I was skeptical after I read a ton of reviews and saw that Becca Fitzpatrick recommended it (very bad sign in my opinion), but I decided not to cancel...moreI was skeptical after I read a ton of reviews and saw that Becca Fitzpatrick recommended it (very bad sign in my opinion), but I decided not to cancel my pre-order and have a go. Now I have to say: I really liked the book. And I liked the heroine and her love-interest (I mention only one, because that manipulative control-freak behavior of RetCh, the conscience-free faerie, cannot be counted as love-triangle worthy. He just used her loneliness and her craving of any kind of physical contact to reach his goal. There is really NOTHING to recommend or excuse him apart from good looks. So don't try to convince me of the opposite. Aprilynne Pike wrote in her blurb "...One won Evie's heart and the other won mine." I enjoyed Mrs. Pikes debut well enough to rate it three stars, but after this disclosure of her bad taste in evil guys I will be very wary of books to come).
After reading her story I can even understand Evie's girlish preference for pink, sparkling clothes and tasers and her motivation to give her Taser and her knife pet names: Since she turned eight she has been living underground, held like a dumb princess in an ivory tower, fed with only the information necessary to tag and bag random paranormals for the International Paranormal Containment Agency that is her "home" and shamelessly uses her unique gift of seeing beyond every kind of magic glamour. All her confidants are grown-ups. She is home-schooled by a permanently depressed female werewolf and High-School is something that happens on TV. If you were Evie, would you not jump at every possibility to shop with your otherwise business-like guardian for some ultra-girlish clothes, which resemble the stuff the actors on your favorite Teen TV Drama "Easton Heights" flaunt? Would you not try to be a little normal, to be a teenager? Evie does not own rhine-stone-studded hand-bags because she never leaves the Center outside of a mission. So she compensates by decorating her weapon and giving it a silly name.
Apart from the difference in age and that unhealthy degree of helpers syndrom Rachel Morgan has, Evie's personality reminded me a lot of this favorite urban fantasy heroine of mine. I don't excactly know why. But she was not at all how I had imagined her to be.
What I also liked were the various commonly known paranormal lores (faerie, vampire, werewolf, mermaid, elementals ...), their adaption and their integration into the book's world-building. Nicely done. I think I will pickup the sequel "Supernaturally", when it comes out in paperback.(less)
4,5 stars!! I am quite overwelmed by how much I liked Ballad, since after reading Lament I expected a sequel that would also barely make it into the "...more4,5 stars!! I am quite overwelmed by how much I liked Ballad, since after reading Lament I expected a sequel that would also barely make it into the "It-was-enjoyable-but-didn't-touch-me" category. In most cases sequels even take a slight - or not so slight - drop for me. Surprisingly Ballad turned out to be what I wished Lament had been: A beautiful but eerie story in which humans meet dangerous, but alluring and likable faeries. Both worlds are shaken up. Both main characters change because of the encounter. James was the character I liked best in Lament, anyway. And his story told in turns with faerie muse Nuala tucked at my heart strings in a way Deidre's narration would not and could not. (Oh, how I wished for a miracle in the end! A sure sign of success of the author's efforts to engage the reader.) I was so very afraid of Nuala hurting James in the beginning, but after a few chapters she started to grow on me, which is how it should be in my opinion. Ballad, which was featuring Deidre, too, in the form of unsent text messages, confirmed my slight dislike of "the cloverhand" and opened my eyes to why Lament and I could not and did not really click. A short comment on the cover: It fits "like a fist on an eye" as we would say in German.
P.S.: I am sorry, Jessi, for stowing Ballad away on my keepers shelf after having set up your hope. Borrowing is certainly possible ;-).(less)
The third installment of my very favorite fairy and steampunk series featuring my favorite cat ever and the cutest Gremlin alive ... I loved The Iron...moreThe third installment of my very favorite fairy and steampunk series featuring my favorite cat ever and the cutest Gremlin alive ... I loved The Iron King and just liked The Iron Daughter. The typical consequence following the law of paranormal trilogies would be that I tolerated The Iron Queen - for old times' sake. But no - I got to be surprised (although I sometimes feel so unsurprisable): In most parts I liked The Iron Queen almost as much as The Iron King and in some parts (i.e. the number of Grimalkin dialogues, the multiple, fantastic steampunk elements, the Puck-and-Ash-banter and Meghan's personal growth) I think it even surpassed it in my eyes.
Before reading The Iron Queen my guess about The Iron Knight/Ash's story was that we would be told some ancient story about his former self wooing Ariella or losing his soul or growing a heart or battling his brothers, but now I am pretty positive that Julie Kagawa is going to treat us with a narration of what happens after The Iron Queen - in Ash's point of view. I cross my fingers that I am right. There has to be a way.
And please, Mrs. Kagawa, write some awsome new series on the side, won't you? I bet it will relax you in the evenings after hours of tweaking Ash's musings and Puck's teasings.
Ohhh ... and I forgot: TBR Pile Reduction Challenge 2011, Book #8 (challenger = Jessica)(less)
The first three quarters were 2.5 stars, the ending was definitely 3 fully-colored ones.
+ The story was not boring. I had no urge to stop. At no point...moreThe first three quarters were 2.5 stars, the ending was definitely 3 fully-colored ones.
+ The story was not boring. I had no urge to stop. At no point. (But I wouldn't have searched for the book either, should I have mislaid it somehow.) + The heroine is likable, a bit clueless, yes, but intelligent enough and likable. + And the hero is hot and a bit self-loathing. + There were some very funny scenes woven in. Two or three times I even contemplated the possibility of extracting a quote, but my lazy side won. + The sex-crazy unicorn is cute, but if it were not for its crucial part in the plot, which required some witty talking, I would have loved it better had it kept his snout(?)/muzzle(?) shut. For your visualization: I imagine Phineas the Unicorn to look like a chihuahua-sized off-white "My-Little-Pony" with a sparkly horn, a firm little pouch from slurping too much bacon and cereals, lazy, half-closed eyes and pinkishly blue male equippment. + I loved the last scene before the very last. I have to admit I am a sucker for those heart-broken guys who have to come to terms with the fact that they have fallen for a girl but do not feel entitled to act on it. I enjoy the pain in their faces. Even more if they are the usually cocky types. If this scene was not there I would have rated the book 2 stars only. - The world-building needs some final strokes. - The plot is choppy. - A lot of explanations do not really make sense. (For instance, why are all these Fairies, Angels and Demons running around in Portsmouth if they do not have a human TouchStone yet. Is it a requirement to exist among humans or not?) - A lot of scenes are very random, partly enjoyble, witty or sexy, but pointless. I concluded that they were written first and then aimlessly connected with the rest of the story because the author or editor did not have the heart to throw them out. My friend Kim from Belgium tried to make her not-being-a-native-speaker responsible for her irritation while I first thought I had blown some fuse while turning the pages. Kim, we are both not to blame. I am positive. - The instant attraction (Dreameater meets hyperdreamer, who has an overflow of nightmares. Let's shout B-I-N-G-O.). I've had too much of it. - The evil ones are oh-so-evil.
So this is not going to be my next favorite urban fantasy series. And I will not mention it in one breath together with the Rachel-Morgan-Series, the Kate-Daniels-Series, Mercy Thompson or Sookie Stackhouse again. But it was worth the try and the time was not wasted. I had fun. (less)
This review was originally posted in 2008 after I had read the book for the first time:
"The Blue Girl" by Charles de Lint has been one of the most sat...moreThis review was originally posted in 2008 after I had read the book for the first time:
"The Blue Girl" by Charles de Lint has been one of the most satisfying snatches from the fantasy shelves for me last year.
Is has it all:
1. A very warm-hearted and detailed description of a forming unlikely friendship between tough punk-girl Imogene, who had a criminal gang-member-record in her hometown and a childhood spent mainly on her own because of her drug-consuming carefree hippy-parents, and anxious, smart and conservative outsider Maxine, who has difficulties coming out of her shell because of her ever-present controlling mother. 2. Dark, mysterious fantasy tightly interwoven with reality. Imogene's imaginary childhood friend Pelly - something in the middle between hedgehog and boy with bunny ears and a monkey's tail - turns up in flesh after a long absence and warns her: Somehow Imogene has angered the malicious band of faeries living on the school grounds and therefore her life is suddenly on stake. In her efforts to get light into the matter, she meets the ghost of a former high-school-student whose death was caused by faeries as well. Imogene finds out that faeries are by far not the most dangerous creatures in town. Bonded with Pelly and Maxine the long-time loner learns a lot about trust and friendship and wins in the end. 3. Last but not least there are some interesting sub-plots like Imogene's dealings with the school's bullies, her relationship with her brother and the slowly growing romance with a music-shop-guy - whose granny comes from Ireland and believes in faeries as well...
I will definitly read more books by this author and recommend for anyone who likes finely tuned characters and dark fantasy to have a try as well. (less)
Financially you are very lucky indeed, if you are born as an inhabitant of the small town Gentry: Although all around the industry’s prospects are ble...moreFinancially you are very lucky indeed, if you are born as an inhabitant of the small town Gentry: Although all around the industry’s prospects are bleak, Gentry still flourishes. This astonishing piece of luck is something best not talked about. That is the consensus of the supersticious townsfolk. Equally hushed are murmurs concerning the random bad luck which eventually strikes among the community: Every now and then an infant suddenly dies.
Mackie Doyle knows that he, too, would have died as a baby – were it not for his sister Emma, who as a tiny girl nursed him back to health, in spite of the knowledge that the crib held a replacement instead of her brother, and his parents, Gentry’s Methodist preacher and his wife, who taught their changeling son from an early age to keep his otherness (intolerance of blood, iron and sanctified ground and also heightened senses) hidden on all accounts. Their caution even includes a "no-visitors-to-the-house" rule, because they fear their iron-free household might start the community's rumors. Therefore Mackie is quite at a loss when his moody and fierce classmate Tate, whose baby sister Natalie just recently “died,” pesters him of all people relentlessly for answers and help and seems to be immune to his habitual elusiveness. As Mackie’s physical condition worsens, because being perpetually surrounded by iron and blood seems to poison him slowly causing breathing difficulties and fainting fits, and members of his people repeatedly appear, inviting him to return to the dark and underground "House of Mayhem”, he decides to try to find out what really happened to Natalie, to his town and to himself. His visit to one of the two dangerous female rulers of the supernatural realms puts him smack into the middle of a ruthless power struggle between evil in the shape of beautiful decay and maybe-evil-maybe-less-evil in the shape of an ugly, capricious little girl with too many teeth.
I am usually not a great fan of horror tales. I am rather the girl with her head between her knees when things become gruesome at the movies. But Brenna Yovanoff does this mixture of urban fantasy, love story and eerie, eerie, horror fiction so beautifully, so vividly, colorfully, tenderly and poetically I simply had to love it and to savor each description without closing my inner eyes. The disclosure of the shocking facts also works great for the reader: It is clear from the beginning that Mackie knows more than he lets slip, but his eyes get opened wider along with the reader’s.
Mackie is an unusual character, he stands out, but at the same time he is a quite normal sixteen-year-old: He admits admiring classroom bitch Alice because of her attractive exterior and detects only gradually the lovable layers of vulnerable daredevil Tate. I also liked how he interacted with the Morrigan – simultaneously tender and afraid. I was always uneasy about Mackie’s parents: Was their love for their replacement son sincere? What did they hide? But I was kind of envious because of Mackie’s sister Emma and his best friend Roswell, who both loved Mackie so unconditionally and unwaveringly and chased away his fear of being an intruder within the human world and their lives. Brenna Yovanoff has a true talent of showing her readers love in all possible shapes – even that between antagonized celtic goddesses.
It's true, the world-building gets never fully explained. But if one reads the novel vigilantly, it becomes pretty clear that a complete understanding is not intended: “The Lady” illustrates at one point how her people has always been defined by the imagination, the superstitions and the limitations of the humans whose sacrifices, attention, admiration or fear keep them alive. They are what we imagine them to be. They are repelled by what we imagine them to be intolerant of. And that changes with our culture. Interesting, isn’t it?
This book is very good, Brenna. I like it and its ending as it is. It does not need a sequel! (less)
It is funny how a few pages more - or less - can change your judgement of a story that as a whole encompasses more than 300 pages.
When I first glimps...moreIt is funny how a few pages more - or less - can change your judgement of a story that as a whole encompasses more than 300 pages.
When I first glimpsed the announcement of The Iron Knight's birth I had mixed feelings. There were three possibilities: A) The author would switch to Ash's point of view to retell the story already known to us in the fashion of Midnight Sun, which would have pleased me immensely, because he is of the albeit sexy, but moody and introverted kind. So looking into his icy head would have added new aspects to the story. B) The author would use Ash's popularity with the female reader to tell a long forgotten, human-free tale of the Nevernever, maybe including Ariella, probably including Mab and her Winter Court, but definitly including Puck and Grimalkin and his icy majesty himself who we all believe to have a tiny, searingly hot heart beating behind his frozen, indifferent exterior. That option I would have welcomed even more. C) The author lost a cat fight against her publicist who demanded a belated happier ending (could have been delivered by a bonus material story sold for a few cents or earned by some elvy internet quest of the reader) and above all more money to be squeezed out of the universally liked trilogy before the fickle faery lover switched his attention elsewhere for swoon-worthy bad guys and life-saving love-triangles. Because Meghan's job as an effective day-by-day ruler does not offer much room for buzz and excitement, Ash's point of view would have to do. This possibility had been my least favorite option. One I - along with the sensible author - would have declared to be pretty superflous and probably destructive for the elegant arch of the existing plotline.
Well, even if you've read only the book's description you know by now which part of Ash's personal history we have been handed:
To overcome the obstacle of his iron allergy in order to live with Meghan happily ever after at the Iron Court, Ash goes on a quest to earn a soul - which conveniently comes in a package with a human, aka iron-resistant, body. This quest leads him road-trip like through a variety of wondrously creepy Nevernever landscapes to the very end of the world. Because monologues would have bored us, Ash takes along some companions: Robin "Puck" Goodfellow - his sassy spunk decidedly upped my rating at least one star, Grimalkin - my favorite talking cat ever (view spoiler)[ I love him even more than Austin the cholersterol-stuffed know-it-all in Summon the Keeper(hide spoiler)], the Big Bad Wolf - because the legends and fairytales about him were already slipping humanity's mind and needed refurbishment - and a really unexpected guest star. Although there wasn't much plot in the plot sense to it, I enjoyed the quartet's Tomb-Raider-style journey. A lot of action, bickering and strength. I think we could safely rename the novel: "Ash T. Croft Soulhunter IV - Nevernever Special Edition" and shout: "Jump, Ash!"
I liked that part of the book astonishinlgy well: I would have given 4.5 stars for pure entertainment and for the bonus of an awwww-inducing reconciliation of the non-romantic sort - inspite of a very unnescessary and rather annoying love quadruple that came paired with it.
Then Ash reached the real "trial" - nightmare-like tests with a hooded guardian in the absence of his friends. Everything went downhill for me. I simply hate extensives projections of the future or flash forwards that show what happenes to that beloved teen couple in the next 20 to 100 years. I disliked in in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I abhorred it in Perfect Chemistry and I especially hated it in The Iron Knight, even though it makes sense to make Ash understand what being 100% fragile human could do to him. I hated it enough to tune down my rating mentally to 2.5.
But somehow the last chapters reconciled my fickle heart on the spot (strange me, I know). I was able to let out a huge sigh and to rearrange Ash's future like I wanted it to be or to be possible in my head (Rainbow reinstalled).
And since my rating mirrors just my ability to enjoy myself with a certain book, I distribute 3.5 stars and tell you: "It's not necessary to read this book. If you are like me, it will not make you happier. But after reading the finale scenes I do not feel compelled to hang out enormous "Caution - Disappointment Right Ahead" signs either. Go ahead and be entertained.
Plus, I loved the integrated "Survival in the Nevernever" booklet at the end of the book. Nicely done, Miss Kagawa.
Good faerie story - mediocre romance. Maybe, if I had not read the exceptionally wonderful "Shiver" before, I would have liked "Lament" more. My expec...moreGood faerie story - mediocre romance. Maybe, if I had not read the exceptionally wonderful "Shiver" before, I would have liked "Lament" more. My expectations have been too high, I guess.
I liked the concept of those evil faeries, inhumanly beautiful, powerful and always enjoying to toy with human prey. The connection to Irish folklore and Irish traditional music was well crafted. The suspense factor was also really high.
What did not reach my heart was the supposedly romantic atmosphere - though a lot of tense and love-filled situations occur. I did not really warm up to the main characters, Deidre and Luke. (I think, I liked best friend James best.) At one point I thought: If Luke is saying one time more "Pretty girl", I am going to barf. In addition those parents of Deidre are such an unbelievably stange set: So enormously distant and cold and always pressuring their daughter to play at weddings and such and telling peolpe beforehand, that she will have to vomit because of the stress.
I liked the second half slightly better than the first. So it's three stars in the end.
I am not sure, if I want to read Ballad sometime. There are still so many other promising faerie stories around. (less)
"He stuck his shovel defiantly in the ground, then took off his little red hat and held it in both hands. 'You have a name?' 'Twinkle.' 'Twinkle,' I s...more"He stuck his shovel defiantly in the ground, then took off his little red hat and held it in both hands. 'You have a name?' 'Twinkle.' 'Twinkle,' I said slowly. 'The Destroyer,' he added. 'Your name is Twinkle the Destroyer?' He nodded. 'Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be? Okay, Twinkle the Destroyer, I take it you guys have been popping my tires?'" Who doesn't love fierce, little garden gnomes named Pip the Briger of Pain, Gnoman Polanski or Twinkle the Destroyer? And who doesn't think that Lish McBride’s dialogues between her mellow necromancing hero Samhain LaCroix and multiple, wackily paranormal or frighteningly normal creatures like Pello the dread-locked, beer-bellied, leery satyr, who enjoys to attend council meetings clad neither in glamour nor in anything else that restricts his manliness, huge, vegetarian, strangely sexy bigfoots bursting with mating pheromones, vampire dandies with parasols, popker playing minotaurs, the human underdog Frank, the weregrizzly Ramon and ... last but not least the most interesting pukis in literature, James Montgomery, are prizeworthily funny, clever and naughty? Well I, for my part, I do. A lot of scenes in this sequel to the exciting and entertaining "Hold Me Closer, Necromancer" provided me with blissful moments of mirth.
In spite of that I believe the novel to be superfluous as a novel. Usually I am one of those readers who make a wide berth around short-story anthologies and anouncements of prequel 0.7 and sequel 1.5.2. But in the light of the material presented in "Necromancing the Stone" I am sure a couple of shorts titled "How to Mailorder a Chupacabra", "Bare-Assed Hiking with Pello", "Social Security for the Sexy Bigfoot", "Puking on a Pukis", "The Day Frank Became an Honorary Gnome" or "High on Goddess Juice" would have done the trick very nicely indeed.
See, the problem is the real plot. It is simply not enough around of it to fill a whole book, and the arc of tension – if you insist of looking for one – resembles rather a limp fishing line than a taut string of a bow ready to snap. The narration is split up more or less betweeen Sam and the evil, evil, evil, evil necromancer Douglas, who is a bit dead, but preparing to resurrect and reclaim everything ... and certainly to take revenge, but who has magically stored a fragment of his soul in a object (see title), which is in unsuspecting Sam’s hands but is needed in Doug's to get the action to full throttle. So there is a warning (*yawn*), some dreams, that reminded me of a young Tom Riddle, a little murder (*yawnyawnsob*), some bonding, some council-this-and-that, some re-woeing of Bridgin, the pigeon – ehhr, no, werealpha-in-spe -, and a flashy 5000 Watt bulb anouncing the final solution of the final kind-of-battle precisely at the 39% mark. That meant: enough potential to drive me nuts with boredom between the giggles.
I am not sure whether I want to read the third volume or not. But I do not want to miss out on any new attempt the author throws on the market in the future. For she is a talented one. I won’t go back on that. (less)
I feel so bad about giving up, because "Dust City" is really easy to read and I would leaf through the remaining hundred pages in a blink. But I am to...moreI feel so bad about giving up, because "Dust City" is really easy to read and I would leaf through the remaining hundred pages in a blink. But I am too lazy to invest the time, because I know it will not chance my opinion - or my life, or even my day. It's too late for that after two thirds.
As we all had the same difficulties with the visuals: I imagined the evolved-towards-human-standards-intelligence animalia dystopian-fairytale-retelling-setting to be a nightmare-turned world of the Calico Critters, little jeans overalls with pre-fabricated tail-holes and all - although no LRRH-eating wolf family seems to be part of the available selection.(less)
The slow-start story around sixteen-year-old Dana, who flees the move-around life with her alcoholic mom in the States to live with her fae father in...moreThe slow-start story around sixteen-year-old Dana, who flees the move-around life with her alcoholic mom in the States to live with her fae father in Avalon, a neutral mountain state between the human world and Faerie, physically situated in Great Britain, picks up around the middle of the book, when Ethan, a panty-collecting member of the Unseelie Court, who tries to woo Dana in order to pull the Faeriewalker on the side of his house, temporaily disappears out of the picture. That Dana is something special gets clear rather early. Why else would be everybody fae - both Seelie and Unseelie - be that interested in getting their paws on the naive, but self-reliant, boyish girl? As she is explained, is is quite rare, that offspring of a fae - who conceive only once in a while anyway - and a human develop traits of both races and are able to survive in both worlds. The possibilities of the faeriewalking-power - and some secret extra-stuff that Dana discovers on the way - are only hinted at during the plot and will be tried out in the second installment of the series, Shadowspell. Also introductions to the Queens Mab and Titania are still on forthcoming, which makes me - contrary to earlier assumptions - consider to put the sequel on my read-it-if-dropped-into-your-lap-wishlist. The plot is a not quite balanced mixture of problem-oriented YA, which focusses on a kid no longer able to cope with her mom's alcoholism on her own anymore, a kidnapping-thriller and urban romantasy, including a budding BFF-relationship and possible triangle-thing, which I glady would chop into something less-angled: Although some life-saving business lets see sexy-slimy Ethan in a less jerk-like light and helps setting off Dana's sexually inexperienced and self-concious personality, his "come-sit-in-my-lap-I'll-keep-you-warm"-methods burn away all brownie-points he might have tried to collect. Cry and grovel, when Dana's powers have surpassed your own, faerie-boy! I have the feeling you are only created to make other possible love interests not look so prominent. The beginning of the book was rather 2-stars in my opinion, but one the whole I can say I did not mind reading the rest and liked it. So, 3 stars it is, which seems to be my usual fairy-story-rating with a few exceptions.(less)
"What fascinated me was that perfect mixture of a kind of Wonderland feeling (including Grimalkin and even a mermaid!!), dry humour, steampunky fairyt...more"What fascinated me was that perfect mixture of a kind of Wonderland feeling (including Grimalkin and even a mermaid!!), dry humour, steampunky fairytale elements, vivid descriptions, a classic faerie world, real-life problems, an absolutely likable heroine and a romantic coating." (From my comment on Kim's review) (less)
**spoiler alert** The "Pierce incident" costs a full star. Was that necessary, Rachel? You clear out some doubts about his good intentions towards hum...more**spoiler alert** The "Pierce incident" costs a full star. Was that necessary, Rachel? You clear out some doubts about his good intentions towards human - and witchkind - and that done you have no other solution than to reward him with your body. You can reconcile with someone you've misjudged without hopping under the blanket together, did you know that? Probably not, because you are Rachel. Jenks and Ivy love you inspite of your strange concept of dealing with dangerous men. I do, too. *Sigh*(less)
The beginning of volume 10 was very, very sad and depressing. I had conveniently forgotten how volume 9 had ended and that a favorite character of min...moreThe beginning of volume 10 was very, very sad and depressing. I had conveniently forgotten how volume 9 had ended and that a favorite character of mine had been destroyed. But the story got quickly better - right along with Sookie's mental and physical condition.
I liked ...
- Eric and Sookie together as a couple and Eric obviously in love with her - Jason being finally a brother to Sookie and shedding his self-centered self for something better - Sookie and Hunter spending a day together - Sookie and Bill making steps in the direction of a real friendship - those true "pammish" Pam moments (i.e. "You're my favorite breather.") - Sookie being a bit careful instead of thoughtlessly rushing in to save everybody no matter the cost - getting to know "Cousin" Claude and his good sides better.
- the last scene. Wow. So sweet.
I enjoyed this installment very much. 4.5 stars altogether.(less)
Surprisingly good. Out of the five stories I liked four. That's good for an anthology. In contrast to others, I enjoyed the Westerfeld-story the most....moreSurprisingly good. Out of the five stories I liked four. That's good for an anthology. In contrast to others, I enjoyed the Westerfeld-story the most. But I have to admit, it stands out a bit, because it is the only Science Fiction story in the midst of urban fantasy: In a future classroom students attend "scarcity class" and have to chose a self-experience project lasting for two weeks. It is a future in which hunger, illness, long-distance between places, exhaustion and other problems have been successfully solved, but teenagers are expected to understand what ailed their ancestors in old times. So some try out classics like influenza or old-fashioned transport (boats), but the heroine takes on going without hormone stabilizers and and the hero tests what it is like to sleep. I don't know why, but I liked both the setting and the couple immensely. The second best story in my opinion was the selkie-themed love-story by Melissa Marr.(less)
The bleak setting, the characters (both human and non-human) and the fresh story are quite amazing and - first of all - thrilling. When reading the fi...moreThe bleak setting, the characters (both human and non-human) and the fresh story are quite amazing and - first of all - thrilling. When reading the first half of the book I might even have rated it five stars. After that there were some repetitive elements and I was able to foresee this and that. But all in all I was hooked and I would gladly start reading the follow-up As Lie the Dead if it were available.
Note: Evangeline (in Chalice Frost's body) looks very sexy on the cover. But don't be put off if you try to avoid paranormal romance. Although the love story is crucial to the plot, sexual encounters (both of the romantic and violent sort) are scarce and narrated without going into graphic detail. This is a paranormal thriller.(less)
If I sort through the emotions reading this fairy changeling story has brought up in me, the one that sticks out is sadness. Although the ending is th...moreIf I sort through the emotions reading this fairy changeling story has brought up in me, the one that sticks out is sadness. Although the ending is the one I would have chosen too, if I had any say in the development, it hurt. Up to the middle of the - pretty slim - book I was rather annoyed with the main character, Morgan. I didn't like her superficial and girly-girl character. She seemed to take her boyfriend for granted, whine about completely unimportant things, care only about the excactness of her visions (Morgan is a psychic) and not about the impact a certain future has on the receiver, badmouth her generous and loving parents and - what shocked me most - she unconvincingly said "How sad" when her mother tearily announced that the five-year-old living next door had only weeks to live because of cancer. My annoyance lightened with my reading progress, though. I don't exactly know why. Maybe because I wondered, if a person who sees the future of others and sufferes their reaction has to build up a hard shell to survive. Or probably because I came to terms with the fact that I am just old and do not nescessarily have to be able to identify with every teenager who is on the verge of turning sweet sixteen. Or maybe because Morgan is just a rather normal girl and I unfairly compared her to saintly or overly adult teen-heroines. However, towards the end of the bittersweet story I rooted for her and for the two boys as well. That's what counts. The author got me where she wanted me to be. My second complaint: I really would have welcomed to be allowed a little more knowledge about the Otherworld. The reader is only fed the most crucial snippets of the supposedly long hours of prep talk Pip gives to Morgan. We know about magical powers, of the inability to love, of the intolerance to water and of the lack of bodily strength. That's about all. Three and a half stars for an usual and unusual fairy story.(less)
After forcefully dragging myself through 62 pages filled with green, blue and purple typography I have to say: "Thank you, Captain Cow, for including...moreAfter forcefully dragging myself through 62 pages filled with green, blue and purple typography I have to say: "Thank you, Captain Cow, for including me in your blog's book tour, but though based on a nice idea the would-be young adult story (a 15-years-old heroine is entertaining the reader on primary-school-level) is simply too boring and cannot keep my attention. I have become so fidgetty that I fear for the paperback's future well-being. The best about the book is the drawing of the evil, exotic-looking mermaids I spotted on page 74 (I browsed through all the multi-colored pictures. They are quite fetching). I am going to send the book to the next recipient on Wednesday or Thursday and hope that it is not too late for her."(less)
Well, it has been at least a year since I read "Wicked lovely", but I repeatedly see it in readings lists on the Internet (such as the YALSA list bei...moreWell, it has been at least a year since I read "Wicked lovely", but I repeatedly see it in readings lists on the Internet (such as the YALSA list bei the ALA). Therefore I scramble together my fading opinion. I like faerie stories. And I liked the idea of someone who can seen faeries and knows they are dangerous to acknowledge. The setting of the book worked ready fine for me and there was a lot of suspense. This seeing-trait was heditary (Grandma has it, too and warns about it) and there is a good friend with an integruing character to confide in. So what went wrong? What I do not like are urban fantasy stories that ae not likely at all. I like them to blend into our reality. "Wicked lovely" gets a shrap drift into the unlikely, when Aislinn lets herself drawn into the faerie world by Summer King Keenan the first time. She lets all cautions go. After that my brain just could not follow anymore. Aislinn is to be a normal girl with a normal boyfriend and - at the same time - immortal wife of a faerie ruler and thus responsible for the seasons on earth? She swaps worlds with an ease that has you wondering "How does she do it?", "How will she live?", "What about science?". But, alas, no satisfying explanations due. And her interesting boyfriend has to come to terms with it. (He does, because she is so great, mind you.) Fo me, the promise of the setting has not been fullfilled. And I did not get the pleasant illusion, that maybe such a story might be possible behind our naive backs. Not at all. I would buy either "The Blue Girl" by Charles de Lint or Laini Taylor's "Faeries of Dreamdark" instead. The second is a really fresh and original book about faeries in this world which works for older and younger faerie fans and sports great illustrations, the first is a rather dark, but gripping urban fantasy about the friendship of two very different girls who meet the ghost of a boy who died because of faerie involvement. Or - if you are an adult - the Merededes-Thompson-books by Paricia Briggs. The setting is werewolf-focussed, but the faerie aspect is nicely blended in - and absolutely believable. Plus, you really wish the characters to succeed. (Uploaded first as an Amazon review on Juli 13th 2008)(less)