This was a good book but for some reason, it just didn't strike me as quite as delightful as the other Night Watch books I've read so far (Men at ArmsThis was a good book but for some reason, it just didn't strike me as quite as delightful as the other Night Watch books I've read so far (Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, and Night Watch). It wasn't until the end that I got really into it... that might be that Angua and Carrot weren't as strong a presence as in other books. Though that's true of Night Watch as well.
But still it was definitely a read above most other fantasy books of this type and I'd recommend....more
My first thoughts on reading Dark Expectations were colored by the fact that I don’t have much experience in reading paranormal romance. To be quite hMy first thoughts on reading Dark Expectations were colored by the fact that I don’t have much experience in reading paranormal romance. To be quite honest, I wanted to read this story mostly for the cover. The women on it actually look like women that I’ve known and it’s refreshing to see a novel full of diverse characters who play a number of complex roles in their universe. This is one of the aspects of Dark Expectations that really stood out for me–I see too few books (particularly those set in modern cities) that actually reflect the world I live in in terms of who is represented in it.
The focus of this series is the relationships between different creatures in the supernatural world. I haven’t read the first novel in the series–while I wouldn’t say that I had trouble catching up, I feel as if I ought to go back and do so. There were a lot of nuances in the plot that I think I missed, yet it was very easy to understand what had happened in the previous book. In fact, one of the interesting aspects of this story was that it places a character (Ani) in a situation of leadership for which she doesn’t feel ready. I find power shifts fascinating to read about and I think that not only does Dark Expectations start the story out with one, but it lays the foundation to continue exploring what is ultimately somewhat interrupted in future endeavors by Eldridge.
This book would appeal to readers of the Twilight series though I think that its heroines, particularly Dana (my favorite character), are much stronger than Bella in that story. In fact, that’s one of the many ways in which this story turns my own expectations on their head. Women have power in this universe–they hold many of the cards–and from my limited exposure to paranormal romance, I feel that this is much too rare in the genre. Watching the ways in which Dana and Ani manipulate the situations in which they are placed is a lot of fun. These are not women that will lie down and let men walk all over them. One of the things that impresses me most about Ani is the trait recognized by the author as both her strength and her weakness–the ability to walk away. I look forward to seeing how this unfolds in the next book because of the ending of Expectations. (And I really can say no more than that because I don’t want to ruin it.)
All in all, this is a very interesting take on vampires and werewolves. And I have a feeling many more secrets lie ahead in the Soul Sisters universe!
I received this book as part of a tour from the author in return for an honest review. The copy that I received was an ARC and I do not comment on grammar, typos, or quote directly from the work for this reason. (If you want to see the final work, there’s always “Look Inside” on Amazon.)...more
I confess... I read this mainly for the R.S. Hunter story. As ever, I wasn't disappointed. The rest of the book has some fantastic pieces in it as welI confess... I read this mainly for the R.S. Hunter story. As ever, I wasn't disappointed. The rest of the book has some fantastic pieces in it as well....more
The beauty and grandeur of times now lost to us are rediscovered in Empyreal Fate, the first of what I hope is many in this fantasy saga. Empyreal FatThe beauty and grandeur of times now lost to us are rediscovered in Empyreal Fate, the first of what I hope is many in this fantasy saga. Empyreal Fate is a story of young love but more importantly, it is a story of sweeping passions. Hatred, revenge, and what it means to fight for the things that you treasure are among the themes explored in this tale.
Though the main characters are compelling, I found myself sympathizing with a few of the minor characters deeply as well because of the subtleties that they display throughout the course of events. Of them all, I admit to a special fondness for Drevan. While I can't say too much for fear of revealing plot details, I grew to understand his actions even while I didn't always agree with them. The character motivations fascinated me throughout Fate and I look forward to watching how they continue to change and intertwine as the saga continues.
Another aspect of the novel that I particularly enjoyed was the language that Hunter employs throughout. She casts a magical spell, evoking the sense of her world without making it distant. She is clearly kin to Tolkien with the way that she employs thoughtful and creative use of language, magic, and detail.
A beautiful look into another universe... I recommend you take a peek for yourself!...more
The horror at the heart of this novel has become more sharply defined than in its predecessor. We are given a glimpse into the mysteries that Giglio tThe horror at the heart of this novel has become more sharply defined than in its predecessor. We are given a glimpse into the mysteries that Giglio teased us with in Anon. But this is not a horror novel alone--it's a novel about the world we live in and the people that we live it with.
It's been a long time since a book both made me tear up and laugh. This one did.
There is so much that I could say about how personal Beyond Anon felt to me, something that I rarely expect to occur with a horror novel. Michelle Breedlove is the first character I've come across in a long time that reminds me of myself at her age. Yet she does not carry the novel alone--Giglio populates Beyond Anon with an entire world of compelling characters who give this story heart, enough to make you shiver that much harder when they are placed in peril.
I recommend this novel to both those who have read the previous novel and those who have not. (Though I personally think you'd be missing out not to have read the first book.) It is a fitting end to a brilliant story....more
Anorexia isn't anything that I've ever experienced or been in contact with (to my knowledge). I picked up this story out of curiosity and was surpriseAnorexia isn't anything that I've ever experienced or been in contact with (to my knowledge). I picked up this story out of curiosity and was surprised at how personal a connection I found.
It's the little details that really affected me in "Perfect Nothing." Hunter brings us into a world obsessed with numbers--but numbers that are a sinister and deadly equation. Waist size, hip size, measurements...she shows us what it is like to perceive the world from the point of view with someone suffering from an eating disorder. Most of us have had moments where we've felt upset or embarrassed by our physical appearance--the protagonist of this story, however, is trapped in her own personal struggle, unable to perceive how her actions affect others at the beginning of the story.
Whereas some other stories about illnesses focus on the protagonist's fight alone, Hunter has the honesty and sincerity to also address how anorexia affects those who love the afflicted. It is not easy to read "Perfect Nothing" because it is so real and so painful at points but the conclusion of the story gives the reader hope for both the protagonist and others who have experienced this struggle. Although the message of this story is ostensibly about an eating disorder, I found a deeper meaning from it in considering my own self-image and the way that I myself have related to other people. An excellent read and highly recommended....more
This book has the distinction of almost causing me to miss a layover flight. Intriguing and swiftly paced, Without A Conscious had me so engrossed thaThis book has the distinction of almost causing me to miss a layover flight. Intriguing and swiftly paced, Without A Conscious had me so engrossed that I kept turning pages, ignoring all else until I realized it was time to dash on the place. The story of Cliff's search for the murderer of his grandmother is full of twists, turns, and even a bit of old-fashioned romance. This is mystery of the best sort, one that gradually unfolds and keeps you guessing about the conspiracy throughout!...more
The hardest reviews to write for me are for the books that I find my own meaning inside. You know the kind. Some stories, for whatever reason, grab yoThe hardest reviews to write for me are for the books that I find my own meaning inside. You know the kind. Some stories, for whatever reason, grab you by the heart or by the mind and won't let it go. Whether it's because the characters remind you of someone you love, the experience is something you've shared, or simply because it's what you needed to hear right then and right now, those are the hardest tales to describe because they're the books that feel like a part of you by the time you've finished them. They're the ones that are personal.
Morning Star, for me, was one of those books.
Fantasy at its best is about escaping into a world that doesn't really exist. But good fantasy takes that world and uses it to reflect our own right back at us. The best fantasy makes us think about we ourselves believe and teaches us who we are through the story that it tells. Morning Star is a story about learning to love unconditionally even when that love demands sacrifice. It's also about finding the courage to understand that true love means making hard choices and being willing to hold on to who you are even if it seems that doing that will cost you everything in return. This book made me question myself and how far my own emotions might lead me if I was on that path.
Much has been said by other reviewers on Amazon about this novel's characters. Characters are another one of the strengths of Morning Star. It is Brianna who takes the lessons that I spoke of above and makes them human. Unlike other fictional heroines I could name, Brianna makes her own destiny. She is not afraid of the path that she has chosen to walk--instead, she embraces it, coming full circle from an unaware young woman to one who knows the danger ahead and yet faces it head-on. She is a character that my own daughters would find strength in. She loves deeply but not without reason. Her character lies not in her relationships to other people but in who she perceives she is and what she wants from the life that she has chosen.
The world in Finkbeiner's novel is so richly developed as well that I found myself thinking frequently about the cultures and their belief systems even when I was not reading the book. I came away from this novel asking myself questions about faith and about tolerance. The beauty of this story, however, is that the questions--and the answers that I came up with for myself--were not thrust upon me. It was simply that the world itself was so vivid that these issues presented themselves on their own.
Morning Star is a remarkable debut by an author who has given me much more to think about than what lies within the pages of the novel itself. I look forward to many more novels from Finkbeiner and hope that she continues to explore questions of universal truth....more