I downloaded my sample and dipped my foot in. I was a little tentative… okay, a lot tentative. Am I going to like it? I hope it’s good, my mind said as I read. A few hours later, the sun was rising, and I’d stopped squinting at My Lord Hades like it was out to get me. I could have starred in the Mikey Life Commercials. “She likes it. She likes it. She really likes it.” I sent off a request and a coupon for a free copy was in my emailbox when I woke up the next afternoon.
Let’s start with the characters. Ms. Beman did a great job giving each of her characters a distinctive voice. Hades was burdened yet honorable. He was a break away from the gloomy Guses who are popular in many works today. Of all the characters, I’d say he was the most tenderhearted. Yet he was caring in a way which didn’t detract from his masculinity. Well, done. I liked him.
Persephone reminded me of a butterfly or Snow White. Picture the scene where Snow White or any of the Disney Damsels who sing, dance, and just enjoy life. That was Persephone. I worried I’d grow tiresome of her frolicking, but as the plot unfolded, so did other facets of her personality. I admit, Persephone wasn’t one of my favorite heroines. Mostly because I don’t go for the damsels in distress type. However, Ms. Beman gave excellent rationales behind Persephone’s early behavior and by the end of the story, there was definitely character growth.
Plot wise. I’m a sucker for Greek mythology. I got into it when I was a young girl, and it’s held my interest ever since. I expected to read a typical mythology about Hades and Persephone with the same old storyline, but fleshed out as Ms. Beman gave it her own voice. Boy was I wrong. Ms. Beman took liberties in weaving this story. Much is the same, so that it has the Greek Mythology feel, but a few deviations here and there really added a flare. It kept me on my toes, since I wasn’t sure how the storyline would differ from what I’d read of Hades and Persephone in the past.
I know this is a nitpicking type of thing. But if you’ve read my other reviews, you know I’m prone to it. The story starts with a Prologue. Now I’m one to read prologues cause I’m afraid of missing things. This year, I found many people skip over the prologue. The prologue for My Lord Hades reads like a first chapter. It’s a shame Ms. Beman didn’t label it as such. I think she missed an opportunity there.
The characters were well-fleshed. The plot was interesting and fresh. Overall, I enjoyed it. Not bad for a debut novel.(less)
Unlike the last novel, The Darkest Passion, where the first six chapters dragged and gave me a feeling of deja vu, The Darkest Lie started quite well. Gideon was the first Lord I’ve seen who actually got along (somewhat) with his demon. It added an air of originality. And the voice for Gideon was also quite different from the other Lords. It was almost as if the YA novels Ms. Showalter’s been writing filtered into this one. Because he so like totally used the lingo, if you know what I mean? Okay. I’ve dated myself to the 80s and haven’t a clue how kids talk today. Let’s move on. Later in the novel, I didn’t notice the kid talk so much. So maybe Ms. Showalter needed to make the transition into the adult world.
So opposite day with Gideon Lord. How did it go? Well, as I suspected, it got on my last nerve. And really, I didn’t think it had to be so bad. I swear 100 words could have been shaved off the book if Ms. Showalter had let me think for myself. But no, she insisted on interpreting EVERYTHING Gideon said. “I hate you.” Which in Gideon talk really meant I love you. “You, devil.” Devil as in Angel. Yes, the entire book was like that, I kid you not (I wish I could add a smiley face with the mouth drawn across in a straight line, but I don’t know how.)
And I hate to say it, but when Gideon told the truth it got on my nerves even more, cause it was pointless. Remember how he lost his hands in the first place? Come on… let’s not be stupid.
Scarlet was okay. Actually, she started out great. She’s the first female Lord who’s had a major role. Tough? Yep. Spunky? Double check. An unlike the other Lords, she really knew how to use her demon to be most effective. I love that she didn’t shy away from going all kickass. Unfortunately, she lost some of her backbone as the story possessed. I swear she turned into a totally different person. Not until the end did she become the Scarlet I grew to know and love from the beginning. Odd, I always thought the characters were suppose to experience growth, not decline then end up where they started. Go figure.
So I liked the beginning. Then we hit chapter 6. I don’t know what the deal is with chapter 6 and the switch to a secondary character POV, but it happened in the Darkest Passion also. Only this time, there were more switches to secondary characters than before. All I could think about was, “Please don’t do to the Lords of the Underworld what J.R. Ward did to the Black Dagger Brotherhood.” Oh my word did I hate the billion and seven story arcs in Lover Mine.
The other thing about the POV switches for the Darkest Lie was they were awkward. It’d go from a sensual scene to a blood and gore scene, then back to sensual again. My mind was like, WTF? After visualizing folks getting beaten to death with their own arms, I’m so not down with a tender caress. Not only that, but a lot of the secondary character scenes trumped the Gideon/Scarlet scenes. I found myself caring more about Strider and Amun than any of the horizontal tangos the hero/heroine had planned. Which is a shame, cause the couple really deserved their own book rather than share the glory with folks soon to have their own titles.
I guess my bottom line is that the book didn’t have to be 444 pages long. Cut the translations and the side character arcs, and I think the book would have been okay. Not the greatest, but certainly a lot better than it was.
By the way, and I don’t think this is a spoiler, but Paris didn’t appear even once in this novel. Anyone remember what happened to him? I totally forgot what happened to him in the last novel.(less)
I quickly learned Jane was not the same wild girl she was in Claimed. Yes, I knew Jane was disturbed in a broken kind of way. I expected the right incident to set her off, and she’d go out like a blazing flame taking everyone around her with her. I was wrong. So very wrong.
I’m not sure if the spark I thought I saw in Jane was more bravado or if Paul had beaten all sense of self-worth out of her by the time I got to Mated. Truly, it saddened me to see what became of Jane. But her story isn’t unique. Men batter women all across the country. And for some reason or another the women feel as if they have no other choice but to accept it. That was Jane. Trapped in an abuse relationship with no place to turn. Her only way to fight back was to survive another day.
I found Cole to be very straightforward. I’m not sure if this was a werewolf trait with the species being forthcoming with their emotions and such or what. But it worked. I liked that there were no games in love. In many ways, it’d make life easier if people were so honest with their feelings.
Ms. Winters mentioned in the past her Blood Lust series were standalone. I’d say definitely yes with this book. The novella starts months? after Claimed and is so focused on Jane and Cole, there’s no time for back story from the other novellas in the series. Of the three books, I’d have to say this was my favorite.(less)
Anyone out there ever play Dungeons & Dragons? Don’t be shy. I know some of you all were as nerdy as me growing up. I bet some of you still play the game. What does that have to do with Claimed? Anthony. I’d definitely classify him as lawful evil. Add that to his rash behavior, and Claimed ended up with some funky situations. I have to say, I rather liked him. Once in a while I think of something he did/said and crack up laughing. I try not to think about him in public places, cause I’m not quite ready to go to the loony bin.
Hmm…Charlee. I wasn’t so fond of the amnesic Charlee. She was a bit of a flake. She also spent a lot of time being pawned by vampires throughout the story. This is just a preference, but I rather like strong, decisive heroines. Even so, she had some great lines, such as: “Then you show up, all dark and brooding with your coat flapping out behind you like a comic book villain, and you’re upset I’m not acting like me?” Of course it makes me think of Anthony again, and I start laughing. But it’s okay, cause I’m at home in the privacy of my bedroom.
On to the spoiler free plot. In many ways this book is a standalone. However, I believe some may be confused with a few of the references on the first few pages if they haven’t read Kept. Get past that, and you’re good to go. I didn’t bother reading the blurb for Claimed, so it was quite a twist for me that Charlee lost her memory, and how she lost it even more so. I loved it! Everyone’s freaking out around her and acting weird, and she’s in lala land. Meanwhile, Anthony has his own agenda. And if he doesn’t achieve his goal, there’s a good chance all us mere humans might get pawned.
Well, Anthony and Charlee’s story is over, but really I want to hear more about them. I sure hope the aftermath of their lives show up in Mated and the soon to be released novel Save My Soul, even if it is hearsay.(less)
Gosh. I surfed through my notes and see I don’t have too many. Bummer. It’ll make this review a bit tougher. Okay. Here goes. I didn’t think this was...moreGosh. I surfed through my notes and see I don’t have too many. Bummer. It’ll make this review a bit tougher. Okay. Here goes. I didn’t think this was Ms. Cole’s best work. In fact, it was my least favorite of the series. But hold up. It wasn’t a bad read either. After all, not every book she writes can come in first place. It was more than okay, but it wasn’t fantastic.
Most of my notes refer to Malkom. Whereas Carrow was the normal snarky heroine typical of Ms. Cole’s novels, our hero was unique. He reminded me of a maiden at times with his mentality and his experience. I loved it. When he wasn’t playing the role of the maiden, he was a Neanderthal. He had no problem swinging his woman over his shoulder and hauling her to his cave of love. The diversity was great. And he had this interesting sense of fairness. As if the world balanced out. After 400 years, one would think he’d learn.
I’d give Demons from the Dark a 3.5-4 star read, whereas most of her books would be on a 4-5 star read. Once again, Kresley Cole delivers.(less)
There was a lot to like about Shiver. Not one of my favorites, but definitely a decent read.
Grace was an interesting character. My first impression was she acted too grown up for a seventeen year old. It took me a while to warm up to her because of it. (tee hee…did you catch my pun? “warm up” Okay that was lame. Moving on.) It wasn’t until later when her situation became apparent that her personality began to fit in my mind. Sometimes experiences do make children grow up a little fast. Sad, but true. Truly Grace was aged before her time.
Certainly Sam was an important character. Even though he had his own POV in the story, for some reason he just didn’t seem to take lead as I’d expect a main character to do. He seemed to play second fiddle to Grace. Not sure if this is what Ms. Stiefvater intended when she wrote the two POVs, but that’s how it played out to me. And it was certainly okay in my mind. A lot of romances are like that, with the female having more of a presence than the male. I wasn’t bothered, it just an impression which stayed with me. If I could put some adjectives to Sam’s name they would be Loyal, Chivalrous, Persevering.
So, I’m looking at my earlier notes and found I had a lot of questions at the beginning of the novel. The answers were answered later in the book, but I remember being very confused early on and asking the question “what are the rules?” I didn’t like the vagueness. In truth, I believe it was a main reason I had such a difficult time investing in the novel. It wasn’t until the rules about transformation and such became concrete that I was able to really get into the book. In a way, I guess it was fitting since Grace didn’t really know all the rules herself. Sam certainly was more familiar, but he wasn’t keeping me privy to all the hush, hush secrets about lycanthropy.
One of the things I found fascinating was Grace and Sam’s relationship. They reminded me of an old married couple many times in their mannerisms. They seemed comfortable with each other. It was almost as if they’d spent the last six years in each others company and not just a few weeks (or whatever the time period was). It was odd to see their relationship at that maturity level when really everything was so fresh to them.
That Grace was the sexually assertive one, also surprised me. Even though I’m a prude and want all children to wait before engaging in sex, I found this novel modern in its presentation. Like many YA shows (Kyle KY, Vampire Diaries, Smallville, Pretty Little Liars), teens are doing the “deed.” It saddens me so little thought goes into sharing an experience which should be special. Yes, quite a few teens are having sex, and Ms. Stiefvater didn’t put anything on the table which wasn’t already there. I’d be naive to think they weren’t. And it’d also be silly to think the heavy petting and spit exchange wasn’t a common occurrence amongst some teens. I was a kid once too, despite my archaic mentality. I just hope I’ve talked to my kids enough about the emotional side of sex that they know when the time come it should be a special for them and not something to give away lightly, regardless of the way the media portrays it. Like I said. I’m a prude despite my fondness for writing and reading erotic literature and talking about sex in general.
Now keep in mind, I just started reading the YA genre this year as an adult. I’m told this genre can incorporate a lot of adult issues while remaining YA. I think Shiver has one foot planted in the YA world, while crossing into the adult mentality. End the end, I have to say Ms. Stiefvater did an excellent job. Cause really, isn’t that what it’s like being a teen? Not quite a child, but definitely not a adult. The in between.
Shiver ended rather abruptly. I certainly wasn’t ready for the ending and neither was my daughter. After she finished Shiver she came to me with the same thoughts. The story didn’t quite seem finished. Well, I mentioned in an earlier post that I won Linger from Arena (The Nerd’s Wife Blog). So now I just have to wait until my daughter finishes hording it. I’m certainly looking forward to it.
So before I wrap up, a few favorite lines:
I remember being intrigued by the idea of school-in-a-box, just-add-water-and-Sam. You’re like a song I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again.” I turned down the heat — Sam had it set to hell — and shoved my backpack down by my feet. (less)
Bit of a surprise for me, but the chapter 1 title hooked me. Yeah, that’s right. Didn’t even get into the book and I was already digging it. “HOW TO BE A FAIRY GODMOTHER: Never Reveal Yourself to Your Charges.” So, I continued.
Though the storyline had an interesting premise, much of the world seemed very similar to the concept of Harry Potter books. I kind of liked that. Main difference was the main character (MC) wasn’t a boy discovering the world; it’s a full grown woman. Despite being a contemporary fantasy romance (can I add romance? That’d make three genres. Is that okay?), it had a women’s fiction (whoops! there’s another genre) type feel to it. If it were made into a movie, my husband would call it a chickflick. Is that what chicklit is? This MC had some not so bright moments like this, particularly in the beginning.
I have to admit, I wasn’t fond of writing styles. The MC thought things were strange but went around acting as if everything was fine. “Hmmm. That’s strange. I wonder who left the door wide open. Oh well, I guess I just need to be more observant next time.” No…I don’t think so. It gave a hollow, forced feel. This MC definitely had some not so bright moments, particularly in the beginning.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the cover art. A bit sparkly. Fanciful. Just a lot of fun. Right? Well, I’ll tell you something! The cover had me fooled. I was completely taken off guard by what the inside held. EROTICA!!! At least the first scene. Seriously, the cover looked so unassuming. I’m used to sexy manmeat displayed in all their masculinity in my racy romance books. Not this innocent stuff.
I feel like I should say something more about The Wish List, but really I’ve got nothing else for ya. The plot was so-so. Nothing spectacular. The bad guy was whom I suspected. Everyone I thought who’d fall in love fell in love. Everyone got their happy ending. Bottom line: the novel had enough going for it to keep me coming back from time to time, but nothing significant enough to keep me from feeling like I had ADD when I got distracted.(less)
One of the things I like about the Hunger Games and now Catching Fire is the realism of children growing old before their time. Catching Fire is not a youthful book. Yes, the children are young, but they’ve faced too many trials and suffered to much to hold on to their innocence. They don’t have the typical immature thought patterns I remember as a youngster. They don’t have time to be anything but adults despite their age. It’s sad, but true, and I like the truth in it as much as it saddens me.
Catching Fire was quite different from the Hunger Games. More so than ever, the focus is on Gale and Katniss. It’s like a tragic love story which puts Romeo and Juliet to shame. Once again this book had me on the verge of tears. Not just for the situation Gale and Katniss lived but also for the people around them. No matter how much the two victors gave, no matter how perfect the gifts, I could never forget their generosity never compensated for the sacrifices and lost.
I didn’t see much of Gale in the first book. This book he came out to play from time to time, and I like him. He was candid and had a sense of humor. I’d always seen Peeta as insignificant, weak even, though completely dedicated to Katniss. Gale on the other hand, I saw as a pillar…an equal to Katniss. I’m very much interested in how things will turn out in the end for them in Mockingjay.
I just finished watching an episode of Nip/Tuck when Christian’s son was kidnapped, and his fiancee thought the boy was taken to be an organ donor. The presumed kidnapper realized she’d reached the low–the unthinkable. How could anyone ever go so beyond humanity to think it was okay to hurt a child? That’s the Hunger Games. That’s the Capital in the Catching Fire. I reached the end of chapter 4 and all I could think was OMG! Once I got over the shock, I realized President Snow was serious. He was taking no hostages. Any good which might have been in his little shriveled soul had caught fire and turned to ash.
In Hunger Games, Katniss was focused and determined to survive. In Catching Fire she was no different, but this time had an awareness of herself on a psychological level. She saw herself as selfish and self-pitying but couldn’t shake the feelings. But really, when in misery, it’s so hard to think of others, and I love that Ms. Collins brought that factor to the forefront.
For me, Catching fire was about truths. The honesty was astounding. The idea someone knew their limits and verbalized them had me in awe. And the honesty to do the brave thing for the good of others nearly broke my heart.
Take a moment to read some of my favorite lines as I dry my eyes:
I want to point out that twenty-two dead tributes will never recover from the games he helped create, either. I looked up into those blue eyes that no amount of dramatic make-up can make truly deadly and remember how, just a year ago, I was prepared to kill him. They’ve got years to eat sugar, wheras you and I…well, if we see something sweet, we bettter grab it quick. My foolish, shallow, affectionate pets, with their obsessions with feathers and parties, nearly break my heart with their goodbye. This is no place for a girl on fire.
Alright, I’m back. So the UK version used the Metric System. Anyone want to tell me if the US version used the Standard version? It’s been nagging at me.
On a side note, when Catching Fire landed in my mailbox, and I dropped everything and devoured this book while my daughter watched hungrily from the side. I passed it to her and consumed it. She turned to the last page, and like the scene with Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned, she sat up and said, “More.” Talk about freaky.(less)
First thing I found was Anchored is set in an alternative time-line where slavery is prominent in the present world. Hmm… that was different and enough to keep me reading. Okay, so this was a fictional piece of work. However, reading about slavery in history books in the classroom truly doesn’t do justice to what it means to be a slave. Ms. Haimowitz did an excellent job of showing the classes, privileges, and rights (or lack thereof) between the slave and free class. Myself, as an American living with quite a few privileges, it’s easy to take for granted the many haves while getting pissy when I have nots. For instance, I’ve been known to spout off like I’ve lost my mind when I know there’s no major consequence lurking around the corner. Let a slave from Anchored try that.
So characters: Daniel (MC) was a true slave and played the role. He had a few moments when he pushed boundaries, but for the most part was easy to reel back in. At times, it was truly sad. I felt for the guy. Daniel wasn’t a protagonist who exuded strength. He was broken in a way which lent itself to a sympathetic audience. His life wasn’t perfect, but he dealt. It even got me a little misty-eyed a few times. The realism was something I understood.
Carl, Daniel’s co-star, was patient but still a master true and true to the end. He reminded me of bible teachings where slaves were released in the seventh year. But if the slave had a good master, he/she might not want release, so sold himself back into slavery to avoid the stress which came with being free. Carl was that kind of master. He wasn’t perfect, but he cared enough that his slaves knew it could be worse elsewhere. By the way, if you stop by after 7 am EST today, Carl agreed to do an interview with me, and Ms. Haimowitz will be checking throughout the day. So don’t miss out.
Now the villain, Mr. Foster… he was a mean one. I love villains I can hate with a passion. I can’t help but want to learn more about him. How did he get to be so wicked? Mr. Foster had very small parts, but those parts played a significant role in the overall interactions between Daniel and the other characters. Gosh, I’d love to read a story about him with him as a main character or co-star.
Plot wise: When I started this, I was expecting a bit of M on M romance. I got something entirely different. A powerful yank kind of different, but different good. I think it’s why I liked it so much. Personally, I found very little of this book erotic until the very end—not much guy on guy action. I was fine with that since I haven’t decided if M/M sex in books are for me yet. Still I found myself wiping the fog from my glasses at once time. One thing Anchored did have was a lot of emotional drama. That worked for me, because I’m all about my protagonists going through the fire. I often return to a comment Nalini Singh made on her blog about thinking about the worse you can do to your hero/heroine, then do it. Ms. Haimowitz certainly did that.
Overall, this was a great read. So good in fact, it almost made my 2010 favorites. What held it back? This was my first Happy For Now ending. And I’ve come to find out that I’m not too fond of those. I don’t have to have a Happily Ever After, but I definitely like closure. Now I’m not saying Anchored had a cliffhanger. It didn’t. This was a COMPLETE story. It just left me wondering, What will happen to Daniel and Carl now? So, if I were one to rate this, I’d say it’s a 5 star read which just barely missed the 2010 Favorites list.
“My god, you’re like one of those shivery little wet dogs ridiculous women carry in their purses.” The prod went off again and he thought, God, what I wouldn’t give to be someone else right now. Anyone else. Anyone at all. What the fuck does that mean? Guys like him? He was a slave, just like the doorman. Just a damn slave. Now this read isn’t for everyone. And it comes with a rough label. Still, I highly recommend this to folks who enjoy works by Kitty Thomas but like the M/M flavor.(less)
Ms. Buroker really stressed brains over brawn with these short stories with kind of an underdog feel to it… like with Harry Potter
Malagach was the main character while his brother Gortok played the supporting role. Good choice, I have to say. Why? Because Gortok often had the answers which saved them from a slow and painful death. If you remember my Touched by an Alien review (see here), I’m totally not into the perfect heroes/heroines. Malagach added the air of imperfection which made the stories believable. Now I’m not saying Malagach was dumb or anything… far from it. The guy was loaded with book smarts. His problem was he had a difficult time applying those book smarts to real world fantasy situations.
Gortok on the other hand was the genius. He didn’t come up with the initial ideas like Malagach. Rather he took those ideas and twisted them into something viable. Truly, I doubt the two goblins would have been so successful without one another. A match made in heaven or wherever GoblinLand.
The only issue I really found odd for this book was Malagach (11 years old) seemed a bit mature for his age. But he’s a goblin, so age might equate differently. Dog years anyone? By the way, Gortok was 10 in these short stories. Of course, I often underestimate children, so I’ll have to pass this on to my young teen and see how she likes this.
Now I’m not a MG fan, but the parent in me loved this book. The science and mathematical tidbits makes me wonder if Lindsay Buroker is a school teacher. Plus it kept my 5 year old entertained. The stories are a bit long for my little guy, but you should have seen the little guy struggling to stay awake to finish them at bedtime.(less)
Page one, this book transported me back to grade school and kept me there. Ms. Bischoff captured the details exactly–the insecurities, the joys, the trials. Talk about reminiscing.
After a few pages, I didn’t want to put this book down. Only sanity telling me I should sleep at some point before the kids started to wake in 2 hours got me in the bed. Then I forced myself to knock out my daily word count goals before picking it up again. This was the type of book that made me want to write… not just write but come up with a kick ass storyline. Cause Hush Money definitely had one.
I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. I absolutely hate knowing there’s information to be had, but for some reason the author chooses to withhold it. Thank you, Ms. Bischoff for not doing that to me. All the information was right there when I needed it. No teasing lines like, “I’ll tell you later”or “we don’t have time to talk right now.” No. When the hero/heroine found out information, I got it too. I loved it. Why do I mention this? Because there was one particular chapter which ending on a cliff hanger. I was sure Ms. Bischoff was going to pull one of those stunts where I’d have to wait 12 chapters before the reveal. But no! I flipped… okay… not really flipped because it’s an eBook, but I hit the next page and everything was unraveled in the next few paragraphs. I didn’t even have time to get irritated. My gosh, you’re good!
So what about the characters? Joss, I loved. She reminded me so much of my oldest daughter. Invisible, but not quite. Because really, being the unnoticed one in high school is enough to make you stand out. Odd how that works. That was Joss. That’s my daughter. But there was more to her Joss–hidden, scared, alone… flawed. At one point I remember thinking it was so sad to watch bad things to happen to others and let people do bad things to you because you’re afraid. She had so much room for personal growth. I loved watching her blossom.
Dylan, well it took me a while to warm up to him. He spent a lot of time rehashing/examining prior events. Yes, I felt for the predicament he was in, but not really for him. Once he really got into the action and made choices, I really got into the boy. He became a real hero rather than just a secondary character with a few scenes in his POV.
Even the villains were great. I don’t know their whole story, but Ms. Bischoff wrote them in a way that had me wondering what got these folks to this point. Sure they were wicked and troublesome (yeah, understatement there), but they had a three dimensional kind of feel to them. Take Marco, for instance. He was villain enough to be a major problem. A real bully as Kat called him. Yet he was also purposeful in his actions.
The only thing I found lacking was the matter of character physical descriptions. Other than who was taller than whom and Kat being black (I think), I didn’t know too much about what they all looked like. For instance, I gave Marco a buff build. But he was a teenager, and I doubt he’d have the time to bulk up to be the incredible hulk. I also started off all the guys as tall. But then I remembered, the average height for a female is about 5’4″, so most guys would be taller than the girls even if they’d only hit 5’8″.
So plot. There were times in the book, I thought there was no way this work could stay this good. No way she could keep the momentum going. Somewhere it’s going to crash and burn. I didn’t want it to happen, but it was inevitable. And then I hit the end, still running at full speed.
With Hush Money, I never knew what would happen next, so I just kept turning the pages. Pretty much each scene ended on an ‘OMG! I can’t believe that just happened’ moment. Then we get to the place where a lot of books have what folks call “the saggy middle.” In the case of Hush Money, this was where all hell broke loose. I didn’t even have time for a breather. This book was super fast pace and so intense, it left me exhausted. The only thing I hated about the plot was not being able to read it fast enough.
I really wished someone would make a movie out of this one. Cause really, this book defied The Laws of the Universe. Yeah, I stole that line.
So, a few of my favorite lines:
“Marco, honey, I’m gonna have to wreck your fantasy and tell you that not only are Joss and I not involved with each other, and not only are we both straight–which you’d think any straight guy would realize–but I would do her and half the guys at this table before I would even let you watch me change my shoes.” I would have loved to choked him with one of his ridiculous Looney Tunes neckties just then. But if she ever found out and felt the need to throw herself at me, I figured I’d catch her. [Definitely one of those aww moments.] One thing that’s not clear to me. Do adults not have Talents?
By the way, check out my favorites 2010 reads on the right widget. That’s right, this one made it. I loved this the way I loved Comfort Food (see review here) and the Hunger Games (see review here). (less)
Anyone out there ever play Dungeons & Dragons? Don’t be shy. I know some of you all were as nerdy as me growing up. I bet some of you still play the game. :) What does that have to do with Claimed? Anthony. I’d definitely classify him as lawful evil. Add that to his rash behavior, and Claimed ended up with some funky situations. Read the complete review on my website: http://reenajacobs.com/blog/2010/10/n...
I'm not sure if the spark I thought I saw in Jane was more bravado or if Paul had beaten all sense of self-worth out of her by the time I got to Mated. Truly, it saddened me to see what became of Jane. But her story isn't unique. Men batter women all across the country. And for some reason or another the women feel as if they have no other choice but to accept it. That was Jane. Trapped in an abuse relationship with no place to turn. Her only way to fight back was to survive another day. Read complete review on my website: http://reenajacobs.com/blog/2010/10/n...(less)
Okay. I’ll start by saying, I liked it better than “The Warrior.” Unlike Caleb, I saw Amos experience character growth. He went from a bitter and bloodthirsty man to a humble servant with the well-being of others on his mind. I liked that. Even so, I had one issue. All his growth happened at the beginning of the novella, leaving no room for improvement throughout the rest.
Amos was relentless in his prophesying. Over and over the novella reiterated the same message. The people complained; I complained. The thing is this. The bible preaches the same message again and again. It works. As redundant as the bible is, I enjoy reading it. And let’s be honest here. Even without the spiritual relevance, the bible has historical merit even non-Christians might enjoy. Like I said, the repetition works for the bible, but for a fictional work, the style just doesn’t jive.
Now I ragged about the writing a little, how about a bit of praise? Ms. Rivers did a wonderful job setting up Amos. The parallelism between Amos and the Good Shepard played throughout the novella was fantastic. Amos loved his flock but sometimes had to make the tough choices for the sake of the whole. It saddened him, but he did what had to be done. Like pruning. I’ve wondered at times why God does what He does. Ms. Rivers simplified the rationale.
Was there a spiritual message to The Prophet? Yes. Circumcise your heart. Turn to God. And don’t think because everything is dandy in your life, God approves of your actions. I loved that. Look inward and recognize what’s truly in your hearts and don’t be so quick to condemn others. One line truly stood out for me in this work. “What is it in us that rejoices at the judgment upon others, while pleading that ours be overlooked?” Now, isn’t the truth of it? (less)
I’m not sure if it’s because I have a little writing under my belt or what, but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as my other Francine River reads. The novella had a lot of information chunks thrown at me. This is alright for the bible, but not okay for a fictional story, even if it is based upon the bible. At least in my mind.
I also wasn’t very fond of Caleb. He had an air of superiority. No one could satisfy him, while he acted as if he was above it all. He just seemed a little to perfect in his mind for my liking. What happened to struggling with right and wrong? For Caleb, the struggle seemed to be lacking. His biggest concern was trying to sway everyone to his way of thinking. Honestly, with Caleb so sure of himself and his way of thought, the overall story lacked conflict. I had nothing to look forward to.
Although Caleb was above many of the struggles, the other characters were not. Even though I knew the story, it still broke my heart to see the children of Israel learn and accept after the consequences were in place. For example, one of Caleb’s brothers said, “I thought, perhaps, the Lord had forgotten about me, and I might sneak into the Promised Land among my sons and grandsons…” Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes.
Other lines made me reflect on life in general. For example: “And like this morning, they prayed the same prayers they prayed every day, and then went off to live life on their own terms.” I don’t know how many Christian readers visit my blog, but isn’t that so true sometimes. It’s like the Natalie and Phillip Larue song where they sing, it’s not right to be a Christian “One Day of the Week.”
So in my opinion, the overall message was wonderful, but the presentation was lacking.
Before I leave you with this review, I’ll share a couple more favorites I had from the novel.
Brave men do what the Lord commands despite their fear. Don’t think my arm isn’t long enough to deal with you. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them! Tomorrow I hope to get out my review of “The Prophet” which is also by Francine Rivers. So, stay tuned!
“The Warrior” by Francine Rivers is available at the Book Depository. (less)
I really wanted to like this book. Honestly, I did. The first chapter started all tell and no show. However, I pushed that aside, thinking it might just be a prologue labeled as the first chapter. It wasn’t. It was the writing style. That’s okay, I told myself. I’ve read a few books where the writing isn’t my style, but the storyline rocked enough to make me forget. I’d heard so many great reviews about this book, I was hopeful. How could I not be?
This was written in the first person from Kitty’s POV. I really had nothing against Kitty. On the other hand, I wasn’t cheering for her either. She was a tough cookie, I’ll hand her that. If you’re looking for a strong heroine, she’s your gal. But for some reason, I just didn’t connect with her. I’m going to hazard a guess and say it was because she was just too damned perfect. Not only did she not make mistakes, but she had a solution for everything. EVERYTHING. And let me tell you, the book was riddled with sticky situations. Kitty had plenty of time to shine in this novel. As for me, I look for characters a bit more flawed. I want things to go bad for them so they can show their strengths. I want them to have trial by fire. Speaking of fire, look at that cover! You’d think the gal’s been through hell and back. Not so. Kitty made the events in the story look like a stroll through the park. Add that to Kitty being a know-it-all, and well, I just couldn’t muster up any feelings for her.
Then there’s Martini. He rubbed me wrong from the beginning. The guy seriously had tunnel vision with the jump Kitty’s bones thing. There was no romanticizing. It was, Marry me, and I’ll fill your belly with my spawn. I imagine some guys think like that, but most are smart enough to keep their mouths shut and at least offer a rose here and there. On top of that, the aliens, including Martini were as lacking in common sense as Kitty was resourceful. Sure, the A-C were brilliant in the brains department. Give them an equation, and they could solve it in a fraction of a second. Have them apply that knowledge to an everyday situation, and they were stumped. Okay. Now that I think about it, they didn’t lack common sense. Kitty just seemed to connect two and two together without there being any leads whatsoever. So it kind of made the aliens look stupid.
As to the plot, it had potential, but the info dumps really slowed the entire story down. Something significant would happen, followed by 20-30 pages of folks catching Kitty up to speed. No action, no moving the story along, just pages and pages of info. I understand the purpose of story building, but I would have liked to see a bit more balance.
In terms of romance, yes Kitty and Martini had sparks flying and ricocheting off the walls. But from Kitty’s viewpoint it really seemed like a arbitrary first-come-first-serve kind of situation. All the aliens, she found hawt. I got the impression if any other alien had shown interest first, Kitty would have been fine to let that alien into her pants.
This is one of those novels I complained a lot while reading, but in all honesty, it wasn’t a horrible book. I can see the appeal others might have with it. It reminded me a lot of Men in Black but with a woman as the main character. The dialogue was quirky and brought many a smiles to my face. But in the end, it just didn’t fit my personal tastes. It was more of a bleh book. I didn’t feel like a total loser finishing it, but can’t see myself recommending it either.(less)
Without beating around the bush so much, I’ll admit I had a false start with this book. The beginning started a bit shaky. Only after reading a few reviews did I decide to settle down and read the entire novella. I’m certainly glad I did, because it was an enjoyable read. Before I get to the good stuff, let’s just get out in the open what made me balk.
Mainly, I don’t think the story started in the right place. The earlier scenes focused on the introduction of minor characters which reappeared once or twice later in the novella. Very little time was spent on these scenes, other than to give identities to names. It gave the read a jerky feel with Greta popping in and out of people’s lives.
However, once we got beyond the introductions, the story really got underway. I stayed up well into the night to finish this read. If it weren’t for the breaks I had to take between laughing fits, I probably would have finished sooner.
One item I enjoyed about this book was the realism in terms of romance. I’ve never understood how people in novels could fall head over heels with one another without knowing anything about them. I guess I just don’t believe in the love at first sight. Lust at first sight? You better believe it! And this novella had it. Greta and Dayne had an immediate attraction which I could completely buy.
Sorry, Greta, but Dayne was my favorite character in this book. When he wasn’t lustful (which I loved!), he was cold, calculating, and a bit of a dick. Not the greatest personality traits, but it was his honesty in being himself which attracted me to him. It was more on the lines of you get what you see. I could trust that. Besides that, he was funny as hell—an endless source of amusement.
In terms of plot, I was up and down on that issue. The main plot itself was very believable (as far as realism goes in the paranormal scene) which kept me in the book. However, a few areas were kind of glitchy and distracted me with thoughts such as “why did they do that?” Even so, my understanding was this was Ms. Winters first published book. Not a bad first attempt, I have to say.
So a few of my favorite lines:
That little shit was my bestest best friend until he found out I wasn’t out saving the world every night. (bestest best friend you say? tee hee) Greta suppressed a giggle as she tried to imagine Dayne Wickham, the hapless victim of a timeshare scheme. (Been there, done that ) Even ten years ago, Dayne never would have made a speech like the one he’d made in the basement about locking her up. It sounded like it had come out of Evil for Dummies. (I’ve got to get that book.) Other than a few plot issues which didn’t quite make sense or seem reasonable, this was quite an enjoyable read. Now that my computer is functional (even though not really fixed), I think I’ll get around to finishing Blood Lust.
BTW, Anyone else get a craving of Star Wars episodes after reading this book?
Kept is available at Ms. Winters’ blog, Smashwords, and Amazon.com. If you’re ready to jump in the entire package, Blood Lust is available at Amazon.com and includes all three novellas.(less)
I was a bit leery of this novella. Instead of diving in head first, I just did a little tentative dip of my toes…disclaimer. I didn’t even hit the first paragraph before I was intrigued. And a bit uncomfortable, I might add. Non-consensual BSDM and slavery. Oh Dear! My first thoughts were, I didn’t think I was going to like it, but I wanted to see how much it would take to mentally disgust me. I honestly didn’t even expect to finish the book. I was sure I’d just get far enough to give the author a psychic scream, then rant at my husband later at the nerve of the woman for writing the book.
Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Ms. Thomas immediately drew me in by connecting with me on a female level. She addressed the many fears I have as a woman, even though I don’t acknowledge them on a daily basis. I don’t obsess about my fears of victimization. It’s just something which is a part of me because I know I’m vulnerable because of size and strength. It’s the idea something bad could happen, but the possibility is unlikely (the rationalization I give myself so I don’t end up balled in some corner cowering in fear)…even though the chances of being a victim is horribly high. 17.6% of women have survived an attempted or completed rape, that’s not even taking into account other types of physical assaults. Think of 5 or 6 women you know. Then consider 1 of them might have been a victim of sexual assault. Sad and scary.
I loved how Ms. Thomas addressed the low level of fear which is healthy enough to keep most women cautious, but not so extreme it debilitates us. I’ve never read a book which provided that kind of balance and understanding despite the fact most books I read were written by women and about women. Well done! Even thinking about it now makes me want to shake Ms. Thomas’ hand and say thank you for sharing what it feels like to be a woman.
Back to the novel. It was fiction made real…a journey which took me into the mind of a woman (Emily) who was a victim of kidnapping. She was dehumanized, broken, and pieced back together like a Picasso painting. It wasn’t a comfortable read which gave me the warm and fuzzies. Yet I couldn’t put the book down as it pulled me in page after page.
The door creaked open then, exactly like doors do in scary movies. At least now I knew what kind of story I was in, no sense fooling myself about it. I imagine this was what Ted Bundy’s victims felt at some point, that it was utterly impossible he could want to hurt them and be so beautiful at the same time. But I had nothing else to call him, except the monster who had take me. I started this book with a bad attitude. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book in one sitting, page after page after page. If you’ve checked out my sidebar, you might have noticed I added a new widget “2010 Favorite Reads.” Comfort Foods was so good, it made my list, which only includes three books at the moment.
My biggest disappointment about the entire experience was reaching the end and finding Kitty Thomas has yet to publish another book. Please Ms. Thomas, don’t make us wait too long!
I started this book with a bad attitude because of thoughts of BSDM and slavery. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book in one sitting, page after page after page. Comfort Foods was so good, it made my "2010 Favorite Reads" list, which only includes three books at the moment.(less)
I fell in love with Hunger Games. It was one of the first YA novels I’d read as an adult. I followed Katniss through the first reaping and Hunger Games, then again through the Quarter Quell. I fell in love with her and the characters, as fleeting as some of their lives were. I did my best to avoid reviews of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Yes, I looked at folks’ ratings. From what I saw, the rates were across the board. I didn’t know what to expect.
Okay. I’m going to do my best not to be snarky in this review, despite feel that way toward the book. I’ll start by saying I disliked Mockingjay as much as I loved Hunger Game. The pacing was inconsistent with long (not passages) chapters of reflection and back story with little action. Every time I thought I’d hit the beginning of the book, I’d flip to the next page and find myself trapped in more drivel. Honestly, if I hadn’t been so invested in the Hunger Games, this would have been a Did Not Finish (DNF). As it was, I just wanted to know what happened to all my favorite characters from the prior two books.
If someone were to ask me where the story began, I’d say about page 230. Then the story ended about page 350, except somehow another 40 pages got tacked to the back for some reason. Given that, I’m not really sure why Ms. Collins didn’t just add an extra 100 pages or so to Catching Fire and be done with the series. This certainly didn’t have to be a trilogy.
As far as the characters, Katniss was as drab as the storyline. She spent the entire book wallowing in self-pity as a pawn. She wasn’t the subject of Mockingjay; she was the object and did nothing to propel the story forward. I know this is an odd thing to say, but I think Mockingjay would have been better without her. Maybe if the story was told from someone’s perspective who had a little more spunk…like Buttercup, maybe.
Good thing there was a lot of hype before the release. Folks flocked to the bookstores and preordered without know any about the book other than that they liked The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. One thing for sure, I can see why the publishers didn’t release any ARCs. If reviews had gotten out prior, a lot folks would have passed on this one. I for one feel jilted. I can honestly say, customer loyalty has waned for me. Needless to say, I spent quite a bit of time yelling at my husband about this novel.
Big breath. Now for praise. One thing Ms. Collins has going for her is she’s not afraid to kill of her characters. The good guys don’t always win, so it’s nice to see a bit of realism once in a while. On the other hand, EVERYONE important doesn’t have to die. And I have to admit, I was a bit angry at one or two of her choices. And I might have been able to get over it if the ending wasn’t so lame. Oops. I’m suppose to be in praise mode.(less)
It looks like my reviews are rather spread out. I might do this one sooner than later. I missed my Friday post this week. Maybe this'll be penance. :)...moreIt looks like my reviews are rather spread out. I might do this one sooner than later. I missed my Friday post this week. Maybe this'll be penance. :)
Okay, the first 36 pages of my book, which happened to be seven chapters, had the feel of a prologue (back story) and lead to the start of the book (Chapter 1). Normally, I’d think it’s a waste of paper. However, it’d been over a year since I’d read any of the Sookie Stackhouse stories, so it was a nice refresher.
And then the story started! I dove in all excited, cause I knew what was going on and didn’t have to look up anything in prior books. Only thing, the story didn’t start. Not really. I just followed Sookie through her drab life. She woke up, had breakfast, went to work, drove home, and went to sleep. Day after day, the same routine. The only difference between one chapter and the next was the people she met.
I swear, it was the cast of a thousand characters. EVERY SINGLE character from EVERY SINGLE novel was mentioned in this book. I think Sookie said it best on page 183, Whew. I felt like I’d run an introduction marathon. And through it all NOTHING happened. NOTHING! And I’m wondering, how in the world could someone write a mundane paranormal book? If that isn’t an oxymoron, I don’t know what is.
On page 212, Sookie thinks, And why hadn’t anything already happened? It was then I realized Ms. Harris must be toying with me. This had to be her test to see how many people would buy her books regardless of how mundane the storyline. Yep. I fell for it. You got me real good, Ms. Harris. One point for you! Not only that, but I actually finished it! haha Two points for you!
Let’s see if you trick me again.
By now, you probably realize this was my least favorite of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I do have to give Ms. Harris props, though. This novel provided closure. Between reintroducing me to every character ever invented, she managed to wrap up all the loose ends from the prior books. At least the loose ends I can think of. As such, I’d say if the series ends here, I’m all for it.(less)
I’ve resisted the Twilight series. As I’ve told others, the movies sucked balls. And even though books are usually better than the movies, I had a hard time believing the novels could be much better. So here’s the thing. Stephenie Meyer offered The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner for free until 7/5/2010. I decided to take advantage of it and see if the writing was really as bad as people say (Stephen King, I mean you).
I was pleasantly surprised. The book started strong. Though the gal was inhumane in many ways, I did sort of like Bree. I felt a little sorry for her being dropped into the world of vampires and forced to survive the best she could. Though I couldn’t understand the need to kill, and I question why this hadn’t occurred to her. There were other inconsistencies in her behavior that baffled me also, particularly the last few pages. It was like she was able to put her physical reactions to the situation on hold when before she was out of control.
Ms. Meyer introduced several characters whom I would have liked to know more about.
*Diego — seemed to play such an important role in Bree’s life, but we learned virtually nothing about him. *Freaky Fred — by far was the most interesting character, but again, who was that guy? I definitely want to know how things worked out for him. *Riley and Victoria — Exactly what happened to them? Yeah, I got clues and know their outcome, but I want details. Perhaps that’s revealed in Eclipse.
As I mentioned, I’ve not read any of the other Twilight novels, though I’ve seen the first two movies. Still this novel seemed fairly stand alone. Not once was I lost. In fact, if I’d not seen the movies, I’d still be able to follow along easily. So if you’re afraid to read this novel because you think you’ll get lost, don’t be. I don’t even think this novel ruins it for readers who haven’t read the rest of the series. In a way, I think it just fills in a gap (the other perspective from the enemy stand point).
As far as the writing goes–not bad. I’m not sure really why so many people complain about it. It’s not the best, and certainly not the worst. One thing though. Decent start, saggy middle, and an ending which dragged. I know that sounds bad when considering half the book crawled. Still, the beginning had a decent enough hook to keep me interested in finding the outcome.
At the conclusion of the book, the question came to mind: Why Bree Tanner? In the big picture her POV seemed so insignificant. Yes, she was misled and ill-prepared, but other than being the last, she did not stand out as particularly unique. It was like having an entire book through the dreaded secondary character’s POV. Only thing, she had nothing really significant to offer.
Stephenie Meyer, thank you for offering this novel for free. Reading it has taken away my fear of wasting time on the Twilight saga. I’m now confident the series has potential.
I do have one suggestion. Could you consider adding chapters? I’m not sure you noticed, but this novel was one long series of events with no breaks. No biggie…just askin’.(less)
Gosh. I surfed through my notes and see I don’t have too many. Bummer. It’ll make this review a bit tougher. Okay. Here goes. I didn’t think this was Ms. Cole’s best work. In fact, it was my least favorite of the series. But hold up. It wasn’t a bad read either. After all, not every book she writes can come in first place. It was more than okay, but it wasn’t fantastic.
Most of my notes refer to Malkom. Whereas Carrow was the normal snarky heroine typical of Ms. Cole’s novels, our hero was unique. He reminded me of a maiden at times with his mentality and his experience. I loved it. When he wasn’t playing the role of the maiden, he was a Neanderthal. He had no problem swinging his woman over his shoulder and hauling her to his cave of love. The diversity was great. And he had this interesting sense of fairness. As if the world balanced out. After 400 years, one would think he’d learn.
Now I normally don’t rate books here, but I’ve got nothing else to give you. I’d give Demons from the Dark a 3.5/5, whereas most of her books would be on a 4-4.5/5.
Well at least you don’t have to worry about spoilers. Before I end, let me share a few of my favorite lines:
*I’ll do a spell to make you smell like ass forever. *First female I’ve seen in the wastelands. Ever. (Words a woman never EVER wants to hear when surrounded by a bunch of demonic yuckies). *She would be worth her weight in water. Even used. (uh?)
All I can say is The Immortals after Dark series is building up to something big, and I want to know what it is!(less)
Unlike the last novel, The Darkest Passion , where the first six chapters dragged and gave me a feeling of deja vu, The Darkest Lie started quite well...moreUnlike the last novel, The Darkest Passion , where the first six chapters dragged and gave me a feeling of deja vu, The Darkest Lie started quite well. Gideon was the first Lord I’ve seen who actually got along (somewhat) with his demon. It added an air of originality. And the voice for Gideon was also quite different from the other Lords.
The story starts shortly after Bad Moon Rising. So for those of you worried about getting a repeat of a prior Dark Hunter novel, don’t worry. You’re okay with this one. Though I was apprehensive going in, I got more and more excited about this work as familiar names cropped up. It was like going to a high school reunion and thinking, hey! I know him! Absolutely loved it.
As far as the romance, I wasn’t so much into it. It was lust at first sight, which I totally dig. However, it was tainted with thoughts like, what is it with this guy/gal which attracts me? Hello, maybe it’s the hot bod? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But if I’m into a dude, I totally know the reason behind it–he’s drop dead gorgeous, he’s masculine to the point it makes me drool, he’s got sexy glasses, he’s smart… whatever. I hate when characters play like they don’t get it.
On the other hand, if I take the romance out of the equation and stick to the Urban Fantasy portion, I say this book was pretty fun. Kenyon detoured into a few secondary point of views (POV). And I know I’ve mentioned hating that in the past. But with the romance falling flat with Dev and Samia (we all know how Kenyon books end with shifters), the secondary POVs held more excitement.
Striker returned all bad ass and such. Plus we got a teaser from his ARC. I’m totally itching to find out what’s happening next with him. Nick… oh so sexy Nick made an appearance. Oh how we love Nick. I’m hoping Kenyon builds him up like she did Acheron. Cause really the entire series fell kind of flat after Ash’s novels. Maybe Nick will help give it that umph it’s been missing.
At times it seemed as if Ms. Kenyon might have written herself into a corner. Some of the solutions seemed a bit far-fetched with no precedents. And it’s rather lame to have all-powerful Acheron available to save the world as needed. As much as I love Acheron, I hope he gets imprisoned so folks can work their own way out of the tough situations.
One thing I didn’t like was the Greek symbols. It’s one thing not knowing a language but recognizing letters. The phrases here, I couldn’t even sound out because the symbols were foreign to me. And no glossary in the back. It’d be like me sticking stuff like 안녕하세요 in my posts and saying it pretty much means “hi” then moving on. The quick references were quite irritating to me. For those who are curious 안녕하세요 is Korean which literally means are you at peace? The English spelling would be anyong haseyo.
No Mercy had quite a bit of slapstick humor. Some lines were pretty cheesy, but I had quite a few favorites. Tough job only sharing a few, but here goes:
*“Last time a woman read my thoughts, I got bitch-slapped so hard, my ears are still ringing from it.” *“I keep telling you, Papa eats the dumb ones.” *And that common sense begged him to tell Thorn to shove it up a part of his body he was sure Thorn kept clenched tight enough to form a diamond.
Bottom line: This wasn’t Ms. Kenyon’s best book. However she did redeem herself after Bad Moon Rising. I might not run out to buy her next release, but I do plan to get around to it eventually.(less)
This review starts out snarky, but I swear it tempers down and ends on a good note. Maybe.
Olivia quickly annoyed me. She was prone to childish tantrums and sobbed so much I wanted to slap some backbone into her. One thing I can’t stand is groveling females. I couldn’t understand what the Deity saw in her that she’d grow gold in her wings. The girl needed to grow some balls is what she needed. She had me screaming at the book.”Act like a warrior angel, damn it!” Then there was the manipulating bitch thing. Yeah, her thoughts were sweet and innocent, but if I’d encountered her in real life, I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her. Okay, let’s just say the girl rubbed me all wrong. Like Lysander, she acted naïve, but it came across to me as just plain dumb. So those were my first impressions of Olivia. I will say she grew some backbone in the end. Thank the Deity!
Aeron really stood out as nothing significant to me. As far as demon versus man, the style was very similar to the prior books. He spent time convincing himself that he couldn’t be with Olivia because his demon was bad. Of course his demon was crazy for Olivia and calmed by her, just like the other LOTU and their ladies. Really, it was nothing new under the sun. I had to remind myself that Aeron didn’t read the other LOTU novels, so he wouldn’t know the other Lords had gone through the exact same internal combats with their demons. Still, would be nice to see something new.
And the wild card—Legion. I absolutely loved the little demon—well not absolutely. But I liked her a lot. Even when she was getting on my nerves, she had an entertaining quality about her. I definitely hope to see more of her in the future. In fact, I have some speculations about her and her own Happily Ever After (HEA). She’s definitely my presshusss.
One thing I didn’t understand was the concept of love in Heaven. Everyone loved everyone in Heaven, so Olivia said. Yet, most seemed lacking in compassion and cold—heartless beings. Sure they forgave on a dime, but without emotion. It’s easy to forgive when you don’t care. That’s not love.
What’s the best way to lose Reena as a reader? Simple. Give me a side plot not told from the POV of a main character.
The book totally grabbed my attention at the end of chapter 6. I was stoked! In my excitement I looked to the next page and what did I find? The dreaded secondary character POV. Mentally I groaned. I flipped ahead to find out how long I had to wait to hit chapter 8 and hopefully get back into the action–nearly 20 pages! I tell you the truth. I put the book down and went to bed. I woke up, read chapter 7 (which was actually quite interesting, btw), and was back in the story. The book really only continued to get better.
Now this is the twisted me coming out. Many people read romances because they’re guaranteed a HEA. And really, that’s what I hate about romances sometimes—the impossible HEA against all odds. Olivia and Aeron got their HEA, but I didn’t like it. Keep in mind, I often cheer for the not so HEA. I so hoped for an imperfect solution. You romance lovers get what you want though, and I suppose that’s what matters. GRRRR!
So, I had complaints. Yeah, but character interactions and twists kept my nose in the book (particularly after chapter 6). The story was action packed and full of revelations. If you’re following the LOTU, this is definitely not a book you want to skip.(less)