**spoiler alert** Before you continue reading, know that this might be a mixture of a review and me venting.
Okay, so. If you've read Beautiful Creatur...more**spoiler alert** Before you continue reading, know that this might be a mixture of a review and me venting.
Okay, so. If you've read Beautiful Creatures, you know how big it is. It's huge, 563 pages long, and maybe as heavy as all get out (no idea where that came from). I was happy to find this one 60 pages shorter. Takes up less room on my bookcase. ;)
After finishing this book at about 1am, I found I both really loved it and really hated it. I've got a big love/hate relationship with this book.
I'll start with what I loved: no matter what happened, no matter how weird things got and how crazy characters acted, it still made me turn the page and continue reading. It was like a compulsion, or a drug. I had to know what happened next and I had to know right then before I went to bed.
The Caster world Kami and Margie have created is wicked. Different powers, Light and Dark, family feuds, Keepers (so awesome). It's world building at its finest. I can only imagine how many notebooks or Word files there are with all the Caster rules and types and powers and all the little fiddly bits we as the average reader don't know all about yet.
The relationship between Ethan and Lena is powerful, to say the least. They so can't be together, but Ethan forever tunes it out and goes after her time and time again. It's interesting, seeing what a guy will do to save the girl he loves. No book crush, I promise. Lena can keep him. ;)
And Liv. So cool, and so British. Just what Gatlin needs. ;)
Okay, what bugged me/bothered me/what I hated: the fact that Ethan and Lena had this massive break up and a huge mess of crap had to happen with them apart. Lena so needs Ethan, but Ripley and this new guy John Breed shows up and all hell breaks loose. I wanted to scream at Lena through the pages, but it wasn't meant to be. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but this was outrageous. I still want to beat the crap out of this book.
But, and this goes back to what I also love about the book, the evil was so evil and so manipulative and so 'I don't give a flying &%#@^*&%^$#@@$ what these people think cause I'm evil and I'm going to rule the world and totally use everyone I can to get what I want.' Everything was necessary to move the book along in weird twisty complicated ways (holy crap, Ethan's mom *weird look*). Everything had to happen, even when I totally wanted to punch Ripley right in her lollipop (not a euphemism) and nail John Breed right between the... eyes (or somewhere else).
It was torture, reading this 500 page monster. I hated it so much.
I loved it. It's awesome.
*sigh* I'm not going to survive book 3 and then the wait for book 4. If your books give me a heart attack, Kami and Margie, you owe me a pie. A big one. ;)(less)
Ethan and Lena have returned to Gatlin, but nothing is the same. Heat waves, swarms of locusts, powerful storms. The town is being ravaged. As Ethan a...moreEthan and Lena have returned to Gatlin, but nothing is the same. Heat waves, swarms of locusts, powerful storms. The town is being ravaged. As Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming, they learn her family has been affected, their abilities now imperfect and misfiring. As times passes, they realize something, or someone, has to be sacrificed to save Gatlin. For Ethan, the chaos is a welcome distraction from the changes he's feeling in himself. Something is haunting his dreams, and his life, and he's starting to lose pieces of his memory. Sometimes there isn't one answer or one choice, sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
This series has turned into one that I dread reading because I know that at the end, the wait for so many questions to be answered will be long and painful. If you've seen my review of Beautiful Darkness, you know I had a problem with it. This book, thankfully, was better. This was a lot of question answering but also a lot of realization. We learn what the end of Beautiful Darkness has meant to Gatlin, as well as a certain event from the end of Beautiful Creatures. Consequences. They are important, even when you want to save the person you love.
Lena's back to normal, so to speak (no distancing herself from Ethan this time, thank God). She's wary of Ethan's friendship with Olivia, but come on, when you totally shove your boyfriend away and hand out with some hot Incubus guy, you can't blame your boyfriend for not totally pining after you and staying away from all girls for the rest of time. Besides, he's just friends with Liv.
Ethan's memories are starting to going. He can't remember class work or conversations, something's haunting him in and out of his dreams. Something's wrong, broken, and he needs to figure out what it is before he's completely ripped apart.
A large part of this book has to do with the Wheel of Fate. Everything is meant to be, meant to happen. There's no turning your back on it, no running from it. Even when it hurts. Sometimes figuring it out is what hurts the most.
Die-hard fans of the series will dive into this book with open arms, heading straight back into the sweltering days and still warm nights of Gatlin, the Southern sights and smells, the kudzu creeping up over other plants. For those who weren't fans of the previous book in the series, you might want to give Beautiful Chaos another chance.(less)
Dru Anderson has been "strange" for as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town with her father who hunts the things that go bump in the...moreDru Anderson has been "strange" for as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town with her father who hunts the things that go bump in the night. It's a weird life, but a good one... until it all explodes, in an icy, broken-down Dakota town when her dad disappears and a zombie busts through her kitchen door. Alone, and more than a little terrified, Dru's going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. The monsters have decided to hunt back, and this time, it's Dru who's on the menu
Strange Angels is packed with tension, action, and more than one smart mouth who won't stop. What hold the book together is a strong, rather dangerous, and impossibly stubborn heroine without a hint of teenage girl sugar-coating over top. Dru's a badass, and she makes no attempt to hide that fact that she's rough and ragged at the edges. This is certainly not a typical YA paranormal novel.
Dru leads a very odd life, constantly on the road with her dad hunting the supernatural monsters that terrorize other people. It's clear that Dru's going to be a little more bizarre than most teenage girls, because what normal well-adjusted girl becomes her father's helper when he goes off killing monsters?
When the zombie shows up, everything goes downhill. Dru's on her own now, she's got to remember what her dad taught her before she forgets it all in a massive panicked rush, and she's got to remember how to survive. Because she knows what's out there in the cracks and crevices, what thrives in the shadows. Of course, what she doesn't expect comes in the form of two stubborn boys who are willing to keep her safe.
Books where the setting and the season leaks out from the page and into my hands are rare, and this one does it. Dru's surrounded by snow, winter coming down on the Dakotas, and as I read this a chill crept out and into my hands. So visual and so realistic.
As a book that features one of the more gritty, harsh, stubborn, and complicated heroines I've come across, I would certainly recommend this book to fans of Vampire Academy and the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sometimes, you need a heroine who drives a truck with an AK-47 in the back, and Dru's that kind of girl.(less)
In Forever, Maggie Stiefvater gifts us with the final piece of her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. The time has come for readers to learn the end of Gr...moreIn Forever, Maggie Stiefvater gifts us with the final piece of her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. The time has come for readers to learn the end of Grace and Sam, the girl who loved watching the wolves behind her house, the girl who fell in love with a wolf. But now Grace is the wolf, and Sam is the boy who must save her before all the wolves in Mercy Falls are killed. The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.
It takes nothing for Maggie's prose to sweep me straight into the strange and magical world she's created. So moving and powerful, so honest, so compelling.
As I read this book, I could feel something coming to an end. I just didn't know what it was. It felt like the end of an era. After Forever, there would be no more books of Mercy Falls, no more Grace or Sam, no more of the wolves who shift when the temperature drops.
This book tears as me in more ways than one. I understand the feelings of some, that it was wonderful and romantic and emotional like Shiver and Linger. I understand the feelings of others, those who felt it dragged in spots, that the pacing was off, that it took too long to get to the point, that they have issues with the ending.
One of the things about literature that I love is its subjectivity. The parts that some people love can be the very same parts that others hate. Some might see this as a book of survival, about fighting to stay alive, no matter the cost, and others might see it as an impossible romance that somehow became possible, that stretched and shifted and warped as Grace and Sam changed. Some might see it as a struggle for life, that being the wolf is both death and another form of life, that becoming the wolf condemns you to death like it did with Jack (in Shiver), that through the experiments and injections they were holding death back to give Grace and Sam a chance to live. Some might see Beck's gathering up and changing others into wolves as a way to keep him from being lonely, to find others who don't quite fit in so they can all be a family. It might be a journey towards self-discovery, for Sam to figure out who he is without being a wolf, for Grace to discover how she is as a wolf, for Isabel to learn that life sucks and you have to hold onto the good parts, and for Cole to finally figure out what he wants in life.
The end has come, and yes, I'm sad to see it come, but I can imagine what might come next for Grace and Sam. Where they will go, how they'll get there, what they'll do. If they'll ever become wolves again. If they'll stay wolves. Their story might be out of Maggie's hands, but that doesn't stop readers from wondering what happened, from proposing their own ideas and suggestions. That's what makes literature wonderful: the fact that you keep thinking about it minutes, hours, days, even weeks after reading it.
Dearest Maggie, thank you for Grace and Sam. A hundred thank yous. A thousand.(less)