They came in with the tide. The moon illuminated long lines of froth as the waves gathered and gathered and gathered offshore, and when they finally b...moreThey came in with the tide. The moon illuminated long lines of froth as the waves gathered and gathered and gathered offshore, and when they finally broke on the sand, the capaill uisce tumbled onto the shore with them. The horses pulled their heads up with effort, trying to break free from the salt water.
I had to restrain the squealing, fangirly Maja and shove her in the closet so that the adult, critical Maja can sit and write this review. Believe me, it’s better this way.
With The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater has finally earned my complete trust. I promise never to doubt her again. I’ve read four of her books so far and I gave all four of them five stars. If there was ever an author who deserved my wholehearted support, it’s her. She is an artist above all else, and if that alone isn’t enough, here’s another reason for my respect:
Other writers might have different priorities, but for me, the chief goal of my novels is not plot or premise or pacing, but to evoke a certain feeling. I will sacrifice most anything in order to change someone's mood in a certain way. I can't do that without careful navigation of metaphor and character development. (From Ms. Stiefvater’s blog post)
But I’ll limit my praise to The Scorpio Races for now:
This time, Stiefvater flirted a little more seriously with the fantasy genre and created an amazingly gripping story. People on the fictional island Thisby live and breathe for one thing and one thing alone: wild and bloodthirsty water horses, the capaill uisce. They are either directly involved in the races or they take care of tourists from the mainland. Even though the Scorpio Races are held only once a year, the heartbreak and the loss they inevitably bring are almost too big for one small island. People die in the races. They die because they are too slow, too vulnerable or too ready to trust the monsters they are riding on. The capaill uisce may be stunningly beautiful, but all you have to do is turn your back on them for one short second, and their teeth will already be deep inside your flesh. It takes everything in me not to whimper. The creature is black as peat at midnight, and its lips are pulled back into a fearsome grin. The ears are long and wickedly pointed toward each other, less like a horse and more like a demon. They remind me of shark egg pouches. The nostrils are long and thin to keep the sea out. Eyes black and slick: a fish’s eyes. It still stinks like the ocean. Like low tide and things caught on rock. It’s barely a horse. It’s hungry.
Kate “Puck” Connoly and her two brothers lost their parents when a bloodthirsty capall uisce attacked them on the sea. Ever since, the three of them survive by fixing things for other people, making teapots, helping in the local store and doing anything at all to put some butter and flour in their mostly empty pantry. But when the oldest brother, Gabe, the only one with a steady job, decides to leave the island, and Benjamin Malvern threatens to take their house away, Puck sees no other choice but to join the dangerous race in order to save her house, and maybe even prevent her brother from leaving.
Sean Kendrick lost his mother to the mainland and his father in the race. Enormous talent and love for the capaill uisce made it possible for him to survive on the island, working for Benjamin Malvern and his obnoxious son Mutt. Sean has won the races four out of six times. He has everyone’s respect and a decent amount of money saved. The only thing stopping him from leaving the Malverns is Corr, the capall uisce that is Sean’s only family. This year more than ever Sean has to win the races because if he wins, Benjamin Malvern will finally sell him Corr, thus setting them both free.
Make no mistake: even though this story is told from two alternating POVs and it seemingly focuses on Sean and Puck, it’s really a story about the water horses. They are what matters, Sean and Puck are just tour guides. If you’re looking for romance, you could end up disappointed. It is present, but the emphasis is on other things this time. The writing is atmospheric and it feels like a thick mist, albeit one you're in no hurry to get out of. The island itself is a character: people, mentality and everyday struggles they face. The rich American buyer, George Holly, is there to remind us exactly how different the island people are.
Please follow the link above to find out more about Stiefvater's writing priorities. She is one amazing lady and she just keeps proving her worth over and over again with every new word she writes.
Orphaned twin sisters, half vampires and half mages, were separated at birth. One was raised by the vampires, the other b...more3.5 stars *cue dramatic music*
Orphaned twin sisters, half vampires and half mages, were separated at birth. One was raised by the vampires, the other by the mages, one treated like a weapon and the other like a princess. They grew up unaware of each other’s existence, but they’ve recently been reunited and forced to fight their mortal enemy… and family. They came out as winners, but the cost is much greater than they ever imagined. After spending their lives apart, Sabina and Maisie are finally trying to become the sisters they were always meant to be. The person who stood in their way is gone, and they are free to live their lives however they see fit. But Maisie is still suffering the consequences of her kidnapping, and Sabina is unable to adjust to her new, peaceful and infinitely boring life. When you’re a retired killer, it’s only natural to get bloodthirsty from time to time. Fortunately, Sabina has her boyfriend Adam and her fateful sidekick Giguhl to help her with her troubles. Maisie, however, is turning down everyone willing to help her. The time has come for Maisie, the Hekate Council’s Oracle, to deliver her annual prophecy, but in order to do that, she must dream, and she’s refusing to sleep. At the same time, dead bodies start appearing everywhere, and there is no doubt that a vampire drained them. With the new vampire leadership in town, Sabina must work hard to save her fragile sister, her relationship with Adam, Slade’s job and her own reputation. It would seem that the enemy they’d killed isn’t their biggest enemy after all. War between the races is even closer than they thought.
I had a feeling this book might be a little slower than the previous ones and I was right. After the big showdown in Green-Eyed Demon, things needed to settle down a bit, especially since the next book is going to be the last. All this is true about the first 85%, though - it’s basically build-up for the final installment. The last 15%, however, gave us a taste of what we can expect in Blue-Blooded Vamp. I especially like that Wells did all this, but she didn’t end her book with a nasty cliffhanger. The last book of the series will be released in June 2012 and I’m already jumping up and down with excitement. (Also, I’m addicted to pre-ordering books.)
While we silently debated whether to tell him, Giguhl spotted the glove. He grabbed it from my hand. “Oh, shit, is this one of those S&M gloves?” I shot the demon an incredulous look. “How in the hell did you know that?” He raised a scraggly black brow. “Bitch, please. I have all sorts of knowledge I haven’t even begun to lay on your ass.” I raised my eyebrow and waited. He grimaced. “Okay, fine. Cinnamon overheard Slade and Adam talking at Vein and called me. But still, I can totally help you guys. Can I pleeaaase go with you to the sex shop?” (less)
2.5 stars With one hundred pages and three POVs less, plus some small changes in worlbuilding, Dearly, Departed could have been an excellent novel. As...more2.5 stars With one hundred pages and three POVs less, plus some small changes in worlbuilding, Dearly, Departed could have been an excellent novel. As it is, parts of it are amazing, while other parts left me extremely frustrated, disappointed and angry.
If only Lia Habel decided against introducing five (view spoiler)[that’s right, FIVE (hide spoiler)] different POVs, one precious star in my rating would have been saved. At least two of those five contributed nothing but annoyance to the narrative. I’m sure there were far better ways of telling the same story, especially the parts concerning the villain’s actions. The two chapters told from Wolfe’s perspective felt completely out of place and they gave me the impression that the author took an easy way out. As for Pamela’s POV, it could have made a decent new installment or a spin off at some point. Having her thrown in the middle of Nora and Bram’s story made me strongly dislike her, not that she was all that likeable to begin with. If nothing else, she made a pretty good contrast to Nora’s character. While Pamela is whiny and dull, Nora is fierce and resourceful. Contrary to the world that was built for her, Nora is not a girl who will just hide behind anyone’s back. Despite her privileged upbringing and the fact that being a delicate lady is all that’s expected of her, when zombies come, she picks up the gun and starts shooting. It’s no wonder Bram fell in love with her. I fell in love with her!
My biggest problem, however, was not with all the POVs, it was with the society of New Victoria. While I found the idea of going back to (some) old values intriguing, I simply cannot believe that such a large group of women would willingly regress two hundred years from now. Passages like: St. Cyprian’s was meant to create ladies who floated when they walked, played a little piano, and were otherwise charming and unobtrusive. To that end, it was a sheltered environment. Television was forbidden and access to the Aethernet was strictly filtered. and Women were forbidden from joining the army, of course… and “It is through marriage that we can both improve our positions. I want to get out of this hole in the ground. I want to take my place within the best set again. Why do you not understand this?” made me want to cry in frustration. Regardless of the circumstances, I find it very unlikely that women would allow themselves to be treated as furniture again, especially at the end of the 22nd century.
That said, there were many good parts as well. I simply adore Nora, Bram and their undead friends. I fell in love with so many of the secondary characters and I’ll read the next installment mostly because of them. I just hope some minor changes will be made.
I should probably mention that the last part made me cry a little. Hmm. Maybe I'm just getting sappy in my old age.
"It was a little after midnight, and I was trying to sleep mostly out of self-defense."
My initial rating for this book was 4.5 stars. Then, while I w...more"It was a little after midnight, and I was trying to sleep mostly out of self-defense."
My initial rating for this book was 4.5 stars. Then, while I was trying to write a review (I say trying because all my attempts have been pretty unsuccessful by my standards), I just went ahead and changed it to 5. It felt like the right thing to do. I suppose it would be easy enough to start pointing out flaws, complain about this and that, compare this book to Linger and especially Shiver, but I don’t want to do any of that. Not to Forever. The truth is, even if it didn’t have as many breathtaking moments as the two books before it, I was still very happy with how it was done. Besides, Maggie Stiefvater deserved better than that. What she gave me with this trilogy cannot be measured in stars. It cannot be taken apart or put into words. I’d always believed that there’s nothing beyond language, but this time, words really are inadequate. And, my dear GoodReaders, you have no idea how much it costs me to admit it.
Maggie Stiefvater has a way of making me see beauty in the simplest things. She doesn’t create it, she just uses her words to point out what was already there and show it in a completely different light. Never before have I stopped to notice the quiet sadness in the most mundane, repetitive moments but it doesn’t surprise me at all that it was Stiefvater who pulled that particular heartstring and woke me up. And I do feel awakened, at least for now.
All these characters started as one thing, and ended up as their true selves. People keep talking about Cole and how much he’s grown in Forever, but Grace did too, just in a less obvious way. Cole found purpose, Isabel found softness, Sam found determination and Grace found completion. Honestly, what more can you ask?
"It was like I’d unfolded all my paper crane memories and found something unfamiliar printed on them. Somehow along the way, hope had been folded into one of those birds. My whole life, I had thought that my story was, again and again: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and he had to risk everything to keep what he loved. But the real story was: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and his fear ate him alive. I was done being afraid."
While rereading these books will certainly not be the same as reading them for the first time, the very fact that I will be rereading them, and probably many times at that, gives me a reason not to say goodbye right now. I can never do this book justice. I will never be able to write anything worthy of Stiefvater’s beautiful prose, so I might as well stop trying. After 1150 pages full of emotions and truth, all I can say is: Thank you. (less)
I always find it especially hard to review urban fantasy books. I read them, I usually enjoy them, I spend a total of three minutes thinking about the...moreI always find it especially hard to review urban fantasy books. I read them, I usually enjoy them, I spend a total of three minutes thinking about them, and after that, there’s really not much to say. But this book and its author Rachel Caine, who in all honesty hasn’t failed me yet, deserve my best effort.
This isn’t my first book by Rachel Caine. I loved her Weather Warden series (at least the first three books that I’ve read so far) and I still moderately enjoy her Morganville Vampires. My expectations for this were pretty high to begin with and after reading the first book, I'm pretty confident that this will become one of my favorites. Working Stiff is full of small surprises. I can’t really say that it’s unpredictable because, you know, urban fantasy never is, but there were times when the plot went in the opposite direction from what I expected.
After spending four years in Iraq, Bryn Davis understands well the importance of taking care of the dead. As odd as her career choice may seem, she is perfectly happy with her decision to become a funeral director. That is, until she discovers that her new employer is using the funeral home as a cover for some pretty serious and pretty disgusting illegal activities.
Bryn is an amazing character, beautiful, strong, silent and incredibly stubborn. She is caught in an impossible situation, and while she does get overwhelmed by fear and acts foolishly from time to time, she never whines. At least not in a way that would bother me. She also knows how to be funny without being overly sarcastic.
I can’t really reveal the name of Bryn’s love interest because that would ruin one of the small surprises I’ve mentioned. I can, however, say that he’s one of the hottest and most attractive male characters in urban fantasy. I should know, I’ve read them all. He is 100% human which means that he doesn’t have any supernatural powers to hide behind, but he is still more amazing than any vampire, were or mage I can think of. I kid you not. Silent, serious ex-marine type with a tenderness he shows only rarely, he reminded me of Benton Wesley from the Kay Scarpetta series. (I always had a thing for smooth, smart, suit and tie guys like Benton.) He alone would be reason enough to read this book.
If you like urban fantasy, you are going to love Working Stiff. I can’t wait for the next book to come out. (less)
I am breathless, speechless and whateverless (probably mindless) at the moment. The best I can do is quote my favorite, if sometimes cowardly Newsie,...moreI am breathless, speechless and whateverless (probably mindless) at the moment. The best I can do is quote my favorite, if sometimes cowardly Newsie, Alaric Kwong:
"Son of a chicken-fucking soy farmer and a diseased convention-center security guard."
I was drawn to the first book of the Drake Chronicles because of its shiny cover and the intriguing title. Whenever I choose a book based on those two...moreI was drawn to the first book of the Drake Chronicles because of its shiny cover and the intriguing title. Whenever I choose a book based on those two things alone, I end up disappointed. However, My Love Lies Bleeding won me over with its amusing characters, fast pacing, hilarious moments and not a single love triangle in sight. It was a highly entertaining, feel-good story that surprised me and made me laugh and I instantly became a huge fan of the series.
Drake Chronicles revolve around a royal vampire family and their human friends. Every book focuses on a different Drake brother and is told from multiple POVs. These books are essentially young adult paranormal romances, but unlike so many PNRs, they have great plots, lots of action, a large number of well-built secondary characters and an abundance of delightful, accessible humor.
Bleeding Hearts is the fourth book of the series and it focuses on Connor Drake and Lucy’s cousin Christabel who came to live with Lucy and her parents when her mother went into rehab. Ever since Helena Drake became the queen, the family has been under constant attack from their political enemies, and of course, the blue-skinned and vicious Hel-Blar vampires. In addition, Solange is still struggling with the fact that she’s becoming a different kind of vampire, one that has never been seen before and she’s allowing herself to be influenced by some morally impaired royals as a result. Lucy keeps being pushed away for her own protection, but she fights back every single time with Nicholas as her ally. I’d missed Lucy horribly in the last two books and it was great to see things through her eyes once again. Nothing is quite the same without her stubbornness and sense of humor. Connor is not my favorite Drake, but he’s not far behind either, and after a while, even Christabel became likeable, despite her infatuation with Mr. Darcy.
I had every intention of giving this book four stars, but when I reached the last page and saw that it ends with a cliffhanger, I took one star off my rating.
4.5 stars Grimspace is a bitch mistress who carries unearthly delight in one hand and a crop in the other. We bear the latter to receive the former. (F...more4.5 stars Grimspace is a bitch mistress who carries unearthly delight in one hand and a crop in the other. We bear the latter to receive the former. (From Killbox)
Nobody builds worlds better than Ann Aguirre. Nobody destroys them quite like her either.
At the end of Killbox, Jax did the only thing she thought could save the worlds threatened by the Morgut. In doing so, she betrayed the Conglomerate, the Armada, but most of all March – both as her lover and as her commanding officer. She now has to face consequences for her actions, hoping that she’ll get a chance to keep all the promises she made along the way.
Imprisoned, Jax finally has time to think about everything she’s already lost and the possibility of losing March forever. But being planetbound is hurting her more than anything else and she's slowly starting to realise that she'll have to lose much more because of her inability to resist the siren call of grimspace.
Aftermath is an adventure comparable only to Doubleblind before it. What separates these two books from the rest of Sirantha Jax series is that they focus more on personal growth of the characters and less on action. I’m so happy that Aguirre finally gave us more information about Hit, Adele, Doc and Rose, but most of all Vel. Sirantha’s path from an anti-heroine to a self-aware, courageous woman is nothing if not impressive, and she owes a lot of her newfound dedication and maturity to the strong, loyal bounty hunter.
Impeccable writing style, rich worlds, complex characters and unending excitement are exactly what I expect from my favorite author – a title Aguirre deserved long ago. Nevertheless, Aftermath exceeded my expectations in every way!
I’ve learned to expect disappointment from final installments, but there will be no disappointment coming from Ann Aguirre and Endgame. I am absolutely certain that she will deliver a conclusion worthy of this fabulous series.
Favorite quote: ...I hear footsteps, and it's not mealtime. Hopefully, this means they've come to some decision about what to do with us. If they haven't, Mary help them. Because I'm Sirantha Jax, and I've had enough.
A huge thank you to the author for sending me a signed copy of this book. (less)
I wouldn’t exactly call Graveminder urban fantasy, but I don’t know what else to call it either, so I guess I’ll just leave it on my UF shelf. It remi...moreI wouldn’t exactly call Graveminder urban fantasy, but I don’t know what else to call it either, so I guess I’ll just leave it on my UF shelf. It reminded me of a small town horror story. I should probably list what I liked and didn’t like here. Don't worry, it’s going to be very short.
What I liked: - From what I understand, Melissa Marr didn’t plan this as a series. Everything was wrapped up nicely which was very refreshing. - 3rd person narrative and multiple POVs made the story a little hard to get into, but once I did, I enjoyed the change. - Some of the supporting characters, like Amity. They were far more interesting than either Rebekkah or Byron. - The world of the dead was really interesting, and the characters there were amazing.
What I didn’t like (I’ll try to keep it as short as possible): - The names Rebekkah and Byron. Rebekkah is even worse than Faythe and I didn’t think that was possible. I want a UF heroine named Mary. That would be a nice change. - The story was sadly predictable. I could see everything coming from a mile away. That made it a little boring, and not just in the middle. - Some parts of the story didn’t make any sense, but I can’t really explain them without major spoilers. - It was mentioned several times that the dead aren’t really zombies, but they do rise from their graves and walk around biting people. I say if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
I wouldn’t recommend this books to anyone, but I wouldn’t want to stop you from reading it either. I’m sure some of my friends will enjoy it far more than I did. (less)
”If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your thing.” - T-shirt
Don’t worry, Darynda Jones succeeded. Twice.
The second time around our favorite g...more”If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your thing.” - T-shirt
Don’t worry, Darynda Jones succeeded. Twice.
The second time around our favorite grim reaper gets into all kinds of trouble. She has three cases to solve and a messy love life to deal with. The man of our her dreams is in danger and Charley will move heaven and earth to help him. Who wouldn’t?
Reyes is even more mysterious now than he was in the first book when we knew nothing about him other than how incredibly handsome he is. (view spoiler)[Wow, that IS the understatement of the year. Reyes is not handsome, he is... HA! Wouldn't you like to know?! (hide spoiler)] I can’t say I was entirely comfortable with some of his choices in this book, but that didn’t stop me from being just as pathetic as those women who were writing him fan mail and paying a fortune for photos of him in the shower. He is Reyes Alexander Farrow after all, and if you’re furrowing your eyebrows in confusion, that only means you haven’t read these books.
Darynda Jones still relies on humor to make her book unputdownable. Maybe some of you will think that’s a bad thing, but her fans, including me, wouldn’t want it any other way. Admittedly, there were times when I felt that she overdid it, especially around chapters 4 and 5, but she soon got right back on track.
”As a matter of fact, my toes were recently christened in an odd game of Spin the Bottle and one-too-many margaritas.” “Could you introduce me?” I hefted myself upright and wrestled off my socks, wiggling the bed just enough to elicit soft gasps of agony from Garret. “You’re such a whiner,” I said, lying back beside him and lifting my feet. “Okay, starting with my left pinky toe, we have Dopey, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Queen Elizabet the Third, Bootylicious the Patron Saint of Hot Asses, and Pinky Floyd.” After a thoughtful moment, he asked, “Pinky Floyd?” “You know, like the band, only not” “Right. Did you name your fingers?” I turned an incredulous look on him. I was a master of incredulity. “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
All in all, this book was exactly what I expected it to be – light, funny, with lovable characters and the ultimate bad boy. It had family drama, secret agents, a silly best friend, nightly adventures in bunny slippers, missing persons, shootouts, and an ending that made me want to read more.
First Grave on the Right was the book I picked up and reread every time I felt sad, tired, or just in the mood for a few good laughs. Second Grave on the Left will serve the same purpose, at least until February 2, 2012. when I’ll trade it for a younger model. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
4.5 stars. Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have a winner! Ilona and Andrew have done it again.
I have a plan to save urban fantasy. I’m not a megalom...more4.5 stars. Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have a winner! Ilona and Andrew have done it again.
I have a plan to save urban fantasy. I’m not a megalomaniac or anything, I just think that UF needs saving and I care enough to try. Therefore, I’ve developed a cunning plan: I’m going to buy four more copies of this book. The first I’ll send to Jeanine Frost because she was the first of my favorite UF authors to disappoint me this year. (view spoiler)[Hot wax? So not cool! (hide spoiler)] I’ll send the second book to Chloe Neill, though I’m afraid she may already be beyond all hope. The remaining two copies have to be sent to the queen bee herself, our very own Charlaine Harris. She needs to read one and swallow the other like a medicine. Hell, I might even go wild and send a fifth copy to Patricia Briggs, because let’s face it, River Marked really wasn’t all that!
Amazing, amazing, amazing! That’s pretty much all I can say about this book. I especially love that there’s some Slavic mythology thrown into the mix.
Kate aka bunnycakes and her sugar woogums, His Furriness (hey, her words, not mine) are in a world of trouble… again! A secret society known as the Lighthouse Keepers hired a crazy scientist. He's building a device that can wipe out all magic within a four-mile radius. Life without magic isn’t easy for most of our characters, but the much bigger problem is that the device also kills every single magical person. That means the Pack, the People, witches, mages and just about everybody else. It’s basically an atomic bomb for the magical community. In addition to that, the Beast Lord and his Consort (who hates to be called Mate) have other problems: Kate finds out the truth about her mother, which brings out a series of very difficult questions regarding her relationship with Curran, Andrea’s retired and not at all herself, a very important person gets mortally wounded, the boudas are creating more trouble than they’re worth and there’s even a pregnant Alpha in the Keep.
Favorite quote: I could've fallen for someone steady. Dependable. Well-grounded. But nooo, I had to lose my head over this idiot.
After all that, the only thing left to say is: Go read this book. Now! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(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)
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)
Now, see, this is what an urban fantasy book is supposed to look like. It has absolutely everything: vampires, mages, weres, mischief demons...more4.5 stars!
Now, see, this is what an urban fantasy book is supposed to look like. It has absolutely everything: vampires, mages, weres, mischief demons, fae transvestites, voodoo priestesses, kidnapped twin sisters, evil murderous grandmothers, epic battles and great love stories. Jaye Wells has come a long way since writing Red Headed Stepchild . Truth to be told, she’s spending an awful lot of time with Nicole Peeler lately. Maybe Peeler’s general awesomeness rubbed off on her somehow.
While Sabina Kane certainly isn’t Jane True, the person she’s become cannot leave anyone coldhearted. I think Wells finally realized that the MC had to actually feel something in order for someone to connect with her. Green Eyed Demon is all about revelations and personal growth. It kept me interested from the first to the last page. You all know how I feel about writing summaries, so I’ll just skip that part. This series is really worth reading, even if it means suffering through the first installment.