Just amazing in how addictive and gripping the plot is! It was so hard to put the book down, lol. Aside from that, I really liked 李尋歡 and 阿飛. Many ofJust amazing in how addictive and gripping the plot is! It was so hard to put the book down, lol. Aside from that, I really liked 李尋歡 and 阿飛. Many of the main characters had a backstory and a lot of psychological descriptions, which made them 3D and complex characters. Even the more "evil" characters are understandable to some extent because of their backstories....more
Honestly, I'm quite sad that I finished reading it already, but the story was so gripping that it was hard not to read so fast!
Onto the specifics, theHonestly, I'm quite sad that I finished reading it already, but the story was so gripping that it was hard not to read so fast!
Onto the specifics, the tension and pacing were handled very well, in that it was never boring. Many scenes were quite emotional too, and I really empathized with the characters. The opening scene was amazing in how it instantly pulled me in by the POV character's emotions.
As for the characters, I really, really loved Markos, even from the start! He's so cute, funny, lovable, and honorable. As for Celia, I deeply felt for her but wasn't that interested in her as a character. She's a good and admirable person, but I think the awesomeness of Markos overshadowed her so that I didn't feel as fond of her as I could have been.
But again, I truly empathized with Celia, and could relate to her experiences even though I've never been through anything as bad as she did. :O Her backstory tugged at my heartstrings and at times even made my eyes a little moist.
I also love Jami's style of having a great focus on the psychology of the protagonists. They each have their own emotional issues to deal with and overcome (just like most of us), and this makes the story not only even more enjoyable, but more psychologically penetrating and deep.
So I never felt that Markos and Celia were relating to each other in a shallow way. They were really engaging with one another in a profound and meaningful way, which assures me that their relationship will stay strong and happy.
As for other comments, I really appreciated how the setting descriptions were never too long to be boring, but they were also never too bare as to make me feel lost and confused about where the story was. There was just the right amount of description.
The prose was also clean, easy-to-read, and flowed. I don't remember seeing any typos, so the editing was done well too.
The only criticism I can think of right now, is that there were a few instances where I was confused about which person a pronoun referred to. Usually, readers would assume automatically that the pronoun refers to the person last mentioned in the prose (if the pronoun matches this person's gender.) So if we later find out that the person we assumed the "she" or "he" referred to was actually not the right person, we are momentarily taken out of the story. This confusion of pronoun reference was not a huge problem, though, as I still gave Pure Sacrifice five stars!
I look forward to reading the next novel in this series, Ironclad Devotion! ...more
As my review title says, The Spirit Who Loved Me is so romantic! I haven't read such a romantic love story in a long while. :D And I love Abel!
It wasAs my review title says, The Spirit Who Loved Me is so romantic! I haven't read such a romantic love story in a long while. :D And I love Abel!
It was quite fascinating to learn about the spiritual worlds and all those planes of existence, and it was lovely to meet all those spirits.
The story was also extremely addictive. After starting it yesterday, I finished it all in one go today! I just needed to know what happens next, what happens to Krystal and Abel and everyone. This is unusual for me, as I tend to read at a much slower pace, and take several days, a week, or more to finish a book. But with this book, I couldn't resist reading till the end and didn't want to wait until tomorrow to finish it!
In fact, I am especially fascinated and enchanted by Abel and his relationship with Krystal, just can't get enough of it. When Abel is not in the scene, I keep looking forward to seeing him again, and when he appears, I go, "YAY ABEL!!!" But seriously, I can't blame Krystal for being in love with him. He's so charming and there's something about him that really, really entrances and captivates you, that even the reader is affected! So I think Abel is so hot in personality as well as in looks. :) Sorry for putting it in such a slangy way, haha, but I really think so! :D
The pacing, tension, and mystery in the plot were also managed very well, that the story was a really easy and compelling read. (See above comments on The Spirit Who Loved Me's crazy addictiveness. :D)
The reason why I gave it four stars instead of five, despite awesome Abel and the really great handling of tension, mystery, and pacing, is that there are quite a few places, especially at the beginning, where there could be a bit more setting description. I understand that many readers, including myself, don't really enjoy reading setting descriptions, haha, but it would still be good to include a little bit just to let the readers know where the characters are. Definitely don't recommend writing tons of setting descriptions, as that would probably bog down the pace too much, but maybe something as simple as two to three sentences of description to orient us?
But anyway, thanks for writing such a fantastic, romantic book, and I look forward to reading the sequel! Is there a newsletter we can subscribe to so we'll be informed when the next book is released? :D
The plot was for the most part interesting, although there were some scenes that felt kind of slow and boring. Strangely, those scenes are during timeThe plot was for the most part interesting, although there were some scenes that felt kind of slow and boring. Strangely, those scenes are during times of great danger, yet I found them tedious to read. But apart from that, the story was mostly engaging, especially the parts about Robert and Katy's passion for each other.
Writing-wise, I thought the prose was quite well-written, and the specific verbs chosen to depict Robert and Katy's attraction (sexual tension) towards each other were especially striking and powerful.
On the other hand, though I really liked the writing on the whole, there were many sentences starting with participle phrases, which I didn't fancy very much. This may just be my personal quirk, though, as I, in general, don't really like sentences beginning with participle phrases in fiction. But I can tolerate past participles (ending in -ed) better than present participles (ending in -ing.)
Also, near the beginning of the story, there was a lot of dialogue talking about a bunch of place and people names we don't know. Now I understand that it would be natural for the knights to mention all these names, yet, when the reader sees several unknown proper nouns in a single paragraph, it can be a bit hard to process the passage.
Character-wise, I do quite like Robert as a person, whereas Katy annoys me. I sincerely feel very sorry for her, but she still annoys me for some reason, and I also wasn't very interested in her as a character. Though Robert is an honorable and likable person, I must admit I wasn't very interested in him either. So--pretty good guy, but not very curious about or intrigued by him. :(
Similarly, though I thought the story was fairly engaging most of the time, I find that when I'm not reading the book, I was not very eager to get back to it and keep reading. So you could say the book was pleasant and not bad, but I wasn't intrigued by, haunted by, or addicted to it.
All that said, I thought the author did a good job and Robert is quite a cool guy. :) And I especially loved the ending. I won't spoil it, but I'll just say here that I really liked how the story ended!
P.S. When I read the excerpt for Must Love Breeches, I actually took an almost instant liking to Isabelle! I was also a lot more interested in Isabelle and Phineas as characters already, compared to how I felt about Katy and Robert. Isabelle and Phineas's story also interests me more. Yet, these are all just my subjective opinions, as different readers like different characters.
A reason why I seem to like Must Love Breeches more than Must Love Chainmail, is because I'm more familiar with the Recency period than with the Medieval times. Maybe because I read a lot of Jane Austen, but don't know much about the Middle Ages except for some stuff from middle school history classes, and from some Medieval lit we read in university English classes.
And so Must Love Breeches is now on my Amazon Wish List. :) ...more
**spoiler alert** I really love 鐵中棠! He has such a hot personality as well as looks. And 溫黛黛 is my favorite female character of 古龍's stories so far (I**spoiler alert** I really love 鐵中棠! He has such a hot personality as well as looks. And 溫黛黛 is my favorite female character of 古龍's stories so far (I've only read 大旗英雄傳 and 絕代雙驕 thus far, though.)
The ending is ambiguous, but the greatest likelihood is that 鐵中棠 and 水靈光, and 溫黛黛 and 雲錚 will all get to be alive and well and marry. :D
古龍's stories are the type where there are SOO many coincidences and miracles that it's ridiculous, yet you don't feel mad because they make the story even more entertaining, fun to read, funny, and you're very happy that the characters you love keep being saved by these miracles time and time again that they end up okay in the end and have a happy ending!
There were some plot events that were very predictable, but I didn't mind them because they made me happy. Ha I knew 水靈光 and 鐵中棠 couldn't really be cousins! And I knew someone or something would prevent 水靈光 and 朱藻 from marrying!
And omg that 鐵血大旗門 people would all kill or exile their wives...Crazy and cruel people. It's very cool how 日后 vows that if a 大旗門弟子 is willing to die for his wife, she would go solve this great feud. And it's interesting that the 大旗弟子 who (tries to) kill himself for his "wife" is 日后's own son.
I also find it interesting how people already call themselves husband and wife before actually marrying each other (with a ceremony)...Well I understand 溫黛黛 said she was 雲錚's wife to save her life and solve some problems, but did 日后 know that 溫黛黛 and 雲錚 were not married yet? It was also interesting how 易明 and 鐵青樹 kind of fell in love after such a brief meeting and "married". Don't you love it when people compulsively marry each other to save their lives? Haha. That marrying someone would make you part of your spouse's clan...
盛存孝 is awesome! But I don't get the 彩虹七劍。 They have red 紅鷹劍客易挺, yellow 黃冠劍客錢大河, blue 藍鳳劍客柳棲梧 and purple 紫心劍客盛存孝. Yet there is still green and orange (and I guess another type of purple?) but there's just 碧月劍客孫小嬌, 墨龍劍客龍堅石, and 翠燕劍客易明。碧 and 翠 both look like green, and 墨 is probably black, right? Assuming that there is black in a rainbow, why are there two greens? And why is there no orange?
After reading this great story, I'm looking forward to reading more 古龍's works!...more
**spoiler alert** Awesome novel! First of all, the language was wonderful. I loved the fitting and pleasing word choices, especially the verb choices.**spoiler alert** Awesome novel! First of all, the language was wonderful. I loved the fitting and pleasing word choices, especially the verb choices. The pace of the story was also excellent, being neither too fast nor too slow. The scenes generally transitioned well too; there was good control over the "camera" to make the story engaging to read all the way through.
But what I loved most about this book, was the amount of psychological insight and exploration into the characters, and how it makes you think about what it means to love someone, as well as the general question: what is love?
On to more specific things, I liked Elaina Drake even from the blurb before reading the story, and continued to like her from the beginning to the end of the book. As for Alex, I disliked him quite a lot from the blurb, as I instinctively dislike such hyper rich AND alpha men, lol.
But when I started reading the story, I started sympathizing with Alex because we can see his thoughts, worries, insecurities, and that he tries hard to be good. And later, I reluctantly started to like him a tiny bit, and then thought actually he's really not bad and is a pretty cool person, and at the end of the story, I think he's quite an awesome guy, haha. My favorite character is still Elaina, though.
Also, I really loved the climax where we meet Volus Drake. Here, he ceases to be a complete monster, and we see a bit of his psychology on why he's doing what he's doing, and why he believes he must kill his own daughter. He is quite hard to understand, as he thinks he needs to kill Elaina, yet he loves her deep down, and wants to protect her from Alex (the knight). He really is rather insane. D: But I feel very sorry for him as he has good intentions yet doesn't know how to express those intentions, and turns to hurting and killing those he cares about instead.
About the knighthood issue with Alex, I'm curious about why his touch can energize and feed Elaina (a knight energizing and feeding a dragon!) She subconsciously feels danger and threat when he touches her, but feels this as sexual and physical arousal instead, which is intriguing; but anyway, still I wonder why his touch energizes her and how she claimed him as her "treasure".
It was also very interesting how instead of having violent, murderous impulses towards Elaina, a dragon, Alex has aggressive sexual desires towards her, and it's a good thing she likes it, otherwise that would be a problem. :( But I wonder why Alex specifically has this change from murderous to sexual desire for Elaina. (In contrast to Alex's urge to kill Volus.) Could it be that Alex was in despair over ever finding a woman who could love him for himself, not for his money, and that Elaina happens to be the right woman for him?
It's also notable how, despite their kind of pretty much equality in strength and dominance, Elaina plays the submissive one and Alex plays the dominant and aggressive one during their sexual activities. I know Elaina has areas where she is stronger and maybe "more dominant" than Alex is, but...Well, I don't have much knowledge about the psychology of sexual preferences and fantasies, so I won't speculate more on it, haha.
I really liked Elaina's (angel) dragon form! Also, I'm glad that when Volus kept breathing fire down at Alex and Elaina blocked the fire with her body, the fire never, I think, scorched her heart, or else she might really have died. It struck me as strange that just a stab by a sword into Volus and Naztav's--two full-grown adult dragons'--hearts would kill them instantly; yet Elaina, a young and newly matured dragon, after being burned multiple times by a full grown adult dragon, would still survive. Maybe the fire had to hit her heart to kill her, and maybe the fire couldn't hit her heart because her heart was protected under her ribs? I'm not sure.
Overall, this was a lovely read and I'm looking forward to Pure Sacrifice!...more
**spoiler alert** (This is for the Chinese version of the book, and adds more detail to my Smashwords.com review of Between Angels and Humans.)
Oh my g**spoiler alert** (This is for the Chinese version of the book, and adds more detail to my Smashwords.com review of Between Angels and Humans.)
Oh my gosh I loved this book so so so so much!!! I haven't loved a book to such a great intensity in a very long time, and I seldom give five stars, so this book really impressed me!
The story plotline was intriguing and original (I love the concept of Wang!), the pacing was excellent, and the language flowed smoothly and beautifully. The setting descriptions were really rich, vibrant, and highly imaginative too. :D
But most of all, I loved the character interactions and the main characters, especially Josh and Austin! Josh is my favorite character and Austin my second favorite. (I know their English names because I peeked at the English version which I also bought, haha, and will read too sometime later when I'm feeling less emotionally overwhelmed, lol.) Josh is so cute!!!! And really hilarious too. ^^ Austin is also so good, noble, and incredibly sweet. :) I know I'm repeating myself, but I love them so much!
It was also thoroughly a page-turner and I haven't been THIS addicted to a book for a very long time. :D
I can't wait for the sequel, because I'm dying to see what happens next! ^^
Thank you Graziella and Mimi Lee for writing such an amazing book and making me so happy! :D
Now for more detailed comments:
That part about Antioco's dilemma between cooking and being a Wang touched me particularly, because I can relate to it. Writing novels is my greatest life passion, so if I were a Pan and had to choose between becoming a Wang and becoming a great writer, I would find it really hard and painful to choose too.
Yet I remember that being a Wang doesn't mean Antioco would have to give up cooking completely, as he could still cook, just not as intensely as before; I recall that some cooks (Wang cooks, not machines or magic?) work in kitchen to cook the Wang and Pan's food? If so, Antioco could at least help there, though there may be less freedom for him as he'd have to cook what people order, not what he feels like cooking. On the other hand, with how extremely everyone loves his cooking, they would probably want to order his specialties anyway, haha.
However, there's another problem where, assuming that the kitchen houses Wang cooks and not just machines, then Antioco's cooking would be so outstanding that it'd stir up a lot of jealousy and resentment among the other cooks, so they might find ways to kick him out of the kitchen...
Thinking back to my own decision, if I'm still allowed to spend time writing novels, even if it's just e.g. 2 hours or so each day, then I might still choose to be a Wang, haha. I agree with some of the characters who think Antioco is really brave. :D
More comments on characters:
As I said above, I really seriously love adorable and funny Josh and awesome and kind Austin! Marion and Sebanny I liked too, but less, not because they're not also great people, but perhaps because it seems I know them less than I know the boys?
Sebanny I particularly felt like I didn't know very much about. I also wonder what happened to her dad. Maybe he died in an accident? :( I do pretty much know how her personality is like, but I know very little about her backstory and personal quirks (specific likes, dislikes, dreams, fears, etc.)
For Marion, as she is the protagonist, I did get to know more about her personality and backstory; it was really great learning about the issues she struggles with through her adventures to gain 融能! The part where she needed to resist the joy of being worshipped was especially revealing.
Marion's backstory of Taylor at the beginning was great too, because it made me feel emotionally connected to and sympathetic towards her almost instantly, which made want to keep reading. I'm an only child, but for some reason I could still understand and relate to her jealousy of her younger brother, haha. And oh my gosh I wonder who Marion's real parents are! I'm pretty sure she isn't Gloria and Callum's child, though they do sincerely love her very much.
The idea of Poso vs Nego was really good too, as it also revealed Marion's personality and the things she struggles with. Yet at the same time, I feel that her angemons don't completely reflect her thoughts. There were some really mean things Nego said that I don't think Marion herself would really think, e.g. some things said about Josh, and the suspicion that Austin would actually try to snatch her powers away...
Okay as for what made me feel like I didn't know Marion as much as I knew Austin and Josh, is that despite knowing about some good backstory, her personality, and issues she learns to overcome (e.g. her insecurities and lack of confidence), I feel like I don't really know her quirks, what particular things she especially likes, dislikes, aspires to do, etc.
In contrast, for Austin and Josh, I feel like I know a lot more on these aspects. For Austin, he really likes to read, learn, investigate (a "nerd", lol), like his father, and I know his father seems to investigate and learn about things like archaeology. Austin seems rather fond of science too, from looking at the decorations in his room! He also seems to like playing video games, or at least enjoys playing them with his best friend Josh!
(I get the feeling that Josh is more enthusiastic about video games than Austin is, though, because in that scene where they are in the shark's stomach, Josh is the one whose eyes are so expertly attuned to visual searches and visual abilities, that he can scan much more area at a time than his companions can and find the 閃聯 first. So I derived from that that Josh is more into video games than Austin is, since Josh seems to have greater visual search abilities than he does, though admittedly, Austin was losing oxygen. :( )
For Josh, I definitely feel like I know him well too. He is clearly very obsessed with food, maybe especially with French fries, lol, and Sebanny also mentions that his mind is never far from food. :D As well, we know about his love of and expertise in video games. I love how he's called a 高手 in video gaming, lol, it made me laugh for some reason. XD. Aside from having these two great interests, he also seems to not like to read or think of any philosophical or academic things, and would only read if the book is really, really good (according to Marion, if I remember correctly.)
I see also that Josh really loves adventuring, exploring, seeing new sights, though, which is great, because with how much he loves food and junk food, I'm glad he's quite physically active to make up for it, haha. Oh and other things I loved about Josh: I love how he's a very curious person, so that he's often the first to step out to see what a something is (he does seem to like swimming ahead to explore things before his (more patient, lol) companions do.)
As well, I love how he's someone who likes to break the rules and think outside the rules, and I love, love, love his Josh's Adventures that he plans to write (though Austin thinks he'll only be telling his parents anyway, haha.) It's so funny and exasperating at the same time that he's so concerned with having really exciting and dangerous adventures, and uh, looking cool, than worrying about the danger they're in. XD Yes I admit I was kind of mad at him for saying that it doesn't look good for Marion (a girl) to lead him, Austin, and Sebanny out of the shark's mouth, lol, but I still love him!
Oh another awesome thing about Josh is how he's good at cheering others up by making them laugh and stuff. Lol it was lovely when he's called a 開心果!! 開心果 characters are awesome!! And in the first scene where we meet Josh for the first time, I remember him being described as blond -haired, green-eyed, and always has a "燦爛的笑容" on his face. Josh is such a charming and attractive boy, at least to me! (Yes, sorry I'm gushing over Josh too much, eh? XD)
However, I peeked at the English version of this description too, and I must say I prefer the Chinese one, because the English version only says something like: "who always wore a smile on his face", whereas the Chinese version says he always has a 燦爛的笑容 on his face。 The 燦爛 adjective of the smile makes his smile extra attractive and even stunning. :) At least to me, because I really love people with charming smiles, like lovely Josh. :D I'm not sure about Sebanny who likes to mock him quite a bit (with good humor, I guess), but Josh is very beautiful and lovely and crazy cute to me! XD
I liked how Josh's last name is Jaunty too, as he really embodies what "jaunty" means!!
Ahem. Okay apart from the revelations of Austin and Josh's quirks, likes, and dislikes, their characters were developed even more with this bit of backstory: When Josh, Austin, and Jake sometimes play video games for such a long time that Helena needs to "drag her son and husband by the ears" to dinner. Lol this is a very short glimpse of backstory, yet it already tells me a lot about Austin, Josh (especially the latter), and their relationship.
What developed their characters even further, is when we see traits that go against the "stereotype", if some people want to stereotype them. For Austin, some people (not me who loves him, but perhaps some people) may simply see him as the "perfect, kind, smart, reliable, noble and altruistic older brother" type, yet since Austin is an INDIVIDUAL, not a mere type, he also has moments that contradict this stereotype.
For instance, there were many times where Austin was behaving like a young child (in a good way), and was even being mischievous, which go against my idea of the "perfect older brother" stereotype who is always mature, sensible, and rule-abiding. Even Austin mentioned that he is like Josh and doesn't like to stick to the rules, lol.
Austin being so well synchronized with and like twins with Josh, who is totally not like the "responsible older brother" type, also shows that Austin breaks out of this narrow stereotype, though I admit I do like this stereotype and would probably still love him even if he didn't break the stereotype, haha. But I'm glad he did anyway, because it shows that he's a person rather than a type.
As for Josh, some (not me who faves him) may see him just the "immature, naughty, but also funny and cute younger brother" type. Yet he also has instances that counter this stereotype. His willingness to sacrifice himself to protect and save Sebanny goes against the immature younger brother stereotype, as such selflessness is quite a mature (in a good way) trait to me. :) Granted, he was willing to sacrifice himself for a girl he seems to (maybe) have a secret crush on, but STILL self-sacrifice is self-sacrifice! Even Sebanny was touched by his actions. :D
Another stereotype that people may put Josh in, is the "always happy, joky, and childlike" type. Yet there are again instances where he doesn't fit this type, like the time he gets very annoyed when Sebanny seems to be (temporarily) infatuated with or attracted to handsome Brandon (Josh is handsomer than Brandon to me though, lol, as well as a lot younger and closer to Sebanny's age...) When Josh blocks her view of Brandon and complains rather sharply that she isn't enjoying her food properly and was looking around, this doesn't look like the usual cheery and happy-go-lucky Josh we're used to. Even Sebanny seems a bit shocked or surprised at Josh's unusual sharpness.
I quite like the part where Brandon came to heal Marion from her attack by the dark shadow, and Josh is described as feeling very uncomfortable about handsome Brandon, like something really precious to Josh is being threatened or taken from him. These little moments let us see that Josh does have insecurities and worries beneath his seeming perpetual self-confidence and sunniness. Again, these show that Josh is an individual, a person, rather than a mere archetype.
Okay, all that said, just to clarify, I'm not saying that Sebanny and Marion are not developed, just that I feel like I know more about Josh and Austin than I do about the girls. I would especially like to know more about Sebanny, as I feel like I barely know her at all, in contrast to how much I know about the boys and Marion too.
I was very impressed by the pacing and the effective "control of the camera". I.e. what scenes are shown, how much time passes between scenes, how long and detailed each scene is, etc. The dialogue scenes never feel either too long or too short, and there was a nice balance between plot-relevant dialogue and more character-development but not strictly related to the plot dialogue. As someone who is obsessed with character development, lol, I care most about the fun little dialogues that reveal character, especially Josh's really cute and funny exchanges and jokes.
So I was very happy to see that whilst there was a good amount of more "character-developing-but-not-quite-related-to-the-main-plot" dialogue, this was never too much or long that it bogged down the story's pace. It was a great control of speed in that there was a good balance between slower, more relaxing scenes, and faster, more exciting scenes. Never felt too slow or too fast!
But about the dialogue, I found it a bit confusing sometimes when speech wasn't surrounded by quote marks. Now I have no problem with indirect (narrated) speech as opposed to direct, quotation-marked speech. However, sometimes I wasn't sure if the character actually said something out loud or if it was just a secret thought in their head; and I only find out when another character responds to what they just said. Still a bit confusing, though, despite the great and often entertaining dialogue exchanges!
Now apart from the lovable characters themselves, what I loved most about this book were the relationships between the characters. It's really sweet, touching, and adorable to see the friendships between the four best friends, though technically, I can see that Marion is closest to Sebanny and vice versa, and Josh is closest to Austin and vice versa, probably because they are the same gender--we often feel closer to people more similar to us, though not always.
Aside from the two same gender best friend pairs, Austin seems to have a special connection with Marion (apart from his, um, seeming crush on her ^_^", haha). It struck me that after Marion gets to jump onto the red pillar and create a dazzling spectacle of gold and silver lightning, lifting herself, her family, and her friends up into the air, Josh talks about how awesome and amazing the experience is, Sebanny talks about how she could fly, but Austin talks about how amazing MARION is, and how he has always thought that she is so super awesome. So Josh and Sebanny were talking about the wonder and coolness of THE EXPERIENCE, whilst Austin was talking about Marion herself. :)
There were many other examples of how Austin seems to have a special relationship with Marion that Josh and even Sebanny don't seem to have as much with her, e.g. Austin understands Marion well that he specially listened through the walls of her room because he has a feeling she'll sneak out at night, and that he actually goes out after all, still in his pajamas, even though technically he's a lot physically weaker than she is, being human rather than a Pan or Wang. There was another time mentioning that, whenever Marion felt unhappy, Austin would feel down and unhappy too. I liked also the parts where Marion is comforted when she sees the caring concern and softness in his eyes, or hears the reassuring gentleness and firmness of his voice.
Sebanny and Josh also seem to have a special relationship, though this doesn't seem to be as clear as Marion and Austin's. Sebanny seems to rebuke, tease, and make fun of Josh more than the others do. And...we already see his jealousy of Brandon when Sebanny seems to be attracted to Brandon, and Josh's quick willingness to sacrifice himself to protect Sebanny. Josh's willingness to sacrifice to protect her is so quick that it almost seems automatic, like a reflex! I was especially touched when he just thrusted his hand into Sebanny's mouth for her to bite without thinking.
On the other hand, Marion and Josh, and Sebanny and Austin, don't seem to be as close. They are still close since they obviously care a lot about each other, but their demonstrations of affection, joy, relief, and sadness, fear, and pain, are less intense compared to the feelings expressed between the pairs mentioned above. For instance, though Josh does care about Marion's life and wellbeing too, he doesn't seem to be AS distressed as Sebanny and Austin are when Marion almost gets consumed by the black shadow, and he doesn't seem to have a compulsion to hug Marion like the other two do. Again, this is not saying that Josh doesn't care about or love Marion too, but that he seems less close to her than Sebanny and Austin are.
Oh and of course I love the little hints of perhaps romance in the story too, and yet another one big reason why I love this book so much is because I think they're so romantic! Really my type of romance! Lol it was so cute when Austin avoids Marion's eyes, then picks up the courage to hug her in great relief and joy, and then pulls away quickly again as if he doesn't want anyone to see, lol! Near the beginning of the book when Callum asks Austin to hold Marion's hand, Austin looks at her shyly before she nods in gratitude and grips his hand. Even there I was getting a bit suspicious, haha; I love romance and also write romance, so I'm very sensitive to and attentive to these details. XD
However, I was still sort of surprised when romance does seem to occur as Austin and Joshua seem to have a crush on Marion and Sebanny respectively, because for some time, apart from Austin's "shyness", I didn't see any indications of romance, lol, and I began to assume that maybe the story only talks about friendship between the four, not about any romance between them, as they are only thirteen, after all. But hurray there is romance!
It's also rather cute that Josh and Austin, despite probably having crushes on the two girls respectively, seem confused about what they are feeling, lol! They also seem somewhat discomfited by these feelings, though they both become kind of delirious and ecstatic when the girl they like expresses affection towards them in some way. Like when Sebanny actually speaks softly to Josh asking him why he was willing to take her place as the evil mermaid's (I mean merman's) hostage. Or when Marion embraces Austin because she's so relieved and thankful that she successfully cleared his airway with her Pan powers and he's no longer having his asthma attack.
As for whether the girls actually reciprocate the boys' romantic love, Marion seems to do so, at least a bit, and especially seems to at the end of the book when Austin dies (temporarily!) As for Sebanny, I'm not too sure. It's possible that it's unrequited love for Josh :( , at least for now.
Ok I've almost run out of room, haha. I'll see if I can write the small remainder of my review in a reply. ...more
**spoiler alert** First off, a disclaimer: Three stars does NOT mean "average" on my rating scale. Three stars means "good or very good". To get four**spoiler alert** First off, a disclaimer: Three stars does NOT mean "average" on my rating scale. Three stars means "good or very good". To get four stars or five stars, the book would have to make a big special, personal emotional impact on me, i.e. it would have to be "my specific type" of story, haha, meaning it has nothing to do with the quality, but only has to do with matching my personal idiosyncratic tastes. Or otherwise, it would have to make some huge emotional impact, which is very very hard to do in a short story. So anyway, Unintended Guardian was good and I liked it! Pretty cute and sweet. :D
I was quite astonished at how instant Kala and Griff's relationship was, and how quickly it progressed, that it looks like a lust at first sight rather than a love at first sight; or that they were really, really in need of love and companionship.
I liked the kissing and erotic descriptions, though I know not all readers would like them especially as Kala and Griff only just met! As a previous reviewer said, it was surprising how Griff could care THAT much for someone he just met that he would risk his life to save her, but then maybe he was very lonely, and he is a Gryphon anyway, so maybe Gryphons' feelings develop more quickly than humans' usually do? Yet he said he never had this feeling before, so...
Hmm maybe it would help if we got a bit more explanation on why Kala is so special as to make him have such a never-before-felt emotional and physical reaction. All I gathered so far were that 1) she wasn't bothered by all this "fantasy unusualness" like most humans would; 2) she's desperately lonely too; 3) she seems to love and care about him so quickly already; and 4) she takes a lot of initiative to befriend him and get involved with him...
Haha, I have to admit that I rolled my eyes when I saw the movie-star-like looks and the descriptions of his muscles, because I have this automatic prejudice against story characters who are described as conventionally attractive--i.e. beauty close to social ideals, rather than to personal ideals. Yet, this is simply my own prejudice, because Griff seems to be a decent and likable (and not human! :D) guy after all. Also, even though his appearance is rather masculine and "alpha", I'm very glad that his personality was NOT so masculine or alpha, because I don't like masculine and alpha guys, ahaha! (I like either the feminine or androgynous type. :D) Just my personal preference.
The description of water blended edges of Kala was somewhat pretty, though, because I like descriptions that involve water. :)
It also had a nice sort of plot twist, when Kala became his new treasure to guard--Niall wasn't that bad after all! Did Griff leave his key very close to the cage? Since I'm surprised Niall could escape by himself so easily.
And I do understand Kala's need for social interaction, since there are days where I literally get zero face to face interaction, so I could relate to that.
Back to the romance: maybe I didn't feel very emotionally connected to the characters or their love for each other yet, since it was so fast, and the story was so short, lol, so even though I normally love romance, I enjoyed reading the fantasy parts more. I.e. the Niall and Griff dialogue parts and learning about the Mythos world and the Great Owl. I would like to have learned a bit more about the world of the Mythos (world building) and a bit more detail on Griff's backstory. But again, this is just my personal preference, since not all readers are as interested in world building and backstory details (esp. details unrelated to the plot) as I am, lol.
As for Treasured Claim, I can already see that I like Treasured Claim more than Unintended Guardian, partly because it's much longer and will give me more time to connect emotionally with the characters, and partly because I like Elaina already! Must admit that I'm much more interested in Elaina than in Kala, partly because the former is a shapeshifting dragon whilst the latter is just a human being--lol sorry I'm so biased towards nonhuman creatures! XD But I love the idea of getting nourishment from jewels, how she's running out of "jewel food", if I may express it in that way, and that she has to come up with lots of strategies to steal /obtain more jewellery!
Also, I remember telling you that I didn't like Alexander from the blurb, and reading that he is one of the most eligible bachelors made me go, "Ah, just another rich and probably conventionally handsome dude". But again that was just my automatic prejudice, because when I read from his perspective, I felt a lot more positively and sympathetic towards him, though I wouldn't say I "like" him yet, at least not like how I already really like Elaina.
I also remember us talking about how your hero is the only one who can see the heroine's beauty and Alexander is certainly doing that! Characters who can see their future lover's beauty whilst not everybody else can see it, automatically get more sympathy and brownie points from me too, lol. And I also sympathized with how the women all want him only for his money, and that they would go to his father instead because of his bigger wallet...Omg they would reject a younger guy in favor of a guy who is probably old enough to be their own dad just for the latter's money?! Man, what kind of women are these??? (And isn't Alexander's wealth phenomenal enough already? Talk about greed!) So that makes me feel even more sorry for Alexander. :( I do wonder how he is able to see all those cool color changes on Elaina whilst others can't, though. :D. I'm again looking forward to learning more about the Mythos world!...more
**spoiler alert** Oh man, 雲海玉弓緣 really made me cry and I'm still very sad. frown emoticon And 厲勝男 is such an evil b** but for some reason, I still lik**spoiler alert** Oh man, 雲海玉弓緣 really made me cry and I'm still very sad. frown emoticon And 厲勝男 is such an evil b** but for some reason, I still like her and she's still my favorite character, haha. And poor 金世遺! frown emoticon I feel bad for 谷之華 and 厲勝男 too, but I feel especially sad for 金世遺． >< Poor guy! He really always tries his best to do the right thing. He's very very unfortunate. This is such an amazingly sad story! Though I can imagine it being even worse than this.
金世遺 and 厲勝男 have such a strange relationship...But I personally wouldn't call it romantic (not sexual either), even though the author and the characters think it is romantic.
Also, I really like 金世遺! grin emoticon Usually I don't really like love polygons where there's one guy and multiple girls, but I like this one since the guy is really awesome and wonderful and I can see why he's so popular, haha. Plus, I like both 谷之華 and 厲勝男, and also 李沁梅 who used to have a sort of crush on him. A love polygon is more acceptable to me also if I like every individual within this polygon.
Apart from that, 梁羽生 writes such fantastic fight scenes! The book seems to be mostly made up of fight scenes, haha, but they are so enjoyable to read and I never get tired of them! Since I'm trying my hand at writing a 武侠小说 myself, his great fight scenes are very inspiring to me too. :D...more
If you cut the slower scenes, it's a very interesting read.
I have to say, I'm not very interested in Claire, but I was interested in learnin*spoilers*
If you cut the slower scenes, it's a very interesting read.
I have to say, I'm not very interested in Claire, but I was interested in learning about Jamie. It was very nice seeing Jamie being so developed by having SO much backstory revealed about him, and man this guy really loves talking about his past! I even thought that maybe too much backstory was shown. On the other hand, we know next to nothing about Claire.
Another random comment: There were SO many sex scenes that it was quite embarrassing. If someone says that women think about sex less than men do, I wouldn't be convinced by this statement. Yes, a lot of male authored novels have a lot of sex in them, but a lot of FEMALE authored romances talk obsessively, and explicitly about sex! Very embarrassing indeed....more
Oh my gosh one of the most romantic stories I have ever read....wow...I still feel so affected right now.
Probably the most romantic thing about this,Oh my gosh one of the most romantic stories I have ever read....wow...I still feel so affected right now.
Probably the most romantic thing about this, for me, is that it involves an Imaginary Friend! I mean, how awesome is that?
I have to say, this is probably one of the very few books that I would actually reread one day! Yup, I love it that much.
I DON'T think there's anything wrong with Michael being (almost) perfect. He's an imaginary friend! Of course he must be (almost) perfect!
Hmm, I concede that it is a bit creepy that Michael was 35 (ish?) when he first knew Jane as a kid, then marries her when she becomes 30ish. But the romanticness overrided this slight creepiness and I felt sincerely glad that Jane and Michael are so happy and so in love with each other.
Also, I didn't feel that this story was oversweet or sappy at all. I loved how it kept "bursting" its happiness at me. I totally felt their ecstasy all the way!
Some things that could be improved:
---Explain much much more about how the universe of imaginary friends works. Michael loses his memory about what happens in the past but how does he remember all his "best friends"--fellow imaginary friends?
It would be great if the authors offered a REASON why Michael remembered Jane, and Jane remembered Michael even though they're both supposed to forget.
------The first part with the 8 yr old Jane and (35 yr old?) Michael could have been more developed. It felt rushed and I was astonished when it was so quickly over--I didn't get to learn much about their friendship yet. Definitely needs development!
----The happy ending was sweet. It can be drawn on a slight bit longer to let us savor this sweetness.
-----(This isn't really an improvement) I'm just curious. Is Hugh handsomer or is Michael handsomer? Or is it wiser not to know?
************ Wow I think this is the longest review I have ever written on goodreads. I must be very in love with this book....more
Wow, this WAS romantic! XD I'm usually very cynical about such stuff, but this was pretty well done even for me ^^.
Apart from that, I liked Brashares'Wow, this WAS romantic! XD I'm usually very cynical about such stuff, but this was pretty well done even for me ^^.
Apart from that, I liked Brashares'compassionate style; she really goes deep into her protagonists' emotional lives...I enjoyed that!
There're also some very interesting and penetrating philosophical ideas here. Very nice. ^^
The only thing that annoyed me was the lack of a conclusion. Ok, apart from the stereotypical why-aren't-Lucy-and-Daniel-back-together-yet question (XD how corny...), it was very unsatisfying that the villain's still out there and powerful!!!! Hurry up and defeat that Joaquim guy already!!!! Lol.
(I'll take back the above comment since there appears to be sequels...^^)
Btw, Ben is scary! XD You know what I'm pointing at... ;)...more