I wanted to branch out in what is one of my favorite genres--young adult fantasy--with this book, and the setting of castles and knights seemed right...moreI wanted to branch out in what is one of my favorite genres--young adult fantasy--with this book, and the setting of castles and knights seemed right up my alley.
I had to give this book three stars, though. I thought Moss' writing style just wasn't completely to my taste. There were a lot of simply declarative sentences and I wanted a bit more depth to descriptions and interactions between the characters. I also had trouble believing all the emotional states of certain characters at times. I did like the romance between the lead girl who becomes a queen and Sir Kenway. (less)
I was disappointed when I didn't win this book from FirstReads and I had to wait to get it through Paperbackswap.com, but the fun in this book is wort...moreI was disappointed when I didn't win this book from FirstReads and I had to wait to get it through Paperbackswap.com, but the fun in this book is worth the wait.
Yes, the vampire thing has been done to death, but adding the buddy-cop and political angles was enough to interest me. From the start, Blood Oath emphasizes action and thrills. In fact, it feels like a movie--which I love! The various characters are uniquely drawn and memorable, even the ones you hate. And you'll hate a few of them because the villains are just that memorable. Moreover, nearly all of them live to hassle Cade and Zach another day. This is a good thing because you will want to see these two keep working together, fighting the unimaginable. Traces of a few original creepy things inhabit the plot, and Farnsworth has an ingratiating, upbeat tone to his writing voice that I like. I would like to see Candace and Zach together more in the second installment--and I hope she's brunette! This is a fast and fun read and I do want to read the further adventures of the President's Vampire.(less)
**spoiler alert** As I read/reviewed/ADORED the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless, I had to read this second installment as well...more**spoiler alert** As I read/reviewed/ADORED the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless, I had to read this second installment as well, and it was thankfully published just after I finished Soulless.
Second books in series are unusual feats to tackle--they must retain what was loved in the first book but widen the world created by adding characters and continuing plot in a believable way. Changless does that. There is still an interesting supernatural mystery to resolve and steaminess between Alexia and Lord Maccon to enjoy, but the addition of Madame Lafou and Maccon's old Scottish pack are brilliant touches that lead the story in a direction which prompts anticipation for the third installment, Blameless. In fact, the resolution here NECESSITATES reading Blameless. I won't spoil anything, but you will want to smack a certain character RIGHT ACROSS THEIR FACE at the end of Changless and you will HAVE to read how this situation is dealt with in Blameless.
I recommend this series highly and am exceedingly impatient for the third book. (less)
I was very excited to win this book through FirstReads, and I wondered whether this would be an enjoyable "monsterization" (is tha...more*WARNING: SPOILERS!*
I was very excited to win this book through FirstReads, and I wondered whether this would be an enjoyable "monsterization" (is that a word?) of one of my favorite books of all time.
First, everyone should know that the influence of the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is almost painfully evident in this book. From the general concept itself to the black and white illustrations, it is clear that without the sales of that earlier retelling, this book would not exist. However, Little Women and Werewolves will probably surprise many as a solid entry into this new subgenre of literature rather than a rip-off of a rip-off.
The book begins with the cheeky conceit/joke of trying to assert that this is the original text of Little Women, and in truth, because Louisa May Alcott actually did write sensation stories, some readers may find this combination more palatable than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Beware of the bloodiness of the added material (the horrible teacher Mr. Davis, who lashes Amy's hand, is dispatched by Laurie, who is now a werewolf, for example), and know that Porter Grand does much more editing of the text of the classic she's working with than did Seth Graham-Smith for P&P&Z. (Which might actually work in its favor.)
Obviously, rewritings of classic novels to include various monsters will NEVER replace the original works, but as offbeat instances of homage, they can be quite entertaining. Little Women and Werewolves was. (less)
I decided to put my review of the whole Hunger Games series here, with the final book.
I think this series is AMAZING! It would take a lot for a series...moreI decided to put my review of the whole Hunger Games series here, with the final book.
I think this series is AMAZING! It would take a lot for a series to outshine Harry Potter for me, but this series is a close second of the ones I've read so far. (Yes, even before Twilight.)
The initial premise--a future dystopian America is kept in check by a ruthless regime called The Capitol with yearly televised fights to the death between teens from each of the country's 12 districts--is a compelling one. Though you could argue that The Running Man version of this idea is more plausible--it features adults, not kids, and doesn't seem so far-fetched in this reality t.v.-obsessed culture we seem to have--I think seeing it through the eyes of relatable lead character Katniss Everdeen makes the difference. She is a character you don't always like through all three books, but you understand where she's coming from at every moment. The love triangle that develops pitting Katniss between Peeta, charming co-competitor in the Games, and old friend Gale is more palatable than that type of storyline usually is to me because they see her faults and still want to be with her. The other characters, from alcoholic mentor Haymitch to stylist Cinna, all register well, and Collins writes in a concise and plot-focused style.
This series is a unique and unforgettable one. I know a film adaptation is forthcoming--I hope it does this story justice. (Lord, what I wouldn't give for a chance to play Katniss!)(less)
I couldn't believe it--I found an advance copy of this at my local Half-Price Books!! Someone nearby must have gotten it and sold it there. I snatched...moreI couldn't believe it--I found an advance copy of this at my local Half-Price Books!! Someone nearby must have gotten it and sold it there. I snatched it up immediately! :) (That's why I haven't entered the FirstReads contest to win this.)
The Pink Carnation series always provides tons to enjoy for me, and this fun Christmas installment is no exception. Our favorite blundering vegetable, Turnip Fitzhugh, gets his turn at the lead hero role and he accomplishes it splendidly. He is the same Turnip we know and love, but he proves to have a hell of right hook on him as well as plenty of romantic tendencies. These are brought out by Arabella Dempsey, and I love them together. One of the most clever aspects of this book is that it takes the Christmas house party that began The Temptation of the Night Jasmine and makes it the setting for the ending of this book, telling what else was going on there. I really lucked into a serendipitous reading situation, as I just read Night Jasmine last month. I'm always eagerly Willig's next Regency-era spy adventure/romantic comedy, but now I can't wait for Christmas too!(less)
Disclaimer up front: I won this book on FirstReads.
The idea of making romance novels out of fairy tales is a great one. Not having had a chance to rea...moreDisclaimer up front: I won this book on FirstReads.
The idea of making romance novels out of fairy tales is a great one. Not having had a chance to read the first Fiery Tales book, I didn't anticipate the graphic level of the sex scenes--slang terms for body parts, for instance--but one does get used to that fairly quickly. I do appreciate the details of the writing that set the stories in the decadent French court of Louis XIV. And, most of all, fairy tales are about romance, so of course each couple in the three stories here get their happy ending, which I always love.
As long as you're prepared for the way the love scenes are written here, romance fans will love this book.(less)
What do I even need to say about the Pink Carnation series anymore? It is consistently amazing, and this latest installment is no exception.
The Orchid...moreWhat do I even need to say about the Pink Carnation series anymore? It is consistently amazing, and this latest installment is no exception.
The Orchid Affair follows our endearing grad student Eloise Kelly to Paris with boyfriend Colin, where she picks up on one of the French exploits of the Pink Carnation--the placement of Laura Gray--new operative on her very first mission and codenamed the "Silver Orchid"-- in the home of Andre Jaouen, assistant to Prefect of Police, as a governess. Do I need to say that romance and much swashbuckling ensue?
That is actually what makes this series completely fabulous--the mix of romance and adventure that really can't be beat. Willig is an author who touches on a distinct and relatable humor as well. Plus, you get a bit of a history lesson. LOVE THESE BOOKS! Do we really have to wait a year for another?(less)
Full disclosure up front: I won this book through FirstReads.
I entered to win this book because I always want to widen my historical fiction horizons...moreFull disclosure up front: I won this book through FirstReads.
I entered to win this book because I always want to widen my historical fiction horizons and the '20s is one of the many eras I like to read about. This book made wonderful use of the Crestmont Inn setting and also had a little of the historical touches I was looking for. I like the way Weiss writes the plot through mostly brief snatches of scenes, and she created characters we learn to care for. Though the editing here left a lot to be desired (I counted at least three missing or misplaced quotation marks and I think there were more), overall I am glad I read this book. (less)
Disclaimer first off: I won this book through FirstReads.
I have been wanting to read more of all the great historical fiction appearing recently, so I...moreDisclaimer first off: I won this book through FirstReads.
I have been wanting to read more of all the great historical fiction appearing recently, so I was excited to win this through FirstReads. I was not disappointed. First, I love the idea of dramatizing the (possible) historical events behind the well known poem, "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning. And though some of the writing to se the historical scene felt a little stiff, the plot and the characters were intriguing enough to keep my interest from first page to last. I thought the input from a ghost-like first duchess was an interesting choice--she is not really a relatable character to me but most of that was still well-written. Of course, my favorite part was the slow beginnings of romance for the Duke and his second Duchess, Alfonso and Barbara. I am now eager to find out about the historical figures here.
Good enough for me to watch for what Loupas writes next!(less)