I only read "Gray" by Patricia Briggs. And sadly, I was expecting more from her. I am a devoted fan of the "Mercedes Thompson" series and I was someho...moreI only read "Gray" by Patricia Briggs. And sadly, I was expecting more from her. I am a devoted fan of the "Mercedes Thompson" series and I was somehow hoping this might be similar to that. Not necessarily with werewolves but the same sense of hope and drop of romance. This had way much less than what I was looking for.
(view spoiler)[I wanted Elyna to get a chance at happiness despite being a vampire, despite having killed her husband. For half the story, I hoped Jack might have survived and they would be reunited. Then whehn it became apparent that would not be the case, I imagined they would overcome her being a vampire and him being a ghost just like they overcame their difficulties when they first met. I hardly got any romance because the story suddenly ends. I didn't even get a solid piece of action because Corona's death is mentioned offhand and Colbert died in the blink of an eye. So this really was just about home remodelling. (hide spoiler)]
Overall an ok read. Too short to make me fond of the characters and not enough of action/romance to make me value the story.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'd give this 4.5 stars because halfway through the story it got a bit dull for some reason and I lost some interest in the book and characters. But t...moreI'd give this 4.5 stars because halfway through the story it got a bit dull for some reason and I lost some interest in the book and characters. But then the action picked up and I remembered why I enjoy this series so much.
(view spoiler)[One element of surprise (well, other than the obvious twists and turns in the plot line) was the quick glimpses into Adam's point of view. It seemed like the only way to show what was happening to Adam and the pack, while they were held captive by those mercenaries. And I liked it (Adam's inner thoughts, not the pack being kidnapped). I am kind of hoping there might be a book in the future set in the same universe but having a werewolf as the main character. But I digress.
As is always the case with Patricia Briggs the actual culprit is never in the original assumptions. So I spent 3/4 of the book wondering who might be behind the kidnapping and what their agenda was. I got a bit lost in the details when fae, vampires all joined in to search for the pack. I blame my lack of attention on the fact that Mercy wasn't out there on her own kicking ass but had to depend on others (or it felt to me that she had to rely more heavily) in order to get things done.
Then when Adam was finally able to break free, I knew the respite was temporary and more adventures were on the way. I wasn't disappointed. There were some interesting new concepts brought in the story (such as Mercy's ability to suck the silver from Adam through their bond or her eyes turning yellow - I wonder what that was about - or being able to mix both coyote and human self to understand how Frost was using his powers). I loved the final battle(Mrs. Briggs knows how to deliver a climax scene). I was intrigued by this new powerful vampire Thomas Hao, who charmed Mercy with his graceful fighting style (and hope we might meet him again later on, as friend and ally, not enemy). (hide spoiler)]
There are just so many possibilities stemming from the plot of each book, so many allies or enemies that could arise from the multitude of characters being included in this universe. It's one of the things I love about the book, that there is always something to surprise me and leave me wanting more. Can't wait to move on to volume 8.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I had two major issues with the story which made me give it 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[One.Both MCs were shy in making a move towards the other. The first...moreI had two major issues with the story which made me give it 2 stars.
(view spoiler)[One.Both MCs were shy in making a move towards the other. The first half of the book was filled with either Dan or Leif pining after the other, making no move towards something physical and listing the reasons why they shouldn't get involved. At one point I started to wonder if anything would happen between them since neither was inclined to approach the other. Luckily the author solved that by putting one of them (Leif) in danger and used the resulting adrenaline and fear to make the pair get intimate. The second half of the book was lukewarm at best in terms of romance for Dan and Leif, Dan tried to hide his sexuality from the people in town and then they had to battle Leif away from his abusive master. I was a bit put off that, after spending 2.3 of the book listing reasons and staying away, their relationship was nicely wrapped up with them moving away and living happily ever after. All of a sudden and just like that? That's just too easy for me.
Second. The action scenes. I was expecting adrenaline packed moments, uneasy and fearful scenes spanning for pages where Dan or Leif fought a ghost. But all I got were sparks. Before I had a chance to get into the mood, the problem was solved and the ghost laid to rest. The only lengthy fight was at the end, an amalgam of discovering the secret cave, killing Leif's former master, Runar and defeating Ezekiel, busybody/blackmailer/sorcerer that had lived hundreds of years before. And frankly, I found it a bit amusing to imagine Dan waving those antlers to help the ghosts cross over.
Second and 1/2. I remembered there was one other thing that bugged me. And that was Dan lamenting his inability to save his mother. I counted at least 3 or 4 times throughout the book (I was afraid to actually check the real number of times) where he went over the same lines: not saving his mother, letting her die alone, he was useless. I was just about ready to bitch slap him and ask him to man up. (hide spoiler)]
I suppose the plot and the characters just weren't my type. It was an ok read but not something that I'm going to remember on the long run.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Blasphemer, Sinner, S...moreResurrection Man - 3 stars
Mating Season - no rating
Flesh and Song - 2 stars
Out from Under - 2 stars
Sleeping with Ghosts - 4 stars
Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint - 5 stars
Resurrection Man. (view spoiler)[What I liked about this story was the sense of foreboding pervading the entirety of the story, Josef's hopeless despair. He saw, felt, sensed the unnaturalness that had become Adel once the ritual was completed but could not turn back on what he's done or give up on Adel. That feeling of fear and the possibility of what Adel might become or ask in the future were the ones that stayed with me after I finished the story. (hide spoiler)]
Mating Season. (view spoiler)[If I were to give it a rating, it would be about 4 stars for the impression it left on me and how affected I was by it. But I usually reserve that rating for stories that I enjoyed and would gladly revisit. Which was not the case here. Danny's ordeal left me gagging and nauseous. Kari Gregg has a style of writing that makes me visualise all too well the horrors being depicted. Coupled with a sexual play I dislike (fisting), the story had me trapped between wanting to read faster to finish it and not daring to find out anything else horrendous happening to Danny. I hated what was done to Danny, the hopelessness of being trapped (first by the beast, then by his supposed friend, Keith). And the scenes where the cephalopod shoved those eggs inside or Keith promised to keep Danny open with a huge plug so he could check on the eggs, I could almost imagine Danny being tore up, a ragdoll of his former self. I shudder even now as I have to recall. And as if that physical torture wasn't enough, Danny was left as the thing's incubator. Though it might have been the best outcome after what Danny had endured, I kind of wish he had died instead. (hide spoiler)]
Flesh and Song. (view spoiler)[This was simply a merman calling a fisherman astray instead of the usual siren. It was less traumatizing than the rest of the stories. At least it was to me. Perhaps I just couldn’t feel the character losing himself in the merman, it all happened so fast. (hide spoiler)]
Out from Under. (view spoiler)[This was a strange little story. I didn’t fully understand how Brant had come to be under Fromunder’s curse and what kind of monsters Fromunder and Noel were. And then when I was focused on Fromunder and Brant and how the latter will try to bring Jason back to life, Noel came into the picture. I knew too little about Jason and how one would behave after being brought back to life to even care that Fromunder wasn’t gone completely. (hide spoiler)]
Sleeping with Ghosts. (view spoiler)[The background was really interesting. I would have wanted this to be longer just so I could enjoy the world more, with orders for “She Who Turns the Page” or “She Who Winds the Thread” or “He Who Loves Cold Iron”. I wanted to know how they came to exist why some orders worshipped women while other men. And the world itself, similar to our own but with unique characteristics. I rather skimmed over the sex scene because the characters held more interest to me: Yordan tricked into ending a life and Kardam, victim of political machinations. I wasn’t impressed by the paranormal aspect of the story as much as I was by the world and characters themselves. (hide spoiler)]
Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint. (view spoiler)[This was by far the best read of the anthology (so glad it was the last one). I truly felt I was inside Tobias' head. I could feel his turmoil at having to face an old lover and half-forgotten passions. Then he was forced to decide what price to place on David’s life. The self-doubt and recriminations that followed once Tobias became aware what a hypocrite he really was. The last perfect element to be added to this tension filled story were the mind games and physical torment Tobias had to endure at the hands and will of Mr. Ashmedai. He was given no reprieve, no happy memory to ease the pain and humiliation bestowed by the demon. And Tobias would pay Mr. Ashmedai with his body year by year for the privilege to earn David’s forgiveness and offer him a chance at a better life. But Tobias also learnt the truth under the abuse of the demon. David owned him completely. For it was out of love for David that Tobias would submit to Mr. Ashmedai. Chilling story. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Bounty Hunter - 2 stars Changing the Guard - 4 stars The Machinist - 4 stars My Rifle Is Human - 4 stars In the Pines - 3 stars Compromised Judgment - 4 st...moreBounty Hunter - 2 stars Changing the Guard - 4 stars The Machinist - 4 stars My Rifle Is Human - 4 stars In the Pines - 3 stars Compromised Judgment - 4 stars
(view spoiler)[Bounty Hunter. I'm not much of a fan for cowboys (or maybe haven't found the right book). And I was getting confused when the action jumped to moments in the past. I liked the MCs well enough and the idea that they added the hunt to the thrill of their relationship. But did not love the story.
Changing the Guard was well done. I liked the characters and their interaction throughout the book. Tomi was sweet in his policy to follow rules (and did that ever turned out to be a good thing). The background was interesting, with living on a different planet, cast away and alone. I wouldn't have minded reading what happened to the two after the brief encounter.
The Machinist was the most brutal out of the anthology. I originally picked up this book solely for this story alone. So I left reading it last. Avery is a machinist in a world plagued by fearsome beasts, where the population is split into colonies and the only rule is 'survival of the fittest'. He is rescued from a colony only to end up prisoner to another colony lord. Only this one has no qualms about using force to convince Avery to be their machinist. I actually winced in sympathy when Avery was fucked with the gun he had cleaned (even if he seemed to enjoy it) and then fucked by Harrow with barely any preparation. However, by the end of the story, it seemed he got off on rough playing, so his capture wasn't without benefits.
In the Pines was the saddest of the bunch. As I read, I kept hoping my suspicions would be wrong. As Tyler kept spending more and more time in the dream world and as Flynn kept asking him to join him in his world, with Tyler waking up with the gun pressed to his head, I figured where it was all headed. I kept hoping till the last line in the story. I felt sad that Tyler died. It would have been nice if a different alternative had been possible.
Compromised Judgment was pretty complex and well shaped out. I could really get into the skin of Ignác with this story, feel his thrill at playing with the gun. And there was some nice imagery in describing the guns and how they were made, carrying a part of their creator. I would have liked more room for the world to be described as I felt rushed to understand the hierarchy and social move of the characters. But the action scenes and tension between the MCs more than made up for that. And the ending scene with Ignác and Konrád in the bedroom, playing with the gun and Ignác having to prove his worthiness for using Konrád's creation... very hot! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
What a lovely little gem of a story! Enjoyed it through and through!
I was totally captivated by Lyon, by Tobin, by the story itself. I thought the cha...moreWhat a lovely little gem of a story! Enjoyed it through and through!
I was totally captivated by Lyon, by Tobin, by the story itself. I thought the characters were believable and took a liking to them almost immediately. And the plot... it just kept me hooked right till the end. And when I reached the final page, I wished there was a sequel.
(view spoiler)[ I was saddened by Lyon's tragic past and the difficulty he had in overcoming his fears. I loved the patient way in which Tobin inserted himself in Lyon's life and strove to make it as easy as possible for Lyon to feel at ease around him and managed to get him out of his self imposed prison. Both of them had strong and weak points and they relied on each other to draw strength.
As if the characters weren't enough, the story itself was fascinating and riveting. I enjoyed each new adventure that was imposed on Lyon but which ultimately helped him escape his demons. How he accepted the king's summons only to have to travel the country in search of a mysterious cave, to sharing mind with a ghost, to eluding enemy warriors, to finally facing his worst nightmares and last but not least accept the love of a good man and decide to spend the rest of their lives together. What more could I want? (hide spoiler)]
I was really in-sync with this story and sailed through the pages. If there was any discontent, it was too tiny to matter and easily forgotten. Quite a treat to offer for free! Thank you!
Decidedly a very good book. I understand why all the fuss about it. 4.6 stars because there were a couple of things that bugged me.
(view spoiler)[The...moreDecidedly a very good book. I understand why all the fuss about it. 4.6 stars because there were a couple of things that bugged me.
(view spoiler)[The things that pulled me out of the story were: the first couple of pages in the book where I wasn't sure in which time period the action was set and had to accommodate the language. The other thing was the need for clearer delimitation when POV were switched. It starts with a chapter dedicated to each MC, then POV switch within the chapters. And I would have been fine with that but there was no spacing whatsoever to indicate the change. Suddenly, moving from one paragraph to the next, I was seeing things from Stephen's POV instead of Crane. Confusing and irritating.
But even with those editorial glitches, I was sucked in by the story. The paranormal element was outstanding. Coursed items, ghosts, influencing, magical attacks and the amazing final battle. Everything ran smoothly. I was totally sucked in by the mystery and magical and fantastical elements introduced in the book and not once did I question anything. I simply waited for the author to solve each puzzle and show me what the characters would do. Even the last minute save was superbly done and blended nicely in the story.
Now Stephen and Crane. I was pleasantly surprised by them as they showed characteristics outside the standard norm. Crane wasn't the stoic alpha male, not letting himself be scared by anything and bravely confronting everything. He recognised his less than perfect past and was proud of it, was honest in admitting he would run if scared and (my favourite) he totally supported the cruel death penalty dealt to his father and brother. And Stephen seemed dull at first but despite his concealing magic, his qualities shine through and you discover throughout the story his gentle nature, his resolve to rid the world of warlocks, his strength to defend what is right and his fragile heart slowly falling for Crane. They really brought spark to the story. I became quite attached to them. (hide spoiler)]
(view spoiler)[There was hardly any romance in this short story. But I think what most weighed down the rating...moreIt proved to be an interesting reading.
(view spoiler)[There was hardly any romance in this short story. But I think what most weighed down the rating was the feeling it left me with. The whole thing felt like a piece taken from a larger story. It raised more questions than it answered. Who was the mysterious man Cormac was thinking of? Why was the redcap attracted to the flash of the camera? And I didn't quite understand why Max broke up with Nick (or maybe it's mentioned and I skimmed over that part). (hide spoiler)]
It's not a bad story. The plot was interesting and nicely set in Ireland. The characters were real (though Cormac could have been fleshed out a bit more). But I couldn't connect with them and it left no lasting impression on me. Thus the 2 star rating.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I loved how gradually each story propelled me further into the world of the supranatural. W...moreQuite the interesting collection of stories.
(view spoiler)[I loved how gradually each story propelled me further into the world of the supranatural. We had Keith and Gunther sneakly working around the human world, trying to solve a mysterious series of murders. I found it very realistic and slightly frightening (it was hard to enjoy dinner after reading that story).
I kind of liked Archer and Rake more out of all the couple presented because they had a bit more romantic development than the rest of the cast. However, as standalones, Rake didn't get a lot of characterisation and Archer was a bit selfish. Though, I felt that I was slowly moving from the human world towards the other realms.
Deven and August made another step towards the supranatural world, as half the story took place on other worlds or presented other alien beings. I liked Deen for his shy nature and clumsy meas of getting accustomed to the human world. He and August made a nice couple, perhaps because of their differences. However, I felt the story dragged a bit. There was just a hint of exasperation as Night Axe, then Lord Jaguar kept getting the upper hand. And after the serious injuries both characters endured, I found it unbelievable that they would still be able to defeat their enemies.
Henry and Jason were the last pair to be introduced. Their story was even more plunged into the supranatural with more than half the scenes taking place somewhere other than the human world. I felt bad for the suffering Henry had to endure and found it fitting that he should end up with Jason, prince of Tuatha Dé Dannan. And their skills and abilities were vry original and fascinating. It was a pleasure to discover what they could do. (hide spoiler)]
I was biased about the stories and if hard pressed, I'd say the first 2 and the last were the nicest that I liked, with Amara's book coming in second place. But all of them are worth reading for the world building, solid characters and fantastic plot that keeps you hooked to the last word.
P.S.: Thanks Akansha for suggesting me this story! :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was rather disappointed that there wasn't more action and suspense in the story. Having a powerful demon on your side pretty m...moreI found it an ok read.
I was rather disappointed that there wasn't more action and suspense in the story. Having a powerful demon on your side pretty much eliminated any opposition. I didn't really like Phil and thought she was extra though I did like Doug. There was an extra bit of drama in his love story with the vampire but in the end he was ok and lovable.
I was a little put off by the sudden jump in time between the cases. It was interesting how the background of the characters was revealed through each story and yet can't say I appreciated the means by which this was done.
I was expecting more from this novel and it didn't provide. Not sure I'll be reading the sequel to this.(less)
It was an ok book. However, I was expecting something more.
(view spoiler)[I enjoyed the to and fro of the timeline as each story defined the backgroun...moreIt was an ok book. However, I was expecting something more.
(view spoiler)[I enjoyed the to and fro of the timeline as each story defined the background and the characters themselves. It took me a bit to understand but then the title of the chapters clued me in. Each character had it's unique charm: Chris being grouchy and having more than he knew hoe to use while at the same time being so insecure of his position in Sable's heart. Doug was just as cute and endearing, having survived a harsh existence, still unsure of his position in society and shy around Zach. Sable, with his charismatic personality sparking storms at whatever heightened emotion.
The stories themselves seemed too easy, especially when there wasn't really much fight from the bad guys. That or they came with really lame reasons to Chris. I wasn't very impressed with Phil and her coming to the agency didn't seem relevant. I would have liked it had the story focused more on Chris and Sable or brought an edge of danger to the stories. (hide spoiler)]
As it stands, it was a pleasant book but it did not keep me gripped to the plot line or make me want to rush on to the next volume.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[The sequence of events and the play of the characters kept me at the edge of my seat and ther...moreWell, I found this to be a riveting story.
(view spoiler)[The sequence of events and the play of the characters kept me at the edge of my seat and there were moments where I was holding my breath reading through the pages. I loved the way Vic and Jacob showed character development throughout the story and how each scene blended into the next, keeping me hooked.
I was a bit put off by the fact that Vic being a level 7 medium turned out to be a secret everyone knows. But as the events unfolded in the story, he proved to be so much more than that. I was fascinated when he managed to exorcise a repeater with nothing more than imagined salt and his own energy. And when he started showing ectoplasm and going into the astral plane, I was blown away. I really like it when the main character keeps discovering new traits or abilities. And the final scene with Karen was awesome, the way he projected and faced her off with nothing but imagination and own power. Laughed out loud at his attempts at flirting with Lyle and how he felt ridiculous and out of his element. Oh, and I loved the part where he stumbled upon Crash being threatened and was all butch and aggressive with the thief and so protective of Crash. Made me want to hug them both.
Jacob also developed and changed along the way. He already proved he had some ability (loved the fact that his energy showed red and that it intertwined with Vic's) and the fact that he could also go astral was cool to read about. I was touched by his show of vulnerability (albeit in a trance-like state) and really liked how the conversation flowed between them. While seeming imperturbable, in fact he felt jealousy and insecurity and even fear. And I totally did not expect him to quit the police and join the FPMP, unless he plans on being an inside mole (and somehow I doubt it). (hide spoiler)]
In a nutshell, I loved the book. It had plenty of surprises in terms of plot line as well as characters. It left me longing and craving for the 7th volume to be published sooner.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book brought with it several surprises. I'm still trying to sort whether they were good or bad.
(view spoiler)[The first half of the story kept me...moreThis book brought with it several surprises. I'm still trying to sort whether they were good or bad.
(view spoiler)[The first half of the story kept me worried and distrustful of almost everyone in Vic's circle of friends. Even Jacob seemed dubious at one point and I dreaded the thought that he might be the spy. The stories and memories of Heliotrope Station were depressing. The author managed to convey in them a sense of sadness, weariness and hopelessness that tugged at me while I was reading. Though, I have to say Vic's memory lapse with anything related to Camp Hell seemed strange since in the second half of the book, he dredged up his practice from that time in order to exorcise the ghosts.
There were hints throughout the series that Vic was stronger than a level five medium. And it was refreshing to see it confirmed in this book as well as witness the development of his abilities and the way he put them to practice. More so when he stopped running away from ghosts and actually faced them.
The things I disliked about the book? An all-knowing, all-seeing group capable of anything when it came to keeping tabs on psychics. They were portrayed so powerful that it seemed futile to even try to hide from them. Everything just had a feel of conspiracy theory that didn't quite ring well in the confine of the story. And come on... an assassin secretary? I suspected she was the hired killer when she was hovering around the prison, there was no need for Burke to spell it out. The second thing that irked me was Jacob turning into a heavy psychic himself, stealing white light and jumping in leaps and bounds in what he could do with his ability. That came out of nowhere. I'm guessing it's supposed to strengthen their relationship or provide a stronger ally on Vic's side for the upcoming novel? Whatever the reason, I think Jacob was enough of a presence when he was a fan of all things paranormal and eye candy without the added bonus of psychic powers. But that's just me.
Another thing that surprised me. In previous books I've enjoyed Vic and Jacob's trysts. I found them erotic and alluring. But for some reason, there were some moments in this book where I felt like a peeping Tom, intruding on their relationship. It was a strange feeling, as if left out and unconnected with the characters. Perhaps it was the fact that I didn't imagine Vic to be a closet masochist or for their sexual relationship to take a slightly rougher turn. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I think the fifth volume was much more serious than the others, with a darker atmosphere to it. The paranormal occurrences were more developed than before and it definitely showed a change in character and behavior for both Vic and Jacob. I'm just unsure where it's all supposed to lead.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I think this was better than the previous book. Or perhaps Vic was more funny and so I didn't mind some of the things so much.
(view spoiler)[I still h...moreI think this was better than the previous book. Or perhaps Vic was more funny and so I didn't mind some of the things so much.
(view spoiler)[I still have the habit of taking every bit of information thrown in the book and expecting to elucidate the mystery of the novel. But after reading about half the book I started figuring out Stefan and Camp Hell were mentioned only to hint at the plot of the next story.
It was fun and interesting to find more about Vic and Jacob's life, now that they moved in together. How they managed to make everything work, despite their shortcomings. Vic being scared of a housewarming party was just so hilarious... and at the same time, I wanted to hug him. His jealousy was a bit overdone, however. Vic himself had fantasies about Crash, and yet he reacted strongly to the idea that Jacob might be cheating on him. Which wasn't really a viable possibility, since Jacob's adoration was pretty plain. But in the grand scheme of things, I suppose it's plausible, since Vic has no idea of the allure he has, nor is he convinced that a man like Jacob might love him. And the sex scenes in between their fights... sizzling hooot. They're making their way in my top favorite!
The astral ghost was quite a new concept, though I started to suspect something of the kind since the evidence was contradicting itself. It was a great way to introduce the need for Victor to get some more training on how to use his abilities. And also hinting towards him being able to command ghosts. (hide spoiler)]
There were a few things that could have been done better, but overall, I was satisfied with the book, thus the 4.5 rating!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I enjoy reading about the pair from Jacob's point of view.
He seems like the quiet, indulging one, always humoring Victor. I liked that the story picke...moreI enjoy reading about the pair from Jacob's point of view.
He seems like the quiet, indulging one, always humoring Victor. I liked that the story picked up bits from Inside Out and showed that Jacob has friends outside work. The romantic moment when Vic ran home to give Jacob a New Year kiss was very touching. The whole fragment showed both men realising they were happy even though some things weren't as they had expected them to be.
Would definitely love to read more from Jacob's point of view!(less)
I would rate this somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.
(view spoiler)[Perhaps I got accustomed to the pace of the other stories, where danger lurked at e...moreI would rate this somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.
(view spoiler)[Perhaps I got accustomed to the pace of the other stories, where danger lurked at every corner but everything was revealed and resolved by the end of the book. I didn't feel that here. I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to find that the whole deal of the missing persons was that they had died by accident and kidnapped to be used as zombies. Call me an optimist but I was hoping they would still be alive. Though, considering they brought a medium on the case I should have picked up the hint that there was no happy ending for those 3 persons. Still, dead leaves and silver coins to make some money... a rather flat plot compared to the other two. And I was somewhat confused by Lisa's sudden change in behavior, which was left unresolved. I'm hoping that will be cleared in the next volume. But those are the things I disliked about the story.
I was pleased to see Vic and Jacob taking their relationship to another level... spending Thanksgiving and moving in together. And I liked the subtleties sprinkled along the way, how they both abhorred cheating, how they understood each other and took strength in the other's presence (well, more Vic than Jacob). Also, Vic finally seems to have found a reliable partner (I liked that Zig was still affected by the accident he had inadvertently caused years back). Last but not least, I love Vic's sense of humor which shows itself in all sorts of situations, making me like him even more. His dialogue with the sculptor ghost was funny. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, there were things that could have been improved but I love the main characters to let anything deter me from enjoying the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Firstly, at the end of Criss Cross I was left with the feeling things were a bit awkward and strained between Vi...moreThis little story took me by surprise.
Firstly, at the end of Criss Cross I was left with the feeling things were a bit awkward and strained between Vic and Crash. So I wasn't expecting them to be so friendly and to hang out. Secondly, I didn't sense that Crash was jealous of Vic's abilities or that he wanted his own powers to have been more strong. Other than that, I guessed Crash would try something with Vic. He is Jacob's current boyfriend and even if Vic weren't, Crash would still try to get some action. I wonder if Vic would say anything to Jacob about the kiss?(less)
(view spoiler)[I've started to really like Vic. He is so shy and unsure of himself and self deprecating.. you h...moreWow! Definitely loved reading this one!
(view spoiler)[I've started to really like Vic. He is so shy and unsure of himself and self deprecating.. you have to love him. Though I don't agree with him taking drugs, I can understand his need for normalcy. He seems like the type of guy forced to deal with ghosts and not liking it.
I loved that the relationship between him and Jacob is growing stronger every day. And that Marks was resilient enough to put up with all the weirdness and still want Vic and a life together. I liked Jacob even more when reading that he's the faithful type and the way he seemed so apologetic for not coming clean with his past. And the way he seems to impose a certain presence, by his build but also by his character and lack of abilities it just the thing Vic needs.
The only thing I found slightly annoying was Vic's naivety halfway through the book. With Lisa's warning and even dreaming about coffee cups given by Roger, he still didn't get it. Ok, Lisa's warning came conveniently when Vic was talking to Crash but still. The last thing I wanted was for him to go off with Burke without letting anyone know.
I pretty shaken myself when reading his encounters with ghosts and how they affected him. I suspected at first he might be developing his abilities to level 6 but that idea died soon, when Vic started being touched by ghosts and marking Jacob with Xs. (hide spoiler)]
The whole book was filled with suspense and action and worry and a sprinkle of romance that made it hard to put the book down. Very interested in seeing how this continues.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was such a sweet story. Definitely worthy of 4 stars rating.
(view spoiler)[It would have seemed sad and depressive had I not heard that the story...moreThis was such a sweet story. Definitely worthy of 4 stars rating.
(view spoiler)[It would have seemed sad and depressive had I not heard that the story had a happy ending. As it was, I was able to more easily read over their separation.
Alex was such a cute guy. With obvious bad tastes in selecting his bed partners. However, this was luckily remedied by the appearance of a ghost on his couch. His reaction when he first saw Sid was so funny and endearing at the same time. It made me like him. Then I came to appreciate him even more when he offered to help take care of the cat of the ghost haunting his flat. Sid as well was very likable. Shy and considerate, it makes one wonder why no one had noticed all the qualities he had.
Even Andy turned out to be an ok guy. While insulting, he checked Alex's flat after the ghost's first sighting, was worried for Alex when he got involved with his neighbor and was nowhere to be found after the frantic message.
The scene that totally won me over was when Andy first saw Baldrick. Not only did he confuse him with a rat but he also hid behind Alex, both of them trying to get away from the 'rat'. Laughed a good 5 minutes on that.
I knew Alex and Sid would eventually fall in love by spending all their time together. But I suspected Sid was not really dead. I was imagining him waking up from a coma and coming to Alex's flat and picking up where they left off. The actual ending was different, but no less adorable and sweet. (hide spoiler)] The whole story was nicely shaped and made me like the characters and root for their happy ending.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I somehow felt distanced from the characters. To be more exact, I felt pulled away from them the longer I read a...moreIt was a strange story.
(view spoiler)[I somehow felt distanced from the characters. To be more exact, I felt pulled away from them the longer I read and tried to understand them.
I liked Flynn in the beginning, though I resented his harsh dismissal of Julian. Even without reading the blurb, I suspected the two of them would end together, that Flynn would have a change of heart. Which he did. It just wasn't apparent, to me, what his reasons were. He mentioned along the way, his growing feelings for Julian but I couldn't realise where they came from, when he had an instant dislike of him at first. But he was a well thought character. He was whimsical (being interested in Casey for a short time) and his disbelief in anything spiritual made for an interesting contrast when presented with messages from beyond, murders happening and weird occurrences happening.
Julian seemed to change throughout the story. Where he was first introduced as cocky and daring, he became fragile and weak by the end of the book. And I couldn't figure out how much of his illness affected his ability or vice versa.
The story itself had a convoluted path to the end. While I appreciated the ambivalence constructed around Julian's abilities as well as Casey's involvement in the murders, I felt something off in starting out the book with an article on a massacre and ending with having docile Dr. Pearson be the actual murderer. And the whole set-up of the boarding house was too Hercule Poirot for me. (hide spoiler)]
There was something appealing in the book but not enough to make me passionate about it. Thus 2.5 star rating.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I think the first thing that impacted my rating was the difference between what I expected and what I got from this b...moreI finally managed to finish this.
I think the first thing that impacted my rating was the difference between what I expected and what I got from this book. I had imagined a story similar to Bloodraven and got something much less. I realised only after starting the book, that is was written before Bloodraven. (view spoiler)[And indeed, at times, the story felt like an exercise for something that was refined in the author's other book.
I alternated between liking and disliking Illya. Perhaps because I was comparing him to Yhalen or maybe because there were traits in his personality that I disagreed with, I couldn't come to empathise with Illya. I found him too soft, naive and trustworthy for the world he was living in. There were times when I was surprised he had even managed to live that long. And Illya himself alternated between states. One moment he was pinning after the quietness of home, the next moment he was recalling the abuse at the hands and words of his family and relatives. The same in his feelings for Ashe. After spending 3/4 of the book playing the damsell hard to get, he proved hard to get out of Ashe's sheets afterwards and remember the guilt he felt at the mere thought of such intimate pleasures. His innocence sometimes made him seem to me barely a boy reaching his teens and not the man he claimed to be.
The story itself was convoluted. I was prepared for a typhoon, and got a light rainfall instead. There was no gret violence in their captivity by the Gunthars. The worst they came of it was psychological abuse for the prince and a carry-on ghost for Illya. Then, when finally making their escape, they came across bandits, at which time Illya begged Ashe not to slit the throat of one of them. Because the bandit dying a slow and painful death (still by Ashe's hand) is better than having it end quickly. That one just baffled me.
And so on it goes. There were just so many subplots that never went anywhere. There was no in depth evolution regarding Illya's ability to see ghosts and interact with them. There was no retaliation to the Gunthar imprisonment, there was only mention of a betrothed ( I suppose to cast more glum on the lovers' fate), there were doubts as to how lord Argi met his demise, there were queries as to what became of Davad. Way too many loopholes, in my opinion. (hide spoiler)]
Their story indeed is only HFN. And if you look at it throughout the whole book and what it hints to in the epilogue, it's not realy all that happy actually. Both Illya and Ashe felt like rough characters with too many traits that ended up butting heads. There was an abundance of squirmishes in the plot line that distracted from a clear line in the intrigue(or maybe that's just a personal preference) and there was a flood of descriptions that weighted the story down instead of giving it depth.
It could have been better. For me, this felt like a rough draft that needed polishing. It was interesting enough, but not something that left an impression.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[The length of the book was a bit disappointing. I would have wanted it longer. The succubus' death could...moreOh, I really enjoyed this book.
(view spoiler)[The length of the book was a bit disappointing. I would have wanted it longer. The succubus' death could have been better explained and the ending was a tad bit sappy. Those are the things that made me drop the rating from 5 stars.
Vic was an interesting character. He wasn't a role model but someone simply trying to coexist with countless ghosts haunting his every moment, desperate enough to resort to medication to drown them out. He came off as a nice guy along the way, though shy in making friends. And also very naive and self deprecating. It was obvious Jacob was interested in him for more than just his psychic powers.
The whole plot sucked me in. There was a bit of romance around the investigation of suspicious murders, coupled with a demon souleater and the characters themselves were appealing. (hide spoiler)] I hardly knew when the book was over. So 4.5 stars definitely.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)