This review is written assuming that someone reading the review of the sixth book has read the other five as well. :P.
I still remember the time when I...moreThis review is written assuming that someone reading the review of the sixth book has read the other five as well. :P.
I still remember the time when I read "The Crown Conspiracy", the first part in the Riyria Revelations. I'd discovered it online and bought it out of interest, and I was expecting a straightforward adventure story concentrating on two thieves. And something similar happened as when I read The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner - although there is not that much thieving (although more than in "The Thief", oddly enough) I liked the way it was written and kept reading the entire book. About ... say three quarters through, the story strayed from the straightforward adventure I had expected (right when they met Esrahaddon), hinting at something way deeper connecting all the books. Which is what kept me interested in the series, and the books high up on my TBR-"pile" *coughs*.
Having read the last book now, I'm really happy that my sense of foreboding turned out to be right. As last volumes of a series go, this one is pretty amazing. There have been hints at some of the themes and discoveries in earlier books, and I really enjoyed the way that all the characters used knowledge and abilities they had gained in the previous books, leaving a feeling of "Yes, this is where they were headed all along" which made for a very satisfying read.
Character-wise I felt the same about everyone as I have done in the last books - which shows a consistency in writing but is rather unwelcome given that Arista is in the book. Although she is not as bad when she's not entirely focussed on her love life, she's still not the most likeable character ever created. Myron on the other hand ... :). The new characters (not that many thankfully) were rather enjoyable as well, especially Mr Rings :). Royce seems to be a little funnier in this part, or maybe I'm just more prone to the deep sarcasm type that was on full display in some places.
Plot-wise I have to say that, although I saw one major thing coming (since book two actually), I was surprised by many other turns. I especially liked the ending (as in the last pages of the last chapter) and I cannot believe that I never thought about that. Maybe a slight spoiler in my next point, therefore I hid it. (view spoiler)[I have to say I was a bit weary about some issues - mostly in regards to racism - but I was really happy about the explanations given, and about the developments in the end (especially about the fact that those will happen slow enough to actually work out. (hide spoiler)] I thought the author's note in the end was really interesting, but it probably won't be that way for everybody.
All in all, this book took me a short while to get into, but after that it was an enjoyable read, especially at those points which held referenced to the previous books in the series.
I'd like to end this review with one of my favorite quotes from Myron ... "When you expect nothing from the world - not the light ot the sun, the wet of water, nor the air to breathe - everything is a wonder and every moment a gift." .. and just say "Thank you for this series, Mr Sullivan".
PS: Normally, if you enjoyed this series, I would really recommend the series about Ji by Pierre Grimbert. Unfortunately, it has only been published in France and Germany. So if you speak either French or German, go ahead and read it (I promise you will like it), otherwise - I still hope it gets published in English someday.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
"Rache" ist, nach "Sturm" und "Verrat", der dritte und letzte Band in Claudia Kerns Serie um den verwaisten Thron.
Ich muss sagen, dass es mir auch vor...more"Rache" ist, nach "Sturm" und "Verrat", der dritte und letzte Band in Claudia Kerns Serie um den verwaisten Thron.
Ich muss sagen, dass es mir auch vor dem Lesen des dritten Bandes so ging wie vor dem Lesen des zweiten: Ich erinnerte mich nicht mehr an viel, nur an einzelne Szenen. Diese sah ich jedoch wie einen Film vor mir. Während des Lesens fielen mir einige Dinge wieder ein, und so fiel es mir auch nicht schwer, der Geschichte gut zu folgen. Doch ich bin mir sicher, dass in einer Weile auch von Band drei eher einzelne Szenen als Handlungsstränge in meinem Kopf haften bleiben.
Dies liegt sicher eher an den Charakteren denn an mangelndem Handlungsaufbau. Es geschehen genügend Irrungen und Wirrungen, um den Leser auf Trab zu halten. Die Charaktere ändern sich jedoch - mit einer Ausnahme - quasi überhaupt nicht. (Zumindest diese, die lang genug überleben, damit sie sich ändern könnten.) Der Charakter jedoch, den ich am wenigsten leiden kann, ist immer noch Protagonistin Ana. Und in diesem Buch sagt ihr auch endlich mal jemand die Meinung. Nicht, dass es sehr viel nützt, aber es war schön, es mal zu sehen:
"Hört auf wegzulaufen [...] Ich bin es satt, Euch dabei zuzusehen, wie Ihr von einem Blödsinn in den nächsten rennt, nur weil Ihr Euch selbst nicht ins Auge blicken könnt." (S. 347)
Die offenen Fragen werden eigentlich beantwortet, wenngleich das Ende doch recht offen ist und vermuten lässt, dass ein Buch, sagen wir zehn Jahre später angesiedelt, noch möglich ist.
Alles in allem macht dies vier Sterne, auch wenn ich fast niemanden leiden konnte ;).
PS: Es kommen einige wirklich widerwärtige Beschreibungen vor, nicht so sehr brutaler oder sexueller Natur, aber besonders in Bezug auf die Magie. Nicht lesen, wenn man so etwas nicht verträgt!(less)
In "Timeless", Alexia finally finds out what her father has been up to, and finally warms a bit to coffee, if only of the heavily honey-flavoured kind...moreIn "Timeless", Alexia finally finds out what her father has been up to, and finally warms a bit to coffee, if only of the heavily honey-flavoured kind.
As Gail Carriger's style of writing has been consistent throughout, it is unnecessary to mention that book five is just as witty and funny as the other four. And with "Timeless" being the last book in the series, there are some secrets revealed (again), questions answered and loose ends tied up.
With all the travelling undertaken in this book, there are some new characters introduced, some of which are interesting and some not so much. There's also a lot of steampunk-y technological stuff, really well described, as it left me wanting to buy one thing or the other immediately. Also, thankfully, Alexia is not pregnant in this book, which means she can afford to storm off after every new idea.
Why this book won't get five stars is simply because I felt that while it was a very interesting installment, it paled in comparison to book four, "Heartless". The revelations were better, the solutions more elegant, and less questions left unanswered. So, don't fear; this wraps up the series quite nicely. Do go ahead and read it, you will miss out on a whole lot of Alexia behaving totally undignified otherwise. And then you wouldn't be able to gossip about it!
FYI, the things I still wonder about... (Please note, it is called "spoiler tags" for a reason.) (view spoiler)[What will Prudence's new name be? Who will take over the hatshop now? And will Ivy get a house service now she can't leave the house? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well ... that was an unexpected finish to the series about Conn, the thief-turned-wizard. (By the way, if you haven't read books one and two yet, plea...moreWell ... that was an unexpected finish to the series about Conn, the thief-turned-wizard. (By the way, if you haven't read books one and two yet, please pick up Stolen and Lost, and go away.)
Here's what happened before: In book one, Stolen, two bad guys from Wellmet tried to steal the city's magic and nearly destroyed it in the process. In book two, Lost, Conn travelled to Desh, where a magical being coming from a vanished place called Arhionvar was destroying everything it could find. And so the magic of Desh was lost.
Now on to book three, "Found". Yes, you are right, magic is found again. And not just that, the reason for magic is discovered in this book; a development which I really enjoyed.
If I thought "Lost" was emotionally difficult for Conn, I don't know what to think now. Because that is nothing compared to the growing up the little boy has to do in book three. (!!!) The story is also getting bigger, and the world more complicated, unfortunately compared with somewhat of a less gripping and more rushed writing than there was in the other two books. (Sadly seems to be a common thing though.)
Storywise, all plotlines were fulfilled - if a bit more bloody than I would have thought. And way less romantic than I would have thought, which is a good thing seeing how we're dealing with 14-year-olds.
All in all, this series deserves four stars overall; and while I wasn't enamoured with the climax sequence, I really enjoyed the idea of the aftermath, which means that this book gets four stars as well :).(less)
"The Shape Stealer" is the last book in a series. As usual, here's a (relatively) spoiler-free o...moreReview crossposted to 238 books in 238 days. ----------
"The Shape Stealer" is the last book in a series. As usual, here's a (relatively) spoiler-free overview over the first two books before I start the review for this one.
Black Swan Rising tells the story of the young jeweller Garet James who discovers a fae world that exists alongside us in downtown New York. Story-wise this is a fairly conventional YA novel, even though there are some moments of originality. What made this one stand out for me however was the collaboration between writer Carol Goodman and her poet husband Lee Slonimsky. With every sentence you could feel their love for language, and this made "Black Swan Rising" an utter joy to read. (You can see how much I loved it in my review here.)
The second book in the series, The Watchtower, was still nicely written (although not as beautiful as the first one), but it offered a somewhat convoluted plot, introducing time-travel and unnecessary historical figures that seemed like comic book characters. I still liked it because there was enough of the interesting mythology and beautiful writing left (and Paris is at least as interesting as New York), but I wasn't too sure about the future of this series.
Unfortunately, "The Shape Stealer" continues the previous trend. Less focus on the beautiful language, the inclusion of poems seems rather forced now, and the plot is just a mess. A kitschy mess to boot, and here's my recommendation: Read the first book Black Swan Rising because it is truly beautiful. Give the other two a miss.
To get a bit more into spoilery details - young Will is a total disaster. He was supposed to be arrogant and cocky, instead he is a bit egocentric and extremely naive. Old Will is not better than in book two where he was a bit of a nuisance. (I'm not getting into Garet's constant use of "old Will/young Will" here, that was clearly a rubbish decision on the authors' part.) The time-travel plot is getting completely out of hand. You need to make clear who is where and why and what they know, and this doesn't happen. I also highly doubt the science. I would have been alright with no science at all, but to make up science wrongly is not okay. (And I highly doubt Kepler would have been able to remark on "the universe not being multidimensional, but rather a multi-faceted cluster of not perfectly aligned polygones". It was the 17th century. I already disbelieved the atom-based explanation of the time-travel, but that one was too much.)
What with the plot turning weird and Garet ignoring her position as watchtower to sort out her romantic problems, I will just direct you to my recommendation above. If you haven't yet read the second one, don't bother. Black Swan Rising is excellent on its own. (less)
Look, look, look! A book where there are things happening!!!
Seriously though, besides Gwen *finally* using her brain for making plans and acting grown...moreLook, look, look! A book where there are things happening!!!
Seriously though, besides Gwen *finally* using her brain for making plans and acting grown-up, this is the biggest improvement from the second book. Granted, the ending (as in, the last few hours of those two weeks or less covered in the series) feels a bit rushed, but at least there's finally something going on. Character-wise there have been improvements all around - with the exception of Lucy and Paul, who grow more and more dull the more I hear about them. Xemerius makes up for that though, and Raphael also marks a welcome change.
I didn't see it coming how they were going to overthrow the bad guy, and I can't decide whether that's a good thing or not. But the author has obviously spent a lot of effort in coordinating who goes when and where and what has been happening for the people they meet there. Her head must really have looked like a metro plan after that.
All in all, not a great YA series, but a good one. I'm not a huge fan of the ending, especially considering that the series only spans about two weeks, and no one ever gets the time to talk about what will happen after this is over, but I quite enjoyed the rest. And Gideon *is* hot. And I want Xemerius. Scratch that. I NEED him.(less)
"The Goddess Inheritance" is the sequel to The Goddess Test, in which 17-year-old Kate found herself facing tests to become Hades' wife and queen, and...more"The Goddess Inheritance" is the sequel to The Goddess Test, in which 17-year-old Kate found herself facing tests to become Hades' wife and queen, and its follow-up Goddess Interrupted, in which Kate had to learn to trust her love.
"The Goddess Inheritance" starts out some months after the events of "Goddess Interrupted". There's never really a flashback to what happened during those missing months, so I was a bit miffed about that.
Kate - being Kate and therefore still insecure - has learned to trust in Henry, but now she has to learn to trust herself and her own abilities as well. The rest of Olympus isn't always as cooperative as Kate might have liked, and the added complications (see end of book two) don't make her life any easier.
There's quite a lot of action this time, even if some scenes aren't described as vividly as they should. But then again, Kate doesn't understand the powers, so how should she be able to accurately describe all that's going on. After some twists and turns, the final outcome was somewhat unexpected, if more meaningful than what I'd originally thought.
If you're starting to read this and worry about Kate's mega-tantrums - stop worrying, and ignore that for now. You've come all the way to book 3, you want to know how it ends, don't you?(less)
Expect spoilers for Earth Girl (#1) and Earth Star (#2).
Having loved Earth Girl, I was really apprehensive about the extra-terrestrial thing and the m...moreExpect spoilers for Earth Girl (#1) and Earth Star (#2).
Having loved Earth Girl, I was really apprehensive about the extra-terrestrial thing and the military when I started Earth Star. But I really liked the second book as well, finally admitting to myself that I actually do have a liking for the military - and for the subtle manipulations used all through the book. Therefore, when I went into book three, I was less apprehensive, because even though I worried a tiny bit about miracle cures and whatnot, I trusted Janet Edwards enough to make the right decisions and don't disappoint me with an awful ending or hideous twists to the story to make it "more exciting".
I did however have to find myself the right time to read this at though, because the prologue screamed at me to put the book down and come back later when I would be able to finish it in one sitting. I managed that (almost), and finally found some quiet time to dive back in.
Jarra's general grumpiness, which just switches its target from time to time, is still there, as is her tendency to think that everything that happens is because of her. (This is also the expectation one has as a reader, even though "Earth Star" has told us that there is deviancy in the higher ranks of the military, assholery in bureocracy, and we all know that Lecturer Playdon knows fully well what he's doing at all times.) Fian is as helpful and understanding as ever, and there is still no triangle (THANK YOU!).
The alien thing is sitting there, waiting, and tbh, I kinda lost interest. Which is not due to faults in plotting, but rather down to me and my love for politics. And there is A LOT of politics in this book. The reader learns more and more about the world, especially about Jarra's heritage in Beta sector. And there is a lot of political intrigue, and when Jarra mentioned that she had completely forgotten about the alien box, I had as well. Then something happened with the alien thing, and more politics in between, and then there's the ending; final and well-rounded, but also open to the future, and I like it. I like imagining what might happen next.
But mostly I just really loved the politics :).(less)