I like the fact that this book is a continuation of the previous book, Zen and the Art of Vampires,and I also like that Christian and Allie show up inI like the fact that this book is a continuation of the previous book, Zen and the Art of Vampires,and I also like that Christian and Allie show up in this book as well. Allie more as a cameo, but Christian is a secondary character here.
Over all the book was good, and continued nicely from the previous book to this one. The ending of this one, once it was revealed, made me go, "What? Whoa, you mean to tell me this whole time this situation was happening that it was something so simple, and got this messed up?! (and it involves these people????)" Needless to say, I wasn't expecting the ending, which is good, because many times I can anticipate the ending in so many books, and my guesses are usually right. It's nice when I get something different, but honestly with this book, I wasn't sure how it was going to end, but I wasn't expecting this ending for sure. I was surprised who the characters that started it all, and that they were still around too. I can't say the names because that is one of the biggest reveals at the end, but I'm sure some astute people will guess it right from reading this.
For the most part the thing I liked best is that the author stuck with some characters that we had already known before, and it gave us a bit different view of Christian and what he does. I can't remember if in the previous books where Christian is present if it mentions that he is a counsel member, one of the leaders of the Dark Ones, but he is here....more
Eh, is my response to the whole series. I read Cirque Du Freak before this one, liked that one so much that I thought I'd give vampires a second chancEh, is my response to the whole series. I read Cirque Du Freak before this one, liked that one so much that I thought I'd give vampires a second chance (the back story on that is another story altogether), and with this one being so popular, read this series after that. I guess it had better be glad that it was one of the first vampire books that I've read by now, because I would have given it a much worse rating (given my mood, Twilight gets 5.0-6.5 on a given day. If I like a book the general rating that it would get is 7.0-9.0, and very very few would get a perfect 10, Cirque Du Freak series would be one of those few too. I hate Wurthering Heights, and that book gets 3-4 rating, and that book will always be the bottom of my list).
Here are the things wrong with the series:
1. The quality of writing is only mediocre. A story with this strong of a fan base should be of an amazing quality in storytelling and weaving together of the story-lines (actually, any story should be, whether or not it has a large following). This one is only so-so (and sadly way overshadows other books of better writing that are similar in subject, i.e. Vampire Academy series, the first 3 books of Vampire Diaries, the whole Cirque Du Freak series, and any other teen/children's vampire book). This is my biggest complaint.
2. Bella is weak and whiny, and is nothing but that through most of the second book, and the rest of the series. It chafes my butt to see lead female characters in childrens' and teen literature be so spineless. Girls need as many good role models as they can get during those ages, and having another weak female character is a big pet peeve of mine since I was a little kid. I was a big reader as a kid, and it was constantly noticed by me that the best roles were given to the boys, and if there was a female lead character, more often than not they were weak, and waited until somebody else rescued them. This is my second biggest complaint, but is not specific only to this series, but to any YA book that has this issue. A few stories that are counter to this are The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Ella Enchanted, Vampire Academy, the Beka Cooper series by Pierce, the Bloody Jack series, and ... (I'm having a hard time trying to think of something I read as a kid besides Charlotte Doyle that I could fit here, oh maybe The Boxcar Children series, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever).
3. On a much lesser note(s), Bella basically uses/abuses Jacob, and I don't like condoning that type of behavior. Bella is too hypersensitive to any lies that might be told by Edward, and completely goes over the deep end because of it. Vampire sparkles????!!! Come on!! Ok, I understand the author taking license on a few myths (and this series is barely grounded on them to begin with), but don't look at him because he sparkles, and is a "reject" of society because of that?! (Don't even get me to mention the movie. When my sister said he looks sweaty, don't look at him because he's sweaty, both of us cracked up laughing so hard, I think I cried.) That is one of the weakest and lamest excuses I have read yet about why vampires have to be separate/unknown to the rest of the world. Check out my book shelves and you'll see how many vampire books I've read since this series (and I still haven't put all of them in here yet), which I read this series somewhere between summer of 2008 and spring of 2009.
To those who would give me hate mail:
Yes, there are some points that have the potential, but although I can see where Meyer was trying to take this story to, she doesn't really obtain it. The goal was in sight, but she never really achieved it in this series, as far as quality of writing goes.
Ok, as far as characters go, I like Edward and Jacob, they are mostly sweet and likable, and I can understand why this series would have such a strong fan base because of them [which is mostly fueled by female teenage hormones, come on admit it ;), but Dimitri in Vampire Academy is a serious heart throb, and that series is WAY better than this:]. But just because a few characters steal a few hearts, a good book it does not be.
To those who would give me hate mail, all I can say is, look at other series, and realize that there are other books in this sub-genre (teen romance vampire fiction), that are better written, have good characters, good character developments, better endings/climaxes (pun intended here too), are overall better written, and most importantly to keep an open mind. I would put this series at the bottom of all I've read in this sub-genre. I'd say it's ok to cut you teeth on this, but not to linger on this one any longer than you have to.
Do I hear grumblings of, "Well, if you don't like this so much, where are your suggestions?"
FYI: I don't hate the book, just have some serious objections to it.
Suggestions? Glad to!!! (This is the future librarian in me, I'm sure).
If you want to stay in this sub-genre here's a few:
Vampire Academy series: (the best so far I've read in the teen lit. vamp romance genre). I reviewed the series up through Blood Promise under Blood Promise, and eagerly await for the next installment to hit my front door any day now. I think I've reviewed the series in the Blood Promise book.
House of Night series: (it's addicting I'll admit, but it does improve in quaility/complexity slightly as the series progresses. However, I would rate this one closer to Twilight than on Vampire Academy.) This series does have a bit of an agenda, and that agenda may turn off a few readers. I think I have given a review of the series in one of the books.
Vampire Diaries (first 3 books only): There is speculation on Amazon's discussion board that Meyer ripped off/stole from this series, because it came out about 10 years before Twilight. Read this series, and you make your own comparisons. I suggest only the first 3 books because after book 3 it tanks pretty hard pretty fast, and even though there is a "new" series being currently written with the same characters, honestly I think that even if the newer books are the best they can be, I don't think anything but a near miracle will ever pull the rest of the series into my better graces. I did a review of book 4 in this series, and it explains it in much greater detail. Personally, I think the 4th book should be the 1st book of the new series, and if you read it, you'll understand what I mean, or at least read my review.
If you want vampires:
Cirque Du Freak: Absolutely the best series I have read. It is for a slightly younger crowd (say preteen to young teen), but I think anyone would like it. It is a rollercoaster ride the whole way through. Darren Shan is a master storyteller, hands down. The creation of this series was Shan's attempt to do a better Goosebumps, and the story of that can be read on his website.
Sookie Stackhouse series (a.k.a. True Blood, a.k.a the Southern Vampire Mysteries): It is good, and I have read all the novels up through the just released Dead in the Family (but not any of the short stories yet). it is for adults but older teens should like it well enough, and is more of a cozy novel in the romance department than the Anita Blake series. This series is a genre blend of mystery, romance, horror,and fantasy (with most of horror/fantasy being the paranormal elements in the stories). It is the genre blend that makes this book more appealing to me. I have reviewed Dead in the Family, and may have done others in this series as well. Personally, I think Dead in the Family is the least well done out of the series, but if your a fan of the series, of course it's best to go ahead and read it, if for nothing more than what happens after this book will be based on it. Dead in the Family feels like its setting up for a later book.
Anita Blake series (well the earlier ones in the series): This series is really good, but only up to a point, with that point being different to different people (beyond Obsidian Butterfly it becomes more and more like a porn novel, with each addition, due to the arduer). I stopped reading the series after I think it was Narcissus in Chains. But I thing the best book in the series was Blue Moon, with Guilty Pleasures and book that has Jean Claude falling into the bathtub because he loves Anita (I forgot the title of the book), with these falling in second or third place behind Blue Moon but almost tied with it. This series is for adults, and is a genre blend of horror, romance, and maybe a bit of mystery/cop stories, but more of the latter two. The genre blend is appealing for me too in this series.
Interview with a Vampire: I place it here for a few reasons: 1. This book in some ways is the granddaddy of the modern vampire novel, and the foundation stone for all the rest (ok, there are some arguments that Dracula spawned the modern day version of a vampire (at least the Bela Lugosi movie version), but I'm not arguing that right now. The movie Nosferatu is a more accurate rendition of the vampire in the book Dracula, and of vampires in myths). 2. If you talk about vamp lit. you have to mention this one because of reason number one. 3. umm, there probably is another one, but can't remember now. This book is the beginning of a series that was written by Anne Rice, and is more literary in nature than anything else I've read that has vampires in it. I have not read any of the sequels, but plan to when I've read all the others (I'm not much on a literary genre, but beyond that it was pretty good, in spite of it being long winded). The movie, Interview with a Vampire, that had the screen play written by Anne Rice was very good too (and the ending is very different from the book). In someways I liked the movie better, which is rather rare for me, usually the movies from books are too disappointing (i.e. the Twilight movie, I didn't think anything could be worse than the book, but boy was I wrong).
Dark Ones series by MacAlister, but more specifically the first book, a Girl's Guide to Vampires: I am currently reading this series (about half way through Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang), and it is light, funny, raunchy, makes fun of itself, and overall a fun read. I've read others' reviews and they say that this series makes fun of Feehan's Carpathians series, but I haven't read any of Feehan's work yet. FYI: this series is heavier on the paranormal/occult than anything else I've read, and is the raunchiest so far, but it isn't a porn novel like the latter books of Anita Blake are. Sex is not the focus in this book/series, although its in there (a good percentage of the book too, in each book too), but the story is not hurt because of it. Needless to say, this book is for adults, and is a spicy romance. It's not really a genre blend, but some books lean towards mystery sometimes, or adventure. The format of this series is a little different because the main characters change for every novel, but remain within the Dark Ones universe, unlike most series where the main characters stay the same through out the series. Characters from previous books do cameos of various degrees, sometimes they don't appear, other times they are strong secondary characters. I think I've made comments/review on this series, but can't remember which book it was on....more
**spoiler alert** The first 3 books of this series were stitched together well, and well written. This book comes off as the first 3 were supposed to**spoiler alert** The first 3 books of this series were stitched together well, and well written. This book comes off as the first 3 were supposed to be just a trilogy, and the publishers demanded that the story continues, and so this book got tacked on. It doesn't make sense in the story to do what the author did, to kill off the main character, go with a secondary character, and then bring the main character back at the end of this book from the previous 3 books, and the events that bring Elena back are all too convenient to my liking, and show evidence of lazy storytelling. I know that this book was written about 10 years before the new "series" -involving the same characters- was written, but personally, I think this should be the first book of the newer series, because after book three, this series tanks pretty fast. The first book of the new series has some redeeming qualities, but I don't know if the author can truly make this one rise from its death bead. This book gets 2 stars because the previous books were pretty good in writing quality, and nothing else would get a rating as low as I would give Wuthering Heights, which I would give it a one star, or less....more