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 lit...moreThe 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(less)
It's very hard to write a helpful review of Graywalker. It simply didn’t leave any kind of impression on me – good or bad. The first half was far more...moreIt's very hard to write a helpful review of Graywalker. It simply didn’t leave any kind of impression on me – good or bad. The first half was far more interesting than the second. It had the tone of a hardboiled detective novel and it was quite refreshing, so I was more than a little disappointed when it all went straight to hell in the other half. Harper Blaine is a good, strong character, but some of her choices weren’t quite clear to me, and the love story (well, lust story, to be precise) was weird and unconvincing. And let me just say that I like my male characters tall, strong and dominant (don’t we all?), but Richardson gave us a love interest who is ordinary, not too handsome and very whiny at times. I meet guys like that every day. Why the hell would I want to read about them, too?!
The worldbuilding was unimaginative and colorless. I really wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone except avid urban fantasy readers (Ooooops, I’m alone on that island, and I’ve read it already, so no… I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone at all). There were some good moments, but all in all, it just wasn't good enough.(less)
Kathy Reichs is the author of the Temperance Brennan series. She is a forensic anthropologist, so both the books and the TV series Bones are loosely b...moreKathy Reichs is the author of the Temperance Brennan series. She is a forensic anthropologist, so both the books and the TV series Bones are loosely based on her life. Knowing all this, I expected something different from her YA novel, and that’s exactly what I got. I loved this book! Tory Brennan is 14 years old, living on a very small island near Charleston with her newly discovered father, a marine biologist. With her three friends, she somehow saves a wolf-dog from an institute, but they all soon become very ill and start experiencing strange things. At the same time, they discover some old bones, so the four of them begin an adventure made all the more interesting by their new abilities.
I’m (almost) certain that the DNA cannot be altered the way it’s described in Virals, but THAT story is definitely more believable than angels, vampires, weres, sidhe-seers and whatnot. What we have here is a classic whodunnit spiced up with a touch of supernatural.
I liked that there was no love story in Virals. Tory is only 14, so I don’t think it would be appropriate to have her fall madly in love with some boy just by looking into his eyes. I was thanking various deities for that little treat. I’m not saying she hadn’t developed a small crush, but that only made about 2% of the story. Also, the solution to the puzzle was not obvious. Reichs is very experienced so I expected as much.
So why did I give four instead of five stars? Tory Brennan was a bit too smart for her age. They discovered a 40-year-old skeleton and she somehow managed to determine age and gender in less than 5 minutes. I get that she inherited her aunt Tempe’s brains, but did she also inherit her knowledge? It was a bit ridiculous. Also, the beginning was slow, but I understand that this is the first installment and the foundation had to be laid.
My overall experience was somewhat ruined by the narrator, Cristin Milioti. The fake southern accent she used for some of the characters almost drove me crazy! She has a pleasant voice, but a flat intonation, so I often tuned out while listening to the parts with very little dialogue.
The next installment is called Seizure and it’s coming out on October 18th. I will definitely read it. (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)
I'm very, very sorry, my dear GR friends. I had every intention of finishing this book, if only to be able to write a decent review. But I would rathe...moreI'm very, very sorry, my dear GR friends. I had every intention of finishing this book, if only to be able to write a decent review. But I would rather eat it than listen to another minute of it. I think it just might be the worst book I've read (or tried to read) this year.
Now, I know there's been a lot of talk about plagiarism and stuff, but I don't care about any of that. I don't even see most of the similarities people keep pointing out. I was actually looking forward to this book! I thought the first three books were readable and even enjoyable at times. But CoFA is not readable, it's terrible!! Clary doesn't have a personality, Jace has developed a martyr complex, and Simon is the biggest coward in the whole wide world. The plot is nonexistent. They all just keep making seroiusly stupid choices and avoiding each other in the process.
A song kept playing in my head during this torture. It was Serve the Servants by Nirvana. Remember that one?! Teenage angst has paid of well. Now I'm bored and old. If you Google it, you will find thousands of discussions on the real meaning of those first lines, but Cassandra Clare is the only one who took them literally. Kurt Cobain's voice probably haunted her after she finished her trilogy and she suddenly decided she didn't want to be bored and old any more. She chose to milk the same cow a little while longer, so she wrote a fourth book in the trilogy (view spoiler)[I know it's ridiculous, believe me. But at least she stopped calling it a trilogy! (hide spoiler)], not caring at all that she would make a complete fool out of herself. We, on the other hand, have proved once again that we are her humble servants. She served us a pile of crap and we bought it. Literally.
What it comes down to is this: I can say anything I want about Cassandra Clare and City of Fallen Angels, but I paid good money for this audiobook so I guess the joke is on me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)