I haven't been able to stop thinking about these characters, so I read through a second time and here are a few brief thoughts:
- the authors have a d...moreI haven't been able to stop thinking about these characters, so I read through a second time and here are a few brief thoughts:
- the authors have a done a stand up job in creating their characters. Everyone is interesting, and complex beneath the hedonistic facade. And compelling too.
- the dystopian world in this series isn't unique, but it is arresting. The concept of Eden doesn't work too well for me. However the brutal, barbaric nature of this land, divided into sectors and ruled with iron fists by what are essentially feudal warlords makes for some vivid and interesting reading - and also turns criminals into heroes. Fab.
- Lex and Dallas are my favorite characters, I think. they are vibrant, intense, passionate, perhaps more so than the others, and I enjoyed their story even more 2nd go-around. I still contend though, that I wanted more for/from them. The authors spent a lot of time developing/expanding the world they'd created, and the opportunity cost of this world building was Lex and Dallas' story. There was/is so much more to explore with them, as individuals and and as a 'couple' (backstories, for one thing) that even though what we did get was great, it didn't feel complete.
Looking forward to the next book.
------------ I rather expected more from Dallas and Lex's story I think.(less)
I bought this book based on a recommendation from Dear Author, and although it felt like I was misled in the beginning, by the end, I had come to feel...moreI bought this book based on a recommendation from Dear Author, and although it felt like I was misled in the beginning, by the end, I had come to feel this was a worthwhile purchase.
Luca, playboy extraordinaire, director of a lucrative fashion house, and Taylor, actress extraordinaire, apparently a wild-child, for a moment of indiscretion, end up fake-engaged to each other - you know, for the sake of appearances, since both their careers depend on it. And of course, this being an HP, we follow their journey from being fake-engaged to falling in love.
Initially, I was bored. Luca had all the witty repartees about irresponsibility and being a bad boy and not caring about respectability blah blah blah. Taylor spent pages inner-monologuing about some terrible secret and how the world wasn't going to let her forget her past mistakes and some dude who was holding some terrible secret over her head blah blah blah. It was all well and good, but not very interesting. For a good 50-60% of the book, Ms. Morgan's narration continued thus.
For me, things took off once the nonsense about irresponsibility and the nonsense about stalkers and mistakes etc, stopped. Then we had a chance to see Taylor and Luca shine - Luca especially. The care and attention he payed to Taylor and the way she stopped feeling sorry for herself to enjoy the moment was simply beautiful. From then on, Luca's witty repartees became funny instead of trite, and Taylor seemed a more nuanced character than her previous woe-is-me persona. The big reveal about the so-called big secret was just eh. Their discovery of love in the midst of the fake engagement though, was sweet.
I can definitely recommend this HP. I wasn't disappointed in the end, and neither will you be (otherwise the problem is you, not the story, LOLZ!)(less)
Beautiful. The simple beauty of this book has struck me more forcefully now, 12 or so hours after reading the book, than it did immediately I had fini...moreBeautiful. The simple beauty of this book has struck me more forcefully now, 12 or so hours after reading the book, than it did immediately I had finished. Simply beautiful. But then again, I wouldn't expect much less from Ms. Shinn.
So.....The Thirteenth House is book 2 in the loosely-connected Twelve Houses series. This time around, it's mostly centered around Kirra. In the doing of errands for the king, Kirra meets and falls in love with Lord Romar, Princess Amalie's uncle and regent elect. Their love is forbidden, considering that Lord Romar is married. The rest of the plot is a chronicle of how our how Kirra navigates her forbidden love while working for her King.
I thought Ms. Shinn did fabulously in the exposition of Kirra's doomed romance, tying it seamlessly into the larger plot, not allowing it to overwhelm other elements. It was nuanced, beautiful, and heartbreaking, as all doomed romances are. I enjoyed myself. I especially liked that Ms. Shinn was able to put Kirra's love life into proper context, showing it's far reaching effects on the people she loved and had come to call family, on Lord Romar's life, as well as on herself. The climax and resolution of this relationship broke my heart, but I thought it came to a very satisfying conclusion. I was especially happy for Donnal :D.
I am rambling. I don't know what to say. All told, Kirra's story is beautiful, poignant, unique, and well-narrated, as is almost every story Ms Shinn writes. Not a waste of time. At all.(less)
As far as HP's go, fairly high on the melodrama factor, but also quite sensible. I liked the main characters, Cesario and Beth.
Certain parts of theplot were repetitive, like Beth's insistence that Sophie's birth mom wasn't a liar. If all those scenes had been cut, perhaps more time could have been spent developing the falling in love part of the plot.
Fearghus' dragon kin has really grown on me and I am interested in all their stories. It also helps that Ms. Aiken manages to create such...more3.5-4 stars
Fearghus' dragon kin has really grown on me and I am interested in all their stories. It also helps that Ms. Aiken manages to create such wonderful little vignettes (?) in her novellas.
This time we get to read Addolgar's love story. What struck me most here was that the crazy was a bit toned down, but no less hilarious. It was nice to see a dragon who was more than a warrior- first and foremost, Addolgar was Cheerful, hence his name. He have me many good laughs. Although if I knew someone like him in real life, (or any of the Cadwaladrs, really) I'm pretty sure I'd poison them or something, they can be so frustrating to deal with.
Braith.... I came to really like as the heroine. It was also nice to see a heroine whose family sees just as crazy as Addolgar's. Seeing the old gang as youngins - Ghleanna, Bercelak, Rhiannon- was also gold for me, I enjoyed it very much.
All in all, this novella grew on me. I liked it more the second time I read it than I did the first and am sure I will enjoy it more the third time I read it.
I am glad we have a new addition to the world of Dark Plains and Ailean and his crazy family.(less)
Erm...... so I really have no excuse for enjoying this book, but that is exactly what I did: enjoy the heck out of it.
I mean, its premise and the act...moreErm...... so I really have no excuse for enjoying this book, but that is exactly what I did: enjoy the heck out of it.
I mean, its premise and the actions of the hero are all really rather offensive. He has her abducted and force-fed an aphrodisiac so she would sleep with him even though she very vocally unwilling - it's kidnapping and date-rape, really, if you can call being forcefully taken to meet someone against one's wishes a "date."
NEVERTHELESS, I really, really liked this book. The hero and his Russian servants made me laugh constantly, they were so funny.
But the true joy of the book is the heroine, I think. Katherine was magnificent with her no-nonsense, straight-shooting self.
That is all I have. I really liked the book, even though I really shouldn't. (less)
In the final analysis, I quite enjoyed Lord Morninghall and Lady Simms' story, even if it meandered all over the place and took me a good whi...more3.5 stars
In the final analysis, I quite enjoyed Lord Morninghall and Lady Simms' story, even if it meandered all over the place and took me a good while to finish reading.
I did feel the plot was a bit too detailed on life aboard the prison hulk and all the military duty it entailed. I understand that it was important for building up the story, but while it wasn't superfluous, it took up too much time and so consequently didn't focus on our main characters as much as I'd have liked.
And they were good, strong protagonists too, especially Lady Simms. I enjoyed them, which is the least one can demand of any story- and it delivered.(less)
It was a nice story, and one that I enjoyed despite myself. The heroine and the hero were not TSTL per se, but that makes it ev...more3.5 stars, rounded up.
It was a nice story, and one that I enjoyed despite myself. The heroine and the hero were not TSTL per se, but that makes it even more annoying, when perfectly sensible people act like doofuses. It made the conflicts seem contrived. Even so, the story was well-executed.
Unfortunately, while I liked the main couple of this book very much, I am not inclined to go looking for the other books in the series, especially since the idiot brother is the hero of book 2. But book 1 was good fun. (less)
I have loved all 5(?) of Patricia C. Wrede's books that I have read, so when this deal was posted on Dear Author, and when the commenters had such eff...moreI have loved all 5(?) of Patricia C. Wrede's books that I have read, so when this deal was posted on Dear Author, and when the commenters had such effusive praise for the book, I absolutely had to get it. It was well worth the getting.
Set in regency London, in a world where magic exists alongside the church and all the trappings of English society that we know of, the story unfolds in letters two cousins, Cecelia and Kate send to each other about their lives, since they are separated for the summer. In their correspondence, magic is discovered, nefarious plots are thwarted, and love is found.
It took a few chapters to warm up to the epistolary format and the characters, but once I did, I had a lovely time. The language is perfect for that time, and I could not help loving Cecy and Kate. Their characters, especially Cecy's remind me of Ms. Wrede's trademark no-nonsense, very practical, quite awesome heroines. And by heroines, I mean Cimorene, who is made of complete awesome :D.
In the afterword, Ms. Wrede and Ms. Stevermer say that they didn't discuss the plot with each other, which makes the seamlessness of the events in the letters even more remarkable.
I second the praise from the Dear Author coomenters. This book was great!(less)
I read this book a very long time ago, and also when I was very young - 12-14, I believe. I knew a few bare facts about racism, and the history of sla...moreI read this book a very long time ago, and also when I was very young - 12-14, I believe. I knew a few bare facts about racism, and the history of slavery. I also think I had a vague knowledge of the African American struggle, but I don't remember too well. I do remember that the story had a very strong, very visceral impact on me. One of my first encounters with/about racism and being black in America. I think I cried in my reading. I haven't ever forgotten the cover, or the title, or Cassie, and Stacey and their family.
I read the second book in series, right after this one, but that is where it stopped. I couldn't deal with all the raw, visceral emotion Ms. Mildred's book elicited, and the grim realities of life back then that she painted. I absolutely cannot imagine what strength it must have taken just to live in the US during the Jim Crow era. Can't do it.
I am not too sure I can pick this book up today, even.
Haven't ever forgotten Ms. Taylor (if nothing for the fact that my dad had wanted to call me Mildred when I was born, hehe). (less)