**spoiler alert** This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Where in the world has this author been hiding?! She's amazing—the writing i...more**spoiler alert** This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Where in the world has this author been hiding?! She's amazing—the writing is excellent and brilliant; I was instantly drawn in at the first paragraph. I loved the characters, especially the two main characters featured on the cover, Elizabeth and Murphy, both separately and together as friends, lovers and possibly planet Ardagh 1's saviors. The whole plot was believable and tangible and vivid and lush, with imagery and fantasy ground in reality. The pacing is perfect, nothing is rushed or too slow, every detail is revealed at the appropriate moments. I was very sad to see this end. It's one of those books that's nearly impossible to put down—not only was the writing good but I was so interested and fascinated by what the characters were going through that I just wanted to know more and more.
I was very surprised that the plot took a turn into the VERY steamy hot romance territory. Sometimes, the overly over-sexed romance books are a total turn off for me because I think that all the sex scenes detract from telling the story, but actually in this case, the sex scenes added to the plot because Elizabeth and Murphy were just THAT MUCH in love, it was as if you could feel it coming off the pages, their love and their bond.
Usually I don't go for science fiction/books with aliens, but I was highly intrigued by the back of the book's blurb—it had already sounded cool and different describing Elizabeth traveling from Earth to Ardagh 1 to continue her psychology degree and counsel the colonists who are suffering from the "ghost" problem—aliens who take the form of the colonists' dead loved ones—and making an instant connection with Murphy, the man who was supposed to be her supervisor. And then I got to the part where it says that Elizabeth dies during the transport and is reborn as a "ghost". Murphy, the creator of the "Ghost Protocol" (instituted to help ease the colonists' states of mind), is forbidden from interacting with Elizabeth, since she becomes his "ghost", but Elizabeth isn't about to fade into the background, stay silent or waste away. It was really cool watching her adjust to being dead and being alive as an alien, and then watching her fight for everything, including the man she loves, Murphy.
I really wish it wasn't over, I just enjoyed reading it so much. I hope the author will put another book out soon. And I hope there will be a sequel to this book—this characters should live on for another life. (less)
**spoiler alert** This is definitely a different—yet kind of cool, especially if you like vampires—take on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" novel,...more**spoiler alert** This is definitely a different—yet kind of cool, especially if you like vampires—take on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" novel, at least, the continuation of it. (And if you haven't read Jane Austen's novel, don't fear, since Amanda Grange summarizes quite a bit key plot points from "Pride and Prejudice". After a while, you might just wish Elizabeth would stop whining about missing Longbourn and Jane so much!) It's almost a "modern" Gothic novel (at least, modernly written)—it has all the hallmarks of a Gothic novel: romance, supernatural occurrences, ancient evil villains, love conquering all, a curse, and a mystery nearly kept entirely from the heroine—Elizabeth—till just about the climax.
I enjoyed reading this more than "Pride and Prejudice" because I like vampires, and I also like retellings of stories and fairy tales and mythologies. I sort of loved how parts of "Pride and Prejudice" were retold to incorporate the vampire mythology, as well as the near extreme measures taken to keep Elizabeth Bennett out of the Darcy family, and why Darcy behaved "really" in such a cold manner towards Elizabeth. I wasn't ever completely comfortable with the author's style of writing, which was sort of "detached" (but this could also be because the story dealt more with the plot, especially the heavy descriptions of traveling from place to place to place, and parties and new characters, rather than divulging the characters' innermost thoughts), but I did think it suited the story overall.
I was expecting Elizabeth to be turned into a vampire and was surprised when it didn't happen—even more surprised when it turned out there was a way to reverse Darcy's "curse". I also kept expecting Elizabeth and Darcy to sleep together, but each time a dramatic moment arose when it might occur, it just as quickly stopped. After Elizabeth finally found out about Darcy's curse, I was almost a little bored—thinking the story could only end one of two ways—Elizabeth turning into a vampire, or Elizabeth somehow managing to kill Darcy, but my boredom didn't last more than a few pages. I liked the journey into the ancient, buried temple to attempt the ordeal of un-making Darcy a vampire. Overall, the novel was a lot of fun. (less)
**spoiler alert** This book was an okay read, not super great but not super horrible either. Most of the first half of the book was pretty dull, thoug...more**spoiler alert** This book was an okay read, not super great but not super horrible either. Most of the first half of the book was pretty dull, though there were a full breaks for attack action and sexual tension between Sookie and Quinn. I had put off reading this one for a while after reading book 5 because I wasn't looking forward to Sookie beginning a relationship with Quinn, a tall, big, bald guy who's a WereTiger, (because the big and baldness are total turn-offs for me).
The parts I really did like about the book were mostly in relation to Sookie and Sophie-Anne. I liked that Sophie-Anne confided in Sookie about the missing diamond bracelet and about her horrible past as a human, and how, as a vampire, she seemed to gravitate towards humans (that she later made vampires) who had been used and abused the way she had been as a human. I also liked the way Sookie snuck the bracelet into the queen and king's war/party. This probably made Sookie more of an ally to the queen than she ever might have been (plus, it might be good for Sookie to have protection from vampire royalty since there many things that go bump in the night).
I also liked that it was revealed that Sookie does have fairy blood (which was revealed on the TV show in Season 2, I think), and that it was also slightly explored that Jason has it, and possibly it was passed to her by her paternal grandmother. But much like having magic in the world of Harry Potter, having fairy blood hasn't made life any easier or better for anyone in her family (Sookie makes a list of the way each of her family members passed and how fairy blood did no good to save them). It may have made her more attractive to vampires and other supes (and less attractive to humans) because they like the smell of her blood, and it may have made Jason more attractive to every living human woman (though this may have been Sookie feeling sorry for herself), but unlike in the show, Sookie doesn't have any special fairy powers other than the telepathy.
It was a little sad to find out that Bill was hired by Sophie-Anne to recruit Sookie to the queen's side and that he hadn't fallen into her life (and into her bed and into her heart) by accident or chance. Sookie seems, at this point, unable to forgive Bill or ever able to trust him or believe that he loved her before he was ordered to seduce her. So I'm sad because it seems like Bill and Sookie may not get back together, and I liked them as a couple (most of the time). (less)