When I chose Grave Witch from my to-read list, I did it with a severe lack of enthusiasm. You see, I just finished two (great) Charlie Madigan books,...more When I chose Grave Witch from my to-read list, I did it with a severe lack of enthusiasm. You see, I just finished two (great) Charlie Madigan books, so any book I chose to read next would have to overcome an automatic disadvantage. The truth is, while I admit I was still under Charlie’s influence, I don’t think I would have liked Alex anyway. She doesn’t possess the depths of a real person, and I had the impression that she doesn’t know herself all that well. She is a lost puppy by choice and she doesn’t connect to people very well – not just the men, but her friends as well. I don’t like people that are cold and distant, and Alex is a little bit of both. The second thing that really annoyed me is the city itself. Price didn’t build her world around a real city. I don’t particularly like that, but I can live with it. Instead she created a whole new city and called it Nekros. Oh, come on! Nekros?! That’s the most terrible cliché she could come up with. It most certainly isn’t something I can forgive easily.
But let’s find some good parts or it will seem I hated Grave Witch. I usually don’t like the fae very much (ok, I’m scared to death of them) but I went through the whole book full of fae and witches really relaxed and comfortable. There was a small part in a fae bar that made me get goosebumps all over, but I lived, obviously. I came out of the experience without a permanent damage of any kind. I’ll probably just have bad dreams for a while. The plotline was strong and very interesting – the whole story about a crazy fae killing girls and performing rituals to steal their souls kept me interested to the very end.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Death as a character, and even a love interest. And to be completely honest, Falin is a real bastard - and a mysterious one at that. Plus, another love triangle was so not what I needed. But here I am, marking July 5th on my calendar, waiting impatiently to find out where things will go from here.
I don't know what kind of game Chloe Neill is playing. All I know is that she’s selling an unusually large chapter for the price of a novel. That’s ex...moreI don't know what kind of game Chloe Neill is playing. All I know is that she’s selling an unusually large chapter for the price of a novel. That’s exactly how Hexbound felt to me. Other than that, there’s really not much to tell. I had some problems with the way friendships were made in Firespell, and that continued in this book. Here's how it goes: Lily arrives to her new school, Scout approaches her, introduces herself and boldly announces that they are now best friends.
And God says: “It shall be done!”
I don’t know about you guys, but that’s how I made friends in preschool.
The best I can say about Hexbound is that I finished it. I made it through somehow. Admittedly, I laughed out loud a couple of times, but I was also rolling my eyes every time Jason changed into a werewolf. If Neill had a problem with nudity in a YA novel, why on earth has she decided to involve werewolves?!? Jason changes form every other minute, but there is no mention of clothes anywhere.
I’m still waiting for the next chapter. The first two books together were one half of a proper novel at best. So we just have to wait and see where all this is going. (less)
2.5 starts. Plotwise it wasn't even worth two stars, but somehow I found myself enjoying it from time to time. It was like one of those B-horror movie...more2.5 starts. Plotwise it wasn't even worth two stars, but somehow I found myself enjoying it from time to time. It was like one of those B-horror movies: they are incredibly stupid and you know it, but you still can't stop watching.
I have very little patience for PNR lately. Nightshade is paranormal romance disguised as urban fantasy and that in itself kind of pisses me off. The problem is, even the romance is unconvincing. Some parts were completely unbelievable. I know believability is not one of the genre's strong points, but there are lines you just can't cross. Jill gets kidnapped by Declan (hey, it's PNR, his reasons don't really matter), and here's how she describes him: His face didn't have an ounce of humanity to it. Around the black eye patch, scar tissue branched out like a spiderweb up over his forehead and down his left cheek, all the way to his neck. He was as scary-looking as he was ugly.
Yet half a day later, she's completely in love with him. Another half a day later, he stands and watches while a vampire feeds from her and almost rapes her. A few hours after that, she sleeps with him. Did I mention he only has one eye?! :D Ok, maybe we're a little tired of gorgeous vampires/faeries/werewhatevers, but Rowen went to the extreme here: Declan is a dhampir. (view spoiler)[You're thinking Dimitri?!? Think again! (hide spoiler)] He heals like a vampire, but everything leaves scars. His face looks like a medieval battlefield. He lost an eye in a fight so he wears and eye patch. He injects himself wiith a serum that helps him suppress his vampire urges AND turns him into a killing machine without emotions. He's cold, ugly and very rude. What's not to like?
The world building really isn't worth mentioning. I'll just spare you the details. I know some of my friends really liked this book, and I can respect that, but it definitely wasn't for me. I have no intention of reading the next one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
In Daimon, the short story prequel, Alex’s mother was killed by a group of Strigoi daimons, but Alex was lucky enough to escape. At the beginning of H...moreIn Daimon, the short story prequel, Alex’s mother was killed by a group of Strigoi daimons, but Alex was lucky enough to escape. At the beginning of Half-Blood, she is found by Dimitri Aiden and other Guardians Sentinels and returned to the Covenant, where she hopes to continue her education. However, the dean is none too happy with her. She has lost three years of training and he thinks she shouldn’t be allowed to rejoin her classmates. Instead, he wants to give her the elixir which will turn her into a mindless slave for the Moroi Pures. Of course, Aiden steps up and offers to train her in his free time and because of his words, Alex is given a chance to prove that she can become just as good as the others by the end of the summer.
Relationships between Pures and Half-Bloods are strictly forbidden. Alex is a half-blood, try guessing what Aiden is! If they end up together and someone finds out, nothing will happen to Aiden because he’s a Pure, but Alex will be forced into slavery and will probably have to be a servant in her stepfather’s (who also happens to be a very powerful politician) house.
I think this book was some sort of an experiment: how much can an author take from another author and avoid being sued for plagiarism?! Jennifer Armentrout crossed the line considerably if you ask me. It’s true that we are used to YA paranormal literature being formulaic, but that’s not what this is about. Armentrout wasn’t just following the usual formula - more than half of this book is flat-out stolen. Far too many characters and situations were just copied from the Vampire Academy series to Half-Blood for it to be an accident. I can't help but wonder what this woman was thinking. She had too know how obvious it'll be.
Under normal circumstances, Half-Blood would have been a solid 4-star book for me. The characters are interesting enough, the world is well built, the plot is compelling and the writing itself isn’t half bad. But I can’t bring myself to reward Armentrout’s actions. If I do, if we all do, where will it end?
There are some differences between Half-Blood and Vampire Academy, especially in the second half. But by the time I reached those parts, I was already going back and forth from depressed to angry and I just couldn’t find it within myself to care.
Vampire Academy fans should read this out of sheer curiosity. I recommend borrowing it from the library or something because buying it means encouraging other thieves authors to do the same. I really don’t want to see The Panthers of Hope Falls on some shelf next year.(less)
Usually when I intend to review a book, I choose to wait a while, gather my thoughts, decide how I really feel and then start writing. Rose’s story wa...moreUsually when I intend to review a book, I choose to wait a while, gather my thoughts, decide how I really feel and then start writing. Rose’s story was overwhelming and I need to review it right away or I'll never sleep again. Somewhere around 70%, I fell in love with this book. Not that I didn’t like it before, I was pretty much drawn to the story from the very beginning, but that was when I decided that Anna Sheehan is a very, very good writer.
I think you all know the story by now. Rosalinda Fitzroy wakes up in a stasis tube in which her parents placed her 62 years ago. She is the sole surviving heiress to an interplanetary empire, a princess really, but that doesn't provide much comfort when everyone she ever knew, including her wonderful boyfriend Xavier, is dead. A few decades ago, during the Dark Times, the population was decimated by a plague indirectly caused by her father. The technology has advanced while she's been stassed, and everything else has moved forward as well, but Rose is still a just a frightened 16-year-old girl.
I’m sure hardcore sci-fi fans would find a million things wrong with Sheehan’s world, but I thought it was compelling and new. She gave us just enough information to provide a solid background and make everything function in a satisfactory way without including unnecessary details. She was able to focus on what I consider to be more important: her characters.
Rose is a very flawed character, especially at first. If you somehow manage to get past all the substantial but excusable character flaws, some of her actions will probably still drive you insane. Who leaves a dog alone for two weeks with an open bag of food “knowing that he can drink water from the toilet”? Most of her choices were maddening and she was infuriatingly selfish, but then she got close to Otto, a genetically engeneered, blue-skinned half alien, and my feelings for her changed. She obviously wasn’t too self-absorbed to recognize in him the need for understanding and acceptance and to give him that and more. In fact, all the problems I had with the first half of the book were successfully resolved in the second half. Instalove – properly explained. Rose’s self-deprecating attitude – justified.
At the risk of sounding prejudiced, I have to admit that the ending creeped me out a tiny bit. Up until the last few pages, I was pretty sure that my rating would be 4.5-stars, rounded up. But I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the way Sheehan decided to end some things, even though I should probably rise above my small-mindedness and accept it. It's probably me, not her. :D
I have a question for those of you who’ve read the story: am I the only one who kept picturing Arnold Schwarzenegger as Plastine?! He was very Terminator-like!
And finally, favorite quote, uttered by Otto in the middle of a very serious situation: Thank every god ever invented. (less)
487 pages of pure torture! What Alice Forgot was not at all what I expected. That should teach me never to read a book that hasn’t been rated by at le...more487 pages of pure torture! What Alice Forgot was not at all what I expected. That should teach me never to read a book that hasn’t been rated by at least one of my trusted friends. You see, I thought this would be a well written, intelligent, heartwarming story about a woman who loses ten years of her life, but finds some other, maybe even more valuable things instead. Obviously, I was very wrong. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t normally mind reading the Aussie version of a Maeve Binchy novel, but I DID mind reading a boring Aussie version of Tara Road.
In the beginning of What Alice Forgot, Alice is lying on the gym floor (Gym?! What's she doing in a gym? She hates that sort of thing!), surrounded by strange people who are asking all kinds of silly questions. The whole situation is pretty surreal since Alice has no idea how she got there in the first place! However, it takes more than that to upset her these days: she is only 29, she has a new house, an amazing sister who also happens to be her best friend, a baby on the way and a husband who tells her things like: “Don’t be ridiculous, you goose, you know I’m bloody besotted with you.” when she’s feeling insecure. One of them will surely arrive soon to take care of her. Now, if only these people around her would stop acting like they know her! The person they’re talking about can’t be Alice, because Alice is not having her 40th birthday party in a few days, she is not obsessed with exercise, she doesn’t have three children and she most certainly isn’t getting a divorce any time soon! Why would she? She and Nick are so happy together! Only half an hour later she’s in a hospital, her sister refuses to answer her calls, Nick is yelling at her from Portugal and a strange boy is calling her Mum. She has carelessly misplaced a decade of her life!
Sounds interesting, right? Yes, I thought so, too. Maybe it would have been if Liane Moriarty knew when to stop. 250 pages would have been more than enough for this story, the other 237 were completely unnecessary. I could go into details, but the thought of wasting another minute on this gives me a headache. I was just checking the other ratings for this book. It has 4.02 average rating so I guess that makes me the odd one out for wanting to give it one star. I only added the other one for those few laughs Moriarty managed to squeeze out of me.
This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting fo...moreThis is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did. Eventually I became too annoyed to continue.
Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me. ‘Sink or swim’ is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so - the story just goes on and you either get it or not. Not. I still don’t understand why these Guardians, werewolves, warriors, whatever you want to call them, would answer to a group of witches, allowing themselves to be controlled in such a horrible way. They can’t be dominant, Alpha, and submissive at the same time.
I love my shapeshifter books as long as they don’t break one simple rule: the author needs to explain clothes right away or I’m done. I don’t care what the explanation is: the clothes can magically appear, they can be hidden somewhere or people can just walk around naked, but I need to know. For the longest time in Nightshade, Calla kept changing forms in public without any mention of clothes. It was explained eventually, but by then I was too angry to even care.
You know how sometimes it seems, especially in books with a really strong plot (view spoiler)[think The Hunger Games(hide spoiler)], that the love triangle was thrown in afterwards, probably to satisfy the publisher’s demand? Well, in this case, I’m betting there was an editor somewhere along the line who said: “Wait just a second, Ms. Cremer. This book needs an actual plot! It can’t ALL be just Calla going from Ren to Shay and back.” And so she was forced to add this plot she probably deemed unnecessary and even damaging to her beautiful love triangle drama.
The love triangle was painful to endure. Calla is a terrible, selfish character with double standards, Shay is mostly just pathetic and Ren is blind to it all. Of course, if I had to choose, I’d choose Ren in a second because he has that sexy name going for him and he occasionally shows some backbone, which is more than I can say for either Calla or Shay.
As Lora pointed out in her comment, the ratings are all over the place. It’s quite possible that some of you will find this story interesting and enjoyable. Many of my friends did. But if you don’t like love triangles, stay far, far away from this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's very hard to like a book when you hate the main character. Joseph O’Loughlin is a shining example of everything I despise. He is self-centered, w...moreIt's very hard to like a book when you hate the main character. Joseph O’Loughlin is a shining example of everything I despise. He is self-centered, whiny, deceitful, unprofessional and weak. In short, he’s a lying, cheating bastard.
Postmodern fiction is full of antiheroes, but most of them have one redeeming quality you can hold on to. Joe has none. Robotham stripped him of anything a reader could like. The only thing left is the fact that he has Parkinson’s desease. I’m ashamed to admit there were times when I thought he deserved it.
The killer was pretty much clear all along, but his reasons weren’t, and that kept me guessing the entire time. I must have changed my mind a million times. The twist ending came as a bit of a surprise – I knew there was a second killer, but I had no idea who it was.
This would have been a solid four-star book for me, except that there were times when I couldn’t concentrate on the mystery because I was busy imagining hundred different ways to hurt Joe O’Loughlin! That’s also the reason why I won’t be reading the rest of the series. I just can’t force myself to spend another minute with the man.
(view spoiler)[I was SO angry with Joe’s wife for taking him back in the end! She should have thrown his self-indulgent ass out! Not only did he cheat on Julianne, but it was his stupidity and cowardice that got poor Elise killed. (hide spoiler)]
Read-along adventures with 365andMe are always so much fun! Thank you! We should do it again real soon. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)