I had heard about this book and loved how it seemed kind of steampunk/ gothic romance. It had quiet a feOriginally posted on my blog Books Before Bed.
I had heard about this book and loved how it seemed kind of steampunk/ gothic romance. It had quiet a few good reviews but a part of me was hesitant to start it because what it if was just fluff as sometimes the hyped up books end up being?
I am happy to say that this one was not fluff!! Katharine was quite analytical and I could relate to her wanting to look out for herself but then falling in love with the people that she came to know.
There wasn't really steampunk, but I didn't mind. There were creative characters and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. The storyline was inventive and I am looking forward to more!
I will say that there were some...confusing parts...that I thought were resolved a little later than I would have liked. I get frustrated when I can't figure something out and those bits tantalyzingly on the edge frustrated me just a little bit. Sometimes it doesn't, but this time it did.
Also, the ending. It was ok. Hmm, I can't really say a whole lot without giving away stuff (and I hate spoilers so I won't do that to you!). Needless to say, it wasn't my favorite. Not just for what happened, but how people acted. Some acted spot on and I thought were really great. Others though, not as much.
Another point in the books favor though was the attraction between Katharine and another character. It was slow to happen, but made complete sense. I'm just looking forward to it resolving more in the next book!...more
I had avoided this book for a very long time, just because the hype was so great, but finally a glowing review from Small Review convinced me to try. And it was worth all of the hype...until the last 1/4 of the book.
Let me explain: I would give about a 4.5 stars to the beginning of this book. Penryn was a great character. I appreciated her efforts, she tries to protect her family, she has to put up with a lot (end of the world, gangs, really crazy mom, handicapped sister, starving, etc) but she remains positive and is realistic.
Enter Raffe. We are inclined not to trust him becuase he is an angel, but I grew to like him, quite a lot, along with Penryn. They make a really good team and I was happy that they had each other to rely on.
And then about 3/4 of the way through the book, things just didn't make as much sense. I could follow along with what was happening, but it just didn't have as much foundation as the rest of the book felt like. The Angel society didn't feel complete to me and didn't feel very strong. Yes, enemies need to have weaknesses, but these guys just seemed like posers. It seemed like they only had power because the humans gave them power.
And then some other things happen and I won't go into it, but it just felt too random. Yes, I can be thrown curveballs in books, and I actually like when I am surprised, but what happens just didn't feel natural to me. Maybe more background will be revealed in the next ones (and I will continue this series, I do want to see what happens) that will shed light on some of the actions of the last part. Just frustrating.
Overall, I'd recommend it, but honestly break it down to: first 3/4 of the book= 4.5 stars, last 1/4 of the book= 2.5 stars. Now, the rest of the series could redeem that, and help everything make more sense, but it just felt rushed and not founded like the rest of the book did....more
The Curse of the Wendigo is an engrossing read... pun intended. This series is not for the faint of heart (I'm a litOriginally posted on my blog here.
The Curse of the Wendigo is an engrossing read... pun intended. This series is not for the faint of heart (I'm a little afraid of the dark again now) but it's characterization is worth it, and truly, it is fantastic storytelling.
We are first introduced to the contentious pair of Doctor Pellinor Warthrop and his young assistant William James Henry, or just Will Henry for short, in The Monstrumologist. I didn't really much like the Doctor then, though I did warm up to him towards the end, but Will Henry I loved from the start and love even more after reading this book.
He is such a young boy, but he tries, and he is truly one of the most long suffering characters I have ever read. I sometimes forget his youth with the things that he has to face, and then when I remember it, I am surprised (well, not really, when you know the character of Will Henry) that he doesn't go mad. Grown men break sooner than he does and he has to put up with a lot more. He is just amazing.
Part of the monstrumologists power I think, is that he is so hard to convince sometimes of the reality of something. Where others might give into their fears, even before they have actual proof, he is almost madeningly obtuse. He is able to walk, sometimes bound, into the darkness not because he is naieve, but because he knows so much and can do so much. I am always impressed with how physical the doctor can be. He is who I would want by my side if I had to go through a dangerous part of the woods because he is both knowledgable and capable. Though intensely frustrating at times as well.
And the relationship between Will Henry and the Monstrumologist is an onion if I ever did see one! There is so much depth and hidden currents and tension there. They need each other, and yet cannot stand each other sometimes. Very well written, very very well written.
It's one of those types of books that you want to read quickly so that the scary things are resolved, but at the same time, it's one of those books that CAN be read quickly because it is so engrossing and so well written that it draws you in, and even though you're nervous of what you'll find, you can't help but go forward.
It is horrifying and yet makes you think as well. Not necessarily about the depravity of the human condition, though there is that as well, but about relationships. How we accept or push away those around us, what we choose to do to those we love and those we hate. This is a very deep book. It had its humorous times as well, but wow, just wow....more
Originally posted on my blog Books Before Bed here.
I was approached by Ms. Ink to do a review for her recently published book and was immediately captOriginally posted on my blog Books Before Bed here.
I was approached by Ms. Ink to do a review for her recently published book and was immediately captured by the synopsis. It sounded like just my type of adventure book and I was eager to try it. (side note: don't you just love this cover! The first one I was not a fan of, but regardless liked the synopsis as stated before, but this cover I think grabs the idea of the book and portrays it beautifully!)
In terms of strengths, in descending order, I would go: world building, characters, plot.
To expound: Ms. Ink deftly introduced us to a whole new world without having to do too much explaining. It wasn't anything overly complex (those can sometimes get tiresome to keep straight) but it was just different enough that I had the fantasy vibe that I so love when I read it. There were different words for things that we have in every day life (woolies, which I assumed were sheep, and popina for kitchen) that were surprisingly frequent throughout the book and could even be made into a dictionary, but here again was the strength, a dictionary wasn't needed! Being able to balance that was very well done and I enjoyed the world that was created.
The characters in this book were quite likable. Leila was brave and quite often reckless. She had her redeeming qualities and was an easy enough protagonist to follow, though sometimes she acted her age of just 14 years. Sam was an easier person to like and the narration jumps between their two points of view. This was deftly done as well and only once or twice did it take me a moment to realize who it was that was thinking something (the changes aren't necessarily by chapter or divided by icons, but happen all throughout the story). There is a bit of a romance brewing, but it felt forced sometimes, and other times there was the tension that makes me go squee inside, but it kind of got skimmed over, so not as much fulfillment there as I would have liked.
There were other characters throughout that, even though they were only present for a short time, made an impression. Some had too short of a time, however, and I wish more could have been done with them.
For plot, I was really grabbed at the beginning of the story and quickly read through almost the entire first half in a matter of days. The pacing was well done, new characters were introduced, and atmosphere was present, which was much appreciated. However, and this is why my review is for a 3 star rating, the end just wasn't as strong as the beginning lead me to expect. Things became a little too easy to guess what would happen and fell a little too easily into place. Even if there were other books after this one, and the ending, though it concludes, leaves that opening, I wanted more from this first book. It didn't fall flat, per se, but the ending didn't live up to its potential. Good, but not great.
Overall, I would recommend this book. I was very impressed with the skill of Ms. Ink's writing and enjoyed the time I spent with her characters. As she continues to refine her craft she is one to watch!...more
Ever since I read the synopsis for this book I have been very eager to read it. And guys, it's awesome! Such a creatOriginally posted on my blog here.
Ever since I read the synopsis for this book I have been very eager to read it. And guys, it's awesome! Such a creative idea with a girl being a Nightmare! Not sure about the rest of you, but that's a first heard for me and I really, really like the idea. Ms. Arnett does a good job explaining what it is the people like Dusty can do, but I'm looking forward to future books were we see her powers expand.
Dusty was a fun character to follow. At first I thought her snark might kind of get in the way of my view of her, but it wasn't too heavy handed and I bonded with her. The supporting cast was creative and you get to know some of them fairly well. Enough information was given to lend the world credence, but more would have helped flesh it out.
That being said, however, the pacing I though worked very well. Enough was happening, either emotionally or as a part of the story arc that I turned the pages easily and ended up finishing it in just a few hours!
My favorite line from the book is "Imagination IS Magic". That is something I agree with whole-heartedly!
While Ms. Arnett's creation does have some familiar themes in it to other magic stories, what really made this unique for me was the fact that Dusty is a Nightmare, and that was enough. I'm excited to see where this all goes (especially the relationship!!!! Gah, can you say tension much?). While there is no cliff hanger, there is certainly room in the story for more and I am optimistic since this is labeled as The Arkwell Academy #1. Yes please!...more
One of my most favorite movies is The Secret of Roan Inish. I love anything to deal with Ireland and this movie hadOriginally posted on my blog here.
One of my most favorite movies is The Secret of Roan Inish. I love anything to deal with Ireland and this movie had beautiful scenery, great accents and actors (especially the kids) and a touching story. That was probably my first real introduction to the selkie myth.
This book brought back all of the memories of that movie, and more besides. If your looking for a light happy read, this isn't it. It took a bit to get through this book because it was pretty heavy.
Ms. Lanagan does a stupendous job going into all of the details that make the myth real. At first I didn't appreciate how the points of view changed every 60 pages or so (sometimes shorter) but it really made for a well rounded understanding of what was going on, who was feeling what and why. We learn about the witch who made it all possible, the boys who fell in love with the selkie women, the families that were torn apart by it, the children of the selkies and men, and the girls who fall in love with those sons. I only realized as I thought about it that we never see anything from the selkies point of view, but it wasn't really necessary either, though we do understand a bit of what they go through, both happy and sad.
Again, not an easy book because of how realistic it felt for me but that was also its strength. I could feel the cold, the attraction, the heartache and the hope. The prose was simply beautiful. I'm giving this a 4 not because it was my most most favorite book ever, but because of how beautifully it was written and how wholly I was immersed into it....more
I only recently discovered this book from another blogger, and am very glad I did. This book was so creative! FirstOriginally posted on my blog here.
I only recently discovered this book from another blogger, and am very glad I did. This book was so creative! First off, that cover pulls you right in, fantastic. And the title is very gripping too.
Right off the bat though, I was immersed in this world. It felt so real, so realistic and logical that I sometimes had to remind myself that, no, we don't have any underwater colonies (that I know of, if we did though, sign me up!). Honestly, that was the best part about this book and what I'm excited for as I continue the series, just how real it all is: houses shaped like jellyfish to help with the pressure, family sized subs, manta ray boards, people that glow when they blush because they eat bioluminescent fish....it just made so much sense!
And not that books have to be 100% fact based for me to enjoy them, but I do want to be immersed in the world to the point that I believe it's real and wonder why I never knew about it before. This book does that, in spades.
That being said, the story line was adequate. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Not many books that I read have leading male characters and it was fun getting to know things from Ty's perspective, but it didn't feel as solid as the world did to me. I was just kind of along for the ride, reading more from enjoyment than from a gripping need to know what happens next. Which is ok. Not every book I enjoy is going to consume me (probably a good thing) but this one did entertain.
Overall, a great world, an adequate story line, and something I am looking forward to returning to as the story continues. Recommended!...more
What first drew me to this book was its amazing cover! A close second would be the fact that it's a Jane Eyre steOriginally published on my blog here.
What first drew me to this book was its amazing cover! A close second would be the fact that it's a Jane Eyre steampunk retelling with faeries...and yes, you heard that right! Have you added this to your TBR yet?
Starting out I loved how atmospheric it all was. It felt shadowed to me, which fit so perfectly with the mood of things and how everyone was just recovering from a war. Not too much to be happy about here! But it wasn't depressing. I guess the only way to describe it is how things feel on a rainy afternoon on a windswept moor...yeah, I got into the imagery.
What I also really liked about this book was the fact that Jane actually does her governess duties in this one. She and the daughter are quite similar in their 'issues' and Jane is determined to help her. How that actually ends up happening, I won't ruin, but it was quite refreshing to see her working with the girl and us actually getting to know the daughter (which is something I don't even remember feeling in the original!) instead of her just being an excuse for Jane to be there.
So, for about the first half of the book, I was quite impressed. This was such a cool re-imagning of a classic favorite I was excited to continue....and then Jane kind of lost her wits. For the first half she's a strong, self-willed girl and then all of a sudden she gets...twitterpated! It was really frusting to watch her obsess over Mr. Rochart on the slightest things, I didn't understand it. I know that it's supposed to happen eventually, but the way it was done didn't feel natural and wasn't as much of a slow burn as I wanted it to be.
Towards the end Jane does exemplify some quick wittedness and intellect, but in my opinion she doesn't recover her sensibility from the beginning and the daughter falls a bit to the way side. I AM looking forward to reading the sequel, but the latter half of this book was not what I was expecting or thought fit. This is an author to watch out for though! ...more
hmm, this was good, an interesting twist, not as scary as I was expecting, but that's a good thing. Looks like i'll have to keep reading the series. Fhmm, this was good, an interesting twist, not as scary as I was expecting, but that's a good thing. Looks like i'll have to keep reading the series. Full review to come....more
*sigh* I have not been this aggravated by a book in a long, long time. I think what made it so hard for me was thatOriginally posted on my blog here.
*sigh* I have not been this aggravated by a book in a long, long time. I think what made it so hard for me was that I had such high hopes for this (did you read the synopsis? I LOVE assassin stories, and an assassin story about a girl and princes and evil kings? Sign me up!) The execution of the story, however, had me rolling my eyes continually!
I'm not going to go into too much detail here, since I respect the effort authors put in to writing their stories and also because I am obviously in the minority with my opinion of this book. Lots of people with similar tastes to mine have thoroughly enjoyed this, so maybe it's just me.
To start off on a positive note, what I did like about this book was that it was quite atmospheric for a YA. Not often do you come across a YA story with such an evolved background.
That being said, if you are at all used to reading high fantasy, this book is not going to have much depth for you. I wouldn't say I'm a high-fantasy fanatic, but reading Throne of Glass I felt that it could have gone so much deeper since I could feel the information lurking under the surface but it just never went into that much in to detail.
Probably the most aggravating thing of the whole book for me would have to be the characters. Before even reading Throne of Glass I started with the novellas and was introduced to Celaena there and really enjoyed getting to know her in The Assassin and the Desert...but then some stuff happens in The Assassin and the Underworld that had me screaming in frustration. I thought things would improve with the actual book, but that would be a negative.
I guess it comes down to characters making realistic choices. Sometimes you get so drawn into a book it feels as if you are actually there. Almost every action of the characters in Throne of Glass, however, felt excruciatingly forced. It felt as if there was someone behind the scenes with an idea of what they wanted to happen and was forcing the characters to go against their nature. There was so much that just didn't make sense!! I was fighting actions and reactions every step of the way because it just didn't feel natural and did not flow.
I'm fine with not liking a character and the choices that they make, but they need to make sense!
I'm all for romantic tension and having two guys vying for your attention, but their actions need to make sense!
I'm fine for having the worlds greatest assassin be a 16 year girl, but her actions need to make sense!
*sigh* I'll end it here because it would just be specific gripes that I would go in to. Even though I was frustrated I thought that after finishing this book that I would still want to read the rest of the series, but honestly, I don't think I can handle it.
Still, you should give the book a try. You might want to read the novella the Assassin and the Underworld first, though, and if what happens in that makes perfect sense to you, you'll really enjoy this book. If instead the only thing preventing you from throwing it across the room in frustration is the fact that you are reading it on your iPod, I'd invest your reading time somewhere else cause there's a lot of the same feelings, times about 10, in the actual novel....more