This was a re-read for me, before I move on to the Dream Theives, but I realized that I hadn't written a review last time, and I might as well now.
***...moreThis was a re-read for me, before I move on to the Dream Theives, but I realized that I hadn't written a review last time, and I might as well now.
***Possible Spoilers Ahead***
Things I Liked:
- Maggie Stiefvater's writing, as always. She's amazing.
- The relatively slow pace. I know, people complain about slow pacing, but it's actually something I really like when it's done well. Sometimes, I want something that doesn't reveal its answers quickly, and that doesn't have everybody running for their lives every other page. This is a quest, not a battle.
- The quest. I love quests.
- Gansey. Especially when we see the insecurity behind the politican's mask he uses to influence people.
- Ronan. I like that he is kind of an aquired taste as a person, and not immediately likable. I like that it's acknowledged that he was different before his father's death, because I think that is really relatable.
- Blue and her family. There's a particular experience of living in a house full of women (psychics or otherwise) that I think this novel captures really well. After my father died but before I was out of high school, I lived with my mother, her best friend, and my older sister. And, although there weren't any rituals or creepily-specific predictions, it was quite a bit like this.
- Noah's identity. Spectacular twist.
- Adam and Ronan's relationship. They fight, but they care about each other. It's an interesting sort of friendship.
- The Camero. The BMW. Just, generally, cars that are also kind of characters. I love that.
Things I Didn't Like
- Blue's name. I know, the weirdness gets acknowledged, and I'm being nitpicky - but I'm not fond of it.
- Lack of answers as to what actually happened to Adam during the ritual at the Ley Line.
Overall, this was a great book. I can't wait to read The Dream Theives and find out what happens to Blue and the Raven Boys next.
Once again, this was great. It was an interesting mix of both funny and depressing - and it was thoughoughly engaging the entire time. It's a continua...moreOnce again, this was great. It was an interesting mix of both funny and depressing - and it was thoughoughly engaging the entire time. It's a continuation of the first book in basically every way, except that the tone is a little bit darker this time around. There are a few more serious heart-to-heart scenes. There are no fewer lame-but-funny lines batted between Kami and her friends.
Things I Liked
- Kami. I still love her. I like that the short, funny Asian girl is the protagonist instead of the sidekick, and that she finds herself stuck in a love triangle (square?) that she really didn't intend to get into. I love the "frantic romantic merry-go-round" line she gives when somebody comments on it. I even like that she's frequently overconvident, because I think it's an interesting flaw.
- The fact that the Love Triangle isn't much of a Love Triangle. It's kind of a deconstruction of the love triangle idea instaed. Kami loves Jared, Jared loves her back but is really terrible at showing that, and Ash is enamoured with Kami but doesn't actually know her very well. Kami may bat around the idea of going for Ash, simply because it would be a less complicated relationship, but she doesn't love him. She never did. So it's never a "Oh, but who will she chooose?" kind of love triangle, because she only actually loves one of them, and the other is aware of that. That doesn't really make for a choice.
- Jared. He's grown on me, actually. I mean, I liked him in the first book, but I like him more in this one. I like that he has to stand on his own, and find the sense of self that he didn't have before.
- Ash and Jared's relationship. They resent each other at least as much as they love each other - but they're family. I also liked each of their relationships with Lillian, and how they kind of both need a parental figure and she is a hundred percent not qualified to be that, but she's still family.
- Kami and Jared's romantic relationship - I'm glad that SRB waited until the link was broken to really evolve this relationship into something romantic, because it's clear to both of them (plus the reader) that their feelings our their own. That it's not just the link they were attached to, but the other person. They both have understandable doubts, both think that the other may not feel the same way about them, and it's relatable. It's what happens when you love someone but you can't read their mind.
- That scene where Jared explains lonliness to Ash from the point of view of someone who had never really felt it before. It was haunting and tragic.
- Holly and Angela. I love them. I ship this like you have no idea.
- Holly's identity crisis. Between finding out her family is probably evil, finding out she's a sorcerer, and having a bisexuality crisis in the mix of all of that - this girl just cannot catch a break. However, I really like that we get her point of view of her crisis. Of the added POVs in this book (Holly and Ash, added to the original POVs of Kami and Jared) Holly is my favorite. Sorry, Ash. She's just more interesting.
- Rusty. Just, everything about Rusty.
- The depressing cliffhanger. I mean, it absolutely broke my heart and then ripped it violently from my chest, but that does mean I felt something. So, good on SRB.
- Emotional gratification. I wanted Kami and Jared to talk about things, they talked about them. I wanted the Water Rising-makeout identity confusion cleared up, it got cleared up. I wanted Holly to discuss her feelings with someone, she discusses them with Rusty. I wanted to see the affect that Claire's decades of lying would have on her marriage, and that got developed.
Things I Didn't Like
- Rob needs more motive. I mean, he's scary and everything, but he's probably the least-developed character in the series. And he's the primary villian, so that's kind of a problem. (Seriously. The best scene he's in is the one where he pulls a Petyr Baelish and tells the sister that's obsessed with him that he's only ever loved the other one, and then kills her. And even in that he doesn't have enough dialogue to really establish motive).
- Wasted potential in Rosalind. I wanted to see more of her and Jared's relationship fleshed out. I wanted her motivations.
- Do these kids never go to school? Like, Kami and her friends seem to never show up to class. I think they go to maybe one complete day of school in the few week span of this book. It's a bit of a problem.
***Spoilers End Here***
Overall, good middle-of-the-trilogy book. It falls a little bit into middle-of-trilogy syndome in that nothing really gets resolved, but since things get a lot worse it is a game-changer. Although I'm glad I won't have to wait an entire year for the next book, the remaining month until its release date is still going to be painful.
Also, I'm so heartbroken that I can't decide whether to give this four or five stars. I think I'll stick with four for now, but I reserve the right to bump it up to five once I've read the series in it's entirety. (less)
This whole anthology is, in so many ways, Jeremy's story (even though Jeremy only narrates one of the four short stories in the book).
"Infusion" is a...moreThis whole anthology is, in so many ways, Jeremy's story (even though Jeremy only narrates one of the four short stories in the book).
"Infusion" is about Jeremy's parents and supernatural type (and why he has both Werewolf and Kitsune powers). Even though Malcom narrates, it's really about Jeremy. "Savage" is about Jeremy rescuing Clay - something that would hugely change his life. Even though Clay narrates, it's still about Jeremy. "Ascention" is about Jeremy's rise to Alphahood, as witnessed by Clay. "Kitsunegari" is present-day Jeremy figuring out the events of "Infusion".
I loved this. I loved seeing Jeremy through Clay's eyes for most of the anthology - clouded by how much Clay idolizes him, with occasional introspection from present-day Clay, who understands Jeremy much more than he did as a child. And I loved not getting Jeremy's point-of-view until the end, because I feel like much of his story needed to be told from the outside. It needed to be told by someone who was confident in Jeremy's abilities, even when Jeremy himself wasn't. So, it needed to be told by Clay.
So, I love Jeremy. I hate Malcom exactly the way I'm supposed to hate Malcom. I love Clay from a character standpoint, even if he's never been my favorite love interest in Women of the Otherworld (just not my type, though, again, I love him as a character). I loved getting a glimpse of Jeremy and Jaime's relationship, post-No Humans Involved.
It was all great. I'm aware that I'm gushing, but I think I'm entitled to. Only short of five-stars because it's not an all-time favorite the way some of the books in the main series are. Doesn't mean I didn't love it to pieces. Just that it's background-info, not main-story.
Added Note: The parallels between young-Jeremy and Paige blew my mind. At about the same age, they take in a child with uncontrolled supernatural power and become a foster parent. It makes me think of that line Robert Vasic says to Paige in Dime Store Magic about one's early twenties being the age of idealism and the age to "put your life on hold to raise a stranger". Ah, Thematic Consistency, how I love thee.(less)
For the second Women of the Otherworld book in a row, this one was GOOD but not amazing. It's also different in storytelling format from the other boo...moreFor the second Women of the Otherworld book in a row, this one was GOOD but not amazing. It's also different in storytelling format from the other books in the series, and feels much more like a crime novel than an urban fantasy. And, to an extent, that's fine. I like crime novels. I just...don't feel like this book fits in the series.
Things I Liked
- Robyn and Damon. I thought they felt really real, as much as their story broke my heart. I liked seeing the aftermath of a love story. How "till death do you part" only really sounds romantic until one of you actually dies. When you know something should be over because it's clearly gone, but you can't let it go because you're still in love with someone. Their story was really profound in a way that I enjoyed.
- Hope grew on me. I liked her in No Humans Involved, then wasn't wild about her in Personal Demon and now I like her again. It's an odd sort of cyclical fondness-turned-bordom-turned-back-to-fondness. I think what I liked was her friendship with Robyn, and the loyalty that came with that. It was nice to see her have an intensely emotional interaction with someone other than Karl.
- Plotting was excellent as always.
- John Findlay. He was my favorite character. I like the idea of a often-confused, frequently-cranky necromancer/detective whose coworkers think he's just crazy. My feelings for him went roughly from "Look! Necromancer!" to "Honey, you need a vacation" - and I liked that progress.
- Eve! Granted, she was only in one scene, wasn't named, and it was basically a cameo appearance - but I'm always happy to see her.
- The clairvoyent cult was absolutely frightening. I have to give Armstrong credit for coming up with something that creeped me out so much.
- Sean Nast! Always happy to see him, too.
- The scene where Robyn burns the scrapbook is a favorite.
Things I Didn't Like - I felt like this book, instead of Personal Demon, should've been Hope's book. Between Robyn (the primary narrator - though there's a rotation of about five) not being supernatural, and this plot having more emotional weight for Hope than the plot of the book she does narrate - I felt like I would've preferred if Hope had narrated this one instead.
- Third Person Narration. In most circumstances, I actually prefer third-person over first, but this series is not one of those circumstances. I felt it was jarring to go from the usual series format into another one for one book. It added to the fact that this book just didn't feel like a Women of the Otherworld book.
- Besides Hope's introspection in the final chapter, this doesn't really forward the series' overarching plot. Which made it seem...skippable, as much as I hate to say it.
- This book also gets more crime-novel graphic than the other books in the series. (view spoiler)[(Particularly in that Adele - the villain - intentionally and meticulously sets up the situation in which her romantic rival is gang-raped) (hide spoiler)]. On one hand, all of the villain's actions are true to character. On the other, I felt like plenty of the not-plot-significant evil actions weren't needed for character development, and were purely for shock value.
- Hope and Karl still falls flat for me. I like that they agree to spend a little time apart from each other at the end of this book - because I think they need it. Perhaps they're having the same problem I am, in that I have no idea who they are as individuals, or even what they see in each other (not that I don't find that they have likable characteristics - they do - I just don't know what chacteristics they find likable in each other).
- Hope never got what I like to call a Save The Love Interest Moment. You know those scenes. It's when Elena ignores orders and goes to save Clay from the Mutts in Bitten, or when Paige argues with the Fates in Industrial Magic. I love those kinds of scenes. Hope never got a scene where she got to dramatically save Karl. Instead it was always Karl saving her, and that got old for me.
Overall, this is a good book. Rather, it's a good crime novel. I don't really feel like this fits in the series, and I think I would've enjoyed it more had it been a stand-alone. But, as it is, it's probably my least favorite in the series thus far, despite how undeniably well-written it is.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)