I basically skimmed/read this book in day. It's short, and it's mostly in comicbook form. It had its interesting moments. Batman is probably my favoriI basically skimmed/read this book in day. It's short, and it's mostly in comicbook form. It had its interesting moments. Batman is probably my favorite superhero (though, okay, yes, he doesn't really have superpowers, just training, wits and gadgets, and a really tragic backstory to fall back on), but I have to say I have no experience reading comicbooks (just manga). My interest in this book sprung out of researching an animated Batman TV show from the 1990s, "Batman: The Animated Series", one that I had watched and enjoyed then and am buying on DVD now. One of the components that made the show great then and now was the style of animation coupled with the grim, dreary backgrounds of Gotham City. (During the fourth season, the characters became more stylized, which was a little unsettling.) Anyway, this a great book to check out for fans of Batman. ...more
**spoiler alert** I stopped reading this at 100 pages and decided to skim the rest in case there was anything good to come. (There wasn't.) By page 10**spoiler alert** I stopped reading this at 100 pages and decided to skim the rest in case there was anything good to come. (There wasn't.) By page 100, I was sick of the bad characterization and the constant use of ellipses. (Where in the hell was this "author's" editor? Asleep at the printing press, or the computer screen, apparently.) At page 100, I realized that the "author" didn't know the characters at all. I guess, writing this "novelized fanfiction" stuff might be a "hard sell", especially when it comes to us loyal fans who have been getting to know the characters since day one, episode one. Loyal fans KNOW when a characters is acting out of character. (Sometimes, it's just better to go with actual fanfiction, if you can find any that's more attuned to the show's version of characters.)
As it was, I had a hard enough time focusing on the prologue, which is set in 18-something in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte and a German Grimm named Kessler (where Nick can apparently trace his line), but I kept with it, thinking that it was good to have some background (which we don't really get on the show except via the books kept by Nick's Grimm ancestors). It was okay, it introduced the use of the Coins and Kessler's apparently awful mercy of letting the son of Denswoz, a Wesen (can't recall what kind) live—because this son vowed revenge on all Grimms—after killing the father.
Cut to the present. Or rather, an alternate reality Portland, where Nick is some "super Grimm" who has "magical powers" that are never stated or explored on the show, where he can "sense" when an ordinary looking person is actually Wesen, and "goes red" with that "Grimm instinct" to kill all of any kind of Wesen. (These are quotes or paraphrased quotes from the book.) Not to mention, he's also some rabid borderline serial killer, inventing police related emergencies so he can explore underground tunnels and randomly kill Wesen who might happen to attack. This Nick also insists that Monroe, who might happen to be in the underground tunnel with him and Hank, "woge" and put himself in imminent danger and expose himself to a Wesen-only organized crime syndicate known as "The Icy Touch".... (the ellipses are basically ripped straight from the book, either for "dramatic pause" or just the author's lack of passion for the story-telling, I'm not exactly sure).
Then there's Hank, who, at one point, argues viciously and passionately with Renard about letting the FBI in on the secret world of Wesen, so that "they know what they are dealing with" (because "The Icy Touch" organization is all about Wesen-on-Wesen violence and murder, especially when it comes to those coerced Wesen unwilling to help out when asked so politely). The whole time I was reading this section, I noticed that Nick was eerily silent, except for brief protestations at the beginning of the argument that exposing the Wesen world is unwise.
(The plot is set sometime in Season 2/Season 3, pretty much glossing over the fact that Juliette was in a coma and that Hank got his hasty initiation into the world of Wesen. Juliette also apparently "knows" about Wesen, but she and Nick are not back to being a couple; it's implied they are still living apart and not connected MAINLY because of "Nick's lying to Juliette about his 'Grimm powers'" [again, paraphrasing from the ACTUAL PLOT]. Not even to mention that there's an awkward scene between Nick and Juliette at some cafe again glossing over their disconnection, yet mentioning a necklace that Juliette happens to be wearing, a CAT pendent that Nick apparently gave her because of her "SUCCESSFUL OPERATION OF SAVING A CAT". I'm sorry, but I'm absolutely NOT buying this. At the end of Season 1, Juliette is scratched by Adelind's cat and falls into a coma, where she loses all of her memories of Nick. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL SHE WOULD HAVE A PENDENT OF A CAT, LET ALONE THAT NICK ACTUALLY GAVE IT TO HER.)
Anyway, back to the Hank-Renard argument. It was absolutely insane and way beyond anything that would ever come out of Hank's mouth regarding the Wesen world. Hank, even still in Season Three, defaults to Nick or even Renard when it comes to how to handle anything Wesen—anything he considers unknown. There's a point in the argument when Hank threatens to resign over Renard's decision to keep the FBI "in the dark" over the whole Wesen/woge thing. That would never happen, at least, not at a point when Hank has barely more than found out about the Wesen world. At that point, he's still pretty freaked out himself, and still thinking himself almost "crazy" for believing in it, so how could he do a complete 180 and try to convince others that it's "all real"? Not buying it.
The absolute last straw for me was the point when Monroe flips out over Rosalee's well-being after an offhand comment from Nick. Instead of calling Rosalee on, say, his cellphone, Monroe runs off dramatically and histrionically in his truck (which, in the show, he doesn't drive a truck, he drives a vintage yellow Beetle looking car) to the spice shop to make certain Rosalee hasn't been attacked by The Icy Touch....
After that, I skimmed the book. At some point, after some early cryptic chapter where Monroe is spying on some fatherless family, the teenage daughter of this family is kidnapped by The Icy Touch.... and then, much later on, Nick is suspended pending an IAB investigation for, likely, his underground tunnel killing spree, and ends up at some bar off the beaten path. He's attacked by Wesen from The Icy Touch... and kidnapped and imprisoned and intended to be killed by a direct descendant of Denswoz (the Wesen that Kessler let live all those many years ago) in some ritual.
Well, that doesn't happen. Nick escapes, Hank and Renard find him, and teenage girl and eventually Nick kills more Wesen. And somewhere after that Juliette starts to warm up to Nick for some reason.
Really, it's a god awful read. The writing itself isn't bad but the characterization is so off that it will make any loyal fan sick. Read at your own risk. ...more
**spoiler alert** Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the first. The writing and plotting were sloppy and the whole thing sort of**spoiler alert** Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the first. The writing and plotting were sloppy and the whole thing sort of felt dumbed down and just a huge rehashing of what had happened in the first book. Even the ending was practically the same: Lena Claims herself to be both Light and Dark at the end of this one, and in the first book, she sort of ends up both Light and Dark but *without* actually Claiming herself. Also, Abraham, Sarafine and Hunting all get away again. I was pretty sure that Lena had killed them all at the end of the first book (not Abraham, who wasn't in it, but Larkin), but in this book it turns out they are very much alive. I think this one had way too many characters all crammed into one space.
Honestly, much of the plot felt farfetched and required the extremes of suspending your disbelief, an overall effect which came off as forced. In the first book, you the reader gets information about the goings-on pretty much as they are happening in the present and at the same moment Ethan, the narrator, so you're basically choosing to accept the information as he is, whether or not he fully understands it all. But in this one, the information kept getting more ridiculous and out there. I absolutely despised Liv, as well as when the book goes out of Ethan's POV to show the return of Abraham and apparently the now Mortal Ridley releasing John Breed out of the retrieved Arclight. I also didn't like Lena in this book; in the first one, she had a better reason to be kind of whiny and bratty, but in this book, that got old really fast. I guess I could excuse that as Ethan did—when he *finally* found out the reason Lena had become so distant: because she was certain she'd killed Macon in exchange for Ethan's life.
I don't know, it just seems like Lena has no spine and is just this constant damsel in distress waiting for Ethan to swoop in and save her. And on that note, Ethan is always running headlong into trouble and waiting on Amma to come and save him. It's getting old.
I already purchased book three, "Beautiful Chaos" but I'm sort of on the fence about continuing the series/saga. Book two was so disappointing and kind of lame. Already crossing my fingers they don't make book two into a movie. ...more
**spoiler alert** So, this started off okay, but I do have some minor issues already.
The teaser starts off with Simon Curtiss who's just been to his w**spoiler alert** So, this started off okay, but I do have some minor issues already.
The teaser starts off with Simon Curtiss who's just been to his wife's funereal. It's never stated how old he is, but since a daughter is mentioned being in the house, you get the sense that Simon might be 40-50. Next chapter: Simon's in the hospital and his daughter, Susan, has gone to the Leverage team to ask for help finding her father's stolen original comics art. So while Nate is studying her during their meeting, he guesses her age to be about 50. ... So that means her father is probably closer to 70 years old. It sort of threw me, since I was trying to get a sense for these characters that were quickly introduced. During the meeting, Susan mentions she's married, but for some reason is still going by the last name "Curtiss", and a few paragraphs later, Nate actually addresses her as "Ms. Curtiss". Soooooooo. Again, it could be explainable: Susan's kept her own name following marriage (or maybe they are life partners and not legally married), but the "Ms."? It just seems like too many silly little mistakes for the first eight pages of the book.
Also an issue: the first chapter ends with Nate telling Susan the spiel that ends the TV theme of Leverage, that was also stated as dialogue (or monologue) in the series' Pilot. It's just a little cheesy; I'm not sure if it's meant to reach an audience unfamiliar with the TV series, or is there for some "dramatic" reason, or because it's trying to "sound" like the show.
Again, I know since I've only seen the first two seasons of Leverage, I'm going off knowledge/assumptions that may have changed in S3-S5, but I can't help being nitpicky about this book.
I just don't think that Nate and Sophie would "grin" at the rest of the team as they "file into the bar" where Nate and Sophie are waiting. The only ones I've ever seen grin on the show are Parker and Hardison. The rest of them are more "soft smile" types or "quick smile" or "half smile" types.
Then there's the little thing with Parker making weird faces while she's talking to the rest of the team over their communicators. I get the sense that the author really doesn't know how to write Parker and is just over-exaggerating her mannerisms and behavior to compensate. Same thing with Eliot, though at least the author does write Eliot in action scenes pretty well.
Right now, I'm just past page 50 but I'm so unbelievably bored with the plot. I wish the chapters were a bit longer and each didn't end with a ridiculous line that is meant to move the plot (I think that's the purpose of them, anyway). I've also noticed the sentence structure isn't done well; I've had to read several sentences several times to get meaning; the punctuation is also off, and some of the word choices are very strange. I'm also distracted by the fact that one of the characters is named Patronus—it just makes me think of "Harry Potter". (Note: it was just acknowledged by Hardison that the character stole his name from "a Harry Potter spell".)
Just an observation: With all the time being spent on exposition about comics, drawing them, the comic book world, etc., I sort of get the sense that the author might be a bit like his character Patronus—trying to showcase his original yet not at all up to par work (be it "art" or "writing"). The thing is, with these types of "published fanfiction novels", most of these "authors" are really no good at writing books. Some do give it a good effort, but many seem to miss the mark when it comes getting down our beloved characters. Real fans will notice differences. Sometimes it's just better to search the web, because good fanfictions do exist. Buyer beware!
Next chapter: We have Eliot apparently decked out in some Comic-Con-esque costume outfit. In the first chapter of the book, it was sort of established that Eliot wasn't into comics, that he occasionally saw spy type movies for fun, and that he thinks the whole Comic-Con thing is ridiculous. Yet, when he spots a group of people dressed as Storm Troops, "he" observes they "look authentic", even "naming" which movie they are from, "notes" that their weapons look accurate—though not functional—and that there are women in the group whose outfits have been "adjusted to fit their curves".
Yet Eliot's first bit of dialogue (following his complaining about his stupid outfit) is "They don't look like anyone, anywhere real." (I have a huge problem with this sentence too: it lacks sense. It couldn't have just said "They don't like anyone real"?) Then there's exposition from Hardison explaining what was basically already said in the above paragraph. So I'm totally confused—why were those "observations" supposedly "seen" from Eliot's POV? I'm also getting tired of the way Eliot is portrayed—the author makes him out to be a stock character, just muscle without any intelligence, also someone whiny, all things that Eliot is not.
Another chapter and another glaring typo: "a jeans"—as referring to what a person is wearing, a T-shirt and "a jeans". More awful sentence structure. And the characterization is totally off. I have no idea what this "author" was thinking—did he base these "characters" off scripts he happened to read or see five minutes of an episode and decide he "knew all he needed to know" about the characters?
I've decided to stop reading after hitting about 70 pages. I'm so bored and annoyed over all the errors and other issues I mentioned above that I feel I'm wasting my time reading it. The blurb on the back of the book makes it sound like the plot would be so much fun, but it's truly not. I did skim some of the rest to see if I was missing anything, but I really wasn't. ...more
**spoiler alert** Excellent installment in the series. Interesting, well-fleshed out new characters, fascinating storyline and subplots, great twist a**spoiler alert** Excellent installment in the series. Interesting, well-fleshed out new characters, fascinating storyline and subplots, great twist at the end of the novel. Hoping to see more of Detective Tam again in future books, as well as hoping to see (though it might not be possible for the show) to see a similar plot and characters on the TV show.
This book had more of a female empowerment story than previous books, such as "Keepsake" or even "The Mephisto Club", because the women in this story weren't running away from a scary, faceless demon of a man who was always chasing them, one step ahead of their every move; the women, Iris Fang, Bella Li, in this novel were fighters, warriors, constantly training their bodies and minds to eventually come face to face with this ghost-man and pay him back 100-fold for what he had done to their lives, 19 years prior. The payoff was very satisfying and I also liked the "spooky" twist with the third warrior, seen only to Barry Frost and Jane Rizzoli as "The Monkey King". I'm glad Jane got suspicious enough of Detective Tam at near the end of the novel to realize that she wasn't really witness to the appearance of a supernatural figure—but decided in the end not to tell him that she knew who he really was.
I also enjoyed Maura getting to spend some time with "Rat" (from "Ice Cold") in a more normal setting—her home—rather than out in the cold, fighting for their lives. It would have been nice to see another chapter with just the two of them, trying to do some of the normal, touristy activities Maura had planned for them.
**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**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. ...more
What a disappointing mess. I know I'd said I'd give it till page 50, but I literally can't imagine trying to wrap my head around anymore of this alienWhat a disappointing mess. I know I'd said I'd give it till page 50, but I literally can't imagine trying to wrap my head around anymore of this alien terminology. This book really deserves a rewrite—if it was striped down to language that *actually made sense* and yet still sounded like it could fit in a Victorian-era, Steampunk type of fantasy/Alternate Universe type of world, I think this book would be amazing.
There should also really be a glossary at the beginning (or end) of the novel, stating what everything is/are, from "Mentaths" to "forensic sorcerers" to "aerthic energy" to "Shields" and so on. With the first chapter, I thought we the readers were getting thrown right into the action and then the next chapter would "take a step back" so to speak, either offering background to catch us up or *actually explaining* what some of this, for lack of a better word, crap was.
Overall, I'm very disappointed, as I had such high hopes for this based on the premise. ...more
If all historical fiction was like this, I would read more of it more often. The prose was gorgeous and delicious, so rich with detail. I enjoyed readIf all historical fiction was like this, I would read more of it more often. The prose was gorgeous and delicious, so rich with detail. I enjoyed reading every word and hearing every story. I was so sad to see it end and sort of hope the author will write a sequel.
It's hard to break down the plot into an easy summary because there is SO MUCH going on, but the story traces the origins of Zorro, how Diego de la Vega becomes Zorro. It's not about his adventures as Zorro as adult but his early life, and how each event shapes him into the hero/man he will become.
I just loved every moment of this book. I was actually very upset when I realized I'd entered the wrong edition into goodreads and discovered the book wasn't 688 pages but only 390. I really wanted to keep reading. ...more
Astonishingly well-written, well-plotted, with well-rounded human characters. This wasn't some cheesy, wannabe Batman "fanfiction" novel, this was theAstonishingly well-written, well-plotted, with well-rounded human characters. This wasn't some cheesy, wannabe Batman "fanfiction" novel, this was the real deal, an "updated"/"upgraded" tech version of modern day Batman operating in the ever bleak Gotham City. The author won an Emmy for his writing on the animated Batman TV series, so it's really not surprising that the book is so well-written. Though it doesn't specify, I have to wonder if the animated show they meant was the one from the 90s, which I loved (still love), and of which the book reminded me because the tone felt similar to that show and also to the Christian Bale Batman movies.
The plot was interesting, well-researched (even in the fictional sense), and the ending battle scenes were elaborate and scary, exactly what any Batman fan would expect from any villain worthy to go up against Batman. Highly enjoyable, fun reading. ...more