Confirmed - VAMPIRES DO NOT SPARKLE. Not even in the future. And not in the graphic novel Fray or as I shall refer to it: the Gospel According to Joss...moreConfirmed - VAMPIRES DO NOT SPARKLE. Not even in the future. And not in the graphic novel Fray or as I shall refer to it: the Gospel According to Joss. I don't know what Edward Cullen is, but he is not a vampire. THIS is a vampire:
He doesn't need to sparkle.
My long-standing suspicions have now certainly been confirmed. Vampires, or "lurks" as they apparently call them in the future, are bad-ass, blood-sucking jerks who don't give a flying frak about your feelings. Unless they have miraculously been gifted with a soul or maybe if they are interested in the one thing all men are interested in, sex, whether they are a fantastical creature or not. Okay, so there's a lot of debate as to whether or not they care about your feelings, but they sure as hell are not mini-fireworks-on-a-stick.
Meyer has already admitted that her werewolves are not really werewolves, but actually a type of shape shifter. So maybe we just haven't discovered the true classification for her so-called vampires, yet. Maybe they are just really shiny cannibals?
Oh and fluffy shape-shifting puppies are not the nemesis of vampires! These guys are:
At least, in the Gospel According to Joss.
Joss Whedon really has a way with words, whether they are strung together in a simple or complicated fashion. He can make any line classic. One of my favorite quotes from the Buffy series consists of only four words. "Fire bad, tree pretty." A perfect tongue-in-cheek way to illustrate the extent of the damage caused to Buffy's thought processes, as a result of the Graduation ceremony.
Another favorite: Spike's classic response to Buffy when she asks him to describe what he was doing in front of her house in five words or less. "Out. For. A. Walk...Bitch."
His opening words always draw me in.
The Buffy Season 8 comic book intro: "The thing about changing the world.... Once you do, the world's all different." Opening lines for Fray: "Bad day. Started bad, stayed that way."
They're simple and say so much with so few words.
This graphic novel is basically urban fantasy set in a sci-fi environment or pretty much Buffy meets Firefly. Go figure. That shouldn't be a surprise.
Melaka Fray is the first slayer to be called in hundreds of years after the mysterious disappearance of an unnamed previous slayer. As a young mercenary who does job-runs for some shady characters, it's not out of line to say that Fray kicks ass. And she kicks it good. She ends up having to learn the ways of the slayer and help try and prevent the onset of the apocalypse! Because the apocalypse is such a rare thing in the Slayer world...
Here's an exchange between her and her sidekick demon Urkonn (without all the pretty pictures, of course).
Urkonn: You met your watcher yesterday. Fray: I did? I didn't! Urkonn: Did not one come to you, call you the chosen one? Fray: Nobody ever called me any OH MY GOD you mean that guy - that one that set himself on fire! Urkonn: As I said, fanatics. Fray: But he set himself on fire! Urkonn: Centuries of useless, obsessive waiting. Makes a human... Fray: HE SET HIMSELF ON FIRE! Urkonn: Maybe he was cold. *shrug*
I must warn you about one part that is like EWWWWW. WHAT??!??! Trust me, you will know it when you see it. All I was thinking "Please. Please, explain that one to me." And of course, he doesn't. Typical. He's a twisted man, my Joss. That part could certainly have been left out and had it been - I dare say that this book would have been perfect.
I was eagerly tapping my foot for about 4 months on the library reserve list before I finally received it and had to return it right away because there were still people waiting on it after me. It was well worth the wait. It's full of action, unique characters and gorgeous artwork. I mean, the artist used Natalie Portman as a reference when designing Melaka Fray's look, so obviously she's beautiful.
This is definitely a great introductory graphic novel if you are a first timer, and it's a MUST READ for Buffy and Joss fans. It's short, sweet and wicked awesome. And of course, hilarious. All the classic traits you expect from Joss Whedon and from a Buffy spin-off. Although, I think there is another version of Buffy that would be entertaining...
And then Buffy staked Edward.
Man, do I love this man!! I LOVE YOU, JOSS WHEDON! As excited as I am to see the Avengers movie, I really wish he would please come back to TV. We need him and I miss Buffy. I know, I know. Buffy is over. Deal with it. Obviously, I'm having a hard time letting go.
Joss is a creator, not a re-creator. Screw the Avengers! Okay, yeah, so what if I'll be the first person in line at the midnight showing. We need Whedon TV. He should have his own damn channel, not Oprah!
If Joss Whedon sold a single skin cell in a petri dish on eBay, I would be there bidding until the final second, in hopes that I could tuck it under my pillow and some of his creative proclivities might seep into my brain through osmosis. Or that some day I could clone him and make him my own-personal-TV-show-writing-genius-slave. "Make me a Buffy episode, Bi-atch!"
Just kidding. I would never use such language when speaking to the king of everything good and decent in the world.
Vampires, brown-coats, and dollhouses, oh my!
All right, my love letter to Joss Whedon is over. For now...(less)
Do you see these scars? I can go all night You know in your heart That y...moreMoves like Buffy as sung to Lyndsey by Evie, set to Moves like Jagger by Maroon 5
Do you see these scars? I can go all night You know in your heart That you aren't right I'll take you away To the IPCA Yeah, you better behave
You're in my control So don't fight me Now let's take a stroll Don't you bite me You say I'm a sheep Well, I think you're a creep I don't give a BLEEP
And it goes like this...
Take me by the the hand And I'll go with you Through the faerie lands And I'll show
I got them moves like Buffy I got them MOVES like Buffy I got them mooo-oo-oo-OOO-oo-oo-oo-ooves like Buffy.
I won't even try to control you I already know that I'll OWN you
I got them moves like Buffy I got them MOVES like Buffy I got them mooo-oo-oo-OOO-oo-oo-oo-ooves like Buffy.
So Evie is back. This time she has all-but-disappeared from the radar of her former employer, the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency), and is now living a semi-normal existence and attending a regular high school. Or so she thought. When unusual activity with paranormals starts cropping up all over the place, they need her to help solve the mystery. She is assigned a new and mysterious escort named Jack who begins to cause all sorts of problems for Evie, even though she already has enough problems of her own, including the relationship with her paranormal boyfriend, Lend. What sorts of surprises does Jack have in store for Evie? (view spoiler)[Well, apart the fact that he is a complete douche, which isn't really that much of a surprise. (hide spoiler)]
Lend was a refreshing character in the first book and I enjoyed the seemingly natural progression of his relationship with Evie. But, um. *sigh* Well, he's just so.... vanilla. A teeny bit of vanilla can make a drink like Dr Pepper taste THAT much more awesome. But too much vanilla can overpower the rest of the 23 flavors and leave a bitter aftertaste.
So this book, instead of being "bag and tag", was more like "nag and tag". I thought Lend was charming and snarky in the first book. Here, all he does is nag nag, nag. With good reason? Yes. But still. It's no fun to read about someone being tirelessly berated. He was intriguing in Paranormalcy, but in Supernaturally, I just didn't see the appeal.
"Best. Boyfriend. Ever."
No, that wasn't a quote from Sweet Valley High. That was an actual line in the book, Supernaturally, by Evie about Lend. Really, Evie? You just went there.
Where's my Evie? Where is the girl who would have Tasey'd the crap out of this new douchbag Jack?! Where's the girl who would have kicked a troll-kid-killer in the face with her pink leopard print boots?
Overall, this book was less Roswell High more Sweet Valley High. Or I'm assuming, since I never had the pleasure of reading or watching it for myself.
Things this book may have in common with Sweet Valley High: Annoying blonde guy. Group sports! Jealous boys!! Long distance relationship angst!!! Characters who can literally suck the soul right out of you. (Wait - that doesn't sound right.... No, actually, I think it still fits)
I think that one of the things I enjoyed so much about Paranormalcy was that it was almost a sort of dystopia with Evie herself being contained at the Center and that mysterious air about the facility and it's goings-ons. I also loved the Whedonesque banter between Evie and her IPCA victims, but that was, sadly, less prevalent in this sequel.
Well, I still love Evie's adventures and will read the next one. I just probably won't be quite as fangirly. Don't get me wrong either: the first book, Paranormalcy, was tons of fun.
The part of this book that I enjoyed the most was near the end when we learn more about the realm of Faerie and the faerie doors... but then I got nostalgic over the Fever series.
Then I remembered that I first read The Fever Series after my friend, Jillian, compared it to Buffy... and then I got nostalgic about Buffy.
Look at me, all nostalgic-y.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Space is awesome! I say that like I've been there. For all you know, I have. I could be a certified astronaut in the U.S. Space Program who took time...moreSpace is awesome! I say that like I've been there. For all you know, I have. I could be a certified astronaut in the U.S. Space Program who took time off from being in space to write fiction about being in space and that's why I've been on Goodreads so much. I could be.... You don't know.
Okay, so I'm not. I haven't nor probably never will go to outer space, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's the coolest and most awesomest thing in the universe. Which as a matter of fact it actually is the "coolest" natural thing in all the 'verse; that is presuming you can call it a thing. Really space is the absence of things. As the absolute absence of anything, is it really a thing? Should it even have a name? Maybe we should just call it ________. That might be a more accurate description. (view spoiler)[Shhhh, no one is supposed to know this. Space isn't actually completely "void." There are still particles up there somewhere, which is why even space never reaches Absolute Zero. But no one needs to know that we actually know so much about The Void, mmmkay? (hide spoiler)]
Where was I? Oh yeah, space is cool. It can be approximately as low as negative 454.765 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to be specific. Which, unfortunately, is about as cold as the characters and the "romance" in this book. This book doesn't make space cool; it makes it ridiculous.
Let me break it down, now.
-Huge society lives in and operates spaceship, with cryogenically frozen peeps in tow, destined to start a colony on a new planet. -Everyone awake on the ship is dark-olive skinned with brown hair and brown eyes. -The society doesn't have any sort of religion or superstitious beliefs. -Their appearance seems to be of Asian decent, but they speak and act distinctly American. -They are supposedly all descendants from the original earth-based crew of many different ethnicities.
Even with the backstory we get later on in the book, I just don't see a set of circumstances unfolding logically that would follow these lines, leading to that sort of society, especially since no useful background information is given as to how or why it might have happened. After 300 years, they only have a couple new words (brilly and frex)?! Everything else is the same? And after 300 years, no religions or superstitions were passed down or even created? And how did they all become mono-ethnic? They weren't originally.
They have the technology to use cryogenics and build a humongous space ship, larger than the entire island of Iwo Jima, capable of flying across the galaxy, but they still use pencils and paper? They don't even have tablet computers.
And mostly, why WHY would you need an entire society to keep an eye on the ship. Wouldn't it make more sense to have shifts of people woken from cryogenics to keep an eye on the star charts, instead of an entire society that needs to be fed, watered, and continuously breeding just to keep the ship running? Wouldn't the engines have been more efficient if they didn't have to support an entire city and farmland and a ginourmous artificial sun?
But even though they have this huge society, they still tons of people in cryogenics.
And now, some of the cryogenically frozen are being murdered. So, all this technology an all these essential people and they don't have ANY better security? No cameras? No A.I.? And all you have to do is unplug those in cryo to kill them?!
Oh, and also, they only breed every once in a great while and when it happens, they do IT everywhere. (view spoiler)[ Because of hormones in the water. Seriously. They'd have to be some pretty strong hormones to make people strip down and get it on in the stairwell of a mental facility/hospital. And why does it only effect twenty-somethings? If it's in the water supply, wouldn't it effect those who aren't in their twenties too? And why are there even people who are younger than 20? And supposedly there are twenty-somethings and forty-somethings, so do they only have a Season every twenty years? If that's the case, then there shouldn't be anyone under 20 until after this season and then they would all be newborns, not young like the girl who Amy talks to about rabbits or a teen like Elder. I guess there are exceptions to the Seasons? But how? If birth control is distributed in the water supply? Did I miss an explanation somewhere? (hide spoiler)]
Space kids playing CSI. That's all this was. Aaaaand the plot line made about as much sense as David Caruso's lines.
*husky voice* "I think it's about to get real cold in....." *puts on sunglasses with dramatic pause* "SPACE"
Some books I like to take my time with. I revel in the beautiful language or study the composition of the sentences. Some I reread passages just for the heck of it. Then, some books I inhale because I can think of nothing else. I can't stop reading as fast I can, because I just can't get enough.
This was none of the above. Across The Universe was easy to put down and not feel compelled to pick back up. I didn't take my time with it either though because I just wasn't that intrigued by the details or descriptions and didn't feel invested in the mystery. So I got through it quickly, but not because I was consumed by it. Rather the opposite. What is the opposite of consumed? Ummm, vomited? Expelled!! Expelled sounds better. This book expelled me from it. It said "read me and be done with it already."
The person who we are, I think, supposed to see as a bad guy, doesn't seem as bad as the main characters seem to see him. The murderer was so obvious that it makes me laugh.
Also, the cover is VERY misleading. It looks like a romance, does it not? Yeah, there is pretty much ZERO romance in this book, which I actually might have appreciated if I hadn't already been expecting romance. But I almost didn't notice the lack of lovey-dovey, because I was so distracted with questions and vehement disagreement with the ridiculous world-building.
What happened to the books that surprise and astound me with the answers to the questions they raise? I want a book that SHOCKS me with a capital Lightning Bolt.
Am I so jaded of a reader that nothing shocks me anymore? Or is it the books that are jaded from an over-sold and over-saturated YA market?["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)
Right after I finished this book, I had a bit of an accident. I was running with a pair of lightsabers when I tripped and fell and accidentally sliced...moreRight after I finished this book, I had a bit of an accident. I was running with a pair of lightsabers when I tripped and fell and accidentally sliced the entire book to shreds!! Maybe it's not a good idea to run with lightsabers...
City of Fallen Angels is amazing - Oh wait, that was weird, my keyboard cut me off. This is some sort of conspiracy isn't it? Like the way that certain unnamed sites sometimes don't like to publish non-glowing reviews. I never write those. *angelic smile* Oh, did that angelic smile make me look like Jace? He's such a pretty, shiny angel. *sigh*
As I was saying... This book is amazingly unnecessary. I'm sorry, Fangirls. Please don't eat me.
Here is a general rundown. No specific twists are revealed just vaguely referenced, so possible spoilers:
(view spoiler)[ Part One Ch 1-2: Simon talks to people. Jace and Clary talk to each other and kiss. Ch 3-5: Simon talks to new guy. Jace and Clary talk to each other. Ch 6-8: Clary talks to people. Simon and Jace talk about Clary. Ch 9: Jace, Clary and Simon ALL make out...oops, I mean, Jace and Clary make out. Simon bites, ummmm, talks to girls and has relationship issues.
Part Two Ch 10-11: New guy is revealed. Dun, dun, dun. Blah, blah. An attack!! Wonder woman saves the day. (Wow, something actually happened.... for two seconds) Vampire chat. Ch 12-13: People talk about the Vampire chat. Jace and Clary do stuff. Ch 14-15: Jace has issues. Chatty, chatty, chatty. Ch 16-17: Jace goes emo. Weird stuff is revealed. Ch 18-19: Clary believes in Jace. Things happen. Ch 20: Chatting again. Lovey dovey stuff. But wait - someone is alive! (Luke Skywalker scream - everyone join in with their best squeaky voice) NOOOOOOOOOOO! (hide spoiler)]
I have NEVER given out a one star rating before. NEVER! So trust me, I don't take this lightly at all and I don't enjoy being negative. Making light of a bad situation is just something I try to do. However, I don't like disliking things and I never try to be flat out hateful about anything. To love everything would be great, but that's just not realistic.
Don't just write me off as a hater and leave it at that. I actually really liked the original series.
Let me explain - While knowing nothing of Clare's plagiarism or the controversy surrounding the books, the need for something similar to Buffy overwhelmed me, leading to the discovery of the urban fantasy genre. My first experience with this genre was The Mortal Instruments which had just released the third book. Out of pure desperation, the fact that it was a derivative was not even almost a deterrent. Clare told a fast-paced and action filled YA suspense, which was exactly what I needed at the time.
The first three Mortal Instruments had this addictive quality that made you need to read more, which led me to read this one. So while I still hold true to my original feelings of the first books and have a sick yet fond place in my heart for them, I truly feel that this particular series should have ended where City of Glass left us.
It saddens me to think that I may have contributed to the mass production of unnecessary sequels. Or to Clare's dragon horde of GOLD. Oh well, she's rolling in it, already. What exactly she deserves to be rolling in... I'll leave up to interpretation. (view spoiler)[This is a joke. No speculation is actually necessary. She's rolling in money. Okay? Are you happy?! You better be. (hide spoiler)]
Regardless of how much she has made, it is respectable for anyone to make bookoos of cash doing what they love. As long as they aren't hurting or taking advantage of anyone, there's no problem with it. Although, sometimes large companies can take advantage of small time authors or even gullible readers, so it's a good thing that I got this from my library and didn't pay any of my own money (however, my library surely made a contribution).
It's too bad lesser-known books and their authors don't get the opportunities and the recognition that some of these more mainstream novels do. But that isn't how the industry works right now. Hype sells. Controversy sells.
Fellow girl-power groupies: don't kill me. I liked Jace in the original books. But I soon realized how destructive this small adoration can become.
Now, Fangirl mobbing is truly my greatest fear. So I don't want to piss anyone off, but Jace is prick. A hot one, yes, and I readily admit to secret desires of being pursued by a "bad boy". But seriously? Calm yourselves. He's fictional.
By the way that girls talk about him, you would think that his saliva is made of awesomesauce.
Or that his face is made of The Ark of the Covenant. Don't look directly at him! Your skin might melt off.
I wanted to like this and wanted my Jace crush to transfer over to this book. I swear I did. And maybe I was prepared to not like it because of a few certain friend reviews *cough* JillianHellionMajaVinaya *cough* But I tried. Really. Enjoying this just wasn't in my power.
Objectivity is something we should all strive for with every read. Even after hearing bad things about a specific book, one can still have an open mind. When reviewing, we aren't trying to prove anyone right or wrong, we are just giving our own impressions about the book.
Sometimes when an avid reader reads a mega-hyped book such as this, we can take on a similar persona to that of Bill and Ted. They are all about the excellent adventure. First and foremost with YA fantasy - we, mostly, want to be entertained. All the better if we learn something or absorb a good message while doing it, but the entertainment part is essential.
Why I didn't like this book
Not funny. At the time, I thought there was quite a bit of good humor in the originals. This one: nada. Or maybe I've just outgrown it. The corners of my mouth never even lifted. In fact, a scowl probably made an appearance or two....or twenty. This book is to "funny" what vampires are to "real". (Hint: They aren't)
Not entertaining. Every few pages I felt the need to go for a spin in my car with my head hanging out the window just to stay awake. The suspense, the tension, the action - everything I liked about the originals was gone. I'd say this book is about 1% action, 99% chatting. I may have entertained myself about this book, but this book did NOT entertain me. Not for one second.
Not new. This was a rehash of every conversation Jace and Clary and Simon had in the first books that took up an ENTIRE book. Clary, I love you but I can't because I think I'm evil. Jace, you're so emo. Simon, you're my best friend. This is a repeat. A rerun. And not even a funny rerun. It's like that sucky episode of Friends with Alec Baldwin in it that no one cares to remember.
Not inspiring. Unlike most of my favorite books, there wasn't anything to take away from this book. If we are not going to be entertained then shouldn't we at least learn something or feel like we derived some deeper meaning from the book?
Both Ender's Game and The Hunger Games had serious messages about war. The Giver teaches us that human emotion is essential to our lives. What did City of Fallen Angels teach us? SERIOUS SPOILER AHEAD. DONT CLICK UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW. (view spoiler)[That it is okay to be a prick because you've been possessed by a demon? (hide spoiler)] Maybe there was some deeper message and I just didn't see it because I was so bored. If so, I apologize for my oversight.
Let's end on a high note, shall we? So I'll leave you with this:
Even if I don't particularly like a book, I can usually find something good about having spent my time on it. This one was much more difficult to find that "good part", but I still managed to.
So despite not laughing once as a result of a joke in the book, I found myself, alone, laughing hysterically in my room about how horribly pointless this book was or about random crap that I find funny, usually involving Jace and Clary. Somehow, I managed to amuse myself.
Seriously. Dumb stuff dances through my head like a frisky stallion does through a meadow full of unicorns. I wonder if Jace is part unicorn, because unicorns are made of awesomesauce and rainbows..... I bet Jace is made of rainbows. Or at least, Clary seems to think so - Just wait until she figures out that he has NO pots of gold.
And before I go find something awesome to read, I have something to ask you:
Question: Quick! Both Jace and Clary are drowning. You can only save one. What should you do? Answer: (view spoiler)[LET THEM BOTH DROWN AND READ A DIFFERENT BOOK!! (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)