Katniss Everdeen: "What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to rill in and die for their entertainment?"
Wow. Just wow. When I start a review with wow. You can be sure that the book had such a profound effect on me that I’m speechless. Not many books can do that to me. In fact, when I run across books like this, it makes me question how generous I am with five star reviews. Because books like this outshine many of those. Either that, or this one exceeds that 5 star rating.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is the story of a girl, Katniss, living in a post-apocalyptic United States now called Panem and ruled by a totalitarian ruling state known as the Capital. Panem is a dystopian society broken into 12 districts. Each district sends two children, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18, every year to compete in a deadly game called the hunger games. It is the Capitals form of punishment to the rest of the districts for a revolution attempt in the past, and a reminder that the Capital can control them. All participants will be thrown into a large wilderness arena where they must survive the elements and fight each other to the death. In the end, only one contestant will be the victor.
At 16 years of age, Katniss has already lived a very hard life. She was forced to grow up early by being thrown into the role of parent to a catatonic mother and her little sister Prim. With the loss of her father in a coal-mining explosion her mother fell into a deep depression that made her incapable of being a fit parent. Katniss only choices are to let the state take them away and separate her from her family or take on the role of both mother and father. She commits to taking care of them by securing food and selling goods to ensure her families survival. All at the tender age of 11, in a world where life is harsh and many are poor and starving.
This is an unbelievably good book. But it is by no means a happy story. That’s not to say it doesn't have humorous moments or a happy ending, of sorts. It’s a disturbing and painful story filled with apprehension, fear and cruelty as the two main characters are forced into situations they're not fully able to comprehend. It’s also an emotionally confusing confusing story. More so for Katniss than her main counterpart Peeta Mellark, who is the boy that joins her from district 12 to participate in the Hunger Games.
Peeta to Katniss: “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games”
For a YA novel I’m a little surprised by the grown up situations in this book. I’m not speaking of sexual content because there isn’t any and the love story is completely innocent. What I’m speaking of is the amount of sheer brutality, violence and bloodshed that each of characters is forced to participate in to ensure their own survival. This story is full of difficult situations involving death, murder, and extreme self-sacrifice. I was extra emotional, as a mother, because the characters forced to fight to the death are all children. And these aren’t pretty poetic deaths. The violence is gory and barbaric.
Katniss about Peeta: "I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people. Maybe if I had thanked him at some point, I'd be feeling less conflicted now. I thought about it a couple of times, but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. And now it never will. Because we're going to be thrown into an arena to fight to the death. Exactly how am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? Somehow it just won't seem sincere if I'm trying to slit his throat."
The ending is not necessarily a huge cliffhanger. But it does leave the main characters in emotional turmoil. Which makes you want to run for book #2 to see what comes next. You will truly be on the edge of your seat with this one. It is a page-turner from beginning to end and simply impossible to put down. Full of gut wrenching drama, fast paced action, and suspense. It's a very emotional book that had me sobbing many times.
The characterization and world building in The Hunger Games is rich with detail. In fact, this story completely envelopes you in it's world. To say that the journey was intense is an understatement. It's no surprise this book has won so many literary awards and is now going to film. I just hope they do it the justice it deserves, because it really puts YA books like Twilight to shame.
Now I can see why many of my friends pestered me relentlessly to read this series. I owe them a debt of gratitude and only wish I had read it sooner. The Hunger Games really should be added to the top of your TBR pile. Seriously! It’s that good! I wish I could have give it more than 5 stars because it really deserves a 6.
Favorite Quotes: I've hidden the ones that have spoilers. Click and read at your own risk.
Katniss: “Sitting at Prim’s knees, guarding her, is the world’s ugliest cat. Mashed-in nose, half of one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squash. Prim named him Buttercup, insisting that his muddy yellow coat matched the bright flower. He hates me. Or at least distrusts me …
… Sometimes, when I clean a kill, I feed Buttercup the entrails. He has stopped hissing at me.
Entrails. No hissing. This is the clostest we will ever come to love.”
Cinna: “Katniss, the girl who was on fire!”
Katniss and Peeta: (view spoiler)["I guess all those hours decorating cakes paid off."
Peeta smiles. "Yes, frosting. The final defense of the dying."(hide spoiler)]
Katniss: (view spoiler)["I ... I'm not good at this. I'm not my mother. I've no idea what I'm doing and I hate pus," I say. "Euh! I allow myself to groan as I rinse away the first round of leaves and apply the second. "Euuh!"
"How do you hunt?" he asks.
"Trust me. Killing things is much easier than this," I said. "Although for all I know, I am killing you."
Peeta: "You know your kind of squeamish for such a lethal person,"
Katniss about Haymitch: (view spoiler)[I can almost hear him snarl. "You're supposed to be in love, sweetheart. The boy's dying. Give me something I can work with!"(hide spoiler)]
Katniss and Peeta: "Peeta, you were supposed to wake me after a couple of hours," I say.
"For what? Nothing's going on here," he says. "Besides I like watching you sleep. You don't scowl. Improves you looks a lot."
This, of course, brings on a scowl that makes him grin.
Peeta: (view spoiler)["What was that you were saying just before the food arrived? Something about me... no competition... best thing that ever happened to you..."
"I don't remember that last part," I say hoping it's too dim in here for the cameras to pick up my blush.
"oh, that's right. That's what I was thinking," he says.(hide spoiler)]
Peeta and Katniss about Haymitch: (view spoiler)["Ah, that'll be nice," says Peeta, tightening his arms around me. "You and me and Haymitch. Very cozy. Picnics, birthdays, long winter nights around the fire retelling old Hunger Games tales."
"I told you, he hates me!" I say, but I can't help laughing at the image of Haymitch becoming my new pal.
"Only sometimes. When he's sober, I've never heard him say one negative thing about you," says Peeta.
"He's never sober!" I protest.
"That's right. Who am I thinking of? Oh, I know. It's Cinna who likes you. But that's mainly because you didn't try to run when he set you on fire," says Peeta. "On the other hand, Haymitch... well, if I were you, I'd avoid Haymitch completely. He hates you." (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
"Keep squirming, luv. Rubs me in all the right places, it does."
I am so not going to be popular after this review. Just thinking a...moreRating: (♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2)
"Keep squirming, luv. Rubs me in all the right places, it does."
I am so not going to be popular after this review. Just thinking about writing it gave me insomnia last night. I had visions of an enraged horde of Frost fans wielding pitchforks and torches while chasing me through a darkened landscape. But I gotta be honest with my feelings. Question is… do you want the good news first or the bad news? Either way, I have a feeling I’m going to be donning my running shoes by the time I’m done. Just give me a head start, if you please.
Bad news first... This Side of the Grave was kinda meh for me. It wasn’t great, awesome, or mind bogglingly good. It was slow in the beginning and never really picked up enough to take away my sense of boredom. I just didn’t like this book as much as the others in this series. The usual creativity and humor that Frost usually has with was missing or forced. It seemed a little contrived to me. Almost like it was an effort to write. The plot was a little disappointing as well. There were so many missed opportunities that Frost could have banked on but didn't. For instance, another reviewer thought she could have done more with Marie Laveau. I'd have to agree with her. That was definitely a missed opportunity. But maybe Frost is saving that for another book. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Also, her friend Denise's shapeshifting cameo. Could have done so much more with that as well. Can't go into detail. But it was very short, anti-climactic and almost unnecessary.
[ ↓ Made up word] Badder news next... I hate to say it… I was a little annoyed with Cat and Bones relationship. I don’t really know why. I think it was a little too much on the sappy side for me. I prefer it when they have a little conflict going on between them. Enough to spice it up and make things steamy. Plus, Conflict allows for the build up of tension. Tension adds to the heat of the love scenes. None of that was present. In the first book we had the conflict of Cat hating vampires, in book two we had Cat on the run from Bones, in the third book we had Tate's insistent plays for Cat. In the fourth book we had Cat's first husband, Gregor, trying to steal her away in her dreams. This time around... nothing. What does that say about me? I'm obviously a difficult person I guess. If things get tepid, I get bored. [Note: I said tepid, not Tepish]
[ ↓ real word] Worst news... Now for the worst part... I had a problem with the “kinda infamous” chapter 21. I know I am in the minority with this opinion, but it did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, I don't recall being turned on by any part at all. Maybe it was too much explaining and not enough showing. Maybe I had a hard time connecting with it because of the POV. Maybe if it had been from Bones POV instead of Cats I would have gotten more from it because we would've had a more detailed perspective on how it was affecting him. It just felt clinical to me. Like Cat was giving Bones his annual prostate exam - melted wax included - while dictating every action for a crowd of interns taking notes. Really, from my POV, chapter 21 was kind of a poser. I think it really wanted to be like Chapter 32. But there is absolutely no topping chapter 32. Frost is going to have to pull out the big guns to outdo her own masterpiece. Can she do it? I think so. I'm going to wait for it eagerly, because I don't feel Chapter 21 was even a worthy competitor.
To be fair, I suspect my problem with the book might be based a little on the fact that I listened to the audio book instead of reading it on my kindle. I do find the narrator for this series a bit annoying; and narrators are a tricky thing. Especially when she’s doing Bones' voice. She somehow manages to steal his masculinity; for me at least. She also tends to over act everything a bit too much for my liking. I think the best narrators are the ones that are more subtle. I do think the audiobook could be improved upon for the entire series by doing what some authors have done by having a male narrator read for the male parts. My suggestion for the Night Huntress series would be James Marsters. I think he’d make a perfect Bones. I was a die hard Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and Bones character reminds me a little of Spike. That being said, maybe I will give a go at a reread from my kindle and update my review later to see if that makes any difference on my perspective.
The Good news: What did I enjoy? I loved Vlad, as usual. I think he may actually be my favorite character right now. We definitely need to see more Tepesh! I'm ready for him to have his own book in the Night Huntress World series. There were some clever parts here and there that made me laugh. I liked the reintroduction of “Timmie!”... whose name I can’t say without saying it like the Timmie from South Park. I was wondering if Frost was ever going to bring him back into the picture; I’m glad she did. I enjoyed the possible flirtation between Vertas and Ian, and the spark of maybe a future sum-sum going on there? It would be nice to see a spin-off on those two as well. Then there was Winston Gallagher. Remember him? The panty poltergeist that gave Bones his first taste of jealousy where Cat is concerned? He made a brief cameo and I think I like where the series may be going from the ghosty angle. I did like the ending. It was interesting, but I can’t say anything else about it without giving away spoilers.
Last, I’d like to put in a plea for poor Tate. Can’t this guy get a break? Can we get him somebody please? I always feel sorry for him. Am I the only one? I actually think Tate is full of hotness himself. He deserves someone that can master him just like Cat would.
So what’s the final verdict? I didn’t hate it and it wasn’t painful to read, but It wasn't a complete win for me, either. It was still entertaining and fun despite my nit-picking and whining. So I’m going to round up my rating by half and shelf this one on my “Win" shelf. Something you may want to keep in mind: my opinions on This Side of the Grave are definitely in the minority; and I will always be a faithful Frost fan. You'll find me pacing the floor for the release of the next book with as much anticipation as the rest you guys. The good news is we won't have a full year to wait like usual. The next one is due out August 2011. Woohoo!(less)
“Now three wounds marred his gorgeous body, three trails of blood tracking over the rises ad falls of rock-hard muscle. Gritting his teeth, he said, “This hurts like hell, lass, but it’s heartening.”
“How do you figure?”
“At fifty times the distance, you dispatched that ko-bold with three arrows to the neck. I’ve earned a trio to the chest. Seems you slapped him while you’re tickling me. You doona want to kill me, which is a good sign. Maybe this is your way of flirting?”
Pleasure of a Dark Prince is the story of Garreth McRieve, a Lykae prince second in line to the Lykae thrown and Lucia the Huntress, the valkyrie archer that suffers extreme pain when she misses a target. Garreth and Lucia are fated for one another. But do they fall into one another's arms without a struggle? Um, no. Nothing comes easy for these two, even though Garreth is perfectly willing. Lucia leads Garreth on a crazy chase around the world (literally) in search of a way to end the existence of an apocalyptic evil about to rise. She craftily and aggressively dodges his many attempts at seduction and possession.
Lucia to Lachlain: “This isn’t over. And if you lay another paw on me, MacRieve, I’ll make you regret it.”
When she turned from him, he laid another paw on her, giving her arse a possessive squeeze, groaning with pleasure; she whirled around and punched him with shocking force in the Adam’s apple, doubling him over as he coughed.
As she hastened away, he grated, “Still doona regret it.”
But Garreth McRieve is a man obsessed and impossible for Lucia to shake. He is hot on her tail (no pun intended) through the first half of the book. When he finally catches her in the second half, they begin to work together toward the same goal… kind of. This is where their relationship really starts to build and grow as they become undeniably charmed by one another.
However, something is preventing Lucia from making that final leap into Garreths’ eager and waiting arms. Isn’t this always the case? Lucia must battle with nightmarish memories and a millennium long conflict that haunts her to this day. Actually, nightmarish really is an understatement for the trials and conflicts that await them both near the end. Despite all the grisly, bloody, and horrific challenges they face together, there is a well earned HEA for these two.
I have to confess, I 'm biased when it comes to the Lykae clan. They're my favorite male characters in the IAD series. LOVE EM! Like one of my favorite heroines (MacKayla Lane) once said from Moning's Fever series... "Who wants to get it on with a man who's in touch with his inner dog?" Uh... **raises hand** ...I guess that would be me. Men in touch with their inner dog, inner beast... whatever you want to call it... are hands down sexy! Kresley Cole flawlessly captures and nurtures those tricksy, wolfsy like qualities in her Lykae males. She has a talent in that department and not just with the Lykae. She magically captures the essence or embodiment of her characters' true natures within their mannerisms, actions and dialogue.
Near the end, Pleasure of a Dark Prince introduces us to an evil organization called the Order. We also get a look at some of the other secondary characters like Lothaire, Carrow and, of course, the lovable Regin the Radiant - a.k.a - RegRad; The glowing, outlandish, party girl, valkyrie with a filter missing between her brain and her mouth.
Regin: “I’ll lunch on their balls!”
That was Regin’s new threat: to lunch on enemies’ balls. “reege, when you threaten males with that, I don’t think it has the result you intend. They think less Lunchables, more tea bag.”
To sum up my feelings about this book... Loved it! This story has it all…
Characters – loveable, playful, fun Conflict –nightmarish Adventure – exiciting, epic Dialogue – fun, quirky, sweet Tension – HOT! Love scenes – delish! HEA – definitely!
I’m always enthusiastic about promoting this series. So if you haven’t already, you need to add Kresley Coles’ IAD series to the top of your TBR pile. Just for starters and a little taste of what it’s like, you can read the prequel to the series for free at the link provided below. It also gives you a look at excerpts into many of the other books in the series.
A little something extra from a man’s point of view: I’ve been reading this series to my husband so he can catch up and read Coles’ new release, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, which is also Regin’s story. So I’m going to include his thoughts about Pleasures of a Dark Prince as well.
First off, my husband is not long on words. He gets straight to the point. His one pet peeve with some of the PNR and UFs’ I’ve already exposed him to is the excessive sex in many of them. In his words, less is more. He prefers stories with a good build up of tension between the main characters before any action starts starts to happen.
That being said, he still enjoys the IAD series regardless. He found Garreth McRieve to be a really likeable, fun, character. The thing he liked the most was the epic Indiana Jones style action and adventure. We’re both in agreement that KC is talented at coming up with the most inventive and creative situations to throw her characters into. He also found the ending to be touching and sweet. He's is a real sucker for a good HEA. Most men wouldn’t be caught dead admitting to that. And although he used to be one of those men at one time, he’s not afraid to own up to it anymore.
So for all you men out there that might be considering caving to your wife or girlfriends’ request to read one of her favorite PNR or UF series… be brave and adventurous. Make the leap. Show the world you have an open mind. You’ll be glad you did and reading a series with your significant other can be a really fun way to share your time together.(less)
Tristan looked at her and his eyes flickered. "I don't know up from down. No, that's not ... I don't care which way is up. I look at you and .. God, I can see your pulse throbbing in your neck. I can hear your heart beating faster. I could track you anywhere by just your scent. And you have no idea what that does to me"
Dara blinked. Or tried to, anyway. She watched his chest rise and fall; he breathed as if he'd just run a mile, and the growling noises that rumbled from his chest made her shiver. She was mesmerized both by what she saw, by what he told her, and all she could come up with as a response was an inane, "I smell?"
Blood Moons is the debut novel for Ms. Alainne Donnelly and the first SciFi/paranormal romance book I've read, I think. It's set in the future where Earth is no longer the lone planet that humans inhabit. In fact, there are prison planets with the sole purpose of housing criminals. New Alaska is the prison planet that the main character Dara Frost is sent to after being sentenced for a murder that she didn't commit. A telepath, with little control over her abilities; Dara witnessed a murder in her dreams and then lead the police to the murder scene too late to save the victim. With no way to explain how she knew about the location and all the bloody details without exposing her telepath abilities in the process, she is convicted and sentenced to life in prison on New Alaska.
This is where she meets up with Tristan Hunt. Also, a convicted murderer and someone she knows she can't possibly trust because he's the real thing; a killer. But Tristan may not be the monster without a conscience she first suspects; and she soon discovers that like her, he's also a telepath. A highly talented one that can help her improve and utilize her abilities more proficiently. Unfortunately, he's also part of a forced government experiment involving animal/human DNA that is turning him into something beastly. In fact, all the prisoners are being experimented on in New Alaska without public knowledge. Is Dara bound to become a lab rat like the rest; and will they ever find the real killer to a crime she didn't commit? How far will Tristan's change take him; and is he in danger of losing his humanity? What kind of future do these two face in such questionable circumstances?
What I did like? Ms. Donnelly has a real talent for love scenes. I think it was really interesting how she managed a scene between two telepaths that allowed them to feed off one another's feelings, sensations and thoughts. Really creative and steamy as well. I liked the character development she did in the first part of the story for Dara, Tristan and some of the secondary characters on New Alaska. I felt like I was able to make a good connection with each of them. There were also some humorous and clever parts, like Tristan's swim across a lake fully dressed. I can't say more without giving away spoilers, but it was funny, cute, and showed an endearing side to Tristan. The author did have some good inspired moments and ideas that could be nurtured and expanded upon in the future if her intent is to make a series out of the book.
What didn't I like? The story had inconsistencies and lost cohesion in various places. Mainly after the characters left the prison planet of New Alaska. In fact, I almost wished they had stayed. It was interesting there and the storyline and character development seemed pretty solid. As soon as they left, however, the cohesiveness of the story began to falter. In various places it was a bit too descriptive, with a few chapters not being relevant to the overall storyline. In others, there wasn't enough development of the main characters emotional thoughts and feelings to allow me to continue to empathize with them. They didn't seem to stay true to the original characterization first developed for them on New Alaska. It was a bit confusing to me at times because I felt like I could possibly be reading about completely different people. This served to weaken any previously solid connection I first had with them. Which probably could have been resolved by including more internal and external dialogue from Dara and Tristan. And since it seems to be her talent... maybe even an additional steamy love scene near the end? *wink*
The final verdict? While Blood Moons wasn't a page turner for me, it was entertaining with some creative ideas that show promise if the author plans to make it into a series.(less)
"You might ask if I loved Jonathan for his beauty, and I would answer: that is a pointless question, for his great, uncommon beauty was an irreducible part of the whole. It gave him his quiet confidence--and his easy, disarminging way with the fairer sex. And if his beauty drew my eye from the first, I'll not apologize for it, nor will I apologize for my desire to claim Jonathan for my own. To behold such beauty is to wish to possess it; it's desire that drives every collector. And I was hardly alone. Nearly every person who came to know Jonathan tried to possess him. This was his curse, and the curse of every person who loved him. But it was like being in love with the sun: brilliant and intoxicating to be near, but impossible to keep to oneself. It was hopeless to love him and yet it was hopeless not to."
Before I get started, I'd like to clear up a misconception about Alma Katsu's The Taker. First, there are absolutely NO paranormal creatures in this story! Not one vampire, werewolf, etc. The only paranormal beings you'll encounter are a group of immortals and a spirit. While some are quite wicked, every character in this story is human and the supernatural element is dark magic and Alchemy. So... what is Alchemy, you ask?
[As defined in wikipedia] - "Alchemy is an ancient tradition, the primary objective of which was the creation of the mythical "philosopher's stone," which was said to be capable of turning base metals into gold or silver, and also act as an elixir of life that would confer youth and immortality upon its user. Alchemy can be viewed as a protoscience, a precursor to modern chemistry, having provided procedures, equipment, and terminology that are still in use. However, alchemy also included various non-scientific mythological, religious, and spiritual concepts, theories and practices."
This novel was not what I expected. I thought it would be your typical romance with a dark side, but The Taker was actually much darker and it wasn't at all a typical romance. This love story is poignant, shattering, ruthless and full of wicked debauchery. It deals with possessiveness and sacrifice, and begs the question, “What is the difference between true love and obsession?” Instead of giving you the typical run down on the characters and what it's about, I'd rather give you an idea what you’re in for so you’re not surprised by things you weren't expecting. First, in my opinion, I'm hesitant to label The Taker as just a romance. I would instead call it a tragic lesson in love and an exploration in different levels of the human experience if immortality is thrown into the mix.
Heart breaking, yet hopeful... it spans many genres and is many things. There is romance and a love story in The Taker, however dysfunctional it may be, but if you’re looking for a happy feel good story with a hero that sweeps you off your feet, then this is not your book. If, however, you’re looking for something that takes you through a complete range of emotions (some definable, some not) and really challenges you to ponder and reflect, then The Taker is definitely for you. It's a complex and masterfully written story that will make you analyze, and possibly sympathize with many of it's characters. Of all the characters in The Taker, it is Lanny and Jonathan I connected with the most. I felt like I suffered right along with them and near the end I was brought to tears. But I must also warn you... it's not a pretty read at times and might be uncomfortable for some due to how dark the story gets in places. Dark like Doug Wright's Quills [about the Marques De Sade] or Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. But this darkness is also a very crucial element to the journey of self discovery that the character(s) go through and I'm glad I didn't put the book down and walk away.
When I finished, I will admit I was a little upset at first. It appeared that there was still a story within the story that was left unrevealed; questions left unanswered. And anyone who knows me, knows that I like neat and tidy conclusions. I need Closure, unless I know for sure there is more to come. But I kept thinking... this can't really be how it all ends? So I did some research and found out The Taker is the first book in a three book story arc. **whew! -- and Yay!** I'm extremely excited this is a series. There are so many little mysterious nuances written into the story that it's ending just isn't enough for a stand alone novel. It also has a bit of a cliffhanger in that it leaves you with unanswered questions that might drive you batty if you didn't know there was more to come.
My final verdict? The Taker is a complete and epic win for me. I was so taken (pun intended) by The Taker that I stayed up reading it all night long. It took me on a journey, with writing so bewitching and hypnotic that I was captive till it’s completion. I also think most anyone would be able to handle this book as long as they knew what to expect. But I think it would really appeal to those with an intellectual bent, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical, supernatural, dark, Gothic tales. If your faint of heart, have tender sensibilities, or high expectations for the perfect fairy tale romance, then it might not be your cup of tea. If your not sure... then I vote for reading it to know where you stand. It's truly worth your time.(less)
“You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real?” he whispers.
“Real,” I answer. It seems to require more explanation. “Because that’s what you and I do. Protect each other.”
The final verdict. I loved The Hunger Games. I loved Catching Fire. I loved Mockingjay. The Hunger Games series is a masterpiece. There, I've said it. It’s beyond my comprehension how the author pulled off something this amazingly detailed and complex. The journey it takes you on is emotional, traumatizing and unreal. It is a very powerful series that might be too much for some people to handle. I actually had to take some time to decompress after finishing Mockingjay.
I’m not going to bother summarizing Mockingjay because I don't think it's necessary and I want to avoid spoilers. You can read my review of the first book, The Hunger Games, for the gist of what the series is about. I will say from The Hunger Games the story continues on in Catching Fire with the Quarter Quell. Another Hunger Games within the same year as the previous one. Then the story moves into a full-fledged war in Mockingjay.
There is so much going on in this series. It is a dramatic, painful story full of physical and emotional struggles, moral and ethical battles, deception and self sacrifice. This series is sooo much more than a love story as well. Though I’m sure I would have been happy to have a little more nurturing to that part of the story in the very end, I realize it was never meant to be just that type of story alone. In fact, people that were expecting something along those lines are really missing the point. The love story within this series is just one small part of a much larger, complex story filled with complicated messages.
It is a disturbing and unsettling experience, to say the least. A manipulation of the mind in many ways. Somewhere in the middle of Mockingjay it starts to feel like one long horrific nightmare. Closer to the end you’re so disoriented that, much like one of the main characters, you don’t know what’s real and what’s not. On top of that, it is so full of agonizing emotions that your sure to be sobbing in several parts. You've been warned. Have your tissues ready.
This series will really make you ponder and debate many things. Lets take a look at some of the many messages that are touched upon within this series. Granted the author pushes most of these to extremes. But I think it's genius on her part. I’m sure with all I’ve listed; I’ve probably missed many more. But this is what I can think of off the top of my head at the moment.
The negatives are greed, gluttony, hatred, the evil inherent in a minority, the destruction of innocence, the loss of humanity, the corruption of power, the absurdity of war, the unfortunate need for rebellion against tyranny, the use of media to control the populace by spreading carefully crafted propaganda to adulterate minds and sway opinions, and the propensity of a society to be completely out of touch with the suffering of others.
The positives are love, compassion, kindness, self-sacrifice, the goodness inherent in a majority, the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, the struggle and will to survive, the rebirth and healing of a damaged nation, the healing power of love and hope. There are more, I'm sure. But this is what I mean when I say the authors ability to touch on all of this and more is simply beyond my comprehension. Truly it's humanity that makes an individual unique and beautiful. Without it you risk being another mindless sheep following a heard being led astray.
I believe the ending to Mockingjay is fitting. While it wasn’t sweep you off your feet romantic, It was a good ending, and entirely appropriate for the story. I really, really, really enjoyed this series sooo very much. I cannot say it enough. I cannot recommend it enough. I wish I had picked this book up and read it sooner. Cave to the peer pressure. Don't be a procrastinator! Don't put this book on your TBR pile and forget about it. Don't continue to push it to the back to make way for other books. Whatever your reading right now... finish it quick, pick up The Hunger Games and get started. NOW!
Like I said earlier, this series is a masterpiece. I would give it 10 stars out of 5 if I could. It has more than earned it. It’s easily the best series I have read this year!
Favorite Quotes: I think these two quotes are the most poignant quotes that will follow you through each book from beginning to end. You will understand my reason for choosing them once you’ve finished the series.
Cinna: “Katniss, the girl who was on fire!”
Katniss: “Sitting at Prim’s knees, guarding her, is the world’s ugliest cat. Mashed-in nose, half of one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squash. Prim named him Buttercup, insisting that his muddy yellow coat matched the bright flower. He hates me. Or at least distrusts me …
… Sometimes, when I clean a kill, I feed Buttercup the entrails. He has stopped hissing at me.
Entrails. No hissing. This is the clostest we will ever come to love.” - Katniss (less)
*sigh* I am so going to be in the minority here. I don't even know where to start. There are four books in the Royal House of Shadows...moreRating: (♥ ♥ 1/2)
*sigh* I am so going to be in the minority here. I don't even know where to start. There are four books in the Royal House of Shadows miniseries and each book is written by a different author. Gena Showalter leads the way with, Lord of the Vampires.
I'm surprised and a little disappointed to say this was another conflicting read from another one of my favorite authors. Am I biased at times? Yes. I love Gena Showalter. No... wait... I adoreGena Showalter. She's one of my go-to authors for rereads and books I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy. I know she's capable of writing truly entertaining tales and I'm a total LoTU fangirl. That's Lords of the Underworld for you newbies. Unfortunately, this was not one of her better stories in my opinion. The beginning of Lord of the Vampires got off to a rocky start, which was immediately cause for concern. But eventually further on, there was a moment where I thought... okay, things are starting to pick up. There might just be a little promise here yet. Unfortunately, that didn't last long and things started to unravel again.
Let me just preface the rest of this review by stating that I am not a writer. I'm not an editor. I'm not a proofreader or anything of the sort. Mine are purely the amateur observations of an admittedly ignorant reader. And I could be shooting the arrow, but missing the mark. So what exactly was wrong with the story? It's hard to put my finger on one thing really. But if I have to narrow it down, I'd say... first, it's another case of missing subtext. The only difference here being the amount of missing subtext. It almost feels this way from beginning to end. Everything is rushed, not to mention so overly perfect and convenient that it starts to become too much to swallow. Sure there are a few places here and there that open up to more detail and complexity. But it was really sporadic. Like some parts of the story were nurtured while other parts were ignored. I know this is a miniseries, so maybe too many plot points complicated the matter? I don't really know.
Second, I think this was also a case of "show" vs. "tell". It's awesome when a book can "show" rather than "tell" the story within it's pages. People "tell" a story when they are trying to rush through the details to get to the point. They give you an abridged version without drawing you a picture with their words. Which is great when your reading a yawner like legal documents or a proposal. But I like to visualize the stories I read, which requires a little help from the writer. There are all sorts of ways to accomplish this by adding nuances (facial expressions, body language, internal & external dialogue, etc.) and the backstory or history of the characters.
In my opinion, things like this help the reader paint pictures in their mind. It's what I've noticed, at least. The stories that work "show" by incorporating these things, and so much more, helping the reader visualize and empathize. Stories that don't work incorporate less and rush through (to get to the point), passing by the opportunity to "show" the reader anything at all. In the end, what winds up happening is an inability to connect. Unfortunately, that was the case with Lord of the Vampires, in my opinion at least. Rather than drawing me in, it left me on the outside, sensory deprived and seeking more input. Sure the love scenes were hot and steamy in typical Showalter fashion. She does have that talent down to an art form. But I still felt like I got the cliff notes version instead of the whole enchilada and It left me wanting so much more.
The Final Verdict?
This story was not for me. It needed something more, something it just failed to put forth. I'm not even sure who I would recommend it to other than to suggest you might not agree with me at all. In fact, you should always take my reviews as a challenge to find out for yourself. I'm sure there are truly qualified people that are rolling their eyes this very moment at my attempt to explain my so called theories.
I am curious, though, to see what the other authors do with their stories in this series. I'll also say, this is only a tiny lump of coal in a huge bucket of diamonds as far as I'm concerned. Because I am and always will be a Gena Showalter fan. I know she can deliver and if I've ultimately scared you away from this particular read, please remember that each book in this miniseries is written by a completely different author and you might be missing out on something good if you pass the whole thing by. Plus, I highly encourage you to check out some of Gena Showalter's other works that are guaranteed to please, like Lords of the Underworld or Alien Huntress. Your sure to find stuff that won't disappoint. Promise.(less)
Okay, I know I'm not sticking strictly to my reading list by venturing off and reading Crave. But I've stopped and started this book ove...moreRating: (♥ ♥)
Okay, I know I'm not sticking strictly to my reading list by venturing off and reading Crave. But I've stopped and started this book over and over again and suddenly felt compelled to finally finish it.
I hate, hate, hate, though, writing a bad review on a book by an author I absolutely adore. It makes me cringe and want to hide. It's a completely rotten feeling and really difficult to do. But I have to be honest with my feelings and my reviews. And I'm sure many of you will think I'm traitorous.
I really don't even know where to start with this one. I'm a huge BDB fan and I love J.R. Ward's writing. She on my list of favorite author's and she's delivered such jewels up to this point. Admittedly some shinier than others, and... maybe some not so shiney. But they've all been fairly sparkly to some degree. Okay, maybe sparkly isn't the right word to use because it doesn't really do justice to the BDB at all. But I'm referring to her talent and not the savage, masculine, teddy bears that is the BDB.
I actually started Crave several times only to put it down and forget about it for weeks at a time. I finally pushed myself (and I do mean push in the strongest sense of the word) to read it all the way through. Which was really tough. I felt so disconnected from this story. No connection with the characters or anything. The romantic relationship was unconvincing, as was some of the situations in the book. In fact, I found myself rolling my eyes repeatedly from the moment I opened the book to it's conclusion.
This was a painful read for me. So much so, I had to resist the urge to keep checking the front cover to make sure I was reading the right book by the right author. I kept thinking... surely this is an impostor or I've made some kind of mistake. But no... it's no mistake. Maybe it's the series itself? It definitely isn't BDB, and I swear I thought I got more out of Covet, than I did from Crave. But I really can't remember. Simply put, though, Crave was not for me.
This won't affect my desire to give the next one in the series a try. I know J.R. Ward is full of awesomeness and can deliver the sparkles. And if the next one in this series isn't for me either... well... I'm still and always will be a die-hard BDB fan.(less)
“I stand there feeling broken and small, thousands of eyes trained on me. There's a long pause. Then, from somewhere in the crowd, someone whistles Rue's four-note mockingjay tune. The one that signaled the end of the workday in the orchards. The one that meant safety in the arena. By the end of the tune, I have found the whistler, a wizened old man in a faded red shirt and overalls. His eyes meet mine.
What happens next is not an accident. It is too well executed to be spontaneous, because it happens in complete unison. Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last good-bye I gave Rue in the arena.”
Another “Wow!” and total epic win for The Hunger Games series. In Catching Fire there are just as many unreal twists and turns as there was in The Hunger Games. There is also just as much violence, brutality and bloodshed as well. We go into Catching Fire with the Quarter Quell, which is another game within the same year as the previous Hunger Games that the main characters just managed to survive.
I’m not going to summarize Catching Fire for you as I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But I will say the ride is just as intense. It’s another page-turner from beginning to end and it’s filled with both humor and pain. Have your tissues ready.
Please note, this series must be read in order! These are not stand-alone novels and you will spoil the story if you read them out of order. You can check out my review of The Hunger Games for the gist of what the series is about.
I am leaving you with several of my favorite quotes below. I will say this book is just as good as the first. Amazing, profound, emotional and rich. Well deserving of a 10 out of 5. Hurry up and put this series on your reading list. It’s easily the best series I have read this year!
Some of these quotes might be spoilers so be forewarned. I'll hide the ones I think have spoilers. That way you can read at your own risk.
Katniss about her prep team: (view spoiler)["It turns out they really have become attached to me, and the idea of my returning to the arena has undone them. Combine that with the fact that by losing me they'll be losing their ticket to all kinds of big social events, particularly my wedding, and the whole thing becomes unbearable. The idea of being strong for someone else having never entered their heads, I find myself in the position of having to console them. Since I'm the person going in to be slaughtered, this is somewhat annoying."(hide spoiler)]
Haymitch to Katniss: (view spoiler)[“I’ll admit, it was easier for the boy. He was here before I could snap the seal on a bottle. Begging me for another chance to go in. But what can you say?” He mimics my voice. “Take his place, Haymitch, because all things being equal, I’d rather Peeta had a crack at the rest of his life than you.”(hide spoiler)]
Haymitch to Katniss about Peeta: You know, you could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.
Peeta to Katniss: I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.
Cinna to Katniss: I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don’t hurt anyone but myself.
Peeta and Katniss: (view spoiler)["No one really needs me," he says, and there's no self-pity in his voice. It's true his family doesn't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
Katniss to Finnick: "It's like your decomposing," says Finnick. But I guess the itching wins out, because after a minute Finnick begins to treat his own skin, too. Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress.
"Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say.
"It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks.
"Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say.
"Not if I keep looking at you," he says.
Katniss: (view spoiler)["As I drift off, I try to imagine that world, somewhere in the future, with no Games, no Capitol. A place like the meadow in the song I sang to Rue as she died. Where Peeta's child would be safe."(hide spoiler)]
Haymitch to Katniss: "So it's you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans."
"You are not fine." Ceri took my arm, pinching it painfully to keep me from pulling away from her. "And don't you let her walk the entire way," she admonished Trent.
"I'm not going to pick her up and carry her screaming to the basement," Trent said. "It's a workday. Besides, she has a crutch."
"Crutch or no, she's hurt!" Ceri protested.
"I mean," Trent said intently, "she can hit me with it if I do something she doesn't like."
(warning! This review contains spoilers from The previous book, Pale Demon.)
Kim Harrison is one of my favorite authors and The Hollows is, without a doubt, one of my top favorite series. The world building is so in-depth. The characters are well rounded and colorful. And each story is fully and completely entertaining. In the 10th book in The Hollows series, A Perfect Blood begins a few months past where Pale Demon left off. Ms. Morgan is invisible to Al and the demon collective in the Ever After with the help of Mr. Kalamk's wild elf magic. But now everyone knows she's a demon and she faces a new bevy of troubles as a result. The worst of them being the recent abduction of witches and someones attempt to create their own demons for nefarious purposes. But why? This new problem puts Rachel's life in jeopardy and threatens to further blacken her reputation. If that's even possible now that she's the worlds first public demon. Unfortunately, some people think Rachel is involved.
There's so much to dish about on this book, but I'm going to have to pull in my reigns so I don't give away any spoilers. In A Perfect Blood we see the introduction of a new terroristic organization that we've never heard of before (I think). Very interesting things are happening in Jenks little corner of the world that seem both promising and… unusual. We meet a new and mysterious master vamp that heads up the I.S., but also seems a bit familiar somehow (or so it seems.) I could be wrong, but the mystery to this new character leaves a lot up to the imagination. I think everyone will be equally intrigued by him. There's just something about him that's making the cogs in my head spin. Who is that man?! Rachel also has a new body guard now that she's a not-so-desirable (to the world) demon. But with the new body guard comes, well… what else? New troubles. On top of all that, we're introduced to some little bundles of joy! That's right… Ceri and Quen's new baby girl and Daddy Trentbucks new (stolen) daughter. Getting to see the daddy side of Trent is delightful! And now I have to resign myself to the fact that I must wait another long year (Again! Argh!) to see what happens next (…this always kills me.)
So what were my misgivings about the book? In all fairness, they're based on my own personal bias. There is nothing wrong with the story itself. It was full of fun, adventure and the usual, humorous Jenksisms. I really did enjoy it, but was it as good as Pale Demon? Mmm. No. Not really. Pale Demon had many intriguing reveals for nearly every character. A Perfect Blood… not so much. There were a few reveals. But none as spellbinding or profound as the ones from the previous book. There was a satisfying amount of Rachel and Trent interaction, which gives you many things to ponder. HOWEVER, there was not nearly enough of Al and the Ever After. Only a smidge! And there you have it. I'm admittedly biased when it comes to that. I think Al and the Ever After are what draws me back, time and again, to this series. And after the really eye opening sides we got to see of Newt, Al and Rachel the last time, I was really hoping for more of the same. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of the dilemmas that happen top side of the ground in Cincy. But if I'm being honest, I think the most interesting parts of the entire series have always involved Rachel's calamities and discoveries with Al, Newt, and the Ever After. I can't help it. Al is my favorite character. He's the most colorful character (aside from Jenks) in the whole story. That aside, the story was still a lot of fun, as it always is, and definitely not one to be missed. I highly (and always) recommend this series to anyone. It's that good.
Last, for those of you that may not have known, The Hollows has been picked up as a possible future tv series. Which I am so excited about! I can't wait to see it on tv and hope with all my heart they don't screw it up. It happens.(less)
“Not at all. I’ve not laughed like this …” His brows drew together. “I think I’ve never laughed like this.”
“Usually I exasperate people. And I jest at inappropriate times. Such as during executions. Freya says ’tis my gift and my bane to frustrate others.”
“I like your manner, Reginleit. Life is long without humor.”
I absolutely loved this book!! I’ve been just as excited about this book as everyone else. Not because Regin was one of my favorite characters. She wasn’t really. I’m always excited about new IAD releases. But a while back, Kresley Cole slipped us some IAD crack in the form of an awesome teaser that wound up being the longest and best Prologue I’ve ever read! That prologue and then the release of the first chapter changed my mind about Regin and moved her to the front of my list with party girls, Nix, Mariketa and Carrow. It also bumped Declan Chase, a.k.a. Aiden the fierce, to the front of my list with Bowen, Garroth and Malkom.
Moving on …
Dreams of a Dark Warrior is the story of the Valkyrie Regin the Radiant and her berserker warlord Aidan the fierce. Fated lovers separated through time by a curse that takes Aiden’s life just as he remembers his past and his love for Regin. Their story is fraught with peril and bad luck from the beginning. It differs from the other books in this series in that it's actually kind of emotional. Bringing these two cursed lovers together for an HEA is no easy task. It’s a journey full of hostility and torment. And there is so much anguish in this book, for both characters, that I actually got weepy.
Aiden’s present reincarnate is the loathsome Declan Chase. A Magister for an Order of mortals that hunts down, experiments on, and kills creatures of the Lore. Regin among them. When she finally encounters Declan, he is already so bitter, tortured and ruined that any hope for their love might already be lost. Even though Aiden and Declan are different from one another they are still much the same in many ways. It’s interesting how the mirroring between these two comes full circle.
Regin’s Character is the short tempered, consummate smart-ass that is forever the clown in front of her peers. And yet, most of that clowning is a way to conceal the turmoil that is going on inside her. She’s a loyal friend and fierce protector who is completely devoted to each of Aiden's reincarnations. But this last embodiment might push her beyond her limits.
As always Kresley Coles' stories are full of quirky humor and funny dialogue. I especially love Regin and her sassy one-liners. She is one of those rare birds that was born with no filter between her brain and her mouth. Her “Regin speak,” as I like to call it, is one of the things I enjoyed the most.
Regin: “I finally understand what a dickie-do is. Your gut does stick out more than your dickie do.”
And she’s not the only one. She meets some new characters in the book who come out with their own witty expressions and comebacks.
Then there is Lothaire, the enemy of old. We get a much deeper perspective on him in this book. He’s capricious, duplicitous, derisive and sneaky. He’s also a little bit spacey at times and reminds me of Nix—just a tad. I developed a major crush on him immediately. There is no telling what his master plan is and whom it involves, although I have my suspicions. One thing is for sure; he’s a conniver who never does favors without a price and without it serving his “End Game.” The fact that he's naughty and unpredictable makes him that much more appealing.
Lothaire: Lothaire crooned, “Ah children, it’s not yet story time.” He closed his eyes and turned away, saying over his shoulder, “To anyone who contemplates even nearing me while I sleep: I will garrote you with your own viscera.”
This book was the perfect blend of fun, funny and emotional. And let’s not forget HOT! It’s chock full of toe curling hotness. But that goes without saying because… HELLOOOOO! It’s Kresley Cole! Would you expect anything less? Her IAD series has always been steamy, entertaining and fun. She unfailingly puts her characters into the most interesting and clever situations. And they are all so well rounded and unique that you can’t help being drawn in by them. Even the secondary characters.
Each book in this series is more enjoyable than the one before. I can’t say it enough or with enough enthusiasm. You should add this series to the top of your “to-read” list. It may be a little different or unusual. But if you pick up the first one and give it a read, I am positive you’ll enjoy it so much you’ll immediately move on to the next book and the next and … you get the point.
The prequel to this series, The Warlord Wants Forever, is actually free and you can read it at the link I’ve provided below. It’s a quick read as well, so there are no excuses for not having the time people! Do it NOW! Then move on… AND HURRY! Your 11 books behind already! What are you waiting for?
I sooo love this series. Each book just seems better than the last (if that's even possible). I have never, ever been let down. I s...moreRating: (♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥)
I sooo love this series. Each book just seems better than the last (if that's even possible). I have never, ever been let down. I simply ♥ it. If I could marry books, this series would be one of them. Course, I can't be expected to be monogamous when it comes to books. So the Charley Davidson series would have to share me. But it's definitely one of my top all time favorite series. I predict an HEA for our continued relationship.
"Holy crap, Sussman, I wish you guys would learn to knock." "Incorporeal being," he said, giving attitude. I stepped out of the shower and grabbed a squirt bottle from my vanity. "You set one foot in this bathroom, and I will melt your face with my transcendental pest repellent." His eyes widened. "Seriously?" "No," I said, my shoulders deflating. I had a really hard time lying to the departed. "It's just water. But don't tell Mr. Habersham, the dead guy in 2B. This bottle is the only thing that keeps that dirty old man out of my bathroom." Sussman's brows arched as he scanned my lack of attire. "Can't say that I blame him."
First Grave on the Right is the first book in the Charley Davidson series and also the debut novel for new author Darynda Jones. It's a very delightful, character-driven story, with an original and refreshing premise, and wonderfully entertaining characters. I absolutely adored this book. Darynda Jones is definitely going on my top ten list of favorite authors. Her writing is witty, entertaining and thoroughly tickled my funny bone. First Grave on the Right had me completely captive from the moment I read the first sentence and held me hostage till the very end. I found it nearly impossible to put down to do important things... like bathing or feeding my kids.
Let's meet our protagonist, Charley Davidson. As protagonists go, Charley is pretty awesome. She's quick with the sarcasm and catchy comebacks, and aside from being a private investigator, Charley's also the Grim Reaper, a portal to the "other-side," and oh ya... she sees dead people. But she's unlike any Grim Reaper you'd expect. She doesn't wear a cloak, carry a scythe or have a scary, creepy mug shrouded in a dark hood. She does, however, have an infamous death stare, second only to her... well... you'll have to see for yourself, because I'm officially making First Grave on the Right required reading for anyone that reads this review. No exceptions. Of course, I haven't quite figured out a way to enforce that. But I'm trusting you.
All the characters in First Grave on the Right are wonderful and connecting with them was seamless. Charley is surrounded by a supportive (and some not so supportive) cast of friends, family and acquaintances. From the slightly wicked step-mother, to the protective, yet easily agitated Uncle Bob, to the equally protective best friend. The relationships she has with each of them are unique and perfect for who they are in her sphere of existence. Even the prickly ones she shares with her ghostly acquaintances and her sexy fellow co-worker Garret. But my favorite secondary character, by far, is Charley's best friend Cookie, who's a bit of the maternal figure Charley's never had in her life. Last, but in no way least, is the mysterious, sensual, and sort of intangible romantic person of interest. The dark, enigmatic, Reyes Farrow is an inducer of goosebumps. The good kind, though. He's the shadowy presence that visits Charley in her dreams and remains somewhat of a mystery (for the most part) until the end. The chemistry between Charley and Reyes is sizzling hot and rife with sexual tension. But since I can't talk about him too much without giving away spoilers, he will have to remain a mystery until you read the book. Did I mention it's required?
Aside from being funny there are also heartwarming moments layered into this story. Especially near the end. Some that even made me weepy. I really empathized with Charley's character, from her young childhood memories to the present. She never lays blame on anyone but herself for some of the disastrous things that happened in her past, when in actuality, the grown-ups involved in those painful childhood memories were clearly the ones at fault. Charley's not a perfect heroine, but in an odd way her imperfections kind of make her perfect. And that's what makes Charley such a fun and endearing character. She's someone you can totally relate to.
I did have a couple of complaints, though. First, I think I would have preferred the question as to what Reyes is, to remain a mystery. I kinda liked it that way. But this doesn't detract from the story in any way. It's just that mysterious guys are intriguing. My second and most serious complaint... it ENDED! The nerve! I hate it when your engrossed in something that's highly entertaining and it goes and ends on you. This is one of those books that I could've kept reading for days, weeks, even months and still been captivated.
My final verdict? Wickedly hot and dripping with witty sarcasm, First Grave on the Right is a real treat; a sugary confection for the brain. I could have parked myself in the Charley Davidson world indefinitely. It was thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, and not once did I become bored or annoyed with the storyline for any reason. I can't wait for the next book in the series, Second Grave on the Left, due out August 16th. No joking... I really am having problems waiting. I actually got on the internet to check the release date, then I sat back and tried to will the date to change with what I hoped was untapped, hidden powers of the mind. As you can see, that didn't work, so I gave up.
Who would I recommend First Grave on the Right to? Anyone! Seriously. It's that good. Men and women alike, fans of all shapes and sizes will get something out of the Charley Davidson series. You won't be disappointed. Plus, it is required... in case your forgot.
My experience with this series is that most of the books are painfully annoying and difficult to finish. I found the first two books in this series on...moreMy experience with this series is that most of the books are painfully annoying and difficult to finish. I found the first two books in this series only slightly entertaining. I started seeing annoying similarities and patterns to the series by the second book. Now the third book is repeating these same similarities and cookie cutter patterns to an irritating degree.
The authors dialogue is lacking and there is overuse of adjectives and specific phrases. Like the repetitive use of "Oh yeah"... "Ooo"... or "...not". All the characters in her series, so far, use these phrases at least once or twice. Which has been driving me insane. It's not unique to one character. Also, the male characters aren't very masculine when they talk. They might be described as masculine. But the dialogue she uses for them often sounds a bit effeminate and girly. Or possibly childish and goofy. Like the use of the word "...not" as in, "what fond memories... NOT." While something like that might possibly work for Sunshine's character, it doesn't for Talon a Dark Hunter Warrior who is supposed to be the epitome of masculinity and sex appeal. It's out dated and "dorky" and something girls used back in the 90's (as another reviewer described). I think the author failing to separate her own personality and inner dialogue out of her characters.
A minor peve for me is the lack of showing a characters accent. For instance, in Kresley Coles books she does a good job of "SHOWING" you the characters scottish brogue by the way she spells certain words in their dialogue, like "doona" for "do not", " no' " for "not", "verra" for "very" and "canna" for "cannot". This way you get an idea how the character sounds. I know this can be a little difficult or unnecessary for some accents. Like that of an english gentleman. But for Talon, I think it would have served her well to "show" his scottish/gaelic accent to the readers.
Lastly, the sexual relationships in each of these books just doesn't work for me. I like male characters to actually come across domineering, wild and masculine. Each one of her main characters so far has been weak and again... effeminate. Which is confusing because they are all supposed to be very dark and masculine "bad boys". The sexual encounters between the main characters couldn't be LESS passionate. The men are all "gentle" and "tender" lovers. A complete contradiction to their Dark Hunter "bad boy" personas. There is also the same cookie cutter pattern for all the love scenes. They just fizzle for me instead of sizzle. For the sake of keeping it interesting, she needs to mix it up a bit within her series. Electrify her readers in some way. Give them some heat, aggression, excitement and adrenaline. The actual sex scenes are tepid and again... repetitive. Build the sexual tension in the story without the use of repetitive cookie cutter dialogue and the OVER USE of sex within the story. And don't TELL your reader, but, SHOW THEM the sexual tension building between the main characters within the story. So far everything is just... too tame and silly. I much prefer the sex in various series by Kresley Cole, Jeaniene Frost, J. R. Ward, and Karen Marie Moning or Kim Harrison (who are both good at building sexual tension with their characters).
The story line did get interesting on rare occassions. My biggest problems with this book and the series so far are:
1) Over use of "Oh Yeah" and "Ooo" for ALL the characters...male and female. 2) Not enough build up of sexual tension, which makes the love scenes fizzle instead of sizzle. 3) Weak effeminate dialogue for the male characters.
All in all I gave the book itself 2 stars for a few exciting parts to the story line.(less)