While Panic lacked the profundity and beauty that was present in If I Fall, I found the characters mostly sympathetic, if fairly flawed (except Nat. E...moreWhile Panic lacked the profundity and beauty that was present in If I Fall, I found the characters mostly sympathetic, if fairly flawed (except Nat. Even with the reveal about her issues. Didn't like her. Sorry.) I feel like the actual game of Panic lost steam about halfway through, felled by the interpersonal issues; a little balance there would have been nice. I was still rooting for Heather and Dodge, however, and this was a nice break from the common dystopia/supernatural/tragic illness book that is prevalent in YA right now.(less)
This is a hard book to review without spoiling the plot. Really hard. It's very well written, however; my only issue was a twist that occurred near th...moreThis is a hard book to review without spoiling the plot. Really hard. It's very well written, however; my only issue was a twist that occurred near the end- I think Flynn could have gotten her characters to that point without going so outlandish with it. But I appreciated the unreliable narration, and how incredibly flawed the characters are, and the fact that the ending is hazy. It's worth a read if you don't mind any of the above.(less)
Not the typical Stephen King novel- nothing supernatural, no monsters other than the human sort- but it's still a heart pounding ride, with good pitte...moreNot the typical Stephen King novel- nothing supernatural, no monsters other than the human sort- but it's still a heart pounding ride, with good pitted against evil. (less)
If I could do half star ratings, I'd probably give this a 2.5, but since we can't, I'll be generous and give three, because I can see that LKH is tryi...moreIf I could do half star ratings, I'd probably give this a 2.5, but since we can't, I'll be generous and give three, because I can see that LKH is trying. There is a plot here, and it's a good one, but it's buried under a desperate need for editing.
Anita receives a phone call from Micah's estranged mother, alerting her that Micah's father has been grievously injured. What else is there to do but pack up the entire contingent of were-creatures and head to Denver, so Micah can reunite with his parents? Upon arrival, however, they discover there is much more afoot than they had suspected, and Anita quickly becomes enmeshed in helping to solve a case involving hungry zombies, rotting vampires, and a power unlike anything she has ever encountered before.
Sounds good, right? It should have been. There wasn't even any smut until a couple hundred pages in. But LKH devotes entire chapters to listing heights, weights, builds, and hair colors of each of Anita's 'body guards'. She dwells forever on who is the biggest sociopath. Long passages are spent on pondering who should marry whom and how does this whole poly thing work anyway? She tells us twice the origin of Wicked Truth and describes their appearances each time. She gets too caught up in detailing how everyone relates to everyone else and trying to unravel the tangled web of Anita's personal life through meandering paragraphs of navel-gazing. And of course there are the usual scenes of Anita arguing with people who just don't understand. Over and over. And over.
It's too bad. There are good points. Anita meets a human woman- a cop, even- she eventually can get along with. We actually get to see a functional poly family. Edward turns up and is awesome, as usual. There are cops that actually don't give a flying fuck about Anita's personal life. The actual mystery is an interesting one, and the hunt for the big bad has real consequences. Anita even gets hurt, and while she heals quickly, she doesn't level up. She seems to have control of her Ardeur, which is a huge relief. Jean-Claude shows up and gets to actually do stuff.
The book is not terrible. I definitely enjoyed parts of it. But I was distracted by the deep desire to get out a red pen and edit the hell out of it. The only thing that stopped me was that my copy came from the library. Someone needs to do it, however. (less)
Chava is a golem, newly awakened. Ahmad is a jinni, recently released after 1000 years entrapment. Both have arrived in the New York of the 1890s. Wec...moreChava is a golem, newly awakened. Ahmad is a jinni, recently released after 1000 years entrapment. Both have arrived in the New York of the 1890s. Wecker's story begins by following both as individuals, exploring the rich cultures and casts of characters that surround them as each discovers the world around them. Then they discover one another, and their stories begin to intertwine like the loaves of challah Chava deftly braids. With the introduction of their antagonist, Yehudah Schaalman, everything and everyone comes together as they realize just how entangled they truly are.
This is a beautifully written story, as much a love letter to early New York City, and the diverse cultures from which the city is composed, as it is the tale of these two unlikely creatures. I want to recommend it to just about everyone I know, because there is some element that each of my friends will enjoy in this novel. Fairy tale, magical realism, something in between- no matter their fantastic origins, Chava and Ahmad feel like real people, and I became invested in them both. The story is a slow burn, to begin with, but by the last third of the book I found it impossible to put down (even though I needed to get to sleep!). I borrowed this book from the library, but it's one I'll want to own so I can revisit the people that populate it over and over.(less)