I'm pretty conflicted in my feelings about this entry into the series. As I stated in my review of the first book, it was a second reread months laterI'm pretty conflicted in my feelings about this entry into the series. As I stated in my review of the first book, it was a second reread months later that enamored me to the plot and some of the characters, after my lackluster initial reaction.
The Undoing opens right where The Unleashing left off, and we follow the Crows as they try to stop Gullveig, this time, with the Protectors, seeing as one of them, Ski Eriksen, is our narrator, Crow Jace Berisha's love interest.
As far as recaps of the previous events in series go, this wasn't the best one I've ever read - pretty bad, in fact - and is probably going to annoy both newbies and returnees alike. But once that was dispensed with, it settled into an interesting and satisfying plot that makes me want the next book now, because I want to know what's about to happen next.
Here's my quandary: I really enjoyed the events in this book, but it was a rough ride. I think it's fair to say I enjoyed the book despite itself. Jace, for me, was not a particularly interesting character in the previous book, and she isn't in her own book. To worsen matters, I found Ski and the Protectors to be exactly as annoying as the Ravens found them, and lackluster too.
What I did like about this book, is in the end what I liked about the previous book, despite my misgivings: the Crows, who are fascinating, most especially Erin and Chloe (OMG I hope Chloe gets her own book, or at least a novella); the Ravens; the overarching plot itself, and the shenanigans underfoot. Those kept me reading and keep me looking for the next in series.
If the final pages are anything to go by, the next book in series will be narrated from Erin Amsel's viewpoint, and what a treat that will be!
*I received a copy from Netgalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review* ...more
1. I don't know where Ms. Harrison is taking these novellas/novellitas, but slowly, I am coming to wonder exactly why everyone is so afraid of Dragos/1. I don't know where Ms. Harrison is taking these novellas/novellitas, but slowly, I am coming to wonder exactly why everyone is so afraid of Dragos/how he's so powerful and cunning/how he survived all these millennia if he walks into quandaries at every turn, and when we need Pia and her magic blood to rescue him and set him back to rights at every damn turn.
2. There's no back pedaling on the trash sciences Harrison pulled last novella. Additionally, if Pia's producing antibodies to DRAGOS, then Pia should be fine to carry any baby that is NOT A DRAGON, like her current unicorn baby. Science is science. Don't do lazy, haphazard research, and then come and try to pass it off as "wyr/magic/rules of this world I've created." It's either science or magic or a believable melange of the two, or not at all.
3. Gradually, again Ms Harrison is destroying for me some of the urgency and secrecy of Pia's wyr form. What's the point when at every given point her magic blood is spilled out in the open somewhere? Wasn't the whole point of keeping this ultra secret that the moment people find out she will be hunted forever (with the added bonus that if they kill her Dragos dies too by default rules of mated wyr?) or the rules have magically changed now and somehow no one will hunt her/ Dragos and his sentinels will protect her forever? I don't get it,
4. Which brings me to - what's the point of making this new baby a unicorn too? So that readers will be bombarded with why his form can't be revealed but everyday read something about him doing something revealing in public? So that he will be hunted forever?
I really just don't get it. That being said, everyone and their mama by now know that I enjoy Dragos and Pia and Liam, so it goes without saying that I did enjoy this installment. But ehn. ...more
I give this one a very grudging, disgruntled 4 stars.
I don't remember if I bought the other Dragos/Pia/Liam novellas for $3.99, but nah. $4 is a bit mI give this one a very grudging, disgruntled 4 stars.
I don't remember if I bought the other Dragos/Pia/Liam novellas for $3.99, but nah. $4 is a bit much to pay for a very short story, a good bit of which is spent rehashing history or feelings readers who are already familiar with the characters know - because trust me, no newbie is starting with these books.
Nevertheless, as I have already stated in other reviews, Dragos and Pia and their little family work very well for me, so it was a given I would enjoy the book quite a bit, even if I was rolling my eyes at "mating frenzy this, mating frenzy that", and "caveman behavior this, I gotta assert myself that."
Despite myself and my eye-rolls, I found that I got sucked into the little mystery/plot, so it was still all good.
I abhor junk science, especially junk medicine. Utterly abhor it. I was very annoyed Ms Harrison pulled junk rhesus factor compatibility as a bogus reason why Pia can't/shouldn't have any more kids. Don't "research-dump" and give fake/wrong info. Stop it. And also - Dr Medina is a shit doctor for being the vehicle of all that fake medical info. Dragos should fire her incompetent ass so that we won't have to encounter her in subsequent novellas (wyr doctor who didn't know to check for incompatibility during/immediately after Pia's first pregnancy? Miss me with that nonsense plot).
All in all, *I* liked it. But only just, and my enjoyment is a given, anyway. But truthfully, I feel like this was a lot of filler, unlike DRAGOS TAKES A HOLIDAY. So....if you really like Dragos and Pia like I do, and have $4 to spend, go for it.
PS: it was nice to see Bayne. And irrelevant to include Niniane and Tiago - nobody cares about them, and they can go on being insinificant, like Rune (ugh! Yes I am still salty over the total waste his story was). Ok Toodles.
I know I will love this! A lot of Ms Harris' writing doesn't work for me anymore, but I simply adore the way she writes Dragos, Pia, and Liam. In this she can do no wrong. I know she'll knock this one outta the park - well, I fervently hope so!!!...more
The concept and setting were very original, in my opinion. It's not everyday you come across a story of a colonized planet where the trees3.5 stars.
The concept and setting were very original, in my opinion. It's not everyday you come across a story of a colonized planet where the trees provide cover and as well speak to a certain subset of the population; or have shifters bred/created for the sole purpose of protecting the populace against the dangerous fauna of the new planet. Everything about the concept worked very well for me.
What didn't work too well were the characters. I expected Rhodry to be more savvy for a shifter leader who knew he was hated and that people were plotting his overthrow. But without the lapse in judgment there would've been no real story, so..... It's all good
Amanda. I didn't like Amanda. I warmed up to her significantly once the story picked up (after the 40% or so mark), but even at the end I still didn't quite like her character.
The plot was pretty slow during the first half, but picked up significantly in the second. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, given that I didn't much like the main character.
All in all, well worth a read, and I will be looking for the second in series. But then again, I always knew this, because BamaGal ain't never steered me wrong with a recommendation before. Ever....more
First and foremost, I am glad Lisa Kleypas is writing historical romance again. No one does it quite like her, and true to form, the book was3.5 stars
First and foremost, I am glad Lisa Kleypas is writing historical romance again. No one does it quite like her, and true to form, the book was excellently written and well-paced.
However I was not very invested in the protagonists. I cared a lot more about everyone else: about Helen (who reminded me of a less-shy, more capable Evie), about Rhys (who reminded me of Hardy Cates and Zachary Bronson), and Weston, who made me laugh. Even the twins and Severin, were more interesting to me than Devon and Kathleen.
That being said, I liked Devon well enough. I didn't like Kathleen with her uppity and judgey self (and also self-centered really. How selfish do you have to be to make decisions for someone else based on what *you prefer*, not reality, or more importantly, what the person in question prefers?) Ehn.
It was obvious Rhys Winterborne and Helen were being set up for their own book, and I am mighty excited for it....more
When I first read this book in April 2015, I wasn't very enamored of it. I didn't like Kera, nor the Ravens, and the slapstick didn't work too well foWhen I first read this book in April 2015, I wasn't very enamored of it. I didn't like Kera, nor the Ravens, and the slapstick didn't work too well for me. So I grumbled, put the book away, and moved on to other things.
In the final quarter of 2015, on a whim, I picked the book back up again, and reread it. And then reread it and reread it again. I found much to like the second, third, and fourth go-arounds: yes, I still didn't like Kera too much, but the Ravens grew on me, and so did Chloe and the rest of the Crows- so much so that I am really looking forward to the release of book 2 later this month. Even the slapstick was not as grating as it was the first time around. So.... Yeah. 4 stars, after the reread....more
After reading, I stand by my earlier statement that it appears the publisher and/or author is milking the series for revenue because neither this bookAfter reading, I stand by my earlier statement that it appears the publisher and/or author is milking the series for revenue because neither this book nor the primary protagonists in it was in any way, shape, or form essential to the overarching plot. Said overarching plot moved forward very marginally, if at all. If it was necessary to publish a story about Gaius, this could very well have been a novella.
The entire premise of this book was that Kachka (by virtue of being a "fierce warrior" with no magicks whatsoever, along with Gaius (who came along; why, I do not know) and their team, have to retrieve the evil god Chramnesind's eye before his zealot followers can get their hands on it. Why is this so important to the looming war? We do not know, except that according to Rhiannon, "there is power in the talismans left by the gods." Dassit.
I also reiterate my point that Gaius and Kachka are not even *marginally* integral to this series. This entire book could've been written as Brannie and Aidan's quest/love story and would've probably made more sense because at least, Brannie and Aidan are part of the core cast, even if tangentially. In fact, it could've been Morfyd and Brastias' quest and would have made more sense.
And because Gaius and Kachka aren't integral or even really interesting (Gaius is a nice guy, that's all. Not interesting or integral), there was in fact, precious little about them and their hollow little 'love story', thank the gods. Far more time was devoted to the rest of the cast - Annwyl (whom I love), everybody and their mama at Garbhan isle, the twins (yayy), and Rhi (who's becoming less annoying). That was the saving grace of this book.
I have previously stated somewhere how the punchline shtick with Kachka and her sister and the "Daughters of the Steppes" is actually not funny at all and overplayed. It became downright offensive in this installment. There was a scene where the huge giant-like Zoya Kolesova, daughter of the Steppe, comes to the south lands and basically forces a soldier to dance with her who is obviously very unwilling and intimidated by her size. And later she ends up sleeping with him (or some other such unwilling soldier). That was played on for humor, I believe. But I didn't find it very funny. That is *sexual harassment* and *rape.* not funny and not a punchline. That REALLY bothered me.
Also. Vateria. Sigh. If we are going to make a filler book about a filler character, could we at least get him to fulfill his most greatest wish? The only reason Gaius didn't/couldn't kill Vateria his nemesis was because she had a small son, and we are good guys so we can't kill children and so let their mama escape for another day. Talk about Deus ex Machina.
But for Annwyl and the original crew, this book would've been a fail. It is not far from it as it is. I would borrow this from the library, not buy it.
I will still read the next book series because I am invested in the original characters, but I will wait to get it from my library. I bet the next book will be Brannie and Aidan's story. If it is I am here for it.
--------------------------------------------------- I like Gaius. He seems level-headed (like Bran), and in this world of crazy characters, level-headed is good and refreshing.
I don't like Kachka. The slapstick with she and her sister is over-the-top and frankly, not at all funny. It's too much.
And I feel like Ms. Aiken and her publishers are milking this series for money by stretching it out. I do not know how essential Gaius and Kachka/their story is to the plot.
So I am hoping there will be more to this book than the love story between the two....more
So.... I think if I had read this book earlier, when I was more able to suspend disbelief, I would've rated it even higher - possibly 5 stars3 stars.
So.... I think if I had read this book earlier, when I was more able to suspend disbelief, I would've rated it even higher - possibly 5 stars.
But with every passing birthday, it seems I grow more cynical/realistic/unwilling to suspend said disbelief, and it's wreaking havoc with my enjoyment of historical romances.
For the first half of the book, I felt that the writing was...off. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it felt like the writing was getting in the way of the story. I don't know how to explain it, but that is how it felt to me. That resolved itself with the second half, and well, the resolution brought with it new problems.
See...I just couldn't credit it. This is not just a story of abandonment. He didn't just throw her out - but he threw her out with nothing, in an era when women alone had no recourse to any help, and were like as not to end up in the workhouse or a brothel to keep body and soul together. He threw her out while she was pregnant. With his child (even though he didn't believe it). After killing her cousin, whom she loved, for no just reason - all because he wouldn't listen.
So fair enough- helping the wounded soldier n all. But I can't credit, after all that (and then learning he'd been enjoying time with his 'Mimi') - after 5 years of sorrow and trouble and almost losing her son, which would never have happened had she had his protection - after all that, going glibly into his arms because 'love.' Nah, bruh. I just couldn't credit it. So her inner conflict, what little there was of it, didn't work for me. At all.
I can credit forgiveness because you don't wanna be choked with hate; I can't credit getting back together again with Jack, not with all that happened. Can't do it.
So.....yeah, I guess it was a good story in the sense that it's pretty well-written. But it is not a good story in the sense that....nope. Nah. Neaux. Not true. Not creditable....more
This is has got to be one of the most unapologetically people-of-color-centered novels I've ever read that wasn't literary fiction written by3.5 stars
This is has got to be one of the most unapologetically people-of-color-centered novels I've ever read that wasn't literary fiction written by an African author. Loved that.
It's narrated by Carlos Delacruz, a man who's more dead than alive, and who works for New York Council of the Dead as a detective/enforcer. Because he straddles the line between life and death, he can basically execute tasks (and humans and ghosts) in both realms. Shenanigans are underfoot, with a sorcerer trying to bring down the partition between the living and the dead, and it's up to Carlos to stop him.
I loved the mythology and relationships in this book. The narration was very informal and conversational, and part of the book's unique charm. The characters, the conversation, and the mythology was unabashedly Hispanic African- felt like I was reading a vodun (voodoo) mystery, or something out of indigenous African religion. For me, that is unique and unexpected, and very welcome.
I do feel that the narrative floundered a bit getting towards the end, but in the final 10% or so, it picked up appreciably. I'll definitely be looking for the next in series....more
Funnily enough, I didn't expect to enjoy this here book (or the entire series, really) as much as I did. I only bought the book because I tend to compFunnily enough, I didn't expect to enjoy this here book (or the entire series, really) as much as I did. I only bought the book because I tend to compulsively buy books by Ms. Singh. Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised.
I liked getting to know Fix and Molly, and I liked seeing the other members of their bands and the hints of their stories to come. I'm in for the ride :)....more