It's really hard for me to write a review because I had such mixed feelings throughout the series. I didn't even like the first book all that much unt...moreIt's really hard for me to write a review because I had such mixed feelings throughout the series. I didn't even like the first book all that much until I read the second one. So I recommend to anyone who is considering reading them to treat these two books as one. It's the only way to truly appreciate them. (less)
Boy, am I glad I'm not a quitter! I seriously considered giving up after finishing the first book, but being an eternal optimist, I had to keep readin...moreBoy, am I glad I'm not a quitter! I seriously considered giving up after finishing the first book, but being an eternal optimist, I had to keep reading. I had the strangest feeling with Red-Headed Stepchild – it was like Ms. Wells had the idea (and a really good one at that), but never really thought it through. It seemed superficial somehow, or maybe not developed enough. Let’s get something straight: that is NOT the case with The Mage in Black! In fact, I have never come across a series that so radically improved after the first book. Emotionally developed characters kept finding themselves in action packed situations. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the greatest literary achievement of all times but I don’t think it was supposed to be. It was fun, humorous, touching and honest. I laughed and I jumped with excitement. Most importantly, a romantic interest was hardly present so it didn’t swallow the plot as it so often does. This is pure urban fantasy, and I like it that way. I never thought I’d say this after reading Red-Headed Stepchild, but I simply can’t wait for the third book to come out. Cliffhanger endings are intentionally cruel! (less)
**spoiler alert** Ok, here's the deal: I wish I could get amnesia and forget all about the first five books. Then I could write a short-but-great revi...more**spoiler alert** Ok, here's the deal: I wish I could get amnesia and forget all about the first five books. Then I could write a short-but-great review of this last one and really do it justice. But since I'm as mentally strong as ever, I have to write about the series as a whole. The worst thing about Alpha is that you have to read five other books using half your brain ( and wishing you were brain dead in the process) before getting to it. Without having gone through all that, Alpha is actually quite good! But by the time you get to it, you simply don't have the brains left to enjoy.
Faythe (and really, what kind of a stupid name is that?) is an annoying, selfish, spoiled little brat who only starts to show some admirable qualities (but not nearly enough) at the end of the series.It honestly didn't matter that the bad guys kept calling her bitch. What did matter is that I didn't have a better name for her myself.
For Marc I simply have no words. I always knew she would end up with him, that much was sadly predictable, but it made me sick all along. I really liked the guy, except for the small fact of his goods (and by goods I mean balls) beeing kept in a very small gold box and used as a fireplace decoration by his future wife. He is only allowed to open and peek on very special occasions. And come on!!! For six books I was tortured with the worst love triangle ever written ( and that's taking Twilight into account), then to have it resolved with less than two pages of stupid dialogue. There's nothing more I can say at this point except that I want a book with a super sexy, super strong vampire with no real competition. Now!
So to continue the tradition, I'm going to give this one a solid three star status. It would have been four, but I'm honestly too traumatized by Prey and Shift to do that. (less)
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)
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)
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later: an Aussie YA novel I didn’t enjoy at all! In fact, if not for my two wonderful readalong partners who ma...moreWell, it was bound to happen sooner or later: an Aussie YA novel I didn’t enjoy at all! In fact, if not for my two wonderful readalong partners who made the experience not only bearable, but extremely fun, I would have given up after a hundred pages or so.
Ava’s parents are supposedly very liberal, and her girlfriend Chloe has an owerpowering personality. Together they’re pushing Ava into an alternative lifestyle she secretly hates. Oddly enough, all Ava wants is to wear pink and sing in a musical. She decides to move to a new school, where she plans to find a way of joining the in crowd, or Pastels, as she calls them. However, that doesn’t turn out so well for Ava. Instead of getting the role she wanted in the school musical, she ends up working with the stage crew, a group of misfits led by a boy named Sam. She ends up balancing three different lives and three different personalities, none of which are compatible with the others.
Characterization is where Wilkinson failed spectacularly. Having read A Pocketful of Eyes first, I knew that she was more than capable of creating more interesting and complex characters, which is why I have to conclude that she did this on purpose. But why? Every character in Pink is a walking stereotype: we have Ava’s intellectually snobbish girlfriend Chloe, playing the role of a lesbian feminist; Ava’s parents, so obsessed with being tolerant that they end up not tolerating anything mainstream; Alexis, the shallow blonde, perfect in everything she does; a gay friend, a secretly gay friend, a friend embarrassed by his rich parents, and in the end, Ava herself, completely devoid of personality.
Ava is one of the most self-centered, infuriating characters I’ve ever stumbled upon. The series of disastrous decisions she made in such a short period of time nearly drove me insane. Stories about personal growth by definition introduce a character that makes poor choices at the beginning, but finds a way to redeem himself/herself by the end. After one particularly bad decision, I’m afraid Ava reached the point of no redemption in my eyes.
Unfortunately, I doubt that I’ll be reading any more of Wilkinson’s novels. After reading two of them, I can honestly say that she’s not an author whose work I enjoy. (less)