (boo!), because he's in love with Mira and has been manipulated into thinking they'll be together in the new world order.
this was so not what i thought it was going to be. i thought, based solely on the title, that it was going to be a memoir. it's not. it's one of thosethis was so not what i thought it was going to be. i thought, based solely on the title, that it was going to be a memoir. it's not. it's one of those think-positive-thoughts-and-positive-shit's-gonna-go-down self-help books.
i really like jennifer love hewitt, and i really wanted to like this book, but i have a really low tolerance for stupid. add those three facts and they equal a rage blackout on the leather sofa in a hotel lobby.
we shall not speak of her writing style. no, wait. we shall briefly speak of her writing style. i would have thought that, with a ghostwriter...no, wait. sorry. i meant with a "writing partner" present, there would have been less of the OMG I TOTALLY THOUGHT THESE THOUGHTS ON MY OWN, and more of the, you know, actual style. but i was wrong. let's leave it at that.
I'm having a hard time with how to star this, because I'm not sure if I'm really supposed to loathe Jackson and everyone in his his personal life. ButI'm having a hard time with how to star this, because I'm not sure if I'm really supposed to loathe Jackson and everyone in his his personal life. But I did, which made some parts of this book harder for me to read.
But I loved the cases and the characters involved in them. Particularly Amelia, Theo and Lily-Rose. I loved the theme of point-of-view and how everything is different depending on who is telling the story. The reviewer who complained about the shifting pov sort of missed the point of that.
I'm trying to do my reviews here the way Roger Ebert does his movie reviews. He tries to review movies as examples and within the confines of their genre. And as a mystery novel, it's five stars, despite my intense dislike of some of the characters....more