In February 2014, my husband and I decided to do something about the way we were eating. Work, chores, and simple laziness, had us eating tons of procIn February 2014, my husband and I decided to do something about the way we were eating. Work, chores, and simple laziness, had us eating tons of processed foods. We found that we were eating out at least four times a week, and we wanted to change that. So, after some careful research, we decided to go on a ketogenic diet. I won't bore you with the explanation, but feel free to look it up! It's rather interesting. My husband lost 75 pounds, I lost 30, and we've both been feeling absolutely amazing. It's now a year later, and I'm finally realizing that it's a little tough to get variety when you're eating this way. Or at least, I thought it was. Diana Keuilian's cookbook couldn't have been offered to me at a better time. I was thrilled to be able to review this!
Let me say, I love a good cookbook. The two things I look for above everything else are good photos of the recipes, and easy to understand instructions. The Recipe Hacker has both of these in spades! Each recipe in the book is complimented with a lovely picture. This is a must for me, because I love to see if what I make comes out anywhere near what I was aiming for. They are also all written in a way that is extremely easy to understand, right down to mentioning things like "keep this at easy reach" or "whisk vigorously". In my opinion, the more clear the directions are, the better! I follow them to the letter. As an added bonus, Keuilian adds a little description to the beginning of each recipe along with a "quick tip" about storing it, ideas on making it ahead, or variations. Perfection.
Now the reason I gave that long explanation in the first paragraph was to highlight why this cookbook is so meaningful to me. All the recipes in The Recipe Hacker are gluten, dairy, soy, grain and cane sugar free. This caters to a very large set of people out there, which I happen to fall squarely into, who need variations on the foods they love the most. Imagine my delight when I found a recipe for onion rings that I can actually consume! Diana Keuilian has done an amazing job of compiling tasty recipes for those of us out there with strict dietary needs. The only thing missing, and I'd love to see it added somewhere, is nutritional information for the recipes.
Still, I'd definitely recommend this cookbook. I know there are thousands of recipes floating around out there on the Internet. Keuilian even has a website of her own. Still, there's something to be said for a good cookbook that you can dog ear and love. This one is a keeper....more
Oh, those incorrigible children! In case you missed my raving review of the first book, let me assure you that this series is well worth your time. IfOh, those incorrigible children! In case you missed my raving review of the first book, let me assure you that this series is well worth your time. If you love Middle Grade books, especially ones full of charming characters and witty banter, then this is definitely for you. I fell head over heels for Miss Penelope Lumley and her three wolfish charges from the moment I met them. It's pretty much impossible not to. Perhaps it's "optoomuchistic" of me, but I do believe you'll adore this second book in the series!
Before I do my gushing about the story itself, please allow me to once again praise Katherine Kellgren for her gorgeous narration of this story. Her accents are spot on, her voices for the children too sweet for words, and she just has a way of making the whole story come to life. From her plucky portrayal of Miss Penelope Lumley, to her all but ear-splitting rendition of Lady Ashton's voice, each character is brilliantly done! I will listen to all of these on audio if I can help it. They are absolutely wonderful!
On to the story, shall we? In The Hidden Gallery, Miss Lumley and her spirited young charges are off to London! A new place to explore was thrilling enough, but what shot this into the five star category for me was the fact that this wasn't simply a jaunt into the big city. Adventures aplenty, and the revealing of some new clues about the origin of our the three wolfish children, made for a very fun read. I'm not certain whether my thoughts on how this will all work out are correct, but I'll say that I'm intrigued! Is there a possibility that our four main characters are linked? Perhaps, my friends. Perhaps.
I know I'm being vague, but trust me when I say that it's necessary. There is so much to love about this story, but all of it is much better appreciated if you're experiencing it first hand. Suffice it to say that the word I use entirely too much while chatting up these books to others is charming. They truly are. These are the novels I wish were around when I was a Middle Grade reader. Although that won't stop me from reading them now, that's for sure. On to the next!...more
Well, happily, I can check another book off of my mountainous TBR that I missed and had to go back to. Since I first laid eyes upon this book, with itWell, happily, I can check another book off of my mountainous TBR that I missed and had to go back to. Since I first laid eyes upon this book, with its eerie cover and gothic sounding synopsis, I've wanted to read it. Sadly, I can't say that I enjoyed it as much as I hoped to. There was just too much about it that I couldn't quite bring myself to overlook.
Let's start with the good. The writing falls into this category. With only a few small exceptions, the writing does elicit a gothic feel and does a stellar job of bringing the setting to life. I could smell the ocean air and see the ramshackle manor house that our characters inhabited. While the prose may have been a little airy at times, it definitely evoked that sense of otherness that I love about books like this. A house filled with secrets, a mysterious past, the quest for knowledge, all of it spoke to me. I could feel the tension, and it was wonderful. If you'd asked me to rate this book after the first two chapters, it would have been five stars all the way.
However the more I read the less I found to love. Violet, our main character, never caught my attention. Completely skipping over the fact that she falls in insta-love with River (which I despise, but at least was slightly explained away), her overall personality drove me insane. She was always trying to make sense of things, and yet it just made things more confusing for the reader. One moment Sunshine wasn't Violet's friend, but simply a neighbor. The next, Violet was upset that Sunshine was never on her side. Why would she be? She isn't your friend, is she? Her feelings flip flopped like that through the whole book, regarding all of the other characters. By the time the prospect of a love triangle was introduced, I wanted to scream in anger.
Add in the fact that her character never really grew at all, and I was a very frustrated reader. None of the characters really grew, to be honest. In fact, I felt like most of them could have been left out and nothing would have been different. If it were only just Violet and River, we'd probably have a very similar story. Truth be told, I felt like the only reason Sunshine was even in this story in the first place to was to be a foil to our young Violet. One girl pure, the other not so much. One girl decisive, to the point of recklessness at times, the other always over thinking things. Sunshine made Violet look like an angel and, while that is likely what was intended, it made me dislike her all the more for her poor decisions.
What can I say? It's tough for me to love a book when the characters and I clash. Weak-willed Violet, frustratingly evil but randomly attractive River, and even masochistic Logan, all made me want to quit early on. I finished more from a curiosity at how this would end than anything else. Pity, really. It's such a gorgeous cover....more
Look, I won't even deny that the cover of this is what made me pick it up. Heather Mackey's Dreamwood called to me. It lured me in with promises of daLook, I won't even deny that the cover of this is what made me pick it up. Heather Mackey's Dreamwood called to me. It lured me in with promises of danger and adventure. Books like this are my favorite, because they remind me why I fell in love with Fantasy as a child. I never fail to feel giddy at the prospect of entering a new world. Truth be told, I couldn't have resisted this book even if I'd actually tried.
Lucy Darrington is an interesting character. At the start of book, she appeared to be completely in control of her situation. Running away from boarding school is something that most young girls wouldn't dare to do, but Lucy isn't most girls. I loved her keen interest in the world around her, and the no-nonsense way that she approached every situation. For Lucy, it's all about the facts. That's how you get things done.
As for the story itself, I'll admit that it was a little slow at some points. However I do believe that that slower points were worth working through. Once Lucy and Pete entered The Devil's Thumb, and they were well on their way to finding Lucy's father, things picked up nicely. The part of me that had wanted to skip ahead was glad that I didn't, because the change in pace was exciting. I love when authors aren't afraid of the truth of adventures, despite the age they write for. There are deaths in this book. They aren't gory, and they aren't violent, but they're there nonetheless. The forest is an unforgiving place most times.
I was wavering between giving this three and four stars, but ultimately I think that I've settled on three. The ending to this just wrapped up too perfectly for my taste. While I completely understand this is aimed a much younger readers than myself, I still believe the ending was too formulaic. After everything that Lucy had been through, the happily ever after just seemed trite. Maybe when I was younger I would have loved it! Who knows? I was a reader of Grimm's Fairy Tales, so perhaps I'm just used to things being tied up a little less beautifully. ...more
I first read Far Far Away last year as an ARC, but at the time I wasn't able to figure out how I felt about it. When I stumbled across an audio book oI first read Far Far Away last year as an ARC, but at the time I wasn't able to figure out how I felt about it. When I stumbled across an audio book of it last week, I decided to give it another shot. See, I love fairy tales. Specifically the older ones that weren't afraid of a little darkness. There's something beautiful about those tales and their ability to show the true nature of things. That's what Tom McNeal has captured in Far Far Away. He's taken the Brothers Grimm and channeled their energy into a new story. It's dark, twisted, and yet gorgeous in its own way. Best of all? I was much better able to appreciate it this time around.
First off, let me say that I absolutely recommend the audio version of this. W. Morgan Sheppard is a stellar narrator, and I could listen to him read to me for hours. Well, in fact, I did listen to him read to me for hours. I could have listened for hours more though. He is the perfect addition to this story. His voice enchants you into feeling like you're a part of Jeremy Johnson Johnson's life. It's as if you're walking the streets of the town of Never Better. As if you're right there with the ever incorporeal Jacob. I adored listening to this!
As for the story, well, let me tell you that it's definitely not what you're expecting. Like all good fairy tales we start with a character who isn't quite what he seems. When I first met Jeremy I honestly believed I knew where his life would take him. I thought that, as most fairy tales do, things would wind their way to getting better for him. I believed that his best self was hiding inside that shy outer shell, and that he would be rewarded for being such a good person. Oh yes, Jeremy is as good as they come. Which is why I also loved Ginger, the female MC of this story. Her fire, and her mischievousness, really brought the book to life.
So yes, I truly believed that I knew exactly what would transpire. The truth is though, as I should have expected, things took a very drastic turn. We all know that fairy tales need a villain of some sort. Someone who we can loathe and who makes our hero bloom. Tom McNeal threw me a curve with the villain in this story. No spoilers, oh no you won't get them from me. Suffice it say that you won't see it coming. When it does? And things get darker, and darker still? You'll likely find yourself wondering where it all stemmed from, but feeling to consumed with what happens next to really worry about it.
When I read this the first time, I settled on a three star rating because my thoughts were too conflicted to really do more. This time, I'm happy to report that I had a much more enjoyable time in Never Better. I wouldn't doubt that it has something to do with our lovely narrator, but the fact remains that this is now a four star read for me. If you love fairy tales, give this a shot! You might be pleasantly surprised....more
It's true that Fates drew me in with its gorgeous cover. I mean look at that thing of beauty! It called to me. It held the promise of myth mixed withIt's true that Fates drew me in with its gorgeous cover. I mean look at that thing of beauty! It called to me. It held the promise of myth mixed with adventure. Little did I know that between these pages was a veritable labyrinth of a story. One that, no matter how much more I read, I wasn't able to find my way out of. This wasn't a fun read, my friends. Not at all. It was maddeningly confusing, and I am honestly surprised that I made it to the end. I did make it to the end though, as I had promised a review for this book. So please pardon the rambling below.
To be completely honest, this book had potential at the beginning. The reader stumbles upon Corinthe as she is fulfilling her duty as an Executor. As the one who makes sure that Fate takes its proper course. I was thrilled with this idea. Greek myth speaks of The Fates often. Of those very powerful beings who hold the very existence of every person on Earth in their hands. Why wouldn't that extend to our every day lives? It made sense to me that there would be someone here to make sure that everything went according to plan. It fits perfectly with the idea of free will vs. fate. So yes, that I loved.
Then things took a very odd turn. Suddenly Luc was in Corinthe's path, and nothing made sense anymore. These two fall in insta-love and, worse yet, the reader never really gets to know them because they hardly have time to get to know one another. I never felt anything for either of these characters. No hate, or anger, or even happiness when things went right. I felt like I was stuck in the middle of a story that had the right to do whatever it took to make it to the ending. Corinthe needs to kill Luc to get home? Okay. We still need romance though, so let's have him fall head over heels for her for no reason. Also, because this book is of the Paranormal persuasion, let's add in gnomes, hornets, and all manner of other things but not explain any of them at all. Sound good? That's this book.
Which basically meant that the first third of the book was slow, as it was building up to something bigger. The middle was confusing as all get out, and I had so many questions that I couldn't keep them all straight in my mind. Finally, as I neared the ending, everything just somehow magically wrapped up. I never had any of my questions answered. I never met half of the beings who were referred to in this book. Most frustrating of all, I didn't even feel anything at an ending that should have made me feel at least a little bit sad. What's a reader to do?
Apparently this is the first in a series, but I won't be reading past this. When it comes to first books, I'm generally pretty forgiving. I'll let a lot slide in the name of future installments. Fates, though? Too much left undone. Too many plot holes. Not enough interest left at the end....more
This graphic novel gets four stars for two very simple reasons:
1) The illustrative work in this book is adorable, and fits with the story just perfectThis graphic novel gets four stars for two very simple reasons:
1) The illustrative work in this book is adorable, and fits with the story just perfectly. 2) It's about real relationships between both friends and couples. Which is refreshing!
Jane is a bundle of hilarity and opinions. She's a skater girl at heart, and totally pissed about the fact that she isn't taken seriously in the hobby that she loves. Girls are only there to look pretty, right? They love sparkles, and ponies, and want to have a million babies with sexy, smoldering vampyre boyfriends... right? Never say any of that to Jane, unless you're willing to fend off the scathing, wholly intelligent remarks that will come flying out of her mouth. I love this girl.
Jack is a messy, funny, sweetheart who just so happens to be a layabout as well. His current job is working at a soup cart which, as he puts it, is the best job ever because you always get free soup! He's so darn adorable. His whole persona screams "I don't quite have my shit together yet, but I'm honest and sweet". Jack is just too much fun to follow.
Put these two together, and you have fun and kooky banter for days. I loved how this graphic novel doesn't shy away from the fact that we're all major dorks sometimes. Yes, sometimes we say stupid things when we're nervous. Yes, we are all flawed in some way but there's always someone to compliment those flaws. Jane and Jack aren't a "perfect couple" persay, but they definitely fit together like a puzzle.
Hilariously, my favorite part of this whole story was the titular group "The Cute Girl Network". A network of women who are ready and willing to dish all the hateful gossip on a guy to any girl who might want to date him. I don't want to spoil, but watching Jane deal with this was so much fun! I couldn't get enough of the fact that these characters point out so many things that are fundamentally wrong with the way people think "good boyfriends" should act. *wipes a tear* Love it.
This is getting lengthy, so I'll quit typing. Suffice it to say that this was a fun, dysfunctional look into how two people can fit together so perfectly, flaws and all. I adored it....more
What a surprise! I hadn't heard anything about The Polaris Uprising until I stumbled across a blog tour for it. I'm glad I did. This is a gorgeous hidWhat a surprise! I hadn't heard anything about The Polaris Uprising until I stumbled across a blog tour for it. I'm glad I did. This is a gorgeous hidden gem. A dystopian book that features two very strong, very unique, sisters and their fight to keep what they believe in alive. It's been done before, but Jennifer Ibarra breathes new life into this story line. I was hooked.
I couldn't help but rally behind Ryla. Blame it on my own impetuous nature if you must, but she just stood out to me. The exact opposite of her sister Alanna in every way, Ryla was a spitfire. I loved her charisma, her ability to think on her feet, and the fact that she wasn't afraid to stand up for herself. Not that Alanna isn't a wonderful character as well! She's the kind sister, the older one who listens to reason, the one who tries to keep the peace. These two together were a pure joy to follow. I knew there was dissent coming, but the first half of the book held so much sisterly love in it.
What most impressed me about The Polaris Uprising was how easily it flowed. Every chapter brought something new to light and, even though the book switches between the view points of Alanna and Ryla, it was so simple to follow. I slowly had the opportunity to watch these girls grow up. To be right there alongside them as they discovered who they really were, and what they wanted for their futures. I can't really say much more without spoiling anything. Tragic, I know. You'll have to read this for yourself.
Suffice it say, I was impressed. I'm glad that Ryla and Alanna's story was put on my radar, and I can't wait for more! This is the first in the series, and I'm in for the long haul. That ending pretty much solidified it for me. Pick this up if you enjoy well-written dystopian fiction with strong female characters! You won't regret it....more
Thank you Brian Falkner. Thank you for writing the kind of book that I was craving! Northwood is the reminiscent of the stories I adored as a child. FThank you Brian Falkner. Thank you for writing the kind of book that I was craving! Northwood is the reminiscent of the stories I adored as a child. Fairy tales, filled with dark forests, brave heroes, and hidden castles. It's the type of story that is unpredictable, and filled with adventure. The type of story that doesn't talk down to its young readers, but instead embraces them within its pages. This is the stuff that bedtime stories are made of.
Cecelia stole my heart. Our heroine in this book, she isn't just brave but smart and honest as well. I think the perfect word for Cecelia is tenacious. She just doesn't give up! Whenever things weren't going her way, she worked around it. Sure, she was afraid at times. What ten year old wouldn't be? She just never let it get in her way. Cecelia's character is the perfect role model for the young readers who will fall in love with this book.
Northwood blends Cecelia's adventures with a fair bit of humor as well. Avery and Evan, our supporting characters on this adventure, were tons of fun! Bickering twins, these two were like night and day. Headstrong Avery, who was always willing to jump into danger when necessary. Sweet, silly Evan who tried so hard to seem smart that he was constantly misusing big words. These two bring a lightness to the story. Trials and tribulations come their way, but these three always keep their heads up.
In fact, this whole story is just filled with the perfect kind of whimsy that will make young readers, and readers who are young at heart, smile and laugh. Houses made of balloons, hairy and evil Kings, and so much more. I can't deny that I fell in love with Miss Cecelia Undergarment. I'd happily follow her into any adventure she happens upon. Once again, thank you to Brian Falkner. Northwood spoke straight to my inner child, and delighted her to no end....more
It's taken me quite a while to settle down enough to write this review. If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I have aIt's taken me quite a while to settle down enough to write this review. If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I have a lot invested in this trilogy. Pressia, Bradwell, Partridge, El Capitan and Lyda have come to feel like family to me. Their broken world a place where I felt at home. Julianna Baggott has never ceased to amaze me with how easily she weaves a story. My expectations for this final installment weren't just exceeded, they were shattered into tiny, bite sized pieces.
There is so much character growth in this story that I can't even begin to explain it all. Every person is faced with a choice. The type of life altering choice that has the power to make you, or break you. It was so completely heartbreaking watching as these young people, these characters I had come to love, were faced with so much suffering and despair. It was also beautiful in a way. Baggott shows how much strength there is inside each and every one of us.
As the final book in the trilogy, Burn had a lot to wrap up. When last we left Pressia and the others, everything was in flux. People dying, secrets being uncovered, and absolutely nothing was what it seemed. The plot moves at a manic pace, mercilessly dragging you along as everything falls to pieces. I've felt battered at the end of a book many times before. I've reached an ending, and then been unable to process anything else for at least a few hours. This book? The feeling was ten-fold. I felt so emotionally hurt that it was almost physical.
That being said, the ending is definitely not one a lot of people are going to like. Even I can fairly admit that it wasn't what I wanted. In terms of the overall trilogy though? I think it was perfect. It wasn't the ending I expected, but it was the ending that was needed. I can't express to you enough how much I'm going to miss these characters. This trilogy stole my heart, and I don't ever want it back....more
This is my first foray into the mind of Tim Curran, but after reading Nightcrawlers I can tell you that it won't be my last. Up until I dove into thesThis is my first foray into the mind of Tim Curran, but after reading Nightcrawlers I can tell you that it won't be my last. Up until I dove into these pages, it had been far too long since I'd been so enthralled by a book that everyday life fell to the wayside. Curran weaves a story filled to the brim with dark imagery. He brings to life creatures from the depths. Creatures that exist only in the darkest corners of our childhood nightmares. It's terrifying in the best way possible.
In fact, the first two-thirds of this book held me deeply in their thrall. I eagerly waited for each new clue about Clavitt Fields and the horrors it held beneath its soil. I watched the body count rise, and relished in the rather gory deaths of the people on the pages. Which reminds me to warn you, dear readers, that Curran writes descriptively in all aspects of this book. If you are squeamish, if you aren't a fan of blood and gore, you might want to look elsewhere for your next read. Otherwise, please continue.
So yes, for a good portion of the book I was completely invested in this twisted story. I thought I knew exactly where the ending was headed, and was sure that good would prevail. Was I right? Not exactly. In fact, the ending came straight out of left field in my opinion. Only after I finished reading Nightcrawlers did I find out that this is meant to pay homage to Lovecraft. Ah, now I understand. That's not to say that I liked the ending, but it does make a lot more sense now.
Final verdict? This book is a solid four-stars in my opinion! I'm a fan of horror, and Tim Curran's book took me for on the dark, exciting adventure that I was looking for. The ending may not have been my favorite, but that doesn't change the fact that is is a well-written and easy to read book. I will be back for more!...more
I'm still torn on whether this story is aimed at an MG, or a YA audience. It's true that The Obsidian Pebble features an 11-year old protagonist. HoweI'm still torn on whether this story is aimed at an MG, or a YA audience. It's true that The Obsidian Pebble features an 11-year old protagonist. However these characters don't act, think, or even talk like most 11-year-olds that I know. On the one hand, I loved that. I adore when authors don't think they need to talk down to their audience. On the other hand, this may be a difficult read for younger readers to get into at first. Just something to think about before you put it in your reader's hands.
Yes, The Obsidian Pebble does take a little while to get up and moving. It makes sense though. Rhys A. Jones uses the first few chapters to introduce the reader to Oz's town, his amazing home, and give the reader some back story on how he came to live there. I was enchanted by the idea of Penwurt. This massive home, big enough to house boarders even, came to life in my mind. What better place to have an adventure? What better place to uncover a dark mystery? Penwurt became a character in its own right, and I ate it up.
Oz and his friends were also great characters. They were funny, bantered like best friends should, and were extremely smart. I couldn't get over how quickly they managed to sort out any problems that came their way. My only gripe is that I didn't get to know them as much as I would have liked. The author does a great job of quickly introducing each one, and showing how they work as team. I just wasn't as invested in them as I thought I should be. In the story, yes. In them, not so much. The mystery really pulls the story forward.
I honestly ended up enjoying The Obsidian Pebble in the end. It did take me a little while to become immersed in the story, but once things picked up in the mystery department I was hooked. Again I say, just keep reading on. The story does pick up! By the ending, I was ready for more. I think this would be a great read to share between a parent and a child. ...more
First off, I was totally immersed in the setting of this book. Bold takes place in the High Desert. Can you guess who grew up there? Yup, me. So whenFirst off, I was totally immersed in the setting of this book. Bold takes place in the High Desert. Can you guess who grew up there? Yup, me. So when Will was complaining about the heat, the dust, and all manner of other desert related things, I was right there along with him. I felt connected to this story on a whole other level, simply because I could easily picture every scene.
I also really enjoyed both Will and Sasha as characters. They felt realistic to me. They made normal teenage decisions, and had normal teenage issues. What set them apart were the things they were facing. I couldn't help but smile as Sasha fought against her own mortality, and tried to live each day to the fullest. Watching a quiet, shy girl wage an inner battle to break out of her shell was wonderful. In the same vein, following along as Will tried to learn who he really wanted to be was equally amazing. I adored these two, and thought they were an excellent match.
Which is why I really wished for more romance. Bold is billed as contemporary romance, but it feels like more of a coming-of-age story. True, there was romance. Still, I feel like it was greatly understated compared to the life lessons these two learn, both together and separately. The story revolves around them growing, learning boundaries, and coming to terms with who they really are. If this is what you're looking to read, you're in luck! If you're looking for straight romance, you might want to look elsewhere.
I also felt like the ending was rushed. The first half of the book moves along at a leisurely pace. I was treated to the alternating points of view, as Will and Sasha slowly got to know one another and themselves. Then, suddenly, things picked up pace towards the middle of the book. So much happened in the last half that I felt a bit winded at the end. Dialogue felt more rushed, and not as realistic as in the beginning. I was left feeling lost and wishing I had more time to get to know these characters. I didn't feel everything was wrapped up. Be warned, there are a few grammatical errors in this book. It doesn't take away from the story as a whole, but I always notice and I know others do too.
Final verdict? I'm honestly on the fence about Bold. While it had its moments, there really wasn't enough here to make this a glowing read for me....more
I put off writing a review for New Sight to ruminate on how I actually felt about this book. Honestly? I think the best word to describe my feelings iI put off writing a review for New Sight to ruminate on how I actually felt about this book. Honestly? I think the best word to describe my feelings is disappointed. When I read the synopsis I thought I'd be thrown into a story about a manic girl who has an uncontrolled need to rip people's eyes out. That I'd slowly uncover a dark secret, and maybe the "hidden powers" that I was promised. Instead, I was given a magic system that left me confused.
The brilliant part about this book is that the hook is intense. The first page caught my attention, and it was all I could do to keep from skipping to the bottom to find out what happened next. I felt the tension, and the anger, and the despair. Color me surprised when a few chapters later it felt like a much different book. It became a monotony of being attacked-fight, rest, being attacked-fight, rest.
Sadly, not even the characters had the power to captivate me. Lys and her ragtag group of magic users were lacking in the depth department. There was so much action, so much focus on them constantly being faced with foes, that there wasn't any time to get to know them better. They felt two-dimensional, and it was like I was watching from afar rather than being right there with them. I wasn't invested in their fight. Or in their stories....more