I've been itching to get to the bottom of Mal and Cillian as characters, and I loved this glimpse into their motivations. This story packed...more3.5 stars.
I've been itching to get to the bottom of Mal and Cillian as characters, and I loved this glimpse into their motivations. This story packed a pretty decent punch considering its short length and considering the way it had to be squeezed in around sex scenes.
I'm not exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to sex in books, but S.E. Jakes writes so much sex. Personally, I feel that having super prolonged sex scenes at the drop of a hat detracts from both the non-romantic story arc and the relationship arc--the story sometimes struggles to fit itself in around orgasms, and the sex feels less special and has less of an emotional impact when it's everywhere. But that's just me. Apparently lots of people love the ultra-steam.
Despite my complaints, I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment. The mystery plot, which is unfolding in both this spin-off series and the main Hell or High Water series, is driving me crazy. I have to know how it all ends!(less)
Usually I don't find novellas nearly as satisfying as full novels, but Meljean Brook can do amazing things with under 100 pages. She never disappoints...moreUsually I don't find novellas nearly as satisfying as full novels, but Meljean Brook can do amazing things with under 100 pages. She never disappoints.(less)
This is honestly a pretty uninspiring start to Briggs' Alpha and Omega series, but this is a weird case where I actually feel it is totally necessary...moreThis is honestly a pretty uninspiring start to Briggs' Alpha and Omega series, but this is a weird case where I actually feel it is totally necessary to start with this novella if you intend to continue on to the rest of the books (which are much better than the novella overall). When I picked up Cry Wolf for the first time, I was so incredibly lost--I felt like I was missing the first couple chapters of the story. The book launches readers into a situation in progress with no explanation of backstory. Turns out that the first couple chapters are this novella. Cry Wolf picks up the story right where the novella leaves off.
The reason I find this story uninspiring is because it places Charles in the role of hero, but neglects to make Anna into a heroine. She's just a girl who needs saving who also happens to be a POV character. Sure, she's not totally passive, but Charles is always in the driver's seat for literally everything that happens in this book (well, after he and Anna meet, anyway). Anna just kind of tags along.
Briggs makes Anna into a stronger character in the subsequent books in the series, and thank goodness, because if the whole series was like this I would have been fed up with it long ago, but in actuality, it gets better with every book.(less)
NOTE: This e-story is FREE. Download it from B&N, Amazon, or spiesandthieves.com (or a variety of other retailers, listed at the site).
This was fu...moreNOTE: This e-story is FREE. Download it from B&N, Amazon, or spiesandthieves.com (or a variety of other retailers, listed at the site).
This was fun, and I loved getting inside the heads of two of my favorite secondary characters from Ally Carter's books, Macey and Hale, and watching them slowly realize that neither of them is what they seem. However, I couldn't help but think that this story would have been much improved with the addition of flirting, rather than the conspicuous, "SORRY I'M NOT FLIRTING, I AM TAKEN" dialogue we got instead. When does Macey get to hook up? How come secondary characters rarely get any love? :((less)
3.5 stars. I really enjoyed this novella, getting more insight into the aloof and perfect Alodia and seeing Elisa through her eyes. I was surprised th...more3.5 stars. I really enjoyed this novella, getting more insight into the aloof and perfect Alodia and seeing Elisa through her eyes. I was surprised that Elisa was actually correct about Alodia's feelings toward her, at least up to the point of the novella. I assumed she wouldn't be quite so dismissive of her sister. It served as a nice opportunity for character growth though, and I liked that we saw peeks of character growth for Elisa as well, hinting at the strength of character that won't become obvious until well into The Girl of Fire and Thorns.(less)
2.5 stars. I was tempted to give this three stars, because a lot of my reaction wasn't that these stories were bad, just that they weren't for me. But...more2.5 stars. I was tempted to give this three stars, because a lot of my reaction wasn't that these stories were bad, just that they weren't for me. But boy, were they not for me.
My first exposure to Kelly Link's writing was through her YA collection Pretty Monsters: Stories. I loved it. "Magic for Beginners" is still one of my all-time favorite stories. So I was excited to read her two adult collections, this and Magic for Beginners. I started with this, her earlier collection, and proceeded to be extremely disappointed.
For the most part, these stories reminded me unpleasantly of my least favorite literature classes in college, the ones where all the pretentious English majors would say things like, "I loved how the diamond motif perfectly reflected the unyielding nature of the protagonist's attitude toward motherhood," and I would be all, "Uhh, I liked the bit with the dog. It was funny and sad at the same time, which is, you know, cool." Which is to say, these stories weren't fun to read. They were work, full of clever symbolism and literary styling, but not entertaining. And most of the time I felt like the stories were going right over my head, which is a pretty depressing reading experience.
There were a few stories I thought were okay, and one, "Vanishing Act," that I really liked a lot, but overall, I'll leave this one to the pretentious English majors.
This collection can be downloaded for free from the publisher's website here.(less)
4.5 stars. Absolutely brilliant. From the opening story, "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown," in which a desperate girl chooses to become a vampire in orde...more4.5 stars. Absolutely brilliant. From the opening story, "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown," in which a desperate girl chooses to become a vampire in order to enact a rescue, to the final, titular story "The Poison Eaters," which stars three dead girls created as poisonous weapons, I was enthralled. This book had so many gems that it was easy to overlook the few stories that fell flat. Other favorites include "The Night Market," set in the Phillippines with a simultaneously endearing and terrifying god-creature enkanto, and "The Coat of Stars," which pits a costume designer estranged from his family against the faeries who stole his childhood sweetheart.
Holly Black's work is frequently described as gritty, dark, and edgy, and there is plenty of all three of those qualities to be found in The Poison Eaters, but each story also has an underlying tenderness that brings its characters to life and makes your heart ache for them.
A must-read for short fiction readers and fans of Holly Black's novels.(less)