God...what an amazing book. It's exquisitely told and the best thing I've read in a year. I will never forget it, until BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS is even bett...moreGod...what an amazing book. It's exquisitely told and the best thing I've read in a year. I will never forget it, until BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS is even better.(less)
If you really think about it after you read it, ROGUE is practically the polar opposite of the first book in this series, STRAY. While STRAY was a ser...moreIf you really think about it after you read it, ROGUE is practically the polar opposite of the first book in this series, STRAY. While STRAY was a series of kick-a** action that constantly kept you on your toes, ROGUE is a series of kick-a** dialogue. ROGUE was a who-dun-it book of sorts; nothing like CSI: Miami or Law & Order, but close enough to be considered one. The discussions were character-based, I'll give you that, but there was little to no action and A LOT of investigation throughout. The next, and last, four books in the series are being shipped to me now, and I'm chomping at the bit waiting for them. Can't wait to see what'll happen! One thing that really makes me happy about these books is the fact that the series isn't endless like Sherrilyn Kenyon's DARK-HUNTER books or Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. Yes, they will have a conclusion, and yes, it will be mind-blowing. And I'm 1/3 of the way there.(less)
Richelle Mead does it again with IRON CROWNED. You can tell this book was actually formulated correctly and not just thrown together like recent books...moreRichelle Mead does it again with IRON CROWNED. You can tell this book was actually formulated correctly and not just thrown together like recent books in some other series of hers (*coughcoughVAcough*).
Third books in Mead's series are often known as the oh-my-God-Richelle-Mead-why-did-you-do-this-to-us books, and this one doesn't fall short in that aspect at all. What happens near the end of this book is INSANE . . . but I LOVE IT. It's blatantly obvious I'll be buying the last book.
Eugenie's still caught in the middle of the infamous love triangle, and to me, neither side really stands out as the one she should pick. They're both just kind of there, vying for her attention, with no real traits that stand out to me or to anyone else. I guess the love interests' qualities, or lack thereof, are kind of the weak point in this book.
The plotting is tight. The thing about this book and some other of Mead's books is that the main plot point that the characters strive to reach, the main event of the book, happens around halfway through the book, and the second half is just aftermath and build-up for the next book. I guess it's good that Mead gets right to the point, but it makes me feel like she could've just written half of this book and we would've been fine.
As far as the actual plot goes, it's really fast-paced and action-packed, and there's the usual amount of Mead-drama. It's the best book in the Dark Swan series so far.(less)
In the beginning of UNEARTHLY, the action is dull. The characters are gloomy and remorseful after an unexpected m...moreWow.
That's all I can think right now.
In the beginning of UNEARTHLY, the action is dull. The characters are gloomy and remorseful after an unexpected move to Wyoming. The school life is really stereotypical, and the friends are all meh.
Then, when the main love interests are introduced into the story and the plot thickens, you're quickly and unexpectedly thrown into a thrill ride that's unforgettable.
If this review were solely on the last half of the book, it'd be five stars no-questions-asked. The action is just so gripping, and the characters' emotions are so tangible, you'd have to be a really tough critic to rate it any lower. Everything is just paced so perfectly, and dialogue is so precise--it's the closest thing to a perfect book. But, sadly, the first half screws things up.
The lack of action or excitement in the beginning knocked off a solid star from the book. Sure, it was needed to set the rest of the book up, but it could've been done a little more interestingly, like Clara, literally the perfect girl, wasn't halfway bored to death sitting there talking to Wendy and Angela.
The characters weren't too lackluster--I found Clara's friends Wendy and Angela (Angela especially) quite interesting, and Tucker and Christian weren't too shabby, either. The thing I like about the way Hand created the foundation for the love triangle is the fact that Christian and Tucker are both distinctly different characters, and how choosing between them will create completely different lifestyles for Clara (view spoiler)[ angel vs. human (hide spoiler)]; it's not like they're boring clones of each other created for the sole purpose of giving Clara two people vying for her attention and therefore more "plot."
UNEARTHLY really impressed me (and may I say how cute this book is?! I just wanna tickle it!), and I am literally counting down the days until HALLOWED is released.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
CAPTIVATE was better than NEED for a number of reasons:
1) Astley was introduced, and even though that may seem like a bad thing because it puts Zara...moreCAPTIVATE was better than NEED for a number of reasons:
1) Astley was introduced, and even though that may seem like a bad thing because it puts Zara into an inevitable love triangle, it's nice to get an insider pixie's perspective on things through Zara's eyes. It's nice to see that Zara puts a lot of trust into him while barely knowing him. It's nice to know she can trust him like that. Besides, Astley is awesome. And, him and Zara together make A and Z. :)
2) Nick started to really annoy me in the beginning of this book. I'm not even sure exactly what it is about him that did that to me, but I started to lose a lot of my preconceived interest in him when Astley was introduced. Zara's caring for Nick, however, made me begin to like him again, because everything Zara experiences, I feel like I experience it right along with her (which is what I was really getting at with this #2).
3) Zara loses a lot of her original awkwardness, which makes me glad, because that was what really turned me off of NEED. I'm glad I stuck with this series, because Zara really comes into her own in CAPTIVATE. Astley may bring some of that out of her, but it's out, nonetheless.
4) The action was a lot more prominent in CAPTIVATE. In NEED, I felt like it was just kind of there because it needed to be, but in CAPTIVATE it was a lot more natural, like it actually should've happened instead of just happening because what-the-heck.
What happened at the end of this book really surprised me. I thought it was going to take longer to happen, like maybe at the end of the third, or at the beginning of the fourth, but it's happened, and I can't change that.
CAPTIVATE was more captivating than NEED, and if I hadn't have had ENTICE right there to read, I would have been extremely angry with that cliffhanger. In fact, I probably would've thrown it out my window.
Later That Day, After My Brain Has Had Time to Recuperate
See the "Seriously. Like, wow" comment above, in the first section? Yeah. That's what this book was like. The book was a constant action-and-drama-fest. People rip on MacKayla "Lane" all the time, but I don't see what's so wrong with her. I mean, besides all the Barbie-type mannerisms and hair flips and unwillingness to use dye, she's actually quite a kick-ass chick. (Please pardon my French.) For me, she's totally likeable and non-stereotypical (I mean, maybe I'm biased, since I played with Barbies when I was five. [Yeah. Deal with it.]), and I loved her heroism and the immediate revenge-factor after her sister's mysterious and cryptic death. All of the characters were likeable, really, including the Mr. Mysterious Jericho Barrons (whom I adored, really, but didn't see the OMG-death-from-attraction factor). I was a little thrown off by how seemingly important V'lane was in the summary, but in the book, he only showed up twice (or maybe three times; the middle-ish of the book is a little hazy). The Ireland setting was described well, as was her hometown (her backyard, especially), and I felt like her sister would've been a great person if I'd have known her while she was alive. Maybe a lot like Mac, but still a good person. (And, seriously. The name. Mac? I'd personally go by Kayla if MacKayla was my name. Hearing 'Mac' reminds me of the Disney movie CARS.)
If I could only use one word to describe this book (whether it be short, long, medium, descriptive, simple, or in-between), it'd simply be terrifying...moreIf I could only use one word to describe this book (whether it be short, long, medium, descriptive, simple, or in-between), it'd simply be terrifying. Don't tell me you haven't gotten the horror vibes from this book! How creepy would it be to walk into school and find etchings like TOUCH ME , ONLY YOU CAN SAVE ME , and SAVE MY SOUL inscribed into your desk? I don't know about you, but I'd be absolutely, mind-blowingly horrified.
That's the feeling this book gives off. The horror aspect of the novel is illustrated gorgeously in your head. You feel like you can't turn pages fast enough to just get to the frickin' end and SEE WHAT HAPPENS ALREADY. The challenges OCD presents to Kendall and her friends is valid (other reviews have said it's completely falsified and shallow), but I know otherwise, because, for one, McMann's daughter has it, and I don't know an easier way to figure out how OCD works than to go to your daughter; and, for two, I have a mild, self-prescribed case of it as well. I mean, I don't have to face all of the difficult challenges Kendall does (uh, hence the "mild" part), nor do I feel trapped by it, but by all means I know what it's like to struggle with it.
One thing about CRYER'S CROSS that makes me really happy (especially considering this is a horror novel, and I can point to specific horror novels that don't do this, or don't do it well) is how resolved the story is. I know exactly where the horrific aspect of the novel comes from, and I know what happens to the cause, which deeply satisfies me, more than an open-ended version would. I like knowing what/who/where did this, and I like how it's not left for me to try and make an informed decision about, left with a million branches, and I have to find the right one. I don't like when authors do this because the story feels horribly gypped and like the author didn't know enough about his/her own story to create a coherent ending. That being said, McMann didn't totally overcrowd our heads with information about the conclusion, just gave us enough info to where we're satisfied but there's still a little bit of an open ending as to what happened to the characters and the horror aspect.
McMann is an extremely versatile author, being able to go from YA fantasy (THE UNWANTEDS, coming Sept '11) to this. I just now put her on the non-existent list of i-will-buy-anything-this-author-writes (which, you know, I really should make a shelf for).
CRYER'S CROSS is a gripping tale with a perfect resolution that I couldn't get out of my head for days . . . fantastic and horrifying! (less)
DRAGON'S OATH took me exactly 28 minutes and 17.5 seconds to read. That's it. No joke. I timed myself. That being said, there's not a whole lot of new and exciting content. It almost seemed like a short story to me, one with a lot of really extended, unnecessary detail.
The first chapter and the epilogue were in present-day HoN, and chapters two through eight were back when Dragon was Marked and all the chaos that ensued. (I know. Eight chapters. That's it?) Nevertheless, the novella was really well-written, and although it lacked length, it made up for it in plot and characterization. The primary reason DRAGON'S OATH wasn't five pages was because every chapter ended on the left page, the right page after was blank, the left page after had an illustration, and the right page started the next chapter. So, basically, about three pages are blank per chapter, which just seems lazy on PC's part.
That all being said, PC and Kristin Cast's latest miniature (literally) installment in the House of Night series was thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed reading about the spell casting and about the Darkness, a prominent theme in current House of Night books (AWAKENED, I'm sure DESTINED as well), and I'm sure we'll hear more about that in future books. I look forward to DESTINED!(less)
May I just say how clever the premise for this book is? Everyone with a single ounce of creativity is Unwanted and "executed," and everyone who's athl...moreMay I just say how clever the premise for this book is? Everyone with a single ounce of creativity is Unwanted and "executed," and everyone who's athletic or intelligent stay and are deemed Wanted? That is single-handedly the most clever premise I've read in a long time. That's true fantasy, a whole world spawned from just a single question. McMann doesn't fall flat of what I expected from this wonderful idea. In fact, I didn't even know what this was going to be about until I read the Introduction. I was engrossed!
And, also, may I say how big and how unexpected of a switch-up this is from McMann's normal stuff (paranormal romance! I know),? I feel like this is a completely different author here, because her paranormal books are written in such short, edgy, gripping sentences and this book is written in vivid, languid, fluid prose that just jumps off the page and into your head. I can't say which I like better, because in her paranormal stuff, you're just constantly flipping pages and you're haunted by the story, but in this middle-grade fantasy novel, you're just completely entranced by the beautiful language and you can't stop reading.
No matter what, I officially present McMann the Most Versatile Author Award!
(I just made that! On a complete whim.) Seriously, though. How can you not agree with me? Freakin' polar opposites here, and she can do 'em both. That takes some serious writing mojo.
This has to be the most creative book I've ever read. McMann doesn't fall short of my expectations, which I appreciate to the fullest extent. The ending of this book is totally open-ended, so you really have no idea of knowing whether or not this will be a series. Honestly, I'd just prefer this to be a stand-alone, but I'm open to another book or three of THE UNWANTEDS.
Gripping and languid, THE UNWANTEDS is McMann's most creative book yet, with a premise to "die" for; I was quickly engrossed into Alex's world of misery and new hope, and when I reached the end I was deeply saddened -- saddened, that is, by the fact that I'm left hanging with no sequel within reach. I strongly recommend you pick this up!(less)
If I could only say one thing about First Grave on the Right, it's that the main character Charlotte "Charley" Davidson is ROFLMAO, pee-your-pants, sn...moreIf I could only say one thing about First Grave on the Right, it's that the main character Charlotte "Charley" Davidson is ROFLMAO, pee-your-pants, snort-and-snicker-in-the-middle-of-class funny. Her constant witty remarks about random observations will keep you laughing into the wee hours of the morning. But, since I'm allowed more than just one thing to say, I'm going to also say that the premise of the novel is devilishly clever, and the supporting cast of characters is nothing short of entertaining. Something about First Grave felt like it was missing, but I can't place a finger on it. The mystery of the novel is . . . well, mysterious. One thing about First Grave that slightly annoyed me was how Jones gave some supporting characters nicknames that Charley had created, and she'd go back and forth calling that character by both names. In Uncle Bob's case, it took me until the book was nearly halfway over to determine that his nickname was him and not a different character.
If you're looking for a book with high-quantity and -quality humor, First Grave is for you! If you're looking for a book with a well-developed and shrouded-in-darkness mystery, First Grave is for you! If you're looking for a spunky, kick-ass heroine, First Grave is for you! `(less)
I regret to inform you that sadly, I won't be able to write a review for this impeccable masterpiece, because this series as a whole has delivered so much emotion to me over the past few weeks that I think a review would be superfluous, not just to me but to you. Verday is now one of my favorite authors. Know before you go into this series that you have no reason to be tentative or hesitant, because every single loose thread of the plot is resolved, and when you're finished with the whole series, you'll have a nice little quilt hanging on your wall with no unfinished threads.
Six stars? Seven stars? Eight stars? Ten? Twenty? Infinite? No. I can't pick a good number to fit, so I'll just have to stick with five.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)