A cliffhanger? Are you kidding me? This is the last book, why there's a cliffhanger in it?! -_-
Anyway... I liked it, but Desires of the Dead and The B...moreA cliffhanger? Are you kidding me? This is the last book, why there's a cliffhanger in it?! -_-
Anyway... I liked it, but Desires of the Dead and The Body Finder were a lot better. Review to come.
The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead were adorable books. I loved the story, the characters (even when Violet turned into a Mary Sue sometimes), and the romance. The Last Echo had it all, but not as strongly as I thought. Of course, the mystery behind the girls' disappearance was still there, Violet was still struggling with her powers, and the FBI team was an important part of the story. But maybe that's the problem.
In The Last Echo, Violet doesn't deal with relationship issues. She doesn't even deal with family issues. Most of the story is focused on Violet herself, and her ability to use her gift as something good, and not let it control her, or dominate her life. Sara Priest and her team, specially Rafe, help Violet with this. It's obvious, form the beginning, how the author wants us to understand Violet's gift, and go right along with her everytime she has to use it. Which would've been fine by me, but the book's plot doesn't go any further than that.
The biggest flaw in The Last Echo was the author's incapability of working with two things at the same time. In The Body Finder, the plot basically consists of world-building. In Desires of the Dead, it's all about the romance. In The Last Echo, it's all about the FBI. This is exhausting. Most dialogues had someone from the team in it, and the other aspects of Violet's life, like, say, her family, and even Jay, were ignored. Jay is barely mentioned in this novel. This bothered me a lot, not because I love their relationship (which is true), but because it doesn't make any sense. If you're going to talk about the FBI, fine, do it, but don't exclude everything else.
One of the few things that pleased me was Rafe himself - he was a pain in the ass sometimes, but overall, I loved his personality -, and The Collector. Yep, I loved the villain. He's the creepiest guy Kimberly Derting has ever talked about. He kidnaps girls for love. He thinks his behavior is normal, and he actually cares about the them, in some twisted, sick way. Violet handled herself a lot better than I thought she would, in the ending. I liked this character development. In The Body Finder, she cringed and tried to scream, but otherwise didn't struggle much. In The Last Echo, all bets are off. She did whatever she had to do to survive.
The premise was awesome... but the book itself, not so much. I'm still looking forward to next one, and I sincerely hope it'll be better than The Last Echo. Nonetheless, it's still a great read.
As much as I loved Halfway to the Grave, it's clear how much the series, and the characters developed in the second installment, One Foot in the Grave...moreAs much as I loved Halfway to the Grave, it's clear how much the series, and the characters developed in the second installment, One Foot in the Grave. First of all, Cat. She was a remarkable character in the beginning of the series, but now? Now she's in another level. Leaving Bones, and being forced to work for a secret unit of the government as a measure of protection for her loved ones made Cat look at things differently. Now, hunting vampires isn't just a hobby, or something she did to please her mother and easy her guilt... it's her work, and she's so concentrated on it that she's now known as the Red Reaper in the undead world.
But badass skills aside, Cat isn't completely satisfied with her life. Memories of a certain vampire, and of a long-lost relationship, haunts her, even though she does everything possible to let it go. When Bones finally founds her, after 4 years looking for her, Cat's past threatens to unbalance her newly established work. Jeaniene Frost managed to fill in 4 years of Cat's life in less than 10 pages, without making it look rushed, or unrealistic. We get to know how Cat's been dealing with her personal life, and that info is proved to be necessary when Bones returns.
Cat and Bone's chemistry explodes in this novel, and what they really feel for each other is a lot easier to see. It's usually hard to see a relationship this deep look natural in the second book, but of course, Night Huntress is nothing but unusual. Cat's impulsive personality keeps colliding with Bones' protective instincts, which makes their dialogues drip with irony and vehemence, not to mention the really romantic scenes.
I'd say One Foot in the Grave is a perfect sequel to Halfway to the Grave, and though I would've liked to see more of Bones' search for Cat (maybe in a dialogue, or even a novella), it doesn't disappoint in the least. Everything feels different, but the essence of Frost's writing, and the character's personality, is the same, which I loved. Well done again, Mrs. Frost :)
After reading Once Burned, I realized that it's been years since I've read Night Huntress (the first novels, anyway), and I decided to re-read the ent...moreAfter reading Once Burned, I realized that it's been years since I've read Night Huntress (the first novels, anyway), and I decided to re-read the entire series, just for the sake of doing it (it is my favorite series of all times, after all), and to write a proper review of each book. I first read Halfway to the Grave in 2010, and I admit I was a bit afraid to re-read it now and just don't find it as appealing as I had. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Halfway to the Grave introduces us to Cat Crawfield, a half-breed that's been hunting the undead since she was sixteen, right after her mother told her about Cat's heritage. Cat, in my humble opinion, is the best heroine I've ever encountered, YA or Adult Fiction, simply because she's realistic. Sure, her humor can be a bit too snarky sometimes, but she's a solid character, with a reliable point of view and a fierce personality. She isn't submissive, and she sure as hell isn't a Mary Sue. Cat is strong, tough, and caring... to put it simply, she's human, her father's non-beating heart notwithstanding.
To create a dynamic story (and add a romantic element to it) we have Bones, and no, he's not Edward-esque at all. In fact, I'd say he's the exact opposite of every hero I've ever read about. Bones is shameless, cruel, honest (a little too much, in fact), and so badass that to call him a "bad boy" would be an understatement. Bad boys are attractive, and mean trouble. Bones is trouble. And just like Cat, he's perfect in every sense of the word. If Bones says he's going to rip your head off and use it as a soccer ball, you better run, because he means it. That's one of the things I love most about him. He's honest to the core, and while that can be a hell of an inconvenient. it's also pretty damn reliable.
With two main characters as unique as these, I don't have a lot more to say. Jeaniene Frost writes wonderfully, in general, but in Halfway to the Grave, especially, her writing skills are clearly raw - maybe because that was her debut novel. This is, perhaps, the only mildly negative point of this book. The pace is fast, the action scenes are engaging, and the romance is developed slowly, accompanying the plot and the character development. Even the mythology involving the vampires is good.
In general, Halfway to the Grave is a brilliant start to a great series. It reminds me why Night Huntress is so easy to devour, even after two years. The story is growing on me even more than it previously did, and while I'm finding little negative aspects about it, I'm also loving each character a lot more.
After waiting for so long, Jessica Rules the Dark Side finally came out. And I couldn’t have been unhappier. Why, you ask me, is the second book such...moreAfter waiting for so long, Jessica Rules the Dark Side finally came out. And I couldn’t have been unhappier. Why, you ask me, is the second book such a disappointment, since I absolutely loved Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side? There are not only one, but at least three reasons. And I promise not to be disrespectful to this book or its author, for even with my dislike, I was still able to enjoy the story.
After marrying Lucius and going to Romania, Jessica – Princess Antanasia – must go deep into her role as a Dragomir Princess, and fulfill her place beside Lucius. Problem is, she doesn’t sound like a princess, she doesn’t look like a princess – most of the time, that is – and doesn’t even want to rule. So you can imagine what a poor excuse of a princess she ended up being when Lucius was accused of murdering one of the Elders, and taken away into prison, and it was Jess that had to clear his name.
If my husband were in jail, and his life in constant risk – after all, vampires can’t live without blood for long (assuming my husband were a vampire, of course) – I would do anything to clear his name and save him from certain destruction. In fact, I believe every single woman who’s married and loves her husband would do the same. Hell, Catherine Crawfield would agree with me. But, as always, every rule has an exception, and Jessica is that exception. She did nothing to find evidence in Lucius’ favor, and I mean it when I say nothing. All the new Princess did was wimp and complain about what she was going to do now that Lucius wasn’t there with her.
Seriously, the girl didn’t do anything to save her husband’s life! She knew that he wouldn’t last one week without blood… and five days after his imprisonment, she was learning Romanian and talking to Mindy about her best friend’s love life with a surfer vampire. And she still had courage to think that she wouldn’t be able to live without Lucius? That if the verdict ended up being guilty, she’d rather die than rule without her husband?
Now that I mentioned Mindy, I can’t understand why she was in this book. Not that she didn’t play an important role, really, but her point of view was shallow, self centered, and I swear, if I read another “like”, I’m going to kill someone. Not only did her use of a ridiculously “modern” English seem forced, it felt brute compared to Jess’ contemporary but well written point of view. However, I loved how Lucius’ trial was told by Mindy – how she didn’t sound like an immature teenager, at least in this few chapters.
Oh, and Mindy’s love interest was just as uninteresting as her – and as irritating. Not that I have anything against Raniero. The letters exchanged between him and Lucius while the latter was in jail were funny, if not for the constant “LOL” that seemed to accompany every single sentence written by Raniero. Dude, what are you LOL-ing about? Your friend, whom you consider a brother, is in jail, succumbing slowly until he’s dead, and you’re laughing? Am I the only one here who actually cares about Lucius?
The whole mystery behind Claudiu’s murder was so obvious I felt like switching roles with Mindy just to shake some sense into Jess. Yeah, it was that obvious. If Jessica had spent less time complaining and more time actually doing something, Lucius wouldn’t have had to spent so much time suffering from lack of blood. I’m sure I was so supposed to look like this when I found out who the murderer was:
But I looked like this, instead:
As it is, it took way too long for Jessica to, like, grow up and realize that there were bigger things at stake – no pun intended – than how her life changed now that she was in Romania. And when she did change, it fit her character like a glove, like it was right at her face, the whole time, what she was supposed to be, and she was just too blind to see it.
I just can’t give 1 star to Jessica Rules the Dark Side because even with so many irritating flaws, I still loved to see more of Lucius as a husband as well as a ruler – he was the only that didn’t disappoint me, really – and the last part of the book was good. No more comments.
Note: This review can also be found on my blog.(less)
If you haven't read this series yet, you should. You have no idea what you're missing. Molly Harper's writing style and characters captivated me since...moreIf you haven't read this series yet, you should. You have no idea what you're missing. Molly Harper's writing style and characters captivated me since book one, and after almost two years, I still enjoy myself while reading her books. Nice Girls Don't Bite their Neighbors is no exception. Jane has grown so much, changed so much throughout the series, and yet, she continues to be the same hilarious, crazy librarian we met so many adventures ago.
This time, Jane is marrying Gabriel, but of course, trouble is following them very closely. Being able to get married in an old fashioned way may not possible after all if they don't find out who wants to kill Gabriel and use Jane as a message. I loved Gabriel even more in this book. His protective nature was always charming, but now, he's doing everything he can to be with Jane forever. This couple works fantastically while investigating, and, as always, secondary characters like Dick and Jolene are just as entertaining as Jane.
Molly Harper delivered us yet another great addition to this series. In a way, I'm sad that it's almost over. At the same time, however, I'm happy about the way things played out in the end. It was a worthy ending to a series I loved so much. Ah, well. I'll miss Jane, Gabriel and the gang, but I'll still have the short stories.
Note: This quick review can also be found on my blog.(less)