I enjoyed it, although I found that I really missed the city. And I would have been interested in more of the fallout from the last book for the key pI enjoyed it, although I found that I really missed the city. And I would have been interested in more of the fallout from the last book for the key players. ...more
I was really impressed by the amount of detail about what would happen should the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupt. I thought it was much better tI was really impressed by the amount of detail about what would happen should the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupt. I thought it was much better than Supervolcano: Eruption. Not only are pyroclastic bombs ejected incredible distances, but Mullin also covers the awful sound of the eruption which goes on for days. Later on he covers Silicosis and begins to cover some of the food supply problems.
I do have one minor quibble in that I think more of the roofs would have collapsed, especially if there was rain.
But generally speaking I think it was very well done.
Apparently no one has really realized yet that government help will slow in coming if it ever comes at all.
Remember all the trouble when Eyjafjallajökull erupted? Yellowstone erupting would make that look like a very minor inconvenience.
I also liked the characters and I thought the plot was believable.
We get to visit with all our favorite characters, at least briefly and I'm always a fan of political intrigue.
(view spoiler)[I am curious how things will progress in the new political landscape.
I'm also curious about Toby's relationship with her Squire. I can see neither of them wanting it to change but I'd think it might be nearly impossible for it not to. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It was wonderful to learn more about "Annie" and I really hope that her past with Elizabeth comes up with Toby at4.5 stars.
I really liked this story.
It was wonderful to learn more about "Annie" and I really hope that her past with Elizabeth comes up with Toby at some point. I'd really like Toby and Co. to know that side of her.
I think it worked well as a short story but a part of me does wish that it would be expanded into a full novel. There's a short section on how alienated Elizabeth feels as she gets older and Annie stays the same age and I think to really feel her pain, sense that she doesn't belong in any community requires a longer piece. (view spoiler)[ She sort of fits with the Selkies (which you don't see/read about) until as she gets older and she doesn't have a skin, she can probably pass for human and appear to fit in for a while while she and Annie are roughly the same age (though given the time period there would obviously be problems with that since she's part of a same-sex couple). Eventually she'd be ostracized by that community to as she appears to be increasingly older than her lover. And the fae community has never really accepted her because she's a Selkie without a skin. So by the time she's offered a skin it's not just a skin but a chance to belong somewhere again. Belong to a people/group rather than feeling like she only belongs with one person but is alienated from everyone else around her. I would have liked to see more of that, and maybe more recognition from Annie that it was a problem in the first place and the role it might have played in her decision making. Not that it ultimately would have made a difference, understandably.
I think at one point I'd known the origin of the Selkies in McGuire's world but I'd forgotten it until reading this short story. (hide spoiler)]
McGuire already has a large number of irons in the fire or I'd think more about wondering if the idea of a novel version appeals to her.
I like Elizabeth a lot and I liked seeing Annie through someone else's eyes. Someone who loves her and isn't afraid of her. (view spoiler)[Though I did wonder why Annie didn't bother to make herself look a older when they were out among the mundane population if it would help Elizabeth's feeling of alienation.
And I'd also have to give some thought to how well Elizabeth knows Annie when she doesn't know who she really is. And even if she loves Annie would she love the whole person if she were allowed to know the whole person rather than this fraction she's allowed to see/person Annie's constructed? There's a whole new level of complexity to explore. (hide spoiler)]
I'd definitely be interested in reading more non-Toby stories about "Annie." (Not that I don't love the Toby stories).
I enjoyed this book but I am getting tired of the will they/won't they with various characters. At some point she needs to make a decision and there nI enjoyed this book but I am getting tired of the will they/won't they with various characters. At some point she needs to make a decision and there needs to not be external things blocking them from being together. ...more
I enjoyed this book. It took the story to an interesting place. I'm curious where it will go next.
(view spoiler)[I'm surprised that homosexuality wasI enjoyed this book. It took the story to an interesting place. I'm curious where it will go next.
(view spoiler)[I'm surprised that homosexuality was okay in the military. The rest of the society is so focused on doing everything for the Republic I figured they'd want all their elite soldiers to breed more soldiers (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book frequently strongly reminded me of Haunted. The main character goes into a dangerous, screwed up situation seeking fame. It's the p3.5 stars
This book frequently strongly reminded me of Haunted. The main character goes into a dangerous, screwed up situation seeking fame. It's the possibility of fame and his own naivete that keeps him there despite the horrors he sees. (view spoiler)[The thing that distinguishes this book from Haunted is that eventually Dean stays because he can't leave his friends behind. (hide spoiler)]
The actual explanation for what's happening is interesting but doesn't make a whole lot of sense in that there's no reason for it to limit itself to the artificial limits of a particular city for any length of time at all. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It was okay. The whole broken person pushing people away thing is starting to be irritating though. And I don't remember how old this character is supIt was okay. The whole broken person pushing people away thing is starting to be irritating though. And I don't remember how old this character is supposed to be but she feels like late 30's at the absolute earliest and she's dating a doctor so you'd think the health risks of pregenancy at that age might come up as long as they're discussing children. Of course we don't actually see that conversation so maybe it did.
The main plot was sort of intersting but Kava explicitely shows the reader that one of the avenues Tully is investigating is a red herring even before he starts investigating it so I'm not sure what the point of that was. ...more
I enjoyed this anthology, though a few of the stories did suffer from the Watson isn't terribly smart/completely oblivious problem. I really wish theI enjoyed this anthology, though a few of the stories did suffer from the Watson isn't terribly smart/completely oblivious problem. I really wish the final story had continued because it ends on a frustratingly ambiguous note.
Many of the stories were actually quite sweet and the couple involved was not Watson/Holmes.
The beginning section lays out some evidence that suggests Holmes may have been canonically gay. It's interesting. I'm not sure I totally buy it but interesting nonetheless. ...more
I've said before I think Gustainis goes overboard with the sex and that was certainly my impression this time. I'm not opposed to sex in nov3.5 stars.
I've said before I think Gustainis goes overboard with the sex and that was certainly my impression this time. I'm not opposed to sex in novels but there was enough here that it was just repetitive. It was not graphic however.
The story was interesting. It involved competing factions in Hell and exorcisms, among other things.
Plot wise I had an issue though. (view spoiler)[So the demon can heal itself easily but not of a coma? I'm not convinced that makes sense. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was really nice to see a Cal who was still badass and not constantly full of self loathing.
(view spoiler)[It couldn'tI really enjoyed this book. It was really nice to see a Cal who was still badass and not constantly full of self loathing.
(view spoiler)[It couldn't last, of course. I knew it couldn't last as soon as it happened. But it was really nice.
I'm not entirely sure I buy that it couldn't last (I knew it wouldn't because fans might complain) but for practical reasons I'm not sure the reversion was necessary. He could still be a good guy and do what needs to be done.
I wish his reversion hadn't been inevitable because it makes his sacrifice less meaningful. He just sped up the process.
I was amused by how Robin is handling monogamy.
I have a feeling Niko's not going to appreciate brothers before souls. The intent isn't to make him feel bad but I can't imagine him not interpreting it that way.
I didn't see the toothpaste thing coming though I did wonder about Niko's sudden obsession.
I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of the Auphe experiments. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was a very strong anthology of dystopian stories. There are a lot of well known authors, often multiple Hugo or Nebula awarFour and a half stars.
This was a very strong anthology of dystopian stories. There are a lot of well known authors, often multiple Hugo or Nebula award winners. There were a lot of stories I really liked and I can't think of any that struck me as particularly weak or mediocre. I particularly liked the final story, Civilization. ...more
I like Abby, but the teenspeak does get old after a while. There's only so may kaysos and she/he/it/I was all likes that I can take. On the plus side, Moore does seem to use teenspeak realistically, which is not something I can say for all the authors I've read recently.
If you like Moore you'll probably like this book. If you're looking for traditional urban fantasy, this is not that. ...more
**spoiler alert** It was a first time novel and it definitely read like it. The dialog was extremely awkward and often felt forced. The narrative defi**spoiler alert** It was a first time novel and it definitely read like it. The dialog was extremely awkward and often felt forced. The narrative definitely did not flow and the descriptions were often clunky. It needed a couple more rounds of revision, I think.
I knew as soon as Beth talked about the weight for the tractor that would be how she would die. I know it's like mentioning a gun in a story, eventually it has to come into play, but it would have been better if it were more subtle.
Lou, Patti and I think even Will kept saying that if Janet kept digging she'd find out all sorts of horrible things about Beth and I kept waiting for whatever the horrible secret was and it never materialized. Was it supposed to be that she was depressed? I was waiting for something like she was sleeping with her brother or killed her father.
I'm really unhappy about the suicide angle. Yeah, Patti and Lou did really awful things, but A) she could have left, she had resources B) she told Will if it solved the problem she'd give him the entire inheritance and his main concern seemed to be that he couldn't pay Patti back and C) they were obviously shitty human beings but that's not deserving of a prison sentence.
The suicide thing doesn't ring true for me. Okay, so she would have felt the difference with the weights. So, how did she get the box open and remove the weights without leaving any traces? Even gloves leave evidence, and Lou's prints were still on them so she didn't wipe them down. If it were just the wrench, okay, she used a different wrench and ditched it somewhere, maybe even drove it to the dump, and left the one that Beth had used where it was, but that still doesn't explain the prints on the weights.
**spoiler alert** An excellent continuation of the series. Thurman put to rest any doubts that the series could continue in the absence of the Auphe.**spoiler alert** An excellent continuation of the series. Thurman put to rest any doubts that the series could continue in the absence of the Auphe.
It was really nice to have some resolution to Catcher and Rafferty, although I wish it had turned out differently. I would have liked to see them join the cast of characters, I think it would have been good for Niko and Cal. The resolution was bittersweet, but fitting, I think. Thurman handled it very well.
I really hope that Salome comes back.
It was fun to see Robin grow as a character. He's still the puck we know and love, but he's more than that now, too. He's more mature. I hope it works out with him and Ishiah. I'd like to learn more about that relationship, too. How it developed, what Ishiah is like.
I figured out that Gating was going to be addictive after the high Cal got the first time. I'm not sure how I feel about it turning him more Auphe though. It seems kind of random that it would suddenly give him a high and activate the genes now that all the other Auphe are gone.
I liked the battle that Cal had to fight to keep his soul, I'm not sure I like that now there's a genetic component to it and it now appears to be a battle he will ultimately lose.
The thing with Delilah made for an interesting subplot. It seems sad that Cal can't love her, though I think it makes sense. Then again, Niko kills, too. I just hope it doesn't mean George is going to make a reappearance. ...more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, though I'll admit upfront that I'm sure my opinion was influenced by the fact that the God of Justice's lover i**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, though I'll admit upfront that I'm sure my opinion was influenced by the fact that the God of Justice's lover is male. I think that's very cool.
The story dragged in parts, but the ending was very exciting and I think it set up the next book very well....more
**spoiler alert** I'm still not a fan of e-books, but when it's not available in book form I guess I don't have a choice. I'm also not normally a fan**spoiler alert** I'm still not a fan of e-books, but when it's not available in book form I guess I don't have a choice. I'm also not normally a fan of were/shape shifting, but I read the excerpt and liked it enough that I thought I'd give it a try and I'm glad I did.
Ethan is a rare were-cat (cougar) who years ago had been caught and repeatedly tortured by a wolf pack for consorting with an even rarer she-wolf (it seems nearly all shifters are male). It's a little unclear what "consorting" means. Generally speaking it would imply sex, but the she-wolf in question was apparently more of a mother figure so I'm not sure if Skye intended for there to be a slightly incestuous angle or not. I don't think she did, in which case a less ambiguous word should have been used to describe the relationship.
Anyway. Ethan eventually escaped and the story opens with him having remained in his cougar form for nearly a decade and once again on the run from a bunch of werewolves. The torture from last time was so horrific that he'd rather die than be recaptured but a tranquilizer dart prevents him from reaching the cliff he'd been running for.
When he wakes he's been forced back into human form because Bram, one of the wolves who was chasing him, is holding him tightly and physical contact makes it harder to stay in cat form and harder to shift once the change to human has been made.
As it turns out, it's the same pack that had held him captive before, but this time they're attempting to civilize him again because when shifters stay in animal form for too long they can go feral and become dangerous not only to other weres but to the oblivious human population as well.
Bram, the low man on the totem pole, ends up doing most of the physical contact (mostly restraint but some kissing and fumbling around) and eventually a bond forms between Ethan and Bram just about the time Bram figures out that civilizing Ethan isn't the only thing on his alpha, Doug's, agenda.
I think one of the reasons this works for me when so much of the werewolf/shifter stuff doesn't, even in urban fantasy, is that despite the fact that despite the fact that Bram is an Omega (a term that goes unexplained for far too long, by the way) I actually don't get the sense from any of the characters that their individual identities are secondary and they're submissive to a pack or pack leader. The group think and dismissal of individual personalities and will is what really bothers me about most were stories. Bram doesn't even come off as particularly submissive, although I think that's what an Omega is supposed to be. He doesn't like confrontation, but that's not the same thing.
I really like Ethan and Bram. I think they compliment each other well and it was good to see that they both had their strengths and weaknesses.
The world is an interesting one, too, and I may check out the other stories set there....more
This was a pretty good anthology of short stories that take place in the same world as these authors' urban fantasy series. I was familiar with half tThis was a pretty good anthology of short stories that take place in the same world as these authors' urban fantasy series. I was familiar with half the authors. As far as I can tell, there's no unifying theme tying the stories together but that's okay.
Kim Harrison's story was focused on Jenks. A fellow pixie comes to him for help because a statue is causing one of his children to sleepwalk/fly and attack the statue so hard she's causing herself pain. It's also caused one of his newlings (kids not old enough to be named) to die.
It was nice to see Jenks on his own. I like Rachel, but she can be a bit much.
I'd like to see more of Jenks doing some work on his own and it was cool to see Jenks having Ivy as backup rather than the other way around.
I wouldn't mind seeing more of the characters introduced in this story. They're all less annoying than Pierce.
Vicki Pettersson's story needs to have a huge spoiler warning for City of Souls. If I hadn't already read that and read this first I'd have been incredibly pissed. Having said that, it doesn't make me like the twist in that book any better. It makes me think even more the whole thing was driven by hormones (and probably some depression) so it's not so much a tragic love story (which I never thought it was) as JJ being a naive idiot.
It does explain Solange's fascination with the zodiac more and makes that cooler, but the rest? Meh.
Maybe it could have been done with a lengthier treatment but by necessity this one was pretty shallow. I can't really talk about it without giving away a fairly major plot point in book 4 of the series and while I didn't like the development, I'm not going to spoil it for others. (I talk about it at length in my review of that book if anyone is interested).
I'd honestly forgotten what Melissa Marr's entry was about, which is surprising because I think it was one of the better stories in the anthology.
A woman has to keep from having sex and killing in the same month or she'll turn into a full monstrous creature. Should be easy, but when she starts poking into the business of a drug dealing slaver, and her grandmother who wants her to join the family of monstrous creatures appoints her a hot bodyguard, it's more difficult than it sounds.
It could be really interesting to see an entire series with this character's struggle, or at least a full length book.
I haven't read Jeannine Frost's series, but this story seemed okay. Bones, a vampire, is in New Orleans trying to track down two notorious ghouls who are murdering and eating the tourists. Nothing special, but not bad.
Jocelyn Drake's story takes place just before Nightwalker. It's pretty typical, a vampire's been murdered and she has to find out who. The council is getting uptight about whether she has enough control over her territory, so if she can't solve the murder in a short period of time she's going to be called on the carpet. I really liked the reason behind the murder and I think seeing it from the murderer's point of view could have been really interesting. It would also be interesting to see if it actually affected Mira at all, alas, we'll never really know. It seems unlikely to come up in a future book since she's got other things going on.
**spoiler alert** This book picks up where City of Ashes left off. Clary's headed for the City of Glass to try and find a cure for her mother.
The Clav**spoiler alert** This book picks up where City of Ashes left off. Clary's headed for the City of Glass to try and find a cure for her mother.
The Clave has called Shadowhunters in from all over the world to figure out what to do about Valentine.
Valentine is still looking for the third mortal instrument.
I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but the more I thought about it the more annoyed I became.
It was obvious from the end of the second book that Clary and Jace weren't actually related. So the whole incest angst thing was more irritating than anything else because it felt unnecessary. Especially once the birthmark thing was revealed. No one else picked up on that? Really?
The kicker for me was that demon blood was supposed to at least have the potential to do bad things when it mixed with human or shadowhunter blood. Surely Jace has bled all over people numerous times and no one ever suffered any ill effects from it so that alone should have been a heads up that Jace wasn't part demon. Which means he probably wasn't related to Clarey. So that angst felt unnecessary too.
Sebastian felt off from the beginning too. I think she was going for sociopathic (of if she wasn't, she should have been) but instead he just came off as selfish and spoiled. And the thing with the hair dye didn't make any sense. Could Valentine not be bothered to pick up some Just for Men?
And I really don't understand Shadowhunter Society. I can sort of get 18 being the age for a say in governmental matters. But I really don't understand having to be 18 to fight in a war. It's okay to go out and kill things one on one or in a small group, but somehow not in a war with overwhelming odds? The result is that instead of a large group against a large group you have a large group against a medium/small group which can be overwhelmed with sheer numbers and then they can go after the smaller group of kids and elderly. The older "kids" weren't even put in charge of protecting the young and elderly and they didn't really seem to be doing so on their own initiative. They were just...hanging out.
A sacrifice needed to be made, but Max wasn't big enough. Honestly, I didn't really feel anything when he was killed. I understand why the characters were upset, but as a reader I didn't connect with him and all we see of him in this book is a few instances of him being told to go into another room.
And Jace and Isabelle really didn't make sure Sebastian was dead? I know they were pretty banged up, but still. I can't image they'd have just left a demon they were "pretty sure" was dead.
I'm afraid Sebastian is going to be the antagonist in the next book and he's just not interesting enough.
So I'm glad the Clave is being opened to others (even if by Force), I'm glad Clarey and Jace got together. I do think Simon and the Mark of Cain could make for an interesting story line, although Simon has never interested me as much as others. ...more
**spoiler alert** Jake and Tor finally own their own ranch. They've just settled in when Jake receives a call that there's been an accident. His siste**spoiler alert** Jake and Tor finally own their own ranch. They've just settled in when Jake receives a call that there's been an accident. His sister, Melissa, has been killed in an accident and he and Tor were named Jacob's legal guardian.
There's a lot of adjustments to be made, for everyone, but I think Owen handled it really well. Everything feels very realistic to me. I love that Tor takes over and is able to keep a clear head when Jake needs him most. He was a perfect spouse/partner, attentive and loving, taking care of what he could when Jake, his sister, and Jacob were too affected by grief. It really was tender and loving and perfect.
I was a little surprised that Tor didn't realize that Jake's sudden need to control every little thing stemmed from being unable to control his sister's death, which had been my first thought.
While there still seemed to be bunches of sex, I also thought there was a lot more plot and characterization this time around. And it was good to see that they still have to work on actually talking to each other but are making the effort.
It was also nice to see that they seem to be mostly accepted by the community. I was a little sad that the big dance had been reduced to one day. I get that it was never Jake's thing, but it seems to me the point of the dance was never about the owner, it was about giving the ranch hands a break.
There was also one of those annoying time jumps in the very beginning of the book. A year passes between the first chapter and the second. I get why they wanted to include events of the first chapter, but it may have been better to leave it out to avoid the jarring jump.
I really liked this book a lot. It seemed like a realistic continuation of the last book and I felt like the focus was more on the relationship between Tor and Jake with less emphasis on the sex.
**spoiler alert** Jake has been the foreman on the ranch for nearly a decade and a half, while Tor, short for Tornado, has been working at the ranch f**spoiler alert** Jake has been the foreman on the ranch for nearly a decade and a half, while Tor, short for Tornado, has been working at the ranch for a few years. Tor's a good worker, but still manages to get under Jake's skin, mostly by acting the same way Jake does, confident (arrogant).
There's not a lot of buildup to the relationship. It just sort of happens.
Both characters have to deal with being gay in a part of the country where gays are not particularly welcome. Jake has kept his homosexuality hidden from most people but eventually his relationship with Tor is made public. Fortunately, their boss is very supportive and understanding and makes it clear that if anyone has a problem with it then he is not welcome on his ranch.
There's also family to deal with. Tor's family is mostly intact, but Jake's situation is more complicated. He was kicked out by his mom when she learned he was gay and hasn't seen any of his parents, including his three siblings, since.
I was a little worried in the beginning because there seemed to be a lot of sex and not much character development or plot but gradually those things were woven in. The relationship between Jake and Tor is loving and very sweet.
Sometimes the story seems to randomly jump ahead which is always jarring but felt particularly problematic when Owen was trying to show the cracks in the relationship. There was a short section where there would be a few paragraphs or a page and then the next section would take place the next season. It also seemed a little unfair because Tor came off as passive aggressive whereas Jake just came off as maybe a little passive.
The numbness, pain, and anger when their relationship failed felt very real.
I love that the "moral" of the story is that couples really do have to talk to each other. They can't just wait for a mood to pass or ignore things until they go away.
When I started to read the book I intended to read a few chapters and ended up finishing the whole thing. High praise indeed....more
Mitchell does a fantastic job establishing Sean and Kyle's relationship in just a few short scenes. The**spoiler alert** I absolutely loved this book.
Mitchell does a fantastic job establishing Sean and Kyle's relationship in just a few short scenes. There's no question how deeply they love each other or how sexy they find each other. They're hot and tender and perfect.
Of course, things change radically when Sean stops a school shooter. As Sean spends more time in the spotlight promoting gay causes his relationship with Kyle deteriorates. Neither of them knows quite how to deal with what they've both gone through.
Sean has to deal with pain from his wounds, the sudden publicity, and the fact he really needs help. He doesn't really want help from Kevin and doesn't think he needs it.
Kevin's in a tough position. He's not the one who witnessed the shooting and he's not the one who got hurt so he feels like if he doesn't have the right to need anything. Of course, he's been through a major trauma, too, but I don't think he really admits that. He's also frustrated because he wasn't there when Sean was in danger and he can't help Sean now because Sean won't accept his help. To top it all off, Sean's now constantly on the road with his hot PR guy.
While it's true that a lot of their problems could have been prevented or at least reduced by talking (something that usually really annoys me in books, movies and TV), in this case I think it's much more believable that they don't talk. I don't think either one of them is self aware of enough to express what they're feeling and what they need, and I think that would be true of most people. Kyle (understandably) doesn't want to put any more pressure on Sean even though he feels like he's drowning and Sean doesn't want to admit how bad things are. Though Sean fails to really acknowledge that Kyle was also traumatized, it's not that he thinks Kyle doesn't have a right to have been traumatized, it's more like it didn't really occur to him (much the same way Kyle doesn't fully acknowledge it himself). I found the whole thing very realistic and I think it made for a better story. And as deep as their problems were, I don't think they could have just talked it out even if they had been more self aware.
I also found it very realistic that both of them tried very hard for a long time to pretend that things were okay even though they clearly weren't.
This is a moving, realistic, well told story with interesting, likable characters and I really liked that the emotional component was established really early on so the beginning wasn't near strangers fucking.