The harvest is the end of this world, and the reapers are the angels.
I've read countless books in my life and through them I've been introduced to liThe harvest is the end of this world, and the reapers are the angels.
I've read countless books in my life and through them I've been introduced to literally thousands of characters. Some of them I forgot almost instantly. Others I need to be reminded of and even then remember only faintly. Then there are some I remember clearly because a part of them was important to me. But there is also a very small number of characters that stay with me always, characters that follow me around like shadows... shadows that once taught me an important lesson I'll never forget. One of them is Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne. Alden Bell's Temple is another.
This woman, this young girl, this child, is sixteen characters folded into one, and yet on the surface she is as simple as a girl can be. She is a character that makes your heart ache and your head spin. She is someone you have no choice but to love... someone you'll do your best to understand... someone you'll always want to be.
At first I was expecting a paranormal YA novel... I didn't read any of the reviews and I guess I just made a stupid assumption. Temple IS fifteen years old and the book really HAS zombies, but that's where the similarities with all the novels we usually read end. The Reapers Are the Angels is NOT a YA novel! It's post-apocalyptic fiction at its best. Actually, it's not a novel that people under the age of 18 should read. It has violence, sex and more violence and it's scary and horrible at times. But it is also wonderful and deep and mature and not to be taken lightly at all. The psychological developement of Bell's characters is astonishing, almost incredible.
If you have a strong stomach and you want to take a break from all the predictable fiction that surrounds us, The Reapers Are the Angels might be the novel for you. It doesn't follow any rules, it will make you skip dinner, and it will definitely make you cry. But most of all, it will surprise you with its simplicity and its depth and it will probably teach you a thing or two about yourself... and about who you want to be when world as we know it comes to an end.
Alden Bell's gorgeously written and bloody tale, which mutates from a zombie story into something of beauty and meaning. . . . Bell clearly owes great literary debt to Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" and the Southern Gothic school of Faulkner and O'Connor, but The Reapers Are the Angels shows the reader that they need not settle for mere blood 'n' guts when horror tales can, and should, go many extra miles. —Sarah Weinman, Summer Reading Pick, Salon.com...more
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 remiI 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. ...more
This book broke my heart. Twice. Today I have a headache and puffy bags under my eyes. But it was worth it.
Kellis-Amberlee is a fact of existence. YoThis book broke my heart. Twice. Today I have a headache and puffy bags under my eyes. But it was worth it.
Kellis-Amberlee is a fact of existence. You live, you die, and then you come back to life, get up, and shamble around trying to eat your former friends and loved ones. That's the way it is for everyone.
Two of my favorite books this year both have zombies in them. One is The Reapers Are the Angels. The other is Feed. (view spoiler)[I wonder what that says about me. (hide spoiler)] But they are really very different books, because The Reapers Are the Angels is completely character based. Temple is the only constant – you live and you die with her. Reading the first half of Feed felt very much like watching a documentary. This is a book about politics, about the clash of generations, about a world that is terrified. It’s about standing up for your beliefs, choosing your priorities and knowing who to trust. It’s about friendship, convictions and brotherly love.
It is the year 2039. and the world after the Rising is a very different place. Siblings Georgia and Shaun Mason and their friend Georgette "Buffy" Meissonier are journalists. The three of them run their own news blog. They are the first bloggers ever to be allowed full access to a presidential candidate and they intend to make the most of it. They have George to lead and be as objective as possible, they have Shaun using his people skills to open the doors for them, and, thanks to Buffy and her technology, they have eyes and ears everywhere – which can be both good and very dangerous. Their ratings are suddenly going up and their credibility is as strong as ever (which is all George really cares about). But politics is a dirty business and before they know it, they find themselves in a world of trouble. If I would have to choose a single word to describe each of them, Georgia would be truth, Shaun would be adventure, and Buffy would be emotion. All three of them are weird in their own way, but they are also amazing persons.
It is with great joy that I report that the youth of America aren’t actually riddled with ennui and apathy; that the truth hasn’t been fully forsaken for the merely entertaining; that there’s a place in this world for reporting the facts as accurately and concisely as possible and allowing people to draw their own conclusions. I’ve never been more proud of finding a place where I can belong.
There is no romance in Feed. Georgia and Shaun don’t date. In fact, George doesn’t even touch people other than her brother. But there’s heart in every sentence and there are emotions too big for words. Seanan McGuire did extensive research for this book - it involved doctors, epidemiologists, technicians and people who were willing to try some of the stunts she described. That’s just one of the things that make this book amazing.
Feed has been nominated for the Hugo Award, and it's definitely a well deserved nomination. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Apparently, it already won the Goodreads Choice Award for Science Fiction in 2010. That too was well deserved.
The second book, Deadline, was released on May 31st 2011. The third book, Blackout is expected in May of 2012.
3/29/12 Stop by The Nocturnal Library to read our interview with Ann Aguirre and enter for a chance to win one of 3 books: Enclave, Grimspace or Blue3/29/12 Stop by The Nocturnal Library to read our interview with Ann Aguirre and enter for a chance to win one of 3 books: Enclave, Grimspace or Blue Diablo.
I am happy. I am shocked. I still can’t believe this. Ann Aguirre just got promoted to my favorite author. Ok, maybe not favorite, but close enough. I mean, come on! She writes this fantastic SF series, starting with Grimspace, a very good (if not great) and very unusual UF series with elements of horror (the Corine Solomon series), and now she does YA dystopian as well?!?!?
I was born during the second holocaust.
That’s all it took for me to fall in love with this book, and it’s only the first sentence. I have to admit I rolled my eyes when I first read the blurb. I was rightfully afraid of another Delirium or something equally forced. I’m so glad Aguirre proved me wrong. Her story is strong if not fresh (because, let’s face it, fresh is a long way gone in this genre). Her characters are very much alive and unusually smart. But the real magic lies in Aguirre’s perfect writing. She doesn’t make mistakes. She’s even added an author’s note explaining how she did her research and what led her to those conclusions. Everything she described is quite possible. (view spoiler)[Except maybe Freaks, but come on! They’re zombies. Who doesn't love zombies?!. (hide spoiler)]
We start following our heroine on the day of her naming ceremony – the day she stops being Girl15 and becomes Deuce, a Huntress trained to protect her Enclave and bring food for Breeders, Builders and Elders. She has spent the first 15 years of her life training incredibly hard just to be allowed to go into the tunnels with other Hunters and fight Freaks – terrible, mindless flesh-eating creatures with claws and sharp, pointy teeth. Deuce doesn’t mind risking her life every day for others – it’s a matter of pride and acceptance. But on her first day she gets partnered up with Fade, a strange and silent boy, the only outsider in the Enclave. Together they get into trouble and end up exiled with nowhere to go but Topside – where Deuce will see the sun for the very first time.
*edit: It's been a long time since I finished it, and it's still my favorite dystopia. Sometimes I get very excited about a book, but forget all about it as soon as it leaves my sight. This is not one of those books.
I am breathless, speechless and whateverless (probably mindless) at the moment. The best I can do is quote my favorite, if sometimes cowardly Newsie,I 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."
Now multiply that feeling of disgust by ten. Or even better, by a hundred. Oookay. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty nauseous here.
If you’ve got it, try thinking of a way to make that feeling and that relationship adorable. You heard me! Adorable. I thought it was impossible too, but I was very wrong. Isaac Marion actually did it.
R is a zombie. He and many others of his kind live in an old airport. A small group goes out regularly to hunt the Living. None of them remember anything from their previous lives, not even their own names. They aren't supposed to have feelings and they don’t speak. Some of them are pretty intelligent and observant, they just can't articulate thoughts into words. Here’s how our R describes them:
Eating is not a pleasant business. I chew off a man’s arm, and I hate it. I hate his screams because I don’t like pain, I don’t like hurting people, but it’s the world now. This is what we do. Of course if I don’t eat all of him, if I spare his brain, he’ll rise up and follow me back to the airport, and that might make me feel better. I’ll introduce him to everyone, and maybe we’ll stand around and groan for a while. It’s hard to say what friends are any more, but that might be close.
I don’t know why we don’t speak. I can’t explain the suffocating silence that hangs over our world, cutting us from each other like prison-visit Plexiglas. Prepositions are painful, articles are arduous, adjectives are wild overachievements. Is this muteness a real physical handicap? One of the many symptoms of being Dead? Or do we just have nothing left to say?
A love story from a zombie’s POV really isn’t for everybody. Marion’s prose is beautiful and breathtaking at times, but he describes his world in gory details. It’s often bloody, smelly and disgusting. But, as it turns out, it’s also very sweet, gentle and simply adorable.
Through the memories of a guy whose brain he ate, R falls in love with a Living girl named Julie. He soon saves Julie from other zombies and hides her in an airplane to keep her safe. Step by step, Julie helps him remember what it was like to be alive.
If you think you can handle zombies carrying pieces of brain in their pockets and other zombies trying to have sex but not quite succeeding, you should really read this book. You won’t be sorry.
Favorite quote: She smiles. Her eyes are classic novels and poetry. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
There are three things in this world I truly believe in. That the truth will set us free; that lies aWorry not, my dears, this review is spoiler-free.
There are three things in this world I truly believe in. That the truth will set us free; that lies are the prisons we build for ourselves; and that Shaun loves me. Everything else is just details. - Georgia Mason
There's not much I can say about the Newsflesh trilogy that I haven't said a million times before, nothing spoiler-free at least, and I refuse to spoil even the smallest detail for any of you. As a result, this will be more of an emotional outburst than an actual review, so feel free to abandon ship if you’re not a fan of my all-too-frequent displays of sentimentality. I apologize in advance.
How do you bring down a massive government conspiracy? You don’t. You do what the crew of After the End Times does: you run for your life, save a few people, bury more than a few, tell the truth, and make sure to get it all on camera. Oh, and you pay attention when the villain starts explaining his actions because there might me more to it than he’s ready to admit. And when you stop to think about it and realize that it’s not worth it at all, you keep doing it because there’s nothing else you can do, and you hope for the best.
I didn’t dream of funerals this time. Instead, I dreamed of me and Shaun, walking hand in hand through the empty hall where the Republican National Convention was held, and nothing was trying to kill us. Nothing was trying to kill us at all.
As the story progressed and the science in it became more and more wild, I kept expecting to reach the point where I’d stop believing it, where it would be too much, but I never did. Therein lies the talent of Seanan McGuire – she is able to make the craziest things sound entirely convincing. It helps that her sense of pacing is nothing short of extraordinary, not to mention her ability to emotionally manipulate her readers. It’s not easy to keep people engaged and utterly fascinated through more than 500 pages, and yet Seanan McGuire accomplished it no less than three times.
I could (and should) say that the Newsflesh trilogy has ended with Blackout, but it hasn’t for me, not really. After 1800 pages, so much laughter, countless tears and a few frustrated screams, I know I’ll be back to reread it often. In fact, I’d already reread both Feed and Deadline more than once. Why would Blackout deserve any less? In any case, I’ve gained more from this experience than just a book I can label as my all-time favorite. I’ve bonded with people over it, and today I have the privilege of calling some of them my friends. We are a diverse group, but we started with this one thing we had in common, and in time, we developed some more. Therefore, it seems vastly unfair to call this just another trilogy. For me, it was much more than that. It was a chapter of my life and a truly life-changing experience.
Aside from the already released Countdown, Mira Grant will write two more novellas in the Newslesh universe, San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, and How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea. Seanan McGuire will also launch another duology with Orbit: Parasitology and Symbiogenesis, as Mira Grant. The story will have nothing to do with the Masons, but I’m sure it will be amazing. I guess we still have something to look forward to after all.
We know that we were in the right (The coming dawn, the ending night). So here is when we stop the lies. The time is come. We have to Rise. -From Dandelion Mine, the blog of Magdalene Grace Garcia, August 7, 2041.
Angel Crawford is 21 years old, addicted to pills and in an on-again off-again relationship with another addict, Randy. After the death of her insaneAngel Crawford is 21 years old, addicted to pills and in an on-again off-again relationship with another addict, Randy. After the death of her insane and abusive mother, she was left to live with her alcoholic and no less abusive father. She’s a high school dropout, can’t keep any job for more than a few weeks and she’s even on probation for buying a stolen car.
At the beginning of My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Angel wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of the events that occurred the night before. She supposedly overdosed, but she doesn’t remember taking that many pills at all. While still in the hospital, she gets an anonymous letter saying that she has to start driving a van for the coroner’s office or she will be reported to her probation officer. It doesn’t take her long to realize that she’s developed an appetite for brains which helps her figure out exactly how much has changed in the night of her ‘overdose’.
This was not as good as I hoped it would be, not even close. And the worst part is that I love Diana Rowland so much, I love her other series (Kara Gillian), and I absolutely adore her critique partner, Nicole Peeler. With all that love in the air, I have to wonder, what went wrong?!? I was in such a hurry to read this book that I bought the Kindle edition while I was waiting for my paperback to arrive. Really, 10 days is such a long time! I could have saved myself the trouble, though, buying it once was more than enough. I’m not saying it’s a bad book, I can’t even find anything seriously wrong with it, I just didn’t care about Angel or her story that much. My other problem is that it wasn’t funny at all. Rowland probably spoiled me with her Kara Gillian series which, despite being a police procedural, has its moments of hilarity. Things that were probably meant to be cute and/or funny in My Life as a White Trash Zombie were mostly just over the top and annoying.
I’m asking you to take my review with a grain of salt. I haven’t been in the right mood for urban fantasy lately and that might have something to do with my opinion of this book. Diana Rowland is still one of my favorite urban fantasy authors and I fully intend to read everything she writes in the future. ...more
This will be a short review and it will mostly be about my (imaginary) relationship with Alan Alda and my creepy stalker habits. I apologize in advancThis will be a short review and it will mostly be about my (imaginary) relationship with Alan Alda and my creepy stalker habits. I apologize in advance.
I've always wanted to marry Alan Alda. Not because I find him particularly attractive, but because I enjoy hearing him speak. The way I see it, if I was married to him, I’d be allowed to wake him up at all hours and make him read to me in that sweet, nasal voice and with that subtle but charming accent. Ok, so maybe my view of love and marriage isn’t the healthiest one around, but a girl can dream, right? Since I obviously won't be marrying him any time soon, buying this audiobook was the next best thing. That happens to me sometimes. I fall in love with people’s voices and/or accents and I lose all sense of shame. Once I’d even followed some Romanian tourists around all afternoon just to hear them speak. (view spoiler)[What?!? I said I have no shame! (hide spoiler)] So imagine my surprise and delight when I recognized Alan Alda as one of the narrators of World War Z. Max Brook himself was also a cast member. It’s no wonder I was thrilled with this audiobook!
World War Z is basically a collection of stories told by the survivors. The main character, also named Max Brooks, recorded their testimonies and shared them with the world. Every single story (and there are maybe 15) is very interesting, some more emotional than others. Here’s another confession: every bone in my body is completely apolitical and there’s plenty of politics in World War Z. I didn’t care about that part too much, but I’m sure some of you will appreciate it more. Personally, I preferred the stories about survival that had nothing to do with politics, like the story of a female US army pilot (who may or may not be hearing voices) trying to survive in the swamps of South Louisiana.
I recommend this (audio)book to every one of my zombie loving friends, as well as those of you who aren't yet convinced. Maybe Max Brooks will be the one to change your mind. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I hate having to review this book. I've spent the last 24 hours thinking about it, trying to figure out a way to point out the good and the bad, insteI hate having to review this book. I've spent the last 24 hours thinking about it, trying to figure out a way to point out the good and the bad, instead of just listing all the things that annoyed me. Here’s my conclusion: the only remotely fair thing to do is to write two separate reviews: one of the first and one of the second half of the book.
First half: ***** (five stars) The first half of Ashes was one of the best things I’ve read recently, and that’s saying a lot! It was amazingly well written, fast paced, with interesting, layered characters and a compelling plot. Alex is a 17-year-old girl with a brain tumor. She’s lost her parents a few years back and is now living with her aunt, but she spends most of her time in the hospital. At the beginning of Ashes, she is out of the hospital and has just decided not to do any more treatments, seeing as they are not helping her in any way. Instead, she chooses to go hiking in the wilderness. There she meets an old man and his granddaughter Ellie and shares a meal with them. Shortly after that, an EMP wipes out every electronic device and kills the old man in the process. That leaves Alex with the 8-year-old girl to take care of and some new abilities she doesn’t fully understand. After only a short walk, the girls stumble upon two teenagers who are eating another human. It becomes pretty obvious that the EMP affected human brains as well as the electronic devices. But why then did Alex and Ellie remain unchanged?! Ok, so we have a great plot, interesting characters, a subtle love story AND zombies eating intestants and gouging out people’s eyes. It’s no wonder we were all so thrilled. But then the second half came…
Second half: ** (two stars) I can pinpoint the exact moment where it all went wrong. From the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next, everything changed. Ashes went from being amazing to being utterly unimaginative and even boring at times. I had to force myself to finish it. It picked up the pace again on the last 50 pages or so, but only to make the most horrible, cliffhanger ending possible.
Here are some of my problems with the book: - Alex is 17, but she is far too skilled and mature for that to be believable, even more so because she's been very sick for a very long time. People who spend years in the hospital usually don’t know that much about surviving in the wilderness. She could have been book smart, sure, but building fires?!? I don't think so. She kept saying that her father taught her, but he was dead by the time she entered her teen years. - I had the same problem with her knowledge of medicine. Apparently her mother was a doctor and they used to spend their time together stitching up chickens. Honestly, I don’t know a single teen or pre-teen that interested in his/her parent’s work. - I hate cliffhanger endings, and this was the mother of them all! I don’t understand why authors feel the need to do that! A cliffhanger ending will make me less likely to read the next book, not more! And this particular author likes cliffhangers so much, she even ended a few chapters with them. When you end a chapter with a cliffhanger and start the next one with the words Three days later, you can count on losing a few readers.
Maybe Ilsa J. Bick is a pseudonym for two people, much like Ilona Andrews, only these two people don’t get along as well?!? I will still read the next book when it comes out, but I can’t say I’m too happy about it.
Michelle R., Wendy Darling and Bonnie have made this experience much better than it would have been without them. Thanks, girls! ...more
I’m at a loss on how to rate this book. It’s really in a league of its own. I was tempted to give five stars, but I just couldn’t do that out of respeI’m at a loss on how to rate this book. It’s really in a league of its own. I was tempted to give five stars, but I just couldn’t do that out of respect for Feed, The Reapers Are the Angels, Raw Blue and other books that blew me away and changed me forever. But in all (un)seriousness: this book is five star material and it’s absolutely hilarious!
You know those comedies that don’t make the least bit of sense? The ones you watch fully aware that they are stupid, and yet you can’t help laughing your ass off? That’s sort of how this is. The story has more holes than Swiss cheese, so if you’re looking for a serious YA zombie novel, you definitely won’t find it here. In fact, this book should come with a warning on the front cover: Abandon logic all ye who enter here! But the characters were adorable and they made me laugh out loud on almost every page. That alone made it worth reading.
Kate Grable is a science geek and the student trainer. She tends to minor injuries and hands out Gatorade to the players. Her job would be a lot easier if she wasn’t taking care of the worst football team in existence. She also has to watch her crush, Aaron, get beaten every single time he plays. They hit Aaron really hard; I heard the whoosh! his lungs made when all the air was forced out. I wanted to beat the heck out of the JV guys for that, except I wouldn’t know what to do in a fist fight without a manual.
Kate soon discovers that the desperate Coach has been giving illegal shots to some of his players and that those same players are turning into zombies. She has to use all her knowledge and available weapons to prevent her brother, Aaron and her friends from becoming zombies as well.
The next time you need a few hours of pure fun, read this book! I promise you won’t be sorry. ...more
This will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of theThis will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of the characters. Yes, yes, I’m well aware of the zombies, but I honestly don’t care. Given the choice, that’s where I’d want to be.
The point of my little confession is that I welcome every word Mira Grant decides to write. This is not a novella per se because it doesn't have a single storyline, it’s nothing like Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box. Instead we get to go back to the year 2014. and see how everything started. Nobody can accuse Mira Grant of being superficial. She created a world that is as detailed and as palpable as the one I’m living in, if not more. Everything is thought out. Everything makes perfect sense. Everything is properly explained.
We finally meet Amanda Amberlee, cured of leukemia and getting ready for her prom. No matter how many times Georgia and Shaun mentioned Amanda in their blog entries, it was still nice to find out a little more about her and what she was like when she was alive. We also get to meet Dr. Kellis, the idiots who stole the untested cure for cold and the journalist who wrote the famous article about it. Step by step we find out about the first outbreak and all the events that led to it.
Countdown consists only of facts, Grant didn’t attempt to provoke emotions of any kind or create connections between her readers and the characters. Of course, in doing so, she succeeded in depicting the very nature of the Kellis-Amberlee virus.
I’m sure I don’t need to convince fans of the trilogy to read Countdown.
Mira Grant will NEVER get 4 stars from me. Seanan McGuire is something else entirely. ...more
We were completely different. Danny was tall, sweet, graceful despite legs that went on forever. I was little, moody, uncoordinated. We didn4.5 stars
We were completely different. Danny was tall, sweet, graceful despite legs that went on forever. I was little, moody, uncoordinated. We didn't like the same music or the same movies. He put onions and mushrooms on his pizza and never wore socks and could sleep through a pipe bomb. I survived on bananas and yogurt and always wore hats and got carsick unless I chewed gum with my headphones on. It didn't matter. I loved him.
As soon as she entered puberty, strange things started happening around Wren: flying objects and exploding light bulbs became a regular occurrence. This wasn't completely unexpected: all the women in Wren's family can do the same, but for some reason, Wren's mother refuses to talk about it or teach her how to control it. So when Wren’s boyfriend Danny dies in a car accident, Wren decides to use her power and bring him back to her. Unfortunately, Danny that rises from the grave isn’t the same easygoing Danny they buried two weeks earlier. The new Danny, angry and confused, is not nearly as harmless as Wren thought he would be. Just keeping him hidden and compliant might prove to be too big a challenge for one seventeen-year-old girl.
I enjoyed the new take on zombies. Garvey wrote: My zombie, such as he is, isn’t George Romero’s, as you probably figured out. He’s closer to the kind of zombie you might create with Haitian vodou magic, a corpse reanimated and then controlled by a sorcerer. While zombies we’re used to reading about are usually scary in a grotesque way, Danny was creepy and deeply disturbing. Every time Wren kissed him or placed her head on his silent chest, I felt the coldness of his body on my own skin and I shuddered involuntarily. He really made my skin crawl. It was easy enough to forget that he was once a warm and loving boy and that none of it was his fault.
I never even realized how thoroughly I’d connected with Wren until I caught myself siding with her even when she was obviously wrong. I don’t think I even noticed the other (living) characters, not in their own merit at least. They meant to me what they meant to Wren, and if she suddenly changed her mind about one of them, I changed my mind together with her.
The funny thing is that Wren isn’t a character I’d normally like, but that’s where Garvey’s strength lies. Create a selfless, heroic character and everyone will be crazy about him/her under any circumstances, but write a girl who is self-indulgent and careless and make me care about her - and you'll have accomplished something not many authors can.
I think that’s what every emotional reader seeks – a character he/she can connect with entirely. But Cold Kiss is also thought-provoking and original, and Amy Garvey’s marvelous writing skills add more magic to this powerful, compelling and haunting story. I will not only read whatever she decides to write next, I’ll probably preorder it as well.
Favorite quote: Love like that is what they make movies about. It's the thing you're supposed to want, the answer to every question, the song that you're supposed to sing. But love like that can be too big, too. It can be something you shouldn't be trusted to hold when you're the kind of person who drops the eggs and breaks the remote control. Love doesn’t break easily, I found. But people do. ...more
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. As2.5 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.
This summer has been full sequels that outshined their predecessors. Dearly, Beloved is one of them. Not only is it funnier, better thought-out and beThis summer has been full sequels that outshined their predecessors. Dearly, Beloved is one of them. Not only is it funnier, better thought-out and better written than Dearly, Departed, it also affected me more strongly. The plot is well-planned and well-executed and it finally gave this series a much needed direction it lacked in the first book.
Strangely enough, I originally gave Dearly, Beloved three starts, but, upon further consideration, I decided it deserved more. Lia Habel has enormous talent for worldbuilding, and she is quite good at creating vivid imagery and leaving a strong impression on her readers. The secondary and even tertiary characters she introduced aren’t lacking in detail or in color – from the zombie girl who grows flowers in her rotting body to our dear, headless doctor Samedi, they are all both interesting and entirely unforgettable. As for the main characters, they all changed significantly, some for the better, and some (like Pamma) not. Once again, Habel doesn’t shy away from gory details. Some of the descriptions in Dearly, Beloved are utterly disgusting (and infinitely thrilling, of course). It is through blood and rotten body parts that she breathed life into her world and made it stand apart.
The only thing I can’t seem to get used to is the number of perspectives. There are even more this time: Nora and Bram of course, Pamela, but also Michael, Vespertine, Coalhouse and a newly introduced character, Laura (the zombie flower girl). All of them undoubtedly contributed something significant and as hard as I try, I honestly can’t come up with another way to tell the same story, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t feel disjointed at times.
Romance, however, is what really brought me to my knees. I expected it to be lovely after Dearly, Departed, but I didn’t expect such sweetness and maturity. Nora and Bram face everything together, they understand each other perfectly. Nothing can keep these two apart, they love each other as openly and honestly as they can, aware that time is quickly running out for Bram. And yet, even with time in mind, they (mostly) uphold the rules of propriety, they are both bold and respectful at the same time and this balance they constantly maintain is quite beautiful.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dearly, Departed, but everything changed with this book. I can’t wait to read more.