2.5 stars The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well then, methinks I’m batshit crazy2.5 stars The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well then, methinks I’m batshit crazy because I just never learn.
Even though I’m fully aware that she has many, many fans, Katie McGarry’s books never quite worked for me. I often found her approach to certain subjects too shallow, her characters just a tiny bit plastic and her writing awfully clichéd. They are, for me, the type of books I can finish in one sitting, and then promptly forget they exist.
The same stands true for Crash Into You, albeit somewhat amplified. Despite my lukewarm feelings towards the previous two books, I found myself looking forward to Isaiah’s story. Of all McGarry’s characters, he’s the one I felt had the most potential. But instead of building upon the promising foundations, McGarry turned him into one of those bad-on-the-outside-decent-on-the-inside archetypal romance heroes, thus effectively ruining his character and the overall story for me. Where was the expected depth? Mommy issues and a few false rumors do not a hero make.
Back when Isaiah thought himself in love with Beth, I wholeheartedly agreed that they weren’t right for each other. Two severely damaged individuals would always drag each other down, no matter their intentions. But who he got instead wasn’t much better for him, and she was a disappointment for me as a reader as well. I was promised a street racer, and instead I got a skittish, never-been-kissed girl with no backbone and more issues than I could count. So even though Isaiah ended up being as stereotypical as they come, the real letdown was Rachel.
With her personality and her will practically smothered by her family, Rachel grew up into a weak, strange girl prone to panic attacks. Her small rebellion, the street race where she met Isaiah, was a once-in-a-lifetime deal, not a common occurrence like the book description led me to believe. There were so many times I wanted to shake some sense into Rachel, make her stand up to her family instead of cowering and throwing up until her throat was raw and bleeding. Their relationship was at times exaggerated to the point of being ridiculous, which is exactly what McGarry usually does and why her books rarely work for me.
As always, secondary characters were far more interesting, probably because they haven’t been turned into clichés just yet. Abby has a great story to tell, McGarry has hinted at a horrible past that I would normally be excited to explore. My problem is that I don’t trust this author to do it properly, without turning Abby into a textbook teen martyr, a troubled girl only waiting for the right boy to solve all her problems. The next book isn’t Abby’s, however, that dubious honor belongs to Rachel’s brother West.
I’ve decided to part ways with McGarry so many times, only to pick up the newest title as soon as it becomes available. This time, I know better than to make such statements. I don’t feel particularly drawn to West’s story, but once it comes out… who knows?
3.5 stars. When Grave Mercy first came out, it polarized opinions and caused some very heated discussions. Some felt that it focused too hard on the r3.5 stars. When Grave Mercy first came out, it polarized opinions and caused some very heated discussions. Some felt that it focused too hard on the romance and others were disappointed by the number of deaths these killer nuns inflicted. Some, on the other hand, felt that it achieved a perfect balance between court politics, murder and romance. I myself was an immediately fell in love with the characters, all the court intrigue and the beautiful historical setting. Dark Triumph further confirmed my opinion. It was much darker than its predecessor, incredibly painful and cruel to both Sybella and the reader, but it was also heart-wrenchingly beautiful and it made me feel unimaginable things.
Needless to say, I dreamed of getting my hands on Mortal Heart, desperate to learn Annith’s fate. But when it finally came and when I managed to read it, the emotional impact was not at all what I’d hoped for. Alas, I found myself feeling oddly indifferent.
There is nothing technically wrong with Annith’s story. LaFevers once again deserves praise for her gorgeous writing, her planning and her strong historical basis. She built an entire imaginary world around few vague historical facts and I think her idea, as well as her execution, is nothing short of admirable.
I felt, however, that after all the build-up inevitably caused by the previous two books, Annith’s character lacked the necessary strength to hold everything together. I liked Annith well enough, I suppose, but compared to Sybella or even Ismae, she somehow fades into the background. For me she never managed to become more than a fairly prominent secondary character.
My lack of connection with Annith caused a noticeable lack of connection with the romantic aspect of this book. Admittedly, Sybella and Beast were hard to live up to, but Annith’s romance came completely out of the blue and was far too outlandish for my taste.
Once the focus shifted away from Annith, though, the overall plot was executed perfectly. I admire LaFevers for keeping everything together and planning the main plotline so well while staying true to those few historical facts. It’s quite ingenuous and it makes me incredibly excited about her future projects, regardless of how I felt about this book.
As the author of my two all-time favorite reads, LaFevers firmly remains on my auto-buy list. While this book wasn’t at all what I’d hoped for, the trilogy as a whole is unforgettable and so very clever. If you haven’t already, I’d definitely give it a try.
If there was ever a Young Adult book written almost exclusively for actual young adults, it’s Uncommon Criminals. In fact, with its light tone, overlyIf there was ever a Young Adult book written almost exclusively for actual young adults, it’s Uncommon Criminals. In fact, with its light tone, overly simplified plot, short chapters, third person narrative and extremely subtle romance, it is at times more appropriate for younger young adults or even middle grade readers and should be judged/rated as such.
After successfully stealing (back) four paintings from the seemingly impenetrable Henley museum and returning them to their rightful owners, Kat has acquired a Robin Hood-like reputation. Therefore, she is only mildly surprised when an old lady, the rightful owner of the Kleopatra emerald, asks her to steal the supposedly cursed stone and return it to her family. Still feeling lucky after several well-done jobs, Kat shuts down her instincts and accepts the job. Hale is the voice of reason, very much against it, but as always, he goes where Kat goes, regardless of the consequences. If Heist Society reminded me a lot of Ocean’s Eleven, Uncommon Criminals is an oversimplified version of Ocean’s Twelve. The crew gets conned by a better thief and they must find a way to outsmart that thief and retrieve what they lost. (Though the thief here isn’t as hot as Vincent Cassel, that’s for sure.)
As much as I like Hale (and he’s one swoon-worthy boy, believe me), his wealth and status seem awfully convenient at times. His contacts open all doors, the crew travels in private jets, and if they need a yacht near Monte Carlo, well of course he has one ready! I loved how devoted he was to Kat in Heist Society, but in Uncommon Criminals, he went from being devoted to being a doormat at times. Kat too seems to have changed for the worst. After the Henley job, she developed not just a reputation, but an overabundance of ego as well. She had reason to, up to a point, but she went a bit too far by taking sole credit for something that was a team effort.
Keeping in mind what I mentioned at the beginning, I won’t lower my rating because the heists themselves seemed far too simple. I look at this book the same way I’d look at The Famous Five – I would have adored it when I was twelve, loved it still when I was 14. At 28, I found it entertaining, but I really can’t take it seriously.
I’ll read the third book mostly because it focuses on Hale, and from all the characters, he’s the one I haven’t managed to figure out. ...more
I always enjoy boarding school books (unless they’re contemporary, in which case I tend to run away screaming), and I’d hoped Night School would be aI always enjoy boarding school books (unless they’re contemporary, in which case I tend to run away screaming), and I’d hoped Night School would be a fine addition to the group, or in the best case scenario, that it would stand out in some way. Sadly, it’s not special at all, and it’s not even paranormal like I’d expected. It has the structure and the tropes of a paranormal YA novel, but no paranormal elements whatsoever. Consider yourselves warned.
Allie is a very troubled teen. After her older brother ran away from home, she started acting out and being completely out of control. She even got arrested a couple of times. When she gets herself expelled from yet another school for vandalism, her parents decide to take drastic measures. They send her to Cimmeria School, a very prestigious and very private boarding school located two hours’ drive from London.
Cimmeria is not your ordinary school. Students are all extremely talented and very rich, the program is highly demanding, and they get certain liberties and luxuries they wouldn’t get anywhere else. The school has many rules and failure to follow them always results in dire punishment, but one rule is most important of all: if you’re not invited to join Night School, don’t ask questions about it, don’t try to identify students who are in it and don’t ever, under any circumstances, try to disrupt Night School activities. Allie adapts to her life very easily, but she soon starts investigating odd things that are happening in Cimmeria, with the help of a few friends and her boyfriend.
Technically, Daugherty’s writing has no major flaws. There are no rough transitions, confusing or repetitive sentence structure, no naked dialogue, no telling instead of showing. The problem was entirely in the content.
Cliché after cliché after cliché, that’s what Night School has to offer, with the addition of some very disturbing details. The love triangle takes up a good part of the book, but it’s not just any love triangle: it’s about a difficult choice between the guy who’s been nothing but sweet and supportive and honest and the guy who got Allie drunk and tried to date-rape her on their first (and last) date. (But he is handsome and disgustingly rich and FRENCH!) Wow. How anyone could ever choose between them, I have no idea.
The way Allie changed from very problematic to obedient and hardworking the second she set foot in Cimmeria didn’t sit well with me. It takes a little more than a new school uniform and two gorgeous boys to fix those kinds of problems, and yet, Allie got better overnight. Her character was very inconsistent and it was clear to me that C.J. Daugherty doesn’t know the first thing about issues behind such behavior. It bothered me immensely that she didn’t approach the subject seriously enough.
In my opinion, she also failed to create tension in her story. More time was wasted on the love triangle drama and on the summer ball then on the main story line. Needless to say, when the big revelation came, it was very anticlimactic and it made very little sense. All this led to an unsatisfactory ending that really wasn’t an ending at all. It was almost like someone cut out the last chapter. There was no real climax and nothing was resolved at all.
Some of my friends on GoodReads rated this book very highly and I’m pretty sure it will have many more fans. Maybe I’m just getting tired of reading the same story over and over again.
1.5 stars Well, color me disappointed. I’ll try to keep this short and very clear: I expected a lot form Vesper. Perhaps I was curious because a male a1.5 stars Well, color me disappointed. I’ll try to keep this short and very clear: I expected a lot form Vesper. Perhaps I was curious because a male author wrote from a teenage girl’s perspective - it usually works so well when it’s the other way around (case in point: White Cat or Anna Dressed in Blood). That’s not something that happens very often and I wanted to find out if it worked. It didn’t. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time and got nothing but annoyance in return.
Emily Webb is a horribly insecure 16-year-old. She only has one friend, she rarely leaves the house unless it’s to go to school and she avoids confrontations at all costs. One night her classmate Emily Cooke gets shot and dies and, at the same time, our Emily starts behaving very strangely. The two things are seemingly unconnected, but as Emily experiences complete change of personality night after night, she starts suspecting that the other Emily found a way to possess her. Suddenly she’s sneaking out the window every night, crashing parties and judging people by their smell. A small voice inside her head is making her do things she never even thought of doing before. She is stronger and faster at night, nothing like the clumsy Daytime Emily. Her best friend is convinced that Emily’s trying to ditch her for the cool kids and her parents have grounded her for the first time ever.
It all sounds very interesting, but in reality it was dull and unconvincing. Everything about this book was wrong. Emily’s voice was that of a not-too-bright 12-year-old. Her best friend Maggie was downright obnoxious and instead of worrying about the kids that were getting shot, I found myself wishing that someone would shoot her just to shut her up. The pacing was yet another disaster: after being utterly bored and skimming through the last 150 pages, the ending came as a shock and left me completely confused. One minute Emily was at school dealing with one issue and apologizing to her idiot best friend, and the next she was inside the company that changed her and other kids like her, all her fellow deviants were organized, and they were fighting back. And then it all stopped. Huh?
So to make the long story short: the characters were flat, the pacing was all wrong and the romance… *shudders*…. Let’s not even go there. I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be reading the sequel.
Part demon, part human, we are secretly born. Persecuted, violated, forsaken, forlorn. For freedom, for privacy, we have all made a pact. Three to servePart demon, part human, we are secretly born. Persecuted, violated, forsaken, forlorn. For freedom, for privacy, we have all made a pact. Three to serve: one to lead, one to protect, one to act.
It would seem that my favorite half succubus just can’t catch a break. Val Shapiro has been hunting bad vampires for as long as she can remember, but lately her life has been a bit harder than usual. Ever since she lost her Slayer powers along with her V card, she only has her succubus half, Lola, to rely on in fights. Speed and strength of a regular human aren’t nearly enough when you spend your days fighting vampires, not even with some training in martial arts.
Val’s new boss, leader of the ‘good’ vampires, has to go to Austin to take care of business and insists on bringing Val along. That would normally be fine, but her boyfriend Shade is complicating matters by being jealous of the vampire lieutenant Austin and wanting to come along. Besides, things aren’t running smoothly in the Demon Underground either. A none-too-small fraction of the Underground has turned against Micah, their incubus leader and Val’s cousin. They want things to go back to the old ways, when protecting half demons was far more important than blending in, but Micah wants to lead the organization the way his father did before him. Val isn’t quite sure what to think of the matter and would like to stay out of it if at all possible, but the new fraction is convinced that she would make a much better leader than Micah, so avoiding the problem isn’t really an option.
All these things, however, pale in comparison to the challenge of keeping the Encyclopedia Magicka safe. Torn between her job and her duty towards her own kind, Val is forced to use any means necessary, including her succubus half Lola and the rather unpredictable book, to save everyone and everything she loves.
Maybe six months ago, after a recommendation by a trusted friend, I picked up the first three books of the Demon Underground series and read them all in two days. They were incredibly entertaining, with great worldbuilding, likable characters, and interesting plots and I became an instant fan. Needless to say, my expectations for this book were sky high, and I’m sorry to say it didn’t quite live up to them. (A love triangle? Really, Parker Blue? Why would you do such a thing to a perfectly good series? *cries*)
Shade was my biggest disappointment by far. He was almost unrecognizable in Make Me. Without any warning, he and Val went from being a sweet new couple to having trust issues, balance issues, issues with unfounded jealousy and lack of communication. When exactly did their relationship become a power struggle? They were perfectly happy at the end of book three. Val was also a bit too whiny for my taste. She had a right to be, all things considered, but I still didn’t appreciate the pity party. Even Fang, her loyal hellhound, wasn’t as funny as he usually is.
I’ll probably still read book five when it comes out, but my expectations will be a lot lower.
I am used to reading bad books. I try very hard not to, I pick every one very carefully, but I often end up with something I’d been doing my best to aI am used to reading bad books. I try very hard not to, I pick every one very carefully, but I often end up with something I’d been doing my best to avoid. And it’s okay. It’s the same for all of us. But when a book starts out great and I get my hopes up, only to become formulaic and focused on all the wrong things later on, I feel more than just disappointed. I feel cheated.
Touched had a very promising beginning. Ever since he was born, Nick Cross’ head has been filled with what he calls memories, but what are really visions of his future. His best hope is to pick a future he likes and stick to the script, but any deviation, no matter how little, can change everything, and when it does, it’s usually for the worse. If he ignores the script he’s currently following or makes a mistake, his head is instantly filled with so many possible futures that he is unable to function until he chooses a new one and gets back on course. Because he’s always trying to follow some script (or ignore it if he doesn’t like the future it leads to), it’s very hard for him to pretend that he’s normal.
I felt like I’d gone ten rounds of a heavyweight title match. I couldn’t tell if it was because of the cycling or because the new memories would prove too horrifying to bear. I could change them. I could change the bad things, sometimes, by going off script. The problem was, changing the bad things usually took away the good things, too. And there always seemed to be more bad things to replace the ones I managed to escape.
Nick has lived several versions of a normal life through ‘memories’ of his future. He has seen a wife he adored, children and grandchildren, jobs, houses and everything else he could have if he would just stay on the right script. Sometimes his ‘memories’ are so real that he is unable to separate them from reality, which causes him to mention his wife or an event that never actually happened to other people. But when a beautiful, angelic-looking girl Taryn enters his life and causes him to change course, every single future that lies ahead becomes downright disastrous.
The future I’d given up was a one- in- a- thousand future. I went to college, married Sue, who understood me as well as anyone could, had children and grandchildren. It wasn’t anything awesome, but it was normal, and that was all I wanted.
Sounds pretty great, right? It was for a while, but as soon as a girl entered the picture, it all went downhill pretty fast. Touched was too focused on romance end not nearly enough on Nick’s very interesting ability. Perhaps the book should have been written from his girlfriend Taryn’s point of view considering that the second half revolved almost entirely around her… which leads me to my next problem, Nick’s voice.
We’ve had many examples of female authors successfully writing male protagonists. Just think of Holly Black and Cassel, Lish McBride and Sam or even Kendare Blake and Cass, but I’m sorry to say that we cannot count Cyn Balog and Nick among them. For the most part, Nick had the voice of a thirteen-year-old girl, maybe even younger, one still not old enough to be completely ruled by hormones. A lot could be written off as lack of experience since he spent his entire life focusing too much on the future and not enough on the present, but I doubt even inexperienced seventeen-year-old boys think and behave like whiny little girls. There was something missing in his character that I can’t quite put my finger on, but he never came alive for me and I didn’t care about what happens to him at all.
Cyn Balog’s prose is not very immersive. I was never really invested in her story, I never felt like I was part of it. It was more like watching something happen from a great distance, something that is of little concern to you. I knew exactly when Balog was aiming for my emotions, but she never quite reached me, never even came close.
If you’re in the mood for a YA paranormal story that has ‘wasted potential’ written all over it, I’d say go for it. If not, find something else to read.
Now that Mab Monroe is finally gone and Gin’s identity has become common knowledge, every aspiring criFans of the series won't be disappointed at all.
Now that Mab Monroe is finally gone and Gin’s identity has become common knowledge, every aspiring criminal out there is trying to make a name for himself by killing the (in)famous Spider. Sophia Deveraux is busier than ever, what with cooking for all the people who come to the Pork Pit to stare at Gin and getting rid of the bodies Gin leaves behind in their back alley. So when Finn suggests a vacation for the four of them (Gin, Owen, Bria and himself), Gin jumps at the chance to leave town, hoping things would blow over by the time she gets back. She’s also excited about spending some time with her newly found baby sister, but Gin is well aware that things rarely work out the way she wants them to. Thinking that she’ll really be able to enjoy an uninterrupted vacation would be downright naïve, and let’s face it, Spider may be many things, but naïve she’s not. Fortunately, she never goes anywhere without her five Silverstone knives – the ones Owen made especially for her. She’ll need them to fight a foe even worse than Mab Monroe. It’s a shame that she can’t use her knives to resolve emotional issues as well, especially when her former lover, the much despised Donovan Caine, comes back into the picture.
The beginning of By a Thread was a little hard for me. I was disappointed in Gin, especially when it came to her attitude towards her baby sister. She carried all this guilt and allowed Bria to make her feel not good enough, making the same mistakes she’d made with Donovan Caine. I’m not used to Gin feeling so helpless and inadequate and when she kept beating herself up over things she had no way to control, it was infuriating and really hard to read. I’m glad to say that there was a reason for this and that it became apparent in the second half of the book.
I know this is a strange thing for me to say, but I’m normally not a big fan of fight scenes. There is just something messy about them that doesn’t appeal to me at all. Fortunately, the ones written by Estep are among the rare exceptions. She writes these scenes with such clarity, describing just one thing at a time, thus allowing me to picture them vividly in my head, and yet somehow making them rich, eventful and extremely interesting.
To me, Mab Monroe was never especially scary, and I’m glad to be rid of her. Her actions never once sent chills down my spine and I was never truly worried about Gin when she was fighting her or the ones Mab sent after her. But the vampire who feeds on elementals to absorb their powers was a very convincing villain. I knew, of course, that Gin will make it out eventually, but I was unsure of how damaged she’ll be. Major points to Ms. Estep for that.
Old fans, I promise you won’t be disappointed. And those of you who haven’t even started the series, try the first book. Jennifer Estep maintains the same level of quality throughout the series. If the first one works for you (as it did for me) the rest surely will, too.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author for review purposes.
This is another fine example of why you should never judge a book by its covers. The cover is beautiful and that’s what got me into trouble1.5 stars!
This is another fine example of why you should never judge a book by its covers. The cover is beautiful and that’s what got me into trouble… again!
Of all the terrible and frustrating characters on this planet, Shay McGuire is by far the worst. Sick Girl, as she likes to call herself, is incredibly selfish, self-centered, out of control and plain stupid. I’m not sure if the authors intended for her to be that way, but somehow I doubt it.
Ok, here’s the story: Shay was born with a rare, or rather unique blood disorder. Her stepfather, Martin, is an expert in leukemia who abandoned his work so he could focus all his attention on finding the cure for Shay (or so he says). One day, Martin gave Shay a transfusion that actually made her feel better. After a lifetime of feeling weak and exhausted, Shay suddenly had the strength to do whatever she wanted. So what did she choose? Drinking, acting out and risking her life every chance she gets.
Just so we’re clear here: was I supposed to sympathize with the girl who used her illness to behave like a complete brat? Was I supposed to feel sorry for this girl who kissed her best friend’s boyfriend the first chance she got, a girl who takes everyone for granted and treats people who care about her like trash? Because if I was, it SO did not work out that way. I’m one of those people who can’t like a book unless they can connect to the main character and that didn’t happen here.
And Gabriel is just so old! I’d never before been bothered by the age difference in paranormal YA, maybe because they all at least tried to behave like teenagers and it wasn’t so obvious. But Gabriel keeps pointing out that he’s more than 400 years old and he even acts like it. I kept thinking: b-b-but she is 16 and immature!!! What can you possibly see in her?!
Unfortunately, I have no choice but to read the sequel so you can expect another one of these rants reviews in the near future. ...more
Ok. Just like pulling off a band-aid. Here we go: I started reading this book while I was on my vacation. After about a half, I simply couldn’t take iOk. Just like pulling off a band-aid. Here we go: I started reading this book while I was on my vacation. After about a half, I simply couldn’t take it anymore, so I stopped. Then two nights ago, my conscience began to gnaw at me and I had no choice but to at least try. I admit to only skimming through the second half, mostly because I’ve read the story before. It just had a different cover and some other title.
At the beginning of the summer, Kate was in a terrible accident that killed both her parents, and she woke up from a coma with the ability to see other people’s auras. She can judge characters and read emotions through colors, something she only admitted to her best friend Lee. Now it’s time for Kate to go back to school and face her new life. Her boyfriend Aaron is very supportive, her grandparents are great people and everyone thinks Kate is on the road to recovery. But on her first day of school, Kate runs into the new boy, Patrick, the only person with a grey aura she’s ever seen. It turns out that Patrick is a Guardian (yes, that would be guardian angel) who came to protect Kate from the terrible Demons (with black auras, of course) that are out to get her.
I will not point out everything I think is wrong with this book. We’ve been down that road many times before and I don’t think it makes any difference either way. It wasn’t badly written at all, there weren’t any words trying to jump out and poke my eye out. This was just a YA book meant for *gasps* young adults and, while it might be interesting for them, older audience will certainly find it a little boring.
If you’ve read Halo, Hush, Hush and Evermore and enjoyed them, you WILL enjoy Seers. Good for you! If not, find something else to read. This is one of those stories.
I added the second star because the writing really was pretty decent. ...more
"Chalice is a modern-day knight descended from an order of female knights that existed int he Middle Ages and actually used hatchets to defend their h"Chalice is a modern-day knight descended from an order of female knights that existed int he Middle Ages and actually used hatchets to defend their homes when the men went off to fight. In Chalice’s twenty-first century world, that order still exist, but the female knights are the progeny of angels. The abilities they inherit are their most powerful weapons…"
Chalice has no idea why she’s different: she’d lost her mother when she was just a baby and she never knew anything about her father so her heightened senses (smell, hearing and sight) were never explained to her. Her senses are so strong that she’s forced to wear ear plugs and contacts to protect herself from sensory overload. Because of her abilities, Chalice was taken from the monastery where she was peacefully growing up by a man claiming to be her father. To keep Chalice from running away, the organization that took her, Vyantara, tied her to a gargoyle. She is now forced to steal rare artifacts for Vyantara and keep pretending that the man who took her truly is her father. If she fails to do so, she will turn into a gargoyle herself.
Because of the way she was taken and treated, Chalice is convinced that all magic is bad. But then she meets Aydin, a guy who’s in a very similar situation, tied to a gargoyle and working for Vyantara. He introduces her to a hidden world of good magic and benevolent magical creatures.
I must admit that I liked the way the story developed and, what’s more important, I was genuinely surprised by the ending. On the other hand, the world Duvall created just wasn’t colorful enough and, as much as I tried, I couldn’t picture all the necessary details in my head. I can’t say I liked Chalice much either, and Aydin was creepy at times.
I have many friends who are primarily urban fantasy fans, just like I am. I think most of them might enjoy Knight's Curse. I will definitely read the next book in this series. ...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. ...more