What if the story of Dracula wasn't fiction? What if it was history?
That is the basic premise of this breakout new series. Jamie Carpenter's life has...moreWhat if the story of Dracula wasn't fiction? What if it was history?
That is the basic premise of this breakout new series. Jamie Carpenter's life hasn't been the same since his father was killed two years ago on charges of terrorism. He is angry and disconnected from his mother, until the day she is kidnapped by a vicious monster. From there, Jamie is taken by Frankenstein (yes, that Frankenstein) to Department 19, a secret sect of the British government that deals with supernatural. Department 19 was started over a hundred years ago by the group of hunters that slayed Dracula, and has been keeping vampires in check ever since. Jamie is a descendant of one of the founding families, and his father was one of the organization's top members. Jamie begins to train as a vampire hunter, learning the history and practicing with weapons, while also uncovering some secrets of the Department, secrets that some would kill to keep hidden. Jamie is determined to rescue his mother, even if his only allies are a hulking green monster and an imprisoned vampire girl.
Wow, this book is a thrill! It's a gory, violent, action-packed thrill ride that will appeal to boys and girls, teen and adult audiences alike. I've been looking for a novel like this for a while. I'm so used to YA paranormal pussying out on me, focusing on romance rather than plot. Trust me. This book breathes a breath of fresh air into the genre. At times, it would almost be too graphic. The last battle scene.....whoa....I got a little queasy. The monsters in this book are real monsters. They rip, tear, kill, and torture....sometimes just for the fun of it. Both bad guys and good guys die, sometimes in gruesomely horrific ways. For example, when vampire die, they just don't crumble into a pile of dust, they freaking explode into showers of blood. SHOWERS OF BLOOD. If they ever made a movie out of this, it would be a CGI dream.
I also enjoyed how the chapters alternated to get the full scope of the story. Some chapters would focus on the past, such as the formation of Department 19, which gave some insight as to the dynamics of the Department. However, as what happens with omniscient 3rd person POV, the reader can sometimes feel disconnected from protagonist. I am nearly certain this is just my personal taste, however, as some reviewers said they felt genuinely attached to Jamie. I enjoyed the plot overall, rather than just Jamie as a character.
I'll be honest here. The writing isn't the best. I read an ARC, but I doubt the writing would change that dramatically for its publication. It was serviceable, a little chunky, but this is understandable. This is an action/horror novel. Beautiful writing isn't the point, and could actually distract from the story.
The story overall was unique. Yes, it clearly borrowed from Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.......but that is kind of the point. It was slightly predictable who the turncoat in the story was, but so what? It was a fun ride, and I enjoyed getting there.
This is the start of an excellent series that will do great in its target audience. It managed to resolve many loose ends, but also has a level of suspense that will leave reader's eager for the next installment. Bloody, thrilling, with a tad bit of romance, and a whole lot of fun. (less)
For some reason, My review keeps coming up twice because the "more" is right in the middle of the spoiler, so I'm ad...more Transformer cat will eat you! RAWR
For some reason, My review keeps coming up twice because the "more" is right in the middle of the spoiler, so I'm adding extra characters to see if it helps.
"Eh." That pretty much sums up my assessment of HAVEN. Kristi Cook is a smart cookie (heh, unintentional pun!). She travels some pretty well-worn territory that is guaranteed to get her a solid YA audience. Her book really doesn't have anything original, but is rather something more like a composite of popular YA series. (view spoiler)[ Like Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, some Shiver, and a little bit of Buffy thrown together in a "girl goes to boarding school" tale. (hide spoiler)] The result left me pretty much uninterested.
I could see what Cook was trying to do, but unfortunately she never truly succeeded. I could tell that she wanted to have:
1. A smart, enduring heroine. The main character....Violet (yes, I did forget her name for a second), isn't all that original. Although technically smart, as evidenced by her honors classes, Violet was a bit slow on the uptake. Some readers may be frustrated with Violet's denial and disbelief (I just think she's dense). Cook managed to give Violet some powers of her own, but nonetheless Violet has the Bella-syndrome of fainting constantly and having her boyfriend save her. Violet was also just plain old boring. Her voice was bland and nothing she ever did stood out. I know Cook was trying to make her "relatable", but I hate that. I would rather have a main character who pisses me off than one who is bland as corn flakes.
2. A hot, mysterious love interest. Pshhhh. Adrian's such an Edward wannabe. I don't even like Edward, but he still has more personality than this guy.
3. Powerful, intense love.........Nah. I wasn't feeling it in the least. I didn't feel anything. Not a gut-flutter, or spine-tickler. I didn't have to put down the book and start pacing around the room as I do when I get really involved in a book and need to calm down. I wasn't feeling the attraction. I believe Cook tried to make the romance more believable, by making it a little hot-and-cold. But she went a little overboard. I couldn't even tell that they liked each other. One chapter they were all like "I lurrrve you" then the next Violet is all "Fuck you!". Just back and forth through the whole book, but there wasn't enough emotion behind any of the characters to back it up.
With Twilight (yes I'm comparing this book to Twilight because that's really what it deserves), when I was Twi-tard, I would stay awake at night, unable to sleep because I was so immersed in the Twilight universe. It actually made my chest ache, I loved it so much. Now I think its shit, but that's besides the point. This book, no matter how much it tried to, couldn't immerse me like that. It just wasn't enough. It tried to do a little bit of everything and succeeded in nothing.
But I didn't hate it. Which is both a good and bad thing. Books I hate are memorable in how much I dislike them. This book was just boring and on the great shelf of "meh". It just didn't work up enough emotion in me to warrant an overwhelming response. I didn't like it, but I didn't hate it either.
From looking at the other reviews, there are definitely people who enjoy this book. It definitely tailors to a specific audience, one that will most likely enjoy this book. To me, it was merely inoffensive and generic.
Oh, and I think the cover is fugly. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
In this book, not only are vampires real and known, they are taking over the world, with only small numb...more At least thats one thing this book got right.
In this book, not only are vampires real and known, they are taking over the world, with only small numbers of Hunters to fight them off. The Salamancan Hunters are a band of Hunters, the first of its kind, and by the way things are going, it may be the last. This hodge-podge band of fighters are having a wee bit of trouble getting along. Even though they are based in Spain, they all come from different parts of the world. There is Eriko, a former Japanese school girl, and the silent leader of the band; Jamie, a hot-headed Irishman with an immense hatred for werewolves, vampires, and the English; Skye, a witch from England with a dark secret threatening to rear its ugly head; Holgar, a secretive Danish werewolf; Antonio, a Spanish vampire severely devoted to Catholicism; and lastly, Just Jenn, a nothing-special from California. Not only do these hunters have to fight the prejudices and suspicions amongst themselves, they have a full-out war on their hands. Jenn's younger sister has been kidnapped by a manipulative and powerful vampire, and the group must come together to get her back, hopefully alive.
Gah. Sounds like an interesting cast, right? Not exactly. Jenn, the MC, is pretty much insufferable. She has worse self-esteem than Charlie Brown. Jenn refers to herself as "Just Jenn", meaning that she feels inferior to the rest of the group. Well, most of the time, she is right. It was only when she is California by herself that she shows any sign of bad-assery. Whenever she is with Antonio (her lurver), she turns into some limp noodle that must be carried from room to room because she is too distraught and tired to pick her own ass up. Characters are constantly insisting that she is "special", but she insists she's not (a point I can agree on). But still. She should have some confidence. She went to an academy with 90 young adults in her class. Out of those 90, only one-third of them made it to graduation. Out of the thirty that graduated, only 16 or so survived the final test. Out of those sixteen, only six got to be hunters. So have some pride, girl, you've obviously had enough balls to get you this far.
The rest of the characters were also unlikable. Actually, I take that back. I liked Holgar. He was nice and didn't annoy me. Eriko, I didn't really like or dislike. She was rarely in the story, and was uninteresting for the most part. Skye was annoying because she is keeping a secret that could get them all killed, and chooses her secrecy over the well-being of the rest of the group. Also, she gave no explanation as to why she was in love with Jamie. Personally, I think she should end up with Holgar. I was sensing some vibes. Jamie was a douche bag. There is a line between being charmingly hot-headed and being a jackass, and he was one the jackass side of the line. Seriously, this guy needs to STFU. He had too bring up his werewolf prejudice in every goddam conversation, and its him that will get the group killed, not Holgar (Holgar, I gotcha back). And then there was Antonio......Guess what he wanted to be when he grew up. Go ahead, guess. That's right! He wanted to be priest. Howdya know? Could it be that it was mentioned on EVERY GODDAMN PAGE?! You're Catholic. I get it. You probably shouldn't be trying to get in Jenn's pants then.
The romance between Antonio and Jenn, supposedly a driving force behind this novel, was the most lackluster, chemistry-less coupling I ever read. Seriously, it was horrible. I won't even got into how absolutely terrible it was because it makes my lip just now stopped curling, and I don't want my face to get stuck in a grimace.
This novel tried to give it's characters depth through multiple perspectives, which is a tool, when done right, is extremely interesting and effective. This book failed miserably at it. The narrative had absolutely no focus, and would shift perspectives in the middle of the page, which made it confusing and frustrating. It also failed in creating three-dimensional characters, because in attempting to give everyone a voice, it skimped out on everyone. I couldn't care less if everyone in this book died. I have absolutely no attachment to them, and frankly, I was hoping someone would stab Jenn most of the time. Ironically, the only truly intriguing character was the villain, but unfortunately, to finish hearing out her story, I would have to read more books in the series, which is something I will not do.
The writing was just bad. There was nothing unique, purposeful, or enjoyable about the style, and for some reason, I despised it. As soon as I read the first paragraph I was like "Oh shit". I knew then I was in trouble. But yet I hoped the characters or plot would pull through. Nope.
Overall, this book was a such a flippin' mess. The writing irked me to no end, and the characters were all pretty stupid. I ended up skimming most of the second half of the novel. Most people say it starts out slow, and then gets better, but no. It pretty much sucks the whole way through.
I'm honestly surprised that I don't hate this book. I was expecting too, since I don't like Twilight in the least. It turns out I can tolerate Stephen...moreI'm honestly surprised that I don't hate this book. I was expecting too, since I don't like Twilight in the least. It turns out I can tolerate Stephenie's writing when it is in small installments and not so sappy.
I'm sad for Bree, Diego, and Fred. I wished things turned out better for them, even though I knew that wasn't going to happen.
It was short and sweet, and I don't regret reading it. (less)
I wanted to like this one. I really did. It seemed like it was made for me. Morganville? Morgan? You can't ignore the connection. But sadly I was disa...moreI wanted to like this one. I really did. It seemed like it was made for me. Morganville? Morgan? You can't ignore the connection. But sadly I was disappointed.
The volume I read was an omnibus of the first two books. I wish I just would've bought the first one. The series is about Claire Danvers, a 16 yr old student living in the college town of Morganville. She moves into the Glass House, but not all her roommates might be living. She soon finds out that Morganville is no ordinary college town, but one infested with vampires.
I strongly disliked Claire. Very strongly. I mean, what was the purpose of making her 16? To make her even more annoying?? She was immature and whiny and......*simmers down*. In the second book, all the other characters were like "Oh, what happened to the little mousy girl?", I would go "She's right here guys. Just because its a new book doesn't mean she underwent a personality change."
The other characters were somewhat unlikable. Out all of them, I liked Michael the best. I wish he could have been the love interest. Which brings me to Shane......I just don't get his appeal. He's just some hotheaded "gorgeous" guy. I don't like him. I wish he would have been torched. Him and Claire were just so awkwardly matched. It seemed forced to me. After little to no interaction, Claire is all up in his lap calling him her boyfriend (although that didn't stop her from going on that date with Ian). The romance between them was gag-worthy, honestly. The whole "let's play baseball thing". Yuck. And of course they can't really do it, because of the age difference. Gotta build up that sexual tension.
And, sorry for all the people who liked this series, I'm going to be hatin' on the writing now. It was bad. Real bad. It didn't make any sense. It was in third person, but wanted to be in first person. Pick a POV already!!! I had the most difficul time trying to figure out who was speaking or acting at any given time. And Caine would put random words in italics to prove a point. They were everywhere.
And some of the action didn't have a purpse. It seems Caine would just get bored and go "hhhmmmm, let's go over here now so we can over-complicate things!!"
The main problem was I never was emotionally invested enough. I didn't care what happened. It never held me in suspense. I was just waiting for it to be over.(less)
I am new to the whole paranormal romance genre. Being a teenager yet, I can finally read the dirty bits without giggling or tossing the book across th...moreI am new to the whole paranormal romance genre. Being a teenager yet, I can finally read the dirty bits without giggling or tossing the book across the room in an embarrassed panic whenever someone walks into the room. Yay for maturity!
Soulless was a fun read, and oddly very funny. I was cracking up. My favorite line: "The vampire's eyes were open, and he was staring at her intently. It was as though he was trying to speak to her with simply the power of his glare. Alexia did not speak glare-ish".
And the vocabulary! Carriger used words like "deleterious" and "cosset" like they were going out of style....which they kinda are, actually. Anyway, I got to employ all the vocab knowledge that my SAT prep teacher tried to force down my throat. At least it was useful for something.
I wanted to bottle up Alexia's spunk an sprinkle it all over the dull, vapid minds of most YA heroines. "See, this is what an entertaining heroine looks like! Learn from her! Absorb her personality! Stop being so dumb!"Alexia was an interesting, likable character, and I'm looking forward to her further adventures.
On to the romance......*sigh* This was the weakest part for me. It was just so repetitive. Lord Maccon and Alexia would bicker for a while, then they would jump on each like two male giraffes (yes, that happens a lot). It just got annoying. And what was with all the neck biting? If a guy started chomping hard enough on my neck so that it would bruise, I would be all "heeeellll nah". A hickey is one thing, neck noms are another. And then Alexia would try to be the proper Victorian lady, which she failed at because proper Victorian ladies do not get freaky on a chair, with their family listening at the door. Creeepin.
Also I FREAKIN GET THAT ALEXIA IS ITALIAN. CAN WE MOVE ON PLEASE?
And I like how the ending wasn't cliff-hangery. I like that I can read the next novel on my own terms, not just because the previous ending left me unsatisfied and frothing at the mouth.
Overall, I really like this one, although now that I think about it, it was a little light on the steampunk. I want more steampunnk.
Sorry for the jumpy, inconsistent review. I'm trying to multitask between doing this and watching TV. TV is winning. (less)
Jessica Packwood is just your average American teen looking for a great senior year. Everything is looking good...until Lucius Vladescu comes to town....moreJessica Packwood is just your average American teen looking for a great senior year. Everything is looking good...until Lucius Vladescu comes to town. Lucius Vladescu is a sexy new foreign exchange student from Romania- who claims Jessica is a vampire princess and his betrothed. Jessica reluctantly transists into her vampiredom with a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions and with some tough decisions to make. Jessica is an ordinary girl, is she ready for eternity with a complicated, ruthless vampire?
From the title I was expecting some light and funny satire, but that's not exactly what I got. I'm not sure what this book wanted to be. At times it was hysterical, sometimes silly, occasionally sexual, and other times heavy. I didn't know what to expect. My favorite part of the books was whenever Lucius wrote letters back home to his uncle. His commentary was hysterical. I wish the whole book was from his eyes. Jessica was okay, but not really that interesting. She was sometimes funny or witty, but most of time was pretty dry. I am kinda sick and tired of nice narrators that guys unexplicably fall for. Jessica wasn't as bad as other narrators, but that makes me for frustrated because I see what she could have been.
The book overall was pretty unique- if slightly predictable, but what isn't nowadays? The book was slow-going sometimes, and there could have been more action. Some parts were ridiculous, like the Wuthering Heights drama and the stake-thrusting mob. And (sorry if this confuses you), I wanted more! It ended too abruptly. As soon as it gets juicy in Romania, I get shut down. I was like "Nooooo!" I don't get a nice little epilogue? A postcard? NOTHING? Alas, I guess that is life...
One thing I have to point out is this random phrase that had me staring at it for like 12 minutes: "phantasmagoric edifice". Wicka wicka WHAT? And it wasn't the fancy European guy who said it either, but rather the farm girl from....I forgot where she's from. Some farm place.
Anyway, not exactly what I was expecting, but entertaining enough. If I see something else by this author, I'll pick it up. (less)