**spoiler alert** Just started reading this, and am already so disappointed with Evelina as a smart heroine. Much like her stupid errors at the beginn**spoiler alert** Just started reading this, and am already so disappointed with Evelina as a smart heroine. Much like her stupid errors at the beginning of "A Study in Darkness", she foolishly argues with a male professor and then blows up a science lab. I can't understand why she's taking so many chances that she clearly knows may not end well. (Is it because she thinks she has nothing to lose?) Anyway, these are my first impressions.
Overall, an excellent trilogy, very well-written, with very vivid descriptions. I have to say I enjoyed being lost in the author's wild imagination for three books.
**spoiler alert** 3.5-3.7 star rating. As far as sequels go, this was just an okay addition to the "Waverly Sisters" books—not sure if there will be m**spoiler alert** 3.5-3.7 star rating. As far as sequels go, this was just an okay addition to the "Waverly Sisters" books—not sure if there will be more in the "series". I would, without question, read another in this "series", but "First Frost" was, to me, lackluster, nearly devoid of all the magic and charm of "Garden Spells", which is among my favorite books, and is, I feel, akin with Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic". It had been a while since I read "Garden Spells", so long that at first I couldn't tell the sisters apart, and couldn't exactly remember much of the plot of the first novel. I eventually recalled Henry, and that Bay was Sydney's daughter, and who Claire and Sydney were and what they did and what their Waverly gifts were. But I can't remember anything about Tyler. (I suppose it means I should go back and read "Garden Spells" for a refresher.)
I had some problems with the plotting. Why did it take so long for Russell to make his move? And why did he fold so easily? This insistence that the family just has to make it to First Frost without anything bad happening—yet of course, something "bad" was on the horizon in the form of Russell and the blackmail scheme. You, the audience, knew he was a conman, that he was there to get money from a mark, but the way it was all executed was sloppy. Why did both Claire and Sydney refuse to confide in their husbands their problems when both couples have been married for ten years? (The men seem to chalk it up as "that's just the way of the Waverly women, they'll come to us when they're ready", like that's okay or something. Neither of them seems to be angry or upset about anything, leaving such emotions to their wives.) I also found it so hard to believe that Claire questioned her lineage, even for a few minutes. How could she have run a successful catering business without her special Waverly gift? There's even a sentence that Sydney utters about Claire causing everyone in the family to cry at the drop of a hat for a week after eating something she cooked while she was upset. Obviously Sydney believes Claire is a Waverly—how could she not be? All of it seemed like a ridiculous twist that was over too quickly. Also ridiculous—Sydney putting up with Violet's needy, thieving, childish behavior. (Yes, Violet was only 17, so she was a child still, but since she had a baby to think about, she was a terrible role model for him, and dangling him before Sydney like the carrot she knew Sydney could never have. Shameless.)
Then there was Sydney's seemingly crazy overreaction to Bay's choice in crushes. Grounding her because Bay is in love with Josh Matteson, the son of Hunter John Matteson, the man who broke and smashed Sydney's heart—the main reason Sydney bolted from Bascom? As if his father's behavior somehow means Josh is at fault, or will turn out to be exactly like him? I wasn't buying it, it seemed kind of insane—especially when Bay has not, apparently, up until this point, shown any interest in socializing with anyone, especially any boys. Sydney was getting what she wanted when Bay chose to go to a school dance—but couldn't stand Bay being drawn to Josh. It's really no wonder Bay didn't want to open up to her mother about her crush.
I did like the little twist with Mariah, and her secret friend "M", and it was nice to have Evanelle there too. Also nice: to find out what Lorlei's Waverly gift was. (Not so nice, for Bay to insist on making Russell repeat himself. That was a silly scene.) While I didn't find this novel to be exceptional, it was still fun to read and had its good moments. This book was more in line with Allen's "The Girl Who Chased The Moon", not a great read, not a great ending, but certainly not a bad read overall.
Ugh, what a terrible piece of crap this book was. I read till page 62 and decided to give it up—the writing was poor and shoddy, the plot subpar and tUgh, what a terrible piece of crap this book was. I read till page 62 and decided to give it up—the writing was poor and shoddy, the plot subpar and the narrator, a whiny little bitch, for lack of a better word. And the whole unrequited love plot with Tobias—utterly sickening. The prose was repetitious, sometimes literally repeating phrases that had just been used a few paragraphs prior. The characters were one dimensional and stereotypical. It was ridiculous crap. What a waste of time! ...more
Ugh. So disappointed in this book/series! The first in the series was charming and fun, right up until the last few chapters where the witches went frUgh. So disappointed in this book/series! The first in the series was charming and fun, right up until the last few chapters where the witches went from being witches to freaking ancient goddesses from Asgard from 5,000 years ago.
This book didn't even try to be charming. It was pure drivel from the get go, juvenile and sloppy. I have to wonder where this author's editor is and who it is who is letting her getting away with such utter crap. I managed about 60-70 pages and then just threw up my hands. Unfortunately I paid full price for this at Barnes and Noble (because I *had* been excited to keep reading the series), but I just donated it to my local library because there was no way in hell I'm reading any more of this book or any more from Melissa de la Cruz. ...more
Excellent read, well-written, beautiful prose with a highly detailed plot and realistic, human, fascinating characters. I loved delving further and fuExcellent read, well-written, beautiful prose with a highly detailed plot and realistic, human, fascinating characters. I loved delving further and further into these characters' lives and relationships, as well as watching each separate subplot dovetail the closer to the end of the novel I went. I was also pleased with the spare amount of romance in the story—just enough for a tease without becoming some full-blown Harlequin romance (always appreciated). Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. ...more
**spoiler alert** 3.5 stars, really. I wanted to read this mainly because of the TV show on Lifetime—which started last summer. (Like the show, it's f**spoiler alert** 3.5 stars, really. I wanted to read this mainly because of the TV show on Lifetime—which started last summer. (Like the show, it's fairly entertaining, as was this book up to a certain point. And as many things, the TV plot is very different that the novel's plot.) I wholly enjoyed this book up until the totally off-kilter nonsense near the end about the gods and goddesses of Asgard and the broken bridge and the total blah blah crap that made up the last few chapters. Honestly, I couldn't picture any of the descriptions of the happenings within the Tree of Life or the dealings with Loki/Bran; it just seemed like tacked on crap that made me wonder if this author's editor was taking acid while "editing" this book. The very last chapter got the readers back to the characters that I enjoyed reading about throughout the novel, though the ending itself was sappy-sickly sweet with "virginal witch" Ingrid letting herself "go" (after apparently 5,000 years)—letting her hair down, literally, and starting to fall in love for the first time. Also, there was the sudden, strange and inexplicable return of Freya's twin who accuses her current and true love of setting him up 5,000 years ago in Asgard—for destroying the bridge that connected Asgard to Midgard (the current Earth we all live on and where the most of the former gods and goddesses are "stranded" and are now warlocks and witches).
All of that said, I thought the book was a fun read, very sexy and romantic but also (up until a certain point) a decent mystery. (This is up until those last chapters when the author decided to tell rather than show—I hate that, the random, tacked on expository endings of fairly decent plots. I would have honestly rather the author started the book with that stupid chapter that tells the reader that the Beauchamp women are actually goddesses from Asgard, etc., etc., rather than just witches with supernatural abilities, etc., since the way it's revealed is just, well, see above—the "acid" part.)
I did buy the second in the series and have begun reading it, but unfortunately I've already started rolling my eyes. The first chapter is a shoddy rehashing of everything that happened in the first book (making me wonder, why did I read the first book?) and the next chapter finds Freya suspicious of Killian (since at the end of the last book when her twin, Fryr/Freddie returned, he accused Balder/Killian of setting him up 5,000 years ago) and decides within these first few pages that Freddie must be right and that Killian is probably evil and will cause her death. So I guess I'll have to see how it turns out, if I can stand it.
If you're looking for a fast, fun, mostly light read, this is a good book to pick up for that. But I do suggest just skipping the last few chapters and then just picking up the second book and reading the summary of events just to spare yourself those "WTF WAS THAT?! WAS THE AUTHOR AND EDITOR ON ACID?!" moments.
I should also just state, for the record, that I did buy the first book in the "Blue Bloods" series but decided not to read it because the main character's name was Schulyer (that was a girl, in high school, I think). Since Blue Bloods (vampire royalty in NYC) are referenced in this book, I can honestly say I don't think I was missing out not reading that series. I think I gleaned everything I needed to know about the Blue Bloods from the few sentences provided in this story. Relieved!...more