I'm definitely upset that I read this after Lost Hero - it was a dwindling let down in the wake of such an awesome novelI don't even know what to say.
I'm definitely upset that I read this after Lost Hero - it was a dwindling let down in the wake of such an awesome novel.
Red Pyramid was conceptually genius: a starter novel in a new series involving - you guessed it - children and mythical Gods. As an occasional googler of Egyptian mythology and the owner of an honest to god Eye of Horus tattoo and the Mummy boxset, I decided to consume this book after Lost Hero. I was under the mistaken impression that I was saving the best for last.
Look, it's not bad. The characters are likable enough. We're introduced to a brother and sister duo that scarcely know each other who are forced to follow home their Uncle after an explosion of the Rosetta Stone unleashes an evil Egyptian god. We learn that the siblings have until the Demon Days to rescue their entombed dad and send this fiery fucker back where he came from and that baboons only eat foods that end in the letter O.
So, yeah. Theoretically, it should be good. It doesn't lack for adventure or action, but for some reason, reading this book was like wading through quicksand. It might have something to do with the amount of information that you were inundated with. Perhaps this is because we're more familiar with Roman and Greek gods - that is, if your school made you read the Iliad like mine did - and the tidal waves of information are too much to handle without multiple readings. Perhaps it's because I can only count the truly enjoyable moments of the book on one hand (the Elvis suits coming to life, fo' sho).
I'm not a slow reader by any stretch of the imagination. Rick has always left me angry that I've finished his books so quickly because I always want more, more, more. I only got through this book, I'm afraid, because I entertained myself by reading the whole thing out loud to my dog in a Scottish accent (he, too, was bored to sleep).
I don't know if this book deserves three stars, but I'm maintaining hope that book two doesn't leave me feeling like I could have better spent my time listening to the Slap Chop rap on youtube....more
When I first heard that there would be a new series to follow Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I was like: uh,Oh, Rick Riordan, you've done it again.
When I first heard that there would be a new series to follow Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I was like: uh, no. After closing the Last Olympian for the first time (because it's not the kind of book you read only once), I had two thoughts. The first: holy crap, that was awesome. The second: no way will Rick Riordan ever be able to top this. Shame on me for not having enough faith.
The Lost Hero is about a kid named Jason who, inexplicably, has no memory and knows more about Roman mythology - as opposed to the Greek themes previously explored in the Percy series - than he rightly should.
There are several things that I love about this book. The first is that it's not a view from a single person that we receive - we get into the individual headspaces of each member of the trio - Jason, Piper, and Leo. This is good for several reasons - one, it allows the reader to explore more of the camp, two, it allows the reader to get to know other godly parents.
I almost hated reading this. After doing so, it make the Percy Jackson series feel a little myopic by comparison. That's not to warn anyone off of reading either series, but reader beware. Rick Riordan is just going to get bigger and better. Deal with it....more
I either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After havingI either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After having read this, I can say in all certainty that if she got the idea from a dream, it was at some point after reading this series. Look no further for her source material, here it is.
Just a few of the parallels that I noticed: Stefan (Edward) can read minds. Stefan and Elena fall splendidly and exquisitely in love with each other despite the fact that there's little narrative to their love story. Stefan wants to stay away from Elena because he's a killer, and so on, ad nauseum. Credit L.J. Smith here, though, considering that she was the one that did it first and she did it better (although I'd say not much, since I'm being honest).
Particularly in the first novel, "The Awakening", I found the main character - Elena - to be selfish, spoiled, and revolting. Perhaps it's because the popular, pretty girl foil is simply something that I can't related to, or perhaps it's because the idea of making my friends swear in blood that they won't stop until they 'get me' a boy is totally and completely absurd.
In the second book, Elena is a touch more palatable, but that might have been because the story as a whole got marginally better, leaving less time (but still ample, believe me) for Elena to wax poetic about the unexplainable love for Stefan that seemingly flourished after one kiss.
I'll give this three stars because it did get better in the end, but a more realistic rating would have been two or two and a half....more
I picked up Dead Witch Walking in the wake of finishing Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. Having perused both Wikipedia and Goodreads for a geneI picked up Dead Witch Walking in the wake of finishing Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. Having perused both Wikipedia and Goodreads for a general synopsis of the story, I felt confident that I was going to love the series and that it would also soothe the ache of not getting another Sookie Stackhouse novel until May of this year. This was a bad idea for two reasons: 1.) Gauging the content of one set of novels, however similar, against another (especially since it was the first in a series - sometimes it takes time for author's to get their sea-legs with a new character or world), makes it impossible to do an objective reading and 2.) I was, naturally, completely disappointed.
I didn't violently hate Rachel Morgan as much as I've hated other female protagonists. Don't get me wrong. Rachel definitely had her annoying moments, namely whenever she grabbed on to someone and growled 'cookie' at them. I know that Kim Harrison was probably just try to emphasize Rachel's bad-assness or whatever, but I thought it was really annoying and stupid. If I met someone that did this in real life, I'd probably punch them in the temple. Something about Rachel that confused me was her inexplicable fear of Ivy. I get it, she's never lived with a vampire before, but as an IS runner, I have to assume that she had been in contact with all manner of dangerous creatures beforehand, which made the whole fear of Ivy thing really weird. Ivy was okay, too. I think I probably like her more than Rachel. The clear star of this whole book is Jenks, though. Jenks and Mrs. Jenks, and Jax, too. I want four hundred thousand words on the Jenks family in which they fight a fairy war and they decorate their tree stump with scrap yarn and cleaned lids of aluminum cans for mirrors!
Anyway, I think Rachel was kind of stupid. She would get injured, go out and get injured some more and go out and get injured some more. I get what she was trying to accomplish, so I don't know that I'd put her in the 'dumb heroine' category just yet, but she was really sort of moronic in places.
I didn't mind the lack of love interest so much. I can forgive a lot with a good plot. Unfortunately, lacked that, so it would have been nice to have some guy in the picture to make this book a lot less boring.
The world-building was okay. It took me a long time to get through this novel and I think it was because in places, Kim's writing was a little weird. And, for whatever reason, it bored me for about seventy-five percent of the book. I liked the witchy/spell-casting parts. I liked the general concept of a world in tatters because of a virus spread by genetically-engineered tomatoes since it's at least marginally plausible (seriously, kids, they're already selling genetically engineered fish at your local grocery store).
The biggest problem that I had with the book was the triggery content. The mink scene made me physically ill. I rescue abused animals. The dog that was formerly in my user photo was an abused dog, too. I got him from the kill-shelter on the day he was supposed to be euthanized. He had two broken legs and he was absolutely petrified of all people. He's great now. He's more than great, actually, considering he gets steak every Saturday night and we make him his own cheeseburgers whenever it's red meat day in our house. The point is, I can't stomach animal abuse, even in fiction. I'll stop watching films if animal abuse is even implied. This scene where Trent keeps Rachel locked in a cage and allows Jonathan to essentially poke, prod, and beat at this mink - even though she wasn't really a mink - disturbed me to the point of tears. Even more disturbing was the graphic violence described in the rat-fights; animal fighting is a particularly triggery thing for me since I just got two rescues that were used in dog fights. I just thought it was really unnecessary to the plot when Trent could have easily locked Rachel up as a human and tortured her. It was sick.
The second triggery thing was the shape-shifting demon, asking Rachel if she was afraid of rape. Enough said. I think it was disturbing and I think the book would have been better without it and the gratuitous violence against animals.
I'm giving this a two. Had it not been for those specific scenes, I'd give it a three and I'd be mildly interested to see what happens next in the series. That said, I sincerely doubt I'll be reading the next book in the series or anything else Kim Harrison has written....more
I wasn't going to review this book because it meant taking an extra five to ten minutes thinking about it, which should, essentially, convey exactly wI wasn't going to review this book because it meant taking an extra five to ten minutes thinking about it, which should, essentially, convey exactly what I thought about it. I'm also flabbergasted as to how the rating on this book could be so high; I feel as though it's my civic duty to rate it appropriately so that maybe someone somewhere won't make the mistake of picking up this novel to read.
Let's start with the Becca Fitzpatrick's most cardinal sin. Hush, Hush is a blatant rip-off of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga which is a blatant rip-off of L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries. Here's the one question that I have: how in the hell do you rip-off a book like Twilight and make it suck worse than the original? I mean, a person has to have a special kind of talent in order to borrow a plot from a terrible writer and make it even worse.
For your pleasure (or, you know - abject horror), here are a few similarities between the two novels:
1.) The main character is a girl so stupid that she makes Paris Hilton look like a member of MENSA by comparison.
2.) The love interest of the main character is a rapey, pervy sicko that outright says multiple times that his base instinct is to kill her.
3.) What little plot and back story there is in this novel doesn't appear until approximately page three hundred; it's as though Becca was so focused on writing about her 'hero' (I use this term incredibly loosely) sexually harassing Dumb Girl that when she got to page three hundred and realized there was no plot to speak of, she shoved in a whole bunch of confusing, stupid mythology and hoped that no one would notice.
4.) Annoying supporting characters, holy shit. Dumb Girl's best friend is a girl named Vee. I remember her name distinctly because every second I saw it in this book, I fantasized about there being a real Vee so that I could hit her with my car and/or maim her to death with a golf club. Vee essentially forces a creepy, rapey guy (not the love interest; you heard me - there's more than one rapey guy in this book!) into Dumb Girl's life and Dumb Girl basically allows her to do so instead of telling her to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Dumb Girl, you should have let your friend die.
There were several scenes in this book that mortified me to my core. Really, Becca Fitzpatrick? Writing a scene in which an educator essentially harasses a student into talking about 'attractive traits in a mate'? Really, Becca? Letting that same educator ignore another student's overt sexual harassment of another student?
I can appreciate a good hate/love relationship as much as the next girl, I really can, but this love story wasn't a hate/love sort of thing. This love story was about a controlling, perverted guy taking advantage of a girl that clearly lacked the spine to tell him to back the hell off. This was a story in which girls are supposed to swoon because even though a foul, lascivious jerk-bag of a guy wants and needs to kill a girl but doesn't because it's 'so romantic'. It's not romantic. It's scary that this is what publishers are impressing upon young girls. I don't have a daughter, but if I did, I definitely wouldn't want her to read this and love a guy that embodied all of these qualities; that's just dangerous....more
Eff you, book cover. Why are you so pretty? And book, why are you called Across the Universe making me think there would be some remote collation to tEff you, book cover. Why are you so pretty? And book, why are you called Across the Universe making me think there would be some remote collation to the Beatles and peace and love?
I don't know why I read this. I hate space-related stuff ever since I was a wee Andrealet and my dad told me that outer space wasn't just about floating around and playing trampoline on the moon and that you'd actually suffocate to death from the lack of oxygen. But I read it because the cover spoke made me go, "Ohhhh, pretty colors," and because I still haven't overcome this disease I have where I can't put a book down once I've started.
Anyway, the book starts with a rather graphic, horrifying description of a family of three going being cryogenically frozen (personally, I think fam nights should include DiGiorno's and movies with talking guinea pigs, but what the hell do I know) to prepare them for a three hundred year trip to another planet which they'll help repopulate and colonize. Interesting plot to start, but through the intense descriptions of the freezing process, I was CRINGING. To make matters worse, the book contains a dual perspective narration, flopping from Amy (the girl in the icebox) and Elder (future captain of the ship 250 years after she's been frozen like a fish stick), creating the impetus for about ten chapters of popsicle person nightmares. Do not want. And if it freaks me out, any novel deserves a big thumbs up on the creep factor.
Then the worst thing begins to happen. SOMEONE STARTS TO THAW PEOPLE AND LEAVE THEM TO DIE. Fortunately, Elder finds Amy just before she drowns in her own cryo-juices and she's left to wander around the ship and come to grips with the hinky way people on the ship have evolved and the fact that she might be dead before her parents are ever resuscitated.
I give Revis an A- for world-building, but maybe a C+ for execution. She definitely brings up a lot of interesting concepts - the way that people farm on the ship to create nourishment, the way that the language and the the people evolve, and mostly, she acknowledges how easy it is to go cray-cray in a ship knowing you might never see home again.
That's when it starts to get even creepier. I won't go into details because I want this whole thing to be generally spoiler-free, but a huge caveat that I have with this novel is that it was more of a series of creepy events that Beth Revis wrote, but there was not really a discernible climax. Or, there was when the perpetrator was found, but I feel like there were creepier moments in the book - like when Amy discovers who really pulled her plug. (And FYI, the scene in which she finds out is ridiculous - she's not even angry about it; why would you not beat someone to death with the closest blunt object?) I think that maybe I was expecting something more plot-based than character-fueled and I got the opposite of what I wanted. Not to mention there were waaaaay too many unanswered questions at the end. Do they ever get to the planet? Is there going to be a follow-up? Will the cover be just as pretty. THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
Whatevs, 2.5 starts and I'm feeling generous, so watch me round this up....more