I don’t normally read “epic fantasy” or “high fantasy” or whatever it’s called. You know, Lord of the Rings style type stuff, with sword and sorcery, and imaginary lands and all that if that makes sense. I guess you can say I’m more into the modern fantasy worlds and characters. I love taking those creatures and putting them into our own world settings and the like moreso. But, on a side note, I did and do love The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, so I’m not making jabs at that--I just don’t usually read and review in this genre because it’s not my style. It even says so in my review policy. I took a great risk picking up Covenant of the Faceless Knights though, knowing there was a chance I probably wouldn’t enjoy it since it was outside my “realm” of usual reading tastes. It’s funny that I post today’s review on this day, because Parajunkee posted her BB01 post just earlier about authors not following a blogger’s review policy, and I found it very insightful, helpful, and completely agreed with everything she said. I did warn the author ahead of time before reading this that it was out of my zone, so with that said, I hope there’s no offense. I was nice enough to still take it on at least either way--but it’s just not me. And I’m absolutely done taking on anymore work from now on outside of my genres--see my review policy. It’s very simple.
Covenant of the Faceless Knights does have an appeal to an audience that I see. There’s action and adventure and a lot of detail. It took me quite awhile to read it because there are a lot of characters and many creatures I had to try and wrap my head around--it got a bit confusing at times. I couldn’t enjoy it personally, but I know people who like this genre that might find this book just suitable for them. That’s the reason for my 2 star rating--it means I found things I liked somewhat (detail, action, adventure), but didn’t like it enough personally…However, I’d recommend it to those who read in this particular genre. In fact, I plan on passing it on to a friend I know who might enjoy it more than I did.
I was provided a copy by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you very much and I appreciate it.
Lies Beneath was my first foray into the oncoming mermaid phenomenon. As more and more of these types of books are starting to become quite the populaLies Beneath was my first foray into the oncoming mermaid phenomenon. As more and more of these types of books are starting to become quite the popular pick, I can’t help but be curious. I’ve always been a fan of these unique creatures, so I’m fascinated with the legends and what the authors are doing with them to build a tale full of suspense, romance, and mystery. I admit that I was wary for some time before I decided to give it a chance. Haha.
I took the plunge (so-to-speak) with Lies Beneath as my first attempt at a mermaid character based story to see what the hype was about. My expectations were very high before I started the first page…and perhaps they shouldn’t have been. I ended it disappointed unfortunately, and now a little leery of reading into any other mermaid stories--though I’ve had others highly recommended.
It wasn’t terrible, it just didn’t completely wow me. What I did like most particularly were the characters, especially Lily’s attitude. Calder was such a stalker at times--and while some authors do tend to have female characters “swoon” over this type of behavior, Lily wasn’t having it for one second. I absolutely loved that. I also liked that the story was told in the POV of a male character, which is not a common occurrence in this genre. The plot itself was unique and engaging enough to keep me turning the pages.
At times, I felt the action moved too swiftly, with not enough detail, and would have liked to see more of that. Though the imagery and description allowed enough vivid detail during other moments that I did enjoy--the changing process was most particularly striking and I liked how Brown described this sequence.
I did not like Calder’s sisters. I didn’t have time to get to know them well enough really, so I was really detached from them in general honestly. In the end, they were vicious and a bit predictable, but I still couldn’t bring myself to engage with their plans. Sometimes I felt a little confused. Everything happened a bit fast. I was pleasantly surprised by the nice shocking twist at the very end involving the family though. It tied in nicely with the rest of the story and answered some past questions that kept coming to mind during reading. I probably would have liked a little more backstory though on the parents still only to tie up some loose ends, but that’s just me--and maybe Brown is saving that for the rest of the series anyway.
Overall, while it disappointed me in some ways, I still enjoyed reading Lies Beneath.
I dove right in and it surprised me more than I expected it to. It’s going to make a splash this summer, I’m sure. (seriously, I could go on and on with the puns.) ;)
3.5 stars moreso. Just a quick mini review/thoughts on this one: While I still really enjoyed this installment, I felt it was a bit "stale" compared to3.5 stars moreso. Just a quick mini review/thoughts on this one: While I still really enjoyed this installment, I felt it was a bit "stale" compared to many of the previous ones. Maybe in part because there wasn't as much action, and this felt more like a filler for the rest of the story so that the reader can learn more about the politics of vamps and relationships as well as showing Sookie's character growth through everything else she's experienced so far. Otherwise, enjoyed and can't wait to read more soon. :)
I was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. BI was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. But that’s what made it so intriguing and page-turning at the same time as well. It was unusual in its style--no dialogue tags, and because the MC is the narrator (first person) and she’s not as educated, everything flows in her own voice and language. It does take some getting used to, I must say, but once I did and got into the story, I was bound to it and the world-building.
I didn’t quite get the Hunger Games reference. I hate when people try to compare all the new popular dystopian/post-apocalyptic books to The Hunger Games just because it’s a bleak, future world. There’s nothing else to compare it to other than that and perhaps a strong female heroine. But seriously, the reviews with the comparisons I’ve read just have to stop… it’s annoying. It stands out as its own story, with its own unique characters and world. Just saying.
I really liked the pet crow. Haha. Like our everyday pets now like our cats and dogs, the crow had a personality all on its own. I thought that was beyond awesome--and I normally don’t say “awesome” in my reviews too often, but it really was. The details were nicely done, though sometimes scarce I felt, because I did struggle at times to envision the scenery. It was the emotion that really kept me into the story. A sister/brother bond can be really close, and I felt Ms. Young did exceptionally well at showing this. I would go to the ends of the Earth for my own brother, too.
Maybe I’m just picky, but I would have really enjoyed it more if I’d known what led to this world. There are bits of the old past laying around, and Saba describes it when she stumbles upon it (old airplanes especially perplex her), but I was left wanting to know what had happened to our life. What led to our world to be in this state? Of course, this adds to the mystery of the story, and gives the reader a sense of gloom, I guess…and I can only add more kudos to the author on this building tension. It’s suspenseful and the plot paces nicely. I couldn’t put it down once I was engaged, despite the unique and strange narration that took a little getting used to. In the end, I grew to love the style and felt like I had Saba sitting beside me in person, telling me everything herself.
This might be one of my unusual reviews a bit on the shorter side, but I don’t really have a whole lot to say about Freeblood.
I did have some conflicting moments--it is a heavy story with a lot going on at times. I felt like maybe there was a bit too much more than necessary in some areas, and it did cause me to have to put it down for a while to relax some because of this. Oftentimes, I felt somewhat detached from a majority of the characters, even Quinn. I didn’t see much development through the conflicts or at the end. Quinn was such a rollercoaster--and while I understand that because of many of the situations, I didn’t always find it entirely realistic. I did like Del and Kasey a lot though.
However, Freeblood is also an engaging and entertaining story with a unique take on the vampire genre. I freely admit that I love my vampires. Huge fan of the legends and literature that feature this creature and I always enjoy any interesting story that takes a creative turn when using them. That was certainly found here and there weren’t any dull moments. Great action and a edge-of-your-seat thrilling story. If you like vampires and looking for something unique and new, then this is definitely the one you want to pick up.
The ending leaves off with the subtle hint of a possible sequel. I’m not too sure, but it could be interesting to see what would happen next.
My many thanks to author Marny Copal for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Sometimes sequels just don’t work out as well as we hoped, do they? My expectations with Crescendo fell a little short after reading the greatness ofSometimes sequels just don’t work out as well as we hoped, do they? My expectations with Crescendo fell a little short after reading the greatness of Hush, Hush. (A lot of my fellow blogger friends don't like this series, and I completely see their points on why, but it's a guilty pleasure for me and I enjoyed it. *shrugs*)
I flew into this second book, admittedly putting it ahead of other books just because I couldn’t wait to read the installment, and I was let down a bit. The writing didn’t feel quite a solid this time around, and the characters felt different compared to the first. I still liked it to an extent, nonetheless. But my biggest complaint of all was the constant back-and-forth between Patch and Nora and the seemingly never-ending bantering. I did sympathize with Nora, but somehow couldn’t come to understand a lot of Patch’s actions--even once they were explained. I didn’t like Nora whining so much either. Ah well. I liked how there were some unanswered questions finally answered in this installment. We get to see how events occurred in the past that lead to Nora’s situation, and I found those moments interesting. Sometimes I felt like there’s a lot of information still missing though.
All in all, while it was on the disappointing side, I still found myself liking Crescendo enough anyway to rush right through the pages. However, I don't think I'll ever finish this series simply because the characters have annoyed me so much from this point.
While a bit on the shorter side of most novels that I’ve read recently, Life is But a Dream still packed quite a punch--most particularly in the astounding detail that author Brian James gives readers through the point of view of a schizophrenic character. In all honesty, I don’t know much about the mental disorder. I have an online friend whose husband is schizophrenic, but I personally couldn’t tell you much. I do know it can cause a stir among family and friends, strain relationships and make it slightly difficult at times depending on how severe or how well-treated the case is.
I felt Brian James did a tremendous job of showing us how different and struggling it can be. I liked the character development, but moreso I loved the imagery and how much we get to see inside Sabrina’s head. The romance felt forced at times though. I would have liked to see more of it, get to know Alec better, but I also enjoyed the sweet and charming ending.
All in all, this was engaging and unique. I was flipping through the pages and enjoying every bit of the beautiful and unusual details. Lyrical and sometimes poetic--the cover is even gorgeous, I adore it-- this is certainly a Contemporary I’m glad I took the time to read.
I did not hesitate to review The Thorn and the Blossom after reading the premise and seeing the unusual binding of the novella, and in the end I was nI did not hesitate to review The Thorn and the Blossom after reading the premise and seeing the unusual binding of the novella, and in the end I was not disappointed. While it was a quick read, short and sweet, I adored the accordion style binding and romantic backdrop for the characters. I read each Evelyn’s side first before reading the other. Sometimes whenever I finish a novel, I’ll wonder what the story would be like in the other character’s POV. I loved how Thorn and the Blossom gives you this vision. Admittedly, it would have been nice to see more detail, perhaps a longer story for the characters, but I guess that’s just because I was disappointed it had to be so short and had to end.
The case and binding for this story is so beautifully crafted and unique, I would recommend not to get this as an e-book if you’re considering reading. You should experience it first-hand with a lovely hardcopy. Clearly though, up to the reader on that.
Also don’t forget to join me Wednesday, January 25, for The Thorn and the Blossom Blog Tour, courtesy of Quirk Books!
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Masque of Red Death, and perhaps I’m the only one who just wasn’t as wowed by it as everyone else. I liked it, but iThere’s a lot of hype surrounding Masque of Red Death, and perhaps I’m the only one who just wasn’t as wowed by it as everyone else. I liked it, but it’s probably not quite a favorite for this year.
Outwardly, I adore the cover and the binding (if you’ve seen the hardcover, the pages of the actual book are just as gorgeous too). It makes me want to sit and admire the book alone without even opening it. Haha. Anyways, I found the story unique along the lines of this future world where everyone has to wear masks due to the outside air and a plague. This intrigued me. But my problem was that I struggled a bit picturing this. Maybe my imagination was malfunctioning that day? I’m not sure.
I also struggled with coming to terms on how this world came to be exactly. As a reader, I went into this story directly from the start but I felt there was a major slack in the back story. Of course, it being the first book, more of the back story could be explained later in the series…but it would have been nice to have some of it here as well. I was insanely curious about the virus and the setting and Prince Prospero.
So, I had a few nitpicks. It was still a fantastic read. Bethany Griffin knows how to write. I went into this story expecting something else, and instead I got an entirely different story than I thought. Yes, it’s based on Poe’s title, but it’s fresh and new and entrancing. It was dark and gritty…and I loved it. You know what, I can see this becoming a movie. And I hope it does. Hear that Hollywood? Quit making remakes when we have all these fabulous authors already writing amazing books that could make movies. Got it?
The love triangle? Yep, there’s a love triangle. But here’s my take on love triangles: I don’t have a problem with them. I never have. Sure, I’m getting a little tired of them. I also have found that sometimes it’s unnecessary to have them just to try and please readers. If they’re fitting to a story line, and they don’t feel forced, cheesy, or no insta-love, then I don’t generally have a problem with them. With Masque of Red Death, it was mild. It didn’t detract from the story, and I actually liked both guys that Araby had an interest in. Though, I believe I would have to say I like Elliot best. He just had the spunk I liked.
Ms. Griffin is a well-crafted writer and built an astoundingly believable world for readers to experience. The reading experience was a little creepy at times, but that’s what I really enjoyed.
I think audiences that are fans of paranormal, dystopian, and steampunk will love this book.
When I first participated in the cover reveal of Chosen Ones and read the blurb for this upcoming YA DystYou can also find my review at The Bookaholic
When I first participated in the cover reveal of Chosen Ones and read the blurb for this upcoming YA Dystopian, I had a deep sense that I was going to like it--it was just a gut feeling, I guess you could say, and it held high expectations from that point on while I eagerly awaited to read.
It did not disappoint. Not only did it meet my high expectations that I had established from the blurb and excitement for wanting to read this story, but it went above and beyond them. I’m completely speechless as to how I’m going to go into this review to be honest without sounding like a giddy fan girl…Okay, so maybe I already do, it’s cool though, I should get that right after having read something so fantastic.
I haven’t exactly been secretive about my disappointments with a lot of my reads so far this year. At best, most have just been average--not quite memorable--with only one or two exceptions. Thanks so much to Tiffany Truitt and Chosen Ones for finally turning that around and giving me one that I can say I will remember for sure come the end of the year and it was such an amazing read that had me turning the pages so fast, my ereader didn’t have the need to recharge before I finished the book. This is what I deem “un-put-down-able.”
When is the sequel coming? Agh, I’m already craving it!
It’s not short on the details at all--allowing easy visuals, sometimes a bit gruesome--and an intriguing backstory to the world building. How the chosen ones came to be were an interesting piece of information to story and I really liked the author’s take on the ideas. What also particularly struck me was that while it does play around with the whole “forbidden romance” theme, it’s not cheesy in the slightest and executed in a nicely done manner. I like the romance that builds between them. I adore it. I found myself smiling like a goofball in a few places. The character growth in Tess is developed with grace and dignity--after starting out so cold-hearted and shy. By the end, I was near in tears at her devotion and courage.
Chosen Ones packs a powerhouse of emotions and eerie intrigue. It stole my heart.
Please note: I have been an Adrian fan girl since his first appearance in the VA series (VA #2, Frostbite). Sure, Dimitri is awesome. So don't get mePlease note: I have been an Adrian fan girl since his first appearance in the VA series (VA #2, Frostbite). Sure, Dimitri is awesome. So don't get me wrong there. But if you asked me to choose, I wouldn't hesitate. In a heartbeat, I'd pick Adrian. Mead has crafted such an amazing character with him. It's kind of crazy to be such a fangirl over a fictional character, but I don't care.
I wasn't initially a fan of the idea of a spin-off of the VA series. I also wasn't a fan of the ending of the VA series (despite that it's probably one of my all-time favorite series) but that was due to reasons of how things worked out. Things felt rushed and unresolved I guess. Anyways, when the announcement was made that there would be this spin-off, I was a bit wary. When the second announcement came that Adrian was going to be the main focus, I changed my mind. I want to see him get his happy ending. Bloodlines took me by complete surprise and I loved it. I remember saying in my review that there may even be a possibility that I could end up liking this series more than VA eventually. I'm going to repeat the same thing now after having read The Golden Lily, which I felt was even better than the first. I was sucked in from the first page and held on through the last. I stayed up through the early morning hours devouring this book--smiling and laughing out loud (oftentimes at Adrian) and pleasantly surprised at some of the interesting new twists. Sydney has grown a lot on me too, and I'm really liking her voice--along with the inner struggles she is constantly having to face in her position.
I don't want to say too much in this review for fear of spoilers since it's the second installment. Just know that I loved it. I'm already craving the next. It's going to be an insanely long wait. If you haven't read the VA series and you're interested in this one though, I always highly recommend reading it first before this spin-off. There are events and characters throughout that are easier to understand if you've read VA first.
Absolutely fantastic. Always action, amazing detail, dialogue, and intense character development that I love--this is why Mead is one of my inspirations and one of my favorite authors.
Pure was strange and imaginative. I had a hard time getting into the characters, but the story itself was engaging and unusual--oddly descriptive and visual. There is a bit of a slow start in the beginning, and a struggle to understand the world at first, but once I got into it, I found myself breezing through the pages. Excellent world-building. Nicely developed and I felt it was believable, despite the odd details.
I would hate for this to occur to our world--and after reading, the idea does scare me. Of course, I don’t like getting all political. Haha.. But Ms. Baggott will really get you to thinking after reading this about the state of the world and crisis events that really can happen. It’s not a pretty picture, that’s for sure.
I really loved the poem, it was a bit creepy-- and the whole story in general was a bit Tim Burton-esque with the descriptions. You know how “Ring Around the Rosie” was originally made? I loved how Ms. Baggott created the poem for Pure out of a tragedy, a new creepy rhyme, that children grew up singing in this new world.
“Burn a Pure and breath the ash. Take his guts and make a sash. Twist his hair and make a rope. Use his bones to make Pure soap.”
What I really liked most that it wasn’t heavy on romance for a YA. This one moreso focuses on the world-building and characters and I believe it’ll appeal to everyone, male and female, especially the older market.
There is no question that I am a huge fan of dystopian reading. I am immensely fascinated in the worlds and characters the authors create for this genre, often finding many of them scarily realistic to what I hope would not be our own future lives.
I had a lot of conflict with Matched though. It was good and I read through it rather quickly--engaged and interested in what was to happen next. But what led to this world? What made this society as it was from the first page I began reading? I felt letdown in the fact that I didn’t get a glimpse of an explanation to this, and it made it feel a bit unrealistic. Normally, I find answers through wars and climate issues, or some other explanation, but with not a bit of this kind of backstory to explain how the society “came to be”, I felt left in the dark and detached unfortunately. Just too many unanswered questions for me at the end as the reader is what I’m saying.
Overall, the characterization developed was particularly nice. I adored the growing romance between Ky and Cassia, as well as the bonded friendship between Xander and Cassia. Yes, there’s a love triangle… but it wasn’t done annoyingly and by the end, I felt a strong pull that there really was only one man Cassia was truly interested in anyway… so I didn’t really get the sense of the triangle too much. The idea of the pills are interesting and scary at the same time. The thought of having the government make you carry around three pills all of the time, one in particular that you have to take if you are ordered but unknown to its effects, is a bit frightening. This made me think a lot about our own problems today with constant pills getting shoved at us for every little problem and issue and I admittedly may have symbolized it a bit with that.
Matched is not a Dystopian that is high-action/action-packed like you may expect or would see in something along the lines of The Hunger Games or Divergent. I wouldn’t even compare it to those. It’s entirely on its own, with its own style, appeal, and unique story.
Entertaining and engaging. I look forward to reading Crossed in the near future to see what happens next!
Pardon my following sentence if you don’t like my language:
Where the hell have I been to just getting around to reading Maria V. Snyder’s work?
Have I been under a rock? Seriously, I think so!
Welcome to 2012 for me! Touch of Power was so absolutely astounding, I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was a fantastic start to the year for me truly and I want to slap myself for just getting around to reading Snyder’s work. I must go out and buy more books… Like. Right. Now.
Lilies are my favorite flower, by the way, but in the world of Touch of Power, Snyder immediately takes this gorgeous flower and turns them into something to be feared. There’s no “Honey, I brought home some lilies from the garden today” in this one. If you come across them in this world, well, you just better back off! And that is what Snyder floored me most about this book-- the unique and imaginative detail, and the emotion.
It was a powerhouse of emotion and rich detail. I was wrapped into the world and characters. I cried (I cried a lot to be more accurate). I laughed. I wanted to hug Poppa Bear! It was magical and compelling and so utterly beautiful, I just didn’t want it to end.
Avry is one of my new favorite heroines now.
Unique and brilliant--I’m begging for more, please!
I’ve found myself reading more Contemporary lately than I have ever before in the last year and while this is normally a genre I’m not entirely intereI’ve found myself reading more Contemporary lately than I have ever before in the last year and while this is normally a genre I’m not entirely interested in, I’ve been trying it out. Needless to say, it hasn’t been a disappointment for me at all with the reads I’ve picked up. It’s certainly a genre I should probably consider keeping up with in the future.
Hushed was fantastic. It was romantic and full of suspense. I didn’t want to put this down as it engaged me quickly from the first page. The emotion wrapped me up immediately. I wasn’t supposed to feel sympathy for a serial killer, and I never thought I would, but I did. I only wanted that happy ending for Archer, no matter his crimes. Vivian had me seething with anger so much, so often. I loved how richly and deeply developed the characters were.
My only qualms were the previous crime that led to Archer’s life. It wasn’t exactly realistic. I don’t want to give away any spoilers per say for those who haven’t read, but it was said Viv’s mother filed the complaint to the police. They tossed out the case because there was no evidence? But Archer had been forced to watch-- so that meant he had been witness. In cases like that, that would have been sufficient evidence to make a case. This was my only problem. But it was the police dismissal that sent Archer on his vigilant life of taking care of Viv. This case made the story as well. Reading the story about the abuse was heart wrenching and brought me to tears.
Upon finishing Hushed, I was still thinking of it and the characters that had wrapped me up so emotionally.
Hushed was edgy, dysfunctional, intense, and captivating. If you want something new and unusual, then you want to read this book.
*I was provided an e-book from Entangled Publishing in return for my honest review and participation in the Hushed Virtual Book Tour. Be sure to look for my Q&A with Kelley York on December 21 as part of the Hushed Virtual Book Tour! Thank you, Entangled Publishing, for including me in the promotion.
Hellooooo Patch! Why haven’t we met before? I seriously can’t believe I’ve just now picked this book up.
Oh so addictive, mouth-watering, and incredibly fantastic.
I am not a Twilight fan to say the least really, and I really wasn’t a fan of the Fallen series (didn’t make it past book one), so needless to say I was apprehensive for the last several months to even read Hush, Hush. I bought it though one day after a friend kept telling me how good it was, and I kept seeing some good reviews (as well as some mixed) among other blogger friends, but it still sat on my shelf for months collecting dust before I finally decided to take the leap and pick it up with some trepidation.
I understand and see how people would have a love or hate relationship with Hush, Hush. You’re either really going to love it, or you’re probably going to hate it. It does have a lot of similarities to Twilight, I admit, but the similarities are where the line is drawn. Huge differences are seen easily within the elegant writing (and it is a much better story-telling style) and characterization alone.
From the first page, as I cautiously began reading mind you, I was immediately pulled right into the story and couldn’t tear my eyes away. Hush, Hush became a guilty pleasure very fast. Becca Fitzpatrick gave me oomph! She gave me real characters that are three dimensional, that I connected to, and a charming, sexy and mysterious romance that didn’t make me cringe. I did have some small nitpicks, and they're talked about on some of the negative reviews found on the book page (i.e. Patch being a bit stalkerish at times, a teacher that seemed completely unbelievable), but I wasn't so annoyed that it distracted me from the read. Just my own personal experience though.
I’m extremely excited that I read it finally. I’m sure to read it again--and I really look forward to reading the other installments, Crescendo and Silence, soon!
I hate having to write bad reviews. Really, I do. But I’m not going to be dishonest either when it comes to something I just didn’t like. And it wasn’t the fact that it was just terrible-- The Gathering Storm was written beautifully, in an elegant style with such an intriguing premise and crafty characters. Not only that, I adore Russia: the literature, the history and the legends.
So, what was my problem?
It was just too much and all over the place. There were too many people to try and keep up with… it was slow and drawn out, and often I felt really disconnected. I got lost and twisted around so much that a few times, I even had to reread some parts-- and that just annoyed me beyond words. There seemed to be way too much telling for my liking and not enough “showing” if you can understand my meaning on this. I felt overwhelmed and disappointed, despite the beautiful style of writing and unique premise. This review is genuinely hard to write because The Gathering Storm just didn’t impress me personally. Yet it doesn’t fall into the category of “bad reads” either.
Of course, these are only my own opinions. Many others so far seem to be enjoying it quite well and I can certainly see the appeal. Unfortunately, I didn’t find is as great as I had hoped.
I can’t believe I was that excited to read Across The Universe. I’d thought I was the last persoYou can also find my review at my blog: The Bookaholic
I can’t believe I was that excited to read Across The Universe. I’d thought I was the last person to pick it up. Really, everyone kept raving on and on about this book, and I kept holding off until it was released on paperback because honestly, I can be a penny pincher sometimes and I’ve been on a serious book budget lately (that is hubby’s rules at the moment, not mine).
Let me take a step back here. The cover: it’s stunning. I’ve been drooling over the hardback cover for a while. It’s all purple-y and has stars…and it’s just seriously one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen in recent years. The paperback is released and that cover is even really pretty, too. So, after seeing so many fantastic reviews and recommendations, I get it finally. Like I said before, I thought I was one of the last people to read this book. I was excited and I had high expectations. The premise already promised me something different. It just had to be great, right?
Okay, maybe I should take another step back and explain something else. I don’t like a lot of science fiction to begin with. I mean, I do like it…I love alien type stuff and certain types of sci-fi, but I’ve never been a big fan of the whole “space adventure” thing. I. Hate. Star Wars. Yeah, I said it. Don’t kill me, please? But I do like this genre on occasion. It depends on how it’s done--and since it is YA, I tend to like the sci-fi genre more in this category. So, I didn’t pick it up on a whim, knowing from the start that it was going to be something I wouldn’t like. I genuinely thought I would love it as much as everyone else.
Across the Universe was ALMOST my first DNF of the year. It was that bad for me. I generally try my hardest to finish every book I read anyway, no matter how bad, but I do have the occasional DNF. And this nearly made that list. Does this mean Beth Revis is a terrible author? Absolutely not. In fact, it was her writing style that held me on through the book. She writes incredibly well with great visuals and emotion. I definitely give her credit for her imagination. And I do see why people are so into it. It has that appeal of adventure and an exciting new world, as well as a unique and intriguing plot.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with the story. The world-building seemed entirely unrealistic and the characters were flat and boring. I was not hooked in the beginning, I did not care about Amy or Elder, and the antagonist was predictable.
That word “Frex” annoyed me so much. After reading it for the tenth time within ten pages, I nearly wanted to slam the book down. It reminded me of “Frak”, and I hate Battlestar Galactica as much as I hate Star Wars.
No, I don’t think I’ll be getting the second book for this one. I certainly see the appeal, but not for me.
Let me start by saying Anne Rice was one of the first “adult” authors I began reading as a preteen, around the age of eleven or so, along with Stephen King. It was then I found my love of paranormal and horror reading and never stopped from there. But I’m not a religious person. Of course, I respect everyone’s beliefs as long as mine are respected. So, when Ms. Rice seemed to have left the genre I loved and went to Christian fiction, I stopped reading her material. It wasn’t an outcry or protest. It wasn’t me saying that I hated her writing. It was just simply the fact that I don’t read that genre and I couldn’t bring myself to read her new material. I wasn't interested. I was more sad than anything and afraid I’d never see her paranormal side again I guess.
You would not even believe the excitement that filled me when I heard about The Wolf Gift coming out. I craved for a copy as soon as possible just to see if she was “back”, and boy am I glad to say that she is. It does get a bit preachy at times, but I found myself easily overcoming that with the beautiful detailed writing that Ms. Rice has always been known for. It has slow, melodic, poetic pacing that moves you along through the story smoothly-- however, let it be noted that I don’t think it’s a fast read. It wasn’t for myself, and in my opinion, I believe it’s meant to be savored. Yes, savor it. Her words flow like fine classical music.
I’ve never been a big fan of the werewolf creature/myth. I have a hard time enjoying them in a lot of books really. It dragged sometimes for me here, but I learned to appreciate the creature a bit more--and maybe I’ll read more werewolf-themed books now.
With all this said, I still think it wasn’t up to par as her earlier works (most notably Interview with a Vampire). There was a certain… finesse… lacking at times. I missed the tortured hero. And the detail and religious preachiness did get to be a bit toooo much during moments that I felt unnecessary.
Ms. Rice is an excellent storyteller though. I really hope to see more work again in the near future.
Well, it’s official. I have a bit of a soft spot for some YA Contemporary now, though I’m still a bit nit-picky and it’s hard for me to get into it all of it. Baby steps, people, baby steps. At least the few contemporaries I’ve read this year haven’t been disappointing, and they’ve only had me wanting to read more into the genre.
Fracture wasn’t all contemporary. It had a slight paranormal edge to it, but not in the creature kind. More in a mental kind of way-- clairvoyance, perhaps? A psychic ability of some sort that Delaney developed. I really liked how the author described Delaney’s senses during moments. The emotion was chaotic and realistic, and the writing was smooth. I read through Fracture in less than a day because I absolutely could not put it down. It’s one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat and you constantly want to know what’s going to happen next.
I had some minor nitpicks though. I didn’t like how Delaney’s mother was characterized. There was something just… off… about her quite often. I understood her issues and all- but I didn’t get the whole sudden mood shift from caring mother to depressed/neglecting/angry and then back to caring. It felt forced and in a way, unrealistic to the storyline. I also saw the ending coming a mile away. Maybe too much foreshadowing.
Nonetheless, I was engaged thoroughly, intrigued, and enjoyed it. It’s refreshing to read a stand-alone that doesn’t feel like it’s left an open-ended ending with well-crafted details and characters. Fracture is definitely one to look for in 2012.
Honestly, I don’t know if I can get my thoughts out coherently about On a Dark Wing. Even long after reading it, I was still thinking about it, wonderHonestly, I don’t know if I can get my thoughts out coherently about On a Dark Wing. Even long after reading it, I was still thinking about it, wondering what exactly to say. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as great as I had expected. Truly, do not judge a book by its cover (and that is a gorgeous cover). I think the synopsis threw me off a bit before I started reading actually and instead I didn’t quite get the story I thought I was going to get.
The writing was solid and stunning-- that was a definite given-- and I read through the story so quickly that I surprised myself at my own timing. But there was still just something… off. I think it was the characters. There wasn’t enough there for me to know them, know what I’m saying? I couldn’t understand Abbey’s huge “mind-blowing totally in-love” with Nate despite they had never talked before… and I couldn’t understand Death’s sudden appearance. That was the biggest part. I would have liked more of an explanation for Death. He tells her (while I’m trying to stay as spoiler free as possible on how he does this and what leads to it) that he’d always been watching her, etc. But… why would she just now notice the signs? They’re kind of creepy and glaring, but after five years she only just begins to notice something strange? Wouldn’t it have been more effective if she had went through saying that she had been noticing something everyday during the last five years, and then he appears?
I don’t know.. That could have just been me nitpicking.
Another thing was that she’s fifteen. I don’t have a problem with this. What I have a problem with is that many times I forget that she’s fifteen because her voice and actions make her seem older--more like seventeen or eighteen. I had to go back and remind myself a couple of times that she wasn’t. Normally I like it when a character comes off a bit older than their age, but at the same time, it depends on the situation and the reading-- and here I just wanted to know that she was really fifteen. To add, I couldn’t picture her at all. I knew her likes and dislikes… but I couldn’t picture what she looked like. Was she tall? Short? At one point she says she has “fat thighs”, but what girl doesn’t usually think that? Her dad tells her she looks like her mother… well that would have been fine, if I’d known what her mother had looked like.
So my biggest peeve was the characterization. Generally, that’s usually what I look at the most because I do have a slight obsession with characters and connections. A story can be great, but if the characters are lacking-- then it’s downhill.
It had a lot of character shifts in the story but it still kept me engaged and didn’t lose me so that was good. What I liked best was having the solid ending and knowing that it was a stand-alone novel with no cheesy set up to try and make an unnecessary sequel. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. It looks like that way. I also liked a certain romantic element that was added, and worked, other than the other odd obsession that I couldn’t understand in the beginning that Abbey had with Nate. Jordan Dane fixed it toward the end and even though it seemed a little forced at first, the new romantic element added became sweet and beautiful and something I completely triumphed over.
I also liked how there was no religious theme here even though there easily could have been. It was just unique in itself. Death was an ethereal being-- and despite what it shows on the cover, it’s not a tale of a Fallen Angel with a lot of background or any of that.
Full of mystery and suspense… weird and twisted… On a Dark Wing kept me engaged and curious throughout the unique and romantic tale.
Hold onto your tights, everyone! Scarlet is going to be one of the must reads of 2012!
In all fairness, this is coming from someone that could never gHold onto your tights, everyone! Scarlet is going to be one of the must reads of 2012!
In all fairness, this is coming from someone that could never get into the whole Robin Hood scene, too. Sure, I enjoyed the legendary story that was taught to me as a child about the infamous thief and his merry men. I enjoyed it for its lessons and the characters, and the history. But through the years, I practically grew to despise every film and story retelling/remake because I just thought it was outdated and overdone. Yes, I even hated that crazy Disney cartoon as well. Don’t get me started on that.
Perhaps it was my decision to steer clear of most of this that had Scarlet completely floor me from the first page through the last. I wasn’t going into it already overwrought with the storyline, but still knew the characters and background enough that I could enjoy the beauty and wonderful tale.
In no time at all, the action starts and you’re along for quite a rollercoaster ride full of emotional, thrilling bumps while reading. Yes, there’s a mild “love triangle” and while they tend to annoy me at times, the one here was written expertly and didn’t detract from the story at all. I found the romantic elements throughout realistic, gorgeous, and creative. Each character had a personality of their own, and they leapt from the pages as I read, showing me their world and themselves with their depth and the crafty details.
Scarlet is a strong, confident woman, and while at first you might think she won’t have much more to grow with-- by the end, you’ll find that she’s a different woman. Deeper. More connected to others. A sense of life about her. All the while, still retaining the strength and confidence that she’d held in the beginning.
I read through the story quickly, unable to put it down. It’s written in an old-fashioned classic-type feel and I adored the style of it. The narration of Scarlet’s voice was executed very well done. I also really hope there’ll be more… a sequel, a series… something!! I want more Scarlet and Rob!
Thanks to Scarlet, it’s made a fan out of me again for Robin Hood. And if you’re like me, and never were much of a fan of the Robin Hood stories, I believe you could still enjoy this tale just as well. Highly engaging, great action, and wonderful romance to be sure. Most definitely recommended!