I admit to having a weakness for young adult fantasy, especially if it's by someone like Charles de Lint. I admire people who can write convincing urbI admit to having a weakness for young adult fantasy, especially if it's by someone like Charles de Lint. I admire people who can write convincing urban magic.
Now that I completed this book (months ago--I need to be better about keeping this thing up to date!) I can say it was fun, but not the best effort I've read of de Lint's. Oh well. I still had fun reading it, which is really all I care about....more
Holly Black never fails to entertain. I expect this book will be as good as her others that I've read.
Update: Yep, Ironside was just as good as her otHolly Black never fails to entertain. I expect this book will be as good as her others that I've read.
Update: Yep, Ironside was just as good as her other books. I was a little confused in parts, but it was my own fault for not re-reading Tithe first, the book that went before this one. It was no fault of the author's.
Holly Black's writing style continues to impress me. I really like dark urban fantasy in general, and her novels are very well suited to the genre. She has wonderfully descriptive sequences, and her development of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts held my interest. They're both very shiny and glittery. I don't think her style is as completely sensual as Francesca Lia Block's, but it is very much in the same vein. Black's style is has matured a bit, I think, since her last novel, so I look forward to seeing what her next novels will be like....more
Well. I confess that I had purchased this book at the rave review of a friend. I was somewhat leery of it at first, since I am such a vampire fan. I dWell. I confess that I had purchased this book at the rave review of a friend. I was somewhat leery of it at first, since I am such a vampire fan. I didn't know if I'd ever be able to enjoy werewolves as much as I love vamps. But I was pleasantly surprised--this was SUCH a fun book! I think Amrstrong did a fantastic job with the urban fantasy setting, and I like that she didn't stick to the boring cliche that werewolves only change on the full moon. I liked that hers could change at will, or if it was against their will, it was because it was in response to intense feelings of anger or fear. Maybe there are other books in the genre out there like that, but I haven't read enough to know about them.
I liked Elena a great deal. She is spunky and says it like it is. Her horrible past made her into a strong person, even if she doesn't always think she is strong. I thought it was interesting, too, to see the contrast between a hereditary werewolf and one like Elena, who was turned against her will.
Clay is a cool character, too. I can easily see how he is one of those men who always skirts the line of making you hate him while loving him at the same time. He is infuriating and childish and stubborn and all the wrong things at the wrong time. But when it comes to the point, he's a good man who will do what it takes to protect you and love you, and that's what he tries to do for Elena. They belong together. Philip was a boring little man with no real personality. What woman really wants a man who is so willing to give her exactly what she wants and not argue about it? Maybe it's just me, but I prefer my men to have minds of their own and interests of their own so there's something to talk about. Clay is much better for Elena than Philip. Besides, Elena had to hide who and what she really was from Philip, and if you can't be yourself in a relationship, then the relationship is worthless.
I must say, though, I kind of thought the sex scenes felt like they were written by a teen. They seemed to be almost embarrassed in parts, and weren't really all that hot. Either write smut well, or just imply it and don't actually write it at all.
All in all, I really, really enjoyed this book. I plan to get the rest in the series, especially since they appear not to focus on the same character in the same situation in every single book. That will help spice things up some.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy or paranormal fiction. ...more
This was a great little urban fantasy. It was nice in that the ending wasn't perfect, but a compromise, like so many things actually are.
The plot wasThis was a great little urban fantasy. It was nice in that the ending wasn't perfect, but a compromise, like so many things actually are.
The plot was intriguing and held my interest from the start. I liked how Ash's ability to see faeries was not considered to be a gift or something fun. I think a lot of people would think it's cool to be able to see faeries but through Ash's eyes, we see another aspect to it that isn't cool at all.
I also liked how strong she was, even if she didn't think she was. It never gets old to see strong girls sticking up for themselves.
I did not care for Keenan. I'm not sure you're supposed to. But even so, I didn't like him much. I don't have much time for people who are basically blind to the wishes and needs of others, regardless of what rules he has to follow.
The ending, like I said, wasn't perfect, but it was definitely satisfying. I like how things turned out and will be interested to see it play out further in the following books. ...more
I thought this book was really funny--I love British humor--but it didn't seem to have much of an actual plot until about 2/3 of the way through. It wI thought this book was really funny--I love British humor--but it didn't seem to have much of an actual plot until about 2/3 of the way through. It was still entertaining and irreverent, which is always a plus, but I didn't see that it had a whole lot of purpose for most of the book. I think they could probably have cut out a good 100 pages or so. I'd still recommend it to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy/magical realism. Or Neil Gaiman. Or Terry Pratchett. =) ...more
**spoiler alert** I have a soft spot for FLB's book for some reason, so my reviews of her are probably not always the most objective. I just love her**spoiler alert** I have a soft spot for FLB's book for some reason, so my reviews of her are probably not always the most objective. I just love her writing style and magical realism. But I *really* loved this book. It was so sad and yet hopeful in the end. The way Mab cared for Barbie, even if she was mean at times, and the way she helped other children who'd been abused was very well done. I like the idea that all kids who need one have a Mab of their own to help them grow into functional adults. It was sad but appealing how some people forgot their Mabs as they got older, and got little bits of memory jogged loose once in a while throughout their lives.
This book was another terrific example of FLB's interesting, vivid lyric prose. She is able to take so many things about the world that are commonplace, or bad, or uninteresting on their own, and make them into something special. This book actually made me cry. That's quite hard to do, in fact.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys lyric prose, magical realism or who knows absolutely that Mabs are real. ...more
Ehh, this one was okay. I think it was written towards a much younger teen audience than some of De Lint's other teen fiction. Maybe more for tweens tEhh, this one was okay. I think it was written towards a much younger teen audience than some of De Lint's other teen fiction. Maybe more for tweens than teens. At least, it seemed so this time. Maybe I'm just being especially mature today. I doubt it, though. =)
Today, I was a little irked by the idyllic family TJ's is. Sure, they have issues, but it seemed like he was trying too hard to make the teens in the family be understanding and not get mad at their parents. TJ was entirely too rational. *I* was a rational teen and I still would have made a much bigger issue over, well, everything than she did. It was as though De Lint was trying really hard to send the message that teens can be mad at their folks without hating them, and that you can move without ruining your life. While that is true, most younger teens aren't going to acknowledge that if they're truly pissed about it. If he wants to actually get that message across to real teens, I think he should not make TJ so serene. She WAS a goody-two-shoes. Even I wanted to kick her ass. No one likes a wet blanket.
Elizabeth was fun, but she, too, was too unbelievable as a teen. She had more attitude going, which was good. But there was just something off about her, in my mind. Almost like she was too responsible, even though that's not exactly it either. I can't really put my finger on it. But it didn't sit quite right.
While I enjoyed this book well enough, I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't already familiar with Charles De Lint's work. If this had been the first book of his I read, I probably wouldn't have bothered reading any more, which would be a shame as he is really a wonderful author. ...more
I think this book would have been *fascinating* if De Lint had written it as more of a full-length adult work. I liked the premise, but there was notI think this book would have been *fascinating* if De Lint had written it as more of a full-length adult work. I liked the premise, but there was not enough character development or background on the Cousins and the rest of the Dingoes. I think there was a lot more that could have been done with it but it got skipped over because the book was so short. ...more
As usual, I loved this book for the language. FLB uses such beautiful, lyrical prose. I wish I could write like her. She can find magic and beauty inAs usual, I loved this book for the language. FLB uses such beautiful, lyrical prose. I wish I could write like her. She can find magic and beauty in such ordinary, everyday things.
This was a sweet collection of short stories about coming of age and the pains of growing up. I like that some of the stories focus on more and more open issues that in the past were ignored or shunned--I particularly liked "Dragons in Manhattan" about Tuck's two moms, "Blue" about a girl dealing with her mom's death, and "Pixie and Pony" about a best friend who doesn't know she is.
Like all of FLB's books, I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates lush, sensual writing, magical realism, or who needs a little help remembering that she is a goddess all on her own....more
Hooray for grown up fantasy! I really enjoyed the first book in this series but hadn't read any further because I was afraid I would want to go out anHooray for grown up fantasy! I really enjoyed the first book in this series but hadn't read any further because I was afraid I would want to go out and buy the rest of the series. Yup, still want to get the rest of the series. So that was a justified concern. But now I have a kindle so I don't have to put them all on my shelf. Heh.
Anyway, I liked getting introduced to some new characters that I know are going to be central figures in the other books in the series. The action is fun and fast, not unnecessary or there just to be there. I thought the plot was developed nicely as well.
Elena is still a bit whiny, but I actually think she is a much more realistic female hero for that than the ones who are always strong and brave and never second guess themselves. She is flawed and damaged and believable. Clay is annoying as hell, which also makes him more believable. It gets so boring when the drop dead gorgeous male counterpart is perfect in every way. ...more