Ladies and gentlemen... the House of Night series is finally over.
(I've been waiting to say that for years. Literally. Years. Although I hoped I wouldLadies and gentlemen... the House of Night series is finally over.
(I've been waiting to say that for years. Literally. Years. Although I hoped I would feel a little more sad about it.)
When P.C. announced that the series would be twelve books long, I became weary. Twelve books is a lot of pages to fill. Twelve books is a lot of plot that has to be present. Twelve books can become disastrous if there is nothing happening. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Pretty Little Liars, at sixteen and counting.)
Unfortunately, Redeemed falls into those hands.
I waited a few days to write this review because I was in denial. How could a series I loved so much at one point, with the hilarity and fun plot of Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, and Untamed, turn into something so... worn out? Weak and weary? Because let's face it: the last four or five of these novels have just been terrible. But now, I've got an honest review in my head, and I'm ready to say how I feel.
Although this novel is called Redeemed, it does nothing to redeem its past (and current) mistakes. I stuck around from book to book to book to book to book because I hoped, somewhat foolishly, that the steep decline in quality would somehow be able to fix itself. Even when Awakened felt like a waste of space, I remained hopeful. Even when Revealed did absolutely nothing, I stayed positive. Even when I realized in a soul-crushing moment that I no longer cared what happened to these characters, that I no longer gave a crap about who won and who lost in the "epic" battle of Light versus Darkness. Frankly, I started wanting Neferet to win.
The fact that the Casts felt the need to introduce new characters in the final installment proves their lack of ideas. I think that's what ultimately happened here: the Casts signed onto a large series deal naively, with no idea how to write one successfully. They got bored. They got lazy. (I think I counted five typos in this book, and that's coming from me, a fast reader, someone who rarely, if ever, catches mistakes.) Redeemed and the series's previous installment, Revealed, display a large lack of effort and interest. Neferet becomes a crazy, power-hungry lunatic, with absolutely nothing frightening about her, spending the novel worrying about entertainment, forging a slave out of some poor girl named Lynette. (Recognize that name? No? That's because she's a completely new character. Yep. In the twelfth freakin' book.) The gang is just as immature as always, which is nothing new. The only thing to elicit some sort of emotion out of me other than disappointment and slight annoyance was the presence of Aurox. His "Zo" calling brought about some reminiscence, as I thought about how much fun the series used to be, how much I missed the days when I enjoyed the House of Night tale.
The House of Night series could've been worthwhile if it weren't twelve books. Maybe the Casts would've taken some time and come up with original, fun plot events and characterization if they had had a smaller course load. But they didn't, and this is where they leave us: with a final installment that does nothing to atone for its previous failures.
If you're a new reader of the series and are a "series reader," meaning you need to know how it ends, read through book four (five if you're feeling patient, seven if you're a bit of a masochist) and skip to twelve. Or just try to find plot summaries online. If you haven't started, don't: there is nothing redeeming about Redeemed.
Color me vastly disappointed.
Thank The Lord this series is finally coming to an end.
Don't get me wrong, I have been a House of Night fan for a long time. I read the first four when the fourth installment had just come out, and from then on, it was a grand waiting game. Most of the 7 installments that came afterward had moments that shined, either with Cast and Cast's trademark humor or a significant moment of darkness. The last installment, however, had no redeeming qualities (pun intended). I'm pretty sure nothing noteworthy happened until the last ten pages or so. It was the first HoN novel with which I was truly disappointed.
Hopefully the Casts make this series finale something to remember. If not, I'll feel awfully bad about having wasted so much of my time thus far....more
Something about Amanda Hocking is just extremely disappointing. Even when she does things right, which she does in TIDAL, it's hard to let go of the mSomething about Amanda Hocking is just extremely disappointing. Even when she does things right, which she does in TIDAL, it's hard to let go of the mistakes and blandness.
Glow is a gripping, claustrophobic story that didn't let me go until I closed the back cover, and even then, it didn't let me go! On the surface, theGlow is a gripping, claustrophobic story that didn't let me go until I closed the back cover, and even then, it didn't let me go! On the surface, the book may just look like a space adventure story, but underneath that surface, there is so much more. Within these pages, I found morals about God, life, love, trust, and many others. One thing I love about Glow is that you never know who you can trust. Everyone in the book has a dark side, and I love it!
Don't be fooled by the bright cover: Glow is a dark and mysterious venture into the galaxy, filled with action, adventure and turmoil! I highly recommend the ride....more
From the get-go, you are thrown right back into the action. You can tell RyaWow. And I thought Glow was good!
Spark is on a whole new level of awesome!
From the get-go, you are thrown right back into the action. You can tell Ryan is the kind of author who plans everything out before she writes her books, because everything about Spark is tightly-crafted and addicting. Spark was one of those books where I said "Just one more chapter!" and stayed up until one o'clock in the morning to finish. It was seriously that addicting!
You haven't experienced intensity until you've read the end of Spark and realized how far away the third installment in the series is. The cliffhanger is of epic, massive proportions.
Spark is chilling, thrilling, and one of my favorite titles of the year!...more
At the beginning of her writing career, she brought us the stunning First Grave on the Right, which was filledReview
Darynda Jones, you rock my world.
At the beginning of her writing career, she brought us the stunning First Grave on the Right, which was filled to the brim with laughs and clever wit. After that were the next two books in the Charley Davidson series, which were filled with the laughter and wit, but in even greater amounts. Those books made my spleen hurt from laughter. Then, on October 2, 2012, Jones did something extraordinary. She ventured into YA.
The YA genre as a whole has grown a lot over the last few years, yet Jones still manages to bring something fresh, unique and downright hilarious to the table.
Death and the Girl Next Door is, at least in my opinion, Darynda's best book yet.
From the get go, I loved Lorelei. She was funny, bright, and serious when needed, especially during the upheaval of every aspect of her life when the new kid, Jared, starts going totally creeper-status on her. Not to mention the defensive and secret-hiding Cameron, who warns Lorelei of Jared's evil side...
Jones's characterization is amazing. She has a unique way of making every character awesome. Even Tabitha, the evil queen-bee of Lorelei's school, I was able to sympathize with, which is a cool thing to be able to say.
Jones's writing is also quite pleasant in places. Throughout, it's quite good, certainly not lacking, but she has a few gems dispersed in Death, particularly during the Lorelei-Jared lovey scenes. And a certain phrase that is repeated throughout the novel that cracks me up.
The beginning of Death was a bit plotless but still entertaining. The plotlessness wasn't noticeable for me after a while, because I became thoroughly invested in the characters and the situations they were in and totally forgot about the beginning. Death left me with simultaneous feelings of anxiety and satisfaction when I closed it. The ending was practically perfect: there were certain things left unsaid that were to be answered in the next two installments of the series, but also a couple of things that were resolved and left you in a happy-sigh kind of mood.
(Also, Darynda, you get a bonus star for leaving out the shoddily-constructed love triangle of doom that pops up in so many YA books du jour.)
It's official: I will read anything this fabulous lady's name is stamped on.
Cinder is a modern retelling of Cinderella, but it doesn't come ofMore owlishly good reviews at The Teen Bookworm!
Cinder, Cinder, where to start . . .
Cinder is a modern retelling of Cinderella, but it doesn't come off as so immediately. Upon the mentioning of a ball, and a prince, it soon dawned on me like a frying pan to the face. Other than those two things, it doesn't have much connection to Cinderella as we know it . . .
. . . but what it does have is an amazing, twistful plot and some rockin' characters!
Seriously, guys! Cinder had so much action and tension that when I had to put it down, I would rather have slit my wrists. The premise is original, especially for a retelling.
And that's all I have to say about the masterpiece that is Cinder.
Basically, Carter skirted around the actual action and spent too much time focusing on the Kate/Henry thing. The book had a lot of potential, but it wBasically, Carter skirted around the actual action and spent too much time focusing on the Kate/Henry thing. The book had a lot of potential, but it was bogged down with romance....more
"It wasn't love right away, because nothing ever is, no matter what the songs say."
This quote is toward the beginning of Cold Kiss, and it drew me in,"It wasn't love right away, because nothing ever is, no matter what the songs say."
This quote is toward the beginning of Cold Kiss, and it drew me in, not necessarily because it was interesting or thought-provoking, but because it was unlike every other YA paranormal book out there.
Cold Kiss was actually different than all the rest of the crap I'd been reading lately, filled to the brim with characters falling in love before their respective books hit page 100. (I think Fallen takes the cake, though: Luce had fallen in love with Daniel in two days.) I was doggone tired of reading about relationships with no foundation, and Cold Kiss was about to give it to me.
I didn't find the main character, Wren, to be particularly memorable or witty. I found her emotion real, on the other hand. Her boyfriend, Danny, died in a car accident a while ago, as she used her magic to bring him back to life. Of course, something went wrong, and Danny isn't the same person Wren fell in love with. Now, she has to find a way to undo the spell she cast and truly save him. Wren's emotion was almost tangible. What she felt for Danny was so believable. It was real love, love you may come across in reality.
The book takes a while to get rolling. It kind of strolls around for a little bit, stopping a couple times to smell the roses and get a whiff of fresh air before rolling on. I was interested, though, so I didn't find the wait for the good stuff to be unbearable.
Overall, Cold Kiss is one of my favorite ghost stories. ...more
Before I start, I just want to say: Charley Davidson, you are a
Charley Davidson is up to her usual antics in Second Grave, and is dare I say even funnBefore I start, I just want to say: Charley Davidson, you are a
Charley Davidson is up to her usual antics in Second Grave, and is dare I say even funnier in this installment than the last. I can pretty much guarantee witty, LMFAO humor on every page (at least, that's what it was like for me). She'll keep you up laughing for hours, and you won't be able to sleep!
The plot in Second Grave was more interesting for me as well, the mystery more realistic and intense and the structure more coherent. I'm really regretting not waiting to read this series until the third book was out! (Hopefully I'll be able to score an ARC of Third Grave Dead Ahead.) The chapter headings had me cracking up as well, but I won't ruin any of the fun for you and tell you any. :) You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself!
As I promised Jones, I tried to find a sparkly, glittery, resplendent GIF to spice this review up, but sadly all I could find was the BA GIF (that didn't work!) above. Hopefully that'll compensate for my lack of good findings.
Second Grave was everything I wanted and more. I liked it even more than the first one. I personally can't wait for Third Grave Dead Ahead, because I know Darynda Jones will spice it up and make it even more irresistible than its two predecessors. Hopefully the wait for February won't be too hard on me!
Second Grave on the Left brings spunky heroine Charley Davidson back into the spotlight, and she's funnier than ever! Surrounded by a witty, charming and seductive supporting cast, Charley delivers good, old-fashioned humor that's sure to keep you reading late into the night! A must-read series. ...more
Cute with an unrecognized intensity, SPELLBOUND is a captivating tale where the insta-love actually makes sense. That being said, the novel didn't ac Cute with an unrecognized intensity, SPELLBOUND is a captivating tale where the insta-love actually makes sense. That being said, the novel didn't actually pick up until about halfway through, but it made for a great, quick story, and I look forward to a possible sequel. ...more
the mystery was just so cardboard, and so were the characters, and my patience was running thin. it was sad to me that a novel like this, on which thethe mystery was just so cardboard, and so were the characters, and my patience was running thin. it was sad to me that a novel like this, on which the author worked hard (or at least that's what i assume happened), could turn out so generic and cheap. i rushed through the rest of the book after the 100-page mark and nothing redeemed it....more
Flash back to 2011: I was a freshman in high school, shopping at Target, and the gorgeous, illustrateThe Hereafter trilogy is my favorite ghost story!
Flash back to 2011: I was a freshman in high school, shopping at Target, and the gorgeous, illustrated cover of Hereafter caught my eye in the book section. The back cover featured a gorgeous illustration of rippling water. I was hooked. Hereafter proved to be one of my favorite ghost stories of 2011.
Flash forward to now: Arise shows up on my doorstep, with a gorgeous photograph of a girl standing in a cemetery in a gorgeous white dress with flowing hair. The cover put me in a trance; as soon as I turned the first page, I was addicted.
As much as I loved Hereafter, it had some problems: the writing seemed a bit amateur, and I wasn't completely set on the love between Amelia and Joshua. Regardless of those two things, Hereafter was fantastic, but Arise took all of the things I loved about Hereafter to an entirely new level!
The first chapter introduced me to the ReVamped Tara Hudson 2.0, with much lovelier writing, and Amelia's relationship with Joshua leapt off the page and into my heart. I was completely sold! I couldn't believe how much more everything was flowing.
In the beginning of Arise, someone Amelia never thought she would see again has returned to warn her of newfound enemies. She is told she has to leave the town, leave Joshua, leave everyone and everything she has come to love if she wants to stay alive. Well, dead. Or, alive-dead. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but Tara makes sense of the situation.
Tara introduces some new and fresh mythology, and a few key complications that made the story slide through my heart like butter. I loved the new characters introduced, especially Gabrielle.
I don't want to spoil any more of the plot, because it seems like I've already told you too much about it!
You can feel everything Amelia feels. The book is written so gorgeously, I completely forgot about the writing problem in Hereafter. I became so engrossed in the nearly tangible love story of Joshua and Amelia that when the book ended, and I realized how far away the third and final installment is now, I felt defeated.
Tara, you did everything with Arise. I really hope I get an ARC of Elegy, because I have no idea how I'm going to be able to wait that long!
I graciously received GLOW from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway, and the book was provided by the publishers, St. Martin's Press! Thank you all for I graciously received GLOW from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway, and the book was provided by the publishers, St. Martin's Press! Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity!
Actually, this is closer to three-and-a-half stars, but I don't do half stars, so it's four.
There are some books out there that are completely clear in their intentions, whose characters are completely either good or evil, whose plot is simple enough to be easily understood. Let me tell you know that GLOW is not one of those books. GLOW is not a book you sit down to read intending to finish it in one sitting and move on with your life. GLOW is one of those books you sit down to read intending to savor it and become engrossed in the not-so-clear intentions of the characters and the constant twists and turns of the plot.
GLOW is written in third-person perspective, something which doesn't enhance anything about it and seems to kind of disconnect you from the narrator characters. The reader feels more emotionally attached to a character who speaks from the first-person perspective because you think, "What if I was experiencing this?" With third-person perspective, you think someone else is experiencing it and you don't pay attention to what is really going on. The perspective of the book is one of the two factors I feel chopped off a whole star from me.
Imagine it like this:
Scenario 1 (Third-Person Narrative)
You're watching this on TV.
How do you feel? Maybe you laugh, say "Wow, that would probably hurt!" and carry on.
Scenario B (First-Person Perspective)
Your friend tells you, "Wow, I got in a really bad ski accident," which plays out like this in your head:
How do you feel? You are starstruck, say "Oh, wow, I'm so sorry! I bet that really hurt," and feel bad for them.
Which would you rather read about? The emotionally-detached one or the intense, attached one?
That's how I felt about GLOW, like it would've majorly benefited from a re-vamp perspective-wise.
Now, I have the other reason GLOW is only four stars:
Which it shouldn't be called, because the story felt in no way concluded at all. Ryan's lame attempt at a cliffhanger didn't help, either. If you've read this book, you know what I'm talking about. How it resolved felt in no way resolved, and like Ryan was just setting you up to buy the next 11 installments of the SKY CHASERS Series. The main, persistent problem set up within the first 60 pages of GLOW isn't even resolved. Something else is minorly wrapped up, but when I closed the back cover of the book, I felt in no way satisfied by the ending.
GLOW is an extremely enticing read with twists and turns around every corner, but it lacks emotionally with main characters written poorly and an open-ended conclusion that doesn't fully deliver. The cast of supporting characters is suspicious enough that you don't know who you can trust -- and when you do, you're wrong. High-octane action and suspense make GLOW a hit!...more
I wasn't all that impressed with THE BODY FINDER, and I was pretty hesitant when THE PLEDGE showed up on my doorstep. I wasn't sure Kimberly Derting dI wasn't all that impressed with THE BODY FINDER, and I was pretty hesitant when THE PLEDGE showed up on my doorstep. I wasn't sure Kimberly Derting deserved another chance. If I didn't like her first novel, what were the odds I'd like the first book in a totally different genre? How big were the chances I'd find the experience of reading her third novel like I did her first and give up on her in general? Thankfully, that wasn't the case. I'm glad I did end up giving it a chance, because it wasn't anything like THE BODY FINDER -- frankly, it was better, more creative, and more engrossing.
In the beginning of the book, I wasn't too sure I was going to like it. The pacing was like the love child of a turtle and a snail, and I wasn't really "feeling" any of the characters-- I didn't get a good grip on them, didn't feel sympathy for them during crises, and didn't care if they got hurt. As the novel progressed, however, they were displayed a little more in-depth, and I grew to love a few of them (especially Angelina).
The pacing at the end is breakneck. I found myself really engrossed in the story, and I was sad when it ends. I'm really glad Derting didn't stretch the story out and make it a series, because it ended perfectly and frankly it wouldn't have worked as a series. Everything is resolved, wrapped up in a nice little package with a pretty little bow.
If you didn't like THE BODY FINDER, fear not, because THE PLEDGE definitely steps it up a level. You won't be disappointed!...more