I almost feel that the author wrote this book in two halves. The first half she wrote while at the pique of her ability and enthusiasm. The second hal...moreI almost feel that the author wrote this book in two halves. The first half she wrote while at the pique of her ability and enthusiasm. The second half she wrote while on some very impressive anti-depressants.
The first half of this book is sweet, wistful, beautiful and touching.
The second half of this book is heart breaking, depressing and sloppily written.
I finished this book wondering what the hell I'd actually gotten out of it. My not-so-startling conclusion was: nothing.
When I read a book, I like to come away with something - even if it's merely a story worth remembering to cherish in my mind, or a lesson well learned, or an experience I'll probably never have but I now felt as though I'd had.
This book offers none of that and I'm wondering why Ms. Niffenegger actually wrote it to begin with? What was she trying to say with this story?
Marriage sucks? Religion is for the young and naive? True love lasts until the first heart breaking obstacle?
I originally wrote this review in a more innocent time. A time, if you can imagine, when I was a lot less cynical and a lot more likely to give books...moreI originally wrote this review in a more innocent time. A time, if you can imagine, when I was a lot less cynical and a lot more likely to give books a break.
So I did the obligatory drool over the Black Dagger Brotherhood men whilst expressing frustration at the multiple POV's (SO MANY!). I complained about the content and nature of Wrath and Beth's relationship but let it slide because, hey it was just some light-hearted fun.
A couple of years ago I was at my mother's house when a large, terrifying spider began its battle charge toward me with murderous intent gleaming in its eyes (witness accounts may vary...)
In case you are unaware, I have a deep and unabidding terror of anything with more than six legs.
The spider racing toward me looked something like this:
Nobody else at the scene of the event picks up details like I do...
Because she loves me (presumably) and to put a stop to my earsplitting girlie shrieks of "Kill it! Kill IIIIIIIIITTT!" (less presumably) my mother whacked it triumphantly with a shoe.
It is at this point that hundreds of small, though equally malevolent spider spawn emerged from the crushed remains of their mother, all equally intent on destroying me one little piece at a time.
[image error] Each one was chanting this in their tiny babyspider voices as they rushed toward me with evil in their heart and malice in their eyes...
I count this as the most traumatic moment of my life. I find it extremely ironic that it was a vacuum cleaner, the bane of my life, that rescued me that night while I jumped on the couch in a fit of apoplectic terror.
And it is with equal terror that I look upon the undead spawn that has filled the market since Dark Lover first emerged into the reading sphere.(less)
Empress is something different. Kudos to Karen Miller for doing something that I have been ranting about for too long. Creating a strong, resourceful...moreEmpress is something different. Kudos to Karen Miller for doing something that I have been ranting about for too long. Creating a strong, resourceful female protagonist. She does this in the form of Hekat, our eyes and ears to the unique world of Empress.
Now if only I could convince her to write a strong, resourceful female protagonist that I actually like.
The story is extremely well-written. The world that Karen Miller creates is something that many authors fail at: a world that is immersive. She manages to bring to life Hekat's surroundings in a way that is both artful and colourful.
Yes, sentences run on slightly at times and some parts seem unnecessary and repetitive, but you can excuse these things when the over all effect is that you can almost see, taste and smell what the narrator is telling you about.
Yet, like someone giving you the best foot massage of your life before ripping off your toenails, Hekat will undoubtedly ruin all Karen's hard work.
This is the fatal flaw of Empress. You can not have such a long story based on a protagonist so unlikable. Now, I don't mean that protagonists should always be perfect or even flirt with the side of wholesome, fluffy bunnies. But they must be either relatable, or likable despite their shortcomings. If you're going to be a ice-hearted wench then you need to at least have style and charm. Hekat wouldn't know charm or style if it rose in front of her from the ground and danced naked with a sparkly dildo while singing "I'm a Survivor!"
Hekat fails to carry her long, heavy narrative and it comes crashing down on top of her, spoiling what was otherwise a good read.
The first book in this series left me feeling a big Meh. It’s confusing, nonsensical premise was distracting, though I felt in some ways it managed to...moreThe first book in this series left me feeling a big Meh. It’s confusing, nonsensical premise was distracting, though I felt in some ways it managed to distract from what was essentially a weak plot and simple story.
The same can not be said for Frostbite. The lore of Vampire Academy hasn’t changed but the complexities and further insight, or perhaps just familiarity have lessoned the ache of it. It’s also dealt with differently and in a more realistic way – which is in direct ascension with the growth of the main character, Rose.
She did grow up a little in this book, though only slightly. She remains a unique, alluring and interesting narrator, even if she is painfully slow to catch on to the things going on around her. I swear I knew everything that was going to happen long before she did and I literally felt like screaming at her to put two and two together and FIGURE IT THE HELL OUT!
I felt the romance between her and Dimitri was MARKEDLY improved. It was realistic, more heartfelt and real. He manages to avert the otherwise extreme squickiness of a twenty-four and seventeen year old in a romance by behaving and acting mostly appropriately despite the impulses. The mother in me wants to scold him for not working harder, the young woman in me is begging him to go for it.
The story in this instance, and the plot, is much improved. It’s far more gripping, intense and pushes the reader into a shared sense of dread and elation toward the end.
Over all I thought it was a much better read. (less)
The good news is this: Spirit Bound is better than Blood Promises.
Now let's all take a deep, satisfying breath of relief for that.
But, there is bad ne...moreThe good news is this: Spirit Bound is better than Blood Promises.
Now let's all take a deep, satisfying breath of relief for that.
But, there is bad news. The character of Rose, for me, takes a huge hit in this installment.
Spirit Bound is fairly well written. The pacing is pretty good in that you don't have an opportunity to get bored. There are three points in the book that I really feel SHOULD have received far more attention and detail than they should:
Rose's exam, Victor's rescue (What shall be hereto referred to from now on as the stupidest act performed by Rose. Ever.) and the battle with Dimitri.
There are many things in this book that I wish hadn't received quite so much attention, such as parties, family visits and general faffing about (To use another strange colloquialism)
Despite that, the book is great - except I'd really like to strangle Rose. Really.
I wouldn't necessarily consider myself Team Dimitri or Team Adrian. I may lean towards Adrian a little but her obsession for Dimitri makes me think that she's nowhere near good enough for him and therefor should stay with Dimitri AND DIE!
How am I supposed to respect a heroine who uses her boyfriend's credit card to pay for her trip to Vegas with friends? Not to mention the money that she had already swindled from him to finance her little trip through Serbia! Then what was with her running around loudly declaring her love to Dimitri WHILE SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DATING ADRIAN?
Seriously. I just wanted to smack her.
Dimitri wasn't much better. As my little computer gaming brother would say - Less QQ and more PewPew.
Other characters were awesome and well written. it ended on the most horrible cliff hanger and I'm considering starting a petition to make it illegal for authors to finish on such a very tense note!
Over all, it's a a much better read than Blood Promises. There were aspects of this book that annoyed me but I really enjoyed reading it regardless and now I'm eagerly awaiting the sixth and final installment.
In the event that you are abducted by fairies, please adhere to the following guidelines so that I don't have to watc...moreICOFA (InCase of Fairy Abduction)
In the event that you are abducted by fairies, please adhere to the following guidelines so that I don't have to watch or read about you blundering through fairyland like an incompetent idiot.
1. Never thank a fairy for services rendered. 2. Never eat fairy food. 3. Never dance with fairies. 4. Never strike a bargain with a fairy unless you've agreed on the fine points.
The Iron King is a book about a sixteen year old girl, Meghan Chase. Can I advise all people reading this review: never be sixteen. It's a horrible age. Avoid it as much as you can.
Meghan is dragged into the fairy world when her younger brother is replaced by a changling. She soon discovers she has deeper ties to fairy than she'd originally thought.
The Iron King, like many modern day fairy tales, tries to adhere to old school fairy myths yet still manages to balls up and humanize certain fairies with all the eagerness a coming of age book about a sixteen year old on a magical adventure CAN balls up and humanize fairies. I take particular exception to the depiction of famous fairy Robin Puck's character and the introduction of romantic lead, Ash.
The fact that Robin Puck has been turned from a wicked, mischeivous sprite with a penchant for disaster, into competition for a sixteen year old's affections was really just traumatizing to me. Suddenly Puck is sexy, serious, occasionally brooding and suave. Excuse me while I choke back tears and reread A Midsummer Night's Dream.
We've gone from:
Emo fairies are the new mythology, folks.
Meghan Chase is not a complete idiot. Her handling of the Goblins and her occasional ability to use her brain redeems what would otherwise be another atrocious YA paranormal adventure. The two or three times she redeems herself and isn't completely useless, however, is quickly overshadowed by her inability to move the fuck out of the way of charging, rampaging monsters trying to eat her. She has a serious case of Damsel in Distress.
Over all, the story isn't too bad. It's simply hard to ignore all the elements so obviously drawn from other inspiration. The Packrats are cute versions of the female packrat in The Labryinthe, Grim is so much like any other talking cat guide that I'm wondering if there's a book written on the subject for aspiring authors. The whole plot of getting the younger sibling back from the fairies is already such an overused cliche.
The thing is, I did kind of enjoy this book after a while, though it took a long time to stop rolling my eyes. I will read the next book in this series but only because it left off on a little bit of a cliff hanger and I want to find out what happens next.
Emo Fairy wants your soul! And $27.99 for this book...(less)
Dead in the family isn't a book that you can easily judge on its own. Dead in the Family is really just a filler book between the Fairy battle of last...moreDead in the family isn't a book that you can easily judge on its own. Dead in the Family is really just a filler book between the Fairy battle of last book and the inevitable show down with the King of Louisiana and his people to come.
This makes it hard to review because, to be honest, nothing really happens. We have what I would call a short story "arc" to bridge us between what I would consider the main story. Sookie finishes up in this book much the same as she started though she has undergone some very positive character upgrades since the beginning of the series.
The writing is okay, the mystery is flat and the end is kind of a let down but this book isn't bad. I think it's just not what I came to expect from this series and frankly, I felt like this book didn't really need to happen.
The positive parts are the characters of Jason and Claude who get a happy little depth and improvement to them. The relationship between Sookie and Eric is nice.
However that's all I can really say about this book. It wasn't exciting, it wasn't a page turner and it doesn't really leave me hanging out for the next one.
I hate to say it but maybe it's time for Sookie's story to come to a nice close but I wonder how much there really is left to tell. Judging by this book, probably not much. (less)
So I can't say I wasn't warned... realistically speaking I was warned once I was already three quarters of the way through it, but I was warned none-t...moreSo I can't say I wasn't warned... realistically speaking I was warned once I was already three quarters of the way through it, but I was warned none-the-less!
Broken revolves around Elena and Clay as they go through their pregnancy while fighting evil and solving mystery and generally proving, yet again, that they're in love.
I love this couple. Absolutely love them to pieces. Bitten remains one of my favourite urban fantasy books to this day.
My problem was that the mystery in this book was painfully obvious and incredibly uninteresting. I just had no real interest in it and mostly finished reading to see what happened to Elena and Clay.
The story was very heavy on Elena's pregnancy. Clay and Jeremy momentarily losing their balls didn't mind me so much because when I was pregnant my very loving and masculine husband turned into a little bitch as well. That part seemed realistic to me.
Nor was Elena's many physical stunts too much for my realisim to believe because, frankly, it's Elena, folks. Even pregnant with twins, she's going to kickarse.
But my issue with the story is that a pregnancy story is ultimately doomed to failure for me. Elena's pregnancy wasn't special to me because, naturally, my pregnancy was so much more awesome. Elena's lovely little twins born were of no interest to me because my own son leaves them long behind.
Usually, I read not to escape but to experience different things than my every day life. In this case, not only was it too similar to what I've already experienced, but it didn't even manage to compete!
Three stars for this one but honestly it's more like 2 1/2.(less)
I first started reading this book and honestly wanted to just chuck it in the bin. I said very mean things about the protagonist under my breath.
Surel...moreI first started reading this book and honestly wanted to just chuck it in the bin. I said very mean things about the protagonist under my breath.
Surely, I said, a Protagonist means that they are pro and totally into furthering the story. Surely, Protagonist is the similar to Proactive and Productive.
I was wrong. The word Protagonist, in its basic form is not similar to proactive. It simply, from the Greek plays, means the principle character or the first speaking character.
However, I maintain that the kind of protagonist that most people want to read about is one that actually bloody does something!
History/Language lesson over.
Neverwhere is a book that TRIES to be clever and magical. In many senses it utterly manages to be magical and creative and fun. It fails, however, to be clever. There are so many lines in this book intending to be dry wit and just come off dry stupid.
Allow an example:
There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr Coup and Mr Vandemar apart: first, Mr Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr Croup; second, Mr Croup has eyes of a faded, china blue while Mr Vandemar's eyes are brown; third, while Mr Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr Croup has no obvious jewellery; fourth, Mr Croup likes words, while Mr Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike.
Oh! I see what you did there! *Kat laughs, slapping her knee with her hand in amusement*
No, not really. If he'd left out these lame little lines I think I probably would have enjoyed this novel a whole lot more.
Just about every other character in this story is awesome except for the protagonist. Give me a story about Marquis de Carabas and I will read it in a second. Honestly, fantastic character right there. Tell me I have to read another whiny missive about Richard Mayhew and I will likely stick hot pokers into my eyes first.
I get it. I really do. It's a journey. He has to LEARN and GROW and CHANGE. But he takes a REALLY long time to do it and he only ever grows to be slightly less pansy, soft and annoying. The total character growth comes to equal someone who doesn't just sit idly by and let people take stuff from him.
Let me give you an example. He met a girl who was unconscious in the streets and bleeding to death. He takes her home. This causes his fiancee to break up with him. He then goes through a lengthy process to get the girl back where she came from. Once he does this he then loses his job, his apartment and all his money. He then goes to find the girl for a) an explanation and b) help. Without her help he will probably die as another side effect of having met her is that he has two psychopathic killers on his tail.
She simply apologizes and walks away, abandoning him. So what does he do? Does he chase her down and gently remind her that she owes him a favor? Does he barter and trade what he can, whilst trying to lure the killers into a trap so that he can some how defend himself? No. I will now transcribe from the book EXACTLY what he does.
Richard leaned against a wall, and listened to their footsteps, echoing away, and to the rush of the water running past on its way to the pumping station of East London, and the sewage works. "Shit," he said. And then, to his surprise, for the first time since his father died, alone in the dark, Richard Mayhew began to cry.
He decides to stay there and die. That's right, folks. He just stays there waiting to die.
Ya know, I don't accept this crap from a female character - nor do I accept it from a man. How the hell am I suppose to sympathize with someone who so blithely lets everything he has slip through his fingers because he can't speak up and demand explanations or some kind of help? This level of pitiful doesn't help the audience empathize - it makes them think your protagonist is an idiot.
The plot is pretty good - despite everything being painfully obvious and predictable at the end.
The world building is fantastic. It's probably the best thing about this book. It's really creative and fascinating and interesting.
Over all, it was an alright read. It wasn't great. I labored through until the last half where it began to pick up and markedly improve. Thus only three stars. Had the first half been more like the last half then it would have earned four.
I suppose I should provide some kind of explanation as to why I didn't finish reading this book.
It's not because the concept was stupid - actually the...moreI suppose I should provide some kind of explanation as to why I didn't finish reading this book.
It's not because the concept was stupid - actually the concept was quite interesting and would make for a fantastic philosophical discussion. It's not because it was poorly written - actually it was written quite well with a great plot and interesting world building and action packed scenes. It's not because the characters were horrible or annoying - Actually, Sam is really likable if not frustrating, Astrid is such a relief as a female protagonist and the secondary characters are realistic and well fleshed out.
In the end I would actually recommend this book to people, especially fans of sci-fi and particularly middle-school children. It's like a modern, sci-fi version of Lord of the Flies only cooler and there's no Piggy.
No, the reason I couldn't keep reading it was because I wasn't enjoying it. The reason I wasn't enjoying it was rather stupid but since everyone over the age of 15 is gone, I was kind of frustrated because there was only one girl and boy actually taking care of a small number of babies. The rest were just being abandoned in their cars/houses or whatever and I couldn't get absorbed in the storytelling while I was mentally yelling at the kids to go rescue the babies!
Stupid, I know. Pathetic? Yeah, I'm WELL aware of it, but that's just the way it is.
Also, because I'm kind of an authoritarian/leader type person, I was thinking of everything they SHOULD be doing and how they SHOULD be organizing and kind of frustrated that Sam was being so wimpy about taking charge. But, he's fourteen, I know he deserves slack but yeah...
SO go read it, please! My inability to finish this book had nothing to do with the writing and was all about me being irrational and crazy!(less)
I sat down at my computer this morning and tried to think of something interesting to say about my reading experience of The Summoning. It seems thoug...moreI sat down at my computer this morning and tried to think of something interesting to say about my reading experience of The Summoning. It seems though, that all of my creative faculties have been sucked away since I spent eighty percent of this book imagining what the story COULD have been.
The story is like the little engine that could. It has the potential, it's chugging away, it's working hard. Only as it turns out it's The Little Engine That Could Have Been Something interesting.
The first part of The Summoning was great. It was creepy with freaky ghosts and our protagonist Chloe Saunders being put in a Group Home for disturbed children. That's the first eighty or so pages and then the story abruptly stops there. The ghosts, the spooky atmosphere and all that doesn't show up very much from then on. There's a few instances but they're no longer scary and frankly the focus of the story is on the Group Home from then on, which I found really frustrating and annoying.
There's even these tantalizing hints that there's a supernatural community out there somewhere that Chloe could escape to. Yet do we get to see it? No. I doubt there could have been a more effective way of annoying me. This book was the biggest tease. Everything it seemed to promise was just smoke and mirrors behind what it really provided. What it really provided wasn't at all great.
Chloe is not a great character. Armstrong seems unable to decide what kind of person Chloe is. Most of the time she is docile and a bit of a push over. She's a self prescribed rich brat. She never puts up a fight with anyone - oh of course EXCEPT for the people who could help her. That's right. The big intimidating guy with a violent history is the perfect person to practice your bravado on. I know she's only supposed to be fourteen but she's just a non event. There's nothing interesting about her. She spends most of the story just annoying me with her patheticness.
The other characters are just boring. I had no interest in any of them. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen - someone interesting to come along but they never did. It was agonizingly painful and disappointing!
Warning Spoilers below:
What the hell? I have never been so disappointed in the ending of a book my life! She has this great escape from the Group Home that we've been forced to suffer through for pretty much the entire book, only to end up in yet another asylum? I have no interest in reading on. I've already read Armstrong's Stolen and the asylum in that was boring enough. Not interested in going through it again!
And the "big reveal" at the end? Okay, sit around kiddies, it's time for a plot lesson from Mrs. Kennedy. Gather in close, okay? For all of you writing a story or novel, do not, and I repeat, do not make the "big reveal" at the end of your story so painfully obvious from a quarter in, okay?
The Group Home is evil? Dang, I didn't figure that out two hundred pages ago! Stop, I never saw THAT coming! *Rolls eyes* Oh no! Who are we to believe in now that it turns out that the Group Home is evil? The very foundation of our world has been turned upside down! (Okay, I just woke up so my sarcasm o'meter is on full throttle right now.)
Aunt Lauren made absolutely no freakin' sense, by the way. I feel like it was flung in there at the last moment as a shock and awe tactic. It wasn't shocking, it wasn't awing... it was just stupid.
So, over all, I was quite underwhelmed with this book and I have absolutely no intention of reading the others. I'll stick with Armstrong's adult fiction from now on like Tatiana told me I should.(less)
People tell me I have a short attention span. They mention, on some rare occasions, that I tend to space out easily. That one moment I'll be listening...morePeople tell me I have a short attention span. They mention, on some rare occasions, that I tend to space out easily. That one moment I'll be listening and paying attention and the next moment... Oh sparkly! With that I'm lost! It's amazing how many teachers have been the ones to remind me of my poor ability to pay attention. Remarkable really...
What was I saying?
Oh yeah! So it takes a little bit to capture my attention and to keep it. Usually an abnormal amount of sex, violence or suspense will do the trick. Or if the writing is super-duper fabulous!
(By the way, if only you knew how many times I've gotten distracted and forgotten to keep typing, you'd be surprised! Or maybe not...)
Anyway, point of the matter is that Marr has my number. She knows what people like me are like. It's insidious really. Her nefarious schemes to keep my wavering attention with sex and horror have not gone unnoticed though! I'm onto her! What does she think of her audience? That they'll overlook the TERRIBLE editing job and shaky story-telling with sex?
Okay, so maybe it worked a little... just a little bit. Because every time you start getting bored, some hot guy starts putting the moves on, or his fingers start roaming, or flirting starts happening. That, or you think you're about ready to yawn and some evil person shows up and starts hurting other things.
It took me a little while to get what she was doing. What with the oral sex and the obvious lust inducing moments, it was hard to force my brain into action. I had to keep refocusing, shaking it off and trying to see the book for what it was as opposed to imagining half-naked men with incredible bodies all oiled up and posing...
Okay, never mind, back to the point. In a market flooded with cookie-cutter YA paranormal and Urban Fantasy novels, this one is trying to be different. It's trying to be contrary. Marr must figure that if fails, at least there's lots of pretty to look at.
Well, it did fail to be different. It was entirely forgettable. In fact I'm having trouble remembering everything already and I just finished it today. I suppose of course that if it wants to fall back on pretty sparkly men (oh, I'm sorry, this one GLOWS. It's different, see? At least this one doesn't try to hide the fact that he's a fairy) that's ITS prerogative, however on a hawtness scale of 1 - 10, I rate Keenan and Seth a bit, fat, walloping 'meh'. How could they possible compare to Clayton? Or Barrons, V'Lane or Howl, Christoph, Con or any of the other REAL literary crushes I have!
In fact I've had to create a whole new bookshelf in honour of this book. I'm calling it my 'Meh' Shelf. It's for books like this one (don't be deceived by the stars, it's not really 3, it's 2 1/2) that aren't terrible, aren't fantastic, and that I'll barely remember in a week or so.
So if you want to read some fairly PG schmexing and some interesting Fae mythology then go ahead. Give it a shot.
Maybe if I keep reading books like this, I'll cure my insatiable fascination with sparkly things. It's what got me into this trouble to begin with. I was looking for a diamond in the rough but this book was pretty much mostly rough.(less)