My main issue with the second book in this series was that there was so much going on character development went on the back burner a bit. I'm pleasedMy main issue with the second book in this series was that there was so much going on character development went on the back burner a bit. I'm pleased that this book felt perfectly balanced in that regard, a good mix of plot and character. Janus remains a delightfully ambiguous character, and I look forward to finding out what happens next....more
This book wasn't for me. The humour was too zany, the characters drifted too far into caricature. Well, most of them. It seemed like the book couldn'tThis book wasn't for me. The humour was too zany, the characters drifted too far into caricature. Well, most of them. It seemed like the book couldn't decide if it wanted to be completely absurd satire, or to actually have serious and heartfelt. The result is a painfully stereotypically hillbilly character with a pet pig searching for his abducted tractor sharing page space with an introverted young man who's recently lost his parents and is struggling to connect with his older brother slash guardian. It jars, badly. I think there are those out there who will enjoy the way this book joyously rips into reality TV, but as I said it just wasn't for me....more
This book is hardly in need of more voices singing it's praises, but I'll add mine to the mix anyway; it was amazing, I loved it, someone get me the sThis book is hardly in need of more voices singing it's praises, but I'll add mine to the mix anyway; it was amazing, I loved it, someone get me the sequel now please. But, and I again just let me say that I loved this book, I can see that Six of Crows has it's flaws and won't work for everyone. I read a review that talked about how your enjoyment of this book hinges on the characters (the review is here if you're curious: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2016/0...), and that hits the nail on the head perfectly.
Books like this live and die with the characters, and your enjoyment of this book is going to depend on how quickly and deeply Kaz and his motley crew burrow into your heart. It's why I loved this book but only liked Locke Lamora, because while Locke and Jean are fantastic the supporting cast was i felt weaker, whereas in Six and Crows I felt that there was no flat leak. Some characters I enjoyed more than others, certainly, but they were all compelling.
It's also staggering, the just in quality between the first book in the Grisha trilogy and this one, and a point in favour of all those voices praising this one so loudly. I found that Grisha book to be average at best and would never have picked this one up if it were not for so many loving it so vocally. So thank you all, and if you're on the fence about Six of Crows maybe my voice can be the one that tips the scales for you. Read it!...more
I've never read a historical romance before, and honestly I had no intention of reading this one. But it ended up on my Kindle, and I opened it by accI've never read a historical romance before, and honestly I had no intention of reading this one. But it ended up on my Kindle, and I opened it by accident, and the first lines were intriguing enough that I kept reading, and now this book as the dubious honour of being the only book ever to reduce me to tears by the end of the first chapter. How could I not read on, after that?
I enjoyed this book very much, maybe even all the more because it's so far outside of my normal circles. I very much liked the prose, in particular that it was clear and precise with not a word out of place but at the same time it was never dry. It had a real ebb and flow, clipping along at times but then on occasion slowing right down to linger over descriptions of food and furniture.
Which might sound frightfully boring (excuse me, the delightful Britishness of this book has seeped into my brain), but I didn't find it to be so at all. It added to a wonderful sense of atmosphere and place and I felt like I was really there in London, in a solid way few other books have matched. I think the historical aspect of my novel was my favourite part. The author's bio at the end stated that they are a historian, and it definitely comes through. But in an effortless kind of way, not in a 'look at all the research I did!' kind of way.
I think it's safe to say I read this book for the prose and for Hannah and James' excellent repartee. The plot was fine and I enjoyed it well enough, but in my eyes it was definitely lifted by the quality of the writing. I found at times it was a little heavy handed in showing how progressive the main characters were, and I would have enjoyed a more nuanced villain, (but this is something I say about almost every book I read. Love me some lovable villains!)
I also must add, as this is a self published novel, that not once was a reminded of the fact. No typos or poor formatting or painfully rough writing to be found here. If this is a genre you enjoy I highly encourage you to try this book, and if it's not a genre you enjoy, well. Try it anyway. I did, and I'm glad....more
I mean, I guess I can understand why so many people have given this book only 1 or 2 stars. A lot of it is one woman trying to fix her ships computer,I mean, I guess I can understand why so many people have given this book only 1 or 2 stars. A lot of it is one woman trying to fix her ships computer, and huge swathes of text are devoted to another woman interrogating a prisoner, and so it seems that not much is happening a lot of the time. But, on the other hand, it's like, did you people even read the same book as me? Because this book is fantastic. It's amazing. It's the best book I've read all year, and I know it's only February but I know with certainty I'll still be saying it come December.
I loved this book. I loved that it was mixed character study with hard sci-fi concepts, because all too often if you want hard sci fi you have to settle for flat characters, and if you want rich, real, flawed and fascinating characters you have to look to space opera. The blurb reads like this book is going to be held up by a romance, but there's actually almost none at all, the bones of this book are friendship. The kind of Locke/Jean, Royce/Hadrien bromance that's just a joy to read.
I love that I can't tell you who the bad guys are in this book. Because I don't know who the bad guys are. I know who I liked the most, I know who I wanted to win, but I don't think that made them good guys. Compelling arguments could be made for every character in this book being the villain, even Althea, the closest thing we get to a protagonist, who mostly just cares about her ship's computer. And the characters I wanted to win, when they did "win," well suddenly I wasn't so sure that it was a good thing. Their victory upset me, and the when the character I liked least lost, I felt uneasy about it.
Compelling characters? Check. Delicious moral quandaries that I know my brain is going to mull over for a long time? Check. And the plot, which builds so slowly sometimes it seems to barely move, like one little pebble picking up another and another and another until, whoops, now the whole mountainside is coming right at you, brace yourself.
The biggest complaint I see aimed at this book is that so much of the plot happens "off page." It's backstory, a lot of it, revealed piece by piece over the course of one character interrogating the other. But it's so fascinating! It's the unreliable narrator trope turned up to eleven. Is he lying? Did that really happen? Is that how it happened? He might tell the same story to three different people, and what changes and what doesn't speaks to the truth but still what is the truth really?
I could just gush and gush. I loved this book wholeheartedly. Stumbling upon books like this is the whole reason I love to read, because sure most books are fine and some are really good but that moment when your spine tingles and you know you've found something special... Yeah, that's my drug. That's what I'm here for. That's what this book gave me....more
What a frustrating book this was! The start was an endless chain of info dumps, interrupted briefly by the introduction of one wooden character afterWhat a frustrating book this was! The start was an endless chain of info dumps, interrupted briefly by the introduction of one wooden character after another. But just when I was about to give up and put it down there was a really interesting scene, so I thought I would give it another chance. Then, more boredom, before another great scene.
The whole book goes on like this, long stretches of blah characters doing blah stuff, interrupted by great, I mean really excellent, chapters. Cass in the ice tunnel when the power goes out? Fantastic. Cass and her scenes with Vox? Fantastic. Cass heading out to COBRA station? Sooo fantastic. If the whole book could have been on the same level as its best scenes I'd be here raving about it. Cut out all the other flat and cardboard characters and just keep us in Cass' head, see the station slowly turn bad through her eyes alone, and this book could have been something special.
As it stands I still recommend it, because when it's good it's really good, but still. Disappointingly frustrating.
Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read and review this book....more
I love books like this, full of witty repartee and arch characters who mean one thing and mean another. The parties and afternoon teas disguising theI love books like this, full of witty repartee and arch characters who mean one thing and mean another. The parties and afternoon teas disguising the fact that it really is a life and death game they're playing. I enjoyed it even more because of St Vier, the master swordsman who is just so charmingly baffled by it all. His thought process while watching his first play is pretty much my favourite thing ever....more
It helps if you think of this not so much as novel but rather as a series of non-linear vignettes with shared characters. The authors of this book treIt helps if you think of this not so much as novel but rather as a series of non-linear vignettes with shared characters. The authors of this book treat the idea that every scene should serve a larger plot with some level of derision, and we jump randomly between different scenes at different points in time with no warning. But like I said, if you forget what a novel is supposed to look like, it's really rather fun. The characters are vibrant and come in all shapes, races and sexualities. It's a female heavy cast, which I love, and you can practically smell the salt air wafting from the pages. This is the perfect book for when you need a palette cleanser between gloomy doorstoppers or bloody little grimdark numbers and despite its flaws it was a lot of fun....more
I have complaints about this book. I have many. Complaints. About. This. Beautiful bastard of a book. But most of them boil down to the same base elemI have complaints about this book. I have many. Complaints. About. This. Beautiful bastard of a book. But most of them boil down to the same base elements; I wanted more. I wanted more of godslaying Eril-Fane and his tragic marriage, I wanted more of just begging to be redeemed Thyon, I wanted more of Feral and Ruby and there accidental foray into maybe love. I especially wanted more, like an entire book, of everyone's favourite assassin/acrobat scaling the cloudspire. I'm serious, if the author is reading this, I am serious.
This is one of those books where it seems every single character, no matter how briefly they appear, is staring in their own amazing story that we could follow eagerly if we weren't stuck in Lazlo and Sarai's. I say stuck, as though it's a chore, as though Lazlo and Sarai's tale is a boring one, which it is certainly not but alas I lack Laini Taylor's effortless control of language so here we are. This is a novel that unfurls before you growing better and better and better again. There's something to love no matter where you look, from the stunning prose, to the characters, to the witty banter to the vivid worldbuilding and the heartbreakingly good plot. And then it has the audacity to go and end, and what am I supposed to do with myself now?
You'll notice I've not said anything particularly concrete about this book and what it's about, and that it's an absolute joy to discover for yourself. The plot unfurls perfectly, revealing new beauty and dark, incredibly dark, depths and it's wonderful and if I could send an army of moths into everyone's window with a copy of this book to read I would do it in a heartbeat.
I am eternally indebted to netgalley for giving me the chance to read this lovely book which I ultimately hated because, as I mentioned, it had the nerve to end....more
This is one of those books you should be wary of picking up late at night if you have somewhere to be in the morning. Entertaining, zippy pace, shortThis is one of those books you should be wary of picking up late at night if you have somewhere to be in the morning. Entertaining, zippy pace, short chapters, it a 'just one more page' kind of deal, and while it might seem at first to be a little shallow there's a good amount of depth here.
It comes down to the characters. When you first meet them you think, oh ok so you're the stereotypical jock and you're the popular girl and you're Bender, got it, which is clearly how the book wants you to think. And then slowly layers and layers peel away and the merry gang of murder suspects turn into real, multi faceted people.
The plot is never boring, but I was a little disappointed by the finale which wasn't a bang so much as a little pop the characters ultimately didn't have to work too hard to achieve. And while the whole premise of the book hinges around 'who dunnit?' it was always pretty clear who was innocent.
Many thanks to netgalley for providing a copy of this in exchange for an honest review....more
A woman wakes up, and she has lost her memory. It's one of the most cliched openings in fiction, and what lovely irony that this is how one of the mosA woman wakes up, and she has lost her memory. It's one of the most cliched openings in fiction, and what lovely irony that this is how one of the most innovative books I've read in years begins. Zan has amnesia, apparently not for the first time, and a woman who claims to be her sister wants her to go capture a spaceship/world. (The two words are interchangeable here).
Straight up I have to say that this was not an easy book to read, at least at first. Not because it's bad, and it's definitely not boring, but it's just so relentlessly visceral. Look at this quote I saved early on, that lingered in the back of my mind, quietly grossing me out, for days:
"Maibe opens a gummy hatch in the corridior; it comes away from the sticky surface like pulling off a scab."
Everything in this book is sticky and fetid and rich with the fumes of decay. It gets under nails and you feel like maybe you should wash your hands after reading. And at first that's all there is, just this bleak, gross setting and a woman who doesn't know who she is, and another woman who clearly knows everything but tells us nothing. I kept reading because the writing was never anything less than compelling, but I honestly can't say that I was overly enjoying myself.
I stayed for the worldbuilding, which is breathtaking in its scope and originality. I won't say too much because the joy lies in discovering it for yourself, but what was already Hurley's strong suit is taken to dizzying new heights here. And then, somewhere along the way, I realised I'd come to really care about Zan and the band of bickering misfits she collects. I was no (as) longer grossed out by the mucusy, bloody, spongy world they were exploring and I'd become invested in its fate. I feel like it was no coincidence that the more Zan learned of the world and herself the more I grew to care about it.
This is a powerful book, that asks some powerful questions about freedom, self hood, ignorance and the road to hell and the intentions its paved with. Plus, it's a standalone. The world needs more standalones. (And thanks to the folks at Angry Robot for supplying this book in exchange for an honest review)....more
It seems like there were at least two books worth of stuff crammed into this one, which meant there was a lot of action but it was a bit light on emotIt seems like there were at least two books worth of stuff crammed into this one, which meant there was a lot of action but it was a bit light on emotion and quieter character moments. It didn’t help that I found Jane's character insufferable, and there are a few plot twists that are becoming increasingly obvious. But! Despite what might seem like a lot of criticisms I did really enjoy this. The ambivalence around Janus and his motivations is particularly enjoyable and I look forward to learning more about him....more
An incredibly strong voice and well done characters make up for a straightforward and inconsistent plot. Also, one of the best endings I've read all yAn incredibly strong voice and well done characters make up for a straightforward and inconsistent plot. Also, one of the best endings I've read all year....more
It breaks my heart that I didn't love this one. The original Demon Child trilogy was one of the first fantasy series I fell hard for and I was so exciIt breaks my heart that I didn't love this one. The original Demon Child trilogy was one of the first fantasy series I fell hard for and I was so excited to return to the world. But this book was just so overwhelmingly ok. Prose, characters and plot were all serviceable but that's about it. It was great to see the original crew again but nostalgia isn't enough....more