I love Molly Harper's books. Her talent for writing intelligent, snarky dialogue and hilarious romantic mishaps is a big part of what makes her books...moreI love Molly Harper's books. Her talent for writing intelligent, snarky dialogue and hilarious romantic mishaps is a big part of what makes her books such a delicious treat. My infatuation began with Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, and has continued with the subsequent Half Moon Hollow books, as well as the Naked Werewolf series. (Seriously, I wish Half Moon Hollow were a real place where I could go visit Jane's bookstore, order a caffeinated beverage, and just hang with her and Andrea...*sigh*) While I enjoyed the story in Better Homes and Hauntings, it felt like it lacked something. The character development seemed a little on the light side - I never got a good feel for Nina, who seemed to pale a bit in comparison to Cindy and Dotty. Normally, the primary romantic couple in a novel are the characters who stand out the most, yet Nina and Deacon seemed a bit bland next to their friends. It's possible that, if this is the beginning to a new series, there will be more opportunities to get to know them in future installments. It's one of the things I like the most about the HMH books, the continuation of the story that allows the reader to really get to know the characters. Overall, definitely recommended to those who enjoy their romance with a bit of a paranormal twist and a large helping of snark on the side.(less)
The reason I picked this book up in the first place was to read the middle story, "Undead Sublet" by Molly Harper. I love the Half-Moon Hollow/Jane Ja...moreThe reason I picked this book up in the first place was to read the middle story, "Undead Sublet" by Molly Harper. I love the Half-Moon Hollow/Jane Jameson books, and truly wish I could move there and hang out with Jane, Andrea, Jolene... and now Tess! The first story in the book, "Shades of Gray" by Katie MacAlister, was a big disappointment. I was excited that it was set in the Czech Republic, but the characters were poorly developed and not very likeable. Plus, the author used a lot of terminology that I'm sure makes sense to someone who regularly reads her books, but that I found confusing. Made me want to avoid her books, rather than seek them out. The final story, "Out with a Fang", was a pleasantly surprising discovery! I had never read anything by Ms. Sims before, and I found the romantic scenes in this book downright steamy. Unlike the first story, I had no trouble at all connecting with the characters or understanding and believing in the world the author had built. Time to look for some more titles of hers!(less)
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 smal...moreI 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.(less)
While I enjoyed returning to Wexford with Rory, my overall impression with this book was a little on the blah side compared with its predecessor. I wa...moreWhile I enjoyed returning to Wexford with Rory, my overall impression with this book was a little on the blah side compared with its predecessor. I was expecting something a bit more intense and suspenseful, and this felt a little flat. Still good - read it in less than 48 hours, but it didn't pull me in the way The Name of the Star did. Since it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, let's hope the third book brings back more of the suspense.(less)
Diana is such a badass. I have fully enjoyed watching her magical evolution over the course of the three books, and it has been more than I could have...moreDiana is such a badass. I have fully enjoyed watching her magical evolution over the course of the three books, and it has been more than I could have ever hoped for. Her relationship with Matthew has been a good blend of exciting romance and cold, stark reality, which together show how their marriage grows and triumphs, even when there are difficulties to overcome.
I also enjoyed how the arc of the story comes together in this installment. There were times when I wish I knew more about genetics, but in the end Harkness was able to translate the science and distill it all down to something that (I think) I could grasp. There were also times that I would have appreciated a family tree and a "Beginner's Guide to Vampire Law" as appendices, just to help me keep the details straight.
Now, I know it's called the All Souls Trilogy, but based on the ending of this book, it sounds like the story may continue past book three. A few loose strings and some foreshadowing makes me wonder if we will have another opportunity to visit Diana, Matthew, and family. Or, perhaps there will be a spin-off series/trilogy that features other main characters. Gallowglass is a likely candidate, as there was more than one mention of his finding a mate, yet his status/whereabouts/etc at the end of this book were left wide open. I realize a series about vampires and other long-lived beings could go on forever (literally), but I love the characters and the world they live in so much that I hope that we at least get a chance to wrap up the unanswered questions at the end of this book.
Oh, and many thanks to NetGalley & the folks at Viking/Penguin for providing me with an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.(less)
**spoiler alert** A nice conclusion to the trilogy, though I was left with a couple of questions (perhaps that was intentional?). I wish we had receiv...more**spoiler alert** A nice conclusion to the trilogy, though I was left with a couple of questions (perhaps that was intentional?). I wish we had received a better explanation of why Beck chose to turn Sam when he was a kid. Was it grief, was it lupine instinct, what? For all of annoyingly emo-ish narrative we had to suffer at the hands of Sam & Cole this time through, it would have been nice to have a bit more of a backstory of Sam's turning. Grace is definitely my favorite character due to her practical nature and straightforward tone, and I missed her voice in all of this. Also, I would have liked to have known more about the situation with Olivia. I understand that it was in part to demonstrate that humans aren't the only threat to the wolves, as well as to show that Shelby is psychologically messed up, even in wolf-form, but the explanation about Shelby provided towards the end didn't quite make sense as a reason for what happened to Olivia (I doubt she was that highly ranked in the wolf hierarchy). A bit of psychological profiling of Shelby would have been nice, too, in order to understand her motivations. Horrible Things Happened To Her In Childhood is not really sufficient. There would be no need to provide graphic flashbacks in order to get the point across, but I do wonder why she was so angry and desperate. Giving her some kind of a voice, possibly through one of the other characters (Sam or Beck), would have been helpful, as opposed to simply making her a monster.(less)