Obviously I had far too high expectations of this one since I really loved 'Aloha from Hell', but honestly I was a tiny bit disappointed. Maybe only e...moreObviously I had far too high expectations of this one since I really loved 'Aloha from Hell', but honestly I was a tiny bit disappointed. Maybe only every other novel in the series works for me. I liked the first and the third one, the second - not so much and I can't say I'm a huge fan of this one. Following this logic 'Kill City Blues' should be very much to my taste. Not that this one was particularly bad but I felt like it stayed more on the surface, nothing all that exciting really happened. It looked a bit like a build-up-to-something-else novel. I suppose the main thing would be in the next installment.
So, Stark is the new Lucifer and he hates it, big surprise .... There are several attempts to kill him, he travels back to L.A. Chaos rules over the City of Angels, nothing new again, a secret society of so-called dreamers, who are supposedly responsible for maintaining the balance in the lives of regular people by dreaming this into reality, is on the brink of destruction after its members are killed one by one. An ancient group of creatures called Godeaters, currently residing in a different dimension, makes an appearance. Stark gets to interact with a few ghosts, encounters some new weapons and might get a solution to his problem of being Lucifer and that just about sums it up. What I want to know is, where's that fruitcake of an angel Aelita? Just one scene with her here is not enough.
Nevertheless I think I'm going to give it 3.5 stars and I still believe that it only serves as a transition to the main event which may take place in the next book.(less)
I want natural blue hair and I want to be given a new foreign language as a gift on every birthday! I'm joking, I don't really need the blue hair.
Firs...moreI want natural blue hair and I want to be given a new foreign language as a gift on every birthday! I'm joking, I don't really need the blue hair.
First of all, thanks Rhea for the recommendation and thanks for bugging me to read it till I finally did.
I cannot explain why exactly, but the very first sentence of the book made me determined to read it. 'Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.' (the feather touch was nice as well) - simple, yet absolutely intriguing.
Honestly, up until the very end of the book I was hoping I could give it 5 stars but couldn't bring myself to do it. Laini Taylor is an extremely talented story-teller. I loved her version of the angel-devil conflict. While the angels to a certain extent were portrayed in the traditional way, save for several details about they way they lived, I really liked her version of the demons as chimaeras - composed of different parts from different creatures. Plus, she tried to convey the idea that neither the angel race was intrinsically good, nor the chimaeras were evil. It's all a point of view. There weren't that many surprising revelations, that could not be guessed in advance or at least gotten a general idea about, before them being fully explained but as I said I enjoyed immensely the overall story, which was infused with so many original ideas and triggered the imagination of the readers, immersing them in an exciting fantasy world.
And now the bad part a.k.a. why I subtracted a whole star from the rating. The love story! Ewwww, it was terrible! I know I'm being harsh, maybe it's me, my tolerance towards stupid romantic stories is gradually nearing zero. Actually, it wasn't as bad as some others that make me puke in my mouth a little when I read them, but still ruined it all to a certain extent. Madrigal and Akiva's story was a bit more tolerable than Akiva and Karou's. And I know this might make some readers want to stone me to death - but in my opinion Akiva was the most annoying character in the entire book. What a wuss! Why couldn't it be about a bad-ass girl, raised by a foster family of out-of-this-world creatures, who's running errands, collecting teeth for a chimaera magician and maybe, just maybe have a romantic subplot. OK, I realize I'm asking for too much, but while reading it I just wanted to delete some parts and construct my perfect version of the story, alas I'm not Laini Taylor and that's her novel. For now I'll just pretend that she did this in order to appeal to a larger audience since the rest of the book was pure awesomeness!(less)
*May contain some spoilers* What can I say about Ms. Ee debut novel? ... Overall it's a great spin on the angels/fantasy/paranormal/post-apocalyptic to...more*May contain some spoilers* What can I say about Ms. Ee debut novel? ... Overall it's a great spin on the angels/fantasy/paranormal/post-apocalyptic topic, considering the amount of trash written in that area. It kept me reading which is no small fete, since it's been hard to keep me interested recently.I think I like the second part of the book more since it was more action-packed, I have to admit I got a little scared it would turn into one of 'those' PNR novels when some hints about the romance between Penryn and Raffe started to appear, because, seriously, I'm sick of that and in addition I don't think I'm in a mood to read about some mushy romantic story. Thankfully, it remained a subplot. What prevented it from getting a 5 star rating? Well, the things that almost got it a 3-star one. The story raised a great amount of questions that remained unanswered. For example, why did the angels attack the human race? OK, I know there were places where Raffe said they didn't even know the reason, but still , just a hint, please? Then that thing about scorpion angels and Nazi-like experiments on little kids, absolutely no explanation. I'm assuming Susan Ee is building up the reader's interest in the series, so that they'll be sure to pick up the next installment. And what I found a major bugger was that it took Penryn 2/3 of the book to realize Raffe is actually Raphael. COME OOON!!! That was plain as the nose on your face, I mean I never, even for a minute, thought that he could be anyone else but him from the moment he said his name was Rah-fie. But history knows worse crimes against the reader's intelligence, so that small detail could be overlooked. What remains now is to wait and see if Ms. Ee's second book will do justice to the reputation she has acquired so far.(less)
*Warning: May contain spoilers!* This one was by far the best in the series. Unlike the other two books, there was not a single moment where I question...more*Warning: May contain spoilers!* This one was by far the best in the series. Unlike the other two books, there was not a single moment where I questioned my picking up the book. So here we go again with James Stark and a new chapter of his story. There isn't much 'stage' time for his sort-of sidekicks Kasabian, Vidocq and Candy, though. They are present predominantly till mid-novel and then they are only mentioned here and there, while the plot mainly focuses on Stark, who, by the way, gets sent to Hell ... again. The good news is, this time it's on his own volition. The reason? To save Alice, who it turns out is dragged there by his archnemesis Mason and his partner in crime the looney tunes angel Aelita. I actually missed her, I always burst out laughing trying to picture her screaming 'Abomination!' to Stark. Also here we get to meet all different types of deities and having read that Kadrey based his writing on researching mythology books, I believe he did check his facts on all of them, so, it means the reader gets educated a bit on mythological creatures. My favorite part should be when Lucifer's generals rebel against Mason and his intention to conquer Hell. The description of the armies was amazing, only if it were longer! And this time Kadrey outdid himself in gruesomeness - having Jack the Ripper skinned alive, sorry dead but not terminally, if that's the way to explain the term, and hanging from a hook, yikes! So, I won't go on and share more facts from the book in case you lose interest, just go and read it! All I'm going to say is that the end was quite promising and if Richard Kadrey puts a real effort into it, another mind-blowing read might come out!(less)
This is one of the bad boys in the paranormal genre - it's grim and gritty, it's violent with crass language and basically with no hint of romance, w...more This is one of the bad boys in the paranormal genre - it's grim and gritty, it's violent with crass language and basically with no hint of romance, which seems to dominate the supernatural and urban fantasy books nowadays. It's summed up in - Life sucks and then you die. Meet James Stark, a badass and a so-so magician, who was one day dragged to Hell and dropped in the arena to fight all types of monsters for the amusement of Hellions and serving Azazel, one of Lucifer's generals, who sometimes gave him additional assignments. He wasn't expected to survive but now he's back from Hell, walking over the dead bodies of a couple of infernal generals, to seek revenge for the death of his girlfriend Alice. Throughout the story the reader meets demons, fallen angels, Neo Nazis, Lolita wannabes, angels, anti-angels and a plethora of various supernatural beings, not to forget a talking head. And one also gets some information on Stark's, already a.k.a. Sandman Slim, origin that even he is surprised to discover. There were times when I got a bit bored but as a whole it was pretty captivating as it was some sort of a breath of fresh air and very different from what I had read before. And if what I hear is right and this is the weakest one in the series, the follow-up should be great. I'm keeping my hopes up.(less)
I guess I had far too high expectations of this book which apparently weren't fulfilled. It was probably because of the high rating and the numerous p...moreI guess I had far too high expectations of this book which apparently weren't fulfilled. It was probably because of the high rating and the numerous praises it has received from a lot of readers. The idea about the angels being the bad guys as a whole was pretty good and I may say it started rather strongly in the beginning but somewhere toward the middle of it with the unfolding romance between Willow and Alex it became unbearably mushy. In fact, it went straight down in the dumps, I can't even describe how incredibly bad it was, a cheap soap opera has nothing on it. It seemed like it was written for absolutely mindless people, the simplicity of it killed any romantic feelings that it tried to incite. The basic idea of the plot was kind of original and not as widely-spread, at least in my opinion, although I don't have that much of experience with paranormal books, thus my view on it might not be the most reliable criterion on judging a book. (less)
I still refuse to accept the fact that someone decided to publish this ... uhm book. It was by far one of the worst things I have ever read, if not th...moreI still refuse to accept the fact that someone decided to publish this ... uhm book. It was by far one of the worst things I have ever read, if not the worst. It read like really really bad fan fiction. Lexically it was absolutely simplistic and I believe the vocabulary of a 8-year-old could be quite complex compared to this one. And the plot ... oh my... don't get me started. I was reading, scratch that, breezing through the story and couldn't believe how utterly stupid it was. The main characters, I'm sure, had a negative IQ. I could go on and on with my rant about what a piece of crap this book was but there is no need. It will suffice to say that it would make everything I read next a complete literary masterpiece, it won't be easy to find something equally as bad. (less)
Twilight anyone? So, the book is highly reminiscent of the Twilight series. At quite a few places it was like some kind of a rendition of it with a tw...moreTwilight anyone? So, the book is highly reminiscent of the Twilight series. At quite a few places it was like some kind of a rendition of it with a twist. Then why the 4-star grade? Well, seeing as lately there have been far too many Twilight spin-offs, and having in mind that Twilight itself may have borrowed from "The Vampire Diaries", I decided to keep an open mind and forget about all references that could be made to other books. Good thing is we don't hear too much whining on Beth's side, well, she does have her moments, but pretty much she keeps a rather level head and avoids being the googly-eyed, all consumed by her boyfriend female protagonist of similar books. And Xavier tries not to be the over-bearing, overly protective knight in shining armor. It's refreshing to actually have a story apart from the romance between the two main characters, and one that keeps you invested in the novel. All in all it's a nice book. Not one that I'll be raving about, or one I would re-read, but it kept me entertained. It was a well-developed story with a nice plot and a good language use. A rather quick read that you can while away time with. And now I'm waiting for the next two parts, hoping they won't disappoint me.(less)