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 foThis 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"]>...more
I am very sorry, but this is unreadable. It's not often that a book makes me this angry. In fact, I don't remember the last time it happened. I'd honeI am very sorry, but this is unreadable. It's not often that a book makes me this angry. In fact, I don't remember the last time it happened. I'd honestly hoped that I would like it, otherwise I would never have requested it. But after 170 pages, the list of problems I had with The Mephisto Covenant was longer than the book itself. And I just had to give up.
Alexandra ‘Sasha’ Annenkova is an Anabo, a descendant of Aurora, daughter of Eve before the Original sin. Being made of pure light, she is completely incapable of having negative emotions of any kind. She is kind, honest, caring, and of course, very beautiful. Jax is Mephisto. He and his brothers capture Skia, the soulless shadows and the lost souls. He is the son of Hell. Sasha’s father was murdered and she was very determined to discover who did it. But, as it turns out, her father was really a CIA agent and her great grandfather on her mother’s side was the head of KGB. So when her father ended up dead, the government decided to deport her mother back to Russia, but Sasha had to stay. Therefore, she ended up living with her father’s evil sister and her family.
Characterization is by far the worst part of this book: the characters are either ridiculously good or ridiculously evil, there’s nothing in between. They don’t possess complex personalities. As the protagonist, Sasha is good, forgiving and naïve. In other words, she’s boring. On the other side, her aunt Melanie reminded me of Cindarella’s evil stepmother. Instead of making me feel sorry for Sasha because of the way she treated her, I mostly just laughed.
Did I mention that Sasha and Jax are destined to be together? No? Well, that’s because they’re not. Jax is destined to be with Sasha, but Sasha has free will, he would never take away her right to choose! He just saved her, healed her and then stood there in all his glory until she fell for him. When she finally did (after a long 10 minutes or so), he wiped her memory clean so she could fall for him all over again. And of course, he only wanted her for her sparkling personality, despite the fact that she’s Anabo, the only girl he could ever be with!
”I’m Mephisto – you’re Anabo. Since I’m the one who caught your scent, it means you’re intended for me.” (This needs no comment.)
If they ever do end up together and actually have sex, she will become more like him and their enemy will be able to sense her, track her and kill her. Yup.
I’m sorry I didn’t finish this book and I’m sorry I didn’t like it more. I really can’t recommend it to anyone. ...more
Why would someone who is so obviously not good at worldbuilding decide to write fantasy is beyond me. I wasted a lot of time trying to find so1.5 star
Why would someone who is so obviously not good at worldbuilding decide to write fantasy is beyond me. I wasted a lot of time trying to find something nice to say about this book, especially because Jo Anderton is a debut author and as such, deserves my best effort. So here it is: the IDEA for Debris was really very interesting. (view spoiler)[Come to think of it, this probably isn’t much of a compliment considering the end result. (hide spoiler)]
Everything was made up of pions, from the steel in Grandeur’s finger bones to the sun-spotted skin that stretched across the back of my hand. I saw them as lights, a myriad of tiny fireflies.
A woman with the ability to control pions, the smallest particles of I-have-no-idea-what (it was quite unclear) finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy and loses the thing that separates her from the rest of the population. Without her ability to see these particles, she is unable to perform her job at the center of a nine-point circle (quite unclear, too) and has to start collecting debris instead. (Basically she goes from being a CEO to being a trash collector in just a few days.) Seeing as she was blamed for the big accident that, wonder of all wonders, wasn’t her fault at all, veche, the organization that controls everything, makes her work off her debt with a group of debris collectors in the worst part of the city.
This story, in its core, is about class differences and social injustice, but in order to sympathize with anyone, be that an individual or an entire (invisible) layer of society, I must understand the social structure first! The city of Movoc-under-Keeper is controlled by the veche, an omnipotent organization, council or something similar, but the exact nature of veche or how it came to power remains a mystery throughout the novel.
Here's another good thing (good because I found it interesting): the author used a lot of Slavic words and Slavic-sounding names: Tanyana (the main character), Volski, Devich… In fact, the word veche itself is Slavic (that would be vijeće in Croatian) and it means council. So I guess that answers my earlier questions, but it still should have been made clear(er).
Tanyana was a terrible character: no matter how hurt she was or how much they took from her, I found it very hard to feel sorry for her because she was… well, a selfish cow. True, she went from being a Lady to being nobody in a week, she lost everything, including her home and her friends, but she insisted on behaving like a spoiled, irresponsible brat.
I could go on and on about every single thing that was wrong with this book, but it would be a waste of everyone’s time. Here’s what it comes down to: the worldbuilding was incomplete, the main character was whiny and the love story was unconvincing. All in all, I did my best to like it but I really can’t recommend this to anyone. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
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 ratheI'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"]>...more
As a reader, I have this overwhelming need to connect deeply with the characters I’m reading about. Even when I’m dealing with anti-herDNF - no rating
As a reader, I have this overwhelming need to connect deeply with the characters I’m reading about. Even when I’m dealing with anti-heroes, there’s always something (usually humor, no matter how non-PC it might be) that keeps us firmly linked. No matter how hard I tried, forming that or any other kind of connection with Anderson’s three characters proved to be impossible for me.
It was all intentional, of course. The overall coldness and detachment wasn’t an accident at all. If anything, it was proof that Anderson is a very skilled writer, one capable of creating the exact atmosphere she desires. Based on the few reviews I’ve read, the distance between the reader and the characters is not without its purpose – it’s simply a deal breaker for me personally.
I gathered from those same few reviews that the story doesn’t end on a positive note. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a closet romantic at heart. I like my stories to have hopeful endings, perhaps to make up for the fact that I don’t really believe in HEA in real life. Being denied both the emotional connection and a reason to smile in the end seemed like as good a reason as any to give up on this book and find something else to read.
I’m not telling you not to read this book. I’ve seen plenty of enthusiastic reviews so I’m pretty sure some of you will absolutely love it. Perhaps just read a sample first to see if this type of prose works for you.