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Jan 29, 2013
Jan 29, 2013
Huge thanks to Julianna Helms for loaning me her ARC. Everybody go and give Julianna a cyber hug right now. GO.
So today I was standing around in the k...more Huge thanks to Julianna Helms for loaning me her ARC. Everybody go and give Julianna a cyber hug right now. GO.
So today I was standing around in the kitchen in my underwear frosting cupcakes, and as I stared vacantly out of the window over the sink, I wondered, "What if I looked up and there was a zombie standing out there?"
I frequently wonder this. Call me crazy, but when I finally peel myself away from my manuscript at about 3:30 in the morning and I let the dog out one last time, I bristle and wonder if, when I open the door, I'll hear that tell-tale ominous moan that marks the dawn of the apocalypse. What weapon would I use? A lamp? A chair leg? That piece of wood that the landlord inexplicably left leaning up against the back door before she was fired from caring for our property?
Either I've been watching too much television, or I'm an idiot. Those are the only two options.
Well, actually, you could always consider that perhaps my imagination is just inflated; that's neither a bad thing nor good. Alright, being incredibly imaginative does have its perks, especially when you're looking into joining the authorship train, but it also lends itself to crazy shit like this. You know, looking under your bed for ghouls before you get into it. Peering behind the curtains to make sure there isn't a demon waiting there only to jump out and lop your head off when you aren't looking.
You lop someone's head off, bitch ain't going to be looking at anything.
An imagination of the wild variety is the only thing that could have given birth to something as unique, colorful and adventurous as the Legend series. This is, most likely, one of my favorite series ever. It is absolutely fantastic.
And Prodigy just blew Legend, its predecessor, right out of the water. It is better than Legend.
The characters probably aren't the best display of wild imagination; they're bright, great fun to follow and wonderfully rounded but I can't say they're the freshest tilapia on the chopping block. I'd say what really got me about this book and what really sold it to me was the intricacy and pace of the mind-bending plot.
It moves at an absolutely breakneck speed, but somehow, probably through the beauty and skill of Marie's writing, it touches you. The dialogue, romance, deaths and action struck a real chord with me and pulled me in from the beginning. I opened this book and I literally could not stop reading until I was finished. I was forced - nay, compelled to keep turning pages and find out where the plot would move next, which was off the chess board, under the table and into the middle of the road where it caused a huge pile-up and several thousand awesome explosions. Reading this book is like being strapped into fucking Oblivion and forced to complete six rounds of it while someone holds a gun to your head and says, "If you pee your pants, I will shoot you."
A quick low-down is that June and Day, our heroes, head to Las Vegas where they're welcomed into the fold of the Patriots, who are anti-Republic revolutionaries. They begin hatching a plan to assassinate the new Elector, a young hot one who came into power after the old Elector suddenly died. This plan involves June and Day being pushed around like chess pieces, and along the way they discover secrets about the plan, the Republic and themselves that forces them to question everything they believe is true.
There's also lots of making out, sploding, fighter jets, soul-destroying death, kicking and punching, sexy military uniforms, adorable children, jewellery, betrayal, selflessness, selfishness, lover's quarreling and a big, fat love square.
The love square was fucking awesome. (view spoiler)[My GOD, I want June to be with Anden in the next book. The whole thing was left hanging at the end, and as much as I love Day, I just...UGH. Anden. I fucking love that guy. He's absolutely gorgeous. However, I do not want Day and Tess to be together. It's just weird. They don't make a good match at all. (hide spoiler)]
But man - the twists in this book left me reeling. At the beginning I was all cocky, thinking I had it all sorted out, but by halfway through I was on the edge of my seat gnawing my fingernails down to the quick, because the plot veered in so many shocking directions that I just didn't know what was going to happen next. And the ending! The ending completely blindsided me. I didn't know what the hell to make of it. It just happened, this huge bombshell, and I was left reeling.
How do you deal with that shit? And I can't even spoil it for you all and tell you what happens until January! This sucks!
I said before that the plot surpassed the characters, but that's not to say the cast of this story wasn't a shining beacon of gloriousness. As usual to begin with we had a little problem with June and Day sounding the same but after a while they grew into their habits, and I could separate their voices. Once you know the characters well enough to pick up on their subtle mannerisms, it becomes easy to determine who's inner monologue is who's.
There are just so many awesome characters in Prodigy. Razor was fascinating, and as usual Kaede's spunk had me snorting into my coffee. June and Day are very solid protagonists, each flawed but entirely lovable. They work as a great team, sparring off one another. They're both capable, intelligent, interesting heroes that I found myself really invested in.
Their romance is something I'm still on the fence about, but the emotive element is there and it shows. They have chemistry, enough to make me buy their affection, but I can't say I was blown away by the romantic element. Still, the great thing about this series is that the romance is not a central part of the storyline, and if it were omitted, the series would still be as compelling and fun to follow.
The secondary characters made the cast for me. I was absolutely heartbroken about Metias, and the truth about his death. (view spoiler)[Oh, hell to the no! As if Metias's death wasn't tragic enough. We're now hit in the face with the revelation that he was actually in love with Thomas, who then went on to kill him because he was ordered to by Commander Jameson. Okay, so part of me wants to believe that he couldn't have done it and he's lying to protect...someone, and because he never really gave a direct...oh, who the fuck am I kidding. Thomas is deplorable. He knew that Metias was in love with him and he killed him anyway. I know he felt that he had no choice but for fuck's sake, Thomas obviously loved Metias back and what he died was unforgivable. What a piece of shit. (hide spoiler)] It was awful, painful, brutal. And that's the essence of it; this book is written with so much heart and skill that in a few sentences you can become so invested in a character or backstory that it just pulls you in. I had such a strong emotional reaction to Metias. Even dead, he played a huge part in the rest of the book, and I loved that. I loved that the relationship between he and June remained a part of the story and a part of her motivation.
Other characters, such as the hilariously wonderful Pascao and sweet little Tess added lovely gold embellishments to what was already a great story. The only character-based gripe I have is that I'm unsure what Commander Jameson's role was in this book. I felt like she needn't have been there - she really added nothing to the conflict. Just a minor nitpicky thing there.
The writing was spectacular, the plotline tight and beautifully paced, the characters colorful and brilliantly crafted. The ending broke my heart, but at this point I'm wondering where the series has left to go. Prodigy has an extremely interesting ending, in that it ties up most if not all loose ends. I'm curious to find out what could possibly happen next, so I'm of course going to wait with baited breath for the third installment, and probably enter into some kind of Hunger Games-esque duel in order to acquire an ARC. I cannot wait two years for the next book. I will die. I will actually die.
I mean, I just...
*There's only two days to go and I can't hold on any longer and I have to say it, but if you look at this fucking spoiler tag before you read the book I will hunt you down and make you sorry.*
(view spoiler)[OH MY GOD, when Kaede died I cried a river and then some. How is this? How? How is it even...? Why did...? I don't even...? And then Day has a brain tumor and it's inoperable, and despite knowing for absolutely sure that someone will find a way to save him in the last book, because he's Day and he's a special snowflake, I'm still sitting in a corner jittering in terror. How could you do this to me, Marie Lu? Did I hurt you in some way? Are you punishing me personally? Fuck this. Fuck that. Fuck everything! Let me go cry again because the agony is like a crocodile chewing on my soul. (hide spoiler)]
Excuse me while I lie in a snotty, sweaty, sobbing heap on the floor, clutching a frosting can full of my feelings.
In short: this book is fucking amazing. When it comes out in January, you had all better get in line behind me to buy a hardback copy. Because I'm going to read this shit again. And again.
Notes are private!
Aug 04, 2012
Aug 17, 2012
Feb 24, 2012
Sep 01, 2009
Sep 01, 2009
**spoiler alert** Is it just me, or is anyone else really starting to like Haymitch?
Bet you didn't see this coming. Moi, Kira, reading Catching Fire a...more **spoiler alert** Is it just me, or is anyone else really starting to like Haymitch?
Bet you didn't see this coming. Moi, Kira, reading Catching Fire and giving it four stars!
The Hunger Games earned an uneasy 2.5 stars from me. The most annoying part? I wasn't 100% sure why. Katniss, probably. The almost absurd seriousness of her voice and her behavior toward Peeta tipped me (though I did have to give her kudos for being absolutely kick-ass). The cavalier treatment of Haymitch's alcoholism, the total lack of sensical world-building and the sentence fragments grated on me. I enjoyed it, yes; but love it, I did not.
I was all set to throw in the towel with this series. It's been a year since I read The Hunger Games, and I wasn't on any kind of tenterhook to find out what happened next. I'll admit, when I picked up Catching Fire it was with a sort of do-I-have-to groan, because it was practically thrust into my hand by a friend who is totally batshit crazy about these books and demanded I keep reading or die. So I cracked it open on pain of death and started reading.
The first seventy or so pages are ridiculously boring. Katniss and Peeta literally do nothing but travel around and eat. It was during this time, when there was no violence or gratuitous nudity or mildly sexual romantic tension to distract me, that those absolutely heinous sentence fragments really caught up with me.
Look, this book is obviously intended to be written as a stream of Katniss's consciousness, so I absolutely understand an abundance of fragments. But these fragments are nonsensical. I literally had to read some sentences five times just to understand what Katniss was trying to say, and let me tell you one thing: that's a fantastic way to totally alienate your reader from the narrative. The fragments would cut a perfectly comprehensible sentence into two incomprehensible halves.
Welcome to Logicville. Population: none.
So why'd I give this book four stars? Because I read it in something like two and a half days, and although the plotline felt repetitive, half-hearted and sort of a caper, it was just great. So much better than the first book. Let me say something: Suzanne Collins must be a brilliant dressmaker, because she has an uncanny talent for embellishing obnoxious things and making them seem 100% less ridiculous than they actually are.
This is the plot of this book. Katniss and Peeta hear rumblings of uprising among the Districts, meanwhile President Snow, for some strange reason, is still not satisfied with Katniss's show of fake love for Peeta (even though EVERYONE else - literally EVERYONE - is. Like, how much more convinced does he think the people need to be?). So this creates a lot of unnecessary conflict, while Katniss bounces between Gale and Peeta, even though she knows herself that she's not sexually attracted to Gale and at this point the reader is already fully aware that in the end, she's going to pick Peeta. How could she not? He practically has "I am a non-threatening love interest" tattooed across his forehead. This series is a lot of things, but unpredictable it is not.
So anyway, a Quarter Quell is announced, in which a male and female tribute from each District will be selected from the existing pool of victors, ergo, the folks who won will be in the arena again (and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes this book fucking great. The feeling of sheer betrayal from the Capitol's decision to haunt the victors with another Hunger Games is what carries this whole book). Yadda yadda, lots of violence, and then a bad guy turns out to be good and Katniss and Co. are all rescued from the arena, save for Peeta, who's been horribly abducted by the Capitol (tears for that).
Let's start with the love triangle, which this book pretty frequently relies on to supply tension. I've been pretty hard on the love triangle, but I really shouldn't have been: it doesn't convince me at all and to be honest I never felt any chemistry between Katniss and Gale or Katniss and Peeta, but at least it didn't feel tacked on. It felt premeditated and it does forward the plot, so kudos for that. Plus, the Katniss in this book is much more human, a Katniss I could better relate to. She's tough but emotional, self-assured yet apologetic, compassionate but practical. Her voice held a little note of sarcasm which I just loved, because I always felt that the maudlin narrative of the first book really did border on angsty and I can't deal with that shit. You feel me?
I better felt who Katniss was in this book, and as such, I felt like I could grow to care about Peeta and Gale as characters, though not as love interests - like I said before, I could've cared less who Katniss ended up with because none of the romantic relationships ever really interested me. Note that it is true what they say, that Gale and Peeta are practically the same character, except Gale tends to be irritatingly convenient in his reactions and tends to jump to the most nonsensical conclusions, so I do tend to prefer Peeta. I don't know what it is; Peeta's just lovely. And he's a little clumsy and awkward, which I find incredibly endearing.
Catching Fire sees Katniss and Peeta forced to participate in a second round of the Hunger Games. It's a Quarter Quell, which occurs every twenty-five years, and means the Gamemakers toss in a curveball to freak everyone the fuck out.
These Games were nowhere near as threatening as those in The Hunger Games. That was mainly what warmed me to the first book: the terror of entering the arena blind, unsure of what was going to happen next. In this book, the reaping happens in one paragraph, there are two pages of meals and dresses, and then they're straight into a particularly creative arena which was thrilling, but not frightening. My problem with these Games was that everything felt like it was moving very slowly. After the gong sounds, there wasn't the jump of the heart that occurred with Katniss's first Games. There was just Katniss falling, Katniss running, Katniss swimming, Katniss doing this and that. After she reaches the Cornucopia, there's time for some witty dialogue between her and the unspeakably fabulous Finnick Odair, and then they mosey on over to Peeta, pick their weapons with strategy, then wander into the jungle. Urgency? Oh, please.
So why was this book such a success, in comparison to the previous and more tense installment? Well, because the character development in this book is far superior to that of first one, in that each character feels more complex, each exchange of dialogue feels more natural, and somehow, for some reason, Peeta and Gale began to actually interest me as separate people in their own right. They felt necessary, like humans rather than big cardboard cut-outs of Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson*. In the first book, all of the characters go through the entire book without changing at all by the end. Katniss was already a hunter, Peeta was already a baker and painter, and Gale was already brooding and angsty. By the end of the games, nothing inside the characters had really changed. Katniss was still a hunter, Peeta was still a wet rag, and Gale...blah. Who cared about Gale at the end of the first book? Whatever. There wasn't a single character arc to be found. Just people doing stuff and that stuff causing other stuff.
So while The Hunger Games excelled in candy gore and adrenaline-charged action, this book has more substance. I felt like it mattered.
*Don't flame me, you little bitches. I read the book like a year before the movie came out, okay?
In essence, I felt like a lot of this book was kind of a caper. Well, maybe not quite a caper, but it was more like an adventure novel than a terrifying thriller. I loved the twists, especially Plutarch Heavensbee, which I did not see coming, not for a second. There was a lot of clothing description, which was great fun (hurrah for Katniss's mockingjay outfit! That was dope) and while a lot of the arena time felt sort of Tomb Raider-esque, it was wildly entertaining. That's the essence of Collins' writing, at least for me. Technically, it's kind of lame, but she knows how to put across a story with just enough heart to convince the reader to give a shit.
Despite the somewhat sweet-shoppish atmosphere of the Games, there were plenty of darker areas to this book. The Capitol's killing gentle Cinna, Katniss's hopeless entrapment in the Quarter Quell, Mags's death in the arena, the morphlings, Finnick's love for Annie and, most pungently for me, the glimpse of Haymitch's time in the arena. It was sickening, really; to throw back to teenage Haymitch, his connection with Maysilee, and his victory in the games after a disgustingly bloody battle with his final opponent. Guys, his intestines were literally hanging out and the girl was killed with an axe to the head. How anyone can still not like Haymitch after this is beyond me. This is the reasoning behind his alcoholism, his anti-social personality, and eventually (view spoiler)[his rebellion as he collaborates with Plutarch Heavensbee to get Katniss out of the arena and into District 13 (hide spoiler)]. Oddly, Katniss was one of the very people who expressed no sympathy whatsoever for Haymitch, despite witnessing his disturbingly awful stint in the arena when there were twice as many tributes as usual (Haymitch competed in the 2nd Quarter Quell). She's horribly judgmental, and apathetic toward him, and frankly, it left me irritated.
I may be the only person on the planet who actually likes Haymitch, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with Finnick. Do I even need to say why? Nah. No need. It's Finnick. That's why I fell in love with him. Because he's Finnick.
The cliffhanger at the end of this book bothers me. I suppose it's that ingrained disgust for cliffhangers their sneaky little money-grubbing ploys, and the creepy marketing strategies behind them. You're literally trapping people into buying the next book. How about relying on the actual quality of the story to invite in readers for the next book in the series, rather than inadvertently begging them to line up at midnight for the release? It's just really, really jammy.
For shame, Scholastic.
P.S. The blurb for this book is a lie. Gale does not have an icy exterior, and Peeta does not, at any point, ever, turn his back on Katniss. Nobody ever turns their back on Katniss. They all love her too much.
Seriously. Everyone loves Katniss.
This is disgustingly good. Prepare to have your mind blown.["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)
Notes are private!
Feb 14, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Jan 01, 2008
Apr 24, 2008
Notes are private!
Jan 28, 2012
Jan 28, 2012
Jan 31, 2012
Jan 31, 2012
**spoiler alert** Actual final rating: 4.5 stars. But I rounded up. Because it lost half a star on a technicality only.
So the other night I had this d...more **spoiler alert** Actual final rating: 4.5 stars. But I rounded up. Because it lost half a star on a technicality only.
So the other night I had this dream.
It was the beginning of the new high school year after graduation. Me and my graduating class were chilling in this weird white room that looked kind of like the lunch rooms in Cellblock 6: Female Lock Up and watching, through a set of Perspex windows looking out into the front hall, as the new Grade 12 kids march in to their uncertain fate.
This guy I know (he graduated at the same time as me. Why was he returning in my dream? Dafuq?) was one of those people walking in for the new year. I actually lol'd in my dream because he randomly lost his footing when he was walking down the hall and spontaneously smashed his face off the display case, but he was fine, no harm, no foul.
After a while we get bored of this, and head to some kind of weird cafeteria after-party where everyone from my old school in the UK is there too. Across the lunch room I lock eyes with this guy I was totes in love with when I was like fifteen and OMG! It's like a fairytale with Roma Pizza and inappropriate Happy Birthday! napkins.
Gaiz, srsly. I have absolutely no idea why this guy appeared in my dream. Sure, when I was fifteen it was deep and it was real. I went there: I really did. I wrote his name in all of my notebooks and tore girls' hair out to get the seat behind him in class so I could talk to him and fuck, I was all on imagining what our wedding would be like.
Hopefully, you can all appreciate the growth and change I've thankfully gone through since the days of yore.
But I left for Canada, and I've had no contact with the guy for literally years. I haven't thought about him for a long, long time. And then suddenly he pops up in the dreamscape lunchroom. What's a girl to do?
So we get all cozy and he kisses my forehead like Edward Cullen. Naturally, I get distracted by the nearby hotdog stand, which is basically a fish tank full of hotdog buns. Where's the meat, I ask? Fifteen Boy points to this steel door behind me and--oh, yeah. We're suddenly outside now, and it's got that dream lighting. You know, like the lighting in Sleepy Hollow? This is when I realize some creepy shit is going on.
So he takes two hotdog buns (I also take two) and heads for the steel door seemingly leading to nowhere. I go after him and we head up through this elevator to a weird compound that's round, outdoors but enclosed with a ring of high-rise stores above. Each of the stores is numbered one to thirteen.
(I swear to SHIVA. This is not a rickroll.)
Suddenly the guy is gone and one of my best friends (in Canada) is with me. She seems largely unimpressed, but she's like that in real life. She's the most calm, chill, easygoing Jamaican person ever. It's such bliss hanging out with her. You don't even need to make conversation.
You just have to be.
So anyway I figure I'd better get an actual hotdog to put in the bun. (Innuendo not intended.) There are rainforest trees all around this compound and the air is kind of humid--if any of you have ever been to the aviary in Niagara-on-the-Lake and been through that bit with all the waterfalls and the hilarious red birds with pipe cleaner legs, then you'll have a rough idea of the terrain here.
So my friend runs off to one of the big doorways in the side of the compound (kind of like the opening into the ruins at the beginning of Tomb Raider: Anniversary except without the flesh-eating wolves) and I stop by the entrance, because there's this little button you need to press to make the elevator inside the walkway, up to the shops above, work. My friend waves me in and I follow her, but she gets into the elevator before I do and then I'm stuck there like a spanner with my empty hotdog buns.
I head back out to the button. It sits like a catherine wheel, colored orange and yellow, and you have to spin it to the right number of shop you want to get to, then press the Go! button in the center.
(I promise you guys, I am not fucking with you. This is the serious truth.)
So I spin it to shop number four, but I'm not fast enough to get into the elevator. I have to go back and press it again, and then I leap into the elevator just in time.
Let me explain to you what this elevator was like.
The doors opened vertically, and were made of wire and wood. When you jumped inside, you landed at the bottom of this wet, muddy slope, and then you somehow were pushed up that slope at lightning speed, and there were all these trees and rocks and shit and a voice came over the intercom telling you to curl up in the fetal position to avoid hitting any of the crap on the track.
So I reach the top, and I'm literally thrown off this slope, right into the air. I'm headed for this Super-Marioesque mushroom cap, pink with yellow spots, where my friend is waiting for me. Suddenly my dog is with me, and she's being carried by this weird bug that I swear is one of the monster companions in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and then we're dropped and we land on the mushroom cap, which is all light because it's inside this room with all these windows around it. There are a few other people there, and they all have dogs with them, but my friend is allergic to dogs so she doesn't have one. I say she can share mine.
Even in my dreams, I'm a giving soul.
So then all of a sudden this GI Joe guy comes blasting out of nowhere and he orders us to do this massive obstacle course before we can get our tiny insignificant fucking hotdog. Like, what the fuck? It's a fucking hotdog, not a Nobel Prize. I just wanted my hotdog, dammit!
Anyway, we have to do the obstacle course riding on our dogs' backs like horses. My dog is relatively small (she's a spaniel) but somehow I managed to get upon my steed and we start the obstacle course, which is kind of like those challenges you have to do in Super Mario Sunshine if you go through the green pipe looking for a cheat of a Shine Sprite.
So anyway, me and my dog NAIL it and we win. We veer off course a little because it's like playing a video game, with controls like the fucking painful ones you have to grapple with when you're on the hang-glider in Assassin's Creed: Revelations getting pulled along by Sophia. Anyway, we win, and then tra-la-la!
The dream is over.
And I never got my hotdog.
Wings of the Wicked is just like my dream. No, it's not about Ellie's tormented quest for a hotdog, but it is about a whole lot of weird, scary, colorful and bizarre happenings that somehow, for some reason, come together to make sense.
Let me explain.
Like my dream, Wings leaps into the plot from the very first chapter. I went straight for the hotdogs; Ellie goes straight for the reapers. And it was this that I appreciated. Any of you who know me are probably aware that Angelfire is definitely not my favorite book in the world for two staple reasons: Ellie, and the writing.
In Wings, Ellie grows from a little sapling that can be annihilated by one peck from a chicken to a sword-wielding foxglove (foxgloves can stop your heart with their poison. DON'T GO NEAR THEM. DON'T!). Where as the Ellie from the first book would make a joke of her duties, this Ellie is absolutely serious about them. She still takes time out for partying and homework and shit, but a wake-up call is all it takes for her to realize that shit just got real, and you have to stop giggling when something tries to gut you with their fingernail.
Will gained a little more favor with me here. I wasn't that chuffed about him in the first book either, but in Wings he gains a little more depth and backstory, enough for him to prism from a piece of cardboard to an actual character. I loved the revelation that he slept with Ava. It gave him this fabulous, human quality, a real weakness and a mistake from the past that negated the whole "perfect love interest" trope that's been sniffing around YA of late.
Speaking of Ava: um, hello, Favorite Character! I fucking love this woman. She's amazing. She has so much depth and interest to her, so much so that I was desperate to find out more about her. I wanted to get inside her head and find out a little more about her story (which was heart-breaking, but added to her resilience).
A pretty large portion of this book revolves around the deaths of secondary characters, and being aware that people would die before I started reading this book assured me of two things:
(a) There is every chance in the world that these deaths will wind up being oddly funny rather than sad.
(b) There is every chance in the world that these deaths will make me want to die too. From grief. And lack of hotdogs.
It was pretty much a B all round.
Seriously, the deaths in this book took it out of me. I do feel like you have to have a certain kind of relationship in your own life to really connect with the deaths in Wings, and I'm one of the lucky ones.
Let's look at this: I was reading the portion where Ellie's mom dies when we were driving along the highway, headed for some Swedish fun at IKEA. The horrific torment of reading the death scene haunted me for the rest of the day, so much so that I did the whole tourist thing and held on to my mom's bag strap all the way around the store. I did not want to let go of my mother, ever, because then a reaper would get her, and fuck, that can't happen.
That is literally what this book did to me. It made me terrified.
And that's awesome.
Nathaniel's death was an absolute blindside. I was sobbing, yelling at the book, slapping myself, comfort eating my weight in chocolate muffins...
Just why, Courtney? Why'd that have to happen?
As if it wasn't enough that I was a blubbering mess, the characters in Wings really mourn with you. Remember Katniss when Finnick died, how she made it all about herself and then forgot about him as if "fuck, it's just a death of my friend, at least it wasn't me, because I'm the most important one!" Well, Wings is nothing like that. NOTHING. It's brutal. Ellie and the gang wear themselves out mourning over the friends they lose. They go crazy, they scream, they cry, they ask God why, because that's what happens when people you love die.
This book has this honest, human, emotional aura that I couldn't shake. It was like a coming-of-age story. Trials and tribulations from a group of relatable characters. Awesome.
The romance was the romance: sweet, cute and yes, a little sexual. I like that. There is entirely too much no-sex-before-marriage dogma in YA today, and the fact that Ellie was planning to sleep with Will after prom (it's only interrupted by Will getting poisoned and ending up on the brink of death. Shame, dat) is just...honest. It's refreshing and true and warmed me to the characters I'd previously been so detached from.
Look. I won't say it was perfect, because it wasn't. As much as I liked the Ellie/Will dynamic in this book, I really wish Ellie had battled as hard as Will did. She didn't. She could have, but she didn't. I don't know why that is. I guess I felt like in battle Will was either in the way and a liability, or leading the charge. Ellie is the one with the angelfire: she is the one who ought to be heading up the war against the reapers. She was far too idle.
The Ellie/Will partnership isn't the reason why I dropped the half-star, because it's not really a fair test of Ellie's prowess. In the first half of the book, she kicked so much ass I was cheering, so I suppose her lack of that same prowess in the second half was perhaps due to her losing her mother and Nathaniel and still being in a state of downtrodden grief.
The technical reason why I took off half a star is that the Rule of Abeko* was broken by this book. It was broken spectacularly, and no book that breaks the Rule of Abeko can ever be a true five stars for me. That's just the way it has to be, I'm afraid. And no book is an exception.
On the plus side, the plot and writing of this book thrilled me. The action scenes were hardcore awesome and the plot, which accelerates at breakneck speed with just enough time in between to sweeten the characters, made me physically tense. I also love Court's mythology. With the exception of the Rule of Abeko, her blending of Eastern religion with rather tired Judeo-Christian lore is really refreshing. What I love about this series is its unpredictability: curveballs come at you like gnats in the summertime. You heard it here, kids.
Is there anything else I have to say? I don't think so, but I would definitely recommend this book. Even if you hated Angelfire, you should at least take a stab at this one. It's killer. I swear.
*The "Rule of Abeko" states that Lilith is evil only because Biblical patriarchy declares her to be so. It also states that the imagery of Lilith being a baby-eater and a destroyer of virginal maidens is only in place because she must be Biblically demonized for (a) not being a baby-making machine and (b) not being meek.
Breaking this rule would be to represent Lilith as evil, a baby-eater or a raging jealous bitch. Examples of Rule breakers include Supernatural, the Fallen series, the latter half of the Mortal Instruments series, and many more than I can't be fucked finding.(less)
Notes are private!
Jun 30, 2012
Jan 05, 2012
Jan 01, 2012
Jan 24, 2012
**spoiler alert** You saw that. Rated four stars.
There is one reason why I rated this book four stars, and it is this: I did not read Luce and Daniel'...more **spoiler alert** You saw that. Rated four stars.
There is one reason why I rated this book four stars, and it is this: I did not read Luce and Daniel's story.
So this book is a novella made up of four short stories, each told from the viewpoint of a different character from the Fallen series. The first one is Shelby, second is Roland, third is Arriane and fourth is
I enjoyed Shelby's; it was cute. Roland's was pretty great, and I really liked the last little musing - that love doesn't have to be romantic, and sometimes the best kind of love can come from friends. Arriane's story was phenomenal. I wish her love had been at the center of this series.
I did not read Luce and Daniel's quarter. It came last, and when I'd turned the last page of the great epic that was Tess and Arriane, I just couldn't be fucked hearing about Luce's black fucking hair or Daniel's violet fucking eyes. Fuck both of them. They can go die in a hole.
The annoying thing about this book is that the love stories are so great, but then they tarnish it by relating their love to Luce and Daniel's. Shelby talks about how Luce and Daniel have this eternal love, Roland muses about how Luce and Daniel never walk away from their problems, and Arriane thinks about some shit, I can't remember. Why do you do this, people? All three of Shelby, Roland and Arriane's stories, in their shortness, were leaps and bounds better than Luce and Daniel's fake, materialistic, shallow, selfish love based on nothing but looks, possessiveness and chauvinism. What Roland, Arriane and Shelby have or had with their lovers was so true and I really felt it, really felt it, so much so that I was actually sad about finishing each story.
I hate that even in a book meant to shed some light on the secondary characters (who, by the way, actually suffer more for their love than Luce or Daniel*) we still have to have these little tidbits where we fawn over Luce and Daniel's petty pretentious bullshit. It's so fucking annoying.
I did have some other issues with the stories I did read, however. For example, some of the writing was so shoddy I'm amazed it wasn't red-penned by an editor. Lines such as, "Love flooded back in, filling the space between their bodies until there was no space between them" should never have gone into print.
There was also Roland's encounter with Alexander, which wrinkled my nose a little. Let me get this straight: I loved the rest of Roland's story (except his weird spying on Rosaline. It wasn't perverted like Edward, but still. Privacy is paramount) in which he, a black man, falls in love with a little blonde white woman in medieval England but can't marry her because of their racial difference, and his angelic nature. It was like, doubly cursed. Awesome, right? Well, it was, until Roland's 2012 self returns through an Announcer, recounts the story, goes back to medieval England and finds himself at Rosaline's house, five years after he originally left her. She is now married with children, and Roland finds that her husband, Alexander, has been drafted into the military for the Crusades.
Roland approaches Alexander when he's about to leave and demands that he stay and look after his family. This would be fine, but this book goes way overboard with the Make Love Not War manifesto. Roland thinks, "What war mattered in the face of love's obligations?" and then on the next page, "Could honor and duty mean more to him than love?" and then on the next page, "Who would want to go to war and leave a loving family?"
Really? Come on, now. It's just not that simple.
These noble intentions of Roland are all well and good, but he philosophically refers to all war, and specifically, soldiers who are parents leaving their families to participate in service. Are we really going to make out that military parents and spouses are being heartless harpies for leaving their families behind during service time? Seriously?
This whole idea that people who leave their families because of military service are evil is just so immature. War happens, it's fucking awful, and tragically, people have to fight said wars. They leave their families, yes, but what should really be considered here is the absolute bare-faced bravery and dedication that leaving to defend one's country takes. The whole concept of the Crusades enrages me, but most of these people believed that what they were doing was right, good and honorable in the name of God. The vast majority of people who participate in military service today do so because they believe in defending their country, their people, and subsequently, their families.
Just...no, Roland. You're immature. Despite being thousands of years old, you are immature.
The sequence in which Arriane's story played out was equally weird. What was going on with this thing? I mean, I hate to kick it in the shins, because Arriane's story was fucking awesome, but the way it was laid out confused me. Was she an Anachronism, telling the story? Were we being told from past Arriane, just after she and Tess broke it off? At what point was this Arriane telling us the story? It got a little tangled and I was literally re-reading passages just to try to understand where the hell I stood in terms of timescale.
I do feel bad dissing Arriane's story. It was fantastic, in essence. See, this is what I don't get: Lauren, you can write this amazing story for Arriane where her love is real, based on something, and makes the reader feel in the space of about fifty pages, and yet you can't make Luce and Daniel's love even the slightest bit believable over the course of four overly-long books? What's going on, here?
Basically, Arriane's story goes like this. One day she's chilling with Gabbe when this really gorgeous angel, Tessriel, stops by, appearing a little lost on her travels. Gabbe's short with her but Arriane sees that she's a little out of place, so gives her the time of day. Tess remembers Arriane's consideration of her. The next time they meet, they begin this incredible centuries-long affair wherein they become devoted to each other, until Tess decides to choose Lucifer's side and Arriane allies with God. They realize that this means they can never really be together, and Tess is so tormented at being left by Arriane that she tries to cut off her wings. Arriane rushes to her aid but Tess's demonic blood burns her, and that, kids, is how she gets the conspicuous scars on her neck.
They then part ways, with Arriane realizing that before two people can love each other, they have to love themselves apart.
I am not kidding: we spent four fucking books slogging through reams and reams of Daniel and Luce's pathetic boring crap and then Arriane's really touching story is reduced to fifty pages?
Read this book for the first three stories. I'll never know how the last one played out, because frankly, I can read any other given book in the series if I want to torture myself with more pathetic, maudlin sap from Luce and Daniel.
Really, though; the main protagonists of this series are just so bland. It seems sad that the secondary characters are just that: secondary.
*Luce and Daniel constantly wax about how they want to be FREE TO LOVE OMG, but I call bullshit. Daniel and Luce are white, heterosexual, young, pretty, able and healthy. They are the richest kind of privileged, and yet we're supposed to buy this curse of eternity and apply it to this couple who, at their core, have no right to claim oppression. It's kind of insulting to have to wade through everyone else's forced sympathy for them when we're reading a book that tackles the discrimination against interracial and same-sex couples.
Luce and Daniel are nothing short of smug.(less)
Notes are private!
Jul 18, 2012
Dec 28, 2011
This. Book. Is. A. Fucking. Riot.
I'll review it properly later - I HAVE to stop procrastinating and actually finish writing this chapter - but let me...more This. Book. Is. A. Fucking. Riot.
I'll review it properly later - I HAVE to stop procrastinating and actually finish writing this chapter - but let me tell you this: Enoch was an entertainer. By Joe. This book is morally repugnant, bloody and tastelessly biblical, but my GOD is it entertaining. Holy cow. Be you devoutly religious or a staunch atheist, you cannot deny the badass awesomeness of those rare and elusive creatures known as the angels. They're violent, vicious, sordid, sex-crazed, all-powerful and completely and utterly entertaining to read about. And the whole Grigori thing? Genius. Pure, unadulterated smut in biblical form.
And we all love some smut. Don't even lie.(less)
Notes are private!
Oct 28, 2011
Mar 24, 2009
Mar 24, 2009
I'm going to review this properly.
Notes are private!
Apr 02, 2011
Apr 07, 2011
Mar 15, 2011
Jun 12, 2012
Jun 12, 2012
So the other day I'm in Fortinos with my sister, and we're standing over the muffin trays trying to decide which muffin to buy. I say I want blueberry...more So the other day I'm in Fortinos with my sister, and we're standing over the muffin trays trying to decide which muffin to buy. I say I want blueberry, but she says they don't have any.
"They do." I point to them. "Right there."
"But...we always get blueberry."
"That's because we like them. Everybody likes blueberry."
She picks up a tray of cranberry and says, "Why don't we try these? Or we could have the carrot ones."
This is my sister. She's all gung-ho to try something new, and she guilts me into complying, but when we get home and take a bite, she'll say, "Hm...it's alright. I guess."
So I pick up the blueberry. "We're getting these."
"But I want--"
"Fine," I snap, and pick up the carrot ones too. "We'll buy two. Your indecision will bankrupt us, but that's the cross you bear."
So we grumpily head for the self check-out, but I screech to a halt by the magazine rack. There, staring at me like a shrunken head, is the newest issue of Hello! Canada. With trembling hands, I pick it up off the shelf.
My sister creeps up behind me and lays a hand gently on my shoulder. "I know. I saw it on Yahoo."
In horror I read the title again and again, willing it not to be true. But it is. It...is.
TOM AND KATIE: END OF A FAIRYTALE
What their divorce will mean for daughter Suri
A single tear dampens my cheek, and in defeat I drop the magazine into our shopping cart. My nurse sister, ever the comforting soul, tries in vain to lessen my grief.
"I'm sure Katie will be fine," she soothes. "And Tom will too. They'll land on their feet. And they'll find love again."
I fiercely wipe the tears from my eyes. "Yeah, right."
"Hey, hey. They will. Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
When I get home, I sit down on the couch and begin reading the magazine with a box of tissues by my side to mop up what I'm sure will be rivers of tears. But an odd thing happened.
I read the entire article. And then I read about Blake Lively, who is apparently the "it" girl. And then I read about Ringo Starr and his lovely marriage. I wondered why they put in that weird blurry picture of Elle MacPherson. I just...
I wasn't sad.
In fact, I was glad. Sure, that sad picture of Suri made me want to bawl my eyes out, but the news about the actual break-up wasn't upsetting at all. In fact, I was glad Katie divorcing herself from Tom's scary Scientologist lifestyle. Scientology is stupid enough as it is, but when I learned about how Katie actually feared for the upbringing of her daughter and wanted to remove her child from that environment altogether...well, I was a little glad about Hollywood's Biggest Split.
That's what this book is like.
On the dust jacket, Luce and Daniel's sweeping romance reads like an epic, beautiful love story. Much like Tom and Katie, when they posed on the red carpet draped over a motorcycle (both wearing some questionable flared jeans). It sounds like something so tragic and heart-rending: something that will win you over, sweep you away and make you wish you were a part of a love so pure.
And then you actually read it, and it reminds you of cray-cray Glenn Close being shot in the bathtub.
Look. I gave this book three stars. I'm being extremely merciful. After a slew of one-star rants and one very tentative two-star raise, I was desperate for this book to blow me away and convince me that Daniel and Luce really are the power couple of the century.
Which is to say, I hoped that my dog would sprout wings and fly me off to Disneyworld where everything is free and Matthew McConaghey is my husband.
The stars are applicable as follows.
Star 1: The writing. It was lovely.
Star 2: The plot, up until about page 340.
Star 3: Cam, Arriane, and the coin-toss guy.
So this book, unlike the other three in the series, has an absolutely fantastic plot. It kept me gripped from the first page to...well, page 340. After that it got so fucking stupid and cheesy and ridiculous and by the end, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Luce is the biggest Mary Sue ever to grace YA fiction. She's worse than Bella Swan. And Bethany Church.
Right. Back to the pros.
So, in order to find the original site of the Fall, Luce and the gang have to track down three relics that are required to complete a ritual wherein the blood of a sacrifice reveals an ancient map of the world, starred with the point on the earth where the angels fell at the dawn of time. Doesn't that sound cool? Well, it is. So Luce and Daniel head off to Venice (of course. Because the relics wouldn't be in any place dangerous, would they?), Luce cries when she fucks up, then when she finds the relic she almost drowns.
It's at this point that the scary, unhealthy nature of Luce and Daniel's relationship rears its ugly head (though this dynamic was most pungent after page 340, which is why I enjoyed the first three quarters of this book). Luce swims into a sunken church to find the relic while Daniel waits for her outside (he cannot enter a church because he is a fallen angel). She gets the relic, but stupidly dives without any breathing apparatus. She is literally counting on Daniel to make sure she gets out of there alive. When she tries to get out of the church she almost dies because she gets stuck and Daniel has swum away and left her.
Now. The Outcasts appeared and that's why he swam away, but no fighting happens or has happened. The Outcasts have never once threatened to kill Luce. There was no need for Daniel to rush away. When they get up to the surface, Luce and Daniel's conversation goes like this:
Daniel's hands found hers underwater. "Are you all right?"
What the ever loving fuck is that?
The Outcasts are watching them, but they are not attacking at all. In fact, they are perched on the spires of the church, watching quietly. Daniel could have taken two nanoseconds to explain to Luce why he left her and almost let her drown, but he chooses not to.
This pattern is a constant throughout the book. Luce's dialogue is a handful of short cut-off sentences, because Daniel is constantly, constantly interrupting her. He talks over her like she isn't there.
"How are you feeling?"
There's also Luce's Daphne-esque tendency to always be captured, and have to rely on Daniel to release her. The Scale, who are now suddenly and inconsistently evil, pounce on Luce and bind her up in a cloak. She lies at the sidelines of the battle for an entire scene--literally an ENTIRE scene--while everyone else fights. In the end, it's Daniel who has to unbind her and save her little life.
I just don't get this devotion everyone has for Luce. The existence of the entire world rests on Daniel and Luce's "love" (though what they have is not love. The dynamic between Luce and Daniel is equivalent to a caveman dragging his bitch into a cave by the hair and then planting his seed in her womb) and everyone else, people who have no stake in Luce and Daniel's relationship, are fine with this. Gabbe and Molly die for no reason other than Luce and Daniel's selfishness.
Why did Daniel choose love over Heaven? He's like a kid who doesn't like beans or broccoli, so stamps his feet and wails that he wants neither, then complains later about being hungry. This thing he has with Luce is really just a need for him to have something to control, and honestly? We still have absolutely no idea why Luce and Daniel have this amazing incredible connection. There was more chemistry between Lucifer and Lucinda the former.
Just get this: Luce and Daniel's first meeting is when Luce, an angel in Heaven (yep, that's the big reveal about what she is. How lame) is weeping in a meadow because her current love, Lucifer, is contemplating disobeying God (this is before the Fall). Luce literally looks at Daniel once, and then snap! They're in all consuming, I'll-die-horribly-for-you love. They know nothing about each other. They are shallow, sad, lonely people who are only together because (a) they are a perfect match of sadist and masochist, and (b) they are terrified of ending up alone.
It turns out Luce loved Lucifer before she loved Daniel. Did anybody else feel bad for Lucifer most of all, or was that just me? I couldn't shake a feeling of sympathy for this guy. The funny thing is that Luce explains her leaving Lucifer for Daniel by saying that Lucifer was too controlling.
Wait, what? Daniel is worse than Lucifer for being controlling. Luce tries to show how strong she is by saying that she left this "abusive" relationship, when in actual fact, all she did was hop from one psychotic, domineering asshole to another. This is literally how it's explained:
She began to fear him. He seemed to fear nothing, except her ever leaving him...he grew more possessive, more envious of her adoration of the Throne, telling Lucinda that if she truly loved him, Lucifer would be enough.
Were you shocked to see Lucifer's name there? Because that little nugget just described everything about the way Daniel treats Luce. And yet that's seen as romantic, more so than Lucifer.
I say I liked Lucifer. Did I? Well, not really. I suppose my favor lies with him because he was the lesser of two evils when it comes to Luce's ill-fated relationships.
Or is it more than two evils?
Let's see, here. After four books, Luce still has absolutely no personality. What does she like? What does she not like? What does her voice sound like? I don't know. She doesn't have one. She's just a sock puppet for all her lovers to wear on their hands and whisper sweet nothings to. She's an absolutely tragic character, but not in any sympathetic way. And yet, for some reason, Luce has had Daniel, Lucifer, Miles, Cam, Trevor and practically every Outcast running after her screaming to be loved. Why? She's absolutely inane. There is nothing appealing about her.
Let's think. Katniss was strong, independent, flawed. She was fiercely protective and loyal. That's why Gale and Peeta loved her. Clary was proactive, funny, caring and a little clumsy, plus she'd do anything to keep her friends safe. That's why Jace loves her. Katsa was fierce, determined, loud and amazingly skilled, and when she was faced with a challenge, she never backed down. That's why Po loved her. And it doesn't just apply to the ladies. Sam was gentle, kind, compassionate and respectful, and this is why Grace loved him. Alec was shy, sincere, determined, loyal, strong, intelligent and so deeply devoted to his duties, and that's why Magnus fell in love with him. Tucker was genuine, passionate, driven and he valued honesty. That's why Clara loved him.
Why does anybody love Luce? She is selfish. Weak. Useless. And Daniel? He's unkind, self-centered, chauvinistic and often needlessly rude. These characters are just an embarrassment to their YA cohorts. Daniel describes Luce as "brave" and "strong". What? Luce is an embarrassment to brave, strong women. No--to brave, strong people in general. At one point, Dee, a friend of the group (and a part of that fascinating and awesome thing with the relics) talks about how in a past life Luce used to get all these plants and stuff caught in her hair but always refused to cut it off. She says that Luce's hair was a symbol of her strength, and a part of her soul.
Luce is idle, pathetic, dumb and constantly clawing at anything with a penis to rescue her. And yet she's suddenly so strong because she wouldn't cut off her hair? It's nothing to do with her soul. It's to do with personal hygiene. Get a clue.
I have to give credit where credit is due, though. Cam was an absolutely beautiful addition to the cast. I wish the book had been about him. While I hated the whole ridiculous story with Lilith in the previous book (mainly because I can't stand it when authors make Lilith evil) in Rapture, he had so much depth and such a warm, genuine, tragic nature. I love him. I really do. He's just...amazing.
The one thing I did hate about Cam in this book: he got the Gale Syndrome. Where the author can't be bothered juggling with the character anymore and doesn't know how to end their story, so they just throw in some rubbish about "oh, they moved away, and they're fine now". That's laziness. Nothing more.
I also liked Gabbe and Molly's deaths. Sure, those characters had about two lines each and their deaths weren't even a part of the final sequence, but I like it when authors have the guts to let go of some of their cast members. It shows a little bit of professionalism, and a drive to tell an edgy story. You can't call your book a dark, intense and deep story and then coddle your characters like Meyer. It just doesn't work. So kudos, Lauren, for taking the plunge and killing off some of your pawns. I know how hard it is. I do it all the time.
Jeez. That made me sound like such a fucking psycho. Whatever.
I say "final sequence" because the conclusion kind of petered out to nothing. It was such an enormous let-down, and an enormous case of deus ex machina. Like, I've never encountered such pungent deus ex machina in my life. It's deus ex machina to end all deus ex machina. Luce is trying to talk Lucifer down, and the world is going to end, and the author doesn't know how to end it, so...
God literally says "ENOUGH!" and then everything is fixed.
I am not kidding. There's a huge unsolvable problem, and then God snaps her fingers and that's it. Everything is better.
(God was portrayed as a woman here. Nice try, but you're not fooling anyone. Simply making God a woman doesn't make this series any less misogynistic.)
So I meant it when I praised the writing before. It's decent. Sometimes lush and lovely. I've heard a lot of scoldings because huge blocks of description are annoying, and I get it, man, I do. But I'm secretly a sucker for beautiful, vivid descriptions. And this book did it. The dialogue is still so hokey and unrealistic (everyone talks like it's 1822) but whatever. Everything else is really nice, really enjoyable.
Overall this book was a so-so read for me. When I started it, I so desperately wanted it to be fantastic, empowering, romantic and a great end to a tumultuous series. I don't know why I kept reading after the first book, but I did. And once I was hooked, I flagellated myself by buying each installment, reading it, and tearing my hair out in anguish.
Why did I even bother with Rapture? Because despite Luce and Daniel's frightening relationship, I was game to know how this all ended. I'd come to care about the secondary characters. The writing was improving. Passion showed some actual conviction in Luce's actions. Above all, I wanted this book to be a bright, shining five star-adventure. But it wasn't. It was wonderfully written, smartly plotted and paced, well stocked in the mythology department and an awesome way to chew up time, but I couldn't get past the gripes. The misogyny, the stupid dialogue, the anticlimactic ending.
The ending, by the way, was good and bad. Everything from page 340 to the beginning of the last chapter sucked ass. The last chapter was brilliant. To be together in their selfish little glory, Daniel and Luce decide that they want to be reincarnated as human, and be free to live one last mortal life wherein they can be happy and at peace together. It was such a nice little way to wrap up the horror of the past 6000 years wherein Daniel repeatedly murdered Luce because he felt like kissing her.
And yes, the guy sitting in the laundry room tossing the coin is in fact Lucifer. Why is anybody confused by that? It's obviously him. The physical description is exactly the same. Come on, people.
So that was fine. But I just can't invest myself in Luce and Daniel. Every time I try it just makes me want to scream. Luce and Daniel have started a war and nearly destroyed the entire world because they want to kiss and stare into each other's eyes. Everyone is willing to sacrifice everything so that two people can be together. How unrealistic! How painfully selfish of Luce and Daniel! In those 6000 years, why couldn't Daniel have just walked away? If he really loved Luce, he would have let her go instead of creeping around her, this ancient old weirdo whose goal is to make out with her and watch her burn to death. Fucking scary, right?
So that's it. The Fallen series is officially over. I have to admit, I'm glad it's done. Like Tom and Katie, it looms over us, spreading its shallow glory over all of our civilian faces, when on closer inspection it's nothing but a fucking train wreck.
Auf wiedersehen, Luce and Daniel. It's been a slice.
Notes are private!
Jun 22, 2012
Jun 30, 2012
Sep 17, 2010
Jan 01, 2011
Jun 14, 2011
**spoiler alert** The other day I was at Freshco with my mother and we were looking for bargains, as you do. We'd already snagged yellow corn chips fo...more **spoiler alert** The other day I was at Freshco with my mother and we were looking for bargains, as you do. We'd already snagged yellow corn chips for like $1.99 and a whole stack of cat food for $0.49, so I was feeling pretty pumped by the time we got to the cold section to look for juice.
My mother walks over to the chiller and looks at the prices. There's three shelves of OJ, and to the right there's a smaller bottle with pulp priced at about five dollars. To the left, there's a huge bottle without pulp priced at like $3.99.
My mother flaps between the two, and I stare at her in disbelief.
"What the hell? Pick the one on the left."
"But I want PULP."
My jaw hits the floor. We've literally saved our asses off, and here we are stressing over pulp. PULP!
So I grab the cheaper bottle, put it in the cart and say, in my best Sense The Tone voice, "Mother, I cannot believe that our financial wellbeing is now resting on you wanting pulp. Pulp!"
She grabs the cart with a scowl. "Someone's touchy. I only wanted pulp."
We do the rest of the shop in stubborn silence. Well, not the rest. We stay grumpy with each other until we reach the freezer case and start tittering about kosher ice cream and how much better it is than atheist dairy products.
Looking back, I now call this a Torment moment. Everything trips along fine until someone has to make a frivolous decision or says something not quite on the mark, and then BAM! Blitzkrieg. Ladies and gentlemen, let it be known that I adore my mother with all my being, but man, can she be a Luce when she wants to be.
Alas, it was this character model in the previous book that left a nasty taste in my mouth, and forced me to question whether or not I'd ever bother picking this one up. Let's be real here: Torment was an appalling shitstorm.
Should I go on, I wondered? Should I put myself through the agony?
Of course, that's all complete horseshit. There was never any question: I was always going to finish this series. It's a car crash. It's crack.
Look, I was under no illusions after reading the first two instalments. I set myself up some tantalizing anti-feminism folded into a good, hearty chunk of mature cheddar. All wrapped in a smooth sheet of rich, purple fondant.
And here I am, giving the book 2.5 stars.
Let me explain. Please.
So Passion's writing was peculiar in that it's kind of like that weird phase you go through when you finally decide to leave fanfiction behind; you're done with all your porny "his eyes were like shining cerulean gemstones from the Dead Sea" (laughing mildly because I don't think Ally Adornetto ever got past that stage) but you aren't sure how to really structure a sentence or write with any sort of rhythm. You don't really have a style.
That's what's weird about this book. There's no real style or flair. You couldn't read a random excerpt and think, "wow, that's definitely Lauren Kate."
Why would you, anyway. That's like eating a cheap greasy burger and then marvelling at it, exclaiming, "oh, wow, that's definitely Kraft American cheese slices. I'd know that elegant cultured taste anywhere."
I just can't really invest myself in this prose. There's just no raw skill at the core of it. Most of it barely makes sense. There's an awful lot of: "He did this. He did that. Then he did this. Then he did that. He felt this. Then he felt that."
"He could feel their ragged teeth sawing into the leather of his shoes. He could hardly breathe for the stink of their waste. He kicked out and there was a squeal. Then he gathered his feet beneath him and rose onto his haunches."
[Drinking Game: Take a shot every time you come across the word "Anachronism" in Passion. You'll be roaring drunk by the time you reach page 150. No shit.]
The dialogue wasn't too awful, but the main problem I had was that it just didn't fit with the change in time periods. We have some AngryCrazyBitchyFemale(tm) in 3100 B.C. talking about eardrums and a kitchen wench in nineteenth-century England roaring like that photo-bombing guy on that BBC news report at the Glasgow airport, who danced around behind the reporter slurring, "I hate Ice-land!". Look, it just doesn't fit.
That's another odd thing about this book. The time travel. Okay, I understand the perils of writing about time travel and I obviously commend Lauren's quite brave decision to attempt it as a plot point. Time travel is a weird thing. It's very, very difficult to make sense of and extremely hard to base a story around. (I for one can't stand it. I hate it because it isn't feasible. You simply cannot make logical sense of time travel. It's not a concept that feels even remotely comfortable to me. I just UGH. No. I hate it.)
But there are so many worrisome plot holes that can arise with time travel, and Passion really is no exception. The whole thing with 'cleaving' the present self and the past self together to go "three-D" was incredibly confusing. So Luce can blend with her past selves - but are they aware of it happening? How does Luce slot herself perfectly into the timeline? How come she doesn't change anything? You would literally have to match up every single minute movement you made with the past self, or you risk creating a ripple effect that would destroy or greatly alter the future.
And then Daniel cleaves to his past self, okay, but then kills his past self with a starshot? WTF?! How does that even make sense? IF YOU KILL YOUR PAST SELF YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL NOT EXIST. So how does it get from dead past Daniel to living future Daniel and how the hell does this act not change the future?
What the fucking fuck, Lauren Kate?
And another thing: what the hell was with the campfire scene? Anyone care to explain? We're supposedly being pulled in three directions which doesn't make sense with the premise. Luce and Daniel are torn between the good fallen angels and the bad fallen angels (don't fucking get me started) but then there's a third side involving Arriane and Annabelle, while Annabelle's role has never been fully explained and probably never will be?
And hey, I still hate all of the characters. Well, all except Cam. He got a little interesting here, though. Less insipid and dull. I like that.
Why the fuck was the whole "Daniel and I are BROTHERS, BROTHERS IN ARRRRRMS" thing treated like some big reveal? Good God, give us some credit. Anyone who knows jack shit about angels knows they're all basically siblings, considering they have the same Father. In fact, you don't even need to know jack shit. You just need a brain.
I just. . . I can't. Of course they are brothers. Of course. Fuck!
Yo, let me make something clear. This book is, by far, the best yet. The characterization was a little less paranoid and jumpy and Lord, Luce even began to sow the seeds of a personality. It was a personality worth a kick in the fucking teeth, but I'd rather hate a character than feel nothing. Yeah, Luce in this book is basically a complete fuckwit but that's better than a sad crumpled piece of wet cardboard.
And yeah, she's a fuckwit alright. After making a total fucking piss-up of her Helston life, she banged her head on the wall of the Announcer hard enough to shake her out of this blind flailing trance of pure panic that send her stumbling through her more recent lives like an ostrich on blow, but apparently it wasn't enough to force her into a state of more apt decision-making. I mean, I'd like to think that if I were Luce, after being royally fucked-over by a deceitful librarian (cough-snigger-cough) AND a friend's ex-boyfriend, and having nothing to show for it but a bloodless corpse and a really horrible haircut I'd perhaps think twice about trusting small gruff goblins (gargoyles, whatever) with my quest to reveal the secrets of the universe.
But not Luce! She's as humble and trusting as ever. She trots alongside Bill, this ridiculous caricature of a sidekick, as he supplies her with a copious wealth of deus ex machina, until the plot actually has to fucking happen and he turns out to be Satan (okay, let's not get into how deep of a mythology fail it is to equate Satan, Lucifer and the Devil. I just. . . let's not).
All those nudge-nudge hint-hint comments about not being an angel and knowing literally EVERYTHING may as well have been big, sparkly signs with 'I AM EVIL INCARNATE' written across them in scarlet Sharpie. And there's this urgent disaster moment where he grows into some 1,000 foot tall monster and Luce is screaming and there's this shitstorm that should have happened two hundred pages before and the whole thing is just so hilariously melodramatic. Someone needs to take Lauren Kate's laptop away from her until she calms down.
Bill aside, Daniel was likely the greatest evil of this book. He always does this really weird *Terminator voice* MUST PROTECT AND THEN KILL WOMAN WHO INEXPLICABLY LOVES ME thing and to be honest, it creeps me out more than anything. Like, he's this really old, old guy going after this seventeen year old girl, telling her what to do and where to go, and sexually idolizing her to the point of complete obsession. She seems to be handling things okay but he cries that she's "bound to need him" and I'm just so done with him. I'm so done with this really creepy old dude like swirling around her with eyes like spotlights, trying to mold her into the person she used to be in a past life. It's fucking sick.
Really, though. Luce is hardly Lara Croft, but she honestly does not need to be constantly rescued. By the time he came out with "she's bound to need me", Luce had already escaped a Russian war zone, saved the lives of a platoon of Italian soldiers in the back of an ambulance and traveled safely by Announcer three times. Of course, there were cries aplenty of "I WANT DANIEL" and "UGH DANIEL IS MY AIR" and "HOW WILL I SURVIVEEE" but what she shows us is that she's capable and it's Daniel holding her back. He's a really perverted crutch.
Is no one else freaked out by the whole Daniel/Luce pairing or is it just me? He's millennia old. In this life, Luce is seventeen. She isn't even old enough to buy a Bud Light. And they're in "love" like a week after they meet in this life, as if Luce is just fair game for Daniel. That's what we teach young women with these tales of weird, almost macabre romance. That their love is cheap, easy. That they're prey, and they ought to let men pounce on them and stand at their helm in total control. Isn't Luce flattered, you'll ask? Isn't she flattered that Daniel loves her?
She shouldn't be flattered. It shouldn't be flattering to have a man step into your life and tell you that he has decided that you love him, and you have no choice in the matter. You always have a choice. Your love is absolutely priceless, and anybody who thinks they are entitled to it is a grotesque self-important piece of garbage.
This book also breaks the Rule of Abeko in the most spectacular fashion, which I often use as a rule of thumb; are you willing to do some research, or do you prefer to follow in the footsteps of misogynists past?
"They [Adam and Lilith] weren't married very long when Lilith left him. It broke his heart. He waited for her a long time, but eventually, he met Eve. And Lilith never forgave Adam for getting over her. She spent the rest of her days wandering the earth and cursing the family Adam had with Eve."
Misogynists it is, then!
Lilith originates from somewhere within the darkest throes of Judeo-Christian mysticism, and was first named in the Alphabet of Ben-Sira. The real story goes that Adam and Lilith were born from the same clay, and thus equal. He tried to force Lilith to be sexually penitent, but she refused to let him dominate her, so fled. As soon as she ran away, Adam cried to God that he was alone, so God created Eve from Adam's rib so that she would forever be in debt to and a possession of man. Lilith hated Adam and refused to return to Eden, even after three angels threatened to kill a hundred of her demon children a day.
Here's a quote from the original Alphabet of Ben-Sira:
"While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone' (Genesis 2:18). He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said, 'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels to bring her back.
"Said the Holy One to Adam, 'If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.' The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God's word, but she did not wish to return."
But of course we're left with some bullshit high school drama where Adam "gets over" Lilith and then dates someone new and it's lovely and cutesy and there's none of the awful original barbarism that runs so deeply through the veins of everything Bible-related.
It's also interesting to note that Lilith's true companionship was with Lucifer. They mated once and stayed allied forever, and she produced their monstrous child, Baphomet. There's some evidence that Lilith was the spouse of Sammael, but it's always made clear that Lilith had a strong relationship with Lucifer (whether or not that relationship was loving, sexual, or platonic varies from text to text). But the point is that Lilith has no affiliation with Adam after she leaves Eden. How could she be angry with Adam "getting over her" when she clearly had other fish to fry?
Bastardization of mythology that is pretty clearly laid out is a real peeve of mine. You profess to know everything about your source material but then you fuck it up royally - and it's not even like you made it better or more interesting. Kate, you've actually made Lilith's story boring. How is that even possible?
I can't. I'm done. 500% done.
So where do we go from here?
Rating this book was incredibly difficult for me. I wanted to praise it, but letting go all the little things that made me want to cry in a corner felt like a betrayal of my past self, the one that slogged through Fallen and Torment with an aging grimace. I wanted to go back and cleave to that past self, make her bang the book against her forehead until she blacked out, then kill her with a starshot so she'd never have to live in a world where this book tops the NYT bestsellers list. What is it that is so appealing about this series? Is abuse of women, of mythology and of literature now suddenly the hot new thing we all have to indulge in?
I had to be honest. I had to pick up the slack and complain. I had to go ahead and tell the truth about a product I bought that I was not entirely happy with.
This book was far from the worst I've read. In fact, in some parts, I almost enjoyed it. I mean, I get it. I get why people want to read about a pretty man and a time travelling adventure. But this book is, for young readers, an education in mythology, love and friendships. It's a piece of media, and it's being fed to legions of sponge-like minds.
"It's just a book."
Don't. Don't say that, and then in the next breath wax on about how The Hunger Games is a new piece of culture that can teach our generation a lesson and change the world. You cannot pick and choose - you do not have the luxury. Media is media, and media is a juggernaut of pure moral power. There is nothing that wields a greater capacity to teach and/or morally maul an entire generation than media. Realize this.
We all know I'm going to read Rapture, anyway. It's in the stars. Frankly, after this rollercoaster ride, I'd rather drink a cup of cold sick, but I'm in too deep now. This was the third of the Great Crimes, and we all know I'm committing the fourth. I have waded too far into this pool of curdled literary blood to turn back.
I'd also kind of like to find out what happened to Trevor. Remember him?
Good. Cause no one else does.(less)
Notes are private!
Jun 16, 2011
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Aug 31, 2010
**spoiler alert** One word sums up this book in my mind, and I hope it does in others too: beautiful.
I loved this book. It was an astronomical improve...more **spoiler alert** One word sums up this book in my mind, and I hope it does in others too: beautiful.
I loved this book. It was an astronomical improvement on The Hollow, and although I did enjoy the first book as a nice bit of fluff, this one blew it right out of the water. I love it when, in a series, you can see the author's writing gradually growing and improving - another thing I loved about this book. Verday has proved her worth in the YA machine; her characters are deep, captivating, and real enough to bleed.
Abbey. My GOD, how Abbey has improved. I'm so pleased that I'm actually able to say I liked this book's heroine. I cannot stand hating the protagonist of YA novels, so it was really refreshing to find a girl who was relatable and likable. Alright, so she's no superwoman, and she doesn't always make the best choices, but she's human. I can find parts of her personality (she has one!) that I like and that's big in a genre so hell-bent on churning out wet rags disguised as protagonists.
And Caspian...oh, Caspian. Caspian. Caspian, Caspian. You have my heart. He was just wonderful. Flamboyant, deep, charming and thoughtful, he had me from the start. I liked Ben, but loved Caspian, which made for an engaging tangle of feelings that roped me in from the beginning. Caspian was kind, loving and respectful toward Abbey, but still boyish enough to be fun. I loved the scenes in the hotel room, in the mausoleum, in Abbey's bedroom with the glow-in-the-dark stars, at Caspian's graveside (which was beautifully touching). All the time the connection between Abbey and Caspian was so palpable, so beautiful and rich. I really, really wanted them to be together, no matter what. Their love was entirely believable.
The supporting characters were equally strong. Abbey's parents felt like plausible parents, the Revenants were neat and intriguing in their design, and Vincent was just as much of a slimy creep as Verday intended. It was as brilliant, engaging and colourful as a pantomime; I almost felt like booing when Vincent came on the scene!
The setting, ambience and general feel of the book was rich, earthy, dark and gothic, without the author trying too hard. I loved the sticky, summer-fall feeling of the town, the quaint to-be perfume shop, the run-down birthplace of Caspian. His sad past was so touching, so enveloping and deep, emphasised perfectly by the dreary tone of his home town and the simple description of him once being 'the weird, quiet kid who drew pictures all the time'. I could see Caspian as a little child, pale and alone, an outcast on the railway tracks. It drew me in, and held me there, so much so that it took a lot of force and willpower to set the book down and return to school after my lunchbreak.
The one and only piece of beef I have with this book, and the sole reason that I gave it four stars and not five, is the ending. It really, really saddened me. Not that it was poorly written - not one part of this book is - but that it all happened so fast and felt like it was rushed. It didn't really seem like a proper cliffhanger; more like the ink on the printer had run out or the text had been cut off in the middle of the author typing. The climax was explosive, and the emotion radiated off the page (a sign of a truly talented author) but it was kind of spoiled by a tiny misjudgement, and could have been concluded better.
Not to worry, though. If Verday can keep up this fabulous quality of writing, stay strong with the engaging story and beautiful, vibrant characters, and make up for that tiny blip in the ending, then I'm sure the next book and the last in the series (gasp!), The Hidden, will make it on to my five-star list.
My rating for this book: 4.5/5. Excellent.
This blog post solidified my absolute love and faith in Jessica Verday. It moved and touched me. Her integrity, moral strength and sheer bravery left me speechless.
She is, without a doubt, amazing.
Notes are private!
Sep 05, 2010
Sep 08, 2010
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Aug 23, 2011
After the mildly awful flop that was Sisters Red, Jackson Pearce redeems herself with a book that's actually worth giving a shit about.
It's not a mast...more After the mildly awful flop that was Sisters Red, Jackson Pearce redeems herself with a book that's actually worth giving a shit about.
It's not a masterpiece. The writing is pretty mediocre, and the characters are nothing to tweet about. I'd say that the backbone of this book's moderate success is the stellar mythology, which blows everything out of the water. Witches? Werewolves? Cakes and stuff? Sign me up!
The romance is a flop too, but what else did you expect. It's all rather Kimye, a little too much pretty and not quite enough actual bonding. But my expectations were at absolute rock bottom, so who cares? I wasn't even a little bit disappointed. It wasn't even fun to laugh at. It just was.
And, well...I guess that's it.
Notes are private!
Oct 29, 2011
Nov 02, 2011
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Sep 28, 2010
**spoiler alert** Am I really here again?
So, after the disaster that was Fallen, I decided that maybe the reason I hated the first book so much wasn't...more **spoiler alert** Am I really here again?
So, after the disaster that was Fallen, I decided that maybe the reason I hated the first book so much wasn't because I was wrong, because the first book was a disaster, but because Ms. Kate was taking her first run-up at a big break and had merely taken a false start. Maybe the first book was shit because this whole angelology thing was still uncovered territory. And that's okay. The series just needed to pick itself up from the faceplant, take the walk of shame back to the starting line, and try again.
It had also been about nine months since I read Fallen, and the choking feeling had subsided, so I decided I'd work on that id of mine and start being personable. Which is to say, I was ready to give Ms. Kate another chance.
I'm pathetic. I know this. You don't have to tell me.
If I'm being honest, I will hold my hands up and say that Torment is a monumental improvement on Fallen. The writing style is less sticky and doesn't cut itself off. Every. Five. Words.
The first two or three chapters were good. And I mean good; not great, but good enough. At that simple stage, I could see the San Francisco setting and the early descriptions of Shoreline were fine. Shelby and Miles were fine too. Quirky. Likable.
It kind of went downhill from there. I mean, I've seen reviews floating around making such announcements as 'THANKYOU, Lauren Kate, for knowing what healthy relationships are' and I wonder if we were reading the same book. Kate has surely attempted to make Luce and Daniel's relationship 'healthy' by having Luce "question her destiny", but that's not really what's going on here, is it? No. What's going on here is an emotional mud-wrestle between two completely ill-equipped morons with the collective mental capacity of a sesame seed. Guys, healthy relationships are about mutual understanding, respect and consent. Healthy relationships are not about cheating on your partner just to get a rise out of them, dictating what your partner should look like and being disappointed when they decide to change their appearance, or trying to flatten your partner's personality and individuality to such an extent that they are incapable of being apart from you for eighteen days. Come on. That's not even three weeks.
Look, 90% of Luce and Daniel's conversations go like this:
Daniel: I am mad at you for doing X.
Luce: I am mad at you for doing Y.
Daniel: But I am infatuated with the idea of you.
Luce: I am still mad at you for doing Y.
Daniel: *kisses Luce*
Luce: Y doesn't matter any more. I like your muscles.
Daniel: I'm leaving.
Luce (alone): I am angry at Daniel for doing Y.
I know. No author is perfect, but let's be real here. This isn't so much a book as really sexual bible fanfiction. And honestly, if it were fanfiction, I'd probably enjoy it. But I paid money for this shit. I paid money for Luce to wonder, "Who was she without [Daniel]?" Nobody should ever be in a relationship wherein a legitimate concern is who you actually are outside of that relationship. Another person's personality is not for sharing, and frankly, you shouldn't want to be one half of a whole. How is that functional in any way, shape or form? How is that healthy?
But it's so true of the Luce/Daniel dynamic, though, isn't it? I could write a dissertation on this. It's this constant wonder, of how anyone can possibly write such shallow characters with such an unconvincing liking for each other, and yet somehow be invested in the story. How could you think this was interesting? We are reading this book and picturing two wobbly blobs of nothing slowly revolve around each other. It's like sitting through a ten-hour video of the moon revolving around the earth in real-time. Like, nothing but that. Just one rock moving around the other rock. It seems like it might be mildly interesting and then when you actually experience it, it's just what it says on the tin. One rock going around another rock.
(This just got so existential.)
And I get it. I get Kate trying to portray that Luce wants her own life and her own independence. But this is not living or being independent. Free thinking is not about bleaching your hair or crying about an eighteen-day relationship hiatus as if the thing that got removed for eighteen days was not your boyfriend but all the skin on your face; it's about seeking out your interests, coming to conclusions about your likes and dislikes, or thinking about your future rather than your first-world problems with your pushy, overbearing boyfriend. I mean seriously. This book reads like a pamphlet on white cishet rich people's problems.
On the portrayal of healthy relationships: take a look at Steven and Francesca's horrible dynamic. Francesca and Steven apparently do nothing but hatefuck and talk about how they'll kill each other "when the time comes". How is this even a thing? We're served this tale of an angel and a demon (let's put a pin in the total mythology fail for the sake of argument) but all we get is some weird angry Nip/Tuckesque dynamic between two people who apparently hate each other but kind of love each other even though they openly hate one another's species and moral choices (???).
Roll up, mythology fails! There are plenty of you.
Okay, so, flat out. The angel Daniel is not a high-ranking angel. He did not fall from one of the highest "perches". Not in canonical lore. In Christian canon Daniel is a principality and therefore belongs not in the first choir or in the second choir, but in the third choir. Which happens to be the lowest. See what I mean?
Again, I get it. I get wanting this really majestic biblical figure to fall for a mere mortal and have that be a really intense thing, but if the author wanted to make her fancy shiny love interest the king of fancy shiny love interests (and his fall from "one of the highest perches"), why didn't she pick a more prestigious angel in the first place? Go with Michael, for all I fucking care! But there's a certain sense of being cheated when you personally spend hours and hours and days and months researching and perfecting lore and trying to honour biblical canon in your own (unpublished) work, while another (published) author pukes Disney-shaped mythology fails on to a page and calls it art. Sorry, no. And another thing about the Fallen universe: We still haven't been given a real reason for Miss Sophia's attempt on Luce's life. We weren't given any plausible reason as to why the Outcasts want her, either. She's the price.
The price for what?
Just come ON! Give us some damn ANSWERS already! This is becoming ridiculous! Throwing in hundreds of random characters who inexplicably want Luce's head on a spike doesn't build suspense, it just completely bogs down the plot and creates massive and obvious plot holes. You know what this is? It's lazy writing. That's what this is.
And continuity? What is continuity? We have the Announcers which function as deus ex machina and an easy out for exposition but there isn't even a cover story to try to hide that they're a plot device painted the colour of a plot device wearing a sandwich board across which the words "PLOT DEVICE" are written. What are they? Portals? Fortune-tellers? Time warps? WHAT? And what was the conflict here? The Outcasts? The Elders? The demons? Luce and Daniel? PICK ONE!
The end is another whole big thing, but simply because I don't know how on earth we managed to reach that conclusion. Is Kate trying to tell us that the best way to resolve the problems right in front of our faces is to run away from them? Luce suddenly jumps inside the Announcer (and no one bothers to stop her) without even the courtesy of an explanation. This is following a battle wherein she demonstrates some good old-fashioned Mary-Sue 'I'm going to battle even if you tell me not to, then pretend like I saved the day when really I did nothing'.
The end of the battle scene freaked me out, too. Why was everyone just standing around talking? How did blind angels manage to hook their arrows on to their bows? Why was everyone just waiting patiently while they loaded their weapons? Why is Luce the price? Why did Cam give up on Luce so quickly? Why do Gabbe's wings smell like Herbal Essences? Why is this a book? What is literature? What is life?
And, through this, the only question I was really interested in: How was Luce's parent's walk? Did they have a nice time?
Overall, this book was, prose-wise, much better than Fallen, though that isn't an amazing achievement in itself. Because I love you all, here are some examples of dreadful writing:
a) "Daniel's beautiful features distorted into a scary expression."
b) "The students lined up to board the yacht, which was dazzling in the way very expensive things were."
c) "Miles pulled away, looking happy and sad at the same time."
d) "Roland hovered over to him. Literally. He was flying."
e) "A whole car she had no memory of."
f) "I know he would die if you died."
g) "Deep chartreuse, glittering gold, marbleized swaths of pink and purple."
Note: The Outcasts are blind, but locate Luce by seeing the BURNINGOFHERSOUL because apparently there is something behind her mask/face that resembles a personality. If they see her by the BURNINGOFHERSOUL, why do they mistake Dawn for Luce? Surely if they are not looking for aesthetics i.e. hair colour and facial features, just the BURNINGOFHERSOOOUUUL then...what? What is this?
IT'S CALLED A PLOT HOLE!
This book is balls. This series is a disaster. Luce and Daniel are like a poor man's Bedward. The only thing that remains to be seen is Daniel eating a baby out of Luce's womb.
There's always hope!
Now, back by popular demand:
Here's ALB, with a wholesome message for us all!(less)
Notes are private!
Sep 28, 2010
Oct 05, 2010
Jul 28, 2010
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