*Spoilers ahead* With a heavy heart I have decided that I can not give this book a rating higher than one star.
The good: Beautiful prose. Rick Yancey*Spoilers ahead* With a heavy heart I have decided that I can not give this book a rating higher than one star.
The good: Beautiful prose. Rick Yancey is one of those writers whose prose is absolutely poetic and breathtakingly beautiful. Reading his written word is a pleasure, he is a wordsmith of the highest caliber. Yancey's turn of phrase is absolutely compelling and emotive. Monsters. Yancey creates some truly horrific and completely believable monsters. The return of favorite characters. Namely Lilly, Warthrop, and Von Helrung (*weeps bitterly* poor poor Von Helrung). And the setting and time period, Yancey is one of those writers who can really drop you into a world and make you feel like you are part of it. I love that.
The bad: Everything else. I've been a devoted fan of these books from the moment they came out, following along on Will Henry's journey and his dysfunctional at best, and abusive at worst, relationship with Dr. Warthrop. But, BUT, the shining star of this book for me, has always been Will's bravery, and goodness, and the love he has for Dr. Warthrop, and I believe (though at times it is so buried) Warthrop's love for him.
As much as I'm interested in monsters (YES PLEASE!), what I have always found most compelling about this series has always been the relationship between Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop.
There has always been some instance of redemption in every single book that shows Warthrop does care for Will, and that Will has not given up on Warthrop.
That was not there in this book.
Will's character is so completely changed in this book that it felt like a cruel betrayal. Where was the boy I had grown to love, who was forced to do horrible things, but did them anyways for the people he cared about? Where was the Dr. who made a million mistakes, but showed by one gesture, tiny as it may be, that he cared, in fact, loved Will Henry?
And the ending. I've read some reviews of people who said "after all Will had been through, that was the only way it could end, it was fitting." To which I say, what a load of crap.
It did NOT have to end that way. Because the Will I know could make hard choices, could sacrifice when needed, but was not ever maliciously. . . evil.
That's something I loved about this series, that Will always showed he had the power to choose his own destiny, even when the two options were almost equally evil, he still could CHOOSE one. To say that he couldn't, that everything in all three previous books was leading up to this one heartbreaking ending is A LOAD OF CRAP.
I don't believe it was true to his character.
The ending, the whole book, had a feeling of being rushed. And the disclaimer at the beginning by Yancey, saying how difficult it was to read Will's journals, making an excuse for what was to come, was lazy writing.
I ardently believed in this series when many others didn't, but now that it's over, and THIS is the ending, I feel very, very sad that I fought so hard to see it end with one more book. I'd rather have an ambiguous ending, it could have ended at The Isle of Blood and I would have been happier then than I am now having read this 'conclusion.'
Tis a sad day for Monstrumologists everywhere. ...more
Read this with my son, and while it did seem to keep his interest, and the premise sounded fun and interesting, I found it somewhat. . . lacking. AndRead this with my son, and while it did seem to keep his interest, and the premise sounded fun and interesting, I found it somewhat. . . lacking. And that is not at ALL because it is a MG book. There was very little depth to the characters, and plotting that seemed rushed. Omniscient narration, coincidental plot devices, and some very nonsensical world building abounded and that drove me crazy. ...more
An excellent comprehensive for beginning sculptors (since I am one I should know ;). Emily's directions and tips are very easy to understand and folloAn excellent comprehensive for beginning sculptors (since I am one I should know ;). Emily's directions and tips are very easy to understand and follow, and what I like best is that she shows techniques and how they would be useful for a given subject, not necessarily specific to one sculpture from start to finish. I've already used a lot of her tips and they have been so helpful! An excellent read for anyone interested in sculpting techniques. ...more
The thing that I find most enjoyable about this series is how Alex's character is changing. She is still completely snarky and sarcastic on the outsidThe thing that I find most enjoyable about this series is how Alex's character is changing. She is still completely snarky and sarcastic on the outside, but the inner changes are what I find very compelling. Especially where we leave Alex at the end of this book. I won't spoil anything, but I am kind of dying for the last book to come out. But when am I not with one of Jennifer's books? ...more
The only redeeming qualities I felt this book had were:
1. Fitzgerald's moments of absolutely beautiful prose. 'It was one of those rare smiles with aThe only redeeming qualities I felt this book had were:
1. Fitzgerald's moments of absolutely beautiful prose. 'It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced - or seemed to face - the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on YOU with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.'
2. The satirical humor that was far less than I would have liked based on Nick's fleeting moments of perception of the absurdity of the vapid people surrounding him.
3. Owl Eyes rhapsody over the shelves of REAL BOOKS. 'Absolutely real - have pages and everything. Here! Lemme show you!'
4. Gatsby's never ending pursuit of his dream. Misguided, and foolish (as far as Daisy's concerned), but his perseverance and desire to 'be better' hit home in a powerful way. Especially when his father showed Nick the page in one of Gatsby's old books listing his goals.