Loved this. I picked it up because of how much I loved Water for Elephants, and even though a book about apes wouldn't otherwise have appealed to me,Loved this. I picked it up because of how much I loved Water for Elephants, and even though a book about apes wouldn't otherwise have appealed to me, I knew I loved Gruen's writing so I wanted to check this one out.
It's excellent. Just, sucked in from page one, from nothing less than the sheer beauty of her prose. I devoured this book in two days. Not because of some crazy epic fantasy plot line or magic or murder, but just because her writing is so good it pulls you along like a current and you suddenly find yourself a hundred pages in with no desire to stop. ...more
I could write a really detailed review of this one, but basically, I was really disappointed. And that hurts to say, because I love Anne Rice, I loveI could write a really detailed review of this one, but basically, I was really disappointed. And that hurts to say, because I love Anne Rice, I love all her vampire and witch books and the Beauty erotica. But this, this felt amateurish, like a first draft, a book that clearly hadn't seen much editing. Because there were elements of an awesome story, but the mechanics used to tell it were heavy handed and rough and just plain hard to read. And I know that plenty of masters can do away with the rules and come out with a masterpiece, because they're the masters, but this wasn't that. I never felt like I KNEW the main character, almost the entire book is given to you in a tell-don't-show format. There's very little dialogue, and when it does appear it's stilted and forced and unnatural. There's no real conflict to keep you turning pages, everything goes smoothly for the MC, he doesn't have to fight to overcome anything. The only small mystery is cleared up with an easy resolution in which, again, the MC doesn't have to do any actual work and the answer almost literally falls into his lap.
The last 100 pages or so got more interesting, but then turned into a long philosophical debate of the nature of good and evil and human nature. Which I know is a subject near and dear to Rice's heart, and which could easily have been worked into the text and subtext of the book without being delivered as a verbatim debate between the characters at the end of the book. Let the reader form those questions and answers through reading about the characters and their actions, not by suffering through a discourse. Good fiction should make you question big ideas like that, the purpose of the story itself should be to provoke that thought. If you're just going to outright ask me the questions, call it an essay instead.
I was really bummed with this book. I hate having to admit that I didn't like it, because I love everything else she's done. And honestly, now I'm worried about the new Lestat book that's coming out soon, because I'm afraid that set of characters that I've loved for so long is going to be given a similar treatment, and that's really going to suck....more
You know, I was all set to hate Hero and hate the fact that Sebastian wasn't with Kat, since they obviously belonged together. I kept waiting to see hYou know, I was all set to hate Hero and hate the fact that Sebastian wasn't with Kat, since they obviously belonged together. I kept waiting to see how the author was going to take care of the whole honor-bound marriage to Hero and get Sebastian and Kat together, even if she didn't finish that in this book. But now I wonder. I don't think Kat would ever let herself be talked into marriage with Sebastian, and the last scene in the book makes me start to be okay with this. I began liking Hero more during this book, and I think she and Sebastian are better suited for each other. So we'll have to wait and see how things progress in what I hope to be future novels.
As far as the mystery aspect of the novel, it was wonderful. It confused the hell out of me with all the different characters, but I don't ever really try to figure out what's going on in a mystery as a I read. I never can, and it's more fun to be surprised. ...more
Seeing that this was the first in the Elemental Masters series confirms my suspicions upon finishing it. It definitely seemed like an earlier work bySeeing that this was the first in the Elemental Masters series confirms my suspicions upon finishing it. It definitely seemed like an earlier work by an otherwise amazing writer. Many of Lackey's talents at storytelling are present, however there were a few issues with the story that appeared the product of inexperience rather than lack of talent. Some of the subplots were given endings that felt hasty and convenient, and I felt that not enough was explained in the end -- not that any great mysteries were left unsolved, but that the author seemed content to say, "the characters never found out why such-and-such happened, but they decided they didn't really care." Seemed lazy to me.
But for the most part, I like the book, though it wasn't nearly as good as the other Elementals books I've read. ...more