**spoiler alert** My copies of _The Warded Man_ and _The Desert Spear_ are both subtitled "The Demon Trilogy". As I said in my review of _The Daylight**spoiler alert** My copies of _The Warded Man_ and _The Desert Spear_ are both subtitled "The Demon Trilogy". As I said in my review of _The Daylight War_, the decision to stretch the Trilogy into a cycle has become very apparent in both the third book and this one as well.
Brett has crafted a unique and captivating world, complete with a thoroughly developed history, system of magic, and politics. It's a world I enjoy spending time in. But the trick of "Now let's rewind and re-visit key moments from the last volume of the story through the eyes of yet another player" is starting to wear thin. I really DO enjoy seeing the story through the eyes of different characters--I'm a fan of novels with multiple POV. But when we have to keep rewinding to see the backstory of each POV it drags the momentum down. In this book things have reached a fever pitch of uncertainty and tenseness and so...we take time out to go deep into the back story of a heretofore minor character. Not only do we leave the characters and story we've invested 2000 pages in, we do so to see a training that was similar to Inevera's in book 3. "I see nothing" and girls beating on each other and endless fights where people press secret pressure points and disable their opponent. Sigh. Can we TAKE THIS TRAIN FORWARD?!?
I like this world and I like reading about it. But I have to say that my preference would have been to have the trilogy be leaner and better-paced with some of these cul de sacs offered as novellas. Because by this fourth book the tricks are becoming appparent. What do I want to see? I want to see the leads develop and the war come to an end. I don't need to see countless scenes of Inevera using her demon bone walkie-talkie jewelry and magic 8 ball. I don't need to see Tweedledum and Tweedledee bicker over who will lead all mankind now that their father is in the wind. (And that's another storyline problem. Desert Spear made a big deal out of the struggles Jardir faced to obtain the thrones and the skill and mettle it took for him to bring the Damaji and Krasians to kneel at his leadership. In this book we're supposed to believe that these irritating teenagers can just waltz in?)
I enjoy GRRM and _A Song Of Ice And Fire_, although I don't particularly care for the TV show. But that tv show's popularity has once again convinced Brett and his publisher that Fantasy readers are just chomping at the bit to read about politics. And I like politics. Some politics are interesting. But at this point? Too much time spent on soapy babydaddy nonsense and the second-rate Game Of Thrones of Krasia/The North. Let's just fight the demons already. ...more
This is not chick lit. Everything about the cover screams "chick lit"...Cupcakes, Cutesy place name in the title, Jenny Colgan.
This book is what happThis is not chick lit. Everything about the cover screams "chick lit"...Cupcakes, Cutesy place name in the title, Jenny Colgan.
This book is what happens when a chick lot writer gets a little bit older. Dark stuff happens here. There's lighter fare too, of course. But the central romance was very dark and truly not engaging. I felt a stronger connection between Polly and Neil than between Polly and her romantic lead.
I truly did enjoy the book, actually. That last paragraph makes it seem like I hated it. Not at all. I just want to make clear that there is a lot more to this book than the standard boy meets girl. It's a great book. But if you're looking for Talking To Addison or Amanda's Wedding you're looking in the wrong book. ...more
Since it's April 1 I feel like I should write a review praising the book for how interesting it is, how well-developed the characters are and how straSince it's April 1 I feel like I should write a review praising the book for how interesting it is, how well-developed the characters are and how straightforward the plot is. Because that would be a great APRIL FOOL!
I think this book might be meant for the type of people who enjoy stock characters faffing about in one increasingly improbable scenario after the other. It reminds me very much of twenty other generic thrillers that hope to accomplish Dan Brown style popularity by flinging the characters around the globe after macguffins. Sadly, they aren't as good as fan brown. And that means they are very bad indeed. ...more
One of the things I like about true crime narratives is all the detail you learn about the time and place of the crime. The best true crime books playOne of the things I like about true crime narratives is all the detail you learn about the time and place of the crime. The best true crime books play up this factor well--think _Devil In The White City_ and _Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.
This book TRIES to do that. Sadly, it starts to feel more like the addled tangents an older lady goes into when she's telling you about her day. This book is supposedly about Jesse Pomeroy, the youngest serial killer in Massachusetts. But there are inexplicable tangents about Herman Melville, the Boston Fire Department and mansard roofs, Harvard, the city parks of Boston, etc. All of the things _were_ interesting in their way. But by 30% of the way through the book it became obvious that what we were dealing with was an attempt to turn a Wikipedia-length story into a saleable book. After all, Pomeroy was 14 when convicted. There wasn't that much TO his life to write about. And the "hunt" the title of the book dangles promisingly lasted all of three hours. So if there was going to be a book there had to be all of this extra detail.
I'm giving this three stars because it wants to be Devil In The White City, I think, but it just doesn't rise to that level. Perhaps if the thesis of the book had been clear from the outset that may have helped. As it is now, this reads less like an intentional exploration of mid-nineteenth century Boston and more like a disjointed pile of research haphazardly stitched together. ...more