I would actually give this book a 3.5, as it was an intriguing story that created a fair amount of suspense, and had me turning back pages to see smalI would actually give this book a 3.5, as it was an intriguing story that created a fair amount of suspense, and had me turning back pages to see small details I had missed (I'm not a big GN reader, and I was reading this in a professional capacity to provide feedback to colleagues, so I didn't pay as close attention to the graphics as I should have). It had a dark fantasy/magical bent to the plot that kept me reading. I enjoyed it enough to want to go back, read volume 1 for more back story, and possibly consider volume 3.
The setback, for me, was the level of violence depicted in the illustrations. I wonder how I would have felt if I had read a standard prose version of the same story that described the scenes verbally... If so, I would also want deeper character development in order to award a higher rating.
Overall, a solid choice for the older teen/adult crowd....more
One of the top appeal factors for me in any book is character development. Unfortunately, I just could not connect with the main character in this stoOne of the top appeal factors for me in any book is character development. Unfortunately, I just could not connect with the main character in this story. I have to agree with other readers/reviewers in that Nora does not come across as the "thinking woman" promised in the title.
Additionally, I enjoy a book with a well-paced plot - a proper balance between descriptive details, backstory, and action - and this story just doesn't hit upon the right mix of those elements. ...more
I loved this book, even more so than the first one in the series. I enjoyed following Sybella's story without as much of the political intrigue that cI loved this book, even more so than the first one in the series. I enjoyed following Sybella's story without as much of the political intrigue that came with Ismae's story in "Grave Mercy". I suffered a few days of book withdrawl after this one. So looking forward to Annith's story!...more
Lately, I have found myself drawn to books set in the city of Prague. This is interesting, as none of them delve too deeply into describing the surrouLately, I have found myself drawn to books set in the city of Prague. This is interesting, as none of them delve too deeply into describing the surroundings, yet they offer enough description of the setting that I am prompted to do my own independent research to find out more. Is there a future trip to Prague in my future? I am tempted to say yes, which makes me wonder if this isn't some master plan developed by the Czech Tourism Department...
City of Dark Magic was an interesting story, one that I enjoyed quite a bit. I liked the characters and for the most part found them to be fairly authentic, though I was a bit skeptical about the main character, Sarah, who is not only physically attractive, but also academically gifted. She had a less-than-privileged upbringing, and at times shows signs of having something akin to street smarts, then turns around and behaves in a fairly naive manner.
However, my main issue with the book is the convoluted storyline and what I can only describe as a duality of genres. What was the original intent of the book, to be a spy thriller with a historical bent, or an intellectual mystery with some magical underpinnings? Was this mixing of plot lines due to the fact that two separate people were writing the story? I freely admit that I hoped it would be more of the latter, and I would have awarded it an additional star if it had focused more on the intellectual and magical. (A greater focus on the spy element would have kept me from picking up the book in the first place.) I found the CIA/KGB love story to be unnecessary, and the character of Charlotte Yates a waste of time. The Marchesa would have made a better villian had she been more fully developed and given a more active role. Overall, the story moved at a good pace, had plenty of action with a few twists (though nothing too shocking), and was an enjoyable read.
While the authors did a fairly decent job of tying up all the loose threads at the end, there were a few things that made me wonder if perhaps a sequel is in the works. Will Nico find an answer to his dilemma? Will Max find the treasure he is looking for? Will we see more of Pols and perhaps find out there is more to her than we originally thought? And Sarah, will she get the opportunity to see her idol once again?...more
I couldn't get more than halfway through this story. While I enjoyed reading the first installment of this series, and the overall premise of the storI couldn't get more than halfway through this story. While I enjoyed reading the first installment of this series, and the overall premise of the story is interesting, the plot of this book just doesn't move fast enough. I can't muster up much enthusiasm for what's happening & I find myself losing interest in the book as soon as I put it down. Plus, the characters do not appeal to me whatsoever. I know I'm meant to dislike the other mermaids, especially their self-appointed, sociopathic leader, but I should at least feel some sort of sympathy (or perhaps empathy?) for the main character, Luce. Yet, I don't. She seems so weak-willed and overly emotional to me. And her "boyfriend" makes me want to slap him. Perhaps I've been reading a few too many of those books with strong female protagonists who kick butt & take names, but I find those characters so much more appealing than an emo loner with little-to-no self esteem. This book would have been so much better if Luce would recognize her own talents, stand up for herself, and accept her role as the natural leader of the tribe. Maybe she ends up doing this in the second half of the book, I don't know; but I just couldn't subject myself to any more of the whining disfunctional relationships that dominate the first half of the book....more
The Little Mermaid meets Mean Girls - a solid teen fantasy drama about abused girls who turn into mermaids when they die. Overall, the plot was believThe Little Mermaid meets Mean Girls - a solid teen fantasy drama about abused girls who turn into mermaids when they die. Overall, the plot was believable (except the manner in which the girls from the group home were able to transform and reach the ocean to become mermaids - that part had me thinking, "Seriously?!"). Writing style was decent, and the author does a good job of using poetically descriptive language in narrating the story. Unfortunately, the character development was only okay, and the dialogue got on my nerves after awhile - though I guess it could be considered authentic for a bunch of emotionally damaged teenage girls. I know the main character, Luce, is supposed to physically remain 14 years old for the rest of her life, but let's hope she matures beyond that emotionally & psychologically. And, let's hope the socially toxic girl meets with a particularly gruesome end, as I don't think I can stand to listen (read?) any more of her spiteful, narcissistic drivel. I have an ARC of the sequel, Waking Storms, that I plan to read next, so we'll see if my hopes are fulfilled....more
What a great story! This is my first experience reading any of Stiefvater’s works (yes, I have subjected myself to an appropriate amount of guilt andWhat a great story! This is my first experience reading any of Stiefvater’s works (yes, I have subjected myself to an appropriate amount of guilt and emotional self-flagellation over this), and I’m truly impressed by her storytelling abilities. I enjoyed the pacing of this novel, the descriptive writing style, the character development, the twists and turns in the plot (including a major one that was quite unexpected), and I definitely appreciated the fact that the author didn’t feel the need to end the book with a cliffhanger. As a skilled storyteller, she was able to wrap up this portion of the tale and provide solid closure to much of the storyline, yet still leave a few things open enough to keep the reader anticipating what will happen in the next installment. I have been talking this one up to my teen patrons at the library. And, I definitely have plans to read some more of Stiefvater’s books!...more
The premise of this story is intriguing, and promises a lot. Overall, I felt that it delivered on that promise. The main character, Eva, is likeable aThe premise of this story is intriguing, and promises a lot. Overall, I felt that it delivered on that promise. The main character, Eva, is likeable and her situation warrants much sympathy from the reader. What teen wouldn't feel the emotional pain of not being allowed to form her own identity, to make her own choices, to be her own person? And to have to adopt someone else's life instead? Hell, what adult wouldn't cringe at the thought of having their autonomy completely removed and all decisions about their life and their future made for them? And if provided with a way out, who wouldn't take it? What made the story even more compelling is the understanding the reader gains about the secondary character, Amarra, and how she must have felt knowing that there was someone out there, seemingly just waiting for the moment in which she could steal her life away. To know that nothing about you is original and unique, that somewhere there is an exact replica of your every action, and then to be forced to be complicit in all of it, would be unbearable. And yet, because Eva is so likeable, and because we get the rare glimpse of a different, more accepting and willing other/echo relationship, it's not an impossible pill to swallow. I wasn't disgusted by the whole idea, and in fact didn't find myself taking a strong moral stand either way. How could I? It would be hard to take sides. Who would I root for, if it came down to it, and what would that mean? I think this would be a fun selection for a book discussion group, and that teens would definitely have a lot to say on the matter. Plus, the continuous references to Shelley's "Frankenstein" would open doors for extra reading and comparison of the two situations. (Personally, I haven't read "Frankenstein", so you are saved from any musings in that direction here.) However, I am intrigued by the author's subtle question of "what would happen if mankind really could stitch together a new being from parts of others?", and how she introduced the idea of monster vs. human. Very good book. I'll be recommending this one to my teen patrons....more
I enjoyed reading this second book from Romeo's perspective, though I had trouble getting as caught up in it as the first one, "Juliet Immortal". TherI enjoyed reading this second book from Romeo's perspective, though I had trouble getting as caught up in it as the first one, "Juliet Immortal". There were points in the plot line that were still confusing, and the fact that I read a .pdf galley copy means the formatting was horrible and typos were abundant (which REALLY did not help to alleviate the confusion at times). One thing I think could have been better explained is exactly how Ariel can hear the screams of the lost souls - there's got to be some awesome reason behind this, especially since she's described as having 'old' eyes (in the sense of having seen much). So far, both stories have ended with what could be considered fully-realized plots - no cliffhangers, no really unresolved storylines, and a peaceful sense of closure for the main love interests. However, I'm wondering if the author plans to go back and tell the story of the friar and the nurse, how they first came to know one another, and where the animosity stems from. Perhaps I've just been reading too many trilogies of late, but two books just doesn't seem like a complete series to me. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. I found the underlying message to be an important one, and the twist on the classic play was interesting. I liked Juliet,I really enjoyed this book. I found the underlying message to be an important one, and the twist on the classic play was interesting. I liked Juliet, definitely liked Ben, and found Romeo to be compelling/confusing/frustrating/somewhat repellant, though not necesarrily at the same time. I wish there had been a bit more info regarding the Ambassadors/Mercenaries, how they came to be, what their true purpose/mission is, and their general history. Romeo may have provided some insight to this, but it's hard to trust him as a reliable source. I'm hoping future installments in the series provide more info. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel, of which I managed to get my (digital) hands on a galley copy. I think that shall be the next book on my list - I love it when I can continue on to the next installment of a series almost immediately. :)...more
Oh my gosh, I loved this book! It had such a unique storyline, with awesome characters, excellent world-building, and beautifully descriptive languageOh my gosh, I loved this book! It had such a unique storyline, with awesome characters, excellent world-building, and beautifully descriptive language. The author held back just enough information to keep me engaged in the story without being able to guess where it was going, and revealed new elements bit by bit, deepening the plot and the back-story. I’m definitely looking forward to book #2 coming out in the next few months....more