Update (11/20/2012) It's supposed to be released in fall of 2013. That's ... a year from now. Okay :(
Update I was just looking for any updates on the au...moreUpdate (11/20/2012) It's supposed to be released in fall of 2013. That's ... a year from now. Okay :(
Update I was just looking for any updates on the author's blog and - look at that - she actually had a new post in which she complained about people asking about the next book (seriously? What are you expecting, if you don't give out ANY information at all). The next sentence then said, how she should have said from the beginning that it's never going to be out. And I was like
(alright, so maybe I am on the crazy side when it comes to this), until I noticed that it was just a hypothetical statement about how she could have saved her quiet.
So, I'm glad book two is still a somewhat-sure thing, but the post seems a little arrogant. So people love your writing (yeah, okay, she did say she loves those fans, too, but still), and it's what they're interested in talking about (instead of your bio) ... no reason to be like that. Just had to put that out there.
Original Hey. Hey, wait a minute. Hey! Has it always been 2013? NO! This book is playing with my feelings :((less)
Dear Aspiring Author, if you finish writing a book and read it over again a couple times (some punk decided to call that stage editing - crazy stuff) a...moreDear Aspiring Author, if you finish writing a book and read it over again a couple times (some punk decided to call that stage editing - crazy stuff) and you notice that it screams lion and lamb at you, something has gone wrong. Because, even if Twilight is crazy popular and earned a lot of money, it's still crap, technique-wise. And, call me idealistic, I feel like quality should be what any writer should strive for in writing. I mean, we all laugh about the idiots going to American Idol, who actually think they're the next Leona Lewis, but can't sing worth a damn. Seems like a disease not reserved for singing. Sincerely, me
I found this book for free on Amazon and checked out some of the reviews here. Because, let's face it: even if it's free, I don't want to waste my time. And then, holy crap, so many five star reviews. I checked the top 10 reviews or so and they were all four or five stars. How did that happen? Sometimes with indie authors I'm sure some publishers cry at night for refusing to contract the author. Sometimes, like in this case, I get why they did.
I can't say much about the story, because I skipped through a lot of it. What I can say, is this:
1. The dialogs were SO stilted. It sounded like the characters wrote everything down first and then said it aloud. Nobody talks like that. That issue is the reason why I just couldn't bring myself to do more than skipping. I can ignore purple prose, I get over flat characters, but I absolutely hate dialogs that feel unnatural.
2. The love story was unrealistic at best. Claudia and Michael fall in love with each other and say a lot of clichéd stuff to each other. So clichéd that even I (and I love mushy moments) couldn't help but stare and cringe at the pages. Their attraction to each other is purely based on appearances. They don't know anything about each other's personalities. That's not love, it's lust. Lust is fine with me, just don't try to write it of as the love of the century.
I wish I could say more about the plot, but for that someone would have to give me a summary without all the yadda yadda in-between. (I did laugh about the name Halo City. Again, cliché.) As it is, sadly a waste of time after all.(less)
Alrighty. Now that's out of my system ... holyfuckingcrap! Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Sandy Williams, for writing and getting published...moreSQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Alrighty. Now that's out of my system ... holyfuckingcrap! Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Sandy Williams, for writing and getting published.
This was awesome. I read a lot. And maybe it's just me, but there's usually three categories of books: 1. The ones that were a nice read. You're fine with seeing them on the shelf, remember some of it, but you could have lived your life without them without really missing anything. 2. The ones that just plain suck. The ones you don't finish, because the prose isn't your thing, or the plot is boring or the characters don't have character. Or all of the above combined. Those are the books I always regret spending money on. 3. Those really awesome books. You know, the ones you can't put down. The ones that make you want to miss school, so you can finish them. The ones you think about for days afterwards.
A lot of the books I read fall into category one or two. Sometimes that makes me wonder why I keep bothering and why I spend so many money on book-shopping instead of ... well, more useful things. Then I stumble across books like The Shadow Reader. It's a Category Three-book all the way. I didn't want it to end, but at the same time couldn't put it down. And what's most surprising about this: it's a fairy book. And i hate fairy books. I've read Wicked Lovely and wasn't very impressed. I've read The Iron Whatever (Daughter, King, Left-Sneaker, I really don't remeber what the exact title of the first installment was) and I wanted to bang my head against a wall. I don't know what it is about fairy books that just doesn't appeal to me. Maybe I just read the wrong ones. Because, like I said, The Shadow Reader is my most recent Category Three-novel. Ir made me remember why I read so much.
Very roughly summed up, this book is about a war. Protagonist McKenzie is smack in the middle of it. What's most amazing about that fact is that, unlike a lot of other female heroines, she isn't much of a kick-ass character. Don't get me wrong, she's strong, smart, brave and loyal to a fault. But she's not much of a fighter and personality-wise she still has a long way to go. Still, she's incredibly likeable, even when she doesn't always do the right thing.
The way the war is displayed itself is great as well. Thanks to some kidnapping you get to see both sides of the story and unlike in a lot of other stories, there is no black/white here. Shades of gray, right and wrong on both sides. The author really managed to get across the confusion McKenzie feels. Whenever I felt like I knew what's best I got thrown of course again. Very well written and lots of fun to read.
For all those fans of romance: good news. There's some in here. And I'm just going to outright proclaim: even those readers who don't like there novels with romance won't be too annoyed by this one. Because, yes, there is a love-triangle and yes, those never seem to work out well. Even in one of my other Category Three-books, Vampire Academy, the love-triangle is pathetic. Even if there were a lot of Team Adrian-people out there, there never was much of a doubt who Rose would choose in the end. With all the foreshadowing and talking about two halfes of a whole, bla bla. (Team Dimitri myself, but still). Anyway, like I said, I never really see why there would be a love-triangle. Sure, it's a good plot device, because it keeps people reading and wishing. But usually you can make a good guess what the end will look like. Again, The Shadow Reader pulled this of well in my eyes. Both men are great, both aren't just black and white. Like McKenzie I was never really sure who should be the one.
Another thing I really liked was the ending. Not neccessarily how it ended, but more like the way it was done. It's only the first of a new series, but I might as well end it with this one and be happy. There's still a lot of material to work with and like I already said, McKenzie needs some serious growing, and if my gushing is any indication, I'm definitely not going to stop, but it's rounded up very well. I hate it when authors think they have to end it with a huge cliff-hanger. There are still answers I want from the following books, but The Shadow Reader left me very satisfied.
Okay, at the very end, I actually do have something negative, actually. Just a tiny bit, definitely not enough to ruin the fun. Sometimes, I had trouble really getting a hang on some of the magic. The anchor stones, for example. Why the hell didn't that necklace interfere with the anchor stone that one time? What are those holy placed supposed to be? Why do they make the king so vulnerable. It's possible I accidently skipped those explanation parts, but I wanted to say it anyway.
If you've gotten this far through the review: kudos to you! It was long and a huge love-fest. Definetly recommended!
God, I can't wait for the next one. Holy crap.(less)
I just finished this book and am still trying to find words for my feelings. I think "wow" is a pretty good one. And, sadly, not a good "wow". It's a w...moreI just finished this book and am still trying to find words for my feelings. I think "wow" is a pretty good one. And, sadly, not a good "wow". It's a what-a-waste-of-time-and-money "wow". The Iron King had been on my TBR list for a while, because books about fey really aren't my cup of tea. But how bad could a book with an average rating of 4.18 really be? There's a reason people say "hey, this rocked my world".
Not for me. I'd like to say it was at least worth two stars, but that would be a lie, because it just wasn't "ok".
First, there's the main character and narrator. Her name's Meghan and she turns sixteen at the beginning of the book. She's also a loser. Nobody in school likes her, her parents forget about her, she isn't pretty, she just doesn't fit in. Meghan whines. A lot. That being said, I really didn't like her. Which isn't a good starting point on the way to liking this novel, considering the story is told from her perspective. I wish I could give you a detailed explanation as to why I disliked her. But ... well, she really is very one dimensional.
That was my problem with all the characters. They just didn't have any depth. Meghan is an idiot, who doesn't even know anything about the guy she calls her best friend. This best friend, Puck/Robbie/Robin, is an idiot who couldn't be serious if his life depended on it. He annoyed me to no end and I kept hoping he'd die. The main reason I picked up the book is because of the bad, bad prince. Tall, dark, handsome. Perfect. I love this kind of male character. And I really wanted to love Ash, but I couldn't do it. Just like Meghan and Ash, he's so ... random. Exchangeable. There's nothing unique about him. The only well-created character was that cat and he really just jumped out of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. No way am I going to give Mrs Kagawa credit for stealing the Cheshire Cat.
So, as much as the characters really weren't characters, there was character development. In the end Meghan is all confident and stuff and Ash loves her. But, honestly, it was so forced.
Meghan: "Ha ha, Robbie, faeries. Funny." Robbie: "No, really." Meghan: "Oh, okay. Faeries. They kidnapped my brother. I can accept that. Let's go to Nevernever and rescue him."
Uh ... what?
Ash: "I'll kill you." Meghan: *swoon* Ash: "You made me feel alive again. Let's elope."
Am I the only one who felt like there were chapters missing? This must be the most unnatural character development ever. Shouldn't smooth, believebal development be some sort talent for an author? What were the publishers thinking? Or the editor, for that matter.
Another very frustrating thing is the character's stupidity. Meghan just appears brain dead most of the time. And everybody else just accepts her stupid choiced and never mentiones it. At one point Ash is like "Don't look, but we're being followed" and Meghan promptly turns around. I expected Ash to say something like "What part of 'don't look' don't you understand?", but no. Nothing. No reaction at all. And not just Ash, but everybody. Even when the cat tells them he's got THE idea to solve all of their problems in a super easy way, they're just like "yeah, whatever, go play with that ball of wool."
Hello? Brain, anybody? I mean, Ash is probably a few centuries old. Shouldn't he be a little more bright?(less)
I'm gonna start with something that'll completely take away any suspense as to how I feel about this book: I didn't finish it. Yes, he...more0 stars, really.
I'm gonna start with something that'll completely take away any suspense as to how I feel about this book: I didn't finish it. Yes, here, I said it. I was trying really hard, even though I knew my rating wasn't likely to improve as the story went on, but I wanted to at least be able to judge the whole thing. However, like I said, no. I just couldn't do it. I only managed to read a couple pages at a time, because I didn't want to get permanent frown lines over this. At 37% I just couldn't take it anymore.
But let's do this from the beginning. I found this as a free ebook on Amazon, the premise sounded promising, which is why I downloaded it. At first, I was also actually quite happy with what I was reading. The writing was good and - at least as far as I've read - stayed this way. The author is obviously talented. The novel has a great opening:
While my sister Rivers was dying, I was planting crocus bulbs in my front yard.
While she was fighting for her life, I was thinking about how pretty the purple and yellow flowers would look poking up through the snow when the spring came. While she was gasping for air I was singing along with the radio to some stupid top 40 song I’d be embarrassed to admit I know. I was tired and achy. I saw the dirt under my nails and then I knew. There was dirt under her nails too.
It pulled me in immediately. Then, why didn't I finish? Easy: Tab is the dumbest, most rage-inducing protagonist I've ever read about.
She is engaged to Robbin, who she's been with since junior high, if I remember correctly. Nevertheless, they've never had sex, which is a ground rule Robbin enforces. This will make sense later on, don't worry. So, her sister dies (after her two cousins have been killed as well), she goes to her funeral, where she sees Alexander. I'm gonna spoil the surprise for you: this is the man, she's been promised to, when she was a child. Everyone know that, except for her, until a bit later. So, in a move that makes complete and utter sense she runs up to Alexander, jumps (literally) into his arms and starts a heavy make out-session. In front of not only her fiancee, but also her grandfather. At her sisters funeral. It sounds so ridiculous writing this down. I swear it's the truth. Nobody is angry, affronted or even surprised by that behavior (except for me) and shortly after Tab learns that she is in fact the elvish queen of the Light, like I said, going to marry Alexander, everyone around her are really just employees, instead of her family, her "sister/cousins" were assassinated for some reason. Might have been, there was an actual explanation for this (they weren't royal, that's for sure), but since I don't remember any, I'm gonna call it a deux-ex-machina. Oh, yes, I almost forgot. There is an enchantment placed upon Alexander (who, btw, is as old as her mom) and Tab, which basically makes them horny. Enter the absolute worst love triangle of all times. When Tab is in proximity to Alexander, she can't stop from dry humping him. Then there is Robbin, who was only ever supposed to protect her, but fell in love with her. Their relationship is based on true love, yay, drama. Don't we all know, who she's going to end up with. Robbin, of course, 'cause true love ... wait, what? That's not it?
Nope, it's not. Yes, I think Tab is supposed to seem like she's confused about her feelings and she does request the enchantment to be lifted, but those minor details simply don't count, when you look at the rest of it. There is this one scene, were she and Robbin talk about their feelings, then make out. Tab is the one who starts this. That needs to be said. Then Robbin leaves and Tab learns from her friend/guard that part of the enchantment is that anyone who touches her with "romantic interest" will physically hurt. Doesn't need to be said that this is the reason they never had sex, right? For some reason, this turns Robbin into the villain. I have absolutely no idea why. Tab acts like the making out was his idea, instead of hers, like he's done something terribly wrong. I can't express, how weird and surreal this read, because he never actually did anything to warrant her anger. Yet, it isn't explained as irrational, at all. Tab talks about this to Alexander later and her words are actually logical. Except, she completely twists the truth. Yet, it's obvious, this isn't what the author intended.
On top of that, Tab is incredibly arrogant. She puts herself in danger all the time, although people have died for her (she never actually feels bad about that, just has a little pity-party for herself). She ignores what her friends are saying, even though they have more experience than her. Again, I don't feel like the author intends to let her make stupid, childish decisions, but instead wants to portray her as strong and a fit leader. After she makes out (yet again) with Alexander, this time in front of her house, even though she was supposed to stay inside for her own safety, everyone is yelled at. Except for her, even though she made a stupid decision. Then we get this jewel:
"[...] I am the Queen and you are the loyal subjects. If I say jump, you obediently head for the roof. If I want to learn to fight, you show me how. Because that's my will and, correct me if I'm wrong here, what I want is what We all want."
You stupid, spoiled bitch. I quit reading shortly after this. I just couldn't take any more of this gibberish. Tab is so very childish (she is in her mid-twenties, but acts like she's sixteen tops) and downright dumb.
It's possible that all my problems with this book would have been improved upon later, but I think that a third of a book is more than enough chance. Good thing, I didn't spend any money.(less)
Wow. Ha ha! Up to now the Twilight series held their place on the top of my "worst books ever written" list. Congratulations, Meyer, you were actually...moreWow. Ha ha! Up to now the Twilight series held their place on the top of my "worst books ever written" list. Congratulations, Meyer, you were actually better than this.
Seriously, though - I spent 20€ on this crap and I couldn't even finish it. The writing, the forced dialog. First time I had to look up the meaning of words in a novel. Jesus ...(less)
Only one star, because this book didn't even capture me enough to get halfway through. The premise seemed interesting and it actually started great. I...moreOnly one star, because this book didn't even capture me enough to get halfway through. The premise seemed interesting and it actually started great. I liked how the author doesn't really explain stuff in the beginning and keeps the reader wondering what the heroine is all about.
After the first two chapters, however, everything started to go downhill. The writing got weird and unnatural for a teenage girl who runs around school with her bras shining through her blouse. Dialogs between said teenager and her surroundings were forced and fake. It felt like the author wanted to create a rebel (at least that's how Lux described herself at some point), but only knew how to do "Catholic school girl".
Aside from the prose, which was the reason why I just couldn't get myself to finish this, I can't really review anything and still be fair. It was slightly annoying how every male character that got a little more focus seemed to have a crush on Lux, without really knowing her, but maybe there's a reason for this, too.
I might give finishing another try if I'm really bored, but I highly doubt it.(less)
I burned pizza over this. Because my kitchen timer is broken and - if I don't remember anything else - food always stays on my mind, I've never gotten...moreI burned pizza over this. Because my kitchen timer is broken and - if I don't remember anything else - food always stays on my mind, I've never gotten down to replace it. After I remembered and somewhat rescued the pizza I was angry at the book for about two seconds. Then I took one look at it, read another sentence and ... well, it's like what you say about babies smiling at you. I just couldn't stay mad.
Onyx was really great. I absolutely love Daemon and Katy. Each on their own, as well as a couple. On a side note: Katy was still pretty reluctant on admitting her feelings for Daemon. That was so frustrating to read, but as stupid as she acted during the course of the book, it was a believable, character-growth kind of stupid. The things she does, she does out of love for her friends and family and she's able to admit to making mistakes and bad decisions.
Daemon, well, seriously, DAEMON. Need I say more? I seriously love this guy. He's funny, sexy, arrogant, bad influence, but also caring and over-protective. The ultimate bad boy. Bad enough to really deserve the label, without it being unreasonable why Katy would fall for him. He stands by Katy through pretty much everything and didn't give up on his idea of him and Katy being together. That's one reason why I like them as a pair. It always seemed like this unavoidable YA concept that at some point the author has to try to make the reader doubt the guy's feelings for the girl. And, let's be honest, it never works. Armentrout doesn't do that - honest thank you.
The plot was good as well, not as obvious as in some other books I've read recently. The pacing's awesome. No dragging to be found. And a lot of Daemon. SO much Daemon. Sexy sexiness. Oh yes. I'm in that dreamy, silly sighing state again. If you haven't read/bought it yet ... what are you waiting for?(less)
I feel like the only freak person who didn't like this book. I made it about a hundred pages in, before giving up. My main issues:
1. So much angsty tee...moreI feel like the only freak person who didn't like this book. I made it about a hundred pages in, before giving up. My main issues:
1. So much angsty teenage drama. So. Much. I laughed out lout at the heroines thoughts during a "game" of truth or dare, where she's asked whether she's a virgin or not. She's sixteen, yet the fact that she hasn't done it yet is outrageous. My favorite sentence went somewhere along the lines of 'Her sexuality would be questioned, if she said yes'. Really? :D I mean, sure, puberty is a hard time. But I don't remember being that melodramatic.
2. The 'word of the day' stuff. At first, I found the idea really cute. Nice quirk of the character and all that. We get one word with definition at every chapter, but that strategy was lacking, because the first four chapters alone all centered around one party. So we get four words in the span of, maybe, two hours that the character all uses. Maybe I misunderstood the concept of 'word of the day', but this seemed wrong.
3. How embarassing is it, if you're an author, writing in your native tongue and even a foreigner can tell when those huge words are used in a wrong way? Several times, when I'd look up one of the many big words (because there seemed to be more than the designated word of the chapter), I'd be like But in this context ... it doesn't really make sense? Aside from that, punctuation issues, typos, the usual.
All in all, this book made me kind of aggressive. Whenever I feel that way, I don't bother finishing.(less)
There'll be aspects of all three books in this review, because it doesn't deserve the effort of more.
First off: not worth the time it takes reading. U...moreThere'll be aspects of all three books in this review, because it doesn't deserve the effort of more.
First off: not worth the time it takes reading. Unless you want to punish your brain. Serious brain-whip (no pun intended ... okay, that's a lie).
This might just be the most fucked-up book I've ever read. There really is no plot at all (and, NO, two people falling in lust is still not a complete plot), and the writing was horrible. The main character (I ususally go with heroine, but Ana is no such thing) is the most immature person I've ever seen. So naive it hurts and incapable of making even one smart decision. (view spoiler)[It's a tidal wave of stupidity until book three, when she's pregnant and DRINKS ALCOHOL. NO, it is NOT okay. NO, not even a sip. Absolutely no. Immature and iresponsible, even worse that she craved it and people even encouraged her. A sip is fine. F*ck you, no it's not. Also, when she wakes up after being attacked (why was everybody so anxious? She was out for not even 24 hours. Seriously), she doesn't ask about her baby at all. I'm 22 and I don't wanna have children anytime soon, but still. STILL! (hide spoiler)]
Ana constantly talks about her "inner goddess" and her "subconsious". Basically, angel and devil on her shoulders. Which is fine every once in a while, basically the salt in our food. Sadly, James for some reason dumped the whole salt shaker in the pot. It got annoying fast (which means after page #100 and mention #55674) and simply started looking like multiple personality disorder. My precious?
This isn't the only issue that comes from too much repetition. There is the way how Christian and Ana constantly refer to each other by their last name. No, it's not sensual anymore if you do it ALL THE TIME. By book number three I had to live in constant fear of my eyeballs being stuck in a rolling position. If someone had spanked me for every time ... but let's not go there.
Next to repetitions in way of déjà-vu scenes there where enough common repetitions. "He was wrapped around me like a vine" is just one example.
The sex was far from erotic and also started to get boring. I'm not into BDSM (although even the "vanilla" sex wasn't very hot. Repetitive again), the whole Dom/sub thing is a complete turn-off for me. I read this, mainly because of the positive reviews and because I like sexy and tortured heroes. The deflowering was horrible. It wasn't sweet, it wasn't love-making and I doubt any girl would have enjoyed their first time being like this. Skilled lover or no, it must have hurt like a bitch. Christian was ... a creep at best. The way he gets angry at Ana ALL the time, just because she isn't hungry (as a side note: you don't loose that much weight in under a week), just because she doesn't want him to buy her stuff, just because she talks to other men. Ana was clearly scared of him. It was maddening to watch.
Christian's "soft" episodes, where he talks about how much she means to him (yadda, yadda) all boil up to this: co-dependency. Don't leave me, because my world would be a dark, star-less night without you (*cough* Twilight *cough*), all that.
Don't spend your money on this. It's too much for too little. No real plot (especially in the first book), creepy "love" story, a laughable try at emotional conflict. Instead of 600-something pages all three books could have been reduced to one and still have less pages.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)