I got to read an ARC from the author last week. I'm stuck at 3.5 stars, though part of that is probably because I'm not a fan of ebooks; I find I haveI got to read an ARC from the author last week. I'm stuck at 3.5 stars, though part of that is probably because I'm not a fan of ebooks; I find I have a hard time getting into that format. Definitely going to buy a paperback when it comes out to read it again. This is an excellent addition to the genre, in the style of Twilight (Stephenie Meyer), Wings (Aprilynne Pike), and Tithe (Holly Black).
The main character, Joy, was a pleasure. She's sweet, innocent (but not naive), clever, loyal (and average, human-sized, which I appreciated, especially when she's surrounded by so many beautiful people), but with some distinct flaws that kept her from being annoying. Another great, strong heroine all around. If Ms. Dewees keeps coming up with women like this, I'll definitely keep reading. The supporting cast was no less enjoyable a group of real characters--the hodgepodge, artsy bunch that still didn't manage to fall into cliche. I especially loved Joy's roommate, Maddie, who is just the type of friend every girl should have. She was probably my favorite character.
Tanner, our hero, I had a bit of difficulty liking. He didn't really seem to have many strengths beyond his unnatural beauty and his mad brooding skillz. He's a great guy, but the cloud of depression can really put a damper on other worthy qualities. Other than the sheer pleasure of looking at him (which, admittedly, can do a lot for a relationship, for a while), I had a hard time understanding what would appeal to Joy so much that she would fight so hard for him. Given that this is our author's second hero to suffer so greatly, I wonder a bit if we're going to have a theme in Ms. DeWees's works. I could think of other themes I'd prefer.
Tam Lin is not a story I know well, so I was definitely surprised by many of the plot twists. (I looked up one of the ballads after I finished and was really amused to see some of the things the author incorporated from the original story.) She tied up this story very neatly in then end, so that I'm not really sure what she plans to do in the next book; since I thought this tale was going to be spread over three books, there were a couple of relationship elements that--while a significant part of the Tam Lin story--I thought came in a little early. But I thought the final battle with Melisande was pretty thrilling. And I loved that Joy was an active heroine, that it was Tanner playing the damsel in distress this time.
Definitely looking forward to the next installment. Just tell me, is it going to follow Joy and Tanner in more adventures, or will we be introduced to some new main characters? I'm very curious to see what comes next in the trilogy. Is it too much to hope that we'll resolve William and Maddie's love troubles? ...more
A really fun read. It reminds me a lot of Jane Eyre, I found (actually, more particularly Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn), only with a lot more actionA really fun read. It reminds me a lot of Jane Eyre, I found (actually, more particularly Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn), only with a lot more action.
I really enjoyed the world the author built, and I thought she did a great job fleshing the setting out. I wasn't really enthralled with Mishalla and her part of the plot, but everything tied together nicely.
I kind of wish that everything had been tied up in this book—I'm getting a little tired of the YA trilogy—but I do look forward to reading the next. Good job, Ms. Sandler....more
My favorite book as a child. Must have read it two or three dozen times between finding it at my cousins' house at six or seven and moving on to otherMy favorite book as a child. Must have read it two or three dozen times between finding it at my cousins' house at six or seven and moving on to other subjects at ten or eleven. Picked it up again at the library today to cleanse my palate after reading Sarah's Key for a book group. Such a sweet story about bravery and heroism during World War II....more
I love the worldbuilding—the elemental superstitions/mythos/magic system. Really, really love it. I liked the political iOn a second read, 4.25 stars.
I love the worldbuilding—the elemental superstitions/mythos/magic system. Really, really love it. I liked the political intrigue. I mostly loved the romance—I thought the slow-building romantic tension was fantastic (and really appreciated that it wasn't all sexual, like her first shapeshifter book), though I do wish that Zoe had been a little less determined to see the bad in Darien the whole time.
Zoe was kinda flat for me; she seemed to darn placid that I was getting bored, and then she freaks out a lets her magic powers go all haywire. I was also kind of confused by the reactions to her—I mean, she stops a river in its course, and everyone oohs and ahhs, but none of the other primes seem particularly inclined to do crazy magic. Is this a normal thing for people to witness, or isn't it?
But overall I really enjoyed the story, and I look forward to more....more
A bit slow to start, and it did feel like one of the events at the end was somewhat contrived for a completely perfect happy ending. Also, thinking baA bit slow to start, and it did feel like one of the events at the end was somewhat contrived for a completely perfect happy ending. Also, thinking back on it, I don't recall that the bad guy had much real motivation beyond "yo, evil sorceror here; this is how I roll." But that's somewhat allowable in this series, what with the Tradition and all. It didn't even occur to me in the moment—I only thought about it afterward, when I felt like I should say more in my review.
Shortcomings aside, it was a really fun read. This is probably my favorite of the series. Loved it....more